++SCHORE ON MATERNAL-INFANT MIND SHAPING

Schore chapter 2

Minds in the Making:  Attachment, the Self-Organizing Brain, and Developmentally-Oriented Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

11/23/6

IMPORTANT

++ the attachment relationship directly shapes [through certain maternal behaviors] the maturation of the infant’s right-brain stress-coping systems that act at levels beneath awareness (schore/ar/44)

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The orbital cortex matures in the middle of the second year, a time when the average child has a productive vocabulary of less than 70 words.  The core of the self is thus nonverbal and unconscious, and it lies in patterns of affect regulation.  (schore/ar/46)”

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Instead of “mindsight” we have “blindsight”

We have the inability to maintain or restore equilibrium internally or within relationships with others.  No wonder we experience “panic”

We don’t need therapists; we need personal trainers and coaches.  We need mental workouts to exercise corrected patterns in our brains (one we have determined what we need to change).  If it takes 5000 repetitions to train a dog one part of one trick, how many times will we have to repeat our new “learnings” for the structural brain changes we need to be made?  We need brain exercises and rehearsals.

It is hard for us to have the “ability to watch.”  This must be tied to “reflective function”

We can’t tell when others or we are “crossing the center line” because no one ever showed us where that line was.

Brain balance is like playing an internal hemispheric game of catch – back and forth

“All it takes is a splash of yellow on a black wall to let us know there are contrasts in the world.  Jon Allen’s book did that for me.  It was the first time I’d seen the truth about my “condition.”  Nobody else had ever scratched the true surface of what is “wrong” with me.  Nothing ever really touched me inside.  All other “self-helps” were from the outside in, changing my “clothing” but not changing ME.  Nothing ever “fit” before, or addressed or named the true situation I WAS in as an infant and therefore STILL am in.  These writings (Allen, Siegel, Schore) are like the “diving boards” for me to jump into myself.  They are the “jumping off places.”  I hope my book can do that for others.

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If attachment is interactive synchrony, stress is defined as an asynchrony in an interactional sequence, and, following this, a period of reestablished synchrony allows for stress recovery. (schore/ar/39)”

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Indeed, psychobiological attunement, interactive resonance, and the mutual synchronization and entrainment of physiological rhythms are fundamental processes that mediates attachment bond formation, and

attachment can be defined as the interactive regulation of biological synchronicity between organisms.  (schore, 1994, 2000a, 2000b, 2000h, 2001c).  …. Attachment is thus the dyadic (interactive) regulation of emotion (Sroufe, 1996). (schore/ar/39)”

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“Thus, regulation theory suggests that attachment is, in essence, the right-brain regulation of biological synchronicity between organisms. (schore/ar/41)

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Schore wrote this chapter in 2001, a presentation for the Seventh Annual John Bowlby Memorial Lecture

Bowlby’s ideas on attachment are “the dominant model of human development available to science”  (schore/ar/33)

Research is demonstrating the “clinical relevance of the concepts of mental representations of internal working models and reflective functions” are two fundamental characteristics of “minds in the making”  (schore/ar/33)

“…the new developments that are recoupling Freud and Bowlby come from neuroscience.  (schore/ar/34)”

Schore states that in his ongoing writings he writes “from a psychoneurobiological point of view, a specification of the structural systems of the developing unconscious in terms of recent brain research.  This work on “the origin of the self”…attempts to document the ontogenetic evolution of the neurobiology of subjectivity and intersubjectivity, which I equate with specifically the experience-dependent self-organization of the early-developing right hemisphere.  (schore/ar/34)”

“the structural development of the right hemisphere mediates the functional development of the unconscious mind…. [and is] the repository of Bowlby’s unconscious internal working models of the attachment relationship.  (schore/ar/34)”

“the system unconscious” (schore/ar/34 & 35) has, according to Schore’s discussion on Freud’s work, “regulatory structures and dynamics”  (schore/ar/35)

is describing a scientific trend toward convergence of “the study of the brain and the study of the mind.  (schore/ar/35)

“the early developing right brain…is the neurobiological substrate of Freud’s system unconscious….A body of research now indicates that the right hemisphere is dominant in human infancy, and indeed, for the first 3 years of life.  (schore/ar/35)

I feel as though I am on the trail of unraveling a great mystery as I approach this chapter.  I want to understand how it was possible that I had so little independent thought before the age of 18.  I want to understand how I endured the thousands of hours of enforced isolation as a child.  I want to understand how I could sit on the side of a mountain at 18 and not think a thought.  I want to understand how exactly I GOT my mother’s mind.  And I want to understand how she GOT her own.

“the right hemisphere contains an affective-configurational representational system, one that encodes self-and-object images

“while the left utilizes a lexical-semantic mode.  In (schore/ar/35)

“greater right than left hemispheric involvement in the unconscious processing of affect-evoking stimuli” in (schore/ar/35)

“unconscious processing of emotional stimuli is specifically associated with activation of the right [unconscious mind] and not left hemisphere [conscious response]” in (schore/ar/35)

p 36 –

“…I suggest that structure refers to those specific brain systems, particularly right-brain systems, that underlie these various mental functions [such as internal cognitive processes like representations and defenses, and content like conflicts and fantasies].  In other words, the internal psychic systems involved in processing information at levels beneath awareness…and structural …models, can now be identified by neuroscience.  (schore/ar/36)”

“…one of the major questions of science, specifically [is], how and why do certain early ontogenetic events have such an inordinate effect on everything that follows?  (schore/ar/36)”

“period of the brain spurt that continues through the second year of life” in (schore/ar/36)

“attachment transactions mediate “the social construction of the human brain” in (schore/ar/36)”

“specifically the social emotional brain that supports the unique operations of “the right mind.”  Attachment is thus inextricably linked to developmental neuroscience.  (schore/ar/36)”

Bowlby placed “attachment at the center of human development.  In (schore/ar/36)

P 37 –

We now know that an infant functions in a fundamentally unconscious way, and unconscious processes in an older child or adult can be traced back to the primitive functioning of the infant.  Knowledge of how the maturation of the right brain, “the right mind,” is directly influenced by the attachment relationship offers us a chance to more deeply understand not just the contents of the unconscious, but its origins, structure, and dynamics.  (schore/ar/37)”

“attachment theory is fundamentally a regulatory theory.  (schore/ar/37)”

“…the psychobiological regulatory events that mediate the attachment process,

and the psychoneurobiological regulatory mechanisms by which “the right mind” organizes in infancy.  (schore/ar/37)”

“…regulation theory describes the mechanisms [notice use of this mechanical term]by which the patient forms an attachment, that is, a working alliance with the therapist.  This construct – created to define the subtle, interactive dynamic relationship between patient and therapist – is the most important conceptualization of the common elements of the different therapy modalities.  Bradley (2000) pointed out that all psychotherapies – psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, experiential, and interactional – show a similarity in promoting affect regulation.  (schore/ar/37)”

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I don’t buy this.  I don’t know why.  I have a very clear but still vague sense that there is something contrived yet convenient for the clinical world in believing what Schore is saying in this paragraph above.  But I “smell” something rotten, something wrong, something fishy, something inaccurate and something suspicious with this thinking.

I do not believe that patient’s form attachments to their therapists!  I really really don’t!

A working alliance, yes.  But not a formed attachment.  I do not see these as the same thing.  I see a “working alliance” as a functional, mechanical mechanism.  Mechanism is a mechanical word itself to me.  I think that there is something inflated here.  By saying a patient forms an attachment to a therapist seems to me to be saying that the patient is somehow less than the therapist.  A therapist is not a friend, a lover, a child, a sibling.  If THEY are the ones that need to believe that an attachment to them by a patient is necessary, I personally think there is something wrong with the picture here.

This is, no doubt, my extremely honed and perfected “shame inducer” detector going.  This is NOT a minor issue.  Every time I have this inner sense of “fishiness” I need to pay close attention to what is going on.  It is some sort of a bullshit detector – and here I have been thinking that I don’t have one of those!  I don’t think it operates in a normal or usual fashion, though.  I think it is like a laser light of protection regarding this information that is of such vital, essential, and life preserving value to me – as well as to others who have suffered brain damage from infant abuse.

A working alliance is a “fair and equitable” term that values both the patient and the therapist equally.  It puts them on equal footing.  But it DOES disempower any therapist who has the internal attitude that a client NEEDS to, or HAS to,  form an attachment with their therapist in order to accomplish successful therapy

When this split archetype of sick person vs healer is in effect, the therapist always reserves the “right” to state that if the patient is not “playing the game” by the therapist’s rules, then the patient is not properly motivated, is defensive,  and is showing resistance to therapy.  Well, in these kinds of dichotomies, the patient’s best interests, in my mind, IS to show this resistance.  Because this is a set-up for shaming the client, and therefore allows for elements of DANGER to be present.  This would NOT be a safe environment for a client, and the client (I notice I switched from patient to client) has the very well defined and hard earned RIGHT to acknowledge that this set-up exists – even though the professional world will deny it.

