Nielsen's concept of “covert REM sleep” accounts for more of the complexity in sleep psychophysiology than its conceptual predecessors such as the tonic-phasic model. With new neuroimaging findings, such concepts lead to more precise sleep psychophysiology including both traditional polysomnographic signs and neuronal activity in greater proximity to the actual point sources and distributed networks which generate dreaming. [Hobson et al.; Nielsen].
A series of ideas are presented about a new psychophysiology of consciousness called "The Syntergic theory." The theory postulates that the human brain is able to create a hypercomplex field of interactions that are the result of the activation of all its neuronal elements. This interaction matrix is called the "neuronal field." One of the effects of its activation is the unification of neuronal activity. It is postulated that the neuronal field produces a distortion in the basic space-time structure and (...) the reality of our percepts is the perception of this distortion. For the neuronal field to be activated a structure as complex as the brain is needed. This field is responsible for the interactions between brains produced in emphatic non-verbal communication. Consciousness is closely connected to the neuronal field. The postulates discussed are supported by the evidence from neuro an psychophysiology and new physics. (shrink)
Evaluative processes have their roots in early evolutionary history, as survival is dependent on an organism’s ability to identify and respond appropriately to positive, rewarding or otherwise salubrious stimuli as well as to negative, noxious, or injurious stimuli. Consequently, evaluative processes are ubiquitous in the animal kingdom and are represented at multiple levels of the nervous system, including the lowest levels of the neuraxis. While evolution has sculpted higher level evaluative systems into complex and sophisticated information-processing networks, they do not (...) come to replace, but rather to interact with more primitive lower level representations. Indeed, there are basic features of the underlying neuroarchitectural plan for evaluative processes that are common across levels of organization—including that of evaluative bivalence. (shrink)
This work seeks to explain intuitive perception - those perceptions that are not based on reason or logic or on memories or extrapolations from the past, but are based, instead, on accurate foreknowledge of the future. Often such intuitive foreknowledge involves perception of implicit information about nonlocal objects and/or events by the body's psychophysiological systems. Recent experiments have shown that intuitive perception of a future event is related to the degree of emotional significance of that event, and a new study (...) shows that both the brain and the heart are involved in processing a pre-stimulus emotional response to the future event. Drawing on this research and on the principles of quantum holography, I develop a theory of intuition that views the perception of things remote in space or ahead in time (nonlocal communication) as involving processes of energetic resonance connecting the body's psychophysiological systems to the quantum level. The theory explains how focused emotional attention directed to the nonlocal object of interest attunes the bio-emotional energy generated by the body's psychophysiological systems to a domain of quantum-holographical information, which contains implicit information about the object. The body's perception of such implicit information about things distant in space/time is experienced as an intuition. (shrink)
Brazilian spiritistic religions have developed along elaborate historical and cultural trajectories with spirit mediumship as a central feature of ritual practice in Candomblé, Umbanda, Kardecismo, and similar groups. In these studies, several Brazilian spiritistic practitioners who worked as mediums were interviewed and, in some cases, tested with psychological measures for dissociation using the Dissociative Experiences Scale, for absorption using the Tellegen Absorption Scale, and for sexual orientation using the Kinsey Scale. Few significant gender differences were noted in these measures. In (...) two cases, psychophysiological measures were employed including electroencephalography, heart rate, skin conductance, and electromyography. In general, the research participants scored highly on measures of dissociation while scoring in the average range on absorption (using U.S. norms). The psychophysiological results indicated that for the two spiritistic practitioners investigated overall peripheral autonomic nervous system activation was negatively associated with sympathetic cortical level deactivation. The data suggested a psychophysiological incongruence between the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system functioning on the part of the two practitioners. However, the two variables were positively associated and congruent in data obtained from a control subject. Interview data identified five ways in which mediums received their "call to heal," visions, dreams, and unexpected incorporations being the most frequent factors cited. One medium who engages in surgical procedures was observed; tissues were collected from ten clients and were found to be consistent with the site of the surgery. In conclusion, it is apparent that mediumship is a complex phenomenon, one deserving of further investigation by anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists interested in human consciousness, in indigenous health care, and in the psychophysiology of practitioners who claim to work under the direction of spirit entities. (shrink)
Emotions and bodily feelings -- Existential feelings -- The phenomenology of touch -- Body and world -- Feeling and belief in the Capgras delusion -- Feelings of deadness and depersonalization -- Existential feeling in schizophrenia -- What William James really said -- Stance, feeling, and belief -- Pathologies of existential feeling.
