How the Left Hemisphere Colonized Reality

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71 Responses to “How the Left Hemisphere Colonized Reality”

  1. Hools Verne says:

    As a neuroscience student I feel obliged to say that the brain doesn’t split creativity and logic along the left and right hemisphere. This much has clearly been established. It should also be noted that savants are a small sample of the general population of the autism spectrum and there’s a huge amount of variation among savants when it comes to skill sets. That said, I’m not sure the entirety of this research is bunk.

    Repeated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has been used to suppress neurons in the participants’ left hemisphere, so unless somebody has a critique of his methods section I’m inclined to believe that the rTMS is working the way he says, though I think the report is mischaracterizing what he’s doing because he’s clearly trying to depress certain structures in the left hemisphere rather than the left hemisphere itself. I’d be interested to know what structures he was aiming for.

    Finding performance increases among 40% of the participants doesn’t necessarily mean it they performing at chance though it could easily be repetition that accounts for it. I’d like to see his methods to know whether he used the same stimuli for both tests or just the same tasks. Assuming that he did actually control for repetition and that the 40% performed significantly better after rTMS then I think this does actually raise some interesting questions though I don’t think Rushkoff or Nat Geo are asking them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    maybe that’s why lefties are more creative;-)

    • LazarWolf says:

      Actually, there is some proof to this.

      The left side of our brain collects symbols and the like (letters, our interpretations of shapes, etc.), whereas the right side of our brain actually ‘sees’ in a way.

      In my drawing class, my teacher has been trying to get us to switch the side of our brain that we’re using to create more realistic drawings; rather than drawing each part of the body as a certain shape that symbolizes what we know as a head or a hand or a leg, we draw what we are actually seeing. This is probably why a lot of left-handed people don’t have good penmanship, and tend to gravitate more towards certain arts.

      However, this is not always the case. My father is left-handed, but also the most left-brained person I know. You can’t generalize everything, because there are other forces at work (anomalies, nature vs. nurture, etc.), but I can believe that shutting off the left side of the brain makes the right pop into play. The evidence is there when you try to draw something that you don’t recognize, and how much more like the actual object it ends up being when you draw something you do recognize.

      Do I know that magnets can do it? No.

  3. Anonymous says:

    hey, i think the guys name is Allan Snyder.

  4. Apashiol says:

    “In his new book, Left in the Dark, Wright argues that “humanity is suffering from species-wide brain damage” and this damage is the “root cause of our obvious insanity.””

    Wouldn’t he need a right-brained, more sane, control group, against whom all the rest could be compared?
    How can he make claims for a group that doesn’t exist?

    Or is asking for evidence just a symptom of my brain damage?

    The woo is strong in this one.

  5. Felix Lanzalaco says:

    Two big problems for tony if you care to answer. (BTW i wasn’t being sarcastic repeating somebody elses quote above at the end…i had left it in my text editor by accident)

    In neuro and normal physiology the absorption of nutrients is under very tight control. Excess of desired nutrients is either stored or excreted and there are often back up mechanism by which the nervous system can extract its required nutrients from different sources. The most well known example of tight control is the PH levels of extracellular fluids. Most of these mechanisms have taken hundreds of millions of years to put in place, long before humans came along. Most of the components of our nervous system and the entire cortex (Gaba, Glutamate neurons, Glial cells, lipid mechanism, axons etc) date back more than half a billion years to the sea. In humans there are a handful of mutations on these which make us different to primates. I mentioned these previously here. I am as open to the idea that forest diets can alter mutations as much as I am to the aquatic ape concept, and its well know that hormones can completely restructure ourselves in a single generation. But the aquatic ape concept concentrates on positive mutations, which is more likely as negative mutations tend to be screened out by selection unless they have strong secondary benefits.

    However there is one big problem with your ideas. Anytime there is actual damage to a brain region (including hormone excess) you tend to see a variety of things happening. A few main ones that spring to mind are :

    1. Inflammation of white matter
    2. Microtubule decay and possible plaque formation
    3. Hypofunction of Gaba or glutamate neurons which affect the glial system at the cortex surface.
    4. Breakdown in neural connectivity
    5. Inflammation of brain regions by PLA2 excess.
    6. Marked alteration of EEG patterns
    7. Alterations in blood and CSF flow and content.

    None of the above has been observed in the normal brain left hemisphere, and it’s been extremely well studied. As you can read in my paper, I have reviewed almost every study on lateralization of cortical content and compared them to dysfunctions which affect the hemispheres such as Schizophrenia, Williams disease, Autism and Alzheimer’s.

    These conditions usually show at least some of the above (1-7). This is what real brain damage is, yet the left hemisphere in normal subjects has none of the above.

    How do you explain this if the organ has “species wide brain damage ?”

    You are telling me that there is “broad spectrum support” for your theory in the neuroscience community that humans have damaged left hemispheres because the left hemisphere is a hard sell for novel information …even though there is not one shred of proof for neurophysiological damage ?

    This statement “broad spectrum support” does not sound right in itself, for example you would need a considerable amount of neuroscientists and anthropologists to call it broad spectrum support. Even well researched in depth theories similar to yours (i.e. the aquatic ape) have no broad spectrum support after decades of advocates. Without experimental data it takes a long time for that kind of support to occur. And there is none that the normally working left hemisphere has signs of neurophysiological damage..so far anyway.

    I presume what you mean is that there are key neuroscientists who support this concept of brain damage in the normal brain ? Are you referring to Snyder, Gazzanaga or Ramachandran ? I can’t find anything in their papers which states this. Unless I have made an error, this then gives the impression you are quote mining and being over inclusive in how you refer to or interpret other scientists for publicity reasons.

    However I am open to be proven wrong on this interesting concept if you are prepared to show me here where this opinion has been published or voiced by at least three eminent neuroscientists that the normal (not affected by stroke or epilepsy etc) left hemisphere has “species wide brain damage”.

    Felix Lanzalaco

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Accepted science”? If by that you mean “pop science”.
    The whole hemisphere mumbo-jumbo is highly despised by most of the neuroscientists and neurologists /I/ know.

    • IPFREELY says:

      Yeah, it’s all about identifying communication between small pieces, but for lay terms, hemispheres works nicely.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Lets suppose just for a minute that our left hemisphere is a hormonally retarded, structurally damaged, perceptually limited and psychologically deluded version of our right hemisphere…

    I can suppose that, sure. But it sounds so completely made up, that supposition better yield some excellent results before I accept it has anything to do with reality. Especially since I know the left-brained-right-brained dichotomy is exaggerated in the first place.

    To the extent that I can recognize species-wide insanity, covering everything from industrial to modern hunter-gatherer societies, very little of it seems to have to do with speech or rational thinking.

  8. Tom O'Leary says:

    It should be noted that the video clearly identifies the subject, both by the narrator and subtitle, as Allan Snyder, not Tony Wright. Tony Wright is not mentioned in the video at all. Interesting concept, though.

  9. Douglas Rushkoff says:

    Wow. This is both educating and relieving at the same time. I had been very creeped out by this stuff since I saw it a couple of days ago. I thank those educated in these matters for all you have shared. I read bicameral mind, but didn’t know how much real data had been gathered since then.

  10. Tony Wright says:

    Thanks for the response generally the idea believe it or not is a simple as this, is it worth checking our perceptual equipment?

    So Felix the very basic plot…the early developmental environment, the congenital and early transcription of DNA code effectively dictates life long structure/function? So regarding neural function/asymmetry etc, what you and everyone else are measuring/analysing is to a great extent the product of the currently ‘normal’ range of developmental environments and your results can only be of significantly relevant to those environments?

    If historically there had been a change in the transcription environment the results of current neural analysis would be at least in part be redundant in regard to that change?

    The evolutionary data appears to support that very basic proposal, the transcription environment, construction materials and neuro-chemical fuel were not only significantly different they were massively different. In simple parlance we were flooded with and built from hormonally and neuro-chemically loaded fruit, several kilos a day for millions of years, now we are not, that is all.

    A very basic summary here
    http://leftinthedark.org.uk/sites/default/files/Pictorial%20overview.pdf

    And here http://beyond-belief.org.uk/sites/beyond-belief.org.uk/files/katherine%20milton%202%2060cm%20low.jpg

    Some relevant data here http://beyond-belief.org.uk/sites/beyond-belief.org.uk/files/kmilton_micronutrient.pdf

    • Anonymous says:

      what does left hemisphere look like after epilepsy you mean.

      I have been through this point before several times asking you for an answer and no reply…so it seems now you don’t want to listen.

      Epilepsy is a condition that drastically alters a persons emotional and spiritual state in non cortical regions. then these patients have their cortex cut in half.

      Do you think this then logically leads to a good representation of left hemisphere function ?

      There are hundreds of better studies of left hemisphere function without the confounding drama that epilepsy brings to a persons psyche but you want to focus on this one famous flawed one right ?

      Are you at all interested in any of these other studies ?

      And sorry the links on your previous post did not make sense in a coherent narrative. There was some vague diagrams on diet variations, a picture of lecturer which didn’t say a lot and a paper which looked at diets of primates..

      This is not making a clear case or point. Is there a link to one clear summary in depth where everything fits together in an easy to digest format ?

  11. Anonymous says:

    this is in no way grounded in “accepted science”

  12. Anonymous says:

    Iain McGilchrist has written The Master and His Emissary on the same subject. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master_and_His_Emissary

    McGilchrist cites one piece of research that pretty clearly shows that we are in trouble if we become too heavily left brained:

    The neuroscientists Dennett and Kinsborne, for example, conducted experiments which involved temporarily deactivating one of the brain’s hemispheres. In their research they found that “when completely false propositions are put to the left hemisphere it accepts them as valid because the internal structure of the argument is valid.”