This statement as Schore is making it reflects a professional and clinical bias in favor of the therapist.  And once such a bias is in place within a therapeutic – and here I would qualify it as a “supposed” therapeutic environment – the success of therapy for the client is doomed.  Any shortcomings present in this type of therapeutic environment WILL BE BLAMED on the client.

It does, of course, disappoint me that Schore – who I have up on the highest pedestal because I am desperately looking for answers and because I believe and trust that he has a big part of them – has such a bias that is so obvious to me now that I allow myself to know what I know about this “fishy” feeling.

The moral of the story is probably in part, not to put anybody we look to for information and assistance up on a pedestal.  That is an old tendency of mine.  It is hard to keep myself on equal and balanced footing with EVERYBODY else coming as I do from such a pervasively abusive background.  I need to try to remember that valuing information that someone else has worked hard to obtain, and respecting their minds and their work, does not mean that they are better or “more than” I am.

The moral of the story is also about trusting my gut.  The gut is tied (as I have learned from these writers) to body feelings, and therefore to right brain information processing.  I knew something smelled rotten, and once I allowed myself – and gave myself permission to look at this, I went right to the heart of the matter.

Another moral is to trust that my having survived my horrific infancy and childhood has given me superbly refined abilities in some areas and that I need to not only appreciate these “gifts” but use them as I choose to.

That means if I feel there is an imbalance toward shaming the survivor, or any risk present to threaten the survivor, I need to respect my own observations no matter what even the most supposedly advanced professionals might say to the contrary.  I am, as you are, ultimately my own best expert.

I have a right, as you do, to look for answers to the problems I see that I have.  But I think I can honestly say that if I had all the money in the world and could find and afford the supposed best therapist alive to work with, I still would not trust them.  And that DOES NOT mean that there is anything “dysfunctional” or “wrong” or “sick” with me.  It means that I have been to hell and back, and I do not believe that anyone yet has the ability to truly help me at this point in my life.  So I am writing a book in the process of trying to find a cure for the incredibly complex and deep damage that was done to my brain, my mind, and to my self.

If even the best expert in the field that pertains to my brain damage cannot even detect his own glaring professional bias in order to clearly distinguish between a patient’s attachment to a therapist versus a working alliance between a patient and a therapist, who can I trust?  Consider what I am writing here.  What do you think?  Before you answer, pay very close attention to your body.  You will FEEL the truth even if you want to use words that contradict your own truth.  If you feel defensive and you are any type of professional, please look carefully at your own bias.  If you are in the realm of those damaged by abuse of any kind, and you agree with me, celebrate our mutual empowerment.

Additionally, this current observation adds fuel to my inner fire about finding solutions for healing and brain growth development that do NOT involve any kind of a dependency on therapy except in very particular cases where someone’s life is in danger.  Otherwise, we have survived thus far.  We have very specific gifts that weigh against our dis-abilities.  We need to find both of these categories of information about ourselves.  My guess is that as we find one, we will find the other.  And we will find ways to use our gifts to cure ourselves.  Hang in there with me!  I am again off to the search!

Oh, before we move on there is one more thing I want to comment on here in this writing.  It is about something else that I KNOW from somewhere deep within my self.  This current time in the history of the human race is different from the times of the past.  In the past, it was acceptable for someone who was not completely healed within their selves to attempt to help heal another person.  I believe that time has passed.  I believe that the only truly ethical, professional, and FAIR way to act as a healer NOW is to have as completely as humanly possible, healed one’s self.  And I mean that on all possible levels.

I realize that nobody is perfect.  But I also know that many mental health professionals come from very damaging pasts and though they may have a deep desire to help other people to heal, if they are not deeply healed, “clean” and aware of their own internal states, they are dangerous.  I don’t know about you, but if I saw a scorpion crawling across a chair seat, I certainly would find another place to sit!

  1. I am simply telling you the truth, as I know it:  “Consumer always beware.”

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Back to Schore’s writing, and fortunately he is using what I consider to be the less offensive reference to the relationship between a “client” and a therapist in the following.  I still, however, detect an important omission in this following paragraph and will note it for you when I get there.  It is one that surprises me knowing the breadth and depth of Schore’s work!  But it still reflects, in my thinking, another major (yet subtle) professional and clinical bias.

“In other words, this information about attachment regulation, and the emotion-processing right brain is describing the “nonspecific factors” that are common to all forms of clinical treatment, factors particularly accessed in developmentally oriented psychoanalytic psychotherapy (Schore, 2000b).  The major contribution of attachment theory to clinical models is thus its elucidation of the nonconscious dyadic affect transacting mechanisms that mediate a positive therapeutic working alliance between the patient and the empathic therapist [notice here that he does not say the patient is “attached to” the therapist.]  Complementing this, the neurobiological aspects of attachment theory allow for a deeper understanding of how an affect-focused developmentally oriented treatment can alter internal structure within the patient’s brain/mind/body systems.  (schore/ar/37)”  [At the same time I know Schore would contend that it is not the therapist’s internal structures that need altering, it is still a fact that within an attuned empathic dyad the quality of the direct communications between them effect AND CHANGE the correspondingly involved right brain systems involved in both brains during the communication.  This level of communication involves a mutuality that essentially contains this level of POWER.  [SEE SIEGEL ON THIS]  It is, to me, a ludicrous assumption that a therapist can engage with a deeply wounded client and not on some level be changed their self.  Yet to recognize this fact, a therapeutic alliance between client and therapist would have to be one between equals.  I am NOT saying that the therapist is working on their own personal issues during session with the client.  But few have reached the necessary level of objectivity or “cleanness” so as to not be personally affected, at least unconsciously.]

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I have to remember that Schore is writing to the crème de la crème.  This is still privileged information even though it is being published by the common press.  Most people who try to read it are not going to be able to decipher it, understand it, apply it.

These writers are not giving us any tools for applying it.  They are telling us either that it is impossible to heal this level of developmental brain damage, or that the only way TO heal it is to find ourselves one of these top level therapists and then be able to afford this “long-term” therapy that they say is necessary in order for us to make any of these changes.

Quality analytical work has, to me, always seemed to be something that was available only to the upper crust population.  To me, that would be about the outermost maybe 3% of the onion  —  probably the outer flaky paper layer of the onion, just the skin – the people who need it least unless they have a genetically transmitted serious mental illness.  Otherwise therapy becomes just another plaything for the rich.  Maybe those who drive the Ferraris, the Lamborghinis, the Rolls Royces of the world can access and afford the kind of therapy these writers are recommending.  But those of us down here walking the streets, riding the bicycles and the city bus lines and the subways, those of us driving the Fords and the Plymouth K cars are, quite obviously, out of luck.  How fair is that?  And how realistic?

The kinds of therapists that most people might find are primarily trained to listen for a set of “symptoms” and then look in a book, the DSM IV, diagnose, and then dish our drugs.  Would you even trust the repair of your automobile to someone who knew nothing more than how to look up the supposed symptoms of your car and then repair it strictly by an auto repair manual?  There needs to be a public outcry, I tell you!  Let me fan the flames!

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p 37 –

“The essential task of the first year of human life is the creation of a secure attachment between the infant and primary caregiver.”

“Indeed, as soon as the child is born it uses its maturing sensory capacities, especially smell, taste, and touch, to interact with the social environment.  (Schore/ar/37)”

Interesting he does not include either hearing (auditory) or vision (oh, now I see – these forms of information are processed by the orbital prefrontal cortex which is not functional – (see lower p 41 for sequence ) at birth—yet how can infant know mother’s face at 2 months if the orbitofrontal cortex isn’t developed until 9 months? —  but rather smell, taste, and touch.  I really don’t think I was ever close enough to my mother to either smell or touch her – although I suspect she engaged in hurtful touching with me.

But Schore is talking here about the “social environment” and a normal situation.  There was nothing either SOCIAL or NORMAL about the environment I was born into.  I therefore wonder if I used hearing a LOT at first, being left alone with no contact with anyone or anything I suspect most of the time.

“But at 2 months a developmental milestone occurs in the infant brain; specifically, the onset of a critical (schore/ar/37) period in the maturation of the occipital cortex (Yamada et al., 2000).  This allows for a dramatic progression of its social and emotional capacities.  In particular, the mother’s emotionally expressive face is, by far, the most potent visual stimulus in the infant’s environment, and the child’s intense interest in her face [see p 40 bottom, is right hemisphere], especially in her eyes, leads him/her to track it in space, and to engage in periods of intense mutual gaze.  (schore/ar/38)”

Well, here we are, off to a rotten start!  How could I have been even remotely attracted to a monster’s face?  Ay time she approached me alone I am certain what she saw was me as the devil’s child.  Her “emotionally expressive” face would have scared anyone!!  This was already a disorganizing experience for me.  Any time she interacted with me in “public,” meaning out of the house, in my grandmother or my father’s presence, I am sure I saw a different face.

This makes me think of what I read in Allen’s book, that an infant can “shut down” mentalizing when in a dangerous situation, and then let it operate again when in a safe situation.  Like, for me, when in public with my mother.  But how much time was private vs public?  Too much, I am sure.

