November 17, 2016
Written by Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Engineer
This is my eleventh response to “The basic emotional circuits of mammalian brains: Do animals have affective lives?” The fact that an eminent scientist as Panksepp has to write another paper to convince other neuroscientists that questions about the internal experiences of other animals can, of course, be answered, indicates that there is something terribly wrong with how scientists talk with each other.
Why is Panksepp still not believed when his entire body of research proves his point? His affective neuroscience is NOT listened to or talked about as Noxious Verbal Behavior (NVB) is more prominent in academia than Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB). These two opposing ways of talking have never been addressed. NVB continues as long as we overemphasize the importance of written words and underestimate the importance of spoken words. Any informed person would agree that in the case of “primal affective issues” we are not “merely speculating.”
Why is Panksepp, who, like B.F. Skinner, obtained empirical data, still being accused of committing the “sin of anthropomorphism?” People may be stuck to their beliefs, but what is not so obvious is that their confirmation bias is maintained by how they talk and by how they force others to talk. Moreover, in NVB people try to hide their ignorance. As they cannot refute his findings about emotions they have to ignore him.
Although it is absolutely clear “many psychological predictions about human feelings” can be “generated from existing cross-species animal BrainMind databases,” Panksepp, like a modern day Socrates, is accused of committing a mortal sin. When I listened to his presentation on You Tube the other day, what really struck me was how friendly, sensitive and cautious he spoke. Panksepp produces mostly SVB, but those who vehemently oppose him produce only NVB. Panksepp’s sincere way of talking is breath of fresh air in a world which is dominated by NVB.