the Biology of Desire

Why Addiction is Not a Disease

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Introduction

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Addiction results…from the motivated repetition of the same thoughts and behaviours until they become habitual. Thus, addiction develops-it’s learned-but it’s learned more deeply and often more quickly than most other habits, due to a narrowing tunnel of attention and attraction.

One: Defining Addiction – A battleground of Opinions

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The fact is that we in the West embrace the logic of pigeonholing problems, givin gthem unique names, and finding technical solutions-the more targeted the better-for alleviating them. That is, to a T, the logic of Western medicine.
Here are the specifics. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA-a component of NIH), “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.”

Continue reading “the Biology of Desire”

the Brain that Changes Itself

Most excited I’ve been while reading a book in a while. I emphatically suggest you read it and think on it for yourself.

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The Brain that Changes itself – Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. By Norman Doidge, M.D.

1 – A Woman Perpetually Falling…

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“We see with our brains, not with our eyes,” [Paul Bach-y-rita] says.

This claim runs counter to the commonsensical notion that we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, taste with our tongues, smell with our noses, and feel with our skin. Who would challenge such fats? But for Bach-y-Rita, our eyes merely sense changes in light energy; it is our brains that perceive and hence see.

How a sensation enters the brain is not important to Bach-Rita. “When a blind man uses a cane, he sweeps it back and forth, and has only one point, the tip, feeding him information through the skin receptors in the hand. Yet this sweeping allows him to sort out where the doorjamb is, or the chair, or distinguish a foot when he hits it, because it will give a little. Then he uses this information to guide himself to the chair to sit down. Though his hand sensors are where he gets the information and where the cane ‘interfaces’ with him, what he subjectively perceives is not the cane’s pressure on his hand but the layout of the room: chairs, walls, feet, the three-dimensional space. The actual receptor surface in the hand becomes merely a relay for information, a data port. The receptor surface loses its identify in the process.” Continue reading “the Brain that Changes Itself”