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Postmodern Stress Disorder: On Dopamine and the Hazards of Left-Brain Dominance

Postmodern Stress Disorder: On Dopamine and the Hazards of Left-Brain Dominance

Postmodern Stress Disorder: Presenter Andrew S. Bonci, BA, DC Brochure Description: We consider the cognitive neuroscience of life in an information-dense and fast-paced society. Life in such a “postmodern hyperculture” has profound effects on hemispheric dominance, dopaminergic brain systems, psychosocial wellness, and human behavior. We explore the ramifications of postmodern stress on the brain, psyche, interpersonal, and p

Andrew S. Bonci

December 04, 2021
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  1. Postmodern
    Postmodern
    Stress
    Stress
    Disorder:
    Disorder:
    On Dopamine and the
    On Dopamine and the
    Hazard of Left-Brain
    Hazard of Left-Brain
    Dominance
    Dominance
    Andronicus
    Andronicus
    Discipulus Aeternus
    Discipulus Aeternus

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    1994

    “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!”
    If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!”
    Mary Shelley (1818)
    Mary Shelley (1818)
    Chapter 17
    Chapter 17
    Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus
    Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus

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    Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest
    Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest
    I have no conflicts of interests.
    I do not represent any special interests.
    The ideas represented in this lecture are taken
    from important thinkers whose works are
    referenced and recognized.
    I am humbled to be a part of the intellectual
    conversation taking place across time and space
    with each of you.
    Cover Art Credit: Picaso 1923 Portrait of woman in d`hermine pass (Olga) https://www.wikiart.org/en/pablo-picasso/untitled-1937-8

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    Lecture Objectives
    Lecture Objectives
    The effects of food and environmental stress on
    dopamine brain systems.
    The cognitive burdens of technology and
    information processing on dopaminergic pathways
    in contemporary society.
    Physiologic responses to taxed executive
    functions such as hypomania, ego depletion, and
    addictive behaviors as seen during clinical
    encounters.
    The Main Subject is Life under left-brain dominance.

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    The left hemisphere is competitive, and its
    concern, its prime motivation, is power.
    Iain McGilchrist (2019)
    The Master and His Emissary

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    My Post-Fact Qualifications
    My Post-Fact Qualifications
    Graduate Studies @ Twitter University
    Advanced Studies @ Praeger University
    Postdoctoral Fellowship @ Facebook University
    Dunning-Kruger Distinguished Chair of Self-
    Ordained Expertise @ University of Google
    Excellence in Teaching Award @ Podcast
    University
    Certified in Advanced Pharmacology @
    www.drugs.com

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    Pseudo Expertise Kills
    Pseudo Expertise Kills
    On the morning of January 20, 2015, fifty-five
    year-old Steven Pasceri quietly demanded to see
    cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Michael Davidson.
    The Murder
    in Exam Room 15. (2015, June 30). Boston Magazine. https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2015/06/30/brigham-and-womens-hospital-shooting/
    – Pasceri was disgruntled over the death of his
    mother while under the care of Dr. Davidson for a
    heart and lung condition.
    – Pasceri “was sure” that the improperly prescribed
    drug amiodarone, had killed his mother from what
    he read on www.drugs.com.
    – Davidson was 44 years-old when Pasceri took his
    life with a .40 caliber pistol.

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    https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/telegram/obituary.aspx?n=stephen-pasceri&pid=173928265
    Ersatz Expert:
    Ersatz Expert:
    made or used as a substitute,
    made or used as a substitute,
    typically an inferior one,
    typically an inferior one,
    an affectation;
    an affectation;
    not real or genuine.
    not real or genuine.

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    Postmodern Stress Disorder
    Postmodern Stress Disorder (PMSD)
    (PMSD)
    Responding to the murder of Davidson, Eiser (2015)
    recommends PMSD as a new diagnostic disorder.
    Eiser, A. R. (2015). Postmodern Stress Disorder (PMSD): A Possible New Disorder. The American Journal of Medicine, 128(11), 1178–1181.
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.04.039
    – “This disorder appears to [relate to the] excessive
    stimulation of the amygdala and loss of the normal
    inhibitory inputs from the” prefrontal cortex.
    – The postmodern condition includes “ascendancy of
    digital communication, computerized entertainment,
    Internet usage, violent video games, cyberbullying,
    large-scale bureaucracy, multiculturalism, and
    growing anomie.”

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    The Misinformation Age
    The Misinformation Age
    What Eiser (2015)
    failed to identify as an important
    etiological factor in fostering postmodern stress,
    O'Conner (2019)
    discusses in her book, “The
    Misinformation Age.”
    O’Conner, C. (2019). The Misinformation Age. Yale University Press.
    – Increasingly, we are basing our decisions on lies,
    falsehoods, and partial information which are
    whitewashed of necessary context.
    – Online social media platforms are providing
    voluminous information and data-sets so fast that
    we mistake ubiquity and repetition for the truth. (See
    Reuters, AP Wire, echo chambers and “news feeds”)
    – My opinion is equally as valid and on the same
    footing as the facts.

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    We Have Become Inflated Fictions
    We Have Become Inflated Fictions
    In “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man,”
    Marshall McLuhan (1964)
    warned us that the coming
    media would have a distorting impact on us more
    so than the content itself.
    McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Ginko
    Press.
    – “For the 'message' of any medium or technology is
    the change of scale
    change of scale or pace or pattern that it
    introduces into human affairs.” (p. 8)
    – Pasceri, and by extension each of us, live a
    distorted sense of self-aggrandizement as we
    assume the scale, pace, and pattern of powerful
    search engines on the internet, i.e. media.

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    There is a veering between two apparently
    opposite positions which are in reality aspects of
    the same position: omnipotence and impotence.
    Iain McGilchrist (2019)
    The Master and His Emissary

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    We Live on the Hypomanic Edge
    We Live on the Hypomanic Edge
    According to John Gartner, PhD (2005) Gartner, J. D. (2005). The Hypomanic
    Edge. Simon & Schuster.
    – Hypomanics are brimming with infectious energy,
    irrational confidence, and really big ideas.
    – They think, talk, move, and make decisions quickly.
    – Hypomanics are not crazy, but “normal” is not the
    first word that comes to mind when describing
    them.
    – Hypomanics live on the edge, between normal and
    abnormal.

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    Founding Member
    Founding Member
    Hypomanics Anonymous
    Hypomanics Anonymous®
    ®
    Hello, my name is Andrew.
    I am a hypomanic.
    I am the product of a hyperculture.
    I am a citizen of a post-fact world.
    I am addicted to dopamine.
    I am a legend in my own mind.
    My Life Motto: “Second place is the first loser.”

