Those who ignore their past are doomed to repeat it, especially in neuroscience

While I was trying to get off to sleep on Monday night, I had Start the Week on, which happened to be about “The Mind”.

I put “The Mind” in inverted commas and capitals because it was the typical modern view by journalists of what they think it is. “The Mind” = “Neuroscience”.

I had to listen to neuroscientists waxing lyrical with one of the big myths of neuroscience….that it will provide clinical interventions.

Apparently, although we’ve studied brain plasticity for several decades and it has failed to produce any decent interventions, for example for stroke, we can look forward in the future to it doing so.

We just need to continue re-focusing all the grant money away from basic behavioural psychological work onto this mythical area that eats through money and machinery and never produces anything of any significance.

But, don’t worry readers, if we continue to do the latter, those interventions will eventually come. Ignore the last 100 years of research’s failures. The past is no measure of what is to come.

I’ve heard this argument before in psychiatry over the so-called magic pills for mental distress.

Listen up guys. Several tens of billions of dollars invested in psychopharmacology has yet to provide an effective treatment for any form of mental distress better than placebo and which doesn’t come with life changing side effects.

Exactly the same can be said about neuroscience.

You’re all suppose to be scientists. You’re all tackling these issues with exactly the same mindset as everyone who came before you.

Why do you think that either of these things are going to change?

You both need a paradigm shift. Otherwise, it is pouring money down the plug hole and warping science.


Am I talking out of my ass?

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