View Full Version : Adult ADHD--According to Dr Amens 6 ADD types


LiLMissADDitude
09-16-03, 01:45 AM
Dr Amen author of many books including "Healing ADD" has discovered 6 types of ADD including:
(These are short descriptions taken straight from the book Healing ADD)

1 Classic ADD-Inattentive, distractible, disorganized, hyperactive, restless, and impulsive

2 Inattentive ADD- Easily distracted with a low attention span, but not hyperactive. Instead, often appears sluggish or apathetic

3 Overfocused ADD- Excessive worrying, argumentative and compulsive; often gets locked in a spiral of negative thoughts

4 Temporal Lobe ADD- Quick temper and rage, periods of panic and fear, mildly paranoid

5 Limbic ADD- Moodiness, low energy. Socially isolated, chronic low-grade depression. Frequent feelings of hopelessness

6 Ring of Fire ADD- Angry, aggressive, sensitive to noise, light, clothes and touch; often inflexible, experiencing periods of mean, unpredictable behavior, and grandoise thinking

Don't know your type? Take the test and find out: www.brainplace.com This test doesnt include the Ring of Fire type but usually this type is present when 3 or more ADD subtypes exist.

tiggwin
09-16-03, 09:11 AM
I'm primarily Inattentive type, but I also checked Classic since I have trouble organizing and I'm verbally impulsive (but not hyper). I'm half way through this book right now, and I have learned a lot so far. I'd highly recommend it. See for yourself:
Healing ADD (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=155) by Daniel G. Amen

vinceptor
09-17-03, 03:30 PM
I checked "classic" because my "official" diagnosis is AD/HD, Combined Type.

Having said that.....

If I read Amen right, you need $3K to get a SPECT scan to diagnose by his typology -- so my "real" answer is --- ?!?!?!?!?!?!

Going by the descriptions, I can also see some Temporal Lobe and "Ring of Fire" tendencies (basically having to do with anxiety, sensory overloading, and temper).

Since it is obvious that people can have more than one area of "low performance" in the brain, I think many people will register with more than one Amen type.....

Ken

Keppig
09-17-03, 03:48 PM
There is a tab called something checklist on the site, click on that for test... warning its 101 questions....

Hmm it says that I'm not probable for anything, including ADD... weird...

LiLMissADDitude
09-17-03, 03:55 PM
Ya..many people do have more than one type. In adults the most common seems to be inattentive type. A lot of people who I know with inattentive type ADD also have some limbic symptoms.

Like you said its possible to have more than one low performance area in the brain. But dont forget its possible to have too much activity too. Many of Dr Amens types can be caused by too little OR too much activity. Ring of Fire usually has some areas with over activity.

My official diagnosis includes ADHD combined type (was very close to being diagnosed as primarily hyperactive impulsive type but the doc decided my attention problems were sufficient enough to diagnose combined type) And conduct disorder.

Doing doc amens surveys and reading the info results are ADHD combined type, and Ring of Fire ADD. (hmmm ring of fire is usually the term when there are 3 or more ADD subtypes yet I only scored positive for inattentive/hyperactive, impulsive and Ring of Fire.) Most people who score positive for Ring of Fire also score positive for limbic or temporal lobe or another subtype dont they?? Maybe the Ring of Fire symptoms are related to conduct disorder?

vinceptor
09-17-03, 06:40 PM
...caused by too little OR too much activity...

I agree -- I think the basic problem is inappropriate **levels** of response. The same ADDers can be oversensitive/overreactive, or completely zoned out and clueless....and it varies from minute to minute.

... Maybe the Ring of Fire symptoms are related to conduct disorder?

ADD was at one time included in the a behavioral disorder section of the DSM. It is significantly "comorbid" with ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). I wouldn't be surprised if in the past kids with ADD were pigeonholed as CD kids.

Ken

LiLMissADDitude
09-19-03, 01:25 PM
Kassie -

You mean it said probable for Cingulate System Hyperactivity & Basal Ganglia Hyperactivity?

I think thats supposedly related to anxiety??

MightyMouse
09-30-03, 03:28 PM
Just as an FYI and trivia point the "low-grade depression" Amen refers to in Limbic type ADDers is clinically referred to as Dysthymia or Dysthymic Disorder. Just thought you would like to know.

lol
MightyMouse

P.S. I am classic ADD with off the chart hyperactivity. I was the typical class-disruptor-won't-stay-in-his seat-teacher-hated-me type in school.

MightyMouse
09-30-03, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by LiLMissADDitude
Kassie -

You mean it said probable for Cingulate System Hyperactivity & Basal Ganglia Hyperactivity?

I think thats supposedly related to anxiety??

:confused:
I think you are either misquoting or confused. The basil ganglia consist of the caudate nucleus, the putamen and the globus pallidus and are involved in the control of movement, not anxiety. The "ring of fire" type is so called because the cingulate gyrus, parietal lobes , temporal lobes, and prefrontal cortex are all hyperactive and therefore produce a ring pattern on the SPECT imaging. The cingulate gyrus is the important area of dysfunction because it is a component of the limbic system, which controls motivation and emotion. That is why the "ring of fire" type is usually hyperaggressive.

hope this helps.

MightyMouse

LiLMissADDitude
09-30-03, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by MightyMouse


:confused:
I think you are either misquoting or confused. The basil ganglia consist of the caudate nucleus, the putamen and the globus pallidus and are involved in the control of movement, not anxiety. The "ring of fire" type is so called because the cingulate gyrus, parietal lobes , temporal lobes, and prefrontal cortex are all hyperactive and therefore produce a ring pattern on the SPECT imaging. The cingulate gyrus is the important area of dysfunction because it is a component of the limbic system, which controls motivation and emotion. That is why the "ring of fire" type is usually hyperaggressive.

hope this helps.

MightyMouse

I'm not misquoting nor am I confused. FYI here is a quote from Dr. Amen "When we see too much activity in the basal ganglia it is often associated with anxiety, tension, increased awareness and heightened fear. "

innocentat50
10-02-03, 02:19 AM
Hi,
I just tested myself according to Dr. Amen's questionair and found that his test does not seem to apply to me. The reason I say this is that the results say that 4 of the 6 types are highly probable in my case. However, there are several symptoms in every one of the highly probable types that I do not have. On the other hand, so-to-speak, most of the descriptions for each do apply. So what type am I? I must be a different type that he did not consider. That is the only rational explanation the way I see it. Does anyone have any comments on this?
May you meet your responsibilities with love, creativity, and insight,

Wheel1975
10-02-03, 08:05 AM
Ya, me too.

I think he's only going with 6 of 1000's of possible combinations....

MightyMouse
10-02-03, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by LiLMissADDitude


I'm not misquoting nor am I confused. FYI here is a quote from Dr. Amen "When we see too much activity in the basal ganglia it is often associated with anxiety, tension, increased awareness and heightened fear. "

Where are you reading this? I can't find it. On page 141 (Healing ADD, chptr 10) is clearly says, "'Ring of fire ' ADD gets its name form the physiology underlying the disease as seen on SPECT scans...people with 'ring of fire' ADD have too much brain activity across the whole cerebral cortex, especially in the cingtulate gyrus, parietal lobes, temporal lobes, and prefrontal cortex." There is no mention of the basil ganglia that I know of. I rechecked my Neuroanotomy and Physioloygy bks again and they all say that the basil ganglia is involved in movement, not emotion. (Carlson, Neil R. <I>Physiology of Behavior</I>. Boston: Allyn and Bacon Press, 2001. pg. 82). Let me know where Dr. Amen quoted the above, becasue it is going to drive me crazy otherwise.

FYI. I studied with one of the Neurophysiologist that Dr. Amen quotes, Joel Lubar, Ph.D. at UofTenn, Knoxville (<I>Healing ADD</I>, pg 42-44, 256). It was really fascinating work. The guy is really on the cutting edge of ADD research.

Thnks,
MM

LiLMissADDitude
10-02-03, 08:30 PM
The quote isnt from that book. I have tons of studies and books by Dr. Amen. :)
I'm not sure where I found it. I think it was probably "Change Your Brain Change Your Life"

MightyMouse
10-03-03, 09:19 AM
you must be a really big fan of Dr. Amen to have so many studies and books. I enjoyed <i>Healing ADD</i>, but I wish the SPECT scans were not so expensive to have. I would like to have one done, just to see what they show.

LiLMissADDitude
10-03-03, 04:06 PM
Ya, I would love to have one done if I had the money.

While I was in general psychology class we got to make up our own end of the quarter projects and I chose to do mine on ADHD. That was when I really got into Dr. Amens stuff.

Tara
10-03-03, 05:15 PM
I'd like to see more information about the radio-active dye that's used to perform a spect scan. Both Thom Hartmann and Russle Barkely who don't agree on very much about AD/HD have both brought up the issue. Both question the safety of the dye.

doogie2756
10-12-03, 10:58 AM
I was diagnosed with combined type ad/hd in june 2001. I was retested in April 2003 and diagnosed with ad/hd, anxiety disorder NOS, provisional, dysthymic disorder and possible learning disorder, these are listed in axis1, axis2 states diagnosis deferred. the test results from the first evaluation state that Connors Scales and the TOVA are suggestive of the possible presence of AD/HD. Both of the Conners Scales reflected the presence of certain problems with innattentiveness along with problems with self-esteem.

Data from the TOVA indicated possible problems with inconsistency of responsivity, although I performed well with the respect to the scales that measure inattention, impulsivity and respone time. The test results from the second evaluation in 2003 state as follows, data from CAARS suggest elevations in the area of inattention/memory problems, problems with self concept, and the AD/HD index on the self report form. The observer form found problems with self concept alone. The DSM-IV behavior rating form indicated problems with attention, and, to a lesser degree, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

The TOVA suggested the presence of ADHD based on poor response time and varibility. Inattention and impulsivity were within normal limits, these results are somewhat consistent with a diagnosis of ADHD, NOS. However there is some evidence to suggest the presence of anxiety and depressive disorders as well. The test I just took with Dr. Amens suggests that i am highly probable to have every one with the exception of combined type. I also took a test from Dr. Grohols Psych Central and scored 106, which states highly probable to all with the exception to combined type which is only probable and inattentive type is not probable. So I am confused as to what type I have and to top it all off my doctor says that i am sensitive to stimulants so I cant take meds with them, also tried Straterra but had heart palpitations with that.

Im lost!!

mctavish23
10-12-03, 11:39 AM
I have great respect for Dr Amen as a leading researcher on ADHD but please recognize that his categories are his and his alone.In other words, they are not accepted standards of practice in the field.Having said that. I read him with great interest.

Before his categories can become accepted standards of practice then his research must be duplicated if you will by others who arrive at the same results.That takes time. At a recent conference his work was discussed repectfully and in some detail.The information presented was that no one has as of yet been able to substantiate his findings, which means that most clinicians will not use those categories .It was also presented that using radiation raises possible questions of ethical practice due to patient exposure.


I find his work to be very interesting and certainly different than what many others do. Right now, I'm of the opinion that the "jury is still out" on these and will wait and see what happens. I do think that it's fun to discuss these in the forum and I'd love to see ADHD become more detailed or broken down so we can understand it better.Thanks very much for posting this.I think it's cool.

mctavish23
10-12-03, 12:11 PM
I'd like to also respectfully point out that current research does Not support CPT's as diagnostic tools and I expect less and less clinicans will use them in the future. The problem is their high rate of False Negatives(you really have it but it misses you).
The Conners Scales Scales, on the other hand , are the very best out there and do an excellent job.
I wish you lots of luck and please understand that I am not trying to attack or offend you or in any way or challenge your diagnosis. I'm only trying to bring the forum up to speed on what's going on in the field.Thanks.

Wheel1975
10-12-03, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by doogie2756
I was diagnosed with combined type ad/hd in june 2001.

Im lost!!

As the muppet movie says " Have you tried Hara Christna?"

Not all people are able to use drugs to help.

So you look at what else you can do, or you can arrange, for yourself.

mctavish23
10-12-03, 09:34 PM
Tara,

TY for qouting that. I was speaking of Barkley of course. He did say that he and Amen have running e-mail discussions about his work. Barkley raised the question of ethics. He also said that Amen sees himself as cutting edge. Until someone else comes along and gets the same results, then its strictly unproven. The prob of course is in how to do it.

The April 2002 issue of CHILD had a brief article on ADHD brain imaging research at NIMH. That work is being done by Jay Giedd, MD, Psychiatrist. It was a good article and briefly explained what he was doing.

Sc@tterBr@in_UK
10-13-03, 05:42 AM
ADD Combined Type: Not Probable

ADD Inattentive Type: Highly Probable

Cingulate System Hyperactivity: Highly Probable

Limbic System Hyperactivity: Probable

Basal Ganglia Hyperactivity: Highly Probable

Temporal Lobe System: May be possible

vinceptor
10-21-03, 02:49 PM
OK -- I finally inventoried myself with Amen's screening questionnaire. Note: scores are in ().

Classic -- NO (4)

Inattentive -- YES (11)

Overfocused -- YES (8)

Temporal -- YES (9)

Limbic -- NO (4)

Ring of Fire -- YES (7)


Some surprises here, and then some non-surprises. I am "officially diagnosed" as AD/HD Combined Type, so not registering on the impulsive/hyperactive questions doesn't seem quite right.

On the other hand, I was diagnosed partly on data from my childhood, before I learned to rein in my impulsivity (sort of), and this is an adult inventory (as I remember it before ritalin....).

Another one -- I'm being treated for depression, but didn't register on the Limbic scale.

The non-surprise was showing Temporal. Goes with the over-sensitivity and other social difficulties.

Almost a surprise: Ring of Fire. I've been charting moods/stressors for group therapy for a while now, and have noticed recurring phases of irritability & energy, interspersed with sluggish periods. However, no shrink/therapist I've raised the issue with thinks I'm anywhere near bipolar. The one crucial missing link is that I've never really get that close to mania.

This is only my part of the inventory. I'll give a copy to my wife for the outside observer part and see if she comes up with the same results.

If so, I can see some change in my meds/diet/voodoo coming soon....

Ken

Shanna
11-05-03, 12:58 PM
ADD Combined Type: Not Probable
ADD Inattentive Type: Highly Probable
Cingulate System Hyperactivity: Probable
Limbic System Hyperactivity: Probable
Basal Ganglia Hyperactivity: Highly Probable
Temporal Lobe System: Not Probable

LiLMissADDitude
11-10-03, 09:24 PM
Originally posted by mctavish23
I'd like to also respectfully point out that current research does Not support CPT's as diagnostic tools and I expect less and less clinicans will use them in the future. The problem is their high rate of False Negatives(you really have it but it misses you).
The Conners Scales Scales, on the other hand , are the very best out there and do an excellent job.
I wish you lots of luck and please understand that I am not trying to attack or offend you or in any way or challenge your diagnosis. I'm only trying to bring the forum up to speed on what's going on in the field.Thanks.

I would have to disagree about the Conners scales being the best diagnostic tool. All the conners scales is a list of ADHD symptoms. Many other problems mimic ADHD...meaning the symptoms of ADHD are there but the person DOES NOT really have ADD. These people would test positive for ADD using the Conners Scales even though they dont really have it.

Wheel1975
11-11-03, 07:44 AM
I think you are looking at the subject through the wrong end of the eye glass.

The confidence is: if it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, and it eats like a duck, and it mates like a duck and it flies like a duck, then...

it is a duck.

Medical school proposes, if you hear hooves, think horses not zebras. (Horses are more common, better chance the more common thing is what you hear hooves from.)

Our personal "recognition" of ADHD is the starting point. You take people familiar with ADHD and you present a person, and the test we are looking for is the one that agrees with our "subjective" recognition of what it is to be ADHD.

Until ADHD gives up its diaganosis by exclusion status, we will not have a group defined by the PRESENCE of something.

Hepatitus was called non-A and Non-B because they new they had a new one, they just couldn't be specific about what it was. Now there:

In total, there are at least 7 known viral hepatitis strains: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Of these viral forms, hepatitis C may be the leading infectious cause of chronic liver disease in the Western world, affecting more than 170 million people worldwide. Hepatitis A , which is not blood-borne, and hepatitis B , which is blood-borne, are also very widespread. Only these viral forms of hepatitis, including hepatitis C, can be spread directly from one person to another.

Which just means, some smart person recognizes similarities before it can be proved what connects them. That always comes LATER, which is why I said to you, you are looking at this through the wrong end of the telelscope.

If that is n't clear, maybe someone else will explain more clearly.

LM30
11-12-03, 02:41 AM
good grief, i'm adhd with all other stuff except 2nd.guess i'm in a ring of fire. its hot in here. vitamin e b6 bcomplex peanut butter is recommended.

DaisyMoon
11-18-03, 01:01 PM
I'm inattentive, limbic, and classic. It seems funny to classify myself as hyperactive yet "calm", but I tend to go from one to the other extreme, though some may argue that though I seem relaxed and at times lethargic, my mind is going 100 miles an hour.
I get overwhelmed and when that happens, I either shut down, or start pacing. I think I probably walk several miles at once, just walking quickly back and forth through my house. I'll note that I've forgotten to take care of something and I'll pick it up on the way, MAYBE take care of it or end up with four different items in my hands and going, "Now where am I going to put these?" Looking back and forth and losing track of what I was going to do..... I've been accused of being on drugs because of such behavior.
But I was never considered hyper as a child.

The limbic, I personally believe, comes in because of stress over trying to be "normal" and personal disappointment in myself because I keep failing at it.

Some people think I'm shy, others see me as outgoing. This is because each group has seen me in two different modes. When I get "hyper" in a group of people who have seen me as shy and withdrawn, they are always surprised.

I talked to one guy the other day that I knew when I was 18. He admitted to me that he always thought I was a "stuck up *****". The truth was that I was so afraid of making a fool of myself that I would sit in a corner and make short replies to anyone talking to me. My closest friends could have told him that I wasn't stuck up. They thought I was too indiscriminate at times. It shocked me when he said that because I really didn't think anyone gave me a moment's thought at that time. That he took the time to think of me as a "stuck up *****" meant that I WAS noticed. Strange that that I almost found it flattering. ;) Other people will say such things as "We never know what she's going to do or say!" Luckily, they smile when they say it, or it might depress me and I'd have to go away to cry. *lol*

I share characteristics with all of the different "types" at certain times, but these three (classic, limbic, and inattentive-- I was diagnosed as inattentive) were the ones most indicated.

Did anyone else have to walk away and do something else when they were in the middle of the test? I found myself sitting on the couch, watching soaps, and grasping at what it was I was doing before that....

Daisy

Erik_the_Norse
11-19-03, 04:28 AM
Hey Daisy. :)

I may want to do something, stand up and walk around, then forget what it was I was supposed to do. :p
I tend to look at things such as this humoristically, although I may get kind of scared (like I feel I'm senile) or angry at myself if I forget a word that I use in daily life, like "drawer". Of course, I like to keep my humor. ;) I used to think this was "just being forgetful", because that's what my mother had told me when I was younger.

About the test:

I seem to be mostly innatentitive and limbic. That fits with what I thought I'd get (after how I feel and after reading the info). However, I was surprised at many of the "scenarios" mentioned in the test. They were quite specific, and I saw all the similarities so clearly.

I've had heart palpetations, though not too often
I've had chest pains a few times (any heart problems have been ruled out, my heart is perfectly fine)
I sometimes have trouble breathing (it's not chronical, only every now and then)

Apart from this, I among other things often have negative thoughts :( I try to get in good thoughts though.

The test showed other similarities too.

Erik

vinceptor
11-19-03, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by DaisyMoon
.....
I get overwhelmed and when that happens, I either shut down, or start pacing. I think I probably walk several miles at once, just walking quickly back and forth through my house.
.............

Did anyone else have to walk away and do something else when they were in the middle of the test? I found myself sitting on the couch, watching soaps, and grasping at what it was I was doing before that....

Daisy


Daisy --

Another Deja Vu moment for me in the Forums..... This describes my "study habits" in college, especially in Grad school (both times).

In addition to the "Ol' Wait Until the Last Minute to Panic and Toke Up on Adrenalin the Natural Way" trick, I would play loud music (headphones optional) and pace around the room between paragraphs of paper or math problems.

In fact, I use this characteristic as one of the telltales for identifying a fellow ADDer. As a case in point, I took a writing class from a guy who said this was his preferred method of composing a new text -- I had him pegged about 5 minutes into the class, but this was the clincher.....

Ken

agapemom
12-09-03, 10:18 PM
ADD Combined Type Not Probable
ADD Inattentive Type Highly Probable
Cingulate System Hyperactivity Highly Probable
Limbic System Hyperactivity Probable
Basal Ganglia Hyperactivity Not Probable
Temporal Lobe System May be possible

I really liked the more information pages as there seems to be a lot of good recommendations there.

It's funny, I've only recently begun to think of myself as having ADD (because of how much I identify with comments I've read on this board). In my efforts to overcome my fatigue (which I thought was my primary problem) I had already looked into 5HTP, L-Tryptophan, L-Tyrosine, SAMe, St. John's Wort, etc.

The results of this test (and the corresponding treatment recommendations) give me new direction... I'm off to the Health Food Store!

Jellybean
12-12-03, 09:20 PM
I wish I was going to the health food store! I am big time classic ADD, possible overfocus and possible ring of fire. I miss my Amen books! I loaned them out, bad move for me, but I think it may have helped a friend out.
Being that I teach violin, I am amazed at how many of my students seem ADD. The ones that aren't are so much easier to work with. Yet I relate to the Addish ones. The instrument seems to appeal to us types. I know clearly why I had 6 teachers in 6 years. I waqs a pain in the ****, always figitting etc..

vinceptor
12-20-03, 01:51 PM
Update:

I finally got my wife to do her part of Amen's inventory questionnaire. To no surprise, she indicated the same types for me as I did, plus one -- "limbic". I've looked over the results and it looks like where we disagree is either on emphasis or on the basis of her not seeing my internal observations. The limbic stuff comes from the "AD/HD blues", of course, which I am used to (healthily blocked?) and undervalue.....

It's also interesting to see she confirmed the lack of "hyper" symptoms. It seems any adult with AD/HD "gets over it" by trimming back the impulsive tendencies which are the most noticeable symptoms for others....

Ken

mctavish23
12-28-03, 09:33 AM
Ultimately, he may be right ( or not) but for right now his types only make for interesting reading.No one but Dr Amen( or his disciples if you will) use those terms.They're not used in everyday clinical practice or research outside his own.As of right now, no one else has been able to reproduce those data.Meaning, there's no proven reliability or validity yet.Unless and until that happens the jury will be out.If it never happens then it will be just an interesting footnote on the history of ADHD diagnosis and treatment.
I also enjoy reading his work as well and find some of it fascinating.As I've posted before, a number of leading researchers , including Russell Barkley, have expressed strong ehtical objections over exposing human research participants to radioactive exposure.Their point is that it doesnt matter how long it 's out of your system. Simply doing that in and of itself is contrary to ethical guidelines on protecting research subjects from harm.

innocentat50
12-28-03, 03:19 PM
I was not aware that Dr. Amen's results are not reproducable. If that is really true then his books, articles, and treatments have no value at all. People often like to associate with something even though it has very little to do with them. The expression of thoughts and feelings can only be approximated but none can ever be associated with someone else's feelings even if you use the same words. Too bad, thought he had something there.

Wheel1975
12-28-03, 06:40 PM
There is a difference between "not reproducible" and "not yet reproduced."

innocentat50
12-29-03, 01:26 AM
If no one can produce it yet that is one situation, but if no one can reproduce it then the yet has no meaning. It is one of several scientific truths: if you cannot reproduce a scientific discovery then it is not scientific at all. If it is not scientific then it is an article of faith. Faith can include or exclude anything it wants, but it will be true only for someone with the same faith in the same "truth". It will not be valid in any general way.

SubtleMuttle
01-04-04, 11:22 PM
I was reluctant to check out the Amen book, because I'm a paranoid person and the name, "Dr. Amen" sounded like a hokey pen name.. but the Healing ADD book is proving to be an interesting read, I just picked up a copy.

According to it, I'm Temporal Lobe ADD and Overfocused ADD. I do kind of like how he's created sub categories for Ad/HD, that's a different spin from the usual "here's your general dianonsense, take a number"

The part about hypergraphia was spooky for me; I never thought such a thing existed. He says it is common to his Temporal Lobe ADDers. Spookey because I've been an obsessive writer since I was seven. It started with a typewriter, copying the words from childrens books and writing cheesy kid's poems, when I was older I even got a word processor and named it. I have three large boxes full of lined paper that I've written on since I was 10 (and that's just what I've saved), and I don't know how many writing projects I've continued working on since then on computers, saved on hard drives and disks. I've spent most of my life just writing nonsense for no particular reason, and I'm not even that good at it!

Any one else identify with 'hypergraphia'???

He also mentions ADDers needing adrenaline to focus (said it should be called adrenaline deffiency disorder). I found that interesting, and it's making me wonder (to my horror) if I've GIVEN MYSELF a panic disorder as a subconscious coping mechanism for regular adrenaline rushes. Yikes. But I've never read anywhere if that's possible or not. If it is, I am my own worst enemy!

innocentat50
01-05-04, 12:05 AM
Dear Suttlemuttle, you, as so many others, are trying to associate to Dr. Amen's descriptions of the types. I believe that this is wrong to do. Why? Because his types are based on brain scans and not types. His types are based on a small set of samples and cannot be shown to be typical for anything. Some people here have said that it cannot be shown yet, but that is also a misnomer because the same technique is available everywhere. It simply does not work and is not true - any time, anywhere. I will not go as far as calling him a sharlatan, but you know what I mean.

SubtleMuttle
01-05-04, 12:35 AM
associating yes, based on the views portrayed, but that does not go so far as to say that I am accepting this completely. I am not taking this information as written in stone, and am free to make my own judgements. I am just as critical of this book as I am reading any book that makes assertions.

I think you are jumping to conclusions about jumping to conclusions. I appreciate the warning, but find myself bothered that you think I needed it. I took that into consideration before I opened the book, and it would take more than what really exists to dislodge such from me.

And just so, I am as slow to disregard this info as I am to take it seriously. I would be the same reading Dr. ProvenRight's books.

SubtleMuttle
01-05-04, 01:02 AM
As I have tried finding reliable research on dyslexia my entire life, and find that it cannot really yet be found from a lack of concrete controlled investigations (they still debate what dyslexia is and what the symptoms are for crying out loud); I have believed that for LD's in general nothing said and written as of yet is really concrete.

