[Paleopsych] amygdala and repression

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Thu Jul 1 19:28:30 UTC 2004

Another aspect of trauma is that it impairs the
ability to correctly interpret many inputs- the
whole life experience becomes discolored by
the trauma.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Christopher" <anonymous_animus at yahoo.com>
To: <paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2004 12:04 PM
Subject: [Paleopsych] amygdala and repression

> >>What could the evolutionary value be of keeping key
> experiences locked in a vault that the conscious mind
> canâ?Tt crack into?<<
> --Maybe to avoid overloading the filters that make
> fine discrimination between incoming sensory events?
> An overwhelming, emotion-laden image superimposed on
> reality can scramble meanings, as in schizophrenia
> where innocent statements can sound like hostile
> innuendo or threat. Overflow from the amygdala would
> result in a whole flood of associations and hidden
> meanings that could result in mistake after mistake,
> leading in the worst case to violent pre-emptive
> attack (what percentage of violent offenders have
> serious trauma in their background and impaired
> ability to discern threat from non-threat?). In order
> to perceive "ordinary reality" your emotions have to
> be muted somewhat so that the complexities of language
> and context can operate. Otherwise ambiguity becomes
> anxiety and the shifting power differentials inherent
> in communication become an intolerable form of combat.
> It's also possible that the conscious mind has a
> subordinate relationship to something else, like a
> 2-dimensional map to the terrain it represents. For
> the ego to render the world, including other humans,
> in a 2-dimensional way (more manageable, easier to
> feel in control) would be to risk confusing the
> map-territory relationship, causing all sorts of
> problems. It's useful for the brain to have an echo
> chamber, but if the echoes get stuck and there's no
> "out of the box" function, everything grinds down and
> autism results.
> Michael
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