Jump to content


Senior Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


DrmDoc last won the day on September 16 2018

DrmDoc had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

277 Beacon of Hope


About DrmDoc

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Location
    USA (eastern)
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Neuroscience, Neuropsychology, Oneirology, Brain Evolution,

Recent Profile Visitors

22937 profile views
  1. Although I agree all regions of the brain contribute some quality to our behavioral outputs or responses, some regions contribute demonstratively and quantifiably more. Consider, if you will, the curious case of Phineas Gage who suffered a traumatic brain injury when a railroad spike rocketed through his left prefrontal in a 19th century railroad accident. Although Phineas survived and lived another 12 years after the accident, reports emerged suggesting he had suffered profound changes to his personality. Prior to the injury that destroyed his left prefrontal cortex Phineas, from most accounts, was a well regarded site manager for the railroad. After recovering from his injury, accounts are that he displayed bawdy and inappropriate behaviors, fits of anger, and an inability to maintain employment consequently. The injury appeared to have rendered Phineas with an immature disregard for the consequences of his behavior. From another perspective, consider the behavioral outcome of leucotomy (lobotomy) during the first half of the 20th century. Leucotomy was a widely used psychosurgical procedures separating the prefrontal cortex from the cerebrum that fell into disrepute by mid-20th century. Sometimes causing death, this procedure was employed to treat certain forms of mental illness and it frequently resulted in listless, indolent patients. These patients appeared unconcern with future needs or responsibilities beyond what may have been presently occurring. The behavioral outcome of these types of injuries and surgeries to the prefrontal cortex suggest that its function may contribute significantly to our anticipatory behavioral output. From my perspective of brain evolution, the cortex is merely an extension of subcortical processes and is where sensory stimuli is extensively perceived and assessed for suitable or reciprocal behavioral outputs. The prefrontal cortex evolved, in my view of evolution, concurrent with the anticipatory needs and behaviors of ancestral animals. It is my belief that our modern prefrontal cortical function is what gave our emerging ancestors a survival advantage over our Neanderthal predecessors. The quality that prefrontal function contributes to our behaviors is convincingly displayed by sufferers of hypofrontality in schizophrenia who predominately appear to have little regard for their behavioral consequences. Interestingly, we all experiences a transient form of hypofrontality during our dreaming stages of sleep. In conclusion and in answer to your query, the prefrontal cortex is likely the part of our brain that is most involved in assessing or predicting the consequences of our actions and behaviors. I hope this helps.
  2. DrmDoc

