Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

How will his presidency and the Republican Party change the economic inequality landscape?

This is a general discussion of any aspect of Donald Trump's presidency and the Republican Party's impact upon economic inequality. Keep the discussion civil and dignified while always being mindful of our principles of conduct (aka SITE RULES).

Posted on: » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:56 pm #31

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Doctor A
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REFERENCING: Doctor A, Post #28, Posted Mar 5, 2019
There needs to be a new direction of thought and action away from organizational and individualistic centered ideology towards that of a unified front to stop economic inequality. Conservative's brain structure, policy and regulatory captur...

Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Doctor A » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:56 pm

Here we have a clear example of how the 1% benefited from the great recession by capturing all of the income gains while the 99% captured nothing. In other words, the capitalistic cycle eventually benefited the wealthy and not the poor once again in the long run.

The 1 Percent Have Gotten All The Income Gains From The Recovery
By Bryce Covert, Jan 28, 2015 ... bee14aab1/

Between 2009 and 2012, according to updated data from Emmanuel Saez, overall income per family grew 6.9 percent. The gains weren't shared evenly, however. The top 1 percent saw their real income grow by 34.7 percent while the bottom 99 percent only saw a 0.8 percent gain, meaning that the 1 percent captured 91 percent of all real income.

Adjusting for inflation and excluding anything made from capital gains investments like stocks, however, shows that even that small gains for all but the richest disappears. According to Justin Wolfers, adjusted average income for the 1 percent without capital gains rose from $871,100 to $968,000 in that time period. For everyone else, average income actually fell from $44,000 to $43,900. Calculated this way, the 1 percent has captured all of the income gains.
While economic downturns like the financial crisis usually hurt the rich, that hit is temporary and income inequality roars back unless drastic regulation and tax policy changes are implemented, he writes.
From my previous post,
Until we can correct the heretofore mentioned imbalances caused by capitalism, and create a new direction of thought and action, the system will continue to be rigged, and we will continue to be crushed under the boots of the elite. The collapse of capitalism is usually caused by the wealthy creating risky laws to enhance their wealth and is the mindset as to how they operate. Whereas they may get killed in the market, many of us less fortunate literally get killed by economic collapse. Until the imbalance is rectified, it will be the same business as usual in a repetitive cycle of upward fortune followed by downward disasters. Although after each and every disaster new laws are put into place to contain the greed of the wealthy that created the disaster to begin with, these laws are quickly diluted down or repealed all together to favor the wealthy once again. What else can we expect from a legal corporate system that has a primary emphasis on fiduciary laws, that is to say, laws that mandate corporations make money for their stock holders as the basic reason for their very existence.
Once again we have been kicked in the teeth by these jack booted thugs. The non-wealthy will continue to be abused in these cyclic capitalistic debacles with the devastation lasting until we take matters into our own hands and finally do something about it. To think otherwise is tantamount to admitting you had a frontal lobotomy.
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Posted on: » Sun May 19, 2019 9:41 am #32

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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Jessica » Sun May 19, 2019 9:41 am

The battle for the control of our brains' is heating up with Elon Musk's new company called Neuralink. It is hoped this company will provide a direct link interface between our wet brain and that of our computers' and other devices. Elon Musk is doing this project as a counter balance to the possibility of run away artificial intelligence. In this scenario, humans will be left behind as computers outpace our intellect in the dawning technological singularity.

From: Innovation Engineering
Neuralink: How the Human Brain Will Download Directly from a Computer

Neuralink, Elon Musk's neurotechnology company, is building a tool to link human brains with computers without a physical connection.
By Susan Fourtan, September, 02nd 2018 ... a-computer

Neuralink, the brain-computer interface and neuroprosthetics company started by Elon Musk and others in 2016 is developing ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers. Elon Musk is also the CEO of the company.

The neurotechnology company headquartered in San Francisco, California is expected to develop implantable brain-computer interfaces (BCIs).

Neuralink aims to make devices that intially would treat serious brain disease and brain damage that was caused by a stroke in the short-term. In the long-term, the company's goal is to develop the technology for human enhacement.
Neural Lace is a brain-computer interface technology that could allow human brains to compete with Artificial Intelligence (AI). Currently, Elon Musk is funding research toward the development of Neural Lace technology, this is the emerging technology that could link human brains with computers without the need of a physical connection.

This would be possible by implanting tiny electrodes into the brain. The result would be the enhancement of memory and cognitive powers by effectively merging humans and Artificial Intelligence.

Elon Musk, who runs several successful companies, including Tesla and SpaceX, has outlined his fears in several opportunities saying that the rapid advancement in Artificial Intelligence means that humans will either have to merge with Artificial Intelligence at some point in the future or become irrelevant. When he is asked about why he founded Neuralink he responds saying that the "existential risk is too high not to."

Neuralink is a mix of futuristic science and brain surgery. Linking the human brain directly to computers and other electronic devices via cybernetic implants allows the mind to interface with gadgets and programs, and this is what Neuralink is going to be all about.

According to Elon Musk, brain-to-machine (B2M) interfaces are an important part of humanity's future. It is well known that Elon Musk and others are concerned about the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the world and the future of humanity as we know it. By finding a way to increase humans' intelligence to equal that of the Artificial Intelligence programs of the future, or superintelligences.

"We are, all of us, already cyborgs," Elon Musk said at the Beneficial Artificial Intelligence conference. "You have a machine extension of yourself in the form of your phone and your computer and all your applications . . . by far you have more power, more capability than the President of the United States had 30 years ago," Musk said.
Neuralink: Neural Lace explained

According to Elon Musk, without the creation of the Neural Lace technology, humans will be unable to keep pace with the rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence. He says that there is a good chance that humans may become the intellectual equivalent of the house cat.

As an immediate application, Neural Lace could potentially help patients suffering from brain injuries and certain illnesses. However, the utimate goal and mission of Neuralink are to successfully merge the human brain with machine, fusing human intelligence with Artificial Intelligence. As a result, this is expected to bring humanity up to a higher level of cognitive reasoning.

Neural Lace: How it works

At some point, Neural Lace is going to enable humans to upload and download information directly from a computer. Just in a similar way how Neo from the Matrix does in order to learn new skills and acquire new information.

