From Atoms To BitsCulture, Collaboration and Global Sustainability David Leevers, BA, MIET, www.vers.co.uk VERS Associates, Virtual Environments for Real Societies CDS, Clinic for Dissociative Studies, London • Based on the presentation “From a Psycho History to a Sane Future”, • International Psychohistorical Association, 27th Annual Convention, New York, 3rd June 2004 • Draft 16 18/3/10 This web adaptation of the presentation has been continually amended in the light of comments. Slides now discuss how culture breakdown can lead to dissociation, how collaboration breakdown can lead to schizophrenia and how learning from these failures might help us work towards a Sustainable Global Network Society Underlined words are active Web links Most references and active links to references have yet to be added. Some slides still to be translated into intelligent layman language. For best appearance print one slide per page in PowerPoint, then set 4 pages per A4 sheet in the Print: Properties: window
Strapline • To make useful predictions about the future we have to understand what went wrong in the past. This presentation started 5 years ago as an attempt to build an optimistic path towards global sustainability by drawing on the two unique strengths of humans: • - the symbolic thinking that has created substantial cultures • the ability to collaborate in large groups against the “other” • However the current message is more pessimistic and the world may have gone backwards in the last 5 years. • There is still hope. We know more and more about how to increase collaboration and about how to switch the other from other communities to a common enemy: • Destruction of global heritage in general • Global warming in particular
Index INTRODUCTION CHILDHOOD IN RECORDED HISTORY SOCIAL EVOLUTION - THE LOSERS EVOLUTION TO HUMANITY FROM MAGIC AND RELIGION TO RATIONAL SECULAR SOCIETY FROM CLOSED TO OPEN SOCIETY AN OPEN BUT IMMATURE AND UNSTABLE SOCIETY? THE SUSTAINABLE OPEN SOCIETY GLOBAL SUSTAINABILTY: CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SOCIAL SIMULATION + IMMATERIALISATION CONCLUSIONS
Introduction 1 In the beginning was a universe of physical materials. Then the information store of DNA emerged and organised this material. Only then could the word emerge: symbolic thinking and language allowed one species to collaborate as well as compete and thus adapt rapidly through generational transmission of behaviour rather than through genetic change of instincts. Adaptation was further accelerated with the transmission of behaviour from peer to peer via mass communication technologies. Social change has increasingly been triggered by new technologies; firstly the material technologies of boat, wheel and steam, later the information technologies of printing, broadcasting and Internet documents. Humans have now multiplied to over-fill the earth and the global warming consequences of material technologies are more than cancelling out any further benefits. Information technologies further exacerbate the problem because they speed the dissemination of material technologies and, through centralisation, can amplify an unsustainable and unethical polarisation between rich and poor. The collaboration technologies of the peer-to-peer two-way broadband multimedia internet might be able to offer a way out.
Introduction 2 Collaboration technologies are not restricted by distance, language or age group, and tend to subvert traditional cultural barriers. Collaboration technologies augment our social capabilities and offer sustainable “immaterial” alternatives to the western desires for ever larger homes and ever more travel. The collaboration technologies of instant global media can speed up the culture changes necessary to enjoy less travel and smaller homes because peer to peer culture can change faster than generational transmission from parent to child If sustainable cultures can be introduced fast enough it may be possible to prolong the survival of humanity by decades or perhaps even centuries.
Background • A human life: • Years 0-4 Acquisition of the non-verbal cultural framework and the consensus reality of the attachment figures , usually immediate family - culture • Years 4-8 Wider social interaction, learning how to - collaborate • Years 8-80 Acting out the attachment and collaboration skills acquired earlier to learn about society as whole in adolescence and then to apply these skills in adulthood - global sustainability • A deeper understanding of this lifetime process can be reached by exploring the extremes: • Infanticidal behaviour against the infant between 0 and 4 that can to dissociation • Neglect of the child, primarily between 4 and 8, that can lead to schizophrenia in later adulthood. • What happens in years 8-80 when people are supported by the new collaboration technologies of the internet and multimedia communication? • It is hoped this approach can transcend the cultural and parochial differences that delay the inevitable next stage – sustainable lifestyles within a global perspective.
