As reported in the Toronto Star, the 'traits' of the condition become the 'condition' supported by the observation of real estate location.
"Scientists say they have unearthed a clue to solving the mystery of obsessive-compulsive disorder - the trait characterized with humour on the TV detective series Monk. But OCD, as it's known, is rarely a laughing matter. Rather, its hallmarks are three behaviours: hand-washing, checking and hoarding, each carried out in the extreme. Now a study points to an understanding of the condition - and goes on to say the different behaviours may actually represent distinctly different syndromes." [ref1]
Is OCD its 'hallmarks', is it its cause, or is its cause its hallmarks?
According to this study, it depends on the real estate and not the process.
"Scientists have demonstrated that each of the three behaviours activated a different brain region. Their study was published in the latest issue of the Archives Of General Psychiatry." [ref1]
"They found that patients with hand-washing obsessions experienced activity in one brain region when presented with thoughts of dirty toilets and other germ-infested objects. Patients characterized as "hoarders" experienced activity in a different brain region when presented with piles of papers. And "checkers", who compulsively check on such things as whether appliances have been turned off, experienced activity in yet another brain region when shown pictures of kettles and irons." [ref1]
These scientists have taken what they observe to be the reason for what they observe.
So, what is obsessive-compulsive disorder?Long-term memory dependency.
It is like your computer getting stuck in a program loop. That mental loop could be as simple as required matching or as complex as required correction.
Required matching is when long-term memory is in control of the subject's brain to such an extent that person's reactions are solely based on memory without the influence of the input, other than as a trigger for the memory. That makes the subject reject a non-match.
Required correction is when long-term memory is in control of the subject's brain to such an extent that person's reactions are likewise solely based on memory, but to a greater degree so that reality must match the memory's perception. That makes the subject cause the match.
OCD is observable from the lowest degree form of making sure the lamp is turned exactly the right way, where it belongs; the coffee table book is placed in exactly the same spot, where it belongs; the bathroom toothbrush holder is on the right side of the bowl and turned the right way, where it belongs; all the way up to and including a long-term loop, that causes required matching, even when the match is not the topic.
Such latter OCD 'trait' is manifested by those who 'hoard' in order to make sure the match is present before hand; by those who 'check' to make sure the match is present before hand; and by those who clean without dirt to make sure the match is present before hand. All three are quite harmless and in many cases can turn out to be predicatively required.
The Required matching subject is in far more danger. But what would account for the difference in 'real estate'?
The type of mental processing, delivering the long-term memory.
A "thought of a dirty toilet or germ infected object" [ref1] is a concept. Concepts are dealt with in the brain through the 'aural' pathways and mostly experienced by aural thinkers. Graphic image thinkers deal in created realities through pictures.
"Hoarders" can be either conceptual aural thinkers or visual image thinkers, while "checkers" are most often visual thinkers seeking reassurance of a recurring long-term memory.
A major problem with this study is that the subjects involved in it were presented with 'pictures'. If they were aural thinkers the real estate associated with that 'thought' would be the combination of aural pathways seeking matches in visual pathways. If they were visual thinkers the real estate associated with that 'thought' would be the visual process. Using images to invoke aural thoughts is a sure fire way to guarantee long-term dependence on the outcome, rendering the 'control group of 'healthy' individuals nearly as susceptible to OCD in small degrees as those already suffering it.
"David Mataix-Cols of the Institute of Psychiatry in London and his colleagues studied OCD patients, along with healthy volunteers. The scientists conducted brain scans as the participants viewed pictures and were asked to think about specific events." [ref1]
Let us set one thing very straight at this point: A person with OCD is NOT UNHEALTHY. There is no physical way the researchers could determine that "healthy volunteers" were not experiencing the exact same conditions the supposed "unhealthy OCD patients were experiencing" [ref1]. The process of long-term dependence is nearly universal in humans. It is the cause of all emotional distress and the cause of almost all crime, hatred, bigotry, discrimination, love, lust and all other outcomes of brain function in humans. It is very rare to find a human today that is not controlled by long-term memory.
The more society becomes dependent on visual stimuli, the more society will become visual dependent. Watching television, commercials, videos, video games, movies and the like all contribute to the un-aware condition already supported by most humans living today. Those who are already visual thinkers add those visual inputs to their perception of reality just as easily as if they witnessed them in reality. It makes for a serious concern for visual thinker capacity to evaluate reality as it is and not as it has become to them.
Back to the 'study': "A simultaneous recording would instruct them to "Imagine touching the following objects" as pictures of dirty toilet bowls, money and a door knob appeared. "Imagine you forgot to turn off the following appliances," with pictures of a tea kettle, iron and car brakes. And "Imagine the objects belong to you but must be thrown away forever," with a display of stacks of newspapers and empty containers." [ref1]
And the outcome expected by the researchers did not involve the brain doing just what it was told to do?
