x011 at ns1.CC.Lehigh.EDU
x011 at ns1.CC.Lehigh.EDU
Tue Oct 25 07:58:02 EST 1994
In article <38g71h$924 at lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk>, Jaap.Murre at mrc-apu.cam.ac.uk (Jaap M
>We are in the process of finishing two papers on quantitative neuroanatomy. One
>of our predictions is relatively high equipotentiality of mouse and rat cortex.
>The only reference to this is the admittedly classic work of Lashley. Is anyone
>aware of more recent work in this area. Any pointers to the literature much
> -- Jaap Murre
Correlational Opponent-Processing: A Unifying Principle
Ronald C. Blue and Wanda Eileen Hatcher
Lehigh Carbon Community College
4525 Education Park Drive
Schnecksville, PA 18078-2598
All Rights Reserved
The correlational opponent-processing theory is a homeostasis
integration psychological immune theory that would connect phenomena
like sensation, perception, habituation, memory, representations,
learning, cognition, personality, psychopathology, paradoxical
integration, emotion, and evolution of the mind under a unified theory.
Perception/learning/cognition may be viewed as an effort to assimilate
and accommodate all experience into neuro-energy-efficient holographic
correlational opponent-processing recordings.
Stimuli creates brain wave modulations which interact with a carrier or
reference wavelet. This interaction creates a holographic stimulus
wavelet. The opponent-process creates an opposing holographic memory
wavelet. Thorough this process the correlations or associations of
experience are encoded to memory. Every wavelet, regardless of source
or type, triggers an opposing wavelet. The function of the opposing
wavelet or feedback is to diminish the intensity of neural processing.
A wavelet potential is stored or hard wired as long-term potentiation
opponent-processes in nerve cells and the interconnections between
nerve cells. The wavelets are holographic and allow recovery of
information due to the interaction of the reference carrier wavelet and
stimuli, thought, motor movement, and emotional arousal.
Representations, copies or models
Sensations and Perceptions
Conclusion and applications from COP theory
Opponent-processing is a basic biological system that may be viewed as
starting from a baseline state or equilibrium. Activation of an A
process automatically activates an opposite or opposing process B. The
equation then can be stated as [A-B] or the absolute value of A process
minus B process which creates a resultant. The resultant can be an
observable behavior. According to Solomon, 1980 "Every experiment
generated by the model has failed to refute the model, even though the
experiments have been designed to be capable of doing so. ... The
opponent-processing theory is quite encompassing.
A simple illustration of correlation opponent-processing can be
accomplished with the following procedure: take your hands and put
your fingers together; press them together; since the fingers are
touching each other and the pressure is equal, the situation is
correlated; the balance is due to correlated opponent-processing.
Look at a color television set. Look carefully at the screen with a
magnifying lens. You will see blue, green, and red dots. The dots go
on and off. The dots represent nerve cells firing. Take the
television set a part. You will see transistors, resistors,
capacitors, and integrated circuits. These represent nerve cells.
When you back up from the television screen you will observe a picture.
The picture originates from a television electromagnetic wave. This
represents information encoded into a memory wavelet.
The correlational opponent-processing (COP) theory would accept that
all learning and memory is associative, correlational, energy-
efficient, integrative, cognitive, holographic and the result of
information processing. Memory is created as a correlational pattern
of opponent-processing consisting of firing and inhibition of
individual nerve cells. This means the major goal of the brain is to
form the smallest number of correlational firings of nerve cells to
external and internal stimuli (Bower, 1992 & Bower, 1994). Why nerve
cells form correlations at first may seem to be mysterious and
connected to learning or biology. But now it appears the correlations
are due to the results of natural principles that have more to due with
the mathematics and physics of oscillators and synchronization
phenomenon (Strogatz and Stewart, 1993). In addition the reason why
this is the goal is due to the mathematical way the data or experiences
have been packed or compressed as a mental equation that allows for the
recovery of that information. Another reason why this is the goal is
due to the way complex systems adapt through self-organization. Such
systems exhibit subcritical, critical, and supercritical phenomenon.
This means that the brain is using a universal adaptive principle of
existing on the edge of order and randomness (Ruthen, 1993) & (Pendick,
1993). This means that new cognitions are due to consequences created
by randomness, chaos, and major catastrophic reorganization resulting
in new integrations. These new cognitions allows for selective
advantages for adapting to and understanding the environment.
Wavelet theory (Cipra, 1990) appears promising to help explain how
information is formed. Wavelet theory is an advancement over fourier
analysis of the sine and cosine functions of brain oscillating
patterns. A holographic wavelet, by analogy, is like the mean and
standard deviation of normal data. A wavelet predicts the present,
variations, the future, and the past. The past that is predicted is
not necessarily the one that actually occurred and the future that is
predicted may never occur. Wavelet theory may provide a way to
understand how the brain packs so much data into a schema, idea, model,
belief or theory. Wavelets of learned activity should produce
constructive interference (high neural activity) and destructive
interference (low neural activity). An excellent way to test COP
theory is to destroy neural tissue associated with destructive
interference for a learned task. This should result in significant
changes in observed behaviors for the learned activity.
