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Brain-Scanning Potential Politicians

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posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 01:10 PM
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Since we can't actually go inside another persons mind and see if they're lying, I wonder whether recent fMRI (functional magnetic imaging) research into the neural-correlates of sociopathy can be used as a test to screen for potential sociopaths seeking public office - obviously not to help democracy, but to help themselves. There are very clear correlations that can be used in multiple ways - and unlike a lie detector test which checks for skin conductance i.e. indicating how the autonomic nervous system responds, an fMRI scan can go right into the brain and check for those signs of sociopathy that can be hidden, for example, by controlling your autonomic response and so "escaping notice" of the lie detector.

Background knowledge



The basic theory behind this approach is the correlation between mental functions and brain functions. In more simple terms, what you think emerges as a function of how your brain is organized. At the same time, since each of us come into this world as baby's needing the support of adults to help construct our sense of self, the early brain - which is only 1/3rd the volume of an adult brain is being constructed by the relational-information that adults bring into their interactions with the baby.

In other words, your brain gives us insight into your mind. Even more importantly: with the success of someone like Donald Trump running for president, wouldn't it make good sense to screen out dishonest and self-serving people who do not feel the sorts of emotions needed to be an effect public servant?

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. An open-society - a vision first suggested by Henri Bergson (himself inspired by Kant) and promoted by the philosopher of science - is about increasing public knowledge so that an educated population would know more, and so be more effective in taking control of what matters: the collective good.

Say what you will (and I know people at this website are largely structurally disposed in this way) about George Soros, but I cannot see anything wrong in Soros criticism of the concept of an Open-society:


Billionaire investor and progressive-left political activist George Soros, a disciple of Karl Popper,[21] has argued that sophisticated use of powerful techniques of subtle deception borrowed from modern advertising and cognitive science by conservative political operatives such as Frank Luntz and Karl Rove casts doubt on Popper's original conception of open society.[22] Because the electorate's perception of reality can easily be manipulated, democratic political discourse does not necessarily lead to a better understanding of reality.[22] Soros argues that besides the requirements for the separation of powers, free speech, and free elections, we also need to make explicit a strong commitment to the pursuit of truth.[22] "Politicians will respect, rather than manipulate, reality only if the public cares about the truth and punishes politicians when it catches them in deliberate deception.


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And this is the problem. Conservative strategists like Lutz, Cheney and Bannon, use research into the functioning of the mind to inform politicians and media outlets allied to the right (fox news, conservative politicians) on how to speak so as to generate a "flux" for a particular interpretation. Conservative media of this kind is intensely calculated so as to generate the desired effect.

A solution to this problem, of course, comes from the neurosciences - a way to "peer inside the mind" that carries the mantle of truth - because, in order to have a particular structural feature present in your brain anatomy, you must also have a particular way of interpreting information.

With that in mind: that brain structure corresponds to mental structure, I offer you the following evidence:




“Illustration of normal septum pellucidum (thin membrane separating the lateral ventricles) in a non-antisocial control (a) and the cavum septum pellucidum in an individual with antisocial personality disorder (b).

Coronal magnetic resonance image slices are at the level of the head of the anterior limb of the internal capsule, caudate, putamen, accumbens, and insula. Highlighted within the bue box is the septum pellucidum, dividing the lateral ventricles and bordered superiorly by the body of the corpus callosum and inferiorly by the fornix. The normal control (a) shows a fused septum pellucidum, whereas the participant with antisocial personality disorder (b) shows a fluid-filled cavum inside the two leaflets of the septum pellucidum.”


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This finding - which is a consistent feature of people with antisocial personality disorder (aka psychopathy, or sociopathy) - shows a lack of myelination that would generally lead to the "fusing" of the two sides of the brain through the septum pellucidum.

The right hemisphere of our brain is the "systemic" consciousness that picks up information from the environment and our bodies for our left-hemisphere to reflect upon. Thus, a person who responds to an external condition that is prompted by the right hemispheres coaxing - such as a suffering face - would lead to inter-hemispheric communication of this information into the left-hemisphere, where the thinking/linguistic mind would 'reflect' what is known in the right brain, and "flesh it out" into a semantically meaningful understanding in the left-brain.