Summary 1: Technology • A Short History of Technology • Before 1900: agricultural & material technologies empowered the body • 20th century: information technologies empowered the mind • 21st onwards: collaboration technologies empower society • The material technology and information technology eras have taken the West • - from tribal life: infanticidal, miserable and short: 45 years, 7.5 years or 15% with some form of disability • - to western liberal democracy: 80 years, only 6 or 7.5% with some form of disability. • Homo sapiens emerged as the most successful hunter-gatherer of the homo genus because our enormous and highly connected neocortex and our integrated mind allowed a unique quality of collaboration and planning. This “prehensile neocortex” more than makes up for the weakness of our bodies. • Unlike the material and information technologies, the new collaboration technologies of information and communication have the potential to fully realise our uniquely human moral and social capabilities – from homo sapiens sapiens to homo democraticus.
Summary 2: Collaboration This evolutionary and historical perspective on technology draws on the psychological understanding of culture and value change articulated in Chris Knight’s “Blood Relations” and Lloyd deMause’s “History of Childhood”. Chris Knight identified how culture first emerged and Lloyd deMause charts our progress from a primate-like “Infanticidal Mode” culture in tribal societies to the most humane “Helping Mode” that is now emerging in prosperous western countries. This slow but accelerating social progress is difficult to recognise because it can be hidden by the “Geography of Childhood” (the enormous differences in childrearing in different cultures) and obscured by the roughly 50 year (two generation) cycle between war and peace, economic progress and recession. The ever-increasing understanding of the process of culture transmission during childhood that has come from large scale longitudinal studies is now being captured in ever-improving social models. These models are needed to identify and avoid deleterious side-effects of the new collaboration technologies and ensure we take full advantage of their benefits. Because these technologies can encourage socially responsible lifestyles they can dramatically reduce energy and material consumption and offer a credible route to global sustainability, probably reached via a “global network society”.
A Mental Health Warning • The following material on the painful evolution of childhood and of humanity may be triggering. Don’t read on if you find it difficult to accept - • that we cannot turn away from the sufferings of those in other cultures • that we, the human species, has already killed about 10 billion infants, usually girls, often through neglect, and killed 25% of the men in tribal cultures through violence in tribal cultures • that our chosen leaders can now wipe out the planet by killing a far smaller number • that our nearest neighbour in evolution, the bonobo, is the most hetero- and homosexually active higher animal • that our collaboration abilities - empathy, communication, imagination, ability to anticipate pain - imply that language barriers inhibit collaboration. These abilities are most fruitfully manifested in a fair and equitable society • that a holistic/systems perspective backed up by social simulation and modelling can identify a path to global coexistence rather than global annihilation – but perhaps not how to get there?
The Super Ape A particular set of circumstances allowed prehumans to evolve extremely rapidly over the last 6 million years into modern homo sapiens. The raw material was remarkably unpromising: the chaos of chimpanzee teams compared with the elegant team hunting of dolphins, wolves and lions! The first step on the path to humanity was honing fruit eating biped groups into big game hunting teams. Language enabled the group to act as a team (one man one mastodon – bad; 20 men one mastodon - good) Tools were required to allow the team of 20 physically limited prehumans to act as if it was an endlessly reconfigurable transformer superman, red in tooth and claw. One sharpened flint was equivalent to 10 claws, one thrown missile equivalent to 10 bear’s fists, one well aimed spear equivalent to 10 well sharpened canine teeth and one cooked meal the equivalent of 10 hours endlessly chewing raw food.
The Human Revolution • Perhaps we can work out how to evolve to the network society by learning how we got where we are now - the last few million years. • Prehuman teams learnt more and more how to operate as a superorganism. (premature birth/neoteny, the heel, long legs loss of hair, cooking food, hidden menstruation, clothes, tools, etc.) • As gains from operating as a team became greater than those from natural selection of “fit” individuals, genetic selection of instinctive behaviour became a drawback rather than an advantage and instinct parts of the human genome started to deteriorate, especially in a small group of prehumans in the rift valley. This gave new flexibility and may have allowed them to supersede similar hominims when the climate changed about 75,000 years ago. Then they proliferated to fill the planet - and the rest is history! • To work towards global sustainability we need to understand: • 1, Evolution of homo sapiens • 2, Evolution of childhood • 3, Evolution of technology • 4, Simulation of future social evolution • And finally: 5, How to match collaborative hunter-gatherer capabilities to a • 10 billion humans – one planet challenge
The Collaborating Team The slow running and the poor eyesight of the 20 man superman could only be enhanced by “cheating”: by hunting for up to a week, at night after the prey had fallen asleep, by hunting by the light of the moon, i.e. in the quarter before full moon when the evening sunlight needed for preparation is immediately followed by enough moonlight to hunt by. The tribe could only survive the other three quarters of the moon’s cycle if the prey was big enough and the cooked meat did not rot. The biggest game, the animals that had earlier lost their competitive edge because there were no bigger predators, were actually the easier target for the 20 man “superman” monster. Because big game evolve slowly they could not adapt as fast as “homo collaboraticus” expanded to reach their territory, and they were eaten. The giant wildebeest Megalotragus of the rift valley was the first to go, then the mastodons of Siberia, the giant kangaroos of Australia, the giant sloth of South America, etc.
