Category Archives: Neuroscience

Gender Is Biological and Given, Not Social and Constructed

The view of radical feminism and in fact all of feminism is that gender is socially constructed. From a radical feminist or radfem website:

There is no such thing as biological gender! Seriously dude, do you even know what radfem is? From your comments here you seem to think we are a bunch of sexless, genderless, manhating, violent women.

Sex is biological. We are born either male or female (with a small percentage intersex).

Gender is a social construct with attributable stereotypical traits, behaviours and presentation.

Please educate yourself on the basics.

All you have to do is wander around the planet a bit for while with your ears and eyes open to realize that that’s not true. Recent advances in neurology indicate that there are vast differences in male and female brains in terms of the number of structures effected, which typically differ in size, shape, etc.

Look also at the experiences of transwomen,  men who became women. On female hormones, their behavior and  thinking changed radically and even their entire view of the world became radically  different.

Some transwoman’s on those hormones have reported changes in emotionality and even entire worldview. I realize radfems reject biological gender, but these reports are very interesting. One transwoman was a very masculine, almost stoical, hard-type man. On the hormones, he reported that he was wildly emotional, all over the place all the time, and frequently out of sorts via being confused by all this mercurial emotionality. And this guy was John Wayne before. I figure the pills caused the changes. And one more thing, radfems will hate this too – he said he started giggling. A lot. Not sure if I have ever seen a man giggle.

Another transwoman was on the Reddit Redpill MRA group (I know you hate them but I read everywhere). He reported that on the hormones, the world felt very frightening and confusing and he has a strong sense of weakness and wanting to be protected, specifically by a strong, powerful figure. He also become quite emotional, often for little reason. He noticed that his “cis” boyfriend pretty much ignored the emotionality and this transwoman felt that men often ignored a lot of women’s emotionality because a lot of it was not based on much and its too tiring to respond to weathervanes all day.

I know feminists don’t believe any of this stuff, but those pills are very powerful and surely hormones can have some psychological effects? Isn’t this obvious evidence that gender is biological? Give a men female hormones and his behaviors, emotions, thinking and even epistemology change dramatically in ways that remarkably resemble stereotypical female behavior. How can feminists explain this away?

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Filed under Biology, Feminism, Gender Studies, Neuroscience, Psychology, Radical Feminists, Science

Shouldn’t One’s Confidence in Their Intelligence Validate Itself, Since Intelligence Is Defined in Some Spheres as the ‘Ability to Discern Similarities & Differences?’

Answered on Quora.

Well, I am supposed to have a genius IQ, but even I cannot understand what the person asking this question is trying to say.

First of all, if critical thinking is anything, it is intelligence.

Intelligence, more than anything else, is pure brain speed. And in fact, that is exactly what an IQ test tests for.

Let us say that I have a higher IQ than someone else. Mine is 147. The other person’s is 120, almost a full two SD’s below me. For some people around this level, I seem smarter than they are, but on the other hand, they are no dummies. We can communicate very well. It’s the difference between a smart person and a really smart person, which doesn’t boil down to a whole lot in the real world.

For others at ~120, I hate to say it, but I simply cannot see how I am smarter than they are, even at a near full two SD difference. Now why this is, I am not sure, but maybe we are comparing smart with very smart, and it’s hard to see a difference there.

Nevertheless, according to an IQ test, comparing me to the 120 IQ person:

  • I have a faster brain.
  • I have a better and bigger memory. I can remember more stuff and keep it around better.
  • My memory recall is faster and more accurate. I can pull stored knowledge out of my brain faster and more correctly.
  • I have better verbal and nonverbal analytical skills. I am better at “seeing the whole picture” and “tying it all together.”
  • I can analyze a problem in terms of vocabulary and make sense out it and see patterns and connect them together better and perhaps faster.
  • I can see patterns in objects in space and connect them up more faster and more accurately.
  • I can find the answer to a new problem that I have never seen before faster and more accurately.
  • My critical thinking skills work faster and more accurately.

