Born Aliens - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

The motor development ofrepparttar baby is heavily influenced both byrepparttar 126339 lack of sufficient neural equipment and byrepparttar 126340 ever-changing dimensions and proportions ofrepparttar 126341 body. While all other animal cubs are fully motoric in their first few weeks of life repparttar 126342 human baby is woefully slow and hesitant. The motor development is proximodistal. The baby moves in ever widening concentric circles from itself torepparttar 126343 outside world. Firstrepparttar 126344 whole arm, grasping, thenrepparttar 126345 useful fingers (especiallyrepparttar 126346 thumb and forefinger combination), first batting at random, then reaching accurately. The inflation of its body must giverepparttar 126347 babyrepparttar 126348 impression that he is inrepparttar 126349 process of devouringrepparttar 126350 world. Right up to his second yearrepparttar 126351 baby tries to assimilaterepparttar 126352 world through his mouth (which isrepparttar 126353 prima causa of his own growth). He dividesrepparttar 126354 world into "suckable" and "insuckable" (as well as to "stimuli-generating" and "not generating stimuli"). His mind expands even faster than his body. He must feel that he is all-encompassing, all-inclusive, all-engulfing, all-pervasive. This is why a baby has no object permanence. In other words, a baby finds it hard to believerepparttar 126355 existence of other objects if he does not see them (=if they are not IN his eyes). They all exist in his outlandishly exploding mind and only there. The universe cannot accommodate a creature, which doubles itself physically every 4 months as well as objects outsiderepparttar 126356 perimeter of such an inflationary being,repparttar 126357 baby "believes". The inflation ofrepparttar 126358 body has a correlate inrepparttar 126359 inflation of consciousness. These two processes overwhelmrepparttar 126360 baby into a passive absorption and inclusion mode.

To assume thatrepparttar 126361 child is born a "tabula rasa" is superstition. Cerebral processes and responses have been observed in utero. Sounds conditionrepparttar 126362 EEG of fetuses. They startle at loud, sudden noises. This means that they can hear and interpret what they hear. Fetuses even remember stories read to them while inrepparttar 126363 womb. They prefer these stories to others after they are born. This means that they can tell auditory patterns and parameters apart. They tilt their head atrepparttar 126364 direction sounds are coming from. They do so even inrepparttar 126365 absence of visual cues (e.g., in a dark room). They can tellrepparttar 126366 mother's voice apart (perhaps because it is high pitched and thus recalled by them). In general, babies are tuned to human speech and can distinguish sounds better than adults do. Chinese and Japanese babies react differently to "pa" and to "ba", to "ra" and to "la". Adults do not which isrepparttar 126367 source of numerous jokes.

The equipment ofrepparttar 126368 newborn is not limited torepparttar 126369 auditory. He has clear smell and taste preferences (he likes sweet things a lot). He seesrepparttar 126370 world in three dimensions with a perspective (a skill which he could not have acquired inrepparttar 126371 dark womb). Depth perception is well developed byrepparttar 126372 sixth month of life.


Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and

Visit Sam's Web site at

The Manifold of Sense - Part III

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Several psychologists have shown that feelings precede cognition in infants. Animals also probably react before thinking. Does this mean thatrepparttar affective system reacts instantaneously, without any ofrepparttar 126338 appraisal and survey processes that were postulated? If this wererepparttar 126339 case, then we merely play with words: we invent explanations to label our feelings AFTER we fully experience them. Emotions, therefore, can be had without any cognitive intervention. They provoke unlearned bodily patterns, such asrepparttar 126340 aforementioned facial expressions and body language. This vocabulary of expressions and postures is not even conscious. When information about these reactions reachesrepparttar 126341 brain, it assigns to themrepparttar 126342 appropriate emotion. Thus, affect creates emotion and not vice versa.

Sometimes, we hide our emotions in order to preserve our self-image or not to incur society's wrath. Sometimes, we are not aware of our emotions and, as a result, deny or diminish them.

C. An Integrative Platform A Proposal

(The terminology used in this chapter is explored inrepparttar 126343 previous ones.)

The use of one word to denote a whole process wasrepparttar 126344 source of misunderstandings and futile disputations. Emotions (feelings) are processes, not events, or objects. Throughout this chapter, I will, therefore, userepparttar 126345 term "Emotive Cycle".

