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Antonio R. DAMASIO

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  • Antonio R. DAMASIO



    Medical School
    MD, University of Lisbon Medical School, Portugal
    Doctorate, University of Lisbon, Portugal
    Internship and Residency
    Rotating Internship, University Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal
    (Neurology), University Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal

    Fellowship
    Research Fellowship, Aphasia Research Center, Boston

    Honors and Awards

    The Arnold Pfeffer Prize, 2002
    Reenpaa Prize in Neuroscience, Finland, 2000
    Prix Plasticité Neuronale, Ipsen Foundation, 1997
    Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1997
    Elected to Neurosciences Research Program, 1997
    Elected to the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, 1995.
    Golden Brain Award, 1995.
    Order of Santiago da Espada (Grand Oficial), 1995.
    Elected to the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1993.
    Pessoa Prize, 1992.
    Elected to the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, 1991.
    William Beaumont Prize from the American Medical Association, 1990.
    Professional Activities/Editorial Boards

    Planning Subcommittee, National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council (1994-1998)
    Board Editor, Learning and Memory (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory); Journal of Neuroscience; Transactions of the Royal Society; Consciousness and Cognition; Neuroscience News; The Neuroscientist; Learning and Memory; Human Brain Mapping; European Neurology; Cognitive Brain Research; Cerebral Cortex; Brain and Cognition; Brain and Behavioral Sciences
    Research Interests
    The neurobiology of the mind, specifically the understanding of the neural systems which subserve memory, language, emotion, and decision-making.

    Clinical Interests

    Disorders of behavior and cognition
    Movement disorders
    Recent Publications
    Damasio AR: Fundamental Feelings. Nature 413:781, 2001.

    Damasio AR: The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness, Harcourt Brace, New York, 1999, 2000.

    Damasio AR, Grabowski TJ, Bechara A, Damasio H, Ponto LLB, Parvizi J, Hichwa RD: Subcortical and cortical brain activity during the feeling of self-generated emotions. Nature Neuroscience, 3:1049-1056, 2000.

    Damasio AR: Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain, Grosset/Putnam, New York, 1994; (hardcover); Hayrer Collins, New York, 1995; (paperback).

    Bechara A, Damasio H, Tranel D, Damasio AR: Deciding advantageously before knowing the advantageous strategy. Science, 275:1293-1294, 1997.

    Address
    Office location: 2151-A-1 RCP
    Phone: 319-356-4296
    Fax: 319-353-6277
    E-mail: antonio-damasio@uiowa.edu
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

    Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
    If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    bernard

  • #2
    Psychol Sci. 2005 Jun;16(6):435-9. Related Articles, Links
    Investment behavior and the negative side of emotion.

    Shiv B, Loewenstein G, Bechara A, Damasio H, Damasio AR.

    Stanford University, CA 94305-5015, USA. shiv_baba@gsb.stanford.edu

    Can dysfunction in neural systems subserving emotion lead, under certain circumstances, to more advantageous decisions? To answer this question, we investigated how normal participants, patients with stable focal lesions in brain regions related to emotion (target patients), and patients with stable focal lesions in brain regions unrelated to emotion (control patients) made 20 rounds of investment decisions. Target patients made more advantageous decisions and ultimately earned more money from their investments than the normal participants and control patients. When normal participants and control patients either won or lost money on an investment round, they adopted a conservative strategy and became more reluctant to invest on the subsequent round; these results suggest that they were more affected than target patients by the outcomes of decisions made in the previous rounds.

    PMID: 15943668 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    2:
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Jun 7;102(23):8351-6. Epub 2005 May 31. Related Articles, Links
    Electrophysiological correlates of reward prediction error recorded in the human prefrontal cortex.

    Oya H, Adolphs R, Kawasaki H, Bechara A, Damasio A, Howard MA 3rd.

    Department of Neurosurgery and Neurology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

    Lesion and functional imaging studies have shown that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is critically involved in the avoidance of risky choices. However, detailed descriptions of the mechanisms that underlie the establishment of such behaviors remain elusive, due in part to the spatial and temporal limitations of available research techniques. We investigated this issue by recording directly from prefrontal depth electrodes in a rare neurosurgical patient while he performed the Iowa Gambling Task, and we concurrently measured behavioral, autonomic, and electrophysiological responses. We found a robust alpha-band component of event-related potentials that reflected the mismatch between expected outcomes and actual outcomes in the task, correlating closely with the reward-related error obtained from a reinforcement learning model of the patient's choice behavior. The finding implicates this brain region in the acquisition of choice bias by means of a continuous updating of expectations about reward and punishment.

    Publication Types:
    • Case Reports
    PMID: 15928095 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    3:
    Trends Cogn Sci. 2005 Apr;9(4):159-62; discussion 162-4. Related Articles, Links
    Comment on:
    The Iowa Gambling Task and the somatic marker hypothesis: some questions and answers.

    Bechara A, Damasio H, Tranel D, Damasio AR.

    Department of Neurology (Division of Cognitive Neuroscience), University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa, USA. antoine-bechara@uiowa.edu

    A recent study by Maia and McClelland on participants' knowledge in the Iowa Gambling Task suggests a different interpretation for an experiment we reported in 1997. The authors use their results to question the evidence for the somatic marker hypothesis. Here we consider whether the authors' conclusions are justified.

    Publication Types:
    • Comment
    • Review
    • Review, Tutorial
    PMID: 15808493 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    4:
    Nature. 2005 Jan 6;433(7021):68-72. Related Articles, Links
    Comment in:
    A mechanism for impaired fear recognition after amygdala damage.

    Adolphs R, Gosselin F, Buchanan TW, Tranel D, Schyns P, Damasio AR.

    Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA. radolphs@hss.caltech.edu

    Ten years ago, we reported that SM, a patient with rare bilateral amygdala damage, showed an intriguing impairment in her ability to recognize fear from facial expressions. Since then, the importance of the amygdala in processing information about facial emotions has been borne out by a number of lesion and functional imaging studies. Yet the mechanism by which amygdala damage compromises fear recognition has not been identified. Returning to patient SM, we now show that her impairment stems from an inability to make normal use of information from the eye region of faces when judging emotions, a defect we trace to a lack of spontaneous fixations on the eyes during free viewing of faces. Although SM fails to look normally at the eye region in all facial expressions, her selective impairment in recognizing fear is explained by the fact that the eyes are the most important feature for identifying this emotion. Notably, SM's recognition of fearful faces became entirely normal when she was instructed explicitly to look at the eyes. This finding provides a mechanism to explain the amygdala's role in fear recognition, and points to new approaches for the possible rehabilitation of patients with defective emotion perception.

    Publication Types:
    • Case Reports
    PMID: 15635411 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    5:
    Brain. 2005 Jan;128(Pt 1):201-12. Epub 2004 Nov 17. Related Articles, Links
    A neural basis for collecting behaviour in humans.

    Anderson SW, Damasio H, Damasio AR.

    Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA. steven-anderson@uiowa.edu

    Collecting behaviour is commonplace in the normal population, but there has been little investigation of its neural basis in humans. The observation that collecting behaviour can assume pathological proportions in patients with certain patterns of brain damage led us to hypothesize that dysfunction in a system encompassing mesial prefrontal cortices accounts for abnormal collecting and may guide normal collecting. We tested the hypothesis in 86 subjects with focal lesions of the telencephalon, by relating the neuroanatomical placement of the lesions to the presence of repetitive and indiscriminate acquisition behaviour and impaired discard behaviour. The subjects had no history of psychiatric disease or abnormal collecting behaviour prior to lesion onset. Lesions were analysed with high-resolution three-dimensional MRI. Collecting behaviour was evaluated with a standardized questionnaire completed by a close relative of each subject. Thirteen subjects exhibited abnormal collecting, characterized by massive and disruptive accumulation of useless objects. In all cases, the abnormality of collecting behaviour was severe and persisted despite attempted interventions and obvious negative consequences. There were no differences between pathological collectors and non-collectors on tests of executive functions or anterograde memory. All subjects with pathological collecting behaviour had damage to the mesial frontal region (including the right polar sector and the anterior cingulate), but there was no damage to most of the subcortical structures that, in species such as rodents, are known to drive the acquisition and retention of objects. The evidence suggests that damage to the mesial frontal region disrupts a mechanism which normally modulates subcortically driven predispositions to acquire and collect, and adjusts these predispositions to environmental context.

    PMID: 15548551 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    6:
    Cognition. 2004 May-Jun;92(1-2):179-229. Related Articles, Links
    Neural systems behind word and concept retrieval.

    Damasio H, Tranel D, Grabowski T, Adolphs R, Damasio A.

    Department of Neurology, Division of Behavioral Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA. hanna-damasio@uiowa.edu

    Using both the lesion method and functional imaging (positron emission tomography) in large cohorts of subjects investigated with the same experimental tasks, we tested the following hypotheses: (A) that the retrieval of words which denote concrete entities belonging to distinct conceptual categories depends upon partially segregated regions in higher-order cortices of the left temporal lobe; and (B) that the retrieval of conceptual knowledge pertaining to the same concrete entities also depends on partially segregated regions; however, those regions will be different from those postulated in hypothesis A, and located predominantly in the right hemisphere (the second hypothesis tested only with the lesion method). The analyses provide support for hypothesis A in that several regions outside the classical Broca and Wernicke language areas are involved in name retrieval of concrete entities, and that there is a partial segregation in the temporal lobe with respect to the conceptual category to which the entities belong, and partial support for hypothesis B in that retrieval of conceptual knowledge is partially segregated from name retrieval in the lesion study. Those regions identified here are seen as parts of flexible, multi-component systems serving concept and word retrieval for concrete entities belonging to different conceptual categories. By comparing different approaches the article also addresses a number of method issues that have surfaced in recent studies in this field.

    Publication Types:
    • Review
    PMID: 15037130 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    7:
    Brain Cogn. 2003 Jun;52(1):61-9. Related Articles, Links
    Dissociable neural systems for recognizing emotions.

    Adolphs R, Tranel D, Damasio AR.

    Department of Neurology, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA. ralph-adolphs@uiowa.edu

    This study tested the hypothesis that the recognition of emotions would draw upon anatomically separable brain regions, depending on whether the stimuli were static or explicitly conveyed information regarding actions. We investigated the hypothesis in a rare subject with extensive bilateral brain lesions, patient B., by administering tasks that assessed recognition and naming of emotions from visual and verbal stimuli, some of which depicted actions and some of which did not. B. could not recognize any primary emotion other than happiness, when emotions were shown as static images or given as single verbal labels. By contrast, with the notable exception of disgust, he correctly recognized primary emotions from dynamic displays of facial expressions as well as from stories that described actions. Our findings are consistent with the idea that information about actions is processed in occipitoparietal and dorsal frontal cortices, all of which are intact in B.'s brain. Such information subsequently would be linked to knowledge about emotions that depends on structures mapping somatic states, many of which are also intact in B.'s brain. However, one of these somatosensory structures, the insula, is bilaterally damaged, perhaps accounting for B.'s uniformly impaired recognition of disgust (from both static and action stimuli). Other structures that are damaged in B.'s brain, including bilateral inferior and anterior temporal lobe and medial frontal cortices, appear to be critical for linking perception of static stimuli to recognition of emotions. Thus the retrieval of knowledge regarding emotions draws upon widely distributed and partly distinct sets of neural structures, depending on the attributes of the stimulus.

    Publication Types:
    • Case Reports
    PMID: 12812805 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    8: Brain. 2003 Jul;126(Pt 7):1524-36. Epub 2003 Jun 4. Related Articles, Links
    Neuroanatomical correlates of brainstem coma.

    Parvizi J, Damasio AR.

