November 20, 2016
Written by Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Engineer
This is my fourteenth response to “The basic emotional circuits of mammalian brains: Do animals have affective lives?” I write many responses to this paper to illustrate to the reader that there are only basically two ways of talking, which in the neuroscience as well as in marriages either have a positive or a negative outcomes. With Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB) we create and maintain healthy, happy and collaborative relationships, but with Noxious Verbal Behavior (NVB), we try dominate, manipulate, exploit, force and intimidate each other.
To assume that there is any section of society in which SVB and NVB don’t exist, is to present a false state of affairs. Panksepp, who tries to make other neuroscientists interested in his research findings, cannot escape the sad reality that in academia, like everywhere else, NVB is the norm and SVB is the exception. No so-called paradigm shift has been able to change this. Although Panksepp is the exception, this doesn’t relieve him from the hostile environment he is up against.
Panksepp can buttress in his writings the field neuroscience all he wants, but that is not going to make any difference in how people are talking with each other. He reaches out to behaviorists as he writes “behavioral neuroscientists have traditionally remained satisfied with careful behavioral analyses of animal behaviors and their neural correlates and causes, guided by the operationalism of logical positivism, leading to beautiful research, but regrettably weak bridges to human concerns.” SVB creates a strong bridge to human concerns.
Panksepp’s argument is in the right direction. He wants to better understand “pressing psychiatric issues such as affective disorders.” He unknowingly refers to the fall-out from NVB, the way of speaking which involves coercive behavioral control which plays an important role in causing affective disorders. Panksepp clearly doesn’t want conversation to be pro-scripted by NVB. I believe he wants to have SVB. Unless we focus on SVB we are unable to have it. I believe that if we would follow his lead we would find out about the neuro-affective basis of SVB and NVB.