The Lunar Cycle Meat could only last a month if it was cooked. As prehumans learnt to cook so the disgust instinct was co-opted to protect them from raw rotting meat. A side effect may have been to be repelled by menstrual blood. Apes menstrual cycle was already close to that of the moon. It did not take much selective pressure for women’s periods to synchronise with each other and with the moon. This synchronisation was then used to reinforce the several day collaboration of the male hunting team that was required to track and kill big game. If synchronised, the females could augment their old tool of rejecting the male when not fertile with the new tool of disgust to encourage men to go out hunting in the quarter before full moon AND bring the food back. With the spear the men could strike 20 times as effectively as a lion or bear. By withholding sex during menstruation the women could strike as effectively as the men could strike. Thus ensuring all the able bodied men joined the week long hunt. This lunar synchrony might have taken the last million years. No one factor was decisive but all the factors conspired to achieve exceptionally rapid protohuman evolution. In 6 million years, prehuman DNA changed by many times the change in bonobo and chimpanzee DNA. (to be checked).
“Detachment Theory” Given that the protohumans were already walking on two feet when they diverged from apes the problem of the narrow birth canal was already raising its ugly head, i.e. the big brainy head required for progress towards language made birth more difficult. One solution was for females to grow closer to the size of men, another was to grow even wider hips but this slowed them down and may have excluded them from the several day big game hunt. A more effective solution was neoteny - earlier childbirth. But such babies could only survive if people other then the mother were co-opted to care for them. Attachment by grabbing the mother’s fur had to be replaced by attachment by results. Detaching the baby from 100% physical contact required the collaborative power of language so that a gossip linked attachment group could support the neonate baby, firstly the grandmother then father and elder siblings and eventually anyone in the tribal group. “Premature” birth and the lunar timetable provided the opposite of contraception. Protohumans had babies almost twice as often as other hominids: 1, An opportunity for rapid evolution with brain power as the primary selection criterion, 2, BUT an opportunity for rapid population growth after moving to new territory.
Neoteny is for Life, not just for Christmas It was neoteny that really released the human genie. No longer was the baby born with a ready-made set of instincts and capabilities. The capabilities it learnt from its inner circle of carers when the baby ape is still inside the womb included the unique culture of the tribe. Thus transmission of behaviour by learning from the previous generation is taking over from transmission of instinct by DNA. Large fractions of human DNA are becoming superfluous as demonstrated by the comparison of human DNA with that of other mammals. In the wide range of two legged hominins that occupied the rift valley area in the last 6 million years there would have been many alternatives to our big game hunting forbears. Some would have gone for smaller game and more frequent hunts and would not have been under such extreme evolutionary pressure. Others would have avoided the pressure by moving to more fruit laden rain forests. But when the 75,000 years ago climate disaster hit only those who had learned how a monthly hunting cycle survived. By then they had acquired most human capabilities: early birth, huge neocortex, hairless body, powerful language, cooking skills and complex rituals. And when the climate improved again it was they who expanded to fill - and now threaten - the planet.
Childrearing Defines Society, Not Vice Versa “The main problem is that the evolution of child rearing has so far been a slow, uneven historical process, depending greatly on increasing the support given innovative mothers and their hopeful daughters. Unfortunately, in a world where our destructive technology has far outrun our child-rearing progress, where a single submarine can now carry a sufficient number of nuclear warheads to destroy most of the world with the push of a button - we do not have the luxury of just waiting for child rearing to evolve. If we do, we will certainly blow ourselves up long before child abuse disappears enough to make us want to disarm. What we need now is some way for the more advanced psychoclasses to teach child rearing to the less evolved parents, a way to end child abuse and neglect quickly enough to avoid the global holocaust that is awaiting us.” Lloyd deMause (originator of Psychohistory) “The Emotional Life of Nations”, p 431, 2002 I suggest that Collaboration Technologies might offer a more neutral, less capitalist, less colonial, way for “the less evolved parents” to learn sustainable child rearing - the Helping Mode defined below. The emerging global network can disseminate such information much faster and less offensively than generational transmission from “the more evolved psychoclasses”. Can dissemination of a new network assisted culture be fast enough to prevent nuclear war holocaust, or global warming holocaust, and thus ensure long-term global sustainability?
