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Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1809-4481


BRZOZOWSKI, Fabiola Stolf  and  CAPONI, Sandra. Biological determinism and neuroscience in the case of attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity. Physis [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.3, pp.941-961. ISSN 1809-4481.

Our goal is to reflect how the neurosciences can be strongly reductionist when trying to explain behaviors based solely on brain processes, and use as an example the case of attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD). The reductionism to which we refer, also called biological or neurogenetic determinism, the question of neuroscience, is the epistemological, ie one that tries to explain a complex problem for only some of its parts, ignoring other factors such as social and cultural. As ADHD is currently described as essentially a disease of the brain, we applied a model for defective reductive sequence neurogenetic determinism proposed by Steven Rose, which includes: objectification, arbitrary agglomeration, quantification unfounded belief in statistical normality, location illegitimate, causality outside place, dichotomous classification of genetic and environmental causes and confusion of metaphor with homology. Life is a complex phenomenon and is related to biological and social aspects. Thus, explanations are appropriate only when it takes into account these two aspects. We suggest, therefore, that some uses of neuroscience reductionist explanations for various conditions classified as mental illnesses, including ADHD.

Keywords : neuroscience; attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity; reductionism; biological determinism; neurogenetic determinism.

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