reply to post by Ghost147
gy does not apply the same process that science requires in determining facts about a phenomenon. Psychology solely uses speculation that is often
difficult or impossible to justify at a repeatable level. It may eventually combine with neurology in the future, but only then will it become
Ahaha! Got ya!
This is why I lol'ed at you. Psychology is already combining with neurobiology. Ever heard of interpersonal neurobiology?
Neuroplasticity is a starting point for a neurobiologically informed psychology. Clients should know that there efforts to change themselves are
justified by what we have learned about how the brain changes over a lifetime. These changes can be neurogenic (in the hippocampus, for example),
synaptogenic, which occurs throughout the brain, most impressively in the frontal lobes, and myelinogenic - the axons which channel information/energy
between neurons become insulated by a fatty glia cell called an oligodendrocyte, which speeds up transmission by up to 100 times.
Each of these process is the brain changing in response to where attention is placed. A particular part in the brainstem seems to facilitate this
process by releasing acetylcholine, a neuromodulator which enhances the effect of other neurotransmitters.
Psychology when paired with neurobiology produces a very powerful therapeutic framework. The polyvagal theory, for example, the brain-child of
university of illinois psychiatrist, Stephen Porges, basically explains how the autonomic nervous system modulates arousal levels through the vagus
nerve. The dorsal vagus conveys information from sub-diaphragmatic areas, such as the heart, lungs, and viscera, up to the basal ganglia. The ventral
part of the vagus enervates supra-diaphragmatic areas, such as the larynx pharynx, the cranial nerves, muscles for mastication, as well as the middle
ear bone used to discern human speech. The ventral vagus (also called the nucleus ambiguous) conveys efferent information, while the dorsal branch
conveys afferent information. Porges pretty much discovered that the ventral vagus is the mammalian adaptation of the unmyelinated reptilian dorsal
vagus. In other words, the ventral vagus is the nerve which mediates what porges and more and more psychologists and neuroscientists are calling the
social engagement system. The ventral vagus essentially combines all those areas we use for connecting with other organisms: speech (larynx, pharynx),
facial expression (cranial nerves), and discerning sounds (inner ear bone).
Unlike reptiles, mammals are social animals. They thus need a nervous system that will implement this more metabolically demanding level of activity.
The ventral vagus is this area. Via the cortex (where thinking happens), and ultimately the nucleus ambiguus, the organism is able to coopt the dorsal
vagal complex to change heart rate/breathing to execute social behaviours.
In the case of trauma, as in PTSD, the nucleus ambiguus goes offline - or atleast it's activity becomes depressed relative to the dorsal vagus. This
means the organism experiences profound hypoarousal and struggles in chronic dissociation. One of the clinical insights that the polyvagal has given
is that by exercising the areas that the ventral vagus controls, such as facial muscles, voice and an ability to discern human sound, you can
"stimulate" ventral vagal activity.
My point is, this sort of psychological insight is very much grounded in neurobiological theory. As our understanding of the brain increases, so to
will our ability to treat more complex psychological issues improve.
As someone who studies this and who also works as a psychotherapist, I consider myself a scientist. i'm in the science of "psychological healing",
and I make use of psychological dynamics to effect my healing.