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    Dopamine Fuels this Fire
    Dopamine Fuels this Fire
     Dopamine
    Left-Brain
    Empowered
    Hypomania

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    Venus of Willendorf
    30,000 BCE
    A Left Brain Struggle for Dominance
    A Left Brain Struggle for Dominance
    Evidence of Climate Change
    Evidence of Climate Change

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    We Went From ...
    We Went From ...
    Song to Speech
    Poetry to Prose
    “I and Thou” to “I and It”
    Authentic to Inauthentic
    Real to Hyper-real
    Right-Brain to Left-Brain Dominance

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    We Are of Two Minds
    We Are of Two Minds
    In “Tales from Both Sides of the Brain,” Gazzaniga
    (2015)
    describes the research that led to the
    discovery of two minds in one brain.
    Gazzaniga, Michael. 2015. Tales from Both
    Sides of the Brain. New York: HarperCollins Publishing.
    – “There was no getting around it; the new work on
    split-brain humans was haunting.” (p. 114)
    – “To suddenly think [the brain/mind] can be divided,
    that two minds are coexisting in one cranium, is
    almost not comprehensible.” (p. 114)

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    We must inhibit one in order to inhabit the other.
    Iain McGilchrist (2019)
    The Master and His Emissary

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    The Perennial Battle
    The Perennial Battle
    Kinsbourne (2003)
    illuminates how the corpus
    callosum mediates interhemispheric oscillation
    and determines hemispheric dominance
    Kinsbourne, M. (2003).
    Chapter 10: The Corpus Callosum Equilibrates the Cerebral Hemispheres. In The Parallel Brain: The Cognitive Neuroscience of the Corpus Callosum. MIT Press.
    – “To ensure 'singleness of action,' the self-organizing
    nervous system selects one action system,
    suppressing other candidate systems” (p. 271).

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    “Dopamine-Urgent”
    Dopamine-Urgent”
    In their book, “The Molecule of More,” Lieberman
    & Long (2018)
    state, “[T]his single molecule is the
    ultimate multipurpose device, urging us, through
    thousands of neurochemical processes, to move
    beyond the pleasure of just being, into exploring
    the universe of possibilities that comes when we
    imagine.”
    Lieberman, D., & Long, M. (2018). The Molecule of More. BenBella Books.
    – Dopamine underwrites important left hemispheric
    differences which will be highlighted here.

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    Dopamine
    Dopamine
    Barron, A. B., Søvik, E., & Cornish, J. L. (2010). The Roles of Dopamine and Related Compounds in Reward-Seeking Behavior Across Animal Phyla. Frontiers
    in Behavioral Neuroscience, 4. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2010.00163

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    Hemisphere of Abstraction
    Hemisphere of Abstraction
    In “The Master and His Emissary,” McGilchrist
    (2019)
    lists key histological and hemispheric
    differences.
    McGilchrist, I. (2019). The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (2nd, New
    Expanded Edition edition ed.). Yale University Press.
    – There is less dendritic overlap in cortical columns
    and less INTRAhemispheric interconnectivity in
    the left compared with the right hemisphere.
    – The left hemisphere is capable of magnificent feats
    of abstraction that results in a fragmented,
    disjointed, re-presentation of the world.
    – The left brain must confabulate a narrative that
    connects the various islands of abstraction.

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    The Postmodern Condition
    The Postmodern Condition
    In “Who's Afraid of Postmodernism,” James K. A.
    Smith (2006)
    discusses the critical theories of three
    markedly postmodern, French philosophers. As
    we will see, the bridge carrying us over the
    postmodern divide comes on the back of an over
    reliance on left-brain processes.
    Smith, J. K. A. (2006). Who’s Afraid of
    Postmodernism: The Church and Culture. Baker Academic.
    – “There is nothing outside the text.” Jacques Derrida

    Life is decontextualized from history and culture.
    – “Incredulity toward meta-narratives.” Jean Francois
    Lyotard
    – “Power is Knowledge.” Michel Foucault

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    Postmodernism is Hyperculture
    Postmodernism is Hyperculture
    In “Hyperculture,” Bertman (1998)
    identifies the high-
    modern pathology as a function of speed and an
    insatiable consumer culture.
    Bertman, S. (1998). Hyperculture: The Human Cost of Speed.
    Praeger Publishers.
    – [E]xcessive speed and the cumulative effects of
    multiple systems operating simultaneously
    overwhelm, rather than aid, the individual. (p. 35)
    – A fast-paced “hyperculture” thrives not on
    reflection but on stimulation. (p. 129)
    – Preferring short-term stimulus to long-term
    reflection, we take delight in this titillation of the
    senses and revel in trivia that masquerades as
    meaning. (p. 131)

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    Modern/
    Modern/
    Identity is unitary.
    Life is here and
    now.
    Experience is
    whole and
    connected to place.
    The world is natural
    and animated.
    Identity is a duality.
    Life is both here
    and there.
    Experience is
    fractured and
    distributed.
    The world is
    mechanical and
    lifeless.
    Identity is a
    multiplicity.
    Life is neither here
    nor there.
    Experience is
    atomized and
    disconnected from
    place.
    The world is abstract
    and virtual.
    In “The Homeless Mind,” Berger, et. al. (1974)
    characterize life across the neurocultural
    landscape:
    Berger, P., Berger, B., & Kellner, H. (1974). The Homeless Mind: Modernization and Consciousness. Vintage Books.
    Premodern/
    Premodern/ Postmodern
    Postmodern

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    Unfallen vs Fallen Motif
    Unfallen vs Fallen Motif
    In “The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human
    History and the Dawning of a New Era,” Steve
    Taylor (2010)
    demonstrates how climate change
    and subsequent resource scarcity over 200,000
    years gave rise to the dominant, left-brain sense
    self.
    Taylor, S. (2010). The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of a New Era. John Hunt Publishing.
    – Ultimately, around 6,000 BCE an “ego explosion”
    takes place which allowed for survival in a hot,
    crowded, and resource depleted world.