Bottom line is simply that I have a faster brain. My brain also utilizes glucose better and faster. In addition, my brain itself may well be larger, and I may have more cells and especially connections.

I may not be more creative, and I may well have worse musical or artistic skills. These are all subtypes of intelligence.

My kinetic intelligence may well be worse. This is “physical intelligence.” It is a real thing. The best athletes actually have “intelligent bodies.” They are better and faster at moving their bodies the way they want them to than I am.

I may have worse social intelligence. Social intelligence is a very real thing. It is definitely a type of intelligence.

I may have worse street smarts, or crafty, foxy, sly, clever, or sneaky type intelligence. This “smart like a fox” intelligence is a very real thing, and it is a type of intelligence.

I may not be as wise. In fact, I may have little or no wisdom at all, and I may live my live in a completely idiotic or para-suicidal manner. Wisdom indeed is a type of intelligence.

I may well have worse mechanical skills. Mechanical skills are absolutely a type of intelligence.

I may have poor skills at higher mathematics. IQ tests only test low level mathematics. Quite a few very high IQ people barely got through high school math and struggled with Algebra 2 and Geometry, including me.

  • An IQ test does not test for artistic, musical, or creative intelligence. Not at all.
  • An IQ test does not test for kinetic intelligence of course. You would test that on a playing field of some sort.
  • An IQ test absolutely does not test social intelligence at all. You test that out in the real world with real people, and they will be the judges of your social intelligence, not you.
  • An IQ test does not test crafty, sly, or street smart intelligence. Street smart people will judge you on that on their own, and they will always be right.
  • An IQ test is absolutely not a wisdom test! So many people cannot seem to figure this out as they constantly conflate raw intelligence and wisdom. They are two different things.
  • An IQ test does not test mechanical intelligence at all.
  • An IQ test absolutely does not test for higher math skills at all.

I hope this clarifies for people exactly what an IQ test checks for and how indeed it leaves out a number sub-intelligences which may well be very important for you and society.

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Filed under Intelligence, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science, Sociology

Can a Person Have Above Average IQ 125-135 SD=15 and Still Be a Slow Thinker?

Answered on Quora.

That would not make sense at all.

IQ more than anything else (at least fluid IQ) is a test of raw, pure, brain speed and efficiency. Studies have found that as IQ rises, the brain works more efficiently.

If you have spent time around bright people, one of the most striking things about them is how lightning fast they are. This can be seen even in conversation. Have you ever met people so fast that they almost finish your sentences for you. You get halfway through the sentence, and they are already reacting to the sentence because they have actually predicted what the rest of the sentence is! That’s pretty damn smart.

Some very bright people have fast moving eyes. If you watch them when they talk, you see their eyes flitting all around very rapidly. Sometimes there are also a lot of micromovements with their faces.

In fact, I think I can see this even comparing a 110–115 IQ person to a 95–100 IQ person (I am guessing at their IQ’s). The latter are noticeably slower, and the former are often strikingly fast. The slower people are often very nice and pleasant, but they’re just not as fast. You have to admit it.

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Filed under Intelligence, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science

Psychosis Is Bad for Your Brain

The problem of psychosis is not only the devastating social and societal effects it has on individuals and their effects on society. New research suggests that going psychotic is bad for your body itself.

These active psychotic processes seem to cause actual damage to the brain – consequently the negative symptoms seen later which may be a manifestation of that. In acute psychosis, you often get excess dopamine flooding out of dopamine neurons – in fact, L-Dopa, a dopamine drug given to Parkinson’s Disease characterized by dying dopamine neurons has the side effect of acute psychosis. It is thought that the excess dopamine flooding out of these neurons may damage these neurons or the connections.

