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Psychosomatic, neuroses

I.M. Sechenov and later I.P. Pavlov they showed the important role of reflector mechanisms in the formation of the highest mental functions. Remaining within the framework of this concept, for the beginning let us present psyche as the reflector system, directed toward the avoidance of the undesirable actions of environment. Let us note that the painful reaction is the strongest unconditional reaction, which is always accompanied by the experience of fear and horror. These experiences are renewed (at least, the negative painting of emotions), also, with the conditioned-reflex reproduction of painful reaction. Physical pain also is reproduced in the form of the muscular spasms and other manifestations.

For example, fear in small children can cause loud sound. B. Watson and R. Rayner (Watson, Rayner, 1920), combining the demonstration of white mice with the impact into the gong, caused in child the caused fear of mice. It was explained that the extinctions of this fear after the curtailment of unconditioned stimulus (loud sound) does not occur, in contrast to the classical conditioned reflex. Moreover, fear had a tendency toward the generalization, i.e., it applied to rabbit, white sheath, sheet of white paper and so forth it is later, studying nature of social it was insurance, psychologists arrived at the analogous results.

Let us examine how the conditional reaction of fear in the situations with the drops can be formed. In the real life nothing is repeated in the same situation several times. Yes even situation itself changes. From the generation the children do not fear height, but when they begin to walk - much fall. For example, one time child fell and tested the pain, when rapidly he broke into a run after the cat, in other case it fell from stul'chika, and on the street - from the children's swing. In each of these situations constantly was present only one prearranged signal - loss of support. To it is manufactured the conditioned reflex or the reaction of fear.

What adaptive value can have a fear of the loss of support, indeed child does not realize that he when - or did lose support and will not foresee this in the dangerous situations? In fact, in view of the transience, the very short duration of drop itself, is not realized, apparently, and very fear of the loss of support. Answer to this question should be searched for, most likely, in the dreams. Those associations, which appear with each drop: the loss of support and cat, loss of support and stul'chik, loss of support and swing - sooner or later derive on the theme of the loss of support in the dream, and it means - on the theme of drops. Hence the nightmares of drops. Sleep "strengthens" hardly the glowing sensation of danger to such scales, to this fear of drops, that further conditionality, i.e., displacement to the prearranged signal of height, and fear of height, are no longer caused any questions. Like the great adaptive value of the fear of height for averting the drops. Is possible, the "amplifying property of sleep", it is the reason for the difficult extinction of social, etc. it is insurance (phobias).

Analogous preventive displacement (conditional reaction) is observed also in other situations. So, in the case of the intolerance of some products, their taste and smell become the prearranged signals of the disorder of bowels as unconditional reaction. As a result the taste and the smell of the unbearable product, during strengthening of conditional connection, become unpleasant or even disgusting. In this example is noticeable certain physiological programme, although with the diseases of internal organs is observed even the unconditional (genetically fixed) displacement of pain in the specific sections of the surface of the skin - zone (Zakhar'in - Ged), the so-called, reflected pain. During the damage of hypodermic cloths the pain also is projected (it displaces) to the surface of the skin, but already in the zone of inflammation.

The state of general tiredness (stress) is frequently accompanied by discomfort precisely in those organs or parts of the bodies, whose function either is weakened or they experienced before this the increased load (displacement to that organ, which it will signal about the accumulated fatigue). This psycho-vegetative reaction can be manifested by the sensation of gravity in the feet, by headaches, sharp pain in the eyes, and with the agitation - by pain in the region of heart. Analogous mechanism, is similar, it is begun to operate both in the formation of the conversion symptoms (disturbance of sensitivity, paralyses, deafness, dumbness and other conversions) of neuroses, psychogeneses and in the cases of psychosomatic diseases, which include: hypertonia, stenocardia, bronchial asthma, ulcer, polyarthritis, etc.

The state of mental injury (mental suffering), when there is no physical damage, there is no explicit threat of damage, displaced it is insurance, connected with the possibility of damage, also it is possible to examine as unconditional reaction. On the same base, as painful reaction, to the presence of the strong excitation, painted with negative emotions. By unconditioned stimulus in this case can be what - or the factor of the surrounding situation with the more significant participation of cognitive (cognitive) processes, i.e., recollections, conclusions and so forth social factors are advanced in this case to the foreground. Analogously it is possible to describe the conditional stimulus (but this it can be and any endogenous factor in the case of psychosomatic disease), it is only connected it will be connected with the unconditional is only associatively. Or, if situation complex, conditional stimulus enters into the composition of unconditional stimulus as part into whole. In this case the conditional reaction, earlier which was being been the component part of the unconditional reaction, as a result of displacement seemingly picks up entire it "negative emotional charge". I.e., side-issue in what - that moment begins to be received as the more urgent, than extruded major issue (estimation of situation as a whole), which included to the displacement this side-issue. (See: Displacement, transfer, inversion, sublimation - stages of process.)

Further (already at the somatical level) the following can occur. Those internal organs, which in the unfavorable situation (mental injury, stress) became the object of displacement, under the favorable conditions (presence of motivation) cease to be ill, to cause discomfort and, possibly, due to the flow of the blood they increase their functional activity (what is the prerequisite of recovery). At least, to this result it leads the skin itch (inversion of pain), which facilitates an improvement in the blood supply of the healing wound via combing. (See: Inversion of emotions - base shielding mechanism.)

Based on materials of Vladimir Ivanov's article
"Psychology, dreams, reflexes" - Part 1,   Part 2.

Russian version

Articles on the theme:

Reflexes, emotions, motives.
Displacement, inversion, sublimation - stages of process.
Theories of motivation.
Inversion of emotions - base shielding mechanism.
Children's fears, dreams, nightmares.
Sleep and dreams. Psychophysiology, function.
School, working group - examples of mental protection.
Psychology of mode - Highlighting, tattooing, piercing.
Sexual inclination. Psychology, physiology.
Instincts and reflexes.
Attractiveness, the phenomenon of beauty.
Visual perception, gustatory sensation, taste, smells.
Instruction by the mechanism of inversion and sublimation.

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