[Neuroscience] Re: Lookingforonlineorebookneurosciencedictionaries or encyclopedias

Glen M. Sizemore gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 26 05:19:57 EST 2006

Sorry that I have not gotten back to you on this. Let me just say a couple 
of quick things:

First, I suggest you read -


and the old classic


Second, paramount in conceptual analyses is: "Does the concept have any 
chance of being something other than metaphor?" and "Is there any 
independent evidence of the existence of the alleged "thing," or is the only 
evidence that it "exists" the very data from which it is inferred.

Finally, the concepts of cognitive "science" generally fail the tests given 
above and, more troubling, cognitive "scientists" routinely conflate 
assumption and hypothesis.

"konstantin kouzovnikov" <myukhome at hotmail.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.248.1152986183.20007.neur-sci at net.bio.net...
> KK:    Glen: I hope you do not mind me being interested in understanding 
> your positions better.
> I just would like to follow these two statements:
>>that results from those changes, but the concepts of cognitive "science" 
>>simply explanatory fictions.
>>(and bear in
>>mind that what I am criticizing the conceptual structure of cognitive
> KK: Could you just give me a backgrounder or a couple of specific examples 
> for each?
>>GS: Imaging is a feat of physics and engineering. It has nothing to do 
>>cognitive "science." Thus when an area "lights up" it seems like 
>>"Oh! That's where the executive is!" "Oh! That's where the little 
>>spirit reads the 'cognitive map.'"
> KK: I do like your analogy. There are too many "Christmas tree"-like 
> approaches. However, don't you think that various quality of a job done is 
> a ... normal distribution thing in any field of human activity? You asked 
> me to give you some info re: the research I've mentioned before. I'll give 
> you the links to a couple of my recent favorites. I do find them not 
> fitting into your description:
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12880804&dopt=Abstract
> as I like this lab a lot, here is a link:
> http://www.brain-dynamics.net/braindynamics/publications/pubs_all.jsp
> essentially, any  paper by either Williams or Liddle will do..
>>but I don't intend right now to
>>launch a criticism of methodology. The conceptual problems with cognitive
>>"science" are so overwhelming that all other issues should take a back 
> KK: Glen, I hope you do realize that we would need to have something 
> beyond your general statements, right? It is not just you doing a cope 
> out, or is it?
>>GS: Are you saying that we can, for example, say exactly what is going on
>>when we establish, say, a so-called conditioned emotional response in a 
>>That is nonsense. We are not even close.
> KK: don't you think you've changed the subject? I am saying that each 
> "tribe" has ability to contribute, eventually, so, Yes, cog neuroscience 
> has a lot to contribute, in addition to what was done in behaviorism. It 
> is you who is saying "say exactly what is going on ", not me.  No one is 
> in position to provide a "final answer". Let's just recall that you and I 
> are talking about cog neuroscience being a complete crap, in your view.
> But you "rat" thing is a good one. I'd like to stay with this one for a 
> while. It may surprise you, but, as Captain Spoke would say, it is 
> illogical to assume that the knowledge of what "exactly" going on in a rat 
> can be established before a similar event is understood in humans. Why? 
> Because of the nature of the science which demands not an A or a B, but A 
> and B together. Allow me to explain,  To understand "exactly" what's going 
> on in a system, would ALSO  require the system speaking back to you, or 
> being able to contribute some self-generated data which is impossible to a 
> dog, or a rat, especially if one is dead. In other words, you can go a 
> long way with rats, but only so far. Any scientific product which won't 
> contain ALSO the type of data that they used to call "introspective" will 
> be INVARIABLY short of having SUFFICIENT data to apply YOUR label 
> "EXACTLY". Further explanation, it is shutting down "conscious" (or 
> accessible to introspection) allowed factoring out non-conscious, in the 
> recent translational and integrative research, also with the use of 
> neuroimaging. One cannot do it in a rat, not really.
> So,  SOME progress has been taking place in the cognitive neuroscience of 
> emotion . You can't deny it.
>>GS: Freud was right about a couple of things but his mental models were
> KK: Glen, again, could you give me a 2-3 liner regarding what is it 
> exactly that you mean? What are "a couple of things"? What are Freud's 
> mental models that you like and dislike? It seems impossible to get out of 
> you anything palpable. Is there a reason for it?
>>because most people do not know that radical behaviorism places a lot of
>>emphasis on self-talk, imagining, etc.
> KK: "radical"? is there a definition to what exactly it is? Is there a 
> link to read about?
>>KK: Pavlovian behaviorism was largely physiological science rather than
>>GS: Nonsense. There was some manipulation of the brain, but Pavlov's work
>>involved manipulating the environment and measuring behavior. > He talked 
