Friday, January 12, 2018

Neuroeconomics - Dopamine Hegemony (REDUX Originally Posted 12/02/07)

For decades it has been known that these neurons and the dopamine they release play a critical role in brain mechanisms of reinforcement. Many of the drugs currently abused in our society mimic the actions of dopamine in the brain. This led many researchers to believe that dopamine neurons directly encoded the rewarding value of events in the outside world.

That last one is a gem. Even though the discipline is barely aborning, it's already become value-laden and placed in the service of a political agenda.

Neuroeconomics has been described as:

  • "an emerging transdisciplinary field that uses neuroscientific measurement techniques to identify the neural substrates associated with economic decisions” (Zak, 2004, p. 1737)
  • “Economics, psychology and neuroscience are converging today in to a single unified discipline with the ultimate aim of providing a single, general theory of human behavior. (…) The goal of this discipline is thus to understand the processes that connect sensation and action by revealing the neurobiological mechanisms by which decisions are made". (Glimcher & Rustichini, 2004, p. 447)
  • “the program for understanding the neural basis of the behavioral response to scarcity” (Ross, 2005, p. 330)
Money's effect on the brain is faster than language processing or face recognition. Money is ancient tricknology and not the human cultural artifact we commonly take it for granted as being..., when you study money, you're studying biology - not culture.