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Heterostasis: The Wisdom of the Nonverbal Mind Book 1 Theoretical & Book 2 Experimental
Heterostasis: The Wisdom of the Nonverbal Mind Book 3 Figures & Tables
One of the most famous laws in the history of psychology, the Yerkes-Dodson law, recognizes that the arousal system of the mind plays a primary role, and the universal nature of this role determines the efficiency of every function of the mind. The Y-D law puts the spotlight on the nature and importance of the arousal system and states that the effective rate at which every mental function is executed by the nonverbal mind is a curveilinear function of the arousal system component of the mind. (Yerkes and Dodson, 2004)
The Yerkes-Dodson law can be seen in the picture on this website. The two experimental variables, which form its two axes, are behavioral efficiency on the ordinate or Y-axis, and the arousal level on the abscissa or X-axis. The law states that there is a curvilinear relation, an inverted u-function between performance efficiency and arousal level: that performance is a function of one and only one variable, everything else being equal.
The curvilinear curve of this law is divided into three sections: A, B, and C. where
The Yerkes-Dodson law (2004) was designed to rationalize the complex nature of mammals. The rule is that mammals seek a place, which will optimize their arousal level. However, this law can be understood several ways. First, the literalist version of the law could be understood to say that mammals will always seek those places, which have just that ideal rich mix of stimuli, which will maintain the organism in an ideal state of arousal.
Imagine that for the nonverbal mind, the inverted U curve represents consciousness with three speed zones: A, B, and C drawn upon consciousness with zone B the ideal speed zone for maintaining an optimal consciousness performance level. The Yerkes-Dodson law can be thought of as a waking law, which the mind must observe, a speed law as it were, a consciousness speed limit.
The speed limits at which the nonverbal mind operates can vary depending on the task or situation. Heterostasis is very different from Homeostasis. In homeostasis, there are many regulators all doing one job each, for example regulating the body temperature, the body water, etc. Each regulator operates independently of the other and consciousness is not needed; it is an automated process. It is like a batch-processing machine where the regulators simultaneously each do their own things to maintain some optimal set point for each of the Essential Variables.
In direct contrast, Heterostasis is like a timeshare. There is one regulator working for all the variables so that regulator must be shared. In the case of heterostasis, consciousness is necessary and occurring whenever the organism is awake. Depending on where the organism is on the Y-D curve will determine the level of consciousness. Heterostasis is the wisdom of the mind and is programmed to keep the Essential Variable of the mind in region B of the arousal curve. This knowledge, which makes Heterostasis work normally, works automatically, and if nothing else we should all learn to keep our arousal or signal level at B.
When the mind encounters a relative anomaly it may become too aroused which causes it to enter level C on the Y-D law. The organism stops exploring and begins retracing, which is the first phase of mental evolution. In this phase, the organism seeks the causes of the last anomaly; the primary mind probes or investigates/interrogates the region before the anomaly, which will create causal knowledge that will destroy the uncertainty induced by the anomaly.
Once the organism has explored and habituated to the anomaly, and then it will once again return to the optimal level of consciousness, or just the right level or what could be called the Goldilocks zone. The cause for the effect the anomaly had on the nonverbal mind has been determined and it no longer has the power to surprise anymore; then and only then can the organism return to the B zone.
Each normal mammal is a Heterostatic being. Each day’s circadian rhythm breaks up into two phases, an 8-hour home/sleep component, and a 16-hour away/work component. The Y-D Law makes us aware how important the sleep cycle is; the mind must be stocked during each sleep cycle with sufficient neuronal supplies for a full duration of the away-work phase. Metaphorically, we are cars or trucks that once we leave home or leave the station each day we must make a 16-hour run between servicing. Each day we must pace ourselves, in our internal milieu of the mind (IMm), so that we can sustain consciousness at some kind of optimal work/play state for 16 hours. (Hanouch and Vitouch, 2004)
The nonverbal mind makes mammals into self-organizing systems: the prime function of the nonverbal mind during the waking state is to regulate the arousal level of the mind, to keep the arousal level at B, the high point on the curvilinear function. Thus, the nonverbal mind is regulating or controlling the organism’s performance efficiency. The nonverbal mind is a self-organizing system and the Y-D law is possibly the best measure of how efficient an individual is at self-organizing. (Yerkes and Dodson, 2004)
So what is wisdom in this context? A little history lesson is needed to understand what I mean by wisdom. Four stages of evolution of the mind and its wisdom must be understood.
