Pain is not suffering

One of the things that helped me most in learning to cope with the dozens of acute and bizarre symptoms that the psychiatric drug withdrawal caused was to become curious about my experience, yes, to attend to the pain and pay attention to it rather than avoid it or disassociate from it. This has not […]

Beyond Biological Reductionism Raymond Tallis: Madness Radio

Can people’s behavior really be explained by neuroscience and our evolutionary needs as hunter-gatherers — or is this just a popular fad? Does understanding the brain really solve the mysteries of being human? Neurologist Dr. Raymond Tallis, philosopher, Academy of Medical Sciences Fellow, and author of Why the Mind is Not a Computer and Aping Mankind: Neuromania, […]

The self-illusion

by PAUL WOODWARD
The best stories make sense. They follow a logical path where one thing leads to another and provide the most relevant details and signposts along the way so that you get a sense of continuity and cohesion. This is what writers refer to as the narrative arc – a beginning, middle and an end. If a sequence of events does not follow a narrative, then it is incoherent and fragmented so does not have meaning. Our brains think in stories. The same is true for the self and I use a distinction that William James drew between the self as “I” and “me.” Our consciousness of the self in the here and now is the “I” and most of the time, we experience this as being an integrated and coherent individual – a bit like the character in the story. The self which we tell others about, is autobiographical or the “me” which again is a coherent account of who we think we are based on past experiences, current events and aspirations for the future.

The trouble with brain scans

In the world of mental health and psychiatry the use of brain scans is often highly suspect the data from them is often been manipulated to support weak theories about mental illness. Still, neuroscience is exciting and the developments that are happening are certainly fascinating.

It’s a good idea to approach any reports that use brain scan data critically and carefully. This article in the Guardian brings up some good things to be aware of when considering any reports that use brain scans to support their claims.