Amygdala, acetylcholine, gray matter

(Recent post Deadlift every day has an important edit. More like deadlift every once in a while, but do big lifts- squats are great- most days of the week, for the chemical reasons given. Will just have to exercise the posture muscles individually, like before. This is a good reminder for some of you weirdos that I’m just a guy shooting his mouth off on the internet.)

Okay, previous post I talked about Zog. Zog was about to put something new and exciting in his mouth.

Aha, but this new red thing turns out to be poisonous! Zog suffers a horrible stomach ache and pukes all over his cave. His amygdala is demands to know “y u do this”. But Zog survives, his amygdala relaxes to a state of mere “shell shock”, and he thinks back miserably about what he must have done wrong. He obsessively visualizes the process of eating the new red things, and in no small detail. Visualization is a full-brain, neural network-style process (and visual IQ correlates with brain volume). Zog’s puny, 26-neuron brain would be showing all blue on his EEG scan, and his cave psychologist is thinking he may have caveman PTSD.

This is Zog’s experience under the influence of the introvert neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. He is conserving his energy and simultaneously trying to make sense of the catastrophic experience so he can avoid it in the future. (Were Zog more introverted by inclination, he would require smaller catastrophes to engage in the same sort of clarifying retrospection.)

However, Zog’s misery has not been in vain! The next time he encounters little red things, he looks extra double close at them. He perceives that the little red things on the vines are okay, but the ones from the bush gave him the stomach ache. By forming archetypes, he is able to quickly perceive “good” berries and “bad” berries. He hesitantly puts some “good” berries in his mouth and…they’re sweet! After a few days of eating only bad berries, he hesitantly puts some “bad” berries in his mouth, and at the first taste of bitterness he spits them out. A successful paradigm is formed! Pat yourself on the back Zog, you’re the world’s first biohacker.

After forming many of these generalizations and becoming very efficient at gathering berries (berries on bushes bad, berries on vines good, berries on trees bad, berries on some bushes…good? :-O), Zog has collected enough berries to take a little vacation. He goes down by the creek to watch the ants crawl by. While Zog is watching, he notices that the ants are only carrying away “good” berries and leaving the “bad” berries in the bushes and trees. Eureka! He picks some bad berries and puts them right next to the anthill, just to be sure. The ants leave the bad berries alone. He picks some “status unknown” berries and puts them next to the anthill, and the ants carry these back to their anthill. He puts one in his mouth. Sweet!

Congratulations Zog, you’re a genius! Now you can write a blog on the internet and hope that somebody important steals your ideas and sifts out the ones that aren’t totally nuts.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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1 Response to Amygdala, acetylcholine, gray matter

  1. Pingback: Two sorts of reminiscence | Aeoli Pera

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