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    Neurocultural Timeline
    Neurocultural Timeline
    Modern
    Modern Postmodern
    Postmodern
    Unfallen
    Unfallen Fallen
    Fallen
    6000 BCE
    6000 BCE 1950 CE
    1950 CE
    Premodern
    Premodern
    1650 CE
    1650 CE
    Premodern, Modern, Postmodern are more socio-historical terms.
    Premodern, Modern, Postmodern are more socio-historical terms.
    Prefallen and Fallen are more neuropsychological terms.
    Prefallen and Fallen are more neuropsychological terms.
    This timeline demonstrates
    This timeline demonstrates
    the confluence of
    the confluence of
    cultural dynamics
    cultural dynamics (postmodernism)
    (postmodernism)
    with environmental dynamics
    with environmental dynamics

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    Life before the Bite
    Life before the Bite
    Photo Credit ID 12625647 © Deborahr | Dreamstime.com
    Right-Brain Dominance
    Right-Brain Dominance

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    Where is God when you pray?
    Where is God when you pray?

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    Right-Brain Existence
    Right-Brain Existence
    Look Down: Peripersonal Space
    “What you see when you look down are things
    within your reach, things you can control right
    now, things you can move and manipulate with no
    planning, effort, or thought.”
    Lieberman, D., & Long, M. (2018). The Molecule of More. BenBella
    Books.
    – The neurochemicals predominantly responsible for
    the “Here & Now” (H&N) experience are
    concentrated in the right brain.
    – They enable you to savor and enjoy, or perhaps to
    fight or run away, right now.
    – Serotonin and norepinephrine.

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    Me, Myself
    Me, Myself
    In “The Face in the Mirror: The Search for the
    Origins of Consciousness,” Keenan, et. al. (2003)
    conclude that our basic sense of physical or
    objective self resides distributed across right-brain
    structures with special emphasis in somatomotor
    areas.
    Keenan, J., Gallup, G. G., & Falk, D. (2003). The Face in the Mirror: The Search for the Origins of Consciousness (1 edition). Ecco.
    – “Since much evidence shows that the right
    hemisphere sustains a sense of self without
    language, we can assume that the sense of self,
    consciousness, is independent from language.”
    (p.251)

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    Right Hemispheric Goldmine
    Right Hemispheric Goldmine
    McGilchrist (2019)
    states, “If a neuropsychologist
    had to choose three things to characterize most
    clearly the functional contribution of the right
    hemisphere, they would most probably be
    McGilchrist, I. (2019).
    The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (2nd, New Expanded edition ed.). Yale University Press.
    – “the capacity to read the human face”
    – “the capacity to sustain vigilant attention as
    opposed to left-brain selectivity”
    – “the capacity to empathize”

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    System 1 Thinking
    System 1 Thinking
    According to Kahneman (2013)
    , System 1 Thinking
    is dedicated to fast thinking.
    Kahneman, D. (2013). Thinking, Fast and Slow (1st edition). Farrar,
    Straus and Giroux.
    – It almost solely relies on intuition and almost
    entirely disregards information.
    – System 1 is in control every time we do an activity
    that requires quick thinking and reactions.
    – System 1 Thinking may be related to right-brained
    processes that is more dependent on H&N
    neurochemistry which is fast and indefatigable.

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    Unfallen/PreModern Man
    Unfallen/PreModern Man
    In his book “Saharasia,” climatologist James
    DeMeo (2011)
    characterizes the peoples living
    across the plains of northern Africa, the Levant,
    and Asian Steppes prior to 6,000 BCE.
    DeMeo, J. (2011). Saharasia:
    The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare, and Social Violence in the Deserts of the Old World. Natural Energy Works.
    – The peoples who lived in Saharasia when it was
    still fertile were peaceful, non-patriarchal, and
    egalitarian, with a healthy, open attitude toward sex
    and the body.
    – These peoples tended toward System 1 Thinking

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    Photo Credit: ID 173489715 © Mastaka | Dreamstime.com
    How did the Shift
    How did the Shift
    to the Left Happen?
    to the Left Happen?

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    Epigenetic Punctuations
    Epigenetic Punctuations
    PMSD can best be understood as the culmination
    of epigenetic changes occurring to the brain over
    the past two-hundred thousand plus years.
    – Hominins left the trees 4.3 million years ago.
    – Major “Larmarckian” punctuations have occurred
    200,000 years ago, 8,000 years ago, 500 years ago
    and 50 years ago.
    – These punctuations align with brain hemisphere
    changes and two, crucial dopaminergic pathways.

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    Neuroanatomical Punctuations
    Neuroanatomical Punctuations
    You might think that as brains evolve to become
    larger, the interhemispheric connections would
    increase in tandem. They actually decrease
    relative to brain size.
    McGilchrist, I. (2019). The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the
    Western World (2nd, New Expanded Edition edition ed.). Yale University Press.
    – “The bigger the brain, the less interconnected it is,
    and the smaller the corpus callosum.”
    – “Rather than taking the opportunity to increase
    connectedness, evolution appears to be moving in
    the opposite direction.”
    – “[In the] modern human brain, its twin hemispheres
    have been characterized as two autonomous
    systems” in a struggle for dominance.

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    Andrews, P., and R. J. Johnson. 2020. “Evolutionary Basis for the Human Diet: Consequences for Human Health.” Journal of Internal Medicine 287(3):226–37. doi:
    10.1111/joim.13011.
    4.3 Million YA
    4.3 Million YA

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    Early Hominin Diet
    Early Hominin Diet
    Dennis McKenna (2014)
    wrote in the Preface to
    “Return to the Brain of Eden”:
    Wright, T., & Gynn, G. (2014). Return to the Brain of Eden:
    Restoring the Connection between Neurochemistry and Consciousness. Inner Traditions.
    – “[The] rainforest environment favored a
    frugivorous diet rich in flavonoids, monoamine
    oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, and neurotransmitter
    precursors that was relatively low in steroid-
    containing or steroid-inducing elements.”
    – “This dietary regime potentiated pineal functions,
    neocortical expansion, and hemispheric
    integration.”

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    Unfallen Hominin/Man
    Unfallen Hominin/Man
    In “Return to the Brain of Eden,” Wright and Gynn
    (2014)
    discuss how climatic changes by 200,000
    BCE shrank the ancestral forests forcing hominins
    onto the Savannah reducing the concentration of
    fruit in their diet.
    Wright, T., & Gynn, G. (2014). Return to the Brain of Eden: Restoring the Connection between
    Neurochemistry and Consciousness. Inner Traditions.
    – Dietary polyphenols found in fruit resulted in lower
    levels of androgens and higher levels of
    serotonin and norepinephrine.
    – Loss of rich sources of dietary polyphenols resulted
    in increased levels of androgens and lower levels
    of serotonin and norepinephrine thus favoring the
    advent of left-hemisphere dominance.