In order to insert Neural Lace, a tiny needle containing the rolled up mesh is placed inside the skull. The mesh is then injected and unveiled upon injection, encompassing the brain.

The Neural Lace integrates itself with the human brain. It creates a perfect symbiosis between human and machine. This technology could be the catalyst for the technological Singularity.

The following videos on this Neuralink space are helpful to understand the nature of this new technology:

Here is the most recent link, ... evice.html
In the previous referenced post, Doctor A presents aspects of the future battle for brain control which is encapsulated in his following statements,
From Doctor A's post #6 we have,

2) Let there be no doubt, the single most important aspect we are really battling for here is to control the future,our future,for the good of the whole. Will we control it or let the wealthy elite control our destiny? Make no mistake; what happens here will determine the outcome of humanity. Whoever controls the Singularity will control the future;will it be us or them?

Regarding the words, "Whoever controls the Singularity will control the future", the word control implies some form of active intent. One only has to look at the modern day corporate players of Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and other key players at the top of the corporate pyramid to see the level of active control they employ to promote their interests. Their intent is for world domination at least realistically in their their respective fields to control the future. They actively appropriate large amounts of capital and talent to ensure their future technological dominance. A quest to maximize profits and continue growth marches lockstep with a corporate fiduciary duty regarding such matters for their shareholders. This is an active intent to control the future.

Under 1-A Economic Inequality: The Outrage! TODAY'S CONCERNS, from the topic, New Age Slavery, post #20, Doctor A states,

We are at war; it is a war between competing brain structures. What we are witnessing is the opening salvo of class warfare on a world wide scale. Few dare to call it what really is in an attempt to keep the cauldron from boiling over. Nevertheless, the carnage is just starting and will continue.

He also says,

But only one side will win. Let us pray it is us and not just a handful of craven elites with blood stained hands and brain structures bent on controlling the world in an attempt to satisfy their inner greed; it is a greed that can never be satisfied. The very future of humanity depends upon us winning. Losing would surely spell death to each of us as with every successive year more and more automation and robotics will relegate us to the dust bin of history. It is a history where we are no longer needed. Eventually, a cost to benefit ratio derived from an algorithm will lead someone down that slippery slope to ask the question, "Why not just kill them all?" This is the future we are fighting against and the fight must start now if we are to have any chance of winning.

Finally, under Donald Trump and the Republican Party: Anything Goes!,from the topic, Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality, we have Doctor A's post #9 where he explains,

I suspect the future research proposed by Dr. Kaplan will show a similar level of intransience and resistance to change political ideology when he tests the conservative group. If this proves to be the case, then I would still choose my liberal brain structure over that of a conservative's. That being said, an individual may not have a choice in tomorrow's world. So, here is the crux of the matter; who will get to choose the structure of the fetal brain wiring with its genetic engineering for future generations; who will choose our adult brain structures as more and more brain prosthetics become available as we slip into old age?

I suggest the dominant political power, which is currently conservative, Republican, and supported by Plutocrats will have sway over these decisions. You, as a member of the 99%, will have little choice in the matter. Just like tax rates, guns, and reproductive rights, certain future brain structures will be mandated. Let us remember the golden rule? No, not that one, rather the one that states, "those with the gold make the rules." Those of the wealthy elite will use their plutocratic positions steeped in conservative brain structures to make it so legally and otherwise. Given the same choice, wouldn't you too base the future upon an image of humanity in the image of your own brain structured world view?
Doctor A also sums up how those with a conservative brain structure will fight to maintain control of the new technology when he states in the same thread on this website from post #28,
There needs to be a new direction of thought and action away from organizational and individualistic centered ideology towards that of a unified front to stop economic inequality. Conservative's brain structure, policy and regulatory capture by the rich, money in politics, flaws in capitalism, and movement nearing the rise of a technological singularity will all play a role in crushing any hope for humanity unless this new direction is achieved. Until that time, it will be business as usual with the last two human generations witnessing ever increasing economic inequality in the USA being proof positive that the old way of thinking is outdated and outright ineffective. What follows is a compilation of four basic mechanisms taken from the FirstRateCrowd website which are instrumental in enslaving our thoughts and actions unless we change.
Doctor A presents four basic power levers utilized by the rich to retain their power. Although these are too lengthy to present here, the levers include:
1) Conservative minded brain structure
2) Policy or regulatory capture along with money in politics
3) Flaws in capitalism, which disproportionately impacts the poor
4)The rise of the technological singularity

He then states,
The above four powerful mechanisms, although not exhaustive in scope and breadth as there are many more mechanisms, are too much for us to surmount and we will be conquered and eventually destroyed by the elite's economic inequality unless we begin to think and act differently.
We are our own worst enemy when we allow these antiquated mechanisms to control our lives. The old rules of activism must be supplanted with a new mindset. The clock is ticking. Wake up and embrace a more advanced activism; rise up to the power of FirstRateCrowd's EIRA.
If this junction between humans and computers can be crated as Elon Musk describes, it will have a profound impact upon the development of the technological singularity. To a certain extent, we will be able to judge the development of the singularity by watching what is happening in this space both technologically and legally. As always, the levers of power Doctor A describes are skewed in favor of the wealthy elite. They will be the ones with the financial resources not only to do the research and bring products into development, but they will also be the ones who will tip the legal scales in their favor. Even though Elon Musk is doing this project as a counter balance to the possibility of run away artificial intelligence, he and other wealthy elite will still control it's outcome. For all intents and purposes, the 99% will remain virtually voiceless in the arenas that matter.
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Posted on: » Sat May 25, 2019 5:57 pm #33

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REFERENCING: Jessica, Post #32, Posted May 19, 2019
The battle for the control of our brains' is heating up with Elon Musk's new company called Neuralink. It is hoped this company will provide a direct link interface between our wet brain and that of our computers' and other devices. Elon Mu...

Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Jessica » Sat May 25, 2019 5:57 pm

To quote the head of AI at Singularity University, Neil Jacobstein, “It’s not artificial intelligence I’m worried about, it’s human stupidity.”