Damaged dopamine neurons could cause the flattened affect, boredom and “staring at  your shoe for 10 hours” negative symptoms that occur later in the illness as some of these same symptoms are characteristic of Parkinson’s. Any major flooding you get out of neurons might damage the neuron. MDMA causes massive outflows of serotonin and it definitely damages serotonin neurons or more precisely the connections between them. The connections are damaged and become shorter and frayed. They do grow back but they typically don’t grow back to their full length and breadth. You get massive outflows of dopamine with methamphetamine also, and increasing evidence shows that this drug can also damage the brain, once again more the connections (dendrites) rather than the cells themselves.

You hear over and over how drugs kill brain cells but they don’t usually do that. It is more common that they damage the connections or they make it so a certain receptor on a particular type of cell does not work quite as well. Your brain cells are dying off all the time anyway, as they peak at age 23 and then drop off every year until death (this is why musical and mathematics prodigies peak very early in life – music and math benefit by high fluid intelligence or sheer brain speed.

Bottom line is being psychotic is bad for your brain. That’s as good a reason as any to get a handle on any active psychotic process.

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Filed under Amphetamine Psychedelics, Hallucinogens, Health, Illness, Intelligence, Intoxicants, MDMA, Mental Illness, Neuroscience, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotic Disorders, Science, Social Problems, Sociology, Speed, Stimulants

Is There Life After Death?

I told you so.

But I already figured this out before they proved it. I don’t need Mommy Science to prove things for me. I can figure them out on my own and prove them on my own via my own use of the empirical method, which we all use every day, all day long, anyway. So we are all little scientists. And we little scientists don’t need the Big Scientists to tell us what’s true and not true or real and not real  when we have already figured these things out on our  own via our own empirical investigations.

This was my latest theory – that you live for at least a couple of hours after you die, and the article seems to back it up. There is a very convincing account on Quora of a man who was apparently dead for two hours and then regained life somehow. Don’t ask me how that works.

This man also has a very convincing testimony of reincarnation.

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Filed under Biology, Death, Medicine, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science

Do High IQ Individuals Really Not Care about IQ? Do I Just Have a Big Ego for Caring about IQ Scores?

Answered on Quora.

Apparently it is popular to say that high IQ people don’t care about IQ. Look, let’s get this straight. IQ is intelligence. It measures how smart you are. Not how wise you are. Not your social skills. Not your psychological stability.

IQ is a test of raw brain speed. The higher your IQ, the faster your brain works. In addition, the higher the IQ, the quicker you can learn things. A high IQ person can learn faster than a lower IQ person. A high IQ person can retain more in memory. A high IQ person has better abstract thinking skills. They are better at coming up with the right answer. With putting it all together. With seeing and understanding relationships among things.

It is very popular and very silly in the US to say that IQ means nothing. What a preposterous statement. A person who states IQ means nothing is saying that intelligence means nothing. Isn’t that an outrageous statement? A person who says he cares nothing about his IQ is saying that he cares nothing about how intelligent he is. What a shocking statement!

In our culture, IQ is hated. You have to be very careful about talking about IQ or telling people your score. However, you can talk about it on other ways. I run across fairly intelligent people on a regular basis. Typically they have never taken an IQ test. I say, “Wow, you seem like you’re really smart. Have you ever taken an IQ test?” They usually say no, and I encourage them to go take one. I say , “Wow, if you’re smart, you should know your score. It’s important.” Some people have taken tests on my urging. They usually scored 115–121, very respectable.

This sort of thing nearly always goes over very well. You are complimenting the person on their intelligence and saying they are so smart they should take the test and find out how fast their brain works.

I do not usually mention my IQ in public, but fairly often it comes up, “Jesus Christ, how in the Hell do you know all this stuff, my God?” I shrug my shoulders and say I have a genius IQ. I also act sort of embarrassed about it or like it is no big deal. Then I usually say it causes a lot of problems, and I tell the person they don’t want to be this smart. I say I wish I was not this smart. This almost always goes over very well. I am not bragging about my IQ. In fact, I am saying it is a disability.

Most people respond positively to that.

I have known many high IQ people, over 140 IQ. They all knew their scores and rattled them right off to me. I have not yet met one very bright person who did not know their score or acted like they did not care about it. Over 140, most folks are rather proud of their score, as they should be.