Wolf Singer's research revealed a correlated synchronous neural firings
to the same visual object with a oscillating wave of 40 hertz
(Barinaga, 1990). Singer thinks that the oscillations may provide the
answer to the question on how neurons pool information. Thoughts occur
in real time and may be thought of as occurring in 40 hertz cycles.
Nerve cells have this time frame when setting their configurations.
Traditionally we have thought that nerve impulses are best represented
in an on/off system. With the concept of a wave, the model should be
thought of neurotransmitters acting as vectors for example an up/down
system. The hearing system does not process left/right frequency
modulations. There may be a structural reason for this. Wavelets may
find vectors of left/right, forward/backward, and some +/- system to
represent time. Such procedures should be useful for encoding data
into neural wavelets. If this speculation is true then this would
suggest that special regions of the brain would interact with these
modulations. Therefore, some areas that are uni-directional should
exist and would not necessarily contradict COP theory.
Heanue, Bashaw, & Hesselink (1994) have developed a volume holographic
storage system which use a reference hologram to retrieve the stored
data. It is likely that this correlated synchronous firing revealed by
Singer is used as a reference holographic wavelet for the brain.
Theios and Amrhein (1989) research suggest that "a stimulus is a
stimulus is a stimulus, independent of its ... mode". This puzzling
results suggest that a holographic neurowavelet is created by brain
wave modulations created by stimuli and the interactions or correlation
of current experience and changes in neuroconnections from long-term
potentiation due to past experience.
Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz and Stanislas Dehaene (1994) research on
speech sounds and changes in babies brains suggest a mirror image of
the stimulus wavelet. This mirror image is in our opinion a memory
wavelet. Since the wavelet is an average the standard 3 modulation
pattern for event-related potential (ERP) is interpreted to represent
an approximation of the average wavelet for the stimulus "ba". The
surprise stimulus "ga" is followed by a inversion ERP. This inversion
is interpreted as a memory wavelet for "ba" + not. If this pattern can
be replicated it would suggest support for correlational opponent-
Habituation can be viewed as the product of correlational opponent-
processing. Stimuli are habituated when neuronal patterns have been
correlated to a lower level of neural firings. It is likely that
stimuli create a unique stimuli wavelet and that habituation is the
antiwavelet or memory wavelet. This means that internal mental
representations or wavelets now act as a filter to reduce or control
neural firings for similar situations in the future. An idea then acts
as if it had immunized the learner to the stimuli in the environment.
The concept of a filter is supported by the use of a hologram in
optical astronomy (Borra, 1994) and LaBerge & Brown (1989) research on
attention. "Habituation induces a specific change in the processing of
... information rather than a general reduction in responsivity"
(Condor & Weinberger, 1991). Habituation then means that wavelets,
stimuli, schemas, ideas, models, concepts, beliefs and theories have
been learned and no longer create a high arousal state. Psychological
immunization has occurred to the environment and this state allows for
the selective perception of discrepancies to the stimulus complex.
Learned stimuli now function as background to see new stimuli. We are
built to conserve old ideas and focused to understand the unusual by
the correlational opponent-processes.
The brain would be constantly searching for the least neural pathways
to understand environmental stimuli. According to Bernard W. Balleine
and Ian S. Curthoys (1991) the "hippocampal activity is sensitive to
event contingencies ...." Commonly used neural pathways would be over-
fired (habituated) and cause the brain to use other neural pathways
resulting in the random jumps in intellectual understandings. These
jumps may occur in 40 hertz cycles (Barinaga, 1990). Mild jumping out
of one's comfort zone would be stimulating. Any significant jump would
require extra effort to use the correlational opponent-processing
systems to habituate the jump. Significant stimulus jumps may explain
humor or abnormal behavior like psychopaths, multiple personalities,
drug addiction and thrill seeking.
Research by Richard Tsien of Stanford and Charles Stevens (1990) of the
Salk Institute shows that nerve cells create a long-term potentiation
of a change in the probability of firing or inhibition when stimuli are
associated with the firing of two other nerve cells. According to
Tsien and Stevens, glutamate may be the main neurotransmitter substance
responsible for this change resulting in associative learning.
Glutamate is released in the receptor neuron when stimuli are pair-
bonded or connected with each other from the firing of two other nerve
cells. The probability of firing or inhibition of firing of a nerve
cell ranges from 0 to 1. In other words, nerve cells have a permanent
change in response to environmental stimulation. Since learning would
require thousands of nerve cells working together in their firing or
inhibition patterns, one may view these patterns as learned
correlational relationships between stimuli. The actual storing of the
mathematical relationship is expressed as a structural change relative
to other nerve cells and a change in the probability of firing. One
may view these structural changes as the changes of chemicals on
photographic film. We would suggest that they are holograms of memory.
Computers have been programmed to create holograms, of any visual
rotation, from a limited set of information (Peterson, 1992) . The
brain is probably using similar procedures in creating holographic
wavelets. COP theory strongly suggest that a mechanism must be present
to force some nerve cells to die or pull back neural connections to
store wavelets. If this is true then chemicals that kill nerve cells
may increase learning. It is likely that nerves are instructed to grow
to preserve a learned association.
