Common ground for many psychiatric disorders

A while ago the UCL institute of Cognitive Neuroscience ran an ‘ask a neuroscientist’ section via twitter. So i duly posted a question that was on my mind for a long time.
“what are the fetal white matter correlates of schizophrenia and autism?” Actually i wanted to ask “what are the fetal white matter correlates between many psychiatric disorders” but i guessed that that question was to broad so it’d be ignored for sure. To my surprise it did get an answer, which made me happy, but it also didn’t answer the question which had the opposite effect. It’s the first question (un)answered in this vid:

Why i asked this is because to me (after reading untold papers for decades) it’s crystal clear that a large part of psychiatric disorders stem from a different layout of the basic structure that later directs the composition of the brain. At the stage that white matter starts to get formed it lays down the endresult, as a in a building the foundation determines the final internal structure of the building.

When white matter strands start their work and the whole complex growth of neural pathways commences, it’s that layout which shapes the structure by giving less or more prevalence to certain information transmissions thereby regulating the forming of pathways. In doing so the white matter also influences the forming of grey matter due to the regulation of signal since more grey matter will form at places where signals are abundant and vice versa.

This complex feedback system then causes a brain to form.

So when the basic white matter has some slightly differing structure logically the endproduct will be reflecting those differences. When learning that the famous Rain Man instead of being an autist was actually suffering from agenesis of the corpus callosum things fell into place.

Since the fetal white matter directly influences the structure of the CC and that in turn influences how the hemispheres develop it’s a short jump to thinking that many a psychiatric disorder is in fact a variation on a theme: white matter influenced brain formation.

Looking at Schizophrenia and Aspergers one thing is clear, they are very much alike in certain aspects. Alike enough that in the DSM IV Schizophrenia had to be excluded in order to diagnose Aspergers. Looking further down the list actually quite a few disorders could be said to have those aspects in common, the problems with social functioning. ASPD for example comes to mind.

Since this part of mammals is such an integral part of their being, any lasting variation in it must have evolutionary origin. With a malfunctioning social brain a mammal isn’t likely to reproduce. Since the malfunctions seem to increase rather than diminish there should be a environmental feedback which keeps it going.

Going way out on limb here, how about what we (well, they not me) see as psychiatric disorders are actually evolutionary paths to get rid of the archaic primary control of the limbic system? This system is completely out of it’s depth in a complex society, which we now know exists for 10s of 1000’s of years, long enough to have started an evolutionary reaction since that system is contraproductive. It lays at the root of 99% of conflicts,wars,misery known to man.

It is just not feasible that the feedback of the rationale doesn’t get to influence in the long run behavior, which in turn over time influences genetic variations.

10 thoughts on “Common ground for many psychiatric disorders

  1. Ha Petrossa, my dear old cynic.

    This system is completely out of it’s depth in a complex society, which we now know exists for 10s of 1000′s of years, long enough to have started an evolutionary reaction since that system is contraproductive. It lays at the root of 99% of conflicts,wars,misery known to man.

    Interesting. It seems obvious that tech, medicine and science have outpaced our own (brain) developments, still hampered and held back by stupid stuff like religion, witchcraft (like in Africa) and countless other fairytales and superstitious shit.

    Apart from that I recognize two fundamental flaws in our species. We tend to suffer from cognitive dissonance and are blind to micro-macro paradoxes. The first flaw helps the second one. An example. The religious of otherwise inspired ‘tradition’ of having nine kids may have helped your survival when you get older (micro-advantage), but overpopulation keeps your country poor and makes it progressively uninhabitable (macro-disadvantage). Moving when livingconditions deteriorate, and have the plentiful fruits of your loin elsewhere, exports the problem. If not cause (civil) war when not welcome there.


  2. Hia Soldier that never dies. I think cognitive dissonance is not that as such but more the battle between the old and new brains. There was this test they did with pictures of art and of humorous comics. People had to name their preference based on first impression and on reason.

