Pathological dissociation is characterized by profound, functional amnesias and significant alterations in identity; normal dissociation is expressed primarily in the form of intense absorption with internal stimuli (e.g., daydreams) or external stimuli (e.g., a fascinating book or television program).
Frank W. Putnam
It is amazing to observe how many psychologists and psychiatrists have accepted this sort of propaganda, and have come to believe that homosexual males and females are discretely different from persons who respond to natural stimuli. Instead of using these terms as substantives which stand for persons, or even as adjectives to describe persons, they may better be used to describe the nature of the overt sexual relations, or of the stimuli to which an individual erotically responds.
Television, radio, and all the sources of amusement and information that surround us in our daily lives are also artificial props. They can give us the impression that our minds are active, because we are required to react to stimuli from the outside. But the power of those external stimuli to keep us going is limited. They are like drugs. We grow used to them, and we continuously need more and more of them. Eventually, they have little or no effect. Then, if we lack resources within ourselves, we cease to grow intellectually, morally, and spiritually. And we we cease to grow, we begin to die.
Mortimer J. Adler
We want not only life but an intense awareness of being alive. The large tendency of our mechanical and standardized civilization is to blunt that awareness by surrounding us with ideas and forms that require the lowest degree of consciousness. One lives in it less by reflection than by reflex. The effect of the uniform blows with which the environment strikes us is to make us insensitive to any but the most violent stimuli; two-thirds of life ceases to exist for us because the valves of attention require cataclysmic upheavals before they will open. Lacking the capacity to be excited by any but the most gross and violent stimuli, we spend our lives in a frantic race with boredom.
Science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is born. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call 'soul' or 'spirit, ' is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the 'soul' or the 'spirit' ceases likewise. I expressed these ideas long before the behaviorists, led by Pavlov in Russia and by Watson in the United States, proclaimed their new psychology. This apparently mechanistic conception is not antagonistic to an ethical conception of life.
We've been told through physical science that we are nothing more than "predictable patterns of wires responding to stimuli" You can explain the chemical process, describe to me the effects love has upon me, but it's something that once you experience, you know it's simply nothing more than magic.
We're all animals, that we all respond to the same stimuli. If you want to motivate somebody not to have premarital sex, or motivate black bears not to go diving into dumpsters, first you have to think about why they do it. Telling them to stop isn't going to help. There has to be some incentive for them to alter their behavior.
The mind never need stop growing. Indeed, one of the few experiences which never pall is the experience of watching one's own mind and how it produces new interests, responds to new stimuli, and develops new thoughts, apparently without effort and almost independently of one's own conscious control.
The same stimuli in the world can be inducing very different experiences internally and it's probably based on a single change in a gene. What I am doing is pulling the gene forward and imaging and doing behavioural tests to understand what that difference is and how reality can be constructed so differently.
Of one thing we may be sure, we can never escape the external stimuli that cause vexation. The world is full of them, and though we were to retreat to a cave and live the remainder of our days alone, we still could not lose them. The rough floor of the cave would chafe us, the weather would irritate us and the very silence would cause us to fret
For time flows on, and if it did not, it would be a bad prospect for those who do not sit at golden tables. Methods become exhausted; stimuli no longer work. New problems appear and demand new methods. Reality changes; in order to represent it, modes of representation must also change. Nothing comes from nothing; the new comes from the old, but that is why it is new.
Thus the man who is responsive to artistic stimuli reacts to the reality of dreams as does the philosopher to the reality of existence; he observes closely, and he enjoys his observation: for it is out of these images that he interprets life, out of these processes that he trains himself for life.
The Procrastinator has the opposite problem. He can't selectively focus his attention and might endure frequent accusations about his laziness. In truth, he's so distracted by stimuli that he can't figure out where or how to get started. Sounds, smells, sights and the random wanderings of his thoughts continually vie for his attention.