So what happened to me as a result of this?  Evidently this 2 month old milestone is reached just because the occipital cortex matures, and this “critical period” is not necessarily contingent on the interactions I had with mother – or with anybody else.  BUT, this stage is supposed to enable the infant to interact socially and emotionally — This allows for a dramatic progression of its social and emotional capacities —  so I was off track already for sure by 2 months old!

I’m quite certain that the only “visual stimulus” available to me would have been my brother, John’s face – I imagine he gazed at me and I gazed at him – and if allowed any time with him, I would have tracked his face in space – but not my mother’s!

“The infant’s gaze, in turn, reliably evokes the mother’s gaze, thereby acting as a potent interpersonal channel for the transmission of “reciprocal mutual influences.”  (Schore/ar/38)

No.  I am quite certain this did not possibly happen.  How can Schore say “reliably evokes?”  I had nothing reliable in my world.  My gaze had no power over her, and if there is something that I was supposed to learn at this stage, I certainly did not.  And what could I have learned from “reliably” evoking the gaze of my 16 month old brother?  If that even happened?  Or a few sporadic – few and far between – opportunities to be with my father or grandmother?

So there was no “potent interpersonal channel for the transmission of “reciprocal mutual influences.”  Yes, for normal people in the outer half of the onion.  Those are the only ones that this whole experience could “reliably” be counted on as having occurred.  Then happening to degrees with the insecure attachment groups until the disorganized, where it cannot be counted on as having happened at all.  We just cannot make this assumption.  Yes, the human brain and being evolved for this to happen – but it may only happen in at best 70% of cases.

Here Schore is talking about, again, that dilated pupils evoke caregiver behavior and act as a “nonverbal communication device.”  Not for me with my mother.  She did not adore me, she hated me!  She detested me!

“According to Feldman, Greenbaum, and Yirmiya (1999):

Face-to-face interactions, emerging at approximately 2 months of age, are highly arousing, affect-laden, [to me that means expressive of emotion] short interpersonal events that expose the infants to high levels of cognitive and social information.  To regulate the high positive arousal, mothers and infants…synchronize the intensity of their affective behavior within lags of split seconds.”  (p. 223, italics added) (schore/ar/38)

So, did my gaze fix on her horrible face?  What kind of cognitive, social and affective information was I getting from her?  Dysregulating and disorganizing at worst!  It sounds as though the infant is a sort of information-sucking machine!  A very high risk state for an infant to be in considering the kind of information coming in – and NO synchronization of intensity of their affective behavior!  Just plain overwhelming, overloading, terrifying interactions – and again, the source of the terror being the one who the infant (me) is supposed to be able to go to for safety and protection!  I would imagine nothing but chaos happened to me during these interactions.  How did my mind survive?  Did I ever experience high positive arousal when alone with her?  Or only in public?  I think of the 11 month old photo I have of myself – I obviously look happy – but I also suspect now that was a dissociated state – from the rest of my states with her alone.

“In this process of affect synchrony, the intuitive [certainly not my mother!  And was she even with my other siblings?  Were they all dolls to her?  Did she have any ability to react to them separately from her own emotions?] (Papousek & Papousek, 1995) mother initially attunes to and resonates with the infant’s resting state, but as this state is dynamically activated (or deactivated or hyperactivated) she fine tunes and corrects the intensity and duration of her affective stimulation in order to maintain the child’s positive affective state.  [This is NORMALLY!!  This is what is supposed to happen!  What about when it doesn’t happen this way – EVER!]  As a result of this moment-by-moment state matching, both partners increase together their degree of engagement.  The fact that the coordination of responses is so rapid suggests the existence of a bond of unconscious communication. (schore/ar/38)”

[Well, that’s another frightening though.  What possible kind of “unconscious communication” could I have had with a mother who hated me as the devil’s child, and that I was not even human?  Was I already participating with her mind – she certainly was not responding to ME – so what kind of choice would I have had?  We were merged.  I was immersed in her.  For these communications Schore is describing to occur, the mother is already responding to the infant as a separate being from her – not so for me.

And, Schore is using the word STATE here – as in states of mind?]

P 39 –

“In this interpersonal context of “contingent responsivity” the more the mother tunes her activity level to the infant during periods of social engagement, the more she allows him/her to recover quietly in periods of disengagement, and the more she contingently responds to his/her signals for reengagement, the more synchronized their interactions becomes…. The primary caregiver thus facilitates the infant’s information processing by adjusting the mode, amount, variability, and timing of stimulation to its [the infant’s] actual temperamental-physiological abilities.  These mutually attuned synchronized interactions are fundamental to the ongoing affective development of the infant.  (Schore/ar/39)”

I wasn’t “allowed” to do anything – and certainly none of what he just described

Therefore, these activities and interactions did not occur, and because they “fundamental to the ongoing affective development of the infant” the corresponding brain circuitry did not develop, either.

This is very early on – infant developmental brain damage!

Reciprocal facial signally thus represents an open channel of social communication, and this interactive matrix

promotes the outward expression of internal affects in infants.

In order to enter into this communication, the mother must be psychobiologically attuned not so much to the child’s overt behavior as to the reflections of his/her internal state.[I don’t have a clue what this means?  I’m probably running into my own “wall of damage” here – How could the infant’s overt behavior deviate from it’s internal state at this point?  Wouldn’t they naturally  be in sync?  An infant at this age would not be able to lie!]  In light of the fact that misattunements are a common developmental phenomena, she also must modulate nonoptimal high levels of stimulation that would trigger hyperarousal, or low levels that engender hypoarousal in the infant.  (schore/ar/39)”

“Most importantly, the arousal-regulating primary caregiver must

participate in interactive repair to regulate interactively induced

stress states in the infant.  If attachment is interactive synchrony, stress is defined as an asynchrony in an interactional sequence, and, following this, a period of reestablished synchrony allows for stress recovery.  [Boy, I sure missed this one, too!!  Yet I am sure I had lots of “interactively induced stress states” from my mother’s abuse of me!  I am sure I had lost of stress states, and they sure weren’t repaired!  All asynchrony, no synchrony.}  In this reattunement pattern of “disruption and repair” the “good-enough” caregiver who induces a stress response in her infant through a misattunement, self-corrects and in a timely fashion reinvokes her psychobiologically attuned regulation of the infant’s negative affective state that she has triggered.  [Mother certainly invoked a lot of stress with no repair.]  The key to this is the caregiver’s capacity to monitor and regulate her own affect, especially negative affect.[And in course when parents were abused themselves as infants, they lack this ability – except with “earned attachment.”] (shore/ar/39)”

“These regulatory processes are precursors of psychological attachment and its associated emotions.

“An essential attachment function is “to promote the synchrony or regulation of biological and behavioral systems on an organismic level” (Reite & Capitanio, 1985, p. 235).  Indeed, psychobiological attunement, interactive resonance, and the mutual synchronization and entrainment of physiological rhythms are fundamental processes that mediates attachment bond formation, and attachment can be defined as the interactive regulation of biological synchronicity between organisms.  (schore, 1994, 2000a, 2000b, 2000h, 2001c).  (schore/ar/39)”

Well….  Exactly which part of this did I have?  Or has any abused and neglected infant?

IMPORTANT

“To put this another way, in forming an attachment bond of somatically expressed emotional communications, the mother is synchronizing and resonating with the rhythms of the infant’s dynamic internal states and then regulating the arousal level of these negative and positive states.

Attachment is thus the dyadic (interactive) regulation of emotion (Sroufe, 1996).  The baby becomes (schore/ar/39) attached to the

psychobiologically attuned regulating primary caregiver who not only

minimizes negative affect but also

maximizes opportunities for positive affect.  Attachment is not just the

reestablishment of security after a dysregulating experience and a stressful negative state; it is also the

interactive amplification of positive affects, as in play states.

Regulated interactions with a familiar, predictable primary caregiver create not only a sense of safety, but also a

positively charged curiosity that fuels the burgeoning self’s exploration of novel socioemotional and physical environments.  (schore/ar/40)”

P 40 –

“Furthermore, attachment is more than overt behavior, it is internal, “being built into the nervous system, in the course and as a result of the infant’s experience of his transactions with the mother”  (Ainsworth, 1967, p. 429) in (schore/ar/4)”

“…transfer of affect between mother and infant…processes whereby the primary object relations become internalized and transformed into psychic structure…. Work of Trevarthen on maternal-infant protoconversations…”The intrinsic regulators of human brain growth in a child are specifically adapted to be coupled, by emotional communication, to the regulators of adult brains: (1990, p. 357).  In these transactions, the resonance of the dyad ultimately permits the intercoordination of positive affective brain states.

