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Amygdala volumes in Romanian orphanage

The total grey and white matter volumes were significantly smaller in the institutionalised group compared with a group of non-deprived, non-adopted UK controls. After correcting for difference in brain volume, the institutionalised group had greater amygdala volumes, especially on the right, but no differences were observed in hippocampal volume or corpus callosum mid-sagittal area. The left amygdala volume was also related to the time spent in institutions, with those experiencing longer periods of deprivation having a smaller left amygdala volume.

Dreams and learning

Dr Robert Stickgold of Harvard Medical School

“The dreams might reflect the brain’s attempt to find associations for the memories that could make them more useful in the future.”

Volunteers were asked to learn the layout of a 3D computer maze so they could find their way within the virtual space several hours later.

Those allowed to take a nap and who also remembered dreaming of the task, found their way to a landmark quicker.

The researchers think the dreams are a sign that unconscious parts of the brain are working hard to process information about the task.

I have a better explanation.Memories themselves have their own ‘neurological’ vectors that have to adjust to the pre-existing eco-system of memory vectors of the pre-existing neural  structures  within the brain.The Brain is not directing any process here…more a case of a passive compaction and dovetailing occurring …with the memory itself behaving like a micro-organism within a larger eco-system.

I know it sounds like nit picking ..because the end result is the same.The memory embeds itself .

But extrapolate from my angle and you get the explanation of dreams.Wierd dreams are just older type memories clashing or resonating with newer ones , irreconcilable differences , that cannot be overcome but are left separated during the day , but at night , find their own internal vectors driving their clash.The resulting melee will seem non-sensical but actually will essentially be constructed of quite concrete and truthfully laid down memories.

e.g   a child like memory will be simple and powerful ( food , play , hurt , love) and adult ones diverse  and sophisticated with lots of fine detail ( your Boss and you’re up coming promotion or not ) and not forgetting fetal memories and baby memories ( elemental and one dimensional ).

Mix these three together and you will not get a coherent narrative.Closing your eyes and removing the Newtonian framework that acts like a grid for our day time adult existence allows the memories to start moving to their own internal vectors as opposed to being overshadowed by the daytime ‘TV’  input that is consciousness.

Anyone placed in a floating  isolation pool will begin to have the same effects as dreaming.The memories begin to have their own vectors once released from the confines of the Newtonian sensory day time world.And those vectors don’t construct a linear narrative that makes sense at all times .

More Oxytocin and Arthur Janov

Arthur Janov was doing this stuff years ago and looks like he was right all along.How the Individual deforms , gives us the shapes of the nuts and bolts to create a new society ( not a better one morally , just a stronger one from the point of being able to persist through time )