    When based on first impression most liked the art pictures, when based on reason they liked the comics better. The testers also named it cognitive dissonance.

    But obviously the first impression is done via the limbic system which too stupid to understand complex humor but likes colors and shapes, whilst the neo-cortex can appreciate the humor. So the cognitive part likes the humor and the animal part likes the art. No cognitive dissonance, just 2 different brains talking.

    This also accounts for the blindness to micro-macro paradoxes. Your day to day behavior is mostly governed by the limbic system and only for a very small part via the cognitive system. And even the cognitive system is not free from influence by the limbic system. Add this together and you get a very capable primate incapable to help itself behaving like one.

    Communism for example is in its essence a perfect utopia. Would it work as it claims it should work we’d all live in a paradise of affluence with lots of spare time and no hunger or strife. But since humans aren’t reasonable beings but mere talking primates the system fails completely and becomes the worst nightmare.

    The world we’ve created is about a million years too early for our brains to properly handle.


    • Ga zo nog een bere-intelligent antwoord op je reactie bijplaatsen.

      Alles goed? Hoe is je rug? (Ook) Een apparaat niet gebouwd om ouder dan een jaar of dertig-veertig te worden. Niet?



  3. Gnuif. Wacht met spanning af 😉 Alles redelijk naar omstandigheden. En het is mijn nek en schouder niet mijn rug. Maar inderdaad ook gebouwd om 50 jaar mee tegaan.

    Ik ben bezig mijn keuken te verbouwen, (als ik het nu niet doe dan nooit meer) vol met pijnstillers maak je dan nog wel eens grappige fouten. Zo heb ik een decorprofiel gelijmd op de hoek van plafond en muur. Toen ik klaar was en zelfs al geverfd had viel me iets vreemds op, op het ene diagonaal was het profiel andersom geplakt dan de andere. Dus niet rechte stukken maar 1 lengtemuur en 1 dwarsmuur. Wat mijn gedopete brein op dat moment dacht te doen weet ik niet, maar gelukkig valt het niet echt op.

    Morgen het eiken werkblad plaatsen.


  4. Wood…bad, steel..good. Eiken werkblad? We zijn niet uit de bomen gekomen om ons daarna op ons duim te slaan omdat we zo graag de oude woonplek in huis willen verwerken. Hout is om op te stoken in de haard, meer niet. Je doet-t-zelf beschrijving voegt wel een wens toe aan mijn zo volgend lijstje, dat nog in het Engels is. De verse Homo sapiens over een miljoen jaar moet twee-linkerhanden-vrij zijn, geen lullen met vingers meer.

    Je schreef,

    I think cognitive dissonance is not that as such but more the battle between the old and new brains.

    You’re probably right. Our retarded brain causes the flaws I elaborated on. The stuff we invent to kill each other with remains fascinating though. Although it is rather odd -from an intelligence point of view- that it usually takes geniuses to invent the stuff that can kill us all. Which isn’t really very clever.

    The world we’ve created is about a million years too early for our brains to properly handle.

    Let’s wait and see what God comes up with that week a million years from now.

    I know what I want then. Of course, first and foremost, an even bigger and better brain. Second, next time I want my balls hanging around on the inside. I’m not even sure I want them next time. For several reasons. Having a snotty extension higher up is bad enough. For pure reproductive purposes something like pollen sounds far more convenient. And why two (three with snotty) waste gates? Having hair sprouting up in the weirdest places when you get older also is a drag. Fuckin’ creator idiots. Solid teeth that last three hundred years, or even better, replace themselves would be fine too.

    O yes, before I forget, ONE COLOUR for all yes. Including hair. Need friction? Make ‘m in all colours. One seize tits too, or these bitches complain again till the new kingdom come. Dzjeezuss. Talking of him, ONE GOD. For chrisssake, what a mess that ‘Ours is the One and Only’ gives.

