Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Thinking?

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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Tim Hebert » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:36 pm

Luck wrote:I think that you should pursue this as a line of inquiry. After reading Jaynes, I began to wonder if some (if not all) of perceived paranormal events are just glitches occurring within the brain. I think anyone refusing to consider that possibility probably shouldn't be taken seriously

I've thinking along those lines for a few months, then remembered Jaynes and wondered it was possible to use his theory as a foundation to explaining UFO sightings and more importantly, the abduction phenomenom.

A quick check on-line revealed that I'm the only one questioning the neurotransmitter angle (emphasis on quick check). I'll go to some of the psychiatric and psychology journals to see who did what if any.

Bartholomew did an article on mass delusional phenomenons (hysteria vs delusions?) about some of the UFO sightings back in the 1890s, a good read, imo. I try and get the link for you.

Luck wrote:edit: Jaynes originally published his book in 1976, so could it be that the roles of the neurotransmitters were not yet well known? I don't recall that he extended his discussion to the role of neurotransmitters in his book

Jaynes apparently only looked at focal locations within the structure of the brain. Molecular studies within psychiatry and psychology only came into being after studies done by neurology started to pin point the importance of neurotransmitter regulation in certain disorders, such as, epilepsy. Though psychiatry had been using the "gold" standard Thorazine and compazine since the 1950s as dopamine regulators, but the mechanisms were poorly understood.

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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Luck » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:21 am

Tim Hebert wrote:I've thinking along those lines for a few months, then remembered Jaynes and wondered it was possible to use his theory as a foundation to explaining UFO sightings and more importantly, the abduction phenomenom.

A quick check on-line revealed that I'm the only one questioning the neurotransmitter angle (emphasis on quick check). I'll go to some of the psychiatric and psychology journals to see who did what if any.

Bartholomew did an article on mass delusional phenomenons (hysteria vs delusions?) about some of the UFO sightings back in the 1890s, a good read, imo. I try and get the link for you.


Hmm, the abduction phenomena? I hadn't really considered that particular aspect, but I like the idea.
I think I read something on a study of sleep paralysis, with a discussion of being ridden by the hag. I will try to go find it since it could be somewhat related.

If you can find a link, I will read the Bartholomew piece. It does sound interesting.

Completely off topic, Jaynes does mention Sitchin and gives him a jab. (At least in the edition I own.) :D

Tim Hebert wrote:Jaynes apparently only looked at focal locations within the structure of the brain. Molecular studies within psychiatry and psychology only came into being after studies done by neurology started to pin point the importance of neurotransmitter regulation in certain disorders, such as, epilepsy. Though psychiatry had been using the "gold" standard Thorazine and compazine since the 1950s as dopamine regulators, but the mechanisms were poorly understood.


Thanks for the additional information/clarification. I think it is always good to have the historical/background context when available.
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby nablator » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:32 am

Tim Hebert wrote:A quick check on-line revealed that I'm the only one questioning the neurotransmitter angle (emphasis on quick check).

OOBE/NDE may be explained by abnormal functioning of dopamine and oxygen flow.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... near-death

According to Dr. Karl Jansen, NMDA receptor antagonists such as ketamine may be responsible. There are some similarities with alien abduction experiences. As far as I could find out from a quick googling possible endogenous sources of such chemicals are not well understood.
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Tim Hebert » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:14 am

Nabs, thanks for the link, I'll check it out. I going to check out the psychiatric and neurobiology journals for background.

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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Luck » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:02 am

I couldn't find the original sleep paralysis information I was looking for but I did come across this:

http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca/~acheyne/S_P.html#tabcon

And this:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2006/10/13/sleep-disorders-from-dopamine-imbalance-in-schizophrenia-parkinsons/330.html

In which this was stated in the very last paragraph:
“One of the preeminent ideas of classical psychiatry is that people who had hallucinations, such as schizophrenics, were actually dreaming while they are awake,” Nicolelis said. “Our results give some initial biological evidence for this theory.”


edit: this link looked interesting, but not sure how productive it will be for your search...
http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/
However, for many people, the perceived general cultural acceptance of the paranormal reinforces their own personal experiences of ostensibly paranormal events. The challenge to those who adopt the working hypothesis that paranormal forces do not exist is to provide plausible non-paranormal accounts, supported by strong empirical evidence wherever possible, of the ways in which psychological and physical factors might combine to give the impression that a paranormal event had occurred when, in fact, it had not.
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Tim Hebert » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:50 am

nablator wrote:OOBE/NDE may be explained by abnormal functioning of dopamine and oxygen flow.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... near-death

My experience with working with End-Stage Parkinson's shows that there is indeed increase in visual hallucinations. My patient's report both pleasant and some disturbing hallucination. Most of those patients are aware that they are actively hallucinating and work thru them. Here is the paradox: Initially Parkinson individuals have reduced dopamine production within the mid-brain region that affect motor control, hence, the shuffling gait and cog wheeling, generally there are no hallucinations. Late stage, there are visual hallucinations, yet they are still being treated with levodopa/carbidopa to increase dopamine production.

For NDEs, not all have experienced the phenomena the same way. Why are some so different, ie, those that experience heaven (paradise) vs those that experience hell (damnation). Belief systems are not regulated by tissue oxygen saturation levels or neural transmitter actions. These are learned traits depending on ones cultural background yet these traits are present in NDEs (even for those who hold no belief system). This from those individuals who have undergone cardiac "death" and have been resuscitated.

