Re: Brain shocks may help depression

Anders Sandberg (
14 Oct 1999 10:42:00 +0200

"Rob Harris" <> writes:

> >``It was remarkable,'' recalled Dr. Mark George of the Medical
> >University of South Carolina, who performed the experimental
> >implant. ``I said, 'Are you being forced to laugh or do you feel
> >good inside?' He said both.''
> This is very interesting. It clearly demonstrates a startling lack of
> understanding of the nature of the mind on the part of Dr. George. It also
> highlights the need for a better language system, a more low level structure
> that doesn't allow highly ambiguous terms such as "you".
> So....what was Dr. George asking when he said "Are you being forced to
> laugh..."?

He was likely trying to see if the laughter was just due to the laughter reflex or due to positive stimulation of the limbic system. A big deal of difference.

> By applying a stimulus to the associated part of the brain,
> happiness/laughter or whatever will be generated in the consciousness of the
> subject, as certain auditory stimuli do the same.

There was another paper last year that discussed this. It described the effect of stimulating a part of the prefrontal cortex (I think) of a girl that made her experience her situation as funny.

> There is no "force", this
> is the way the mind works. I think the problem may rest with the common
> misconception of "free will" meaning that a human spirit (or whatever) is
> completely responsible for the self-definition of it's motivations,
> impulses, or "will".

Sure. But I think you make a mistake by attributing this view to Dr. Mark George, of whose views we actually know nothing.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y