The hacking and hijacking of a brain-computer interface, such as Elon Musk's Neuralink, has the potential to produce devastating and even life threatening consequences. Even if a computer code is developed which is not penetrable to hacking by today's standards, an exponentially advancing AI in the future may be able to beat any form of prophylaxis. The following articles indicate hacking is a real concern for Neuralink with similar technologies being susceptible to non-origination control.

Experts: Artificial Intelligence Could Hijack Brain-Computer Interfaces
Can we prevent AI from hacking into the human brain?, by Dom Galeon, November 20th 2017 ... interfaces
Ever since Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk announced his plans to develop a brain-computer interface (BCI) through his Neuralink startup, BCI technologies have received more attention. Musk, however, wasn't the first to propose the possibility of enhancing human capabilities through brain-computer interfacing. A number of other startups are working on a similar goal, including Braintree founder Bryan Johnson with Kernel. Even the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is working on one.

Now, according to a collaboration of 27 experts,neuroscientists, neurotechnologists, clinicians, ethicists and machine-intelligence engineers,calling themselves the Morningside Group, BCIs present a unique and rather disturbing conundrum in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). Essentially designed to hack the brain, BCIs themselves run the risk of being hacked by AI.

Such advances could revolutionize the treatment of many conditions, from brain injury and paralysis to epilepsy and schizophrenia, and transform human experience for the better, the experts wrote in a comment piece in the journal Nature. But the technology could also exacerbate social inequalities and offer corporations, hackers, governments or anyone else new ways to exploit and manipulate people. And it could profoundly alter some core human characteristics: private mental life, individual agency and an understanding of individuals as entities bound by their bodies.

Machine Learning
How Brain-Computer Interfaces Could Expose Us to Hacking and Manipulation
25 Dec 2017 12:30pm, by Kimberley Mok ... ipulation/
In particular, they are pointing to upcoming developments in brain-computer interfaces being spearheaded by companies like Neuralink and Kernel, creating wireless devices which will directly link humans to powerful computational systems, which have to ability to not only "read" human brain activity, but also "write" neural data into the brain. According to the group, they foresee technological changes happening much faster than governments or societies can adapt, leading to an uncharted and potentially perilous territory where users and their data might not only be exploited for financial gain but even lose their sense of self.

How Hackers Could Get Inside Your Head With Brain MalwareBrain-computer interfaces offer new applications for our brain signalsand a new vector for security and privacy violations.
From: Motherboard, by Victoria Turk, Aug 3 2016 ... in-malware
Hackers have spyware in your mind. You're minding your business, playing a game or scrolling through social media, and all the while they're gathering your most private information direct from your brain signals. Your likes and dislikes. Your political preferences. Your sexuality. Your PIN.

It's a futuristic scenario, but not that futuristic. The idea of securing our thoughts is a real concern with the introduction of brain-computer interfaces devices that are controlled by brain signals such as EEG (electroencephalography), and which are already used in medical scenarios and, increasingly, in non-medical applications such as gaming.
Mind-Hunting: Could Your Brain Be a Target For Hackers

New technology could let hackers inside your head with dangerous "brain malware".
By Zachary Tomlinson, November, 20th 2018 ... or-hackers
Imagine the scenario where you are minding your business someday in the near-future as you scroll through social media using only the power of your thoughts. Apple's new phone contains a brain-computer interface that lets you control every feature with your mind,a miracle of science when it was introduced, but now you're used to it.

But imagine if you will, what hacking a device with that kind of technology could mean. While you browse the web or do your work, hackers could be using spyware on your mind-- gathering your most private information directly from your brain signals. Your likes and dislikes. Your political preferences. Your sexuality. Your PIN.

The idea frankly is not all that far-fetched. The need to secure our very thoughts is quickly becoming a reality in a world where brain-computer interface machines (such as EEGs) are becoming more prevalent both in medical scenarios and in other applications like personal computing and even gaming. The simple fact is, if we don't address this problem quickly, it will inevitably be too late.
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Posted on: » Sun May 26, 2019 11:30 am #34

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REFERENCING: Jessica, Post #33, Posted May 26, 2019
To quote the head of AI at Singularity University, Neil Jacobstein, “It’s not artificial intelligence I’m worried about, it’s human stupidity.”

The hacking and hijacking of a brain-computer interface, such as Elon Musk's ...

Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Doctor A » Sun May 26, 2019 11:30 am

Jessica's previous post is specific to hacking and hijacking brain-computer interfaces. In a different thread I presented a more generalized and encompassing view regarding the coming of Neurological And Technological Brain Adaptions. This is from my post #6 under the major category of Economic Inequality-The Singularity, under the subheading of, Pitchforks And Torches Will No Longer Be Able To Stop The 1%. Here I pointed out many frightening ethical, moral, and legal issues of this dawning field. This is germane to Jessica's discussion and provides a larger scope of issues related to her post.
In a neurotechnology future, human-rights laws will need to be revisited
April 28, 2017

New forms of brainwashing include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to neuromodulate the brain regions responsible for social prejudice and political and religious beliefs, say researchers. (credit: U.S. National Library of Medicine)

New human rights laws to prepare for rapid current advances in neurotechnology that may put freedom of mind at risk have been proposed in the open access journal Life Sciences, Society and Policy.

Four new human rights laws could emerge in the near future to protect against exploitation and loss of privacy, the authors of the study suggest: The right to cognitive liberty, the right to mental privacy, the right to mental integrity, and the right to psychological continuity.

Advances in neural engineering, brain imaging, and neurotechnology put freedom of the mind at risk, says Marcello Ienca, lead author and PhD student at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Basel. Our proposed laws would give people the right to refuse coercive and invasive neurotechnology, protect the privacy of data collected by neurotechnology, and protect the physical and psychological aspects of the mind from damage by the misuse of neurotechnology.

Potential misuses
Sophisticated brain imaging and the development of brain-computer interfaces have moved away from a clinical setting into the consumer domain. There's a risk that the technology could be misused and create unprecedented threats to personal freedom. For example:
Uses in criminal court as a tool for assessing criminal responsibility or even the risk of re-offending.*
Consumer companies using brain imaging for neuromarketing to understand consumer behavior and elicit desired responses from customers.
Brain decoders that can turn a person's brain imaging data into images, text or sound.**
Hacking, allowing a third-party to eavesdrop on someone's mind.***

International human rights laws currently make no specific mention of neuroscience. But as with the genetic revolution, the on-going neurorevolution will require consideration of human-rights laws and even the creation of new ones, the authors suggest.