    Today I Learned

    And likely much closer today than you may think with all the furor Donald Trump has caused this county since soundly losing the presidency.
  3. Hello again, As a follow up and for clarity, dreams are efferent brain responses that do not trace a path to permanent or long-term memory unless they include or end in a real sensory experience. Recording our dreams, physically or materially, involves afferently real sensory experiences that refresh and reinforce our memory of the dream content we record. Unlike dream experiences, physical/material sensory experiences trace a path to memory through their neural altering impact. The evidence for this is shown by the neural affect of sensory experience on brain development. My particular interest in all of this, as I have previously commented, has been a better understanding of what I consider extraordinary dream experiences and content. I considered those experiences and content extraordinary when they have had some unquestionably real impact in my conscious cognitive experience. Consequently, I've acquired remarkable insight on brain evolution, neural development, brain function and the consciousness that function produces. It's my hope that what meager insights I've shared here have proved worthy of your interest.
  4. Forgive my descriptive ignorance, your perspective has been most illuminating. Through your words and insight, as I now more clearly understand, autism isn't necessarily debilitating or disabling. It is a neurodivergence from neurotypical norms as those norms are generally understood. My apologies for characterizing your experience as anything other than extraordinary. As I may not have adequately expressed, I do not consider the behavioral adaptations of autistics particularly divergent from those produced by the brains of neurotypical norms. In the brain, our responses are tailored by the type of stimuli it receives and how that stimuli is delivered and dispersed within its structure. Indeed, the autistic brain appears to be neurotypical in its responses to how it experiences stimuli.
  5. That person appears to be Marcus Hanke, didn't you read his post?
  6. For the moment, if you will consider, what if the way our brain develops and the way our behaviors are expressed consequently is predicated on the way it is prompted or influenced to develop? I don't claim to completely understand what may be happening in brain function with autism. However, what I do understand of average brain structure and function is that there's a neural distinction between what we experience sensorial and what we express behaviorally. I also understand that our experiences affects our cortical growth and neural development and, if deprived of experience, a type of neural atrophy can occur. If this generally accepted perspective of brain development is valid, it suggests that all aspects of cortical structure and synaptic development is influenced by our sensory (afferent) experiences. If you will consider just a bit further, what if the gatekeeper to our sensory experiences was somehow defective or faulty? Wouldn't that create some succeeding fault in the neural developments those sensory experiences are meant to create? It's my opinion that the unique synaptic formations in autistic brains is primarily a result of how those brains were forced to receive and process sensory information. Their neural gatekeeper--likely the thalamus--indiscriminately lets everything in forging atypical neural pathways and developments.
  7. IDK; but if there's truly a large percentage with sensory issues, then I think any associated neural research involving those issues seems appropriate.
  8. Where discussing "core symptoms," I believe we're discussing the response systems of brain function that likely emerge from some other causative affect on those systems. By ascribing autism to its symptoms, we are suggesting that the dysfunction of autism involves the output systems of the brain in behavioral expression. According to Markus Hanke, as I understood his comments, the problem seems to involve the input systems where sensory information enters the brain without filters or focus. If his experiences are atypical of autism, then sensory processing in the brain is likely a primary issue that should be thoroughly investigated as I have suggested--IMO.
  9. Hello All, Functionally, memory was evolved for experiences that had a real physical/material impact on the survival of ancestral animals. Dreams aren’t easily remembered because they are not materially real experiences and our brain is able to detect that distinction in sleep. If you’ve heard or read this explanation before, it probably originated from thoughts I’ve expressed here or elsewhere. What I may not have shared here or elsewhere before now are the mechanisms for this process in brain function. In the brain distinctively, neural activity flows in just two basic directions: Afferent for the direction of neural impulses entering the brain as stimuli from the sensory systems of the body and efferent for the direction of neural impulses exiting the brain as functional responses to stimuli. Dreams emerge from the efferent response systems of brain function and only emerge as a collective interpretive response to afferent stimuli. Memory was evolved for afferent stimuli, which describes stimuli that have a direct and tangible impact on the sensory systems of the body. Although our dream content relies on our brain’s memory stores to interpret stimuli, dreams are efferent interpretive responses that are only memorable for the afferent stimuli evoking their emergence. As they indeed originate from real sensory experiences, afferent stimuli are encoded with a physically distinct signature facilitating a unique and traceable neural path for each sensory experience to a designated state of memory in the brain. Without that physically distinctive signature, the memory of our experiences may never reach a state of permanency. From this perspective short-term memory involves stimuli and experiences that never reach a state of permanency. Dream content remains short-term because they are efferent responses that do not originate from afferently encoded stimuli. Dreams originate internally from brain function rather than externally though sensory experience. Although dream content does efferently interpret afferently encoded effects, those interpretations will not become permanent memories without afferently encoded signatures reinforcing their material value or memory worthiness—which is why recording our dreams reinforce our memory of them.
  10. If true, then that would suggest some extraordinary craving for stimuli...unless it is more like trying to consume everything at the same time rather in smaller, manageable portions.
