Don’t Blame Trump’s Brain

By Neuroskeptic | March 13, 2017 2:24 pm

trumpbrain

The past year has seen the emergence of a new field of neuroscience: neuroTrumpology. Also known as Trumphrenology, this discipline seeks to diagnose and explain the behaviour of Donald Trump and his supporters through reference to the brain.

Here are some examples of neuroTrump scholarship: Donald Trump’s Lizard Brain (February 2016) and After a brain injury, I suddenly displayed some behavior similar to Donald Trump’s (August 2016). More recently we have Trump’s Lies vs. Your Brain (January 2017) and Basic ‘lizard brain’ psychology can explain the rise of Donald Trump (February 2017).

Trump neuroscience goes hand in hand with another thriving field, namely Trump psychiatry. According to various experts, Donald Trump could be diagnosed with mental disorders ranging from narcissitic personality disorder and psychopathy to ADHD.

Here’s why I think all of these attempts to explain Trump’s behaviour with neurological or psychological abnormalities are wrong.

The basic problem is circularity: the observed facts of Trump’s behaviour are what motivate us to seek some kind of label as an explanation, but the only evidence for the explanation is the same observed facts that we started off with. In other words, in saying that Trump is “a psychopath” or “dominated by his amygdala”, we seem to be explaining or at least shedding light on his behaviour, but all we’re actually doing is circling back to where we started.

For example, you might believe that the President is a rash person who tends to speak and act on impulse. That’s your description of his personality, but suppose you want to give a more scientific statement. So you note that in neuroscience, damage to the prefrontal cortex can produce impulsivity. Aha! So maybe Trump’s prefrontal cortex is underactive! Or maybe he has a personality disorder! Yet these aren’t explanations, let alone a scientific ones, for Trump’s rashness. They’re just more sciencey and impressive ways of saying he’s rash.

We don’t need these kinds of quasi-scientific analyses of Trump’s (or anyone’s) character. We should stick to describing and commenting on the behaviour that we can directly observe. If Trump is rash, then that’s it: he’s rash. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in his brain to make him that way. If he’s egotistic and selfish, then just say so – it adds nothing to the discussion to speculate about whether he meets criteria for ‘narcissistic personality disorder’, not to mention that such a diagnosis-at-a-distance is ethically questionable.

More broadly, as I’ve argued previously, neuroscience can answer questions about the brain but most political and social questions are about behaviour. Now, while all behaviour is the product of brain activity, it’s rarely useful to try to understand a behaviour in neuroscientific terms. If you’re thirsty, then you could make me understand your situation by saying “I’m thirsty”, and the solution would be a glass of water. A neuroscientific analysis of activity in your brain’s subfornical organ wouldn’t help anyone.

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  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    Hailing from Brooklyn and Queens with a big dose of Florida, plus a military academy high school, our transcendent President Trump crushed the One Party while arriving $600 million under budget.

    The Donald embodies rugged individualism, American exceptionalism, military proficiency, and linear algebra optimization building skyscrapers not Inner Cities. President Trump’s first 100 days arrived $60 billion under budget, compared to Obamanation’s $320 billion over budget.

    Strive for intellectual puberty Snowflakes, Dreamers, Progressives, and Saul Alinsky whiners. We so tire of your cowardice under fire.

    • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

      I find it hard to believe we are on the same side of this, Uncle Al. Are you kidding me?

      I dropped out of Mensa due to several other members who automagically became biologically uninformed Trump-haters.

      Can you imagine what we could accomplish as a tag-team. Someone would either pay us the big bucks for the show or have us killed. Have you taken any friendly fire lately?

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

        Psychology is a mumble factory selling convenient crimes lacking necessary criminals. It is vacuum eager for gilded containers, the macroeconomics of political connivance. Psychology is the Vatican wearing electroconvulsive therapy about its necks, shaking aspergilla dispensing Big Pharma’s bludgeons.

        Trump is the singular One Party/Deep State nightmare.
        Youtube v=zy8dUJEOqos

        • Bob DuChaine

          Nice word salad you sprayed on us. Studied under Palin, did you?

          • John C

            Off topic.

          • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

            As the Blog post itself illustrates, cheap shots bounce off robust constructs.

          • Erik Bosma

            Hey, you stop picking on our beloved Uncle Al. He’s kind of a guru around here and if you don’t understand what he said then just wait till his next comment. One of them will apply…

        • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

          Thanks. My first comment has been removed. I think Neuroskeptic was offended. I’m glad I saved it as a screenshot. Attempts to mix and match opinions on Ben Carson’s knowledge of learning and memory followed by an attempt to discuss psychology strain the credibility of experts. It’s a clear sign the those with no expertise will simply change the target.

          • OWilson

            Trump Derangement Syndrome is real, as was Reagan, Thatcher, Bush/Cheney, Romney’s versions.

            It will pass.

            Even the left are invoking Reagan, Bush and Romney these days. LOL

          • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

            That’s an awful lot of different derangement syndromes. Maybe instead of that multiplicity, there is a single phenomenon that explains all of them. Like the human conscience.

          • OWilson

            I suspect partisan politics.

            Sorta like those true believers who have been brainwashed into believing that THEY and only THEY posses a human conscience! :)

            I think it’s a sickness!

      • Bob DuChaine

        Dropped out or booted out? The available evidence point to the latter.

        • OWilson

          Well I just got booted out of this thread for a devastating deconstruction of Trump Derangement Syndrome. I didn’t realize how effective it was.

          But it can be found on a simple Disqus search!

          • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

            I’m “booting” comments that are off topic.

          • OWilson

            Truth never dies! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Doesn’t seem to be as problematic as Trump’s Unbelievable Reality Denying Syndrome, though, as you’ve demonstrated.

        • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

          Here’s some of the available evidence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdtsfweO5SQ

      • Mac Dre

        Yes, we all believe you dropped out of MENSA. Surely you could have mastered hyphen usage by now but rejected grammar as an elitist construct.

        • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

          When all else fails, attack punctuation and grammer. Is that what you are saying?

          • Mike Richardson

            “Grammar.” 😁

          • OWilson

            Congratulations Mikey!

            Good job!

          • Mike Richardson

            Picking my nose!? Now why would I want to imitate your favorite pastime of nasal spelunking? Be careful, though, lest you probe too far and damage some gray matter. Oops, am I too late with that warning? 😱

          • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

            Great catch, Mike. Thanks for helping to make the attacks on pseudoscience more fun.

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

        The mail arrived today with an unsolicited letter containing a small laminated card. I am a Senior Fellow of the International Society of Philosophical Enquiry. That only leaves a couple of dozen IQ points in excess. I do not panic, I act!

        Youtube v=z9pD_UK6vGU I believe Trump can be saved in kind.

        • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

          Congratulations! Your IQ may be even higher than mine, but I doubt that. I wouldn’t mind if it was, though. I’m sure someone’s is higher. Well, pretty sure, anyway.

    • calling all toasters

      Is this a satire of jvkohl? If not, what in the world are you talking about?????

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

        The Trump presidency screams personal achievement, outraging sterile Federal management. The Donald is an autistic genius – Rockefeller Center ice skating rink (the impossible refrigeration system was plumbed with garden hose) and the Jacob Javits Convention Center (mass transportation solved by converting an abandoned railroad switching yard.

        President Trump’s critics are mediocre. Mediocrity is a vice of the doomed. Trump America, America Imperator. Do your chair parade – look up “Saul Alinsky.”

        • Windygirl

          You. Are. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Bob DuChaine

          He has barely been there 50 days (1/4 of which he has spent golfing) and has essentially zero accomplishments and you declare him the apotheosis of a unified Washington, Lincoln and Jesus Christ figure. Slow down and wait for some evidence of miracles before you declare sainthood.

