From schore/ad


this is copied over from brain damage, good summary of this section below on what is supposed to happen:

++  “general model of self-organization”

++  “emphasizes the central role of synchronized energy exchanges between a developing living system and its environment”  (Schore/ad/121)”

++ “These patterned energy fluctuations, associated with nonlinear changes in state, allow for more complex interconnections between the system’s components, and therefore constitute a salutary primordial matrix for self-organization and the emergence of a hierarchical structural system that is capable of dynamically transitioning between a range of possible states and exploring new states.  (Schore/ad/121)”

++  “This allows for the operation of a stable and resilient system, one that can adaptively change in response to environmental perturbations yet retain continuity.  (Schore/ad/121)”

++  “I then applied this general model to the developmental organization of the orbitofrontal cortex and its subcortical and cortical connections, a homeostatic system that dynamically regulates organismic energy balance and transitions between psychobiological states in response to internal and external alterations.  (Schore/ad/121)”

++  “This hierarchical regulatory structure acts as an executive control system for the nonlinear right brain.  (Schore/ad/121)”


++  “As opposed to growth-promoting environments, growth-inhibiting environments negatively influence the ontogeny of homeostatic self-regulatory and attachment systems.

++  “Nonoptimal environments do not supply sufficient quantities of nutritive matter and modulated levels of energy to the growing brain, and these circumstances, especially in interaction with a genetically encoded lowered limbic threshold and hyperreactivity to novel environmental events, give rise to a developing system that is poorly equipped to enter into a dyadic open homeostatic system with the human environment.  (Schore/ad/121)”

++  “This precludes exposure to a variety of socioemotional experiences that are required for experience-dependent brain maturation, and therefore negatively influences the stabilization of interconnects within subcortical and cortical areas of the infant’s brain that are in a critical period of froth.  (Schore/ad/121)”

++  “Furthermore, the infant’s transactions with an emotionally unresponsive or misattuned environment that provides poor interactive repair are stored in the infant’s developing corticolimbic circuitries as imagistic, visceral, and nonverbal procedural memories.  (Schore/ad/121)”

++  “As opposed to a secure interactive representation of a regulated-self-in-interaction-with-an-attuning-other, these “pathological” working models of attachment encode an enduring prototypical cognitive-affective schema of a dysregulated-self-in-interaction-with-a-misattuning-other….  (Schore/ad/121)”

Good summary, copied over to start of energy systems


“…emotional transactions involving synchronized ordered patterns of energy transmissions (directed flows of energy) represent the fundamental core of the attachment dynamic (Schore, 1994).  (Schore/ad/95)”

“The human face is a unique stimulus whose features display biologically significant information.  (Schore/ad/96)”

“In such facial mirroring transactions…the caregiver facilitates a state transition, manifest in a change in patterns of “energetic arousal”….At resonance, energy transfer from the external agent to the resonant system is maximal…In accord with complex systems theory, an environmental perturbation triggers a rapid and discontinuous change in state, one far-from-equilibrium that leads to the potential for achieving novel states of temporal stability.  Schwalbe (1991) posited that the nonlinear self acts interatively [sic], so that minor changes, occurring at the right moment, can be amplified in the system, thus launching it into a qualitatively different state.  The caregiver is thus modulating changes in the child’s energetic state, since arousal levels are known to be associated with changes in metabolic energy.  Indeed, energy shifts are the most basic and fundamental features of emotion, discontinuous states are experienced as affect responses, and nonlinear psychic bifurcations are manifest as rapid affective shifts.  (Schore/ad/96)”

“In light of the facts that in these interchanges the infant’s and mother’s homeostatic systems are “open” and linked together…and are “semipermeable to regulation from the other”…, the transition embedded in the psychobiological attunement of the dyad involves an alteration in the infant’s bodily state.  These interactions increase over the first year, because the baby’s ability to adjust the amount of interaction with the mother in accordance with internal states increases with physiological and psychological maturity.  An essential attachment function is to promote the synchrony or regulation of biological and behavioral systems on an organismic level.  (Schore/ad/97)”

“The infant’s core sense of self is bodily based, and since body processes abide by the laws of nonlinear dynamics…, the emerging self is grounded in biologically mediated self-organizing properties (Pipp, 1993).

“…synchronized gaze transactions induce changes in the infant’s bodily states by maternal regulation of the child’s autonomic nervous system, and this interactive mechanism represents a mutual entrainment of the mother’s and infant’s brains, including a coupling of the activation of subcortical areas responsible for the somatic components of emotion.  (Schore/ad/97)”


“…certain interactions between an “open homeostatic system” and the environment are critical to the differentiation of brain tissue, and … particular environmental experiences during sensitive periods are nec- (Schore/ad/97) essry for the induction of certain developmental changes that result from the maturation of the infant brain.  (Schore/ad/98)”