    Department of Neurology, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA. parvizi.josef@mayo.edu

    The brainstem tegmentum, including the reticular formation, contains distinct nuclei, each of which has a set of chemical, physiological and anatomical features. Damage to the brainstem tegmentum is known to cause coma, the most radical disturbance of consciousness. However, it has remained unclear which nuclei within the tegmentum are crucial for the maintenance of consciousness in humans. Accordingly, we initiated a retrospective study of MRIs obtained from 47 patients with brainstem stroke. The lesion boundaries were charted on patient MRIs and transferred onto a corresponding series of 4.7 T MRIs obtained from a control brainstem specimen that later was cut on a freezing microtome and analysed histologically. In addition, medical charts and available post-mortem materials were used to obtain relevant clinical and anatomical data to verify the MRI readings in each case. We found that in the 38 patients who did not have coma, brainstem damage either was located outside the tegmentum (n = 29) or produced a very small and unilateral compromise of the tegmentum (n = 9). In contrast, in patients who had coma (n = 9), the lesions in the tegmentum were mostly bilateral (n = 7) and were located either in the pons alone (n = 4) or in the upper pons and the midbrain (n = 5). The maximum overlap territory of the lesions coincided with the location of the rostral raphe complex, locus coeruleus, laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, nucleus pontis oralis, parabrachial nucleus and the white matter in between these nuclei. We also found that four coma subjects developed hyperthermia and died in the absence of any infections. In these cases, the maximum lesion overlap was centred in the core of pontine tegmentum. Our findings suggest that lesions confined to the upper pons can cause coma in humans even in the absence of damage to the midbrain. The findings also point to the brainstem nuclei whose lesions are likely to be associated with loss of consciousness and fatal hyperthermia in humans.

    PMID: 12805123 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    9:
    Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Apr;985:356-69. Related Articles, Links
    Role of the amygdala in decision-making.

    Bechara A, Damasio H, Damasio AR.

    Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.

    The somatic marker hypothesis proposes that both the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex are parts of a neural circuit critical for judgment and decision-making. Although both structures couple exteroceptive sensory information with interoceptive information concerning somatic/emotional states, they do so at different levels, thus making different contributions to the process. We define "primary inducers" as stimuli that unconditionally, or through learning (e.g., conditioning and semantic knowledge), can (perceptually or subliminally) produce states that are pleasurable or aversive. Encountering a fear object (e.g., a snake), a stimulus predictive of a snake, or semantic information such as winning or losing a large sum of money are all examples of primary inducers. "Secondary inducers" are entities generated by the recall of a personal or hypothetical emotional event or perceiving a primary inducer that generates "thoughts" and "memories" about the inducer, all of which, when they are brought to memory, elicit a somatic state. The episodic memory of encountering a snake, losing a large sum of money, imagining the gain of a large sum of money, or hearing or looking at primary inducers that bring to memory "thoughts" pertaining to an emotional event are all examples of secondary inducers. We present evidence in support of the hypothesis that the amygdala is a critical substrate in the neural system necessary for triggering somatic states from primary inducers. The ventromedial cortex is a critical substrate in the neural system necessary for the triggering of somatic states from secondary inducers. The amygdala system is a priori a necessary step for the normal development of the orbitofrontal system for triggering somatic states from secondary inducers. However, once this orbitofrontal system is developed, the induction of somatic states by secondary inducers via the orbitofrontal system is less dependent on the amygdala system. Perhaps the amygdala is equivalent to the hippocampus with regard to emotions, that is, necessary for acquiring new emotional attributes (anterograde emotions), but not for retrieving old emotional attributes (retrograde emotions). Given the numerous lesion and functional neuroimaging studies illustrating the involvement of the amygdala in complex cognitive and behavioral functions, including "social cognition," we suggest that this involvement is a manifestation of a more fundamental function mediated by the amygdala, which is to couple stimuli/entities with their emotional attributes, that is, the processing of somatic states from primary inducers.

    Publication Types:
    • Review
    • Review, Tutorial
    PMID: 12724171 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 1

    0:
    Brain. 2001 Sep;124(Pt 9):1708-19. Related Articles, Links
    Pathological laughter and crying: a link to the cerebellum.

    Parvizi J, Anderson SW, Martin CO, Damasio H, Damasio AR.

    Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA. josef-parvizi@uiowa.edu

    Patients with pathological laughter and crying (PLC) are subject to relatively uncontrollable episodes of laughter, crying or both. The episodes occur either without an apparent triggering stimulus or following a stimulus that would not have led the subject to laugh or cry prior to the onset of the condition. PLC is a disorder of emotional expression rather than a primary disturbance of feelings, and is thus distinct from mood disorders in which laughter and crying are associated with feelings of happiness or sadness. The traditional and currently accepted view is that PLC is due to the damage of pathways that arise in the motor areas of the cerebral cortex and descend to the brainstem to inhibit a putative centre for laughter and crying. In that view, the lesions 'disinhibit' or 'release' the laughter and crying centre. The neuroanatomical findings in a recently studied patient with PLC, along with new knowledge on the neurobiology of emotion and feeling, gave us an opportunity to revisit the traditional view and propose an alternative. Here we suggest that the critical PLC lesions occur in the cerebro-ponto-cerebellar pathways and that, as a consequence, the cerebellar structures that automatically adjust the execution of laughter or crying to the cognitive and situational context of a potential stimulus, operate on the basis of incomplete information about that context, resulting in inadequate and even chaotic behaviour.