          • John C

            Off topic

          • BlueBoomPony

            Good gravy, get out of your unreality bubble. The first half of your post is lies and the second half is strawman.

            For an ideological camp that constantly claims to have some sort of intellectual high ground, you lot come across as massively ignorant fools 24/7.

          • OWilson

            They don’t even embarrass each other!

            There’s a huge clue! :)

          • temporary guest

            Why not? After all, they gave Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize BEFORE he created ISIS.

        • calling all toasters

          Well, SOMEONE is autistic.

          • BlueBoomPony

            Ah the kind, caring prog-Left using autistic as an insult.

            Shouldn’t you be out calling cancer patients Nazis or something?

          • calling all toasters

            No one understands your gibberish.

          • temporary guest

            LOL … you got their number alright. Make my day :o)

    • Bob DuChaine

      I remember something about the folly of counting chickens when you have just begun laying an egg.

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

        I offer you a terrible insight, words vs. deeds as this Blog’s tehma: One cannot obtain more chickens than eggs (thus falsifying Socialism; double yolkers don’t hatch).

        • Mac Dre

          Not a terrible insight, just a terrible cliche.

    • Joe D Pufnstuf

      A simpler explanation is that he’s a loudmouth idiot who was elected because there were enough other idiots out there to vote for him.

      • BlueBoomPony

        Yes, let the hate flow through you. Keep insulting and name calling. At this rate, by 2018, the Democratic Convention will be held at a rest stop off of route 93.

        • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

          I’m no Freudian but you might be projecting slightly.

          • OWilson

            I told the dupes here, “Wait until November”, I got tag teamed.

            Now I say “Wait until 2018 and 2020”

            This Trump thang ain’t over yet, it is only just getting started.

          • Mike Richardson

            Just won’t be happy unless you see a return of fascism in your remaining years, eh? After all, that’s what a one party far right government would be. But if the mounting resistance and Trump’s ever growing list of impeachable offenses are any indication, there’s still hope for democracy. But if you’re suffering from Trump’s Unbelievable Reality Denying Syndrome, as I suspect you are, you can keep looking forward to goose-stepping South of the border while others work to prevent that nightmare.

          • OWilson

            Glad to see you jumping back on that old broken down wagon again, so soon.

            And look folks! with a brand new set of predictions yet! LOL

            I guess those street corner group hugs, and a little looting and burning do wonders for morale.

            Anybody in mind to flog to the dupes? Pelosi. Maxine? Chelsea?

            You haven’t tried a Muslim yet!

            Carry on looting, burning your neighborhood stores destroying government buildings (maybe even from inside!)and get back to me in 2020.

            I’ll probably be on my Third World Tropical Island, sipping a cool one, with civilized people, around that time!

            Or visiting my duly elected President Trudeau, who I didn’t vote for, but I’m just happy to be in a civilized country where they respect democracy.

          • Mike Richardson

            Well, someone’s sure suffering from T.U.R.D.S. Mixed with a little Islamaphobia and various other inflammatory prejudicial remarks. I’m other words, par for the course. Now, I don’t go around looting of destroying property, but I see that in addition to imitating the grandiosity of Trump, you’ve also adopted his standards of honesty with your accusations. Please, by all means, do Canada a favor and make yourself a further blight on the Third World. Better hope your new hosts have a high tolerance for B.S., or just write you off as a tourist who’s had too much sun and cheap rum.

          • OWilson

            They don’t build their houses in swamps like you do Mikey, and then complain about the weather!

            They are smart, they can survive a little rain, no problemo !

            Sometimes a LOT of rain :)

            They don’t loot and rob their own neighborhood stores, and burn cop cars.

            Quite civilized!

          • Mike Richardson

            I don’t live in a swamp, ya blighter, and fortunately even the most red neck family member I have demonstrates better sense than you. Maybe your new hosts, if they have the misfortune of being stuck with you, will even be kind enough to stop you when you finally become so addle-minded that wander off into the surf. Or maybe not – that’s asking a lot of forbearance, even for civilized folks! 😁

          • OWilson

            You told us all you lived in Livingston Parish?

            They were officially warned of flooding in 2010 and 2012.

            You got flooded out in 2016, right?

            Or are you lying?

            Work for the government too, Mikey?

            He gonna drain that Swamp too! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Again, I’ve mentioned the state and region I live in, but never specified my parish, as it’s not relevant to anything being discussed here or elsewhere. It does, rather disturbingly, appear to be an obsession of yours, and further evidence of an unbalanced mind. But since I’m not qualified to make a clinical diagnosis, I would suggest you seek professional help, assuming you don’t consider yourself more of an expert than the doctors.

          • OWilson

            You are a liar Mikey!

            I got the “Livingston Parish” thing from an old global warming complaint post of yours, which I posted back to you on another thread.

            Gonna make me do it again?

          • Mike Richardson

            Really obsessing over where I live, huh? That’s not healthy, nor relevant. But it does help demonstrate those stalker type tendencies. I’ve lived many places over the years, all blessedly nowhere near you. I can only pity those less fortunate than I in that regard.

          • “M”

            I hope neither of our neighbors lets him in. He doesn’t deserve it.

          • OWilson

            What a pair! LOL

            A wannabe moderator, now an wannabe Immigration Czar.

            The other, a wannabe psychiatrist.

            A marriage made in heaven!

            But I should warn you, Mikey’s new tag team friends never seem to last very long! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Yes, and as you can see, he’s quite hung up on who has friends and is “popular.” Ol’Wilson was probably a real character in grade school, likely a bully like Trump .

      • “M”

        And the lying. Don’t forget the constant pathological lying.

        All those West Virginian Democrats who voted for him wailing about “He promised he’d bring the coal jobs back!!” are going to be mighty disappointed.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      He sounds very special, almost like a unique water crystal of some kind.

    • Mac Dre

      Trump is a born-rich sexual predator who thinks climate science is a Chinese hoax. You’ve been had, creepy uncle.

    • sfrobink

      This is ridiculous. Trump is nothing short of an attack on all the people and the planet.

      • temporary guest

        LOL … what planet is that?

        • sfrobink

          This one! Unless he’s also attacking planets in outer space too.

          • temporary guest

            I’m sure you probably consider that a possibility, huh? Maybe he’s secretly paying NASA to find extra-solar planets for him to terrorize by winning elections? Him and the suddenly, somehow more evil than ever Russians who bought all that uranium from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?

          • OWilson

            Last time I saw him he was laughing at Hillary’s claim that she was running and ducking sniper fire :)

    • temporary guest

      Unfortunately, “intellectual puberty” for snowflakes generally announces it’s arrival in the form of a meltdown.

  • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

    I expected another attack like the one on Ben Carson, which you launched from your limited perspective of what is known to serious scientists about RNA-mediated learning, memory and behavior in species from microbes to humans. Although it’s a bit underhanded to claim that the efforts of neuroscientists to explain behavior are not useful without first addressing the facts I presented in the context of debate about Ben Carson, I understand why you might not want to engage me again by making more ridiculous claims.

  • R. Newman

    The man clearly has Borderline Personality Disorder. Look it up.

    • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

      And here you are to diagnosis him. What treatment do you prescribe, and how has your behavior been affected by the side effects?

    • Mike Richardson

      I think the general consensus at this point is a severed narcissistic personality disorder, possibly with psychotic features, under either DSM IV or V criteria. Sounds like time to invoke the 25 th Amendment. At least it would avoid the spectacle of impeachment.

      • John C

        I’m kind of curious which ICD-10 codes would best describe the Clintons, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters or some of the other goblins slouching around Blue World.