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    A Major Dietary Punctuation
    A Major Dietary Punctuation
    Previc (2009)
    in his book, “The Dopaminergic Mind
    in Human Evolution and History,” examines the
    role of diet and the advent of left-brain dominance
    that had its origins some 200,000 years ago.
    Previc, F. H.
    (2009). Dopaminergic Mind in Human Evolution and History. Cambridge University Press.
    – Iodine-rich, dietary shellfish supported thyroid
    gland expansion which catalyzes tyrosine
    hydroxylase to increase brain DOPA.
    – The essential fatty acid content of fish is also
    known to increase both dopamine levels and it's
    receptor binding characteristics.

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    The Shifting Sense of Agency
    The Shifting Sense of Agency
    In their article “Dopamine and Sense of Agency,”
    Render, et. al. (2019)
    describe the necessary role
    that dopamine plays in our capacity to create
    actions, influence our surroundings, act
    independently, and to make free choices.
    Render, A., & Jansen, P.
    (2019). Dopamine and sense of agency: Determinants in personality and substance use. PLoS ONE, 14(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0214069
    – The brain readies itself and initiate movement well
    before we become consciously aware of it (see
    Libet)
    – Under normal dopaminergic conditions, the left
    brain identifies agency from within.
    – See Jaynes (1976) for more.

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    Life after the Bite
    Life after the Bite
    Photo Credit ID 173396015 © Laurentiu Iordache | Dreamstime.com
    Left-Brain Dominance
    Left-Brain Dominance

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    Fallen/PreModern Man
    Fallen/PreModern Man
    In his book “The Fall,” Taylor (2010)
    makes a critical
    review of the pressures that led to radical changes
    in human behavior around 6,000 BCE.
    Taylor, S. (2010). The Fall: The
    Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of a New Era. John Hunt Publishing.
    – Between 8,000 BCE and 4,000 BCE equatorial
    Saharasia became desertified.
    – This environmental change had a devastating effect
    on their psyche flipping their right-brain way of life
    to a left-brain approach in order to survive.

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    Saharasian Desertification
    Saharasian Desertification
    According to climatologist James DeMeo (2011)
    glacial retreat and desertification of Saharasia and
    the Levant by 6,000 BCE to 4,000 BCE resulted in
    significant crop failure, water scarcity, and loss
    of hunting fauna.
    DeMeo, J. (2011). Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare, and
    Social Violence in the Deserts of the Old World. Natural Energy Works.
    – Said resource scarcity is linked to the cultural
    practices of child abuse, sexual-repression,
    warfare, and social violence.
    – It is noted that many origin myths of this region
    consist of man being cast from a lush and fertile
    garden.
    – An improved survival strategy was necessary.

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    (Desire)
    (Desire) Survival Dopamine
    Survival Dopamine
    Lieberman & Long (2018)
    characterize (desire)
    survival
    dopamine as follows.
    Lieberman, D., & Long, M. (2018). The Molecule of More. BenBella Books.
    – “Desire dopamine makes us want things. It is the
    source of raw desire: give me more.”
    – “Desire dopamine overpowers the more rational
    parts of the brain.”

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    I want to tell you my
    I want to tell you my
    secret now ...
    secret now ...
    I see widespread threats to
    I see widespread threats to
    my resources and ...
    my resources and ...
    you can't reason with me.
    you can't reason with me.

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    Mesolimbic Survival Dopamine
    Mesolimbic Survival Dopamine
    The mesolimbic system takes its origin in the
    ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the mid-brain and
    interacts with important medial cortical and
    subcortical elements including the nucleus
    accumbens (basal ganglia)
    , amygdala, hippocampus,
    anterior cingulate cortex, olfactory cortex, and the
    ventromedial prefrontal cortex.
    Previc, F. H. (2009). Dopaminergic Mind in Human Evolution
    and History. Cambridge University Press.
    – This pathway is connected to reward, addiction,
    mania, compulsive behaviors, and psychotic breaks
    including schizophrenia.
    – It is an important survival pathway that modulates
    fear responses.

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    Mesolimbic Desire Dopamine
    Mesolimbic Desire Dopamine
    Arnsten, A. F. T. (2009). Stress signaling pathways that impair prefrontal cortex structure and function. Nature Reviews. Neuroscience, 10(6), 410–422.
    https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2648

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    Mesolimbic Salience
    Mesolimbic Salience
    Gazzaniga, et. al. (2014)
    outline the role of
    dopamine in the salience network which
    connects bottom-up processes through the
    mesolimbic pathways to connect the anterior
    cingulate and the insular cortex.
    Gazzaniga, M., Ivry, R. B., & Mangun, G. R. (2014).
    Chapter 12: Cognitive Control. In Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind (4th ed.). W. W. Norton & Company.
    – “Dopamine activity indicates that something is
    worth paying attention to, and when things are
    associated with reward dopamine our activity
    reflects how desirable the object is.” (p. 531)

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    The Terror of History
    The Terror of History
    In “The Terror of History,” Teofilo Ruiz (2011)
    discusses the manner in which fear gave shape to
    our lives across the swath of time from prehistory
    to the present day.
    Ruiz, T. (2011). The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization.
    Princeton University Press.
    – [T]he unpredictability of history—the weight of
    endless cycles of war, oppression, and cruelty
    beyond description—shapes our individual and
    collective lives. (p. 6)
    – Fear is more a feature of right-brain processes
    whereas anger is more a feature of left-brain
    processes.
    McGilchrist, Iain. 2019. The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World.
    2nd, New Expanded edition ed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

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    Anger is the left-brain coping mechanism
    for the right-brain fear reaction.

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    Left-Brain Existence
    Left-Brain Existence
    Look Up: Extrapersonal Space/Saccadic Eye
    Movements
    “What do you see? To reach them, you have to
    plan, think, calculate. Even if it’s only a little, it still
    requires some coordinated effort. Unlike what we
    see when we look down, the realm of up shows us
    things that we have to think about and work for in
    order to get.”
    Lieberman, D., & Long, M. (2018). The Molecule of More. BenBella Books.
    – Dopamine marks abstraction in thinking.