Feeling is the central organizing principle of human behavior. You can measure feeling in the brain, in the body’s biochemistry, in mother’s milk, in saliva and in spinal taps. We can measure it in brain chemicals such as serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine. Feelings are all encompassing, and love is the key feeling in human intercourse. It can be found everywhere in the system because feeling is everywhere. Except—except where it is blocked and hidden away. Then we have an index of pain and repression. So something like oxytocin can be a marker for love. Speaking broadly, it can indicate where and when fear and pain took the place of love very early on. Love is defined broadly as having one’s need fulfilled in a timely manner; that means even in the womb, during gestation, there are needs that require fulfillment. When they are not, there can be effects on all sorts of biologic processes, including oxytocin. When I state that a baby needs a calm environment, it includes gestational life. A depressed/anxious mother is not providing a calm environment; the fetus is all neurochemically sensitive to her levels of stress and responses.
Love is important because it ensures survival of the species; it is a kind of assurance that the offspring will be healthy and sexual, again to carry on a species that will be strong against adversity. Love also translates into mental and physical health, and provides the best chance for survival of offspring. It is not an ephemeral, mystical notion that floats above us in some never-never land. It can be measured; the processes of love can be quantified. Love makes us feel good. It also is an effective pain-killer, not for a short time, but for a life-time. Thus, when there is ample love even in the womb, it is reflected in an imprint of oxytocin levels that follow us throughout life. When those levels are high, we have a lifetime of adequate pain-killers in our system. When they are low, we can be anxious and in pain for most of our lives, and never know why. We may overreact to events because our resting levels are so high that almost anything can set it off. And we no longer have the wherewithal to block the pain.
Oxytocin means “quick birth.” A synthetic oxytocin known as Pitocin, is given to mothers who need stimulation for contractions. I surmise that some mothers who need oxytocin to expedite the birth process may have had a history of pain that lowered their levels so as to make giving birth difficult. Statistics indicate those mothers who give birth by cesarean have lower levels of oxytocin. Additionally, when oxytocin is given to mothers to facilitate the birth process, it also enhances the love they feel for their child; they nurse better and are more relaxed with the baby. Conversely, a chronically anxious mother may leave her offspring with low oxytocin levels, which will contribute to the child having trouble later in life with bonding and forming attachments, as well as harboring a latent tendency to addiction. Thus, lack of early love translates into inadequate chemicals with which to bond, creating a vicious cycle of misery – unhappy relationships, poor sexual function, and failed marriages with suffering, abandoned children who bear the brunt of something that had its root causes in the infancy of the mother.

Loving feelings are transmitted to the fetus through the biochemistry and oxytocin levels of the pregnant woman, and then later through physical contact, which again raises oxytocin levels. If we were not loved early on, looked at, touched, listened to, nuzzled and adored, those biological changes, subtle though they may be, follow us throughout our lives. Yet a mother who takes good care of herself, is not depressed or anxious, does not take drugs, and eats properly, will produce a loving child.

If the traumas of birth, pre-birth and early childhood are inundating the system, there will be an eventual overload and breakdown of the neuro-inhibiting, suppressing systems – serotonin, as well as oxytocin. There are many chemicals that live in the gaps between nerve cells, neurons; some push back and some facilitate the message of pain. They are either information blockers or enhancers. Supplies of neuro-inhibitors will be used up over time in the fight to keep pain down. These supplies are not inexhaustible. It is the very earliest pains that have the highest valence and require the greatest amount of inhibition. These biochemicals will be used in the battle against emotional deprivation. The system will eventually be less sexual as the hormones of love become transmuted into the job of holding down pain.

Oxytocin is critical in making a strong emotional rapport with others. Oxytocin is a key hormone of love. When the level of oxytocin is low, there is less emotional attachment, less interest in social engagement, less caring and bonding, and less touch … in short, less love. “Less love” has a physical base. Less love early in our lives can be found in an imprint, which affects many systems. These effects are measurable. In some respects, love is a measurable entity. The imprint affects sexuality, particularly how key brain structures such as the amygdala and hippocampus translate pain into sexual behavior. Oxytocin is secreted by the pituitary gland, just below the hypothalamus. And it reflects how much love we have had and how much love we will have to give. And in fact, when we make love (men and women) levels radically increase. Sex and love meet here or at least should meet here.

If you want to read is his blog spot , which I’m going to link up with and read more of .

Body shit : Vagus nerve and oxytocin

Vagus nerve and Oxytocin: Hopefully..more on this later.For me , emotions are socialized body states , i.e body states that  when socialized ,  help the individual / group to survive.So a large component of emotions are just simply body states rather than a composite of CNS ( central nervous system ..limbic system modulates and socializes those states )  activity but the currency of emotions is  the body itself…Liver , Heart , Diaphragm , Stomach and the ENS ( enteric nervous system ..a parallel nervous system for the digestive tract ) is the foreman .