        • Mac Dre

          Ah, the false equivalency rears its silly head. Trump is a 10-times accused rapist/sexual harasser who accused an entire ethnicity of being rapists (and drug dealers). So what did Maxine Waters do again?

          • OWilson

            A couple words about false equivalency.

            The Impeached, fined, disbarred and payout settler Slick Willy and his Enabler in Chief! :)

          • OWilson

            Stash way some $3,000,000,000.00 in a “family trust fund” she got from the foreign governments she was dealing with as your Secretary of State and odds on favorite for President, then running the State Department out of her bathroom server and destroying government records under subpoena, to cover it up?

            Oh I forgot that was your choice for President! :)

          • BobRohner

            As usual – another misdirected and out of context lie by someone feinting intelligent. Trump made no such comment regarding any race.

          • stmccrea

            First speech opening campaign – claimed that Mexico was sending us criminals, druggies and rapists. And some (he assumes) are good people. Sure sounds like he is suggesting that most Mexican immigrants are criminals, which is most definitely a racist statement, even if Mac’s statement is somewhat of an exaggeration.

        • “M”

          Hardly the point.
          None of them are occupying the White House and malevolently, however incompetently, exercising STOLEN Executive Authority at this time.

          Meanwhile, yours – clearly he’s yours, and I certainly don’t claim him, especially since those helping him cheated, and he couldn’t have won without their “help”

          http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/tle-pick/donald-trump-was-right-the-election-was-rigged-in-his-favour/15/11/
          http://fortune.com/2016/10/30/trump-voter-supression-operations/

          – sends this Orwellian spectre of a spox out to lie to you – repeatedly –

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2c8b74d757a06b97fc9281368ae72809f885dd47884d451cf06e7337bcbab554.png?w=600&h=445

          and despite claiming a mind sufficiently “scientific” to peruse this blog, you actually buy into it.

          Go fix your amygdala. Even the science you ostensibly worship says there’s something wrong with it:

          http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2011/09/07/your-brain-on-politics-the-cognitive-neuroscience-of-liberals-and-conservatives/#.WMr-gVXyvIV

          http://www.alternet.org/story/155210/why_is_the_conservative_brain_more_fearful_the_alternate_reality_right-wingers_inhabit_is_terrifying

          • OWilson

            You’re just p**sed that CNN’s cheating (giving Debate Questions in advance to Hillary) didn’t work for you rioters, looters, cop car burners, and other radical detrius. :)

          • “M”

            ‘k

            Notice you don’t have squat to say about Corey Lewandowski having done the same for that corrupt Dolt45 either — nor about him staying AND PROFITING from same said swamp this Maladministration was supposed to drain – but that’s okay b/c I won’t have to listen to anything else you’ve got to say, since you think it’s an effective approach to actual dialogue to swoop in and attack when you weren’t invited to the conversation in the first place, and i always block folks that behave like that.

            Bullying moron. Just like those cultists you follow. Gorka is an admitted Nazi, and your leader has him in his cabinet, and you’re fine with that. Says volumes about who you are.

            Enjoy your TrumpDontCare. Blocking you now; have a nice day.

          • OWilson

            Sorry, I thought this was an open forum! :)

        • Eliot

          Look it up. Of course education has never been a priority in the red world.

      • JerseyCowboy

        I’m pretty sure you’re both missing the entire point of this article.

      • RHB2

        Trump narcissistic. Give me a break. What president said he knew more about policy than any of his policy advisers? What president used the word ‘I’ in his speeches to an extreme degree? A large list or similar self-centered observations could be put together, but why bother.

        • Mike Richardson

          Trump knew “more than the generals” about fighting Isis, stated that only he could keep America safe, bragged that he had “a very good brain”, claimed “nobody” respected women more than he (despite quite a bit of evidence to the contrary), and boasts about his inflated election victory and crowd numbers at every opportunity. Yeah, he’s pretty clearly a narcissist. What takes it to the next level is his pathological lying and refusal to accept facts that counter his own sense of grandiosity.

          • BobRohner

            Is there ever a President who is not narcissistic? Does it not require this trait to actually believe you are the one person capable of heading up the strongest nation the world has ever seen?

          • Mike Richardson

            It’s true that a high opinion of oneself would generally appear to be a prerequisite for the job. However, as his constant boasting at rallies and on Twitter has amply demonstrated, Trump has exceeded all previous presidents by several orders of magnitude in this regard. It goes way beyond a strong sense of self-esteem to alarmingly delusional in this case.

          • teknowh0re

            You dont need to list any of that. In fact to provide CLEAR evidence of his obvious narcissism, one needs only to search and open ANY full quote, speech, or public appearance the man has made. I wish I was joking.
            I think there needs to be a term invented for people who are so, so blind, so completely ignorant and confused, that they CANT SEE his constant open delusions of grandiosity, and his narcissism. These are as obvious as a slap in the face.

        • D. Scott McAndrew

          It would be more realistic to diagnose the bizarre and often violent behavior by anti-Trumpists as a psychotic disorder.

          • temporary guest

            At the risk of being vehemently attacked for making a religions comment, Amen to that.

        • teknowh0re

          Using I in speeches does not make you a narcissist. Im not surprised at all that you dont actually understand what malignabt narcissism is. Being conceited, and self centered, is NOT the same as being a narcissist.
          The narcissist thinks of nothing but themselves. The narcissist, just like our president, CONSTANTLY makes disturbing numbers of completely off topic assertions about how talented they are, how people like them, how they are the best at everything, even when its completely utterly irrelevant in every way to anything else thats being discussed. The narcissist is incapable of having any conversation in which they are not a topic of praise. The narcissist cannot listen to anyone or anything because all they can do is plot their next “brilliant” manipulation.
          Our last president didnt need to do any of these things. He actually was praised by others, he actually was liked by some people, he actually had accomplishments. Any time they were talked about, it was RELEVANT to the discussion.
          Trump might once be capable of this if he wasnt so self obsessed and delusionally confident, that he listens to absolutely no one about how to properly speak, how to complete a sentence, how to not just spew random nonsense from his ego that literally has no point or place in any “speech” he has ever given.
          If you cannot see how ridiculously, overly, incredibly cartoonishly narcissistic and ignorant that man is, you must be even less intelligent.
          He is not secretly intelligent and is just playing a part. You can see that every time he gets butthurt and cant show an ounce of tact for 10 seconds.

        • teknowh0re

          Trump and Narcissist are interchangable words.
          HOW can a person be so utterly blind?
          Thats what gets to me. Why is it that rational, healthy, non trump supporting people (because no one in their right mind even a little does) are easily capable of seeing and admitting actual* flaws in people they like, or voted for, or are friends with, but you cant?
          Surely not ALL DT supporters are also ignorant narcissists?

      • “M”

        Lawrence O’Donnell agrees with you.

      • temporary guest

        If any of that’s true, after 8 years of Obama, why would any of that bother you now?

        • Mike Richardson

          Because the last occupant of the White House behaved like a sane, mature adult. That doesn’t bother me. The opposite behavior from the current occupant, however, should concern any reasonable person.

          • temporary guest

            LOL and ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Thanks, dude. I hear good old fashioned, riotously loud, belly rolling laughter is good for my health.

            I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your insane humor!

            LOL (gosh, I hope I can stop!)

          • Mike Richardson

            I did qualify my statement to specify “reasonable” people. Laugh away, and just ignore the strange looks from other people, or any mention of a 51-50. 😀

          • Eliot

            Of course, nothing in your post refutes anything. And sure, just block out the truth.