“Trevarthen’s work underscored the fundamental principle that the baby’s brain is not only affected by these transactions, its growth requires brain-brain interaction and occurs in the context of an intimate positive affective relationship.  These findings support Emde’s assertion that “it is the emotional availability of the caregiver in intimacy which seems to be the most central growth-promoting feature of the early rearing experience” (1988, p. 32) in (schore/ar/40)

“There is consensus that interactions with the environment during sensitive periods are necessary for the brain as a whole to mature.  But we know that different regions of the brain mature at different times.  (schore/ar/40)”

right hemisphere matures before the left – infant’s emotional experience is stored in the right brain in sounds, pictures and images during early brain formation stages —  primary process

left matures later – secondary process functions

“I suggest that in these affectively synchronized, psychobiologically attuned face-to-face interactions the infant’s right hemisphere, which is dominant for the infant’s recognition of the maternal face and for the perception of arousal-inducing maternal facial affective expressions, [boy, talk about magnified arousal when the infant is so sensitively attuned to the mother’s face and her face is full of hate, rage and violence!} visual emotional information, and the prosody of the mother’s voice, is focusing her attention on and is therefore regulated by the output of the mother’s right hemisphere, which is (schore/ar/40) dominant for nonverbal communication, the processing and expression of facially and prosodically expressed emotional information, and the maternal capacity to comfort the infant.  (schore/ar/41)

“In support of this, Ryan and his colleagues, using electroencephalogram (EEG) and neuroimaging data, reported that “the positive emotional exchange resulting from autonomy-supportive parenting involves participation of right hemispheric cortical and subcortical systems that participate in global, tonic emotional modulation” (1997, p. 719).  In (schore/ar/41)  [this quote isn’t saying if this is in the adult, in the infant’s brain, or in both]

IMPORTANT

CONSCIOUSNESS

SHARING A MOTHER’S BRAIN

“There are clear experimental and theoretical indications that this emotional exchange also effects the development of the infant’s consciousness…. Tronick and his colleagues described how microregulatory social-emotional processes of communication generate

intersubjective states of consciousness in the infant-mother dyad.  In such there is “a mutual mapping of (some of) the elements of each interactuant’s state of consciousness into each of their brains” (Tronick & Weinberg, 1997, p. 75).  (schore/ar/41)

Would this maybe the opposite, then, of what I have been thinking?  If she never acted in any kind of attuned, regulatory fashion with me, then we did not have a “microregulatory social-emotional process of communication” – so how could we then have had “intersubjective states of consciousness in the infant-mother dyad?”  I was not only not a person to her, I was not even human.

And yet she was projecting onto me or into me her psychosis.  Was it not “some of the elements of each” of our separate states of consciousness into each of our brains –

But rather such a melding that I had no state of consciousness, even then, that was separate from hers?  There would have just been HER subjective state of consciousness

Not mine – I was not allowed to have one – but I am also not sure (yet in a different way than it was with me) that any of my siblings were allowed to have any “personal” subjective consciousness separate from hers —-  I wish he was giving an infant’s AGE here with this information!!  That would be so extremely useful and of assistance to my thinking and understanding!

“Tronick and his team (1998) argued that the infant’s self-organizing system, when coupled with the mother’s, allows for a brain organization that can be expanded into more coherent and complex states of consciousness.  I suggest that Tronick was describing an expansion of what the neuroscientist Edelman (1989)

called primary consciousness, which relates visceral and emotional information pertaining to the biological self to stored information processing [what does “stored information processing” mean?] pertaining to outside reality.  Edelman lateralized primary consciousness to the right brain.  (schore/ar/41)

Reminds me of never a thought by age 18 of what I was going to do when I grew up – no thought of the future THEN –I guess not even an ability to conceptualize one, any more than I had a thought of what I was going to do when my OWN children grew up and left home….there has to be some sort of connection there because the feeling was the same.  Maybe it is the same “no self” issue–  “non-self”

Today is 11/24/06 and next Tuesday I plan to return to Naco-Bisbee area although I have to ask for Ernie’s help as I have no money and no place to go.  But when I went there with Jered in the first place I was looking for a home.  Yes, a place where I could stay put and let him graduate in the same school.  But I was looking for a home for ME.

All this time I have been traveling I have not felt at home any place – just a visitor.

++++

“Thus, regulation theory suggests that attachment is, in essence, the right-brain regulation of biological synchronicity between organisms. (schore/ar/41)

According to Schore, Bowlby (1969a) asserted “…that attachment behavior is organized and regulated by means of a “control system” within the central nervous system.  (schore/ar/41)

BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

MATURATION OF AN ORBITOFRONTAL REGULATORY SYSTEM

Mature orbitofrontal cortex – “acts in “the highest level of control of behavior, especially in relation to emotion: (Price, Carmichael, & Drevets, 1996, p. 523) and plays “a particularly prominent role in the emotional modulation of experience” (Mesulam, 1998, p. 1035).  (schore/ar/41)”

“The orbitofrontal regions are not functional at birth.  (schore/ar/41)”

Over the course of the first year, limbic circuitries emerge in a sequential progression, from amygdala to anterior cingulated [is this the limbic cortex?  See figure 22 p. 43] to insula and finally to orbitofrontal (Schore, (schore/ar/41) 1997b, 2000c, 2001b).  And so, as a result of attachment experiences, this system enters a critical period of maturation in the last quarter of the first year, the same time that working models of attachment are first measures.  (schore/ar/42)”

So, if it is “as a result of attachment experiences” if an infant is not attached, does this system still enter its “critical period of maturation in the last quarter of the first year” or not?

++++  below – this is all one paragraph

“The orbital prefrontal cortex is positioned as a convergence zone where the cortex and subcortex meet. (schore/ar/42)”

It is the only cortical structure with direct connections to the hypothalamus, the amygdala, and the reticular formation in the brain stem that regulates arousal, and through these connections it can modulate instinctual behavior and internal drives.  (schore/ar/42)”

++ The orbital prefrontal cortex is positioned as a convergence zone where the cortex and subcortex meet.

++ only cortical structure with direct connections to the hypothalamus, the amygdala, and the reticular formation in the brain stem that regulates arousal

++ through these connections it can modulate instinctual behavior and internal drives

But because it contains neurons that process face and voice information, this system is also capable of appraising changes in the external environment, especially the social, object-related environment.  (schore/ar/42)”

++ contains neurons that process face and voice information

++ capable of appraising changes in the external environment, especially the social, object-related environment

Due to its unique connections, at the orbitofrontal level cortically processed information concerning the external environment, (e.g., visual and auditory stimuli emanating from the emotional face of the object) is integrated with subcortically processed information regarding the internal visceral environment (e.g., concurrent changes in the emotional or bodily self state).  (schore/ar/42)”

++ cortically processed information concerning the external environment is integrated with subcortically processed information regarding the internal visceral environment

In this manner, the (right) orbitofrontal cortex and its connections function in the “integration of adaptive bodily responses with ongoing emotional and attentional states of the organism” (Critchley, Elliot, et al., 200, p. 3033).  (schore/ar/42)”

++  (right) orbitofrontal cortex and its connections function in the “integration of adaptive bodily responses with ongoing emotional and attentional states of the organism

++++

“The orbitofrontal system is now described as “a nodal cortical region that is important in assembling and monitoring relevant past and current experiences, including their affective and social values”  (lists authors – a bunch of names starting with Cavada, 2000, p. 238)….”(T)he orbitofrontal cortex is involved in critical human functions, such as social adjustment and the control of mood, drive and responsibility, traits that are crucial in defining the ‘personality’ of an individual”  (Cavada & Schultz, 2000, p. 205)  (schore/ar/42)”

++ assembling and monitoring relevant past and current experiences, including their affective and social values

[I did not have a sense of my self over time.  My memories were not connected to one another or to me.  Every incident of abuse was a “first time”]

++ is involved in critical human functions, such as social adjustment

++ control of mood

++ drive

++ responsibility

++ traits that are crucial in defining the ‘personality’ of an individual”

Well, this area of my brain was damaged —  this has something to do with time – past and current experiences – it must have something to do with what I call dissociation, then – if all the experiences are just left somewhere to languish, without ever being “assembled” and nothing was ever considered “relevant” —  nothing had value —  I had no “right” to be a person, no right to value anything – and I could not override my mother’s injunction that I was not worth anything, and therefore nothing mattered to me – no value, no matter.

The word “drive” is in here – but if this part of the brain is not functioning at birth, do we have any drives at birth?

++++

cortical-subcortical limbic network

“This frontolimbic cortex is situated at the hierarchical apex of an “anterior limbic prefrontal networkinterconnecting the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex with the temporal pole, cingulated [limbic cortex] and amygdala.  “This cortical-subcortical limbic network is involved in “affective responses to events and in the mnemonic [related to memory] processing and storage of these responses” (Carmichael & Price, 1995).  (schore/ar/42)”

++ affective responses to events

++ the mnemonic [related to memory] processing and storage of these responses

[I did not have a sense of my self over time.  My memories were not connected to one another or to me.  Every incident of abuse was a “first time”]

“The limbic system is thought to be centrally implicated in the implicit processing of facial expressions without conscious awareness (Critchley, Daly, et.al., 2000), in the capacity “to adapt to a rapidly changing environment,”  and in “the organization of new learning” (Meslam, 1998, p. 1028).  (schore/ar/42)”

++ implicit processing of facial expressions without conscious awareness — reading social cues?

