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Thread: Clinical Research into the effects of Psychological Torture on Infant Monkeys

  1. #1
    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Clinical Research into the effects of Psychological Torture on Infant Monkeys

    In the late 1950s Dr. Harry Harlow conducted a vast number of different experiments basically exposing monkeys to extreme stress in various forms and noted the results. Later, he attempted to remediate any unhealthy outcomes and/or dissected the animal's brains.

    One of his more often cited observations is that an infant needs to be touched and held to thrive.

    When the details about Harlow's experiments drifted into the non-academic community it became one of the catalyst prompting the Animal's Rights Movement.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow
    Harlow was well known for refusing to use conventional terminology, and instead chose deliberately outrageous terms for the experimental apparatus he devised. The tendency arose from an early conflict with the conventional psychological establishment in which Harlow used the term "love" in place of the popular and archaically correct term, "attachment." Such terms and respective devices included a forced-mating device he called the "rape rack," tormenting surrogate mother devices he called "Iron maidens," and an isolation chamber he called the "pit of despair" developed by him and a graduate student, Stephen Suomi, now director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Comparative Ethology Laboratory, at the National Institutes of Health.

    In the last of these devices, alternatively called the "well of despair," baby monkeys were left alone in darkness for up to one year from birth, or repetitively separated from their peers and isolated in the chamber. These procedures quickly produced monkeys that were severely psychologically disturbed and used as models of human depression.[21]

    Harlow tried to rehabilitate monkeys that had been subjected to varying degrees of isolation using various forms of therapy. "In our study of psychopathology, we began as sadists trying to produce abnormality. Today we are psychiatrists trying to achieve normality and equanimity." (p. 458)[22]
    The former student (Stephen Suomi) that helped develop the 'Pit of Despair' has recently sought to continue Harlow's work in hopes of finding information helpful to the treatment of human mental disorders, and this has spurred aggressive push-back by PETA and other researchers.


    As a result of its investigation, PETA is accusing the researchers of causing the baby monkeys undue harm, amounting to what it calls "child abuse."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mental-h...eral-nih-labs/
    "The one thing that we have learned from these experiments from the NIH is that monkeys are like us in ways that matter," Justin Goodman, director of PETA's laboratory investigations department, told CBS News. "They need the love and comfort of their mothers when they're young, they need the companionship of the families and peers. When they're deprived of that they are devastated emotionally and physically."

    In an email to CBS News, one of the lead researchers, Stephen J. Suomi at the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD), disputed the accusation of abuse, insisting that the studies "are conducted with the highest ethical standards at specialized centers that employ professional staff and highly skilled caretakers to ensure humane care of these animals, and are in strict accordance with animal welfare regulations and accreditations."

    In addition to Suomi's lab, the experiments in question were also conducted at the National Institute of Mental Health under the late Dr. James Winslow; principal investigator Bruno Averbeck took over after Winslow's death and was not involved at the time, the NIH said.

    Goodman said PETA believes the experiments are not only cruel, they're also unnecessary because similar issues have already been studied in human populations or could be more effectively studied in other ways. Additionally, PETA says findings about mental health and mental illness in monkeys are not necessarily relevant to human brains, and none of the research being conducted has resulted in better or new treatments for human mental illnesses. Goodman said he believes these studies are "completely unjustifiable and scientifically they are absolutely fraudulent."

    Some independent scientists who reviewed the studies at PETA's request echoed those concerns. "I can no longer see a potential benefit from such experimentation," Agustin Fuentes, Ph.D., Chair of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, told the group. "It is my assessment that the monkeys used in these experiments experience substantial psychological (and likely physiological) harm and that there is no current evidence that there will be any results from the studies that move our understanding of human psychopathology forward."

    Suomi, however, maintains this research could prove to have great value for humans. "NIH supports studies involving monkeys to supplement the developmental studies of human beings," Suomi told CBS News. "The same behavioral, neurological and health changes seen in nursery-reared monkeys are seen in children who were orphaned from their mothers, or raised by depressed, abusive, or neglectful mothers. These findings assist researchers in identifying humans most likely to suffer negative effects in at-risk situations and develop behavioral and drug therapies to improve negative outcomes early in development."
    http://wisconsinwatch.org/2014/07/un...onkey-studies/
    In his 21 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s veterinary school, Eric Sandgren has seen a lot of controversies. But the UW’s most prominent defender of animal research has never seen anything like this.