>>about the brain a lot,
>>but the work is most famous for is purely behavioral.
> KK: and what was the goal of manipulation? (A formal employee of the 
> Pavlov's Institute, I'd like you to you to tell me this one). Let me tell 
> you, though. The overall goal was to show that brain is the bearer of the 
> mental faculties while "brain" was what these guys used to call as 
> "physiology".  What you threw in the garbage and called it "Pavlov used to 
> talk about the brain a lot" was the entire point, So, an alternative 
> interpretation of what they did is as this: they manipulated brain by a / 
> manipulation of environment and  b/ observing and measuring behavior to 
> make what you are refusing to see in behaviorism - exactly the type of 
> generalizations you so resent when they are done by cognitive 
> neuroscience.' It is the same mythology, the same "conceptualizations", 
> etc.
>>GS: Well, it is unlikely that we will agree upon what is "good."
> KK: Not if you would continue being vague. What's you definition of good?
> This is what I still remember about the Soviet psych (sorry, can't call 
> Soviet and post-Soviet as Russian; the Russian is either dead or all in 
> "their heads"):
> Luria (a Georgian guy, by the way, like Schewarnadze) gave the world the 
> Neuropsychology, no matter how much Nebraska-Luria folks continues to 
> bastardize his models. Although, as I referred to before, the communists 
> castrated the scientific community, there still were a few great 
> developments. I am sure you don't know about them as the post-soviet 
> science continues to be self-contained with the majority of the Russians 
> taking the benefit from doing science on several languages while the 
> majority of their science continues to belong to the "dark side" of the 
> moon, inaccessible to you, for instance.
> No matter how much they used Vygotsky's developmental stuff to raise up 
> the young communist league members, no one in the filed can work without 
> his still very much valid conceptualization as well as the 
> assessment/experimental parts.
> Had you known the works of Boris Vekker  and Ananiev, you'd have no choice 
> but take your hut off. Prof. Vekker's theory of invariant information 
> processing is as recent as from 60s and 70s, but still is the only serious 
> methodology in existence offering logical and methodologically correct 
> opportunity for convergence of the so fractured multitude of psychological 
> schools of thought. If Prof. Vekker were any good at spin-doctoring of his 
> science as Chomskie is, his hugely important theory would not be one of 
> the biggest losses in the field, at the time when objective, 
> methodologically correct tool for conceptual convergence in psychology is 
> need as never before.
> A behaviorist , you would be interested to know that the big ideas as the 
> Theory of Mind or the new wave called "mirror neurons" are just humble 
> shadows of what has been done in the SU in the area of imitative behavior 
> in animals and humans, by those who called themselves behaviorists and 
> physiologists. You know when? Between 1932 and the end of the 70s. A 
> massive body of knowledge. I have not a clue why this information is not 
> here, in the West.
> There are more curious things about the "Russian" neuroscience. Do you 
> know that 95% of the staff from the Russian "physiological psychology" 
> labs ended in Germany, between the early teens of the 20th century and the 
> beginning of the 30th? So, a lot what we know now as German science had 
> the benefit of the exodus of the old traditional neuroscience from the 
> country taken by commies.
> Have you ever heard about sensory deprivation method? Prof. Kuznetsov, the 
> developer of the approach, eventually went to St.Pet's and I am happy to 
> say that my practicum was at his department. Great guy he was.
> Do you know who were the developers of the self-guided rockets? Guys and 
> girls just like from the MIT, mostly neuropsychologists of cognitive 
> neuroscience type. You see how the American product works in the Middle 
> East, right?
> Largely unknown psychosemantics tradition (Schmelyov and Petrenko) are now 
> the granddaddies of this arm of research, still ahead of the pack.
> I know that now there is a number of their folks are here, in the West, 
> having very serious positions in behavioral science, especially in the 
> areas of computational approaches as well as in neuroscience. However, the 
> majority of them are snapped up by big pharma's , so one hears the name 
> only infrequently.
> Still,. the consequences of the red massacre are right there, not a lot of 
> good stuff. But to say there is nothing important would be a mistake.
> So, I am terminally interested in having the details about your 
> "criticism" of the fundamentals of cognitive neuroscience and Freud's 
> models. Any chance you can share it with us, so we know where the passion 
> is coming from?
> Cheers,
> Konstantin
>>Neur-sci mailing list
>>Neur-sci at net.bio.net
> _________________________________________________________________
> Windows LiveT Messenger has arrived. Click here to download it for free! 
> http://imagine-msn.com/messenger/launch80/?locale=en-gb

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net