The best way to find your own answers, IN MY OPINION, is to read what can be found as a personal survey of viewpoints outside of one's own, look inward with an unforgiving magnifying glass, network with others who share your uniqueness, and form your own opinions as fit; while maintaining an open mind. That's why I'm reading thsi book; as a stimulant for my own thoughts- not a replacement. And it will not be the only book I check out.

Even 'proven' research can be misleading. On the other hand, many important ideas where at first believed as lies and fabrications; because they seemed that way upon introduction. Thank goodness we don't believe the earth is flat anymore, that prevented early sailors from venturing too far out to sea. But I do not say that in defense of Dr. Amen, I say that in defense of an open mind. And that's tough for me to say, and it's even tough for me to read a Doctor's book, because to me many of them are well meaning Quacks just doing what they can hoping make a difference (or $$, in worst case scenarios... err, if anyone here is a doctor, I mean no offense; but you know quacks are out there!).

These are matters of the mind, I believe, of which humanity has yet to even scratch. I will continue reading this book (I didn't pay much attention to his inclusions of brainscans when I first began reading it, that's switching tracks for me even though most of the text goes with them; I will scrutinize), and welcome any future thoughts :)

Wheel1975
01-05-04, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by SubtleMuttle
I do kind of like how he's created sub categories for Ad/HD, that's a different spin from the usual "here's your general dianonsense, take a number"


He also mentions ADDers needing adrenaline to focus (said it should be called adrenaline deffiency disorder).

I found that interesting, and it's making me wonder (to my horror) if I've GIVEN MYSELF a panic disorder as a subconscious coping mechanism for regular adrenaline rushes.


Yikes. But I've never read anywhere if that's possible or not. If it is, I am my own worst enemy!

I think a large part of ADHD is the reactive responses we make to ccomodate the problems that present.

Water on the brain used to cause people to chew their own lips off their faces and it caused metal retardation. If they were still trying to treat the symptoms, we'd still have the disaease! They drain the excess water from the brain, not once or twice, but constantly, with a shunt.

They do NOTHING about people chewing their lips off, or about mental retardation, because they have discovered those are the side effects, not the problem.

It frustrates me to no end that I beleive that I see the diference between primary and secondary effects, and the professionals to whom i go don't seem even to acknowledge the possibility!

Understand, I have communicated with Barkley and Sam Goldstein, and so i include them in my "deliberately stupid" category. It is stupid to be too busy to look at the role mathematics has given to the recognition of the importance of setting up the problem and defining terms!

Yep. i wou;dn't be surprised if part of your panic disorder was a "wild" reaction to up your andrenaline!

So be it.

Wheel1975
01-05-04, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by innocentat50
Dear Suttlemuttle, you, as so many others, are trying to associate to Dr. Amen's descriptions of the types. I believe that this is wrong to do. Why? Because his types are based on brain scans and not types. His types are based on a small set of samples and cannot be shown to be typical for anything. Some people here have said that it cannot be shown yet, but that is also a misnomer because the same technique is available everywhere. It simply does not work and is not true - any time, anywhere. I will not go as far as calling him a sharlatan, but you know what I mean.

Norbert

I think you throw the baby out with the bath water.

The patterns may be recodified into different groups, but the fact that he is looking at and gaining a huge database of brain scans and the lives that corelate with them is going to be important.

SubtleMuttle
01-05-04, 02:51 PM
I just read the first (or one of the first) chapters of Healing ADD (I usually skip that stuff, I don't read these types of book from front to back).


He is one of the few (of a population I thought consisted of none) doctors who has realized that we have the ability to control our own bodies with the mind; as he writes that he discovered that we can change our hand temperatures and control our own brainwaves through biofeedback equipment. Monks and other ancient spiritual peoples have been doing this for centuries.

And again I was surprised that he literally was looking for brain activity. And he's finding patterns: of conditions relating to patterns of activity/nonactivity/over and under activity in the brain. This is logical to me, more than logical. We are our brains.

Psychology developes a language. If this dr.'s six types only apply to his treatments- it's his own language, and just one of many.

I keep my cynicism until I finish the book, but so far, this is making sense.

The only thing I have a disagreement with is that while testing brain activity during concentration, as recommended by his collegues clinic, the concentration task is math. This uses a different part of the brain, as do other activities. I would be interested to see how the results would differ if he did a battery of concentration tasks instead of just one math session while taking a SPECT image.

innocentat50
01-05-04, 03:23 PM
What some other people in this forum have already alluded to is that those patterns that he is talking about cannot be recreated in other labs with the same equipment. Some doctors even go as far as to say that there is no discernable pattern that would prove his ADD types.

SubtleMuttle
01-05-04, 03:30 PM
I'd be interested in reading about that. Which doctors say?

Wheel1975
01-06-04, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by innocentat50
What some other people in this forum have already alluded to is that those patterns that he is talking about cannot be recreated in other labs with the same equipment. Some doctors even go as far as to say that there is no discernable pattern that would prove his ADD types.

I am unaware of any other trials. Can you cite specifics that fail to support his findings?

My understanding was that no one else had tried to replicate his findings, not that they tried and failed.

innocentat50
01-06-04, 08:06 PM
HHMMMMM... what did I do here? I took somebody's comments, repeated them to somebody else with my own comments thrown in, and before I knew what was happening, the whole story turned into me telling about something that apparently never happened. Is that part of ADD?

Wheel1975
01-07-04, 12:15 AM
It is part of getting lost... And THAT is part of ADHD in my experience!

capri
01-07-04, 05:53 AM
I have seen this thread here a few times and read parts of it but never actually realsied the link for the test was right there.
So i got this sort of "just on the edge of the IN crowd thing" and thought i was just out of the loop on this whole DR Amen thing. This isnt unusual for me being from a little backwater like the UK.

Well i found the link and did the test and still i am none the wiser. It said that Combined type was "highly probable" (something i have had diagnosed so not new to me) but it also said that all the other types were "probable" too.

So, i wonder, does anyone know what that means.

When i saw the answer i just thought "well i knew it was a huge mess in there (my head) so no surprise" then i wondered if maybe it put "probable" on all of them for everyone and only the answer marked "highly probable" was the right one.

This might have made sence any other day, but its monday and first day back at school, so having been up since 4-30 trying to calm an angry boy who insists "he doesnt have to go to school" I geuss my brain isnt quite what it could be.

Wheel1975
01-07-04, 08:54 AM
I think it is interesting that because it confirms what you expected, that you question it validity or value...

You were probably looking forward to learning some thing more specific.

I think you got the point... yo know yourself pretty well, and the online test confirms that.

For me, being confirmed by out side sources that I really am the mess inside my head that I had figured out the hard way, on my own, is less than exciting news too. I feel like "so what." I knew that already. Glad you do too , but I could have told you that much.

Perhaps that is the situation you find yourself in with this?

capri
01-07-04, 09:01 AM
Yup your right, i knew it was a mess. I learned it the hard way.

prumont
01-13-04, 06:07 AM
did the test results were:
ADD Combined Type Highly Probable
ADD Inattentive Type Not Probable
Cingulate System Hyperactivity Not Probable
Limbic System Hyperactivity Not Probable
Basal Ganglia Hyperactivity Not Probable
Temporal Lobe System Not Probable

Perhaps not worth spending zillions to find out for sure
Pru :-)

wlfbear27
01-13-04, 03:01 PM
just got done with test.
ADD combined type - May be possible
ADD inattentive type- Not probable
Cingulate system- Highly probable
Limbic System - Highly probable
Basal Ganglia - Highly probable
Temperal Lobe system - Highly probable

ReasonPointZero
03-03-04, 01:22 PM
DEF. Classic

vinceptor
03-03-04, 10:09 PM
"Cl***ic", I would guess (it is one of Amen's subtypes), but I don't know why the ***s.

Ken

vinceptor
03-03-04, 10:22 PM
OK, I've been away too long. Just looked over the site a little more and now realize the ***s is a netjoke, son, a netjoke.....

Look over the recent chit-chat entries for obvious explanation....


Ken

ADDled
03-05-04, 10:50 AM
Bracketted percentages apply to me : -

1 Classic ADD-Inattentive, distractible, disorganized, hyperactive, restless, and impulsive (10%)

2 Inattentive ADD- Easily distracted with a low attention span, but not hyperactive. Instead, often appears sluggish or apathetic (90%)

3 Overfocused ADD- Excessive worrying, argumentative and compulsive; often gets locked in a spiral of negative thoughts (10%)

4 Temporal Lobe ADD- Quick temper and rage, periods of panic and fear, mildly paranoid (80%)

5 Limbic ADD- Moodiness, low energy. Socially isolated, chronic low-grade depression. Frequent feelings of hopelessness (100%)

6 Ring of Fire ADD- Angry, aggressive, sensitive to noise, light, clothes and touch; often inflexible, experiencing periods of mean, unpredictable behavior, and grandoise thinking (100%)

MrsBulldog720
04-02-04, 07:51 AM
Temporal Lobe ADHD per Dr. Amen's site test...best I can remember...I took the test online yrs ago.
Combine/Mixed type Adhd per my last Phd. & shrink....
Left brain LD per neuro/psych tesing.....

E-boy
04-02-04, 09:14 AM
The test results he got in his studies are controversial, at best. Particularly the claims made regarding use of MRI's.

To truly understand what why he is saying is considered suspect, by so many of his peers one has to know a little about how MRI's actually work, what they can, and cannot image, resolution etc... One then has to have a handy nuerologist, and not just any nuerologist, but one of a handful that are true masters of minute detail of the nueroanatomical architecture of the brain. Even having those things in place one has to have extreme experimental controls in place, large samples for experimental and control groups, and impeccable documentation. All of those things are important so your results can be duplicated. When reputable researchers with credentials every bit as impressive, and in some cases more so than Dr. Amens can't duplicate his results, then either his interpretation of his own data isn't the only one (IE he isn't being objective), his methodology is flawed, or his documentation was flawed. This is why peer review exists in the scientific research community.

Having said that, the acedemic competition doesn't care for upstarts with ideas that don't fit the mold. People in general, on the other hand, like underdogs. Gallileo was an underdog, history is loaded with stories of underdogs changing the world. Of course, those are the vast minority of the underdogs. The ones you hear about I mean. There are a good many of them that swim against the tide very much in error too, but you never hear about them.

One of the parties I have heard really make scathing comments on Dr. Amens is Dr. Bill Dodson. Dr. Dodson gets his own blasting from the media for being on the payroll of a couple of different pharmacuetical companies though.

For those folks who are really interested in what the latest studies show across the boards there were several conducted through the late nineties and into the present published recently by various universities and research institutions including the federal government. I can post the information here if you like. It will take me a while to dig it all back up, but I am a pack rat and I save this stuff.

I have not personally paid much attention to Dr. Amens work. As soon as I saw he worked with 12 step programs for ADD I avoided him like the plague. To be honest it was simply because the reference reminded me of my father who recently drank himself to death. So, I have read very little of him except what I have seen here, a bit of part of one of his web sites, and several critiques of his work. What I do know is that according to the National Institute of Mental Health who has some of the finest MRI researchers there are, federal level funding, state of the art equipment, and recognized experts in nuerology and the brain working for them one can not reliably even diagnose ADD let alone type it with an MRI.

So, at best Dr. Amens needs to provide more documentation, and at worst he's practicing the equivalent of quasi-science. The feds are slow and conservative, but unlike mainstream pharmacueticals industry dominated (where funding is concerned)commercial research there is no vested interest with them in shutting anyone down. They just want to see results. My data from the NIMH were gathered in the last 6 months directly from their website. The dates on the site were older still. So, if there is newer stuff and they are not updating their site I shall have to send them a nasty letter.

E-boy
04-02-04, 09:18 AM
P.S. I know he uses psych testing too. Just some of the other things I read reference him using MRI's to "Identify" specific types as well.

E-boy
04-02-04, 09:19 AM
Ah screw it all anyway, I'm just a big stupid swede. I can fix the hell out of an MRI machine though! ;-)

E-boy
04-04-04, 10:44 AM
The following clip is from the American psychiatric association website. This is the cutting edge stuff. Please note that the article states that these images advanced as they are, still do not include a large enough sample, and indeed may not be high resolution enough to define subtypes.

Also note that this is BRAND NEW, government funded research and they specifically address why previous MRI imaging studies were not accurate enough to be diagnostic. Dr. Amens is counting his chickens before they hatch.

E-boy
04-04-04, 10:45 AM
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Psychiatric News January 2, 2004
Volume 39 Number 1
© 2004 American Psychiatric Association
p. 26

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clinical & Research News


Brain Scans Reveal Physiology of ADHD
Jim Rosack
High-resolution MRI pictures of the brains of children with ADHD are shedding light on the possible anatomical origins of this complex disorder.

New high-resolution, three-dimensional maps of the brains of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) indicate significant and specific anatomical differences within areas of the brain thought to control attentional and inhibitory control systems, compared with brain scans of children without ADHD.

The images are thought to be the most advanced to date to reveal the anatomical basis of the disorder. Elizabeth Sowell, M.D., an assistant professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles, and her colleagues used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and sophisticated computer analysis to pinpoint more accurately the specific areas of the brain contributing to the symptoms of ADHD.

"Our morphometric procedures allow more precise localization of group differences than do the methods used in previous studies," Sowell said in a press release. "Our results therefore suggest that the disturbances in prefrontal cortices are localized to more inferior aspects of prefrontal regions than was previously appreciated. Our findings also indicate that prefrontal abnormalities are represented bilaterally, by contrast to the predominantly right-sided findings that were emphasized in other reports."

Sowell teamed with Bradley Peterson, M.D., the Suzanne Crosby Murphy Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, to image 27 children (11 girls and 16 boys) with ADHD and compare them with 46 children without ADHD who were matched for age and sex. The results of the study, funded by several NIH grants as well as the Suzanne Crosby Murphy Endowment at Columbia, appear in the November 22, 2003, issue of Lancet.

Localizing Differences



A three-dimensional, high-resolution MRI image of the brain of a patient with ADHD shows reductions (in yellow and red) in the size of specific areas within the frontal and temporal lobes. (UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging)


Sowell and Peterson observed significant differences in brain structure in the frontal cortices of both sides of the brains of the children with ADHD, with reduced regional brain size mainly confined to small areas of the dorsal prefrontal cortices (see images). Children with ADHD also were observed to have reduced brain size in anterior temporal areas, again on both sides of their brains.

In addition, substantial increases were noted in the volume of gray matter in large areas of the posterior temporal and inferior parietal cortices of children with ADHD, compared with children in the control group. These regions have previously been identified as areas of the brain controlling attention and impulse control.



A three-dimensional, high-resolution MRI image of the brain of a patient with ADHD shows regional increases in the density of gray matter. Areas in yellow and red average between 10 percent and 24 percent more gray matter than those of the average control subject. (UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging)


"Disordered impulse control is often the most clinically debilitating symptom in children with ADHD," noted Peterson in the press release. "These findings may help us to understand the sites of action of the medications used to treat ADHD, particularly stimulant medications. In conjunction with other imaging techniques, these findings may also help us develop new therapeutic agents, given our knowledge of the cellular and neurochemical makeup of the brain regions where we detected the greatest abnormalities."

Building Complex Images

All of the children were imaged using the same MRI scanner at Yale University. The basic images were then processed at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging using complex computer systems to build three-dimensional surface maps of each subject’s brain. The researchers then painstakingly identified on each brain image a series of 80 standardized anatomical landmarks, which were used to create a composite average for both the ADHD group and the control group. In this way, each child’s brain could be matched spatially, preserving differences in brain size and shape.

The resulting three-dimensional map of each child’s brain was indeed high resolution, representing more than 65,000 individual points on the surface of the cortex. The points on each subject’s brain were then compared with the average composite image created for both the ADHD group and the control group.

The researchers assessed differences in boys and girls, individually as well as combined, since recent studies have suggested that abnormalities in brain activity and structure may differ between boys and girls with ADHD. However, no significant differences were found. The researchers cautioned, however, that because their sample size was fairly small, differences may not have been appreciable.

The majority of the children with ADHD imaged in this study were taking stimulant medications at the time of imaging or had taken stimulant medications in the past. Sowell notes that it is not possible to determine with any significant certainty whether the anatomical differences they observed are due, in part or whole, to medication. However, other research has noted no anatomical changes associated with intermediate-term use of stimulant medications by children and adolescents with ADHD.

The reductions in size of prefrontal regions observed by Sowell and her colleagues are consistent with other reports of reduced frontal lobe volumes in children with ADHD. The more advanced imaging methods and analysis used in the current study, however, suggest that those reductions are localized to more inferior aspects of the prefrontal regions than was previously realized. Taken together, the evidence base continues to build, supporting smaller and hypo-functional lateral prefrontal cortices in children with ADHD.

Sowell and her coauthors also noted that "while we measured gray-matter density at the cortical surface, arguably a reduction of white matter in the same region could result in an apparent abundance of gray matter." The authors emphasized that, in fact, total white matter volume was reduced in the children with ADHD, but only at a level of significance suggesting a trend.

Lastly, the team attempted to correlate the severity of symptoms in the children with ADHD with the anatomical abnormalities they discovered. They found that children with lesser volumes of gray matter generally were more inattentive, whereas children with significantly larger frontal lobes had higher levels of hyperactivity.

"ADHD," Sowell and Peterson concluded in the study, "is almost certainly a disorder of heterogeneous etiologies that have correspondingly heterogeneous neuro-anatomical underpinnings."

They noted that their sample size was too small to permit a complete ADHD subgroup analysis; however, they called for further studies to confirm differing anatomical and functional disturbances in different areas of the brain’s action-attentional network.

An abstract of "Cortical Abnormalities in Children and Adolescents With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" is posted online at www.thelancet.com/journal/vol362/iss9397/abs/llan.362.9397.original_research.27787.1.




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E-boy
04-04-04, 10:59 AM
Oh and my favorite part of the whole article is the opening disclaimer, "...shedding light on the POSSIBLE anatomical origins of this disorder." A lovely bit of responsible science calling for further studies, noting why medication appeared to be effective, and pointing out, with the new advanced imagery that it MAY well be that differences in grey and white matter proportion have something to do with sub-types, but a great deal more data was needed. Keep in mind the data on differences in grey and white matter proportions they were able to gather here was not available in lower resolution previous studies, so one wonders how sub-typing could have been accomplished with anything remotely resembling accuracey with them if it can't be done without more data off of these?

Piupau
04-04-04, 01:42 PM
I've made several adhd-tests on internet before I got my real one :p I've got "classic adhd" with hyperactivity and inattention. The real dx also says that.

E-boy
04-04-04, 11:10 PM
I have no problem with the criteria testing. Those are all loosely based on DSM-IV criteria. Give or take a little multi-disciplinary testing.

I was specifically addressing the MRI use to test for and type ADD. Prior to these newer images, resolution wasn't high enough to even properly localize except on a more general basis what was going on where. The fact that the general areas are right for current theory on older scans supports the theory, but doesn't prove it. Heck even the newer higher res scans are acknowledged as not being "proof positive". More like highly suggestive, we need more data.

I don't mind speculation in science. It's part of the creative element that can make all the difference in interpreting data. However, I do mind jumping from useful theoretical speculation for empirical testing straight to "here's the answer to your problem". Especially when the testing involved is expensive for insurers and patient's alike. That's more snake oil salesmanship than science and it damages the credibility of the individual responsible for it, in my eyes, greatly.

Of course, you probably weren't talking about what I posted. You were probably just posting to the thread. Heh.

My Doc says I have elements of hyperactivity, and inattentive ADD. I don't believe I've seen the documentation up to date on any further commentary or evaluation regarding he may have made. I do have anger management issues, as well. I'm just kind of an odd duck I guess.

For the record, I am not attempting to smear the typing or evaluation of ADD. Nor do I have any particular knowledge of Dr. Amen's work beyond what I mentioned earlier in my post's. While I am less and less inclined to pay too much attention to the man, I also don't believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I know there are many here who have read his work, articles, etc. If it has benefited you and worked for you. Then I am all ears for the simple reason that if it has worked for you then it might for me too. What works for you and all the rest of us, is the best single litmus test of all. So, if I have insulted anyone with my rants on this "issue" please know that is how I feel. I apologize for any upset my need to address something that was bothering me may have caused.

E-boy
04-04-04, 11:18 PM
Oh, I don't think they are wrong by the way. I just agree with them that caution and thoroughness are in order. Especially since this work does prove that there are a lot of patient's right now getting MRI's done to help type their ADD when it clearly isn't clinically meaningful in any real way to do so yet.

The DSM-VI criteria still work, still provide the needed data for treatment with as much accuracy as present technology allows, and don't add un-necessarily to medical bills. In the end MRI or no MRI out come and treatment are the same. Why are people being and medical insurance companies being led to believe this is helpful? Mr. Amens? One critic made the comment "It's just another way to separate patient's from their money." Pretty harsh words. I'll leave it for others to figure out who could possibly profit from such a situation. It isn't the patient's though. Not any of us, because those insurance costs end up getting passed on to everyone somewhere down the road.

krisp
04-21-04, 09:21 AM
Well, if you read Amen's books, he does take pains to say that he doesn't scan every patient.... it's a technique to figure out what's going on in tough cases. He even cautions people not to rush out and get their brains scanned. ;) Of course, he got to this point of confidence by doing a lot of scans over the years and establishing which patterns of over/underactivity were associated with which symptoms. And you're right, the SPECT scans are not cheap. But reading about them is pretty fascinating.

I recently read his Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (even though I was a little repulsed by the hokey title). He covers a variety of psychiatric conditions in this book, discusses what his scans have revealed, and talks about self-help techniques as well as medication. That's another aspect of his books I find worthwhile .... he doesn't just plug medication, but gives practical suggestions for the patient as well.

So yes, he's making money on all this, but I think he also has some good insights to share.

ffmickey
04-21-04, 07:39 PM
Well I am going to type and then go back and read some more of the entries.

I know by the descriptions I am 3 of them. I am the inattentive, limbic and the other one is overfocused. I mean I am unorganized as well but I dont' have any of the hyperness to me so I could not even say that I am classic.


well I thought I would put my input in. May write more later. I have to go and take care of kids.

FightingBoredom
04-21-04, 09:35 PM
I just took the test and this is the result.

ADD Combined Type May be possible
ADD Inattentive Type Not Probable
Cingulate System Hyperactivity May be possible
Limbic System Hyperactivity Highly Probable
Basal Ganglia Hyperactivity Not Probable
Temporal Lobe System Not Probable

Limbic System Hyperactivity

I've never heard of this! So, I wonder if I should take this to a doctor and discuss it?
Holy Crud, now I'm going to have to read this guys book!

E-boy
04-26-04, 12:13 PM
Krisp,

I understand he may well feel that his "experience" with the scans and patterns may be useful, but he hasn't been able to sufficiently quantify his findings in any meaningful way. As a consequence of this, no one has been able to duplicate his MRI findings. So, at best, his work in that area could be called anecdotal, and "intuitive". At worst, it could be called snake oil salesmanship. How can one demonstrate clearly that what one is doing works when it can't be quantified? You are then in the same realm as "alternative" medicine, only it's far more expensive. Having patient's do well under treatment, is hardly indicative of diagnostic power here. He needs to show, that his methods provide, statistically meaningful outcome changes. Something he has, to date, failed to do.

This has nothing to do with having failed to read his books. This isn't an idealogical critique on my part. This is a simple methodology issue. Science is, at it's heart, a very creative process. However, procedures and proper protocols still need to be adhered to for the sake of both isolating the test criteria accurately, and maintaining the ability for peers to easily duplicate your results, or fail to do so demonstrating some error on your part or theirs.

In short, holding the rather cautious and careful attitudes I do regarding this sort of thing, I see no reason to read any further Dr Amens materials. When his professional publications can't stand up to peer review, or be duplicated by anyone who has tried and he fails to, in anyway, formulate an adequate reason for this failure of duplication. It sends a loud and clear signal to me that something is amiss with his MRI work. Now it does not have to be this way for everyone. Neither you, nor anyone else here has to share my opinion. My opinion, is however, based on solid ground.

What comes across to me from all of this, is a general sense of doubt in Mr. Amens overall credibility. This may not be entirely fair to the man. Then again, if he put as much effort into his protocols as he clearly did into his commercial publishing, maybe he could have avoided some embarrassment, or possibly even have articulated and quantified the "something" he was seeing on the scans.

There are a million different ways he could have gotten his "information" to the masses without a book deal if he was in a rush to "help". I suspect this has more to do with dollar signs than a deep humanitarian desire. Hence my lack of reading, due to a deep mistrust of particular patterns.

I would love to be wrong about Dr. Amens. Truly I would. For the record, his credentials, are still quite valid. I am not suggesting he is not qualified in his field. Only that his research techniques are obviously in need of work if he expects to survive in a peer review based system, and I have dire reservations about his motivations, especially in light of the lack of support any other group has been able to lend his theories, and his decision to publish at length to the public on them anyway.

Krisp, if Doctor Amens has helped you, then I hope he continues to do so. The fact remains, publishing unproven material, that can't even make it through review by professional peers or be duplicated, as factual to a credulous public goes beyond him simply being a bit enthusiastic (or greedy depending on how you look at it) and into the realm of seriously irresponsible behavior from a person viewed by the public as an "EXPERT". This kind of wide spread popular psuedo science does far more harm than good in the long run. Bringing false hope and frustration to persons who want answers from it, that it cannot provide.

mctavish23
04-26-04, 12:33 PM
Dr Amen will definately go down in history as either cutting edge or just an interesting footnote. Time ( and the longitudinal validity and reliability of his research or lack there of) will tell the tale.

E-boy
04-26-04, 02:27 PM
A conservative viewpoint to be admired.

I like speculation, particularly about the wonders of the human brain, as much as the next person. Probably more so, to be honest. However, I draw a cautious stance on issues like this, and cast a downright suspicious eye where large sums of little green bits of paper are moving about (ARE YOU LISTENING PHARMACUETICAL COMPANIES?!). Science history, is littered with examples of the impartial "scientific method" being more than a bit partial. Either due to societal predjudices of the time insinuating themselves so thoroughly into mindsets that individuals honestly thought they were interpreting their data in the only appropriate way, or through more intentional and nastier forms of twisting. Heackel, popularized Darwin's ideas on natural selection in Germany, and was guilty of the first offense, using natural selection applied directly to humans to justify collonialism, and racism touting the superiority in development inherent in some "races", Germans, of course, being the very pinacle of human evolution. A perpetrator of the second form, rather liked Ernst Heackle's ideas and politicized them. He founded a party doctrine on them and used them as a rationale for mass extermination, warfare, and world dominion. You all may be familiar with him as Adolph Hitler. Heackle's ideas so appealed to him he changed the name of the German working party to the Nazi party and modeled his ideology on Heackle's idea of the aryan as the pinnacle of human evolution.

