Wrapping Up the Brain – Reflection

1. Try to pinpoint some implications (positive and negative) of the “knowledge” aquired. 

  • The segment covering the Navy Seals really affected me and made me think about how moral it is to rewire their brains. By throwing these people into life threatening situations, we are purposefully changing the way they react to fear. Would that cause negative side affects post-war?
  • I now understand a little bit more about why some people enjoy facing their fears while others are comfortable with what they know they are capable of doing. The part of the movie about the people base jumping was what made me think about this

2. How did the film address the following?

  • where the knowledge came from (experiments, studies, observations)

Overall, the film had many of the scientists talking about their own experiments. For example, the scientist leading the sex experiment (I don’t recall his name) was on camera and describing what he was doing and his predicted and achieved results.

  • how knowledge is acquired / stored (role of emotion, senses, memory,  reasoning, etc.)

Knowledge is acquired by doing different tests, studies, experiments, etc. on different test subjects who have volunteered and/or are suitable for the experiment. As the movie talked about, emotions, especially fear, affect how we react to situations. That knowledge helps us try to calm ourselves to react in a more rational way.

  • problems (bias? stereotyping? faulty reasoning? assumptions?)

One problem that I can think of is the lack of test subjects for the sex experiment. Because they could only get a total of 24 people to orgasm in the two minutes of oxygen they had, they were eliminating more accurate test results. Also, I’m not sure how many psychopaths were tested in the experiment where they pressed the button, but I’m assuming there wasn’t a plethra of psychopaths to be experimented on.

  • how claims could affect other disciplines or how they relate to the “linking questions” such as belief, certainty, ethics, technology, etc.

Certain claims could definitely affect many beliefs because they could bring a thought that someone has never spent much time thinking about into question. All of a sudden, when someone makes a claim that doesn’t support what you’ve thought to be true, everything goes up in the air. This is also affecting certainty (unless the claim is outrageous). 

3. Any other thoughts, questions, conecerns or comments on the film?

  • Why have our brains evolved over time to either increase the amount of dopamine in your brain when doing scary activities (speed racing, sky diving, etc.) OR why have our brains evolved to reduce the dopamine in our brains, making us dislike frightening activities. Have our brains always been that way?

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