Sir Francis Galton (*1822;†1911): Hereditary Genius

Sir Francis Galton, was an English Victorian era statistician, polymath, sociologist, psychologist, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, and psychometrician. He was knighted in 1909.

Galton produced over 340 papers and books. He also created the statistical concept of correlation and widely promoted regression toward the mean. He was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence, and introduced the use of questionnaires and surveys for collecting data on human communities, which he needed for genealogical and biographical works and for his anthropometric studies.

He was a pioneer in eugenics, coining the term itself and the phrase “nature versus nurture”. His book Hereditary Genius (1869) was the first social scientific attempt to study genius and greatness.

As an investigator of the human mind, he founded psychometrics (the science of measuring mental faculties) and differential psychology and the lexical hypothesis of personality. He devised a method for classifying fingerprints that proved useful in forensic science. He also conducted research on the power of prayer, concluding it had none by its null effects on the longevity of those prayed for. His quest for the scientific principles of diverse phenomena extended even to the optimal method for making tea.


Hereditary Genius

A biographical summary of the pre-eminent men of Britain grouped by profession. The extensive survey draws from information including college graduation, reputation during career, fellowships, and even known relatives. Includes discussions on findings and observations as well as referenced appendices. - Summary by Leon Harvey
  • Preface
  • Introductory Chapter
  • Classification of Men According to Their Reputation
  • Classification of Men According to Their Natural Gifts
  • Comparison of the Two Classifications
  • Notation
  • The Judges of England Between 1660 and 1865
  • Statesmen
  • English Peerages. Their Influence Upon Race
  • Commanders
  • Literary Men
  • Men of Science
  • Poets
  • Musicians
  • Painters
  • Divines
  • Senior Classics of Cambridge
  • Oarsmen
  • Wrestlers of the North Country
  • Comparison of Results
  • The Comparative Worth of Different Races
  • Influences That Affect the General Ability of Nations
  • General Considerations
  • Appendix

Joseph Goebbels principles of propaganda

„We enter the Reichstag to arm ourselves with democracy’s weapons. If democracy is foolish enough to give us free railway passes and salaries, that is its problem… We are coming neither as friends or neutrals. We come as enemies! As the wolf attacks the sheep, so come we.“ — Joseph Goebbels

„The people’s community must not be a mere phrase, but a revolutionary achievement following from the radical carrying out of the basic life needs of the working class. A ruthless battle against corruption! A war against exploitation, freedom for the workers! The elimination of all economic-capitalist influences on national policy. Maintaining a rotten economic system has nothing to do with nationalism, which is an affirmation of the Fatherland.“ — Joseph Goebbels

A lesser known fact is that Goebbels stratagems were “inspired” by Edward Bernays (who authored the book entitled “Propaganda” in 1928).

Bernays stated the following in his 1965 autobiography:

They were using my books as the basis for a destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me, but I knew any human activity can be used for social purposes or misused for antisocial ones.

Further References

Doob, L. W.. (1950). Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda. Public Opinion Quarterly

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1086/266211
directSciHub download

Meyer, M., & Welch, D.. (2006). Propaganda and the German Cinema, 1933-1945. The History Teacher

Plain numerical DOI: 10.2307/493610
directSciHub download

Propaganda and mass persuasion: a historical encyclopedia, 1500 to the present. (2013). Choice Reviews Online

Plain numerical DOI: 10.5860/choice.41-2561
directSciHub download

Herf, J.. (2005). The “jewish War”: Goebbels and the antisemitic campaigns of the Nazi propaganda ministry. Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/hgs/dci003
directSciHub download

Welch, D.. (1993). Manufacturing a consensus: Nazi propaganda and the building of a ‘national community’ (volksgemeinschaft). Contemporary European History

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1017/S096077730000028X
directSciHub download

Google’s Whitepaper on the “fight” of disinformation

George Lakoff could write a book on the “conceptual metaphor” employed in the title of the whitepaper. George Orwell is turning in his grave (the “digital algorithmic ministry of truth”).

Here are the “three foundational pillars” of the whitepaper (expressis verbis):

  • Improve our products so they continue to make quality count;
  • Counteract malicious actors seeking to spread disinformation;
  • Give people context about the information they see.