Correlations are the encodings of associations and cooperativity
between neurons. A neural mechanism for opponent-processing is
suggested by Robert A. Zalutsky and Roger A. Nicoll's (1990) work on
associational-commissural fibers and mossy fibers of dentate granule
cells. "Much of the interest in LTP (long-term potentiation) has been
fueled by its tantalizing phenomenological similarity to memory. ...
in assoc-com pathway the CA3 pyramidal cell integrates its various
inputs and controls the potentiation of active inputs, in mossy fiber
LTP the presynaptic dentate granule cell would make the analogous
computation, transform it into spiking frequency, and thus control the
occurrence of LTP." These two types of cells use significantly
different procedures for creating long-term potentiation. These
differences may be opponent-processing. Opponent-processing may be due
to the difference in neural firings that occur from the
interhemispheric competition and specialization of functions (Kennison
& McFarland, 1989).
Jean-Pierre Changeux (1993) research on the firing patterns at the
synapse revealing the three-phase change in probability of firing.
This suggest that opponent-processes started in nerve cell and later
developed into global opponent-processing. Synapse exist in three
states, the closed or resting state, the closed or desensitized state,
and the open or active state. Neurotransmitter receptors by altering
their states can change the probability of neurotransmission. Changeux
believes this response could participate in learning. Opponent-
processing may require three different nerve mechanisms. According to
Holloway (1992) the three main or elite neurotransmitters are ATP,
acetylcholine, and glutamate. Long-term potentiation may be due to
nitric oxide, arachidonic acid, and carbon monoxide.
COP theory of data analysis and storage is one of a working memory.
The working memory's goal is to correlate all data. Data that is
correlated is strengthened. Data that has low correlations are slowly
erased. The hypermnesia and reminiscence phenomenon problem raised by
Payne (1987) could be explained as a consolidation of wavelets.
Correlations may be positive or negative. The brain probably works
more effectively with positive correlations. For example, children
have difficulty with lies not being real, pretending not being real,
movies not being real, and the concept of not or negation. Tell a
child not to do something and they will often do what you told them not
to do. Even college students often miss questions on tests with the
word NOT in them. This should mean that repression and undoing are
active neural processes, not passive processes. For further readings
on the changed perception of the importance of working memory the
reader is referred to Alan Baddeley's (1992) article on Working Memory.
According to Nestor A. Schmajuk and James J. Dicarlo (1991) "Sensory
representations compete among themselves for a limited-capacity short-
term memory (STM) that is reflected in a long-term memory storage. The
STM regulation hypothesis, which proposes that the hippocampus controls
incentive motivation, self-excitation, and competition among sensory
representations thereby regulating the contents of a limited capacity
The ability to recognize slight changes in the stimulus complex is
influenced by our attention. We are limited in how many stimuli we can
respond to at anyone time. PET scans demonstrate that cognitive
control of visual processing occurs (Corbetta , et al., 1990).
Focusing attention is important for the effectiveness of the working
memory or mediator. It is our theories, schemas and ideas that focus
our attention. The neural pathways are dependent on biological wiring,
the hard wiring from experience, and the disconnection and random
growth of neural connections from new learning experiences and neural
Horgan (1993) has reported that all areas of brain functioning seems to
be highly specialized with fragmentation in intellectual task and
experience. This fragmentation has lead to the realization that there
must be a supreme integrator. The thalamus is suggested as the
supreme integrator from the analysis of the neuropathological findings
in the brain of Karen Ann Quinlan (Kinney & etc, 1994). COP theory
would predict that neural networks are organized in a triad system as a
minimum by having an advocate, a protagonist, and a mediator; or white,
black, and gray; or on, off, and gatekeeper or integrator. The
constant dialogue between these systems creates new knowledge. These
neural networks would be specialized organizations of knowledge acting
as brokers of information and gate keepers. New stimuli would be
analyzed by the gatekeeper as to applications to current intellectual
problems. This alertness to stimuli and focusing on critical
observations is used to support or refute a key concept. The question
then becomes can the new experience be explained by the rotation,
compression, or changes of the concept. If the new stimulus fits the
predictions of the wavelet it is not added to the wavelet. If the
information is slightly off the average the information is added to the
wavelet. If the information is significantly different it is summed
under a new wavelet as an exception to the rule. The mediator is a
neural device that brings together the elements or data required to
generate a new idea. The brain is automatically structured into an
applied knowledge area and a pure or theoretical area. In many ways
the mind is the battle ground between idealism and pragmatism. Ideas
are schemas created by random correlations. We act as if these ideas
are real. Psychologist Daniel T. Gilbert of the University of Texas
states that "Much recent research converges on a single point people
are credulous creatures who find it very easy to believe and very
difficult to doubt .... Inquiring minds not only want to know; they
also tend to believe, at least initially, what they read and hear"
(Bower, 1991). Superstitious behavior illustrates the concept of the
realness of ideas. It is the usefulness (goodness-of-fit) or lack of
usefulness of ideas that creates tension with other ideas that generate
intellectual growth and emotional conflict.
