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Harm Reduction ⫸The Brain and Addiction⫷

neversickanymore

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The Brain That Changes Itself

An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they’ve transformed—people whose mental limitations or brain damage were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed. Using these marvelous stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr. Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.
 

neversickanymore

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"Is there a way to resolve this conflict between different approaches to addiction? Taking a simplistic stance—and a highly speculative one—I believe that there is. Instead of viewing the brain as a monolithic entity, we might consider the possibility that the brain itself may be of “two minds” about drug use. The limbic system, a center for emotion, motivation and pleasure, is a critical target of drugs and alcohol. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the center for executive cognitive function—which includes such tasks as goal setting, planning and the delay of gratification. There may be an ongoing state of conflict between the present-focused, pain-and-pleasure-oriented limbic system that seeks the drugs, and the future-oriented, goal-driven PFC."

~Scott Kellogg PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of New York, April 17, 2014

>source<
 

neversickanymore

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The Neuroanatomy of Free Will:
Loss of Will, Against the Will, "Alien Hand"

Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D.
Emeritus, Brain Research Laboratory, California

Reprinted from: Consciousness and the Universe,
Edited by Sir Roger Penrose, FRS, Ph.D., & Stuart Hameroff, Ph.D.


Edited Version

Even with "mild" to moderate right frontal lobe injuries patients may initially demonstrate periods of tangentiality, grandiosity, irresponsibility, laziness, hyperexcitability, promiscuity, silliness, childishness, lability, personal untidiness and dirtiness, poor judgment, irritability, fatuous jocularity, and tendencies to spend funds extravagantly. Unconcern about consequences, tactlessness, and changes in sex drive and even hunger and appetite (usually accompanied by weight gain) may occur (Fuster 1997; Joseph 1986a, 1988a, 1999b; Miller & Cummings 2006; Passingham, 1997; Risberg & Grafman 2006).
 

neversickanymore

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methamaniac

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I believe we are made in the image of God of the Holy Bible. So we have 3 separate parts that make one person. Body, mind, and spirit/soul.
But we are limited in control. Seems our mind is the strongest and we try to strengthen our spirit to use both to overcome body being weakest. Thus the quote "the mind is willing but the body is weak". Just my belief you dont have to agree.

Great post....I have practically become a neurologist and an endocrinologist as of late. Lol
Very sobering realizing what you are not in control of.
 

neversickanymore

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IMHO Dr. Dr. Brad Lander is indeed on the right track, but has many things mixed up and as a great deal to explore. So I would not let a whole bunch of this bother anyone and Allen Johnsons title is awful. I thought I would add this to the thread so people could consider his take and because he shares some key theoretical aspects with this one.

Ohio State psychiatrist says drug addicts are no longer the people you love
By Alan Johnson
The Columbus Dispatch • Sunday October 26, 2014

[URL="http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brad-lander-phd-licdc-cs/10/1b2/aba"]Brad Lander, PhD, LICDC-CS


[/URL]

“Understanding Addiction: Squirrel Logic.”

He said humans have what amounts to a squirrel brain inside their own brain.

“Your squirrel brain wants what it wants, when it wants it,” he said. “It doesn’t understand future. It doesn’t understand consequences. It doesn’t understand the impact of its behavior. It wants to run, it wants to jump, it wants to hit, it wants to scream.”
The "squirrel brain" is the limbic system, I assume.


“The brain is now convinced it needs drugs the same way it needs food, water and sex.”
The key to treatment is making major changes to addicts’ physical and mental states, Lander said. They need to sleep, keep their blood sugar under control, exercise and learn to relax or meditate.