“…attachment experiences essentially represent affective transactions in which the caregiver modulates changes in the infant’s arousal levels, and thereby in its energetic state.  This is accomplished by her psychobiological regulation of neurohormones and catecholaminergic neuromodulators in the infant’s developing brain (Hofer, 1990).  In the context of face-to-face interactions, the mother triggers production of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) in the infant’s paraventricular hypothalamus that, in turn, raises plasma concentrations of noradrenaline, activates the sympathetic nervous system, increases oxygen consumption and energy metabolism, and generates a state of emotional excitement.  CRF, which controls endorphin and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) production in the anterior pituitary, also activates the ventral tegmental system and augments the activity of the other catecholamines, dopamine, thereby elevating dopaminergic arousal and an elated state in the infant.  (Schore/ad/98)”

“These same catecholamines are known to be centrally involved in the regulation of brain metabolic energy levels, morphogenesis, and the maturation of cortical areas during different developmental states….  For this reason, the energy transformations occurring in attachment bond formation are vitally important for the infant’s continuing neurobiological development.  Because the ascending bioaminergic “reticular” systems that are responsible for various states of arousal are in an intense state of active growth in infancy, the regulatory transactions embedded in the emotional relationship are occurring at a time when the infant’s circuitry of the biological hardware of arousal is expanding.  In fact, there are specific postnatal critical periods and developmental sequences for the regional expansion of the biogenic amines dopamine and noradrenaline.  Central catecholaminergic neurons undergo an accelerated development in mammalian infancy, and their proliferating axonal terminals hyperinnervate distant cortical territories.  In these same periods various types of regional catecholaminergic receptors are amplified, especially the D1 dopamine receptor that is found throughout the prefrontal cortex and limbic system associated with memory, learning, and cognitive processing…, as well as the beta noradrenergic receptor that is activated in states of emotional excitement….  These events are experience-dependent, and they account for the evolution of an increasing tolerance for higher levels of arousal over the course of the first year.  (Schore/ad/98)”

“During early critical periods, biogenic amines, the same agents that regulate emotion and motivation throughout the life span, play an important role in the responsiveness of the cortex to environmental stimulation and in the regulation of the temporal framework of developmental processes.  These neuromodulators (Schore/ad/98) influence the ontogeny of cortical circuitry and have long-lasting effects on synaptic plasticity and on biochemical processes that mediate developmental influences (Foote & Morrison, 1987).  Their activation of both glycogenolysis, a cascade of biochemical reactions that trigger the release of glucose in conditions of intense activity, and the hexose monophosphate shunt, a pathway that mediates biosynthetic processes, underscores their preeminent role in the regulation of energy substrate availability in the developing brain.  (Schore/ad/99)”

“Catecholamines modulate cerebral circulatory systems and the blood-brain barrier that delivers and exports metabolic substrate to the brain, thereby regulating the responsivity of large areas of the brain to inputs in a coordinated manner….  The growth and organization of the brain are highly dependent upon the continued availability of substrate, and in postnatal periods its production of energy shifts from anaerobic to aerobic oxidative metabolism, thereby enabling a significant increase in output that can sustain the very large energy requirement of brain cells for differentiation and the formation of connections.  (Schore/ad/99)”

“The brain’s main metabolic fuel is glucose, which in the presence of oxygen undergoes complete combustion to CO2 and H2O:

C6H12O6 + 6O2 to 6CO2 + 6H2) + energy

“The free energy liberated in this exergonic reaction is partially trapped as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the main source of energy in living matter, in glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation….Adenosine triphosphate is generated both in glycolysis, a process located in Na+,K+ -ATPase activity, especially at the plasma membrane surrounding the cell and in synaptic nerve endings…, and in oxidative phosphorylation, the preeminent supplier of ATP in biological systems.  This latter process occurs in mitochondria and reflects the activity of cytochrome oxidase, the enzyme that supports the high aerobic energy metabolism of the brain….  The activity of these enzymes is coordinated…and influenced by catecholamines…., and because they act as regulators, the effects of their action involve large amplification factors.  The major inactivation of biogenic amines is performed by monoamine oxidase, an enzyme located solely in mitochondria.  (Schore/ad/99)”

“Levels of Na+,K+ -ATPase increase dramatically in early development during periods of neuronal arborization…, and cytochrome oxidase activity, regulated by oxygen concentrations, increases and peaks at the time of most rapid growth and maturation….  During the critical period of a brain region, growth in neurons occurs essentially in dendrites, and is manifest in heightened levels of synaptogenesis.  Na+,K+ -ATPase and cytochrome axidase are heightened in dendrites, and this accounts for the fact that dendritic metabolism makes the largest contribution to the metabolic activity of the brain.  In postnatal development mitochondria are associated with (Schore/ad/99) the presynaptic and postsynaptic processes of developing synapses.  In these same time periods catecholamines induce dynamic changes in the shape and branching patterns of dendrites and the growth of dendritic spines.  These spines have the greatest energy requirements and density of mitochondria in the brain, and they act as potential sites of synaptic contact which modulate rapid changes in the nervous system throughout the course of its development.  (Schore/ad/100)”