In stage one; evolution employed the simplest kind of physiological technology to create the first forms of animal life. Cannon (1932) first described this physiology, which he called Homeostasis, “The Wisdom of the Body”. Cannon was obviously impressed with the technology of Homeostasis for he considered it the one and only technology the body required- he was unaware that there were different kinds of technology–three kinds are described in this book; one for the first time.
No one of these technologies is wiser than is any other; each technology provides life with a new and different survival function. Each kind of wisdom plays a unique role, and in mammals, which are a three-wisdom species, each kind of wisdom supplements the other two.
All the no-mind species adaptive skills were instinctual. All the knowledge they used for their whole life was a gift of their genome; the knowledge obtained from one random dip into their species’ gene pool. Homeostasis endowed life with only one power, the power to regulate the essential variables of its internal body milieu, IMb.
The first pure homeostatic kinds of life designed by biological evolution were closed forms, which were simple in several respects. They were designed as a one-niche species, which could exist only within the one niche in which they evolved. Homeostatic regulators had only one adaptive trick; they had only the power to keep the set points of the body’s Essential Variables constant, such as the need for food, water, air, blood pressure, etc. at the set point. Nature soon found out this was not enough.
A second kind of physiological technology invented by evolution is one that has gone by several names over the years. In this book, I will resort to perhaps the oldest name for this technology: Hedonism, which has been informally discussed by several authors, but never put within the proper physiological/psychological evolutionary context it deserved, and for good reason. In the context of Christianity, hedonism seemed as if, evolution had taken a wrong turn. However, in the light of new data, with Hedonism, the wisdom of the emotions, evolution created some of the strangest but most powerful tricks.
William James (1950) called Hedonism non-rational, by which he meant that Pleasure and Pain were technological, chemical, tricks, which were neither rational nor irrational. With Hedonism evolution invented, and is still inventing a whole host of chemical neurotransmitters that trick the organism to do the right thing. Hedonistic or non-rational mechanisms trick animals into doing the right thing for the wrong reason. While non-rational tricks induce an individual to do the right things for the wrong reason, not until evolution invented the Heterostatic mind did life make decisions rationally– doing the right thing for the right reason, which means understanding the primary local cause-effect conditions, which justify and induce behaviors? However, with the emergence of Hedonism, evolution designed a non-rational mechanism, which induces behavior, which causes animals to do the right thing for the wrong reason.
With the emergence of the cortex, the design of the nature of life took a one hundred eighty degree turn. The classical no-mind species were designed essentially as nature-type being, i.e. as essentially robots, dominated by instinctive behavior.
In the next stage, mammals and the cortex emerged together bringing with them, the nonverbal mind, and a new of kind of organ. These new forms of life were designed with a minimum of instinctive behaviors–they were designed to be self-organizing beings, born free, and mentally responsible for their own survival. Evolution began to design a radically different kind of adaptive behavior; mammals have been described as a family of species with a tabula rasa nature.
However, with the emergence of Heterostasis I, as the technology of the nonverbal mind, each individual mammalian species was not only enabled, but also required directly to communicate nonverbally with nature to create the domain-specific and species-specific knowledge required for it to complete successfully each of its self-defined domain-specific goals.
How does nonverbal behavior, which the nonverbal mind emits, enable mammals to create domain-specific models of each terrestrial space or niche, and thus understand, and be prepared for whatever events come next in a series of events or a script? The rational nonverbal mind enables each mammal to know where it is in any domain it chooses to inhabit.
Therefore, rats and other mammals were given by evolution a nonverbal mind to interrogate nature and discover her hierarchical causal structures. However, the behavior emitted by Female 3 (a star rat who mastered the hierarchically organized matrix maze) is a complex product of all the three wisdoms: HHH1.