    Publication Types:
    • Case Reports
    PMID: 11522574 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

    Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
    If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    bernard

    Comment


    • #3
      Neural systems for recognizing emotion
      Attached Files
      Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
      We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

      Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
      If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
      bernard

      Comment


      • #4
        Can't wait to read the attachment, but must, because I have to go to work now. Coincidentally, I've just begun (finally) to burrow into his book, The Feeling of What Happens. Great stuff, will post some gleanings later.
        Diane
        www.dermoneuromodulation.com
        SensibleSolutionsPhysiotherapy
        HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
        Neurotonics PT Teamblog
        Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
        Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division Facebook page
        @PainPhysiosCan
        WCPT PhysiotherapyPainNetwork on Facebook
        @WCPTPTPN
        Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual PTs Facebook page

        @dfjpt
        SomaSimple on Facebook
        @somasimple

        "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

        “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

        “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

        "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

        "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

        Comment


        • #5
          It is the book to read since it condenses all we "know" about body/mind.
          But very difficult to read.
          Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
          We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

          Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
          If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
          bernard

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, I'm only on page 25 or so, (slow going when doing extensive note-making) but already he's talking about very juicy things such as:
            1. Core consciousness versus extended consciousness
            2. Their differences
            3. That extended c. is nested within core, but not vice versa
            4. Some parts of the brain run the body, have very narrow parameters, are fundamental to physiology, cannot be image forming
            5. Other parts are "free to roam", to make images to help out the "stuck in a role" parts
            6. That "images" can be not just visual, but also auditory, tactile, visceral
            7. That the humunculus does not run the show like a little movie director..
            8. That he will get to the neuroanatomy of all this in Chapter 5.

            (Can hardly wait!)
            Diane
            Diane
            www.dermoneuromodulation.com
            SensibleSolutionsPhysiotherapy
            HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
            Neurotonics PT Teamblog
            Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
            Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division Facebook page
            @PainPhysiosCan
            WCPT PhysiotherapyPainNetwork on Facebook
            @WCPTPTPN
            Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual PTs Facebook page

            @dfjpt
            SomaSimple on Facebook
            @somasimple

            "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

            “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

            “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

            "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

            "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

            Comment


            • #7
              Diane, I'm on page 127 of the French (pocket) edition and things are clearer but his style is the hardiest I ever read. So bad .
              Damasio loves neuro matrices for sure and his knowledge is brilliant but his writings sometimes too complex.
              His theory is perfect to me and logical for now.
              Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
              We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

              Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
              If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
              bernard

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi all,

                many free papers here
                http://www.medicine.uiowa.edu/adolphs/documents.html
                Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
                We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

                Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
                If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
                bernard

                Comment


                • #9
                  From "The Feeling of What Happens," p 19

                  A Search for Self
                  (p 19, The Feeling of What Happens.)

                  How do we ever know that we are seeing a given object? How do we become conscious in the full sense of the word? How is the sense of self in the act of knowing implanted in the mind? The way into a possible answer for the questions on self came only after I began seeing the problem of consciousness in terms of two key players, the organism and the object, and in terms of the relationships those players hold in the course of their natural interactions. The organism in question is that within which consciousness occurs; the object in question is any object that gets to be known in the consciousness process; and the relationships between organism and object are the contents of the knowledge we call consciousness. Seen in this perspective, consciousness consists of constructing knowledge about two facts: that the organism is involved in relating to some object, and that the object in the relation causes a change in the organism.

                  The new perspective also makes the biological realization of consciousness a treatable problem. The process of knowledge construction requires a brain, and it requires the signaling properties with which brains can assemble neural patterns and form images. The neural patterns and images necessary for consciousness to occur are those which constitute proxies for the organism, for the object, and for the relationship between the two. Placed in this framework, understanding the biology of consciousness becomes a matter of discovering how the brain can map both the two players and the relationships they hold.

                  The general problem of representing the object is not especially enigmatic. Extensive studies of perception, learning and memory, and language have given us a workable idea of how the brain processes an object, in sensory and motor terms, and an idea of how knowledge about an object can be stored in memory, categorized in conceptual or linguistic terms, and retrieved in recall or recognition modes. The neurophysiologic details of these processes have not been worked out, but the contours of these problems are understandable. From my perspective, neuroscience has been dedicating most of its efforts to understanding the neural basis of what I see as the “object proxy.” In the relationship play of consciousness, the object is exhibited in the form of neural patterns in the sensory cortices appropriate to map its characteristics. For example, in the case of the visual aspects of an object, the neural patterns are constructed in a variety of regions of the visual cortices, not just one or two, but many, working in concerted fashion to map the varied aspects of the object in visual terms. (For an account of how the visual system achieves such object representations see David Hubel’s Eye, Brain, and Vision; 1988 and Semir Zeki’s A Vision of the Brain 1993.) On the side of the organism, however, matters are quite different. To indicate how different matters are, let me suggest an exercise.

                  Look up from the page, at whatever is directly in front of you, observe intently, and then return to the page. As you did so, the many stations of your visual system, from the retinas to several regions of the brain’s cerebral cortex, shifted rapidly from mapping the book’s page, to mapping the room in front of you, to mapping the page again. Now turn around 180 degrees and look at what is behind you. Again, mapping of the page vanished swiftly so that the visual system could map the new scene you were contemplating. The moral of the story: In quick succession, precisely the same brain regions constructed several entirely different maps by virtue of the different motor settings the organism assumed and of the different sensory inputs the organism gathered. The image constructed in the brain’s multiplex screens changed remarkably.

                  Now consider this: While your visual system changed dutifully at the mercy of the objects it mapped, a number of regions in your brain whose job it is to regulate the life process and which contain preset maps that represent varied aspects of your body did not change at all in terms of the kind of object they represented. The body remained the “object” all along and will remain so until death ensues. But not only was the kind of object precisely the same; the degree of change occurring in the object – the body – was quite small. Why was that so? Because only a narrow range of body states is compatible with life, and the organism is genetically designed to maintain that narrow range and equipped to seek it, through thick and through thin.

                  What we have in this situation, then, is an intriguing asymmetry that may be phrased in the following terms: Some parts of the brain are free to roam over the world and in so doing are free to map whatever object the organism’s design permits them to map. On the other hand, some other parts of the brain, those that represent the organism’s own state, are not free to roam at all. They are stuck. They can map nothing but the body and do so within largely preset maps. They are the body’s captive audience, and they are at the mercy of the body’s dynamic sameness.