“It is well established that the the [sic] size and complexity of dendritic arbors increase in development and that dendritic growth and synaptogenesis of the postnatally developing brain is “experience-sensitive.”  Indeed, the neurodevelopmental processes of dendritic proliferation and synaptogenesis, which are responsible for postnatal brain growth, are critically influenced by events and the interpersonal and intrapersonal levels…..the events embedded in interpersonal transactions can be very fast-acting, yet structure-inducing.  Indeed, modifications of dendritic spines occur “within minutes of a stimulus train that lasts for a fraction of a second” (Lynch, 1986, p. 7). Dopamine, regulated within rapid mother-infant affective transactions, activates excitatory NMDA receptors…and modulates the excitability of prefrontal neurons by altering dendritic spine responses to excitatory inputs….Excitatory sensory input, including visual input, is required for the increases in mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase-driven oxidative metabolism in spines of growing dendrites of the developing cerebral cortex….  Most intriguingly, catecholamines initiate protein synthesis and the maturation of energy transduction in mitochondria…, and infant animals exposed to early environments that allow for social experiences show larger mitochondrial populations, an indictor of metabolic energy activity, as well as increased dendritic volume, in developing cortical areas….  (Schore/ad/100)”


“During very early development, the neonatal cerebral metabolic rate that sustains early cortical function is very low.  But as infancy proceeds, blood flow, know to correlate with changes in arousal, and to an indicator of regional oxidative metabolism, rises to maximal levels and then declines….  Kennedy suggests that the peak elevation in early infancy specifically reflects the increased energy demands associated with biosynthetic processes essential for growth and development of differentiating cortical structures and their emergent functions.  In this period of intense growth, the metabolic activity that supports this growth is heightened, so much so that the young child’s cerebral metabolic rate consumes one-half of the total body oxygen consumption (Kennedy & Sokoloff, 1957).  (Schore/ad/101)”

“…mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase-rich zones in the cerebral cortex increase in number in development, and…the pattern of high metabolic activity in these areas demarcates modular circuits…..novel circuits are constructed in a critical period of postnatal life, …modular and processing units are added progressively during the period of brain growth and maturation, and…modular circuit formation wanes in the later stages of postnatal development.  Purves and LaMantia [1990] concluded that critical periods, “epochs in early life when the brain is particularly sensitive to the effects of experience” represent the normal duration of the construction of cytochrome oxidase-labeled circuits.  (Schore/ad/101)”

“Indeed, the dramatic transformations of energy production that occur in particular portions of the maturing nervous system during specific postnatal temporal intervals represent the physiological basis of developmental stage and critical period phenomena, and these events allow for the onset of increasing complexity of structure and efficiency and integration of function, just as described by dynamic systems theory.  I have proposed…that the onset of a critical period of growth in a differentiating brain region is defined by a sudden switch from anaerobic to aerobic energy metabolism.  A mature neuron has grater energy-consuming demands than an immature neuron, and this transformation is expressed at the intracellular level by a replication of the mitochondrial genome, a rapid multiplication of cellular mitochondria, an elevation of environmentally regulated mitochondrial protein synthesis, and a significant increase in cytochrome oxidase levels.  These fast-onset, discontinuous changes that occur within “the period of rapid mitochondrial prolferation [sic]” (Psysh, 1970) result in an augmentation of cellular energy metabolism, since glycolysis alone only produces 2 mols of ATP per mol of glucose, while oxidative phosphorylation produces 36 (Erecinska & Silver, 1989).  (Schore/ad/101)”

“The increased number and onset of aerobic metabolism in mitochondrial populations within maturing regions of the infant’s developing brain allow for (Schore/ad/101) the generation of significantly higher levels of biological energy that are available for “morphogenesis,” the generation of new forms during growth and development, that is for the processing of genetic information, biosynthesis, and the transport of building blocks to their final destination (Harold, 1986).  The transient increase in the division and production of new mitochondria peaks just when the dendrites are growing out, a fact that may account for the finding that in a developing system, postsynaptic neurons respond initially to excitatory inputs by heightening their energy metabolism….  I suggest that during the critical period growth of a particular region, the peaks of heightened energy metabolism…[represent] a coordinated flow of energy through the components of a system that is now synaptically coupling into a circuit.  This directed energy is continually dissipated in the very process that binds the elements of the system together, that is, it allows for the coordinated onset of mitochondrial energy metabolism among the neurons, glia, and endothelial cells within contemporaneously differentiating cortical columns.  Most importantly, the dramatic increase in the number of mitochondria during a critical period results in larger and larger flows of energy within more and more interconnected elements that can be used for self-organizational processes.  (Schore/ad/102)”

“Since these bioenergetic transformations are coordinated over long distances, they also underlie the critical period construction of a neural circuit – a self-contained neuronal network that sustains a nerve impulse by channeling it repeatedly through the same network.  In adiscussion of the stabilization of excitatory Hebbian cell assemblies, Singer (1986) suggested that the pathways are formed between elements that have a high probability of being active at the same time.  This selection process serves to develop assemblies of reciprocally coupled neurons that allow for the organization of a reverberating circuit.  He also stated that these experience-dependent processes rely upon both cortical sensory processing of information from the “outer” world, and internally generated signals involving catecholamines from the reticular formation, which reflect the central state of the organism during a postnatal period.  (Schore/ad/102)”