The Death of Evolution and the Birth of History Psychohistory is the study of the psychological motivations of events since the magic moment when Hagen takes over from Siegfried, when Lloyd DeMause takes over from Chris Knight. Psychohistory combines the insights of attachment theory and psychoanalysis with the research methodology of the social sciences to understand the emotional origins of the social and political behaviour of individuals, groups and nations, past and present. Psychohistorical understanding of history comes from areas that tend to be ignored by conventional historians - parenting practice and the level of child abuse. Equally, sociobiological understanding of prehuman history comes from areas ignored by conventional anthropologist such as menstruation and the moon. Psychotherapists in general now recognise that wars and other destructive social behaviours can be re-enactments of very early abuse and neglect. Memories and flashbacks to early fears concerning destructive parenting are often triggered by very reasonable fears concerning the potential actions of others. Particular successes have been in identifying the brutality of all but recent childrearing, the processes that led to the World War II, and the acting out of his childhood humiliations by President Bush. Alas psychohistory is not popular with politicians, religious leadersand any others who may well have acquired power and influence through such acting out.
Evolution of Childrearing Modes in Western Elites Psychohistorians see the West as having evolved from the “Infanticidal Mode” child-rearing seen in other social animals (and in most tribal societies) to the “Helping Mode” of the privileged, prosperous and educated, but resource-intensive and fragile, nuclear families that now require the resources of 3 earths if current western technology is extended to all 7 billion occupants. The “Helping Mode” culture could spread rapidly to all children if the new collaboration technologies were used to introduce this culture to resource starved and fragmented families, providing a safe and nurturing environment for every child everywhere. This spread of the Helping Mode could be very fast because it takes full advantage of new Collaboration Technologies 2000 Lloyd deMause 1975
Comments on the Childrearing Modes These modes start when the men in prehuman hunter gatherer and trader groups start to apply the leadership concepts of small family groups to larger and larger human societies. The symmetry of the 100% attachment between ape baby and mother has already been broken but the mother and family are effectively treating the child as an object until child mortality drops to a level where a multigenerational perspective brings payback, then the child starts being treated more and more as a human, a future adult, and less and less as a comforter, an addiction. It is extremely difficult and of doubtful value to attempt to map these six modes on to non-western cultures. Other cultures have been so interfered with by the earlier western prototype – and there is so much that can be learnt by avoiding the problems of the prototype! A three stage evolution might prove more universal: Beginning: Abandoning - it is not safe to care about infants , and few will survive Middle: Intrusive – the parents are recognising the child as an investment End: Helping – the child and parent are becoming equal members of wider society
Tribal Life and Death The early anthropologists fantasy of the noble savage has been eroded by ever improving observation of hunter-gatherer and tribal life. An understanding of generational transmission in early cultures is making sense of the increasing evidence of the painful history of tribal childhood, adult violence and ruthless trade. We are no longer taken in by the public face of tribes who are as intelligent and proud as ourselves. The homicide rate of the “peaceful” Kalahari bushmen is higher than in any US inner city, Samoan teenagers demonstrated fantasy storytelling skills when talking to Margaret Mead, and the sea of happy young smiles in a tribal village may show that both unhappiness and old age quickly lead to death when modern medicine is not available. Neglect and isolation can leave children stuck in Abandoning, Ambivalent or even Infanticidal Childhood Modes and, given the psychological holding power of tribal communities, isolation is likely to lead to the implicit suicide of a death due to violence or starvation than to a conventional schizophrenic breakdown.
Ignorance and War In social animals such as humans violence is likely to occur when the trading of goods or emotions fails due to lack of information about the material or psychological capabilities of the other. No wonder the peacock has the gentleness of a thousand eyes. But when the animal is human and the other is a nation the violence is war. A primary benefit of the rapidly expanding neocortex of pre-humans appears to have been an increasing ability to engage in complex trades: no longer an eye for an eye but a tooth for an eye, a flint for a meal, a marriage for a dowry. Animals rarely fight to the death because their fighting capabilities have evolved to be totally visible: the size of the peacock’s virtual antlers, the dexterity of the courtship dance and the symmetry of the body. With language and technology our power to deceive and damage grew so much faster than the visibility of our intentions and our weapons.