*A possibly game-changing use of neurotechnology in the legal field has been illustrated by Aharoni et al. (2013). In this study, researchers followed a group of 96 male prisoners at prison release. Using fMRI, prisoners brains were scanned during the performance of computer tasks in which they had to make quick decisions and inhibit impulsive reactions. The researchers followed the ex-convicts for 4 years to see how they behaved. The study results indicate that those individuals showing low activity in a brain region associated with decision-making and action (the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, ACC) are more likely to commit crimes again within 4 years of release (Aharoni et al. 2013). According to the study, the risk of recidivism is more than double in individuals showing low activity in that region of the brain than in individuals with high activity in that region. Their results suggest a potential neurocognitive biomarker for persistent antisocial behavior. In other words, brain scans can theoretically help determine whether certain convicted persons are at an increased risk of reoffending if released. Marcello Ienca and Roberto Andorno/Life Sciences, Society and Policy

** NASA and Jaguar are jointly developing a technology called Mind Sense, which will measure brainwaves to monitor the driver's concentration in the car (Biondi and Skrypchuk 2017). If brain activity indicates poor concentration, then the steering wheel or pedals could vibrate to raise the driver's awareness of the danger. This technology can contribute to reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers who are stressed or distracted. However, it also opens theoretically the possibility for third parties to use brain decoders to eavesdropping on people's states of mind. Marcello Ienca and Roberto Andorno/Life Sciences, Society and Policy

*** Criminally motivated actors could selectively erase memories from their victims brains to prevent being identified by them later on or simply to cause them harm. On the long term-scenario, they could be used by surveillance and security agencies with the purpose of selectively erasing dangerous, inconvenient from people's brain as portrayed in the movie Men in Black with the so-called neuralyzer. Marcello Ienca and Roberto Andorno/Life Sciences, Society and Policy
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Posted on: » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:11 pm #35

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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:11 pm

The hacking and brainjacking of our cranial cells is becoming more and more ubiquitous in the modern world. We need to be aware of this increasing trend for the control of our minds. Here is an interesting article in its entirety presenting a broad overview of the dangers we currently face. Realistically these are known examples; most governmental agencies around the world are doing undisclosed research in this sector of mind control while keeping their secrets out of the public's view.

Neural Implant Tech Raises the Specter of Brainjacking
By Edd Gent -Jun 13, 2017 ... injacking/

The human mind is already pretty open to manipulation—just ask anyone who works in advertising. But neural implant technology could potentially open up a direct digital link to our innermost thoughts that could be exploited by hackers.

In recent months, companies like Elon Musk’s Neuralink, Kernel, and Facebook have unveiled plans to create devices that will provide a two-way interface between human brains and machines.

While these devices could undoubtedly bring many benefits, they would be networked to computers and therefore essentially part of the Internet of Things. That should immediately set off alarm bells for anyone paying attention to cybersecurity news.

There have been repeated warnings in recent years about the huge number of vulnerabilities in “smart” devices designed by consumer goods companies with little experience of or consideration for cybersecurity.

One would expect that the added sensitivity of a device set to be integrated into people’s bodies would warrant more caution. But it has already been demonstrated that it is possible to hack medical implants to harm patients, and there seems to be no reason the same wouldn’t be true of neural implants.

In a paper in World Neurosurgery last year, Oxford PhD student Laurie Pycroft warned about the possibility of ‘brainjacking’—hackers exerting unauthorized control of brain implants.

Deep brain stimulation implants are already being used to treat diseases like Parkinson’s and chronic pain, but he warned that hackers could gain control of the device and alter stimulation settings to cause pain or inhibit movement.

Even with these comparatively simple devices, a determined and technically competent attacker could carry out more advanced attacks that could alter the victim’s behavior in crude ways, Pycroft said.

Future neural implants designed from the bottom up to interface with our cognitive processes may make far more nuanced and sophisticated hacks possible. Earlier this month it was shown that a neural headset could be used to guess someone’s PIN. How much more intimate would the access be if we were talking about an invasive neural implant like the one Elon Musk has proposed?

While a targeted attack on a neural implant designed to manipulate someone’s behavior is unlikely to be worth the effort for most hackers, a bigger threat may be dumb malware that spreads to thousands of devices. Spyware could be used to access highly sensitive personal information, and a neural implant locked by ransomware is not as easy to replace as a laptop.

Perhaps, though, it’s not hackers we should be worrying about. Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program in 2013 demonstrated wide-ranging collusion between the security services and technology companies to intercept the supposedly secure communications of innocent citizens.

It’s hard to imagine the spooks would pass up the opportunity to do the same with neural implants, and once that threshold has been crossed, it would likely be a short leap to taking advantage of the two-way nature of these future devices to subtly influence people’s behavior.

Even if you trust your government not to abuse these capabilities, the leak of a massive cache of hacking tools stockpiled by the NSA suggests they may not be the only ones with access.
And it’s hard to imagine that the tech companies building these devices don’t know where the back doors are. Facebook, one of the companies developing neural technology, has already been caught carrying out questionable psychological experiments that altered users’ emotions without their permission.

However, this example also highlights that it may not be necessary for us to install neural implants to make our brains susceptible to hacking. The media—be that newspapers, advertisers or Hollywood—have long been accused of manipulating the way we think.

With the rise of social media there are now a host of new tools for those looking to influence the zeitgeist: fake news websites, swarms of Twitter bots, and targeted advertising based on psychological profiles drawn from our internet behavior.

One researcher recently showed they could read neural responses to subliminal images embedded in a game. The information is crude, but they said it could be scaled up to mind-reading level capabilities if combined with other technology, like VR or wearable devices.

So, whether it’s through neural implants or clever social engineering, it seems technology is already challenging the sanctity of our mental processes. Just last month I reported on calls from neuroethicists to introduce new human rights designed to protect our mental privacy.