“Hudspeth and Pribram (1992) proposed that a maturation period has three phases:  (a) an accelerating edge that reflects a changing state in the brain region; (b) a peak that reflects the attainment of a new state; and (c) a decelerating edge, in which a stable equilibrium within the state is established.  I deduce that the peak phase is identical to the metabolic peak described above, and that in its critical period of maturation a particular brain region is an object of an energy flux, which creates conditions for strong deviations from thermodynamic equilibrium that result in self-organization.  The last phase may be related to the fact that in a developing system, neurons initially receive excitatory inputs that heighten energy metabolism followed by inhibitory inputs that lower metabolism.  This developmental shift from excitation to inhibition may reflect an early overexpression of excitatory NMDA glutamate receptors to later maturing (Schore/ad/102) inhibitory GABAergic systems.  Glutamate is metabolized in mitochondria, and GABA-T, the enzyme that degrades GABA, is located in this organelle.  Overall, these phenomena are more accurately described by the second law of thermodynamics, which deals with the efficiency with which energy is used and the amount of useful work to which the energy is put, rather than to the first law, the conservation of energy.  (Schore/ad/103)”

“In light of the facts that energy metabolism peaks in a critical period of a developing brain region when dendrites are growing and neurons are attaining a new state of organization, and that dendritic spines have the greatest energy requirements in the brain, I would characterize their local cellular environment at this specific time as a “far-from-equilibrium system”….  It is held that energy-regulating bioamines modulate ion channels in dendrites, and that excitatory events occurring in dendrites within a “narrow time window” produce a “much bigger response” than outside this window, thereby allowing for interactions among synapses to be “highly nonlinear”….  Although dendritic spines represent a unique site for receiving communications from other cells, these points of interface with the local environment, especially in critical periods, also potentially expose the neuron to a state of “oxidative stress,” thereby making the cell vulnerable to excitotoxic “apoptotic” or “programmed cell death”….  (Schore/ad/103)”

“Apoptosis plays a crucial role in the early development and growth regulation of living systems.  This same mechanism may underlie the developmental process of circuit pruning, the selective loss of connections and redistributions of inputs that allow for the appearance of an emergent function. Regressive events such as cell death and the elimination of long axon collaterals and dendritic processes are essential mechanisms of brain maturation…..  cortical networks are generated by a genetically programmed initial overabundant production of synaptic connections, which is then followed by a process of competitive  interaction to select those connections that are most effectively entrained to environmental information.  “Parcellation,” the activity-dependent fine tuning of connections and winnowing of surplus circuitry, dominates the third maturational phase described [earlier] by Hudspeth and Pribram (1992).  (Schore/ad/103)”

“Parcellation is responsible for the loss of early transient ontogenetic adaptations, but this same mechanism of functional segregation also allows the developing brain to become increasingly complex, a property of a self-organizing system.  Furthermore, this process has been described as analogous to natural selection…..Darwinian selective stabilization of surviving synapses that have functional significance in a particular environment occurs in cortical areas during postnatal sensitive periods….  These findings imply that maternal behavior, the preeminent source of environmental information for the infant, functions as an agent of natural selection that shapes the trajectory of the infant’s emerging self.  They may also bear (Schore/ad/103) upon the mechanism of “maternal affects”…, the influence of the mother’s experiences on her progeny’s development and ability to adapt to its environment.  (Schore/ad/104)”

“Studies of the infant brain thus have direct implications for a more precise elucidation of dynamic systems theories.  A fundamental postulate of this model holds that a condition of chaos exists when a system must move from a previously ordered, yet obsolete adaptive state to a more flexible state in order to be better adapted to novel aspects of a currently changing environment.  The term “self-organization” can be imprecise and misleading for two reasons:  first, despite the implications of the two words used to describe this process, self-organization occurs in interaction with another self – it is not monadic but dyadic; and second, the organization of brain systems does not involve a simple pattern of increments but rather changes in organization.  Development, the process of self assembly, thus involves both progressive and regressive phenomena, and is best characterized as a sequence of processes of organization, disorganization, and reorganization. (Schore/ad/104)”

This is the same quote that Siegel had toward the end of his book


“According to chaos theory, the stabilization of reverberating circuits in early development allows for the organization of a network that can amplify minor fluctuations over cycles of iteration, and thereby influence the system’s trajectory.  (Schore/ad/104)”

“This reexcitational activity launches the system into a different state, but it also facilitates the “persistence” of a memory trace, an important advance, since “attractors might be though of as either as memories held by the neural network or as concepts” (Kaufmann, 1993, p. 228).  As previously mentioned, these attractors maintain the system’s organization by acting as adaptive homeostatic regulatory mechanisms that allow for stability in the face of external variation.  (Schore/ad/104)”

“Of particular importance to the regulation of nonlinear emotional states are cortical-subcortical circuits, especially those that directly link cortical areas that process current information about changes in the external social environment and subcortical information about concurrent alterations in internal bodily states.  These systems are hierarchicaly [sic] arranged, and they develop in a fixed progression over the first year.  Although the amygdala, a limbic structure that appraises only crude information about external stimuli, is on line at birth, a critical period for the development of corticolimbic association areas activates in the second and third quarter of the first year, invoving [sic] maturation of the anterior cingulated cortex, area involved in play and separation behaviors, laughing and crying vocalizations, face representations, and modulation of autonomic activity (MacLean, 1993; Paus, Petrides, Evans, & Meyer, 1993).  (Schore/ad/104)”

By the end of this [first] year the orbitoinsular region of the prefrontal cortex, an area that contains neurons that fire in response to faces, first become preeminently involved in the processing of interpersonal signals necessary for the initiation of social interactions and in the regulation of arousal and body states, properties that account for its central involvement in attachment neurobiology.  The orbitofrontal system matures in the last half of the second year, a watershed time for the appearance of a number of adaptive capacities.  These advances reflect the role of the frontal lobe in the development of infant self-regulatory behavior…, and are relevant to Cicchetti and Tucker’s (1994) assertion that the homeostatic, self-regulating structures of the mind are the major stabilities in the chaotic dynamics of psychological and neural development.  Due to the fact that orbital activity is essentially implicated in maintaining organismic homeostasis, the operational nature of this prefrontal cortex is best described as a nonlinear dynamic system.  (Schore/ad/105)”

the orbital frontal cortex “…uniquely projects extensive pathways to limbic areas in the temporal pole, central nucleus of the amygdala, and olfactory areas, to glutamate responsive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors of mesocorticolimbic dopamine neurons in ventral tegmental areas of the anterior reticular formation, and to subcortical drive centers in the paraventricular hypothalamus that are associated with the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system.  This excitatory limbic circuit, the ventral tegmental limbic forebrain-midbrain circuit, is involved with the generation of positively valenced states associated with motivational reward.  Orbitofrontal regions also send axons onto subcortical targets in parasympathetic autonomic areas of the hypothalamus, and to noradrenergic neurons in the medullary solitary nucleus and the vagal complex in the brain stem caudal reticular formation, thereby completing the organization of another limbic circuit, the lateral tegmental limbic forebrain-midbrain circuit that activates the onset of an inhibitory, negatively valenced state (see Schore, 1994)  (Schore/ad/105)”

“The orbital corticolimbic system, along with the amygdala, insular cortex, and anterior cingulated, is a component of the “rostral limbic system”….  Even more, it sits at the hierarchical apex of the emotion-generating limbic system, and regulates not only anterior temporal and amygdala activity, but indeed all cortical and subcortical components of both the excitatory and inhibitory reverberating circuits of the limbic system.  In addition, it acts as a major (Schore/ad/105) center of CNS hierarchical control over the energy-expending sympathetic and energy-conserving parasympathetic branches of the ANS, thereby regulating respectively, ergotropic high arousal and trophotropic low arousal bodily states….  With such autonomic connections, it plays an important cortical role in both the nonlinear mechanisms of visceral regulation…and the feedback from bodily systems, what Damasio (1994) called “somatic markers.”  These reciprocal connections with autonomic areas allow for an essential orbitofrontal role in the control of emotional behavior…, the representation of highly integrated information on the organismic state…, and the modulation of energy balance….  (Schore/ad/106)”

“By being directly connected into heteromodal areas of the cortex as well as into both limbic circuits, the sensory perception of an environmental perturbation can be associated with the adaptive switching of bioaminergic-peptidergic regulated energy-expending and energy-conserving bodily states in response to changes (or expected changes) in the external environment that are appraised to be personally meaningful (Schore, 1988a).  These rapid-acting orbitofrontal appraisals of the social environment  are accomplished at levels beneath awareness by a visual and auditory scanning of information emanating from an emotionally expressive face, and they act as nonconscious biases that guide behavior before conscious knowledge does….  The paralimbic orbitofrontal cortex performs a “valence tagging” function, in which perceptions receive a positive or negative affective charge.  The orbitofrontal system, the “administrator of the basolimbic forebrain circuitry”…, is a central component of the mechanism by which “forebrain circuits concerned with the recognition and interpretation of life experiences are capable of influencing virtually all, if not all, regulatory mechanisms in the body”….  (Schore/ad/106)”