Human nature is a product of at least four kinds of wisdoms, Homeostasis, Hedonism, Heterostasis I, and Heterostasis II. Human nature is not the product of just one mind, or one-wisdom, or one-soul, but is a function of at least four material wisdoms or technologies. Instead of calling all the various forms of behavioral technology by the one name, Homeostasis, I call each of the special kinds of behaviors, which these four technologies emit, by a different name: Homeostasis, Hedonism, and Heterostasis I and II. In my opinion, there is nothing to gain but much to lose from failing to distinguish each of these special kinds of behaviors–it doesn’t seem reasonable to assume that homeostatic instinctive behavior, and the mind-based rational behaviors should be called by the same name. With the design of each of these new technologies, evolution created an ever more complex human nature.
Heterostasis, on the somatic side, is a two-sided coin–Heterostasis can best be described as a “seek and destroy operation”. Heterostasis is triggered by an anomaly, its reason for being is to destroy anomalies; to find causes for surprising effects; to destroy uncertainty; to communicate with the nonverbal features of a material domain; to probe for causal answers for each anomaly.
. Each kind of new wisdom expands the adaptive capacity of life. The first two wisdoms were not rational wisdoms for they evolved before the nonverbal mind emerged. There are many possible rational wisdoms, each expands the adaptive capacity of nonverbal behavior and humans by employing the primary intelligence of the nonverbal mind to conceive a new rational skill.
The nonverbal wisdom, the primary wisdom, is the first-rational wisdom, but is the only rational wisdom the nonverbal mammals have. The general topic of wisdoms and symbols; the evolution of the higher order wisdoms and symbols belongs under the topic of the two-mind behavior.
Only the human species of mammal can expand these creative evolutionary functions of wisdoms and symbols into the higher-order domains; all kinds of new domains: music, art, dance, math, etc. but each new kind of wisdom which expands the rationality of a species into new regions of the cosmos, requires the invention of a new unique set of symbols. Music required the invention of a musical scale: a new set of domain-specific symbols, which can create a set of musical “words” or ideas, or “things” which can represent every possible class of musical sound which nature can produce. Only a two-mind species has the rational capacity to raise the categorizing skill of the nonverbal mind to higher powers: to conceive the new sets of symbols, secondary symbols, which enable the mind to expand rationality into new non-spatial domains.
The one-mind, three-wisdom mammals HHH, have only the adaptive power conferred by the nonverbal knowledge created by their own nonverbal mind. On the other hand, humans are a compound mind with four wisdoms mammal. The fourth wisdom, human speech, endows humans with yet another source of vital knowledge to supplement the knowledge that comes in the genomic starter kit. Now they do not just have access to the knowledge created by just their own nonverbal mind–but now they may have access to all the accumulated wisdom of their whole language/knowledge community.
Now I need to discuss the origin of the mind by extending Bernard’s (1957) concept of the Internal Milieu of the body, IMb, into a comparable distinction for the mind. Just as the body has an internal and external milieu, IMb, and EMb, just so does the mind have an internal and external milieu of the mind, IMm and EMm? The difference is that while Homeostasis regulates the IMb, Heterostasis regulates both the IMm and the EMm..
The body has many Essential variables, EVs, which must be regulated and each has its own set point and regulator. The body temperature is one of the EV of the body and has a set point of 98.6 Fahrenheit.
The IMm, on the other hand, has only one essential variable, the set or arousal level of the mind as described in the Yerkes-Dodson law. (Yerkes and Dodson, 2004)
Heterostasis is the wisdom of the mind, and is programmed to keep the EV of the mind in region B of the arousal curve. This knowledge, which makes Heterostasis work normally, works automatically, and if nothing else we should all learn to keep our arousal or signal level at B.
Heterostatic physiology is designed to keep the arousal level at the optimal point of arousal, B, which is the set point of the mind. When an organism is bored, its arousal level falls and in order to regain its optimal level of performance it must seek and find some arousing event, which will restore its arousal level to an optimum. In the maze, when the rat is too aroused by an anomaly it will stop exploring in order for its arousal level to drop so that its performance level will once again become optimal.