    I would not be too quick to dismiss the idea that the left brain has ‘colonialized’ society with some quite bad effects. On the other hand, I would not trade places with a cave man so I could be in better touch with my right hemisphere.

  13. Tony Wright says:

    Hello Felix

    It would help if you had taken the time to understand the basic proposal before pointing out apparent or real flaws. Think reverse engineering, if the archaic (forest dwelling) developmental and operating environment was flooded with a complex cocktail of transcription modifying, steroid attenuating, aromatase inhibiting, neuro-chemically active, powerfully antioxidant etc phytosterols such as flavonoids then you are not looking at structural changes via classic adaptation/genetic mutation. So either it was extremely phytosterol rich or it was not? Then after millions of years of co-evolution you lose that unique cocktail, what happens and how would that impact on the current interpretation of data and the data analysing equipment its self?

    Or by simple crude ANALOGY, a savannah based species with a large highly complex near symmetrical brain with high cognitive functions and a peaceful nature etc is encircled by rapidly expanding forest during a wet climate period. It survives by eating fruit, which happens to be loaded with testosterone and adrenaline. This (according to all extent data) inevitably impacts on the developmental environment, directly affecting neural structure and the length of the developmental windows as well as real time function, neural asymmetry, gender differentiation i.e. everything. One of the results of the modified neural system (neuro-endocrine system) is it begins to pump more testosterone and adrenaline, the exogenous chemicals driving a feedback loop leading to ever more neural modification. After millions of years the species has transformed into an highly aggressive animal with a very primitive neural system without a significant change in the DNA, the structural/physiological modification is primarily hormonal. Then the climate dries up and the forest disappears, the feedback loop stalls and goes into reverse, after several thousand generations the negative feedback loop has restored something approaching what went into the forest. Now analysing the structure and function would not tell you much about its final days in the forest unless you extrapolated from KNOWN effects of high and increasing levels of testosterone etc.

    Or think major shifts in balance between oestrogen’s and androgens on the development of a foetus regardless of its gender. The hormone regime is virtually all powerful re the basic physiology and neural structure regardless of the genetic code.

    Very simple developmental biology, change the transcription environment change everything.

    Re ‘unanswered question’ on oriental Soya rich diets, I did not get around to answering it as it is already answered in at least two places. Soya isoflavonoids merely demonstrate the powerful hormonal properties of plant chemicals. They were not likely part of our evolutionary past and are closer in strength to our own oestrogens than most flavonoids. Generally flavonoids tend to compete with and dilute the activity of steroids etc. So your point is simply not relevant to the context I have proposed and that would be apparent if you had bothered to check rather than taking my word for it, something I strongly encourage.

    Re reductionism/logic I already stated (on this thread)that it is hardly a unique perspective. I am simply pointing out a very specific and much broader context including a perceptual loop that has as yet not been considered to accommodate the data/observations. That in turn offers a neurological explanation (supported by the very same data) for the subjective deficits of logic and the current requirement to break things down to understand them. So I cant see your point here, I am saying those very limited approaches can still be used to identify the problem by simply asking an unexpected yet retrospectivly obvious question re the reliability of our perception equipment. Any proposal re severe neurological damage will require the existence of orthodox data even if it has gone unrecognised. A bit like deducing from the data that one is variably colour blind, once you ask the question it will be relatively easy to ‘logically’ deduce even with the limits of logic without re-aquiring colour vision. Again, I don’t recall anyone seriously asking this question within this context so I am not doubting the potential to use existing tools it would still require the question to be addressed in the 1st place? It seems some people do not like the question being raised at all, this is actually predicted by the orthadox data…please check for yourself.

    Exactly where have I said the orthodox data is flawed, limited perhaps by the remit of given protocols, and unrecognised due to untested presumptions but not generally flawed. What I have said based on that very same ‘data’ (that is why I cite the data?) is that trusting our assessment/interpretation of that data is where we need to be very very cautious and at least be willing to check for the traits the orthodox data has thrown up. A propensity to confabulate, deny, self delude etc, not my data, orthodox data!

    Having done just that the response has been most interesting, perhaps you can comment on why eminent multi-disciplinarians in the very fields related to this proposed enigma have not simply dismissed this as the invention of my deluded mind?

    • Felix Lanzalaco says:

      I am as interested if not more in this subject than most, but the presentation really is not clear in the sense i am used to, for misunderstandings not to occur. i.e. A typical science paper has every term clearly defined, and expounded in a structure to mitigate misunderstanding, and ease digestion in one sitting.

      e.g. your statement “Then after millions of years of co-evolution you lose that unique cocktail, what happens and how would that impact on the current interpretation of data and the data analysing equipment its self?”

      well your basic problem here comes across as some scientists denying your theory, and so you then accuse them of having overtly left brain deficits, by relying on 70′s split brain research, which showed dramatically how the left brain jumped straight into delusional denial. Of course the problem with that research was they split the brains of people with epilepsy. This condition induces mania and delusion, so what roger sperry did was show how the left and right brain process information after they have been through prolonged trauma, and delusion had become part of their emotional makeup, then add to this even more trauma of split brain surgery.

      What did sperry get ? The left cortex logic (which is based on denial no doubt) infused with limbic system delusion pattern gave the wrong conclusion on how the left brain works. I have tried to tackle you on this point previously. You are completely misunderstanding how the left brain works, when its functioning well. When it works well it transcribes, and encodes reality, giving us robots, computers, languages, maths, engineering or on a more everyday level law, accountancy and organization. Its doesn’t like radical ideas, because they get in their way. However show these people an application of the radical ideas to increase their interests and they will break down your door. They are not completely unreasonable or deluded. Just interested in the processes that reflect their dominant left side more than their weaker right side. The converse often goes for the right brain dominant person. They tend not to listen, study or stick to scripts that work, instead forever chasing novelty and seeking to re-invent the wheel, diverging and discontent. Thats a few reasons they are frustrating to the left brain dominant personality. (my tests tell me i am more right brain by they way, so not having a personal dig here)

      Your proposals on hormones and brain structure are not clear. But i have done a lot of work in this area so i can get the gist anyway. The female brain is symmetrical the male one asymmetrical (simply put) and diet alters this. Andrew Lehman has done the most up do date work in this area following on the work of Annets right shift view of human evolution. basically Lehman also proposes that our brains had a more feminine structure.

      http://serpentfd.org/postulates.html

      You said

      “Exactly where have I said the orthodox data is flawed, limited perhaps by the remit of given protocols, and unrecognised due to untested presumptions but not generally flawed. What I have said based on that very same ‘data’ (that is why I cite the data?) is that trusting our assessment/interpretation of that data is where we need to be very very cautious and at least be willing to check for the traits the orthodox data has thrown up. A propensity to confabulate, deny, self delude etc, not my data, orthodox data!”

      Its you who have interpreted this. As i pointed out that split brain view on the left brain being deluded was confounded at the time by experimental context, and revised in the 1990′s. It seems you are not familiar with the subject of laterality in depth. So this had lead yourself to have erroneous conclusions on left brain processing being deluded which form a great part of your thesis on its function.

      You said

      “Having done just that the response has been most interesting, perhaps you can comment on why eminent multi-disciplinarians in the very fields related to this proposed enigma have not simply dismissed this as the invention of my deluded mind?”

      Self selection to bring a lot of popular names on board to make presentations positive is what it looks like from the websites and vids. There are about 30 eminent theorists that endorse my work. When I get the chance i interrogate them as to why they do. Sometimes I find they are being too polite, open minded or self interested. I am not interested in those who agree with me for these reasons. Only those who have the technical ability to give me the hardest time, and why they do so. I solicit the reviews of people who insult me and do not like my work. ITs not self flagellation (unless they are deliberately obtuse for twisted reasons), but the best way to improve yourself.

      My well respected supervisor in particular should never have supported my original thesis on the data i gave him, and i now do not trust to submit work to him for review anymore. He approves and agrees too easily. Never take that somebody eminent agrees with you as meaning anything significant. There is no social hierarchy in science where quoting names will help in the long term. Its not done this way. Thats the first thing I learned. Give somebody a hard time if they agree with you.

      Back on topic you said

      “After millions of years the species has transformed into an highly aggressive animal with a very primitive neural system without a significant change in the DNA, the structural/physiological modification is primarily hormonal.”

      this is not true. There are major hormonal differences between the main existing races,both in natural genetics and in sensitivity to diet effect on hormones. So we can study the full range of the human spectrum and hormones right now if we want to, from almost berserk, psychopathic populations to androgynous, creative and peace loving men. And the reverse pattern for women.

      You say we are more aggressive and primitive ? On what basis, where is the evidence for this ? Can you build a world without strength ? You wouldn’t like to find yourself trying to fix something important under tough conditions without aggression. Are you referring to the periods of war which shaped our nations ? This was purely a phase because as humans traveled opportunity to take territory arose until there was no benefit in fighting over it any more. Most of it was just, bull..strategic game playing. If it was so primitive we would have nuked ourselves ten times over by now. Instead we have science, nanotechnology, Ai, Increased lifespan, social care systems, medical research, space stations, probes to mars, layer upon layer of higher ethics and Law, multiculturalism, rapid shift to fix our environment, art etc etc.. Most of the remaining wars are far smaller affairs occurring in backwards nations, or due to the troubles between religions. War has decreased exponentially over the past 2000 years, even taking into account the world wars.

      So to summarize this is why your thesis does not make sense to me.

      A. You have not presented clear in depth biological models to an academic standard, that can be followed and digested on a historical timeline.