“In such organism-environment interactions there is a sensitive dependence on initial conditions, and these heightened affective moments represent “points of bifurcation” of the potential activation of the two limbic circuits.  Marder, Hooper, and Eisen demonstrated that “a given circuit might easily express a variety of states, depending on the presence or absence of one or more peptides or amines” (1987, p. 223).  The output of each circuit and the interaction between the circuits are influenced by one or more bioaminergic neurotransmitters, thereby allowing for an adaptive flexible control of multiple states or output patterns.  Indeed, in the orbitofrontal areas, dopamine excites and noradrenaline inhibits neuronal activity….in a competitive system, steep gain increases in response to stimulus input, combined with arousal, can create explosive bursts of neural activity and hence discontinuous jumps between discrete aggregate states of neuronal  networks.  As a result, distributed aggregates of neurons can shift abruptly and simultaneously from one complex activity pattern to another in response to the smallest of inputs. It is interesting to (Schore/ad/106) note that dopamine neurons involved in emotional states show a nonlinear relationship between impulse flow and dopamine release, and shift from single spike to “burst firing” in response to environmental stimuli that are associated with a quick behavioral reaction…, and that this effect is induced by medial prefrontal activity…. (Schore/ad/107)”


I am blown away by the intensity of my feelings at the moment.  They are fierce, and I cannot turn down the volume —  nor do my feelings return to equilibrium once they are intense in anything like a normal time.

I was at the shop this afternoon, and on my cell, and next I knew Ernie was in the wrecker driving away without me – and without saying a word to me.  It really hurt, and it scares me how much that upset me.

He told me he went out Sat, Mari on his arm no doubt at all.  If I could, I know for a fact I would trade 10 years off of my life to be out on his arm with his full attention for one hour.  10 years for one hour.  And I am deadly serious.

I need to write a Pulitzer.

Nobody should have to feel feelings like this.  And nobody should ever have to have this degree of love for a man who does not love me back.  That is assuming that there is some purpose to love.

I am so pissed


“Von Bertalanffy asserted that a small change in an anterior “higher” controlling center “may by way of amplification mechanisms cause large changes in the total system.  In this way a hierarchical order of parts or processes may be established” (1974, p. 1104).  I suggest that the orbitofrontal cortex represents this controlling center, and that it is intimately involved in the mechanism by which affect acts as an “analog amplifier” that extends the duration of whatever activates it (Tomkins, 1984).  (Schore/ad/107)”

“In accord with chaos theory, “Tiny differences in input could quickly become overwhelming differences in output” (Gleick, 1987, p. 8).  (Schore/ad/107)”

These “tiny differences” refer to extremely brief events perceived at levels below awareness – although facially expressed emotions can be appraised within 30 miliseconds, spontaneously expressed within seconds, and continue to amplify within less than a half minute, it can take hours, days, even weeks or longer, for certain personalities experiencing extremely intense negative emotion to get back to a “normal” state again.  (Schore/ad/107)”

Is this that I am feeling really chaos?

What Schore just said is exactly what I am experiencing right now.  I am still this upset, and it has been three hours since the drive-away.  It upset me terribly, and no amount of rationalizing will bring me back down.  The only hope I have is to understand this!!

But my sister Cindy says she can control her feelings – I imagine like Ernie can.  Both would maybe be in the dismissive/avoidant category of attachment systems.  And neither of them understand that I can no more control my emotions than I can control the weather.  She says people who are like me will understand what I am saying, but that she can’t.

So, people like Dad could never understand someone like mother?  That we choose people who will not overwhelm us emotionally, as Siegel said.  Well, Ernie will never overwhelm me with his emotions, either.  But neither will he understand me.

Can I understand them better?  Is there system of handling emotions that much simpler?  Like moving from the mineral to the plant to the animal to the human kingdoms, that each includes characteristics of the one “lower” but has something added to it as it moves up the chain?

Chaotic behavior within the excitatory and inhibitory limbic circuits is thus expressed in sudden psychobiological state transitions.  Orbital activity is associated with affective shifts, the alteration of behavior in response to fluctuations in the emotional significance of stimuli (Dias, Robbins, & Roberts, 1996).  (Schore/ad/107)”

excitatory:  sympathetic

inhibitory:  parasympathetic

chaotic behavior within these two limbic circuits = sudden psychobiological state transitions

affective shifts = chaos is then an alteration of behavior in the brain and ANS that happen as a response to fluctuations in the EMOTIONAL significance of a stimuli

In other words, for me today, something instantaneously happened inside of me, an affective shift occurred in response to my emotional reaction of the emotional significance of Ernie driving away and leaving me today.  It just about broke my heart.  That’s what it felt like.  He didn’t “rescue” me by coming back for me.  It would not have been that hard for him to have just stopped that fucking truck, even to have come around the block for me.  He simply did not care how I felt.  He did not care that I was upset.

I don’t suppose he really ever cares how I feel.

He thought I was busy on the phone and did not want to come.  I missed his cues that he was leaving – and he did not interrupt me to tell me he was leaving.  When I saw him turning the truck around I thought he was putting it in the garage for the night.

If I had taken that phone call when it came in the first time this would not have happened.  It was a bifurcation point that I didn’t take the call, and then decided to call later.

And the consequences were, to me, horrendous.  I never have much time with him, and I wanted to go with him.  Now I am crying….

It must be connected in my emotional mind that I get what I deserve and that it was my fault – on a deeper level than I can describe – that IF I had done something one way and not the other then this bad thing of Ernie leaving would not have happened.