Eugenics, was another misuse of Darwin's ideas (primarily due to some deep misunderstandings of the nature of Darwin's theory) as a tool of social engineering. Even in the United states it was agressively pursued. When it was found that Hitler was committing mass murder, there were many in the American government, and scientific establishment at the time who were upset, not because of the atrocities, but because the Nazi's by committing murder on a mass scale, rather than rushing people through a laughable excuse for due process and having them compulsarily sterilized as we did in this country to thousands, were, "Beating us at our own game", and might have a superior society sooner than we would. THAT IS A SCARY THING TO READ ABOUT THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.

Obviously, Dr. Amens work isn't the sort that is going to have the kind of impact, or potential for damage that Heackle's did. That doesn't change the fact that there is a very serious responsibility taken on by researchers. Information regarding medical treatment that is not correct, and treated as though it is causes damage, even when the "suggested treatment" itself is harmless because it wastes time the patient could have been utilizing with an accepted, effective, safe, and well documented form of care. At best, based on what I have seen thus far, the man is using current standard of care practices, but augmenting them at times with unnecessary and expensive tests, that a good deal of already further imaging studies have shown to be of dubious, if any, worth.

If he has, in fact, published any convincing rebuttals, or even new papers, I would very much like to read them. I am open to changing my opinion if I find I have wronged the man.

In the mean time, as I said, if you are happy with results you have gotten with him, and from his books. Then I am, in turn, quite happy for you and anyone else he has helped. For my part, I will wait and see.

Christine7777
04-27-04, 02:05 PM
I was diagnosed AD/HD this past summer, my daughter ..several months ago. I have another son that is on the hyperactive subtype but hasn't been officially diagnosed as yet. My question is that I have another son who I never though of as having ADD....however, you have mentioned "dysthemia" in this thread. He has been diagnosed with that in the past, had trouble getting work done in school....but no other symptoms (eg. inattentive..time management, etc.) What are the chances that he, too, is ADD???

FightingBoredom
04-27-04, 04:11 PM
OK, OK.... I took this guys 100 ? test and found out I have Limbic Hyperactive ADD. So, after reading a bunch of the brainplace.com stuff about supplements that help I bought some. I started taking the stuff he suggests for LHADD and right now my skeptical side is saying it is placebo effect because I have felt like smiling ALL day today! At least, since about an hour after I took it.

I even laid down for a 15 minutes snooze break, like a lot of afternoons, and was too distracted by the feeling of a smile on my face to do anything like....sleep.

So, like I said, this could be placebo effect and I feel it cause I want it sooo bad! I HOPE not bc I can't remember when the last time I thought I could feel happy!

I am keeping a daily journal in the journaling forum so if any of you are curious you can read my daily postings there.

If you haven't check out brainplace.com I would do it NOW.

mctavish23
04-27-04, 09:09 PM
His books do make sense and I have a copy of one of his books on my desk at work. The therapeutic part sounds strictly cognitive -behavioral and is very well done.

Please understand what I'm saying here: ANY researcher who cannot have his work successfully replicated over time by outside researchers(total strangers,etc.) using the same techniques/strategies will have ZERO crediblity unless and until that happens. This is for ANY type of research; not just ADHD.

To the best of my knowledge the only other SPECT scan in the US is at the Univ of Chicago. Other brainscan researchers, most notably Jay Giedd and the NIMH, using MRI's hasnt found Amen's data to be credible.That doesnt mean it wont happen, but it does mean that it hasnt as of right now.

In time, we'll know just who was right on and who wasnt but dont confuse the fact that he uses brainscans to mean that his work is any different than other researchers. While the type of scan may vary; the biochemical nature of the disorder doesnt. That doesnt mean that new dopamine receptor genes wont be found, because they will. Ultimately, there will probably be some type of saliva DNA test to dx ADHD.Life will certainly be less complicated when something like that happens. Meanwhile, I continue to read Amen with interest and respect for his efforts.

Professionally, his work needs to be substantiated. That doesnt mean that its worthless, because it is anything but.However, the issue is whether it measures what it says it does and can be readliy reproduced.

E-boy
04-28-04, 11:14 AM
That, I grant. Earlier in my posting I granted the point on the CBT end of the issue.

As for various types of scans... I tend to follow the NIMH's lead on this one when they say that there is currently no diagnostic test for ADHD, beyond the present DSM-IV criteria and a proper screening. Recent research aside, until it is fully verifiable, quantifiable and readily available to the public (preferable at little expense) such a "high reliability diagnostic" as an MRI, or DNA test is over the horizon.

Also being that ADHD is a syndrome rather than a single disorder, and may well turn out to have a rather high number of genetic factors, that occur in a suprisingly high proportion of the human population. In other words, what if you have to have multiple genes inhereted for the syndrome to manifest as adversely affecting your life? Lord only knows how many pathways this "disorder" has. On the genetics side, there is a lot of room for more research.

Wouldn't it just be simpler for society to recognize that not everyone processes the same? I am sorry, but I just can't shake the idea that much of this "disorder", and for that matter, a great many other genetically rooted psychological/nuerological "disorders" are more a consequence of the nature of modern society than any particular "problem" with an individual.

That's a simplification of the issue to be sure. There are so very many factors that come into play, that it would be ridiculous to place sole blame anywhere. Genes and environment work hand in hand in development. However, my overall idea, at least to me, still holds. A more flexible society with more room for folks who function in different ways (particularly in the school system) might be more help than anything else.

paulbf
04-28-04, 02:30 PM
mctavish23 wrote:
...the only other SPECT scan in the US is at the Univ of Chicago. Other brainscan researchers, most notably Jay Giedd and the NIMH, using MRI's hasnt found Amen's data to be credible.

Here's the Chicago outfit:
http://www.brain-spect.com/NorthwestHerald.htm
He seems to be an Amen disciple but hey if nobody else is using that equipment how can they reproduce results?

Brianne
05-02-04, 02:40 AM
According to the test I could be either Limbic or Innatentaive. I really couldn't tell you if one fits me better than the other or not of the 2. I guess I am both.

songwriter
05-02-04, 10:14 PM
I didn't know how to vote- My highest score was for temporal but I also have limbic, and others I can't remember right now. I did not score high enough on the ring of fire to qualify for that.

mctavish23
05-03-04, 09:06 AM
I just wanted to say how impressed I am with the responses on this topic and how insightful and respectful everyone has been.

This type of dialogue helps promote understanding and also encourages others to read differing points of view; such as Amen's.

For the time being, I remain skeptical and believe Jay Giedd to be on the right track.

Take care (mctavish23):)

paulbf
05-03-04, 11:13 AM
Here's some reading from Jay Giedd:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/interviews/giedd.html
(Using MERI scans)

paulbf
05-11-04, 03:01 AM
OK E-boy, I've got to take you to task on something. You keep talking about MRI scans but that's completely different from the SPECT scans that trace glucose (sugar) flow (or is it simply blood flow?) to different parts of the brain, presumably indicating where the actual activity is, not the physical structure that an MRI shows. I don't know how many samples he has or how carefully he chose the representative scans for the book but it makes a darn convincing picture of particular patterns of activity in the brain. As far as I know, nobody else uses this equipment except the above mentioned goofball looking guy who is obviously an Amen disciple. I heard somewhere that the idea of injecting radioactive material to track the glucose is considered unsafe and irresposible, perhaps this is why nobody else does it.

That said, I couldn't figure out what my type was, the test said Inattentive which I agree with and Basal Ganglia (I forget what that is, probably overfocused) but I could see parts of myself in all of them.

Also, for the record, the web site intake form has a standard $3,000 fee for evaluation, including a brain scan, I think. Maybe they sometimes skip that but it sounds like part of the basic goodies, otherwise you could see anyone else. My Psych reffered me to his work & said he heard of some other shrinks who had actually ordered scans for their patients.

Anyhow, I don't have three grand to spend but if I did, I guess I would just to see that picture of my brain's particular activity. It's worth checking out the book in my opinion though I will confess the guy has a blatant smell of a money-grubbing cult after watching the video on the web site. So I can understand your hesitation to even give him 15 bucks based on that suspicion alone. PS for three grand you won't even see him, just some junior staff... he'd be out golfing in Napa no doubt, or meeting with publishers & marketing people.

paulbf
05-11-04, 03:10 AM
Sorry, I didn't follow what about Barkley disregards secondary effects. Because he ties everything down to impulsivity?

Best regards,
Paul

Originally posted by Wheel1975


I think a large part of ADHD is the reactive responses we make to ccomodate the problems that present.

...It frustrates me to no end that I beleive that I see the diference between primary and secondary effects, and the professionals to whom i go don't seem even to acknowledge the possibility!

Understand, I have communicated with Barkley and Sam Goldstein, and so i include them in my "deliberately stupid" category....

paulbf
05-13-04, 12:44 AM
OK I read more of the Barkley thing & he disregards Amen mostly because he hasn't documented his work with placebos & proper research techniques. In my mind, that doesn't imply he's a flake, just a practitioner rather than an academic.

Barkely agrees with Amens basic observations but says the SPECT scans are only clear for very extreme cases. That doesn't go far enough for me to dismiss the patterns Amen describes. Maybe he's seen something serious to refute but mostly I just heard that the proper procedures for academic research are not in place and that only means that Amen is not proven, not that anything incorrect has been seen in his work.

For a practitioner, there is no time for la-di-da blind studies and such. This is generally an academic pursuit. Of course that means that the practitioner may be working on false assumptions.

Barkley said he's doing some research with SPECT scanning but didn't elaborate further.

mctavish23
05-16-04, 09:55 AM
No ethical clinician would diagnose anything from an online test

mctavish23
05-16-04, 11:48 PM
Barkley is one of the most prolific researchers on the subject and is also a practitoner as well.There is no "new school" to the scientific method. Its the same as it's always been: longitudinal validity & reliability are still the gold standard of all research.

Im not saying he isnt correct in his observations and Im not dismissing his work or contributions to the field. I am saying the jury is still out and that we all have a great deal more to learn as we go on this journey.

paulbf
05-17-04, 02:09 AM
Yes, I was very impressed with reading Barkley's lecture transcript. Though it's a bit harsh, he's generally very very reliable and makes a lot of sense.

I think Amen has some great ideas too and also agree his ideas should not be taken as gospel.

Dr. Russell Barkley
Taking Charge of ADHD –parent’s book
AD/HD and the Nature of Self-Control –explains his theoretical model for ADHD

mctavish23
05-17-04, 04:18 PM
I enjoy your posts paulbf.They're thoughtful and well referenced.Thanks.

gabriela
05-22-04, 05:23 AM
i took the test, and i got placed in the "Cingulate System Hyperactivity" group.
which boxes do i tick in the poll?
:confused:

i guess my having add and adhdh with asperger syndrome traits confuses things a bit...
:dizzy:

i will try to get a copy of the book, and maybe after i read it, i'll understand this a little bit better!
;)

DaveHawk
05-26-04, 12:57 PM
Lil Miss, Is it posible to have parts of each ? I read over the list and it seems that I can answer to each of the 6. I am surprized to find so many different typs of ADD. I feel fortuneate to have overcome my handycap.
BTW I like you usuer name.

vinceptor
05-26-04, 01:27 PM
DaveHawk, Lil Miss, pardon my butt-in ;)

This poll is a little confusing, mainly because Amen's rules (as much as I understand them) for figuring out your type(s) are a little complicated. Things to remember:

1) All types involve inattentiveness (Amen calls them the "core ADD symptoms"). So, only vote on "Inattentive" if you absolutely do NOT fit any other category.

2) All the other types you can pick more than one that fits you. "Classic" means only the button you push if you have hyperactive and/or impulsive symptoms as well as the core symptoms.

All of this screws up the poll statistics. The count of buttons pushed ("votes") is NOT the same as the number of people who voted, since you can vote for more than one type.

All that you can say is (if everybody followed Amen's rules correctly), that the number of votes for Inattentive ADD should be the same as the number of people voting for Inattentive ADD, since you aren't supposed to vote for anything else.

Clear as mud.....?

Ken

E-boy
05-27-04, 09:44 AM
Paul,

SPECT, I am familiar with from cognitive science studies. I was basing my commentary on particular charges laid at Ammen's feet by another clinician. Between that, and my feelings about "12 Step programs" ect. I have been less than motivated to ignore my "instinct" on this one. So, it would appear that the clinician who leveled the criticism confused the two imaging techniques, and I, in my ignorance of this fact, simply propogated the confusion. :-) Even having had it clarified and now understanding the nature of the screw up, particularly my part in it, I am still less than impressed. I mean no ill will towards the man, but it is very difficult for me to simply toss my intuitions aside. I think you worded my general feelings very well.

For those who swear by Dr. Amens all I can say is, I am truly happy you have found something that works for you. That is, after all, the most important thing. In the end my suspicions and intuitive distrust of this particular situation may turn out to be crap one never knows. However, more than likely it's a mix of the two. I very much doubt I would get much I could use from Dr. Amens, we are all different, you see. Even if his ideas worked for some they might well not work for others. Just as the vast majority of SSRI's I took for anxiety worked for a substantial number of people, but most simply did nothing for my anxiety or depression. Lexapro works amazingly well for me, but many people with identical symptomology get nothing but side effects and no real relief on it.

I'm rambling again though. :-) Thanks for pointing out the distinction Paul. Otherwise I might not have been able to crystalize what had happened in my head until the various terms "Locked" in place. It's not unusual for me to run details together in material I am less familiar with. It gets in there, but it has to "roll around a bit" and perhaps get some input to tie up "loose ends" before it really coalesces into a full picture. This is generally most true for details, I consider "important but secondary" to the main interest of the moment. Most of the time I am completely unaware of the process, until such time as something kicks the last thread into place and I have one of those "AHAH!" moments. The epiphany in which I suddenly gain deeper understanding of something I "Thought I had a handle on". In this case, it likely would have simmered until I read something specifically about diagnostic imaging machines that covered the spectrum in such a way as to force reclassification of the "Lump" of disparate facts and information sitting in my head now, or just recently in anycase. It's kind of like saying with me there is a difference between, knowing something, and KNOWING it. Does any of this make any sense at all?

In conclusion, take me to task any time you like. It was a constructive bit of information, that unleashed a flood gate of loose end tying off. :-) This thread is worthwhile to me just for this little mini-epiphany. ;-)

No, I don't typically make a boob of myself over this sort of thing, but I do regularly champ at the bit over some niggling little doubt, or feeling that I am "missing" something. I don't in anyway regret this intuitive form of conceptualizing things, because it tends to lead, for me at least, to a much deeper and more thorough understanding of things in the long run. The devil is, after all, in the details. Thanks again for both the information, and for provoking a very interesting train of thought for me.

paulbf
05-27-04, 11:04 AM
Yes you made sense!

I was (am) deep into tring to figure this out and had begun with the Amen perspective.

Ack, got to get ready to go to work at the new job!

lucy2
05-27-04, 06:32 PM
I have innattentive (HP), temporal (HP), basal ganglia (PROB),
Limbic (possible). I have been diagnosed with depression for
years and I do much better on an SSRI (serotonin), but it seems
that may interfere with the dopamine I need too.
I am reading "Change Your Life, Change Your Brain" by Dr. Amen
now. It's very interesting.

ChaosTheory
06-02-04, 08:37 PM
Ok, whose brilliant idea was it to give people with ADD a 100 question test??? :rolleyes:

And which type am I if I got bored on the first page and didn't finish the thing???:confused:

gabriela
06-03-04, 05:09 AM
Originally posted by ChaosTheory
Ok, whose brilliant idea was it to give people with ADD a 100 question test??? :rolleyes:

And which type am I if I got bored on the first page and didn't finish the thing???:confused:

:D :D :D
*brilliant!

Tara
06-03-04, 05:29 AM
I thought this may interest some of you http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?&threadid=7717

gabriela
06-11-04, 04:41 AM
i've just started reading this book, and it's *very* interesting!
:cool: :D :dizzy: :confused:
one question that keeps lurking at the back of my head while i'm reading, though: does dr amen "believe" in asperger syndrome?
good thing i'm not a psychiatrist, because of the wideness of the "neurotypical"------------------------------------------------autistic, "neurotypical"----------------------------------------ad/hd and the "neurotypical"----------------------------------------asperger syndrome spectrums (or is that "spectra"?)!
:D

gabriela
07-08-04, 05:31 AM
well, now i'm re-reading dr. amen's book "healing add", and this time i actually took the time to fill out the questionnaire that's in this book!
:confused:
can a person (i e *me*) have *both* the inattentive *and* the overfocused kind of add???
:confused:
at least that's what my test scores say...

paulbf
07-08-04, 10:17 AM
Oh yeah, no problem. Inattentive means you are not hyper, Overfocused is more like obsessive OCD. No contradiction there.

gabriela
07-08-04, 10:19 AM
oh, okay - thanx!
:)
do you know if dr. amen's done any studies on asperger syndrome as well?

EYEFORGOT
07-08-04, 01:51 PM
Well, I wasn't crazy about 101 questions but I got through it. I was high on ADD inattentive type, Limbic System Hyperactivity and Basal Ganglia Hyperactivity. Between the meds and high protein diet recommended, isn't this bad for your liver? How do you take care of that, or know when there's a problem?

gabriela
07-08-04, 04:47 PM
have absolutely *no* idea about that, but here's another question:

according to my test result, i have inattentive and overfocused add (i don't disagree with dr. amen's questionnaire or my test results - however: i think the "overfocused" bit comes from the asperger traits of my diagnosis!). from what i've read in the book "healing add", inattentive and overfocused add demand two totally *diametrical* medical and dietary interventions!

*now* what???
:confused:

paulbf
07-08-04, 05:26 PM
Page 246 in Amen's paperback says Effexor is the preffered treatment for overfocused type 3 ADD. If that's not tolerated, an SSRI plus a stimulant is advised unless there are potential problems with increased anger with a medication such as Prozac. That might be the case with Temporal lobe type 4 ADD. At least according to his theories which are actually not that widely accepted in the field. The stimulants are the basic ADD meds for type 1 & 2 hyper & inattentive ADD.

Here's some stuff from his site about autism:
http://www.brainplace.com/bp/abstracts/default.asp?valCategory=Autism,+Autistic+Spectrum+ Disorder

Here's a scan of an Asperger's brain:
http://www.brainplace.com/bp/atlas/ch16.asp
for which he recommends Zyprexa which I know nothing about. I don't think Amen knows much about Autism.

gabriela
07-09-04, 03:33 AM
thanx, paul!
you're a treasure!
:)

i'm on both efexor and concerta and doing great, so maybe dr. amen's on to something here!
:D

streetsk8er794
08-10-04, 06:55 PM
Some of the questions on that test pertains to anxiety and depression. The thing is, after many years of untreated ADD/ADHD causes social anxiety and depression as well. But, some people do not develop these symptoms. Now, how do we know if we know if its the actual ADD, or the collateral damage of it?

paulbf
08-10-04, 08:22 PM
Amen's classification system is based on the other co-existing conditions which he considers part of the ADD I guess. Depressive/over-emotional type, Angry type, obsessive type, etc.

paulbf
08-10-04, 09:54 PM
Sorry I had to run & couldn't finish that. Anyways, tough questions, particularly for me. I've been working so hard to sort it out. I think you just got to keep reading and learning about it & about yourself to make sense.

Social anxiety is the worry & fear part, the ADD part is more like social ineptness or the inability to even discern subtle social cues.

Depression can resemble ADD in a number of ways but there are distinctions. Misdiagnosis is very common with all these things.

Trooper Keith
08-20-04, 06:37 PM
Not bad. I'm ADHD Combined Type is my "Official" thing, but I also have minor anxiety disorder problems that I don't bring up ever because they don't bother me...it put me with ADHD Combined "Highly Probable" and same with Basal and Cingulate.

It says it's not probably that I have Inattentive type, but that has always been my biggest problem with ADHD, the impulsiveness second and hyperactivity only when I was a kid (I turned it all into harmless fidgets and unfortunately jaw clenching as I grew older)...but I think it makes "Inattentive" not probable when you have the other types, so "ok."

PinkPanther_04
08-26-04, 08:25 PM
Too funny. I just posted a thread about this and hadn't even checked to see if anyone else had already said anything about it!

I just got diagnosed yesterday and am reading the book right now (just picked it up today) because my therapist believes in this system. Don't know what my subtype is yet, and just looking at the summaries of them it doesn't look like anything fits perfectly, but I'll keep reading.

paulbf
08-26-04, 09:58 PM
I think his science is considered to be making too many assumptions but it is cool that he considers everything he can come up with & tries to make sense of it rather than being chained to a narrower, safer view of things. Some say the brain scans are too blurry to tell much but I don''t know, they seem to tell a real story. The types are based on coexisting disorders of depression, anxiety, anger, etc. in a way that's kind of skirting the real issue but those things can all play a big role also. It really is hard to sort out & you could be more than one type. I'm actually considering visiting his clinic. I haven't got satisfactory answers elsewhere. Apart from some dedicated disciples and some believers, none of the really hard core scientists back his conclusions but they are looking into it and can't really say anything is wrong yet, just not proven with all the proper double-blind studies. I do get the feeling he's a little too good at the whole salesemanship thing.


Opinions on Dr. Daniel Amen's technique for adults with ADD?
I was diagnosed yesterday. Well, I guess it's not a definitive diagnosis, because my therapist wants me to read "Healing ADD" by Dr. Amen and take another self-report questionaire to determine which of his six subtypes I fall into.

I'm not really familiar with the basis for Dr. Amen's technique so I was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts on the subject. Is it well supported scientifically? Is it widely used to treat ADD? How definitive is the subtype diagnosis?

vinceptor
08-27-04, 08:41 PM
Well -- I'm not one of those uncomfortable with his "lack of hard science" behind his clinical observations and cynical about his "salesmanship". Those studies have yet to be done and replicated to everyone's satisfaction. I'm far more concerned about the lack of hard science behind the DSM definitions and mercenary motives in drug-company studies.

In any case, Amen's stuff intrigues me the most, because he is frankly exploratory -- "whatever works". Any trend-leader in AD/HD research is going to come from this kind of clinical observer.

Of all the books on AD/HD I've read, his makes the most sense of the problem of how people can have quite different subsets of symptoms (a la DSM) and still be considered victims of one disorder.

Anyway....

Ken

blueyemass1979
10-18-04, 01:25 PM
I have trouble with his typology--it's too easy to mix up symptoms of a comorbidity with one of his "types." I took his online quiz and had a strong likelihood of three of his "types."

For me, Amen's most interesting observation was the way in which in medications can be undone by orange juice or lack of exercise, and how even different brands of the same medication might not all work equally well.

vinceptor
10-18-04, 11:03 PM
Well, as far as co-morbidity is concerned, he doesn't rule out possibilities like a person with "temporal lobe" ADD actually being bipolar as well as ADD. He is quite clear that he considers the core symptom to be the "inattentive" trait, whether or not someone also has bipolar symptoms as well. Someone with bipolar disorder only would not show this and wouldn't be counted in his typology.

So, he really doesn't mix up symptoms.

And even the DSM allows for co-morbidities and differential diagnosis is not as clear cut (at least to my non-medical eyes) as I would think it should be. It also seems to be more the exception than the rule when two disorders rule each other out (like autism and ADD).

Ken

paulbf
10-19-04, 12:22 AM
I like Amen's stuff but it's curious that he's built a whole theory of brain dysfunction around ADHD. It's like that's the only psychiatric condition out there and it just comes in different flavors. I also wonder if he isn't concentrating too much on the comorbidities & maybe not actually addressing the ADHD as much as he could.

Just some idle thoughts about that, not meant as a big condemnation or anything too serious.

RhapsodyInBlue
10-19-04, 01:56 AM
I like Amen's stuff but it's curious that he's built a whole theory of brain dysfunction around ADHD. It's like that's the only psychiatric condition out there and it just comes in different flavors. I also wonder if he isn't concentrating too much on the comorbidities & maybe not actually addressing the ADHD as much as he could.

Just some idle thoughts about that, not meant as a big condemnation or anything too serious.
What Paul said. I like his writing, but I find it almost obsessive in nature about ADHD+comorbidities.

vinceptor
10-19-04, 10:38 PM
I guess it's a matter of what your expectations are. Maybe he presents what looks like a "self-help" book to most people but with information at a level of detail closer to what you'd expect from a textbook or medical reference (although it obviously isn't). I personally appreciate the level of detail, and find it the most informative in assessing the peculiarities of my own AD/HD.

I don't think there's anything "obsessive" about what looks to me like a well-above-average thoroughness in investigating his subject. On the other hand, he has written a generic book based on his imaging ("Heal Your Brain, Heal Yourself" -- or something like that), which I haven't read so can't comment about it, other than "Healing ADD" is about ADD and associated disorders that affect the kind of treatment is effective for both; and the other book doesn't seem to be specifically about ADD. He certainly does not talk about bipolar disorder *without* AD/HD, nor have I seen him suggest that bipolar disorder is merely a subtype of AD/HD.

So I'm not sure about what is meant by "a whole theory of brain dysfunction based on AD/HD."

Now I can relate to accusations of "overuse" of SPECT scanning, but that falls under the general "overuse" of all scanning methods, most of which have their own peculiar radiation hazards that have to be minimized. And they're all way too expensive, and too big a vested interest for labs and hospitals to look for cheaper and safer alternatives at this point.

Ken

abre los ojos
12-21-04, 02:22 AM
I can't say I know everything about Dr. Amen, but I can say I respect the work he has done in the field of psychiatry and on ADD in particular. I respect all the researchers who are trying to make breakthrough's in area of ADHD research, whether their research is accepted or winds up a dead end. Whatever the motivation, these researchers are trying to do something for me and other's like me. I don't agree with half of the research, but I still respect the effort. Dr. Amen has worked with 1,000's of case's, and has accumulated a vast amount of valuable data from these studies. The fact that he has uses this data to build wacky models that link his data to "gimicky" brain scans does not diminish his accomplishments in my eyes. The guy has clearly lost his way (and maybe his mind), and looks to be ripping more people off than helping, but to disregard all of his work based on part of his conclusions seems to be rather short-sighted. Dealing with Dr. Amen's research was a good opportunity for me to take what I needed and leave the rest.

vinceptor
12-21-04, 02:00 PM
Agreed at least on one point: you can't hold entrepreneurship in medicine against a professional in a overtly profit-oriented profession--people like Amen (and even Hallowell) can't have their opinions automatically discounted because of the money issue...

