Scientists Find a 'Hole' in Most Human Brains
I thought I would share this with readers. I have been busy working with some neuroscientists to test a hypothesis regarding the lack of sapience in the majority of human beings. This is a pre-release version, which you should be reading about in the press soon.
Seattle Washington, March 31, 2014.
Two neuroscientists at the University of Washington Medical School and a computer scientist from UW Tacoma have released results from a collaborative study of the brain that should cause quite a stir in brain science. Neuroscientists Drs. Mario Brothers and Gloria Swansong and computer scientist Dr. George Mobus have presented data that shows an anomalous situation in a brain area believed to be associated with higher judgment facilities. This anomaly — actually a seeming absence of critical neural tissue — was found in the vast majority of patients examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The patients were being treated for other neurological problems not directly involving the region.
Drs. Brothers and Swansong were following up on a theory first proposed by Mobus that could actually explain a large number of puzzling problems with human behavior and thinking. Mobus' theory held that humans had undergone a prodigious evolutionary expansion in the region in question, the fronto-polar patch designated as Brodmann area 10 (BA10) — a small patch of specialized neural tissues right behind the eyebrows — and that the rapid expansion resulted in a loss of critical functions in this patch. He developed computer models that suggested that at the same time that humans had evolved super intelligence they lost their ability to make good decisions regarding long-term issues. The anomaly shows up as a small 'hole' in the center of BA10 where normally one expects to find densely packed neurons.
In 2012, Dr. Brothers had developed a method for measuring the efficacy of judgments made by people and had started mapping the brain regions involved in making such judgments. He started noticing a pattern of remarkably poor judgment in the majority of subjects, results he reported in Human Brain, a prestigious journal covering that subject. At the time, his colleague at the medical school, Dr. Swansong, had also been trying to localize brain regions involved in solving complex problems. She had noted that the fronto-polar region of the prefrontal cortex was explicitly not being engaged in subjects who were nonetheless able to solve complex problems. This was puzzling since it was assumed that higher-order judgments would play a part in intelligence. The two collaborated to develop an explanation for what their separate researches were suggesting. Their integrated methodology has been called the “stupidometer” because of the way it reveals how most humans make really poor decisions. They came across Mobus' theory and immediately began to suspect there might be something to it.
Now the scientists have gathered substantial data to show that the average human being is incapable of making higher-order judgments because of this apparent hole in their brains. Further evidence of humans choosing to solve problems that end up causing even greater negative consequences has been gathered.“This could explain why we humans decided to develop industrial machines running on fossil fuels to exploit natural resources more rapidly even when the fact that such fuels were finite in scope and the burning of carbon produces the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide,” said Dr. Brothers. “I've often wondered how humans could believe that economic and population growth could go on for infinity when all of the science we know tells us not,” added Dr. Swansong. “Now I think we know,” she added, “Most people seem to have this ‘black hole’ in their brains where good judgments simply disappear through the event horizon.”
Not all people were found to have such holes. Out of two hundred patients tested, one proved to not have such a hole, or it may have been exceedingly small by comparison to the size of BA10. That patient's BA10 was found to be engaged while s/he was working on solving a difficult problem and s/he also scored extremely high on the judgment scale. Both neuroscientists later became curious about their own brains and subjected themselves to testing. Both were relieved to find that their holes were similarly very small or non-existing. No word on Dr. Mobus' condition.
The three researchers' paper has been submitted to Human Brain and is currently under peer review.