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View Diary: Going Foreward with Brain Imaging Should Include a New "Neuroethics" (47 comments)

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  •  Soon enough the right will (5+ / 0-)

    start focusing on this. Obama wants to read our minds and manipulate our thoughts! I guarantee this is going to be an issue for them.

    •  Perhaps they already have? (7+ / 0-)

      From pre-election 2004:

      When it comes to forming opinions and making judgments on hot political issues, partisans of both parties don't let facts get in the way of their decision-making, according to a new Emory University study. The research sheds light on why staunch Democrats and Republicans can hear the same information, but walk away with opposite conclusions.

      The investigators used functional neuroimaging (fMRI) to study a sample of committed Democrats and Republicans during the three months prior to the U.S. Presidential election of 2004. The Democrats and Republicans were given a reasoning task in which they had to evaluate threatening information about their own candidate. During the task, the subjects underwent fMRI to see what parts of their brain were active. What the researchers found was striking.

      "We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning,"
      says Drew Westen, director of clinical psychology at Emory who led the study. "What we saw instead was a network of emotion circuits lighting up, including circuits hypothesized to be involved in regulating emotion, and circuits known to be involved in resolving conflicts." Westen and his colleagues will present their findings at the Annual Conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Jan. 28. ....

      Once partisans had come to completely biased conclusions -- essentially finding ways to ignore information that could not be rationally discounted -- not only did circuits that mediate negative emotions like sadness and disgust turn off, but subjects got a blast of activation in circuits involved in reward -- similar to what addicts receive when they get their fix, Westen explains.

      "None of the circuits involved in conscious reasoning were particularly engaged," says Westen. "Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones."

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Sat May 11, 2013 at 10:13:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Coke's been doing it for years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, CroneWit

      A study by McClure et al. investigated the difference in branding between Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The study found that when the two drinks were tasted blind there was no difference in consumer preference between the brands. Both drinks produced equal activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is thought to be activated because the taste is rewarding. When the subjects were informed of the brand names the consumers preferred Coke, and only Coke activated the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, suggesting that drinking the Coke brand is rewarding beyond simply the taste itself. More subjects preferred Coke when they knew it was Coke than when the taste testing was anonymous, which demonstrates the power of branding to influence consumer behavior. There was also significant activation in the hippocampus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex when subjects knew they were drinking Coke. These brain structures are known to play a role in memory and recollection, which indicates they are helping the subjects to connect their present drinking experience to previous brand associations. The study proposes that there are two separate processes contributing to consumer decision making: the ventromedial prefrontal cortex responds to sensory inputs and the hippocampus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex recall previous associations to cultural information. According to the results of this study, the Coke brand has much more firmly established itself as a rewarding experience.[24]

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:22:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Advertising has been all about (6+ / 0-)

        influencing people's emotions so they'll purchase a product since forever. Some of the most creative stuff had to do with snake oil and assorted other tonics and elixirs sold to the public during and after they'd been entertained by whatever the Medicine Show had to offer. Fear, excitement, skills, pretty ladies, empathy (for the poor crippled shill), amazement... The medicines may not have been particularly good for you, but generally they weren't too bad. And during prohibition - or for domestic situations where the woman banned alcohol - the tonics were about the only alcohol to be had. If it had some slippery elm, sassafras and/or wild cherry bark, even tincture of elderberries, it might even be pretty good for what ailed them. Marketing, marketing. Or as Mel Brooks said as Yogurt in Space Balls, Moichandizing!

        Television quickly became the most successful medium for this type of advertising soon after it was born. Has been thus ever since - the entertainment or the news (which is entertainment these days) draws the crowd and tickles their emotions in between light-and-sound hypnotic onslaughts of well-researched advertising. Remember when subliminal messaging was all the rage? The backlash at that level of manipulation got it banned in its most overt form, but advertising still imparts subliminal messaging in a number of [legal] ways. That's what emotional manipulation is all about, in the service of products or ideas. Merchandizing.

        Public education in this country is never going to require classes in critical thinking/advertising awareness that would teach kids what it is and does and how to resist. Its job is to turn out good little consumers easily manipulated.

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