          • temporary guest

            To the leftist mind set, truth is always a lie and lies are always the truth. No matter how much effort one might put into it, one cannot teach a pig to sing. All you can get from the effort is personal frustration and an irritated pig. I really don’t feel the need to refute deliberate lies, obvious stupidity or the repeated claims of sycophantic parrots .. and I really don’t care how you might feel about it.

          • OWilson

            You miss the fun of telling the pig he is only a pig, especially when he tries to psychoanalyze you. :)

          • Mike Richardson

            There ‘s really not that much there to analyze. 😉

          • OWilson

            But, I can always count on my personal troll to let me expose the liberal demented mindset! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Projecting again, I see (much like your hero Trump). Both in referring to anyone else as a troll, and in calling other folks demented while displaying ample evidence of what demented truly is. You think you’re dishing it out? 😂 If I were beating you any worse I’d have to be charged with elder abuse. And the only folks getting duped are those who might believe you to be a decent and rational human being. Perhaps you duped your own wife in this regard, if she’s someone who looks for the best in everyone. The dear woman has my condolences, as I’m sure she’s likely realized her mistake by now.

          • temporary guest

            I hate to correct you, good buddy, but the liberal demented mindset is not “the gift that keeps on giving”. It’s an evil that keeps on taking.

          • temporary guest

            It would probably be easier to find a pig that understands it’s a pig than to find a Democrat who understands that real common sense is not a bigoted hate crime.

          • stevlich

            A sane mature adult who said if you want your doctor you can keep your doctor, the Ft Hood shooting was workplace violence and ISIS is contained right after they killed 350 people in Brussels, Paris, Nice, Orlando and San Bernadino. It’s Obama’s brain that has to be examined.

          • temporary guest

            His brain, his past and his political connections, the two latter of which should have been examined when he first ran for office … but as I recall, even hinting at that was racist.

          • Mike Richardson

            I believe Trump said everybody would be keeping their healthcare — now isn’t the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimating about 24 million will lose coverage under the plan he’s backing? Not too surprising that was a lie, as he’s established a track record for being a rather pathological liar. And of course he keeps claiming President Obama bugged his offices in Trump Tower, without one shred of evidence. Paranoia, and a stark refusal to acknowledge reality – not great personality traits for him, or for those that support him.

          • OWilson

            You can’t have it both ways, LOL

            Trump and his people were in league with the Russians to game the election. All 17 of of your Intelligence Agencies agreed, the Fake News tells us!

            While Obama was their Head.

            Case closed! Impeach him! A HUGE traitor!

            But before we put him in jail, can we just find the answer to an obvious question?

            So how did this get leaked out to the NYT if there was no actual surveillance of the Trump campaign?

            Maybe the Obama employee, Comey, will give us some real answers today! :)

            If they have “the goods” on him, fry him and call another election, like they should have done as soon as they found out!

            I have no patience for Crooked politicians of any stripe!

          • Mike Richardson

            Not much for due process, eh? LOL… Guess we’ll just have to see where these investigations lead. 😀

        • stmccrea

          I have never understood why claiming Obama was just as bad excuses Trump’s abusive and manipulative behavior. Can you help explain why Obama being evil in your view makes Trump’s evil less evil?

          • temporary guest

            Sure: Obama is evil, the democrats are evil. Trump is not evil and all the evil you hear about Trump is made up crap (BS for short), which proves that the democrats and their lap dogs in the media are evil. Of course, you’d have to be smarter than a cabbage to figure all that out.

          • Mike Richardson

            So obviously you’re aiming for broccoli level intelligence yourself with that brilliant analysis. You’ve produced enough fertilizer to give yourself a chance at being the biggest and brightest vegetable in the garden. Good luck!

          • stmccrea

            Wow, deep analysis there – Obama is evil because he is a Democrat, but anything bad about Trump is made up. You know, that would have made a great parody of Trump supporters if you weren’t actually serious when you said it!

          • temporary guest

            Obama’s not evil because he’s a democrat. He’s a democrat because he’s evil.

            Not everything bad about Trump is made up. Only what comes from the democrat and the democrat owned news media.

            You know what? I don’t frankly give a tinkers damn. Some people can tell right from wrong and some people don’t have a clue. I don’t see any reason to worry myself over folks who go through life with their heads buried in the sand .. or elsewhere.

          • stmccrea

            A person who believes any evil person is a Democrat has no business talking about people burying their heads in the sand. Being a Republican isn’t supposed to be a religion, but you appear to have made it one. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Trump!

          • temporary guest

            PS: I asked first … after 8 years of Obama, why would it bother you if Trump IS evil?

            Are you also one of those guys who, after 8 years of Bill Clinton was so convinced and bothered by the supposition that George Bush was a liar?

            Q: What do all elected and appointed Democrat officials have in common?

            A: What ever they’re guilty of themselves, that’s what they use to climb on their sanctimonious high horses and accuse the other guy of.

            If it weren’t for blame shifting, guilt transference and blatant hypocrisy, profiling/name calling, there’d be no democrat party.

            You ever noticed how, when you’re in a room with a heavy Clorox smell, when you go outside, the fresh air smells bad to you? The problem with so many folks on the left is that you’re all so used to the evil of the Democrats that when a breath of fresh air like Donald Trump comes along, it smells bad to you.

            LOL

          • stmccrea

            You’re doing exactly what you accuse me of! Everything you said about Democrats is equally or more true of the GOP. I am personally sick of BOTH parties, but I’m more sick of people trying to justify their own party’s superiority by saying “Clinton was worse” or “at least he’s better than Bush!” I think I have a very clear sense of what is and isn’t working about a particular president, and if I say something like, “Trump and his cabinet lie constantly,” you saying, “But Obama lied more!” oddly does not provide the slightest reassurance that Trump’ does not continue to lie constantly, just as I said he does. So your challenge, which you have avoided, is to explain to me, why Obama being (in your view) evil would make me or anyone mind less that Trump is evil, too?

          • temporary guest

            Typical load of guilt transference and blame shifting leftist crap. I didn’t even bother to read past your first sentence. I’m an old man and life has taught me that arguing with sanctimonious idiots is a waste of time.

            Bye now.

          • stmccrea

            Impressive – you avoid any comment on what I said with the classic “ad hominem” attack. I’d be very happy not to hear from you again, since you apparently already know that Republicans are right about everything, so you clearly are not interested in anything factual. Enjoy your Breitbart breakfast!

          • temporary guest

            Have fun being a moron.

          • stmccrea

            Such an incisive and well-thought-out attack! The intellectual prowess you demonstrate is breathtaking!

      • OWilson

        Possibly brought on by a brain, “short circuit” that led him to believe he was running and ducking sniper fire in a war zone?

      • teknowh0re

        Possibly? Hes clearly a sociopath. He also seems to have never developed emotionally or mentally past about 10 years old, at the latest.

      • teknowh0re

        Pretty much all narcissists are sociopaths.

    • Robin S

      ok! “Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual’s sense of self-identity.” Yep, pretty much begins to explain things. Daddy abandonment issues, the famous “never as good as Daddy” Issues that is so typical of powerful and successful men.

      This too: “Genetics. … A study on twins and BPD published in the Journal of Personality Disorders suggests the disorder has a substantial genetic component. Environmental factors. Growing up in an unstable, abusive, or neglectful environment may raise your risk of developing BPD.” Yep, sounds right.

      • temporary guest

        And yet he beat all comers, is still beating them, he’s a multi-billionaire and president of the United States … and here you are running him down and nobody has any idea who you are … LOL

        What does the “S” stand for?

        Does it end with “pid”?

        • sfrobink

          He did not beat them – he stole the election 1) using the Crosscheck computer program to purge millions of Democrats from the voter rolls 2) challenging voter IDs 3) closing polls 4) creating long polling lines 5) gerrymandering of districts to favor a Republican vote

          • temporary guest

            LOL and ROFLMAO!!!

