LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE@LIST.UVM.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  January 2009

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE January 2009

Subject:

Re: Is love just a chemical cocktail?

From:

Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 8 Jan 2009 10:06:05 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (406 lines)

RE medical researchers in pay of big pharma and the invention (for  
profit) of new diseases, see Marcia Angell in the current New York  
Review of Books: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22237     "Drug  
Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption"

Best,
Michael

On Jan 8, 2009, at 8:01 AM, mart wrote:

> larry young of emory, who did this, is also known for shoiwing a  
> relationship between certain genotypes and monogamy (among voles);  
> some of that research was shown to be fallacious (there was no '1-1'  
> correlation; it appeared young didn't know his 'field' voles, which  
> differ from the house or 'lab' voles ).  young acknowledged this,  
> but subsequently (a quick pub med search) one sees it is apparently  
> ignored---who ever heard of u. kansas anyway except from oz?.   one  
> sees the nature piece headlines 'drug therapy' (and for love, that  
> or genetic therapy, actually might be a cure worth looking into--- 
> current views see it as a disorder although some deviants try to  
> normalize it).    emory u of course is well known for their  
> psychiatrist on the pay of big pharma promoting various drug  
> therapies---maybe drug therapy is in the water there.
>   predicatably e balaban (from the left) and melvin konner (from the  
> proof its natural.
>   newer software programs i think can show that love actually is  
> informational, rather than chemical.  its better in second life.
>
>
>
>
> --- On Thu, 1/8/09, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> From: Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: Re: Is love just a chemical cocktail?
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Date: Thursday, January 8, 2009, 2:08 AM
>> Attached is the actual Nature essay if anyone wants to read
>> it.
>>
>> MB
>>
>> On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 2:43 AM, Claudia Hemphill Pine <
>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>> *takes a bow*
>>>
>>> I love the idea of Ultra Reductionist as a toothpaste
>> - or some kind of
>>> cleaner. It's worse than "Gets the Red
>> out" - although that out to be a
>>> comic strip!
>>>
>>> More like it's one way to "Take people right
>> out of the picture! Nothing
>>> left but science!" (And hopefully, lots of
>> funding.)
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 4:40 PM, Mitchel Cohen
>> <[log in to unmask]
>>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Right fucking on!, Claudia!
>>>>
>>>> Extremely well put. And succinct.
>>>>
>>>> I'm sick of those ultra-reductionist lunatics
>> (sounds like a toothpaste,
>>>> "Ultra Reductionist" -- gets the Red
>> out!)
>>>>
>>>> Mitchel
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> At 06:53 PM 1/7/2009, you wrote:
>>>>
>>>> What a Cartesian syllogism his work rests upon!
>>>>
>>>> Assertion:  Animals have no "real"
>> emotions behind their behavior; they
>>>> are merely cellular clumps that jerk and move in
>> response to external
>>>> commands (like a whip) and internal happenstance
>> (like chemicals, or
>>>> feeding).
>>>>
>>>> Assertion:  Humans  are animals.
>>>>
>>>> Conclusion: Human behavior is also, then, solely a
>> response to physical
>>>> and chemical stimuli.
>>>>
>>>> It's a great example both of the inanities of
>> hyper-reduction and the
>>>> fallacy of assuming your conclusion (organisms
>> have no super-organismic
>>>> properties) before your research has begun.
>>>>
>>>> Not to mention the waste of money by a researcher
>> who admits there are
>>>> "hundreds of signalling molecules in the
>> brain - [which] all act in
>>>> different brain areas" (multiply that out!),
>> who can only point to one
>>>> molecule that works in one area to influence one
>> part of one emotional
>>>> behavior, but then sweepingly proclaims it a
>> "very real" route to
>>>> controlling human emotions.
>>>>
>>>> Yeah sure.  And, "as if."
>>>>
>>>> I would love to think that funding agencies would
>> recognize the ultimate
