Psychoticism/conscientiousness ratio due to reticular activation threshold?

I’m going to be throwing around a lot of ideas loosely here.

There’s an illusory inverse correlation between conscientiousness and psychoticism, which I now believe is caused by the reticular activating system. I believe this also explains the strange phenomenon of “nonfocus/hyperfocus”.

The reticular activating system (RAS), or extrathalamic control modulatory system, is a set of connected nuclei in the brains of vertebrates that is responsible for regulating arousal and sleep-wake transitions.

Okay, the basic idea is that people with ADD (inattentive, not hyperactive) need to be highly stimulated in order to focus. When they do focus, they tend to hyperfocus. We see this in people with high psychoticism. Usually, people with high threshold are diagnosed with low thalamus activity, but really their appetites just aren’t experienced as “big or urgent” enough to act on. Amygdala stimulation also counts for a lot here! When they aren’t being highly stimulated, they tend to be looking around for novelty in the environment.

This brings us to Asperger’s. People with AS have ADD naturally (making them natural immunes to M0). Some people can acquire ADD (synthetic immunes). You can also get ADD by bumping your head, it seems. You can also get Acquired Savant Syndrome by bumping your head, incidentally, which seems to be the confluence of the ADD processing style, high native intelligence, and the sudden acquisition of a useful sort of synesthesia.

When people are “neurotic” as in too much trait conscientiousness, I believe they are hyperfocusing most or all of the time. That is, they would be ADD but their activation threshold in the RAS is so low that they are always focusing…which happens in their case to manifest as hyperfocus. Any small setback can set off their deepsock-style OCD.

Psychotics act the same way when they’ve seized upon something stimulating, but they are otherwise set to “off/sleep” most of the time because the stimulation level never gets above the activation threshold.

So we have on the one hand the capability for hyperfocus (all neurons on deck!), which is the cognitive style active when the RAS says “GO”, and otherwise a resting state of lateral thinking (all hands go do as you please). Most people simply do not have the capability to align all their mental powers as hyperfocus. Those who do either have a high or low activation threshold to achieve this state and are mis-characterized as tending to psychosis or neuroticism, when really they both have the same two cognitive styles “off” and “on” that are active at different stimulation levels.

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12 Responses to Psychoticism/conscientiousness ratio due to reticular activation threshold?

  1. Heaviside says:

    Congratulations on being the first person to reach 1488 posts.

  2. Craig says:

    Interesting I had one genuine friend who was ADD he still is, when growing up, literally would just lay around and not do anything without his little white pills. Not good though as his dosage and strength increases to gain the same effect as he ages, and it limits his employment opportunities.

    On and Off, hyper focus/non focus, attentive/relaxed, I have it, everyone does I think, a coping mechanism, that can be tapped. Never been diagnosed with psychosis or neuroticism though.

    I’m sure there are some natural therapies that may help nowadays too. Though I do wonder if there is an aspect of parenting and even sibling rivalry that sometimes adds to these conditions via anxiety and stress somehow.

    Many herbalists at NH?

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Interesting I had one genuine friend who was ADD he still is, when growing up, literally would just lay around and not do anything without his little white pills. Not good though as his dosage and strength increases to gain the same effect as he ages, and it limits his employment opportunities.

      This is a normal effect from taking the same drugs for a long time. The body works to normalize itself. The goal of long-term drug use- and I doubt such an ambition ever resided in the minds of men- is to force the body to accept a new state of homeostasis.

      >On and Off, hyper focus/non focus, attentive/relaxed, I have it, everyone does I think, a coping mechanism, that can be tapped.

      This is a common solipsistic delusion, due to projection. Hyperfocus has an unmistakable difference of degree and quality. It can keep a person awake for days on end if they aren’t careful. Most people do not have this capability, nor the dispositional tendency to its lesser expression of reading a book cover-to-cover in a twelve-hour marathon. To break your delusion, I shall remind you that a significant fraction of the population considers all forms of reading to be a waste of time, and many will not read a single book cover-to-cover in their lifetimes.

      >Many herbalists at NH?

