Consider the possibility of developing a pharmaceutical agent that would
increase synergism among peoples. Corporations, psychiatrists,
families....everyone could benefit from such a substance. Indeed, the
idea sounds far-fetched (there is no true panacea), but a theoretical
approach to the development of this drug(s) or other treatment and an
animal testing model for it is quite feasible.
I suggest the following approach for the development of the human
cohesion drug (or perhaps, device). First, I propose that areas of the
brain such as the hypothalamus, hippocampus and limbic system would be
involved in cohesive behavior, since these centers are involved with the
experience of pleasure, behavior and emotion, respectively. The
development of a pharmaceutical should be focused on one that would
produce particular modifications in this general portion of the brain.
In order to identify what types of changes in our temporal lobes we are
trying to achieve, some socio-psycho-biological research would be
required. This type of research is interdisciplinary and would require
the coalition of scientists from four disciplines: sociology,
psychology, neurobiology and medicine. It is easy to imagine the
infinite design of research studies involving all of these disciplines
and it would be quite impossible for me to even crack the surface here,
as to how to approach the research in detail. I'll leave the design
ideas to my readers (although I am quite capable of designing quite a
few of my own). I will emphasize, however, that only highly creative
and optimistic, yet knowledgeble and critical scientists would be
qualified to design and orchestrate the research.
Ultimately the drug must be tested. Although primates would be ideal
for the testing of such a pharmaceutical, these animals are quite
expensive. But whatever animal is tested, one particular behavior
should be observed for - cohesion. Do a group of animals maintain a
lesser average distance from one another under the influence of the drug
as compared to control animals? Or do they approach one another with
increasing frequency? Longer periods of contact?
What changes in the temporal lobe would accompany such increases in
cohesive behavior. Glucose metabolism? Neurotransmitter release or
uptake? Complex changes in patterns of action potentials? Would
changes in the brain concommitant to cohesive behavior be too complex to
be monitored with modern technology? Perhaps, but this research is
worthy of investigation. Indeed, money has been spent on, in the
opinion of many, more frivolous pursuits.
Please send any ideas, critisizms, suggestions or other thoughts to me
at creuben at sunstroke.sdsu.edu
Thank you for reading,
Chip Reuben, M.S.