This finding of inter-hemispheric communication, between right and left hemispheres and even between right cortical (top of the brain) and the right brain stem (lowest part of the brain) is congruent with by-lateral tapping or eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) used by trauma psychologists to help "release" the unresolved trauma (affective build up) in the right hemisphere (where the trauma is "carried") into the left hemisphere, yielding a feeling of release. In other words, as one creature, our hemispheres should be unified, so that the body communicates with the brain, and the individual communicates with his social-environment. A brain that shows such connectivity reveals a mind that experiences such connectivity. On the other hand, a sociopath, as the evidence shows, is "affectively cut off" from the states of others, which helps explain why it is a sub-cortical structure which reveals sociopathy i.e. it is the lack of an affective, feeling, and motivational experience of the other that 'disconnects' from - not the knowledge that can be deduced about another persons feeling and motivational state.

Unresolved trauma - and living from the perspective of unresolved trauma - is probably the source of the emergence of sociopathy; and since discovering brain-semen epigenetic mechanisms operating between the brain of a male and his semen, such as "Piwi RNA", it becomes possible to conceptualize sociopathy as developmental - emerging as a function of adapting to the trauma-inducing behavior of others - or, it may emerge as a function of epigenetic inheritance - where a parent with sociopathy "passes on" epigenetic marker that bias how the nervous system self-organizes; and, of course, if the parent is a sociopath, then the 'system' of the child is already predisposed.





posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 01:12 PM
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The above video shows what every animal in nature does following a traumatic experience: an autonomic "reset", as it were, which is accomplished through what ethologists (animal behavior scientists) call a "traumatic discharge".

The Human, being a creature with a mind which constructs itself through stories, can only process trauma through mourning: but without mourning, the trauma persists as a 'core referent', which, in not being resolved, becomes a fundamental attractor in the way and manner the brain self-organizes.



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 01:16 PM
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Buck



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 01:22 PM
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a reply to: flatbush71

lol @ intermittent southern accent
edit on 23-11-2016 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 01:26 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

So basically there would be no more politicians.
Who would run countries and large multinationals?



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 01:49 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I can't help but think that this is a huge invasion of privacy. Even if we scanned everyone's brain who decided to run for public office, the correlations would only be circumstantial and purely speculative. You might be surprised to find that the most honest people you know have brains that mimic what clinical psychologists describe as sociopathic.



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

note to self : never EVER consent to FMRI scan



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: ColdWisdom




the correlations would only be circumstantial and purely speculative.


Not really. There is basically a whole science based on correlations called "neuropsychology". The field of neurology and neurosurgery basically functions with reference to correlations - and they work, almost always, in guiding surgeons in what not to touch when they conduct surgery. So its seems your skepticism is without substance.



You might be surprised to find that the most honest people you know have brains that mimic what clinical psychologists describe as sociopathic.


I definitely believe that sociopaths would regard themselves as "the most honest people". That's sort of a joke among psychologists: sociopaths think "everything is good" and that they never do anything wrong. It's perfect - why acknowledge or even recognize the presence of an issue when you don't even sense it? So, just as it would be a mistake to consult a blind interior designer, it would be a mistake to let sociopaths have any say - or any role - in a job which actually requires a capacity to recognize the needs of other people.



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 03:40 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Just one word of caution.
In the case of today's politicians. I think you should plan to make the scans on some lower body parts.

As the saying goes ... "Many of them speak through their mouths because their @$$ knows better."

Many of them have "crap" for brains.



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 03:40 PM
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a reply to: ignorant_ape

Even if you learned all about how this science works - and had overcome your (understandable) paranoia, you still wouldn't assent to it?

I understand the fears around civil liberty, but I would argue that the risks are GREATER if we keep simply 'trusting' potential politicians, instead of trusting that the correlation argument is objectively dependable, and that it can be used to screen out aspiring candidates which show the tell-tale signs of not 'feeling' the emotions of others, and so, manipulating them.



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 03:50 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte


So its seems your skepticism is without substance.


Oh really?

You do realize that your OP is teetering on an Orwellian surveillance state, don't you?


There is basically a whole science based on correlations called "neuropsychology".


Basically? or Is?

The area of research you are confusing yourself with is called Neuroscience. And I can assure you that Neuroscience does not rely on correlation as empirical evidence. Being declared sociopathic is subject to the observer, or in this case the neuroscientist. It is not a means to an end, no matter how well intended its applications may be.


So, just as it would be a mistake to consult a blind interior designer, it would be a mistake to let sociopaths have any say - or any role - in a job which actually requires a capacity to recognize the needs of other people.


You are basically advocating mandatory FMRIs with the intention of identifying and labeling people within a population as inferior or deficient. It all sounds to me like Moral Reconation Therapy, introduced by Scientologists. This is a form of population control and oppression, and it is susceptible to corruption.