            Where do you absurd morons come from???

          • sfrobink

            We come from sanity.

          • temporary guest

            So… uh …. you used to be sane?

            LOL

            (Gosh, that was easy :o)

          • stmccrea

            The Democrats have to take responsibility for driving people away from the polls by running the one candidate Trump could have beaten.

      • sfrobink

        It’s not even borderline personality disorder – it IS personality disorder!!

    • ernldo

      Bathhouse Barry described to a “T”…

    • temporary guest

      I looked up “Borderline Personality Disorder” and there were dozens of pictures of Barack Obama with halos around his head.

      • Mike Richardson

        Oh, where’d you see that? Brietbart? Infowars? On the dark screen of an unplugged computer? Please, tell us.

        • temporary guest

          Hey, dummy, that was a joke. My bad. Humor always flies over the heads of leftist twits.

          • Mike Richardson

            Your “humor” would be a fail with anyone who doesn’t get their news from the sources mentioned above. Don’t go into stand-up.

          • OWilson

            New York Times, or Washington Post ring a bell, Mikey? :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Yes, and they’ve done an excellent job of fact checking Trump and documenting his pathological lying & narcissism. Good sources indeed. 😀

          • OWilson

            You have eminent good taste, Sir!

            Here’s Serious Borderline Personality Disorder:

            What would you call a politician who gravely announced to the world,, on his coronation, in his best King Canute impersonation:

            “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal …”

            and did he really say this?

            “a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany … and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Obama.”

            New Hampshire, January 2008

            LOL

            But the dupes lapped it up!

    • sandersdogman

      Borderline?

    • monica

      This is a very apt description.

    • teknowh0re

      Narcissistic personality disorder*

  • John C

    Stock market is soaring

    The economy is taking off.

    The jobs picture is beating all expectations.

    Illegal immigration is dropping, while Pres. Trump is planning a merit based immigration system favoring the highly educated and skilled, like they have in Canada and Australia.

    And that’s just the first two months.

    So let the Hillary sore losers piss and moan and chew on their pink hats.

    Whichever part of the brain he’s using I’m all for it, as are millions of others.

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    • OWilson

      You forgot to say the National Debt is coming down, too!

      “He can’t do that!” How’s he gonna do that?” “He just can’t wave a magic wand!” Obama, street organizer, trying to devine the effectiveness of a successful businessman. :)

      It will forever elude him, and his followers!

      He would be wise to observe the cold hard truth, as I do, that if left wing governments could succeed, without running the Treasury into unsustainable debt, there would never be another Reagan, Thatcher, or Trump elected.

      Ever!

  • OWilson

    It’s a fascinating subject, but one I have seen replayed over and over again. It’s actually got little to do with Trump, himself.

    It is simply a left vs right political worldview.

    To the Left, decent folks like Churchill, Thatcher, Reagan, Bush, Bush and Romney were evil, incompetent, or both at the same time, corrupt enemies of the people, about to bring down Armageddon,.and slandered and smeared, relentlessly, but are still compared favorable to the current object of their hate, Trump. (see CNN)

    While Lenin,Stalin, Mao, Che Fidel, Carter, Clinton and Obama are defended, tolerated and admired, quoted, apologized to, even celebrated (see New York Times Durant on USSR, and Castro’s visit to New York)

    Of course it’s mostly a Left vs Right propaganda war, as saner heads of history will judge them all more objectively.

    One thing is certain, the object of ones hatred, or idolatry says far more about you, than the object of your hate.

    Psychiatry 101 “Birds of a feather….”

  • John C

    The stock market is soaring

    The economy is taking off.

    The jobs picture is beating all expectations.

    Illegal immigration is dropping, while Pres. Trump is planning a merit based immigration system favoring the highly educated and skilled, like they have in Canada and Australia.

    And that’s just the first two months.
    So let the Hillary sore losers piss and moan and chew on their pink hats. And indulge their bitter, paranoid impeachment fantasies.

    Whichever part of the brain he’s using I’m all for it, as are millions of others.

  • BlueBoomPony

    Well, a t least you didn’t posit Russian mind control rays.

    Meanwhile the prog-Left remains in complete emotion meltdown mode.

    So, “fake science” now? Is that where we’re at? Just trying to keep score.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      Reminds me of the old joke about how normal pens don’t work in space. So NASA spent a million dollars developing a special space pen. The Soviets just used a pencil.

      The CIA have, well, not mind control rays, but rooms full of computers and thousands of agents trying to obtain Russian secrets. Their Russian counterparts just have one guy working for them: Donald Trump.

      • John C

        Give it a rest. You’re embarassing yourself.

        • Mac Dre

          You give it a rest, John. All you do is complain about “liberals.”

          • temporary guest

            Why not? There isn’t much else you can do about liberals.

      • OWilson

        Surely you left off the smiley?

        You can’t possibly believe that?

      • temporary guest

        So, exactly how wide is the divide between being a neuroskeptic and the kind of denial that turns you into a complete nut?

        Having said that, your comment about the Russians just used a pencil did make me laugh a real out loud laugh.

  • Life’s a River

    As soon as you mention the name “Trump”, people put their frontal lobe into neutral, and go off on rants either pro or con. What Trump has accomplished is to make “reality” a relative term in many people’s minds. That’s more important and more ominous than any psych issue with Trump himself.

    • JerseyCowboy

      His lack of any real defined principles really brings out the worst in both Republicans and Democrats, both of whom have completely abandoned their principles, depending on what Trump says.

      • OWilson

        That’s an interesting diagnosis.

        The object of the study is responsible for the impossibly conflicting and reactions of the observers.

        Sounds like more Fake Science for the true believers :)

    • temporary guest

      That “reality” of which you speak isn’t Trump’s doing at all. The reasons for people going off on rants, pro and con, has been brewing for years, decades, even. Why? Because the left has the attitude “You WILL be assimilated into the collective mind of what we say is “politically correct” ! Resistance is futile, and will get you sued into the stone age and your career, your business, your life and your freedom will be destroyed! You will adapt to service us and our agenda! (forced to kiss our a**es) and the right is just da**ned tired of being told we have to kiss their a**es. All that’s been festering like a monstrous zit for years now, and Trump just happens to be the right man in the right place at the right time with the right skills to pop the zit.

      If all you see to blame is Trump, you’re just looking at reflections on the surface of a very deep river

    • stmccrea

      True enough. He is certainly the most divisive political figure since Richard Nixon. Maybe worse.

  • Matt

    Great piece, and fair criticism of “scientific method” employed by “commentators”. However, isn’t the issue really that “Trump’s brain” is an oxymoron? Joking apart there may also be evidence of staleness in social sciences – who haven’t played.

  • http://inspiresavvy.blogspot.com Bukunmi Adewumi

    Trumpuff isn’t all these unless we find a concrete [not abstract] scientific evidence to back the claim up.. Thanks to Neuroskeptic..

    • John C

      Neuroskeptic- I’m “booting” comments that are off topic.

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

        Youtube v=ajEOZ4tBqjQ

    • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

      Thanks for mentioning the concrete. Here’s one of the most recent claims by theorists:

      “Lignocellulose is nature’s equivalent to armoured concrete. It consists of strong, highly crystalline cellulose fibres, that are interwoven with lignin and hemicellulose which act as a glue. This rigid structure has evolved to give plants and trees mechanical stability and protect them from degradation, and makes chemical utilisation of lignocellulose so challenging.” https://techxplore.com/news/2017-03-scientists-harness-solar-power-hydrogen.html

      The light energy-induced evolution of the concrete, which protects organisms from virus-driven degradation of messenger RNA may one day be considered a classic example of ignorance that crosses all disciplines before it is selected for delivery to the biologically uninformed masses.