Further References

Lakoff, G.. (2014). Metaphor and War: The Metaphor System Used to Justify War in the Gulf. Cognitive Semiotics

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1515/cogsem.2009.4.2.5
directSciHub download

Steuter, E., & Wills, D.. (2008). At war with metaphor. Nueva York: Rowman and …

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-4
directSciHub download

Thibodeau, P. H., Hendricks, R. K., & Boroditsky, L.. (2017). How Linguistic Metaphor Scaffolds Reasoning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2017.07.001
directSciHub download

Hülsse, R., & Spencer, A.. (2008). The metaphor of terror: Terrorism studies and the constructivist turn. Security Dialogue

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0967010608098210
directSciHub download

Ferrari, F.. (2007). Metaphor at work in the analysis of political discourse: Investigating a “preventive war” persuasion strategy. Discourse and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0957926507079737
directSciHub download

Thibodeau, P., Mcclelland, J. L., & Boroditsky, L.. (2009). When a bad metaphor may not be a victimless crime : The role of metaphor in social policy. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1070.0713
directSciHub download

Spencer, A.. (2012). The social construction of terrorism: Media, metaphors and policy implications. Journal of International Relations and Development

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1057/jird.2012.4
directSciHub download

At war with metaphor: media, propaganda, and racism in the war on terror. (2013). Choice Reviews Online

Plain numerical DOI: 10.5860/choice.46-3669
directSciHub download

Kövecses, Z.. (2016). Conceptual metaphor theory. In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphor and Language

Plain numerical DOI: 10.4324/9781315672953
directSciHub download

Navaro-Yashin, Y.. (2009). Affective spaces, melancholic objects: Ruination and the production of anthropological knowledge. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2008.01527.x
directSciHub download

Koller, V., Hardie, A., Rayson, P., & Semino, E.. (2008). Using a semantic annotation tool for the analysis of metaphor in discourse. Metaphorik.De
Yanık, L. K.. (2009). The Metamorphosis of Metaphors of Vision: “Bridging” Turkey’s Location, Role and Identity After the End of the Cold War. Geopolitics

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/14650040802693515
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The Impact of Science on Society – Bertrand Russell

Take first the question of food and population. At present 
the population of the globe is increasing at the rate of about 
20 millions a year. Most of this increase is in Russia and 
Southeast Asia. The population of Western Europe and 
the United States is nearly stationary. Meanwhile, the food 
supply of the world as a whole threatens to diminish, as a 
result of unwise methods of cultivation and destruction of 
forests. This is an explosive situation. Left to itself, it must 
lead to a food shortage and thence to a world war. Technique, 
however, makes other issues possible. 

Vital statistics in the West are dominated by medicine 
and birth control: the one diminishes the deaths, the other 
the births. The result is that the average age in the West 
increases: there is a smaller percentage of young people and 
a larger percentage of old people. Some people consider that 
this must have unfortunate results, but speaking as an old 
person, I am not sure. 

The danger of a world shortage of food may be averted 
for a time by improvements in the technique of agriculture. 
But, if population continues to increase at the present rate, 
such improvements cannot long suffice. There will then be 
two groups, one poor with an increasing population, the 
other rich with a stationary population. Such a situation can 
hardly fail to lead to world war. If there is not to be an 
endless succession of wars, population will have to become 
stationary throughout the world, and this will probably have 
to be done, in many countries, as a result of governmental 
measures. This will require an extension of scientific tech- 
nique into very intimate matters. There are, however, two 
other possibilities. War may become so destructive that, at 
any rate for a time, there is no danger of overpopulation; or 
the scientific nations may be defeated and anarchy may de- 
stroy scientific technique. 

Biology is likely to affect human life through the study of 
heredity. Without science, men have changed domestic 
animals and food plants enormously in advantageous ways. 
It may be assumed that they will change them much more, 
and much more quickly, by bringing the science of genetics 
to bear. Perhaps, even, it may become possible artificially to 
induce desirable mutations in genes. (Hitherto the only muta- 
tions that can be artificially caused are neutral or harmful.) 
In any case, it is pretty certain that scientific technique will 
very soon effect great improvements in the animals and 
plants that are useful to man. 

When such methods of modifying the congenital character 
of animals and plants have been pursued long enough to make 
their success obvious, it is probable that there will be a 
powerful movement for applying scientific methods to human 
propagation. There would at first be strong religious and 
emotional obstacles to the adoption of such a policy. But sup- 
pose (say) Russia were able to overcome these obstacles 
and to breed a race stronger, more intelligent, and more 
resistant to disease than any race of men that has hitherto 
existed, and suppose the other nations perceived that unless 
they followed suit they would be defeated in war, then either 
the other nations would voluntarily forgo their prejudices, or, 
after defeat, they would be compelled to forgo them. Any 
scientific technique, however beastly, is bound to spread if 
it is useful in war— until such time as men decide that they have 
had enough of war and will henceforth live in peace. As 
that day does not seem to be at hand, scientific breeding of 
human beings must be expected to come about. I shall return 
to this subject in a later chapter. 