                  There are several reasons behind this asymmetry. First, the composition and general functions of the living body remain the same, in terms of their quality, across a lifetime. Second, the body changes that continuously do occur are small, in terms of their quantity. They have a narrow dynamic range because the body must operate with a limited range of parameters if it is to survive; the body’s internal state must be relatively stable by comparison to the environment surrounding it. Third, that stable state is governed from the brain by means of an elaborate neural machinery designed to detect minimal variations in the parameters of the body’s internal chemical profile and to command actions aimed at correcting the detected variations, directly or indirectly. (I will address the neuroanatomy of this system in Chapter 5. The system is made up of not one but many units, the most important of which are located in the brain stem, hypothalamus, and basal forebain sections of the brain.) In short, the organism in the relationship play of consciousness is the entire unit of our living being, our body as it were; and yet, as it turns out, the part of the organism called the brain holds within it a sort of model of the whole thing. This is a strange, overlooked and noteworthy fact, and is perhaps the single most important clue as to the possible underpinning of consciousness.

                  I have come to conclude that the organism, as represented inside its own brain, is a likely biological forerunner for what eventually becomes the elusive sense of self. The deep roots for the self, including the elaborate self which encompasses identity and personhood, are to be found in the ensemble of brain devices which continuously and nonconsciously maintain the body state within the narrow range and relative stability required for survival. These devices continually represent, nonconsciously, the state of the living body, along with its many dimensions. I call the state of activity within the ensemble of such devices the proto-self, the nonconscious forerunner for the levels of self which appear in our minds as the conscious protagonists of consciousness: core self and autobiographical self.

                  Should some readers get worried at this point that I am falling into the abyss of the homunculus trap, let me say immediately and vehemently that this is not the case. The “model of the body-in-the-brain” to which I am referring is nothing at all like the rigid homunculus creature of old-fashioned neurology textbooks. Nothing in it looks like a little person inside a big person; the model “perceives” nothing and “knows” nothing; it does not talk and it does not make consciousness. The model is, instead, a collection of brain devices whose main job is the automated management of the organism’s life. As we shall discuss, the management of life is achieved by a variety of innately set regulatory actions – secretion of chemical substances such as hormones as well as actual movements in viscera and in limbs. The deployment of these actions depends on the information provided by nearby neural maps which signal, moment by moment, the state of the entire organism. Most importantly, neither the life-regulating devices nor their body maps are the generators of consciousness, although their presence is indispensable for the mechanisms that do achieve core consciousness.

                  This is the key issue, as argued in Chapter 5: In the relationship play of consciousness, the organism is represented in the brain, abundantly and multifariously, and that representyation is tied to the maintenance of the life process. If this idea is correct, life and consciousness, specifically the self aspect of consciousness, are indelibly interwoven.
                  Long ago Ian told me about this great little book, and I admit to only having sunk my mental teeth into it just lately. I have brought this section forward in total because to me it is the most salient section in Chapter 1 of the book. Does this not sound like a neuromatrix model he's talking about? What I'm most interested in is his upcoming chapter 5 where he will discuss the pertinant neuroanatomy. The discussion of various nonconscious aspects of body mapping fit with Barrett Dorko's "deep model" of ideomotor movement and simple contact. Hmmnn...


                  More to come.
                  Diane
                  www.dermoneuromodulation.com
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                  "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

                  “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

                  “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

                  "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

                  "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

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                  • #10
                    He is definitely talking about the neuromatrix model, but without giving it a precise name or title.

                    Maybe this is an example of the adage about the map and the territory that psychologists refer to often; and which can be applied to clinical practice, in a way. Many PTs work by the map with defined trails, hard-wired into paper, and think less about the territory, until it challenges them, as with the chronic pain patient. Somewhere in the territory is consciousness and awareness of self, etc.

                    Nari

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      >Many PTs work by the map with defined trails, hard-wired into paper, and think less about the territory, until it challenges them, as with the chronic pain patient.

                      Exactly. They look at the map. But the territory has changed. There have been earthquakes, some of the roads and bridges are wiped out, there is a trainwreck over behind that hill, where did that river come from? It's not on the map...!?..
                      Diane
                      www.dermoneuromodulation.com
                      SensibleSolutionsPhysiotherapy
                      HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
                      Neurotonics PT Teamblog
                      Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
                      Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division Facebook page
                      @PainPhysiosCan
                      WCPT PhysiotherapyPainNetwork on Facebook
                      @WCPTPTPN
                      Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual PTs Facebook page

                      @dfjpt
                      SomaSimple on Facebook
                      @somasimple

                      "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

                      “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

                      “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

                      "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

                      "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sharpening the Definition of Emotion (plus, how it relates to pain)

                        This small section is from Part II Chapter 2 Of The Feeling of What Happens, pp 71-79. Footnotes have been included. I very much like the metaphor he brings up of pain being the body-guard protecting the house until the broken window is fully repaired. Many other gems within this piece. Although he doesn't describe central pain as such, his language is broad enough that it clearly could be included in the discussion. Enjoy:
                        Damasio: From Part two, Chapter 2, on Pain and Emotion and the Difference, p. 71;

                        Sharpening the Definition of Emotion: An Aside
                        What qualifies for an emotion? Does pain? Does a startle reflex? Neither does, but if not, why not? The closenss of these related phenomena calls for sharp distinctions but the differences tend to be ignored. Startle reflexes are part of the repertoire of regulatory responses available to complex organisms and are made up of simple behaviors (e.g., limb withdrawal). They may be included among the numerous and concerted responses that constitute an emotion – endocrine responses, multiple visceral responses, multiple musculoskeletal responses, and so on. But even the simple emotive behavior of the Aplysia californica (marine snail) is more complicated than a simple startle response.

                        Pain does not qualify for emotion, either. Pain is the consequence of a state of local dysfunction in a living tissue, the consequence of a stimulus – impending or actual tissue damage – which causes the sensation of pain but also causes regulatory responses such as reflexes and may also induce emotions on its own. In other words, emotions can be caused by the same stimulus that causes pain, but they are a different result from that same cause. Subsequently, we can come to know that we have pain and that we are having an emotion associated with it, provided there is consciousness.

