IUBio

the liver and the brain

David Longley David at longley.demon.co.uk
Fri Sep 3 06:30:44 EST 2004


In article <4gsej05e3mp2jgdii2fqsm3m2di9mil1b7 at 4ax.com>, Traveler 
<traveler at nospam.com> writes
>In article <aNudsENK12NBFwUm at longley.demon.co.uk>, David Longley
><David at longley.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>In article <j5oej0lbapom8t1kucncb927hbn2ivs4iq at 4ax.com>, Traveler
>><traveler at nospam.com> writes
>>>In article <zv63kZKYr1NBFwjh at longley.demon.co.uk>, David Longley
>>><David at longley.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>>
>>>>I'll say it again - you are neglecting what research in neuroscience is
>>>>and always has been dependent upon - the careful management and
>>>>measurement of *behaviour*.
>>>
>>>If, by behavior, you mean the observable external behavior of the
>>>organism whose nervous system is being examined, I have to disagree. A
>>>lot of research in neuroscience is not at all dependent on external
>>>behavior. Heck, a lot of it is conducted in vitro. But if you mean the
>>>internal behavior (input/output, action potentials) of single neurons
>>>or even cell assemblies, I agree that neuroscience is dependent on
>>>behavior in this general sense of the term. But then again, very few
>>>fields of science are exempt from this general rule.
>>>
>>>Louis Savain
>>
>>
>>>
>>>Artificial Intelligence From the Bible:
>>>http://users.adelphia.net/~lilavois/Seven/bible.html
>>>
>>>The Silver Bullet or How to Solve the Software Crisis:
>>>http://users.adelphia.net/~lilavois/Cosas/Reliability.htm
>>
>>You clearly (and arrogantly) don't understand (it isn't a matter of you
>>agreeing or not). The 'in vitro' work is just as much an application of
>>the extensional stance as the 'in vivo' behavioural work.
>
>You are a shining example of folk psychology, Longley. Here is what
>you wrote:
>
>>I'll say it again - you are neglecting what research in neuroscience is
>>and always has been dependent upon - the careful management and
>>measurement of *behaviour*.
>
>Don't wriggle your way out of it, you pompous ass. How are in vitro
>experiments dependent on the measurement of behavior?
>
What do you think researchers are writing about when they report what 
they've done in such experiments? How do you think their reports are 
related to the rest of the web of research evidence within the field 
they're contributing to? My experience is that few outside these 
specialist fields can really tell, because they aren't privy to the 
language game - ie they don't know and can't tell what's actually 
*done*.

Take a routine example. Say someone stereotaxically infuses a toxin into 
some region of the brain and subsequently sections the brain, examines 
some of these histologically (for cannula placement) and homogenizes 
selective specific areas prior to HPLC or otherwise assaying them. This 
amounts to and depends upon lots of 'in vitro' work. It therefore 
requires quite a lot of detailed CNS anatomical knowledge (to know where 
to put the cannula) and it requires a knowledge of physiology, 
neurochemistry and pharmacology (to know what anaesthetic and 
neurotoxins to use) and that's before you use the dentist drill!. Then 
there's the behavioural experiment (which most people don't seem to 
grasp because it requires almost extra-terrestrial expertise it would 
seem). Then there's more 'in vitro' work, ie the post-mortem assays 
(more biochemistry) and relating the results of all that (usually 
multiple samples from known areas of innervation in order to assay just 
how accurate/discrete ones lesions were) to the results of the 
behavioural data.

The point which is easily/frequently missed, and which is basic to all 
of good science, is that it's *the accurate reporting of one's own 
behaviour throughout* (ie what researchers actually *do*, and what 
others have done before that they rely upon in order to do what they do) 
which is all important. This is an intricate web of reporting on 
*behaviour* and it's why the methods, apparatus, results (and 
references) are so critical. This is the important point that I've been 
impressing upon you (and it isn't just *simple* operationism). It's all 
about control over ones variables, and that comes down to precision of 
measurement and management over behaviour. This is, at root, the 
extensional stance, and it's why Behaviour Analysis is fundamental. In 
my experience, it takes years to learn how to read papers and to 
undertake research properly. That's why people do empirical/experimental 
PhD research projects after all - they're basically graduate *training* 
programmes in science.

To better appreciate why I'm being critical of what you have written, 
you probably *would* have to read some of the material I've written 
elsewhere, and you'd have to try to grasp *why* I'm saying the things 
that I am, rather than just taking offence.

>> On the other
>>hand, the nonsense that you provide links to clearly is not.
>
>Your opinion about my site matters to me because...?

Because I've explained why what you're doing is *fundamentally* 
misguided and that you'd be wise to find out why.

>
>>Try to grasp what's being said and learn from it rather than just
>>idiotically presuming.
>
>Try to write what you mean rather than just idiotically presuming that
>people should read something other than what you write.

I'm advising not presuming. That's all I can do. Believe  it or not, I'm 
really trying to be helpful.

>
>And one more thing, Longley. Pack it up your ass. :-D

This is just one of the ways that you behave in response to criticism 
which makes what you do so ineffective.

>
>Louis Savain
>
>Artificial Intelligence From the Bible:
>http://users.adelphia.net/~lilavois/Seven/bible.html
>
>The Silver Bullet or How to Solve the Software Crisis:
>http://users.adelphia.net/~lilavois/Cosas/Reliability.htm
-- 
David Longley



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