The United States Congress declared the 1990s the Decade ofthe Brain, but some
suggest that the twenty-first century will be the century of the brain, when the last great
frontierin biology-an understanding of the most complex biological system,the
human brain -will be conquered. Already the considerable advances made in brain
science over the past 50-100 years are being called upon to explain many things about
human behavior. Universities are asking what various disciplines and fields can learn
from brain science and vice versa. Fields as diverse as philosophy, music, English,
linguistics and anthropology are represented, as well as the expected fields of biology,
psychology, and computer science.
Many examples can be offered to illustrate the impact of brain science on other
disciplines;I offer two here. First, studies of how we learn and remember things have
demonstrated convincingly that memories are largely reconstructive and creative. False
memories are not uncommon. These findings have fundamentally changed the way the
law views eyewitness testimony. Contrary to the long-held belief that an eyewitness can
faithfully record and remember an event, we now realize that what we remember of an
event depends on many factors -previous experiences, biases, attention,imagination,
and so forth. Different eyewitnesses can give very differentreports,though in each
case describing what each observerfirmly believes he or she saw.
A second example is the placebo effect -long thoughtto be without physiological
basis.If a sugar pillis administered to someone experiencing pain,that person reports
a lessening of the pain if told the placebo will help. We now know thatthe pain
reduction is caused by the release of special chemicals in the brain. No drug trial today
is carried out without a control group receiving a similar, but presumably inactive,
agent. But placebo effects can greatly influence the outcome of such trials. How then
do we decide what works and what doesn't? This question has enormous implications
for medical therapies.
How far does the influence of brain science extend ? Do studies on the developing
brain,for example,tell us much about how we should raise or educate our children ?
Some say yes, but others respond with a strong no. The stakes are high public
programs costing millions,if not billions, of dollars, are linked to notions supposedly
neurobiologically based, but often the neurobiological evidence cited in support of one
position or another is weak, controversial, orinterpreted too strongly. The view that the
young brain is more modifiable than the adult brain Which is certainly true -led to
the notion thatthe firstthree years are the essential ones forraising a healthy, happy,
and competent child. 7)This extreme view, and the evidence on which it is based, has recently been critically examined in John Bruer's book, The Myth of the First Three Years.As
Bruer clearly documents, the first three years are important for brain development, but so are subsequent years. Nothing close down completely after just three years- indeed, the brain continues tomature until the age of 18-20.

A 回答 (1件)




二つ目は長く生理学的根拠なしと考えられてきたプラシーボ効果(※1)です。砂糖の錠剤を痛がっている誰かに投与した場合、もしこの偽薬が痛みを緩和すると聞かされていればその人は痛みが減ったと報告するというものです。今や私たちは痛みの軽減は脳から特定の化学物質が分泌される為であると知っています。(見た目は)似てはいるが(痛み軽減に)推定上効果のない物質を渡された対照群(※2)なしの治験は今日行われてはいません。にもかかわらず、プラシーボ効果はそのような治験の結果にまで大きな影響を及ぼしえるのです。では私たちはどうやって何が効き、何が効かないのかを決めるのでしょう? この疑問は薬物療法にとってものすごく大きな意味合いをもつのです。

脳科学の影響はどこまで広がるでしょうか? 例えば脳の発達における研究は、私たちがどう子供たちを育て、どう教育を施したらいいのかまでをも教えてくれるのでしょうか? 何人かは「そうだ」と言い、別の人は強く否定します。「ステークス」(※3)は何千万ドルまではいかなくとも、何百万ドルもの費用をかけた非常に公共性の高いプログラムで、一般的には神経生物学をベースとした考え方に関連付けられていると言われています。が、しばしば1つもしくは別の見方が適切である裏づけとして引用される神経生物学的根拠は 説得力に乏しかったり、賛否両論だったり、あまりにも極端に解釈されたりします。若者の脳は成人の脳よりも自己修正が可能だという見方は、生後3年間が健康で幸せで有能な子供を育てる為のもっとも大事な時期だという概念に当てはまる、紛れもない事実です。7)この究極な見方とその根拠とされた証拠は、近年、ジョン・ブルーアの著書「生後3年という神話」の中でじっくり検証されています。ブルーアが明確に記録した通り、生後3年は脳の発達においてとても大事な時期ですが、それはその後の年月においても同じなのです。3年間で完璧になるものは何一つありません。18~20歳になるまで脳は確かに成長し続けるのです。

http://www.page.sannet.ne.jp/onai/Healthinfo/Pra …


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