This is a highly abstract concept analogous to dorsal/ventral stream theory, which I barely understand. So it’s probably wrong. That said, I came up with it and it feels true, so it’s absolutely certain to be true (write that down, very important).
Here’s the basic idea behind dorsal/ventral stream theory:
I further interpret this at a more abstract level to mean that the temporal stream is “essentialist”, concerned with subjective identity, explanation, and meaning whereas the dorsal stream is “analytic” (in the original sense of the term moral pragmatism*). concerned with objective behavior, prediction, and purpose.
I’ve commissioned an illustration of the analogous rostral/caudal streams hypothesis from the most talented trackpad artist I know.
(Slayerid tbh fam.)
The idea here is that there are two different neural networks people can slip into, a “Frame-first” decision-making loop and a counterfactual-first” decision-making loop. The former engages in empiricist reasoning and the latter engages in counterfactual reasoning. This overlaps somewhat with my hypothesis that white matter-heavy brains tend to rely more on deduction from principles whereas gray matter-heavy brains tend to rely more or induction from observations. Here’s how I think this would work…
The “high-speed” brain exists in a more dreamlike state of pure association. The emotional heat sink of gray matter is undersized to absorb the white matter’s fancies, which makes for an emotional and perhaps even psychotic conscious experience. When such a brain runs through its OODA loop, emotional impulses are poorly controlled and the “rational” step (the Decide in OODA) begins in the frontal lobe as an imperative. An abstract counterfactual is generated and passed through the caudal stream to the parietal and occipital lobes: “This is what is going to happen, now visualize how we’re going to make it happen.”
The “high-caliber” brain exists in a more sociopathic state of pure calculation. The average emotional experience is effortlessly dismissed as childish fancy, which makes for a n unsympathetic and perhaps even joyless conscious experience. The “rational” Decide step begins in the occipital as a set of possibilities and is passed through the rostral stream to the parietal’s game theory engine, and then to the frontal lobe where the outcomes are judged to determine which is preferred. “This is how it is, now visualize the possible outcomes and pick the best one.”
*Ed: Fun fact, sometime in the last two months Google started burying results for this idea. Try Googling moral pragmatism.