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  •  "Identify features" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pigpaste, Samer, RonK, Kimbeaux

    is not the same thing as "useful for psychology".

    Those features must be mapped onto psychological theory to be useful psychologically.  You may not have to start with psychological theory, but if you don't ever end up there, it's just a picture of blood flow.

    I'm not anti-neuroscience, of course. Quite the opposite!  But the idea that "progress in psychology" MEANS "understanding the neuroscience" is simply wrong.

    "will have a lot to tell us even about what is going on when we are studying for an exam."

    "what is going on" in terms of the neuroscience isn't obviously the right kind of information we need to address the needs of a student.   XYZs coordinate of blood flow, no matter how identifiable, don't tell anyone how to study until it is related to psychological theory.

    Ed Smith, who was an early pioneer in using PET and MRI technology to study cognitive issues, was once asked (I was there, this is an eyewitness account) why the new neuroscience methods were so promising and useful. His answer was remarkably simple and mundane: "They provide new dependent measures." Basically, our testing of psychological theory could be more effective with additional ways of testing it. It isn't about replacing psychological theory with neuroscience.

    There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who fit into one of two mutually exclusive categories, and those who don't.

    by zhimbo on Sat May 11, 2013 at 05:02:34 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Neuroscience isn't one fixed level of explanation (0+ / 0-)

      I'm taking a p.o.v. that included genomics (gene variant), epigenetics (gene expression variation), individual neurons, neural circuits, neural columns -- and all the algorithms required to represent what this whole mess computes.

      I'm not a dualist, so that inevitably adds up to the mind -- with all its psychology.

      Now, how all that will finally map back onto the cognitive psychology of 2013 I don't know. Unless cognitive psychology is as entrenched and unwilling to change as the American Psychiatric Association (and I have no reason to think it is), it will participate in building the computer models for cortical processes involved in cognition. I expect much will be learned in this area over the next two decades, and that cognitive psychology will come to look very different as a result.

    •  See, for example, Cori Bargmann on the likelihood (0+ / 0-)

      of never understanding even roundworm learning in terms of circuitry.

      •  Citation? (0+ / 0-)

        I doubt he is advocating dualism or vitalism for C. elegans . More likely he is advocating the use of models with many biological levels.

        •  She, and she's a geneticist and (0+ / 0-)

          molecular biologist. Why do you assume anyone would be advocating vitalism?

          •  Citation? (0+ / 0-)

            I see her lab does a lot of cell signaling work. Where are her remarks about the impossibility of understanding C. elegans learning? Or perhaps you saw something about the importance of cell signaling in C. elegans learning, and thought that must mean neurons aren't involved? Neurotransmitters are signal molecules, you know.

            •  I'm well aware of her work, thanks. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RonK

              Btw, it's always dumb to make condescending assumptions about any kossacks' knowledge and talk down to them in the absence of evidence that they don't know what they are talking about. When you know nothing about another person here, it's always a good idea to start by crediting them with some education and expertise at least as great as your own, especially on technical subjects.

              She made that comment in an interview, but I haven't found it on the web.

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