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    On Hemispheric Domination
    On Hemispheric Domination
    In “Ways of Attending,” McGilchrist (2018)
    gives us
    clues as to the “why” and “how” of lateralization.
    McGilchrist, Iain. 2018. Ways of Attending: How Our Divided Brain Constructs the World. 1 edition. Routledge.
    – The overall increase in function in the left
    hemisphere in humans is due to a deliberate
    deliberate
    handicapping of the right hemisphere
    handicapping of the right hemisphere. (p. 8)
    – Lateralization occurs to allow us to “sing”
    denotatively about things removed by time and
    space. (See Mithen, 2006, The Singing Neanderthals)

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    Yakovlevian Torque
    Yakovlevian Torque
    Oliveira, E. P., Feitosa, E., SANTOS, G., SILVA, E., PINCERATO, R., &
    PORTELA, L. (2016, March 2). Left Brain, Right Brain: Cerebral Asymmetry
    Beyond the Handedness. An Anatomic Review on Brain Laterality [Text]. ECR
    2016 EPOS; European Congress of Radiology - ECR 2016.
    https://epos.myesr.org/poster/esr/ecr2016/C-1559
    Asymmetry and
    lateralization of the
    hemispheres conveys
    a dual sense of
    ourselves in the world.
    “For the right
    hemisphere, we live
    the body; for the left,
    we live in it, rather as
    we drive a car.” (p. 21)
    McGilchrist, I. (2018). Ways of Attending: How our Divided Brain
    Constructs the World (1 edition). Routledge.

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    Ego Explosion
    Ego Explosion
    It was this point in history (6,000 BCE)
    when peoples
    developed a strong and sharp sense of ego. The
    ego explosion refers to the intensification of the
    human sense of “I” or individuality.
    Taylor, S. (2010). The Fall: The
    Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of a New Era. John Hunt Publishing.
    – Firstly, a new kind of intelligence that fostered a
    practical and inventive problem-solving capacity
    was needed as their environment changed.
    – Secondly, some 6,000 years ago when their crops
    began to fail, when the animals they hunted began
    to die, when their water supplies began to fail, it
    may have encouraged a new spirit of selfishness.

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    Mesocortical System
    Mesocortical System
    The mesocortical pathway arises from the
    dopaminergic cells of the VTA (ventral tegmental area)
    and
    connect to the dlPFC and the dmPFC.
    Previc, F. H. (2009). Dopaminergic
    Mind in Human Evolution and History. Cambridge University Press.
    – This interconnected system is known to subserve
    cognitive control, motivation, and emotional
    response.

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    Mesocortical Control Dopamine
    Mesocortical Control Dopamine
    Arnsten, A. F. T. (2009). Stress signaling pathways that impair prefrontal cortex structure and function. Nature Reviews. Neuroscience, 10(6), 410–422.
    https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2648

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    Control/Thrive Dopamine
    Control/Thrive Dopamine
    Lieberman & Long (2018)
    characterize “control”
    dopamine as follows.
    Lieberman, D., & Long, M. (2018). The Molecule of More. BenBella Books.
    – Control dopamine is the building block of
    imagination and creative thought: ideas, plans,
    theories, abstract concepts such as mathematics
    and beauty, and worlds yet to be.
    – It gives us tools to comprehend, analyze, and
    model the world around us, so we can extrapolate
    possibilities, compare and contrast them, then craft
    ways to achieve our goals.

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    Medieval Punctuation
    Medieval Punctuation
    (Mid 1300s)
    (Mid 1300s)
    Norman Cantor's (2001)
    “In The Wake of the Plague:
    The Black Death and the World it Made,”
    describes the events that laid the groundwork for
    the modern mind.
    Cantor, N. (2001). In The Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World it Made. The Free
    Press.
    – Medieval warm period (900 to 1300 CE) altered
    farming practices and increased cattle herding.
    – Around 1280 the warming trend began to run down
    with crop failures close behind.
    – The plague created religious, social, and economic
    upheavals, with profound effects on the course of
    European history.
    Black Death. (2020). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
    title=Black_Death&oldid=964284010

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    Modern Man
    Modern Man
    In “A Primer on Postmodernism,” Grenz (1996)
    characterizes modern man as follows:
    Grenz, S. J. (1996). A Primer on
    Postmodernism (3rd ed.). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
    – “The modern human can be characterized as
    Descartes’s autonomous, rational substance
    living in Newton’s mechanistic world.”
    Cantor (2001)
    suggests that modernity may have
    been a byproduct of the Black Death as an
    attempt to understand the pestilence.
    Cantor, N. (2001). In The Wake of the
    Plague: The Black Death and the World it Made. The Free Press.

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    Phenomenology of Duality
    Phenomenology of Duality
    Taylor (2010)
    in “The Fall,” hypothesizes that much
    of what ails us psychologically has to do with a
    profound sense of separation from the world
    and ourselves as we advance further into the
    abstractions of life.
    Taylor, S. (2010). The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of a New
    Era. John Hunt Publishing.
    – Our profound separation from Nature/Eden/God is
    mirrored in the profound separation of our
    hemispheres.
    – We have been cast out of our right hemisphere
    to live in the divided and abstract rePresentations of
    the left hemisphere.

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    The right hemisphere, the one that believes, but
    does not know, has to depend on the other, the
    left hemisphere, that knows, but doesn’t believe.
    Iain McGilchrist (2019)
    The Master and His Emissary

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    System 2 Thinking
    System 2 Thinking
    According to Kahneman (2013)
    , System 2 Thinking
    is dedicated to slow thinking.
    Kahneman, D. (2013). Thinking, Fast and Slow (1st edition). Farrar,
    Straus and Giroux.
    – It always relies on information and almost never
    on intuition.
    – System 2 requires energy, because it operates
    voluntarily.
    – System 2 Thinking is related to majority left-brained
    processes/systems that are more dependent on
    dopamine neurochemistry which is slow and easily
    fatigued.

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    Change Accelerates
    Change Accelerates
    In “Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the
    Mind,” Gazzaniga, et. al. (2014)
    describe how the
    brain works by building predictive models of the
    body and the world that facilitate decision making
    and movements.
    Gazzaniga, M., Ivry, R. B., & Mangun, G. R. (2014). Chapter 12: Cognitive Control. In Cognitive
    Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind (4th ed.). W. W. Norton & Company.
    – Predictive models of psychosocial interaction
    breakdown in a “hyperculture.”
    – There is “FutureShock”

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    Prelude to Postmodernity
    Prelude to Postmodernity
    Alvin Toffler (1970)
    describes the component
    stressors that are coming together to radically
    change the fabric of society in his classic book
    “FutureShock.”
    Toffler, A. (1970). FutureShock. Bantam.
    – Life Accelerates its pace exponentially
    – Transience, Novelty, and Diversity
    – Limits of Adaptability (Ego Depletion) lead to the
    disorder that Toffler referred to as “FutureShock.”