      B. The basis of your attack on left brain processing is flawed.

      C. The idea of symmetrical brains being long gone is misnomer. half the population of our planet today has them. i.e. Women.

      D. The problem itself is still a mystery..what exactly is the problem ? Are we not in a pretty amazing world considering where we were just 400 years ago ?

      Felix Lanzalaco

    • IPFREELY says:

      Tony, my friend, in case the replies cease from those that attack you, instead of the work, I’ll gladly tell you, honestly, that I already dismissed your work as an invention of your deluded mind. Yet, I also have the understanding that we may not in fact live in The Matrix, and that hard work is the only way people can make things real in this world. So, thanks for all your inventions, dude.

  14. IPFREELY says:

    “my frontal lobe and executive functions are fucked, so I get awesome cross cleft activity because of the reverse neuron transfer flow between my limbic system, all thanks to marijuana and being pretty well off before all that brain damage…”

    I just wrote that on my facebook link, but I have had so many undocumented concussions, it’s not even funny, apparently I was too bad ass or expendable in high school football to keep out.

    I also took speech and communication classes in college because mine were so poor, but no concussions (that I can remember) since, so the quote holds true still from my vantage. I started a group on facebook to pass legislation, but congress is on it. R.A.A.A.C.S. or… Reasonable Adults Against Adolescent Contact Sports. I also have a similar theory, but it’s because of the football industry and head banging (in general, rock on).

    I see the evolutionary feasibility of this man’s ideas. The science is there.

  15. Anonymous says:

    As a right-brain dominant person (left-handed/ambidextrous visual artist with a history in physical activities such as competitive swimming, gymnastics, and dance) with a good working relationship between the halves of my brain, I find this fascinating, though even my right brain isn’t convinced that it’s “accepted science”.

    This theory, however, does not explain at all the totally irrational beliefs (Obama is a Muslim, there are aliens among us, almost any government/military conspiracy, etc.) that so many ‘left brain dominants’ appear to hold dear. ‘Rational’ thought, one of the specialities of the left-brain, is not in evidence anywhere in these concepts.

    My personal theory is that most people are just plain dumb as dirt and barely use either half of their brain, instead relying on spinal reflex and the primordial lizard brain at the core to get through their day to day life.

  16. Poufiasse says:

    Fucking magnetic pulses, how do they work?

    • Felix Lanzalaco says:

      google michael persinger. His lab does the most work in this area. They stimulate the natural activity patterns of the cortex, so overstimlation “appears” to result in phase cancellation and shutting down of a hemisphere after 30 minutes.

  17. Phlip says:

    And in those high and far off times, O Best Beloved, there was a scientist who liked to tell JustSoStories, about how the elephant, with ‘satiable curiosity, got his long trunk, how the Glyptodon got its scaly armor, and how the Homo Sapiens got his ability to make shit up that sounds scientific…

  18. Anonymous says:

    Of course, the fact that the above commenters are arguing in simplistic, sophistic “gotchas,” instead of a nuanced understanding from having read the entire book and its arguments on their own, may itself speak volumes about the neurological processes at work…

  19. Anonymous says:

    Okay, as an actual neuroscientist who has published peer reviewed papers on the topic of lateralization, I can say with absolute certainty that Alan Snyder is full of shit.

    First, the “Left Brain/Right Brain” story has long since been dead for all but a handful of fringe outsiders like Drs. Wright and Snyder who don’t have much actual neuroscience training (Snyder is trained as a mathematician and physicist). There are certain processes that are lateralized to one hemisphere or the other. For example, attention to visual space is unilateral in one parietal lobe (i.e., the receptive fields of these sells only look at the opposite side of space) and bilateral the other (i.e., these cells respond to stimuli in both the left and right visual fields). Damage to the “bilateral” hemisphere will produce visuospatial neglect. However, it does NOT cause you to lose your sense of the concept of “space.” And it certainly does not mean that all spatial processing is lateralized to this hemisphere. This classic, overly simplified view of cortical functioning is as farcical as it is insulting to real neuroscientists.

    Second, we now know that the left and right hemispheres share a lot of functioning and play off of the mutual computational strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you’re trying to do something complicated/difficult with your left hand, then motor areas in the left hemisphere (which normally controls the right hand) are recruited to help perform the task. Hardly fitting with the generalized “competitive” view of the brain proposed by Drs. Snyder and Wright.

    Finally, Dr. Wright brings up scientifically untestable ideas because they are not falsifiable. They’re abstract constructs with no quantitative structure. Where are the “creativity” cells in the brain? What are their tuning properties? Why is it that people who are born without a corpus callosum (the pathway that connects the hemispheres) are perfectly normal in their brian functioning in almost every way? All Dr. Snyder’s work has shown is that when people are more aroused by ramping up the left prefrontal cortex, they respond faster and draw a little bit better. Big surprise.

    The Left Brain/Right Brain theory died a long time ago thanks to sound scientific research. It’s time for everyone to accept this fact… particularly scientists who should know better.

    • Jesse M. says:

      First, the “Left Brain/Right Brain” story has long since been dead for all but a handful of fringe outsiders like Drs. Wright and Snyder who don’t have much actual neuroscience training (Snyder is trained as a mathematician and physicist).

      Having recently read Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and his Emissary recently, I have my doubts that this totally dismissive attitude towards the “left brain/right brain story” is really the consensus view. McGilchrist is a psychiatrist involved in neuroimaging research, and in the first few chapters of his book he cites a large number of scientific studies to support his ideas about the different cognitive “styles” of the two hemispheres (not so much the pop culture idea that the right brain is more ‘creative’, more that it’s better with gestalts and ‘the big picture’ whereas the left hemisphere is better at narrow attention to specific details and rule-based thinking). The later sections of the book speculate about how the interplay of these styles has influenced various cultural shifts throughout history, and to my mind these later sections are a lot less convincing, but I definitely recommend that anyone interested in the subject read the at least the first two (long) chapters.

      Aside from McGilchrist, this interview with Michael Gazzaniga (a respected researcher in cognitive neuroscience) has some interesting comments on left-right differences–he echoes McGilchrist in the idea that the right hemisphere is better with gestalts, saying that it’s ‘very important in what we call a perceptual grouping. You open up your kitchen drawer that has all the utensils in it and you somehow see the parmesan grater at the bottom, even though there’s a gazillion things on top of it but you go right for it. You see it, your brain puts together the elements into the picture’s perceptual grouping. You can think of a forest, a dense forest, and then you see the deer walking by, how do you know it’s a deer? Well you’re getting little glimpses of its parts and your brain puts it together, that’s the deer. And you find out that the right hemisphere is the one that’s doing that.’

      Yet another respected researcher who argues that there are broad differences in the cognitive styles of the two hemispheres is V.S. Ramachandran–for example this review of his book Phantoms in the Brain quotes him saying ‘We know that the left hemisphere is specialized for many aspects of language and the right hemisphere for emotions and “global” of holistic aspects of sensory processing. Given its role in holistic aspects of vision, the right hemisphere has a broad “searchlight” of attention that encompasses both the entire left and entire right visual fields. The left hemisphere, on the other hand, has a much smaller searchlight, which is confined entirely to the right side of the world.’ And this article summarizes some of Ramachandran’s ideas on why right brain damage is correlated with patients denying the reality of their paralysis: ‘he suggests an explanation in terms of the role of the left hemisphere in creating a coherent, stable narrative or interpretation, sifting through the massive array of detailed inputs, ordering them and folding them into an existing worldview, ignoring anomalies or distorting them to fit … In Ramachandran’s view, the right hemisphere plays the role of revolutionary, questioning the status quo and drawing attention to anomalies. The right hemisphere keeps the left’s story-telling in check.’

    • Felix Lanzalaco says:

      You are mistaken to take such an extreme view against lateral differences. What occurred after sperry and Gazzaniga research was that some flaws were found and the left/right brain liberties that had been taken too far in popular science were dealt with. Fair enough.

      However even after all that to do this day there is wealth of data, and new studies showing the lateral differences do exist across the temporal lobes at all levels. Neurochemical distributions, cortical column structure, neuropychological data based on fMRI. The lateral differences are less pronounced at the anterior and posterior parts of the cortex nearer the midline (i.e. Visual system differences are almost non existing at the longitudinal fissure) but do still exist.

      A recent study.

      http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/63826/title/How_the_brain_chooses_sides

      I can provide meta analysis of this newer data, if you are interested in updating your view (which is the late 1990′s one)..but it is not a hot area anymore so understand if there is not much motivation to engage in this.

      Felix Lanzalaco

  20. Tony Wright says:

    ok links above dont work, these titles should be enough

    Cellular mechanisms of estradiol-mediated masculinization of the brain

    Effect of flavonoids and Vitamin E on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) transcription

  21. Jesse M. says:

    By the way, on the subject of enhancing right brain function, there’s an even more effective method than transcranial magnetic stimulation: it’s actually possible to temporarily anaesthetize half the brain by injecting anaesthetics into one of the carotid arteries, it’s called the Wada test, and it’s done fairly often for epileptics who are due to have brain surgery to try to cure serious seizures. There’s an interesting (half hour or so) video about this here, the discussion of the Wada test starts at about 14:30, and they start giving an introduction to some actual video at 21:30, video starts around 24:40 (with regular pauses for further explanation of what’s going on in the video).

    If only I could get some neuroscientist to do this for me recreationally!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Please see Vaughan Bell’s article on Mind Hacks which references a study that does a good job debunking the idea of “right brain thinking.”
    http://mindhacks.com/2010/09/12/the-death-of-right-brain-thinking/

    “Taken together, creative thinking does not appear to critically depend on any single mental process or brain region, and it is not especially associated with right brains, defocused attention, low arousal, or alpha synchronization, as sometimes hypothesized.”

