The Problem with Neuroscience

By | October 3, 2018

Neuroscience has made little headway on the problems that matter most:

  • How do you explain diversity in temperament?
  • How are decisions made in the brain?
  • How are emotions implemented – in the amygdala – e.g. reading their instructions from junk DNA, and leveraging learned behaviors to further our innate drives?

Instead, neuroscience focuses on the easy problems:

  • Gross brain region activity
  • Signals (neurotransmitters, hormones)

A signal is like the trigger on a gun.  Who cares?  The interesting part is why someone decides to pull the trigger, and the downstream impacts.

Gross brain activity is equally unimportant.  Who cares?  In society, decisions are made by small groups, fewer than 1% of the population.  The same with the brain.  Brain decision-making is probably highly local, perhaps within individual neurons, reading their instructions from DNA and recording their working memories and assumptions back to DNA.

How do you explain diversity?  Why does Donald Trump have entirely different motivations (lust for power and adulation, need for domination and humiliation) than I have?

Those are the interesting problems to focus on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *