Narrative Psychology | Justification and Neuro Science

This is an excerpt from the transcript of a class I gave on narrative psychology…

We are going to start with the neurology, and work our way through understanding justification in terms of the brains neurology about chemistry, and then we are going to work our way through mental relativity understanding, and then we are going to work our way through a psychological understanding, and then we are going to work our way into the final perspective which is external or physical justification.  So, we are going to start with the physical part of the mind, and then go to the mental relativity part of self-awareness, and then go to the psychological part of the mind, and then we are going to carry it outside, and then bring it back to the body.  So, we’ve gone full circle. 

Q:  So, justification is a style of problem solving? 

Well, problem solving and justification are two means for dealing with an inequity.  When you try to get rid of the inequity, it’s problem solving, when you try balance the inequity, that’s justification. 

O.K., so first of all, in terms of the neurology, there are a couple of models.  (ON BOARD):

We have narrow networks in the brain, and these narrow networks are little things that look like little brains.  They are called ganglia.  There’s a left-headed ganglia, and a right-headed ganglia, and within it, maybe four thousand neurons are all interconnecting.  Then they connect one to another and then you have all these little neural networks.  That’s why it’s not just in neurology, because they are little tiny networks, within a larger network, with subgroups.  And there’s a biochemistry that exists outside here, that all of these ganglia are in that effects them as a group.  And there’s also a membrane of the ganglia, a little micro-climate zone, and one side of the ganglia produces primarily the dopamine, and the other side produces the seratonin.  There is sort of a balance between the dopamine and the seratonin in the network.  This is where our real space and time sense come from in the ganglia. 

Our sense of mass and energy are kind of dealing with the external here.  There’s this larger biochemistry and the big network.  The big network has 4,000 neurons and if we look at it as a single entity, that’s like one switching point, and this is another switching point between themselves, so it has less resolution, than when start looking at what’s actually going on here.  This matter of resolution here is that they would each appear to be containing our sense of mass.  In other words, it’s there, it’s not a very binary sense, all these things work together and say yes or no.  So, you sort of get that sense.  Whereas, the biochemistry that works outside of it, is our sense of energy.  That there is either pressure upon it or  not, in a very unsophisticated way or less resolved way.  When you get down to the level of the ganglia themselves, inside, it becomes more sophisticated, because now you are dealing with relationships between things, instead of just binary states between things. 

And you have the enclosed micro-climate in our biochemistry is such that you have a neuron, and there’s something over here called the threshold.   The threshold here is an  electrical difference between the outside of the neuron, and the inside of the neuron, when you are looking at the axon.  The axon is this  body of the neuron, and it has its receptors, and it’s dendrites.  And they all come up here and go to various neurons.  So, all of these connections to various different neurons.

One of the first places we notice space and time is in the synapse, where the two come together.  There’s some neuron over here that’s firing  and  when it fires, the way it works is down at the bottom, there are little spherical containers holding the neurotransmitters, that are created inside one of these little areas and shooting it out.  And these things migrate and are attracted to the edge of the membrane, depending upon the degree of calcium that’s contained in this liquid inside.  And the amount of calcium has to do with how frequently this is fired.  So, the more familiar you become, the more calcium builds up.  And the more calcium that builds up, the more of these things are ionized, and attracted to the bottom .  And when enough of them are attracted to the bottom, what they do is they sit there long enough, which is where you get time – spatially you get a bunch of them down there.  Temporally, they have to be there long enough.  And when they are there long enough, then if you made one of these larger, with just the edge of this, with one of these things sitting down there, you go through a series of steps, where it begins to open up to the outside, until you end up with something like that.

Eventually, it just goes straight, but in the meantime what’s happened is that it has dumped it’s neurotransmitter in here outside into the open environment.  And then your neurotransmitter is totally out, and the membrane is closed, so there’s a real interesting way that it opens up like that.  And, if it’s there long enough, it will do this.  As they are created, it’s are they getting close to the edge, and they are sort of like, do you have one here, and they are all lined up on the edge, or are they pointing out in the center like this.  So, that’s going to determine how many are close to the edge, and we have how many are close to the edge.  And we have how many are close to the edge, tendency because they are pulled there to stay there longer, and in greater quantities.  And so it adjusts how much of this stuff flows out.  It’s not just that you are going to end up with having it all flow a certain level.  We can modulate it’s affect.  So, even though it fires or doesn’t fire, if it fires, it could just be a little tiny fire, and there could be a lot of neurotransmitter dumped out. 

So, that controls the amount of biochemical that’s going into the synapse.  Remember, the synapse is the one that comes down here, and then it’s captured by the one that comes in.  The neurotransmitters don’t just go directly from here to here, like flaming torpedoes or something, some of them go directly there, but they also spread out, and get into the general mix.  Various atoms of the neurotransmitters.  And as they do, they get over here, they get to work throughout the ganglia, inside it.  So that whenever anything fires, that has thought that occurs.  But, maybe they could be firing seratonin, or they could be firing dopamine.  Or a lot of other neurotransmitters, but they all have the same kind of effect, to cause excitement or slow them down.  Well, the dopamine has a tendency to reduce the calcium inside, while the seratonin has a tendency to increase it.  So, it doesn’t just affect the receiver, it also reflects what’s happening here.  So, that while you have something that is firing, and gives it a tendency to fire more and more frequently, at the same time, what’s out here, could be causing it to fire less and less frequently. 

So, that means that there could be inhibitors  from the outside that inhibit a specific signal coming from the outside.  In other words, even if something is very familiar, coming from this particular neuron, from a sensory neuron, of which there are millions throughout your body, — well, if one of these pathways says “fire” and the rest of the ones have something going on that say “don’t fire” its not going to fire, because this threshold is the difference between an inner and outer electrical energy, in terms of the ionization , and as such, that can be controlled by putting more ions of one kind or another inside or outside.  And because of that you can adjust the action potential.  All of a sudden the potential gets to this point, and if it hits that threshold, it will fire.  When it fires, it overloads, spikes, and it goes down back like this and then comes just under it, and it forms real interesting wave patterns, a typical wave pattern. So, it’s going along underneath it., and it’s always ready to fire.  Something drives it over the edge, then it takes up it’s own inertia, goes through the whole thing, and then after it fires it dips down, so that it will prevent it from firing, which is what gives us our binary sense.  If it just came back down, being ready to fire, we would think analog, instead of thinking binary.  

But, the very fact that it dips down, prevents it  from doing that.  

Read the entire transcript here.