    As CC commented, the brain must be understood in a much more holistic way, and as the poster who referenced Jaynes said, its function is intimately tied with culture.

    The brain is far more complicated than left and right and isolated packets controlling certain functions. Everything is meshed together and is incredibly messy, and everything in the brain is reliant on everything else in the body and ever perceptual input. To think otherwise is a culturally-biased oversimplification which will only lead to further confusion.

    And to refer to our whole culture as brain-damaged does a huge disservice to those who are *actually* brain damaged, a serious and tragic occurrence. As the first poster suggested, this is sensationalistic science journalism of the first order. Grounded in accepted science, my foot!

  23. Tony Wright says:

    Regarding other researchers etc, I have attempted to highlight what appear to be contradictions in the ‘interpretation’ of data by some key figures working in the field of cerebral asymmetry.

    Distinct from those split brain researchers the initial broad-spectrum support is not for an abstract hypothesis but for the basic proposal, severe species wide damage with the typically resulting insanity and delusion. Not something most people would support without some consideration?

    As for my interpretation, yes I make that clear, I also encourage anyone to look at the data/evidence/observations and tell me what they see without trying to figure out an explanation i.e. what does typical left hemisphere behaviour look like. These two clips contain a lot of information, watch out for the ‘interpreter’ seen in the 1st vid and why despite its propensity to fabricate explanations Gazzaniga wouldn’t leave home without his. Then his own interpreter explains why it is the interpreter, according to his own data, Gazzaniga’s own left hemisphere is interpreting the data, maybe that is just fine, what do you think?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfGwsAdS9Dc&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZnyQewsB_Y&feature=related

  24. Tony Wright says:

    Epilepsy mechanical damage via injury or congenital damage etc unilateral damage would likely highlight any significant asymmetric dysfunction. Ie the hemispheres in isolation would likely demonstrate more accessible evidence for asymmetric dysfunction
    Being that we are all obliged to use the very same kit to asses such enigmas real or imagined. However if there were asymmetric dysfunction it would be easier to observe.
    It might also create the very appearance of asymmetric dysfunction where there is none ie the injury’s or techniques creating the isolation also create the apparent dysfunction or some other related explanation
    Or simply isolating one half of a specialised unit that is supposed to operate in the way it does etc.

    These and other possible explanations need to be considered in ‘context’ However as that is proving elusive, specifically on the traits that are easy to identify in an isolated left hemisphere…

    A whole bunch of researcher producing a library of Phd papers going back many years on the same kinds of dysfunction (or specialised adaptations) existing in the normal population, not quite so easy to observe objectively and of course we are using the perceptually asymmetric kit to do the observing. And of course our reference points for normal may well be suspect?
    http://beyond-belief.org.uk/sites/beyond-belief.org.uk/files/On%20the%20Perception%20of%20Incongruity.pdf
    http://beyond-belief.org.uk/sites/beyond-belief.org.uk/files/Trivers2000.pdf
    http://beyond-belief.org.uk/sites/beyond-belief.org.uk/files/sleights%20of%20mind.pdf

    The very fact that such research exists in relative abundance is interesting, efforts to explain phenomena that seem to correlate with cerebral asymmetry. Again, there is observation, then attempts to explain, according to the data, the variable and often contradictory explanations are inevitably courtesy of the left hemisphere
    Also unambiguous injury/damage does appear to induce or amplify the very same traits the left brain currently considers specialised?

    Felix, While it may be a near bullet proof circular yet highly deluded argument, it does not negate the possibility that it is valid, you are using the kit that is the subject of this proposal to asess the proposal and the circular nature would be real.

    Anyway a Phd paper on ‘primate’ diet…..that’s right, one of very many explaining the engineering no-brainer in a format you like. We were (our complex neural system) once built and fuelled almost entirely from an extraordinarily complex cocktail of plant bio-chemistry that was variably rich in transcription modifying neuro-active compounds. Now we are not. Apply this very well documented and very basic principle to any basic engineering system and find some one who will tell you it will make no difference. Apply it to a highly complex extremely chemically sensitive system that was the product of a co-evolutionary process for millions of years and…

    The image of the researcher was simply to help you asses the data in the paper and of course give you the opportunity to tell me I’m wrong regarding a minimum 95% loss of that unique bio-chemical structure. (very basic engineering)

    Or put simply and mentioned on this thread we (our neural system) were once built from a shit load of fruit now we are not. (now of course you need to bother your ass to figure what the familiar concept of fruit is, some basic botany and pharmacology will help, oh then some endocrinology etc etc)

    Finally the very simple diagram, sorry it didn’t cut it, a lot of people have found it helpful as it highlights where a variable that inevitably results in structural/functional change could enter the congenital (and therefore lifelong function) transcription environment in an evolutionary context. And according to ‘data’ like that of Dr Professor Phd Milton and many others, it did just that for a very long time, then it didn’t. It was replaced by progressively impoverished bio-chemistry lacking the rich complex of transcription modifying and neuro-active compounds. In time and more recently there was a switch utterly unique in the whole of bio-logical evolution. The use of heat to denature the construction materials at a molecular level no longer bio-chemistry, very basic chemistry. One key example re the relevance to the very piece of kit your using to asses/dismiss this information, fatty acids, the super structure of your brain. Cant be arsed to explain yet again its outlined in the article posted earlier in the thread and several places else where and is well PhD researched, but forget neurology for a minute, very very basic engineering principles at a molecular level. But then again and of course, don’t ever take my word, initial reaction from a PhD specialist in neural development re fatty acids hints that it may be more than complete bollocks “WOW That is a wonderful article. Unless we do something radical it is bye bye”

    Lastly and no doubt part of my circular dysfunction I will bring you back to one of the researchers I questioned as you have at least implied my propensity for attempting to convince those insufficiently knowledgeable to comment of the potential import of my discovery. I initially attempted to find the most knowledgeable multi-disciplinarians (contextual ability?) in the most relevant fields. One name jumped out as he was considered a noted anthropologist and primatologist with a particular interest in neural evolution. He is also a noted sceptic and active member of sceptic society’s. Remember my ‘discovery’ is that we are severely brain damaged and the perceptual symptoms, very typical of structural damage make it very difficult to subjectively recognise the condition and even objectively identify it from the data that must exist as it requires something we now conceptualise as context. I asked for a response to use publicly, after quite some time and consideration he responded, his full quote below. Now there are many interpretations, he was being kind and taking pity on my obvious dysfunction? He like many other academics is easily hoodwinked by utter nonsense and BS? He suffers from the same condition I do and deserves equal sympathy (yes there is a loop in there)? Or just perhaps as the neurological ‘data’ correlating the ability to perceive context (a left hemisphere concept for something it cannot do) with cerebral asymmetry supports, he saw what many see and others find more difficult?

    “This is a totally new way of looking at the evolution of the human brain. It is so totally fresh, unexpected and hitherto un-thought-of that it will probably take a long time before evolutionary anthropologists and psychologists begin to take it on board; but it will make an impact, of that there is no doubt. It will be, it must be, taken very seriously in any discussion of human origins.”

    Oh and he has written lots of PhD peer reviewed papers, books, described hominid fossils and all that important stuff apparently necessary to validate ones ability to process information and the ability to spot context

    Colin Groves – Professor of Biological Anthropology at the School of Archaeology & Anthropology, Australian National University and author of several books including A Theory Of Human And Primate Evolution and Bones, Stones and Molecules

    Now if I can illicit that kind of response from him and other researchers with similar expertise, without any new data. Just a very very simple re-interpretation of existing data from a multitude of currently distinct disciplines that demonstrates a high degree of parsimony (course it does require the willingness to even consider re-interpretting that data and the ability to do just that from psychological resistance through to profound inability is predicted by the neurological data). As well as illicit a similar response from apparently ill-equipped lay readers my dysfunction must pose a serious threat to the status quo?

    • Felix Lanzalaco says:

      Those links were more relevant. the first paper describes the mechanisms by which people confabulate and destroy information when faced with loss.

      The second hints at the left brains denial facility in more recent reviews by the famous Ramachandran, although its not all his left patients that are doing this.

      I didnt need to read the third as i am well aware from work in neuropsychology of the mechanisms of delusion in general.

      First of all denial and delusion are generally two different things although they can crossover. Delusion is complete lack of awareness of reality while denial can be a logic mechanism by which you keep finding reasons to be convinced of something, amongst other things.

      Your thesis is the former i.e. denial is a sign of brain damage even though it is a cornerstone mechanism of science.

      Denial as a reasoning mechanism is more of left brain function. I am already well aware of this after years of frustration with some highly left brain types. What i did was not think them deluded or dysfunctional but analysed their actions in terms of very powerfull cognitive functions they posess which can lead to an advantage over others in cost/benefit game theory. Similiar to the first paper you presented on card games.

      The better you are at denying new information the more likely you are to not be persuaded from parting with your current resources (time, money, motivation on projects underway etc).

      Denial is a cornerstone of businessmen, lawyers and scientific review boards.

      So because somebody does not want to accept or admit publicly to novel information they are deluded due to brain damage ? is this a scientifically valid conclusion to reach ? Other people might call them shrewd game players or highly demanding that they do not aquire information until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

      So there is my real problem with your thesis. You call the powerful mechanism of denial a sign of brain damage. Why ? Because you are right brained and like to be open yourself ? I am just guessing because i had a phase like this myself. Then i realised i was just a sore loser who could not accept a model of man so different to me.

      There is nowhere in the history of science where not being open is a symptom of dysfunction, and plenty of reasons to think its a very powerful survival tool. Playing your cards close the chest is what they call it. Some evolutionist think being machiavellian is a cornerstone of human evolution.