“We think we control everything we do, but when you come down to the molecules, it’s based on chemistry,” Lander said. “Once you realize you are powerless over molecules and you are not the master of the universe, it’s very freeing.”
It is very liberating indeed and once an addict realizes that the unconscious is the cause and that its much more powerful than the conscious it often takes all the guilt and shame out of the equation.
 

twistedhunter

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i once heard that the reason its hard to quit and stay quit is because addiction is what causes your problems and makes you forget your problems .
 

stlouisgirl

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"Is there a way to resolve this conflict between different approaches to addiction? Taking a simplistic stance—and a highly speculative one—I believe that there is. Instead of viewing the brain as a monolithic entity, we might consider the possibility that the brain itself may be of “two minds” about drug use. The limbic system, a center for emotion, motivation and pleasure, is a critical target of drugs and alcohol. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the center for executive cognitive function—which includes such tasks as goal setting, planning and the delay of gratification. There may be an ongoing state of conflict between the present-focused, pain-and-pleasure-oriented limbic system that seeks the drugs, and the future-oriented, goal-driven PFC."

~Scott Kellogg PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of New York, April 17, 2014

>source<
I believe this explanation best gives addicts comfort (my drug addiction is not some moral failing & was probably predestined) and yet hope that because I have higher thinking and reasoning ability I CAN find my way out of this. I DO believe their is a genetic basis and a predisposition to drug addiction, yet we are NOT powerless. We CAN change our using behavior as demonstrated by MILLIONS who have done so.

Call me crazy but I do NOT find being told I am totally powerless over my addiction to be particularly motivating or helpful. (And why is it that those (AA) who tell you that you are powerless then go on to tell you what you need to do to beat it. (Hmmm...thought I was powerless...)
 

stlouisgirl

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Dr. Mischel is a brilliant man and his writings are really worth reading. Remember he did the famous "Marshmallow Test" which (if I remember) was where 6 year olds were all given a marshmallow and promised they could have a second one if they could resist eating it say for an hour. There were some who could sit patiently awaiting that second treat while there were those that were in agony and could not be distracted from just obsessing over eating that treat. They then followed these kids to adulthood. And you guessed it. The ones that caved in and at their marshmallow became addicts later in life.
 

ruralgram

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Great thread. My husband is a TBI. right front lobe gone after 40 foot fall in 95. I am on here because I feel I've become mentally addicted to narcs after my own eight brain surgeries. Ironic huh? Thank you for this. Will be delving into it later
 

itchyscratchy

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I personally believe addiction is learned behavior. All of this is reminiscent of religious people not feeling as critical of their shortcomings as atheists would. The assertion that we are not in control of our actions so therefore shouldn't feel as responsible for them stinks of leftist progressive drivel.
Lol! Someone mentioned Skinner... Indeed a charlatan that locks his daughter in a cube is a credible source for discourse.
I would consider Dr Calhoun's "Mouse Utopia" experiment more of a plausible explanation for societal woes... - Including drug addiction," beautiful ones".
Should I sign my name? Lol!
ItchyScratchy.
 

neversickanymore

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I personally believe addiction is learned behavior. All of this is reminiscent of religious people not feeling as critical of their shortcomings as atheists would. The assertion that we are not in control of our actions so therefore shouldn't feel as responsible for them stinks of leftist progressive drivel.
Lol! Someone mentioned Skinner... Indeed a charlatan that locks his daughter in a cube is a credible source for discourse.
I would consider Dr Calhoun's "Mouse Utopia" experiment more of a plausible explanation for societal woes... - Including drug addiction," beautiful ones".
Should I sign my name? Lol!
ItchyScratchy.

Religion and politics. Two human created institutions whose significant power prays off and stems from the very workings of the human brain explored above.

Many religions heavily use manipulation of the limbic system to harness and wield specific emotional responses intended to influence the thought and control the behavior of its followers. Politics, religions younger brother, uses many of the exact same manipulative techniques.

A great example is the concept of Heaven and Hell that some religions hold.

Heaven= A paradise to infinitely amazing and pleasurable to describe were suffering does not exist.
Hell= Eternal and utter suffering to a unimaginable degree.

Religion:
-Think how we think, behave how we want, and do what we say and you will be rewarded with a never ending heaven that's to amazing to even imagine.
-Fail to do what we say or act how we want, GOD FORBID actively oppose us and you will be damned to an eternity of unimaginable suffering and infinite misery.

