Swivelchair at Neurological correlates deals with neuroscience and human behaviour. He translates current psychology/brain research into understandable terms. But more than that, he formulates his own hypotheses. Here is one an intriguing idea:
I’m interested in white matter, which is sort of the neural wiring in the brain, connecting the areas of gray matter. I think that the trouble with disordered thinking may be because of faulty wiring between functional areas of the brain. If this is the case, then that give me hope that it can be fixed — growing new synaptic connections may be a matter of blocking inhibitors or of growing new connections.
In a series of excellent recent posts he considers psychopaths, etc. in the light of possible faulty white matter. Do have a look-see; they warrant reading. Here are a few things that came to my mind.
Do Psychopaths Dream?
January 4, 2008
I noticed that in recovering alcoholics I know, they don’t report dreams, and some have said they don’t dream. And then in suspected psychopaths I know, same thing — lack of dreaming.
If this observation is correct, he suspects a white matter deficiencies. Any feedback from readers would no doubt be appreciated.
ISO Psychopath or Narcissist
In this post Swivelchair does two things.
First, he uses Google trends to analyse which term is searched most often – ‘psychopath’ or ‘narcissist’ – and reproduces the results for the reader’s perusal.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the region from which most total searches come is South Africa which is fast becoming the world’s serial sex-crime epicenter. (I also notice on that Google search page an article in the Columbus Dispatch – ‘ Historian says Jack the Ripper was South African psychopath’!)
Second, Swivelchair links to an article by Playfuls which discusses Dr. John Clarkes’s ideas on the workplace psychopath. Generally solid stuff. My only quibble is in the bits I’ve highlighted where two things get blurred. :
The workplace psychopath will do anything to get the power, the status and the salary they crave.
“The workplace psychopath thinks the same as the criminal psychopath. They are all out for themselves,” says Clarke. “However, the difference is that where the violent criminal psychopath physically destroys their victims, the workplace one psychologically destroys them.”
I’ve argued that in the first instance the psychopath craves power over another; this involves destruction of one sort or another. Status, money, etc. are added bonuses. It is the narcissist who craves admiration and the Machiavellian who craves status.
January White Matter Days: Pedophiles have deficient white matter in areas relating to sexual cues
Continuing his theme of white matter deficiency, Swivelchair links to a research article by Cantor, et al., and comments:
Male pedophiles have white matter deficiencies in particular areas — not surprisingly connecting the frontal lobes to the areas of the brain related to sexual cues.
I wish the people on “To Catch a Predator” would consent to being in a study to see what it is that makes it OK to sexualize a child.
Movie Review:”Margot at the Wedding” and “The Hoax”
Believing that too many reviewers miss the psychological essence of of films, he offers two fine ‘Neuro movie reviews’.
I don’t think Clifford Irving [played by Richard Gere in ‘The hoax’] intentionally ever set out to hurt anyone, and this was somewhat triangulated by my personal contact. I think he was sort of the “Bill Clinton” type– maybe a little more anxiety, a little less charm. Probably smarter. I don’t know. Maybe he did intentionally hurt those around him. But, he seemed to really just want money and the man-about-town kind of life.
The “Margot” character [played by Nicole Kidman in ‘Margot at the wedding’], on the other hand, was seriously an emotional murderer, if not on her way to being a physical one. And in the movie, she knew it. (The scenes with her son show how horrendous a mother like this can be).
As if to prove Swivelchair’s criticism of much movie reviewing, see ‘Down in the valley’ and then read the Wikipedia review which is accurate and completely misses the psychological reality of the protagonist played by Edward Norton.
Neuro Music Review: “Flagpole Sitta”, Narcissistic stream of consciousness?
This question refers to the Harvey Danger, ‘Flagpole sitta’, song which is linked to via Youtube.
Here’s one verse:
Been around the world and found
That only stupid people are breeding
The cretins cloning and feeding
And I don’t even own a TV
One last thing, the site is notable for its use of old illustrations.
Are there sites that warrant a review? Let me know.