Physiology and psychology afford fields for scientific tech- 
nique which still await development. Two great men, Pavlov 
and Freud, have laid the foundation. I do not accept the view 
that they are in any essential conflict, but what structure 
will be built on their foundations is still in doubt. 

I think the subject which will be of most importance polit- 
ically is mass psychology. Mass psychology is, scientifically 
speaking, not a very advanced study, and so far its professors 
have not been in universities: they have been advertisers, 
politicians, and, above all, dictators. This study is immensely 
useful to practical men, whether they wish to become rich 
or to acquire the government. It is, of course, as a science, 
founded upon individual psychology, but hitherto it has 
employed rule-of-thumb methods which were based upon a 
kind of intuitive common sense. Its importance has been 
enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of 
propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called 
"education." Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; 
the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part. 

What is essential in mass psychology is the art of per- 
suasion. If you compare a speech of Hitler's with a speech of 
(say) Edmund Burke, you will see what strides have been 
made in the art since the eighteenth century. What went 
wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man 
is a rational animal, and framed their arguments on this 
hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band 
do more to persuade than can be done by the most elegant 
train of syllogisms. It may be hoped that in time anybody will 
be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch 
the patient young and is provided by the State with money 
and equipment. 

Encyclopædic hegemony: On the dominance of Wikipedia

Man muß das Wahre immer wiederholen, weil auch der Irrtum um uns her immer wieder gepredigt wird, und zwar nicht von einzelnen, sondern von der Masse. In Zeitungen und Enzyklopädien, auf Schulen und Universitäten, überall ist der Irrtum oben auf, und es ist ihm wohl und behaglich, im Gefühl der Majorität, die auf seiner Seite ist. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(Transl.: Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side.)

The following statistical tools are of great value in this context because they enable researchers to investigate Wikipedia (e.g., “Edit Wars”) in an empirical fashion (see also Aceto & Pescapé, 2015; Darer, Farnan, & Wright, 2018; Gosain, Agarwal, Shekhawat, Acharya, & Chakravarty, 2018; Wright, Darer, & Farnan, 2018):

revision_content(language = NULL, project = NULL, domain = NULL,revisions, properties = c("content", "ids", "flags", "timestamp", "user","userid", "size", "sha1", "contentmodel", "comment", "parsedcomment", "tags"),clean_response = FALSE, ...)

Source: – p.11

Ripberger, Joseph T. (2011): Capturing curiosity: using Internet search trends to measure public attentiveness. Policy Studies Journal 39(2):239-259.



Darer, A., Farnan, O., & Wright, J. (2018). Automated discovery of internet censorship by web crawling. In WebSci 2018 – Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science.

Gosain, D., Agarwal, A., Shekhawat, S., Acharya, H. B., & Chakravarty, S. (2018). Mending wall: On the implementation of censorship in India. In Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST.

Rackley, M. (2009). Internet Archive. In Encylopedia of Library and Information Science, 3rd edition (pp. 2966–2976).

Wright, J., Darer, A., & Farnan, O. (2018). On identifying anomalies in tor usage with applications in detecting internet censorship. In WebSci 2018 – Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science.

José Delgado, implants, and electromagnetic mind control: Stopping the furious Bull

José Manuel Rodríguez Delgado (August 8, 1915 – September 15, 2011) was a Spanish professor of physiology at Yale University, famed for his research on mind control through electrical stimulation of the brain.


Delgrado used permanent brain implants to control behaviour. Later he utilised non-inversive methods.