Emotion processing is known to be impaired in psychopathy, but less is known about the cognitive mechanisms that drive this. Our study examined experiencing and suppression of emotion processing in psychopathy. Participants, violent offenders with varying levels of psychopathy, viewed positive and negative images under conditions of passive viewing, experiencing and suppressing. Higher scoring psychopathics were more cardiovascularly responsive when processing negative information than positive, possibly reflecting an anomalously rewarding aspect of processing normally unpleasant material. When required to experience emotional (...) response, by ‘getting into the feeling’ of the emotion conveyed by a negative image, higher factor 1 psychopathic individuals showed reduced responsiveness, suggesting that they were less able to do this. These data, together with the absence of corresponding differences in subjective self-report might be used to inform clinical strategies for normalising emotion processing in psychopathic offenders to improve treatment outcome, and reduce risk amongst this client group. (shrink)
Descartes developed an elaborate theory of animal physiology that he used to explain functionally organized, situationally adapted behavior in both human and nonhuman animals. Although he restricted true mentality to the human soul, I argue that he developed a purely mechanistic (or material) ‘psychology’ of sensory, motor, and low-level cognitive functions. In effect, he sought to mechanize the offices of the Aristotelian sensitive soul. He described the basic mechanisms in the Treatise on man, which he summarized in the Discourse. However, (...) the Passions of the soul contains his most ambitious claims for purely material brain processes. These claims arise in abstract discussions of the functions of the passions and in illustrations of those functions. Accordingly, after providing an intellectual context for Descartes’s theory of the passions, especially by comparison with that of Tho- mas Aquinas, I examine its ‘machine psychology’, including the role of habituation and association. I contend that Descartes put forth what may reasonably be called a ‘psychology’ of the unensouled animal body and, correspondingly, of the human body when the soul does not intervene. He thus conceptually distinguished a mechanistically explicable sensory and motor psychology, common to nonhuman and human animals, from true mentality involving higher cognition and volition and requiring (in his view) an immaterial mind. (shrink)
Descartes understood the subject matter of physics (or natural philosophy) to encompass the whole of nature, including living things. It therefore comprised not only nonvital phenomena, including those we would now denominate as physical, chemical, minerological, magnetic, and atmospheric; it also extended to the world of plants and animals, including the human animal (with the exception of those aspects of the human mind that Descartes assigned to solely to thinking substance: pure intellect and will). Descartes wrote extensively on physiology and (...) on the physiology and psychology of the senses. This chapter examines the notions of *physiology* and *psychology* in medical and natural philosophical works of Descartes' day; follows his efforts to bring physiology into his mechanistic idiom; considers the relation between physiology of the animal machine and psychological functions that yield functionally appropriate behavior; goes into his physiology and psychology of vision; and elaborates the tension in Descartes' works between his metaphysically supported micro-corpuscularism and his discussion of the animal machine as an organic unity comprising various functionally and teleologically characterized systems. The chapter draws on Descartes' works in both metaphysics and natural philosophy, including his Treatise on Man (originally published as L'Homme, 1664). (shrink)
Background: Individuals with psychopathic traits demonstrate an attenuated emotional response to aversive stimuli. However, recent evidence suggests heterogeneity in emotional reactivity among individuals with psychopathic or callous-unemotional (CU) traits, the emotional detachment dimension of psychopathy. We hypothesize that primary variants of psychopathy will respond with blunted affect to negatively valenced stimuli, whereas individuals marked with histories of childhood trauma/maltreatment exposure, known as secondary variants, will display heightened emotional reactivity. To test this hypothesis, the present study examined fear-potentiated startle between psychopathy (...) variants while viewing aversive, pleasant, and neutral scenes. Method: 238 incarcerated adolescent (M age = 16.8, SD = 1.11 years) boys completed a picture-startle paradigm and self-report questionnaires assessing CU traits, antisocial-aggressive behavior, and maltreatment. Results: Latent profile analyses identified four classes; primary variants (high CU traits, high aggression, low maltreatment; n = 46), secondary variants (high CU traits, high aggression, high maltreatment; n = 42), and two nonpsychopathic groups differentiated on maltreatment experience (n = 148). Findings from an ANOVA comparing identified groups on startle amplitude difference scores (i.e., aversive-neutral) suggested a main effect for group, F(3,196)=8.91, p<.001, η2 = .12. Primary variants of juvenile psychopathy displayed reduced startle potentiation to aversive images (threat and victim scenes), whereas secondary variants distinguished by high levels of childhood maltreatment did not. Conclusions: Findings add to a rapidly growing body of literature supporting the possibility of multiple developmental pathways to psychopathy (i.e., equifinality), and extend it by finding support for divergent potential biomarkers between primary and secondary psychopathy variants. (shrink)
The separation of biomedical and psychosocial approaches to mental illness has hampered both research and treatment because only a fully integrated view of life permits a person to develop wisdom and well-being. In this long-awaited work, psychiatrist Robert Cloninger argues that all persons have spontaneous needs for happiness, self-understanding, and love, and he describes a way toward achieving psychological coherence that satisfies these basic human needs. The novel synthesis that he provides is based on the latest findings and concepts in (...) neuroscience, genetics, long-term biopsychosocial research, and complex networks, combined with a reliable, quantitative way of measuring human thought, social relationships, and creativity. (shrink)
