r norman rsnorman_ at _comcast.net
Wed Jun 25 08:51:12 EST 2003

On Wed, 25 Jun 2003 15:02:51 +0200, J Zijlstra <jw53z at xs4all.nl>

>On Wed, 25 Jun 2003 08:29:42 -0400, r norman <rsnorman_ at _comcast.net>
>>On Wed, 25 Jun 2003 12:04:36 +0200, J Zijlstra <jw53z at xs4all.nl>
>>>I'm sure someone has posted something on this before but I didn't find
>>>After reading
>>>I couldn't get that question out of my mind. They stated the
>>>Whatever the initial reason for
>>>using drugs, the vast majority of
>>>people addicted to drugs cannot
>>>stop. “The reason for this is that
>>>prolonged drug use changes the
>>>brain in fundamental and longlasting
>>>ways. In some sense, the
>>>brain is actually rewired as a function
>>>of drug use.” (page 4)
>>>So are drugs users able to mentally change in a positive way (Talking
>>>about the tiny few instead of encouraging..)
>>>If this is true and I think that could be confirmed after 3 years of
>>>research. Am I then able to say that we are able to 'rewire' our brain
>>>in a positive sence?
>>The "wiring" of the brain is the pattern of synaptic connections
>>between neurons.  This includes both the microanatomy of which
>>specific neurons connect to which specific others and also to the
>>details like the strength of each synaptic connection, although some
>>people may interpret the notion of wiring to include only the
>>connections, not the strengths.
>So I'm right that I say I can influence the neural process?
>>The specific web page you cite (the site you cite?) is almost three
>>years old and refers to the well known phenomenon of "upregulation"
>>and "downregulation" in the cell signaling machinery.  In this case,
>>it refers to changes in synaptic strength, not to actually changes in
>Yes, but when I influence the upregulation and downregulation
>(dopamine right? (Not really into it..))  I totally influence the
>function of that part of the brain... The only difference I see in the
>different parts of the brain are the way of communicating in small
>>These connections have always been known to be quite plastic
>>(changeable).  We "rewire" our brain with every experience, every time
>>we learn something. Neurons are dynamic, living cells.  In other
>>words, there is nothing magical or special or rewiring the brain.
>I don't believe that, because if your influencing the communication
>process you do rewire the brain right? And if your psychologically
>changed your changed right? Isn't that a total change of the neural
>>The real purpose of using a phrase like that is to indicate to people
>>that the effects of drugs can far outlast the duration that the
>>chemical actually remains in the body. If you are really straining to
>>find someone who will tell you that abusing psychoactive drugs will
>>rewire your brain to make you a better, wiser, and more caring
>>individual, then you are indeed delusional.
>Yes but it was just a source of inspiration I do understand the way it
>is written trough, thanks.. But if I'm right, there should be a method
>that allows your brain to psychologically change faster? And so giving
>us the advantage of (ethically right or wrong) Rewire ourselfs... 
>I'm just having some clue's and probably AM missing some big facts but
>I should be right somewhere...

I think you are missing the point.  The brain is, in your sense,
constantly rewiring itself.  As I said before, every experience, every
memory, everything we learn is manifested in some form of change in
the biophysical and biochemical structure and function of the brain.
If you want to call this "rewiring", then feel free -- it is certainly
some sort of change in the brain. 

The problem is that we don't control just how and where and which
specific changes will occur. Reading, learning, thinking long and hard
about things, behaving -- all these rewire our brain. Drugs may change
the way that particular plastic changes happen, but there is no way
that we can even imagine finding a drug that will magically rewire
things in the "right" way. 

People studying human behavior for all have known for all of recorded
history that our experiences and our learning change the way we
behave.  In all those thousands of years, we still don't know how to
do it "right". Chemistry isn't going to solve the problem.

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