I doubt if the “modest genius” who cares nothing about his IQ score even exists. I have never met one in my whole life.

But please be careful with talking about that IQ. It is a very touchy subject in the US and must be handled with utmost care so as not to violate social protocol.

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Filed under American, Culture, Intelligence, Neuroscience, Psychology, Regional, Science, USA

A Modern Myth: The “Fried Brains” Lie

I was a fairly heavy drug user, mostly pot and some psychedelics, for 15 years or so as a teenage boy and young man. But when I took an IQ test at age 29, I got the same score as when I was 14. You would think the equivalent of spraying Agent Orange in my brain for a decade would have fried a few cells here and there, but I guess not. I generally felt as smart as ever.

There were times I thought I was permafried. I took crack and had an empty head for three days. I did speed and vaporized by skull for a week. I drank 10 beers and did lots of coke one New Years and had the brain of a grazing animal for 10 days. I took acid and had memory issues for a month.

Every time I thought I had finally cooked the goose for good, the drug effects would wear off and my brain would wake up again, buzzing along fast as ever. I don’t think there are any permafried people. It’s an urban legend. Every so-called drug casualty I met was currently using. Even heavy Ecstasy use usually recovers in ~eight years. The brain is an adaptive organ. It’s as if it thinks for itself. Even if there are damaged cells or connections, the brain just cuts new passageways around and tries to circumvent the damage, like building a temporary dirt road around a landslided  highway.

My position is that there are no such thing as drug casualties, acid casualties, fried brains, permafried people or any of that. All of the casualty cases were currently using and they often using very heavily. Many of the times they were said to be permafried, they were just tripping on PCP or something, passed out with a beer in their hand and lying on the patio with pissed pants. What people called permafried were just the results of very heavy current use and often acute intoxication.

Some very  heavy users and drinkers are now in their 50’s and are affected. In every case I have seen, they are completely normal psychologically, but they do have some memory problems. I’ve never seen one of the legendary fried brains cases that haven’t used in forever but are still permanently out to lunch psychologically.

This is actually good news. Even if you are a heavy user, you will recover and  probably recover fully at least psychologically when you quit. Like with smoking, you are usually better off if you quit.

I’ve known many people who had taken LSD 100 or more times. 300 times was a pretty common number. All were psychologically healthy or even robustly or super-healthy. There’s probably a reason for that. The more disordered you are psychologically, the more likely it is that your trips are going to be quite unpleasant or even nightmarish. It takes a very cool and sane head to take acid trips in the triple numbers without having much issues. Some people simply “don’t have the head for it” and those who are robustly healthy in their heads are most able to weather heavy acid use.

Only one of these people was weird, and everyone brings him up every time I talk about acid. He’s supposedly a legendary acid casualty. He isn’t. He’s just weird. He’s got my exact IQ score (I saw his chart at the same time the counselor conspiratorially showed me mine and the problem with genius level IQ’s is that at and above that level, people start to get weird. And they get weirder and weirder at IQ rises higher and higher. At lot of people with IQ’s over 150 are  pretty damn weird.

Anyway it’s true. The guys is weird as fuck-all. But there’s harmless weird and scary weird and he’s just the harmless weird type. The two types are pretty simple to distinguish if you just spend a bit of time around them.

The problem with the acid casualty argument with this guy is that I knew him when he was 12 years old in seventh grade. And believe it or not, he was orders of magnitude weirder then and that was before he had sampled a single substance. If you want to play the cause and effect game, you have to conclude that all that acid made him much less weird. That’s a strange thing to conclude, but the Drug War crowd love to play cause and effect, so we can show them that it works both ways.

Personally I think the guy was just weird. He’s just one of those totally out to lunch genius types. all utterly harmless, you see wandering around university campuses with those permanently distracted weird blank stares that make you think they are insane until you talk to them and you realize you are talking to a remarkably sane person.