Ken

innocentat50
12-21-04, 05:09 PM
Hey Vinceptor, don't put down Dr. Halliwell (intentionly misspelled ;)). I know him and his "magic". My former therapist is in his building. Cool guy.

[QUOTE=vinceptor]Agreed at least on one point: you can't hold entrepreneurship in medicine against a professional in a overtly profit-oriented profession--people like Amen (and even Hallowell) can't have their opinions automatically discounted because of the money issue...

vinceptor
12-22-04, 11:38 AM
Whoa, don't get me wrong... I meant the comparison to go the other way. Hallowell is a highly respected (at least by me) authority on ADD, but I have heard criticisms (by otherwise well-meaning people and even ADDers...) about his motives for promoting his wife's coaching business. I consider that standard-issue cynical backbiting. All I'm doing is putting the attacks on Amen's commercial success in the same bag, and for the same reason.

I agree 100% with Hallowell's assessment about life-skills coaching being the most appropriate "therapy" ADDers can get.

I'm *so* jealous that you are two degrees of separation away from Dr. Ned....;)

Ken

innocentat50
12-22-04, 03:07 PM
Hey Ken! Don't envy me. As I said my "former" therapist is in the same house as Dr. Halliwell. She is former because she no longer takes insurance or sliding scale fee. She only takes private patients now.
As far as the good doctor promoting his wife goes, did you not observe that many doctors are either married to other doctors or nurses? It often comes with the territory. So, if he believes that life coaching is a good thing and his wife does life coaching, it may very well be a lucky coincidence, very innocently. Don't convict before you have all the evidence! I am not saying this specifically to you but rather, I find that many people do that lately - jumping to conclusions that are based on very flimsy evidence.
Norbert

abre los ojos
12-23-04, 12:39 AM
lol@coaching being the the "most appropriate" therapy that ADD'er can get.

I love those all-inclusive generalizations.

vinceptor
12-23-04, 02:17 PM
...many doctors are either married to other doctors or nurses? It often comes with the territory

It certainly does.

I find that many people do that lately - jumping to conclusions that are based on very flimsy evidence.
Norbert

I think we are "violently agreeing" here....;)

If I posted anything remotely looking like a criticism of Amen's (or Hallowell's) credentials as ADD experts, and gave the slightest indication that I approved of them myself (I don't), I apologize, as it was not my intention at all...

Ken

vinceptor
12-23-04, 02:19 PM
I love those all-inclusive generalizations.

I do too. That's why I put them in quotes, so no one takes them too seriously....;)

Ken

Toymom
12-25-04, 09:51 PM
I had to take the test twice because I forgot what all the numbers meant after I got below them on the first page and answered wrong and then saw them on the top of the second page and realized it but did not know how to go back and change them. It says I am innatentive:D .I have not read all the other answers yet because I can't pay enough attention to read the long posts.

Toymom

David
12-26-04, 02:16 AM
Definitely Classic here. AD/HD

E-boy
01-03-05, 11:57 AM
Over focussed seems more like OPD than OCD to me. I say this because my father fits the over-focussed type to the "T", and was just as difficult to please and live with as in individual with OPD.

I have OCD, and yet still fall into the Classic/inattentive subtype. Still hyper, still inatentive, and yet with wicked OCD on top of that. Perhaps the OCD was in part the result of trying far too hard to compensate for the inattentiveness. It didn't fix it though, just resulted in a severe anxiety disorder or five. LOL!

vinceptor
01-03-05, 09:29 PM
Over focussed seems more like OPD than OCD to me.

OPD? Do you mean ODD?


I have OCD, and yet still fall into the Classic/inattentive subtype.

Have you seen recent research news about OCD being found to be probably two different "disorders?" One is classic OCD, where the person with OCD knows chronic hand-washing, etc., is not exactly a rational thing to do, but can't help doing it anyway--and then there are "hoarders," who frequently believe they have a good reason for accumulating junk (I haven't been diagnosed w OCD, but the second category fits me, and there's a thread elsewhere about hoarding--see what you think....).

Of course these results are oversimplified here, and are based on brain-scans, which still aren't in the "smoking gun" category of evidence.... But it makes sense to me that clutter is a (not-so-good) "coping strategy" that ADDs come up with to manage their chaotic lives--not an irrational compulsion...

Ken

Stabile
01-05-05, 10:41 AM
…Of course these results are oversimplified here, and are based on brain-scans, which still aren't in the "smoking gun" category of evidence.... But it makes sense to me that clutter is a (not-so-good) "coping strategy" that ADDs come up with to manage their chaotic lives--not an irrational compulsion...
Typical AD/HD clutter has a perfectly reasonable derivation that is exactly the opposite of chaotic – it's organized in a way similar to how we organize information in our brains.

But while our brains store information in a space with arbitrary dimension, our physical world only has three. And we use all of 'em; a typical ADDer workspace spreads out vertically as well as horizontally, rapidly blurring higher dimensional links, or requiring a considerable mental effort to map them into the three space mess.

But it's not chaotic. Or well understood.

* * * *

On a different note, I don't find it useful to compare Amen and Hallowell. Amen isn't in the same league, and his avarice has a completely different scale.

Generalization or not, it often seems that income and charitable intent have an inverse relationship, particularly when it comes to scientific pursuits. I don't consider Amen a serious researcher; he's grabbed a technique (to which he's contributed no basic research of his own) and used it to establish a commercial empire.

We can't see anything more than an AD/HD diagnostic mill that doesn't have any published record of better success than you would expect to achieve by focusing on the patient's problems and prescribing appropriate drugs.

And just like the bit about clutter (which has been discussed in similar terms by many people, including Hallowell), his classification system seems to miss the point about what goes on inside an ADDer's head. It looks more like a smokescreen meant to elevate the status of his clinics than an honest attempt to extend the understanding of AD/HD.

And, DANG!, are his conclusions about SPECT images all wrong…


--Tom and Kay

paulbf
01-05-05, 11:26 AM
I don't consider Amen a serious researcher; he's grabbed a technique (to which he's contributed no basic research of his own) and used it to establish a commercial empire.

This may be true but noone else is even using this technique. He has supposedly contributed a lot but not carelully enough or not willing to share actual data.


And, DANG!, are his conclusions about SPECT images all wrong…


How so?

SB_UK
01-05-05, 11:30 AM
Hi,

If SPECT is such a great technique in the discrimination of ADD types .. then why hasn't this specific research been written up and presented in a peer-reviewed journal?

It would sail into 'Nature' or 'Science' .. if his claims were true.

If Amen holds the appropriate patents (which I'm sure he does) - he could only benefit from this publicity.

The only means by which he could suffer from writing up his research, is if it's and he's wrong.

If SPECT is capable of such a remarkable feat in ADD -- then why also isn't this technique being used in the huge array of other psychiatric disorders that're out there?

Or is it only effective in ADD diagnosis .. ? Seems a bit unlikely, doesn't it?

I'm afraid that even without doing any real research into his research .. it sounds like the man is taking us all for a great big ride .. and that makes me angry.

ADDers deserve better than this.

A medical degree, fancy technique, handful of made-up names and crude knowledge of central neuroanatomy are being used to create a veneer of respectability around a technique, which from what I've seen deserves none (at least in this application).

On the AmenClinic homepage is a major pointer in on a story that Amen has written in the 'prestigious' ...**NOT**.. magazine .. 'Mens Health', on some ridiculously trivial issue; the man clearly courts publicity.
This article proves (though I haven't read it) that he can string a couple of sentences together.
Perhaps he should spend less time expending useless energy, and more writing up his data on SPECT scans .. and then allow the scientific community to scrutinise the credibility of his company's foundations.

If I'm wrong .. I will post words to this effect ASAP on reading his article
-- However, I am pretty sure that I won't be wrong.

SB.

vinceptor
01-05-05, 03:08 PM
Hmm -- I have a slightly different take on this ;)

I can't entirely disentangle his shortage of "mainstream" med/psych journal publications from the fact he uses a "non-mainstream" imaging technology for his clinical work. Most published (and therefore publishable) research seems to be done on institutional MRI machines, and I would guess a significant chunk of that can be attributed to an institutional bias: "SPECT Stinks! (f)MRI Rules!"

The main thing I see here is Amen making the best of an ad hoc acquisition of obsolete, second-rate (but not *completely* worthless) technology that otherwise would require an entire hospital to have the money to purchase....

And perhaps what might seem like avarice and self-promotion on his part is only part of the economic reality of having to run medicine as a business in the USA; it's not as if Amen has the choice to be noble instead of employed...

Ken

Stabile
01-05-05, 03:28 PM
SB: We're pretty sure you're not wrong, too, and if you do find anything that looks like mainstream science about Amen's stuff, please let us know. We've looked for it twice now in the last 16 months and found nothing of note (as you stated).

Paul (et al):

(We do have the web pages you sent on brain images, and thanks for that.)

SPECT imaging is being used in various research efforts; it's a powerful method of gauging metabolic activity in tissues that are directly observable by only a few (similar) techniques.

It's not a magic camera or microscope into brain activity, however. It only gives a picture of energy use on a cellular level with a reasonably fine resolution in time and space, as compared to previous techniques. Complex detectors can provide quasi-3D images, much like an MRI or CT scan.

The real problem is with the assumptions Amen (and other researchers) make with respect to exactly what brain activity is reflected in the highly processed map of energy use.

Most of what is known about the actual function of various areas of the brain derives from gross anatomy – the observable effect of damage or defect in a particular region and the slim clues presented by observable structure. The common problem for any effort to understand and explain a particular set of observations is imagining the mechanisms at work, in this case what the neurons in a particular region are doing to give rise to the observed behaviors.

And here, brain researchers are more limited than most other disciplines. Researchers routinely turn to similar examples or some controlled circumstance in which a crucial variable may be modified or removed, as a way to provide both a comparison to the system under study and a reality check for their developing understanding.

But there is no such opportunity in the arena Amen claims to inhabit. As a result, researchers are operating without the usual checks and balances as they try to imagine the mechanisms at work in the brain. There is no simple way to verify that the range of possibilities isn't limited by the expectations of the researchers as to what mechanisms are likely, or even what elements are available to assemble the mechanism itself.

And in brain research, especially human brain research targeting cognition and observable conscious functions, the imagination of the research community has proven to be woefully poor. Other than the gross anatomical clues and research into function on the neural level, no model of higher human function has managed to stay afloat for more than a few years before falling out of favor.

So that's the problem, in a nutshell: there aren't any of the usual ways to guide researchers' modeling of the functions being studied, and human imagination has proven to be limited and highly skewed toward a kind of anthropomorphic cause-and-effect technical world view.

What's being done about it? Mostly nothing; there are powerful people making powerful arguments that trying to understand the systems in the brain all the way from the neural level to the level of the conscious mind is a doomed and counterproductive enterprise. Imaging techniques like SPECT were developed in hopes they would help pin down high level function, allowing us to get at least one step closer to understanding the connection to cellular level neural activity.

That makes Amen's use a little circular, doesn't it? It also explains why he's not made much of a contribution; he needs to project a kind of faith that the connections between neural function on the cellular level and high level behaviors associated with AD/HD are well understood.

Otherwise, his before and after pictures aren't representative of clinical successes, but rather data for further scientific speculation. Frankly, I doubt they even qualify as useful data. We remain firmly convinced that they're mainly a propaganda tool.

There is a different way to perform a reality check on how we imagine mechanisms in the brain operate, but it's a difficult and time-consuming path (one which Kay and I spent twenty years at, off and on). Neural function at the cellular level is well described, and the descriptions are notably counter-intuitive and non-linear.

That should raise a warning flag that our models might be expected to be similarly counter-intuitive. But regardless, we should at least be able to propose some plausible way that known neural function can give rise to the proposed higher level mechanism.

By periodically stopping and subjecting the imagined higher level brain mechanisms to this exercise we can re-establish a kind of check on the reasonableness that has been missing from most brain research. There are several key principles that must be understood, mainly related to how neural function is interpreted as logical function.

But there isn't any magic necessary, just a desire to return to good old fashioned scientific rigor. There is much that can be done without waiting for a complete map of how things work inside our heads, a list of which is essentially a description of classical medical practice (pretty much as represented by Hallowell's efforts).

But Amen's claims need the support that a deeper understanding provides, and we’re reasonably certain he doesn't have it. As far as we can tell, Kay and I are still leading the world at "seeing" how the key logical behaviors of neural networks can plausibly give rise to mechanisms that could be expected to provide such experiences as consciousness, and indeed, experience itself.

We're certain we won't be alone for long, simply because we don't have the resources that formal research teams do, and we’re near the limit of what we can do working alone. And there are many signs that others are sniffing around the same trees we’ve been playing in, so it is really only a matter of time.

This isn't exactly what we set out to study, anyway, and we still spend most of our time working at a much more ordinary human experiential level.

We hope that helps clarify the discussion a bit. Please speak out if we skipped something, or it wasn't sufficiently clear. --Tom and Kay

paulbf
01-06-05, 01:10 AM
Yes the brain function stuff from the scans is fairly crude & certainly doesn't explain all the complex things going on in there which is why it only has roughly a 75% accuracy in matching diagnosis. Similar techniques are used for other disorders, for instance I was reading about OCD being pretty clearly observable in brain scans and in the same book they recommended a cognitive type therapy and claimed that could reverse the OCD symptoms in the brain. So it's not clear that selecting medication based on brain scans is all that useful. I agree that similar results could be had by simply studying the patient with traditional testing & checklists & common sense analysis & similar medication recommendation made. However that's pretty sketchy too depending on the doc's knowledge & opinion that day.

Part of the Amen thing is the SPECT scans versus fMRI which is *much* more expensive. We are talking about $2,000 versus a minimum of $10,000 for an fMRI. Nobody has that kind of money for a diagnosis, you could hire a team of the best specialists in the world to come to your home for a week for that kind of cash. So the researchers do more academic stuff with the equiptment, knowing it will never be a common clinical tool. And they sit over their abstract research work hoping for a good review on their doctoral thesis or who knows what.

But there are things that can be seen rather well from the scans and at a reasonable price they could help clarify unclear diagnosis. Well anyways it's my bed time so maybe more tomorrow...

paulbf
01-06-05, 11:49 PM
Here's what comes up searching pubmed. Nothing peer reviewed, one psy journal, two 'clinical reports':

J Psychoactive Drugs. 1998
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=9692384
...Brain SPECT studies were performed on 30 heavy marijuana users... with AD/HD from an outpatient psychiatric clinic and 10 AD/HD control group subjects matched for age and sex who had never used drugs... Decreased perfusion in the prefrontal cortex was the only abnormality seen in the AD/HD control group (80%). In the marijuana group, there was a similar decrease in the perfusion of the prefrontal cortex while performing the same concentration task (83%). However, the marijuana group also demonstrated marked decreased activity in the right and left temporal lobes.

Ann Clin Psychiatry. 1997
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=9242893
Fifty-four children and adolescents with ADHD by DSM-III-R and Conners Rating Scale criteria were evaluated. A non-ADHD control group was also studied with SPECT... Sixty-fiver [sic] percent of the ADHD group revealed decreased perfusion in the prefrontal cortex with intellectual stress, compared to only 5% of the control group. These are findings consistent with PET and QEEG findings. Of the ADHD group who did not show decreased perfusion, two-thirds had markedly decreased activity in the prefrontal cortices at rest.

Ann Clin Psychiatry. 1996
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=8899131
Forty adolescents and adults who exhibited aggressive behavior within the six months prior to evaluation by physically attacking another person or destroying property were evaluated with brain SPECT imaging. A control group of 40 psychiatric patients who had never been reported to exhibit aggressive behavior were also studied. The brain SPECT studies were read blind to aggressiveness by nuclear physician on two separate occasions. The interreading reliability was very high. The brain SPECT patterns of the group with aggressive behavior showed significant differences from the control group in several areas of brain. These findings were most often seen in the following combination: decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex, increased activity in the anteromedial portions of the frontal lobes, leftsided increased activity in the basal ganglia and/or limbic system in comparison to the whole brain and focal abnormalities in the left temporal lobe.

janesays
01-07-05, 12:29 AM
I think these types of tests are interesting but don't really tell me anything that I don't already know besides all the scientific jive. I'm reading alot more on how diet effects you now and I think that if I look into that more I will make some use of this information. I don't have very good eating habits and what you put into your body really affects your health. Anyways taking the test I was everything but combined type and I was highly probable in limbic, basal and inattentive.

Stabile
01-07-05, 01:32 AM
Hey, Paul, et al:

I'm having a problem getting an important piece of what we're looking at in our work across in our posts.

There are big differences between correlation, association, and relationship. Blurring the distinction is beginning to be all too common, but we think we understand the reason that it's tempting to do so.

SPECT and other imaging techniques give us a peek into high level brain activity that implements complex abstract logical operations. The dimension of the logical spaces in which those abstract operations take place is huge, perhaps arbitrarily so.

That fact has largely been missed in most research that we have looked at. And when you're trying to construct models for some observed process or to fit some data representing a process, misjudging the dimension of the solution space leads to serious frustration, not valid models.

That frustration can be eased by loosening the requirements, looking for casual associations rather than strict correlations, allowing correlations to imply relationships, and so on. That’s what we think may be occurring today, because the underlying nature of the problem of modeling brain activity just isn't obvious looking from the outside in.

In a sense, Kay and I looked at it the other way, from the inside out. We would have missed much of what we've pieced together if we started by looking at scan images.

The real problem isn't the dimension of the logical space itself, but the fact that abstractions expressed in a large number of dimensions can't be delineated at all in an ordinary three-dimensions-plus-time image.

The following is a excerpt from an as yet unpublished critique of contemporary Neurolinguistics that we have been preparing at the request of a forum member. I have no idea when we'll get around to completing it, but this bit describes the problems of dimension and how abstractions are represented pretty well:


…there is good reason to believe that the brain activity observed in images of almost any conscious process reveals the function of a logical engine that is used to emulate (for example) the actual "verbal - linguistic machine" at work when we say or hear a word.

Such brain activity, although well correlated to the underlying function being studied, is related to that function in only the most abstract way. And the character of the abstractions being manipulated by neural activity are not revealed by any imaging technique. They can't even be successfully inferred.

This is similar to the way that observing the moment-to-moment pattern of power use in your computer reflects but does not reveal the C++ language statements of the program it is running. Here, the problem is one of dimension: the abstraction level of C++ must be such that there is not a one-to-one relationship to the low level logical function of the integrated circuits on your motherboard, or it would lose an important advantage of use: efficient expression.

But the size of the abstract logical space in which C++ statements reside far exceeds the possible permutations of logic states in all of the logic in any computer. The size is disguised by the fact that the space is multidimensional, so that C++ expressions seem (and are) compact and efficient.

The simplest conscious thought implies a space that dwarfs the one occupied by C++ statements, and there is a valid argument that it's dimensionality is arbitrary. The tools used in brain imaging are not even remotely in this league, and cannot be by definition: they're restricted to at most a four dimensional representation of brain function.

The problem is that there will always be a four-space representation of any abstract brain activity, so the fact that the abstractions represented require more dimensions to be successfully delineated isn't directly apparent. The patterns observed are already mysterious, by definition; we're trying to decipher and understand what they represent. But there's no way to tell by looking that they're also intrinsically mysterious.

It's as if an alien research team tried to study a particular kind of common representation of what we know as a "wall." We might imagine them probing examples of a "wall" to understand the principles of a wall's construction.

We might then expect the aliens to be able (for example) to write specifications for a new "wall", complete with implied methods of construction. Or perhaps we might expect that they would be able to tell us why a particular wall had collapsed.

But suppose that all of the examples of the representation of a "wall" that we offered for study were (strictly by chance) projections of the image of a wall, as commonly found in a movie theater. In that case, their studies are likely to reveal the mechanism by which pictures are projected on a screen in a large, dark room.

Such knowledge is unlikely to allow the successful construction of an actual wall, or any understanding of why one might fall down. Their idea of a wall collapsing might reasonably be expected to translate into some kind of odd mechanical failure of a movie projector.

It is easy to imagine a person saying, "There! That's a wall," and pointing to the screen. In fact, it is unlikely that anyone would misunderstand exactly how such a statement is meant, except perhaps a very small child, just beginning to learn how language works.

That is very much the state of the study of linguistics, particularly that using images of brain activity. Correlation is not sufficient to validate the appearance of a relationship. A rigorous scientific effort requires postulating an actual model of the underlying mechanism, a framework for the relationship suggested by the correlated neural activity.

And that's just the beginning; the real work is in verifying the model through continued experimentation, and so on. Such a process may by nature be insensitive to the problem of dimensionality. It's an intrinsic attribute of our expectations of research work in many areas, and I know no reason to abandon that model for the study of linguistics.

E-boy
01-07-05, 11:39 AM
God I love this thread! LOL! Vince, I meant to type OCPD (Obsessive compulsive personality disorder). Similar to OCD, but far more pervasive and harder to treat. These individuals typically do very well in driven business environments with their over the top work ethic and unrealistically high standards for themselves. Unfortunately they make horrible bosses, and inflict their misery and high standards on all around them. My father wasn't that bad off, but he did have highly structured ADD and was what I would call a "perfectionist" and a "workaholic". He was unaware of his ADD, and untreated it led him down the path to the alcoholism that killed him. His last message to me was that he was very proud of me, loved me, and was sorry he never understood. He tried very hard, but I was as about as clear to him as a lump of coal. It took years to forgive that man, and probably the biggest reason I've been able to was because I finally understand his demons. We had more in common than he ever knew, and I wish I'd had the chance to show him that.

Vince, I really think you ought to do some reading on Evolutionary psych, and the population work that population geneticists do. It is quite well documented and peer reviewed work and it sheds a great deal of light onto whether ADD should be looked at as a pathology or simply part of the normal human neurological spectrum. A big part of this is the absence in most ADDers of "biological noise". Biological noise usually accompanies genetic disorders because there are very few genetic level insults that are so well targeted as to effect only one or two base pairs on a given gene. Typical disorders caused by genetic insults (such as radiation, or toxins) cause a veritable plethora of subtle genetic abnormalities that are detectable fairly easily, such as webbed fingers or toes, limb length imbalances, etc...

I'd be especially interested in your take on the actually statistics they use. Being as you are formerly trained in this you may have some very good info indeed for me on interpretations of their data. I know for example that the initial "Genetic tree" that the mitochondrial eve folks did was badly skewed by poor knowledge of statistical information processing by the persons doing the work. It was, of course, eventually corrected but it was a good lesson in data interpretation for a layman like me.

paulbf
01-07-05, 11:39 AM
OK I understand the info from brain scans doesn't describe the thought process very precisely but that doesn't make it irrelevant. When they see that ADHD patients tend to have less activity in the frontal lobes I think that's a genuine observation & doesn't discount the possibility that the ADDers might be thinking in a more intuitive metaweb manner using other parts of their brain to fill in for the diminished frontal lobe activity. Amen isn't the only guy who has observed that the frontal lobes are associated with executive function, concentration & 'conventional' descision making. You can see a brain scan of someone who was hit on the head & they have a big gash in their frontal lobes and that person will also have trouble concentrating and making descisions. And, I don't know but probably if you look at artists or perhaps certain zen monks who may have chosen to think in a more disperse, less conventional way and I'd guess they might also show similar traits. Or a really undisciplined child perhaps. So it doesn't tell you why they have diminished frontal lobe activity, whether it's inborn, the result of an injury or the result of training. Then you can give those patients some ritalin & watch extra blood flow to the frontal lobes. Give anyone a little ritalin & most will feel sharper as their frontal lobes swell with blood from the dopamine setting off added activity. Probably you could give them brain wave training and see some improvement. The other thing in the Amen tests is that he scans at rest and again while performing a concentration task & the ADDers tend to show even more diminished frontal lobe activity when concentrating. For whatever reason they just do not operate with the frontal lobes.

What you are describing a philosophy for taking advantage of this different way of thinking. What they are doing is looking at it as a medical problem and using drugs or therapies to 'correct' the brain function to a 'normal' pattern. Two very different ways of discussing the issue.

I'm interested in this because my diagnosis is unclear, I don't know what the heck is wrong with me. Maybe a scan would show that my frontal lobes are just slightly less active or really obviously different, maybe it would show that I have a larger problem in the regions of the brain associated with obsessive behavior or depression or that my brain looks more like a manic depressive profile. Maybe it would show that my brain is basically 'normal'. I don't know but I'd like to so that I could have some clue how to go about getting myself to function better. I'm willing to embrace the idea that my frontal lobes are less important in my style of thinking and accept that but I don't know if that's the case or if my obsessive thoughts are interfering or depression or maybe my laziness isn't apparent in the scans so I just need to get in a better routine rather than take drugs. I'm not sure if that would show in a brain scan but I'm curious.

E-boy
01-07-05, 11:44 AM
Scans are obviously medically useful in general, and to one degree or another will be very useful in at least the study of ADD. Right now, there isn't anyone coming forward, besides perhaps Mr. Amens, who will claim they can reliably diagnose ADHD with imaging. The resolution simply isn't there to determine if there are features present or absent in ADDers that are consistently different than persons with "normal" brains.

What is needed is higher resolution imaging (which is already improving astronomically), and large study samples. Until such time as either is available, and then put to use in a large peer reviewed study this debate is not much more than us venting personal opinions over a mystery with a few clues scattered about. As long as we all understand that, I say we enjoy the dinner theatre, and have a good ol' time. ;-)

E-boy
01-07-05, 11:45 AM
Oh and for the record, my brain looks like a damn christmas tree on a scan when I am not on my anxiety meds. LOL!

"this is your brain... and this is your brain on OCD Petty Officer Johnson"

Me: "OOOOH! Pretty lights!"

paulbf
01-07-05, 12:38 PM
Right now, there isn't anyone coming forward, besides perhaps Mr. Amen, who will claim they can reliably diagnose ADHD with imaging. The resolution simply isn't there...

What is needed is higher resolution imaging (which is already improving astronomically), and large study samples. Until such time as either is available, and then put to use in a large peer reviewed study this debate is not much more than us venting personal opinions over a mystery with a few clues scattered about.

Here's a similar service using mostly questionaire type testing with a very ambitious & highly standardized database: http://www.brainresource.com They also do EEG (& fMRI scans which are much more expensive than SPECT). At this point they have a database of about 1,200 normal and 500 with various disorders. It seems they are doing well and plan to grow that significantly. They say they plan to have a reliable pattern for ADHD by this summer. It is a franchise type business model with clinics worldwide.

