Heliocentrism and Neurocentrism

by Charles Lyell on December 9, 2013

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.”  – Arthur Schopenhauer

While writing about the similarities between heliocentrim (an astronomical model about planets revolving around a sun) and my behavioral model (about behaviors revolving around neurotransmitters) I Googled neurocentrism. Clicking on the top link brought me to an article titled Distinguishing Brain From Mind. In the article, author Sally Satel wrote, “But the excitement to explore the brain has spawned a new fixation that my colleague Scott Lilienfeld and I call neurocentrism — the view that human behavior can be best explained by looking solely or primarily at the brain.”

A few searches later I learned that Satel and colleague were neither first nor the only to use neurocentrism. One book, Reclaiming Cognition (copyrighted in 1999), included a near identical definition. Like Satel and Lilienfeld, the book’s authors employed neurocentrism to facilitate the dismissal of people (like me) who believe that all behavior can be explained neurologically.

I’d like to thank Ms. Satel and Mr. Lilienfeld for helping me realize I’m a staunch neurocentrist, for providing new insights into neurocritics’ brains, and for not registering Neurocentrism.com.

Since neurocentrism is in the public domain, I decided to adopt my new favorite word and define it as “the view that human behavior revolves around protecting and triggering dopamine flow.”

Why I like neurocentrism

Heliocentrism and neurocentrism have a lot in common. Both are paradigm changing observations that remained unnoticed for millennia. When visionaries took aim at targets nobody else could see, their efforts were ignored by the masses who couldn’t understand, then attacked by critics who didn’t want to understand because they were protecting dopamine flow. Though neither can be disproved, both required technological breakthroughs to verify what was observable to anyone willing to temporarily rise above the unconscious need to protect and trigger dopamine flow.

Heliocentrism, an astronomical model, took decades to go from poppycock to heresy to common knowledge because it threatened dopamine flow by turning an upside-down world right-side up. Neurocentrism, a behavioral model, might take years to gain widespread acceptance because it threatens dopamine flow by turning an inside-out world outside in.

Like it or not, believe it or not, accept it or not, the earth revolves around the sun and everything everyone does “out there” revolves around triggering chemicals “in” our brains. Examples include climbing mountains, amassing fortunes, earning degrees, shooting heroin, and writing articles to attack or advance neurocentrism.

In a nutshell…

Like heliocentrism, neurocentrism corrects a deceptive paradigm by destroying entrenched beliefs passed down from ignorant ancestors. Additionally, neurocentrism explains how all man-made problems, wars, prejudices, crises, pollution, belief systems, status symbols, and opposition to heliocentrism and neurocentrism are actually about protecting and triggering dopamine flow.

Neurocentrism challenges the deception that the money, power, and status addicts destroying environments, economies, and lives are doing what they’re doing for rational reasons with a simple observation — dangerous addicts are wreaking havoc to trigger the same dopamine that keeps addicts snorting, shooting, puffing, chugging, losing, and gorging.

No sane society would let self-serving junkies, who only care about scoring dopamine-triggering heroin, decide our species’ fate. Yet far more dangerous addicts, desperately triggering the same dopamine with money, power, and status, continue to get away with wholesale murder, while pretending their addictions are normal, acceptable, and even admirable behaviors.

Imagine that! Out-of-control addicts stealing control of the species so they can indulge their selfish addictive needs.

What an epitaph: A species that named itself “wise” yet self-destructed because protecting and triggering dopamine flow was more important than figuring out that the only thing anyone cared about was triggering dopamine squirts in our brains.

 

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