++ adapt to a rapidly changing environment — this is very hard for me, part of what is hard about the substitute teaching (that I am going to try again) —-  also, maybe why it takes me more time to answer a question!

++ organization of new learning —  reminds me of this summer, and of learning trig!!

“Current findings…the limbic system is the site of developmental changes associated with the rise of attachment behaviors.  Indeed, it is held that “The integrity of the orbitofrontal cortex,” the highest level of the limbic system, “is necessary for acquiring very specific forms of knowledge for regulating interpersonal and social behavior”  (Dolan, 1999, p. 928) in (schore/ar/42)”

++ the limbic system is the site of developmental changes associated with the rise of attachment behaviors

++ the orbitofrontal cortex is the highest level of the limbic system

++ its integrity is necessary for acquiring very specific forms of knowledge for regulating interpersonal and social behavior

[I want to know what these SPECIFIC forms of knowledge are – specifically!  Because I didn’t get them!  I’m a big fan of INTEGRITY, and this was my birthright!  I am beginning to feel that I am preparing for battle, accumulating the “facts” I need to go on my own sort of rampage – and I know it will be to a large extent about my “sense” of dissociation.  Primitive defense my ass!  It is nothing other than severe developmental damage to the orbitofrontal cortex of my right brain due to the peritrauma of chronic infant abuse!

My guess is that this also has to do with an ability to determine consequences and an ability to plan for the future.]

++++

Western (1997, p. 542) who asserted that “The attempt to regulate affect – to minimize unpleasant feelings and to maximize pleasant ones – is the driving force in human motivation.”  (schore/ar/46)”

++++

“The orbitofrontal system, the “Senior Executive” of the social-emotional brain, is especially expanded in the right cortex (Falk et al., 1990), and in its (schore/ar/42) role as an executive of limbic arousal it comes to act in the capacity of an executive control function for the entire right brain.  This hemisphere, which is dominant for unconscious processes, performs, on a moment-to-moment basis, a “valence tagging” function, in which perceptions receive a positive or negative affective charge, in accord…with a calibration of degrees of pleasure-unpleasure [pleasure seeking or avoiding]…. It also contains a “nonverbal affect lexicon,” a vocabulary for nonverbal affective signals such as facial expressions, gestures, and vocal tone or prosody (Bowers, Bauer, & Heilman, 1993; Snow, 2000)… (schore/ar/43)”

++ orbitofrontal system is Senior Executive” of the social-emotional brain, especially expanded in the right cortex

++ role as an executive of limbic arousal  and has role of executive control function for the entire right brain

++ This hemisphere is dominant for unconscious processes,

++ performs, on a moment-to-moment basis, a “valence tagging” function, in which perceptions receive a positive or negative affective charge

++  in accord…with a calibration of degrees of pleasure-unpleasure [pleasure seeking or avoiding]….

++ It also contains a “nonverbal affect lexicon,” a vocabulary for nonverbal affective signals such as facial expressions, gestures, and vocal tone or prosody

[I think this is what goes way back to the beginning of human life.  SEEKING attachment as a basic survival drive to meet the need of belonging, from which we will assign, discover, discriminate, differentiate all other positive or negative things the rest of our lives.  This is NOT a minor aspect of what is damaged and skewed with infant abuse.  It is core and central.  “appraisal and arousal” system

“good-enough” attachment lets this valence tagging system work well enough for us to function in the socioemotional world.  Without it, we will never be able – automatically or simply or accurately or quickly – to discriminate between what gives pleasure and what doesn’t – what to approach and what to avoid]

“The right hemisphere is, more so than the left, deeply connected into not only the limbic system but also both the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) that are responsible for (schore/ar/43) somatic expressions of all emotional states.  For this reason, the right hemisphere is dominant for a sense of corporeal and emotional self (Devinsky, 2000, Schore, 1994).  Indeed, the representation of visceral and somatic states and the processing of “self-related material” (Keenan et al., 1999) are under primary control of the “nondominant” hemisphere.  The ANS has been called the “physiological bottom of the mind” (Jackson, 1931).  (schore/ar/44)”

++ right hemisphere is, more so than the left, deeply connected into the limbic system

++ right hemisphere is, more so than the left, deeply connected into both the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) [physiological bottom of the mind]

++ that are responsible for somatic expressions of all emotional states

++ right hemisphere is dominant for a sense of corporeal and emotional self

++ right hemisphere is responsible for representation of visceral and somatic states and the processing of “self-related material

[I did NOT have a sense of self]

“…connections of the highest centers of the limbic system into the hypothalamus (the head ganglion of the ANS and anatomical locus of drive centers)…central role of drive in the system unconscious.  The fact that the right hemisphere contains “the most comprehensive and integrated map of the body state available to the brain” (Damasio, 1994, p. 66) indicates … “drive” as “the psychical representative of the stimuli originating from the organism”… [reaches] the “right mind” …”  (schore/ar/44)”

++ right hemisphere contains “the most comprehensive and integrated map of the body state available to the brain”

++ connections of the highest centers of the limbic system into the hypothalamus (the head ganglion of the ANS and anatomical locus of drive centers)…

++ “drive” as “[to Freud] the psychical representative of the stimuli originating from the organism”… [reaches] the “right mind”

“For the rest of the lifespan, the right brain plays a superior role in the regulation of fundamental physiological and endocrinological functions whose primary control centers are located in subcortical regions of the brain.  Because the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis and the sympathetic-adrenomedullary axis are both under the main control of the right cerebral cortex, this hemisphere contains “a unique response system preparing the organism to deal efficiently with external challenges”  (Whittling, 1997, p. 55), and thus its adaptive functions mediate the human stress response.  It therefore is centrally involved in the vital functions that support survival and enable the organism to cope actively and passively with stress (Sullivan & Grafton, 199); Schore, 2001b).  In support of Bowlby’s speculation that the infant’s “capacity to cope with stress” is correlated with certain maternal behaviors (1969a, p. 344), the attachment relationship directly shapes the maturation of the infant’s right-brain stress-coping systems that act at levels beneath awareness.  (schore/ar/44)”

++ For the rest of the lifespan, the right brain plays a superior role in the regulation of fundamental physiological and endocrinological functions whose primary control centers are located in subcortical regions of the brain

++ Because the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis and the sympathetic-adrenomedullary axis are both under the main control of the right cerebral cortex, this hemisphere contains

++ “a unique response system preparing the organism to deal efficiently with external challenges”

++ and thus its adaptive functions mediate the human stress response

++ the right hemisphere is centrally involved in the vital functions that support survival and enable the organism to cope actively and passively with stress

IMPORTANT

++ the attachment relationship directly shapes [through certain maternal behaviors] the maturation of the infant’s right-brain stress-coping systems that act at levels beneath awareness

“The right hemisphere contributes to the development of reciprocal interactions within the mother-infant regulatory system and mediates the capacity for biological synchronicity, the regulatory mechanism of attachment.  Due to its role in regulating biological synchronicity between organisms, the activity of this hemisphere is instrumental to the empathic perception of the emotional states of other human beings….(all the shore ref notes go here)  According to Adolphs and colleagues, “Recognizing emotions from visually presented facial expressions requires right somatosensory cortices” and in this manner “we recognize another individual’s emotional state by internally generating somatosensory representations that stimulate how the individual would feel when displaying a certain facial expression”  (2000, p. 2683).  The interactive regulation of right brain attachment biology is thus the substrate of empathy.  (schore/ar/44)”

++ the right hemisphere mediates the capacity for biological synchronicity, the regulatory mechanism of attachment {I had none of this except a little bit with grandma until mother figured out how to keep me away from her, i.e. I was “sleeping” – and some with John until he got old enough she could keep him away from me, also

++ the activity of the right hemisphere is instrumental to the empathic perception of the emotional states of other human beings [mindsight]

++ right hemisphere somatosensory cortices are required for us to recognize visual presentation of facial expressions

++ we recognize others’ emotional states by internally generating somatosensory representations that are simulations of how that person would feel when displaying that particular facial expression [how did I learn what I did learn of this?  It is an area of shortcoming/disability for me at times.  I understand this to be the beginnings of “thought” – is that why I did not think?  Wonder?  I was thinking today, one must have some experience of something that is different or “other” in order to miss it, or even to imagine it – certainly to be able to hope for it or to have any expectations]

++ The interactive regulation of right brain attachment biology is thus the substrate of empathy [again, this makes me wonder about earned attachment – did I just watch my children and follow their lead?  Did I “join” with them?]

++++

p 45 –

MEMORY

“The right brain stores an internal working model of the attachment relationship that encodes strategies of affect regulation that maintain basic regulation and positive affect even in the face of environmental challenge (schore, 1994).

Because the right hemisphere is centrally involved in unconscious processes and in “implicit learning” (Hugdahl, 1995), this unconscious model is stored in right-cerebral implicit-procedural memory.