I checked with a local company that uses their system and they don't offer the fMRI because it's just too expensive. They offer a $2,475 assessment that includes Q EEG scan & 1 hr Psychometrics test on the above database plus their own non-standardized Visual/auditory/sensory test that's sort of a computer game type test, a CAS reading comprehension test (like an IQ test), a nutritional analysis using hair samples to check for deficiencies & heavy metals, an hour initial consultation & another 1 hour interview with a psychologist.

SB_UK
01-07-05, 12:38 PM
What is needed is higher resolution imaging (which is already improving astronomically), and large study samples.
How about :-) - what we need is to systematically test each imaging technique, as they come along, allowing higher resolution images upon a dataset consisting of an arbitrary but large (let's say 10,000) individuals, who have been unambiguously allocated into bins relating to psychiatric states, identifying and preventing each individual from taking any psychoactive substance or dwelling within a psychoaffective environment, thinking the same series of thoughts, analysed using a blind study design, with the data analysed using a battery of AI clustering and classification techniques - developing rules, which are then used to analyse another set of 10,000 individuals (treated in the same way) - generating a selectivity and sensitivity score for the diagnostic test.
And then we accept, that what we have is only a diagnostic test of success rate x% ie all this effort leading us to an outcome without actually shedding any light on what's actually different between the ADDer and the non-ADDer.

Oh no!! But does age confound this study .. or how about gender!!!
Can we correct for these confounders?
Was 10,000 enough people?
Have we used the right AI algorithms?
Have we identified the complete range of psychoactive substances?
Were the individuals unambiguously diagnosed - and what happens when 2 conditions exist simultaneously?
.....eek!!!

There has to be a better way :-)

SB.

paulbf
01-07-05, 12:44 PM
Also search pubmed for "fmri adhd" and "spect adhd" and you will find lots of fairly small scale studies that all show significant and similar correlations between ADHD, ritalin & brain scan irregularities. They all basically say yeah it's kind of preliminary but they see something going on there with a pattern. Dozens of studies worldwide.

E-boy
01-07-05, 12:52 PM
LMAO!!!! SB, that was an incredible post!

There is a better way, but it doesn't involve anything fancy, and there aren't all that many flashing lights (SIGH!). The diagnostic procedure, based on the DSMIV criteria, that Paul just listed is pretty darn accurate. It will never tell us even in a vague way how ADDers are, if in fact they are in any consistent way, different from other folks. But it can and does show a pattern of behavior and personality as well as functional deficits consistent with Attention Deficit Disorder, and it is capable of excluding other disorders that mimic symptoms. The problem lies in getting more doctors to use appropriate diagnostic criteria (incidentally, I believe Dr. Amens still utilizes the DSMIV criteria in his work, and is only suggesting that SPECT scans can identify subtypes by functional/anotomical signature). If a disorder can be appropriately Identified and treated sucessfully on the cheap, it's all good. :-) Imaging studies will continue, of course, and I hope they do, because the more we are able to learn about the details (where the devil lives), the more we will understand about not just ADD, but a host of other "disorders" as well as the human brain as well.

Also when a good clinician does a full screening utilizes DSM-IV they often do find two or more conditions existing simultaneously. ADD has a good many common Co-morbid conditions, anxiety disorders of many different stripes, depression, bi-polar disorder, and a host of others including chemical dependence.

"eek!!!", Is still a completely appropriate comment when one looks at the immensity of what we don't know. However I subscribe to the engineering school of philosophy. We don't have to know everything, only enough to do the job. Knowing that much is well within our grasp.

SB_UK
01-07-05, 01:11 PM
In all of these studies, I guess, a bunch of ADDers and nonADDers were allocated based on diagnostic criteria. So presumably the results from these studies can only be as good as the initial diagnosis.

This considered, mightn't it be as useful to see whether one fits the diagnostic criteria, rather than to use this other approach which succeeds or fails, again based on the diagnostic criteria for psychiatric conditions.

The problem that I have, and still have, is that I'm not 100% convinced...and from previous exchanges, Paul, I think that you're in the same boat, of what, if any problem exists.
But if we assume that these tests are thoroughly effective diagnostic tests, can they tremendously exceed the power of the approach that was used to define the study groups, to validate and generate the tests for ADDness and the such like.

What I think I care about, is knowing what if anything is going on up there -- and I think that with a certain amount of introspection, one can identify what's up.
The next thing I care about is of how to minimise the problems associated with this problem -- and I think that these also fall out from looking within.

If we were to get a computer printout that stated 15% autism, 20% ADD, 30% depression etc .. what would we do about it?
I don't think I'd take the available medications in these percentages (for these conditions) - I think I'd just try and minimize the tasks that these conditions would provide me with difficulty in.
But that, I think, can be done without any form of external assessment - and simply from knowing yourself and what you know you're not so happy with.

SB.

paulbf
01-07-05, 01:20 PM
Yeah that's funny that they are all based on the initial manual diagnosis. I'm still waiting for the results from a recent manual diagnosis, they said late this week & it's Friday morning now (tapping fingers). A previous doc gave me a diagnosis of repressed anxiety with some attention problems based strictly on interviews. This recent testing included a lot of DSM type questionaires which I find very difficult to answer with a simple yes/no. The pdoc before that said "maybe???". Two other therapists said "probably???". I'm pretty confused. It seems it would be helpful to see something solid & I'm real skeptical of any doctor's 'opinions'. We all know it's possible for ADHD to go undiagnosed for a lifetime or misdiagnosed.

Stabile
01-08-05, 07:45 PM
Hey, Paul:

I wrote more than nine pages in response to your post, going into details that we have been avoiding because they need lots of pages to describe adequately.

It's full of clever stuff like this, followed by long explanations:


..You can see a brain scan of someone who was hit on the head & they have a big gash in their frontal lobes and that person will also have trouble concentrating and making decisions...
Of course. But why stop there? You can hit someone on the butt hard enough that they will also have trouble concentrating and making decisions.

And their brain scan by definition will also show changes, perhaps the same changes if you're right about the role of the frontal lobes.

How should we interpret that?
Then I peeked at Amen's web site to see what was new, and I decided to scrap the whole thing. If you want I can clean it up and send the important bits in a PM.

The gist of what we want to say is this:

Our ideas are not rooted in philosophy (or solely in philosophy), as you suggest. We're describing big stuff, but we're coming strictly from the hard science side.

Amen's vague descriptive ramblings (did you see the thing about having a healthy soul?) verge on the philosophical, but they don't really qualify as that, either. They just reflect the vague quality of his understanding.

Our posts might (on the surface) sound like philosophy because we try to find plain language analogies that impart a feel for the underlying nature of the brain mechanisms we're all talking about, Amen included.

These things are similar to the famous 'thought experiments' that Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg and others conducted in letters to each other, and for the same reason: our intuition about the way the brain works is all out of whack. The first order of business is building a new kind of intuition appropriate to the underlying nature of neural function.

Just like quantum mechanics and General Relativity, neural machines inhabit a strange and sometimes spooky reality, in several important ways not like anything we see in our ordinary cause-and-effect macro world.

And there is another similarity: some aspects are effectively invisible until you suspend belief and find the appropriate models for the basic principles of how neural networks function.

So in our mind there isn't really any debate at all, because in a sense the subject itself hasn't yet been defined. We know that everyone thinks it's obvious, and that's the point. Everything defined on that incorrect, obvious idea about how the brain works (like Amen's six types) are at least suspect, subject to verification after we all get on the right page.

Of course, there's a catch: everyone thinks they already are on the right page. It's all those other guys that must be wrong.

Our message is this: Amen does not have a clue. We are certain of it, and it's not a criticism. We're all in the same boat. Our intuition about what's going on is just plain wrong.

There are hundreds of ways to prove one aspect or another of what we understand about it to you, or anyone else that cares to read what we post. But that approach ultimately fails, for this reason: they're just details, and every person looking to understand this stuff wants a big reason to believe the big picture.

Amen offers his images, and pretty little half-truths about his work that anyone motivated to believe will find a way to believe, because the images are the thing. The rest is just boilerplate and misdirection, designed to con people into thinking they have the answer at last, in a form that they will never have to doubt: the images of their brain, defects plainly visible. Amen's Big Picture.

We believe that people like Amen must know that they are sometimes misleading people, but they accept doing it because they're so convinced that they are right. And if you've heard any hint of distaste or dislike in what we've said about his work, it's because nothing raises our hackles like someone willing to lie to do good.

What we offer is this: you can't get there from here, and we're certain that in some ways Amen must know this, too. We know beyond any doubt that you cannot determine what is going on inside your brain by looking at SPECT scans or any other external probe. The only way get a handle on understanding this stuff is to come at it from the inside out, the way we did.

You have to have a solid model of what's going on inside a working brain before you can begin to interpret images of neural activity, and the reasons for this can be expressed mathematically. Images made by SPECT and all similar techniques lack detail (not resolution) that is necessary if you want to unravel what makes us tick.

So at the root the problem is really twofold: you can't tell what's going on in a SPECT image well enough to develop an understanding of the underlying mechanisms, and trying to understand the mechanisms so you can interpret the SPECT images fails because the mechanisms themselves aren't anything like what you'd expect.

It's a special class of Catch-22, one that hides its existence from view. We can interpret SPECT images if we know what's going on first. But if we don't, any internally consistent interpretation will seem to stand up, at least in the short term, because there is no direct way to know it's wrong.

Recognizing that also requires understanding what's going on, and if we did we wouldn't have gone off in the wrong direction in the first place.

The only way we know to do it (there may be others, including perhaps this) is to get the same papers we started with, sit down and figure out how neurons doing what they do (which is pretty well understood) could give rise to our experience of being, including all of the things we recognize about the experience of owning a brain.

In other words, everything Amen talks about and a lot more. That's our big picture. It's not really about Amen and SPECT images at all.

Before we quit, here's a relevant excerpt from our original reply:


…The reason that information in SPECT scans is 'lost' from any possible direct view isn't really all that hard to understand.

The problem itself is a kind of logical trapdoor. Passing through that logical trapdoor in a sense 'folds' our view of the information, much as if we took a transparent, infinitely flexible road map and folded it so that every road was precisely overlaid on top of several others.

Watching cars move over those roads would still make perfect sense, but unless you know where they started before you folded the map, you can't begin to guess where they're going.

As far as we’re concerned, Amen is navigating with a folded roadmap and he's completely lost. But hey, he's a guy, and guys don't get lost, do they?

--Tom and Kay

paulbf
01-09-05, 01:04 PM
Hmm... I like your explanations & they make sense to me, and I don't think Amen's ideas contradict your view but I've lost track of how the neural network concept can really help other than having more of an appreciation for the advantages of being a scatter-brain. The question Amen seems to be able to help me with is finding the source of my problems or at least some kind of better understanding of whether my brain function is due to 'executive function' type frontal lobe stuff or emotional/depression type interference or maybe anxiety or cingulate gyrus type overfocusing in terms of locking into things obsessively or whether I'm just a bundle of bad habits & need to somehow get my act together but there is really nothing functioning particularly abnormally. I suspect it's the later. How might your ideas help clarify my questions?

E-boy
01-10-05, 12:25 PM
I still say that the biological evidence points to ADHD being adaptive in some way, at least in the environment our ancestors lived in. The fact is that the human species is remarkable in it's lack of genetic diversity (because of a recent population drop to near extinction levels in the past 100K years) suggesting that the genes identified to be associated with ADHD likely occur in hunter gatherer tribes as well. This would also be true of many of the genetically associated anxiety disorders. Oddly enough we don't see our kind of "pathology" in their behavior. Strongly suggestive that society has as much to do with the problems as the physiology behind them. I have already mentioned the decided lack of biological noise in individuals with these gene variants. Again suggesting these were adaptive changes selectively passed down through normally operating natural selection. Population genetics supplies still more evidence through patterns they have observed. ADD, and many anxiety disorders fall into genetic frequencies clearly showing propogation, which does not occur in maladaptive traits, and the six thousand years or so society as we know it or a close approximation thereof has existed is not sufficient time to make a dent in frequencies established over the long haul of geological/evolutionary time in which these frequencis in the population became established.

My point is, the answers they are looking for in these imaging technologies are already in the available data. At least those beyond simple diagnostics. And what need of those do we have for a "Non-disorder"? Of course we do need them because society won't change on our account, but there is already an amazing amount of data available from near unimpeachable sources with huge amounts of supporting experimental data that can be applied to ADD because of it's heritable nature.

I am fully confident, that the majority of genetically related cases of ADHD are far from a pathological condition and in fact represent a part of the normal human nuerological continuum.

My views are close to Stabiles in that we both don't see ADD as something that makes us broken, we diverge primarily in our views of it's evolutionary significance. It is interesting to note that the variant of at least one gene associated with it occured at roughly, perhaps even the same time, as the population drop and just prior to it stablizing and exploding. I am sure risk taking innovators would have come in down right handy at that difficult juncture in our species natural history. I do not, however, see it as a speciation event. We are all still one large integrated community of homo sapiens sapiens, and the fact that individuals carry "ADD" traits across a spectrum of none or near none, to diagnosable, suggest that it is integrated into our population as a whole to one degree or another and that there are a great many other associated genes as well.

DEEP BREATH! It isn't that the imaging work is unimportant, for we will learn loads. For now though it seems aimed at further pathologizing ADD, and frankly we have neither the large scale imagery studies, nor the resolution to prove much of anything except ADD brains appear, and apparently function differently. This, of course, will change with time. A major perspective shift is needed though, and until the medical/neurological community starts talking with other disciplines the studies will continue to be woefully myopic. Consilience is what is needed here.

SB_UK
01-10-05, 01:35 PM
Hello again E-boy,

Sad as it might seem the area of science that you've been writing about has been *my life* for the last 20 years :-( .

Just a few bits and pieces of info though, that I think need to be taken into account when taking the genetic route.

Scientists are often far from honest when it comes to reporting data - and there are ever such a large number of ways of making the point that you'd like to make, regardless of the truth.
A sad but nevertheless truthful view on the new genetics, is that no geneticist has any interest in demonstrating the *non*-heritability of a trait .... especially when their future funding depends upon it. In fact, scientists in this field will often show the data in its 'best light' .. and I can tell you how it's done ... but essentially it boils down to 'making it all up'.

Am I saying that ADD is not a complex genetic trait?
... far from it ...
but it's probably far less genetically determined than publications by geneticists will lead you to believe.


Am I saying that ADD is purely environmental (Note:generally the gene-environment argument pervades these kinds of studies, with the geneticist almost always winning .. because the geneticist can design an experiment that can test their hypothesis)?
... far from it ...
but I think that the environment is very important -- and that as you'll know from your genetics text books .. a learned characteristic can effectively mimic a genetically transmitted characteristic.

I would though throw out the following question (I've thrown it out once already today on the boards :-) .. but feel the need to write it again :-)) )
- If I gave you 3 genes and told you that these 3 chappies were overproduced in the ADD brain and underproduced in the nonADD brain -- what would one do with this information?

I'm just not so sure whether the knowledge that a bit of the brain has changed .. is of any use in understanding how the mind has changed .. and that driving towards an understanding of the mind (on a macro-level), and then the ADD mind (on a macro-level), might be of more use in understanding the difference between the ADDer and non-ADDer, far more so than attempting to take the molecular route.

As someone who knows rather an amount about the molecular approach, you have no idea of the tremendous pain that this post has inflicted on me :-)

Oh well .... I'll live,

SB.

paulbf
01-10-05, 02:51 PM
OK something I recall we discussed is that a lot of the folks who think of ADD as a 'disorder' want to 'correct' our thinking to 'normal'. But your approach says that it's just a different way of thinking & can work just fine if you go with the flow instead of fighting it. That all makes sense. But what I'm getting at is trying to figure out if my 'different way of thinking' is caused by ADD or depression or obsession or anxiety or what. Once I figure that out, some of those things are not the sort of thing you'd necessarily want to develop & there might be the desire for corrective strategies depending on the diagnosis.

Hmm... I like your explanations & they make sense to me, and I don't think Amen's ideas contradict your view but I've lost track of how the neural network concept can really help other than having more of an appreciation for the advantages of being a scatter-brain. The question Amen seems to be able to help me with is finding the source of my problems or at least some kind of better understanding of whether my brain function is due to 'executive function' type frontal lobe stuff or emotional/depression type interference or maybe anxiety or cingulate gyrus type overfocusing in terms of locking into things obsessively or whether I'm just a bundle of bad habits & need to somehow get my act together but there is really nothing functioning particularly abnormally. I suspect it's the later. How might your ideas help clarify my questions?

Stabile
01-10-05, 03:37 PM
Hmm... I like your explanations & they make sense to me, and I don't think Amen's ideas contradict your view but I've lost track of how the neural network concept can really help other than having more of an appreciation for the advantages of being a scatter-brain. The question Amen seems to be able to help me with is finding the source of my problems or at least some kind of better understanding of whether my brain function is due to 'executive function' type frontal lobe stuff or emotional/depression type interference or maybe anxiety or cingulate gyrus type overfocusing in terms of locking into things obsessively or whether I'm just a bundle of bad habits & need to somehow get my act together but there is really nothing functioning particularly abnormally. I suspect it's the later. How might your ideas help clarify my questions?
OK, great questions.

First, you should realize that the 'conceptual distance' between neural function and abstractions like "executive function" is about as extreme as it gets.

We wouldn't be able to make a legitimate linkage between the two at all if it weren't for James Albus' recognition of the hierarchical organizing principle of neural nets.

Little, simple nets perform a kind of abstraction on their inputs; presented a certain pattern, they say, in effect, here's a shoe (or whatever). It's important to recognize that the output firing pattern is arbitrary, and represents the abstract conceptual object shoe.

So that pattern, fed in turn to other networks, can form part of the input pattern of a higher level abstraction, such as a complete outfit, shoes, socks, shirt, pants, coat, tie and so on. And on and on it does go, too; the big picture is that these hierarchical chains don't have many practical limitations, at least conceptually.

Given anything you want to think about (like the "executive function") they can represent it. But the idea of "executive function" and the function itself are two completely different animals. To imagine the function itself you have to think about how these networks can be more than passive, how a particular output pattern could eventually find its way back to the cerebellum to initiate some physical movement (for example).

And that's where the whole thing turns left from our idea of how logical machines function in the normal macro world we see ourselves inhabiting. At the neural level, there isn't any need at all for such things as discrete "executives" to perform high level purposeful control.

Everything that takes place can be explained perfectly well by the same mechanisms that Albus and others describe. The operating principle is more like tropisms in simple animals than the kind of high level abstractions of purpose that we tend to see in our own actions and in the behavior of others.

I'm sure you don't find it too hard to wrap your mind around the idea of the logical progression from low forms of life, with simple drives to feed and procreate, all the way to our complex existence and experience of being.

But it seems to be much harder to grasp the application of the same principle to our individual development, in particular to how our brains function. Nevertheless, from everything Kay and I have been able to determine, this is how our brains work. We don't just encompass the whole gamut, from the simple to the sublime. It's organized so that the same simple mechanism is at work on any level you look at, from the simplest to the most complex.

It's an adequate explanation, a basic principle that is reflected elsewhere in nature, and we don't know of a reason to imagine that nature decided to replace it with something new and more complicated.

Basically, the whole idea of things like "executive function" is flawed, merely a name given to a kind of illusion: there must be something in there that makes the decision, or watches over our decision making process.

But there's not; the only thing we have is something similar to what a bug does to avoid light, or even simpler. As I said, it's all we need, and you can clearly see how complicated the linkage between neural function and high level behavior must be as a result.

Fortunately, the complexity sits almost entirely at the topmost level, in how we perceive the result. Correct a few basic conceptual errors, and the whole thing begins to come into focus. Here's one of the more important pieces of the puzzle:

If you think about our particular form of high level conscious awareness, it should be obvious that it must be among the last functions to have developed in our brains. Most of our ordinary behavior has lower animal analogs, even though it's fairly obvious that those animals don't experience conscious awareness in the same way we do.

So the first thing we can do is try to imagine how the whole thing could almost work in the same way it does now, only without the last bit, conscious awareness, added on top.

Is that possible? Certainly, Albus' hierarchical networks can emulate almost any behavior that we could imagine. Consciousness isn't really required.

But that leaves us with a fascinating quandary: the conscious experience of these behaviors, if grafted on top of the mechanisms that give rise to them, would have to support the illusion that the behavior was a part of the conscious process.

We all experience being and doing as a connected, logical gestalt, a view that implicitly includes the idea that we think on some conscious level and then act. Even impulsive behavior is seen as somehow arising from poorly controlled conscious thought processes, even when the behavior is demonstrably related to deep primitive impulses like procreation.

Thus, the idea of "executive function" arises to provide a mechanism for the impression that there is some process going on that is responsible for this high level control. It doesn't exist; it's an illusion. Consciousness arises as a form of interpretation of what we see when we observe ourselves being consciously aware.

If there is a relationship between neurons firing in the frontal lobes and the behavior to which we assign the illusion of "executive function", there is certainly at least one critical component missing in the actual activity: the conscious involvement that we assign it.

And since almost any interpretation of a perceived defect in the "executive" is going to try to assign reasons for the failure of that conscious control, it's obvious that the effort should immediately fail.

If such efforts did quickly fail in an obvious way, we would soon all be looking for a deeper explanation. But many attempts to deal with such problems seem to have a limited success at first, and any kind of limited success seems to justify the original illusion of conscious involvement with low level decision making.

To cut to the chase, the simple picture is close to this: we observe the actions of our selves and others in our social context and create a logically consistent script or story that describes what we see.

Within that script we see ourselves consciously making decisions about what we should do in certain situations, some as simple (for example) as deciding to continue to concentrate on what we're reading at a particular the moment.

The long term sort of big picture of such actions provides a kind of gestalt idea of what our motivations are in any particular situation, and that does indeed feed back to our experience as enabling a sort of higher level conscious control of our abstract situation.

You might argue that this is what Amen and Barkley are talking about when they mention "executive function", but it isn't at the same level we're talking about here. The kind of experience that we have under (semi-) conscious control is involved with abstractions like skyscrapers making up the heart of big cities, and several different kinds of engineering existing to make that possible.

But the kind of thing that you're worried about (and Amen tries to treat) is whether you can control your distraction, or impulsivity, or whatever, and these abstractions are way down in the mud by comparison. They existed prior to the invention of our particular kind of conscious awareness, and must be looked at in an entirely different way.

(We don't mean to imply that we are all essentially automatons. We just control things a little differently than we think we do, in essence by controlling the context.)

Again, we don't mean to say that your perception of the experiences that are problematical is flawed; you certainly are experiencing whatever you're having trouble with. And we aren't saying that there isn't related activity in the frontal lobes, either.

We just don't have any confidence that the problem is actually a problem in the way it seems, and we're certain that the activity in the frontal lobes can't be addressed in terms of a flawed "executive function", no matter what it seems like the drugs we take do for us, or what Amen's pictures look like when we're 'better'.

…The question Amen seems to be able to help me with is finding the source of my problems or at least some kind of better understanding of …my brain function…
Seems is the operant word; there's even a possibility that something he does would help you in some way. But understanding isn't in the cards.


…or whether I'm just a bundle of bad habits & need to somehow get my act together but there is really nothing functioning particularly abnormally. I suspect it's the later.
We do, too, except we have trouble accepting the excessively negative way you're describing yourself. We just don't believe it.

We find that the appearance of a problem related to AD/HD is most often a kind of cultural clash, a normal social phenomenon that has become misplaced as we advance beyond the mere use of our brains into an era of finally being consciously involved in that use, even for the low level stuff.

In effect, what we're saying implies that you are able to control aspects of your behavior and experience in ways that we have never before been able, and the ability sets in motion low level mechanisms designed to prevent instability in our selves and our social interactions.

Here's a great example, expressed in a way that doesn't lose it's edges when you look at it from a normal perspective:

How does guilt work, and how is it supposed to work? Guilt is just a behavioral driver; a low level mechanism causes an emotional twinge, related to the need to juice the conscious impression of the relative priority of some task.

Something like getting to work on time; we're supposed to feel the guilt, modify our behavior, and focus on getting to work. And in a way that we're sure ADDers appreciate, guilt acts to distract us, interfering with activities that might lead us away from the primary purpose of getting there at a certain time.

But guilt developed as a part of our ordinary experience of being when we were all more or less single threaded. It's intended to exist as long as the thread exists, which would normally be just until we got to work, punched in, and sat down to address the first item of the day.

At that point, we would necessarily have to abandon the thread that supported the guilt in favor of the one that we use to work, and it would disappear, having done its job.

But we multitask, and I'm sure you see where this is going. We don't have to abandon the thread that runs the guilt trip, and so it often becomes a kind of constant background nagging distraction that cripples our ability to work and our view of ourselves.

This kind of low level element in our daily experience can take years to build up to the point that we have serious problems with it, if it ever does; it often festers just below the critical level, leaving us barely able to function better than the normals around us.

And occasionally, less able, and our self-esteem plummets as a result. There are as many different experiences of just this one simple mechanism as there are ADDers, one of the reasons that the array of symptoms describing AD/HD seems so bewilderingly all encompassing.

What should we do about it? We could take a magic pill that suppresses our ability to multitask, and the problem would disappear (but not the effect on our self image). Or we might take a different pill that countered the effect on how we interpret the constant guilt, a dose of happy up that balances the downer.

Or we might just learn to avoid the situations that cause guilt to build up, drop out of society at least as far as things like jobs and responsibility are concerned.

But if we understand what’s going on, we might choose to counter the problem by consciously letting the guilt go. Why is that hard to do now? Because we see the purpose for the guilt, and we believe we need to keep it in play for it to work.

In our experience, this impression is deeply rooted and difficult to disarm. But in any individual example, it's surprisingly easy to do, once you are firmly convinced that the idea that we need to hold onto the guilt is an atavism, no longer appropriate to our more modern brains.

When we concentrate on it, we find we can choose to use guilt as a driver in a controlled way, keeping a modified version in play only until we get to work (for example). Since we consciously drop the guilt thread in these circumstances, it doesn't have an opportunity to build up and wear us down.

And if that sounds like just another coping mechanism, it is. But there is a profound difference in class: it stems from understanding why guilt isn't appropriate for us in the same way it is for a normal.

It also leads naturally to an understanding of why we set off normals' alarms when they see us arbitrarily abandon guilt, because of their (valid) instinct that shutting it off would defeat it's purpose if they did it. Seeing that makes it much harder to get upset about the way they respond by trying to interfere with our lives in a way we see as just as arbitrary.

We believe that there is a comparable view of any problem you can imagine that might arise from AD/HD, one in which you can see why the difference between ADDers and normals leads to the perception that there is something wrong, when in fact there isn't any problem at all, just a natural difference in how the situation appears to each of us.