Information and Peace It was not until material and information technologies were superseded by the new collaboration technologies that we could hope to achieve comparable visibility of our intentions and military strengths. We are already trusting larger and larger numbers of other people: clans, then tribes, then nations, and now power blocks. Absolute numbers of deaths from violence grow, but percentages have dropped dramatically. New studies in the 1990’s indicated that the almost universal 25% male death rate from violence in tribal societies dropped to 3% in Germany across the whole of the 20th century and to more like 1% in other Western countries. A violent death in 25% of men is equivalent to one violent death every 180 man-years. Although a rare event it is still enough to ensure a lifetime of fear. This dramatic reduction in violent death rates is consistent with the fact that collaboration technologies, unlike earlier material and information technologies, encourage greater understanding of the relative capabilities and absolute intentions of those around us. We are now approaching global visibility of capabilities and intentions.
A Contemporary Window on Tribal Extremes Everyone is different. Not every family has been able to progress through the 7 modes of childhood in the last few hundred years. Very small numbers of western families remain stuck in the Infanticidal Mode. In a modern society this mode can take the form of ritual abuse – witchcraft and the secret sadistic cult fetishes of blood and body fluids. The effects of abuse starting at birth, before the brain has fully integrated, include trauma and dissociation. It may be easier for therapists than anthropologists to understand these effects because, in general, they spend many more years with their subjects. Universal schooling has been an important part of progress to the more advanced childrearing modes, particularly the move to the Socialising Mode with universal schooling in the West from the late 1800’s onwards. The cloak of family secrecy is hard to maintain when children go to school and so the number of Infanticidal Mode ritual abuse families steadily decreases. More recently mobile telephones and the Internet are lifting further veils of secrecy from what goes on in abusive families. However many of the 3 billion people living on less than $2 per day are trapped in the Infanticidal or Abandoning Modes. Such a childhood can lead to dissociation (psychic separation of mind and body) and, in extreme cases, DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder).
DID: Infanticidal Mode Is Still Relevant DID reduces and contains the experience of pain when both love and torture are experienced from the same attachment figures, usually parents, grandparents and elder siblings. DID is most easily acquired before the modules of the unfinished infant brain integrate into a single personality. The infant can survive pain if it can be confined to just one personality. A mother who is 10 times less abusive than the father can be equally as damaging because she is with the infant 10 times as much. As childrearing improves the alters become weaker. But at times of war and fear of death the anger and fear encapsulated in Lloyd deMause’s “Killer Goddess Alter” and “Killer Mommy Alter” can overwhelm rational decision making, particularly in war leaders. Understanding the extreme of dissociation can help define the scope and limits of the human mind and its pathologies in individuals, in groups and in society as a whole. Such an understanding is essential if models of mind and society are to be accurate enough to ensure that society is not destroyed by the accidental side-effects of accelerating culture changes (e.g. ADHD a result of babies and infants watching too much hyperactive TV)
Ritual Abuse Research in the UK, 1 • : A study of court evidence was used by government to • claim that “Satanic Abuse” did not exist in the UK. • This was achieved by defining “Satanic Abuse” to be unsubstantiated abuse, • “Ritual Abuse” to be abuse proven in court. • This denial of Satanic abuse was helped by the fact that ritual material is removed from court evidence to avoid traumatising juries. • 1994: In response to protests from professionals, the UK Department of Health, DoH, funded a one year study of 51 survivors of ritual abuse – no government response. • Only bullet points from the study can be published. • No survivors had recovered memories • No survivors belonged to evangelical churches • No survivors suffered from Munchausen Syndrome • A major problem in this study was that the survivors traumatised professionals when they described their expreiences– e.g. a Christian therapist hearing a victim say “We are honest because we use real blood and real bodies, not bread and wine, the fake flesh and blood of the Christian mass”
Ritual Abuse Research in the UK, 2 • 14 of the 51 cases in the 1993 study were deemed suitable for police investigation. However the only case brought to court did not include satanist ritual elements. This raises the following issues: • Police have no training in dissociation and abuse. • Those who successfully investigate are ridiculed and sidelined, not promoted • Although the survivors experiences were consistent and credible • they were often expressed in childlike terms by DID child alters • and thus would not have convinced a jury who did not understand DID • Sadistic paedophiles add ritual elements to confuse the children and so to protect themselves from prosecution – humans have evolved to love • The police see their role as making middle class citizens feel safe in the here and now, not reducing the very traumas of deprived children that lead to crime, often directed at the middle classes, in subsequent adulthood • The Justice System assumes crime is rational, not social: • a lone rational neocortex, not an amygdala of emotional drives embedded in a social network
