Our Delusional Brains

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dr. Gold Sees a Rising Number of Patients Who Believe that They are Constantly Being Filmed Dr. Gold Sees a Rising Number of Patients Who Believe that They are Constantly Being Filmed (Shutterstock/Shutterstock)

Joel Gold and Ian Gold take us on a journey through the delusional brain to explore the intersection of neuroscience, biology, and culture. The current view of delusions is that they are the result of biology gone awry, of neurons in the brain misfiring, but the Golds argue that delusions are in fact the result of the interaction between the brain and the social world. Their new book, Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness uses case studies and the latest research in schizophrenia, and looks at the role of culture and the social world in the development of psychosis. 


Ian Gold and Joel Gold

Comments [8]

ERF from NJ

No one is even mentioning the "elephant in the room" about delusional thinking: religion - this perpetuates the "free pass" that religion gets on these issues.

Jul. 21 2014 02:04 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Doesn't it make more sense to say that delusions are a malfunction of the brain/mind, and that malfunctions of the human person are the result of the effects of original sin, the source of illness and death (rather than evolution)?

Jul. 21 2014 01:55 PM
Amy from Manhattan

"Attack of the Killer Tomatoes."

Jul. 21 2014 01:29 PM
Nora from Bloomfield, NJ

One fascinating aspect of the similar morphology of delusions world wide (i.e.: You are being watched, OR, you are all powerful/chosen, OR, you are possessed by demons/UFOs) is that it would suggest that there are complex and detailed suites of thought which can be chemically produced. One would expect that simple emotions could be evoked chemically, but the universal and timeless delusion that you are being watched by the government is a pretty specific idea to come from a chemical imbalance.

Jul. 21 2014 01:28 PM
R Lewis

Does the delusion of being on a reality show top the belief of being God like in the Three Christs of Yspilanti? Or is that still the highest one can reach?

Jul. 21 2014 01:21 PM

"drove Ian and I to ...."

Jul. 21 2014 01:18 PM

"The beings closest to us, whether in love or hate, are often virtually our interpreters of the world, and some feather-headed gentleman or lady whom in passing we regret to take as legal tender for a human being, may be acting as a melancholy theory of life in the minds of those who live with them - like a piece of yellow and wavy glass that distorts form and makes colour an affliction. Their trivial sentences, their petty standards, their low suspicions, their loveless ennui, may be making somebody else's life no better than a promenade through a pantheon of ugly idols." George Eliot "Daniel Deronda"

Jul. 21 2014 01:15 PM

One of the greatest proponents of psychiatry was Josef Stalin, who used it as a cudgel in Russia for decades. Psychiatrists and psychologists are currently employed at Guantanamo, and I would not be surprised if a neurologist were among them. The free reign given to doctors and psychologists in Nazi Death Camps is still used as psychiatric research material today. These are the brave white men who measure the capacity for reason in others. Forgive me if I smirk, I'm sure that madman Foucault would too.

Jul. 21 2014 12:42 PM

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