Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Teeny Bit of Blowing My Own Horn

Recently, I saw the video embedded below, from the TED Talks series.  It's well worth a watch when you can spare 20 minutes.  Until then, I'll tell you that, in it, a brain scientist describes how an experiment proved that magnetic pulses can "temporarily" change the operation of the part of our brains that processes and evaluates other people's feelings or motivations. 

She presents it like it's just another conclusion.  But I put it in bold because I found it very highly significant.   You see, taken to the absolute extreme, people who cannot read or appreciate other people's feelings are called "sociopaths."

The World Health Organization's International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth edition (ICD-10), the international version of the diagnostic manual for health problems lists the first marker of "anti-social personality disorder," the fancy name for sociopathy, as "callous unconcern for the feelings of others."  The current American version of this kind of manual, the DSM IV, makes it a little less plain, but still visible in the seventh marker for the disorder, "lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another."    In other words, people who don't feel bad for making other people feel bad.  Other people's feelings don't register with these folks.

So, here's the deal:

1) People who lack the ability to perceive and appreciate others feelings move closer to being sociopaths;

2) Magnetic pulses or waves, applied to the brain, can make people "temporarily" less able to appreciate the feelings and motivations of another person;

and the big finish,

3) ALL electrical current causes magnetic waves, in the form of electromagnetism.  All of it.   Like the cages of electrical current we all live in called our houses; like the bleed off from televisions, IPods, cellphones, refrigerators.

And, when you watch the video, you will see that the part of the brain they affected in the experiment is darn close to your right ear--right where you would  hold a cell phone, or stick in an ear-bud.

Kind of makes you want to re-read my posts about electronics and how they affect relationships, doesn't it?  Watch the video, too.

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