Like the “I didn’t mean to” mother wrote as my first sentence in my baby book.  When I say there was no cause and effect operating in my childhood.  There was.  I caused whatever the painful awful effect was.

I was the cause and punishment was the effect.  I did not cause Ernie to drive away and leave me today.  But if I had accepted the call when it came in, I wouldn’t have been on the phone when he left.  I could not accept the CHANGES that happened.  And he sure the hell didn’t say, “Gee, I’m sorry things turned out that way and that I left you and that you felt badly.”  He’s so out-of-touch with his emotions, he probably couldn’t do that if he wanted.  Like telling me earlier before this happened today, that he went out Saturday to 3 bars – knowing I know he went with Mari.  Knowing how bard that would be for me to hear.  Not caring?  Lack of empathy.  Lack of consideration, concern for my feelings, lack of sensitivity.  Like he’s trying to hurt me so I will go away?

There’s a very huge difference between “this is my fault” and “I caused this.”  Somewhere, when I was very little, I learned both of these, but I think I learned that I CAUSED things to happen – like I could CAUSE a change in the weather.  A fundamental belief that I caused the horrible things that happened to me.  Like I CAUSED Ernie to leave me today.

True, there are consequences.  But I can’t tell the difference.  I did not cause Ernie to be upset this morning when I didn’t hear the phone ring.  Yet I think he projected that onto me.  Maybe even he was on some level mad at me I wasn’t paying him total attention when he got called out today, and that’s why he left me.  So things would have been different if I HAD been paying attention.  And they sure would have been different if the situation hadn’t tipped me into CHAOS!

Obviously I interpreted on some deep level that it was emotionally and in every other evidently possible way significant that he drove off and left me standing there.

So on a deep level do I believe that although there was nothing more I wanted or needed as a child other than for my parents to love me, and that I was deprived of this love because I CAUSED that to happen.  Causing something to happen is deeper than “it was my fault.”  This is primitive cause and effect thinking – what would Bateman call this?  The pretend mode – psychic equivalence?  Causing something to happen is co-creational.  It means we definitely did something that reaped this consequence – and when it is what we fear most we are in the most danger of having a pervasively intense negative emotional reaction and a grand level – a grand mal seizure of our emotional being.

And another question:  Just because someone controls their emotions, does it mean that this stuff still goes on, but they don’t feel it?  Is that why avoidants tend to have so many sicknesses?  It is all left somewhere in their bodies, and it is toxic.  It comes from old toxic, and it is toxic in the present.


In optimal frontolimbic operations, these shifts from one emotional state to another are …experienced as rhythms in feeling states and are fluid and smooth, a flexible capacity of a coherent dynamic system.  (Schore/ad/107)”

Ernie is not responsible for the mess my emotional system is in.  I cannot do what I just copied here – I do not experience the shifts from one emotional state to another as rhythmic feeling states.  My reaction overwhelmed me and was instantaneous today.  There was nothing fluid or smooth about it.  It was violent, unexpected as was the situation.  I could not be flexible because I do not have a flexible capacity or a coherent dynamic system.

I don’t think shutting down feelings or intellectually controlling them is healthy, either.  It certainly prohibited Ernie from being empathic to me today.  Dismissing emotions – I suppose that’s what enabled the holocaust to happen in part.

But as Schore is noting below, I do not have an ORGANIZED functional system.  I have a disorganized dysfunctional one, as I experienced today so clearly.  Avoidant attachment systems are organized and semifunctional, but I don’t believe they make for true well-being or happy lives.

“The adaptive aspects of these nonlinear phenomena were stressed by Hofer (1990):

To accomplish various age-specific tasks, the brain must be able to shift from one state of functional organization to another and thus form one mode of information processing to others within an essentially modular structure.  These organized states constitute an important component of motivational systems, and they can be considered to provide the neural substrates of affect both the internal experience of affect and the communicative aspects that are embedded in the form and patterning of the behavior that is produced during these states.  (p. 74)   Are they using the word “behavior” to refer to what goes on inside the brain itself – behavior of neurons – as well as behavior meaning the actions we take?


Ramona just called, and I was telling her briefly how the human brain is designed to build itself upon joy – and how that gives me some sort of retrospective hope for the human race – that we evolved in this way, to love our babies that much, for women as mothers to have been that devoted to the care and attention of their babies that our whole species came forward from the past with a brain that is meant to grow through play.

A baby should experience only the intensification of joy-enjoyment and excitement-anticipation for the entire first 12 months of its life.  Those emotions from those experiences release the specific neurochemicals the brain needs to grow itself optimally, or in the best possible way.  Any angst the baby might feel otherwise is meant to be modulated through the meeting of its needs so that it reaches a state of calmness and serenity as quickly as possible, so that the positive emotions can be worked with again.  The “negative” emotions release chemicals into the brain that are toxic and destroy brain cells and defeat the brain’s best chance of creating itself to be the best brain it can be.  We can’t say to our infants’ brains, “Be all you can be, be the best you can be,” and then starve it of its nutrition and feed it toxins – and expect it to come out fine.  Doesn’t happen.