Neuropsychological studies now also reveal that the right hemisphere, “the right mind,” and not the later forming verbal-linguistic left, is the substrate of affectively laden autobiographical memory (Fink, et al., 1996).  (schore/ar/45)

So what on earth happens if there is no attachment relationship?  Therefore no encoding of strategies of affect regulation that maintain basic regulation — and certainly no positive affect no matter how challenging the environment is!

Does this lack, then, also affect the right-cerebral implicit-procedural memory storage process?  AND, I did not, for 18 years, have “affectively laden autobiographical memory.”  I never thought about what happened to me.  But I do remember like in 5th grade imagining that I was kidnapped and left alone tied up in the back of a large truck – wondering and hoping if my parents would even care about me to look for me – let alone find me – and the strange thing is, I couldn’t imagine anything else but just this one thing – and I WANTED them to find me.  I wanted them to love me.  Yet even now, I can’t really handle it when people, even my kids, love me – like that part of me is numb, dead, or never developed that had the ability to feel love.  That is a tragedy of my life.  I have no trust of anyone. How do I know that I love others, what I feel is a HUGE feeling, but not be able to feel it if/when somebody loves me?  I think this is related to earned attachment and borrowed attachment. All I know is that I begin to feel a great sadness as I write this, and I fight to keep my distance from it – is it the hopeless despair I am really feeling?

This is part of where I think the “contamination” in professional thinking is – is this truly dissociation, not to remember the incidents once they occur?  And because they are not remembered, there was no possibility that they would or could be linked together.  I would think this would be a huge aspect of having no continuity, no continuousness, no coherent life story!  What does this have to do with consciousness?

Makes me think of that one time I was a senior and I stood and looked at the bathroom in our apartment and said to myself, “Now I am going to look at this and make a choice and decision to remember it.”  I still do.

Which reminds me of what happened – that whole summer of torture – related to leaving that note torn up in that bathroom’s wastebasket.  Why did I leave it there?  I had no consciousness –of the possible, probable consequences – so how well did I know mother’s mind – or my own?  (No reflective function – see below)

++++

Psychobiological models refer to representations of the infant’s affective dialogue with the mother that can be accessed to regulate its affective state [NOPE, didn’t happen – unless I had models both of her public interactions with me and of her terrible private ones?] (Polan & Hofer, 1999).  The orbitofrontal area is particularly involved in situations in which internally generated affective representations play a critical role (Zald & Kim, 1996).  Because this system is responsible for “cognitive-emotional interactions” (Barabas, 1995), it generates internal working models.  These mental representations, according to Main, Kaplan, and Cassidy (1985), contain cognitive as well as affective components and act to guide appraisals of experience.  Recent findings – that the orbitofrontal cortex generates nonconscious biases that guide behavior before conscious knowledge does (Bechara, et al…1997), codes the likely significance of future behavioral options (Dolan, 1999), and represents an important site of contact between emotional information and mechanisms of action selection (Rolls, 1996) – are consonant with Bowlby’s (1981) assertion that unconscious internal working models are used as guides for future action.  (Schore/ar/45).”

++ orbitofrontal area is particularly involved in situations in which internally generated affective representations play a critical role

++ this system [orbitofrontal area] is responsible for “cognitive-emotional interactions”

++ this system [orbitofrontal area] generates internal working models

++ mental representations contain cognitive as well as affective components and act to guide appraisals of experience

++ orbitofrontal cortex generates nonconscious biases that guide behavior before conscious knowledge does

++ orbitofrontal cortex codes the likely significance of future behavioral options

++ orbitofrontal cortex represents an important site of contact between emotional information and mechanisms of action selection

++++

SOCIAL EDITOR

“According to Fonagy and Target (1997), an important outcome of a secure attachment is a reflective function, a mental operation that enables the perception of another’s state.  [And, as Siegel certainly states, of one’s own mind] Brothers (1995, 1997) described a limbic circuit of orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulated gyrus, amygdala, and temporal pole that functions as a social “editor” that is “specialized for processing others social intentions” by appraising “significant gestures and expressions” (Brothers, 1997, p. 27) and “encourages the rest of the brain to report on features of the social environment” (p. 15).  The editor acts as a unitary system “specialized for responding to social signals of all kinds, a system that would ultimately construct representations of the mind” (p. 27).  Neuropsychological studies have indicated that the orbitofrontal cortex is “particularly involved in theory of mind tasks with an affective component” (stone and the others) and in empathy (Eslinger, 1998).  (Schore/ar/45)”

++ limbic circuit of orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulated gyrus, amygdala, and temporal pole that functions as a social “editor” that is “specialized for processing others social intentions” by appraising “significant gestures and expressions and “encourages the rest of the brain to report on features of the social environment

++ The editor acts as a unitary system “specialized for responding to social signals of all kinds, a system that would ultimately construct representations of the mind

++ orbitofrontal cortex is “particularly involved in theory of mind tasks with an affective component and in empathy

So, do I have empathy?  I don’t know!  I think I have compassion – but I don’t really know anything at this point except that I know I have damage here – I have great difficulty with social intentions and the social environment.  How could I not?  I had no social environment – after the first grade coat abuse I never dared play at school again!

I can’t even understand what most people “mean” when the ask me a question – there are always so many possible meanings – and possible answers to each of those possible meanings – at the same time!  (like the Sioux Falls video store incident when I was there with Jan)  I can’t understand humor.  I can’t tell if people mean what they say – not even if they say they love me.  I mean, not even my siblings or my kids!  Love is a social emotion —

As a kid at school I was weird and I was ignored. I didn’t exist there any more than I did at home (except as the brunt of ridicule and abuse).  At home I was isolated from everyone most of the time.  [Even the trip to Alaska with dad when mother told him not to talk to me and he didn’t] I did want to be liked at school – I wanted to be like Dee Frankforth!  Everybody liked her.

In 8th grade I watched the girl that sat in the front seat on the school bus and rocked forward and back all the whole way home.  I felt like that inside.  And she was always all alone.  And everybody knew that there was something wrong with her.  But not with me.  I didn’t rock.  (Again I feel the sadness.)

Trouble:  limbic circuit of orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulated gyrus, amygdala, and temporal pole that functions as a social “editor

++++

“As previously mentioned, the orbitofrontal control system plays an essential role in the regulation of emotion.  This frontolimbic system provides a high-level coding that flexibly coordinates exteroceptive and interoceptive domains and functions to correct responses as social conditions change; processes feedback information; and thereby monitors, adjust, and corrects emotional responses and modulates the motivational control of goal-directed behavior.  It thus acts as a recovery mechanism that efficiently monitors and regulates the (schore/ar/45) duration, frequency, and intensity of not only positive but negative affect states.  Damasio has emphasized that developmental neurological damage of this system in the first 2 years leads to abnormal development of social and moral behaviors (Anderson, Bechara, Damasio and the rest, 1999).  (Schore/ar/46)”

++ orbitofrontal control system [frontolimbic system] provides a high-level coding that flexibly coordinates exteroceptive and interoceptive domains and functions to correct responses as social conditions change

++ orbitofrontal control system [frontolimbic system] processes feedback information

++ orbitofrontal control system [frontolimbic system] thereby monitors, adjust, and corrects emotional responses

++ orbitofrontal control system [frontolimbic system] modulates the motivational control of goal-directed behavior

++ orbitofrontal control system [frontolimbic system] acts as a recovery mechanism that efficiently monitors and regulates the duration, frequency, and intensity of not only positive but negative affect states

++ orbitofrontal control system [frontolimbic system] neurological damage in first 2 years of life leads to abnormal development of social and moral behaviors [this happens when there has been an insecure attachment – or no attachment — with a primary caregiver who has had misattuned interactions with the infant in abusive, neglectful, and traumatic environments]

++++

CORE SELF FORMED

P 46 –

++++  below here is all one paragraph

The orbital cortex matures in the middle of the second year, a time when the average child has a productive vocabulary of less than 70 words.  The core of the self is thus nonverbal and unconscious, and it lies in patterns of affect regulation.  [So, if there has been no affect regulation, I guess that means there is no self by this age.  And if whatever interactions that have occurred between infant and caregiver are extremely violent and terrifying, and peritrauma is chronic, then the brain must, to my thinking, form itself in disassociated fragments – although I don’t think schore uses “disorganized” in this book]

“This structural development allows for an internal sense of security and resilience [NOPE!] that comes from the intuitive knowledge that one can regulate the flows and shifts of one’s bodily based emotional states either by one’s own coping capacities or within a relationship with caring others.

“In developmental neurobiological studies, Ryan, Kuhl, and Ceci (1997) concluded that the operation of the right prefrontal cortex is integral to autonomous regulation, and that the activation of this system facilitates increases in positive affect in response to optimally challenging or personally meaningful situations, or decreases in negative affect in response to stressful events.

“Confirming earlier proposals for a central role of the right orbitofrontal areas in essential self-functions (Schore, 1994, 1996), current neuroimaging studies now demonstrate that the processing of self occurs within the right prefrontal cortices L(Keenan et al., 2000), and that the self-concept is represented in right frontal areas (Craik et al., 1999).  (Schore/ar/46)”

++ orbital cortex matures in the middle of the second year, a time when the average child has a productive vocabulary of less than 70 words.