Such is the content of the mental life of the Hemingway hero and the good guy in general. Every day he gets beaten into a servile pulp by his own mechanical reflexes, which are constantly busy registering and reacting to the violent stimuli which his big, noisy, kinesthetic environment has provided for his unreflective reception.
To one completely committed to this realm of becoming, as are the empiricists, the claim to apprehend verities is a sign of psychopathology. Probably we have here but a highly sophisticated expression of the doctrine that ideals are hallucination and that the only normal, sane person is the healthy extrovert, making instant, instinctive adjustments to the stimuli of the material world.
Richard M. Weaver
Working on the final formulation of technological patents was a veritable blessing for me. It enforced many-sided thinking and also provided important stimuli to physical thought. [Academia] places a young person under a kind of compulsion to produce impressive quantities of scientific publications; a temptation to superficiality.
It was over in a blink of an eye, that moment when aviation stirred the modern imagination. Aviation was transformed from recklessness to routine in Lindbergh's lifetime. Today the riskiest part of air travel is the drive to the airport, and the airlines use a barrage of stimuli to protect passengers from ennui.
I find it hard to understand the mind of the true atheist, who believes that life is nothing more than a series of electrical impulses and biochemical reactions to chemical stimuli. Presumably, such thinkers see death as the worst thing that can occur, because it means the end of everything. Therefore (logically), maintaining the continuance of physical existence, under any circumstances, is entirely justifiable.
Normal consciousness is a state of stupor, in which the sensibility to the wholly real and responsiveness to the stimuli of the spirit are reduced. The mystics, knowing that man is involved in a hidden history of the cosmos, endeavor to awake from the drowsiness and apathy and to regain the state of wakefulness for their enchanted souls.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Many contemporary painters feel that their landscapes come from within and are brought to the surface and given form as a result of various stimuli. The artist's internal world is waiting to be evoked by whatever means the artist finds most productive, and... this world is just as important as the outer, visible world.
The more I think about myself, the more I'm persuaded that, as a person, I really don't exist. That is one of the reasons why I can't believe in any orthodox religion: I cannot believe in my own soul. No, I am a chemical compound, conditioned by environment and education. My "character" is simply a repertoire of acquired tricks, my conversation a repertoire of adaptations and echoes, my "feelings" are dictated by purely physical, external stimuli.
According to this model, human beings are, at least in one aspect, sensation-receiving machines; and although our receptory apparatus is competent to select and organize outward stimuli within the narrow range necessary for physical survival within our environment, it does not necessarily tell us very much about the nature of that environment. People, in other words, have little access to the possible world existing beyond their sensations.
People are used to being stimulated. People are drunk on entertainment and when you're going out and seeing movies where 200 people are machine gunned down and vampires are tearing people's throats out, and I'm not saying that is bad or it should be censored, but people are drunk on stimuli.
Tranquillizers do not change our environment, nor do they change our personalities. They merely reduce our responsiveness to stimuli. They dull the keen edge of the angers, fears, or anxiety with which we might otherwise react to the problems of living. Once the response has been dulled, the irritating surface noise of living muted or eliminated, the spark and brilliance are also gone.
People try to look for deep meanings in my work. I want to say, 'They're just cartoons, folks. You laugh or you don't.' Gee, I sound shallow. But I don't react to current events or other stimuli. I don't read or watch TV to get ideas. My work is basically sitting down at the drawing table and getting silly.
A baby who cannot relax can be helped to do so by a variety of constant rhythmical stimuli. it will work if the trouble is some kind of general and diffuse irritability or tenseness which is preventing a tired baby relaxing into sleep. The burring sound of a fan or heater works excellently. So does the sound of a car engine.
As far as stimulus from the visual arts specifically, there is today in most of us a visual appetite that is hungry, that is acutely undernourished. One might go so far as to say that Protestants in particular suffer from a form of visual anorexia. It is not that there is a lack of visual stimuli, but rather a lack of wholesomeness of form and content amidst the all-pervasive sensory overload.
