Friday, April 18, 2008

The Frontal Cortex

A brief post, to point you all to one of my new favorite blogs I've recently come upon. "The Frontal Cortex" by Jonah Lehrer (author of Proust was a Neuroscientist, which I have not yet read) tends to link neuroscience all sorts of things interesting and artistic and social and political. Here are two recent posts that I really wanted to share:

Neuroaesthetics and Post-structuralism - I had no idea such a thing exists, but it's so far outside my realm of expertise these days. Reductio ad absurdum? The question of how aesthetics works on the brain is interesting, but less so the question of how "neuroasthetics" makes art. Or is it?

Child Abuse - This sort of acts as a follow-up to my first post about foster care. I guess one of the fundamental problems of, well, everything regarding how our government cares for children is that there is no real follow-up. We intervene on the front end, but without any system to speak of to deal with the sequelae. What do you do with a child that doesn't know empathy, or can't express it? As I'm sure you can imagine, Martin and Kate from the vignettes are likely to end up disenfranchised and/or in prison because while we can remove abused children from their abusers, we have a lot of difficulty providing long-term mental health care they may need (or they will be excluded because they're not yet at a crisis point in need of immediate intervention) in order to remove the abuse from the child. And we know how we can prevent a lot of child abuse: intense wraparound services for families at risk from before birth for a the first few years of life, to help with material needs, job-finding, food, parenting skills.... but why would our government fund anything like that?

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