Are we going to destroy in these current generations – at least in our current culture – the exquisite brains that all of evolutionary history and wisdom have provided us with?  As mothers get busier and busier outside of the home, and more and more of them are not staying with their infants to raise them, we run the risk that these infants’ development brain needs are not being met.  Mother’s are not there to take care of their infants.  They are not there to play with them.  And when a mother is so hectically busy, how can she CARE?  And if she cannot care, she can not caregive!

“The activity of this prefrontal system is responsible for the regulation of motivational states and the adjustment or correction of emotional responses.  It is specialized for generating and storing cognitive interactive representations (internal working models) that contain information about state transitions, and for physiologically coding that state changes associated with homeostatic disruptions will be set right. (Schore/ad/107)”

For those of us who were severely abused as infants, we never experienced balanced and serene homeostasis in the first place.  Our systems were always in chaos, and grew that way under the influence of severe chemical alterations in the brain – as well as the information that was fed to us through our traumatic interactions being harmful – we had no equilibrium, and no hope that anybody would ever be there to set the disruptions and state changes right.

“The infant’s memory representation includes not only details of the learning cues of events in the external environment, but also of (Schore/ad/107) reactions in his internal state to changes in the external environment.  (Schore/ad/108)”

“The infant’s memory representation includes

++ details of the learning cues of events in the external environment

++ and of reactions in his internal state to changes in the external environment.

procedural memory

“The dampening of emotional discomfort and the performance of previously rewarded actions are now thought to be specifically stored in infant procedural memory (Meltzoff, 1995b).  (Schore/ad/108)”

Regulated emotional states represent desired attractors that maintain self-organization by perpetuating emotional equilibrium and resolving emotional disequilibrium.  (Schore/ad/108)”

Here again, based on the pain I am feeling and the tears at this moment from this experience today, I must look at what can go so terribly wrong.  I could never “dampen” my emotional discomfort as a child, and nobody helped me with this.  I was told from the moment I was born that I was the cause – and this is on a fundamental level – of all the pain I ever experienced.  I caused things to happen that hurt me.  The pain and terror was the consequence of what I caused.

I doubt there were any rewarded actions, either.  This all makes me wonder, if what he describes here is normal, then what in God’s name am I made of and how?

perpetuating emotional equilibrium and resolving emotional disequilibrium — I had no way to do this, and I still don’t.

“The infant’s memory representation includes

++ details of the learning cues of events in the external environment

++ and of reactions in his internal state to changes in the external environment.

All the tragic and traumatic events from infancy – the terrible and terrifying details of these learning cues of these events that were outside of me and so big and incomprehensible – and then to be told so that this also became entwined and entangled in the memories, in the representations, in the internal working models – that I was the cause of all of it.

I can’t even get past this today with this event with Ernie.  I can’t get out of the tears.  I can’t get to a “rational” place because this all lies in the folds of my brain itself, and the core and root of who I was made to be by all these programs put into my brain-mind-body-self.  That I do not deserve any better.  “What you see is what you get” turns into “What you get is what you caused.”

This is not an “as if” belief.  It is an “as is” belief.

So, this is also memory of my reactions in my internal state to changes in the external environment both THEN and NOW.

Believe me, there’s no equilibrium in any of this.  There’s no equality in any of this.  No fairness, no justice, no mercy.

Chaotic variability in brain self-regulatory activity is thus necessary for flexibility and adaptability in a changing environment.  According to Ciompi under certain conditions feedback processes in “affective cognitive systems” are capable of “provoking sudden nonlinear jumps, far away from equilibrium, leading to chaotic conditions or to the formation of new ‘dissipative structures’” (1991,p. 98).  Further research has indicated that the orbitofrontal system is specialized for “cognitive-emotional interactions” (Barbas, 1995), and that neurons in the right prefrontal cortex with balanced excitatory and inhibitory inputs show chaotic behavior (van Vreeswijk & Sompolinsky, 1996)  (Schore/ad/108)”

I don’t understand the chaos part of this as a good thing.  Does this have to do with potential for flexibility?  Does that mean in a disorganized system there’s rigidity and no chaos?  Does this have something to do with the opposite being “stuck” in running through patterns that were so damaging they never allowed for “construction,” only destruction?  Death vs life affirming?



“I conclude that the orbitofrontal cortex, especially in the right brain, is particularly suited to amplify appraisals of short-acting, small fluctuations of initial conditions into larger effects, and that it is primarily activated in far-from-equilibrium states of heightened ergotropic and/or trophotropic emotional arousal that create a potential for achieving novel states and a new stability.  (Schore/ad/111)”

“The right cortex is… specialized for globally directed attention, holistic analysis, and the processing of novel information.  As opposed to the left hemisphere’s “linear” consecutive analysis of information (Tucker, 1981), the processing style of the right hemisphere has been described as “nonlinear” based on multiple converging determinants rather than on a single causal chain (Galin, 1974).  (Schore/ad/111)”


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