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.