Biology precedes psychology


Every person who is related to me should pay attention to this piece; if you understand it, it might help you to understand yourself; The identified problems are not yet fully understood; they are heuristic and meant for us to study and understand them. In terms of known medical disorders, I inherited cytochrome c oxidase deficiency, spondylolysis and mitral valve prolapse. People with mental gifts, as we do, tend to have complicated bodies and lives. High IQ, anything above 132, is often accompanied by biological problems. At any rate, every human being has medical disorders that affect his or her behaviors; one must study what is in one and not use it as an excuse not to live fully, doing what one has aptitude for, and interest in doing.

Ozodi Osuji

      This morning I took a long two hours walk, one hour to and one hour back. As I was walking, I noticed that sometimes I felt like I was falling and had to quickly try to regain a sense of balance. It happened several times. So, I thought about it.

    I recognized that it is not a new phenomenon, that it has been with me all my life. When I was a kid and learning how to ride bicycle, I was always falling from sense of not been balanced on the bicycle; even today when I ride my bicycle, I have a sense that I could fall and sometimes stop riding and walk my bicycle.

     Sitting on the bicycle’s seat generates intense pain on my buttocks that sometimes to stop that pain I must stop riding and walk the bicycle.

     More reflection shows me that I tend to feel dizzy around smell and fragrances (newly painted houses make me feel dizzy and fainty, fragrance from women’s perfumes make me feel dizzy and assorted other smells make me dizzy; when my television went kaput and stopped it unleashed an odor that made me to literally leave the house because I could not stand the smell; thereafter, electronic equipment’s like televisions, computers and cell phones elicit noxious smell in my mouth and nose).

    When I am driving long distances, I feel electricity moving from the car’s pedal into my leg and the leg feels pained and numb so that I must stop and stamp my feet on the ground to regain life in it. If I do not stop occasionally, I feel disoriented from driving.

     Sitting for several hours in a moving bus or train, say, overnight, ends up with my legs feeling wobbly and I must hold things to stand up and may not be able to walk for a while.

    When I was a child, after a long-distance ride in cars or buses, I would hear the sound of the car ‘s motor in my head for a couple of days.

     My body responds to all sorts of things in a manner that most people’s bodies do not respond so they do not know what I am talking about.

      These responses are due to my biological inheritance. I am not sure what it is, but I suspect that it has something to do with my nervous system and the centers in my brain’s cerebellum that regulate smell, pain and sense of balance (see further reading).


     What is apparent to me is that my bodily problems played a decisive role in the formation of my personality, my individual psychology.

     In Alfred Adler’s terms, in childhood I felt biologically inadequate and inferior and compensated with desire for superiority and power. All these took place from my birth to age six because by age six I was aware that I felt inferior and was seeking compensatory superiority (see Alfred Adler, the Neurotic Constitution, 1921).

     I knew that I had no power but still the desire for power was there. If I had power, I would know it because I would not feel biologically inadequate; I did not have power.

    I would be deluded (delusion disorder, grandiose type) if I thought that I have power when, in fact, I do not have power. My wish for power is a mere wish not a reality. Nevertheless, that wish for power tended to make me feel angry when other people did not treat me as if I have power. Karen Horney, called this phenomenon neurotic pride and anger (see Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth, 1951).

     In some persons the wish to seem powerful is believed by them; such persons proceed to develop mental disorders, such as delusion disorder, paranoia, mania and or even schizophrenia.

     Whatever people’s individual psychologies are, they are preceded by their biological constitutions.

      But instead of psychiatry and psychology trying to understand the biological antecedents that dispose people to form problematic psychologies they focus only on their psychological processes and give them cute diagnoses and give them medications that do not cure them but merely mask the underlying biological problems that led them to form their overlaying personal psychologies.

      If Western psychology had ignored the fables of Sigmund Freud and paid attention to Alfred Adler, accepted his hypothesis that inherited organic deficits dispose people to feel inferior and then they try to adapt to their world by pretending to be powerful, western psychology would have gone farther than it has done.