NSFW:


The unconscious mind uses the same system.

Successfully do what the LS wants and we find ourselves in heaven.
Resist or fail at achieving what the LS wants and we may find ourselves is a kind of hell.

Sex is crucial for the human species to continue and grow so the LS wants us to have sex.

Successfully mate = Pleasure, orgasm, and temporary satisfaction, contentment, peace= Heaven

No success= loneliness, frustration, jealousy, anger, resentment, self doubt, depression

Once we successfully reproduce and offspring arrive it becomes crucial to the human species that we take care and protect the helpless thing. Because we stand on two feet instead of four the human birthing canal is very small. The eventual size of our brains require we pass through this tiny space with a significantly immature brain. Its absolutely crucial that the child be looked after. To ensure this humans have a very strong drive to protect and care for children.

Governments like religion utilize strong natural LS drives to manipulate their populations.

The "think of the children" drug war phrase is a great example. Buy pairing this phrase to the "drug war" they manipulated public backing, generated continued support, and reduced opposition by associating it to a very strong LS drive.

Now if you opposed the drug war you found yourself opposing the children. 8(

This thread is certainly not the place to get into any discussion surrounding either religion or politics except in how they relate to the brain and addiction.
 

itchyscratchy

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I appreciate your effort in relation to composition of this thread. ... I truly do. While reading though I kept tripping over religion and supernatural dogma. Which in my opinion is a huge opposition to the evolution of the ethos, prompting me to chime in.
Religion is politics of superstition.
Two and a half months off of heroin, by the way.
 

manboychef

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The articles posted are extremely helpful. Personally, I find as an addict, I am the product of both genetics/predisposition and things I am taught. Most addicts have a co-occurring mental health problem that they are trying to medicate which sums up the genetics part of it. The learned behaviors come from your environment. I am the son of an addict that is the son of an addict. I watched when I was younger adults partying and having a good time which I associated as I was growing up with what adults do, so thus to be an adult I needed to drink and party.

It is so true about being driven by the limbic system. My lizard brain as I refer to it has been forever changed to want to do heroin. I find that to take the power back from the lizard brain is to slowdown a little. Usually, you can think through most cravings...beside air and water.
 

itchyscratchy

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In opinion, in order to effectively change something (such as addiction) you have to first realize that it is indeed changeable.
All that damaged brain and it's a sickness dogma is a horrible(I mean it's a nice shekel generator) foundation to lay anything on. It is asking one to admit inevitable failure before you lay the first brick. I think it's prudent to admit defeat because we as humans are so much more resilient.
But yeah, it's a hard habit to break(because of the familiarity)
... But I think that's all it is ...a habit.
Later folks.
 

Bernc1

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Absolutely amazing thread. One of the best I've read as of yet. Thanks so much for sharing, Never Sick<3
 

Jabberwocky

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Post-humanism, addiction and the loss of self-control: Reflections on the missing core in addiction science
http://www.ijdp.org/article/S0955-3959(13)00010-8/pdf

Where in addiction science is the loss of self-control?

A brief history of biomedical approaches to addiction

A few early modern authorities dabbled with the idea that inebriety may be a disease (cf. Levine, 1978; Porter, 1985), but sustained biomedical interest did not emerge until the middle of the nineteenth century. By the late nineteenth century there was a fairly well established two tiered medical understanding of addic- tion (Courtwright, 2001). Those who could afford private care were ordinarily diagnosed with the so-called disease of neurasthenia, lit- erally nervous exhaustion, and prescribed temporary respite from the complex demands of modern life. Those who could not afford to pay were consigned to state sponsored institutions also staffed by medical doctors but designed to manage the more pessimistic diag- nosis of degeneracy. Degeneracy followed either from a hereditary predisposition or a dissolute life and while it could be prevented, few medical men thought it could be reversed. Rather than seeking to return the patient to a former state of non-addiction, the medical treatment of degeneracy was focused more on limiting the havoc degenerate addicts might wreak upon their wider communities.

