autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Modeling cognitive behavior at the neurochemical level

Fascinating TED Talk:



Essentially, this is the beginning of a primer on the ultimate commonalities (along with the instances of difference) in the human brain as affects behavior. It also, however, explains the “shape” of how/why certain interactions with humans are “as they are”; what occurred to me while watching this video is that the instances of deep closeness, attraction, etc that is felt “about someone” is largely abstracted from a combination of:

  • past experience (and its impact upon preference as well as what is deemed “beneficial to enjoyment” or “beneficial to survival”
  • current circumstance/environment (impacts of influence upon past experience and thus, current interest/need)
  • concurrent valuation (the moment to moment assessment of if/how well responses meet current interest/need)

I particular enjoy and resonate with the alignment between this work and that of behavioral and decision economics and of gaming. Since they’re all human interaction systems, the relevancy is clear, but as the speaker points out, until now, there have been no methods by which to quantify these things at a statistically relevant level outside that of historical analysis.

What the effort explained in this talk offers is nothing only the ability to (eventually) quantify and calculate them in real time, but to actually begin the process of establishing reliable probability in relation to failure or success of a given situational model across the aggregate human population (and, of course, eventually, specific to particular cultural/societal populations as well as specific people… over time).

It also gives insight (to me, anyway) on how and why some of my personal encounters over the course of life were interesting, deemed important, or discarded as being negative or irrelevant (along with granting limited insight to some aspects of this in those “others” who I found interesting, important, negative, or irrelevant).

Excellent talk; I’ll be chewing on this one (particularly in parallel with the below link) for a while:


 Finally, a fascinating debate between the speaker in the immediately preceding RSA video and a peer dissenter:

Links to the full debate are included in the article for those who, like me, follow the discussion/debate/developing science and thought leadership.