"Washing, checking and hoarding provoked different brain circuits, and OCD patients showed more activity in these regions than did the volunteers. Washing and checking triggered some overlapping activity, but the checking behaviour called on another region that regulates motor activity." [ref1]
The volunteer 'healthy' subjects did show increases in the same real estate, just not as much, (degree) as those diagnosed with OCD. "Washing and checking" both involve visual confirmation. "...the checking behaviour called on another region that regulates motor activity". There is no such 'real estate' that regulates motor activity. The process of motor activity is a result of long-term contemplation and in those with an engaged short-term also receives input control from that level.
The observed second process for checking was that short-term interaction. Checking requires assumption, backed by method. Method requires conceptual evaluation and is only possible in short-term memory.
The real estate observed by the researchers is unknown by the study's announcement, but it is not important where something happens. What is important is WHY something happens. Imposing where on why is absurd but it is a common 'trait' of 'neuroscience' disease based in visual observation and supporting evidence of the fMRI's ability to show absolutely nothing of brain function, only the blood needed to cause the cellular structure to function.
The process of being dependent on long-term memory processing works in many ways. It can mean that one is always reacting to something: as in moving out of place objects, cleaning something the same day each week, taking the exact same route to work each day, opening one's lunch box or bag and removing items in the same order each day, even having the same response to the same inquiry, as in 'how are ya'? which means nothing other than a habitual form of greeting.
Habits are not at all hard to define.
Most people who display a habit do not do so consciously.
A person with the habit of twitching her nose when nervous; is not aware of that act. A person who has a habit of pulling her ear when scared is not aware of that act. A person who has a habit of talking overly loud in quiet surroundings is not aware of that act.
A person who becomes dependent upon a tool and imposes wondrous properties to it is not aware of that act but every single use of that tool must be suspect. So it is with the fMRI. So it is with the quackery of disguised phrenology.
In The History of Phrenology on the Web by John van Wyhe [ref2] it is important to compare what 'was' the 'science of phrenology' and what 'is' the science of brain study today.
"Phrenology was a science of character divination, faculty psychology, theory of brain and what the 19th-century phrenologists called "the only true science of mind." Phrenology came from the theories of the idiosyncratic Viennese physician Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828). The basic tenets of Gall's system were:" [ref2]
- The brain is the organ of the mind.
- The mind is composed of multiple distinct, innate faculties.
- Because they are distinct, each faculty must have a separate seat or "organ" in the brain.
- The size of an organ, other things being equal, is a measure of its power.
- The shape of the brain is determined by the development of the various organs.
- As the skull takes its shape from the brain, the surface of the skull can be read as an accurate index of psychological aptitudes and tendencies.
So what makes phrenology disguised today and completely in charge of neuroscience research?
- The brain is the organ of the mind:
The brain is the cause of the mind.
- The mind is composed of multiple distinct, innate faculties:
The brain is composed of 'centers'.
- Because they are distinct, each faculty must have a separate seat or "organ" in the brain:
ie: real estate location.
- The size of an organ, other things being equal, is a measure of its power:
The size of the image of activity is the degree of importance it receives in studies of the brain.
- The shape of the brain is determined by the development of the various organs:
The shape of the brain is determined by the space in which it grows.
- As the skull takes its shape from the brain, the surface of the
skull can be read as an accurate index of psychological aptitudes and
As the brain takes shape a likewise inaccurate index of aptitudes and tendencies is being determined by looking past the skull and watching the blood flow.
"However, like so many popular sciences, Gall and the phrenologists sought only confirmations for their hypotheses and did not apply the same standard to contradictory evidence. Any evidence or anecdote which seemed to confirm the science was readily and vociferously accepted as "proof" of the "truth" of phrenology. At the same time, contradictory findings, such as a not very benevolent and disagreeable person having a well-developed organ of Benevolence were always explained away. This was often done by claiming that the activity of other organs counteracted Benevolence. What was never accepted by phrenologists, however, was that admitting that the activity of a particular faculty could be independent of the size of its organ undermined the most fundamental assumptions of the science- and thereby rendered all of its conclusions inconsistent and meaningless." [ref2]
So it is today.
Anytime an fMRI is used in a research study its use alone provides confirmation of the hypothesis, regardless of contradictory reasoning. Anytime a researcher proclaims an area of the brain is 'associated with' something, it provides confirmation of the real estate internal phrenology used in today's research.
It was wrong in the 19th Century and it is wrong in the 21st Century.