                        When you picked up that hot plate the other day and burned the skin of your fingers, you had pain and might even have suffered from having it. Here is what happened to you, in the simplest neurobiological terms:

                        First, the heat activated a large number of thin and unmyelinated nerve fibres, known as C-fibres, available near the burn. (These fibres, which are distributed literally everywhere in the body, are evolutionarily old and are largely dedicated to carrying signals about internal body states, including those that will end up causing pain. They are called unmyelinated because they lack the insulating sheath known as myelin. Lightly myelinated fibres known as A-? fibres travel along with C-fibres and perform a similar role. Together they are called nocioceptive because they respond to stimuli that are potentially or actually damaging to living tissues.)

                        Second, the heat destroyed several thousand skin cells, and the destruction released a number of chemical substances in the area.

                        Third, several classes of white blood cell concerned with repairing tissue damage were called to the area, the call having come from some of the released chanicals (e.g., a peptide known as substance P and ions such as potassium).

                        Fourth, several of those chemicals activated nerve fibres on their own, joining their signaling voices to that of the heat itself.

                        Once the activation wave was started in the nerve fibres, it traveled to the spinal cord and a chain of signals was produced across several neurons (a neuron is a nerve cell) and several synapses (a synapse is the point where two neurons connect and transmit signals) along the appropriate pathways. The signals went all the way into the top levels of the nervous system: the brain stem, the thalamus, and even the cerebral cortex.

                        What happened as a result of the succession of signals? Ensembles of neurons located at several levels of the nervous system were temporarily activated and the activation produced a neural pattern, a sort of map of the signals related to the injury in your fingers. The central nervous system was now in possession of multiple and varied neural patterns of tissue damage selected according to the biological specifications of your nervous system and of the body proper with which it connects. The conditions needed to generate sensation of pain had been met.

                        The question that I am leading to arrives at this point: Would one or all of those neural patterns of injured tissue be the same thing as knowing that you had pain? And the answer is, not really. Knowing that you have pain requires something else that occurs after the neural patterns that correspond to the substrate of pain – the nocioceptive signals – are displayed in the appropriate areas of the thalamus, and cerebral cortex and generate an image of pain, a feeling of pain. But note that the “after” process to which I am referring is not beyond the brain, it is very much in the brain and, as far as I can fathom, is just as biophysical as the process that came before. Specifically, in the example above, it is a process that interrelates neural patterns of tissue damage with the neural patterns that stand for you, such that yet another neural pattern can arise – the neural pattern for you knowing, which is just another name for consciousness. If the latter interrelating process does not take place, you will never know that there was tissue damage in your organism – if there is no you and there is no knowing, there is no way for you to know, right?

                        Curiously, if there had been no you, i.e., if you were not conscious and if there had been no self and no knowing relative to hot plates and burning fingers, the wealthy machinery of your self-less brain would still have used the nocioceptive neural patterns generated by tissue damage to produce a number of useful responses. For instance, the organism would have been able to withdraw the arm and hand from the source of heat within hundreds of milliseconds of the beginning of tissue damage, a reflex mediated by the central nervous system. But notice that in the previous sentence I said “organism” rather than “you”. Without knowing and self, it would not have been quite “you” withdrawing the arm. Under those circumstances, the reflex would belong to the organism but not necessarily to “you”, Moreover, a number of emotional responses would be engaged automatically, producing changes in facial expression and posture, along with changes in heart rate and control of blood circulation – we do not learn to wince with pain, we just wince. Although all of these responses, simple and not so simple, occur reliably in comparable situations in all conscious human beings, consciousness is not needed at all for the responses to take place. For instance, many of these responses are present even in comatose patients in whom consciousness is suspended – one of the ways in which we neurologists evaluate the state of the nervous system in an unconscious patient consists of establishing whether the patient reacts with facial and limb movements to unpleasant stimuli such as rubbing the skin over the sternum.

                        Tissue damage causes neural patterns on the basis of which your organism is in a state of pain. If you are conscious, those same patterns can also allow you to know you have pain. But whether or not you are conscious, tissue damage and the ensuing sensory patterns also cause the variety of automated responses outlined above, from a simple limb withdrawal to a complicated negative emotion. In short, pain and emotion are not the same thing.

                        You may wonder how the above distinction can be made, and I can give you a large body of evidence in its support. I will begin with a fact that comes from direct experience, early in my training, of a patient in whom the dissociation between pain as such and emotion caused by pain was vividly patent. 23 The patient was suffering from a severe case of refractory trigeminal neuralgia, also known as tic douloureux. This is a condition involving the nerve that supplies signals for face sensation in which even innocent stimuli, such as a light touch of the skin of the face or a sudden breeze, trigger an excruciating pain. No medication would help this young man who could do little but crouch, immobilized, whenever the excruciating pain stabbed his flesh. As a last resort, the neurosurgeon Almeida Lima, who was also one of my first mentors, offered to operate on him, because producing small lesions in a specific sector of the frontal lobe had been shown to alleviate pain and was being used in last-resort situations such as this.

                        I will not forget seeing the patient on the day before the operation, afraid to make any movement that might trigger a new round of pain, and then seeing him two day after the operation, when we visited him on rounds; he had become an entirely different person, relaxed, happily absorbed in a game of cards with companion in his hospital room. When Lima asked him about the pain, he looked up and said quite cheerfully that “the pains were the same,” but that he felt fine now. I remember my surprise as Lima probed the man’s state of mind a bit further. The operation had done little or nothing to the sensory patterns corresponding to local tissue dysfunction that were being supplied by the trigeminal system. The mental images of that tissue dysfunction were not altered and that is why the patient could report that the pains were the same. And yet the operation had been a success. It had certainly abolished the emotional reactions that the sensory patterns of tissue dysfunction had been engendering. Suffering was gone. The facial expression, the voice, and the general deportment of this man were not those one associates with pain.