      So let me get what you are saying here.

      You plan to prove denial is a sign of dysfunction and not a valid tool for game playing and resource retention ?

      That the left cortex is damaged due to lack of forest diet, and thats when people started denying.

      So you then have to prove people did not deny before the forest diet.

      How do you plan to go about this ?

      One way would be to find populations of people who deny and observe what happens if you feed them forest diets. Orientals are famous for denial, and also highly left brain. I have papers on that. Its even part of their cultural ethic never to admit to any kind of weakness.

      Actually your thesis really says that an entire race is brain damaged when you think about it. Yet these are the people who are so succesfull in business about 80% of what we have is produced by them, and they do not have higher rates of schizoid disorders which you would expect if they were brain damaged and deluded.

      Do you think any of the above is not reasonable criticsm (or denial) ?

  25. Letitia says:

    “If anything, it’s a left-brain-argued case against the left brain.”

    No – this is not a correct statement about what ‘Left in the Dark’ is.

    LITD is a damaged left-brained-argued case against the damaged left brain.

    This is a very important distintion, and what many people miss, through not examining the manuscipt or the website promoting this material throughly.

    Tony is not arguing that the left brain is inherently insane just that a left hemisphere developed under a certain hormonal regime is.

    I think it is fair to say that the presentation of ‘LITD’ is a reflection of the authors own ‘lens of perception’. If the proposal presented in ‘LITD’ is correct then there is a very obvious loop in there.

    However this does not distract from the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.

    Felix –

    “Sure you can alter them with diet but again thats almost like taking drugs. Its not dealing with reality.”

    I agree with you diet is like taking drugs – in fact I would go as far to say diet is taking drugs. Whatever diet that might be.

    AND the REALITY is for millions of years during evolution we consumed kilos of very specific ‘drugs’ every day. Tony is the first person I know of – and maybe there are others – that has taken the time to consider what epigentic affect this specific cocktail of ‘drugs’ had on genetic transcription and how this affected brain development and therefore the consciousness that it expresses.

    Testosterone has a powerful affect – and research would seem to indicate that it has a detrimental affect on the left hemisphere.
    These ‘drugs’ that at one time we ate in large amounts inhibit testosterone.

    The jigsaw puzzle is very small and only has a few pieces to fit together before a very coherent picture starts to form.

    I agree with you that the way ‘LITD’ is presented could be better, scientifically and in other ways, and I am certain that if resources were made avaliable this could be viable option.

    However to not take the time to understand the basic jigsaw puzzle, when there is an overwhelming body of evidence to support the core components – and I am not just talking scientifically even though it is there too – is possibly the biggest mistake we could make. Not only from a personal perspective but from a global one on the brink of what is staring us in the face. Denial a psychological trait that manifests in everyday concsiousness is a fitting response.

    • Felix Lanzalaco says:

      you said

      “Testosterone has a powerful affect – and research would seem to indicate that it has a detrimental affect on the left hemisphere.
      These ‘drugs’ that at one time we ate in large amounts inhibit testosterone. ”

      the steroid pathway is very complex. For example estrogen derives from Testosterone (T). So just saying T inhibits the left is not enough. I think T inhibits the left in people who have the ability to produce higher amounts of the T metabolite Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

      For example looking at the major racial groups DHT levels and their brain lateralization.

      Africans..Highest DHT levels, most right brain dominant.
      Europeans.Lower DHT levels less right brain dominant.
      Orientals. Lowest DHT levels Least right brain dominant.

      And interestingly the orientals have the most flavonoid altering diet. In fact Soy products and oriental foods are considered a good remedy for prostate cancer and male pattern baldness (both partly caused by high DHT levels). Facial hair, physical muscularity, body hair are associated with DHT. So you see the picture ?

      Is this brain damage..or just natural variations due to alterations in steroid pathways which give rise to different kinds of brain structure, that have an advantage such that the technology we are using and half of whats in your house are produced and developed to new heights of efficiency by people with these advantages.

      The jigsaw puzzle is very small and only has a few pieces to fit together before a very coherent picture starts to form.

  26. Anonymous says:

    felix……….you really don’t get it do you. tonys work is based on accepted scientific evidence by many top scientists. THEY HAVE PRESENTED PAPERS ETC on their specific area of research. what ony has done is apply this already overwhelming (accepted data) evidence. we all need neccessary distance to join the dots. if you are too far away you can’t make them out if you are too close you don’t see the other dots. (context).

    the big picture, the wholistic view is difficult for the left hemisphere, and it especially does not like new ideas that need a change in perspective……….. by the look of it. tonys work is very important and the point is really, that to not considder (with an open mind)the concept that we have a species wide problem and check it out… is the biggest mistake the human race could possibly make. over the last century alone we have killed more than a hundred million of our own kind and this MADNESS continues. we don’t play well with other. problem right there! come on take a real look. a new idea is biting us on the arse and many cannot see it (as the accepted scientific data would predict.) time is running out.

  27. Tony Wright says:

    I noticed a couple of comments from neurologists (people with the same kit between their ears as everyone else) I would interested in how you accommodate the developmental and operational sensitivity of the said piece of kit with the evolutionary ‘data’. It was ‘designed’ and constructed (in a co-evolutionary dance) in the most bio-chemically complex environment that evolution has ever produced, tropical forests. No great surprise that large supremely complex neural systems are almost unknown outside this environment. Then in the relative blink of an eye all that extraordinary complexity, rich in transcription modifying compounds has gone. Survival in some of the most chemically impoverished environments in time eventually replacing unimaginable complexity with non biological ‘junk’, heat denatured fatty acids minus almost all antioxidant protection and no complex bio-chemistry. Now if anyone can tell me how that would impact (or not) the most chemically sensitive piece of kit we know please do. A brief summary here, http://beyond-belief.org.uk/node/25 agreed not in an orthodox format, oh well. And for the left right specialisation peeps a summary that caught my eye years ago, http://leftinthedark.org.uk/PDF/Ramachandran%20VS%20Evol.pdf see if you can distinguish between ‘data’ and interpretation of that data by the very kit being discussed….then extrapolate.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Look again. The first horse looks to me more like a dog. The second one more like a horse, of course.
    Whatever you might think they look like, it is clear there are stylistic differences in how they are drawn.
    While you are busy being so skeptical ,consider experiments using magnetic brain stim to change subjects from right handed writers to left handed writers. Copy and paste the link below and you will find some evidence for this that IS scientific.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6SYR-4836066-1TK&_user=10&_coverDate=02%2F14%2F1994&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1491239380&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=22b6b3996537667f8188ada0bcce37b3&searchtype=a
    Now, if you will, please explain how savants can display extraordinary abilities that are clearly genius level and yet suffer deficits in almost every other intellectual function.
    Scientist should be asking this question. Within the answer lies power.
    Science absolutely needs mad scientists who dare to dream big and push hard on the frontiers of our understanding.
    Pangaea, when I was young was a radical theory. Today it is accepted as obvious.
    Water on other planets? Ludicrous.
    Tesla was derided and ridiculed as a madman by many of his contemporaries.
    Dream big and you will find that big dreams can come true.
    Everything that ever was created by anyone came into reality as a dream come true.

    Remember: Those who soar high in the sky look small to those who cannot fly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pangaea also shows that criticism of radical ideas does not keep down the ones that are true. It does, though, weed out the ones that are not.

    • PaulR says:

      Anon (What’s with all the Anons?), you should go back and reread the abstract of the paper you linked to.

      In their experiment, the reasearchers generated single magnetic pulses near the areas associated with motor control in 60 test subjects’ brains.

      When the pulse was applied on the side corresponding to the subject’s handedness (right side – left-handedness and left side – right handedness), they found that in order to generate a contraction of a thumb muscle or bicep, they could use a weaker pulse that on the other side.

      To me, as a ‘discovery’ borders on being a tautology. I’d guess that the experiment was meant to confirm an educated guess.

      Your brain will use more neurons with/for whichever hand/arm your handedness is. More neurons for a use, the more affect the magnetically-induced electrical pulse will have.

      Kinda like discovering that in species that have vocal skills, their brains’ language/speech centers are larger than in non-language species.

      No need to go all double rainbow on us.

  29. Tony Wright says:

    Posts appearing at odd time lengths…

    Oh and BTW, in simple language, the ‘objective’ is very simple, to identify the structural damage that drives the insaity (if of course it exists) from existing evidence, should be feasable. And having recognised it is there, manage it and treat it appropriately as a prelude to a fix, ie restoring the transcription environment that builds two fully functional hemispheres. If thats not obvious then maybe I have more of a problem than I can realise.

  30. ikoino says:

    Wow, that experiment makes me cringe!

    I recall taking a psych 101 course require us student to participate in two experiments. In other words, we were pre-volunteered to become guinea pigs. One experiment wired up two muscles in my face to an bio-feedback device that would reinforce the the combination of squinting and smiling at the same time – kind of a happy grimace. The problem was that my rather sarcastic family would grimace happily, quite often. So, after the second trial I nailed it. And then after 30 more trials, I reached a record in the experiment. The result? For several years afterward, whenever I was in a high stress situation, my left eye would twitch uncontrollably.

    This is my roundabout way a expressing horror at this experiment. Maybe something will come out of it. But, not so sure that result will be what was intended.

    • CC says:

      I can read between the lines. When he realises how he was used and then discarded by science, he will become enraged and employ his newfound savant powers to destroy us all by manipulating electromagnetism with his irrational, emotional half-brain. We are all doomed. Your words, sir, not mine.

  31. Nadreck says:

    No news here: we all knew this stuff was a Leftist Plot long ago!