The fact that you try and pass this off as some form of objective science is laughable at first, but I find it to be disturbing.



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 03:53 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte


Even if you learned all about how this science works - and had overcome your (understandable) paranoia, you still wouldn't assent to it?


YOU don't even understand how this Science works. Correlation and statistics are not empirical. Just the thought of implementing this on any scale, for politicians or for any profession, is Orwellian and it echoes the eugenic sentiment of Nazi Germany.

I can see it now.

"But, I'm not a sociopath! I swear!"

- "That's not what the brainscan revealed. Sorry, into the pit you go."


edit on 11/23/2016 by ColdWisdom because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 05:37 PM
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a reply to: ColdWisdom




You do realize that your OP is teetering on an Orwellian surveillance state, don't you?


So there is no threat in the other direction? Should we not be afraid of self-serving sociopaths, or no?




The area of research you are confusing yourself with is called Neuroscience.


Oh good lord. I should have suspected that people like you would attempt to confuse people about the scientific reality.

No, as a neuroscientist - and you're not a neuroscientist, so lets not pretend - the science has been very much about locating and understanding the various nuclei (cell clusters) throughout the brain and how they connect. This is called the "connectome" - and the connectome, in fact, is a project that seeks to correlate structure with function. In this case, structures are i) the various sorts of neurons, ii) glia, iii) endothelial cells. Each type of cell has either an excitatory or inhibitory function, thus, cells deep down in the brain, such as in the reticular activating system, release acetylcholine - an essential excitatory molecule that has receptors throughout the brain.

When you go to a higher level, neuro-dynamics studies the relationships between the various regions of the brain - and yes, almost every brain is wired in practically the same way; left hemisphere deals very generally with linear-interpretation i.e. manipulation of information, and so the left hemisphere has more dopamine receptors than the right, indicating what we experience internally as the "power" of thought.

Neuropsychology, btw, has many journals: its a more specific term than the general "neuroscience".




Being declared sociopathic is subject to the observer,


It actually isn't. This scares you - or you want people to see this as scary - but it needn't be, as it really only applies to people interested in running for political office - not anyone else.

It seems the people most likely to throw up their hands and accuse the person recommending this as being a tyrant are those people who have something at stake.

But for me, the question is: if multiple different brain scans reveal connection issues, then its in the public's interest NOT to elect a person like this to office.

Let me say this again: I am not advocating public brain-scans, but brain scans for people seeking positions which grant them incredible powers. It seems like it would make a whole lot of sense to do this.




You are basically advocating mandatory FMRIs with the intention of identifying and labeling people within a population as inferior or deficient.


Sociopaths are inferior and deficient when it comes to public service. Is is that hard for you to get - that a position like this requires trust? And that if your brain shows a sociopathic organization, you should be blocked off from positions that result in your self-enrichment? I see this as no different from a short person being "inferior and deficient" for professional basketball, or an accused pedophile "inferior and deficient" for being a school teacher.

This is all about protection. It is not meant to 'hurt' the person - or hurt their feelings. But it should be understandable that sociopaths shouldn't ever hold public office.
edit on 23-11-2016 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 05:38 PM
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a reply to: ColdWisdom

You really like exaggerating, eh? This is specifically directed towards public officials - not the average person, ergo, its the opposite of what the Nazis did.



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 06:34 PM
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I think it is necessary, appropriate, and time for this. Yes - give them a brain scan.

S/F
edit on 11/23/2016 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 06:38 PM
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Condoning thought crimes?

Some seem all for sacrificing every liberty for security.



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 06:41 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Hey - if you can stomach it, just continue posting your valid data and ignore the responses that negate or refuse to acknowledge the truth, the call, and the appropriate action that is evident at this point.


I'm on your side, for whatever nothing that's worth.




posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Yea...keep up the echo chamber and dissuade useful discussion.



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

See, just remember: the members posting who are trying to twist what you are saying are far behind modernity. It's equivalent to having the ability to find cancer in the body, but refusing to and ignoring the fact that we can do that.

Pathetic.....

just ignore them.

edit on 11/23/2016 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 06:46 PM
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originally posted by: JinMI
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Yea...keep up the echo chamber and dissuade useful discussion.



It's my job to explain to the masses what is happening.....
like it or not, you can't make me stop knowing what I know, and you can't erase it, either.

I deal in facts, and the latest in brain science, psychology, and social issues/sociology as well as anthropology. It's way over your head, I know, but that doesn't mean it isn't valid.




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