COP theory suggests that there are no memories that have not been
reworked. It also suggests that any stimulation of the brain and the
apparent memories created by that stimulation must be made consistent
with previous experiences. Therefore, the memories stimulated may be
rebuilt memories instead of actual memories. Transfer is the
correlational connection of schemas to new situations. Schemas may
cross-connect from the reworking of old memories and random
connections. Habituation of old firings is the key reason for new
random firings created by increased sensitization to new random stimuli
that are discrepant to old stimuli.
Representations, copies or models:
One may visually recognize a multiple regression correlational
relationship as a star formed by drawing an individual correlation as a
spoke of a star. Such stars are easily recognized by untrained
individuals as unique. The brain is probably using a similar method
since three dimensional firing associations have been recorded with PET
scans or positron emission tomography (Bower, 1990).
It has been reported in the literature that an attractive face is
really a face that is mathematically determined to be average by a
computer (Langlois & Roggmann, 1990). This means that for all face
stimuli that we are exposed to we constantly compare the new face to a
mathematic model of that average. If the new face is highly correlated
to our mental model or mental copy we respond to it in a positive way
and state that the face is pleasing. COP theory would say that all
schemas, ideas, models, beliefs or theories are mathematically
determined to be average and expressed as a wavelet by our experiences.
Just as a model airplane is made of parts our mental models or schemata
are made up of mental parts. These parts are correlated to our mental
models, mental copies, or representations and can be used to make other
models. Models can be grouped together to make more complex models or
theories. All models and parts are independent and connected at the
same time. People with learning difficulties may be missing key parts
or processes for building the models necessary for the learning
process. Not all parts are necessary to recognize a model plane as a
plane, but there are critical parts that are necessary. Habituation of
a stimulus complex followed by the presentation of a new stimulus (key
part) may be all that is necessary to establish the elements required
for learning. The brain is structured to compare new stimuli with old
schemas. If the stimuli is discrepant we focus our attention and
create a new schema.
It is our conceptualization of events that allows us to observe new
relationships not previously apparent. The reader is directed to
McCloskey's (1983) concept of mental models for supporting evidence.
COP theory would stress that all humans are highly theoretical. Each
person's theories are their perceptions or interpretations of reality.
It would be difficult to impossible to take head-on another's theory.
A new theory must be discovered slowly to overcome a strong counter
theory unless the new theory matches in with one's old theories.
Presenting the advantages and disadvantages of each theory would help
integrate both and create a relaxed synthesis.
A new activity requires a new neuronal environment. Strong resistance
should be observed to new experiences. Resistance could be experienced
as anxiety, fear, anger and paradoxically excitement according to the
opponent-processing theory of emotion. The speed of opponent-
processing or diffusion of ideas should help determine whether new
stimuli are anxiety evoking or exciting. The faster the response time
for habituation, the more intelligent the person will be. We are
biologically wired to be anxious to significant changes in the stimulus
complex. If a person is intelligent or worldly they can habituate to a
new situation faster. This changes what should have been anxiety
provoking to an exciting stimulus, interesting stimulus, or even a
boring stimulus. If large amounts of information and experience have
been habituated, a person would then be alert to small changes in the
stimulus complex. Prior knowledge then alerts a person to new
knowledge and speeds up its acquisition. Almost anyone could become
superior in an area of knowledge that they are actively trying to
understand and master.
An important goal of learning is the assimilation and accommodation of
new stimuli with organized correlational schema formed by our
individual experiences. Theories that put large quantities of
empirical data into a nice package would be neurologically energy
efficient. Low energy usage should cause the release of pleasure
chemicals or neurotransmitters, possibly carbon monoxide, to lock in
the memory and cause one to feel pleased. This suggests that we have a
comfort zone for looking for new empirical experiences to confirm our
theories. The normal zone or comfort zone of individuals would vary
according to their biological makeup and correlated experiences. The
range of variability in brain wave fluctuations would influence data
storage and retrieval. Sensitivity or responsiveness to stimuli would
be biologically and experientially vectored. The characteristic of the
person's biological thermostat would define the comfort zone.
Individual differences in thermostats is illustrated by novelty
preference, shyness phenomenon and stimulus seeking personalities. COP
theory would stress discrepancies and the meaning of information.
Meaning would occur as a process of reworking of old memories.
Histories (all data or experiences from the past) are not as important
as the geschichte (theories or ideas created by clustered data).
Memories would be constantly changed to make sense of one's current
situation. Parents may report one child having musical ability when
both of their children are musically inclined. The parent's theory
that one is musically inclined and the other is athletic causes the
selective reworking of memories and perceptions to adjust the data for
consistency. COP theory would use the concept of perceptual set to
support the working of correlational opponent-processing. The research
on the events of wording regarding a car accident supports this
position. The word crash generates higher estimated speeds when
compared to the words fender bender (Loftus & Palmer, 1974).
New learning is dependent on prior learning and randomness. New
learning requires development time, inventive cognitive dialogue,
integration, or opponent-processing. Neal Stolar (1989) and others
suggests that "unexpected stimuli activate certain hippocampal and
cingulate cortical neurons. This activity in turn suppresses or
`limits' the firing of limbic thalamic neurons ... in relation to
stimuli classified as unexpected or expected on the basis of their
incidence or `probability'."