Clinic for Dissociative Studies, CDS DID Therapy, 1998 onwards • CDS was set up to honour therapy commitments made to victims contributing to the Department of Health study, and to support new referrals. Few other clinics were prepared to take the victims when the study ended because they traumatised therapists. • Over 400 ritual abuse survivors have been assessed. • Long term therapy has been provided for 40 of these over the last 15 years. • Like all belief systems, family cults are multi-generational expressions of attachment processes. Most victims come to the clinic for help in early adulthood after they have left the parental home. Such victims have improved and recovered after several years therapy. Those who were unable to escape the cults found it harder. • Men with DID usually end up in prison rather than in therapy, allowing them to pass their anger and values on to other less damaged prisoners. • Current understanding is sensitively conveyed in the 2004 BBC drama “May 33rd” by Guy Hibbert
Evidence of Abuse is Leaking Out Obviously cult children are afraid to talk. Some clients who disclosed abuse received punishment rapes, and far worse, after talking. Some have been tricked into believing they have participated in murder. In many cases they subsequently withdraw evidence out of fear of and attachment to parents, or because an alter loyal to the cult comes out. Perpetrators control victims via their mobiles, but mobiles can now be tracked. Cult members use the web and evidence does leak out into public areas. Direct records of sadomasochistic rituals in BDSM clubs and paedophile activities are now appearing on the internet. Only if one assumes no BDSM club member is a paedophile and no paedophile enjoys torturing can one believe that ritual abuse of children does not exist! Many people have a need to record what excites them, and this need has helped to convict many paedophiles. However a start to finish record of a specifically satanic ritual, including abortion, infanticide or murder does not appear to have become public yet. Because military torturers have better brainwashing technology and are more socially acceptable they may well be recorded first! Three cheers for Abu Ghraib.
Dynamics of DID Many of the late abortions and early infanticides carried out in cult ceremonies appear to be genuine - the need for moon/menstruation rituals, the purifying power of innocent blood. 97% of those with DID can remember a history of childhood trauma and abuse. The level of DID in prostitutes is about 100 times higher than in the general population indicating the extent to which child abuse underlies prostitution. Parenting that prevent the early childrearing modes that lead to the need for prostitutes in later life may be enough to prevent the abusive side of prostitution. A child alter in an anorexic woman’s body can be as good as the real thing to less discriminating paedophile customers. But creating a dissociative sex and torture slave can be a risky investment because one of the alters may become suicidal. Abusers implant loyal alters that come out if the victim attempts suicide. If the victim starts to talk or becomes old and muddled the cult can remove the protective alters - with expected consequences Some anthropologists try to prevent the modern world changing tribal cultures based on DID behaviours such as speaking in voices and bloody and torturous initiation ceremonies.
Hippocampus shrinks with the Stress and Abuse that lead to Dissociative Disorders Ehling, Nijenhuis & Krikke, 2002 Hippocampus at the centre of the brain handles memory processes. NB London taxi drivers have large hippocampuses, conversely, abused children try to suppress memories!
Hippocampus Expands during Recovery Hippocampus volume decreases by 25% with DID increases after recovery from DID: Left side +9%, Right Side + 18% Parahippocampus volume decreases by 19-20% with DID increases after recovery from DID: 6% Ehling, Nijenhuis & Krikke, 2002 An increasing number of brain differences between DID and average brains, not all of which can be expected to return to normal after therapy. New memory tests that use word lists measure interference between the memories of different alters and cannot be faked. They show complete separation of narrative memory, but only in patients with full DID. Professor John Morton, UCL, unpublished, 2004
Carer Carer Child Carer Carer Ritual Abuse and Attachment Theory The baby and infant 0-4 years need consistent, caring and supportive one-way attachment relationships to a small number of people. If the carer appears to or actually has several contradictory personalities or then the baby’s brain adopts this culture by splitting into two or more personalities, (just as a baby’s brain develops to reflect the deep religious and moral aspects of any culture). Part of the reward for this splitting is being able to confine pain to seldom used personalities.
person person person Child person person person Psychosis and “Collaboration Theory” • The older child, from 4 to about 8, needs to internalise the nature of wider society by interacting with the family and friends • - sharing, obligations fairness, games, body language.
