Was introduced to Walter J. Freeman while watching a psychoanalytic roundtable on youtube. Â Apparently psychoanalysis is perpetually in dialogue with neuroscience. Â How can this be? Â What a wide open world we live in!
So what would you want to unlearn after taking your next dose of oxytocin?
I do not need to be written up. There is a frisson of nakedness connected with this post, I assure you. I fulfill the unwritten mandate. You just have to dig for it.
A cursory hunt has led to an amusing oxytocin website:
Hmmm. I’ve often used the term, “Brain reset”.
I’ve printed it out to read it.
Silly me. I assumed the article would refer to the role of the hormone oxytocin. Sorry. The brain states that are characterized by high malleability are produced through a release of oxytocin. The patterns of neural response can be “wiped clean” while in these states. It’s why you get “stupid” when you are in love, etc. But also why transformation, learning, love, and bonding take place through the presence of increased levels of oxytocin. There are other articles where Freeman explicitly addresses the role of oxytocin. There was a trend in popular press not long ago to cite his work when discussing the way music influences brain activity.
Oxytocin contributes to the process by which individual organisms can transmit these learned neural arrangements that are vital to spread through the species for survival, etc. Social norms and knowledge. What can be learned at the mother’s breast, etc.
Thought the emphasis on group bonding, and attendant ecstatic states, leading to transformation and new learning would be appreciated.
Personally, the notion of unlearning, of having residual aspects of self wiped clean or obliterated, has a certain appeal at this point in my life.
What, like Spotless Mind?
Why not? Selective erasure. Beyond what nature has managed to accomplish so far. And more selective. I don’t want to be a complete lump at parties.
Half a lump.
Half life half a lump.
May be too late for that, I realize.
The oxytocin, vadsopressin, dopamine cocktail is extraordinarily powerful. There are moments when, under the influence of that cocktail, we may find ourselves able to break free of the curse of habit. Fresh air may be breathed into our stale lives and we may become better able to consciously participate in our living.
Or not. It still takes work after the moments.