Peter J. Lang (1990) and others research findings suggests support for
COP theory. Their findings are that "Emotions are organized
biphasically, as appetitive or aversive (defensive). Reflexes with the
same valence as an ongoing emotional state are augmented; mismatched
reflexes are inhibited." The COP theory is supportive of Piaget's
theory of cognitive development. The organization principle and schema
are neural correlations to the stimulus complex. Adaptation
(assimilation and accommodation) can be viewed as opponent-processes.
COP theory would stress that the research on what children can not do
cognitively hides their greatest strength. Children are scientists and
philosophers. Children are theoretical even as babies, but at a more
primitive level. Cognitive behavior follows the pathway of stimulus,
schema review of stimulus, novelty, habituation, and schema production
The rational-emotive theory of emotions (Ellis, 1962) uses antecedent
events. Beliefs about these events lead to consequences. The COP
theory would say the antecedent events are stimuli, the beliefs are the
opponent-processing of correlational stimuli, and the consequences are
the educated guesses, trends, and vector analysis translated into
action. The opponent-process is really one of active-reactive neural
networks. Beliefs are neural arrangements created by previous choices
and negotiations with other neural networks. Beliefs are local
conditions that represent investment decisions created by past
conflicts and political processes occurring at a neural level. Beliefs
are entrenched integrated neural compatibilities, strategies,
configurations, frames of reference, styles of utilization, points of
view, and momentum of one's past. Cognitive data has extremely strong
emotive power. This is illustrated with the concepts of musts and
shoulds in Ellis' theory. Cognitive data is an original construction
of people. These become strong desires, goals and necessities that for
them may be non-negotiable. The consequence of belief is the result
of multiple correlational analysis, voting of networks, or conflict
between sponsor-regulator neurons that vector us to a course of action.
The consequences lead to cognitive dissonance or tension that must be
reduced by correlational opponent-processing and creation of new
beliefs to stabilize or adapt the neural firing patterns.
The incorporation of an erroneous belief into one's schema is
paradoxical integration. In order to accept tension arousing stimuli
and achieve homeostasis between existing memories we may fit erroneous
beliefs into our cognitive schema by distorting information.
Distortions cause conscious or unconscious tensions that may result in
coping strategies in the form of maladaptive behaviors or faulty
cognitions. These frequently lead to self-defeating behaviors.
Psychopathology can be understood as a paradoxical integration. Some
examples may be learned helplessness, paranoia, multiple personalities,
dependence, defense mechanisms, aggressiveness, classical conditioning,
and autoimmune diseases. A belief is dangerous in that it may limit
our ability to see contradictory information. We may feel compelled to
force others into our beliefs. Their acceptance of our viewpoints
allows us to relax our vigilance that we may be wrong or that some
other opinion may be correct. A belief that integrates most
experiences may ultimately win out be cause it is more energy
efficient. That is why a false belief is a paradoxical integration.
The tension is not at its lowest level, causing a search for possible
new integrations. Approaching others for psychotherapy is like saying
our paradoxical integrations are not working and we want to reduce our
The old saying that people always take the easiest way out for
themselves is supported by COP theory. What is easiest is determined
by the biological and experiential make up of an individual.
Guastello's (1984) use of catastrophe theory to explain the opponent-
process of drug addiction and work performance illustrates that the
easy way out is psychological and can be vectored in unexpected
outcomes. Chaos and feedback are useful in understanding how the brain
COP theory suggests that memories are state dependent. Each person is
constantly a different person. Brain chemistry and neuron firings vary
over time. Data is stored for the actual neuronal environment at the
time it was experienced. Data retrieval is dependent on the neuronal
environment. It would be difficult to impossible to recall in
formation that is stored in significantly different neuronal
environments. Therefore, a person will remember happy things when they
are happy and sad things when they are sad (Johnson & Magaro, 1987).
When you are speaking Spanish you are a Spanish person and when you are
speaking English you are an English person (Psychology Today, 1987).
Different personalities for each language within the same person may be
interpreted to support COP theory.
Genetic differences and interaction with the environment would create
different cognitive and emotive styles, strategies and reactions to the
environment. Lee (1977) proposed using the metaphor of colors to
describe and understand the various typologies of love. Using a q sort
test of 1,500 card and factor analysis the research supported the
theory. The concept of a temperament thermostat represented by a color
band continuum may be useful for illustrating the COP functions of
personality. Red would be representative of anger or a hyper-arousal
state; pink would represent irritation, discomfort or moderate
excitation; green would represent a comfort zone, contentment or mild
excitation and grey would represent hypo-arousal, boredom or
depression. The width and normal position of each color band would
vary due to biology and experience. Recovery time to the green band
also would be dependent on biology and experience. These color bands
represent a continuum of gradually intensifying shades within each
Abnormal personalities could be due, in part, to emotional thermostats
that are set at points off center or to portions of color band that are
abnormally large or small. A well-adjusted person would have a well
proportioned, centered emotional thermostat.
The COP theory is really an immune theory of learning where the goal is
to achieve balance or homeostasis to environmental stimuli. Major
stimulus changes or discrepancies in the stimulus complex would
represent danger and require immediate immune responses. Phobias could
be eliminated with flooding to activate the immune functions of COP
theory if the person is willing to give up their phobia. Systematic
desensitization could do the same thing at a slower rate. Any
procedure that allows the brain to control or explain things to itself,
and thereby reduce tension, should help.