  32. Laroquod says:

    Hard for me to understand the process by which Allan Snyder became Tony Wright, but this observation…

    “If anything, it’s a left-brain-argued case against the left brain.”

    …is excellent, particularly since its logic operates independently of whether or not you think the left brain/right brain dichotomy is “accepted science”.

  33. Felix Lanzalaco says:

    Again i had a problem getting the relevancy of the links. I have about 100 papers i meta analysed which relate to hormones and lateralization. I could paint a far worse and more complex picture, if i wanted to, but at the end of the day i did not find any problems.

    The left hemisphere retardation i presume you are referring to is the delayed growth, that is the Left cerebral hemisphere (LCH) lags behind the right (RCH) in development.

    Again this is consistent with the context updating hypothesis of LCH function. It waits for RCH activity before deciding on any kind of move, to commit neurophysiological resources.

    As you know my concept for this is that the hemispheres are the result of Calcium flow throughout the brains developmental scaffold (radial Glial). These are known to produce cortex wide magnetohydrodynamic pulses which according to my theory give rise to cortex wide magnetic polarization and this is why the cortex has a visible dipole structure.

    The resulting opposite processing activity of the left and right temporal poles are the asymmetry you expect from polarized structures. So there is no problem for me here. In a magnetic dipole the activity of direction is lead by one pole. In Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) the best results come when the RCH is activated before the LCH.

    The LCH is simply not interested in novel information, it prefers to stay consistent with its baseline state.

    Anyway i am repeating myself.

    You say the LCH is retarded yet the areas of maximal asymmetry are the Superior Temporal Gyrus (STG). The STG is larger on the left than the right, and this is where language is. There is no reduced LCH brain area that i have heard of, and the STG is not inflamed (which would indicate damage), so again where is the problem in the LCH ? It is only larger at the STG, and that gives rise to language.

    There is a major lack of information presented in your theory regarding what regions of the Left cortex are damaged in normal subjects, and how you have quantified this.

    Lastly Andrew lehman does a lot of work on hormones and evolutionary development of the hemispheres.

    http://serpentfd.org/historyevolutionchapter7.html

  34. Laroquod says:

    Why hasn’t the mistaken attribution in the article been corrected? There’s been plenty of time and the article’s author has already commented after the mistake was pointed out. The fellow who was attributed has even pointed out the mistake. Just let the mistakes flow? No, I have to complain. So this is me complaing. At least add an update!

    • Felix Lanzalaco says:

      There wont be an update as this is not intended to be an intensely worked theory which focused on solving a clearly defined problem using testing and taking on critics.

      I suspect it is barking at the moon of the ills in the world, or from inside the author himself. Not that I am saying that either aren’t real. I remain open minded that there has been cognitive degeneration in some manner (although stats suggest IQ has been on the increase for the past hundred years)as the fact is we did once have a different diet. Whatever the case, as it stands the approach is not methodological enough to achieve its ill defined goal.

      If it was a real attempt to solve a problem it would be written up clearly and sent for peer review rather than a series of confusing sprawling websites and videos. If the author cannot answer the technical questions or be methodical due to his own limitations (which is an understandable problem, we cant all know everything or be technical, deductive and creative) wouldn’t he would at least ditch his attention grabbing tactics and attempt to spend more time behind the scenes recruiting those who can ?

  35. Letitia says:

    Unfortunately Tony no this is not obvious to the main mode of processing.

    The only way for any of this to become ‘obvious’ is to have a ‘savant’ like right hemisphere moment and be able to percieve the basic jigsaw puzzle pieces in one go, the right way up, and all slotted together perfectly. When this happens yes it is all obvious and this process, like with savants, can happen within minutes, hours, days. With this in place the very obvious problem and solution would take weeks to implement.

    So unfortunately, as I know you are very aware, because the information is being presented to the currently damaged and retarded left hemisphere it will never be obvious. It will only ever be a slow and painful process.

    Daniel Tamet learnt icelandic in a week – something that most people would take years to learn as an adult. I don’t see this as being any different.

    Don’t get me wrong although the problem and solution are obvious, what is not is how to get past the pyschology of the obvious anosognosia*.

    *Anosognosia is a condition in which a person who suffers disability seems unaware of or denies the existence of his or her disability.

  36. Tony Wright says:

    Thanks Douglas for the mention, the Video is Allen Snyder discussing some of his early attempts to access savant like functions.
    Briefly what everybody has missed is the subjective perceptual conundrum that we are all perceptually constrained by the ‘normal’ neurological parameters and that includes those studying the brain and assessing the related data. So jumping in with subjective opinion after a cursory glance at others people’s assessment of the data would seem reasonable if there were no evidence for any hemispheric or structural deficiencies.

    However there is a mountain of relatively objective data telling us that there is a very serious problem, particularly affecting the perceptually dominant left hemisphere. The same data accurately predicts will miss the stupidly obvious and invent convenient explanations. So before jumping in without any clue whatsoever about the depth and context of the proposal consider this and be mindful of your reaction within the context of that same data relative to your own neural/perceptual function. I have proposed that there is overwhelming data (there would have to be) to support severe species wide insanity due to a catastrophic loss of structural integrity in our neural system! the structural damage affects our dominant hemisphere much more than our non dominant hemisphere due to archaic genetic asymmetry. If you cant be arsed to check out the data (because you already know its incorrect) if only to dismiss such an outrageous idea then consider this carefully. I have run the detailed plot past a number of eminent multi-disciplinarian academics in relevant fields i.e. neurology, anthropology, primatology neurochemistry, pharmacology etc as well as ‘intelligent’ well read general scholars.

    Now consider the perceptual/neurological loop, in asking if these ‘intelligent’ people with a great depth of knowledge in the relevant fields whether all humans including themselves could be severely brain damaged and very seriously deluded. A complete no-brainer you would think? Well it turns out that the data is way more trustworthy that subjective self assessment (just as the data predicts) and initial reaction is so much more important than just some provisional endorsement, it brings with it a major paradox, if of course you can spot it, good luck.
    Some basic summaries here http://beyond-belief.org.uk/
    And here http://leftinthedark.org.uk/

    • Felix Lanzalaco says:

      To Tony.

      Making a positive out of being strong minded is a requirement in science, but
      if you present a theory you are at least obliged to answer reasonable questions.
      As you are aware I have carried out the most in depth analysis of
      hemispheres in terms of neurochemical distributions, cortical column structure,
      lateral differences and the neurodevelopmental mechanisms for this to date,
      and did present you a series of reasonable questions, which were not answered.

      Your strategy in response to these and others appears to be to a version of
      dodging fire like this.

      A. Any questions based on data are fobbed off as being flawed due to the
      mechanisms by which the data is collected.

      B. By contradiction you then quote other scientists whom you have
      marketed your ideas to. Scientists who used the methodology you criticize in the first place.

      C. You are too busy to answer questions. Busy I understand preparing presentations
      to people with less technical knowledge that make a good audience and provide
      more positive feedback.

      You work is based on the data collection method you criticize, and you have stated
      no methods by which your data is filtered to avoid any of the problems you describe.
      Does a filtering method even exist then ? If so why has it not been written up ?
      This is a foundational part of science. Or would even having a data filtering
      method be “flawed methodology” ?

      I would also not use other scientists approval to back up my position.
      I question whether other scientists approval of my ideas is valid, as I am
      more familiar with the problems in my work than them. Many scientists who approved
      of my work were just being polite for an easy life for example, or they agreed with
      one aspect or had one facet of interest in common which had potential. I could easily
      quote mine these exchanges with nice graphics to give the impression I had a
      growing consensus to assist book sales.

      You to most people viewing this it looks purely like self selective reporting,
      quote mining and ignoring presented data without even developing a methodology
      to question the supposedly flawed data except blanket statements.

      In other words strong minded belief, persuasion tactics and question dodging rather
      than a serious attempt to solve a problem..(if there even is one).

      Having said that some of what is presented is interesting to me, as we cross areas.
      However If there is any truth in this theory as a whole i am not able to say at this stage.
      I would say for sure your approach does not appear to be the best way to go
      about producing an answer to whether your problem is a real valid scientific question
      or a personal “dis-ease” with the modern world being projected into a personal narrative.

      Felix Lanzalaco

  37. Felix Lanzalaco says:

    Anon (And to tony and his supporters in general).

    Anon said “felix……….you really don’t get it do you. tonys work is based on accepted scientific evidence by many top scientists. THEY HAVE PRESENTED PAPERS ETC on their specific area of research. what ony has done is apply this already overwhelming (accepted data) evidence. we all need neccessary distance to join the dots. if you are too far away you can’t make them out if you are too close you don’t see the other dots. (context).”

    So again i repeat the question. If our scientific perception is flawed how can you take pieces of science and build a picture out of it, without devising a pretty smart set of filtering methods and tools ? The kind any serious student would try to do if presenting his work to a scientific journal. Let me guess, the answer is the journal system is too flawed. It does have its problems, but all scientists are faced with having to sort out problems with it…that why its very existence and changing form is a high form of human achievement.

    You said “the big picture, the wholistic view is difficult for the left hemisphere, and it especially does not like new ideas that need a change in perspective……….. by the look of it. tonys work is very important and the point is really, that to not considder (with an open mind)the concept that we have a species wide problem and check it out… is the biggest mistake the human race could possibly make. over the last century alone we have killed more than a hundred million of our own kind and this MADNESS continues. we don’t play well with other. problem right there! come on take a real look. a new idea is biting us on the arse and many cannot see it (as the accepted scientific data would predict.) time is running out.”