While new rights would be welcome, more pressing is the need to ensure that cybersecurity is built into future neural devices from the outset, and from the bottom up.
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Posted on: » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:06 pm #36

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REFERENCING: Sterling Volunteer, Post #35, Posted Jun 29, 2019
The hacking and brainjacking of our cranial cells is becoming more and more ubiquitous in the modern world. We need to be aware of this increasing trend for the control of our minds. Here is an interesting article in its entirety presenting...

Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by MaureenCarter » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:06 pm

Without question, Sterling's referencing post #35 speaks the truth when he cites,
most governmental agencies around the world are doing undisclosed research in this sector of mind control while keeping their secrets out of the public's view. The following looks at the direction some of the research currently underway is taking that the public has access to seeing.
DARPA’s New Project Is Investing Millions in Brain-Machine Interface Tech
By Shelly Fan - Jun 05, 2019 ... face-tech/

When Elon Musk and DARPA both hop aboard the cyborg hypetrain, you know brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) are about to achieve the impossible.

BMIs, already the stuff of science fiction, facilitate crosstalk between biological wetware with external computers, turning human users into literal cyborgs. Yet mind-controlled robotic arms, microelectrode “nerve patches”, or “memory Band-Aids” are still purely experimental medical treatments for those with nervous system impairments.

With the Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program, DARPA is looking to expand BMIs to the military. This month, the project tapped six academic teams to engineer radically different BMIs to hook up machines to the brains of able-bodied soldiers. The goal is to ditch surgery altogether—while minimizing any biological interventions—to link up brain and machine.

Rather than microelectrodes, which are currently surgically inserted into the brain to hijack neural communication, the project is looking to acoustic signals, electromagnetic waves, nanotechnology, genetically-enhanced neurons, and infrared beams for their next-gen BMIs.

It’s a radical departure from current protocol, with potentially thrilling—or devastating—impact. Wireless BMIs could dramatically boost bodily functions of veterans with neural damage or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or allow a single soldier to control swarms of AI-enabled drones with his or her mind. Or, similar to the Black Mirror episode Men Against Fire, it could cloud the perception of soldiers, distancing them from the emotional guilt of warfare.

The four-year N3 program focuses on two main aspects: noninvasive and “minutely” invasive neural interfaces to both read and write into the brain.

Because noninvasive technologies sit on the scalp, their sensors and stimulators will likely measure entire networks of neurons, such as those controlling movement. These systems could then allow soldiers to remotely pilot robots in the field—drones, rescue bots, or carriers like Boston Dynamics’ BigDog. The system could even boost multitasking prowess—mind-controlling multiple weapons at once—similar to how able-bodied humans can operate a third robotic arm in addition to their own two.

In contrast, minutely invasive technologies allow scientists to deliver nanotransducers without surgery: for example, an injection of a virus carrying light-sensitive sensors, or other chemical, biotech, or self-assembled nanobots that can reach individual neurons and control their activity independently without damaging sensitive tissue. The proposed use for these technologies isn’t yet well-specified, but as animal experiments have shown, controlling the activity of single neurons at multiple points is sufficient to program artificial memories of fear, desire, and experiences directly into the brain.

“A neural interface that enables fast, effective, and intuitive hands-free interaction with military systems by able-bodied warfighters is the ultimate program goal,” DARPA wrote in its funding brief, released early last year.

The only technologies that will be considered must have a viable path toward eventual use in healthy human subjects.

DARPA’s stated goal is to hook up at least 16 sites in the brain with the BMI, with a lag of less than 50 milliseconds—on the scale of average human visual perception. That’s crazy high resolution for devices sitting outside the brain, both in space and time. Brain tissue, blood vessels, and the scalp and skull are all barriers that scatter and dissipate neural signals. All six teams will need to figure out the least computationally-intensive ways to fish out relevant brain signals from background noise, and triangulate them to the appropriate brain region to decipher intent.

“DARPA is preparing for a future in which a combination of unmanned systems, AI, and cyber operations may cause conflicts to play out on timelines that are too short for humans to effectively manage with current technology alone,” said Al Emondi, the N3 program manager.

The use of BCIs for the military is echoed in the following articles:
US military thinks soldiers are ready to control machines with their minds
by TRISTAN GREENE ... eir-minds/

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a think tank for the Pentagon, hosted a three day symposium in celebration of its 60th anniversary this week. Highlights from the event included discussion of some of the most astounding projects the agency is currently working on. And of those, one in particular caught our eye: The N3, or Next Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology, program.

We love DARPA because its job is to come up with wacky futuristic ideas and then see which ones the brass wants to pursue. And the N3 program is everything you hope for in a (not at all) secret military research project.

The N3 program seeks to build a brain computer interface (BCI) that doesn’t require surgery or any invasive procedures. Basically they want to come up with a way to take existing external BCIs and make them fit for combat duty. Current BCI technology, mostly designed to assist the disabled, is entirely unsuited for field deployment.
The US Military Is Working on Tech That Could Turn Soldiers Into Cyborgs
PETER DOCKRILL 22 JAN 2016 ... ital-world

The US military has announced it will be developing an implantable neural interface that can bridge the divide between the human mind and computers.

The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says that the interface, which it envisions as a bio-compatible device measuring no larger than 1 cubic centimetre, would act as a translator that converts between the "electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology".

The ambitious scheme, called the Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) program, seeks to boost the abilities of existing brain interfaces that can link mind and machine. Current devices consist of about 100 channels, but DARPA intends to develop a system that can communicate with up to 1 million neurons at a time.

"Today's best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem," said project manager Phillip Alvelda. "Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics."
According to DARPA, the device could provide a foundation for new health therapies, digitally compensating for "deficits in sight or hearing by feeding digital auditory or visual information into the brain at a resolution and experiential quality far higher than is possible with current technology".

In order to achieve its goal, DARPA says new advancements will need to be made across several fields including neuroscience, synthetic biology, and low-power electronics. There's also the software side of the equation, with new neuro-computation techniques required that can accurately transcode and compress high-definition sensory information between digital hardware and the brain on the fly, and all without significant losses in fidelity.

