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Jan
18
awarded  Yearling
Jan
9
comment What happens in your brain when a concept “clicks”?
I'm curious about the concept (+1 for the question) but perhaps Google may lead you to general background info (-1 for no research effort).
Jan
6
comment Evidence that qualia are not the same as physical processes?
Yeah, I realized I was asking someone to prove a negative not long after posting. On the other hand, I see so much hoopla about 'qualia', when the most fitting explanation that I can put together is that they're artifacts of scope (from a psychology or philosophy that has little basis in neuroscience).
Jan
4
asked Evidence that qualia are not the same as physical processes?
Jan
4
comment Do widespread brain toxins explain violence rates?
I understand now. I'm curious still: do you doubt the research or linked papers in the article? It seems that the article, or the linked papers, readily answer your first question. Unfortunately, I suspect there are many reasons for a slightly smaller prefrontal cortex than just toxins and more reasons for violence than a small prefrontal cortex. Also, considering that anything in sufficient quantity can be a toxin, I suspect that the last two questions are too broad for us to be able to answer here.
Jan
4
comment Do feelings have a purpose?
+1 for "free won't"
Jan
4
comment Do widespread brain toxins explain violence rates?
Welcome to CogSci.SE! A few suggestions: at the end of the question you actually have 3 questions. I would recommend creating separate questions on CogSci for each. Remember that we ask you to do some initial research first though! Speaking of research, have you read the entire Mother Jones article? Considering the amount of evidence that they have, I would highly doubt that there is any other explanation...
Jan
3
answered Is the energy of an action potential divided among multiple axon terminals?
Jan
2
comment Do feelings have a purpose?
This isn't to say don't use analogy; analogy is a very powerful tool. But when using analogy be very careful to explain far more about where the analogy fails than about where it succeeds.
Jan
2
comment Do feelings have a purpose?
Sure, but the analogy gets really complicated really quickly: unlike a car, just 'putting more oil in' doesn't work to correct an imbalance. Ultimately, the problem isn't that the analogy doesn't work for every aspect of neurotransmitters (because we know this and can alter our knowledge and representations to allow for this), but that others will believe that it DOES work that way. If we start spouting analogies, other people will take them a step farther, then another step farther, and then a few more steps, until we have a bunch of that 'neuro-myth' bunk.
Dec
31
comment Do feelings have a purpose?
I think you will run into great limitations in that analogy. Neurotransmitters change behavior based on far too many variables: rate of output, rate of uptake, and those are just a few of more. Also, medicine is exploring this: SSRI's are based on the idea that depression, and it's related feelings, are related to the rate of uptake of serotonin, such that it stays in the synapse and continues to activate neuron receptors. Of course, this isn't the full story...
Dec
29
comment Do feelings have a purpose?
You have multiple questions, which seem to confound each other: I'm interested if feeling in some way has a purpose. and Can we say something about the hormone/neurotransmitter levels based on how a person is feeling? are both good valid questions, but different enough to warrant different questions. With the first, you will run into anachronisms: anxiety functioned (and still functions) to keep us on alert for danger, but has been 'hijacked' by modern society to activate in incongruous situations. And the second is general: someone feels anxiety, and we know what anxiety is, but not why.
Dec
29
revised Does anxiety produce adrenaline or does adrenaline make the person anxious?
Removed attributing coordination to PNS
Dec
29
comment Does anxiety produce adrenaline or does adrenaline make the person anxious?
Thanks for the correction, I'll edit that out.
Dec
28
answered Does anxiety produce adrenaline or does adrenaline make the person anxious?
Dec
26
comment Is there a “foreplay” equivalent, priming activity for thinking or conversation?
Hmm...So I found a couple papers on the subject. At this point I'm not sure what your question has become. However, it seems that such activities are so wide-spread that they touch literally every human interaction (also, consider that such activities are likely unconsciously performed in many cases). This subject could potentially be a goldmine of research, if you pursued it.
Dec
24
comment Does anxiety produce adrenaline or does adrenaline make the person anxious?
"It makes sense but it is an infinite cycle. What is the false (and why), or if both are true then how does it ends?" - Both, and it's only an infinite cycle if you don't have a parasympathetic nervous system to modulate that adrenal response. But I don't have the references to make this an answer.
Dec
21
comment Is there a “foreplay” equivalent, priming activity for thinking or conversation?
I see two classes of situations here: 1) where there's an actual inhibition on one person's part, and 2) where people are in different states of mind (one is happy, the other sad). For the first, an icebreaker is needed to relax/ease their anxieties. For the second, 'conversation foreplay' is necessary to align the cognitive states of the participants. Without such an alignment activity, it would be very difficult to feel/process sympathy, empathy, or other socio-emotional connections. But this is just a theory on my part.
Dec
20
comment Is there a “foreplay” equivalent, priming activity for thinking or conversation?
Also, I'll add that we're analog (signal) creatures, not discrete (aka digital) ones. When we do things, we are not on/off. We have to build up energy to overcome an activation barrier (this isn't just on the neuronal level, this paradigm exists all over). So for many people, a digital (or near-digital) shift to a different state can be very uncomfortable.
Dec
20
comment Is there a “foreplay” equivalent, priming activity for thinking or conversation?
That's a different question: "what priming activities exist" vs "why is priming needed in the first place". Anyone could have any reason for social discomfort around strangers. Hell, with "stranger danger", kids are taught to be afraid of strangers. At the core, it's fear/anxiety, regardless of the cognitive reason behind it. But that's just for social discomfort. Turning the question around and using your foreplay example, what is "the ice being broken" there?