  • John C

    I guess has become another tiresome front of the “Resistance”. Berets, French cigarettes, blowing up bridges and sophomoric pseudo-scientific, partisan anti-Trumpy blog posts.

    Stick with Science (big “S”), Neuro. When you delve into politics it’s like Babs or Madonna giving their skin crawling politi-sermons.

    To them we say: shut up and sing. To you, do good neuro blogging. Talent at one thing is not automatically transferable to something else, more often than not it’s just embarassing.

    • OWilson

      Hell hath no fury like those malcontents who will not accept the outcome of a democratic election!

      • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

        It’s much worse. They won’t accept experimentally established evidence of top-down causation if it doesn’t fit their ridiculous theories.

        See: Regulating miRNA-21 Biogenesis by Bi-functional Small Molecules https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28287718

        And “everyday the paperboy brings more.” — Pink Floyd

      • sfrobink

        It’s not a democratic election – they stole the electoral college using the Crosscheck computer program to purge millions of Democrats from the voter rolls – see Greg Palast’s investigation of such.

        • OWilson

          Nonsense, everybody knows it was the Russians.

          Or was it Comey at the FBI?

          Maybe those “snipers” firing at Hillary, again?

          Hard to keep up! :)

          The latest is the big black guy with the hypodermic who was supposed to catch her whenever she collapsed.

          They say he was a Russian operative and kept letting her fall. Bad TV!

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      Did you read the post? Which part is anti-Trump? If anything, I’m defending him.

      • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

        That’s why I mentioned the unexpected turn-about in the post you deleted. Maybe others would understand why you were forced to try to get back on topic if you had left the post that was linked to your attack on Ben Carson.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      “To them we say: shut up and sing”

      That’s ironic because that was what they said to the Dixie Chicks for opposing the Iraq war… a war that Donald Trump is also proud to have opposed now.

      So which side are you on?

      In 10 years, you’ll probably support a candidate who agrees with me.

  • OWilson

    Funny, with all those cites of Fake Science, the very real Trump Derangement Syndrome is mysteriously absent! :)

  • John F. Bramfeld

    What we need is a scientific theory about what kind of brain disease causes people to erroneously think they know what’s going on inside other people’s brains. We know the diseases of schizophrenia and psychiatry each do something similar. There is clearly another one going around that causes people to think they know what’s going on inside the brain of politicians, especially ones they don’t like. On the other hand, I may simply be a science denier.

    • http://www.RNA-mediated.com jvkohl

      Here are some facts about genomic entropy during the past 6000 years that support the dumbing down of all human populations that have not automagically evolved into another species.

      Unfortunately, the facts also explain why many people suffer needlessly and die because they learned to believe that mutations caused pathology. Most of them still have not linked virus-driven energy theft to the mutations, which is why they will die of heart disease, too.

      The Role and Molecular Mechanism of Non-Coding RNAs in Pathological Cardiac Remodeling http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/18/3/608/htm

      Note: However, this is not the scientific theory you asked for; it’s based on experimental evidence and scientific facts.

  • ITBWTW

    I love Trump!! Didn’t start out that way but watching the left drool and babble is exciting!

  • ernldo

    Yup, ignoring the constant screeching from the likes of bathhouse Barry, Schumer, Hollyweird, Piglosi, media drones and now discover fagazine. F*CK you rumpswabs, and good bye to your fake science as well….

    • OWilson

      Would you like to re-phrase that? :)

      • ernldo

        Nope. Just a bunch of snowflake losers at “un” discover, and if a few dolts are butthurt, too bad. I’m sick of the insults hurled at OUR president.

        • OWilson

          Somewhat better, and your spirited defense of a duly elected President of the World’s Greatest Democracy is laudable.

          Thank you!

          • ernldo

            Yup, but of course we are NOT now and never have been a “democracy”. I didn’t like 0bama, but would never have approved of this kind of vile aimed at him or his family. Its all changed now….
            Be well!

          • OWilson

            You can see how the reaction to a lost election to Obama was handled by mature citizens :)

            Hardly a burned cop car or looted liquor store anywhere! :)

            Just a “wait until it’s our turn” :)

  • Overburdened_Planet

    Donald Trump’s Lizard Brain and After a brain injury, I suddenly displayed some behavior similar to Donald Trump’s.

    These article titles reminds me of The Onion.

  • suzanne schauer

    How about mean spirited, immature and a bully? That’s 3

  • j2saret

    Naw he’s just afflicted with the heart bresk of alfluenzia. The public health measure: inheritance tax can alleviate it in others.

  • Mayday2

    Anyone who thinks any politician shows what they are to the general public needs help. Fans of Psudo Trump explanations included. Please get help or get off the sauce.

  • Patricia

    Well, Neuroskeptic, true or not, healthy mammals stay clear of a rogue. Without coming up with a written diagnosis. One cockmanship upping or bullying can’t change that feeling – and we – all of us – are 90% emotional in the wiring of our conscious (notice how heated the comments? Somebody, get me a grenade or somethin!).

  • temporary guest

    “….the observed facts of Trump’s behaviour are what motivate us to seek some kind of label as an explanation …”

    No. It’s being self-righteous, arrogant, rude, often ignorant, often downright stupid, anti-American leftist so called “progressive”, insufferable, absolutely intolerant Demagoguery to the point of religious fanaticism that does that.

    I have been a reader and subscriber to Discover Magazine as far back as I can remember. I’m just about to turn 65, so it’s been a long time. If you want me to reconsider whether or not I should continue to read your magazine, keep this crap up.

    Like all sources of information, if you slant things into absurdity, only absurd people want to read what you have to say … and believe it or not, they’re still a minority in America.

    • Mike Richardson

      You’re right — only a minority voted for Trump. Nice to see we agree about something. 😀

  • BohdanUke1

    Hey, PUTZ’S… R. Newman & Mike Richardson… look in the mirror. Trump, like me is from NY. We don’t kumbaya or do PC.

    • Mike Richardson

      Or think before you post, apparently. Thanks for the demonstration.

      • BohdanUke1

        Class is over. No “social graduation” here…

        • Mike Richardson

          LMAO… “Winning!”

  • Mister Nothing

    Your article is spot on, except to those of us who see vestige of hope in Trump somehow being legitimately diagnosed to be as actually insane as he is, and thereby deemed legally incapable of holding political office and so legally removed. Should have been done during the race. All potential options for legally establishing basis to remove him should be pursued. By the way what’s my psychosis called for being desperately delusional that he will get himself canned before his term is up?

    • OWilson

      Sour grapes of a loser? or a deep seated totalitarian impulse to put all non true believers in Gulags, Concentration Camps and Mental hospitals, like your heroes did in the last century, and like they are doing today in places like North Korea and Cuba?

      Better to appear a little more democratic, and wait until he runs for election again, and just vote against him.

      Far more civilized, don’t you think? :)

      • Mike Richardson

        This from a guy that sees anyone left of center as an enemy, and seems happy with the prospect of a one-party fascist government in the U.S.? Please, you act like only far left governments have committed atrocities, which makes you that much more likely to condone the same from the far right. Sad!

        • OWilson

          Totalitarians are all about absolute power.

          They come in all flavors, Mikey. Religious, Royal, Military, and Political Left or Right.

          They can all co-exist peacefully with each other for a long time, until the showdown. :)

          Democratic elections, and a non partisan free press, are all that stands between the people and the Gulags.and the “Mental” hospitals like folks are advocating for your President, and like yourself who never, ever, tires of calling me mentally deficient!

