Following loss of sensitivity, how does cortical reorganization feel from the inside?
Man cannot distinguish his own smell. Nor can he grasp his own mentality. Only comparison with something external can evoke any meaningful awareness of one’s own characteristics. Self-identity is everyone’s blind spot. It must be highlighted via comparative external stimuli in order to be recognized.
A change in disposition does not in itself aid self-awareness. Cortical reorganization is experienced quite indistinctly: it can be felt only vaguely. Generally, personality is oblivious to both the state and the transformation of one’s own mentality. You know how it is: despite that one’s attitudes perpetually fluctuate he always finds himself objective.
The lost sensitivity is only implicit
The absence of receptors cannot be felt directly. There are no receptors for the presence of receptors or for the activity of cortical sensory areas. The loss of sensory input can merely be inferred if it interferes with the normal functioning of the brain. Only in a circuitous way can the absence of sensory input be experienced. Lost sensitivity can be recalled, deduced by analogy, reassembled or replaced.
The loss of sensitivity triggers a psychological complex
As long as the brain is hard-wired the inoperative state of a sensory area can be perceived as inadequacy in the perception of reality. Supposedly, the lost sensory input produces an indistinct feeling of insufficiency in the corresponding sphere.
The loss of receptors induces a psychological complex[i] similar to that induced by the loss of a body part whose central theme is the lost sensitivity. The feeling of insufficiency is a state of anxiety that cannot be pacified in a natural way because the necessitated structure is removed. It can only be over-ridden by or redirected to other compensatory activities and sensations.
The removal of receptors causes certain deficiency and induces activities that aim to make up for the lost sensitivity. The activities that are a substitute for a deficiency are known in psychology as compensations.[ii] In time the feeling of insufficiency is diverted, redirected, diluted and canalized into the compensatory activities due to plasticity of the brain. The cortical reorganization following the removal of receptors is the physical basis of the compensations for the psychological complex caused by their loss.1
Attachment to compensations
The feeling of insufficiency invoked by the informational vacuum of a sensory area is general and unspecific as it forms in a roundabout way. Perhaps it can be compared to an elusive still persistent feeling that something has been overlooked. One’s feelings tend to hover around something that never crystalizes. Likewise, often it seems impossible to stop thinking about what couldn’t quite be recalled. How can one expel from his mind thoughts that refuse to take concrete shape?
The psychological reorganization following the loss of sensitivity gradually discharges the feeling of inadequacy through different concrete compensatory activities and masks it. The mental reform disperses and disguises the inhibitions that the loss of receptors imposes. The compensations relieve the feeling of insufficiency and the anxiety it causes. As a result they are felt as alleviating and positive, and are pursued with dedication, enthusiasm and persistency. The compensations are experienced as more vital than they actually are. Preoccupation with them is possible.
The compensations do not eliminate the feeling of insufficiency that motivates them because their effects cannot reinstall the absent receptors and sensitivity. The compensations lack self-regulation due to of the lack of informational feedback. They are not controlled by the sensorial experience they replace and are carried out irrespective of their result. The feeling of uneasiness perpetually inspires them and prompts their perfection.
The neurological basis of the compensations is the expansion of the active somatosensory pathways. The increased ability of the brain to deal with the redirected input overdevelops and masters the compensatory faculties. It also sharpens the senses that the compensations employ.
The lack of self-regulation makes the compensations very dependent on the social background. Absence of receptors increases the suggestibility and the potential for bias in their sphere. A blind man can easily be misled. The loss of identical receptors cultivates collectivism.
The compensations are normally overvalued in proportion to the value of the sensitivity lost. Apart from this they lack self-restraint and acquire addictive quality. They can go to extremes leading to obsessions and unsurpassed achievements.
The feeling of insufficiency conjectures the existence of an invisible realm of plenty and stimulates imagination. A feeling of sensorial deficiency results in a perception-like sensation of existence of a parallel reality where the deficiency is satisfied. The feeling of uneasiness lacks self-control. It fires the imagination but is helpless to extinguish it alone. It needs external help and naturally evokes devotion, mythmaking, piousness and superstition.
The addictiveness of compensations is proportional to the quantity and pleasurableness of the lost sensation. The loss of pain sensation, if such is possible, for instance, should not evoke unconscious compensations at all, not to speak obsession with them.
The pleasure is the best so its loss is the worst. The loss of pleasure sensation should produce the most obsessive compensations. Pleasure related compensations are usually overdramatized, and can border on fanaticism. They can be really explosive.
The devotion to compensatory activities fosters the psychological transformation. The pleasure lost together with the receptors speeds the cortical reorganization to the greatest degree. The loss of pleasure sensation conjectures the existence of a happier reality abundant in pleasure and at the same time fosters abstract reasoning. The loss of pleasure receptors evokes a belief in blissful realms and favours devoted religiousness. It requires heaven.
Dispersal and masking of the compensations
With the advance of the cortical reorganization the feeling of insufficiency spreads over a greater number of activities. It colours, inspires and motivates an increasing number of actions but with attenuating intensity and modified quality. We may say that the cortical reorganization gradually spreads the psychological complex over different spheres and hides it deeper.
