[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
=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
=20
drive that =96 once set into motion and energised =96 has to run its
=20
course (according to drive theory), as opposed to it being something
=20
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
=20
process of cultural evolution =96 not enjoyment of cruelty per se =96
=20
that became =93a primary driver of the modern entertainment
=20
industry=94 (sect. 1.1.3). People are likely to enjoy media cruelty
=20
for the same reason that they show an incessant interest in scandals
=20
involving the downfall of people in society, where there is no
=20
role to play for =93blood, pain, and death.=94 Impulses of intraspecific
=20
aggression that are culturally suppressed can find transient relief
=20
also in humour (laughter as a sudden relief of inhibited aggression,
=20
according to Lorenz [1963/2002]), but once the cultural
=20
inhibitory framework is removed (including through =93moral disengagement=
=94),
=20
intraspecific aggression becomes disinhibited and
can manifest in actual acts of cruelty.=20
Enjoyment of media cruelty is not reinforced by
=20
=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=
tantin
_________________________________________________________________
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