    I am sorry this makes no sense as a paragraph. You make a statement the left hemisphere does not like to shift its perspective… then to follow this you quote death tolls and finalize with excitement over time. Death tolls in a population that is larger than ever, that seeks peace when it can, that cares for each other and assist other nations or groups who face disasters when we perceive it is not of their own making..

    All species prey in each other, and within each other. Chimps go on group hunts to kill rival groups. Lions kill the cubs of other lions. So where is the evidence that man was every genetically so different ? We know that we have in group altruism, but so do other species, and this can become abstracted in us for a while to all humans..(i.e. religion aimed to do this..and even to other species)…but its like holding a balloon underwater to our other side. When pressure is on, resources are tight, differences between groups irreconcilable, competition to great we do nasty things to each other that can wipe out all the peace that preceded.

    The main culprits for agression neurochemically and structurally are andrenaline, MAO genes, schizoid paranioa (high dopamine)and asperger tendencies..all of the above stirred up with high testosterone and structures of the brain which are implicated in psychopathy for revenge taking.

    All this has always been there. Its in primates, other species and its in us. Sure you can alter them with diet but again thats almost like taking drugs. Its not dealing with reality. The reality is what makes us go to war, what reasoning and ethics can we put into place to avoid it. Its thought and reason embedded in culture that brings a solution to the problems we face. Not drinking green tea, smoking weed or reducing activity which forces up our adrenaline. Its human thought and morality that has this amazing world you are so overexcited about. Its human reason and self control that stopped the largest nations playing poker at each other with nuclear weapons. Its human reason and thought that makes us recycle our waste and wish we could afford electric cars.

    So aside from problems here and there that are inherent to all creatures when pressured, problems which we seek to legislate against with human rights..again by reason…why exactly are you so overexcited..

    Because its your nature to be. I bet if i visited you, spoke to your friends about your life i would find a person who has always worried about anything and everything. Always had problems being free and easy. I suspect you, Tony and all of you are projecting your personal anxieties and that is why there is no clear hypothesis by which thought and reason can work with when it comes to this theory.

    But i am reasonable. Lay it out in a thesis..not a video. Video is not yet a mature medium to work with. Lay the thesis out with stats, biochemistry, mechanism, problem and solutions, ideas for experiments. All the supposedly left brain mechanisms which are so flawed, yet prolong your life and give you a safe and comfortable life in an evolving and amazing human world.

    It wont happen because you don’t want a solution to a defined problem which can be taken by others from you and succesfully broken down into stages and sorted out. What you want to do is grab attention and spread worry as a projection of your personal anxiety which expresses your own unique genetic makeup.

    I am sorry I have looked at this project several times. I have some part time background as an assistant in psychology, and that is why I think this is what it is all about.

    Prove me wrong and write up a clear and coherent thesis to a PHD standard which can be utilized by other scientists.

  38. Tony Wright says:

    Hello Felix, tried to run through your questions in some kind of order

    I am aware from previous correspondence of your background, I do not necessarily doubt the depth or accuracy of your analysis re current neurological function asymmetry etc. My point is very very simple if the ‘design’ (transcription environment) build quality, neuro-chemical fuel etc has significantly changed (let alone massively) bearing in mind how sensitive the piece of kit is then how much relevance does you data have re the evolutionary context I have proposed. It is super basic engineering, nothing more complex than doing a detailed analysis on the strength of a concrete mix after 50% of the cement has already been taken out or a survey of the ecological richness of a coral reef long after most of the coral has died due to a change in temperature.

    A. Not the mechanisms, evolutionary context re molecular ecology

    B.While I would say the methodology is limited (hardly a unique perspective) particularly in regard to dealing with multiple variables and complex context I do in fact propose there must be recognisable evidence that has emerged via those mechanisms or it does not fly. It will only require asking whether there is any chance of structural damage and a willingness to look within an evolutionary context, that is all.

    C. You are welcome to your opinion though I disagree, except for the bit where I am very busy. I have previously answered some of your questions, all of which are/were already covered in either the book, web sites or references. I simply don’t have time to repeat the same responses that require very little effort to find. Re presentations, yes some practice runs as I’m not a natural presenter, however one continuing objective is academic audiences. Im currently in discussions with Universities re presentations, a more academically orientated presentation is planned for December and 15 or more members of the Royal Society and several other academics were invited to the last presentation in London. Its not exactly like Im trying to hide this from academic scrutiny, bring it on… just dont confuse unorthadox methodology with the existence or otherwise of extent data.

    The basic mechanisms are already very well understood, there is no new data, none of it is mine, it is simply a reinterpretation of very extensive existing data and very basic biological mechanisms, that is all. And exactly who is to say how the basic proposal is best addressed as the presumption of functionality has not been addressed by the mechanism’s you seem to favour. Of course I understand the circular interpretation, the idea that the methodology is a product of the dysfunction, I do not suggest it cannot be used within the context of being cautious, in fact I’m partly relying on the accepted mechanisms to be able to do just that.

    Again there is no complex theory, just a broader context involving basic data from several disciples (a product of reductionism, in turn a product of our mind and I would propose not the advanced product it is generally considered hey ho, heresy no doubt.) So asking the opinion of scientists familiar with the basic mechanisms related to those disciplines seems just common sense, but thats me.

    Well it may look like that, in which case it will be very easy to dismiss, and certainly that is not an uncommon initial reaction by some people. However it is not the only reaction and as the instrument we are obliged to use in that process of dismissal or otherwise is the very same instrument that I am proposing has a serious structural/perceptual problem then I merely urge caution and a willingness to consider. Presuming it works isn’t exactly ‘good science’ I would seem sensible (sane?) to at least rigorously check our primary instrument without relying on subjective self assessment, if all is well then so be it.

    I would agree if anyone had ever taken the time to bother checking before now

    Well lets hope so then I can get some treatment and everyone else can breath a sigh of relief and we can all go on our merry way knowing we are fully functional…

  39. Anonymous says:

    hi felix, think you’ve missed the point….. it’s not the scientific data thats flawed in each disapline, but the interpretation of the data, with the assumption (bad science)that our brain works perfectly (just because no one had asked this uncomfortable question).
    to be arguing that our brain is fine,”because it is” is insanity without looking at the data. what tony has done is join the dots.
    without going on about each mechanism and data tony has researched, lets just look at some simple stuff. we as a species have overwhelming symtoms of degenerative diseases.hospitals everywhere, pharmasutical companies based on these diseases. to suppose that some how (magically) our brain, which is the most complex and susseptable to even minute chemical changes has somehow got away scot-free is a deluded and massive denial of even basic not-so-common sense. have a think about it please. lots of love.

    • Felix Lanzalaco says:

      To anon post 45

      You said “we as a species have overwhelming symtoms of degenerative diseases.hospitals everywhere, pharmasutical companies based on these diseases. to suppose that some how (magically) our brain, which is the most complex and susseptable to even minute chemical changes has somehow got away scot-free is a deluded and massive denial of even basic not-so-common sense. have a think about it please.”

      could this be to do with the fact that we live longer ? Its also considered by evolutionists like William Calvin that because the human brain is so overclocked in comparison to other mammals we are more sensitive and susceptible to seizures etc…its jam packed with more wiring and activity. The price of intelligence and our desire for creativity..which also renders us emotionally sensitive.

  40. IPFREELY says:

    Heh, just watched the video, still meant, “dude”, from the bottom of my heart.

  41. Felix Lanzalaco says:

    Well I didn’t expect a reply Tony, rather a discussion here amongst ourselves. so if I have been too hard then I will admit I am wrong.

    I will skip the technical questions except one that are unanswered as they would take several pages and should be put of till later as for now there is one main problem to be addressed.

    Firstly in reply to what you asked me which is basically “how can I use the lateralization data if its incomplete and brain structure has altered ?”.

    We can go on the information we have on mutations and structural differences between early primates and humans. There doesn’t appear to be that many. Apart from between race variations for temperament , hormone levels and lateralization differences between African (oldest) to oriental (newest) there were really only focused mutations on brain growth, frontal lobe complexity, grey matter densities, language, lipid metabolism and glial to neuron ratios.

    So I don’t see where the actual problem is with that. We aren’t that altered in a manner which cannot be studies between races and existing primates with current data.

    e.g. My questions on orientals. Orientals eat a diet which is more flavonoid. based , vegetarian and hormone altering (low Dihydrotestosterone inducing) than Europeans, yet have increase left brain dominance and language ability. This would seem to imply the diet you favour increases left brain dominance and the left brain problems you propose. What does agree with your hypothesis is that they apparently have the highest and fastest increasing racial IQ. As do ashkenzai jews who have unusual omega lipid metabolism which favours the aquatic ape hypothesis. i.e. It’s the fats consumed (and the metabolism of them) which make the biggest difference to brain structure. Its also known that altering fats has the biggest effect on laterality. i.e. Studies show that the extreme leftwards laterality that occurs in schizophrenia can be altered back to a more regular balance by an omega 3 diet (however that doesn’t cure the damage caused by secondary symptoms of high dopamine).

    But forgetting the technical aspect, and just getting to the core of your argument.

    You say reductionism or logic produces flawed results. These flaws of logic are well accepted already. Starting with Godels incompleteness theorem on logic, right up to today where Complex systems theorists such as Soon Chun Siong point out that traditional scientific methods are not currently suitable to be applied to larger generalizations (which are often valid) on complex systems.