The compensations of a psychological complex based on sensual deficiency simulate the lost sense by developing and replacing it with others. They link the feeling of the respective insufficiency to the newly-developing sensitivities that compensate for it. In this way the compensations create a new specific mode of associations. They unite formerly unrelated activities and sensations hence relate to synaesthesia[iii] and ideasthesia[iv].
The compensations of a psychological complex based on sensual deficiency unite formerly unrelated activities and sensations therefore are linked to synaesthesia and ideasthesia. The compensations associate the feeling of the respective insufficiency to the newly-developing sensitivities that compensate for it. In this way the compensations create a new specific mode of associations. They generate experience-like sensations and insert artificial elements in the perception. The compensations tend to fabricate believable fables with devotion. They foster the conceptual and associative reasoning, imagination, mythmaking, and religiousness and have ideasthetic nature.[see also]
The cortical reorganization causes a reciprocal shift of psychological attitudes. It is the physical aspect of a simultaneous mental reformation. The reorganization is automatic; it depends on conditions and the subject does not apprehend it directly. Deficiency of the same receptors and the same environment tend to evoke identical cortical and psychological change. The direction and rate of development of the brain’s latent abilities depend on the environment and practice. Although cortical reorganization is unconscious the environmental conditions direct it.
A widespread cortical reorganization manifests itself as group attitudes. It is not a subject of comparison and cannot be realized within the group. Eventually it becomes a national trait. A widespread loss of receptors especially such that relate to pleasure can be a powerful psychosocial factor.
The loss of pleasure indefinitely postpones the present. The loss of identical pleasure feeds strong hopes for a similarly delightful future. Undoubtedly, it tends to cultivate strong collectivism especially concerning moral values, ideology and abstractions that naturally lead to religious ethnocentrism and clannishness.
Summary: the loss of sensitivity induces a psychological complex
The loss of receptors causes a sensorial deficiency and a feeling of insufficiency. It induces a psychological complex similar to that caused by the loss of a body part. The psychological transformation succeeding loss of sensitivity is a multifaceted, gradual and experience-driven unconscious process. It entails development of compensatory activities and perfection of related faculties. The compensations lack self-regulation and are very sensitive to social environment. Yet they disperse inhibitions and engender alleviation which overvalues them. As a result they may overdevelop and acquire obsessive character.
The mental shift ensuing the loss of receptors is accompanied with corresponding shift in attitudes and ideology. Its intensity increases with the amount of pleasure taken away with the receptors. The informational deficit it overcomes boosts the abstract reasoning and changes the mode of associative reasoning which kindles imagination. The replacement of the lost sensitivity authenticates the compensations for lost sensitivity which endows the imaginary generalizations with credibility.
The compensations incline the reasoning to simplifications that reduce inadequacy of perception and hide the insufficiency. The loss of sensitivity leads to obsessions with abstract promises compensating for it. The psychological transformation ensuing from the loss of receptors predisposes to mythification, moralization and piousness.
No doubt, the cortical reorganization ensuing loss of sensitivity reshapes the mind. It induces a typical psychological complex. Circumcision shuts down some sensuality but opens the mind in other ways. But where do they lead to and how far?
|THE CORTICAL REORGANIZATION FOLLOWING LOSS OF RECEPTORS|
|NEUROLOGICAL EVENTS||PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS|
|Loss of receptors and deactivation of their cortical sensory area||Feelings of insufficiency, inadequacy, uneasiness, inhibitions in the corresponding sphere;
Induction of a psychological complex
|Reduction of informational input||Development of abstract reasoning|
|Reactivation and reutilization of the deactivated sensory area (due to redirection of sensory input from the active cortical sensory areas toward the deactivated one)||Discharging the feelings of insufficiency and inadequacy and their channelling into compensatory activities; Dispersal of the inhibitions; Feeling of regained adequacy and alleviation; Dedication or addiction to the compensations:
Compensation and masking of the psychological complex
|Increased brain capacity to process the redirected sensory input||Development and mastering of the compensatory activities; Sharpening sensitivity to the information concerning them. Latent abilities for associative and abstract reasoning.|
|Substitution of the absent sensory input (so it tints the redirected one)||Development of new modes of associative reasoning, peculiar mixed (synesthetic) feelings; Unclear motivation|
|Lack of informational feedback||Lack of self-regulation and deteriorated objective estimation of the compensations; Inclination to overvalue and overdevelop them and to overreact regarding them; Strong social conditioning: dependence of compensations on social assessment, dependence, conservatism.|
|The experience-regulated cortical reorganization caused by removal of receptors as a whole||A devoted, gradual, unconscious and socially conditioned development of conceptual thinking and compensatory faculties, shift of attitudes and ideology particularly those related to the lost sensitivity|
- An example of a psychological complex triggered by a sensory deficit. With his nose blocked, one still can make up for the missing smell of the food by tasting it. Sharpening the sense of taste compensates for the reduced sense of smell. Loss of olfaction could inspire one to become a refined tester obsessed with degustation in the attempt to overcome the insufficiency. But the original use of food is lost on him. No matter how much he eats, something deep inside him remains starving. With the progress of the cortical reorganization he could even feel he actually smells the food. In such as case he has developed a typical synesthesia. [↩]