Like most weird, bizarre genius types, he improved a lot of his weird behaviors in adolescence but he still had way too many funny tics and verbal and gestural weirdisms. Once you talk to him, you realize he is quite sane. If you hang around with him, his behavior is remarkably normal. He’s rather inhibited, conservative, passive and in the background, but I would say your typical quasi-borderline modern woman is way flakier than he is. He never has meltdowns or even depressions or anxiety attacks. He’s not irritable at all. His moods are so calm he’s almost boring in that way.

Sometimes it’s even boring and frustrating to be around him and I even long for one of my typical Rollercoaster Quasi-Borderline Girlfriends like I usually end up with. Wild rides are scary, but they’re also damn fun. These psychobitches and crazy women drive me batty when I am with them, and then I miss them when their gone. What can I say?  The human condition is often paradoxical.

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Filed under Alcohol, Cannabis, Coke, Depressants, Hallucinogens, Intelligence, Intoxicants, LSD, MDMA, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science, Speed, Stimulants

Your Brain Is a Muscle, So Exercise It

Tracy: Well, my IQ is supposedly 129, and I don’t feel smart. As a matter of fact I feel quite the opposite.

Hmm. I do not know what to say to this woman. Does she realize that she is in the top 3% of the population?! Is she aware that she’s smart enough to get a PhD, MD or law degree if she applies herself sufficiently?

That means she is smarter than 97% of the people around her. Isn’t that incredible? She ought to be proud. We should be proud of any talents we have whether inborn or developed. There’s nothing wrong with winning the race for most laudable or lucrative talents.

If I was to tell this woman anything, I would say exercise your brain. The brain is a muscle. It works better the more you exercise it. It’s like anything else that way.

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A Simple Theory for the Development of Homosexuality in Males and Females

Phil:

Here.

“According to the findings of the Savic-Lindström study, the number of neural connections also varied between hetero- and homosexual subjects. For instance, gay men and straight women showed greater neural connectivity in the cingulate cortex and contralateral amygdala regions than straight men and lesbians respectively. ”

The contralateral amygdala seems to be related with sexual drive, though in terms of volume not really in “connectivity”.

Here.

In terms basics functions it’s emotions, thus it would imply that the higher connectivity relates to the higher “emotionality” seen in women and gay men as “femininity” compared to straight men and lesbians. The cingulate cortex is responsible for processing emotions.

“According to the study, lesbians and straight men have similar brain structures and functionalities while gay men and straight women share neural characteristics. For instance, MRI findings prove that the right hemispheres of the brains of the lesbians and heterosexual men have slightly greater volumes than their left hemispheres. But the left and right hemispheres of gay men and heterosexual women are symmetrical.”

My guess this occurs in childhood as I have hypothesize referring to the study on developmental sex steroids, possibly specific forms of E and T or different ones entirely.

No, the masculinization of the brains of straight men and lesbians occurs in utero. “True lesbians” are women whose brains were masculinized in utero due to developmental aberrations.

The feminization of the brains of gay men and women also occurs in utero. Gay men are men whose brains got feminized in utero due to developmental aberrations.

Homosexuality is simply a developmental disorder. Look how many gay men are left-handed. You would be blown away.

Willie: 

Robert –

Another commenter brought up 2D:4D (fingers) ratio, as an indicator of testosterone levels, which is linked to gayness?

Have you heard of this?

Yes, I believe that is indicative of the developmental disorder in gay men.

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Filed under Biology, Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, Neuroscience, Science, Sex

Peter Frost Discusses My Work

Here.

Peter Frost is an excellent race realist anthropologist. I think he is a working academic. He is as smart as the Devil. Brilliant man.

This is my post that he critiques.

Lindsay, R. (2010). The Head Size/IQ/Race Trainwreck, March 11

He sort of handwaves it away, but I think I am onto something.

I noticed certain things. First of all, Amerindian IQ is generally set at 87 all up and down the Americas. Yet their head sizes are all over the place, from large to small. OK, their heads range from large to small, but their IQ’s are all the same? Something wrong with the theory.