Every such view acknowledges that normals can't see what we see, and so will never understand our understanding, even though we understand theirs. The sense of that fundamental natural separation is the beginning of a kind of benevolent view of both our experience and normals', and so the situation itself.

These views all require to a greater or lesser degree an understanding of the nature of the brain and mind, exactly the thing we’ve been on about in these posts. And also exactly what we feel is missing from Amen's offerings on the subject…

Stabile
01-10-05, 03:40 PM
..My views are close to Stabiles in that we both don't see ADD as something that makes us broken, we diverge primarily in our views of its evolutionary significance…
Right. But Kay and I believe it to be a speciation event precisely because every plausible model of higher level function we have been able to devise dictates that ADDers and normals are essentially identical genetically, pretty much what you're saying about the state of the genome.

The differentiation, ADDer vs. normal, appears to be due to an active compensating mechanism that allows a kind of choice: use our abilities to suppress the effect on how we interact with our context and others, or embrace them and deal with the consequences of being different.

If there's any relevant genetic difference, it's most likely related to trivial personality quirks that help determine which path we take.

This is exactly the nature of a mechanism that gives rise to an emergent system, by far the best candidate for the mechanism of a speciation event. And these systems are as of yet poorly understood, at least among those studying various aspects of evolution.

We think the problem is due to the fact that a speciation event is very different from selection as we normally think of it, and selection itself is a difficult animal to wrap yourself around when it comes to the brain and mind.

There's not much out there that describes actual scenarios in detail for such things as the rise of social groups, or the ability to use complex abstractions that have no physical analog (for example).

As a consequence, there isn't too much beyond the kind of statistical data that you cite, a situation that (perhaps not coincidentally) very much mirrors the state of the current understanding of the brain.

One of the reasons that we're satisfied (for now) with our models of the logical structures of the brain and mind is that they naturally lend themselves (automatically, in a way) to a map of their history in evolutionary terms.

That is, the pattern of a process of selection that leads to the development of these structures (over at least a hundred thousand years in some cases) seems evident in the form of the structure itself, or it's relationship to the rest of the brain or mind.

We worked hard at developing our 'feel' for the character of both selection and speciation events, not directly as such but rather as a part of understanding how hierarchically organized neural networks could give rise to what we experience as conscious awareness and our sense of self.

As a result, it doesn't surprise us to find that we may have (in some ways) leaped ahead a bit on one front or another. It wouldn't be the first time. We extended Albus' work in ways we didn't recognize until our son Chris was in grad school, and tried to reconstruct where we’d gone with it.

I guess the clearest statement of it is this: a speciation event occurs as a result of forces that include changes brought about by selection combined with a mechanism that counters the appearance of the change, at least initially.

This situation may last for thousands of years and pass through several stages before collapsing into a final form over a relatively brief period. The development of the change itself is bound to be different than in the normal process of selection, if for no other reason than the fact that it takes place for the most part hidden from interaction and interference from the existing grab bag of traits.

Looking at the statistics of population genetics over that time wouldn't show much, in our opinion. You shouldn't even be able to see the usual direct effect on reproductive success until the compensating mechanism begins to break down, when it's too late to have much impact.

Back to you…

Stabile
01-10-05, 08:52 PM
I'm just not so sure whether the knowledge that a bit of the brain has changed .. is of any use in understanding how the mind has changed .. and that driving towards an understanding of the mind (on a macro-level), and then the ADD mind (on a macro-level), might be of more use in understanding the difference between the ADDer and non-ADDer, far more so than attempting to take the molecular route…
Yup, we sure agree. In fact, we are pretty sure that you can't get to that understanding from any 'black-box' approach, i.e., one that proposes to collect data and analyze it in an unbiased way.

If that sounds like we're recommending a biased approach, well, in a way we are. We believe that there is a minimal grasp of the gross logical structure of the brain and mind required before anyone could expect to be successful at trying to make sense of any such data, whether it be behavioral, genetic, biochemical or whatever.

There isn't any reason to consider such a requirement (or practice) unscientific; there are many examples of exactly that, and we could argue that every common scientific endeavor is on some level structured in a similar way.

If you're looking at metallurgy (for example), nobody is the least bit surprised that you found it. They might be surprised at what kind of metallurgy you found, but they wouldn't even understand a result that found, say, biochemistry instead.

If that puts the whole search into a new light, it's supposed to. We are looking at logical machines, and understanding them should be where we start.

There might be some elbowing about at first, because we all believe we have a grasp of the logical, regardless of our particular discipline. But that's a plus; once we learn to focus on which parts are related more to the logic than our particular discipline, everybody will relax and enjoy the debate.

That's reflected in how we all behave in these forums more often than not; we don't really have much to offer when someone speaks up about the bits relevant to their field of expertise, like SB_UK speaking to the biochemistry and so on.

So we're pretty good examples here, ahead of the curve, I think.


As someone who knows rather an amount about the molecular approach, you have no idea of the tremendous pain that this post has inflicted on me :-)

Oh well .... I'll live,

SB.
We sure hope so…

Stabile
01-10-05, 08:55 PM
…something I recall we discussed is that a lot of the folks who think of ADD as a 'disorder' want to 'correct' our thinking to 'normal'. But your approach says that it's just a different way of thinking & can work just fine if you go with the flow instead of fighting it. That all makes sense. But what I'm getting at is trying to figure out if my 'different way of thinking' is caused by ADD or depression or obsession or anxiety or what. Once I figure that out, some of those things are not the sort of thing you'd necessarily want to develop & there might be the desire for corrective strategies depending on the diagnosis.
Ahh, well, maybe we misled you a bit, because your idea that there are bits of behavior or experience that you'd rather skip if you could are spot on.

And we believe that you probably can't separate out most things like depression or obsessive tendencies or whatever; ultimately, they must all be interrelated, because they're you, and being you generates them.

We believe most of the co-morbid conditions are directly related as well, especially autism and Asperger's syndrome. The kinds of problems that aren't generated on the fly (i.e., that are caused by a genuine hard genetic defect or something similar) are way out of the league of things we normally talk about here.

The thing about going with the flow is that the flow is turbulent, but at least you're being true to yourself, if perhaps not your species. We are strongest when we don't cripple our innate abilities, and going with the flow allows us to do just that, be strong.

But this inevitably brings about a fair amount of friction with normals; sometimes it seems to bring the whole issue of having/being AD/HD into a sharp focus, forcing you and everyone else around you to deal with it or find another way to adjust.

When we look at coping strategies that work we find that they often fall into a common class, fixing damage or minimizing friction with normals when it occurs, and helping with the fallout from what we consider the only honest approach, being personally honest.

I know that sounds like it's a little harsh, but it isn't, really. Trying to accommodate yourself to others at the most basic level is a slippery slope, and all you risk losing is yourself. If it was an equitable arrangement, everybody would be at risk in some way, with a motivation to keep things from sliding away.

Not being straight with those around you, even out of concern for their feelings, is the same slippery slope. People live a longer life with less stress if they know their true situation; it's silly to expect that people don't recognize us, even when were good at hiding ourselves.

So we consider it an act of kindness to find who you truly are, going with that flow, and giving those around you an unequivocal view of that person to deal with.

But if we created the impression that you and they wouldn't have to deal with it, we must apologize. We are the lucky ones that old Chinese curse mentions, living in interesting times…

paulbf
01-10-05, 09:52 PM
I really don't care what people think of me... well on some levels I worry about it but relatively speaking it's trivial to my way of operating.

My problem is not with relating to the world or being accepted, it's with learning to tap my own energy in a positive way. I have tons of energy (I can't stop it) but it goes off in useless directions. If it is useful to anyone, then I figure they are trying to control me & I drop it. Yeah, I work hard to avoid pleasing people for that reason actually. But like I said, I've got tons of energy so it's not like I'm laying on the couch sleeping all day.

So why am I this way? Because of a miserable childhood defending myself from a very very controlling brother combined with rather undisciplined freedom from my parents and an inborn independent nature? Well, maybe, that's what the shrinks always told me: that the neglect & abuse was painful & I've repressed that anger. Well, yeah, somewhat but I don't know, it wasn't that bad & yeah of course I've got some bottled up anger but it is my nature to not be particularly angry and to find a way to just sneak by doing my own thing ignoring everyone. I certainly have some bottled up feelings but way less than most people. I'm so mellow, it astounds people and maybe some of it is overkill but it comes easy for me.

Then I learned about the possibility of ADHD & I’d never even thought about that though in some ways I always knew I was different & never wished to be normal in my wildest dreams I’d still always want to be the quirky creative non-standard person that I am. Or maybe that’s a rebellious notion, trying to be better than everyone & I don’t have the proper humility to be a regular guy.

I don’t know, I just don’t know.

Like I said, I like your idea of going with the flow and I don’t see that as being in conflict with trying to find out what exactly is my current pattern. I’m curious to find out if I’m more ADD-ish or more emotionally bogged down or anxious, obsessed, repressed, distressed or complexed. Maybe I am to a large degree brain damaged from too much smoking & drinking over the years. I used to think I was pretty smart but maybe not any more. I just don’t know. Or maybe I’m pretending not to know so I can put off doing anything about it because that would take hard work and maturity? Or maybe I really do have ADD & am just incapable of being self employed so I should just get a damn job that will tolerate me & be happy if I can do that.

E-boy
01-11-05, 11:12 AM
SB,

Pain? LOL! I am sorry dear soul! I rather enjoyed your reply though. I am well aware that the issue is far more complex than simply positing a gene for a behavior. Especially for neurologically complex organisms. An example would be the fact that assertiveness is considered a trait with a high ratio of heritability. Does that mean there is an assertiveness gene? Not really. For expample, very attractive people are paid much more attention to than folk who are less attractive, and as a consequence many learn to expect to be catered to, and thus become quite assertive. The traits that make them attractive, eye color, bone structure, etc. are all strongly heritable, however the assertiveness itself, in their case is learned.

Point being, I am on the same page with you. However I think you assume to much biological determinism on my part. I am strident about it for the simple reason that most folk are so loathe to even admit there might be the teeniest bit of biological influence on human behavior. Social scientist being among the worst offenders. However, in the big picture sense these data are meaningful. We have been using population genetics to study animal populations and rates of genetic change, and variation within populations for a very long time, and the same theory applies quite well to humans. We are, after all, animals too. Naturally the complexity of our bahavior and it's very flexibility make anything beyond generalities quite difficult to ascertain with any certainty. However the data is quite compelling in making my main point. Which is that ADD, is not a pathology in the true neurological sense (although in this environment it can lead to both nuerological problems and pathological behavior), but rather part of the normal continuum of neurological variation in our species. ADD is no more a disorder than Dyslexia.

People hear that last line, and reply, "But clearly these are disorders, look at the difficulty these people have in society!" Key word there, "SOCIETY". Modern society, in the sense we know it has only existed for between six and ten thousand years, give or take a few millenia. Anotomically modern humans have been around between 13, and 20 time that. One of the identified genes connected to ADD appears to be about four times older than that. Modern society is a product of culture (another human invention). It is quite artificial, and a far cry from the environment humans existed in for the vast majority of their history. Reading and writing are invented behaviors, also artificial, only independently invented in the entirety of human history twice. It is worth noting that they are also a consequence of the rise of society, a technology to support it. Dyslexics in most cases (though not all), are simply wired in a manner that would cause no ill effect in a pre-literate society, but which makes reading and writing difficult for them to master. They do not have a "defective gene", nor are they brain damaged. It is my contention that neither are ADDers. Both disorders are only disorders in the context of THIS environment. I AM NOT BROKEN.

I am also well aware that genes are not blueprints. They are more like mathmatical formulas, with the environment plugging in the numbers. Environment has a definite effect on how they express. I firmly believe that the same genes that cause these pathologies in us exist in hunter gatherer tribes as well, with no such effects on the individuals that have them. It is my contention that in a more normalized human environment (IE the one we evolved in for most of our history) that this difference we have is somehow adaptive, and that it is the exigencies of modern life that makes it maladaptive.

Consider this, anxiety disorders also have a documented high heritability. They run in families so often that a family history is one of the major risk factors. Many of them also occur in sufficient frequencies in the population to suggest that whatever the genetic component is, is propogating, or has propogated in our population in the recent past. A high strung individual in a hunter gatherer tribe has a real advantage. With male mortality rates from warfare and murder running between 60 and 80 percent in those tribes, and added issues like the day to day risks from predators, etc... A person who was extra jumpy might well have the teeniest edge is successfully reproducing. In modern society, with the unending deadlines, stress, crowds, noise, etc, people wired that way can find their fight or flight switch stuck in the on position and a pathological condition ensues.

Lastly, I am very familiar with cultural, and personal predjudices interfering with interpretation of data. However this is why we have peer review among other things. Science in a given era will always reflect to some degree the views of the society that conducted it. We do have the advantage of hindsight though and of learning from past mistakes. A very good book on the follies of "Objective" science throughout history is "The Neanderthals".

It was never my intent to suggest we delve into any one discipline at the expense of others. Quite the contrary. I was pointing up modern medicines failure to talk to other disciplines who could shed a great deal of light on to theirs, and vice versa.

SB_UK
01-11-05, 12:45 PM
Hey E-boy,

My post isn't as well argued as yours -- but there are very many similarities between yours and mine (see below 20/8/04) -- this was my my first thread and my first post on ADDForums - so forgive me if I get all sentimental ... :-)

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9786&page=1&pp=15
.. it's the post at the bottom of page 1 ie 20-8-04 (10.47am).

I unfortunately, however, don't really agree with myself now :-))

SB.

SB_UK
01-11-05, 01:34 PM
But what I believe with a passion is the following from your post.
And to make the point, I am providing URLs where I write exactly what you've written .. :-)
I think that in the following 4 cases, I have in fact repeated these observations many times over -- I've just picked the first example that I could find, in each case.


1. most folk are so loathe to even admit there might be the teeniest bit of biological influence on human behavior.
I think that it's **all** about the expression of our biological behaviour .. but that we have 2 ROM chips -- the primitive and the modern, and **not** just 1 set of biological imperatives that we carry with us by virtue of our biological heritage from lower organisms (the primitive).
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3825&page=3
01-08-05, 03:04 AM


2.Which is that ADD, is not a pathology in the true neurological sense (although in this environment it can lead to both nuerological problems and pathological behavior),
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11832&page=1
10-19-04, 01:13 AM
I hear you brother!!!



3.People hear that last line, and reply, "But clearly these are disorders, look at the difficulty these people have in society!" Key word there, "SOCIETY".
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11832&page=2&pp=15
11-01-04, 01:26 AM



4.I was pointing up modern medicines failure to talk to other disciplines who could shed a great deal of light on to theirs, and vice versa.
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11832&page=7&pp=15
11-29-04, 11:10 PM

But I reserve the right to disagree with myself in the future :-))

*Peer review* - Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? .. who watches the watchmen?
I have the comicbook :-)
BTW - The answer is the watched -- I'm an author and reviewer.

SB.

Stabile
01-11-05, 02:10 PM
Hey, Paul:

Well, that sounds like us, all right. I am currently self employed, have been exclusively for the last twelve years or so, and I am intermittently miserably bad at it, like many of us.

Kay just says, "Life's an adventure." But then, she's got this great structured job (even if she's the one responsible for defining the structure).


…I have tons of energy (I can't stop it) but it goes off in useless directions…
There's this mental image I get sometimes, a guy with his shoe nailed to the ground. He runs like crazy, but only goes in circles.

In a different view of it, he runs like crazy, stays in one place, and the whole planet spins like a top.

Either way, the shoe being nailed down screws up everything. Pull it out and the guy's a runnin' fool, gone straight out of sight.

I think of that whenever we hear people talking about wasted effort, or going off in useless directions. The problem is just like that nail; you are stuck with the definition of useless that makes it so.

I know, Duh! It doesn't always help us much, either. But it helps to see it; it's a big part of the turbulence we inevitably experience, and we can't escape it. We have to live in the same world as normals, and there are valid normal ways to see things that make us look bad every time.

It's not real, though, and I'll bet there's plenty of utility to everything you've ever done, if you look at it correctly. It also helps to realize that normals won’t see the validity of our AD/HD stuff, but we can see the validity of virtually all of theirs.

It ain't fair, but my warranty doesn't cover that; I looked. Yours probably doesn't either, so it's no use getting upset about it…

Stabile
01-11-05, 02:16 PM
I didn't want to get too far astray with this, but it's worth mentioning:

There is a huge hole in the population genetics data for humans. It doesn't exist in any other species, so in a very real sense we aren't just another animal.

The hole is (in effect) a bunch of genes that aren't recognized, and are therefore not accounted for. And the rules are a little different as well, so the picture isn't quite as simple as if we discovered we were hiding an additional chromosome in our left armpit, for example.

The missing data is in the nurture part of the nurture vs. nature thing (which when seen correctly goes away). It gets missed because in a sense it doesn't mold us as individuals strongly enough to be considered; the relative weakness and the appearance that we (to an extent) control the effect makes it look too different from straight on reproductive genetics.

But the strength is there; we just miss seeing it, for the most part. Instead of molding us as individuals, it molds the form of individual reality as deterministically as any gene. And while we do choose in a way, if we're to be human there is only one choice.

While data comparable to what you see when looking at standard population genetics could be generated, the actual mechanisms at work are much murkier, something like the years before Watson and Crick.

The problem is one of perception: we see reality as external and invariant. Pin it down that way, and the mechanisms that generate it disappear. But recognize that we literally pass our reality to our offspring, forcing it to be exact to an astonishing degree, and the whole thing begins to make sense.

If we didn't take this missing chunk of data into account, we would agree closely with E-boy's assessment. If we could communicate what the heck we're talking about better, I suspect he would agree with us in those few places we seem out of sync, philosophically speaking.


A high strung individual in a hunter gatherer tribe has a real advantage…
I keep hearing this, but there isn't any evidence that it's true. When I studied it in the late Sixties, we were repeatedly warned that the hunter-gatherer idea had no valid expression in individual behavior. Corresponding relationships to individual traits therefore also lack validity.

It was devised to describe a transition in the form of social groups. That much we can show; nomadic groups supported largely by hunting (although certainly gathering as well) became less nomadic and developed a stronger reliance on gathering as a primary food source.

The reason and which came first is unknown. We aren't certain that the transition really led to the development of agriculture, either, although that is also a popular belief.

In fact, we were taught that how certain tasks fell to particular individuals most likely varied with the individual's circumstance, changing over his/her lifetime. The few clues we have indicate that all children and most older members of the social group practiced gathering, and there isn't any reason to believe that females were excluded from hunting.


I unfortunately, however, don't really agree with myself now :-))
And I thought I was the only one that did that…

SB_UK
01-11-05, 02:21 PM
It's tough being disagreeable :-)

SB.

E-boy
01-11-05, 02:59 PM
Hee hee SB, I like you. You should know, however, you are in a much better position to argue this than me. I'm just an underpaid electronics tech in the United States Navy, with no further education than advanced electronics theory, and high school.

On the other hand, I read voraciously anything I can get my hands on regarding human nature in all it's myriad expressions. In some ways I think this puts me in a better position to notice some things than myopic specialist toiling away in their niche and unable to see the surrounding forest for the tree they are describing in intricate detail.

I appreciated your compliment. I think we'll have to agree to disagree about the two sets of "ROM" or primitive and modern idea. Culture is something we learn, and something we invent. The idea that it manufactures us, or has some internally written script bothers me to a great degree. Certainly it influences our development, even unto changing the expression of genes, but it exists in newborns as no more than a potential to look at the world in a variety of different ways based on later learning. In short it is society's steady state around us (at least in the REALLY big picture) that is the "modern" ROM, and not anything inside of us. There was a biological change in humans at some point in time (so the theory goes), that enabled us to create our greatest invention, true spoken language and culture. Each of us carries within us the potential to re-invent all that from scratch, within the confines of our nature and physical limitations. This is, in fact, something that has actually happened and been observed in modern times. In anycase, I would love to hear your argument against the ideas I have written here. Your posts are well worded, thoughtful and, frankly, a great deal of fun to read. Thank you for your input.

Stabile
01-11-05, 03:51 PM
It's tough being disagreeable :-)

SB.
Do I agree with that or not? Hmmm..

SB_UK
01-11-05, 05:10 PM
Really .. being interested in a subject makes you more of an expert than many of the so called experts.
I know very few scientists (and I know quite a few) -- that are interested in the only thing that really matters in science, which is revealing some truth. And pushing this on a stage -- that are interested in their subject, and pushing it even further .. that are excited by the truth that they've exposed.
Plenty of excitement about patents, publications being accepted,fat funding cheques landing on their doorsteps, fame, travel, ... but these should be considered the fringe benefits that arise from the process that I describe above .... instead they themselves have become the goal which is sought.

Your interests in science can't be sullied by all of these distractions ... and so, it wouldn't surprise me, if you could trip up an 'expert' on the subject, should the fancy take you.

I can't argue with your definition of our primitive drivers.
I can't disagree with the importance of learnt characteristics.

I do however *feel* and my choice of the word feel is important, that the point at which we switched into a state where we became capable of the communication that you describe, at that very moment, so did we become instilled with a new set of drivers.
I cannot categorically define the purpose of these new drivers, in the same intuitive way that we can both describe the point of those primitive drivers .. and I can't provide a compelling case for it being a hard-wired set of characteristics and not learnt -- but at least for now, this is how I'm viewing our interaction with the outside world.

Can I just write the word 'Spirituality', but not go anywhere with it?

SB.

Stabile
01-11-05, 06:03 PM
Yeah, what E-boy said goes for us, too. This is richer place for some of the posts from across the big pond, eh?

However, we are on record denying any lack of expertise on E-boy's part, and we'll say it again. You are absolutely right about how the view from outside can occasionally give insights others have missed, but we think that all of it is because you're weaving everything you read and discuss into a metamodel web. SB, too.

And having the exact same information in a web gives a far deeper understanding than is possible by learning and storing it the normal way. Face it, guys, we’re just better…


I think that it's **all** about the expression of our biological behaviour .. but that we have 2 ROM chips -- the primitive and the modern, and **not** just 1 set of biological imperatives that we carry with us by virtue of our biological heritage from lower organisms (the primitive)…
You know, I had to think about this. We think of 'primitive' and 'modern' as referring mainly to mating and other reproduction related stuff. And then I thought, Duh! what's this, then?

Two 'rom chips' is a good way to express it, particularly if you're concerned with the quality of the experience. We get caught up focusing on the extent to which the 'code' in the modern rom is a copy of the primitive code.

And also, the fact that we do the copying and add modifications, even though we’re not normally aware of it. We’re trying to develop a linguistic context to support that awareness. If we were just living with the result, we would tend to think of it more like having two roms.

This is deeply related in some ways to the discussion about converging models and intimacy (which was a brilliant contribution, thanks SB). We're still hacking at a reply to those posts, which also goes into some small detail about our understanding of the way selection works and the nature of speciation events.


…Culture is something we learn, and something we invent. The idea that it manufactures us, or has some internally written script bothers me to a great degree…
It doesn't manufacture us, and the script isn't internal, so make yourself easy.

The script is external, a delicate ball kept in the air by appropriately draconian forces. It's passed from generation to generation, to all members of the social group, and it's never permanently stored anywhere.

And it's better to think in terms of it being reality itself, rather than culture and social forces and so on. It's really all one big lump, and it's learned, as you've said. And like all things learned, it winds up stored in neurons in our heads.


Brief sidetrack to establish (once and for all) the existence of the internal reality model:

Neurons form associations, imprinting their structure with representations of the patterns in their inputs. In other words, they model stuff, and they do it hierarchically. Deep within and at the tippy top of the hierarchy we must have a model that completely describes our reality.

This must be so, simply because we couldn't be forming abstractions referring to it on the fly like this, and for a thousand other obvious reasons, too. And all of the elements of that reality model must be right there, below it in the hierarchy, including models of how we interact with it and each other.

All we know of being is expressed in this medium; neurons are our only tool, and modeling like this their only trick. Some neural activity similar to what I first described is giving rise to your experience of being and reading this, right here and right now.

No matter what internal picture of reality you're favoring right now, all of you and it and how you're thinking of it is inside, expressed in neural models. The process is complete and sufficient, and by sidestepping for a moment one contradiction we can pretty much prove that we aren't out there at all, ever.

We’re in here, and we always have been. And we’ve never caught so much as a glimpse of anything real.

All we have is this, and all we know is this. It is the thing inside our heads in which culture exists, and our social groups in which culture may be expressed, and so on. It's reality, real reality, and we all share an amazingly exact copy of it.

You might argue that since the model represents reality everyone's copy must be identical, neglecting defects. But the character of our reality has moved far past anything physical, to the point that almost anything you could point to is more internal than external.

We start by adding meaning. But how could we define meaning without first having meaning? There is a real chicken-and-egg sense to the way our internal models develop, part of the reason it's such a long process.

In the end, we inhabit a universe imbued with abstract properties and relationships that don't exist natively in nature at all. It is of absolutely no consequence to a lump of matter that it is a rock, or even that it is a lump; no electron cares where it is, or knows that it's part of an atom that is part of a larger group.

So everything important about reality was contributed by us. It only ever existed in here. When we look around, we see meaning and abstract properties like beauty or destruction. That's the illusion, and for all of us, it's complete. Few ever realize what we're looking at actually isn't real, or that it can kill you anyway.

And without it, we don’t have any idea how to speak, let alone what to say.

So get used to it, 'cause we're going to hammer on it a lot, until everyone is comfortable with the hard connection between neurons and our illusion that the universe we inhabit is real.

If the idea starts to get away from you, just go back to neurons being all we’ve got, and so must give rise to all we know and experience.

Misgivings about being arbitrarily defined by something are appropriate; if we were forced into accepting it, we would all feel a little ambivalent about it.

It's a choice, of sorts, to accept the One True Reality model that allows us to be recognizably human, to communicate with language and so on. You refer obliquely to the process a bit later in your post, "it exists in newborns as no more than a potential to look at the world in a variety of different ways based on later learning."

One way we talk about it is that children are born into a universe of infinite possibilities, only to undergo a process of successive disillusionment as reality after reality is peeled away, until finally only this one remains.

But we made the descent into this particular illusion voluntarily, a long time ago, presumably because it offers an infinitely larger range of choices than being alone in a universe containing infinite illusions.

Don't you think that anyone who had second thoughts was a little behind the curve looking for a mate amongst those that bought into the whole thing?

Selection works fine, and it's been a long time. If anyone really didn't embrace being together with us, here in our arbitrary illusory reality, it would be a real surprise.

Or, autism…


…There was a biological change in humans at some point in time (so the theory goes), that enabled us to create our greatest invention, true spoken language and culture.
There they are, lumped together again. And I'm curious: how did you come by the connection?