"George Graham is contemporary philosophy’s most gifted and humane writer. _The Disordered Mind_ is a wise, deep, and thorough inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the various ‘creaks, cracks, and crevices’ into which it is prone sometimes to wander." _Owen Flanagan, Duke University, USA_ "The book is a success, it is consistently insightful and humane, and conveys a clear understanding not only of relevant philosophical topics, but also of a much more difficult issue, the relevance of those (...) topics to understanding mental illness." _Philip Gerrans, University of Adelaide, Australia_ "_The Disordered Mind_ is a must read for anyone who is a psychiatrist, psychologist, philosopher, neurologist, or mental health worker. Indeed, it is a must read for any thoughtful person who simply desires to understand more deeply and more realistically the workings of their own mind as well as the workings of the human mind in general." _Richard Garrett, Bentley University, USA_ Mental disorder raises profound questions about the nature of the mind. _The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness_ is the first book to systematically examine and explain, from a philosophical standpoint, what mental disorder is: its reality, causes, consequences, and more. It is also an outstanding introduction to philosophy of mind from the perspective of mental disorder. Each chapter explores a central question or problem about mental disorder, including: What is mental disorder and can it be distinguished from neurological disorder? What roles should reference to psychological, cultural, and social factors play in the medical/scientific understanding of mental disorder? What makes mental disorders undesirable? Are they diseases? Mental disorder and the mind–body problem Is mental disorder a breakdown of rationality? What is a rational mind? Addiction, responsibility and compulsion Ethical dilemmas posed by mental disorder, including questions of dignity and self-respect. Each topic is clearly explained and placed in both a clinical and philosophical context. Mental disorders discussed include clinical depression, dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, religious delusions, and paranoia. Several non-mental neurological disorders that possess psychological symptoms are also examined, including Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and Tourette’s syndrome. Additional features, such as chapter summaries and annotated further reading, provide helpful tools for those coming to the subject for the first time. Throughout, George Graham draws expertly on issues that cut across philosophy, science, and psychiatry. As such, _The Disordered Mind_ is a superb introduction to the philosophy of mental disorder for students of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and related mental health professions. PHILOSOPHY/PSYCHOLOGY. (shrink)
The philosophers René Descartes (1596–1650), Nicolas Malebranche (1638–1715), Benedict Spinoza (1632–77), and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) are grouped together as rationalists because they held that human beings possess a faculty of reason that produces knowledge independently of the senses. In this regard, they contrast with empiricist philosophers, such as John Locke and David Hume, who believed that all knowledge arises from the senses. The rationalists contended that proper use of reason would yield the first principles of metaphysics, the most basic (...) science of all. Metaphysics was also called “first philosophy,” and it took as its subject matter nothing less than the basic properties and principles of everything. For our purposes, it is important to note that the rationalists believed that metaphysics could provide foundations for specialized disciplines, including ethics and physics, and also medicine and other applied subjects. The rationalists and their followers developed theoretical positions of ambitious intellectual scope, ranging from metaphysical conclusions about the existence and nature of God to detailed theories of physical and physiological processes. Although they put great store in the faculty of reason for establishing overarching principles, they looked to observation and experience to provide data and evidence for their detailed theories. They took special interest in the metaphysics and physics of the human organism, and this led them to psychological topics concerning the characteristics and principles of animal behavior, the process of sense perception, the passions, and emotions, and appetites, the cognitive operations of the mind (including attention and understanding), and the relation between mental phenomena and bodily processes in the brain and sense organs. The various rationalists, but especially Descartes, made original contributions to these topics. After considering the character of psychology as a discipline in the seventeenth century, we will examine these contributions in turn. (shrink)
According to Kepler and Descartes, the geometry of the triangle formed by the two eyes when focused on a single point affords perception of the distance to that point. Kepler characterized the processes involved as associative learning. Descartes described the processes as a “ natural geometry.” Many interpreters have Descartes holding that perceivers calculate the distance to the focal point using angle-side-angle, calculations that are reduced to unnoticed mental habits in adult vision. This article offers a purely psychophysiological interpretation of (...) Descartes’s natural geometry. In his account of perceived limb position from the Treatise on Man, he envisioned a central brain state that controls ocular convergence and thereby co-varies with the distance from observer to object. A psychophysiological law relates the visual perception of distance to this brain state. Descartes also invokes more traditional theories of distance and size perception based on unnoticed judgments, yielding a hybrid account. (shrink)
O presente estudo examinou a relação entre aspectos psicossociais e padrões de reação fisiológica (frequência cardíaca, pressão arterial, condução cutânea e medidas respiratórias) para quatro tipos de contingências operantes (recompensa, extinção, punição e evitação) registrados durante um teste de ..
Understanding the nature of pain at least partly depends on recognizing its inherent first person epistemology and on using a first person experiential and third person experimental approach to study it. This approach may help to understand some of the neural mechanisms of pain and consciousness by integrating experiential–phenomenological methods with those of neuroscience. Examples that approximate this strategy include studies of second pain summation and its relationship to neural activities and brain imaging-psychophysical studies wherein sensory and affective qualities of (...) pain are correlated with cerebral cortical activity. The experiential paradigm of Price and Barrell offers the possibility of improved designs and methods for investigating neural mechanisms underlying pain and consciousness. (shrink)
The thesis of this bk is that the brain is innately constructed to initiate behaviors likely to promote the survival of the species & to sensitize sensory systems to stimuli required for those behaviors. Intended for behavioral & brain scientists.