>>>> futility (not to mention the fallacious reasoning
>> and ethical drawbacks) of
>>>> this proposed research.  But then, funding is so
>> rarely given on the basis
>>>> of "making good sense."
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 1:26 PM, Phil Gasper
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Nature moves down one or two notches in my
>> estimation. --PG
>>>>
>>>>
>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/7815095.stm
>>>>
>>>> Published: 2009/01/07 18:04:17 GMT
>>>>
>>>> Is love just a chemical cocktail?
>>>>
>>>> By Pallab Ghosh
>>>> BBC News science correspondent
>>>>
>>>> It is said that love is a drug. But is it just a
>> drug?
>>>>
>>>> That is the contention of Larry Young, a professor
>> of neuroscience at
>>>> Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
>>>>
>>>> Writing in the respected scientific journal
>> Nature, Professor Young argues
>>>> that love can be explained by a series of
>> neurochemical events that are
>>>> happening in specific brain areas.
>>>>
>>>> If that is true then, he says, one would no longer
>> have to rely on oysters
>>>> or chocolates to create a loving mood.
>>>>
>>>> Instead, it will be possible for scientists to
>> develop aphrodisiacs -
>>>> chemicals that would make people fall in love with
>> the first person they
>>>> see.
>>>>
>>>> And for those who have fallen in love with someone
>> they shouldn't have
>>>> fallen in love with, an antidote to unrequited
>> love.
>>>>
>>>> There is even the prospect of a genetic "love
>> test" to assess whether two
>>>> potential love birds are predisposed to a happy
>> married life.
>>>>
>>>> No poetry
>>>>
>>>> Poets would have us believe that love is one of
>> those things that are
>>>> beyond understanding. But that concept is anathema
>> to Professor Young.
>>>>
>>>> "I'm not sure we'll be able to
>> understand it fully," he said.
>>>>
>>>> "But my belief is that our emotions have
>> evolved from behaviours and
>>>> emotions that are in the animal kingdom.
>>>>
>>>> "I don't think that the way a mother
>> loves her baby is that different to a
>>>> mother's love in a chimpanzees or a rhesus
>> monkeys - or even a rat."
>>>>
>>>> In animals, scientists have observed that a
>> chemical called oxytocin is
>>>> involved in developing a bond between a mother and
>> her young.
>>>>
>>>> Professor Young believes it is very likely that a
>> similar process is going
>>>> on in humans.
>>>>
>>>> "It's just that when we experience these
>> emotions they are so rich we
>>>> can't imagine that they are just a series of
>> chemical events," he said.
>>>>
>>>> But even if that is true of maternal love, is
>> romantic love simply down to
>>>> a squirt of oxytocin and a few other love
>> chemicals at a timely moment?
>>>>
>>>> Professor Young thinks it might.
>>>>
>>>> Bonding
>>>>
>>>> Researchers have found that oxytocin is involved
>> the bonding of male and
>>>> the female prairie voles which like humans form an
>> intense bond with each
>>>> other that lasts for a very long time
>>>>
>>>> And there have been studies in humans that show
>> that oxytocin increases
>>>> trust - the ability to read the emotions of
>> others.
>>>>
>>>> So, Professor Young argues that it makes sense
>> that the same sort of
>>>> molecule might be involved in strengthening the
>> bond between individuals.
>>>>
>>>> He believes there are other chemicals involved in
>> strengthening that bond
>>>> - it is just a matter of doing the research and
>> finding out which ones they
>>>> are.
>>>>
>>>> "I'm sure that we are just beginning to
>> tap the surface," he said.#
>>>>
>>>> "There are hundreds of signalling molecules
>> in the brain - they all act in
>>>> different brain areas.
>>>>
>>>> "I think one day we will have a much better
>> understanding of how all these
>>>> chemicals interact and act in specific brain areas
>> that have specific
>>>> function that give rise to these complex
>> emotions."
>>>>
>>>> Role of upbringing
>>>>
>>>> Having put poets firmly in their place, Professor
>> Young will have to take
>>>> on the arguments of scientific colleagues who
>> might take issue with his view
>>>> that love is all down to chemicals.
>>>>
>>>> Surely upbringing and psychology play a part?
>>>>
>>>> "Nurture has an important part to play,"
>> he conceeds.
>>>>
>>>> "But they way nurture works is through
>> changing neurochemistry.
>>>>
>>>> "We know from studies in humans that women