The Y-D law puts the spotlight on arousal and makes arousal the key measure of the performance efficiency rate at which the nonverbal mind is performing.
The nonverbal mind is a self-organizing system and the Y-D law is possibly the best measure of how efficient an individual is at self-organizing. (Yerkes and Dodson, 2004)
One of the paradoxical central features of Heterostasis is the role of the anomaly in the function of the nonverbal mind. All mammals have a rational mind whose chief phenomenon is its dual needs: first, the need for anomalies, as food for thought, and second, the need for knowledge to destroy anomalies. Heterostasis does not make any sense until one understands this dual role of an anomaly: this seek and destroy behavior of the mind.
The nonverbal mind feeds upon anomalies. When it has no anomaly to deal with, it has nothing to eat, but once it has discovered an anomaly it retraces until it creates the knowledge required to digest, or destroy the uncertainty created by the anomaly.
Mammals are a set of species born without knowledge, but with a nonverbal mind that knows how to create knowledge, how to transform anomalies into knowledge. Within any closed domain, like the maze, the nonverbal mind may soon exhaust the supply of anomalies; so then, the mind needs a new domain to conquer, and another, to seek, destroy, discover, etc.
Nonverbal rationality, embodied within Heterostasis is the sine qua non of the rational mind. Evolution, as I have stated several times, began to evolve the nonverbal mind when the great extinctions killed off most of the one-niche forms of life and evolution, in effect, took the position that there had to be a better way to supplement life with the knowledge it required to survive other than the pure genomic one. Rational behavior, Heterostasis, was the solution evolution adopted; and mammals were the species of life that were the benefactor of the evolution of this revolutionary new rational technology.
The nonverbal mind is endowed with the technology of Heterostasis, which moves the rat through the maze while employing only two moves, explore and retrace. Heterostasis is the wisdom of the mind just as Homeostasis is the wisdom of the body. Heterostasis, however, induces a rat to emit behavior, which will make a hierarchical model while encoding the information or the knowledge about the hierarchical structure within a multiple place/base combinatorial type code.
Heterostasis is a unique pattern of behavior, which is the sign of the primary mind, but this unique pattern of behavior only becomes visible when the appropriate criterions are used for defining behavior. Why the simple, but least obvious definition of retracing works while the complex obvious definition does not work, I still cannot say for certain, but I know with certainty that I had no rational way to know a priori that the complex definition would not work. Heterostasis is a unique pattern of behavior that only can be seen when the Behavioral Telescope, BT, is carefully focused, but the proper focusing of the BT is for the moment more an art than a science. The probability of seeing the Heterostatic pattern of behavior was simply a matter of learning to focus the BT- that is learning to use the proper set of rules to define the behavior. Heterostasis is a unique rational pattern of behavior that is a function of a set of nonverbal rules created by the rat’s primary mind; thus, the pattern of behavior it emits can be described by a set of rules. This unique pattern of behavior can only be seen when the technology, which generates the independent and dependent variables are properly focused by the proper set of rules.
According to the theory of Heterostasis, when a rat is evolving a mental map, it creates primary knowledge, which is stored in a nonverbal map as opposed to genetic knowledge, which is stored in the genome.
Heterostasis conceives of the organism as an active not a passive being. Every mammal is an active organism with its own set of autonomous purposes. In the design of the cortex, the gene or nature redesigned the whole brain, keeping and building on the old mechanisms, but integrating them into a new system, which had a new set of priorities. The active organism, the heterostatic organism has a completely new set of needs. The Homeostatic and the Heterostatic mechanism are two different mechanisms, and each has a different set of needs.
My experiments show that the non-deprived rat has a set of Heterostatic needs that are independent of the homeostatic set of needs. The Heterostatic mechanism does not require a tissue need to motivate its action nor a physiological reinforcement to close the adaptive loop. The tissue variables that the behaviorists imagined as the sine qua non of learning are not even relevant to the discussion. The Heterostatic organism is motivated by anomalies, news, and redundancy. The data generated by the LTP require a completely new model of the rat. The shift from a mindless to a mindfulness theory of the rat requires a paradigm shift.
