Comment on a reflection on attention

Peter F fell_spamtrap_in at one.net.au
Sun Apr 29 00:06:42 EST 2001


Broadbent, Donald E. wrote the book "Perception and Communication" (London:
Pergamon Press, 1958)
in which he develops the early selection theory of selective attention,
arguing that only information attended to can be fully processed, thus
selection for attention must occur early in the processing cycle.
[Gratefully stolen from http://home.earthlink.net/~dravita/]

My reflection on the above leads me to comment as follows: Only _fully_
attended to information can become "fully processed" in a maximal
_selfregulatory_ sense.
(Relevant to anyone seeking and evaluatory overview of psychotherapies.)

A dynamic simple model of our "natural brain selection" of our focuses of
ATTENTION and motor/visceromotor and mental Behavioural ACTION  (the capital
B flags "behaviour" in a wider sense) can be imagined as a mutually
inhibitory competition between functionally incompatible "ACTENTION
modules", 'CHEERED ON' BY a variable mixture of adversely and/or opportunely
significant and challenging *CONCURRENT* environmental (or life-situational)
influences (or pressures), absence as well as presence type such, AND
WEIGHTED by genotype-reflected naturally selective life-situations lived and
survived by (or that as if "pruned in", from amongst phylogenetic
populations) the individual's ancestors (some of which would have to have
been 'decisively' and 'speciationally' mutant - "decisively", i.e. in
respect of allowing a "skin of the teeth survival" of certain kinds and
mixes of adversity type and/or opportunity type evolutionary challenges or
pressures; and "speciationally", in respect of when a mutation as if
"sets/locks-in a default designed morphysiological (functural or
structional) trend" (e.g. 'the giraff necked trend') - AND INERTLY AND OFTEN
INSIDIOUSLY MOTIVATED (or ACTIVELY 'INCLINED') by environmental influences
as if conditioned-in within the individual's near and far past (i.e. kept in
short term, possibly intermediate, and in settled and *unsettled* long term
storage).

These manifestly "dominant" modules (alternatively so to speak, *and to
echo* what was measured, interpreted, defined and so labeled by Ukhtomsky in
relevant brain research; ref. The Learning Brain, chapter 7; MIR Publishers
Moscow 1982, English edition 1983), e.g. any conceivable kind of mental
and/or motor "preoccupation" or "focuse of actention" that may predominate
at one or the other level of consciousness (alt. "consciousnessT" with a
T-tag to represent the requisite for a "Tolerance 'Principled'" acceptance
of the term's tenuousness)

Here "consciousness" is _very_ simply and conservatively boiled-down to
mean: States of 'individual's being' that are essentially energized by
"nonspecific"
['reticular activating type'] neurons in neurobiologically patterned
spacetime. [Seen from a perspective suggested by Alexander Luria in
chapter 2 of The Working Brain, Penguin).]

Actention modules compete as a general principle (rule) through "lateral
inhibition", enriched or reinforced by inhibitory interneurons specialized
for
detecting and responding to situations (adverse life-situational challenges)
that may be thoroughly defined and characterized as "Hibernation" imploring
(type such) or, alternatively put, as "selective (as in precise and
appropriate), or
specific, Hibernation imploring/inducting type situations (or challenges).

I cannot help but point out that the unsettled unself-regulated to (longterm
potentiated or reverberating) longterm memories of specific Hibernation
imploring type situations (in life) can be described as "Conditioned-in
Chronically Kept Hibernated Hence Unconsciously Remembered Stressors (of
Hibernation imploring type) Eventually Effecting Symptoms" abbreviatable to
CCKHHURSEES (or paired down to CURSES).

Lastly I am going to add that, one can describe a
significant evolutionary-to-functural trend and so behavioural capacity,
tendency and characteristic of very much especially (but not only) us
humans, as ambiadvantageously evolved (or more precisely naturally pruned in
by frequent combinations of "specific Hibernation Imploring type situations
(ditto life situational pressures or environmental influences - a subset of
all conceivable adversity type such) and Opportunity type evolutionary
pressures; and by tying the expression "ambiadvantageously evolved" to words
that describe or imply what functures thereby evolved, one ends up with a
description of a very important aspect of how we humans are and functions.
"AE"+"Vital/Vested Actention (Selection) System Incorporating (amongst other
inhibitory distress blocking or counteracting neurotransmitters - GABA
(basic inhibitory work-horse molecule) and Dopamine and Serotonin of which
Dopamine causes addictive pleasure, and Serotonin causes contentment and
activation of modules that are incompatible with flight-fight responses)
Various Endoopioates (a family of most dedicated "Selective Hibernation
Imploring Type Situation" handling molecules); "AEVASIVE" for short!

Hence the appropriatness of being warned by the insight and understanding
that we tend to focus our attentions "AEVASIVEly" (so to speak).

Peter







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