  • José Manuel Rodríguez Delgado (1969). Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society. Harper and Row. ISBN 978-0-06-090208-7.
  • Delgado JM (1977–1978). “Instrumentation, working hypotheses, and clinical aspects of neurostimulation”. Applied Neurophysiology. 40 (2–4): 88–110. 
  • Delgado, Jose M.; et al. Intracerebral Radio Stimulation and recording in Completely Free Patients, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol 147(4), 1968, 329-340.
  • Delgado, José M.R. (1964). Free Behavior and Brain Stimulation. International Review of Neurobiology. 6. pp. 349–449. doi:10.1016/S0074-7742(08)60773-4.
Abstract - Free behaviour and brain stimulation (1964)
Of the methods used to investigate the neurophysiological basis of behavior, perhaps the most direct and dramatic is electrical stimulation of the brain. Direct stimulation of the brain is considered a crude method for the exploration of cerebral functions, and the understanding of the results is limited. The chapter describes methodology for cinemanalysis, telerecording, and telestimulation to study free behavior during brain stimulation. It also demonstrates that spontaneous activities are recorded, identified and quantified, allowing the systematic study of free and evoked behavior on both individual and social levels. The chapter also discusses the types and significance of behavior evoked by brain stimulation in unrestrained subjects and presents a theory of fragmental organization of behavior. Brain stimulation evokes (1) stereotyped tonic or phasic activity without any emotional disturbance, (2) driving activity to reach an objective with a motor performance adapted to the relations between subject and purpose, (3) changes in behavioral tuning that are detected in isolated animals because of the lack of manifestations, but may modify decisively the character of response to normal stimuli, (4) inhibition of spontaneous or evoked behavior, and (5) abnormal effects such as tremor or seizures.

Rodríguez Delgado’s research interests centered on the use of electrical signals to evoke responses in the brain. His earliest work was with cats, but he later did experiments with monkeys and humans, including psychiatric patients.[3][4]

Much of Rodríguez Delgado’s work was with an invention he called a stimoceiver, a radio which joined a stimulator of brain waves with a receiver which monitored E.E.G. waves and sent them back on separate radio channels. Some of these stimoceivers were as small as half-dollars. This allowed the subject of the experiment full freedom of movement while allowing the experimenter to control the experiment. This was a great improvement from his early equipment which included visual disturbance in those whose wires ran from the brain to bulky equipment that both recorded data and delivered the desired electrical charges to the brain. This early equipment, while not allowing for a free range of movement, was also the cause of infection in many subjects.[5]

The stimoceiver could be used to stimulate emotions and control behavior. According to Rodríguez Delgado, “Radio Stimulation of different points in the amygdala and hippocampus in the four patients produced a variety of effects, including pleasant sensations, elation, deep, thoughtful concentration, odd feelings, super relaxation, colored visions, and other responses.” Rodríguez Delgado stated that “brain transmitters can remain in a person’s head for life. The energy to activate the brain transmitter is transmitted by way of radio frequencies.”[6]

Using the stimoceiver, Rodríguez Delgado found that he could not only elicit emotions, but he could also elicit specific physical reactions. These specific physical reactions, such as the movement of a limb or the clenching of a fist, were achieved when Rodríguez Delgado stimulated the motor cortex. A human whose implants were stimulated to produce a reaction were unable to resist the reaction and so one patient said “I guess, doctor, that your electricity is stronger than my will”. Some consider one of Rodríguez Delgado‘s most promising finds is that of an area called the septum within the limbic region. This area, when stimulated by Rodríguez Delgado, produced feelings of strong euphoria. These euphoric feelings were sometimes strong enough to overcome physical pain and depression.[2]

Rodríguez Delgado created many inventions and was called a “technological wizard” by one of his Yale colleagues. Other than the stimoceiver, Rodríguez Delgado also created a “chemitrode” which was an implantable device that released controlled amounts of a drug into specific brain areas. Rodríguez Delgado also invented an early version of what is now a cardiac pacemaker.[2]

In Rhode Island, Rodríguez Delgado did some work at what is now a closed mental hospital. He chose patients who were “desperately ill patients whose disorders had resisted all previous treatments” and implanted electrodes in about 25 of them. Most of these patients were either schizophrenics or epileptics. To determine the best placement of electrodes within the human patients, Delgado initially looked to the work of Wilder Penfield, who studied epileptics’ brains in the 1930s, as well as earlier animal experiments, and studies of brain-damaged people.[2]

The most famous example of the stimoceiver in action occurred at a Córdoba bull breeding ranch. Rodríguez Delgado stepped into the ring with a bull which had had a stimoceiver implanted within its brain. The bull charged Delgado, who pressed a remote control button which caused the bull to stop its charge. Always one for theatrics, he taped this stunt and it can be seen today.[7] The region of the brain Rodríguez Delgado stimulated when he pressed the hand-held transmitter was the caudate nucleus. This region was chosen to be stimulated because the caudate nucleus is involved in controlling voluntary movements.[2] Rodríguez Delgado claimed that the stimulus caused the bull to lose its aggressive instinct.

