Big brain evolution: changes in sapiens skull shape;addendum (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 22, 2018, 15:28 (295 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

"The Journal of Neuroscience describes how the ability to control emotions moves from one brain area to another as teens mature into adults.."


Tony: The 'ability' to control emotion is not psychology?

"the researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity in 47 healthy 14-year-old adolescents while they evaluated the emotional expressions of happy and angry faces. Sometimes, the teens were instructed to push a joystick toward happy faces and away from angry faces, a natural, instinctive response. Other times, they had to push the joystick toward angry faces and away from happy faces, an unnatural response requiring more emotional self-control."


So, telling kids trained to video games, literally trained to push toward the angry guy is going to tell them that kid is somehow processing an emotion? How do they know what, if anything, that kid was feeling thinking about. He or she could have been bored and thinking about homework or sex.

Adolescents with high testosterone levels, or a greater level of maturity, showed stronger activity in the anterior prefrontal cortex during actions requiring more emotional self-control.


Horny angry people need more self control? Did they need a study to figure that out?

And unless I am mistaken...

The researchers also measured the adolescents' testosterone levels to gauge their pubertal maturation. Adolescents with high testosterone levels, or a greater level of maturity, showed stronger activity in the anterior prefrontal cortex during actions requiring more emotional self-control. Individuals with low testosterone levels had more activity in the amygdala and the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus, subcortical brain regions known to play a key role in emotional processing.

Participants completed the task equally well regardless of testosterone level, suggesting both brain circuits support emotional control. However, the researchers indicate real-world scenarios may prove more challenging to subjects with an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex.


That says their study didn't work. They performed the task equally well despite different t levels, and all they really saw was more prefrontal cortex activity in the testoterone rich patients, and have no clue what it really means, so it must support their claim.

If they are right, great, but this sure sounds like bad science to me.

The journal Nature shares your discomfort:

http://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-02185-w?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20180223&spMailin...

You'll note the discussion goes to age 25.


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