++ core of the self is thus nonverbal and unconscious, and it lies in patterns of affect regulation

++ This structural development allows for an internal sense of security and resilience that comes from the intuitive knowledge that one can regulate the flows and shifts of one’s bodily based emotional states either by one’s own coping capacities or within a relationship with caring others. [this is the ideal, and happens when there has been a secure attachment with a primary caregiver who has facilitated attuned interactions with the infant in adequate ways – happens in 50 – 55% of the population – otherwise, there are degrees of damage to this region of the brain and its functioning]

++ operation of the right prefrontal cortex is integral to autonomous regulation

++ activation of this system facilitates increases in positive affect in response to optimally challenging or personally meaningful situations

++ activation of this system facilitates decreases in negative affect in response to stressful events.

++ central role of the right orbitofrontal areas in essential self-functions

++ the processing of self occurs within the right prefrontal cortices

++ the self-concept is represented in right frontal areas

++++

“The functioning of the “self-correcting” orbitofrontal system is central to self-regulation, the ability to flexibly regulate emotional states through interactions with other humans (interactive regulation in interconnected contexts via a two-person psychology) and without other humans (autoregulation in autonomous contexts via a one-person psychology).  The adaptive capacity to shift between these dual regulatory modes, depending upon the social context, emerges out of a history of secure attachment interactions of a maturing biological organism and an early attuned social environment.  The essential aspect of this function is highlighted by Western (1997, p. 542) who asserted that “The attempt to regulate affect – to minimize unpleasant feelings and to maximize pleasant ones – is the driving force in human motivation.”  (schore/ar/46)”

++ the orbitofrontal system has a “self-correcting” function that is central to self-regulation

++ the ability to flexibly regulate emotional states through interactions with other humans (interactive regulation in interconnected contexts via a two-person [and on a more social level, more than two people] psychology)

++ and without other humans (autoregulation in autonomous contexts via a one-person psychology)

++ The adaptive capacity to shift between these dual regulatory modes, depending upon the social context, emerges out of a history of secure attachment interactions of a maturing biological organism and an early attuned social environment.

++ “The attempt to regulate affect – to minimize unpleasant feelings and to maximize pleasant ones – is the driving force in human motivation,” and is the essential aspect of this “self-correcting” function

I suspect that I found a way to “self-correct” as an infant in a world of the monster and me.  There wasn’t anyone else there to help me do it.  It was like being given a spoon and being told to go dig the Panama Canal.  But I did it.  My brain built itself the best way that it could under those conditions.

Now at 55 as I attempt to discover what happened to me and what really went wrong, through studying these books that I have found because I have no other alternative or option available to me, I look around at the people I encounter in the world around me and I don’t see their “affect.”  I see people in “social” environments all being “smiley” to one another.  I don’t see people being real.  And I think to myself, “This must be because I don’t know what their version of being “real” is.”

How could I?  I didn’t get anything like what most of them did.  Not what at least 85% of the population around me did.  I got what the invisible rest of us 15% got, what the “experts” call “suboptimal parenting.”  I received disorganizing chaos of violence and trauma, and I am being told by these books that the only way to “fix” what ails me is to spend lots of time in long-term therapy with the best psychotherapist money could buy.

I feel like these writers are saying that those of us who can’t afford this level of care are simply doomed.  That IS what they are saying, from up there in their ivory towers.  Yet I am down here living on a single bed with my old laptop on a battered old bench in an unheated warehouse (fortunately in a warmer climate because December is approaching) trying to understand both what happened to me and to others like me, and what in the world we can do to heal it down here in either the underground or at the level of the plain old grass roots.

All I can see so far is that nobody cares.  The better off 85% sure don’t care, and the rest of us are so screwed up from what happened to us as innocent infants that we can’t begin to imagine either that anybody WOULD care or that there is anything possible that can really happen to help us.  We were not allowed to develop our brains so that they work like everybody else’s, and nobody cares.

I know that because I know that nobody listens.  Everybody wants to talk, and they want somebody to listen, but they are far too self centered or needy on their own levels to listen to somebody else.  And those of us with such damaged brain-mind-selves need to talk to people who care and will listen more than anybody else can (or will) imagine.  That is what these experts are saying.  That these therapists would listen to us.  Listen to us the way our mothers were supposed to from the moment we were born.

But our mothers did not listen because they could not.  And they could not because nobody was there to listen to them.  We all know that infants can’t talk with words.  They talk with feelings and emotions that are directly connected to their bodies.  Yet infants can express themselves, and the human brain is designed to listen to them.  And in 85% of cases someone WAS there to listen to these infants.  It’s the rest of us that were never heard even if we screamed as hard as we could.  And nobody hears us now.  Nobody listens.

I can try in this book to translate what the experts are saying about the kind of listening that can help our brains heal.  But these people they say we HAVE to go to for long-term therapy are paid LOTS of money to listen.  And the experts say that we would have to develop the same kind of “attachment” relationship with these therapists that most people had with their mothers for the kind of listening and communication to happen that would heal us.

But we know that these therapists are not our mothers.  They are not our sisters or brothers or lovers or friends, not our children or our grandparents.  They get PAID to listen to us.  What kind of “attachment” do they expect us to have with that level of people?  We can’t find them anyway, the ones that are adequately trained and knowledgeable about both what happened to us and how it damaged us and how it has complicated every second of our lives, how our lives are different from other people’s, how our brains work differently, too.  And we can’t get to those therapists.  No how, no way.

Do I have to accept that we adults are doomed, then?  Do I write about the damage and pretend that nobody suffers from it knowing that probably 15% of us do, and that most likely most of us pass all or most or some of that damage on to our children directly?  How can I write with any hope of making changes for the wee ones who will and are suffering?  Call it intervention, call it whatever you want.  If we don’t help the parents of children about to be born, don’t help parents of very tiny infants understand what happened to them – how they were damaged and denied their human birth right, and how they will pass it directly onto their children if this chain doesn’t get broken – then the infants will go right on suffering the experience of the abuse and neglect and trauma they are surrounded with.  But that will NOT be the end of it.  That is what is making me so mad!  It wasn’t enough that I made it through all those early months of terrifying torture, and then made it through all those years of the same until I was 18.  I did all that.  I endured and I survived.  But something has always been wrong ever since, and NOBODY TOLD ME THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT IT WAS AND IS!

The truth is that the legacy that was left to me endures in the inability of my brain to pattern itself like the other 85% of the population’s brains are!  I have brain damage.  I don’t think well under stress because I can’t.  I can’t answer questions like normal people can.  I can’t understand jokes.  I can’t really remember anything correctly because nothing in my brain allows my memories to stick together.  I can’t plan for the future because my sense of time and of my place in it was never allowed to develop.  I can’t read other people’s intentions accurately, be they good or bad.  That means I cannot even tell when someone loves me if they are telling me the truth or not.  And if someone is lying to me, I can’t tell that, either.  I can’t predict what is going to happen based on what has happened before.  I can’t regulate what triggers and cues my emotional reactions, and once I feel something I feel it so completely it doesn’t seem as if that feeling is ever going to stop, and I don’t know how to make that stop either.  I can not only regulate how LONG I am going to feel something, I can’t regulate the intensity of the feeling, either.  I am extremely sensitive, having developed sensitivities to others in ways that are not “normal” and I sense and pick up information from others that they don’t want anybody else to know.  And I can’t read their social cues so that I know what is real about them and what is phony, what I am supposed to ignore and what I am supposed to respond to.  I can’t find my place in the world.  I have no home because I have no clear self to be home in or to find a home with.  I have such a hard time being around people it is very hard for me to work and support myself.  I am lost and I am poor and I am homeless.  But it could be so much worse.

And even though the abuse I suffered was very extreme, starting at the moment of my birth, I could have turned out so much worse, too.  I am a mild person.  I did not get the violent rage my mother had.  I have no doubt that her plate was mostly full of neglect, and mine was mostly full of abuse.  Neglect is worse.  It makes people violent because they are MAD.  Neglected infants feel more of the rage.  Abused infants feel more of the hopeless despair.  I have stamina.  I still have my health.  I am smart.  I am strong.  I am a good worker.  I am not dead and I am not in prison.  I am addicted to cigarettes, but nothing else.  My children are making their way in the world better than I could have imagined.  I have things to be grateful for.  But I need somebody to listen to me.  I need someone ABLE and WILLING and CARING ENOUGH to listen to me.  We all need that, but I am very clear that for us bottom 15%, we need it desperately.  And nobody is here to do it now any more than they were there when we were born.

Have you ever noticed how people get glassy eyed and restless when you try to talk to them about things they don’t want to listen to?  How they can hardly wait for “their turn to speak?”  That would be fine with me if they wanted to talk about something that is real, that has genuine feeling attached, that has value or matters.  But I don’t value the mundane that they value because I don’t live in their world.  I have always felt that, but I never knew why.  Now I think that to the extent that a person feels they don’t fit in anywhere.  That they are alien that, that they don’t fit into this culture, etc. I would suspect infant abuse and neglect in their past.  Do I need to give up?  Is there nobody there who can listen at the depth that we need, if they can ever even listen at all?  Does anybody care?