KELTNER: The vagus nerve is a bundle of nerves that originates in the top of the spinal cord. It activates different organs throughout the body (such as the heart, lungs, liver and digestive organs). When active, it is likely to produce that feeling of warm expansion in the chest—for example, when we are moved by someone’s goodness or when we appreciate a beautiful piece of music. Neuroscientist Stephen W. Porges of the University of Illinois at Chicago long ago argued that the vagus nerve is [the nerve of compassion] (of course, it serves many other functions as well). Several reasons justify this claim. The vagus nerve is thought to stimulate certain muscles in the vocal chamber, enabling communication. It reduces heart rate. Very new science suggests that it may be closely connected to receptor networks for oxytocin, a neurotransmitter involved in trust and maternal bonding.

Our research and that of other scientists suggest that activation of the vagus nerve is associated with feelings of caretaking and the ethical intuition that humans from different social groups (even adversarial ones) share a common humanity. People who have high vagus nerve activation in a resting state, we have found, are prone to feeling emotions that promote altruism—compassion, gratitude, love and happiness. Arizona State University psychologist Nancy Eisenberg has found that children with high-baseline vagus nerve activity are more cooperative and likely to give. This area of study is the beginning of a fascinating new argument about altruism: that a branch of our nervous system evolved to support such behavior.

The disgust felt towards the body is just the evolution of the a CNS based , left hemispheric , based society that believes that Hell is a place lower down ( we are perceived to exist , accurately , in the lower field of our vision …Hell is a metaphor for the Body )  

“The stomach is lowest and has a hidden place in the body because of its uncleanness, as though nature had spared the principal members and had relegated the stomach or bowels farther away from the site of reason and of the mind and fenced it off with the diaphragm in order not to disturb the rational part of the mind with its importunity.  These members serve the higher ones.  Some of them concoct the food into juice, others digest it into various humors, others expel the superfluity.” — Alessandro Benedetti, 1497

I can’t find the name of the man who had his stomach left open to view , as his injury healed with a skin flap that allowed a visual check up ( sometime in the 19th century I think ) , but I remember the observation  quite clearly …how his stomach  would experience an immediate vascular blush when he experienced an emotion.An almost instantaneous reaction.

Line Pyramid Raindrop Cog Ring

Quick post.

Hunter Gatherer = flat hierarchy = egalitarian = flat line.

Tribal – Pastoral = pyramidal = competing pyramidal societies = the religious pyramidal = socialist/ fascist/democratic/monarchist pyramidals melee.

Liberal democracy ( freedom to vote for everyone )  = rain drop  ( the top of the pyramid is rounded off with rotating political parties and a fatter middle section of wealthy powerful middling classes = rain drop.

Democracy of the byte  ( freedom of information to be everywhere ) Media enabled Internet governance = a cog wheel = empowered bit-powered netizens.The power hollows out to the edges as societies become fragmented into self -policing  interest groups= cheaper more effective hierarchies as governance passes out to the jagged ( separate interest groups ) rims ( away from the central power ) = cog wheel.

Land based citizenship will dissipate as financial clout  defines an individual.Globalized labour movements means that nationality becomes a function  of your access to a Sovereign fund( s) .These funds will be efficiently driven and run by the most ruthless and effective of all human hierarchies ..companies.

We will become shareholders , equal members and non-land based , purely a financial arrangment.= multiple rings of differing sizes , separate but equal within for the shareholders .

 Nation State .RIP.

A look at Hierarchies

Hello world.Should fill up soon and begin blogging .This site is will hopefully explore the hidden girders / nuts / bolts that make human hierarchies fall into stable and durable entities.

I believe that the survival of the fittest has moved over to the ‘health’ of the hirerachy and humans are just the nuts and bolts of that darwinian evolution…..i.e we are not the end product .The Hierarchy   is the rapidly evolving end-product.

Our recent past , shows how we have actually gotten smaller physically as we evolved into modern Homo Sapiens and how as Homo Sapiens we have deterioted physically as a species as we have organised ourselves.

My conclusion…the nuts and bolts are getting cheaper and lessening in quality..but the hierarchy is increasing in health.