          Hate, Rioting, looting, cop car burning and vandalizing government buildings, and phony psychiatric diagnosis, are always precursers to Totalitarianism.

          It’s in your history books! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            You ever bother to see what typically precedes the rise of chaos and Totalitarian states? Usually growing gaps between rich and poor, and extremist ideologies that exploit the resulting misery. I don’t recall Neo-Nazis And the KKK flocking to support Mrs. Clinton, but Trump sure is popular with them. And one of his biggest boosters, Rep. Steve King, has recently won praise from none other than David Duke for his racist comments on immigration. The violence and disorder you decry may well be a precursor to totalitarianism, but all signs are pointing to that rise coming from the right as it exploits the situation. I’ll give your comments on the subject a little more weight when you actually speak out against right wing extremism with the same fervor you reserve for “leftists.”

          • OWilson

            Your kidding, right?

            Hillary was “saddened by the passing of her friend and mentor” Senior Democratic Senator Robert Byrd.

            According to Wiki, he was a phony, like her.

            Born Cornelius Calvin Sale Junior, he rose through the ranks to become “Grand Exalted Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan., before he changed his name.

            CNN says, “Once a racist, always a racist”.

            They wouldn’t lie to you, would they, snowflake? :)

          • Mike Richardson

            I’ll admit, he’s unusual in not doing what most of the other racist Democrats did when Nixon employed the Southern Strategy in the 1960s — change their party affiliation to Republican. And do I really need to remind you that enough snowflakes moving together can cause a blizzard or an avalanche? 😁 Plenty of Republican Congress critters are finding that out right now.

          • OWilson

            Get back to me with your latest CNN predictions in 2018 and 2020! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Not paying attention to the news, are you? I wasn’t around for Watergate, but didn’t it start out kinda like what’s going on now with the whole Russian connection? I wonder just what Ol’ Flynn’s offering up in exchange for immunity? Things are just getting interesting. 😉

    • temporary guest

      “Mister Nothing” ? Great name for someone who “thinks” like you do. LOL

  • Eliot

    Thid article’s point is simply “let’s be ignorant”. As humans, we seek to understand and define things, especially when those things present abnormal attributes. To simply be satisfied with “it is because it is” perfectly explains how Trump became president.

    • OWilson

      To remain free in a world of barbarism, and to build the greatest democracy the world has ever seen, requires sacrifice, and militancy, because that’s what it took to create it.

      Folks who understand that, don’t want to see it be thrown away by fools!

      It takes a lot of effort to build a barn. A fool with a match can burn it down in an instant!

      We like our barn. :)

  • Raquel Duarte

    Blah, blah, blah.

  • OWilson

    Hey where can I get some of that Trump brain stuff?

    “Remember the date of March 13, 2017. It was the day President Trump was guaranteed his re-election and Republican congressional gains in 2018 and 2020” – Grover Nordquist

    Today’s REAL news (missing from CNN)

    NATIONAL DEBT DECLINES.
    STOCKS SET RECORD
    JOBS UP, AND UP!
    ILLEGAL ENTRY SLOWS.
    TRUMP GETS TRADE WIN AT G20 MEET…
    TOP ECONOMIES YIELD TO USA…
    BIDS BEGIN FOR BORDER WALL…
    KELLYANNE GETS STAR TREATMENT.

    And only 50 days?

  • http://www.amyeyrie.com/ Amy Eyrie

    Tell the 6 million people who died in extermination camps in WWII that is isn’t “useful” to identify a mental pathology in the person who can destroy their lives.

    • OWilson

      Think we should see their Diploma first? :)

      (Of. course such niceties are easily dispensed with in your socialist utopias)

      • Mike Richardson

        Wait, you think the victims of the Holocaust would have been wrong in declaring the Nazis dangerous sociopaths without being mental health professionals!? Wow– I’ve seen it all, now. Defending Nazis and their ilk — that’s a new low, even for you. :(

  • Les Morpions

    Ideally, anyone who continues to ply their non-accredited psychology skills against President Trump should be shot.

    President Trump President Trump President Trump President Trump

    Live it. Love it. Or leave.

    • Mike Richardson

      Advocating violence against political opponents. Nice. Sorry, but we aren’t going anywhere.

      • Les Morpions

        Yeah, Mike… Dems aren’t going anywhere. But down…

        • Mike Richardson

          How’d that Trumpcare vote work out? 😁

          • Les Morpions

            How’d that Hillary Election work out?

          • Mike Richardson

            Won the popular vote by nearly three million. It’s why Trump has no mandate, though he’s apparently too delusional to realize it.

          • Les Morpions

            There’s a reason our election process doesn’t use the “mob rule” method. Blue states are a perfect example.

          • Mike Richardson

            So democracy is mob rule to you? That explains a great deal.

          • Les Morpions

            No, not at all. Democracy is when legal, live, breathing American citizens vote. Not dead, illegal, or otherwise imaginary ballot casters.

          • Mike Richardson

            Ahh, repeating the old disproven claim of widespread voter fraud? No, there have been problems with the legitimacy of the electoral process in this country, but they are primarily due to gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, and the effects of the Citizens United ruling allowing practically limitless campaign contributions. Those are real problems, not the imaginary ones that seem to worry you and Trump.

          • Les Morpions

            Name a voter suppression law. No such thing. There are laws around voter registration. Historically, non-registering, last minute, undocumented voters are shills whose vote was purchased with a six-pack of malt liquor or a lie.

          • Mike Richardson

            “Malt liquor?” Well, I can guess where this is going. Plenty of typically Red states have passed legislation limiting voting hours, locations, poll workers, and machines, generally in urban or minority districts. Also, new voter I.D. laws have placed a further hurdle in the path of elderly, poor, and younger voters who don’t have drivers licenses. Yes, that is voter suppression.

            Historically, if we’re talking 19th or early 20th century voter fraud, you might have a point. But in more recent years, actual illegally cast votes have been a negligible problem, according to every commission that’s investigated these allegations. Is it the remote possibility of voter fraud that bothers so many on the right, or the fact that legal voters of different demographics would never give them a majority?

          • Les Morpions

            Voter ID laws are not suppressing anything. That is a fallacy. If these people have no ID whatsoever, how do they get public assistance? Voting hours? That’s a crock. Employers are required to allow workers to have time off to vote. The entire argument is asinine. If someone wants to vote, they can.

          • Mike Richardson

            What’s asinine is that you apparently think the photo I.D. required by these laws (And which in many cases must be purchased) is the same as the Social Security number or card, copy of birth certificate, and current address and income information most government agencies require to sign up for public assistance — or that these folks are all on public assistance anyway. Btw, many employers don’t give time off for voting, though it should be a national holiday to encourage more voter participation and provide every one equal opportunity. Or go all the way, as Australia did, and make voting mandatory for all citizens. Probably won’t help Republican numbers in elections, though, so I doubt we’ll see anything like this proposed by the current administration and its toadies in Congress.

          • Les Morpions

            What’s asinine is that your position that people can’t vote. They can vote. They have to follow the same easy rules that everyone else does. Photo ID’s cost a few bucks, if they are required. The same people you say can; afford a few bucks for a photo ID can afford everything else they need to be in a position to even want to vote.

            Same old sorry excuse from the Left. Poor inner city people… They can get crack, guns, welfare, weed, beer, sex, bath salts, Nikes, Beats, and grills, but they can’t get a photo ID.

          • Mike Richardson

            Never saw a stereotype you didn’t swallow and regurgitate, eh? And “excuses” is just another euphemism from the far right for facts, like “Fake news.” Or ” alternative facts” in place of lies. The facts are, the Republican party has no interest in making democracy work, because the numbers simply aren’t in their favor. And now we have a president not elected by a majority, whose mental soundness for office is legitimately being questioned.