      Right now, Western psychology takes the tree for the forest. All personality types, normal or abnormal, are adaptations to underlying biological and medical issues and those biological issues are not what psychiatry treats people with mental disorders for, and that is the reason no psychiatric medication heals anyone.

     We must start from ground zero and study people’s individual biological constitutions and understand the disorders in them that cause them to adapt with psychological postures that are problematic.

     Biology precedes psychology.

     We went from religion that posits nonexistent gods causing our problems to nonexistent psychological demons causing our problems; now, we must return to where the problem lies, in our bodies and truly study our bodies.


    The part of the brain where the issues I have are regulated is the cerebellum; that part is also involved in fear response; as a child I was prone to extreme fearfulness and anxiety, fear from experiencing any of my problems in a fatal manner.

     When we have understood the biological genesis of human psychological processes then we can look at the idea of spirit. At present, talk about spiritual roles in our lives are poetic and metaphorical; metaphors are not what they represent.

     There may be a spiritual underpinning to our behaviors, but that spirit operates through our bodies and our bodies affect it and, therefore, we must first understand how our inherited biological issues affect our mental processes and behavior before we can return to talking about spiritual matters.


     The saddest aspect of being human is that we objectively do not know who we are. Furthermore, we cannot predict what is going to happen to us in the next second, minute, hour, day, week, month or year; we have no clue what the future holds for us. Not knowing these things, we fill our minds with speculations about the cause of what in our lives.

      Things happen in our lives; when they have already happened, we then think that we know why they happened, but before they happened, we could not predict their happening. We have hindsight but not foresight. We cannot predict what is going to happen to us in the future, this is the saddest part of our existence.

     Our causal explanations are mostly false; therefore, our unconscious or subconscious minds, in our dreams keep giving us messages that if properly interpreted help us to understand ourselves.

      We do not know many things and even where we know a bit, the dynamics of society tell us not to think or do certain things so we repress them into our unconscious minds and from there they try to give us messages in our dreams, but if we could understand those things at the conscious level and behave in a fearless manner, be authentic and spontaneous, we would not have to be using dreams to retrieve messages on how to live our lives.


      A certain young woman with similar biological issues that I have talked to me, and I asked her to study psychology to be more able to understand herself and she said that she did not believe in psychology but believes in biology. I then asked her to go study biology, chemistry and physics and use information from those to understand her body and she decided against those and dropped out of school.

     How is dropping out of school and consequent ignorance going to help her solve her problems? And how is she going to support herself financially if she did not develop job skills, be on public assistance, until mean spirited Republicans cut it off?

     She needs to study human physiology and anatomy and from it understand how her body works and not be on the sidelines of life doing nothing and merely indulging in thinking in a delusional and grandiose manner to the effect that she knows more than other people.

      However, she is correct in one respect, psychology responds to biology not the other way around, so we must study human biology to understand our secondary psychological issues.


Ozodi Osuji

April 7, 2022

You can contact Dr Osuji at  or  (907) 310-8176

The Olfactory System and Your Sense of Smell


Regina Bailey

Updated on August 17, 2021

The olfactory system is responsible for our sense of smell. This sense, also known as olfaction, is one of our five main senses and involves the detection and identification of molecules in the air.

Once detected by sensory organs, nerve signals are sent to the brain where the signals are processed. Our sense of smell is closely linked our sense of taste as both rely on the perception of molecules. It is our sense of smell that allows us to detect the flavors in the foods we eat. Olfaction is one of our most powerful senses. Our sense of smell can ignite memories as well as influence our mood and behavior.

Olfactory System Structures

Our sense of smell is a complex process that depends on sensory organsnerves, and the brain. Structures of the olfactory system include:

  • Nose: opening containing nasal passages that allows outside air to flow into the nasal cavity. Also a component of the respiratory system, it humidifies, filters, and warms the air inside the nose.
  • Nasal cavity: cavity divided by the nasal septum into left and right passages. It is lined with mucosa.
  • Olfactory epithelium: specialized type of epithelial tissue in nasal cavities that contains olfactory nerve cells and receptor nerve cells. These cells send impulses to the olfactory bulb.
  • Cribriform plate: a porous extension of the ethmoid bone, which separates the nasal cavity from the brain. Olfactory nerve fibers extend through the holes in the cribriform to reach the olfactory bulbs.
  • Olfactory nerve: nerve (first cranial nerve) involved in olfaction. Olfactory nerve fibers extend from the mucous membrane, through the cribriform plate, to the olfactory bulbs.
  • Olfactory bulbs: bulb-shaped structures in the forebrain where olfactory nerves end and the olfactory tract begins.
  • Olfactory tract: band of nerve fibers that extend from each olfactory bulb to the olfactory cortex of the brain.
  • Olfactory cortex: area of the cerebral cortex that processes information about odors and receives nerve signals from the olfactory bulbs.

Our Sense of Smell

Our sense of smell works by the detection of odors. Olfactory epithelium located in the nose contains millions of chemical receptors that detect odors. When we sniff, chemicals in the air are dissolved in mucus. Odor receptor neurons in olfactory epithelium detect these odors and send the signals on to the olfactory bulbs. These signals are then sent along olfactory tracts to the olfactory cortex of the brain through sensory transduction.

The olfactory cortex is vital for the processing and perception of odor. It is located in the temporal lobe of the brain, which is involved in organizing sensory input. The olfactory cortex is also a component of the limbic system. This system is involved in the processing of our emotions, survival instincts, and memory formation.

The olfactory cortex has connections with other limbic system structures such as the amygdalahippocampus, and hypothalamus. The amygdala is involved in forming emotional responses (particularly fear responses) and memories, the hippocampus indexes and stores memories, and the hypothalamus regulates emotional responses. It is the limbic system that connects senses, such as odors, to our memories and emotions.

Sense of Smell and Emotions

The connection between our sense of smell and emotions is unlike that of the other senses because olfactory system nerves connect directly to brain structures of the limbic system. Odors can trigger both positive and negative emotions as aromas are associated with specific memories.

Additionally, studies have demonstrated that the emotional expressions of others can influence our olfactory sense. This is due to activity of an area of the brain known as the piriform cortex which is activated prior to odor sensation.

The piriform cortex processes visual information and creates an expectation that a particular fragrance will smell pleasant or unpleasant. Therefore, when we see a person with a disgusted facial expression before sensing an odor, there is an expectation that the odor is unpleasant. This expectation influences how we perceive the odor.

Odor Pathways

Odors are detected through two pathways. The first is the orthonasal pathway which involves odors that are sniffed in through the nose. The second is the retronasal pathway which is a pathway that connects the top of the throat to the nasal cavity. In the orthonasal pathway, odors that enter the nasal passages and are detected by chemical receptors in the nose.

The retronasal pathway involves aromas that are contained within the foods we eat. As we chew food, odors are released that travel through the retronasal pathway connecting the throat to the nasal cavity. Once in the nasal cavity, these chemicals are detected by olfactory receptor cells in the nose.

Should the retronasal pathway become blocked, the aromas in foods we eat cannot reach odor detecting cells in the nose. As such, the flavors in the food cannot be detected. This often happens when a person has a cold or sinus infection.



  • July 19, 2021
  • It is easy to take the balance system for granted. Depending on your ability level, you probably do not think twice about standing upright, walking around, and sitting up straight. But while these processes might seem effortless, the reality is that your brain is constantly working to keep your balance system functioning properly. Your brain is responsible for helping you walk, run, and even stand on one foot. But what part of the brain controls balance?


·         What Part of the Brain Controls Balance?

·         What Part of the Brain Controls Balance?

  • Picture your brain like a factory. There are countless little gears, conveyor belts, and workers milling about, each of them serving a unique purpose to keep you moving through the world. And while your balance system engages several parts of your brain, the main part of the brain that controls balance is the cerebellum. Science American explains that the cerebellum – sometimes quaintly known as the “little brain“ – is located at the very back of your skull. The cerebellum controls a number of functions including movement, speech, balance, and posture. But the cerebellum does not work alone. There are several other parts of the brain that also contribute to balance functions, including something known as the vestibular system.

