View Full Version : Mind/brain duality (moved from "Teeny-tiny brain" thread)


Dizfriz
08-30-13, 09:40 AM
[MOD NOTE: This thread contains a side discussion of mind and brain originally begun in the "Researchers create a teeny-tiny brain" thread. - Namazu]

- My peer response

I think the OP made it clear earlier she believes the mind is a function of the brain therefore ADD would be a brain thing to her. The brain mind issue is an interesting one and on this thread, it seem to be presented as relevant to ADHD.

I am not arguing but simply looking at the issue.

I have not seen a good operational definition of "Mind". By operational definition, I mean a definition that allows scientists to measure this phenomenon in some way. The brain is easy, it is physical and good operational definitions abound on many aspects of the brain. That does not man that an operational definition of mind does not exist just that I haven't seen one. As this is not an area of study for me, I could have easily missed it is there was one available.

The problem is that without an operational definition or some way of measuring "mind", science cannot study it. This is important.

Those who contend that ADHD is a mind thing and not a brain issue would need to consider if the concept of mind is a scientific one or is it is more in the realm of a philosophical concept. This is also important.


I like the way you asked it earlier

Originally Posted by SB_UK View Post "Maybe just a brief explanation of the relationship between this experiment and ADHD 'd help ?" It is a good question. If you consider ADHD to be a product of the structure of the brain, then any research can result in a greater understanding of how the brain works. Remember, The Human Brain Project and Brain Activity Map Project are massive current attempts to understand better how the brain works. This is being done in this way because understanding how the brain works is considered as the best possibility for learning enough about its functioning so as to help work with mental disorders (not the only reason for the projects but it is a major factor).

The thing here is that most involved in the scientific aspects of mental disorders including ADHD consider them to be primarily involved with the structural and neurochemical aspects of the brain and how they come about.

Right now, this is the direction that is being taken. I do not know how to bring in the concept of mind into the picture. Perhaps someone can explain how we can address this using tools of science.

Please understand that I am not saying "mind" does not exist, I think it does. I personally think it of more of a emergent phenomenon of the brain than anything else. That is, however, just my thought in a subject where I have limited expertise.


or more relevant - will some thing like this develop into the ability to eliminate people like us {ADDers} under the guise of a "cure"? I am not sure I understand what you are saying Meadd. Do you mean that there is going to be some kind of medical pogrom wiping out all that are ADHD or do you mean that it is possible that the genetics/brain structure might be, in the future, modified in such a way as to eliminate ADHD at conception? The latter is possible and I don't think you meant the former. I just wasn't sure.

I like the possibility of eliminating animal experimentation I tend to agree for the most part but not totally (another subject for another time but I am not to sure about this making of a brain model either. If it has any practical application then it's a bit to close to a human brain for me - It's not that I do not trust science it's more like I do not trust humans. The practical application is to gain understanding and knowledge. If we limit research only to those things that have immediate application then we will severely limit ourselves. Much of the important discoveries were from science intended to increase understanding and not for any immediate practical benefits. Usually the benefits come from work based on the "pure" research that came earlier. The work going on in epigenetics is a good example of it. Most of it does not have immediate benefits but will in the future. For example, it is leading to some exciting new insights into the treatment of cancer.

As far as trust goes, that is what good oversight is for and it is our job as citizens to pressure government assure this is being done. In the US and Europe, this is being done but I am not too sure about the rest of the world so it is definitely something to be aware of and to watch as it can be a real problem.

Interesting subjects, I decided to wade in with some temerity and we shall see how it goes.

Dizfriz

Kunga Dorji
08-30-13, 11:44 AM
The brain mind issue is an interesting one and on this thread, it seem to be presented as relevant to ADHD.

I am not arguing but simply looking at the issue.

I have not seen a good operational definition of "Mind". By operational definition, I mean a definition that allows scientists to measure this phenomenon in some way. The brain is easy, it is physical and good operational definitions abound on many aspects of the brain. That does not man that an operational definition of mind does not exist just that I haven't seen one. As this is not an area of study for me, I could have easily missed it is there was one available.

The problem is that without an operational definition or some way of measuring "mind", science cannot study it. This is important.

Those who contend that ADHD is a mind thing and not a brain issue would need to consider if the concept of mind is a scientific one or is it is more in the realm of a philosophical concept. This is also important.


It is a good question. If you consider ADHD to be a product of the structure of the brain, then any research can result in a greater understanding of how the brain works. Remember, The Human Brain Project and Brain Activity Map Project are massive current attempts to understand better how the brain works. This is being done in this way because understanding how the brain works is considered as the best possibility for learning enough about its functioning so as to help work with mental disorders (not the only reason for the projects but it is a major factor).