    Sandgren says a typical research project protocol receives around four person-hours of scrutiny from an oversight committee; he estimates this one got more than 170.

    “It is the protocol that’s received the most attention since I’ve been here,” says Sandgren, director of the university’s Research Animal Resources Center. “The most intense I’ve been a part of.”

    Sandgren is referring to the first experiment at UW-Madison in more than 30 years that will intentionally deprive newborn monkeys of their mothers, a practice designed to impact a primate’s psychological well-being.

    The research, submitted by UW-Madison Psychiatry Department chairman Dr. Ned Kalin, has drawn unusual scrutiny and dissent from within the university and intensified a debate about the extent to which benefits to humans justify the suffering of animals.
    I normally have few qualms about animal research for the benefit of humanity, but I would really like to see some sort of probability as to what benefit they hope/expect to derive from these studies.
    Last edited by OrionzRevenge; 09-15-2014 at 01:57 PM. Reason: spelling
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    It's pretty much impossible to do a controlled experiment on a mind without stepping over some questionable ethical boundaries.

    If they're capable researchers and have good intentions, I say let them proceed. It's not easy to say what the value of the research will be.

    You can't look at the results to say whether the experiment should be allowed. The ends don't justify the means, the means justify themselves.
    Violence is never the right answer, unless used against heathens and monsters.

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    Bringer of Jollity MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    The only thing I care about is whether a monkey will turn out a property I can publish. I don't have any love for them. Never have. I don't really like animals. I despise cats. I hate dogs. How could you like monkeys?
    -Harlow
    Sounds like someone who really cares about helping people. I could see indifference toward cats and dogs but hatred raises red flags in the empathy department. I see him as a Mengele-variety sadist getting his rocks off for science. I'm fucking terrified of monkeys and this sounds like some shit a Batman villain would do. Are there any positive results to these experiments? Do we get to consider solitary confinement torture now? Apparently someone thought these experiments were worthwhile because monkey pits of despair don't grow on trees. We're gonna need some monkeys sad enough to think brand x cola will make them happy and I know just the guy!

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

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    singularity precursor Limey's Avatar
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    PeTA have no credibility. It's run by a batshit crazy British bitch who values animals above humans and the group itself has been caught numerous times, disposing of dog carcasses, including municipal trash.
    Anything with their name attached instantly loses credibility for me.

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    a cantori Perdix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limey View Post
    PeTA have no credibility. It's run by a batshit crazy British bitch who values animals above humans and the group itself has been caught numerous times, disposing of dog carcasses, including municipal trash.
    Anything with their name attached instantly loses credibility for me.
    I think they're a bunch of hypocritical cunts too!

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    Bringer of Jollity MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    If you refuse to support anything espoused by a hypocritical activist organization that appeals to morons via hyperbole, you're left with nothing.

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

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    singularity precursor Limey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyJungle View Post
    If you refuse to support anything espoused by a hypocritical activist organization that appeals to morons via hyperbole, you're left with nothing.
    Give me ambiguity, or give me something else.

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    Member Bartender's Avatar
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    All morals do is hold back science. Run tests on them monkeys.

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    Anthropos mhc's Avatar
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    with a distraction by moral debate it is easy to overlook the fact that the purpose of the research hinders on the assumption that depression or psychological disorders are destined to happen. if the means of how to cause these symptoms are known then why is the research not focused on creating measures to avoid these conditions? to me it seems a bit like the case of 'this is how its always been done'. 0 points for creativity, ingenuity, hope and faith in humanity from me on this one.
    Just look at the blue sky

  10. #10
    Merry Christmas Blorg's Avatar
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    well, the more "human" these monkeys are in terms of their emotional responses, the more justified this torture would be from a traditional scientific perspective, and the less justified it would be from a traditional moral perspective. Weird line graph.

    edit: "traditional" is an important qualification I guess.


    it's interesting. I think I heard of this before. I'll write a proper response later
    "Better not to feel too much until the crisis ends—and if it never ends, at least we’ll have suffered a little less, developed a useful dullness...The constant—and very real—fear of being hurt, the fear of death, of intolerable loss, or even of “mere” humiliation, leads each of us, the citizens and prisoners of the conflict, to dampen our own vitality, our emotional and intellectual range, and to cloak ourselves in more and more protective layers until we suffocate." - Toni Morrison

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