[Neuroscience] Re: why did humans grow a bigger neocortex?

konstantin kouzovnikov via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by myukhome from hotmail.com)
Tue Sep 4 15:24:03 EST 2007

> From: bingblat from goaway.com.au> Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 18:10:44 +1000> To: n=
eur-sci from magpie.bio.indiana.edu> Subject: [Neuroscience] Re: why did humans =
grow a bigger neocortex?> > > "Randolph" <solor from cmc.net> wrote in message> =
news:13din4dartu9223 from corp.supernews.com...> > Incorrect, many animals engag=
e in very complex behaviors in order to kill> and maim. And yes they even d=
o it just because they can.=20
the following is a part of my communication with my good friend Glen:I am s=
orry arriving so late in to discussion ... >BTW, there have not been many t=
hat have taken "spontaneity" seriously.   With a few making rather fundamen=
tal input into the problem. Would work of Llinas et al considered as within=
 this context? The concept of thalamocortical system (TCS) has probably a l=
ot to do with the "spontaneity", especially what they described as "interna=
l functional nodes" generated in TCS also in the absense of any sensory inp=
ut. Neurons in TCS are described as having intrinsic resonance capability, =
although "independent" they are facilitated by arousal mechanisms (Steriade=
 et al; Curro Dossi et al). Sensory input only modulates gamma-frequency di=
scharge activity from these neurons (Varela et al). There was an interestin=
g follow up to 2006 pubication re: cruelty pehnomenon: just bear with me, t=
he point is at the end=20
Cruelty=92s rewards: The gratifications of perpetrators and spectators.
BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2006) 29, 211=96257.One response, from Ralf-=
Peter Behrendt, produced following insights:=20
=93pain=94 and =93blood=94 are unlikely to represent rewards
for the sake of which the animal kills=20
predation is an intrinsic instinctual
drive that =96 once set into motion and energised =96 has to run its
course (according to drive theory), as opposed to it being something
done for the sake of enjoying a reward (hedonism) or
instrumentally to achieve a certain end (teleology). [That explains the poi=
nt they are making in the latest Mr.Brown with Keving Coestner _ killing is=
 only a relief of the pressure to act, a post-action phenomenon, doing almo=
st nothing to the nature of the drive; here you go - spontaneity of one typ=
e of a killer; how do you like that? it's the actors face at the very end o=
f the feature... total loss and helplessness while praying to "make it - th=
e drive - to go away"... - kk]=20
McDougall (1924), for whom instincts were central to behaviour,
argued comprehensively against hedonistic theories of behaviour.=20
It can be argued that it is the suppression of aggression in the
process of cultural evolution =96 not enjoyment of cruelty per se =96
that became =93a primary driver of the modern entertainment
industry=94 (sect. 1.1.3). People are likely to enjoy media cruelty
for the same reason that they show an incessant interest in scandals
involving the downfall of people in society, where there is no
role to play for =93blood, pain, and death.=94 Impulses of intraspecific
aggression that are culturally suppressed can find transient relief
also in humour (laughter as a sudden relief of inhibited aggression,
according to Lorenz [1963/2002]), but once the cultural
inhibitory framework is removed (including through =93moral disengagement=
intraspecific aggression becomes disinhibited and
can manifest in actual acts of cruelty.=20
Enjoyment of media cruelty is not reinforced by
=93emotional circuits=94 adapted to predation, but represents transient
relief from culturally determined inhibition of aggression. An interesting =
topic, Glen! One more comment: I think it would be much more effective if o=
ne would replace the term "spontaneity" for "perseveration", as in external=
/internal modulation refractory continuation of "emitting" a behavior. Kons=
100=92s of Music vouchers to be won with MSN Music

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