          • Les Morpions

            You are fake news incarnate. Trump is President, so apparently your approach didn’t work.

          • Les Morpions

            What’s asinine is that your position that people can’t vote. They can vote. They have to follow the same easy rules that everyone else does. Photo ID’s cost a few bucks, if they are required. The same people you say can’t afford a few bucks for a photo ID can afford everything else they need to be in a position to even want to vote.
            Same old sorry excuse from the Left. Poor inner city people… They can get crack, guns, welfare, weed, beer, sex, bath salts, Nikes, Beats, and grills, but they can’t get a photo ID.

          • Les Morpions

            Time to invest in Tar and Feathers. Not sure where or how that is on the NASDAQ but invest now, because it is just about to go nuclear.
            The Democrats have been set up to fall like dominos. Bank

          • Les Morpions

            If you want to play this game, then make ALL legislation a referendum. Otherwise, you are a hypocrite.

          • Les Morpions

            The mobile vulgus culture of modern so-called “progressives”, whose street chant is mostly predicated by the next trending non-Bieber Twitter topic or Periscope of a hapless moron being billy-clubbed for acting a fool is tiresome and less remarkable than the late 60’s hippie/student movements.

            We are coming out of 8 years of a Presidency where the media, SNL (the de facto Snowflake News Channel) and mainstream pundits were generally not allowed to make any less than flattering observation on Obama for fear of being labeled Racist and chanted out of the ratings. It’s trendy to beat up on the old white guy in charge. Just ask any Black Blocker.

          • Les Morpions

            Worked out as planned. Actually worked out much better than that Hillary Clinton run for President. (really, any example of abject failure worked out better than Hillary’s run..) Democrats officially now own Obamacare lock, stock and barrel. When it implodes in the next year or so, It’ll be just another nail in your coffin.

          • Mike Richardson

            LOL… That’s cute — you’re repeating Trump’s lines/lies (same thing, really). Maybe one day you can come up with some original, and perhaps even rational thoughts for yourself. Here’s hoping! :)

          • Les Morpions

            And maybe someday you can come to grips with your loss. Trump 2016. Hillary, well, never.

  • DodgeMiniVan

    He was able to get elected because he had respect for uneducated people.They could not see through his lies and question him. If I were not a retired teacher, I would have been insulted. However, uneducated people don’t know when they are being insulted.

    • OWilson

      You sell average folks short, as all elite wannabe liberals do.

      Hillary paid dearly for insulting your “flyover country”, as “deplorables”. :)

      • Mike Richardson

        Everyone lost. :(

  • OWilson

    Fake News CNN perfectly exhibited the ultimateTDS on prime time last night!

    This evil looking guy I wouldn’t let my family on a plane with, was a guest on some guy Lemon’s show.

    I couldn’t believe it when I read this guy Zakariah, or something, actually hosts his own show on CNN too.

    Suddenly, that rioting, looting, cop car burning, suicide bombing mentality, had a human face!

    Sick!

    • Mike Richardson

      Fareed Zachariah, a respected analyst and much greater intellect than you’ll ever be, is worth listening to. But nice to see you judge people so superficially based on racial or ethnic profiling. Now that’s sick!

      • OWilson

        You deserve each other! :)

        (By the way, as usual, the racism, is all in your own sick head)!

        • Mike Richardson

          I’m not the one judging folks based on appearance here. Projecting again, Wilson. It’s okay, you gave your game away long ago with those “gang banging ghetto” comments. If you can’t be honest with others, at least be honest with yourself. :)

    • http://www.trustedadvisor.com/trustmatters Charles H. Green

      Are you for real? Fareed Zaccaria (you might want to bother spelling his name right) hosts one of the most respectable Sunday morning tv shows. Give him a listen, you might learn something, instead of just judging “evil looking guy” based on your subjective response to others’ looks.

  • stmccrea

    I agree with the article 100%. But this kind of armchair diagnosis also reflects the subjective and fanciful nature of the current concept of psychiatric diagnosis, namely, the concept that someone can be “diagnosed” with a “brain disorder” based solely on their behavior. In fact, any true scientist looking at the evidence would be forced to conclude that lumping depressed people into a category does absolutely nothing to forward an understanding of human behavior and mood, and in fact, actually obscures a range of possible causes by lumping a heterogeneous group together and acting as if categorizing them means that they have something significant in common. The DSM itself warns against this in their own introduction, stating that there is no assumption that people with the same diagnosis “are alike in all important ways.” But apparently no one reads the introduction, or they ignore it.

    We are far better off focusing on the specific behavior that a person is engaging in and how they or we are affected, or how they or we might intervene to help. Labeling behavior as “narcissistic” or “borderline” or “ADHD” gives the misimpression that we understand something that we really don’t.

  • Artisticfame

    He must be right at all costs even having to fudge the truth, I leave it to the experts to Dx him ,perhaps in his 6th month of office ?

  • stmccrea

    You might recall that Trump’s nomination was against the intentions of every Republican leader in the country. Despite your obvious and blind anti-Democratic pro-Republican bias, it should be clear that BOTH parties are responsible for the current state of discord. I would suggest that rather than blaming Democrats or liberals, you look at the real cause, which is the selling out of our politicians on both sides of the aisle to big business interests and lobbyists. It’s one of Trump’s main platform points, and one I agreed with 100%. Of course, I knew he would do nothing about it, and he has been even worse than Clinton or GWB so far, but that was one of the big ideas that got him elected, and it wasn’t because he was a Republican, it was because he at least pretended that he cared about the common man.

  • Pingback: Maybe It’s Irrelevant, Maybe It’s Not – Unsightly Mental Blemishes()

  • http://www.trustedadvisor.com/trustmatters Charles H. Green

    People are missing the point of this article. It’s not about Trump; it’s about the over-reliance on things neuro- to serve as big picture explanations for complex phenomena like leadership, social trust, or complex behaviors.

    Neuroskeptic is spot on. What (s)he calls circular reasoning could also be described as the error of reductionism: basically the belief that breaking down phenomena to finer and finer levels of detail always improves the explanation. It doesn’t.

    The right level of detail for explanation is a function of the nature of the problem. You don’t need oxytocin to explain how to create trust in the work environment, for example. The knee-jerk worship of chemical descriptions as being somehow ‘better’ is itself blind.

    Kudos to the author.

  • Euclid22

    As an active psychiatrist, it can be demonstrated that the author of this article has a cognitive brain disorder known as paranoid schizophrenia. The author’s conclusions about President Trump are found on his brain incapacity and fear of losing his party to the American Constitution. President Trump has demonstrated a clear rational thought process which has reversed the previous impostor in the White House.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      Active psychiatrist? Radioactive, more like.

  • OnlineForSocratizing

    Frankly, I am confused about the thinking in this article. Here’s why.

    I agree in part with the comment that “… attempts to explain Trump’s behaviour with neurological or psychological abnormalities are wrong”. I can agree to this when attempts to explain President Trump’s abnormal behavior are superficial, and simple-minded, and misleading.

    But I disagree that attempts to apply neurological and psychological thinking to explain his odd behavior are always wrong, as implied in this article.

    I am confused on why the author states this, when I am unclear about why it is not possible to apply science and psychology to be included in providing an explanation.

    Maybe the author, ( who is apparently a neuroscientist? Who knows who this anonymous person is? ) is not clear on how to apply neuroscience on this issue either?

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Neuroskeptic

No brain. No gain.

About Neuroskeptic

Neuroskeptic is a British neuroscientist who takes a skeptical look at his own field, and beyond. His blog offers a look at the latest developments in neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology through a critical lens.

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