The microbiome-brain connection

#1
It has interesting implications for absolute freewill.

Mounting research tightens gut microbial connection with the brain
The trillions of microbes that inhabit the human body, collectively called the microbiome, are estimated to weigh two to six pounds—up to twice the weight of the average human brain. Most of them live in the gut and intestines, where they help us to digest food, synthesize vitamins and ward off infection. But recent research on the microbiome has shown that its influence extends far beyond the gut, all the way to the brain.
Over the past 10 years, studies have linked the gut microbiome to a range of complex behaviors, such as mood and emotion, and appetite and satiety. Not only does the gut microbiome appear to help maintain brain function but it may also influence the risk of psychiatric and neurological disorders, including anxiety, depression and autism.

Three researchers at the forefront of this emerging field recently discussed the microbiome-brain connection with The Kavli Foundation.

"The big question right now is how the microbiome exerts its effects on the brain," said Christopher Lowry, Associate Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Lowry is studying whether beneficial microbes can be used to treat or prevent stress-related psychiatric conditions, including anxiety and depression.

One surprising way in which the microbiome influences the brain is during development. Tracy Bale, Professor of Neuroscience at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and her team have found that the microbiome in mice is sensitive to stress and that stress-induced changes to a mother's microbiome are passed on to her baby and alter the way her baby's brain develops. "There are key developmental windows when the brain is more vulnerable because it's setting itself up to respond to the world around it," said Bale, who has done pioneering research into the effects of maternal stress on the brain. "So, if mom's microbial ecosystem changes—due to infection, stress or diet, for example—her newborn's gut microbiome will change too, and that can have a lifetime effect."
Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-01-mounting-tightens-gut-microbial-brain.html
Here's a related article:
How common 'cat parasite' gets into human brain and influences human behavior
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206203240.htm
 
#6
How true and people shouldn't get their knickers up in a not over the thought freewill is not absolutely free.
I am not sure I have ever encountered anyone in this forum arguing in favor of absolute free will... which I take is another way of labeling libertarian free will?
 
#8
How true and people shouldn't get their knickers up in a not over the thought freewill is not absolutely free.
Well, many things are influencing us. Even i could influence you by hitting you on your head. Doesnt mean that free will as a whole is a myth. Just means that we are not just consciousness, thoughts and free will. Theres more to being a human. For example our human body :> It seems obvious to me that the several parts of my body are influencing my behaviour since im expressing myself through that very body. My behaviour influences the body, the body influences me.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#9
I am not sure I have ever encountered anyone in this forum arguing in favor of absolute free will... which I take is another way of labeling libertarian free will?
I'm pretty sure multiple people have argued for libertarian free will. It usually involves some concept like agency that somehow circumvents the determinism/randomness dichotomy by hiding in the randomness.

~~ Paul
 
#12
Didn't you post this exact same article a while ago? Old news, same materialistic horseshit.
No. You are recalling the second link. Why does this type of "materialistic horse shit" research upset you so?
To be honest I think this is a very interesting article for medical reasons as it shows a connection with a number of psychiatric/neurological disease that modern medicine is unable to deal with properly. Not even a big news since holistic and functional medicine have described links between nutrition, gut health and mental health for decades...

However ... It's not that the microbiome constitutes a new element in the investigation of human consciousness, nor it's a game changer for the questions we have about free will... physiology affects our mental functions. Who would've thunk? :D

But I am repeating myself.
 
#13
It doesn't upset me. Just because I call something horse shit doesn't mean it upsets me. If anything, I'm really quite blah about it.

Here's the problem with public perception of science, more succinctly, nutrition/medical science: they'very been wro g more than they've been right and they keep changing the story. It wears on people. I think most people are intelligent enough to understand that science evolves, which is a good thing. I think what most find intolerable is the self-assured arrogance with which the scientific community postulates these findings. Like it is always the absolute truth. Then they turn around and pronounce something entirely the opposite, but never admit they were wrong.

But gut bacteria explaining consciousness? GTFO. If that's the case then humans really do have shit for brains.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#14
Here's the problem with public perception of science, more succinctly, nutrition/medical science: they'very been wro g more than they've been right and they keep changing the story. It wears on people. I think most people are intelligent enough to understand that science evolves, which is a good thing. I think what most find intolerable is the self-assured arrogance with which the scientific community postulates these findings.
No, what is intolerable is the way some people harp on this supposed arrogance as being anything other than typical human behavior, to whatever extent scientists really are arrogant. Get over it. Everyone speaks about their fields of expertise in a self-assured manner.

~~ Paul
 
#15
Get over it.
Aaaaaand there it is. Hmm...just curious, why are any of you "skeptics" here anyway? Not that I think this should be an echo chamber of only "like-minded" individuals, but when it's more "I'm right, you're wrong" as opposed to a free exchange of ideas, what is the point? I'm open minded about many things, but saying things like "get over it" isn't as much a dialogue as it is a dismissal of something you disagree with.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#16
Aaaaaand there it is. Hmm...just curious, why are any of you "skeptics" here anyway? Not that I think this should be an echo chamber of only "like-minded" individuals, but when it's more "I'm right, you're wrong" as opposed to a free exchange of ideas, what is the point? I'm open minded about many things, but saying things like "get over it" isn't as much a dialogue as it is a dismissal of something you disagree with.
There is plenty of free exchange of ideas here, as in most of this thread. And there is plenty of "I'm right," as with all human interactions. Heck, you said "I think what most find intolerable is the self-assured arrogance with which the scientific community postulates these findings." Are you sure you're right to make this sound like a universal problem?

I agree that "get over it" is a tad harsh. For that I apologize. I was trying to point out that scientists are no more arrogant than anyone else. It's just a human trait you have to overlook.

~~ Paul
 
#17
Fair enough, and agreed. Perhaps I should have qualified my statement with "some scientists". As I know there are many who are not at all arrogant.
 
#18
Well, many things are influencing us. Even i could influence you by hitting you on your head. Doesnt mean that free will as a whole is a myth. Just means that we are not just consciousness, thoughts and free will. Theres more to being a human. For example our human body :> It seems obvious to me that the several parts of my body are influencing my behaviour since im expressing myself through that very body. My behaviour influences the body, the body influences me.
I've not implied it's a myth, only that our freewill is not as free as many philosophers would argue it is.
 
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