Dehydration and Intelligence.
23 May 2007
Decreasing the normal number of water molecules in synaptic spaces increases the concentration of neurotransmitters . This increases the number of hits on receptors .
The increased number of hits on receptor sites means that the neurons fire more rapidly .
This means that thresholds are effectively lowered . Correlations are easier made . Smartness increases from norm .
Neurotransmitters like serotonin , whose basal concentration determines states like depression , also are more concentrated .
Hence the aha effect of alcohol and caffeine . Any diuretic that crosses the brain barrier will have the same effect .
While the brain is buffered against ordinary dehydration from lack of water , this will eventually also have an effect . Hence fasting in religions .
Note the term “Normal” above . This means that homeostatic mechanisms are in operation . Continual usage of such a diuretic agent will simply mean that the organism adjusts to the new level . Hence the habituation of the smartness effect to alcohol and caffeine .
The Pulse Effect :
To prevent homeostatic effects , usage of these drugs evolved into daily pulses of caffeine (at low concentrations) and higher concentrations of alcohol at longer periods.
Intermittent usage (every second day , for instance) will work . Note that the breakdown rates for diuretics (natural and artificial) seems to be similar at known fixed rates . This is to be expected if they are used because of ancillary effects .
The obverse : hydration .
Too high a rate of water intake (especially water with ions that speed up absorption) will dumb you down and make you depressive .
What a vicious feedback loop : drinking eight extra glasses of water a day(as is recommended) is addictive. You will then need the endorphin boost of extra exercise to boost serotonin concentrations in the synaptic spaces to feel normal . The combination of extra water and exercise is addictive in the clinical sense .
Tap-water : this is loaded with salts , which speed up the absorption of water .Hence the popularity of purer water . It makes people feel better by having a slower absorption rate .
People prone to low serotonin levels (ie with one or both short forms of the serotonin re-uptake gene ) should use caffeine (coffee , coke , tea ) or alcohol every second day .This can be kept up indefinitely , while preventing habituation ..
Social consequences .
Societies that use alcohol and caffeine outperform ones that don’t .
Alcohol addiction does have the tendency to weed out the crazies out of societies .
But while it can explain fewer crazies , it cannot explain the other side : the smarts .
We do not mean the generally smarter . That distribution is probably the same . It is the pulses of smartness . The bright idea that strikes while in a state of dehydration and acted on the next day . Summed over a whole population and hundreds of years this is a significant advantage .
A stressed organism has a larger than normal concentration of neurotransmitters in it’s synaptial spaces ( by definition ) . A short term solution is to decrease the concentration by extra intake of water . Lots of ionized fluids ( watered orange juice , water with a dash of salt , etc)
Long-term stress can only be solved by resetting the homeostatic mechanism to a higher level that can be varied . This is much more difficult . Amygdala programming becomes a problem . Stress-level handling protocols were set at amniotic level (ie epigenetic) .
The ideal is to have a stress level response that varies according to the stress applied .
This sounds impossible , except that there are individuals like that (astronauts , test- pilots, etc) . So it can be done . Given the uniformity of human genetic systems , this sounds like an epigenetic system . In other words , it can be learned , even at cellular level .
The Amygdala Interrupt .
There is a feedback process involving the same stress-hormones in the brain and stress-hormones in the body . The amygdala cannot distinguish between the two on a chemical basis , but it can on a timing and pulse basis . This response can be learned (ie reprogrammed)
The Cortical Interrupt.
Take one step backward and review the situation . See “Self-Consciousness” in http://andreswhy.blogspot.com
The old “Count to ten“ method.
The Sub-Cortical Interrupt .
Then take two steps backward and review the situation .(The sequence is important.)
Beloved by A.E van Vogt .
Count to 10.5 .
These two steps cause the Amygdala Interrupt .
The timing and pulses of neurons and neurochemicals enables the amygdala to identify the source of the impulses . This stops panic attacks in its tracks .
Count 1 to 10 aloud , then 10.5 .
Just repeat it a number of times .
It will work for any epigenetically programmed bio-system .
If you imagine your problem (like fear of heights , panic when faced with a number of important choices , fear in general) , count from 1 to 10 , then 10.5
Why does this work ? . Activating the calculating complex of cells overrides later amygdala inputs . Counting is an older system than emotions .There is then a pause while this information is processed first . (The Cortical Interrupt) .
Saying 10.5 activates different levels in the calculating complex of brain cells . Inverse type of cells are activated (ie 10.5=21/2) More cells are needed and others are put on standby . Ie a sub-cortical interrupt .
The Recipe :
Count aloud from one to ten , then 10.5