It's no use telling us that something was 'mysterious' or 'loathsome' or 'awe-inspiring' or 'voluptuous.' By direct description, by metaphor and simile, by secretly evoking powerful associations, by offering the right stimuli to our nerves (in the right degree and the right order), and by the very beat and vowel-melody and length and brevity of your sentences, you must bring it about that we, we readers, not you, exclaim, 'how mysterious!' or 'loathsome' or whatever it is. Let me taste for myself, and you'll have no need to tell me how I should react.
C. S. Lewis
The very same brain centers that interpret and feel physical pain also become activated during experiences of emotional rejection. In brain scans, they light up in response to social ostracism, just as they would when triggered by physically harmful stimuli. When people speak of feeling hurt or of having emotional pain, they are not being abstract or poetic, but scientifically quite precise.
After the birth of printing books became widespread. Hence everyone throughout Europe devoted himself to the study of literature... Every year, especially since 1563, the number of writings published in every field is greater than all those produced in the past thousand years. The Paracelsians have created medicine anew and the Copernicans have created astronomy anew. I really believe that at last the world is alive, indeed seething, and that the stimuli of these remarkable conjunctions did not act in vain.
The brain of a person in love will show activity in the amygdala, which is associated with gut feelings, and in the nucleus accumbens, an area associated with rewarding stimuli that tends to be active in drug abusers. Or, to recap: the brain of a person in love doesn't look like the brain of someone overcome by deep emotion. It looks like the brain of a person who's been snorting coke.
These various habits of thought, or habitual expressions of life, are all phases of the single life sequence of the individual; therefore a habit formed in response to a given stimulus will necessarily affect the character of the response made to other stimuli. A modification of human nature at any one point is a modification of human nature as a whole.
Interruption, incoherence, surprise are the ordinary conditions of our life. They have even become real needs for many people, whose minds are no longer fed by anything but sudden changes and constantly renewed stimuli. We can no longer bear anything that lasts. We no longer know how to make boredom bear fruit. So the whole question comes down to this: can the human mind master what the human mind has made?
Remember the last show you saw that got a standing ovation? Now try to think of one that had the audience on its feet at intermission. They stepped, strutted, stomped, romped, ran rung, hung, flung, flew, threw and played their way through 16 numbers (17 if you count the percussion encore in the lobby that stopped the departing crowd in its collective tracks). It was Blast! and it was fantastic. That said, the show is a cacophony of color and creativity a musical montage offering nearly two hours of stimuli.
No matter how advanced society becomes, institutionally or technologically, a house in which nature can be sensed represents for me the ideal environment in which to live. From a functional viewpoint, the courtyard of the Rowhouse in Sumiyoshi forces the inhabitant to endure the occasional hardships. At the same time, however, the open courtyard is capable of becoming the house's vital organ, introducing the everyday life and assimilating precious stimuli such as changes in nature.
In work we act under the predominant motive of external, rational necessities; in pleasure, under the predominant motive of other, equally general necessities of human nature. Rest or recreation is the element in which the personality seeks to renew its strength from these stimuli that exhaust the reserve of human resources. It's an element introduced into life by the person himself.
Contradictions of perspective. Contrasts of light. Contrasts of form. Points of view impossible to achieve in drawing and painting. Foreshortenings with a strong distortion of the objects, with a crude handling of matter. Moments altogether new, never seen before compositions whose boldness outstrips the imagination of painters Then the creation of those instants which do not exist, contrived by means of photomontage. The negative transmits altogether new stimuli to the sentient mind and eye.
After the birth of printing books became widespread. Hence everyone throughout Europe devoted himself to the study of literature... Every year, especially since 1563, the number of writings published in every field is greater than all those produced in the past thousand years. Through them there has today been created a new theology and a new jurisprudence; the Paracelsians have created medicine anew and the Copernicans have created astronomy anew. I really believe that at last the world is alive, indeed seething, and that the stimuli of these remarkable conjunctions did not act in vain.