The genesis ofrepparttar 126346 Emotive Cycle lies inrepparttar 126347 acquisition of Emotional Data. In most cases, these are made up of Sense Data mixed with data related to spontaneous internal events. Even when no access to sensa is available,repparttar 126348 stream of internally generated data is never interrupted. This is easily demonstrated in experiments involving sensory deprivation or with people who are naturally sensorily deprived (blind, deaf and dumb, for instance). The spontaneous generation of internal data andrepparttar 126349 emotional reactions to them are always there even in these extreme conditions. It is true that, even under severe sensory deprivation,repparttar 126350 emoting person reconstructs or evokes past sensory data. A case of pure, total, and permanent sensory deprivation is nigh impossible. But there are important philosophical and psychological differences between real life sense data and their representations inrepparttar 126351 mind. Only in grave pathologies is this distinction blurred: in psychotic states, when experiencing phantom pains followingrepparttar 126352 amputation of a limb or inrepparttar 126353 case of drug induced images and after images. Auditory, visual, olfactory and other hallucinations are breakdowns of normal functioning. Normally, people are well aware of and strongly maintainrepparttar 126354 difference between objective, external, sense data andrepparttar 126355 internally generated representations of past sense data.

The Emotional Data are perceived byrepparttar 126356 emoter as stimuli. The external, objective component has to be compared to internally maintained databases of previous such stimuli. The internally generated, spontaneous or associative data, have to be reflected upon. Both needs lead to introspective (inwardly directed) activity. The product of introspection isrepparttar 126357 formation of qualia. This whole process is unconscious or subconscious.

Ifrepparttar 126358 person is subject to functioning psychological defense mechanisms (e.g., repression, suppression, denial, projection, projective identification) qualia formation will be followed by immediate action. The subject not having had any conscious experience will not be aware of any connection between his actions and preceding events (sense data, internal data andrepparttar 126359 introspective phase). He will be at a loss to explain his behaviour, becauserepparttar 126360 whole process did not go through his consciousness. To further strengthen this argument, we may recall that hypnotized and anaesthetized subjects are not likely to act at all even inrepparttar 126361 presence of external, objective, sensa. Hypnotized people are likely to react to sensa introduced to their consciousness byrepparttar 126362 hypnotist and which had no existence, whether internal or external, prior torepparttar 126363 hypnotist's suggestion. It seems that feeling, sensation and emoting exist only if they pass through consciousness. This is true even where no data of any kind are available (such as inrepparttar 126364 case of phantom pains in long amputated limbs). But such bypasses of consciousness arerepparttar 126365 less common cases.

More commonly, qualia formation will be followed by Feeling and Sensation. These will be fully conscious. They will lead torepparttar 126366 triple processes of surveying, appraisal/evaluation and judgment formation. When repeated often enough judgments of similar data coalesce to form attitudes and opinions. The patterns of interactions of opinions and attitudes with our thoughts (cognition) and knowledge, within our conscious and unconscious strata, give rise to what we call our personality. These patterns are relatively rigid and are rarely influenced byrepparttar 126367 outside world. When maladaptive and dysfunctional, we talk about personality disorders.

Judgements contain, therefore strong emotional, cognitive and attitudinal elements which team up to create motivation. The latter leads to action, which both completes one emotional cycle and starts another. Actions are sense data and motivations are internal data, which together form a new chunk of emotional data.

Emotional cycles can be divided to Phrastic nuclei and Neustic clouds (to borrow a metaphor from physics). The Phrastic Nucleus isrepparttar 126368 content ofrepparttar 126369 emotion, its subject matter. It incorporatesrepparttar 126370 phases of introspection, feeling/sensation, and judgment formation. The Neustic cloud involvesrepparttar 126371 ends ofrepparttar 126372 cycle, which interface withrepparttar 126373 world:repparttar 126374 emotional data, onrepparttar 126375 one hand andrepparttar 126376 resulting action onrepparttar 126377 other.

We started by saying thatrepparttar 126378 Emotional Cycle is set in motion by Emotional Data, which, in turn, are comprised of sense data and internally generated data. Butrepparttar 126379 composition ofrepparttar 126380 Emotional Data is of prime importance in determiningrepparttar 126381 nature ofrepparttar 126382 resulting emotion and ofrepparttar 126383 following action. If more sense data (than internal data) are involved andrepparttar 126384 component of internal data is weak in comparison (it is never absent) we are likely to experience Transitive Emotions. The latter are emotions, which involve observation and revolve around objects. In short: these are "out-going" emotions, that motivate us to act to change our environment.

Yet, ifrepparttar 126385 emotional cycle is set in motion by Emotional Data, which are composed mainly of internal, spontaneously generated data we will end up with Reflexive Emotions. These are emotions that involve reflection and revolve aroundrepparttar 126386 self (for instance, autoerotic emotions). It is here thatrepparttar 126387 source of psychopathologies should be sought: in this imbalance between external, objective, sense data andrepparttar 126388 echoes of our mind.

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and

Visit Sam's Web site at

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