Heterostasis is the adaptation of the organism to its external milieu by mapping or modeling each domain of the milieu. The cognitive mapping function of Heterostasis is composed of at least three components: a cognitive component; a somatic function and both of the former are energized, and activated by the autonomic nervous system. Anomalies primarily trigger the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. Homeostatic drive states are not required to motivate exploratory‑play behavior, which supports Heterostatic mapping activity. The sympathetic nervous system is the most powerful division of the autonomic nervous system and there is no lack of motivation when it is dominant. The problem of motivation has been a problem that the behaviorist could not resolve because historically motivation has been conceived as a Homeostatic drive state. The possibility that this most powerful division of the Central nervous system could function as a source of cognitive drive states has been overlooked. Sympathetic activity was classified as an emotion, which was conceived as illogical rather than as the foundation for logic, and therefore emotions were never considered as a component of learning, but instead as incompatible with learning.
Google shows 34,000 hits on the word ‘Heterostasis.” Most of the references are unique, but three authors were found who definition had been adopted by others.
Selye’s usage was the most widely adopted, with 10 references shown below.
“One danger in this way of thinking is that it tries to explain the applicability or inapplicability of homeostasis by the principle itself. This is partly because there are certain phenomena, such as growth, which more aptly illustrate the entirely different principle of heterostasis, i.e., the progressively moving away from the status quo, the search for new and unsettled states, in contrast to the automatic return to the comfortable and relatively tension-free previous state of balance.”(Menninger, 1963, P. 85)
Others who follow along the lines with Menninger’s usage of the word are:
Her article titled How Can We Explain Beauty? A Psychological Answer to a Philosophical Question includes heterostasis on page 94. The word is defined as the need of man to pursue competence. Man exposes himself to challenging poems or art to seek reduce the uncertainty they induce. Once certainty has been achieved by understanding the art or poem, then man feels more competent.
Their article titled What is intrinsic motivation? A typology of computational approaches includes some interesting things about heterostasis. They are writing about robotics programming but use heterostasis very appropriately. Some things said are:
“Some animals, and this is most prominent in humans, also have more general motivations that push them to explore, manipulate or probe their environment, fostering curiosity and engagement in playful and new activities” (Oudeyer and Kaplan, 2007, P.1)
They also use heterostasis to define motivation driving an organism to seek out novelty versus homeostasis, which keeps things at a level of comfort. Heterostasis is used as an intrinsic motivation – novelty for the sake of novelty itself is what drives the behavior.
Their article titled Innovative Potential of Personality: Systemic Anthropological Context includes heterostasis on page 220. They use “psychological heterostasis:” as a mechanism of self-development that takes crosses outsides the set “norms” of any given person.
There is a species of moth, called Heterostasis extricata. It is only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa.
Species: Heterostasis extricata
In Corsini’s book, The Dictionary of Psychology, a definition of Heterostasis is included. It reads:
“A tendency to seek new stimuli and challenges that will further growth. A desire to grow, to learn, to satisfy curiosity. This element is found in many personality theories and also in views of animal and even plant behavior.” (Corsini, 2002, P. 444)
Olson’s article is titled Schizophrenia as Heterostasis. He uses deductive logic to come to his conclusions. He uses heterostasis solely as a failure of homeostasis.
First, Paata Kervalishvili in the article titled Synergetic Modeling of Sustainable Devlopment social heterostasis is defined. It is used to say that only species that are capable of adapting, that could overcome their ego impulses could survive.
Second, Philip J. Palin in the article titled Resilience: The Grand Strategy, heterostasis is used to define society. A heterostatic society embraces tension as a means for change.
Hans Selye’s definition of heterostasis is used by many people in the medical field. In his article, Homeostasis and Heterostasis, he defines heterostasis as what occurs when homeostasis is out of its fixed region. Heterostasis causes a new fixed equilibrium point.
The following are people who use Selye’s definition of Heterostasis:
Clippinger, John. (1973). Toward a Human Psychology of Personality. In Journal of Science and Religion, 18, pp. 241-258.
Corsini, Ray. (2002), The Dictionary of Psychology. New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge.