Sensations and Perceptions:
Paradoxical integration is illustrated with the Thunberg thermal grill
illusion. Using alternating tubes of warm and cold water to generate
contradictory stimulation individuals report intense pain. Craig and
Bushnell, 1994 suggest that the integration in the thalamic region of
the brain best explains this illusion. The integration result from the
joining of two unmasked simple models of central disinhibition. COP
theory suggest that the firing of individual nerve cells would create a
unique wave function for a particular sensory system and experience.
These sensory system then create waves or wavelets. A wave generator
for warm and a wave generator for cold with increasing signal up to a
maximum signal. In the integrative systems of the brain these wavelets
would result producing an integrative opponent-processing wavelet.
This wavelet created by interaction results in the perception of pain.
Paradoxical integration is illustrated with taste. By cooling the
tongue with ice, sweets will taste less sweet (Frankmann & Green,
1988). Saccharin, an artificial sweetner, taste both sweet and bitter.
The psychological report of people vary on the taste. Caffeine is a
bitter tasting stimulant. After exposure to caffeine, the saccharin
taste is increased for both sweet and bitter. Yet, caffeine has no
effect on sweets and their taste (Schiffman, Diaz, & Beeker, 1986).
This suggest an opponent-processing system of sweet-bitter and
paradoxical integration. Bartoshuk (1993) research suggest opponent-
processing. When one side of the tongue has been paralyzed sweets will
taste sweeter to the other side. Research should reveal more examples
of this process.
The system of olfaction has been difficult to study. Paradoxical
integration is illustrated through "olfactory compensation" first
reported by Zwaardemaker in 1900 in which two odors will cancel each
other out and block perception (Richardson & Zucco, 1989). COP theory
may be able to direct research in this difficult area.
According to Gutin, Oliwenstein, and Mestel (1993), world wide there
are only 200 serious investigators pursing the hearing system. The
hearing nerve system consist of about 32,000 hair cells in four
parallel rows. (Note: four moments suffice to create a Pearson system
(Cacioppo & Dorfman, 1987)). Each hair cell is connected to about 100
bristles or stereocilia. The hair cells are arranged in a row
according to height. Strand like structures called tip links join each
stereocilium to its tallest neighbor. This linkage allows for nerve
stimulation only in the direction of front or back. This then allows
for the correlational encoding of nerve stimulation. The opponent
process we believe comes from the nerve cells coming from the brain to
the auditory nerves. The number of connections coming from the brain
to the auditory nerves is significantly higher than the auditory nerves
going to the brain.
Since sound is a wave function, wavelet theory seems to be a natural
for explaining sound analysis. Stimuli wavelets are produced by sound.
The opponent-process produces wavelets to control and integrate new
stimuli wavelets produced by the environment. Since the auditory
system maybe the simplest example of correlational opponent process,
systematic study of the auditory system may suggest other research
avenues and strategies for other sensory systems.
The opponent-process theory of color vision (Beck, Hope, & Rosenfeld,
1983; Leibovic, 1990) suggests that color perception is due to three
types of cone nerve cells that send information to bipolar nerve cells
resulting in seeing a particular color. A nerve would have two states,
on for a color and off for another color, for example; nerves for
blue/yellow, red/green and white/black (rod). This information when
jointly presented to bipolar cells from other cones would produce all
the colors that we see. This means that red light turns on one type of
cone and inhibits another type of cone from firing. This opponent-
process then is interpreted to mean that the stimulus was red. Purple
is made up of red and blue. Cones for red and cones for blue are turn
on or inhibited. The opponent-process then is interpreted to mean the
color purple. It is likely that some cones are pure types for red,
blue, green with no off meaning. This would help the opponent-process
of interpreting the perception.
Paradoxical integration is observed with color constancy. A color is
maintained even under different lighting conditions. The visual
principles of closure, figure and ground, similarity, simplicity, and
whole being greater than its parts also illustrate paradoxical
integration. Optical illusions illustrates paradoxical integration.
Examples are reversal of figure and ground, negative after image,
Muller-Lyer illusion, visual aftereffects, and phi phenomenon.
Problems raised by Blake (1989) regarding binocular rivalry like
suppression having no retarded effect on the growth of the threshold
elevation aftereffect, the spatial frequency shift aftereffect, the
tilt aftereffect, and motion aftereffect suggest the strength of
Paradoxical integration is observed in binocular depth reversals.
According to Deutsch and Ramachandran (1990) when pictures are inverted
in a stereoscope people report that the perceived depth reverses. This
is not always true since faces seems to be resistant to reversals. We
should see a hollow face but instead we see a normal face. While this
phenomenon can be reduced by changing texture clues and binocular
disparity clues, the position of COP theory is a cognitive
interpretation. The wavelets or schemas for faces are used to
generalize the current stimulus of an "inverted face" to a normal face.
However, when sufficient information is supplied to counteract the
prediction from the wavelet, reversal occurs. Reversals may support
the position that for every schema or wavelet there has to be an
opposite schema or wavelet. We are hopeful this may be a useful way to
test COP theory.
Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) electronic circuits for computer
vision algorithms have developed with the strategy for minimizing the
energy or functional cost (Harris, Koch, & Luo, 1990). This use of a
priori constraints, stochastic algorithms , and probability
distributions for detecting discontinuities for computer vision systems
has lead to successes for the electronic industry. These same a priori
constraints of minimizing the usage of neuroenergy and the use of
probability distributions from wavelets when forming neural firings
have lead to human beings.
Bullock & Glossberg (1988) research on movement revealed that "Opponent
interactions regulate ... agonist and antoganist muscle groups. This
system generated synchronous movements across synergetic muscles by
automatically compensating for the different total contractions that
each muscle group must undergo." This suggest the use of movement
wavelets to predict and correct the movement systems before it is
possible to do so.
The opponent-process theory of motivation (Solomon & Corbit, 1974)
demonstrates paradoxical integration. The goal is to maintain
equilibrium in emotion and motivation. Events force us out of our
balance. The body tries to force us back to the balance by releasing
opposing chemicals. Events change and the chemicals that were released
are still in the blood stream. This causes an opposite emotional
effect. For example if you are about to jump out of an airplane strong
fear and anxiety are aroused. The body does not want you to be afraid
or nervous so it releases pleasure chemicals at high levels to try to
balance the negative emotions. Suddenly the parachute opens and you
are safe. The pleasure chemicals are still in your blood stream that
causes you to experience a strong positive feeling like having a shot
of heroin. These opponent-processes explain addictive behaviors.
The phenomenon of drug addiction, drug withdrawal, and drug tolerance
fits the opponent-processing theory well. The correlational aspect is
illustrated with the research on drug tolerance being connected with
the environment (Poulos & Cappell, 1991) . The change in environment
can result in a new high from a low drug dose. This suggest that
correlational opponent-processing explains this paradox.
Houde and Ender (1990) research on male color patterns and female
mating preference may be interpreted to support COP theory. Male
guppies (Poecilia reticulata) varies in number and size of orange dots.
Females use the orange dots to create a schema or wavelet for sex
recognition. A wavelet is an average. Females prefer males who have
average or above average dots. Orange dots makes the males easy to see
for predators this results in an opponent-process of reducing the
number of orange dot fish that survives. Sexual preference keeps the
dots higher. Reproductive success and survival to have offsprings is
the driving force of evolution. Any genetic trait or behavior that
increases reproductive success and survival of offsprings will be
selected into the gene pool for a species. Behavior is a quicker way
to adapt to the environment than changing the gene code to adapt.
Behavior often creates significant advantages by exploiting new
ecological niches. Through natural selection the biology of the
organism further adapts the offspring to use these behaviors more
effectively. Evolution works on the available gene codes and the
successes of the past. Many of the biological systems are redundant
and modifications of previous successes. Homeostasis is a major
adaptation. We drink water when we are thirsty. We eat when we are
hungry. Our sex drive, curiosity and aggression results in offsprings.
Learning is a faster way to adapt to the environment than biology.
Knowledge can be transferred by experience and observation to
offsprings thereby giving them a selective advantage. COP theory
reflects evolution. Habituation is homeostasis to the stimulus
environment. Homeostasis conserves energy. A wavelet is a statement
of balance and memory of experiences that is energy efficient. The
brain will configure itself to almost any type of environment thereby
enhancing survival. No real new system is being used in opponent-
process since it describes a large range of behaviors and biological
systems. This means that learning is simply a modification of basic
biological processes. Opponent-process allow for rapid adaptation to
complex biological requirements. Learning is an extension of this
adaptation. Chaos, order, and catastrophe processes when applied to
learning have created new and powerful successes. We are the heirs in
this long chain of successes and events.
COP theory would predict that birds that fly together should have
correlated wing beats. A lot of group behavior in animals that are
synchronized illustrate correlational opponent-processing. The
vacillation phenomenon in approach-avoidance problems illustrates
COP theory would accept that animals can think, know, and be aware
through the mental models or mental copies that they generate from
their experiences of the environment. The difference between animals
and humans are not that extreme, both are creating and using symbolic
representations of reality. We believe that animals should be given
the respect, appreciation, and fair treatment they deserve since we now
must view them as being more human.
Without the reductionist strategy the necessary empirical facts could
not have been revealed allowing for a synthesis into COP theory. A
great danger of COP theory is a return to a pure mentalist model.
Mentalist views must have reasonable empirical evidence. If mentalist
models will encourage research then we will make progress. The tools
that will allow for a support of mentalist positions are computerized
axial tomography, positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance
imaging, BEAM recordings, SQUID recordings, neural neting,
bioneurology, and wavelet analysis,
Piaget's position that mental though is symbolic and a process of
assimilation and accommodation is sported by COP theory. The current
use of concrete teaching is supported if the theory is stated first.
Even babies are theoretical. Piaget's theory suggest that this would
come later. While the theories of children are not acceptable to us
and their theories will change with time to the adult position, one can
not be lulled into a position that children are simple, concrete
oriented creatures. Even the mentally retarded are interested in the
reasons why things are the way they are.