Although the bull incident was widely mentioned in the popular media, Rodríguez Delgado believed that his experiment with a female chimpanzee named Paddy was more significant. Paddy was fitted with a stimoceiver linked to a computer that detected the brain signal called a spindle which was emitted by her part of the brain called the amygdala. When the spindle was recognized, the stimoceiver sent a signal to the central gray area of Paddy’s brain, producing an ‘aversive reaction’. In this case, the aversive reaction was an unpleasant or painful feeling. The result of the aversive reaction to the stimulus was a negative feedback to the brain.[2] Within hours her brain was producing fewer spindles as a result of the negative feedback.[8] As a result, Paddy became “quieter, less attentive and less motivated during behavioral testing”. Although Paddy’s reaction was not exactly ideal, Rodríguez Delgado hypothesized that the method used on Paddy could be used on others to stop panic attacks, seizures, and other disorders controlled by certain signals within the brain.[2] [9][10] Publication

José Rodríguez Delgado authored 134 scientific publications within two decades (1950-1970) on electrical stimulation on cats, monkeys and patients – psychotic and non-psychotic. In 1963, New York Times featured his experiments on their front page. Rodríguez Delgado had implanted a stimoceiver in the caudate nucleus of a fighting bull. He could stop the animal mid-way that would come running towards a waving red flag.[11]

He was invited to write his book Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilised Society as the forty-first volume in a series entitled World Perspectives edited by Ruth Nanda Anshen. In it Rodríguez Delgado has discussed how we have managed to tame and civilize our surrounding nature, arguing that now it was time to civilize our inner being. The book has been a centre of controversy since its release.[1] The tone of the book was challenging and the philosophical speculations went beyond the data. Its intent was to encourage less cruelty, and a more benevolent, happier, better man, however it clashed religious sentiments.

José Rodríguez Delgado continued to publish his research and philosophical ideas through articles and books for the next quarter century. He in all wrote over 500 articles and six books. His final book in 1989, was named Happiness and had 14 editions.

Delgado later learned he could duplicate the results he got with the stimoceiver without any implants at all, using only specific types of electromagnetic radiation interacting with the brain. He lamented he didn’t have access to the technology when Franco was in power, as it would have allowed him to control the dictator at a distance.





  • Elliot S. Valenstein (1973). Brain Control: A Critical Examination of Brain Stimulation and Psychosurgery. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-89784-2.


Delgado, J. M. R.. (1970). SCIENCE AND HUMAN VALUES. Zygon®

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1970.tb01129.x
directSciHub download

Blackwell, B.. (2012). Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado. Neuropsychopharmacology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1038/npp.2012.160
directSciHub download

Delgado-García, J. M.. (2000). Why move the eyes if we can move the head?. Brain Research Bulletin

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/S0361-9230(00)00281-1
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Delgado-García, J. M.. (2001). Estructura y función del cerebelo. Revista de Neurologia
Wilder, J.. (2018). Physical Control of the Mind. Toward a Psychocivilized Society. American Journal of Psychotherapy

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1176/appi.psychotherapy.1971.25.3.485
directSciHub download

Molaee-Ardekani, B., Márquez-Ruiz, J., Merlet, I., Leal-Campanario, R., Gruart, A., Sánchez-Campusano, R., … Wendling, F.. (2013). Effects of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on cortical activity: A computational modeling study. Brain Stimulation

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2011.12.006
directSciHub download

Delgado, J. M. R.. (1964). Free Behavior and Brain Stimulation. International Review of Neurobiology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/S0074-7742(08)60773-4
directSciHub download

Delgado, J. M. R., Hamlin, H., & Chapman, W. P.. (1952). Technique of Intracranial Electrode Implacement for Recording and Stimulation and its Possible Therapeutic Value in Psychotic Patients. Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1159/000105792
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Delgado-García, J. M., & Gruart, A.. (2005). Firing activities of identified posterior interpositus nucleus neurons during associative learning in behaving cats. Brain Research Reviews

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2004.10.006
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Márquez-Ruiz, J., Ammann, C., Leal-Campanario, R., Ruffini, G., Gruart, A., & Delgado-García, J. M.. (2016). Synthetic tactile perception induced by transcranial alternating-current stimulation can substitute for natural sensory stimulus in behaving rabbits. Scientific Reports

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1038/srep19753
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The nucleus accumbens, dopamine, and social learning

Key excerpt
The nucleus accumbens has a significant role in the cognitive processing of motivation, aversion, reward (i.e., incentive salience, pleasure, and positive reinforcement), and reinforcement learning (e.g., Pavlovian-instrumental transfer).


Sagittal MRI slice with highlighting (red) indicating the nucleus accumbens.

