LERNING FROM MASTERS OF
Oliver Sacks on Autism – “Rage For Order”
Oliver Sacks on Autism – “Rage For Order”
Oliver Sacks – Mind Traveler: Features the artist Jesse Park. Oliver Sacks explores the existential aspects of autism and attempts to describe the different perspective with which people with this condition view the world around them and the implications it has in interpreting the social behavior and intentions of others.
Oliver Sacks on Tourette’s Syndrome – Shane
The neurologist Oliver Sacks talks about Tourette Syndrome. Features Shane Fistell. Tourette’s is a neurological disorder that causes motor and vocal tics which vary considerably between individuals and also impulsive behaviours and reduced inhibition (and filtering) of thoughts, movements and sensory input. This may lead to a rapidity and expansiveness of thought processes and reduced reaction times. Obsessions and compulsions are a consistent feature of TS and may involve thoughts, speech and movements such as touchings or evening things up and counting. This portrayal provides a sensitive and insightful perspective – a welcome and more representational alternative to the often simplistic stereotypical media depiction of the disorder which has been responsible for much misunderstanding and distress to sufferers.
Sacks on Science Friday
Sacks on Radiolab
Wired: The Fully Immersive Mind of Oliver Sacks by Steve Silberman
Watch this Oliver Sacks interview from 1989:
“The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour” spoke with Sacks in 1989. Joanna Simon asked him how he would like to be remembered in 100 years:
“I would like it to be thought that I had listened carefully to what patients and others have told me,” he said, “that I’ve tried to imagine what it was like for them, and that I tried to convey this. And, to use a biblical term, “he bore witness.”
Interview with Eric Kandel: The best way to learn about the brain is to study one single cell at a time…
Eric Kandel: A New Intellectual Framework for Psychiatry – published in 1998 in The American Journal of Psychiatry, 155(4), 457-469. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/ajp.155.4.457
“A COMMON FRAMEWORK FOR PSYCHIATRY AND THE NEURAL SCIENCES
This framework can be summarized in five principles that constitute, in simplified form, the current thinking of biologists about the relationship of mind to brain.
Principle 1. All mental processes, even the most complex psychological processes, derive from operations of the brain. The central tenet of this view is that what we commonly call mind is a range of functions carried out by the brain. The actions of the brain underlie not only relatively simple motor behaviors, such as walking and eating, but all of the complex cognitive actions, conscious and unconscious, that we associate with specifically human behavior, such as thinking, speaking, and creating works of literature, music, and art. As a corollary, behavioral disorders that characterize psychiatric illness are disturbances of brain function, even in those cases where the causes of the disturbances are clearly environmental in origin.
Principle 2. Genes and their protein products are important determinants of the pattern of interconnections between neurons in the brain and the details of their functioning. Genes, and specifically combinations of genes, therefore exert a significant control over behavior. As a corollary, one component contributing to the development of major mental illnesses is genetic.
Principle 3. Altered genes do not, by themselves, explain all of the variance of a given major mental illness. Social or developmental factors also contribute very importantly. Just as combinations of genes contribute to behavior, including social behavior, so can behavior and social factors exert actions on the brain by feeding back upon it to modify the expression of genes and thus the function of nerve cells. Learning, including learning that results in dysfunctional behavior, produces alterations in gene expression. Thus all of “nurture” is ultimately expressed as “nature.”
Principle 4. Alterations in gene expression induced by learning give rise to changes in patterns of neuronal connections. These changes not only contribute to the biological basis of individuality but presumably are responsible for initiating and maintaining abnormalities of behavior that are induced by social contingencies.
Principle 5. Insofar as psychotherapy or counseling is effective and produces long-term changes in behavior, it presumably does so through learning, by producing changes in gene expression that alters the strength of synaptic connections and structural changes that alter the anatomical pattern of interconnections between nerve cells of the brain. As the resolution of brain imaging increases, it should eventually permit quantitative evaluation of the outcome of psychotherapy.”
Jaak Panksepp (2010): The Primal Power of Play
“Play and depression may be opposite sides of a coin,” says Dr. Jaak Pansepp, Baily Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being at Washington State University. He explains how “real play” is essential to a child’s development. He also describes his serendipitous discovery of rat laughter. Enjoy!
For Neurobiology and Psychoanalysis: Thoughts, Ideas, and Controversies page, please follow the link HERE.
“The Astonishing Hypothesis is that ‘You’, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased it: ‘You are nothing but a pack of neurons’.”
– Francis Crick