Author Topic: Neurology  (Read 122 times)

Offline SGOS (OP)

Neurology
« on: July 24, 2017, 10:52:17 AM »
I was just thinking this morning about some of the discussions we have had here about neurology, including some tangential complaints theists have lodged against neurology.  I'm about as poorly versed in the subject as the next guy, so someone might want to set me straight.  Wikipedia goes on and on but this is the part I was thinking about this morning:
Quote
Overlap with psychiatry[edit]

Further information: Psychoneuroimmunology and Neuropsychiatry

Although mental illnesses are believed by many to be neurological disorders affecting the central nervous system, traditionally they are classified separately, and treated by psychiatrists. In a 2002 review article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Professor Joseph B. Martin, Dean of Harvard Medical School and a neurologist by training, wrote that "the separation of the two categories is arbitrary, often influenced by beliefs rather than proven scientific observations. And the fact that the brain and mind are one makes the separation artificial anyway".[14]

Note that there is a close relationship between psychology and neurology, and of course there is a relationship, but the two areas seem widely different to me.  Psychology is much more philosophic than neurology because it somewhat clumsily deals with HOW THE MIND draws conclusions and perceives input.  Neurology identifies places in the brain that control various functions, and identifies various chemicals utilized to make THE BRAIN function properly, or improperly.  Neurology deals with the BRAIN.  Psychology deals with the MIND.  This may be an over simplification, but in my mind there is a huge difference between the mind and the brain, because my somewhat idiosyncratic definition of the mind is all about the perceived results of brain function.  Whereas the brain is just a physical organ that creates perceptions in the mind.

Everything I've read about neurology, granted it isn't much, is limited to neurons and synapses and electro chemical connections, and what parts of the brain create visual images, store memories, enables speech, or sends impulses to muscle groups, etc.  But I have never read anything that explains how all of this physical brain activity translates into that part of ourselves that makes us aware, think thoughts, or experience ourselves and the environment.  What I call the overlap between brain and mind is conveniently avoided in any explanations, and no attempt is made to describe what happens between brain functions and perceptions.  And it seems to me to be a wide gap, indeed.  Neurology seems to deal with the physical that creates a non material kind of "nothing" we experience in the mind.  BUT HOW?

We know quite a bit about the brain, and we know quite a bit about the mind, but we know precious little about what's in between.  Oddly, this in between is probably the most important part of who we are, and we understand almost nothing about that part.

This area of ignorance is fertile ground for theism, the philosophy known for supplying answers to what we do not understand and paints a picture of this thing it calls a soul, the part of us that supposedly lives on after we die, a part that is just the result of brain function that makes us cry for understanding to the point that some are compelled to speculate wildly and assert as fact.

Neurology, for all it knows, seems to me to be in it's infancy with the most important part yet to be learned:  How do electrochemical reactions become thoughts?  The same can be said of psychology, which for all it knows, has no understanding of how the physical brain reactions become actual thoughts, which are not physical at all, but are un-material wisps of consciousness that we perceive as our most important asset.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 10:55:14 AM by SGOS »

Offline Baruch

Re: Neurology
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 01:33:06 PM »
To summarize ...

https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/hist.html

Wundt, James and Freud are founders of neuroscience (though Freud barely qualifies).  Wundt was the first official psychologist.  James was mostly an educator.

Neurology uses the scientific method, but you can't see the forest for the trees (it is too complicated).  But you can find out medically useful things.

Psychology uses observation and introspection, of a pre-scientific type.  You can see the forest, but not the trees.  It isn't clear if it is useful.  Freud was the first medically trained psychologist aka psychiatrist.  But he was still a Jewish shaman.

However, since I am not interested in the medical angle, psychology is my go-to for philosophy in general.  I am not Platonic, I don't think that philosophical truth is "out there somewhere".  Philosophy is a human behavior pattern, it doesn't exist outside of humans (as far as we know).  So psychology frames it, necessarily.
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Online Sal1981

Re: Neurology
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 03:45:21 PM »
I'm a monist, and the words of  Professor Joseph B. Martin rings true to me.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline Baruch

Re: Neurology
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 06:30:32 PM »
I'm a monist, and the words of  Professor Joseph B. Martin rings true to me.

Ooh ... Dean of Harvard Medical School ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_B._Martin

Lay some words on us, you tease ;-)

He has passed on.  He was an Alzheimer's researcher.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 06:37:03 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Neurology
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 03:59:55 AM »
I was just thinking this morning about some of the discussions we have had here about neurology, including some tangential complaints theists have lodged against neurology.  I'm about as poorly versed in the subject as the next guy, so someone might want to set me straight.  Wikipedia goes on and on but this is the part I was thinking about this morning:...

Neurology, for all it knows, seems to me to be in it's infancy with the most important part yet to be learned:  How do electrochemical reactions become thoughts?  The same can be said of psychology, which for all it knows, has no understanding of how the physical brain reactions become actual thoughts, which are not physical at all, but are un-material wisps of consciousness that we perceive as our most important asset.
For someone not knowing much about neurology (and from someone the same), I think you explained it rather well.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!