The nucleus accumbens (NAc or NAcc), also known as the accumbens nucleus, or formerly as the nucleus accumbens septi (Latin for nucleus adjacent to the septum) is a region in the basal forebrain rostral to the preoptic area of the hypothalamus.[1] The nucleus accumbens and the olfactory tubercle collectively form the ventral striatum. The ventral striatum and dorsal striatum collectively form the striatum, which is the main component of the basal ganglia.The dopaminergic neurons of the mesolimbic pathway project onto the GABAergic medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens and olfactory tubercle. Each cerebral hemisphere has its own nucleus accumbens, which can be divided into two structures: the nucleus accumbens core and the nucleus accumbens shell. These substructures have different morphology and functions.

Different NAcc subregions (core vs shell) and neuron subpopulations within each region (D1-type vs D2-type medium spiny neurons) are responsible for different cognitive functions. As a whole, the nucleus accumbens has a significant role in the cognitive processing of motivation, aversion, reward (i.e., incentive salience, pleasure, and positive reinforcement), and reinforcement learning (e.g., Pavlovian-instrumental transfer); hence, it has a significant role in addiction. In addition, part of the nucleus accumbens core is centrally involved in the induction of slow-wave sleep. The nucleus accumbens plays a lesser role in processing fear (a form of aversion), impulsivity, and the placebo effect. It is involved in the encoding of new motor programs as well.

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Further References

Dölen, G., Darvishzadeh, A., Huang, K. W., & Malenka, R. C.. (2013). Social reward requires coordinated activity of nucleus accumbens oxytocin and serotonin. Nature

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1038/nature12518
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Trezza, V., Damsteegt, R., Achterberg, E. J. M., & Vanderschuren, L. J. M. J.. (2011). Nucleus Accumbens -Opioid Receptors Mediate Social Reward. Journal of Neuroscience

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5492-10.2011
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Day, J. J., Roitman, M. F., Wightman, R. M., & Carelli, R. M.. (2007). Associative learning mediates dynamic shifts in dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens. Nature Neuroscience

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1038/nn1923
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Wise, R.. (1989). Brain Dopamine And Reward. Annual Review of Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.40.1.191
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Prof. Rainer Mausfeld – Neoliberal indoctrination: Why do the lambs remain silent?
Mausfeld_Why do the lambs remain silent_2015
Mausfeld focuses on perceptual psychology and also works on the theoretical foundations of experimental psychology and the psychology of understanding. He also deals with the rivalry of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience in cognitive science. Another area of interest is the history of ideas in the natural sciences. He sees a major problem of the relationship between psychology and biology in neurological neo-reductionism. In contrast to biologistic approaches, he sees the peculiarity of the spiritual, inter alia, in the intrinsic multiperspectivity of the mind.
Mausfeld points out that knowledge of neural circuitry and activity is not enough to explain consciousness and thought processes. Not even the behavior of nematodes can be deduced from the activity of their 302 neurons. According to Mausfeld’s view, the relationship between nature and mind must be below the neural level in the sphere of physics. Evidence is given by the fact that nature is actually more enigmatic to us than our consciousness in itself. In modern physics it has become clear that the physical does not have the properties of matter ascribed to it. Mausfeld sees the special aspect of consciousness in the simplicity and wholeness of the subjective experience, which, however, reveals itself to the psychologist as a complex interaction of unconscious factors. The intrinsic multiperspectivity of thinking, which first opens up the possibilities for thought and action alternatives to humans after mouse field, results from the complex interplay of the most varied of factors.
White torture and responsibility of science
In his work, Mausfeld illustrates the role of psychologists in the development, application and justification of modern white torture methods. These goals are not, as claimed, the extraction of information, but rather breaking the will, disciplining, humiliating and shaming the victims. In his account, an American Psychological Association (APA) working group to investigate the involvement of psychologists acting on behalf of the Defense Secretary. Mausfeld uses the example of torture research to define ethical and legal principles and limits of scientific work. He regards the observance of human rights as fully binding.

Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychology , ’ white torture ’ and the responsibility of scientists. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1186/s12882-018-0886-5
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Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychologie, weiße folter’ und die verantwortlichkeit von wissenschaftlern. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1026/0033-3042.60.4.229
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Cognitive techniques

According to Mausfeld, the cognitive ones are more important than the affective techniques, since opinions are more stable than emotions. Here Mausfeld examines the following methods:

  • Representation of facts as opinion
  • Fragmenting coherent facts so that the context, such as the historical context, is lost
  • Decontextualization of facts: The context of the facts is removed, so that the facts become incomprehensible isolated individual cases, which have no general relevance
  • Misleading recontextualization: Information is embedded in a foreign context, so that they take on a different character and, for example, no longer lead to outrage in human rights violations.
  • Repetition supports the “perceived truth”
  • Designing the range of opinions so that the desired seems to be in the middle, which most people strive for, if they are unfamiliar, because they then keep to the middle seein it as “neutral and balanced”
  • Making facts invisible through media selection, distraction and attention control
  • “Meta-propaganda”: It is part of every propaganda to claim that the news of the enemy is wrong because it is propaganda

The development of more efficient manipulation techniques rests on identifying psychological “weak spots” – those intrinsic design aspects of our mind and principles of human information processing that can be exploited for manipulation purposes. Most importantly, such principles are, by the very nature of our cognitive architecture, beyond conscious control. (…) Our mind has many hard-wired weaknesses that can be exploited for manipulative purposes, that facilitate our utilitarian abuse by the political and economic elites for maintaining and expanding their power. However, we also innately dispose of a rich repertoire of ways to use our reasoning capabilities to recognize manipulative contexts and to actively avoid them. This repertoire is akin to a natural cognitive immune system against being manipulated, but we have to take the deliberate decision to actually use it.

neoliberal indoctrination - Copy

Further References

Mausfeld, R.. (2012). On some unwarranted tacit assumptions in cognitive neuroscience. Frontiers in Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00067
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Mausfeld, R., & Heyer, D.. (2012). Colour Perception: Mind and the physical world. Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198505006.001.0001
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Mausfeld, R.. (2005). The Physicalistic Trap in Perception Theory. In Perception and the Physical World

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1002/0470013427.ch4
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Mausfeld, R.. (2012). Der Schein des Realen.. Näher Dran? Zur Phänomenologie Des Wahrnehmens
Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychologie, weiße folter’ und die verantwortlichkeit von wissenschaftlern. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1026/0033-3042.60.4.229
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Wendt, G., Faul, F., & Mausfeld, R.. (2008). Highlight disparity contributes to the authenticity and strength of perceived glossiness. Journal of Vision

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1167/8.1.14
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Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Psychologie, biologie, kognitive neurowissenschaften zur gegenwärtigen dominanz neuroreduktionistischer positionen zu ihren stillschweigenden grundannahmen. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1026/0033-3042/a000045
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Heyer, D., & Mausfeld, R.. (2002). Perception and the physical world: psychological and philosophical issues in perception. Perception
Narens, L., & Mausfeld, R.. (1992). On the Relationship of the Psychological and the Physical in Psychophysics. Psychological Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1037/0033-295X.99.3.467
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Mausfeld, R.. (2012). “Colour” As Part of the Format of Different Perceptual Primitives: The Dual Coding of Colour. In Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198505006.003.0013
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Mausfeld, R.. (2013). The Attribute of Realness and the Internal Organization of Perceptual Reality. In Handbook of Experimental Phenomenology: Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1002/9781118329016.ch3
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Mausfeld, R.. (2001). What’s within? Can the internal structure of perception be derived from regularities of the external world?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X01530083
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Mausfeld, R., & Andres, J.. (2002). Second-order statistics of colour codes modulate transformations that effectuate varying degrees of scene invariance and illumination invariance. Perception

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1068/p07sp
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Mausfeld, R.. (2006). Wahrnehmung: Geschichte und Ansätze. In Handbuch der Allgemeinen Psychologie – Kognition

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07177.x
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Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Intrinsic multiperspectivity: On the architectural foundations of a distinctive mental capacity. In Cognition and Neuropsychology: International Perspectives on Psychological Science

Plain numerical DOI: 10.4324/9780203845820
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Mausfeld, R.. (2013). The Biological Function of Sensory Systems. In Neurosciences – From Molecule to Behavior: a university textbook

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-10769-6_12
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Andres, J., & Mausfeld, R.. (2008). Structural description and qualitative content in perception theory. Consciousness and Cognition

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2006.11.005
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Mausfeld, R., Wendt, G., & Golz, J.. (2014). Lustrous material Appearances: Internal and external constraints on triggering conditions for binocular lustre. I-Perception

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1068/i0603
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Erich Fromm – Disobedience: A Moral or Psychological Problem (1962)