Freud's concept of the unconscious influencing behavior would be
supported by COP theory. This comes as a complete surprise and forces
us to reexamine the psychoanalytic position.
Experience and associations that support or refute a theoretical
position is what we must strive to build in children and adults.
Reward is not necessary for learning. However rewards are useful to
motivate a person to start the process of learning .
Conclusion and applications from COP theory:
What happens when habituation, integration, or paradoxical integration
fail? Discorrelation. Discorrelation may be due to genetic causes,
brain damage, traumatic experiences, wavelet constructive interference
or wavelet destructive interference.
The pathology of stuttering may be used to illustrate the concept.
Marek Roland-Mieszkowski, 1994 has developed an electronic device to
prevent discorrelation which is 90% effective in stopping stuttering
with no training. Stutters who sing with a group do not stutter.
Stutters who become deaf do not stutter. Ear plugs will help reduce
stuttering. It is likely that wavelet constructive interference due to
feedback loops to the speech centers, cause chaos in the speech
processing systems. Jamming, blocking, or modifying feedback will
Educational information has to be presented in many different ways for
correlations to form that may lead to intellectual understandings or
new inventions. Information should be presented to increase
intellectual tension to form new conceptualizations. The tension
cannot be overwhelming resulting in the student using escape as their
method of staying in their comfort zone. There are many thermostats or
comfort zones for different cognitive functions. A knowledge zone
really is just an area of knowledge that has been habituated due to
exposure and biologically based abilities. COP theory suggests
revealing the object, principle, or theory first then providing as many
experiences and approaches involving as many of the senses as
possible. Remember that the brain is calculating a mathematical
average to represent or classify phenomena as a wavelet or wave
function. To the mind everything is a theory that is used to filter
future stimuli and thusly refute or confirm the theory. A cup does not
exist as a concrete object, but as a theory called cups. Huge amounts
of cross-connecting data are stored under the mental program called
cup. This data is stored in a wavelet or a compressed mathematical
statement almost as a single internal stimulus that allows the brain to
unpack the data for review. The goal of education would then be to
teach theories and examples of those theories.
The next goal of education would be to facilitate the synthesis of
ideas. Each idea could be presented as a thesis or antithesis. The
goal would be to integrate contradictory ideas into a synthesis. Pro
and con exercises with a resolution of a synthesis would be the second
major goal of education.
The neural firings should reduce to a low level after a correlation has
been formed. Glutamate may increase learning. Intelligence may be
viewed as the speed of habituation to a new stimulus complex. Exposure
to new information increases the speed of habituation.
All data experienced by a person are constantly reevaluated in light of
new random correlations. Therefore intelligence or IQ can be increased
by more education or exposure. A wise person may be the one who
possesses the most consistent correlations.
Defense mechanisms may be viewed as learned neural correlated opponent-
processing used to keep a person in their comfort zone. The neural
patterns would act as a filter to stimuli and actions.
The correlational encoding of memories creates a holographic template.
A laser produced hologram on a holographic 35mm. slide can be
destroyed with scissors yet a laser beam will still retrieve all the
stored information. Human holographic memories would force the brain
to grow new nerve connections after brain damage that would allow the
old correlational memories to be expressed or recovered. This means
that the brain should be very elastic and capable of good recovery from
tremendous damage. Nerve growth factor hormone and epidermal growth
factor hormone may allow for rapid reconnections and rebuilding of
neural pathways for old correlated memories.
Everyone is creative to some degree. COP theory stresses alertness to
new answers for old problems. Creativity should be enhanced by playing
around with random connections of ideas. Games like list as many ways
as possible that you can use a brick without duplicating usage may
If the holographic correlational opponent-processing theory is correct,
it may be possible to use the brain's biomagnetic currents to external
stimuli to record peoples' memories in another medium. According to
The Futurist (May-June 1992) significant brain damage could be repaired
by forcing the brain to repair itself through the use of stimuli to
create the identical readings that were recorded before damage.
Knowledge and experience transfer may be possible using the same
If the model is correct then it might give insight into the building of
a computer that could duplicate the human mind. A chip to do this
would be similar to a water pressure value that must be equal on both
sides to allow both sides of the feed lines (dendrites) to release
water from the main line (axon). A more complete model may include
field effect transistors connected to charge coupling devices. By
analogy, data output from a VCR camera may be similar to data output
from the mind. The changes on the VCR tape may be thought of as blocks
or packets of information that can be recovered to see the recorded
images. The computer model would require the constant effort to
compress the data stored on tape to smaller and smaller sets of
equations that could be used to recover all of the meaningful
information that has been encoded. Since the brain is a confederacy of
many minds, these minds are negotiating issues, like a Delphi group, in
order to reach consensus or homeostasis. Someday it may be possible to
transfer completely a person's memories to a computer. As biological
existence ends as a possibility mankind may continue as memories in a
super computer. Such memories may be transferable at some future time
Many systems in science behave as correlational opponent-processes.
This statement may be saying little or it could vector our
experimentation. Only time will tell if it has any long range value,
since the history of science is one of correlational opponent-
processing or thesis, antithesis and synthesis.
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