Archive for November, 2011
Baiting the behaviorist(s)
A discussant on the International Society for Human Ethology (ISHE) group leveled a sarcastic attack on my credibility and my established level of expertise. See for example: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology. The attack, as most are, was devoid of any substantive content because it did not address cause and effect with regard to the visual response of the honeybee, which was the topic of discussion.
It is typically somewhat difficult for me to get others to realize they are not addressing cause and effect, but behaviorists are often the extremists in this regard. The problem is that some of them think their endless series of experiments will result in a better understanding of evolved human behavior. This problem led to the accusation that I was accusing all of psychology of the same kind of charlatanism.
My complaint is that many of the study results coming from behaviorists and other psychologists are relatively meaningless compared to those coming from molecular biologists and neuroscientists. (more…)read more November 30, 2011 • 11:11 AM
Theory versus biological facts: Mental modules and models for behavior
In a model combining the measurement of data coming from many individual nerve cells with sophisticated optical, genetic and electrophysiological techniques, olfactory bulb neurons extract relevant information from multi-sensory input. (Blumhagen et al., in press) recently showed that neurons in the zebrafish cortex use a filter to tune in specifically on those parts of neuronal conversations that allow the precise identity of an odor. (more…)read more November 22, 2011 • 11:07 AM