Schizophrenia: Abandoning and Ambivalent Modes Still Relevant Families with abandoning and ambivalent modes as demonstrated in their collaboration style can, in a modern society, turn the child towards a path to eventual breakdown and schizophrenia. Three dysfunctional family cultures in which this process is stultified, UCLA project, Goldstein 1987: EE, Expressed Emotion: if EE is high in parents then the probability of an already troubled child becoming broad spectrum Schizophrenic rises from 6% to 73% AS, Affective Style: if AS ios negative, i.e. criticism, intrusiveness and guilt induction then the above probability rises from 4% to 56% Extreme Negative Affective Style can lead to “Infanticidal Attachment” CD, Communication Deviance: a shared failure to communicate in the child's family. If high then above probability rises from 9% to 50%
DID or Schizophrenia? The preschizophrenic child is brought up in an incomplete culture of distorted and inadequate communication. As with the DID child there are substantial and measurable brain changes. Survival is such a family culture comes from not thinking too much. DID: Hippocampus shrinks because communication between different parts of the brain is painful and is avoided Schizophrenia: thinning sensory cortex and overall shrinkage, perhaps through lack of use because the model of society acquired from family is out of step with the outside world of the teenager and adult. Higher level thinking is painful and is avoided. Thus the last area to develop, the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex that handles executive functions, is small.
The Preschizophrenic Quiet Yearsin the high Expressed Emotion, the negative Affective Style and the Communication Deviance family Between 4 and 8 the child in such a family handles the conflict between society and family by cutting off. A cascade of knock-on effects, loss of friends, loss of social abilities, retreat into self, fantasy world diverges more and more from reality. The child is failing to learn how to negotiate the even greater changes that will occur when they leave school. Strong correlation between this type of child and subsequent schizophrenia. Increasingly cut off from the outside, the child fills the sensory vacuum by continuing the infants world of imagination. Children who were sexually or physically abused suffer verbal hallucinations based on the words and voice of the abuser. Social delusions are more likely in those from dysfunctional families. How to identify schizophrenic risk? “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”.
Psychohistory:From Attachment Theory to “Collaboration Theory” Attachment theory emerged from studying the relationships with the immediate carers of the very young. It gave rise to specific hypotheses that could be tested in the “strange situations” experiments. For this reason it was accepted. It has not helped in understanding the far more complex two-way give and take that lies at the heart of mature multiway human relationships. Our primary survival strategy as an ape that is far weaker and more vulnerable than any other is the ability to collaborate rather than compete within our own species. The competitive advantage of a species with a brain that can handle theory of mind and symbolic communication compensates for its excessive size and energy consumption (2% of body weight 20% of energy consumption) The dynamics of collaboration in groups are extremely complex and have not been substantially explored in psychology and psychiatry. Only when the nature of communication was profoundly changed by multimedia technologies was its nature recognised and explored. Ethnographers working with engineers in this field were not held back by psychiatrists’ rejection of family influences. It was Del Ray, a MIT Media Lab professor, not a psychiatrist, who was the first to document every moment of the first three years of a child's life.
“Collaboration Theory”Future Experimental Evaluation There is still virtually no record and analysis of long term collaborative communications in small groups. The most complete data covers the text chat records of internet discussions but these conversations are emotionally impoverished compared with multisensory real life communication in families with children. New technologies such as Alex Pentland’s “Sociometer” are at last capturing the nature of unconscious communication and predicting how people will behave in different complex social situations Longtitudinal studies are already showing that Expressed Emotion, Affective Style and Communication Deviance in childhood show that these are the dominant factors in determining later schizophrenia and other psychoses. Early nonritual physical and sexual abuse is also significant. Early ritual abuse produces high functioning DID individuals who are strong enough to avoid schizophrenic in spite of the dysfunctional communication in their families. Genetic propensities appear to be a minor contributor and, estimating from recent family studies (excluding early faulty twins studies), would indicate that at least 20 genes are involved, none of which are decisive.
“Collaboration Theory” Escalation into Psychosis These results would also show that so called psychosis is not “loss of touch with reality” but emergence of a “personal reality”, a belief system that starts off from the family’s dysfunctional reality and then, because it is rejected by peers and mentors, isolates the individual. With lack of social stimulation the sensory input and executive function parts of the cortex start to atrophy. The increasing loss of complex and challenging sensory input from social interactions can cause an escalating landslide into isolation. The hungry brain searches for stimulation and grasps what were originally minor links from the motor to the sensory parts of the brain (normally used for dreaming and rehearsal processes). As these links replace the links to sensory inputs they become confused with external reality. The victim becomes well aware that it is inappropriate to talk about “reality” (they often assume everyone has such hallucinations but do not talk about them). Finally there is a life event trauma that is so out of step with their reality that they have to talk. Others realise they are odd, there is breakdown and then sectioning. If their brain is scanned it is far too late in the atrophying process so Tim Crow and others carelessly assume the brain shrinkage is genetic not environmental.