In these early days, reigning theories still reflected the influ- ences of humoral medicine in prioritising attention to moderate habits and self-regulation over anatomical structure and physio- logical function. And while it would be unfair to blithely reduce nineteenth century addiction medicine to no more than dressed- up social prejudices, it was undeniably more deeply informed by the perceived character of the patient than the perceived character of his or her putative disease (Baumohl & Room, 1987; Courtwright, 2001). In short, insofar as addiction medicine had not yet fully dis- tinguished medical pathology from the social marginality it was meant to explain, it had as yet no clear separation between what a Foucauldian might call the biomedical and the socio-cultural gaze. Nor, more specifically, did it provide any way of medically linking drug use with a loss of self-control. Neurasthenia cast addiction as a form of fatigue not biological dysfunction and, likewise, degeneracy yielded an understanding of addiction as atavism not affliction. Nei- ther could empirically distinguish self-control from its loss because in neither case was anything other than the self of the supposed addict implicated as a proximal cause of his or her behaviour.

As the nineteenth century came to a close, addiction medicine entered a protracted period of doldrums. Theories of degeneracy and neurasthenia were eventually dismissed by a new genera- tion of medical scientists and the pall of prohibitionist sentiment and then legislation both minimised the availability of funding for addiction research and dissuaded most medical professionals from entering the field. Those who did occupied two camps. The first embraced psychodynamic theories that retained a view of addicts as intrinsically inferior beings (cf. Acker, 2002). The sec- ond focused on physiological withdrawal, arguing that addiction did not belie underlying deficits like degeneracy or psychopathy but was a normal physiological response to which anyone might succumb (Campbell, 2007). Because they seemed to legitimate medical maintenance of addicts’ drug supply, physiological with- drawal based theories did not enjoy much approval amongst policy makers committed to prohibition but did slowly gain sway in the medical community as psychodynamic psychiatry fell from favour. Physiological withdrawal symptoms appeared to provide a specific, universally applicable, biomedically identifiable marker by which addicts might be categorically distinguished from non-addicts. They thereby introduced an apparent path to scientific respectabil- ity insofar as the aetiology and identity of addiction could now be categorically specified in strictly biomedical terms. Those sub- stances that produce physiological withdrawal symptoms were classed as genuinely addictive. Those that did not were categori- cally denied that status. However, once again, addiction science had plainly failed to link drug use with a loss of self-control. Demon- strating that a substance causes withdrawal symptoms does not indicate how these symptoms, in turn, cause a loss of self-control rather than just a change and narrowing of personal priorities.1 Indeed, using drugs to stave off the pains of withdrawal could be seen to exhibit a perfectly reasonable cost–benefit analysis.

Other, better noticed, anomalies began to accumulate too. One can perfectly understand how someone might remain in a per- petual cycle of withdrawal symptom avoidance for as long as withdrawal symptoms actually loom. But why is it, some asked, that the many medications that ease or altogether eliminate physiologi- cal withdrawal symptoms have had such a dismal record of getting people permanently off drugs? Perhaps even more perplexing, why are those who have actually suffered the ravages of cold turkey not uniformly chastened by this experience? One would think that such a profoundly nasty ordeal might discourage people from returning to the use of physically addictive drugs. But, too often, it does no such thing. Conversely, why do so many people who become phys- iologically dependent seem to have so few, if any, qualms about stopping? Finally, it has grown progressively more difficult to argue that only gross physiological withdrawal symptoms2 cause addic- tion. Drugs like crack cocaine or nicotine and activities like sex, gambling, and eating – none of which produce such symptoms – appear capable of inducing behavioural patterns every bit as dam- aging as those induced by alcohol and opiates. It is in no small part due to this accumulation of anomalies that interest turned to our most recent paradigm in biomedical addiction science (cf. Leshner, 1997, p. 46), what the historian David Courtwright (2010) dubbed the “NIDA Brain Disease Paradigm.”
The brain disease paradigm is first and foremost anchored in the priority given to basic science (Campbell, 2010; Vrecko, 2010). This has largely meant confining research to basic biology conceived as a primordial, discrete and independently integrated ontological domain. Brain disease scientists argue that people ingest chemicals like heroin, cocaine, alcohol or nicotine because they biologically cause euphoria by promoting the release of neurotransmitters, pre- venting their re-uptake, or mimicking their effects (cf. Koob, 2006). But what of addiction? Many studies have noted after prolonged use the positive effects of drug use are often eclipsed by the negative (cf. Koob, Stinus, LeMoal, & Bloom, 1989). Some heavy users even report that they continue to relapse despite the fact that drugs have long since ceased to give them any satisfaction at all (cf. Lindesmith, 1968). How does the brain disease paradigm account for these seemingly anomalous findings? It does so by suggesting prolonged drug use induces neurological adaptations that both reduce users’ sensitivity to alternative sources of reward and increase sensitivity to the anticipated rewards of drug use. While these adaptations do not produce gross withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use, they do render people considerably more vulnerable than they might otherwise be to relapse.