    “The most commonly accepted paradigm of scientific enquiry is arguably that of falsification, originally proposed by Karl Popper. In the conventional approach, a prediction is derived from the theory being tested. Scientists find out whether this prediction is supported by the real world. The theory is falsified – or at least needs to be modified – if the real world yields results contrary to the prediction. This approach applies quite well to the simple sciences. On the other hand, this is often not possible when the subject matter is complex “

    Soon Chun Siong
    National University of Singapore

    However all this tells us is that logic (falsification) is a tool with limitations. So what is the constructive thing do in this situation? What do working scientists do ? They go out to define the limitations, and implement solutions to deal with the problem of their methods. I do not see this with your work. Your method appears to be invoke your own versions of incompleteness theorem to deal with anything contradictory rather than take a problem head on.

    e.g. You are saying then that you seek the advice of scientists within each discipline, because lack of multidiscipline has fragmented data. That’s already understood and accepted in science. Science had to do this to break down complexity into bits, and today is the age of integration now the complexity floor has been reached. Multidiscipline has been implemented as the new standard to solve the problems. Hardly evidence that this community is stuck in a flawed process, more that its implementing whatever is needed to solve problems effectively.

    So on that note you still have not answered how you solve this problem yourself. How do you filter the data you use ?

    You are saying that scientific data is flawed, so by any reason cannot construct a theory from scientists from each or any discipline, because your own theory is built on scientific data you have selected without a filtering methodology.

    • IPFREELY says:

      Woh. I think you bring up some fascinating research, but have you ever worked with living apes and humans who then died so you could look at their brains? That’s some crazy stuff, did it with lambs brains, but you’re talking about things so complex I shudder at the smell of formaldehyde.

      Secondly, I think you’re attacking the people and not the article at hand. Even though you say we’re doing the same in regards to not addressing the problem (“(if there even is one)”). Focus on the fascinating research which we’re trying to struggle with. I officially award the debate to Tony.

      • Felix Lanzalaco says:

        to IPFREELY

        “Secondly, I think you’re attacking the people and not the article at hand. Even though you say we’re doing the same in regards to not addressing the problem (“(if there even is one)”). Focus on the fascinating research which we’re trying to struggle with. I officially award the debate to Tony”

        My mistake. I had gotten the impression from unanswered questions previously that tony was one of those theorists who dodged criticism to go on grand world tours and would not return. There are plenty of so called scientists who do this. Obviously not, but still due to the points i brought up i find the theory confusing, and the non standard presentation is not helping me get to the bottom of it.

        So even if there is something in theory, its still not clear. You will find I am the kind of person who will try to make an effort not to dismiss something which has promise in spite of its problems. We cannot all be a good theorist and a good communicator, technically capable etc.

        • IPFREELY says:

          You’re like the prime example of what the article was about, I guess if you wanted to call it that, then you would be the problem. You really kind of have to study this stuff to understand it, I tried to make a general comment to an anonymous, but I guess you didn’t see it.

          I really couldn’t follow your arguments with a care besides knowing that even if I said the words you wanted to hear that you may not even understand them.

          It’s a paradox, that’s the problem, find a fix, and then you just proved it’s not really a paradox.

          It’s cool stuff to dream on.

  42. Tony Wright says:

    Felix, you keep reiterating the value of current observations re current functions etc, well I get that. In order to comment or criticise a ‘new’ proposal you have to at least get the basic plot.

    So significant modification to developmental/congenital environment in an evolutionary context pre-empts life long structure/function. In other words you keep telling me about data that is only relevant to what is going on now, it is out of evolutionary context.

    So the ‘primate diet’ paper that didn’t catch your interest, extrapolate the quantity and likely complexity of flavonoid compounds (not isoflavonoids as already covered)

    Then run the scenario of how flavonoids affect steroids and aromatase etc, these examples based on just a few well known flavonoids give some clues.

    The typical and archaic steroid regime and its lateralised effects due to genetic asymmetry are endogenously produced. The flavonoid mediated inhibition of those steroid effects re differentiation, developmental windows etc etc particularly in regard to neural development and structure were exogenous but stable and present in the development and operating environment for millions of years.

    ‘Damage’ is my proposal within the context of a unique neural system evolving in a unique symbiotic developmental environment and then the unique conditions were lost.
    So for example damage would equate to currently ‘normal’ masculinisation effects of steroids. And interestingly some researchers have used terms like retarded development in regard to the left hemisphere in an effort to explain the ‘normal’ asymmetric expression of that process.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T8X-4S0YXKB-3&_user=10&_coverDate=04%2F30%2F2008&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1503382837&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=b9b17746a80c8667ec8632ac2f9f7a34&searchtype=a

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T2C-4CKNPWN-1&_user=10&_coverDate=07%2F13%2F2004&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1501774313&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=397cfdd59d31206d22f5979c645d1812&searchtype=a

  43. namnezia says:

    I’m not sure this is accepted science!

    1. It’s not clear that the magnetic pulses are “shutting off” his left hemisphere. There’s no evidence for this! Plus if it did, he would have problems moving the right side of his body!

    2. His improvement could easily be due to practice. Plus that second horse looks just as bad as the first one.

    3. Did he try it with the magnet on the other hemisphere?

    4. This only sort of worked in 40% of his subjects. Sounds like chance to me.

    5. What’s with the sideways baseball cap?

    I hate this type of sensationalistic science journalism that simply promotes unaccepted ideas about how the natural world works.

    • glenaypia says:

      Shut up.

      1.” It’s not clear that the magnetic pulses are “shutting off” his left hemisphere. There’s no evidence for this! Plus if it did, he would have problems moving the right side of his body!”

      He is not turning off the whole Left HALF of the Brain, and movement is controlled in a different part of the brain. And is quite easily observed if you do an MRI of the brain.

      2. “His improvement could easily be due to practice. Plus that second horse looks just as bad as the first one.”

      Anyone who can compare two things together can tell that those two horses are drawn with totally different styles, the first had legs that were rectangles, the second had incorporated muscle structure. It wasn’t as good as someone who can really draw, but most of that is due to muscle memory, if this guy was able to have the ability to think like that all the time he might have practiced more and gained the muscle memory to really have drawing skills.
      Yes you are correct that some of that could have been due to practice. Although he was shown the same sentence many times the first time and did not notice the extra the.
      and his answers for how many dots were on the screen almost reduced by half. Thats a huge improvement.

      3. “Did he try it with the magnet on the other hemisphere?”

      I would have liked to see this.

      4. “This only sort of worked in 40% of his subjects. Sounds like chance to me.”

      Everyone has different brains, obviously it wouldn’t have worked on someone who already uses their Right Hemisphere.

      5. “What’s with the sideways baseball cap?”

      Yeah I don’t know about that, sounds like hes just a funny guy who wanted to look whacky.

      “I hate this type of sensationalistic science journalism that simply promotes unaccepted ideas about how the natural world works.”

      Yeah damn those people who thought the world was round, when everyone KNOWS the earth was flat back then. I HATE this type of misunderstanding of the intended informational journalism made by totally unbiased people who are showing you things that are happening in research. What would you hope to have happened? I guess you would just prefer that you never know that this was happening somewhere? There is no attempt in this piece to get you to believe anything, they are just showing what is happening and what the researchers findings are.
      Go be a stupid idiot on some other site.

      • Felix Lanzalaco says:

        My guess based on michael persingers lab (which does the most work in magnetic stimulation) is that the pulses are primarily affecting the temporal lobe and not the motor cortex. However I am not familiar enough with Snyders work to be in depth.

        Most of persingers experiments which induce pulses tend to enhance himppocampus function (religious experiences). I presume this occurs because the pulses are most effective at the hippocampal region. You may be aware the hippocampus is the area with the highest spike energy and gamma frequency potentials of any other area brain area.

  44. CC says:

    Curious. Julian Jaynes ‘The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind’, written decades ago, touches upon similar areas based on his philological analysis of the ancient Greeks. In his book he suggests that previously the connections between the left and right hemispheres were more tenuous and that the voices of the gods were in fact aural hallucinations experienced by the left and imposed upon it by the right in moments of extreme stress. He went on to offer the idea that the corpus collosum thickened and resulted in a more unified modern self.

    Hasn’t the idea that specific traits and abilities are confined to specific locales in the brain lost traction lately and been superseded by a much more holistic understanding? Neurologists? Neurologists? Bueller?

    • Anonymous says:

      AWESOME book, but I recommend Leonard Shlain (obliquely referenced here) “The Alphabet vs. the Goddess” as a complementary argument to Prof. Jaynes. I am not sure that we humans have evolved as quickly as Dr. Jaynes argues (from the Greeks to now) but I do think that there is cultural programming that provides the lopsidedness.

      - Ethel

    • Jonathan Badger says:

      I’m not sure I like the woo implications of “holistic understanding”, but yes, the classic characterization of logic vs emotion as being specific to the left or right hemisphere is itself a gross oversimplification based on early brain studies. Hemispherectomies don’t turn people into Vulcans or Romulans the way it would work if this were so.

      • CC says:

        Huh? Holistic: ‘characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole’. I know the word holistic has been co-opted by people who will cure one’s cancer by inserting magnets into one’s arsehole but I didn’t mean it in that way.

        Rather I was suggesting that, as I understand it, the view that ‘this bit of brain handles language’ or, as you say, that traits can be divided cleanly across hemispheres is antiquated, particularly when studies of people suffering cerebral damage show that other parts of the brain can substitute for some of the duties of those damaged areas, or the observation that language processing activity becomes more evenly distributed in the brain over the lifetime of the individual.

        Perhaps then if we do suppose we are suffering from brain damage which manifests as emergent sociological failures, one of the (hundreds) of neurologists currently reading BoingBoing and familiar with up-to-date research could offer more modern and accurate explanation than ‘Lefty made us do it’. I like my wild soaring fantasies to take off from a nice solid runway. Neurologists? Neurologists? Beuller?

  45. mr_subjunctive says:

    “Grounded in accepted science?” The only word in that phrase that means what it normally means is “in.”

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