      Only podrag that I know of, and a couple of nootropics guys.

  3. Craig says:

    Never judge a book by it’s cover mate as someone may be testing you, as you test me, come on it’s fun. I like to come from a position of weakness to begin with, so I dull my vocabulary, even grammar. That way I can judge your character more so, then your intellect.

    Yes, I’m aware of the desensitising effects of long term drug use. Some peoples medical knowledge is not up there, so I have a habit of trying to keep it simple, till I know if you understand medical terminology. Do you like Latin?

    A 3 day book marathon is something, particularly the hallucinations towards the 70 Hr mark. Reading 12 hours straight is a walk in the park, I read my last Bernared Cornwall novel in less time. I like him, he has grown more red pill over time as an author.

    Once you can maintain hyper focus under stress and I mean sleep and physical deprivation then you’ll know if have something special. Particularly if you are forced to make life and death decisions at the end of that road. Though it sucks to learn that way.

    My occipital bun is probably larger then yours. :-P

    Thank you for answering my question I appreciate it, if I actually contribute to NH then at least I’ll have someone with common interests.

    What is nootropics Guys?

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Never judge a book by it’s cover mate as someone may be testing you, as you test me, come on it’s fun. I like to come from a position of weakness to begin with, so I dull my vocabulary, even grammar. That way I can judge your character more so, then your intellect.

      That’s fair. I prefer to judge a book by its cover while reserving the right to reverse my judgment.

      >Yes, I’m aware of the desensitising effects of long term drug use. Some peoples medical knowledge is not up there, so I have a habit of trying to keep it simple, till I know if you understand medical terminology. Do you like Latin?

      I didn’t know Acetaminophen and Tylenol were the same thing until I started my current job. Like most autodidacts, my state of knowledge is a skewed mashup of advanced ideas and fundamental deficiencies. I’m a hacker, not an engineer.

      >Once you can maintain hyper focus under stress and I mean sleep and physical deprivation then you’ll know if have something special. Particularly if you are forced to make life and death decisions at the end of that road. Though it sucks to learn that way.

      My reaction to stress and deprivation has previously been an extreme level of cognitive dissonance and lack of focus. I suspect it may have been due to the hypersocial environment, but in any case it has never worked in my favor. This observation was the thesis in my decision to quit ROTC (breaking the oath) and university studies, and eat the residual $50K debt from loans and my scholarship.

      >My occipital bun is probably larger then yours. :-P

      Naw, mines teh biggest :-D

      >What is nootropics Guys?

      Guys who are into nootropics.

      • Craig says:

        Silly me I should of looked that up, learn something every day.

        Yeah I had to learn about pharmaceuticals when I did time as a medic. They have books that take out the confusion in reference to the chemicals and brand names. I was always into organics so drifting into herbs, what the majority of synthetics are based on, was an obvious next step, and never looked back. Plus it can be as easy as diet. So probably 11 years now been practising it.

        I think we have more thals here cause of our high Scots, Irish intake, larger then other commonwealths and US.

        I grew a full beard between the age of 13 to 14, only two blokes did this, odds are about 1/60 to 1/70 in the 1980’s. Plus I grew 8 inches taller in less then 12 months in that period. So yeah I transformed into a geek/Jock.

        I actually was best friends with the strangest rarest melon at school. He was the ring leader of all the cool saps and thals. He was satrchild cross snake melon, had the big nog bumps and all on his forehead. Any way after about 2 weeks of asking to play some semi rugby x gridiron game (Melon was 1/2 Aussie white 1/2 USA White), he finally let me play. After smashing them all and winning the game single handedly, it was all good from then on in at school, so I was lucky. I was always a geek though, and looked after my mates.

        I wear a size 62(cm) hat so 24.5 inch hat, It’s mainly to fit the occipital, even have the little triangle bone on the bottom of it. So maybe they the same…

        Nah I’m bigger. :-)

        You ate a loan, makes me glad I never went to Uni, I have humble house in the sticks and kids instead. Though I’m probably older then you.

  4. Pingback: Disambiguating psychoticism and associative horizon | Aeoli Pera

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