>> that have experienced abuse or
>>>> neglect early in their life have decreased levels
>> of oxytocin in their
>>>> brain.
>>>>
>>>> "So I totally agree that our experiences have
>> a huge impact on our ability
>>>> to form relationships - but that impact occurs
>> through changes in
>>>> neurochemistry and gene expression."
>>>>
>>>> Manipulation
>>>>
>>>> So, if love really is just a complex chemical
>> reaction, could that most
>>>> powerful of human emotions be manipulated?
>> Professor Young thinks so.
>>>>
>>>> "Oxytocin increases eye gaze, increases our
>> ability to recognise emotions
>>>> in others," he said.
>>>>
>>>> "It may actually enhance our ability to form
>> relationships, and so it is a
>>>> very real possibility that something like oxytocin
>> could be used in
>>>> conjunction with marital therapies to bring back
>> that spark."
>>>>
>>>> There are already perfumes on the market
>> containing octocin, but Professor
>>>> Young believes the levels are too low to be an
>> effective aphrodisiac.
>>>>
>>>> "But I think in the future we can develop
>> drugs that readily pass into the
>>>> brain and can target certain brain areas that
>> could do this," he said.
>>>>
>>>> Professor Nick Bostrom, director of Oxford
>> University's Future of Humanity
>>>> Institute, is not entirely convinced by Professor
>> Young's theory.
>>>>
>>>> He said "It is very interesting to explore
>> the neuro-chemical bases of
>>>> romantic attachment, but we shouldn't think
>> that this perspective on its own
>>>> provides a full understanding of what love is.
>>>>
>>>> "There are also evolutionary, psychological,
>> sociological,
>>>> phenomenological and humanistic perspectives that
>> offer important insights."
>>>>
>>>> However, he does believe it will become
>> increasingly possible to modulate
>>>> the neurological mechanisms that do play a role in
>> romantic attachment.
>>>>
>>>> "Used wisely, such pharmacology could enhance
>> human experience and
>>>> mitigate unnecessary suffering.
>>>> "However, this kind of manipulation would
>> raise a thicket of ethical and
>>>> cultural issues, which would need to be carefully
>> explored."
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> "EVERY GUN that is made, every warship
>> launched, every rocket fired
>>>> signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those
>> who hunger and are not
>>>> fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This
>> world in arms is not spending
>>>> money alone. It is spending the sweat of its
>> laborers, the genius of its
>>>> scientists, the hopes of its children."
>> --U.S. president Dwight D.
>>>> Eisenhower, 1953.
>>>>
>>>> "War is a way of shattering to pieces, or
>> pouring into the stratosphere,
>>>> or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials
>> which might otherwise be used
>>>> to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in
>> the long run, too
>>>> intelligent." --British author George Orwell
>> (1903-1950)
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> "EVERY GUN that is made, every warship launched,
>> every rocket fired
>>> signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who
>> hunger and are not
>>> fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in
>> arms is not spending
>>> money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers,
>> the genius of its
>>> scientists, the hopes of its children." --U.S.
>> president Dwight D.
>>> Eisenhower, 1953.
>>>
>>> "War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring
>> into the stratosphere, or
>>> sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which
>> might otherwise be used to
>>> make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the
>> long run, too
>>> intelligent." --British author George Orwell
>> (1903-1950)
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -- 
>> ******************************************
>> Michael Balter
>> Contributing Correspondent, Science
>> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
>> Boston University
>>
>> Email:           [log in to unmask]
>>
>> Website:       michaelbalter.com
>> Balter's Blog: michael-balter.blogspot.com
>> ******************************************
>
>
>
>

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
May 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UVM.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager