View Full Version : Poverty and Brain Development


Kunga Dorji
09-15-15, 05:35 PM
This is relevant in the context of ADHD as a neurodevelopmental disorder.
Also of note are some studies in the US that show a much higher rate of ADHD in the very poor Appalachian states, and acknowledged high rates of ADHD within Brazil- a nation where severe poverty is endemic.

When considering the overall context of any neurodevelopmental disorder we have to consider the factors that influence healthy development of the BrainMind (as Jaak Panksepp chooses to refer to it).

One confounding factor here is that studies like this are heavily biassed towards the West and do not account for cultural variations.

I am thinking here of a couple of recent visits to Bali- an extremely poor nation with many people living at subsistence level.

One thing that is noticeable is the much closer early bonding between children and their family,the more supportive relationships and greater degree of freedom offered to younger children. These are conditions that are supportive to better brain development.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_153680.html

SB_UK
09-16-15, 01:59 AM
This is relevant in the context of ADHD as a neurodevelopmental disorder.
Also of note are some studies in the US that show a much higher rate of ADHD in the very poor Appalachian states, and acknowledged high rates of ADHD within Brazil- a nation where severe poverty is endemic.

When considering the overall context of any neurodevelopmental disorder we have to consider the factors that influence healthy development of the BrainMind (as Jaak Panksepp chooses to refer to it).

One confounding factor here is that studies like this are heavily biassed towards the West and do not account for cultural variations.

I am thinking here of a couple of recent visits to Bali- an extremely poor nation with many people living at subsistence level.

One thing that is noticeable is the much closer early bonding between children and their family,the more supportive relationships and greater degree of freedom offered to younger children. These are conditions that are supportive to better brain development.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_153680.html

With affluence comes a series of behaviours which are maladaptive.

First ten to come to mind.


Wearing shoes - see eg KD threads on balance
Central heating - see threads on mitochondrial hormesis with cold exposure (eg PGC-1)
Car usage - see threads on exercise and aerobic fitness as the key motif of evolution (particularly ours) to date
Of wealth accumulation - see Chomsky's 'gaining wealth forgetting all but self'
Of familiy structure breakdown - 'daddy didn't give attention, and the kid was something that mummy couldn't wear'
Food - human beings are never hungry any more - see threads on convergence between mitochondrial biogenesis, ketosis and health
Time - all spent pursuing more, climbing the ladder, pursuing a CV with no time spent considering whether any of it is intrinsically worthwhile eg Alan Watts presentation on the emptiness (addicting nature) of the pursuit of money, power
Ownership paradigm - as all land becomes swallowed up by people, property developers - children can no longer find anywhere to go out to, find anywhere to play - Cat Stevens - 'where do the children play ?' - extending through to Peripheral's PLAY and SEEK nature to the brainmind ie a neural construct which is defined by just one feature - the sole trick of the neurone is 'to learn'.
Sun exposure - importance on multiple levels eg see publications on myopia, vitamin deficiency, endorphin release and an idea which I need of direct energy transduction via solar/lunar sources via melanin is impossible when you're locked away in 'the office' during the hours in which the sun is out.
Competition - eg in sport - the rise of professional sport alongside the collapse of individual participation because of people not wanting to look bad.


It's hard not to see a mushroom (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/Human_brain_right_dissected_lateral_view_descripti on.JPG) when we look at the brain.
And then to think of darkness.
Or rather absence of EM spectrum to which the eye is accustomed.
And then to wander whether we're developing better night vision ?
The attraction to black and white over colour photography within the world of art ?
Representing an environment of lunar gamma irradiation.

Two worlds - the world of vivid colour (tending towards brash, over-stimulating) and the world of shades between white and black (subtlety) ?

-*-

So - Western style living associated with social breakdown leading to distress (psychosocial distress), Eastern style living associated with
poverty leading to distress (psychosocial distress).

In this world - rich or poor, Eastern living or Western living - you literally cannot win.

We require a global village characterized by voluntaryism and not co-ercion.

SB_UK
09-16-15, 02:02 AM
The crazy thing about 'education' is that the brain is characterized by its desire to learn - and silly human beings in their desire to develop brain/minds - kill them.

The physical (eg diet), psycho (eg competition based rubric in education/workplace), social (eg to dissociate from thy neighbour) ie physicopsychosocial distress destroys the brain/mind's capacity to learn.

SB_UK
09-16-15, 02:13 AM
My basic point is that with the physical bare essentials (clean air, clean water, sustainable material housing and sustainable energy generation)* afforded to all by co-operative (wholly collaboative) function
- that the individual is thereafter free to become as good as the individual desires to be.

The mind/brain permitted to re-arrange itself into a form which when integrated over all human beings represents a rich tapestry or landscape of the collective quality which ever deepens.

From equality to quality.


* can't write food - wandering if our sole requirement could be air - wandering if evolution will even reduce the need for that; all mechanisms exist.

SB_UK
09-16-15, 02:21 AM
Without being able to prove elimination of need for 'food - water - air' - the key point would be to look to the future and not to recapitulate the past
- evolution only works forwards -

not interested in the good old days.

They weren't good.

Evolution/God makes life better (increasing Universal phenomenological informational complexity) - and that's what we should be looking to realise - even if there is no
proof
precedent
- only afforded of the (by definition) past.

To shape a better future doesn't need proof - simply the act of neurone-given creativity explored.

mildadhd
09-20-15, 11:01 PM
Emotional Poverty and Brain Development?

"BrainMind" (Prof Panksepp)


P


WHY PSYCHIATRISTS, PHYSICIANS, AND PSYCHOTHERAPISTS SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE SEVEN BASIC AFFECTIVE SYSTEMS


We have found that the ancient subcortical regions of mammalian brains contain at least seven basic affective systems:

Here, we refer to these systems as SEEKING (expectancy), FEAR (anxiety), RAGE (anger), LUST (sexual excitement), CARE (nurturance), PANIC/GRIEF (sadness), and PLAY (social joy).

(We will explain later why we use capitalization to label these systems; for now, suffice it to say that they designate specific functional networks of evolutionarily very ancient regions of ours brains.)


This book should be of special interest to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals as well as students of the affective, behavioral, and cognitive neurosciences (each of which takes a rather different approach to the study and discussion of emotions).

Our focus here will be on the primary-process nature of these systems, but we will not neglect the levels that most other investigators are studying--the secondary process (inbuilt emotional learning mechanisms) and the tertiary process (emotional thoughts and deliberations that are so evident in human experience)...


OTHER AUDIENCES

All people who wish to be well informed about human emotion--from parents to educators--will want to understand how feelings are created from within the brain.

These affective systems have important implications for most academic disciplines that deal with human beings, from philosophy to economics and from arts to the social sciences.

Parents

Parents will want to know about these systems in order to asses normal development in their children.

If one sees a felicitous balance of all systems, this indicates that the children are developing in emotionally healthy ways.

But if a particular system is over--or under--aroused, this may indicate a problem.

For example, and excessively studious or serious child may have an underactive PLAY system.

The PLAY system allows children to learn about social rules of conduct--for example, when to cooperate and when to compete, and at times to retreat in good-humored ways and let someone else win.

When animals engage in rough-and-tumble play and one animal wins more than 70% of the time, the loosing animal no longer enjoys the game and may drop out of such interactions entirely.

So when children play, they learn valuable social skills, such as the necessity of reciprocity and giving way on occasion.

Children will learn these skills because, if they do not, their playmates may begin to reject them.


Parents should understand the importance of maintaining an optimal balance of positive affects in their children, especially when they are very young.

Subcortical emotional systems can become sensitized by experience.

Neuroscienctists are beginning to learn how emotional brain systems are molded, often permanently, through life experiences, just like the muscles and bones that carry our bodies dynamically into the world develop and strengthen over time.

These changes can extend to the level at which genes become activated, sometimes leading to lifelong patterns of affective strengths and weaknesses.

Understanding these epigenetic (environmentally induced) long-term changes in gene expressions and hence often the lifelong strengths and weaknesses of the BrainMind will be a most exciting forthcoming chapter in emotion research.


Therefore, children are blessed if they have received a great deal of nurturing CARE, leading to the formation of secure social bonds, with positive attachment facilitated by low activity of the PANIC/GRIEF system.