Davis, R.C. (1958). The Domain of Homeostasis. In Psychological Review, 65, pp. 8-13.
Donne, Verena Delle. (2010). How Can We Explain Beauty? A Psychological Answer to a Philosophical Question. Proceedings.eurosa.org. Retrieved February 5, 2012 from http://proceedings.eurosa.org/2/delledonne.pdf
Gunther, Bruno and Morgado, Enrique. (2012). Allometric scaling of biological rhythms in mammals. Captura.uchile.cl. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://captura.uchile.cl/jspui/bitstream/2250/2315/1/Gunther%20B-allometric.pdf
Gunther, Bruno, Morgado, Enrique, and Jimenez, Raul F. (2012). Homeostasis and Heterostasis: from Invariant to Dimensionless Numbers. Scielo.cl. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.cielo.cl/pdf/breslv36nz/art11.pdf
Halleck, Seymour. (1967). Psychiatry and the dilemmas of crime: a study of causes, punishment and Treatment. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Heterostasis. (2008). Mechanical123.blogspot.com. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://mechancial123.blogspot.com/2008/11/heterostasis.html
Heterostasis extricata. (2012). Gwannon.com. Retrieved February 5, 2012 from http://gwannon.com/species/Heterostasis-extricata.
Hofstein, Saul. (1970). Modalities in the Treatment of Family Discord. Google.com. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.google.com/#client=psy-al&hl=en&source-hp&q.pdf
Joki, Ernst. (2012). Athletic Stars shine at Night. La84foundation.org. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.la84foundation.org/OlympicInformationCenter/OlympicReview/1963/BDCESI/BDCE8q.pdf
Kervalishvili, Paata. (2012). Synergetic Modeling of Sustainable Development. Ifdseurope.com. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.ifsdeurope.com/popup/synergetic.pdf
Klochko, Vitaly Y. and Galazhinsky, Eduard V. (2009). Innovative Potential of Personality: Systemic Anthropological Context. Psy.mus.ru. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.psy.msu.ru/science/psyrussia/2009/klochko.pdf
Koroboy, SA. (2012). Concept of Heat-Induced Adaptation to Physical Therapy Agents as the Sole Base of Their Therapeutic Effect. Iups.org. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.iups.org/2001/iups/abstracts/pdfs/a129.pdf
Longo, Francesco Dr. (2012). Traditional Chinese Medicine in Oncology. Siav-itras.org. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.siav-irtas.org/ingese/clinical/TCM_in_ONCOLOGY.pdf
Markovic, Dimitrije and Gros, Claudius. (2010). Self-organized chaos through heterostatic optimization. Cogsys2010.ethz.ch. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.cogsys2010.ethz.ch/doc/cogsys2010-proceedings/cogsys2010_0041.pdf
Menninger, Karl. (1963). The Vital Balance The Life Process in Mental Health and Illness. New York, NY: The Viking Press.
Nanas, Nikolaos, Kodovas, Stefanos, Vavalis, Manolis, and Houstis, Elias. (2012). Lsys.gr. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.lsys.gr/nanas/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/nanas_ICARISIO.pdf
Olson, Craig. Schizophrenia as Heterostasis. Health.gather.com. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://health.gather.com/viewARticle.action?articleId_281474976956355
Oudeyer, Pierre-Yves and Kaplan, Frederic. (2012). What is intrinsic motivation? A typology of computational approaches. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2533589/pdf/fnbot-01-006.pdf
Palin, Philip J. (2012). Resilience: the Grand Strategy. Hsag.org. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.hsag.org/?fullarticle=6.1.2
Panossian, A. and Wagner, H. (2012). Stimulating effect of adaptogens: an overview with particular reference to their efficacy following single does administration. Medref.se. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://www.medref.se/rysk_rot/panossian_3.pdf
Rao, S. Narayana. (1991). Counseling and Guidance 2nd Edition. New Delhi, India: Tata McGraw-Hill.
Selye, Hans. (2012). Homeostasis and Heterostasis. General.utpb.edu. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from http://general.utpb.edu/FAC/eldridge-j?KINE6362/ancillaryfiles/homeostasisandheterostasis.pdf