To make this possible, DARPA is reaching out to researchers and companies around the world for their assistance in creating these kinds of technologies

Here is another example of some of the work being done:

Business Wire
Battelle-Led Team Wins DARPA Award to Develop Injectable, Bi-Directional Brain Computer Interface
May 20, 2019 ... 00201.html

Battelle has for years successfully demonstrated brain-computer interface (BCI) projects—just look at NeuroLife®, which has enabled a quadriplegic man to move his hand again using his thoughts. Now, the government’s forward-thinking Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a contract to a Battelle-led team that pushes researchers into the realm of what was once considered science fiction.

Imagine this: A soldier puts on a helmet and uses his or her thoughts alone to control multiple unmanned vehicles or a bomb disposal robot. That’s the basis for this effort for DARPA’s Next-Generation Non-Surgical Neurotechnology (N3) program. The N3 program seeks development of high-performance, bi-directional brain-machine interfaces for able-bodied service members. Most of the current BCI research, including Battelle’s NeuroLife technology, focuses on helping people with disabilities who must undergo invasive implant procedures, including brain surgery, to enable a BCI that can restore lost function. For the next BCI leap, in which the technology can be used by healthy military service members, it’s imperative to find lower-risk and less-invasive options.

With regards to Elon Musk's business venture, Neuralink, I suspect more businesses other than just the military will get involved in BCIs. The following article reveals the role Facebook is starting to play with this technology.
Should Facebook still be working on a mind-reading device?
by TRISTAN GREENE — Mar 29, 2018 ... ng-device/

Would you wear a piece of hardware that could read your thoughts and send them to a computer? The answer to that question, in light of current events, may be different depending on who is making the product.

It sounds pretty cool, in theory: you slide on some sort of headset device, lean back in your favorite recliner, think about sending a Facebook message, and it’s sent. Simple. Seconds later, you hear a chime, and think about reading a reply – which promptly pops up on the nearest screen in your visual field.

That, allegedly, is the future Facebook’s mysterious Building 8 division is working toward. But, surely, there’s no way it’s still considering such an ambitious project now. Right? Not after the giant Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Actually, turns out they are. A representative for Facebook told TNW, “I can tell you we’re still working on the project but don’t have anything new to share.”
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Posted on: » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:09 pm #37

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REFERENCING: MaureenCarter, Post #36, Posted Aug 9, 2019
Without question, Sterling's referencing post #35 speaks the truth when he cites,
most governmental agencies around the world are doing undisclosed research in this sector of mind control while keeping their

Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:09 pm

Not all brain hacking needs to be done surreptitiously. The Chinese are brain hacking their students, military, and employees with non-invasive brainwave tracking devices to make them perform more efficiently. This is not being done secretively but rather in plain sight. Their government is not a democracy and has aspects of a technocracy where technology is used to control their population and bend them to the will of the government. Needless to say, individual human rights in China are not a high priority. Such activities are not well tolerated in the USA and civil rights opponents would scream like mashed cats at the adaption of many such policies. However, I would not doubt there are minds busy at work in corporate America trying to figure out how this can be done here due to a healthy profit motive.

South China Morning Post
Brainwave-tracking start-up BrainCo in controversy over tests on Chinese schoolchildren
Start-up has raised concerns on social media controversy about China’s increased use of surveillance technologies
By Meng Jing and Zen Soo, Published: 10 Apr, 2019 ... sy-working
BrainCo, which was incubated at Harvard University and founded by Chinese engineer Han Bicheng, has been attracting plenty of buzz for its brain-machine interface (BMI) products since the firm first took part in CES, (a Las Vegas trade show, in 2017. The company’s Focus headband, which features what it describes as “real-time brainwave feedback and visualisation”, is targeted at the education, fitness and wellness sectors.

Can brainwave-monitoring headbands help students focus?

In China, however, BrainCo has been caught in a social media controversy amid concerns over the wide use of technologies, such as facial recognition and big data, could trigger the creation of a surveillance society.

BrainCo has received plenty of criticism on microblogging service Weibo after a post earlier this month showed its Focus headbands being worn by Chinese pupils at an undisclosed primary school. The devices allowed teachers to monitor how focused pupils were during class. The findings were instantaneously revealed via a light on the headband: Blue means relaxed, yellow means focused and red means very focused.

“What did these children do wrong to deserve this life of constant monitoring? It boggles my mind that we can’t put ankle bracelets on paedophiles, but it’s astonishingly easy to put headbands on these powerless kids,” one commenter posted on Weibo.

BrainCo, a hi-tech start-up incubated in the Harvard Innovation Lab, shows use of its Focus 1 headset in a US classroom, where a teacher can monitor how much students are engaged in lessons.

The headbands from BrainCo use so-called electroencephalography (EEG) sensors to detect brain signals and use an AI algorithm to translate the signals into focus levels in real time. EEG, which records the electrical activity of the brain, has long been used in the medical field as a non-invasive method to diagnose epilepsy, sleep disorders and encephalopathies, or disease of the brain.

Data gathered from the headbands can be used to design focus-training games to help students prime their brain for optimal performance before they start class, according to the BrainCo website.

On April 5, BrainCo issued a statement on Weibo in response to the online criticism. The company reiterated that the headbands were used in a number of school trials in China to help children improve learning efficiency. It said the headbands have not been sold to any public school.

BrainCo has partnered with an unnamed Chinese school to test its Focus 1 flagship device on 10,000 schoolchildren aged between 10 and 17, according to a report by the UK’s Daily Mail in January this year.

Email and phone inquiries sent to the company and its founder went unanswered.
It boggles my mind that we can’t put ankle bracelets on paedophiles, but it’s astonishingly easy to put headbands on these powerless kids Commenter on Weibo

The criticism levelled against BrainCo has come amid Beijing’s efforts in pushing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as facial recognition, into many corners of peoples’ lives. China’s State Council in July 2017 unveiled its “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” for the country – a three-step road map for AI dominance by 2030.

With high-definition video surveillance cameras, facial recognition and remote sensors feeding tonnes of data into AI algorithms to analyse in real time, technology has advanced to help authorities in a range of initiatives, from access control at border checkpoints and exposing jaywalkers to enabling password-free payments and taking attendance at schools.

Still, there is a growing debate in China about the limits of surveillance and the trade-offs between security and privacy.