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    Postmodern Self
    Postmodern Self
    In “The Saturated Self,” Gergen (1991)
    describes the
    fragmentation, multiplicity, and frenetic
    dimensions of our mental life as we cross over
    the postmodern divide.
    Gergen, K. (1991). The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life.
    Basic Books.
    – Our attention spans have all but disappeared.
    – Reality has been breached and has given way to
    hyperreality.
    – Our lives are no longer guided by either fact or
    fiction, but by “faction.” (p. 116)

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    A Fragmented World
    A Fragmented World
    McGilchrist (2019)
    warns us that the left brain
    underwrites a fragmented world view.
    McGilchrist, I. (2019). The Master and
    His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (2nd, New Expanded edition ed.). Yale University Press.
    – The left brain is “literally more limited in what it can
    see and less capable of understanding what it does
    see than the right brain.
    – The left brain “is less aware of its own limitations”
    and should give us pause and “good reason to
    reappraise the left hemisphere’s world view.”

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    Entering the Shallows
    Entering the Shallows
    In his book “The Shallows: What the Internet is
    Doing to Our Brains,” Nicholas Carr (2011)
    catalogs
    how we are getting lost in the distracting
    cacophony of stimuli.
    Carr, N. (2011). The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. W. W. Norton &
    Company.
    – The way we access information no longer follows
    a linear path from start to finish.
    – Our eyes and minds dart around chasing after
    flashing adds, pop-ups, hyperlinks, and closing
    windows that results in a fragmented experience of
    the world.
    – We are losing mesocortical control to mesolimbic
    (desire) survival.

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    Startle-Effects
    Startle-Effects
    In the “Heart-Mind Matrix,” Pearce (2012)
    describes
    how television programs overcame the catatonia
    of its young viewers thus “startling” them back to
    active viewing.
    Pearce, J. C. (2012). The Heart-Mind Matrix: How the Heart Can Teach the Mind New Ways to Think. Park
    Street Press.
    – “Media-induced startle-effects are created by a
    variety of arbitrary, abrupt, incoherent, and
    nonlogical extremities of contrasts in light, sound,
    and general imagery in televised content.”
    – “These startle-effects result in unstable, shifting
    visual-auditory tapestries not found heretofore in
    nature or ordinary daily situations.”

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    Stimmung
    Stimmung
    In “Madness and Modernity,” Sass (1992)
    describes
    the “stimmung” or “mood” of schizophrenia while
    pointing out commonalities with late modernity.
    Sass, L. (1992). Madness and Modernity: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought. Harvard University Press.
    – “[T]he world is stripped of its usual meanings and
    sense coherence and defies standard description.”
    – “Everything bristles with a new and overwhelming
    quality of definiteness and significance.”
    – Stimmung usually includes a disturbing sense of
    unreality, a sense of awe at mere existence, a
    disturbing sense of fragmentation, followed by
    apophany or sudden manifestation of meaning.

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    Enter Conspiracy Theories
    Enter Conspiracy Theories
    DeYoung (2013)
    offers us clues into how the
    dopaminergic systems drive exploration, mental
    model building from often unrelated or
    contradictory facts.
    DeYoung, C. G. (2013). The neuromodulator of exploration: A unifying theory of the role of
    dopamine in personality. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00762
    – Apophenia is the identification of meaningful
    patterns in noisy or random visual stimuli.
    – Hyper left-brained individuals such as
    schizophrenics often see elaborate narratives in
    simple inkblots.
    – See also Pareidolia.
    – See also “Joker” with Joaquin Phoenix

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    With post-modernism,
    With post-modernism,
    meaning drains away.
    meaning drains away.
    Iain McGilchrist (2019)
    The Master and His Emissary
    Photo Credit ID 686327 © Wikus Otto | Dreamstime.com

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    We're Being Pulled Apart
    We're Being Pulled Apart
    In “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-
    Tech World,” Gazzaley & Rosen (2016)
    conclude
    that technology is reducing us to superficial
    automatons with an addiction to flashing lights,
    electronic tones, and haptic vibrations.
    Gazzaley, A., & Rosen, L. (2016).
    The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World. MIT Press.
    – Interference comes in two forms; distraction which
    is involuntary and interruption which is voluntary.
    – “We are all cruising along on a superhighway of
    interference.” (p. 28)

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    Loss of Impulse Control
    Loss of Impulse Control
    In “Behave,” Robert Sapolsky (2017)
    assures us that
    (dis)stress can take our prefrontal cortices off-
    line resulting the loss of impulse control.
    Sapolsky, R. (2017). Behave:
    The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. Penguin Books.
    – “Stress can disrupt cognition, impulse control,
    emotional regulation, decision making, empathy,
    and prosociality.” (p. 134)
    – Aside: [A]lcohol only evokes aggression in
    individuals prone to aggression via the
    mesolimbic pathway. (p. 134)
    – It's like waking a toddler from a nap.

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    Ego Depletion
    Ego Depletion
    Baumeister (2002)
    advanced the hypothesis of ego
    depletion as an energy-well with limitations
    Baumeister,
    R. F. (2002). Ego Depletion and Self-Control Failure: An Energy Model of the Self’s Executive Function. Self and Identity, 129–136.
    – If self-control operates like energy, then the first act
    of self-control will consume some quantity of this
    resource, and so the person will face the second
    task with a diminished capacity to engage in self-
    control.

    Burnout may arise when one has exhausted their
    resources in futile efforts to help people.

    Trauma victims may become passive and unable to
    function because the need to cope with the aftermath of
    trauma (including affect regulation) exhausts their
    resources.

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    Limits of Adaptability
    Limits of Adaptability
    In “FutureShock,” Toffler (1970)
    describes both the
    physiological and psychological when novel
    events challenge “one's preconceived world
    view” where he quotes the sociologist Lawrence
    Suhm:
    Toffler, A. (1970). FutureShock. Bantam.
    – “We are going through a period as traumatic as
    the evolution of man's predecessors from sea
    creatures to land creatures … Those who can adapt
    will; those who can't will either go on surviving
    somehow at a lower level of development or will
    perish – washed up on the shores.”

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    Coddling of the American Mind
    Coddling of the American Mind
    Lukianoff and Haidt (2018)
    identify three “untruths”
    affecting the thinking and behavior of young “Gen
    Z” students on college campuses.
    Lukianoff, G., & Haidt, J. (2018). The Coddling of
    the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. Penguin Books.
    1. "What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker"
    2. "Always trust your feelings"
    3. "Life is a battle between good people and evil
    people"

    These “untruths” may be nothing more than a reaction to
    transience, novelty, and diversity happening faster than
    cognitive, predictive models can be built, torn-down, and
    rebuilt. They may be signs of the limits of adaptability.