  11. Although debilitating, it must be a remarkable experience. I've tried imagining the complexity of your sensory experience as a way to better understand what may be happening in the brain with this type of sensory experience. As I now understand through your insight, this may not be a connectivity issue as the OP and article link appear to suggest. The issue, as it appears to me, primarily involves the afferent aspect of sensory processing in the brain. Given this incoming sensory circumstance, the efferent functional responses to stimuli appears to be quite normal. The matter seems to be how incoming sensory data arrives in brain function and the dysfunctional effects that crush of data causes. As you've explained, "There is no functioning filter there to limit and focus sensory stimuli..", which points to an issue with a singular brain structure (thalamus) where all incoming sensory data (excluding olfactory) initially arrives before reaching higher brain functions. From my perspective of brain evolution, the thalamus--with its right and left hemisphere--is the proto-brain around which our neocortex later evolved. If my interests were not particularly challenged elsewhere, I might consider further structural investigation of the thalamus relative this issue rather than cortical connectivity as the OP suggests.
  12. I read a little bit of this article and have no opinion just yet on its validity; however, many years ago, I recall an online Q & A session with an autistic fellow who was particularly eloquent when allowed to type his responses. I recall someone asking why eye contact is so generally difficult among autistic individuals. He said, as I recall his reply, that he could not look at a person and listen to that person at the same time. What I understood from his reply was that he could not process visual and auditory stimuli concurrently without a type of sensory overload. If one is positing autism brain theories, those theories should provide a cogent sensory-to-response basis in brain function or structure for atypical behaviors such as a inability to concurrently process divergent stimuli.
  13. DREAM CONTENT If I may entreat your interest just a bit further, this is my final post on this topic: Perhaps, through my prior posts and links, I have minimally established that dream content arises from the stimuli our brain experiences amid its metabolic arousal during sleep. I said that the sensory experiences (visual, auditory, tactile, etc.) our dreams encompass are how our conscious, waking-state brain interprets or assesses the resonant stimuli it believes it experienced amid sleep. In support, I cited rapid eye movement (REM) as evidence of our sleeping brain’s interpretive responses to stimuli of a type that affects eye movement. While awake, eye movement is a reflexive response to visual stimuli, which is incongruent with the supposed effect of closed eyelids in sleep. While sleeping, our closed eyelids supposedly shield our sight from the distraction of real visual experiences in our sleep environment. The non sequitur of sleep stimuli relative to our actual experiences while asleep begs a question--what “type” of stimuli is it in sleep that our brain interprets and we perceive as sensory related when we awake? In prior comments, I said that memory storage is more like a path that stimuli travel to reach a state of permanency. I said that our experiences become permanent memories through a repetition of familiar stimuli along familiar paths (neural circuits) to their storage places in the brain. Further, I said that a functionally misunderstood subcortical brain structure (hippocampus) enhances what we remember through repeated stimulation of those memory circuits. For example, the memories we use to navigate our conscious, waking-state experience of life rely on the continual stimulation of the memory circuits associate with those waking-state experiences. This perspective of memory in brain function is applicable to overall brain function, as well as the type and source of the stimuli our sleeping brain experiences. As the memories we use to navigate life experience emerge from the continual stimuli or repeated stimulation we experience daily, our dream content emerges from the resonant, neural aftereffects of that same stimuli. Like a bell that resonates after striking, subcortical brain structures like the hippocampus continue to resonate the effects of unconsciously impactful stimuli into the interpretive response centers of our dreaming brain. Dream content interprets the resonant neural “effects” of stimuli that persist in sleep and, as essentially effects, dream content describes something indirectly related to an original and real source of sensory stimuli. This resonant relation to real experience extenuates the meaningful nature of dream content and why that content decrypts our unconscious experience.
  14. Hello again, While re-watching a PBS NOVA program on the “Mysteries of Sleep”, I was struck by how little popular research understands brain function and how much misinformation is disseminated about sleep and dreaming to the public because of it. One research presenter on the program, neuroscientist Rebecca Spencer, described the impact of sleep on memory formation relative to hippocampus function. Rebecca described the hippocampus as storage for temporary memory files that gets moved and organized into permanent memory storage during sleep. Rebecca theorizes that when sleep is deprived our ability to retain memory of what we’ve learned is impaired but she doesn’t explain how or why this impairment occurs. Like most researchers, Rebecca’s concepts of brain function appear to be based on a functional appearance that has no clear basis in our brain’s functional evolution, IMO. Brain function conforms to the nature of its evolution in that the functionality of recent brain developments is dependent on the function of earlier developments. As with most structures along the neural circuit for memory formation in the brain, the hippocampus is merely a subcortical depot or weigh stations for stimuli before reaching the memory functions in the neocortex. As a weigh station, the hippocampus adds a quality to stimuli that defines its memory impact, quality or worthiness. From this perspective, the neocortex is where all memories--short and long-term--are filed and the hippocampus merely rates or categorizes the nature of stimuli on its path to the neocortex. Rather than a shuttling of stimuli from short to long-term storage, memory is more like a path that stimuli travel to reach a state of permanency. Our experiences become permanent memories through a repetition of familiar stimuli along familiar paths to their storage places in the brain. The hippocampus enhances what we remember through repeated stimulation of those memory circuits. When we learn something for the first time, the path of memory to that experience is short due to continuous stimulation. As we go about our day, the path of memory to that first time experience begins to lengthen as other experiences fill the divide with more recent stimulation. Stimuli produces cell waste, which litters the path of stimuli to memory. The glymphatic processes in sleep clears the path of continual stimulation to memory of recently learned experiences thus enhancing related memory functions. This may partly explain why PTSD sufferers experience abnormal sleep as these very same glymphatic processes also clear a path for memories of recent traumatic experiences also.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.