If the child has had the opportunity to engage in abundant joyful play, and if the child's curiosity has been stimulated, then the neural circuits that support these capacities will be more robust throughout life.

If, on the other hand, the child has been subjected to untoward frustrations that engender her RAGE system, or if the child has endured high levels of FEAR or PANIC/GRIEF, then her capacity for these negative feelings will be enlarged.

However, this does not mean that parents need to protect their children from negative emotions.

All children must learn to cope with them because they are a natural part of living.

It is reasonable to believe that all the negative emotions, in small manageable doses, facilitate long term psychological resilience that may help ward off longer-lasting future disappointments that could lead to depression.



Teachers

Teachers will surely benefit from knowing about the seven basic affective systems.

All good teachers stimulate the SEEKING system when they make learning an exciting experience rather than purely a matter of rote memorization.

However, given that much learning involves some measure of drudgery, teachers also need to impose social sanctions.

The conscientious child is rewarded with praise, engendering satisfying feelings emanating from the positive social bonding arms of the CARE and GRIEF/PANIC systems.

The recalcitrant child, however, must often endure the threat of disapproval with accompanying activation of the negative arm of the above social-affect systems, not to mention the throes of RAGE and FEAR.

If so, that child's life will be ruled by negative affect and worries, rather than the positive affects that can spur children on to greater accomplishments.

A second chance, offered gracefully to children with excessive negative affect, can be a wonderful life-sustaining experience.

In any event, well-ministered social constraints can fortify children's ability to tolerate frustration and prepare them to deal with inevitable setbacks in adult life.


We will even emphasize how abundant physical play may reduce the incidence of impulsivity and problems such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

When children have fulfilled their natural urges to play physically, they are better prepared to sit still and pay attention in the classroom.

The re-introduction of play might work best if we make recess the first class of each day.

In effect, this need used to be met when children walked to school and arrived early enough to meet up with and engage playmates before classes started.


-Panksepp/Biven; "The Archaeology Of Mind", (Preface and Acknowledgements)

mildadhd
09-20-15, 11:28 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWo9cvAJtlo


P

SB_UK
09-20-15, 11:45 PM
SEEKING (expectancy), FEAR (anxiety), RAGE (anger), LUST (sexual excitement), CARE (nurturance), PANIC/GRIEF (sadness), and PLAY (social joy).

All 7 systems can be characterized at the level of neurone.

Covered PLAY/SEEKING

- but all of these fundamental emotions can be re-characterized at the level of neurone forming more complex structures ?

So rage (excision), fear (preparing for excision), grief (prepared for excision), lust (duplication), seeking (novel), care (connection), play (novel use).

Extending the idea of SEEKING/PLAY representing nerve function.

This helps us to understand why people don't like to change their mind.

ie react aggresively towards a novel idea.

Also - where these fundamental emotions come from - if they're all built into the axioms of what a nerve does.

It represents itself in what we feel.

It learns - we get to feel what it is going through.

SB_UK
09-20-15, 11:47 PM
That's certainly thrust affective neuroscience into the forefront of understanding neuroscience.

Emotions express what the neurone is going through.

SB_UK
09-21-15, 12:15 AM
That's interesting.
poat #6

Does learning have to involve drudgery ?
If the neurone wants to learn - then does any of learning have to be dull ?

We (the nerve) is defined by the desire to learn.
If it's dull then teaching has lapsed into robotic mode (for ease of teacher) and child will not develop.

What's essential in teaching ... ... that the child wants to know.

If the BRAINMIND doesn't want to learn (broadest possible defintiion) whatever's being taught - then will learning occur ?
Just counting the seconds tlll learning is over.

Is learning at the level of mind - as we approach a Theory of Everything - set to captivate.

If we understand human context - then additional learning at level of mind is superfluous.

What defines academic learning ?
The transition towards wisdom - the acquisition of a moral/rational mind.

BRAIN / MIND
SOCIAL / RATIONAL
MORAL / RATIONAL mind.

-*-

So - is that it ?
No - learning to understand context or natural science arrayed into understanding is only 1 aspect of learning.

Commuication - social science - tendency towards better
Art - sensory information flow - tendency towards better
Movement - tendency towards better

As (now) the 4 major areas of academia - all of which should
- strictly conditional on governance by a rational/moral (true science) mind
- represent individual capacities for 'learning' ie becoming intrinsically better.