                        This sort of dissociation between “pain sensation” and “pain affect” has been confirmed in studies of groups of patients who underwent surgical procedures for the management of pain. More recently, Pierre Rainville, who is now an investigator in my laboratory, has shown by means of a clever manipulation using hypnosis that pain sensation and pain affect are clearly separable. Hypnotic suggestions designed to influence pain affect specifically without altering pain sensation modulated cerebral activity within the cingulated cortex, the same overall region that neurosurgeons can damage to alleviate suffering from chronic and intractable pain. Rainville has also shown that when hypnotic suggestions were aimed at pain sensation rather than at emotions associated with pain, not only were there changes in both unpleasantness and intensity ratings, but also there were changes in SI (the primary sensory cortex) and the cingulate cortex.24 In brief: hypnotic suggestions aimed at the emotions that follow pain rather than at pain sensation reduced emotion but not pain sensation and also caused functional changes in cingulate cortex only; hypnotic suggestions aimed at pain sensation reduced both pain sensation and emotion, and caused functional changes in SI and in the cingulate cortex. Perhaps you have had the direct experience of what I am describing if you have ever taken beta-blockers to treat a heart-rhythm problem or if you have taken a tranquilizer such as valium. Those medications reduce your emotional reactivity, and should you also have pain at the time, they will reduce the emotion caused by pain.

                        We can verify the different biological status of pain and emotion by considering how different interventions interfere with one but not the other. For instance, the stimuli that cause pain can be specifically reduced or blocked by analgesia. When the transmission of signals leading to the representation of tissue dysfunction is blocked, neither pain nor emotion ensue. But it is possible to block emotion and not pain. The would-be emotion caused by tissue damage can be reduced by appropriate drugs, e.g., Valium or beta-blockers, or even by selective surgery. The perception of tissue damage remains but the blunting of emotion removes the suffering that would have accompanied it.

                        And what about pleasure? Is pleasure an emotion? Again, I would prefer to say it is not, although, just like pain, pleasure is intimately related to emotion. Like pain, pleasure is a constituent quality of certain emotions as well as a trigger for certain emotions. While pain is associated with negative emotions, such as fear, anguish, sadness, and disgust, whose combination commonly constitutes what is called suffering, pleasure is associated with many shades of happiness, pride, and positive background emotions.

                        Pain and pleasure are part of biological design for obviously adaptive purposes, but they do their job in very different circumstances. Pain is the perception of a sensory representation of local living-tissue dysfunction. In most circumstances when there is actual or impending damage to living tissues there arise signals that are transmitted both chemically and via nerve fibres of the C and A-? type, and appropriate representations are created in the central nervous system, at multiple levels. In other words, the organism is designed to respond to the actual or threatened loss of integrity of its tissue with a particular type of signaling. The signaling recruits a host of chemical and neural responses all the way from local reactions of white blood cells, to reflexes involving an entire limb, to a concerted emotional reaction.

                        Pleasure arises in a different setting. Turning to the simple example of pleasures associated with eating or drinking, we see that pleasure is commonly initiated by a detection of imbalance, for instance, low blood sugar or high osmolality. The imbalance leads to the state of hunger or thirst (this is known as a motivational and drive state) which leads in turn to certain behaviors involving the search for food or water (also part and parcel of the motivational and drive state), which leads to the eventual acts of eating or drinking. The control of these several steps involves many functional loops, at different hierarchies, and requires the coordination of internally produced chemical substances and neural activity.25 The pleasurable state may begin during the search process, in anticipation of the actual goal of the search, and increase as the goal is achieved.

                        But between the cup and the lip many a slip. A search for food or drink that takes too long or is unsuccessful will not be accompanied by pleasure and positive emotions at all. Or, if in the course of a successful search, an animal is prevented from actually achieving its goal, the thwarting of the consummation may actually cause some anger. Likewise, as I noted in my comment on Greek tragedy, the alleviation or suspension of a state of pain may cause the emergence of pleasure and positive emotions.

                        The point to retain here is the possible interrelationship between pain and pleasure and the attending emotions, as well as the fact that they are not the mirror image of each other. They are different and asymmetric physiological states, which underlie different perceptual qualities destined to help with the solution of very different problems. (The duality of pain and pleasure should not make us overlook the fact that there are more than two emotions, some of which are aligned with pain and some with pleasure, mostly the former. The apparent symmetry of this deep division vanishes as behaviors become more complex in evolution.) In the case of pain, the problem is coping with the loss of integrity of living tissue as a result of injury, be it internally caused by natural disease or externally induced by the attack of a predator or by an accident. In the case of pleasure, the problem is to lead an organism to attitudes and behaviors that are conducive to the maintenance of its homeostasis. Curiously, pain, which I regard as one of the main determinants of the course of biological and cultural evolution, may have begun as an afterthought of nature, an attempt to deal with a problem that has already arisen. I used to think of pain as putting the lock on the door after the house has been robbed, but Pierre Rainville has suggested a better metaphor to me: putting a body-guard in front of the house while you repair the broken window. After all, pain does not result in preventing yet another injury, at least not immediately, but rather in protecting the injured tissue, facilitating tissue repair, and avoiding infection of the wound. Pleasure, on the other hand, is all about forethought. It is related to the clever anticipation of what can be done not to have a problem. At this basic level, nature found a wonderful solution: it seduces us into good behavior.

                        Pain and pleasure are thus part of two different genealogies of life regulation. Pain is aligned with punishment and is associated with behaviors such as withdrawal or freezing. Pleasure, on the other hand, is aligned with reward and is associated with behaviors such as seeking and approaching.

                        Punishment causes organisms to close themselves in, freezing and withdrawing from their surroundings. Reward causes organisms to open themselves up and out toward their environment, approaching it, searching it, and by so doing increasing both their opportunity of survival and their vulnerability.

                        This fundamental duality is apparent in a creature as simple and presumably as nonconscious as a sea anemone. Its organism, devoid of a brain and equipped only with a simple nervous system, is little more than a gut with two openings, animated by two sets of muscles, some circular, the others lengthwise. The circumstances surrounding the sea anemone determine what its entire organism does: open up to the world like a blossoming flower – at which point water and nutrients enter its body and supply it with energy – or close itself in a contracted flat pack, small withdrawn, and nearly imperceptible to others. The essence of joy and sadness, of approach and avoidance, of vulnerability and safety, are as apparent in this simple dichotomy of brainless behavior as they are in the mercurial emotional changes of a child at play.

