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Feb
26
comment Do we understand the non-subjective mechanisms behind pleasure and pain?
While I don't argue that there are all kinds of complexities, especially in higher mammals....I suspect that at the core, there is something fairly straightforward going on. Say it is "dopamine causes axon growth on neurons that are in their refractory period" -- that simple mechanism would explain simple learning by reward, from heroin addiction in humans to the kind of learning observed in nematode worms (C elegans). But I've never seen any literature that actually makes a such a connection (heh). About as close as I can get is wireheading.com/article/addiction.html
Feb
25
revised What is the relationship between language and the level of comprehension of consciousness?
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Feb
25
answered What is the relationship between language and the level of comprehension of consciousness?
Feb
25
comment Do we understand the non-subjective mechanisms behind pleasure and pain?
Actually I should probably not say "Pavlovian" as much as Operant conditioning, since I'm talking about responses we might see as voluntary. For instance, if I say 'sit', and the dog sits, and then I give the dog a treat....the pleasure from the treat somehow causes the decision path from stimulus (hear the word 'sit') to the response (sit) to be reinforced so that the dog will do the same thing in the future. A naive implementation might be as simple as "pleasure bathes the brain in a chemical that causes all the 'warm' neurons to grow stronger"
Feb
25
comment Do we understand the non-subjective mechanisms behind pleasure and pain?
@ChrisS , I guess I'm looking for the neurobiological explanation of Pavlovian response. Specifically, how the thing that we interpret as "pleasure" causes reinforcement, and the thing we interpret as "pain" causes suppression, of previously taken stimulus -> response decision paths. The best I can find is stuff like this annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.neuro.24.1.897 , which of course doesn't explain anything unless you shell out money.
Feb
25
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Feb
25
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Do we understand the non-subjective mechanisms behind pleasure and pain?
Feb
24
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Feb
24
answered What do the super-large brains of whales and elephants map to?
Feb
24
comment Do we understand the non-subjective mechanisms behind pleasure and pain?
Call it "reward / punishment mechanism" if that makes more sense to you. I'm from the "brain is a biological computer" camp, so I don't see consciousness or qualia as relevant, since they aren't definable in objective terms anyway (in my opinion). Regardless, if it helps, forget I used the terms "pleasure" and just look at it as "do we understand the mechanism by which detection of goal satisfaction by the nerves causes the brain to cause recently used stimulus-response connections to be reinforced such that they are more likely to be reused in the future?"
Feb
23
revised Do we understand the non-subjective mechanisms behind pleasure and pain?
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Feb
23
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Feb
23
revised Do we understand the non-subjective mechanisms behind pleasure and pain?
added 83 characters in body
Feb
23
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Feb
23
asked Do we understand the non-subjective mechanisms behind pleasure and pain?