L’immagine di uomo adottata dal diritto, quella cioè di persona libera, razionale, consapevole e padrona delle proprie azioni, viene oggi messa radicalmente in discussione dalla ricerca neuroscientifica.
Archivio per marzo 2012
Le discipline che studiano il cervello umano – dalle neuroscienze alla sociologia, dall’economia comportamentale alla psicologia – hanno ormai scardinato la concezione secolare dell’uomo come entità divisa: da un lato la ragione a comandare,…
Neuroscience wants to be the answer to everything. The idea that neuroscience solve it all is the vision of those who have not understood and still faces problems with reductionist premises. If a second addresses the neuroscience perspective, we realize that these help a fruitful review of how far acquired, freeing it from the limitations and errors induced cognitive premises now manifestly fallacious.
Here we are on the brink of the twenty-first century. While the history of neurological andpsychological research goes back at least two hundred years, the heavy work commencedin the twentieth century. In a hundred short years the basic outlines of the nervous systemhave been articulated. The biochemical, physiological, pharmacological, and structuralfeatures of the vertebrate brain have been described and in many instances defined. Sotoo have the basic perceptual, emotional, mnemonic, attentional, and cognitive functions.In the past 20 years these fundamentals have accelerated at an exponential rate, leaving the field of brain and cognitive science swamped with riches of information
What motivates us to work for particular rewards such as food when we are hungry, or water when we are thirsty? How do these motivational control systems operate to ensure that we eat approximately the correct amount of food to maintain our body weight or to
replenish our thirst? What factors account for the over-eating and obesity which some humans show?
The issues of what motivation is, and how it is controlled, are introduced in this book
While cells in many brain regions cells are responsive to reward, the cortical-basal ganglia cir-cuit is at the heart of the reward system. The key structures in this network are: the anteriorcingulate cortex, the orbital prefrontal cortex, the ventral striatum, the ventral pallidum, andthe midbrain dopamine neurons. In addition, other structures including the dorsal prefrontalcortex, amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, lateral habenular n., and specific brainstem struc-tures, such as the pedunculopontine n. and the raphe n., are key components in regulatingthe reward circuit. Connectivity between these areas forms a complex neural network that istopographically organized, thus maintaining functional continuity through the cortico-basalganglia pathway. However, the reward circuit does not work in isolation. The network alsocontains specific regions in which convergent pathways provide an anatomical substrate forintegration across functional domains.
Over the first decade of its existence, neuroeconomics has engendered raucous debates of two kinds. First, scholars within each of its parent disciplines have argued over whether this synthetic field offers benefits to their particular parent discipline. Second, scholars within the emerging field itself have argued over what form neuroeconomics should take. To understand these debates, however, a reader must understand both the intellectual sources of neuroeconomics and the backgrounds and methods of practicing neuroeconomists. Neuroeconomics has its origins in two places; in events following the neoclassical economic revolution of the 1930s, and in the birth of cognitive neuroscience during the 1990s. We therefore begin this brief history with a review of the neoclassical revolution and the birth of cognitive neuroscience.