How does this model account for addicts’ putative loss of self-control? First, according to incentive sensitization theory, the intensity of addicts’ desire for drugs is neurologically disjoined from the degree to which they derive pleasure from drug use (cf. Robinson & Berridge, 2003). Hence, their felt desire for drugs is apparently unjustified by the degree of benefit users believe they derive from them. This finding has prompted brain disease scien- tists to cast this desire as pathological by virtue of its inconsistency with conventional understandings of rational choice. But conflating the perception of self-control with an abstract model of rational choice is scientifically unsustainable. Discounting future outcomes in favour of expectations of short term satisfactions does not logically entail a loss of self-control nor do people necessarily experience it as such. People often throw caution to the wind with no ensuing inference that they have been pathologically deprived of their self-control. Aside from denigrating their judgement, an adequate scientific account of the loss of self-control must explain why and how peo- ple appear to grow estranged from their own behaviour enough to warrant the claim that they are genuinely afflicted by some- thing rather than merely exercising limited foresight (Weinberg, 2005).

The second way neurological adaptations to drug use are said to deprive people of their self-control is by compromising brain pro- cesses associated with what are often called executive functions (cf. Goldstein & Volkow, 2011).3 These functions are not always clearly delineated in the brain disease literature, but they cover things like attention, response inhibition, planning, problem solving, working memory, and other such meta-cognitive matters pertaining to the evaluation and control of first order cognitive processes. Like incen- tive sensitization theory, this research seeks universal neurological measures of self-control. While they may have other scientific mer- its, such efforts invariably stray rather far from the lived realities and experiences of self-control and its loss amongst humans out- side lab settings. To claim that people uniformly equate their own or each other’s self-control with their capacities for long term planning, problem solving and impulse control would be patently false. Not only do we deliberately throw caution to the wind on occasion but so too on occasion do we equate our “real selves” with our gut instincts, spontaneous sensibilities or predilections and indeed equate the kinds of activities associated with “executive function” with alien- ation from our real selves and authentic self-control (cf. Alasuutari, 1992, pp. 160–161; Hochschild, 2012; Turner, 1976). Indeed pre- cisely because they hope to re-establish people’s authentic sense of themselves, many rehabilitation programmes place extensive therapeutic emphasis not on learning to executively inhibit sponta- neous emotions but on “getting in touch” with them through their free and open expression.