Despite the recent controversy, BrainCo already secured a two-year contract to get its Focus 1 device manufactured and targeted shipments of 600,000 units, company chief executive Han told the MIT Technology Review in 2017, without providing any details about its customers.

The company was also working with schools in Mexico, Spain, Brazil and the US, including a pilot study at a Boston-based high school, for deploying Focus headbands.
Business Insider
China is monitoring employees' brain waves and emotions — and the technology boosted one company's profits by $315 million
Tara Francis Chan, May 1, 2018 ... ogy-2018-4

Bullet points

Chinese businesses and the military are monitoring employees' brain activity and emotions.

The "emotional surveillance technology" helps employers identify mood shifts so they can change break times, an employee's task, or even send them home.

The technology reportedly increases productivity and profitability, with one company claiming its profits jumped by $315 million.

Emotional surveillance adds to a wide surveillance network of facial recognition and internet censorship across China.
Employees' brain waves are reportedly being monitored in factories, state-owned enterprises, and the military across China.

The technology works by placing wireless sensors in employees' caps or hats which, combined with artificial intelligence algorithms, spot incidents of workplace rage, anxiety, or sadness.

Employers use this "emotional surveillance technology" by then tweaking workflows, including employee placement and breaks, to increase productivity and profits.

At State Grid Zhejiang Electric Power in the southeast city of Hangzhou, company profits jumped by $315 million since the technology was introduced in 2014, an official told the South China Morning Post.

Cheng Jingzhou, the official who oversees the company's program, said "there is no doubt about its effect," and brain data helps the 40,000-strong firm work to higher standards.

According to the SCMP, more than a dozen businesses and China's military have used a different programme developed by the government-funded brain surveillance project Neuro Cap, based out of Ningbo University.
Widespread use of emotion monitoring may mark a new stage in China's surveillance state, which has largely been focused on facial recognition and increasing internet censorship.

It's unknown if all employees subjected to the technology are aware they are being monitored, but even if they were China's privacy laws would be unlikely to help.

The notoriously lax privacy laws, and the country's large sample population, have helped China leap ahead with its artificial intelligence research.
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Posted on: » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:35 pm #38

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REFERENCING: Doctor A, Post #6, Posted Apr 6, 2017

But first, an appetizer: MRI brain scans of individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorde...

Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Jessica » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:35 pm

I propose all presidential candidates have a mandatory medical review,( including brain scans), by an independent third party and such medical information is to be made available to the public. The office of the most powerful position in the world requires extra ordinary care in its selection process and currently this process does not match the gravity of the office. Those voting for a candidate need this information to make a more rational informed choice. This new requirement can be implemented through a constitutional amendment.

Doctor A in post #6 clearly describes a medical diagnosis of Donald Trump and asks us to make our own decision.
Professional psychiatrists, and psychotherapists, are loath to go on record saying that Trump has a psychiatric disorder on the premise that one cannot do a diagnosis without an office visit and most narcissists are quite unlikely to recognize that they have a problem and to schedule an appointment.
Fortunately, the DSM is written so clearly, and so simply, that anyone can make a diagnosis. Here are the symptoms. Make up your own mind.
Does Trump have Narcissistic Personality Disorder? You Decide

According to DSM-5, individuals with NPD have most (at least five) or all of the symptoms listed below (generally without commensurate qualities or accomplishments).

1 Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment by others.
2 Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
3 Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions.
4 Needing constant admiration from others.
5 Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others.
6 Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain.
7 Unwilling to empathize with others’ feelings, wishes, or needs.
8 Intensely jealous of others and the belief that others are equally jealous of them.
9 Pompous and arrogant demeanor.
But James Fallow from The Atlantic begs the question, So What? In other words, will it make a difference?

Trump Nation, August, 2019
An ongoing reader discussion led by James Fallows regarding Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency. ... ot/596575/
The one thing I avoided in that Time Capsule series was “medicalizing” Trump’s personality and behavior. That is, moving from description of his behavior to speculation about its cause. Was Trump’s abysmal ignorance—“Most people don’t know President Lincoln was a Republican!”—a sign of dementia, or of some other cognitive decline? Or was it just more evidence that he had never read a book? Was his braggadocio and self-centeredness a textbook case of narcissistic personality disorder? (Whose symptoms include “an exaggerated sense of self-importance” and “a sense of entitlement and require[s] constant, excessive admiration.”) Or just that he is an entitled jerk? On these and other points I didn’t, and don’t, know.

Like many people in the journalistic world, I received a steady stream of mail from mental-health professionals arguing for the “medicalized” approach. Several times I mentioned the parallel between Trump’s behavior and the check-list symptoms of narcissism. But I steered away from “this man is sick”—naming the cause rather than listing the signs—for two reasons.
But the diagnosis-at-a-distance issue wasn’t the real reason I avoided “medicalization.” The main reason I didn’t go down this road was my assessment that it wouldn’t make a difference. People who opposed Donald Trump already opposed him, and didn’t need some medical hypothesis to dislike his behavior. And people who supported him had already shown that they would continue to swallow anything, from “Grab ‘em by … ” to “I like people who weren’t captured.” The Vichy Republicans of the campaign dutifully lined up behind the man they had denounced during the primaries, and the Republicans of the Senate have followed in that tradition.
Even Sterling in his post #4 indicates his frustration for it not mattering as he too has decided not to bash his liberal mind up against the mind's of conservatives anymore,
Making the same mistake over and over again is beyond the pale and just plain insane. When done on a large scale, it is reprehensible. So, although I am referring to Trump's ardent supporters in this matter, I also need to look at myself. Will I make the same mistake over and over again? Will I argue with individual trying to persuade them to change their minds through logic, facts, and perspective knowing full well they cannot really understand what I am saying due to their brain structure?

