PC: “The occurrence of psychopaths is deeply disturbing… …the deficit consists of the absence of feelings of guilt or shame or remorse, and the inability to form long-term attachments, and to form strong attachments,”
Are these feelings absent or are they repressed possibly by a sense of needing to maintain a defensive posture from having the concepts of hope and home broken by similarly broken authority figures? How can one double blind such a study and remove the sense of being tested when the subject is “trapped” in an MRI? If there is a chance that outlying behavior is the product of outlying experiences perceived as aggression with the intent to define and prescribe through subjugation the subjects of those prescriptions, how can we expect anything better than self fulfilling prophecy from this type of “investigation”? From my own cursory investigation of narcissism, I find most cases and articles pointing to being subjected to and subjugated by another narcissist.
Are narcissism and psychopathy neighbors in the same spectrum? I’ve noticed a tendency for the language describing these disorders to often cite “absence” of certain “healthy” emotions almost to the point of implying a complete void. It seems the can’t commit to this as these symptoms present more as merely a difference in thresholds of the levels of circumstances and not simply a perfect void but a dryer climate due to a much higher levee of scars compared to different balance of the more socially blessed norm.
We seem to exist in this world on a spectrum of a balance between nurture and challenge. We also appear to trend towards sharing whatever norm was established for ourselves in our own prescribed spaces of this spectrum. It may simply be a function of the desire to exist, to prefer to maintain a stasis of the accumulative sum of our experience to that of change regardless to the perceived polarity of any threatened, imagined, or actual change, a sense to regulate.
In Michael M.’s reply to Martha Gelarden’s comment, he cites an abundance of oxytocin in emotional states tipped both toward ecstasy and paranoid retreat. This seems consistent to a feedback mechanism designed to maintain a holding pattern over having some preconceived ideal or goal to work toward. This is the earmark of the preference to learn over that of an exclusively biased state of a set of hard targets. Obviously targets have function, such as to continue breathing, but again one must admit that this is also consistent with stasis. Even the trend we all exhibit to hoard something to some extent is consistent with and a continuation of our physical maturity sprung from microscopic subsistence. Accumulation seems to be the “practical” application of the physical realm in harmony with it’s properties.
I probably need to read Churchland’s book but I learned very little new here! Experiences modify neuron microcircuitry and this might cause differing moral decisions–huh!
the one thing that seems to my mind separates me from my dog is have more than a little self pity while my dog seems to have none.
Article stated: “Animals do feel a kind of guilt when they do something inappropriate.”
Your comment: “the one thing that seems to my mind separates me from my dog is have more than a little self pity while my dog seems to have none.”
Are you saying the dog holds an advantage here? We do get rather bogged down in this debilitating state where our four footed friends seem to have a superior momentum to their egos, if we haven’t broken them. If that is where your comment was headed, as opposed to confusing guilt with self pity, then we won’t pity the dog.
But we as humans break more than other species we deem to be inferior. Clearly the worst axiom we could ever chase is that any of us are superior in any way to any other. If we had something to teach or help another, we put that train in the sand at that point.
Sobre su libro quisiera que aclarara qué filósofos tenían ese prejuicio; su afirmació es una generalización para justificar su tesis.
About your book I would like you to clarify which philosophers had that prejudice; your assertion is a generalization to justify your thesis.
Question: Are you indicating that attachment disorders are caused by a change in the microcircuitry of the neurons? Are oxytocin levels changed, too?
We do know statistically that adoptees suffer from attachment disorders and that adoptees are 4x as likely to suffer from behavioral issues, addictions and death by suicide.
Is there a connection?
A rather brilliant and important question.
Our Neurons change their products and activities in the same general manner through which cells and bodies develop.
Stresses induce these changes, and the process/mechanisms are commonly referred to as Epigenetic, meaning that the influence, the elimination or change in gene activities are brought on from the outside.
Methylation, the stopping of a gene’s activity through a molecule attaching to cytosine, has different effects, depending on the particular gene. This is because some genes enable the activity of other genes and some disable the first types. SO it gets quite complex.
Work on epigenetics first explored development – you only grow so much, and then very precisely stop in response to such signals (there are several forms of epigenetic marking, and a number of other places in the road from DNA to the structures and changes to direct modification in a body, and a comment can’t clear up the relatively new science).
We are just these past very few years beginning to work on this root of cognitive and behavioral change.
there are other brain cells that guide and control neurons, as well, to step up into the connectivity differences you intuit and have experienced. Dr. Churchland has a huge job in keeping up on these basic things that make each individual unique in all time, as, if my comment has been successful in touching complexity, you can see that through such factors as Histone acetylation, which lifts specific areas of DNA off their protein “spools”, and the deacetylation compounds which allow them to settle back down into inactivity, are numerous, promoted in many ways – there’ll NEVER be a simple explanation for the exact process in a living mind.
We can naturally predict and learn, and understand others – that is the basic need of even the smallest single celled creatures that move.
Even bacteria and plants have long evolved useful responses to their own kinds, as well as to others, which might not be healthy for them, and so are best countered.
We humans can speak, report, hypothesize, using the information gained by others. It will surprise some that even bacteria “learn” by trading genetic material with others, even of different species.
As huge as we are in comparison, we still use some of the very same molecules through which information is exchanged as the smallest of living things.
Both reliance on our natural common senses (in all the meanings of the term) and through neuroscience, we may begin to understand the induction of the active compounds like hormones and neurotransmitters (and modulators which allow clearer coherent neural activity to occur), of thought, memory, behavior, response.
A note on oxytocin (OT): While increases are associated with feelings of love and attachment toward those with whom we are familiar, and perhaps nostalgia in conditions of absence, it is also notorious for its association with the opposite feelings toward those we consider outgroup feeling enmity and rejection toward the latter individuals or aggregations we create in our minds. (OT nasal-spray cognitive research has shown this) this is an important consideration when experiencing your emotions, to understand in a general fashion. Everything we feel has consequences, and we DO have to recognize that the efficiency of nature occurs due to having useful value.
There’s a LOT of information relevant to adoptees not commonly reported, but the implicit signals one receives nonverbally are overt, and the deceptions of human symbolic verbal language cannot cover the truth of pheromonal and hormonal signaling. Yet, unlike other animals who are rightly more wary of us, we may misinterpret such cues due to our learned and very personal social stress variables. We have to look into every response we experience in ourselves, to discover more about our own presumptions.
One more thing, both a caution of complexity (evolutionary scientists are more and more discovering that less and less of anything is “accidental” than was previously believed, but interlinked in responsive vast whole systems) and optimism:
We are NEVER in stasis, the mind – any neural system – makes associations with previously gained knowledge (or mistaken beliefs) with every new bit of sensory and motor information that has occurred while a living mind is awake.
Change is life. Even your most permanent-seeming bone is utterly renewed within 2 to 10 years Depending on the bone). All living things are constantly shedding that which is no longer useful or is worn, and your brain does this sometimes lightning-fast.
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