I used to say when I started writing this book that nobody can hear the abused and neglected infants.  I didn’t realize the implications to what I was saying.  The truth is nobody listens to these infants.  Not now while they are tiny, and not once they are all grown up.  And even if the abused ones are identified and pulled out of the homes, does anyone even listen to them then?  I mean REALLY listen.  The kind of listening the experts say we need the therapists to do.  The kind of listening I am going to try to translate for you.  And once we know what we need to do, will we do it?

++++

p 46-

“optimal developmental scenario…that facilitates the experience-dependent growth of an efficient regulatory system in the right hemisphere that supports functions associated with a secure attachment. (schore/ar/46)”

so it is this “optimal developmental scenario” rather than a secure attachment before the age of one year that promotes this growth so that a secure attachment CAN be formed – this “optimal developmental scenario” being adequate interactions with the primary caregiver – which, then, he is saying is NOT an attachment?  I am confused here.

Now, this part is clear:

“On the other hand, growth-inhibiting environments negatively impact the ontogeny of self-regulatory prefrontal systems and generate attachment disorders, and such early disturbances of personality formation are mechanisms for the transmission of psychopathology.  (schore/ar/46)”

So he is saying that there is a direct link between disturbances of personality formation and the negative impact on the early development of the self-regulatory prefrontal systems – which generates attachment disorders AND “are mechanisms for the transmission of psychopathology.  He is not specifying WHICH “level” of attachment disorder (or type).

Does one have an “altered” personality under these circumstances, then?  Especially when the SELF does not develop by 18 months correctly?  Or is it that at 12 months, if there is an insecure “enough” attachment that the self doesn’t form?

P 47 –

“Very recent neuropsychiatric research demonstrates that reduced volume of prefrontal areas serves as an “endophenotypic marker of disposition to psychopathology” (Matsui, Gur, Turetsky, Yan & Gur, 2000, p. 155).

“…various forms of attachment pathologies specifically represent inefficient patterns of organization of the right brain, especially the right orbitofrontal areas…(schore is quoting himself with refs here)  (schore/ar/47)”  refers here to his writings on trauma

“Yet all [forms of attachment pathologies] share a common deficit:  Due to the impaired development of the right-cortical preconscious system that decodes emotional stimuli by actual felt emotional responses to stimuli, individuals with poor attachment histories display empathy disorders, the limited capacity to perceive the emotional states of others.  An inability to read facial expressions leads to a misattribution of emotional states and a misinterpretation of the intentions of others.  Thus, there are impairments in the processing of socioemotional information.  (schore/ar/47)”

“In addition to this deficit in social cognition, the deficit in self-regulation is manifest in a limited capacity to modulate the intensity and duration of affects, especially biologically primitive affects like shame, rage, excitement [anticipation], elation [joy-enjoyment], disgust, panic-terror, and hopelessness-despair [hopeless despair].  [He is saying “like” here, not that these are all of them – but these are, in slight variation, all he has mentioned thus far]  Under stress such individuals experience not discrete and differentiated affects, but diffuse, undifferentiated, chaotic states accompanied by overwhelming somatic and visceral sensations.  The poor capacity for what Fonagy and Target (1997) called “mentalization” leads to a restricted ability to reflect upon one’s emotional states.  Right-cortical dysfunction is specifically associated with alterations in body perception and disintegration of self-representation (Weinberg, 2000).  [not that I had a self-representation in the first place}  Solms also described a mechanism by which disorganization of a damaged [this is the FIRST I have seen them use this word – oops, go back to quote from top of p 46!!!]  or developmentally deficient right hemisphere is associated with a “collapse of internalized representations of the external world” in which “the patient regresses from whole to part object relationships” (1996, p. 347), a hallmark of early forming personality disorders.  (schore/ar/47)”

OK and WOW!  That is quite a paragraph! 

++ growth-inhibiting environments generate attachment disorders

++ attachment disorders are attachment pathologies of “various forms”

++ attachment disorders are early disturbances of personality formation – early forming personality disorders

++ attachment disorders are mechanisms for the transmission of psychopathology

++ attachment disorders all share a common deficit

++ attachment disorders represent inefficient patterns of organization of the right brain

++ especially the right orbitofrontal areas

++ growth-inhibiting environments negatively impact the ontogeny of self-regulatory prefrontal systems [making them literally smaller, of “reduced volume”]

++ development of the right-cortical preconscious system that decodes emotional stimuli by actual felt emotional responses to stimuli is impaired

++ right-cortical hemisphere — is centrally involved in attachment functions — is dominant for the perception of the emotional states of others — by a right-posterior-cortical mechanism involved in the perception of nonverbal expressions embedded in facial and prosodic stimuli – is also dominant for “subjective emotional experiences (quoting Wittling)” – and for the detection of subjective objects (quoting Atchley)” – interactive “transfer of affect” between right brains of members of a dyad best described as intersubjectivity” (schore/ar/48)”

++ attachment disorders cause individuals to display empathy disorders

++ their capacity to perceive the emotional states of others is therefore limited

++ an inability to read facial expressions leads to a misattribution of emotional states and a misinterpretation of the intentions of others

++ thus there are impairments in the processing of socioemotional information

++ this is a deficit in social cognition

++ attachment disorders have a deficit in self-regulation

++ this manifests in a limited capacity to modulate the intensity and duration of affects

++ especially biologically primitive affects like shame, rage, excitement [anticipation], elation [joy-enjoyment], disgust, panic-terror, and hopelessness-despair [hopeless despair]

++ under stress such individuals experience not discrete and differentiated affects, but diffuse, undifferentiated, chaotic states accompanied by overwhelming somatic and visceral sensations

++ attachment disorders create a poor capacity for “mentalization”

++ a restricted ability to reflect upon one’s [or others’] emotional states [not having the ability to have a “theory of mind,” which is probably a distinctly human ability]

++ attachment disorder create right-cortical dysfunction, which is specifically associated with alterations in body perception and disintegration of self-representations

++ attachment disorders create a mechanism by which disorganization of a damaged or developmentally deficient right hemisphere can cause a “collapse of internalized representations of the external world” in which “the patient regresses from whole to part object relationships”

++ this is a hallmark of early forming personality disorders

++  I would also add that there is an interference with the development of “consciousness” and “awareness” and there is an interruption in processing the passage of time.  There is also great difficulty with “transitions” between “states of mind.”

What I found online yesterday, 12-11-06, was an article that reported research that different parts of the brain respond to objects than respond to persons.  A “part object” would, I guess, be the old way of saying an infant accepts the breast as object vs accepting the entire mother as person, which would be a “whole object.”  Something doesn’t ring true to me about the “old” object relations.  The fact that very possibly two entirely different parts of the brain are involved in the processing between objects and persons is enlightening – but of course I don’t have access to the internet right now to pursue this further at the moment.

But it does make me wonder about my own infant and childhood experiences – where my mother believed I was the devil’s child and therefore not human.  Did she on some level recognize that this was wrong and not possible, and did she communicate this to me?  Or was her belief that I was the devil’s child make me, in her mind, an object rather than a person?

And if everyone with an insecure attachment suffers from some degree of empathy disorder, then is it also related to “object relations” that we relate to people different than we do objects, and if the ability in the right brain to process “theory of mind” is damaged, then is this an impairment regarding person as object rather than person and person, and therefore a different part of the brain all together is processing this information?  Again, I am limited by not being able to go online to look for further information on this.

++++

p 47 – schore/ar con’t

“There is consensus that the psychotherapy of these “developmental arrests” [remember:  Damasio has emphasized that developmental neurological damage of this system in the first 2 years leads to abnormal development of social and moral behaviors (Anderson, Bechara, Damasio and the rest, 1999).  (Schore/ar/46)” and “Solms also described a mechanism by which disorganization of a damaged or developmentally deficient right hemisphere is associated with a “collapse of internalized representations of the external world” in which “the patient regresses from whole to part object relationships” (1996, p. 347), a hallmark of early forming personality disorders.  (schore/ar/47)”] is directed toward the mobilization of fundamental modes of development (Emde, 1990) and the completion of interrupted developmental processes (Gedo, 1979).  This development is specifically emotional development. (schore/ar/47)”

If they are ONLY talking about delay of emotional development, that is ONE THING.  But I believe that as the severity of infant abuse increases, and the severity of insecure attachment increases, so also does the severity of the damage.  If there is ONLY a delay in developing skills to regulate emotions, that is one thing.  Even though these authors are agreeing that a part of the brain, specifically, has not developed properly, I think there is much much more to the picture – and it is a continued disservice to people and to clients not to recognize and then communicate the WHOLE truth – that there is STILL much we don’t know, and that in the more severe situations, it is not merely a “developmental delay” or a “developmental arrest, “ or an “emotional immaturity” that is the problem.  It is in severe cases irreversible brain damage.  I am going to find both Anderson and Solms.

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