This neuroscientific disregard for the manifold empirical permu- tations of self-control and the loss thereof stems from a manifest inability or unwillingness to breach the boundaries of brain biol- ogy in any but the most ancillary manner. The brain disease of addiction is held to occur wholly within the confines of an evo- lutionarily determined organismic system that all members of our species share more or less in common. Yes, this system interacts with the environment in which it must survive but it does so in a manner pre-programmed by the legacy of its evolution and largely fixed by genetic inheritance. While conditioning may arbitrarily link environmental cues with our experience of substances and/or activities deemed intrinsically addictive, it poses no prospect of fundamental divergences between the neurological characteristics of either sufferers or their brain diseases themselves. Instead, con- ditioning yields only secondary elaborations precisely analogous to the more general relationship neuroscientists draw between the singularity and determinacy of our biological nature as a species and the diversity and impermanence of the cultures we inhabit. In any event, both brain function and dysfunction are understood as mechanically caused by a combination of biological and ecologi- cal determinants and, hence, seemingly, nondiscretionary whether addicted or not. This mindset will no doubt continue to yield scien- tific dividends in a variety of ways. But because it does not speak to the physiology underlying the diverse empirical permutations of freedom or self-control in the first place, it cannot yield a scientifi- cally valid grasp of the nuanced phenomenology of being estranged from one’s own behaviour – that is, losing self-control – nor the jointly intrapersonal, interpersonal and social structural dynamics that render that estrangement so real for people.
Food for thought. This was one of the papers that got me willing to pay out the ass to subsribe to this journal, especially, after I encountered there bit on the desomorphine/krokodil situation, explained, papers they put out. Anywho, enjoy.

Highly worth reading the entitle article to be honest. It's a great paper.
 

neversickanymore

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"Hidden Brain" Podcast Will Make You Think Twice About Your Unconscious Mind
Katie Nodjimbadem
SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

In the new NPR program, correspondent Shankar Vedantam connects rigorous science with people's everyday experiences

Why did I buy that set of steak knives I don't even need? Which online restaurant reviews can I trust? How come my number-loving friend opted out of AP math courses in high school?

Can Science Help People Unlearn Their Unconscious Biases?

These are the types of questions that social scientists tackle every day, trying to tease apart the complex and sometimes unexpected reasons humans do what they do. In 2005, journalist Shankar Vedantam reported a story for The Washington Post in which he explored unconscious bias and the social scientists working to understand it through implicit association tests. He became so fascinated by the influence of the unconscious mind on human behavior that he decided to dive further into the topic in a book called The Hidden Brain.

Vedantam then joined NPR as a science correspondent in 2011, and his radio reports on human behavior and social science quickly gained a loyal following. Now those listeners and podcast fanatics everywhere can hear more from Vedantam about the role the unconscious mind plays in their behavior in a new NPR podcast, aptly called Hidden Brain.

The first episode of the podcast drops on September 22, and a sneak peek is out now. We spoke with Vedantam to learn more about it. (The following has been edited for length.)

What is Hidden Brain?

The Hidden Brain has many different incarnations. If your question is specifically about the podcast, the goal of Hidden Brain really is to connect people’s everyday lived experiences with interesting and rigorous science. I think the great joy that I have in this work is finding moments when I can connect work that is rigorous and scientifically solid with the kind of experiences that people have in everyday life—the way they park their car, the way they read a restaurant review—and to basically say, look, there are ways in which science can illumine the life that you lead and help you think about your world with curiosity and freshness.

Where did you come up with the term?

So "hidden brain" is a term that I coined as I was writing my book a few years ago. It’s really a metaphor to describe the many things that happen in our minds that lie outside of our conscious awareness. And I think over the last 10 or 20 years there’s just been this explosion of research, empirically grounded rigorous research, that suggests that in everyday life, many of our perceptions and judgments and decisions are shaped by factors that lie outside of conscious awareness. Some of these hidden things are actually accessible if we try very hard to pay attention to them. But others are completely hidden and we actually have no ability to get at them even if we try very hard consciously.

What are some examples of topics you will cover in the podcast?

One of our early episodes, for example, is going to look at a pattern in communication where people are conversing with one another, but really talking past one another. This idea is called switch tracking. A couple of episodes later, we’re going to look at this idea that’s being explored in a lot of psychological research known as stereotype threat, which is this idea that if you believe that the world holds certain stereotypes about you, your concern that you’re the victim of those stereotypes is going to shape how you behave and how you see the world.

