Julian Jaynes Society Discussion Forum: Exploring Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind Theory since 1997

Impulsive "Decisions"
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Author:  rheiman [ Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Impulsive "Decisions"

Considering the link between writing and the advent of consciousness, it would make sense that non-literate societies would lag behind literate societies in their progress toward full consciousness from the bicameral state. When we also take into consideration the fact that the descendants of recently non-literate peoples tend to be more impulsive than those whose ancestors have been literate for a long time, it seems like more than coincidence.

As a non-professional regarding the mind sciences, I'd like to ask those more knowledgeable amongst you where impulsive "decisions" take place. Do they happen more in the right or the left hemisphere - or perhaps a combination of the two.

At first glance, it seems logical to surmise that hyper-impulsiveness is the close successor to bicameralism. Over the generations, this impulsiveness would diminish and be replaced by thoughtful planning. Hence there would be a steady progression from bicameralism to impulsiveness and then to true consciousness. Various populations - and individuals - would find themselves in differing stages within that continuum.

I am well aware of Jayne's explanation, at the beginning of his book, of how consciousness is only involved in a small portion of the things we do; my point here is that, as we advance, consciousness plays a larger and larger part.

Author:  Moderator [ Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Impulsive "Decisions"

I'm not an expert but I think impulsivity, violent behavior, etc. is generally associated with problems in the frontal lobes. This is also where a lot of activity associated with conscious thought and inhibition seems to take place. I recall seeing a documentary describing brain scans of murderers showing consistent patterns of frontal lobe abnormality.

The spatialization of time aspect of consciousness may play a role in curbing impulsive behavior in the ability to contemplate future consequences... I think this was brought up already in another post.

I don't know to what degree the evidence suggests a biological basis for this vs. a cultural or parental one.

Also the link between writing and non-impulsivity, if one can be demonstrated, may be correlational and not causal. In other words, some 3rd factor (be it genetic or cultural) may underlie both a tendency toward literacy and non-impulsiveness. On the other hand reading may help expand the mind-space.

This recalls a book called The World on Paper I've been meaning to read...

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