"Learned Helplessness" is "just" Prejudice Toward the Familiar
kenneth paul collins
KPCollins at postoffice.worldnet.att.net
Sat Oct 12 19:41:43 EST 1996
Please consider the dynamics of "learned helplessness", wherein an
experimental animal learns that "there is no escape" to the extent that,
when there =is= an escape, the animal does not find it because the
animal has learned not to try to find the escape...
...if one looks closely at all of human behavior, one finds that
instances of what experimentalists refer to as "learned helplessness"
exist =throughout= the realm of human behavior...
...an example of such is that Children whose experience is delimited to
deprived environments tend to be "attracted" to impoverished
environments as adults... it is in this way that ghettos are
...perhaps the most-tragic instance of "learned helplessness" is the
vicious cycle of Child-Abuse... 80-90% of the time adults who batter
Children were themselves battered as Children... what's going on
here...? one would think it'd be just the opposite, no...? wouldn't the
expereince of being battered as a Child be so horrific that when the
battered Child matured to adulthood, the adult would be so filled with
loathing with respect to her/his former experience of being battered
that she/he would do anything except recreate the circumstance with
her/his own Children...
...but too often, the cycle repeats... why...?
...this tendency exists because of the way our nervous systems process
information... our nervous systems process information in two
major modalities... the passive and active, or sensory-dominant
and motor dominant, or information-gathering and
...in the passive mode, our nervous systems are configured so that
motor dynamics are subordinately-coupled to sensory dynamics...
that is, motor activation will occur which will, for instance,
result in an obhect being touched, or turned over in one's
hands... the manifestation of such information-gathering behaviors
is driven by the inverting reward mechanism, which, under the governance
if the hippocampi, doles out reward when relatively-small instances of
TD E/I(up) are experienced... the main functionality, here, is that the
sensory receptors tend to be optimally oriented with respect to
environmental novelty, and this results in the nerual activation that
occurs being expressly driven with respect to the environmental
novelty... superimposed upon these dynamics is TD E/I minimization...
the dynamics will continue until no more TD E/I(down) can be wrung out
of correalted neural activation "states"... then the
hippocampus will turn off inverting reward, and the formerly-novel
environmental stimulus set will have acquired the quality of being
...what's important is that sensory experience is "learned"... encoded
within microscopic trophic modifications... within sensory cortex...
and, subsequently, this sensory encoding is used as a "template" through
which motor activation "states" can become optimized (TD
...the primary sensory and motor maps within cortex are mirror images of
each other so that the maps will, in fact, be Geometrically-aligned
...the net result is that the directionality inherent in sensory
experience is "mirrored" in motor activation "states"... in the case of
a battered Child, the former be-struck sensory neural-activation
directionality becomes inverted into motor "striking" directionality...
and because of the way the sensory and motor maps are Geometrically
correlated, all that's happening is that the nervous system is blindly
seeking to minimize TD E/I...
...in other words, the nervous system acquires that which is referred to
as "learned helplessness" via blind TD E/I minimization... but this
phenomena needs no special name because it's the Same-Stuff that's
described in the "Automation of Knowing..." (AoK) ms... it is PTOFA...
prejudice toward the familiar...
...in the vicious cycle of Child Abuse, we see how great is the need for
communicating the a sense for the way in which the dynamics of TD E/I
minimization govern behavior...
...examples abound... one that's particularly-relevant is the way in
which education in Neuroscience has blindly resisted coming to terms
with the way in which TD E/I minimization governs behavior... it's
old-long-since that it's been the case that there's been enough
information existing in the Neuroscience stacks to permit the CNS to be
resolved as an information-processing system... but the idea that the
"brain is irresolvable" has been handed down from one generation of
academicians to the next, ever since folks first explored the brain...
seeing the ventricles as its main feature, and dreaming up the "humoral"
view on behavior... the notion of the brain's supposed "irresolvability"
actually came to be =celebrated= as some sort of perverse "badge of
honor"... "Oh, aren't we grand? Look at how difficult is the problem on
which we're working!"...
...and so, even though there has =long= been enough information sitting,
collecting dust, in the Neuroscience stacks of good libraries, "learned
helplessness" has prevented folks from seeing that the information did,
in fact, enable them to resolve the brain as an information-processing
system... it's a bit humorous, no? study the "learned helplessness" of
rats, but don't recognize the Same-Stuff in "neuroscientists" :-)
...such is the "torture chamber" in which absence of understanding with
respect to the way the functioning of our nervous systems is governed by
blind TD E/I minimization has had us "trapped"...
...the "time" has come for Neuroscience to bravely lift our
long-suffering species "up where it belongs"... please hasten the day.
K. P. Collins
People hate because they fear, and they fear because
they do not understand, and they do not understand
because hating is less work than understanding.
More information about the Neur-sci