The tagline of the show is "A conversation about life’s unseen patterns." Can you give an example of an unseen pattern?

A central premise of Hidden Brain really is that once you identify these unconscious and hidden forces acting on us, it gives you some power and agency to actually do something about it. You can actually choose to make different choices once you’re aware that you’re being biased or once you’re aware that your judgments and perceptions are being subtly shaped by these factors that lie outside of your awareness.

Continued with links http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/hidden-brain-podcast-will-make-you-think-twice-about-your-unconscious-mind-180956521/?no-ist
 

neversickanymore

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Addiction and the Dorsal Striatum and Striatal Dopamine



The main theory of this thread is

The biggest delusion we face, when understanding addiction or human behavior, is the false belief that the conscious mind is in control of our actions. At best, the prefrontal cortex or conscious mind, is only responsible for a portion of our actions and shares control with another, more elusive part of the brain. In reality, the conscious mind may just be a tool that is manipulated through emotion, to solve the problems that our unconscious mind has which are preventing its goals. The unconscious mind is the limbic system or paleomammalian sections of the Brain, while the conscious can be found mainly in the prefrontal cortex. The unconscious is where the addiction comes from.
In researching and contemplating this theory I have been astounded with the expansive scope to which it lead and the long standing mysteries it has the probability of explaining. Even more amazing is how flawless and natural the complex pieces seemed to fit together. Unfortunately, most of our brains do not currently enjoy such a placid relationship.

The limbic system/subconscious naturally holds executive power over us and our actions. It also has many limiting disadvantages and one significant obstacle is the inability to reason. This is were we, the conscious mind, come into play. We are motivated, by manipulations wielded by limbic system, to address and solve the issues its not capable of.

Over a life time, the nature and combination of problems we are asked to solve is staggering. Fortunately for us the limbic system is proficient at learning. It learns from all our successes. It also records all of our success and failure to memory; in most cases, the memories will be available to conscious when confronting a relevant problem in the future.

When we successfully solve problems, the limbic system recognizes our success and adopts and incorporates that ability; Thus from our success, it has learned what to do and how to do it. Given the exact same problem, under the exact same circumstances, the limbic system will be able to handle the situation on its own. If a similar, but moderately different, situation is encountered we would only be required to adjust our initial solution by solving any small problems the variance created. In facing many similar problems we can solve for any and all common problems presented by variance. In accomplishing this we, or rather our limbic system, would have obtained mastery over that situation. The solution would become "second nature."

A good example of this in action is the process of learning a new sport.

For most people skiing is a very difficult and stressful sport to learn. It requires our conscious to implement and develop extremely foreign movements, working with week and untrained muscles, while traveling breakless down an unfamiliar and constantly changing mountain side wrought with peril. We can add into the nightmare that we are required to balance, wearing unbendable shoes, upon alien and utterly uncooperative long thin waxed bullets that skim almost frictionless over snow and ice while work so poorly that we have concluded they are broken or the weapon of some evil conspiracy designed to kill us. All of this must be accomplished to a ridiculous level of perfection, during a raging snowstorm and without the aid of any vision as the ice filled goggles are hanging in that tree that we hucked them at in a uncontrolled fit of rage three hours and a pathetic 15 meters above where we are currently sobbing and stuck in a position that would make an acrobat wince.


Many years, and thousands of ski days of later we have finally trained our limbic system to mastery. Effortlessly, we use a few of the blind sobbing pretzel people as cones and make a few warm up turns while planning dinner and heading down to a backcountry gate. The gate was just dropped and we drop a little 3m rock on the way into the trees. Landing in thigh deep untouched, we just let the mechanism utilize its mastery and do its thing, the painting comes alive, and we are set free to fly silently down a mountain soaring through snow covered trees.

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Thomas29

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
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Canada, Ontario
I have read that Dopamine plays a direct role in regulating Estrogen Levels. When Dopamine Levels are low directly or indirectly Estrogen Levels increase.
 
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