Wired To Be Social

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/books/review/social-by-matthew-d-lieberman.html?ref=books&_r=0

NYT Review of “Social” by Matthew D. Lieberman

The premise of this book, while overly weighted to the neurochemical basis of behavior, nevertheless is getting deeper to the core and fits nicely with NDT tenet that there is only one drive, the Drive To Make Contact, and emotional affects evolved to compel organisms to integrate the relevant variables of their surroundings into their sense of a “Self,” Ultimately, in many organisms, this thereby enables them to self-organize into complex social systems. The most vivid example and the easiest species to study in this regard is the domestic dog. Nevertheless we don’t need neuro-imaging to discern the principles in play and get inside the dog’s mind. All that’s required is a rigorous system of evaluating complex behavior, i.e. that which plays out over time as well as space (most especially the phenomenon of learning) in terms of the immediate-moment. This leads us to the “plumbing” that underlies the wiring.

Published November 3, 2013 by Kevin Behan
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2 responses to “Wired To Be Social”

  1. Annie says:

    I came across this article recently…I’ve just started working part time for a Neuro-Audiologist, and of course, thinking about your work with Luke, and his communication with us…the more I learn at work, the more interested I am in studying the vestibular system(space/time/information/learning)

    Department of Ethology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Abstract

    Prerecorded family dog (Canis familiaris) barks were played back to groups of congenitally sightless, sightless with prior visual experience, and sighted people (none of whom had ever owned a dog). We found that blind people without any previous canine visual experiences can categorize accurately various dog barks recorded in different contexts, and their results are very close to those of sighted people in characterizing the emotional content of barks. These findings suggest that humans can recognize some of the most important motivational states reflecting, for example, fear or aggression in a dog’s bark without any visual experience. It is very likely that this result can be generalized to other mammalian species–that is, no visual experience of another individual is needed for recognizing some of the most important motivational states of the caller.

  2. kbehan says:

    Compelling information. I do believe that every emission of an organism is an emotional “radiation” be it a sound, motion or secretion, and so this must be how someone is able to feel the emotional content of the various barks without benefit of the intellectual context.

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