Here is his quote. My work is in italics below:

There has not been much comment on the Beals, Smith, and Dodd (1984) article. The most substantive one seems to be a blog post by Robert Lindsay (2010) who calls their map a “train wreck” for claims that cranial capacity correlates with IQ:

White racists like to make a big deal about the supposed correlation between head size and intelligence and race. A nice little chart showing the basically dishonest portrayal they attempt based on cherry-picking data is below.

Methinks that Lindsay takes the fine details on that map a bit too seriously. Many of the details are simply creative extrapolation and infilling; otherwise, the map roughly corresponds with world distribution of mean IQ. Furthermore, no one is claiming that cranial capacity is the only determinant of IQ. There are undoubtedly many others: cortical surface area, myelinization of nerve fibers, relative importance of domain-general thinking, etc.

But he does make a good point about the Amerindian data.

As you can see, in the Americas, there is no good evidence whatsoever for head size and IQ. I am not aware that Amerindian IQ varies in the Americas. The average is apparently 87 across the continent. If anyone can show me that it varies by latitude, please do.

Agreed. No one can, for now. But a hypothesis is not false because no one has bothered to test it.

Right.

But there are quite a few other holes in this theory. South Indians and Vietnamese have the same sized heads. South Indian IQ = 82, and Vietnamese IQ = 99. How does that work? Heads the same size and one SD difference in IQ? What?

Ugandans/ Kenyans and Italians have the same sized heads. Ugandans and Kenyans have the largest heads in Africa. Now that I think about it, Masai heads do look quite large. Ugandan/Kenyan IQ = 68, and Italian IQ = 103. OK, now we have heads of the same size and a 35 point or over 2 SD difference in IQ? Huh? I suppose you can argue that Ugandans have huge heads but there’s not a lot inside of them except maybe air. Or you can argue that the Ugandan brains are not very specialized, and Italians have much more specialized brains. I suspect this may be the case with Vietnamese too.

After all, you can have a huge car that is junk and a smaller car that is one of the finest on Earth. It’s all down to the specialization and micro-detail. And I suspect it’s not just head size alone. We know full well that certain more modern parts of the brain are correlated much more with advanced thinking than other parts of the brain are. The prefrontal cortex is one of those – it hardly exists in apes, but it’s full blown in man. And there are structures within the PFC than are even more specialized than the PFC itself. Maybe it’s not the size of the brain but the type and quality of the machinery inside of it?

This becomes quite clear when we notice that Eskimos have the biggest heads of all, yet their IQ is only 91, just above the world average of 89. 91 is not a bad IQ, but one would expect more from the people with the biggest heads on Earth, no? Usually the explanation is that a huge portion of the Eskimo brain has gone over to visuospatial, which is actually proven in experiments that show how Eskimos can find their way even in the most confusing wind, snow and ice-filled landscapes.

Aborigines also have superb visuospatial skills, some of the finest of all mankind. They got this from having evolved in the trackless desert that in terms of familiar objects and markers is probably not a whole lot different from the Arctic. So if you have a huge brain but a lot of that larger size is gone over to something like visuospatial, then that won’t do a lot for your IQ.

On the other hand, there goes your theory! We are already finding exceptions and handwaving them away.

Nevertheless, I think that the theory is good in sort of a broad and general way, possibly with a number of exceptions. The exceptions may be down to some large brains having huge areas gone over to certain specialized things that don’t do much for IQ and some small brains possibly being as good as large ones in that perhaps they are very specialized or have a lot of micro-machinery of very good quality in their heads.

All in all, not a bad theory, but beware of the exceptions minefield.

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Filed under Aborigines, Americas, Amerindians, Anthropology, Asians, Blacks, East Indians, Europeans, Intelligence, Inuit, Italians, Masai, Neuroscience, Physical, Psychology, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Science, SE Asians, South Asians, Vanity, Vietnamese, White Racism