The thing here is that most involved in the scientific aspects of mental disorders including ADHD consider them to be primarily involved with the structural and neurochemical aspects of the brain and how they come about.

Right now, this is the direction that is being taken. I do not know how to bring in the concept of mind into the picture. Perhaps someone can explain how we can address this using tools of science.

Please understand that I am not saying "mind" does not exist, I think it does. I personally think it of more of a emergent phenomenon of the brain than anything else. That is, however, just my thought in a subject where I have limited expertise.


I am not sure I understand what you are saying Meadd. Do you mean that there is going to be some kind of medical pogrom wiping out all that are ADHD or do you mean that it is possible that the genetics/brain structure might be, in the future, modified in such a way as to eliminate ADHD at conception? The latter is possible and I don't think you meant the former. I just wasn't sure.

I tend to agree for the most part but not totally (another subject for another time The practical application is to gain understanding and knowledge. If we limit research only to those things that have immediate application then we will severely limit ourselves. Much of the important discoveries were from science intended to increase understanding and not for any immediate practical benefits. Usually the benefits come from work based on the "pure" research that came earlier. The work going on in epigenetics is a good example of it. Most of it does not have immediate benefits but will in the future. For example, it is leading to some exciting new insights into the treatment of cancer.

As far as trust goes, that is what good oversight is for and it is our job as citizens to pressure government assure this is being done. In the US and Europe, this is being done but I am not too sure about the rest of the world so it is definitely something to be aware of and to watch as it can be a real problem.

Interesting subjects, I decided to wade in with some temerity and we shall see how it goes.

Dizfriz

You know Dizfriz,
it is good to see you wading into these depths.

Despite the fact that we like to talk about "Mental illness" virtually none of the exponents of that model have ever ventured to define "Mind".

"Mind" is a very slippery subject, as "Mind" is the conscious agency that makes the observations upon which science depends.

All of science depends upon "information and "information" is not "information" unless a conscious being is informed by it.

This is a real catch 22.

Introspection is the only way to understand "Mind" and tat has been understood for thousands of years.

More to come :)

Dizfriz
08-30-13, 01:11 PM
All of science depends upon "information and "information" is not "information" unless a conscious being is informed by it.
A small detail, admittedly pedantic : sometimes information does not need a conscious being involved. Shannon information as a good example involves information transmission and processing and does not need an interpreter.

That aside, I understand your points and don't particularity disagree. My main issues on the subject of mind is that while I feel it is likely a real thing, I don't know if science can address it at this time for the reasons I gave.

It is a fascinating subject and getting your mind wrapped around mind is a tricky task at best.

Dizfriz

Dizfriz
08-30-13, 04:02 PM
So - if ADHD is something to do with mind, then organoid has nothing to do with ADHD ?

Philosophy and Psychology 'd baulk at the idea that they're reducible to brain.

They're reducible to logic which it isn't possible to reduce to neurone.
Can you provide an operational definition of "Mind" so it can be studied?

Dizfriz

SB_UK
08-30-13, 04:33 PM
Can you provide an operational definition of "Mind" so it can be studied?

Dizfriz

The thing that is required to think abstractly which separates human beings from animals.

SB_UK
08-30-13, 04:38 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind
The main questions regarding the nature of mind is its relation to the physical brain and nervous system.If this is the main question relating to the nature of the mind
- then all people should hold two options in mind - and that is that it is or isn't.

I can't imagine a mechanism by which the mind could be a direct property of brain
- but as a distributed property of brains is imaginable.

If we simply imagine the power of the Internet on a dumb terminal versus a dumb terminal working without an internet connection
- then we've a model for mind - which is appealing.

The networked dumb terminal becomes capable of so much more than it can all on its lonesome.

Dizfriz
08-30-13, 04:44 PM
The thing that is required to think abstractly which separates human beings from animals.
Wouldn't it be simpler to say that you do not have an operational definition of mind?

Dizfriz

Dizfriz
08-30-13, 04:47 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind
If this is the main question relating to the nature of the mind
- then all people should hold two options in mind - and that is that it is or isn't.

I can't imagine a mechanism by which the mind could be a direct property of brain
- but as a distributed property of brains is imaginable.

If we simply imagine the power of the Internet on a dumb terminal versus a dumb terminal working without an internet connection
- then we've a model for mind - which is appealing.

The networked dumb terminal becomes capable of so much more than it can all on its lonesome.
I am not sure but it sounds like you are talking about a group or collective mind. If so Wow!

