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Largely unconscious drives.
The drive channel initially learned by recording context. That was when you first learned to drive a car. As mind learned, combinations of contextual memories were encoded into memories of drive channel neurons. Over years, millions more contexts would be added. Shortcuts, early lane changes, responses to traffic snarls. Because channel neurons remembered, it was no longer necessary to highlight a landmark through attention. Increased firing was not needed to indicate context. Normal perceptions were adequate. The channel remembered and managed habitual activities. The studies supported view of a drive channel which acted through learned memories. But those memories had inherited components also. Those components also responded to feelings and emotions.
The historic basis of drives.
Purposeful drives had antecedents from beginnings of life. The Hydra was a primeval example of such a mechanism. It was a branched tubular animal. A netlike arrangement of neurons was interposed between its outside and its internal digestive cavity. A stimulus applied to any part of its body resulted in contraction or bending of its tubular body and its tentacles. The Hydra moved about with this simple nerve net, varied its length and used its tentacles to push food particles into its mouth. Occasional strong contractions of whole animal served to expel indigestible material from same orifice. From beginnings of history, nature had devised ongoing drives, which enabled essential activities - to move about, swallow, or expel food. Across millions of years, more sophisticated feelings and emotions developed. Inherited memories generated a far wider range of drives to meet needs of these emotions. Drives to teach young, to lie in grass, or to play on field. But essentials remained. Drives to seek out and accept, or to avoid and escape.
The agreeable and disagreeable quality.
Medical texts reported that pleasure emotion was triggered from septal areas of brain for rats. The animals were observed when they were able to self stimulate themselves, by pressing a lever, through electrodes implanted in septal area. They continued pressing lever till they were exhausted, preferring effect of stimulation to normally pleasurable activities such as consuming food. The pleasure emotion impelled animal to repeatedly seek that stimulus. On other hand, pain was felt in two waves, separated by an interval of a few tenths of a second. The first was sharp and localized. The second wave was diffuse and still more disagreeable. So, also, after an operation called lobotomy, presence of pain was no longer distressing to patient who would say that pain was still there, but it did not “hurt.” Pain was divided into a sensation and a disagreeable element. That element was, in reality, a drive to avoid stimulus.
Pleasant and unpleasant drives.
The primitive Hydra, moved about, swallowed, or spewed out food. Its drives worked to approach, accept, reject, or escape. Millenniums later, control systems were more sophisticated. But, humans traveled seas, enjoyed delicious meals and occasionally became sea sick. Pleasant emotions generated a drive to approach and accept. The rat kept pressing lever. Such emotions made you feel good. Unpleasant emotions generated a drive to escape, or reject stimulus. The second wave of pain was a drive triggered by cortical recognition of pain. That feeling triggered a drive to escape. That drive was disagreeable. It made you want to run away. When drive was disconnected in lobotomy, pain became just a sensation. Drives affected peace of mind. The IA concept of a drive channel explains those subtle attributes of pain and pleasure.
Abraham Thomas is the author of The Intuitive Algorithm, a book, which suggests that intuition is a pattern recognition algorithm. The ebook version is available at www.intuition.co.in. The book may be purchased only in India. The website, provides a free movie and a walk through to explain the ideas.