"Phrenology has been almost universally considered completely discredited as a science since the mid-19th century. Even during the peak of its popularity between the 1820s and 1840s, phrenology was always controversial and never achieved the status of an accredited science, which was so coveted by its main proponents, such as the Edinburgh lawyer, George Combe and his circle. Rather than portraying phrenology as having succumbed to an inexorable progress of 'science' or representing the Victorians as having become less 'gullible', phrenology can be understood to have been diffused and absorbed into a host of other practices and traditions- as such many of its components live on. Alison Winter uses a similar approach to understand the 'disappearance' of mesmerism." [ref2]
Through the very same fatal error of repetition based science, "...most of phrenology's basic premises have been vindicated, though the particulars of reading character from the skull have not. For example, the principle that many functions are localized in the brain is now a commonplace (although many other functions are distributed). Also, areas of the brain that are more frequently used (as the right hippocampus of London taxi drivers) may become enlarged with use. (See The Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 17, 1997.) This is exactly what phrenologists asserted." [ref2]
And even in John van Wyhe's wonderful history of Phrenology, the myth lives on: "Some personality or speech disorders correlate to specific atrophied regions of the brain. From this we conclude that the affected part of the brain was either necessary for or simply was that bit of the personality or ability. Modern brain imaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) make the localization of functions demonstrable beyond doubt." [ref2]
The conclusions are both valid and invalid.
Location does correlate with function but function has nothing to do with location.
"Palaeontologists make endocasts from the skulls of early hominids to determine the shapes of their brains and have suggested that an enlarged node at Broca's region is evidence of language use. This is essentially phrenology in a new guise. Size is taken as evidence for power and functions are believed to reside in specifcally bounded regions. All of the 'organs' or bumps identified by phrenologists are now considered purely imaginary except for Gall's 'faculty for words or verbal memory'- which was close to the present location of Broca's and Wernicke's speech areas. However, following Spurzheim's modifications of Gall's system, later phrenology abandoned this only correct organ! And finally, today we know that what was traditionally called "the mind" is indeed nothing more than functioning human brain." [ref2]
Yet the notion that where something is has importance over what something is which has importance over how something works is ruling the science.
Habit becomes accepted practice.
Habit, used in passion for new technology, leads to disasters in reasoning.
The more something appears to fit the mold the more it is made to fit the mold, the more it joins and forms the new mold.
That is how long-term memory processing works.
When short-term, the loop of self-awareness itself is not being used for anything other than a way station to long-term there is no 'controlling' factor for repetition. Science has fallen for that unhealthy condition ever since it first agreed on the first cause of the sun rotating the earth.
The process has not changed. Neither has the process of brain function that allows it to happen.
Progress in science is so slow for the very same reason.
Breakthroughs are only considered monumental when the 'mental' is already part of the mono-habit.
In the mean time, bad science continues and studies are conducted that are designed to support the habit more than they are to discover anything new.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a result of imbalance between long-term memory and short-term memory processes.Overcoming it requires a simple injection of short-term control leading to a retained memory of such control.
If your kitchen pantry is loaded with green bean cans and you find yourself picking up more at the grocery store, as that is one of the items in your habitual trek through the store, same isle, same order and same list: put it back.
If your path to work each morning is easily maneuvered, make it different.
If you are asked 'how are you?' respond with a different 'comeback' each time.
If you greet someone, comment about their condition, or their position, or greet them with 'good morning' or 'good afternoon' and leave the ambiguousness to others.
If you constantly say 'I could care less', evaluate what you say and realize that leaves room for less care. It is 'I could not care less', if you really mean it.
Pay attention to the little things that are repeated. Pay attention to yourself speaking. Listen to what you say more than you listen to what others say. Identify your place in space while walking instead of identifying the obstructions outside of your space. Break the habits you know you have and have others let you know the ones you are not aware of. Take the time to be different as being the same only supports the same and results in the same.
Being the same tends to make being different a bad thing, where being different is what makes you different than your memories.
Stop letting your memory control you and start controlling you, yourself. Refer to memory as guidance but do not repeat what has already been learned. Guidance becomes control when it is embraced as reality.
Your long-term memory, that driving force behind your reactions is not you. It is the collection of what you have previously experienced, whether you caused it or not. If you want your future to be as real as your past then make use of your 'now' by taking control over the reality you think exists. Test everything. Trust nothing in your memory.
Your memory is deceiving.Every time you find yourself having to do something, stop yourself. Is it important to 'now' that you pick up the piece of paper? Is it important to 'now' that you put the coffee filters where they 'belong'? Nothing 'belongs' anywhere; everything just occupies space. It is important to 'now' that the seat be shifted a degree to one side as that is where the carpet impression says it should be? Is it important to 'now' to hunt down the culprit responsible for leaving that hair on the sink? Is it important to 'now' that you determine the reason why the door was not closed?
If your answer it is important, ask yourself if that importance is not coming from memory attempting to retain control.
Your memory will not let go of you easily. It will fight with everything it has, and in most cases that represents the reality you think is you. It is not reality. It is a mixture of many different perspectives of reality that together make up its own reality. Take control over that reality by imposing 'now' on it.
'Now' is the short-term loop of self-awareness that is 'you'. It is the 'you' that watches your emotions take control. It is the 'you' that wonders why you have no control of crying. It is the 'you' that wonders why you seem to worry whether what has happened before will happen again. It is the 'you' that should be in control. If it is in control it will not be watching you do what it cannot control. It will be that control.
Read the book 'The Brain Is A Wonderful Thing'. Learn how your brain works.
And remember that no matter how much you are not in control, you can be.