Dizfriz

mildadhd
08-30-13, 04:59 PM
I actually encourage the "whole story".

And would love for people to explain how the genetics factors work with the environmental factors.

But instead the information keeps being expressed as either/or.

Which is impossible in regards to development of BrainMind/MindBrain.

Does that make sense?


Peripheral

mildadhd
08-30-13, 05:27 PM
Anyway, I have started a new thread.

Operational definition of "MindBrain", "BrainMind" so it can be studied
(http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149980)
I hope you participate.

Eveyone's environmental and genetic (and more) insights opinions are welcome.

Hopefully people can agree to disagree, and not cry foul if they don't like what they hear. (including me)

Instead present facts to back up their positions.


Peripheral

mildadhd
08-30-13, 06:00 PM
Goodness! Thoughts and the 'mind' are associated with the brain.
Feelings and emotions are generally associated with the heart.
Is any of that correct? Proven? Will we ever know for sure?


Lunacie,

Do you mind (no pun intended) if I post your quote to discuss in my new thread?

I won't without your permission.

Peripheral

qinkin
09-02-13, 05:09 PM
Interesting how you could link to the print page to avoid ads, Amtram.

I don't subscribe the the brain "is" the mind entirely. I aso don't think science can say anything with authority about our interior world of thoughts and emotions. The only authority of my interior experience and world is myself. I have observed and conducted many of my own experiments about my interior self and have found very objective things about myself. These may not apply to others.

I am skeptical ofi scientific pronouncements of authority in domains that can't be studied using the scientific method. Religion, philosophy, art, etc.. defy the scientific method. Many scientists and fans of science denounce what it cannot understand.

What makes 'sense' to a materialist may not make the least bit of sense to someone who investigates the subjective interior world which makes up more than half of our lives.

The backlash against neuroscience is fueled by fear, and it is foolish imo. We'll suffer for it. I prefer to balance science and wisdom, and I think it's something of a lost art.


O really? Do you read a lot of books on spirituality? ... In what way do those things defy science? Philosophy is integrated into scientific method, so I think you are confused.


- but the fundamental causal basis to psych- condition is in psych- without need for neuro- and the fundamental causative basis to neuro- condition is in neuro- without need for psych-.

The only reason that neuro- dominates over psych- is that it's so much easier to work with stuff you can prod.


Just because u say it's easier, doesn't mean it is. You're just not seeing tons of relevant stuff. U seem to kinda be making stuff up as well with regards to how things actually work in science.

ADHD was a scientific discovery, so..

meadd823
09-09-13, 01:51 AM
Let me try that again - Objects are closer than they appear - \ It not so because SB says so it is because there is evidence suggesting that scarcity effects us mentally

Scarcity changes how we think (http://www.salon.com/2013/09/08/scarcity_changes_how_we_think/)

Scarcity captures us because it is important, worthy of our attention, but we cannot fully choose when our minds will be riveted. We focus on scarcity even when we do not want to. We think about that impending project not only when we sit down to work on it but also when we are at home trying to help our child with her homework. The same automatic capture that helps us focus becomes a burden in the rest of life. Because we are preoccupied by scarcity, because our minds constantly return to it, we have less mind to give to the rest of life.

Scarcity does something similar to our mental processor. By constantly loading the mind with other processes, it leaves less “mind” for the task at hand. Scarcity directly reduces what we call bandwidth—not a person’s inherent capacity for thinking and understanding but how much of that capacity is currently available for use.


We tested this idea on sugarcane farmers. (The study, conducted with the economist Anandi Mani and the psychologist Jiaying Zhao was published this week in Science.) These farmers receive their income in a big lump, all at once at harvest time. This means the same farmer is rich in the months after harvest and poor in the months before harvest. We then examined the same farmer’s bandwidth at these particular times of the year. Instead of comparing rich and poor people, we’d be seeing how the same person behaves differently when tight for cash and when flush with cash. We measured two components of the farmers’ bandwidth: “executive control” (our ability to manage our cognitive activities, including planning, attention, initiating and inhibiting actions, and controlling impulses) and “fluid intelligence” (the ability to think abstractly and solve problems independent of any specific learning or experience).


In other words, the same person was measured as less intelligent and more impulsive when he was poor, compared to when he was rich. And the effects were large. The postharvest farmers got about 25 percent more items correct on the fluid intelligence test, which corresponds to about nine or ten IQ points.

~Underlining in source added by me~

Aren't these the same EF Barkley always refers to ADDers as lacking?