Test Case: Afro-Caribbean Schizophrenia • Afrocarribeans in UK are about 10 times more likely to suffer from Schizophrenia than average. In the Carribean they are only 2.5 times more vulnerable. This is consistent with the higher level of schizophrenia in other impoverished groups. • Many desperate and devious attempts have been made to explain this away within the genetic paradigm. Ignoring the issue was the most widespread. For instance only one out of 500 studies of schizophrenia looked at the contribution from economic class. • A “Collaboration theory” model explanation could be: • 1, The culture of their attachment figures is Christian and western • (unlike that of Arab and Asian immigrants) • 2, Thus only when at school, from about 5 onwards, do they meet • racial prejudice in their immediate collaborating social network • 3, They make the mistake of interpreting prejudice as Negative Affective Style and Communication Deviance in their peer group and shut down to avoid perpetual subtle low level humiliation • 4, The landslide into isolation starts
Preschizophrenia Sexual and Physical Abuse • 60% of boys diagnosed as schizophrenic before the age of 18 have been sexually abused • 80-85% of schizophrenic patients have suffered childhood abuse compared with: • 26% for panic disorder, • 30% for anxiety disorder • 42% for depressive disorder, Friedman 2002 Identical Twins The primeval myth of the 50% cross correlation between identical twins reared apart.Used to justify the genetic thinking that peaked 20 years ago This cross correlation drops to 22% in good modern studies - easily explained by shared family culture, Joseph 2004
Mental Liberation Evolution is a mathematical theorem under conditions which apply to living things 1, Replication – each generation is a copy of the previous generation 2, Variation – the new generation differs slightly from the previous one 3, Survival – more of some types of variation survive than others Humans are the only species on earth in which variation in the genes has been augmented by substantial variation in culture. Symbolic thinking and language are the tools that enable one generation to convey variation in lifestyle or culture to the next. DNA based transmission of body and behaviour has been augmented by generational transmission of culture. Mental Liberation through atrophy of superfluous instincts
Traditional Intelligence Grammatical speech greatly reduced our need for the enormous photographic memory found in closely related apes. This freed up a large fraction of the cortex at a time when it was growing for other reasons. At the same time prehumans were becoming increasingly specialised - the right brain continuing the parallel sensory and motor activities while the left side developed identity and consciousness and the new skill of language. The recent technology of writing has taken us to yet another level of abstraction by taking over parts of the brain that were previously used to the vast network of pathways in a traditional hunter gatherer territory. It is wrong to underestimate traditional tribal skills but it is wrong to overestimate their effectiveness. Modern humans can be in awe at the level of skill in traditional areas: medicinal herbs for healing, horses for transport, even darkness to support the television of the mind in the imagery evoked by storytellers. These skills are not belittled when new technologies carry out the same tasks in different more efficient ways. The car and plane are more sustainable than the horse (for equal distances travelled). Modern medicines are more effective for physical ailments and modern psychotherapy for psychological ones. However there can always be cracks in the modern concrete, for instance the arbitrary division between physical and mental illness that has trampled over the traditional healer’s integration of the two.
Neoteny and the Integrated Mind Problem solving in advanced social animals is very context dependent. Without the integrating and abstracting power of a large prefrontal neocortex and symbolic language they find it difficult to transfer experience from one type of situation to another.The flexible integrated mind of humans appears to have started emerging about 2 million years ago. Its evolution appears to have been rapid because it required little more, genetically, than a progressive neoteny in which our adult ancestors became more like infant apes: mental flexibility, playful, fragile bodies. The neoteny process also included being born when the human brain is exceptionally undeveloped (yet is still so large that the narrow hips required for upright walking cause more mothers and babies to die in childbirth than in other apes).At the development stage when the structure of the ape brain is being defined by the secure and boring womb, the human brain is already being influenced by the social and cultural activities of the immediate family
Lamarkian Evolution of Culture? A brain tuned to social interaction rather than immediate problem solving may have to be far more integrated than that of our nearest relatives, the apes. Advanced consciousness may well be a side effect of this integration. It is of course unexplainable because we cannot step outside it to observe it. All we can do is be aware of our own consciousness and , perhaps, that of others? If the mother is alternately loving and sadistic, e.g. suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, integration and empathy are hindered and the child reverts to the hypervigilant and dissociative behaviour of prey species such as antelope. Brain scans have shown that they are dissociative - one part of the brain sleeps while another watches for predators. In the case of infanticidal humans the predator is the parent - but they are usually consuming the child's feelings, not the child’s flesh. Occasionally a parent captures a glimpse of a slightly better life, and this aspiration can be passed on as a new element in the culture of their children. Thus generation by generation advance through the childrearing modes may be a form of Lamarckian evolution – the child acquires the aspirations of the parent