Where Value Sits in the Brain, Sorta

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There is a specific part of the brain where, perhaps, our “values” are encoded, long-term in the cells genomes.

“All of us make many decisions every day. For most things, such as which jacket to wear or where to grab a cup of coffee, there’s usually no right answer, so we often decide using values rooted in our past experiences. Now, neuroscientists have identified the part of the mammalian brain that stores information essential to such value-based decision making. Researchers zeroed in on this particular brain region, the RSC…”

(The research) system was also set up to encourage the mice to make value-based decisions, including choosing between two drinking tubes, each with a different probability of delivering water. During this decision-making process, the RSC proved to be the region of the brain where neurons persistently lit up, reflecting how the mouse evaluated one option over the other. These studies confirmed that, with the RSC turned off, the mice couldn’t retrieve value information based on past experience…the RSC is heavily interconnected with other key brain regions, including those involved in learning, memory, and controlling movement. This indicates that the RSC may be well situated to serve as a hub for storing value information, allowing it to be accessed and acted upon when it is needed…it will also be important to explore how activity in this brain area may be altered in schizophrenia, dementia, substance abuse, and other conditions that may affect decision-making abilities”

Note: Problems with this model:

  • the values are encoded in the genes of the cells, not the tissues
  • Areas of the brain are hyper-parallel processors, so to say one “region” does something is misleading. It is the genes and wiring connecting regions that really “does” something.

Source: https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2020/01/16/a-real-time-look-at-value-based-decision-making/

A lesson from history about hate-based politics: "‘Everything I believed is turning out to be madness and a crime…’

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…once loyal Nazi worker who, as the war came to an end and the regime collapsed, declared:

How Behavior Happens

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“Here, we review computational models, behavioral findings, and results from neural recordings associated with these frameworks. In synthesizing this literature, we submit that decision making is best understood as a continuous, graded, and distributed process that traverses a landscape of behaviorally relevant options, from their presentation until movement completion. “

Gender Brain Differences Start During Gestation

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During ontogeny [development starting with conception], the brain is permanently organized as male- or female-typical in a process called sexual differentiation. Sex-specific brain development supports the emergence of behaviors necessary for reproduction, parenting, and social behaviors such as aggression. Sexual differentiation is driven by sex-specific hormonal signals.

In mammals, the major hormonal signal is the androgen testosterone, which is secreted by the fetal testes. In human males, testosterone secretion occurs prenatally, and this testosterone enters the developing brain and binds to androgen receptors, which act as transcription factors to shape sex differences in gene expression. In humans, the process of sexual differentiation is largely completed by birth. In females (both human and rodent), the process of sexual differentiation proceeds along a “default path” in the absence of an active hormonal signal, but also has a similar critical period.”

“Microglia and Beyond: innate immune Cells As Regulators of Brain Development and Behavioral Function”
Kathryn M. Lenz, and Lars H. Nelson
13 April 2018 doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00698

What Really Causes Behavior…

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Dont’ suppose any physicists/philosophers/economists/social scientists/marketers/etc even can comprehend this! lol “[The] system is organized as parallel sensorimotor streams, each contributing to a specific type of action within the animal’s [yes, humans ARE animals] behavioral repertoire, whose activity is orchestrated through selective invigoration, energization, or drive from the basal ganglia and other structures.

Debunking Cognitive Neuroscience, “Choice”,”Free Will”, “Decision Making”

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“…asking how “cognition” works may not be a biologically relevant question at all…”attention,” as a biological category, does not exist….In fact, there is no “decision-making system” in the brain, but instead a variety of selection mechanisms that gradually emerged within various circuits…”

#1 Cause of Death of ALL Americans Under 55=Opioid Overdose: 1 Story

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True Story:

“A 30 year old woman with multiple health and mental issues, many related to the opioid crisis. When she was 13, her mom hurt her rotator cuff. Went on opioids. Got addicted and went to rehab. In rehab, her fellow rehabbers taught her that heroin was much cheaper so as soon as she got out, she got a full-on heroin habit. This caused the daughter to have mental health issues so it was off to counseling which kind of worked until mom started cashing in the insurance checks to get more heroin. Mom was missing most of the time until she died of an overdose when the daughter was 17. Daughter got into an abusive relationship which took years to get out of and suffers from PTSD to this day.”