In truth I have now replaced much of the frustration and anger of repeatedly trying to change people to my way of thinking by taking a different tact; my path is now to take action, but not just any action. Rather than trying to change people I have come to understand I need to change the system, and not just any system. Rather than just trying to change the political system I have come to understand I need to change the origin of control of the political machine, namely by changing my perspective from that of a traditional Democrat to one who rails against economic inequality. Verily, this is the pressure point. It is the standard by which all of my further actions must be judged for it truly is the key to change. No other form of action offers me and my fellow liberals so much opportunity for change. The reason I am so much more against the Republicans than the Democrats is their egregious and callous creation of economic inequality. It is because the Democrats cause so much less, although not without their own share of culpability in this arena, that I call myself a Democrat.
Yet I firmly believe the best approach is to mandate independent third party medical reports and brain scans be used to let the public decide for themselves who has a healthy body and brain when selecting a presidential candidate. Clearly we take into account the distant diagnosing of candidates such as Trump having NPD when we make our decisions. Does it matter? Certainly it does because the more accurate information the public has and the better informed they are the more likely they will make a better choice as to who should be the President. It is time we move out of the dark ages when it comes to selecting our president.

This is why I think each candidate should be subjected to a battery of medical tests by an independent third party before they are allowed to run for the office. This should be legislated as an amendment to the constitution as we have certainly come a long ways in our ability to diagnose pathology since 1776. Without these kinds of tests, we are just guessing as to an individual's fitness to hold the most important office in the world.

Doctor A brought up some relatively new information about brain structure and NPD in his #6 post.
We can now see narcissism in the brain. Brain scans of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) showed they have less brain matter in areas associated with emotional empathy. This is the first time anyone has seen the evidence of narcissism in brain structures.

The inability to feel empathy is one of the hallmarks of NPD. Researchers have found that people with this disorder can take the perspective of another person in a purely intellectual way. However, when it comes to actually feeling what another person is going through, narcissists have difficulty.

A group of German researchers recently studied the source of this lack of emotional empathy in people with NPD. In their research, they collected MRI brain scans of 17 people with NPD along with 17 people from the community for comparison. The researchers first looked at brain volume overall and found that the people with NPD were similar to the healthy individuals. That is, both groups’ brains’ were similar overall.

The researchers then examined the areas of the brain that are now considered areas associated with empathy (i.e., bilateral anterior insula, anterior and median parts of the cingulate cortex, and the supplementary motor area). They found that the patients with NPD had less brain matter in areas that overlapped with the areas associated with empathy (i.e., left anterior insula, rostral and median cingulate cortex as well as dorsolateral and medial parts of the prefrontal cortex).

Put simply, the empathic areas of the brain were less developed in people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Narcissistic Personality Disorder affects about 1% of the general population and it has been shown to impair interpersonal functioning. This groundbreaking research will likely help legitimize the disorder and, ironically, help people to empathize with people who are suffering with this illness.
So, does it matter if we know this medical information about a candidate or not as the author of the Atlantic article suggests? I personally weigh in on the side that it matters and does so greatly. Given the debacle Donald Trump created since his election, and given his "at a distance diagnosis" of NPD psychiatrist evaluations, having another dimension such as a brain scan gives us a more encompassing view as to how an individual will perform than not. I say this because the position of US president is one of the most consequential events we will ever decide and there should be little room for misjudgments. Furthermore, all of the top presidential candidates on the Democratic side and Trump himself are septuagenarians and we know individuals between 70 to 79 years of age are more likely to have medical problems than others of a lesser age.

The Constitution sets out three eligibility requirements to be President: one must be 35 years of age, a resident “within the United States” for 14 years, and a “natural born Citizen.” I think it would be wise and prudent to make a fourth requirement through a constitutional amendment for a mandatory medical review including a brain scan. Then we can let the voters decide for themselves.
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Posted on: » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:41 am #39

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REFERENCING: Jessica, Post #38, Posted Oct 8, 2019
I propose all presidential candidates have a mandatory medical review,( including brain scans), by an independent third party and such medical information is to be made available to the public. The office of the most powerful position in th...

Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:41 am

With regards to mandatory brain scans for presidential candidates, I would not only want brain scans looking for deficiencies in brain structure, such as is implied with President Trump's NPD, but also looking for excesses such as an enlarged right sided amygdala indicating excessive conservatism. I would like to see these reports in conjunction with the presidential debates. A focus on these scans in the science community would be a boon in determining who we want to vote for and more specifically, who we do not want to vote for.

Current Biology
Volume 21, Issue 8, 26 April 2011, Pages 677-680
Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults ... 2211002892

Substantial differences exist in the cognitive styles of liberals and conservatives on psychological measures [1]. Variability in political attitudes reflects genetic influences and their interaction with environmental factors [2, 3]. Recent work has shown a correlation between liberalism and conflict-related activity measured by event-related potentials originating in the anterior cingulate cortex [4]. Here we show that this functional correlate of political attitudes has a counterpart in brain structure. In a large sample of young adults, we related self-reported political attitudes to gray matter volume using structural MRI. We found that greater liberalism was associated with increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, whereas greater conservatism was associated with increased volume of the right amygdala. These results were replicated in an independent sample of additional participants.
The shape of your brain influences your political opinions
By Olivia GoldhillMarch 28, 2018 ... -amygdala/
Most people turn to personal narratives or philosophical justifications to explain why they hold a particular political opinion. A recently published psychology study suggests they should also look to the size and shape of their brains.

Psychologists conducted brain scans on a total of 93 adults (first they studied 48 Caucasian adults, 58% of whom were female, and then replicated the effects with 45 adults from diverse ethnic backgrounds, 67% of whom were female) and found that the size of the bilateral amygdala, which governs emotions, survival instincts, and memory, was strongly correlated with support for the existing social order.

This mindset is known as “system justification,” and is highly correlated with conservatism, says Jay Van Bavel, professor of psychology and neural science at New York University. “A system-justifying psychological orientation favours the social, economic, and political status quo, and may promote vigilance to social hierarchy and a preference for ideologies that characterize extant inequality as legitimate and necessary,” explain the authors in the paper, published in December in Nature Human Behavior. The study evaluated this by the system justification scale, which poses questions such as, “In general, you find society to be fair,” and “Everyone has a fair shot at wealth and happiness.”
These findings suggest that political beliefs aren’t only influenced by identity or party mandates, but by biology. “We think of politics as something driven by elites. When Donald Trump does something, the Republicans get in line and Democrats reverse their opinion,” says Van Bavel. “This is a bottom-up influence on politics. Whether or not we support ‘March for Life’ might just be whether we’re [biologically] predisposed.”
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