How do we know if the term 'learning' may be applied ?
Does the individual get better at some neurally defined process in such a way that becoming 'worse' is no longer possible ?
ie intrinsic betterment.

Are there any activities which lead to 'better' which are not useful or run out of space ie areas where one cannot develop further ie reach the glass ceiling ?
Yes - science must be the controlling rubric - there are many areas of expertise (eg HUMAN LEGAL SYSTEMS!!) which are completely useless, and not consistent with TRUE (moral) science.

And ... ... if one truly fears stagnation in learning - why not try something new ?
There's an awful lot out there for one to develop one's neural networks to ... ...
MASTER/JACK of ALL not a dull expert in one.

Why restrict yourself ?
Feynmann and bongo drums - whyever not ?

In this world - this occurs because people are not PAID for being OK at multiple things.

But MONEY is not (much like law) permitted by TRUE science also - it prevents the neural program of expressing itself through individual aspiring towards a personally fulfilling better.

I've noted that everything is easy given health + training + interest - there's simply a shift in anything interesting - a shift in over-complication, use of language and a series of blocks which are put in place to prevent individual ... ... a bit like people expressing neural expertise want to protect and not give away their expertise.

^^^ To feel special when you know something that somebody else doesn't.

You might be better - but it shouldn't make you feel good.
The 3 year old speaking Swahili could talk over Einstein's head - it's just reflective of a different pattern of learning.

This is the opposite of what the nerve should want ie to give it all away for free - to wait until 'better' comes along and to use 'better' to assist oneself in becoming ever 'better' -

there is only you in these ideas - it doesn't matter if anyone else is better than you - simply if you can progress in an environment.

From which - we arrive at a collaborative neural and not a competitive model.

The forest canopy must move up to emergent level.
(http://travel.mongabay.com/colombia/600/co05-0606.jpg)
A model in which I want you to be as good as possible.
And in which - through reciprocal collaboration - we both benefit.

One person (see Peripheral's Panksaepp comments above) who wins all the time - will not be useful to the group - a bit like one person knowing where food is to be found
- but not sharing it with a starving population.

What's the point ?

The entire collective must be tied into the innovation.

Why do people like it when certain people (we see this in sport as an example) win most of the time ?
Human beings appear to be able to associate themselves with other people's victory and to 'claim' the reward eg see people who watch sport.
What on earth is the point of watching sport ?
seek/play not watch sport.

Should an individual derive any sense of reward when somebody else wins ?
Just sounds a bit like hierarchical society meets Stockholm Syndrome.

People actively seeking their own subservience to others.

To be free - it's important that the individual seeks freedom and not -
Shawshank Redemption's comparison of the individual who seeks freedom vs the individual who commits suicide when free
- 'gets busy dying'.

Note connection - of Andy in the Shawshank Redemption - to pan-learning support from words through numbers into art.

Death will come soon enough - and it does appear to me that time speeds (less and less time to do anything pleasant - more time spent pushing the bureaucracy of life from passport counter-signatures to ferrying children from activity to activity) as we age.
Pointless bureaucracy - should all be automated by the lovely 'nformation just wants to be free' IT people.

No to passports, No to cars, No to badly built mechanical devices which can't be simply fixed, No to changing bank accounts for differnt bank rates, No to unexpected rules in everything from insurance contracts to mobile phone contracts
- it's all just an overcomplication in which anybody who learns the systems which all of the above operate to - find (much to our dismay) - that we have not become personally better.

You just feel (when you learn how these manmade nonsense systems work) - that you've spent precious time learning nothing of any personal benefit; just ways to avoid being cheated by groups that rely on your ignorance.

SB_UK
09-21-15, 12:48 AM
Summarising
Poverty and Brain Development
No money, No poverty


ie failing to nurture the love/desire of money will result in the selfish program giving way to a social (learning) (instead of having it all it's own way) model of behaviour
cf man can only have but one master ... ... mammon or ... ...increasing informational complexityspecies quality landscape as the integral of individual quality (capacity for discerning quality)The enemy is homgeneity.

Diversity is key.