Brain Science: Its Failure in Gun Violence, Mass Shootings
Hate, vengeance, revenge, feeling offended, intention, satisfaction, and so on are experiences. These experiences are based on and coordinated by the brain. The brain is an organ of experiences, not just one of cells and molecules. The brain gives what is experienced, to the degree and when. It may correspond with the external or not, but conceptually, the brain is where all experiences are made and maintained.
As investigations continue into the recent mass shooting, with questions on motivation and lapses, it is important to seek out the role of the build of the [cells and molecules of the] brain in following through with intention.
How does the brain decide on any experience? What is the mechanism, pathway, or rules of experiences in the brain? What does it mean to experience something? What works in the brain like experiences, but not termed experience?
If this is understood, how can experiences be used to better understand how mass shootings can be prevented in the future, even from people who don’t seem like they could?
There are different things that refer to experiences. Cold can be felt when cold means experiencing cold. There could also be the sight or sound of someone experiencing something; what it is is understood, which is an experience but to a lower degree.
Experiences are also thoughts. The thought of some bodily sensation could make it appear to be felt. There can also be the thought of something wrong that causes the experience of panic, accompanied by a fast heart rate and breathing. Thoughts can germinate experiences. Thoughts are also experiences.
The rules of thoughts in the brain are the rules of experiences. Some of the factors [hate, vengeance, revenge, feeling offended, intention, satisfaction] at play in a mass shooting are conveyed by thought. The assumption about a situation and the subsequent reaction are all thought [property] processes.
In brain science, it is established that all incoming senses or sensory inputs converge at the thalamus, except for smell, which does at the olfactory bulb. It is where they are processed or integrated before being relay to the cerebral cortex for interpretation.
This means that when things are sensed [seen, touched, smelled, tasted, and heard], they have meeting points in the brain, where they are initially processed or integrated before they get relayed elsewhere for interpretation.
It is theorized that sensory processing or integration at the brain’s meeting points [thalamus and olfactory bulb] is into a uniform unit, quantity, or identity. This means that senses become collected into a similar currency, language, or uniform before they are relayed elsewhere in the brain for use. More or less like at the border or entry port, change than transport.
Smell, sight, sound, taste, and touch are no longer in their prior differentiated unit but as an integrated quantity that goes on to be usable in the brain. This unit is proposed to be thought or its form. So whatever is external is in a form of thought to the brain. In that form, things are stored in the brain, and that thinking, imagination, dreams, subvocalization, and so forth are made.
Interpretation in the cerebral cortex is postulated to be into knowing, feeling, and reacting. Knowing is memory, dominating and deciding how the rest goes.
Interpretation can be said to be properties where the integrated quantity [thought] visits to acquire. This means that it is the transport of the quantity to destinations of properties that determine what becomes of experiences at any moment. It may match with the external or not, but what goes on there says.
Hate, delight, cold, heat, anger, cravings, laughter, panic, fear, trauma, anxiety, thirst, appetite, sleep, wakefulness, extremism, violence, vengefulness, lethargy, liveliness, love, interest, calm, pleasure, reward, restlessness and so forth are all properties in the brain, that quantities can relay to acquire, to degrees.
There are cellular and molecular mechanisms that build or construct quantities and properties for experiences, but they are on different layers. Fear is widely studied, but no one experiences the fear centers, cells, or molecules in the brain. Also, neuroimaging does not see or measure experience, it measures cells, activities, and molecules.
It is what property that a quantity acquires at any moment that decides, and this is what should be explored about the mind so that those who may offend others or take offense to warrant vengefulness are able to understand how the mind works and are able to seek help or get noticed, in a prevention drive against causing pain.
Mass shootings are too frequent, with blame on guns, mental illness, and so forth, but the experience of mental illness, with delusion and hallucination, are different from the cells and molecules of delusion.
Displaying this experiential pathway could provide a more secure future, away from the complexity of the present situation.
David Stephen does research in theoretical neuroscience. He has a research experience in computer vision at Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona. He was a visiting scholar in medical entomology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He blogs on troic.medium.com