- Maybe the notion that ADD is effected by inequality isn't so damn crazy after all.

Amtram
09-09-13, 12:37 PM
Nobody is arguing against "affected by." It's "caused by" and "prevented by" that have no evidence backing them up.

I was reading an article last week on epigenetics, which of course I didn't bookmark, that said that we put too much emphasis on "environment" when we're talking about changes to genetic expression. He said that the real factor is "experience" - because no two people in the same environment are going to experience it in the same way. (Talking about emotional factors, not chemical ones, obviously.) If you're in a particularly negative emotional/social environment, and you experience it in one way, it can influence your gene expression, but if you experience it in a different way, it can have no impact on it at all.

Lunacie
09-09-13, 12:41 PM
Nobody is arguing against "affected by." It's "caused by" and "prevented by" that have no evidence backing them up.

I was reading an article last week on epigenetics, which of course I didn't bookmark, that said that we put too much emphasis on "environment" when we're talking about changes to genetic expression. He said that the real factor is "experience" - because no two people in the same environment are going to experience it in the same way. (Talking about emotional factors, not chemical ones, obviously.) If you're in a particularly negative emotional/social environment, and you experience it in one way, it can influence your gene expression, but if you experience it in a different way, it can have no impact on it at all.

Chemical factors can also come into play. I dread going to our local mental
health clinic, not because of the people (they're wonderful), but because
they have a plug in air freshener in the entry way and I'm very sensitive to
chemical scents. They affect me mostly in emotional ways, but strong
scents can also make me physically weak. And some cause migraines.

No one else there seems to have this sensitivity to chemical scents, so
they don't experience the environment the same way I do.

Dizfriz
09-09-13, 03:49 PM
I cannot stand to be around those plug in scent operations. I am also strongly allergic to many perfumes and scents.

It can make a social life interesting and my experiences with some settings and some individuals are quite different than most.

Dizfriz

meadd823
09-14-13, 03:26 AM
Nobody is arguing against "affected by." It's "caused by" and "prevented by" that have no evidence backing them up.

I was reading an article last week on epigenetics, which of course I didn't bookmark, that said that we put too much emphasis on "environment" when we're talking about changes to genetic expression. He said that the real factor is "experience" - because no two people in the same environment are going to experience it in the same way. (Talking about emotional factors, not chemical ones, obviously.) If you're in a particularly negative emotional/social environment, and you experience it in one way, it can influence your gene expression, but if you experience it in a different way, it can have no impact on it at all.


Seeing as ADHD can not be pinned down to a single genetic cause then naturally preventing it genetically will be impossible therefore "affected by" is about all we have left to work with.

Do I experience my chromosomes or my environment? Personally I vote interaction between both but seeing as I can do nothing about the genetic traits I inherited I find focusing upon them with regards to my ADHD to the exclusion of all other possibilities which I may have more control over inane.

Focusing upon the genetic cause of my ADHD is basically intellectual titillating - Personally I don;t mind rousing discussions but we should not give the genetic causation credence over any other manner of intellectual self stimulation.


I can not comment on an article I have not read by an author whom is yet to be named therefore I am forced to plead the opinion clause - in that every one has at least one. Personally I think sex causes most genetic expressions, but I also think it is an experience that is greatly influenced by the environment = my unmedicated version of applied biology :lol:

Amtram
09-14-13, 11:36 AM
Essentially, meadd, the idea is that although genetics itself is complex, starting with genetics is actually working from simple to complex. The genes determine how a living creature is built in the first place - they provide the raw material of an individual. Just as with anything else, the quality and quantity of the raw materials is going to have the biggest impact on the end product.

If you start with materials that are better, then even mishandling can still result in an acceptable outcome. If you start out with materials that are less than ideal, poor "craftsmanship" can create a useless mess, but even the finest attention to detail and compensation for the shortcomings of the materials is going to give you an end product that is not as good as what you would get if the materials were better suited to the desired outcome.

If the genes build a body or brain that doesn't work in one way or another, then the molding of experience can make a difference for better or for worse, but it doesn't change the way the body or brain works. You can learn to walk on artificial legs, but you can't grow legs. You can wear glasses, but you can't teach your eyes to see better. The brain is just like every other part of the body - if it's missing a part, there's a limit on how much you can do without it; if it's not working correctly, you can compensate to an extent, but you can't simply teach it to work right.

Dizfriz
09-14-13, 12:56 PM
Personally I think sex causes most genetic expressions,

Also let us not forget that life can be considered to be a sexually transmitted condition that is 100% fatal, the most severe form of STD.

Dizfriz