Once we really got down into it, Kay and I worked for several years assuming we had been taught lots of this kind of stuff. When I finally made a dedicated attack on our old textbooks, we found that we had apparently spontaneously produced much of it in the context of an intense conversation.


…Each of us carries within us the potential to re-invent all that from scratch, within the confines of our nature and physical limitations. This is, in fact, something that has actually happened and been observed in modern times…
That’s kind of what I was describing, and then again, not.

Communication is bilateral. That is one of our little contributions, very helpful for sorting out the morass of uncertainty you can fall into looking only at a single individual.

It implies that you must need at least two people to invent language, and so of course the obvious connection to the formation of the social group, and eventually, culture.

But there is a big gap between the idea of the individual and the idea of inventing complex abstract language. It seems more correct to associate the ability with the group, or rather, see it as an ability that doesn't exist until there's a group for it to be expressed in.

SB_UK
01-12-05, 03:36 AM
Hey E-boy,

If I know you, you're going to be horribly dissatisfied by my last post.

So, can I drop mind-body duality into the fray, and once again, go absolutely nowhere with it.

Would you do me a favour and tell me where I'm going with all of this psychobabble (sic)?

And of course I like you two guys too, in fact, words cannot express ........ (hee hee hee!!!) - 'if that there pesky language critter shows its head around these parts again ...'

SB.

SB_UK
01-12-05, 09:03 AM
The first idea (How symbols and intelligence evolved from our primate ancestors to modern humans) by Greenspan and Shanker
DeCapo press ... 2004.

... page 9 ..."In contrast, we will show that the growth of complex cultures and societies and human survival itself depends on the capacities for intimacy, empathy, reflective thinking, and a shared sense of humanity and reality'.

Haven't we on various threads discussed the ADDers increased 'ability' for intimacy, empathy, reflective thinking, humanity and reality convergence?

Haven't we discussed the impacts of these on society .. and how society would 'improve' by virtue of a society formed from individuals with enhanced capacities for these?

I can find all of the required posts and threads on this site which make just these points if required (thanks to that lovely search tool that I've just discovered).

496 pages left to go.

SB.

E-boy
01-12-05, 10:53 AM
Wow, so much to read and think about.... I really love this thread. Stabile, I think it would be great if you and Kay read "the blank slate" by Pinker, and "How the mind works" also by Pinker. Another gentleman won the Pulitzer for a book called "Guns, germs, and steel". Jared Diamond was his name. I very much suggest reading this. It would give you some idea of where I'm at, although I don't agree 100% with a lot of what I read, these two could be my parents. LOL! I would be very happy to get suggested reading from anyone in this thread. HINT HINT!

Of particular interest to you would be Mr. Pinkers commentary and work with other cognitive scientists in the nueral networking area, which he spends some time discussing in both of the mentioned books.

As for my connection of Language and culture, it is explicitly thought of as a connection in post Great synthesis anthropology, but I was a bit suprised by the necessity for the synthesis as I thought all these individuals had always been aware of each others work, and that the ones in different disciplines coming up with the same answers (Big hint that they were on the right track), were already working together. Only an ADDer could miss an event that big because of assuming everyone was on the same page as him the whole time. LOL!

Given a group of two or more humans, with no beginning language to learn, a full blown language will develop in the space of a single generation. The first group, will likely not develop it fully but will still manage fairly sophisticated communication, but the generation they produce takes the ball and runs with it. This was demonstrated in real life when a population of deaf children were placed in a school together in ecuador. At that time there was no sign language in ecuador, and the children were of various ages from infants and toddlers to late teens. The initial group of older children exchanged the more useful signs in their "baby talk" vocabularies, and a sort of pidgeon was formed. By the time the infants were of an age one would expect normal children to have mastered their native tongues, they were babbling away in a full blown sign language they developed on the fly from that pigeon. A sign language every bit as rich and expressive as any other language on the planet. Details of this event can be found in another Pinker book entitled "the language instinct". Pinker is one of Noam Chomski's old acolytes, and they now disagree about quite a lot, but I think Pinker is on the right track as he embraces information from other disciplines. His specialty is Language acquisition in children and he works in the cognitive science department at MIT.

I don't feel hunter gatherers, are particularly noble, or hold all the answers for us. Particularly since the still surviving groups of them out there are living in marginal conditions at best, on land no one else wants. Their ways are likely quite different from the ways of their peers who were outcompeted by agricultural communities on higher quality land. There is evidence that the genetic traits I discussed (the ones leading to pathologica anxiety disorders and the pathology associated with ADD) were adaptive in these groups for the simple reasons I mentioned earlier. Also the "HOLE" in genetics for humans isn't as big as you might think. We share the vast majority of our genes with other animals. Most of the differences appear to be in small but obviously significant changes in our genes, and possibly much larger changes in our "JunK" DNA which recent evidence suggests plays a major role in how the DNA in our genes works. Evidence in this area is conflicting at the moment, because other experiments in mice in which large sections of "junk" DNA were excised and the result was apparently normal mice, seem to show that this non-protien coding DNA may not be important, or at least not all of it is important. On the other hand, the present estimate from sequencing the human genome came up with roughly 3000 genes rather than the in excess of 100,000 they had assumed. This makes our sequence only twice as long as some nematodes. Those 3K genes only comprise about 2% of the total genetic material in our cells though, and on top of that there is a great deal of evidence that so called, "non-coding" DNA (IE "JUNK" DNA) actually do play a major role in the process of activating, and inhibiting the protien coding DNA. I digress though... There is plenty of room for significant changes in the areas I mentioned above. We share near all of our Genes with Chimpanzees, which fall firmly into the "Animal" category. Now I am quite fond of chimps, and certainly don't view them as "ordinary" in any derogatory sense. I see no reason to invoke mysticism when the differences between humans and animals come up. It's a false dichotomy. WE ARE ANIMALS. Any difference one can point out between humans and other animals I can very convincingly argue as a difference of degree rather than kind.

I don't know that any of the points I make will sway anyone's opinion, or even that my opinion won't change in the face of learning new information. What I do know is that this discussion is very informative for me, and it adds a great deal to that "Web" you discuss so eloquently Stabile. I believe it was Huxley who said, "The proper study of man is Mankind". I take that literally, and always have, Maybe because I always seemed to understand others, but they could never understand me. Perhaps it was my way of trying to learn where I fit in, or how I could fit in better, or maybe it is my equivelant of religion (Everyone has to have some kind grand narrative to place themselves in the world). In anycase, it is my single biggest, deepest, and most fervent passion in life and while I have my "pet" theories in the matter I am quite open to change if the changes give me more answers than I already have. Besides, the changes usually result in lots of new and very interesting questions to pursue answers for. This is a labor there will never be an end to, but it is a labor of love and truly it is the journey, rather than the destination that counts here, because I will surely never live long enough to reach the destination. Beautiful scenery around here though. ;-)

Stabile
01-12-05, 11:55 AM
I'm not so sure E-boy will be as dissatisfied as you might think. He and I went around a bit about the mind-body problem a while back, and it's nice to hear you drop that in (more or less) spontaneously.

It's really nice to see that particular quote from Greenspan and Shanker's book, too. That must have given you a little surge of satisfaction, eh?

One of the bits that Kay and I always keep an eye on while we're working is that there seems to be a lot of independent opinion springing up about exactly the same things that we’re trying to unravel, no matter what time scale we’re looking at.

In that way, we see everyman's attempt to reconcile his circumstances (sociologist babble for why we invented religion, among other things) as being essentially harmonious with our own work.

The only thing that seems to change over time is the sophistication of the effort to explain what we see, whether our eyes are open or shut. We feel strongly that if we neglect spirituality, we're risking the whole effort.

So whatever we propose had better at least fit comfortably with and acknowledge the role of spirituality in human conscious experience. We think we've done better than that, by finding a way to 'map' the nature of experience and describe the boundary between the ordinary and the spiritual.

We've been able to decode the mechanism behind many kinds of experiences that seem to have a touch of the spiritual in them, and the models do nothing to dim the magical quality of the experience.

For example, in our model of human communication, it makes perfect sense that you, E-boy, Greenspan and Shanker, and many others would not only be looking at the same underlying issues, but in the same terms.

It also makes sense that Kay and I can routinely pick up our phones and dial each other simultaneously (within an estimated few hundredths of a second). Are we reading each other's minds? Are we being guided by a benevolent higher being? Our understanding of it is boringly ordinary, but doesn't exclude either view.

It does say that we are effectively reading each other's minds, and gives good reason to think that the role of any higher being is likely less direct. But is it an explanation for everything ever labeled "mind reading" or "mental telepathy"? Definitely not. And it doesn't pin down the nature of the term "higher being", either, something by definition not possible.

Instead, we show the logical existence of a place where a higher being (or beings, or intelligence, life force, or whatever) could exist. Despite the seemingly magical quality of that idea, proof of the existence of a place in which it is not possible to exist isn't impossible at all.

It's very much in the spirit of high level mathematics, and that's not much of a surprise: the experience that defines 'existence' and 'place' arises from processes that are naturally described in mathematical or quasi-mathematical terms.

Kay and I began by burrowing down in the problem space, looking for bedrock. It was very much a conscious process of constantly asking ourselves, "But how do we know that is true?" We believe that's the true nature and spirit of scientific investigation, a kind of obvious application of personal honesty.

Which is why we have always expected to find others traveling the same exact path. If we understand our own ability to communicate without words over long distances, we should see others doing the same trick, in effect sharing the same brain and thinking exactly the same thoughts.

People like Greenspan and Shanker must exist, and they must use our own ideas to express their understanding of the same problems we've been looking at. You should be seeing the same picture, and instinctively including the same considerations, like the necessity of dealing with the phenomenon of spirituality and the mind-body problem.

When we hit bedrock, that's what we came up against. So we solved that first, and began to work our way back to the top, but it left a residue that also had to be dealt with: explaining how it was possible for us to formulate a solution.

It's the same problem that Descartes tried unsuccessfully to deal with, as did many others before and after. Noam Chomsky wrote about it as recently as 2000, in his book New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind, in effect arguing (without success, in our opinion) that it should be ignored.

That fact must also be encompassed if we are to be formally honest about what we’re trying to do. Noam Chomsky is in good company in his intellectual position, diametrically opposite to ours. And Noam's a very bright guy, from every appearance aligned emotionally and politically with our own views on many subjects.

So whatever we propose, if we want to feel at all close to an understanding, must give rise to the expectation of that divide. And of course, it does, and much of the way we understand that is deeply intertwined with the appearance of AD/HD, and why we're all here talking about it like this.

* * * * *

From what I've been able to read of reviews in the last few minutes about Greenspan and Shanker's book, they may have missed a crucial point, one we’ve been presenting in this thread.

From Publisher's Weekly:

"Greenspan and Shanker (claim) our ability to reason is founded not on genetics but on emotional responses by infants to their environment, with emotional interactions forming the missing link in the development of symbols and language."

There's a critical balance to understanding how selection applies on the one hand to the physical iteration of our abilities, generation by generation, and on the other the role that the idea of selection continues plays in shaping the development of the individual from infancy through at least childhood.

If you don't propose a mechanism by which that development can be deterministic in the same way that physical genes are, there is no way to show that the process converges. In other words, the same problem that one runs into with neural networks: if they're flexible enough to provide the necessary function, they aren't rigid enough to converge.

Without some specific push in the right direction, every solution to the development process would be unique. This doesn't mean we would all be different individuals; it means we would all be different species. Convergence allows us to assume that we can rely on our own experience being essentially identical to everyone else's.

Recognizing the need for a fairly high level of determinism in the process sent us looking for mechanisms that could satisfy the requirement (and several other associated constraints). That's what led us to our understanding of the role of the social impulse, and the development of social behavior.

That brings us back to raw physical selection again, which is one of those associated constraints: whatever happened had to arise from those mechanisms first.

So it will be very interesting to see if they recognize the need for these mechanisms. If they talk about how we organize the storage of information, or anything like the metamodel web, then they're really getting somewhere.

I'll be looking for a copy of the book later today, and thanks for the heads up on it.

I looked at the reviews after composing the first part of this post, while talking to Kay on her cell phone on the way to work.

Which makes it all the more interesting that every review makes note of their position being opposite to Chomsky's (and several other noted modern thinkers). Neat coincidence, eh? Or, not…

Stabile
01-12-05, 12:34 PM
Hah, you beat me to posting, E-boy.

We have both of Pinker's books on our list to read; our older boy, Chris, has both, I believe. And we got the Diamond book for Bryan as a Christmas present (at his request), so we'll get a look at it soon, too. It turned out Chris had already read it.

I believe that the 'experiment' with deaf children that you refer to began pretty far down the line from the real beginning of the development of language. Essentially, there is a critical synthesis that these kids probably already had, the recognition of the existence of others that in turn recognize our existence.

This is the seminal transition in the Helen Keller story, which is what makes the story so compelling. That's probably a better example, and we don't disagree at all that the abilities necessary to make that transition are genetic, having selected along with certain required impulses, without which the whole thing won't converge (see the last post).

But that's just the start, and in both Helen Keller's and the Ecuadorian children's case the most important non-genetic bit was freely applied with little recognition that it had anything critical to do with their development.

Or perhaps we should say, everyone agrees it's critical, but nobody acts as if it were in the same class as the need for undamaged genetic material (for example).

We believe it is, and that's the 'hole' we’re talking about. It's not physical stuff at all, but it is equally deterministic in its effect and equally necessary to our development into something recognizably human.

That's why we say we aren't comparable to animals; our count includes these guided social mechanisms, arising from our physical genetic material, along with the genes you're counting when you compare us to nematodes.


I believe it was Huxley who said, "The proper study of man is Mankind". I take that literally, and always have, maybe because I always seemed to understand others, but they could never understand me…
It was Huxley, I think. And that dichotomy, the essential imbalance in understanding, that's AD/HD in a nutshell, isn't it?


…This is a labor there will never be an end to, but it is a labor of love and truly it is the journey, rather than the destination that counts here, because I will surely never live long enough to reach the destination. Beautiful scenery around here though…
Amen to that, brother. It's the best.

SB_UK
01-12-05, 01:42 PM
Hee hee hee!

Game on.

Here's an email that I received from my faculty librarian today:

"Good - I'm glad you are enjoing it. Have you read the Steven Pinker on
language? The trouble is his books are so long and often rahter repetitive
- one simply doesn't have the time :)"

If you're interested E-boy, I'll dig out some of my notes for a publication I was preparing on the importance of non-coding DNA and also a rather large email I wrote to a friend on the silliness of attempting to count the number of genes in man, at least, in the way that we do.

Also, naughty naughty E-boy -- you have demoted the number of genes in man from the clever(!) geneticist's estimate of 30k to 3k .... now that there is one big hole you've got in your genome :-)

SB.

Stabile
01-12-05, 01:46 PM
You've got a librarian? Dang, I miss that...

E-boy
01-12-05, 01:50 PM
I think I see what you are saying Stabile, but the emergent properties you mention are still the result of a combination of parts. They are not the parts themselves, of course, but the parts are still necessary, and some of the parts are themselves emergent properties, like I believe culture is. I don't believe that there are genes for specific behaviors, but genes as the only true replicators in organisms, do exercise a great deal of control over behavior as indirect as it is in most cases. The behavior itself is often an emergent property depending on environment, personal experience and whatever innate tendencies exist (call them human nature if you will). I think we are on the same channel here, but lumping our concepts differently. I concede environment, including the particular culture you are raised in has an average of fifty percent of the input in making you who you are. It isn't what at core makes us human though. Rather those things whose properties themselves are finite, but that allow combinatorial properties in their output (Thus effectively allowing the seemingly infinite possibilities, and contributing to the myth of the human brain being infinitely plastic, WHICH IS A MYTH no matter what classic social science would like me to believe. If they supported their blank slate mentality with some hard science I might be more inclined to believe, but categorically excluding a variable (the contribution of biology to behavior and the idea that there might be something, which isn't to say everything, about being human that is innate) blinds them to huge amounts of evidence stacked up against their ideas.).

Having said that, and acknowledging that the whole is clearly more than the sum of the parts. The whole is still constrained by very real physical limitations, and very much a result of the parts however much it transcends them. I tend to simplify my arguments by compressing these concepts into a simple nurture/nature mix, to make it easier to cram information into my posts. I think what you are primarily interested in is the emergent phenomena I have discussed here. I share the interest, and I think we are going in the same direction as far as over all function etc.

In fact, I think this last post of yours has gotten me a lot closer to understanding your position. However, in the end, we still differ about what the changes ADD brings into the mix represent. To you we are a burgeoning new species just waiting to split from our parent population, or more likely to replace them over time through absortion, and breeding them out. To me, we represent one part of a continuum of a variety of different human approaches to cognition and neurological function. As our environment favors one style or another the frequencies of the genes involved, and demands of the modified culture change. The species remains constant in my view. Even if the world and society became completely ADD friendly and it was the "Norms" at the disadvantage, suffering the exigencies of not being wired to work the way we do, as we now suffer for not being wired to deal with the society they enjoy living in, there would still be plenty of norms (even if they only represented ten percent of the population) and their genes would persist as an active part of our gene pool. SO I don't see us as a speciation event. The changes simply aren't profound enough or isolated enough.

SB_UK
01-13-05, 03:08 AM
The strangest thing about these exchanges is that although it appears as though, the more we dive down in, the more we need to write, 'the more one knows, the more there is to know', the further we digress, the more we superficially appear to diverge from the subject ... **the more we converge**.

Exactly as Tom and Kay have shown us .. striving towards this convergence is a pretty darned important issue.
This rephrases to a single universal consciousness, 1 reality, a collective consciousness and unconsciousness .. where no formal distinction exists between the conscious, unconscious and subconscious.
Exactly as E-boy mentions, understanding can only be gained through the convergence of disparate schools of thought, be it the classical disciplines of philosophy, psychology, mathematics and biology, or the subdisciplines which exist within these uber-disciplines.
Memories of an agreement that we achieved a little earlier on, in ADD receiving a name change to ILDIBPS, and of course the knowledge that this addresses the issue that E-boy raised in one of his emails above.

<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = Aside /><Aside:If ROM. primitive the of elements by perverted be cannot that consistency’ moral ‘enforced with group a than happen to it allow better who mankind, for epiphany an species, new generate were you>
<Aside:If language="" primitive the of by be that with a to it for were approach. different adopt had just has It same. exactly is now, soup primeval back dating and ago, years 50,000 paintings cave first before from sought, always DNA which effect end where .. now) discussing we’re (what forward steps 2 take regression), was development (and backwards step 1 taken evolution mean, I what this, --- motive or intelligence’ ‘higher trumped might wildly, procreating ie conflict apparent its Kay) Tom stated as same, are effects since – though argument informative entirely not (a hard-wired learnt ‘modern’ conflicts but intentional, ensues, everything thinking symbolic material genetic background over arising benefits conferred somehow, possible isn’t DNA, receptacles we accept>Have I answered my question on why we pair-bond?

The journey we are taking is of the survival of mankind. The greatest triumph is that we’re not entirely aware of this. But being aware of it, doesn’t stop it being totally cool.

Notions of the self, state etc .. are artificial constructs built on the ideology of the primitive.

But then again, aren’t all of the statements above, equivalent to a circle of people, holding hands, and forming a circle around a geometrically perfect 5 metre cylinder, sitting at the centre of that circle, and all describing that object, and that object alone.

The path to complete convergence may well be littered with disagreements, but as long as those disagreements can be expressed and are grounded in emotions arising not from the ego, but from feelings unsullied by the perverting nature of any notional aspects of the self, then we’ll be fine.

I am however not, I think, contradicting myself by saying that emotion is the key tool that we need to use to achieve convergence.
And herein lies the gut instinct that Ian (Itschaotic) describes.

And in much the same way that I’ve listed a series of paraphrases above, a similar list providing evidence for that latter point, can be drawn from Jung, Wittgenstein, spirituality (I’ll return to this) and even from within the first 5 pages of that book that I’ve just referenced. Funnily enough, I think that one of the authors has shaped his reality by embracing Wittgenstein’s philosophy.

...an intro into the all important but esoteric nature of emotional intelligence.

****

I have so much to write that I'm not writing anything that I set out to write and doing as I usually now do, and just type out what pops in. The principle underlying this approach has been shaped over the last couple of months on ADDForums and weeks (in India) where through a series of experiences through talking to Indian people, Indian spiritual leaders, reading a couple of texts by Krishnamurti and my introduction to a rather lovely finding - that of a daily article tucked away in every issue of the Times of India entitled the Speaking Tree (the banyan tree) (I’ll return to this) .. these thoughts have coalesced.

****
Tom and Kay .. your thoughts on spirituality are identical to mine. Although I've mentioned previously that I see this journey as one of through 'God, spirituality and quantum physics' .. I am not averse to an understanding .. but need that understanding to not 'interfere with the magical ....'

This is intuitively appealing though.

The understanding of the parts in isolation is complex enough. The understanding of the parts in unison is not possible – just because, to build up a mechanistic ‘active thought’ based real-time understanding of anything, that it might take a lifetime to gain an understanding of just 1 component, renders it impossible to live enough lifetimes and sufficient speed of thought to do something of this order. We can even forget the complexity that interactions of such 'black box' components entails.

It’s all a ‘wood for the trees’ argument.

And therein lies the problem with Amen ( the subject of this thread :-) ).
Amen!! to that :-)
And therein lies the problem with 'Dissection of the multifactorial complex genetic basis of ADD and associated behavioural traits'.

But the good news is .. is that that which we think it requires, isn't that which is required ... not in the least.

*****

So the bits I wanted to return to .. are a little more on spirituality.
In one particular article (which may be available on the spirituality webpages of the Times of India .. spirituality is redefined as a pure morality).

If the changes that we are aparty to, in ADD are towards just this, lying at the base of the ADDer/non-ADDer split (which of course of course of course is not to say that nonADDers aren’t moral) – and it is, you know :-) ... then everything that Tom and Kay have written about, every single word .. is pretty much bang on.

<Aside:In the that to were you and first which or we door unlocking key words 4 3 these truth, in ... occasion other one on revisited term, this used question, my answering posted reply second much pretty>
*****

And the conclusion isn’t insidious or nasty in any way. No-one is going to form a gang and wear colours to signify their gang – we’ll just change our collective philosophy .. and life will just go on ... with exactly the same biological imperative that there has always been.

*****

Hee hee hee!
...but feel free to discard all of the above as the ramblings of a couple of harmless wingnuts, I'll be in rather nice company.

*****

I wonder why did Francis Crick just not chill out on a beach, and instead chose to lock horns with the mind?

Watson is pretty chilled too :-)

John Sulston and little Syd Brenner rock also .. but in different ways .. but for the same reasons.

Max Perutz and Milstein were sweeties too.

SB.
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SB_UK
01-13-05, 04:00 AM
But, as Nobel prize winners, they've managed to buy themselves the freedom .. the freedom that you actually do have E-boy.

And don't think that Nobel prize winners, or any prize winners or people that understand what the heck antidisestablishmentareanism means, know more than you, or are smarter than you .. I'm pretty sure you don't, from what you've written though :-) .. but of course there's an implicit and inescapable condition in this contract.

So once again, who was it that noticed that the Emperor was about to catch a chill?

SB.

E-boy
01-13-05, 11:53 AM
SB,

I quoted the number out of one of Pinker's books, and an article I read in another publication. It is quite possible there was an error, or even that lil ol' me missed a character in my reading (not an uncommon accident with ADD. HEE HEE), on the other hand it was made clear it was an estimate, and in both the book and the article the attempt was being made to argue a point made by blank slaters (IE that the unexpectedly low count on human genes was somehow proof that our complexity is independent of biology). So, it would have made sense for them to pick the absolute lowball estimate to force their point home even more emphatically. In anycase, I don't mind being corrected. Makes for fewer mistakes in future discussions. :-)

I would be delighted to read anything you have written. Just be prepared to get questions about some of the (to me) esoterica you may have included. I am no bio-chemist or geneticist. What a fun thread. :-)

E-boy
01-13-05, 12:23 PM
Wow, In a nutshell we are in perfect agreement about one thing. The way the "ADD question" is presently formulated and conceptualized is itself wrong and, as a consequence, any answers they do manage to find will raise questions that make no sense to them, or be interpreted by individuals working hard to bend them into "Making sense". They are asking the wrong question. Frankly, the question they should be asking already has many answers as close as the nearest library, and MANY MANY MANY more interesting questions.

We already have much of what is needed to make life better all around for everyone. An understanding that society has a problem with flexibility and accomadating individuals who aren't cast in the majority mold. While we can certainly find our own niches, and I very much doubt society will be in any hurry to change (although complex systems can change spectacularly rapidly from tiny little peturbations. So, society in the end probably won't even know what hit it.). It is still true that if nuerological variation was seen for what it really is, and measures taken to accomodate it that much of the pathology that is currently observed would disappear. ADDers would not be picked apart whilst growing up for not fitting in, and be able to utilize their individual gifts for the benefit of themselves and society, and society, of course would benefit from this in that they'd be making use of untapped resources.

It's a big picture thought and the devil, of course, is always in the details, but as we say in the electronics tech world, "They've got it Bass ackwards!"

I get impatient with the myopia, but there are always signs of hope. Everything from books like "Consilience" by Edward O. Wilson, to a paper published by a retired school teacher from new jersey that, inspite of her lack of formal credentials, was so well researched, referenced, and argued that it was a well needed kick in the kiester to parenting "Experts" everywhere.

SB, you and stabile have given me some truly wonderful compliments. It is my hope, one day, to put the military behind me and devote my life to really getting involved in work on these very issues and many others. To do what I do best as an ADDer and follow my passion. Your praise is well timed, because it's nice to know I'm not a crank and I make sense to someone. That maybe I really could contribute in this area. Thank you.

SB_UK
01-13-05, 12:34 PM
Hey E-boy,

I'm glad you celebrated your 1000th with us here today :-).

SB.

Ian
01-14-05, 12:22 AM
It remains a deep pleasure to read your collective work.

I was very frustrated with the lines of enquiry previously but have settled into taking some of my own suggestions instead.