                        Footnotes:
                        23. I have previously described this episode in Descartes’ Error, and I will briefly summarize it here.

                        24. P. Rainville, G.H. Duncan, D.D. Price, B. Carrier, and M.C. Bushnell, “Pain affect encoded in human anterior cingulate but not somatosensory cortex,” Science 277 (1997): 968-71; P. Rainville, R.K Hofbauer, T. Paus, G.H. Duncan, M.C. Bushnell, and D.D. Price, “Cerebral mechanisms of hypnotic induction and suggestion,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience II (1999): 110-25; P. Rainville, B. Carrier, R.K. Hofbauer, M.C. Bushnell, and G.H. Duncan, “Dissociation of pain sensory and affective dimensions using hypnotic modulation,” Pain (in press*).

                        25. See A.K. Johnson and R.L. Thunhorst, “The neuroendocrinology of thirst and salt appetite: Visceral sensory signals and mechanisms of central integration,” Frontiers in Neuroendocrinoogy 18 (1997): 292-353, for a review of the complex mechanisms involved in behaviors such as thirst.
                        (* Remember that this book was published 1999.)

                        For me, this was the gist of the section:
                        when hypnotic suggestions were aimed at pain sensation rather than at emotions associated with pain, not only were there changes in both unpleasantness and intensity ratings, but also there were changes in SI (the primary sensory cortex) and the cingulate cortex.24 In brief: hypnotic suggestions aimed at the emotions that follow pain rather than at pain sensation reduced emotion but not pain sensation and also caused functional changes in cingulate cortex only; hypnotic suggestions aimed at pain sensation reduced both pain sensation and emotion, and caused functional changes in SI and in the cingulate cortex.
                        This would suggest that targeting pain sensation trumps cognitive only treatment, although I think they are mutually reinforcing. To me, this justifies hands-on neuromodulatory care of people in pain, and props up my self-esteem as a handler of bodies/bodyguards, especially if the "bodyguard" has become a jailor, keeping the self prisoner inside a painful house, torturing that self needlessly.
                        Last edited by Diane; 02-01-2006, 05:53 PM.
                        Diane
                        www.dermoneuromodulation.com
                        SensibleSolutionsPhysiotherapy
                        HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
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                        Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
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                        @dfjpt
                        SomaSimple on Facebook
                        @somasimple

                        "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

                        “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

                        “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

                        "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

                        "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Nat Neurosci. 2005 Jul;8(7):860-1. Related Articles, Links
                          Preferring one taste over another without recognizing either.

                          Adolphs R, Tranel D, Koenigs M, Damasio AR.

                          Department of Neurology and Neuroscience Graduate Program, The University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA. radolphs@hss.caltech.edu

                          Stimuli can be discriminated without being consciously perceived and can be preferred without being remembered. Here we report a subject with a previously unknown dissociation of abilities: a strong behavioral preference for the taste of sugar over saline, despite a complete failure of recognition. The pattern of brain damage responsible for the dissociation suggests that reliable behavioral choice among tastes can occur in the absence of the gustatory cortex necessary for taste recognition.

                          Publication Types:PMID: 15951808 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
                          Last edited by bernard; 27-01-2006, 10:06 AM.
                          Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
                          We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

                          Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
                          If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
                          bernard

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                          • #14
                            Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 23; [Epub ahead of print] Related Articles, Links
                            Neural connections of the posteromedial cortex in the macaque.

                            Parvizi J, Van Hoesen GW, Buckwalter J, Damasio A.

                            Departments of Neurology and Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Iowa, IA 52242.

                            The posterior cingulate and the medial parietal cortices constitute an ensemble known as the posteromedial cortex (PMC), which consists of Brodmann areas 23, 29, 30, 31, and 7m. To understand the neural relationship of the PMC with the rest of the brain, we injected its component areas with four different anterograde and retrograde tracers in the cynomolgus monkey and found that all PMC areas are interconnected with each other and with the anterior cingulate, the mid-dorsolateral prefrontal, the lateral parietal cortices, and area TPO, as well as the thalamus, where projections from some of the PMC areas traverse in an uninterrupted bar-like manner, the dorsum of this structure from the posteriormost nuclei to its rostralmost tip. All PMC regions also receive projections from the claustrum and the basal forebrain and project to the caudate, the basis pontis, and the zona incerta. Moreover, the posterior cingulate areas are interconnected with the parahippocampal regions, whereas the medial parietal cortex projects only sparsely to the presubiculum. Although local interconnections and shared remote connections of all PMC components suggest a functional relationship among them, the distinct connections of each area with different neural structures suggests that distinct functional modules may be operating within the PMC. Our study provides a large-scale map of the PMC connections with the rest of the brain, which may serve as a useful tool for future studies of this cortical region and may contribute to elucidating its intriguing pattern of activity seen in recent functional imaging studies.

                            PMID: 16432221 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
                            Attached Files
                            Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
                            We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

                            Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
                            If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
                            bernard

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here is a link to Hanna Damasio, wife of Antonio. Here's another. She is among the researchers who discovered the cessation of the urge to smoke among those who had strokes affecting their insulas, in the recent paper that came out in Jan. '07 in Science. Really, she deserves her own thread.
                              Diane
                              www.dermoneuromodulation.com
                              SensibleSolutionsPhysiotherapy
                              HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
                              Neurotonics PT Teamblog
                              Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
                              Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division Facebook page
                              @PainPhysiosCan
                              WCPT PhysiotherapyPainNetwork on Facebook
                              @WCPTPTPN
                              Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual PTs Facebook page

                              @dfjpt
                              SomaSimple on Facebook
                              @somasimple

                              "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

                              “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

                              “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

                              "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

                              "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

                              Comment

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