Secondary literature

Frie, R.. (2003). Erich Fromm and contemporary psychoanalysis: from modernism to postmodernism.. Psychoanalytic Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1521/prev.90.6.855.28785
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McLaughlin, N.. (1998). How to become a forgotten intellectual: Intellectual movements and the rise and fall of Erich Fromm. Sociological Forum

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1023/A:1022189715949
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Fromm, E.. (2004). 1929a-e Erich Fromm Psychoanalysis and Sociology. English

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1063/1.4810294
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Rasmussen, B., & Salhani, D.. (2008). Resurrecting erich fromm. Smith College Studies in Social Work

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/00377310802111946
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Brookfield, S.. (2002). Overcoming alienation as the practice of adult education: The contribution of Erich Fromm to a critical theory of adult learning and education. Adult Education Quarterly

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0741713602052002002
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Davis, H. B.. (2003). Erich Fromm and postmodernism.. Psychoanalytic Review

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Wake up: The ‘Ascending reticular activating system’ (ARAS) and its role in consciousness & attention

The reticular formation is essential for governing some of the basic functions of higher organisms and is one of the phylogenetically oldest portions of the brain.

The ascending reticular activating system (ARAS), also known as the extrathalamic control modulatory system or simply the reticular activating system (RAS), is a set of connected nuclei in the brains of vertebrates that is responsible for regulating wakefulness and sleep-wake transitions. The ARAS is a part of the reticular formation and is mostly composed of various nuclei in the thalamus and a number of dopaminergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, histaminergic, cholinergic, and glutamatergic brain nuclei.

The ascending reticular activating system is an important enabling factor for the state of consciousness.  The ARAS also helps mediate transitions from relaxed wakefulness to periods of high attention. There is increased regional blood flow (presumably indicating an increased measure of neuronal activity) in the midbrain reticular formation (MRF) and thalamic intralaminar nuclei during tasks requiring increased alertness and attention.

The reticular formation is divided into three columns: raphe nuclei (median), gigantocellular reticular nuclei (medial zone), and parvocellular reticular nuclei (lateral zone). The raphe nuclei are the place of synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays an important role in mood regulation. The gigantocellular nuclei are involved in motor coordination. The parvocellular nuclei regulate exhalation.

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Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/0149-7634(94)00043-Z
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Edlow, B. L., Takahashi, E., Wu, O., Benner, T., Dai, G., Bu, L., … Folkerth, R. D.. (2012). Neuroanatomic connectivity of the human ascending arousal system critical to consciousness and its disorders. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, 71(6), 531–546.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1097/NEN.0b013e3182588293
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Englot, D. J., D’Haese, P. F., Konrad, P. E., Jacobs, M. L., Gore, J. C., Abou-Khalil, B. W., & Morgan, V. L.. (2017). Functional connectivity disturbances of the ascending reticular activating system in temporal lobe epilepsy. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 88(11), 925–932.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1136/jnnp-2017-315732
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Jones, B. E.. (2011). Neurobiology of waking and sleeping. Handbook of Clinical Neurology (Vol. 98)

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52006-7.00009-5
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Kinomura, S., Larsson, J., Gulyás, B., & Roland, P. E.. (1996). Activation by attention of the human reticular formation and thalamic intralaminar nuclei. Science, 271(5248), 512–515.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5248.512
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Lin, J. S.. (2000). Brain structures and mechanisms involved in the control of cortical activation and wakefulness, with emphasis on the posterior hypothalamus and histaminergic neurons. Sleep Medicine Reviews

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1053/smrv.2000.0116
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McKinney, M.. (2005). Brain cholinergic vulnerability: Relevance to behavior and disease. Biochemical Pharmacology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2005.05.019
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Mesulam, M. M.. (2010). Attentional and confusional states. CONTINUUM Lifelong Learning in Neurology, 16(4), 128–139.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1212/01.CON.0000368265.38415.35
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Newman, J.. (1995). Thalmic Contributions to Attention and Consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1006/ccog.1995.1024
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Robbins, T. W.. (1997). Arousal systems and attentional processes. In Biological Psychology (Vol. 45, pp. 57–71)

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/S0301-0511(96)05222-2
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Siegel, J.. (2004). Brain mechanisms that control sleep and waking. Naturwissenschaften

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/s00114-004-0541-9
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Yeo, S. S., Chang, P. H., & Jang, S. H.. (2013). The Ascending Reticular Activating System from Pontine Reticular Formation to the Thalamus in the Human Brain. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7

Plain numerical DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00416
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Young, G. B.. (2011). Impaired Consciousness and Herniation Syndromes. Neurologic Clinics

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.ncl.2011.07.008
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