Thanks for risking the way you all do and taking such care to include and share so broadly.
Cheers! Ian

SB_UK
01-14-05, 04:13 AM
We're exploring what Joni Mitchell referred to when she said, "We've got to get our selves back to the Garden."
Thanks ............. Paul. Otherwise I might not have been able to crystalize what had happened in my head until the various terms "Locked" in place. It's not unusual for me to run details together in material I am less familiar with. It gets in there, but it has to "roll around a bit" and perhaps get some input to tie up "loose ends" before it really coalesces into a full picture. This is generally most true for details, I consider "important but secondary" to the main interest of the moment. Most of the time I am completely unaware of the process, until such time as something kicks the last thread into place and I have one of those "AHAH!" moments. The epiphany in which I suddenly gain deeper understanding of something I "Thought I had a handle on". In this case, it likely would have simmered until .................................................. ........................_a_ force_d_ reclassification of the "Lump" of disparate facts and information sitting in my head now, or just recently in anycase. It's kind of like saying with me there is a difference between, knowing something, and KNOWING it. Does any of this make any sense at all?

In conclusion........................................ ..............epiphany. ;-)
Yes E-boy, yes it really does.
And looking to the skies will help us to understand this ... today ... but I'm not referring to gaining a glimpse of the wizened white haired old man ... although in some ways I am.



SB.

BTW A couple of emails ago, I mistakenly wrote an I'll instead of a We'll .. apologies :-)

E-boy
01-14-05, 11:28 AM
SB,

I was actually just thinking of that post in a question I was going to direct at Stabile. Is there any evidence to suggest that kind of associational networking, holding things in abeyance, etc... is unique to ADDers, or at least more common to us? It would seem to me that everyone worked that way. Of course, until later in life I thought everyone was as anxious as me too. There are a couple things my brain seems to do that others don't. I seem to be able to pull things up out of habbit memory, and use them with executive memory. As an example when I worked part time at lowes (a hardware store) I often walked from place to place in the store, and as anyone might, looked around. I was primarily looking to make sure I didn't get run over or run anyone else over. I didn't even think about the items in my visual field, other than people. However, later I was able to recall exact stock locations as needed. If someone asked where a given product was, and it had been in my walking route, a picture of it and it's location just sort of "popped up" in my head and I'd thusly direct them. This happens on a regular basis and I know no one else who does it. Too bad I can't make it work on command, or with my own things. If I lose my keys I'm screwed. LOL! The guys who used to work with me would ask me first, because I always seemed to know. Of course, they also accused me of intentionally hiding their things... Ah well.

Stabile
01-14-05, 01:03 PM
Well, once again y'all have leapt ahead of our ability to craft a reply that we're happy with. Kay and I have been hesitating over several multi-page drafts of replies for this thread and another, not surprisingly with a similar cast of characters.

But that isn't any reason to not point out what we've found stimulating and significant in the discussion, so here goes:

One important idea we've been thinking hard about is the role of intimacy in the Big Picture of what we're all doing as a species. We already considered intimate relationships to be in a subtly different class, but we didn't spend much time connecting that to other aspects of the Big Picture.

So SB's posts pushed us into that, and if course convergence must be a key part of any model of shared models, whether we're talking about the common model of reality that allows us to use language, or the privately shared models that underlie intimacy, or the 'secret' models that are individual, apparently not shared at all.

And of course, Kay and I have yet another Big Picture model of the whole thing, in which we talk about the web (the metamodel based logical structure that we each build to represent reality) and the Web, the one true logical pattern we would perceive in reality if we could open our eyes wide enough to perceive reality itself.

Many of you will recognize that idea, probably in many different forms, most of them related to various concepts of spirituality. It implies a pattern in reality that doesn't actually exist, or is caused to exist only because our observation of it, but which is nonetheless intrinsic to reality itself and (in terms of it's truth) is in an important way independent of us.

So another important idea lurks in what we’ve been saying, the way that some properties of our experience of being are reflected on many different levels, something akin to the self-similarity of fractal geometries.

It is, in a sense, a convergence of convergence itself, the recognition that the idea applies generally, no matter what we're looking at. In that sense it takes on a certain mystical quality, which we consider entirely appropriate.

It's the driver, in a way, for the quest for the spiritual, and we believe that you can assume it is at least one of the underlying motives wherever you see convergence. Look at E-boy's model of convergence in the sciences, and his focus on the process itself, an attempt to identify the underlying patterns in successful examples, and how they might allow us to predict where we should next expect further convergence to yield even grater understanding of our context and circumstances.

Look at how SB applies the principle to understanding subjects as disparate as the rise of language and the truth of true love. In fact, we all imply it in our posts in one way or another, and it's generality and general acceptance as a fundamental property of the patterns in nature seems inarguable.

More when we pry the time free this weekend. Our weeks have taken on a character that effectively squeezes Saturday and Sunday down to one short, weird day sandwiched between marathon sleep-deprivation recovery episodes.

(Our biological clocks are completely shot, and our natural day is now about thirty hours long. It catches up with us at the end of the week.)

Meanwhile, in the spirit of SB's previous example, here's some more convergence on the forum level. These are from a thread in the Professional Coaching forum entitled Attention Deficit Disorder and NLP Anyone? I think only Paul is aware of it, evidence of the restless mind he speaks of from time to time.

The excerpts are directly relevant to the discussion here, in that they show we perhaps aren't as far apart as even our converged view might indicate. But within the body of both posts we expand on ideas that we're still struggling to introduce here, and the second in particular is interesting as it contains a complete anecdotal schematic of our understanding of the structure of human experiential reality.

Excerpt from this post: (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=107172#post107172)


…We don't take sides in the debate over whether thoughts (or the potential for them) are innate or derive completely from experience. The reason is that there aren't really any sides to take; nature vs. nurture turns out to be an illusion created by an incorrect view of the problem.

Our work begins with the newly minted brain and follows the development of the hierarchical systems of neural networks that model our bodies, our experiential reality, and conscious being.

This process requires certain pre-wired functions ("instincts") to get it started and keep it rolling along smoothly. In that sense, the classical view of the "tabula rasa" is discredited; a truly blank slate would be unlikely to converge on anything recognizable.

But the idea that there are intrinsic systems of high level concepts is just as unlikely. The idea of "genetic memory" displays a misunderstanding of the mechanisms of both memory and conscious experience…
Excerpt from this post: (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=108734#post108734)


…The only valid comparisons are in terms of function. In that regard, a shark seems a far superior solution to the human one, but only because the shark's solution only allows comparison in the shark's limited context. We function at a far superior level if you assume the more general context we normally inhabit.

The situation with AD/HD seems much the same to us. The change in our brains in effect opens up our context, and that is where the real advantage lies. If we restrict ourselves to the normal context, much of the advantage disappears, just as if we were to challenge a shark to a competition for food on its own turf. It's likely that the food chain would quickly undergo an inversion.

So the emergence of AD/HD seems to us to signal an even stronger advantage than our argument suggests. Something about being in the expanded context must select very strongly, because it isn't hard to see that the whole thing inverts when we constrain ourselves to the normal context, just like the shark's food chain.

It's possible that it's just the expanded context itself that's the key. That is exactly what happened at the cusp of the last speciation event; our context expanded to include a distinct, common conscious reality.

But the advantages of that, starting with the possibility of language, seem too obvious to ignore. The only question is what comparable advantages we will see when we look back at this from a few hundred years down the road.
SB's description of the tyranny of language as a circle of people around a five meter cylinder was priceless, wasn't it? The edge of the cylinder is analogous to the line separating onstage from backstage in this last post.

Later, friends…

--Tom and Kay

SB_UK
01-18-05, 03:59 AM
So could the outermost level of the meta-Universe also represent our perceptual stream or rephrased, the innermost unsullied layer of our own individual Metamodel web .. our purest internal representation of reality?

This idea embues an added dimension to the phrase that 'God is within us all'.

And does the existence of black holes, singularities and similar previously expressed universal phenomena, unsurprisingly reappear within ourselves, due to the intrinsically defined nature of everything having to subscribe to the basic rules of a hierarchically arranged web-like structure.

In much the same way that the Theory of Relativity describes time's properties, is it informative to draw an analogue, with the perception that time may stop .. as we are involved in an accident? ... are these our thought processes skimming gently alongside our own internal representation of death? The black hole existing to protect us from incorporating it into the web that is accessible within consciousness.

SB.

chameleon
01-18-05, 04:32 AM
ADD Combined Type Highly Probable
ADD Inattentive Type Not Probable
Cingulate System Hyperactivity Highly Probable
Limbic System Hyperactivity Highly Probable
Basal Ganglia Hyperactivity Highly Probable
Temporal Lobe System Highly Probable

Ok...that's 5 out of 6 for me. And some of the qualities of ADD Inattentive I definately have big time, I guess just not enough of them though. So does Adderall treat all these types? Am I on the right track here taking one med for all types?

E-boy
01-18-05, 09:19 AM
You're on the right track E-girl. Now you just have to play self advocate, Do your homework and make sure you have a Doctor that is going to help you. That and be patient, of course. "Getting it right", takes most of us a fair amount of time. All the input you get from here is probably a head start for you though, so the bright side is you shouldn't have to be as patient as I had to be. Unfortunately there really aren't any quick fixes. It really does get better though.

Stabile
01-18-05, 11:56 AM
So could the outermost level of the meta-Universe also represent our perceptual stream or rephrased, the innermost unsullied layer of our own individual Metamodel web .. our purest internal representation of reality?

This idea imbues an added dimension to the phrase that 'God is within us all'.

And does the existence of black holes, singularities and similar previously expressed universal phenomena, unsurprisingly reappear within ourselves, due to the intrinsically defined nature of everything having to subscribe to the basic rules of a hierarchically arranged web-like structure.

In much the same way that the Theory of Relativity describes time's properties, is it informative to draw an analogue, with the perception that time may stop .. as we are involved in an accident? ... are these our thought processes skimming gently alongside our own internal representation of death? The black hole existing to protect us from incorporating it into the web that is accessible within consciousness...
Yup, we see quite a bit of the same kind of reflection in our own reflection.

It makes perfect sense to us that any particular quality of nature might be reflected on many levels, from the micro to the macro, and the most detailed to the most general. The self similarity of fractal geometries is a particular property of nature; the math followed, reflecting it on it's own particular level.

The holographic nature of the metamodel web allows it to model (or more accurately, predict surprisingly accurate models) of nodes that have never been visited. Similar to the way that any small area of a hologram presents a lower resolution version of the entire image, any reasonably complete web dictates the structure for the incomplete portions.

Actually, what a partially complete web does is limit the possibilities for nodes that define the rest of the web, simply because they will have to fit in with the existing structure without forcing any dramatic adjustments.

No contradictions allowed, thank you, and that's the higher moral standard we've talked about from time to time. When you model your reality with a web, your choices are limited by the need to prevent contradiction in all aspects of your existence.

Our internal metamodel web reflects and models the external Metamodel Web that represents physical reality (with us inhabiting it, of course). Considering the hierarchical nature of the web, it's obvious that there is a metalevel that models all there is, our reality in its entirety, all there ever was and ever can be.

And so there must be metalevels beyond that one, where (as we've said elsewhere) one would have to stand to create such a place as this.

If there is logic to being, and logic to the existence of our physical reality, then the holographic nature of the web gives us a tool that allows us to peer past that edge, into the universe beyond the Universe.

We don't have any opinion about how to describe those models, but we have noticed that many of the existing ideas about what might be out there fit pretty well, even those ideas competing to describe the same aspect of that reality outside all reality.

Once you get to the right place, descriptions seem more complimentary than competing.


…that's 5 out of 6 for me… So does Adderall treat all these types? Am I on the right track here taking one med for all types?
Given that these types are very probably an accidental manifestation of a single internal mechanism, yes indeedy you are.

SB_UK
01-18-05, 12:27 PM
I must admit that your introduction of the time dimension above makes imagination of such a web - complex.
The idea of an individual's internal Metamodel web is easier to imagine.
I think that it even makes an intuitive sense.

As we grow, our web fills. I imagined that the single Universal web was flexible in the same way .. driven by change. By this, I assumed that just as we might excise and remodel aspects of our web -- so might the Universal web remodel -- not store a snapshot of all events -- but modify dependent on past events .. a constantly remodelling system, striving towards stability.

From your NLP posts, the questions that arise (plucking the big ones that had me reeling) - Why should mathematics have a problem with entertaining metamodels? and Why do black holes have to exist?

I am trying to imagine every level of micro and mini-macro Metamodel web, weaved into a single Universal web - but, this is very hard indeed :-)

SB.

E-boy
01-18-05, 12:58 PM
I think I like Stabile's Idea on several levels... First, it very neatly explains how one concept clicking into place sends a rush of related, up to that point uncompleted concepts, exploding to the surface. Secondly, it invokes a combinatorial conceptual system for conciousness. Language functions similarly and though the actual units of any given language are finite, the combinatorial nature of them makes expression near infinite (there are literally more forms of linguistic idea expression than there are particles in the known universe). It has been known, inspite of intuitive impressions otherwise, that language cannot be the operating system and underlying framework of thought because many thoughts as expressed in language are inherently vague and it is only the underlying assumption by both parties of a contextually specified specific meaning to some verbal expressions that allows them to be truly understood. In short, there is a "mentalese" underlying and common to all languages for it is how the brain processes language. Even that is not the engine of thought in the brain. Just a module laying atop another combinatorial system (apparently). The idea of such a system certainly explains the huge amount of data manipulation a finite organ like the human brain can do.

I have as much a need for the spiritual as anyone, however I feel the only real universals from person to person in humanity are either agreed upon realities, or contextual assumptions such as those that give the very utilitarian illusion of specificity in much of spoken language, and of course the universals that occur in how common genetic heritage working with certain general natural world constants (and yes there are some) expresses parts of our nuerological hardware.

It is all about reality modeling, yes, but universal truth is a moot point to a brain designed by natural selection (the blind watchmaker). It only needs to be "truthful" enough to live to reproduce and humans evolving social pressures necessitated more and more sophisticated models.

In short, while there may be interesting metaphorical parallels in many ways, I think the "convergence" is far more complicated than a part for part reflection of reality on macro and micro scales. I envy the religious for their faith... I lost mine long ago, but I never lost my sense of wonder, and I don't need to invoke the mystical or spiritual to feel the same awe... The same "magic", if you will.

There truly is a universal human need to believe in something, but that does not translate to the existence of a "DEEPER" spiritual meaning any more than it needs to be a specific something we believe. Humans need answers, and to place ourselves in the bigger picture. Perhaps a consequence of the lonliness that comes with conciouness and limited ability to know all the variables in a world when you know they all directly affect you. Perhaps it's a consequence of applying "theory of mind" one of our great human behavioral hallmarks to the inanimate, or the animals we depended on for food, or the vagaries of weather in a way that, while not directly beneficial in output, provided security in an uncertain world.

Some individuals with certain types of brain injuries, or conditions experience what's called hyper religiosity. For these people this is nothing short of the revealation of their lives, but it is clear to those around them, who knew them before the injury, or the behavior manifested that it isn't an improvement in most cases. They attach cosmic spiritual signifigance to nearly every event that occurs around them and this in turn often interferes in their day to day lives to such a point that they can no longer get by on their own. Because the types of brain conditions that cause this and the injuries associated with it are so specific, it begs the question, "how is it that they became wired with a need to believe in the first place?" Culture? Probably not in the way most folks look at it. Culture is known to have existed in every human group ever studied in the real world. It had to start somewhere. And, of course, every known culture has a "creation myth" IE religion/belief system. If it was simply a consequence of a useful cultural idea then surely some cultures would have ended up without. None ever have. No, I suspect brain anatomy, co-opted, for additional function as our mental complexity evolved.

Edward O. Wilson's book, "Consilience, the unity of knowledge" sums up my positions well. The parallels you both draw are compelling, to say the least, but I like my bridges, and I think we are still in dire need of a few.

Jami Lea
01-18-05, 09:36 PM
wow, lol I can't categorize myself into one ADD category. ADD is very broad. How can they break it down? hahaha I can at least pick one or two off of each category ROFL:D

Yeah
02-02-05, 12:26 AM
Then it's "Ring of Fire" :)

auntchris
02-07-05, 10:18 PM
I am the classic limbic and temporal as far as I can remember the list. auntchris

Imnapl
02-20-05, 10:28 PM
Classic ADHD. I like Classic Coke too. :)

Stabile
02-21-05, 01:35 PM
So: how many of those characteristics are conscious choices, and how many feel like they're thrust upon you?

jog56
02-21-05, 02:06 PM
I am highly probable for inattentative ADD. When I looked at the recommended medications, mine (Strattera) was not listed Does anyone know why?

vinceptor
02-21-05, 10:08 PM
My guess-- the book was published before Strattera was made available, and Amen hasn't gotten around to revising it since then.

Ken

ADD1964
05-10-05, 08:22 PM
I'm all of them except for Innattentive....

jlscott252
05-10-05, 10:57 PM
My son has ADHD combined type/ODD/IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder). What the heck would this type be????

ADD1964
05-11-05, 05:38 AM
I'm sorry-I don't know anything about it...up until a couple of weeks ago (after reading in a book) I never knew there was more than one type of ADHD/ADD.....I'm just guessing at which ones I have,plus taking some online test. I was diagnosed about 12 years ago with the regular kind-all these "6 types" weren't around back then....

Ichpuchtli
06-02-05, 02:52 AM
What does ring o' fire mean.

vinceptor
06-02-05, 05:37 PM
Some relevant quotes from "Healing ADD":

"People with 'Ring of Fire' ADD have too much brain activity across the entire cerebral cortex.... In a brain scan it looks like a ring of hyperactivity around the brain."

"...these patients have brains that are on balance hyperactive and disinhibited."

I won't quote directly from his muddled discussion on the difference between ROF/ADD and bipolar disorder, and I wouldn't bring it up if he hadn't mentioned it in the book. The two disorders have similar SPECT scans (in his opinion) and similar behavior patterns (at least compared with manic phases of bipolars). From what I understand, the cyclic nature of bipolar symptoms distinguish it from the persistent and constant nature of ADD symptoms (and secondary depression due to negative impacts of ADD symptoms tends to be persistent, instead of cyclic like bipolar depressive phases), and psychosis is not an outcome for ADD.

Ken

chain
06-02-05, 07:17 PM
Some relevant quotes from "Healing ADD":

"People with 'Ring of Fire' ADD have too much brain activity across the entire cerebral cortex.... In a brain scan it looks like a ring of hyperactivity around the brain."

"...these patients have brains that are on balance hyperactive and disinhibited."

I won't quote directly from his muddled discussion on the difference between ROF/ADD and bipolar disorder, and I wouldn't bring it up if he hadn't mentioned it in the book. The two disorders have similar SPECT scans (in his opinion) and similar behavior patterns (at least compared with manic phases of bipolars). From what I understand, the cyclic nature of bipolar symptoms distinguish it from the persistent and constant nature of ADD symptoms (and secondary depression due to negative impacts of ADD symptoms tends to be persistent, instead of cyclic like bipolar depressive phases), and psychosis is not an outcome for ADD.

KenThis is interesting... my models (sorry for bringing these up so much :) )
Show that Bi-Polar is a switch between normal (ERHM) and ADHD (IRCM).

See at the bottom.
There most likey is a cyclical depression with AD/HD but it is not "Bi-Polar" in its typical sense.

The other two switches seem to show Schizotypal and Borderline personality disorder.


Ego/Self
Ego functionality: Display used for group membership. (non-feeling, structured, reactive, insensate, abstracted) Stored in HM and realized in CM

Self functionality: Survival of the solitary animal (feeling, contextual, active, sensate, unabstracted). Primary awareness and memory storage, contains realized HM structure (translates HM into reality) in most people.

Largest cognitive group > 70 percent (Has many cognitive sub-types)
ERHM High Ego/Self integration (Being a CUBs fan is actually treated as an identifier of self... initial social anxiety in group, medium anxiety on not being accepted) (Fight response on threats to self, wards... Rage on Ego threats)
In animals = Herd animal or social "pack hunter"

Largest cognitive minority (followed by Asperger's IR) > 5 percent
IRCM (ADHD subset) = Low Ego/Self integration with poorly developed ego and strong self (Being a CUBs fan is a momentary thing not an identifier of self (this goes all the way to gender... high social anxiety outside of 1 on 1 contact)) (Fight response on threats to self, wards or ego)
In animals = Solitary forager (Prey)

Common cognitive spectrum types
ER+ (NPD, Narcissist) = Ego eclipses Self. Spectrum from CM (Cerebral) to HM+ (Somatic). Low anxiety, high rage on threat of Ego damage (Rage is the "Ego equivalant" of "Fight Response" in Self)
In animals = Pet, Parasite, Opportunist

HM+ (SPD, Sociopath) = Structure eclipses Self/Ego. Spectrum from IR to ER+ (ER+HM+ Narcissistic Sociopath... very dangerous and rare) Very low anxiety/fear. Rage is directed and internally calm. Similar to self preservation (fight response) or hunting)
In animals = Solitary Hunter



Common cognitive switches (Rapid = high confusion... may be a one time switch as well)

Bipolar = (ER)HM to (IR)CM (Common type to ADHD or High Self/Ego integration to eclipsing of Ego with Self.) In manic: loss of structure with little strategy to deal with context, emotion from CM and impulsivity due to internal reference. Memory loss and hallucinations when in CM state. Extreme depression with possible short duration HM+ state on return to HM.
In animals = Herd animal to solitary animal in migratory or mating phase.


Borderline = ER (or IR) to ER+ (Common type to NPD or... Ego/Self integration to Self disintegration with Ego Dominance and back) Periods of normality with severe self protection (push phase for relationships). Arrogant but clingy phase. Anxiety then fear. Self protection followed by rage. Can seem normal to outsiders due to ER (and works hard to maintain image) Outwardly then inwardly destructive)
In animals = Parasite or Opportunist to Herd or offspring raising

Shizotypal = HM (or CM) to HM+ (Common type to Sociopathic or Ego/Self integration to Structure eclipsing Ego/Self) Loss of emotion and overstructured in HM+ (Psycopathic) phase with a flood of senses and emotions in HM phase that mimics CM phase in bipolar with sensory hallucinations.
In animals = Pack hunter to solitary hunter in mating.



Visual Models:
http://www.contextualmind.org/wiki/index.php?title=Triangle_Model

The triangle are what happen when the two continua are turned into 2 dimensional shapes:
http://www.contextualmind.org/wiki/index.php?title=Continua


Bad me.... wasted time... gotta go now :)

vja4Him
05-23-10, 07:43 PM
Don't know your type? Take the test and find out: www.brainplace.com (http://www.brainplace.com)

I couldn't find any test on that web site ....

vja4Him
05-23-10, 07:59 PM
I have all of the following symptoms:

1 Classic ADD-Inattentive, distractable, disorganized, restless, and impulsive

2 Inattentive ADD- Easily distracted with a low attention span, but not hyperactive. Instead, often appears sluggish or apathetic

3 Overfocused ADD- Excessive worrying

4 Temporal Lobe ADD- periods of panic and fear

5 Limbic ADD- Moodiness, low energy. Socially isolated, chronic low-grade depression. Frequent feelings of hopelessness

6 Ring of Fire ADD- Angry, sensitive to noise, light, clothes and touch; often inflexible, experiencing periods of mean, unpredictable behavior, and grandoise thinking

dancinonwater
11-21-10, 06:29 PM
Sadly enough, i have all but Limbic ADD. :( Uggg ADHD sucks!!!!!!!

fracturedstory
11-21-10, 11:15 PM
1 Classic ADD-Inattentive, distractible, disorganized, hyperactive, restless, and impulsive

2 Inattentive ADD- Easily distracted with a low attention span, but not hyperactive. Instead, often appears sluggish or apathetic.

3 Overfocused ADD- Excessive worrying, argumentative and compulsive; often gets locked in a spiral of negative thoughts.

4 Temporal Lobe ADD- Quick temper and rage, periods of panic and fear, mildly paranoid

5 Limbic ADD- Moodiness, low energy. Socially isolated, chronic low-grade depression. Frequent feelings of hopelessness

6 Ring of Fire ADD- Angry, aggressive, sensitive to noise, light, clothes and touch; often inflexible, experiencing periods of mean, unpredictable behavior, and grandoise thinking.

Those in bold apply to me.

Anubis578
11-22-10, 12:44 AM
1 Classic ADD-Inattentive, distractible, disorganized, hyperactive, restless, and impulsive

2 Inattentive ADD- Easily distracted with a low attention span, but not hyperactive. Instead, often appears sluggish or apathetic

3 Overfocused ADD- Excessive worrying, argumentative and compulsive; often gets locked in a spiral of negative thoughts

4 Temporal Lobe ADD- Quick temper and rage, periods of panic and fear, mildly paranoid (!!!) - One of the more worrisome symptoms. I have noticed my anxiety has become borderline-paranoid in nature...

5 Limbic ADD- Moodiness, low energy. Socially isolated, chronic low-grade depression. Frequent feelings of hopelessness

6 Ring of Fire ADD- Angry, aggressive, sensitive to noise, light, clothes and touch; often inflexible, experiencing periods of mean, unpredictable behavior, and grandoise thinking

Those bolded apply to me :faint::faint:

nova2012
11-22-10, 02:11 AM
I think this categorization is rather laughable. I've never met or heard of one ADHDer whose symptomology fits neatly into each. Most of us have wildly overlapping symptoms. For instance, I've self-diagnosed with OCD and have been professionally diagnosed with social anxiety. I also may or may not have had a short major depressive episode (complicated by medical conditions).

My prominent symptoms in bold:

1 Classic ADD-Inattentive, distractible, disorganized, [verbally] hyperactive, restless, and impulsive

2 Inattentive ADD- Easily distracted with a low attention span, but not hyperactive. Instead, often appears sluggish or apathetic

3 Overfocused ADD- Excessive worrying, argumentative and compulsive; often gets locked in a spiral of negative thoughts

4 Temporal Lobe ADD- Quick temper and rage, periods of panic and fear, mildly paranoid

5 Limbic ADD- Moodiness, low energy. Socially isolated, chronic low-grade depression. Frequent feelings of hopelessness

6 Ring of Fire ADD- Angry, aggressive, sensitive to noise, light, clothes and touch; often inflexible, experiencing periods of mean, unpredictable behavior, and grandoise thinking

The angry, aggressive, mean, and unpredictable qualifiers in 6. mostly apply to anger/temper outbursts as a result of impulsivity, but I do sometimes get way angrier than I should in response to certain triggers, mostly when driving (road rage, although I hesitate to call it that, because I can usually reel it in before it gets to that point) and when someone really rubs me the wrong way, but then it's usually just passive-aggressive or slightly obnoxious, never violent or a full-fledged rage.

So, yeah, apparently I have all 6 forms of ADHD. Great--where does that leave me (and, I'd venture to guess, 60-70% of other ADHDers, to some degree)?

Princess Moon
11-24-10, 07:52 PM
I pretty much can fit every type of ADD. I have ADD and NLD.