Re: DIPLOMACY: Memetic Morphing

Anders Sandberg (
17 Nov 1998 14:05:48 +0100 (Patrick Wilken) writes:

> >I regret that the human emotional system seems to be designed so that high
> >levels of stress are needed to really grow up.
> Well you better get that level of stress just right: the recent Society for
> Neuroscience meeting suggests that childhood abuse (emotional not physical)
> may lead to permenant brain damage:

It is interesting, but I'm not completely buying just this article. What the article seems to say is that psychological abuse causes changes in mental state and brain activiation similar to temporal lobe epilepsy. This is another good reason to limit psychological abuse, of course, but what isn't shown is that there is structural damage, just functional damage. The difference is small, but relevant when it comes to repairing it.

However, I'm actually quite convinced that abuse can produce even structural damage, a lot of data seems to point in that direction. For example, it is well known that high levels of stress hormones (especially the corticoids) damages or kills cells in the hippocampus; it wouldn't be surprising if this would lead to decreases in memory or attention capacity for victims of abuse or a stressful upbringing.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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