·         The Basics of the Vestibular System

  • Think of the vestibular system as a messenger service. Located in the inner ear, the vestibular system provides your brain with information on things like motion, the position of your head, and sudden movements. This helps you maintain your balance by ensuring that your brain processes your body’s position every time it changes. Overall, the vestibular system helps you maintain a sense of equilibrium, preventing falls and dizziness.

·         How Does the Balance System Work?

  • Here, we will explore a more detailed explanation of how your brain’s balance system works.
·         The Role of the Temporal Lobe
  • Have you ever flinched upon hearing a loud noise? You have your temporal lobes to thank. The temporal lobes are located in the cerebrum, and they help process audio and visual stimuli. Your temporal lobe has a direct line to the cerebellum by neural pathways, allowing your brain to process stimuli and react quickly – by jumping away from a loud sound, for example. This is a major factor in maintaining your overall equilibrium, or sense of balance.
·         The Role of Semicircular Canals
  • Try moving your head up and down quickly. Did you recover quickly from the sudden movement? Your semicircular canals, located in your inner ear, helped with that. Your semicircular canals contain a fluid known as endolymph. This fluid moves when you move your head, activating the tiny hairs lining the canal and communicating the direction and speed of movement to your brain.
·         The Role of the Utricle and Saccule
  • Finally, the utricle and saccule are two vestibular organs that help detect linear movement. These organs, also located in the inner ear, detect when you tilt your head, change your body position, or move forward – like when you are walking down the sidewalk, for example. Each of these organs contains hair cells, which are covered with a layer of tiny calcium crystals called otoconia. When you tilt your head or move your body, the movement shifts the crystals and causes the hair cells to bend. This, in turn, sends signals to your brain to help you maintain your balance.

·         With Which Part of The Brain Do We Smell?

  • Before fMRI and PET were available, researchers had to dissect the brains of dead bodies and follow the nerve bundles to see with which region the olfactory bulb was connected. But since PET and fMRI entered the stage we have gained much more insight into how our sense of smell works. The three most important brain regions are:
  • (1.)  The orbitofrontal (from Latin: between eye-socket and forehead) cortex is located just above and behind our eyes;
  • Source: Paul Wicks
  • (2.)  The insula (from Latin: island) is located deep beneath our ears; Click on the image to see the animation
  • Source: Wikimedia
  • (3.)  The piriform (from Latin: pear shape-like) cortex is located just between the two other brain areas.
  • In addition, the olfactory brain includes smaller, but still very important brain regions (e.g., the anterior olfactory nucleus, the olfactory tubercle, the amygdala, and the entorhinal cortex). There are several interesting features related to the anatomy of the olfactory parts of the brain:
  • First, the olfactory regions do not only serve for smelling, but are also used, if we experience emotions and when we are memorizing events. This is the reason why odors can evoke very strong associations and memories of situations and place from a long time ago. Probably everyone knows an anecdote where he smelled a food or a perfume, and was brought back to early childhood and remembers exactly the circumstances of when he smelled that odor.
  • There is a second special characteristic of the sense of smell. For all the other senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, touching), the information from the sensory organs (the eyes, the ears, the skin, the tongue) travels through a brains structure called the thalamus (from Greek: room). The thalamus is something like a gate to our consciousness. If we focus on one sense (say, on vision while reading a very interesting book), we can blind out information from other senses (and not hear that someone was talking to us). This is done by the thalamus, who decides what we are aware of and what not. Since smell information is independent of the thalamus, we cannot blind out olfaction: we either smell an odor, or we do not smell it.
  • This particularity of not traveling through the thalamus is also responsible for another characteristic of the sense of smell. In all other sensory systems, a moderate (and for some even a light) sensation is enough to interrupt sleep: if we are asleep, a light, a sound or someone touching us is enough to wake us up. Unlike the other senses, a smell is not enough to wake us up; therefore we all have to install smoke detectors at home. If there is a fire, we would only wake up, if the smoke is so strong that it becomes stinging (and therefore is like a touch sensation). This may then be too late.
  • Interesting links:
  • ·  Olfaction – a review 
  • ·  Les troubles de l’odorat et du gout


·         About the author: Dr. Frasnelli.

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