In one sense the whole process of development consists of the formation of habits; for knowledge itself, and the powers of thought, as well as the higher elements in the will, all depend upon the establishment of fixed ways of reacting to given stimuli. Consequently, the general laws of habituation underlie the whole of education. But the term habit is more commonly restricted to those established reactions that act with little or no participation of consciousness, or, in other words, mechanically or automatically. Such habits as these begin to form very early, and constitute a kind of supporting framework for the higher elements of character.
Edward O. Sisson
[T]he form that an animal's subjective experience takes will be a property of the internal computer model. That model will be designed, in evolution, for its suitability for useful internal representation, irrespective of the physical stimuli that come to it from outside. Bats and we need the same kind of internal model for representing the position of objects in three-dimensional space. The fact that bats construct their internal model with the aid of echoes, while we construct ours with the aid of light, is irrelevant.
Single cells analyze thousands of stimuli from the microenvironment they inhabit. The more awareness an organism has of its environment, the better its chances for survival. When cells band together they increase their awareness exponentially. Division of labor among the cells in the community offers an additional survival advantage. The efficiency it enables more cells to live on less. Evolution is based on an instructive, cooperative interaction among organisms and their environment enables life forms to survive and evolve in a dynamic world.
Bruce H. Lipton
Play for young children is not recreation activity, It is not leisure-time activity nor escape activity. Play is thinking time for young children. It is language time. Problem-solving time. It is memory time, planning time, investigating time. It is organization-of-ideas time, when the young child uses his mind and body and his social skills and all his powers in response to the stimuli he has met.
James L Hymes
In the dog two conditions were found to produce pathological disturbances by functional interference, namely, an unusually acute clashing of the excitatory and inhibitory processes, and the influence of strong and extraordinary stimuli. In man precisely similar conditions constitute the usual causes of nervous and psychic disturbances. Different conditions productive of extreme excitation, such as intense grief or bitter insults, often lead, when the natural reactions are inhibited by the necessary restraint, to profound and prolonged loss of balance in nervous and psychic activity.
There is no part of one's beliefs about oneself which cannot be modified by sufficiently powerful psychological techniques. There is nothing about oneself which cannot be taken away or changed. The proper stimuli can, if correctly applied, turn communists into fascists, saints into devils, the meek into heroes, and vice-versa. There is no sovereign sanctuary within ourseles which represents our real nature. There is nobody at home in the internal fortress. Everything we cherish as our ego, everything we believe in, is just what we have cobbled together out of the accident of our birth and subsequent experiences. With drugs, brainwashing, and other techniques of extreme persuasion, we can quite readily make a man a devotee of a different ideology, the patriot of a different country, or the follower of a different religion.
Peter J. Carroll
Deep attention, the cognitive style traditionally associated with the humanities, is characterized by concentrating on a single object for long periods (say, a novel by Dickens), ignoring outside stimuli while so engaged, preferring a single information stream, and having a high tolerance for long focus times. Hyper attention is characterized by switching focus rapidly among different tasks, preferring multiple information streams, seeking a high level of stimulation, and having a low tolerance for boredom.
N. Katherine Hayles
In the life cycle of an intense emotion, if it isn't acted upon, it eventually peaks and then decreases. But as Dr. Linehan explains, people with BPD have a different physiological experience with this process because of three key biological vulnerabilities (1993a): First, we're highly sensitive to emotional stimuli (meaning we experience social dynamics, the environment, and our own inner states with an acuteness similar to having exposed nerve endings). Second, we respond more intensely and much more quickly, than other people. And third, we don't 'come down' from our emotions for a long time. One the nerves have been touched, the sensations keep peaking. Shock waves of emotion that might pass through others in minutes keep cresting in us for hours, sometimes days.
Kiera Van Gelder