Why are you usually happy? or sad?

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Why are you usually happy? or sad?

Postby vivian maxine on September 29th, 2015, 8:14 am 

Particular brain connections linked to positive human traits; other, different brain connections linked to negative traits.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... ce+News%29

One wonders which came first.
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Re: Why are you usually happy? or sad?

Postby Paul Anthony on November 20th, 2015, 1:42 am 

vivian maxine » Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:14 am wrote:One wonders which came first.


Exactly. It is helpful to remember correlation does not prove causation. Sometimes I wonder if the creators of such studies are aware of that.

From the link: "Interestingly, the correlation shows that those with a connectome at one end of scale score highly on measures typically deemed to be positive, such as vocabulary, memory, life satisfaction, income and years of education. Meanwhile, those at the other end of the scale were found to exhibit high scores for traits typically considered negative, such as anger, rule-breaking, substance use and poor sleep quality." Gee, it doesn't take an MRI to reach such earth-shattering conclusions. That should be obvious since the theory originated in 1904.
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Re: Why are you usually happy? or sad?

Postby neuro on November 20th, 2015, 4:01 am 

Anthony, don't be so rude to scientists! :°)

One thing that may not be so clear from reading the article is that such connectivity may well be contributed to by genetic background, but is mostly produced and modulated during life, based on experience (and using one's brain!!), with a great plasticity at least to the end of adolescence (by the way, this is why drug abuse is particularly harmful during adolescence: heavy use of even "innocent" drugs such as cannabis during adolescence produces marked changes in connectivity).

Scientists may give this (genetic background only is one factor) for granted. Conversely, laymen may often think that such a study suggests that if you are born with a certain connectivity (due to your genetic background) you are bound to be happy (or sad).

Quite a communicative gap...
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Re: Why are you usually happy? or sad?

Postby Paul Anthony on November 20th, 2015, 1:17 pm 

neuro,

That was sort of my point. The findings imply a "great discovery" - that when the brain acts a certain way, we are destined to behave such. It seems just as likely to me that when we behave such, the brain acts a certain way. It's a chicken-egg conundrum. Which is the cause and which is the effect?
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