    And next time, no stupid trail period in some Eden Garden with sneaky fruit puzzles. Unless this fruit is self-fermenting, then it’s negotiable. To go with this wonderful fruit, some on command self-transforming into perfect medium rare Chateaubriand animals are highly recommended as well. Sauce Bearnaise included of course.

    Do we need bugs next time. Do we? Ever had fun with mosquito’s? Well, apart from leg and wing pulling when you were young. Cats and dogs? Only if they don’t shit, are self-supporting and have the vocal capacities of gold fish. Not too keen on them either. Bloated stupid little shits, silently yelling all the time. Yelling for what? Air? Get out the water stupid.


  5. Ga nu wat fruit inschenken en eetbaars in elkaar schroeven, dus lees straks of morgen verder. Wellicht heb jij ook een wenslijstje voor de nieuwe schepping.


  6. I like all your suggestions a for better human being. Having your reproductive organs on the outside is indeed one of the great riddles of evolution. I think they are there because our creator is a female. I’d go with no more different genders but the more practical choice between the one or the other as you want.

    I’d also would want a kill switch. You live in good health till about 80 and then you drop dead. The spine needs some reworking, adjustment to digestive system to absorb metals to construct the skeleton, pain should be scalable. If i hit my thumb with a hammer no need to tell me about it, i know already. Or just once a pain flash, and then leave it be.

    If the brain should be bigger though i’m not too sure about. It could do with some parts less, or at least less prevalent.All the old circuitry common with other primates we can do without. Emotions are pretty dangerous for the survival of the species Homo Sapiens since the high intelligence gets controlled by them making us the most efficient, evil and cruel murderous beasts that ever existed.

    Ik ben dol op hout. Alles in mijn huis is hout. De muren, plafond, alles behalve de vloer. Wel een mezzanine van halve bomen gebouwd, wat het plafond is 5 meter hoog.Leuke anecdote, toen ik die mezza ging bouwen sprak ik schoolfrans en bestelde naar wat ik dacht halve telegraafpalen. Keurig nette geschaafde ronde palen doormidden gezaagd. Wat ik kreeg was 32 bomen waar alleen de takken waren afgezaagd. Wel doormidden dat dan weer wel. Heeft me 2 maanden en 2 electrische schaafmachines gekost om ze glad te krijgen. Maar nu dus een vloer waar je een Leopard op kan parkeren.


    • Kill switch (zo’n mooie -elke kant werkt- in mat zwart met rood als op de motor), zie ik ook wel zitten. Zo ook de titanium digestives. Het emotieloze heb je waarschijnlijk gelijk in, maar denk ik nog even over na. Is kunnen lachen om Blackadder af en toe wat uitroeien waard?

      Mijn ‘wood bad’ opmerking was om te stangen. Woon zelf op glad geschuurd Oregon pine bewerkt met oxaan olie. Met deels houtbeslagen muren en dikke blaken in het plafond (Grachtenpand). Nerven en kieren vol sfeer uit 1636.


      • Je lacht om Blackadder vanwege je cognitieve vermogens, niet vanwege een gevoel. Het zijn vooral de schitterende cynische monologen van Blackie die doen lachen. Ook de situaties die de lach opwekken zijn verstandelijk, zoals waar hij met de oerlelijke spaanse prinses moet trouwen.

        Monthy Python is op dezelfde manier humoristisch, of The News Statesman. En liefde inruilen voor haat/woede/afgunst/ lijkt mij een goed deal. Gevoelsmatige liefde duurt toch maar 6 maanden.

        Amerikaans pine had ik ook in mijn nederlandse huis, oud herenhuis in het haagse. Ik zeg altijd, koop nooit een huis van de tijd nadat beton (her)ontdekt werd voor de bouw. En schiet alle architecten dood. Na ze eerst gemarteld te hebben met een paar maanden lang onophoudelijk lulquotes te hebben moeten aanhoren als: “het huwelijk van het oude en het nieuwe”


  7. Pingback: Cortico-Cerebellar Connectivity in Autism Spectrum Disorder | Petrossa's Blog

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