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    The Coming Dark Age
    The Coming Dark Age
    In “Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the
    Coming Dark Age,” Maggie Jackson (2008)
    details
    our future imperilment
    Jackson, M. (2008). Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age.
    Prometheus Books.
    – [W]e are corroding the three pillars of our
    attention: focus (orienting), judgment (executive
    function), and awareness (alerting).
    – The costs are steep: we begin to lose trust, depth,
    and connection in our relations and our thought.
    – Without a flourishing array of attentional skills, our
    world flattens and thins.
    – And most alarmingly, we begin to lose our ability
    to collectively face the challenges of our time.

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    Lie Machines
    Lie Machines
    In “Lie Machines,” Philip Howard (2020)
    discuses
    how we consume decontextualized, digital
    propaganda promoted by troll armies, bots, and
    political operatives across network platforms with
    increasing gullibility.
    Howard, Philip. 2020. Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Decietful
    Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives. New Haven: Yale University Press.
    – “We tend to trust our instincts for evaluating the
    truth, and we tend to trust friends and family as
    sources of good media information; as sources of
    news, many of us prefer social media to
    professional print media.”

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    Vēritās sentīrī ā virīs miserīs nōn potest.
    Vēritās sentīrī ā virīs miserīs nōn potest.
    Truth cannot be perceived by troubled men.
    Truth cannot be perceived by troubled men.

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    Solipsism
    Solipsism
    Bertman (1998)
    eloquently posits the present day
    mind tends toward solipsism. It is self-absorbed,
    only knowing its own modifications and states.
    Bertman,
    S. (1998). Hyperculture: The Human Cost of Speed. Praeger Publishers.
    – “In spite of being subconsciously connected to other
    minds, it perceives itself as autonomous and free
    acting on its own decisions.”
    – We have become addicted to ourselves and our
    self-righteousness.

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    Blocking the Exits
    Blocking the Exits
    McGilchrist (2019)
    suggests “that it is as if the left
    hemisphere, which creates a sort of self-reflexive
    virtual world, has blocked off the available exits,
    the ways out of the hall of mirrors, into a reality
    which the right hemisphere could enable us to
    understand.”
    McGilchrist, Iain. 2019. The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. 2nd,
    New Expanded edition ed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

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    Technopoly
    Technopoly
    In “Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to
    Technology,” Neil Postman (1992)
    frames how
    technocracies (modernity)
    develop tools (such as computers
    and bureaucracies)
    to empower society while
    technopolies (postmodernity)
    find themselves
    imprisoned by the very tools that they once
    used to liberate themselves.
    Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to
    Technology. Vintage Books.
    – A technopoly is a society in which technology is
    deified.
    – “Men have become the tools of their tools.” Henry
    David Thoreau (Walden, Chapter 1, “Economy.”)

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    If you're not paying for the product, then
    If you're not paying for the product, then
    You are the product.
    You are the product.

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    We Have Become Hungry Ghosts
    We Have Become Hungry Ghosts
    “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts,” Mate (2010)
    radically alters our notion of what addiction is.
    He redirects our focus from a biophysical cause to
    a cause based in human tragedy and trauma.
    Mate, G.
    (2010). In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts; Close Encounters with Addiction. North Atlantic Books.
    – “The reason I do drugs is so I don’t feel the
    f**king feelings I feel when I don’t do drugs,”
    Nick, a forty-year-old heroin and crystal meth addict
    once told me, weeping as he spoke. (Chapter 1)

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    Psychache and Suicide
    Psychache and Suicide
    In “The Suicidal Mind,” Shneidman (1996)
    after
    making an extensive review of over 700 suicide
    notes coins the term “psychache” (sīk-āk) to
    explain the reason for the taking of one's own life.
    Shneidman, Edwin. 1996. The Suicidal Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    – Psychache is the hurt, anguish, or ache that takes
    hold in the fragmented mind.
    – It largely stems from excessively felt shame, guilt,
    fear, anxiety, loneliness, angst, dread, dread of
    growing old or of dying badly and the associated
    internal dialog of these strongly felt states.
    – When there's no escape from the hall of mirrors or
    the echo chamber, there's suicide.

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    We Need to ...
    We Need to ...
    Find a release from the tyranny of
    the left-brain ego.
    Find a pathway that can lead us
    back to our right- brain selves.

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    We Need to Take the Trip Home
    We Need to Take the Trip Home
    Anon. 2019. “No Link between Adolescent Marijuana Use and
    Adult Brain Structure, Finds Study.” Huffs n Puffs. Retrieved July
    25, 2020 (https://www.huffsnpuffs.com/adolescent-marijuana-
    use/).

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    Sleep: Glimpsing the Right Brain
    Sleep: Glimpsing the Right Brain
    Casagrande & Bertini (2008)
    describe the shifting of
    hemispheric dominance with the onset of sleep.
    Casagrande, Maria, and Mario Bertini. 2008. “Night-Time Right Hemisphere Superiority and Daytime Left Hemisphere Superiority: A Repatterning of Laterality
    across Wake–Sleep–Wake States.” Biological Psychology 77(3):337–42.
    – “We found a right hemisphere superiority when
    the brain is sleepy and when the vigilance system
    has to monitor for potential warning stimuli.”
    – “A decrease of left hemisphere vigilance, with
    respect to the right, could enable a hierarchical
    reorganization of cognitive mechanisms, functional
    to a mental activity that is different from the one
    typical of the wakeful condition.”

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    Religion/RHA
    Religion/RHA
    (Right Hemispheric Activation)
    (Right Hemispheric Activation)
    According to McVeigh (2020)
    in “The Psychology of
    the Bible: Explaining Divine Voices and Visions,”
    “the god-side (right hemisphere)
    usually, if not always,
    spoke in poetic verse” (p. 50)
    .
    McVeigh, Brian. 2020. The Psychology of the Bible: Explaining Divine
    Voices and Visions. Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic.
    – “Given that we hear and appreciate music using our
    right hemisphere, it should not be surprising that
    music, poetry, and song were used in induction
    procedures to activate linguistic regions of the right
    hemisphere” (p. 51).
    – [It has been] suggested that music may have been
    invented as a technique for neural excitement,
    triggering hallucinations of gods needed for
    decision-making (p. 51).

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    A Silent Left Brain
    A Silent Left Brain
    In “My Stroke of Insight,” Jill Bolte-Taylor (2009)
    describes the first-person experience of having
    had a stroke in her left temporal parietal junction
    (TPJ).
    Taylor, J. B. (2009). My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey (Reprint edition). Penguin Books.
    – “I felt a powerful and unusual sense of
    dissociation roll over me. I felt so peculiar that I
    questioned my well-being. Even though my
    thoughts seemed lucid, my body felt irregular.” (p. 38)
    – “I felt strangely detached from my normal
    cognitive functions.” (p. 38)

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    Right-Brain Consciousness
    Right-Brain Consciousness
    In “Entheogens and the Development of Culture:
    The Anthropology and Neurobiology of Ecstatic
    Experience,” John Rush, et. al. (2013)
    connect the
    use of tryptamines and right-brain
    consciousness.
    Rush, John. 2013. Entheogens and the Development of Culture: The Anthropology and Neurobiology of
    Ecstatic Experience. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books.
    – The right hemisphere and its serotonergic and
    noradrenergic systems inhibit the left hemisphere
    and dopamine.
    (Found in Chapter 2: Altered Consciousness and Drugs in Human Evolution)
    – Hallucinogens appear to strengthen the right
    hemisphere's ability to inhibit the left.

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    The Reducing Valve
    The Reducing Valve
    In “The Doors of Perception,” Aldous Huxley (1954)
    describes a personal, psychedelic experience
    with mescalin where the left-brain “reducing valve”
    is.
    Huxley, Aldous. 2009. The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell. Digital Edition. New York: HarperCollins Publishing.
    – In the final stage of egolessness there is an
    “obscure knowledge” that All is in all—that All is
    actually each. This is as near, I take it, as a finite
    mind can ever come to “perceiving everything that
    is happening everywhere in the universe.” (p. 10)
    – Mescalin appears to expose right-brain
    consciousness.

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    The Dragons of Eden
    The Dragons of Eden
    In “The Dragons of Eden,” Carl Sagan (1977)
    considers the work of Sperry and Gazzaniga in
    light of the influences of marijuana.
    Sagan, C. (1977). The Dragons of Eden:
    Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence. Ballantine Books, Inc.
    – “Marijuana is often described as improving our
    appreciation of and abilities in music, dance, art,
    pattern and sign recognition and our sensitivity to
    nonverbal communication.” (p. 177)
    – “It is never reported as improving our ability to read
    and comprehend Ludwig Wittgenstein or Immanuel
    Kant; to calculate the stresses on bridges; or to
    compute Laplace transformations.” (p. 177)
    – Cannabinols might suppress the left hemisphere.

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    Perhaps the point of the smoking the blunt
    is to blunt the left hemisphere.

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    Ego Relief
    Ego Relief
    By Lebedev, et.al. (2015)
    showed that psilocybin
    reduced medial temporal lobe, salience network,
    and interhemispheric connectivity which
    relieved/reduced subjects of their sense of ego-
    identity.
    Lebedev, A. V., Lövdén, M., Rosenthal, G., Feilding, A., Nutt, D. J., & Carhart Harris, R. L. (2015). Finding the self by losing the self:

    Neural correlates of ego dissolution under psilocybin. Human Brain Mapping, 36(8), 3137–3153. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.22833

    – Tryptamine psychedelics such as psilocybin, LSD,
    DMT, 5-MO-DMT and phenethylamine psychedelics
    such as mescaline leads to psychedelia and varying
    degrees of ego dissolution.
    – The effect appears to be produced by stimulatory-
    binding to the 5-HT2A and 5-HT2c serotonin
    receptors receptor

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    Non-Duality
    Non-Duality
    Religious scholar and psychonaut Martin Ball (2012)
    describes the egoless, nondual experience of 5-
    MeO-DMT in his book, “All is One: Understanding
    Entheogens and Nonduality.”
    Ball, Martin. 2012. All Is One: Understanding Entheogens and
    Nonduality. Kyandara Publishing.
    – The overwhelming sensation of the experience of 5-
    MeO-DMT is one of immediate and potentially
    infinite energetic expansion and identification.
    – Practically speaking, the experience of 5-MeO-
    DMT, from the ego’s perspective, is akin to dying.

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    Drug-induced Ego Dissolution
    Drug-induced Ego Dissolution
    Millière (2017)
    reports on the phenomenology,
    neurophysiology, and philosophical significance of
    Drug-induced Ego Dissolution of DIED.
    Millière, Raphaël. 2017. “Looking
    for the Self: Phenomenology, Neurophysiology and Philosophical Significance of Drug-Induced Ego Dissolution.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11.
    – DIED consists of the disruption of subpersonal
    processes underlying the “minimal” or “embodied”
    self, i.e., the basic experience of being a self rooted
    in multimodal integration of self-related stimuli.
    – “Functional connectivity analyses also revealed that
    psilocybin (2mg/IV) decreases coupling between
    the PCC and the mPFC, and increases coupling
    between the mPFC and task-positive areas such as
    the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC).”

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    In “Food of the Gods,”
    McKenna (1992) discusses the
    origins of the cultural,
    ritualized uses of psychedelic
    plant medicine from
    premodern to modern times.
    Here we have a replica of a
    cave drawing in Tassili,
    Algeria. Some sort of bee-
    faced shaman (5,000 BCE) is
    depicted, with mushroom-
    looking objects sprouting out
    of his shoulders and legs.
    McKenna, Terrance. 1992. Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of
    Knowledge. New York: Bantam.

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    The Microdose
    The Microdose
    In her book “A Really Good Day,” Waldman (2017)
    discusses the science and legal ramifications of
    microdosing with LSD to control her mood
    disorder.
    Waldman, Ayelet. 2017. A Really Good Day. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
    – “What I took is known as a 'microdose,' a
    subtherapeutic dose of a drug administered at a
    quantity low enough to elicit no adverse side effects
    yet high enough for a measurable cellular response.
    – A microdose of a psychedelic drug is approximately
    one-tenth of a typical dose.”
    – “There’s nothing hypomanic about this mood. My
    mind is not racing. I feel calm and content.”

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    The Existential Problem Remains
    The Existential Problem Remains
    McGilchrist (2019)
    concludes that an “increasingly
    mechanistic, fragmented, decontextualized world,
    marked by unwarranted optimism mixed with
    paranoia and a feeling of emptiness, has come
    about, reflecting, ... the unopposed action of a
    dysfunctional left hemisphere.
    McGilchrist, Iain. 2019. The Master and His Emissary: The
    Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. 2nd, New Expanded edition ed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

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    Thank You MCPA DII
    Thank You MCPA DII
    Dr. Russ Matthias
    Dr. Rob Riley
    Dr. Ragan Fairchild-Bonci
    Mark Jankelow, MSN
    All of You!!
    The
    Hypomanic
    Delivery

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