Is NDEs different in perception regarding cardiac, trauma and others?

It was a good article Nabs, thanks for the link!
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Tim Hebert » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:26 am

Luck,

Funny that you have provided your links, as earlier today I was thinking of the effects of sleep deprivation! Some years ago, I was up late, 3 AM, studying for an exam and fighting off sleep. Eventually, I found my self having a conversation with a fellow classmate (over some obscure chemistry formula). I was experiencing both audio and visual hallucinations.

Since I would have had a high level of melatonin due to circadian rhythm, could I had also experienced a momentary spike in dopamine? I was actually asleep but what I experienced was not a dream but a bonafide hallucination.

Now it may be possible to frame a hypothesis: Paranormal events (ghosts, close UFO encounters/abductions) can be attributed towards momentary spikes of the neural transmitter dopamine.

I would have to show that it is possible for segments of a given population to experience this "phenomena." A difficult proposition at best. Maybe a correlation study?

ETA: I almost forgot, here is Robert Bartholomew's articles on mass delusions in the New England Area around the 1900s http://www.theness.com/index.php/two-mass-delusions-in-new-england/

ETA #2: Just did a key word search: dopamine, hallucinations, ufo abductions. There appears to be quiet a few who have looked into the dopamine angle, predominantly with UFO abductions. Most are not from professional journals, though I've found at least two journals that deal with the subject. Well so much for that, no need to re-invent the wheel.
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Luck » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:09 pm

Tim Hebert wrote:Funny that you have provided your links, as earlier today I was thinking of the effects of sleep deprivation! Some years ago, I was up late, 3 AM, studying for an exam and fighting off sleep. Eventually, I found my self having a conversation with a fellow classmate (over some obscure chemistry formula). I was experiencing both audio and visual hallucinations.

Since I would have had a high level of melatonin due to circadian rhythm, could I had also experienced a momentary spike in dopamine? I was actually asleep but what I experienced was not a dream but a bonafide hallucination.


Based on my understanding of schizophrenia, it is more likely that stress plays a bigger role than melatonin. And if you were induced to pull an all-nighter, your stress levels were likely pretty high. I believe that cortisol impacts dopamine levels more than melatonin.

Tim Hebert wrote:I would have to show that it is possible for segments of a given population to experience this "phenomena." A difficult proposition at best. Maybe a correlation study?


Yes, probably. What is more important to you? To prove a dopamine surge link to UFO sightings and the abduction phenomena? Or proving that the brain can glitch out during ordinary circumstances and create delusions and hallucinations? We know that false memories, delusions, and even spiritual events can be created artificially in the brain. Or are both equally important to you? Please let me know if I misunderstand...strictly a lay person here.
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Tim Hebert » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:16 am

Luck wrote:Based on my understanding of schizophrenia, it is more likely that stress plays a bigger role than melatonin

No, melatonin levels are not indicative of symptomatology of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is much more complex even from a structural model of the brain, ie, thickness of the cortex. Dopamine implications revolves around the hallucinatory episodes. There are more issues that are on going.

Luck wrote:Yes, probably. What is more important to you? To prove a dopamine surge link to UFO sightings and the abduction phenomena? Or proving that the brain can glitch out during ordinary circumstances and create delusions and hallucinations? We know that false memories, delusions, and even spiritual events can be created artificially in the brain. Or are both equally important to you? Please let me know if I misunderstand...strictly a lay person here

I'd say that its both. But I would have to narrow down the type of individual that would be affected by this possibility. From a brief meta search, I already know that researchers have questioned increase dopamine levels as a possibility for the abduction phenomenon. What about other paranormal events? One area to look at is those individuals who have no history of psychiatric disorders, but have experienced "something" and see if dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and other transmitters play a combined role.

Maybe what could be mapped out is the type of individual that is more prone to experience a phenomenon, such as:

1. History of sleep cycle disruptions (insomnia)
2. Recent personal stresses: marriage, divorce, family death, personal health issues (adaptation from the Stress Model)
3. Race, ethnicity, religion, etc.

These are just a few examples.
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Tim Hebert » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:57 pm

I pulled the following from the Journal of American Psychiatry:

To date, eight studies have investigated striatal presynaptic dopaminergic function in psychosis. Of these, six found an elevation of dopaminergic function in schizophrenia patients relative to comparison subjects, one reported no difference between patients and comparison subjects, and another found a small reduction in patients relative to comparison subjects (1). However, each of these studies was cross-sectional, and it remains unknown whether striatal hyperdopaminergia is a trait marker of psychosis liability or a state factor linked to the acute emergence of psychotic symptoms.


Others are conducting research in an entirely different area, as you read the article, consider Jaynes' theory, and ask the question could certain segments of society have remnant traits as that of our ancestors 2000 years ago? Food for thought.

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article ... eid=102553
We argue that fMRI might be less sensitive than PET studies for detecting activation within this area. A loss in the blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal could be a consequence of the particular vascular system of the globus pallidus compared with the rest of the capillary bed, or it could be a consequence of an elevated tissue iron level (+97). These data need to be considered in the design of future studies, since explorations of the subcortical structures involved in AVHs move beyond a strict dopamine hypothesis.
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Luck » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:27 pm

Tim Hebert wrote:Others are conducting research in an entirely different area, as you read the article, consider Jaynes' theory, and ask the question could certain segments of society have remnant traits as that of our ancestors 2000 years ago? Food for thought.


Tim, you have some good finds here. I was doing a web search and someone actually thought glutamine might also be involved in schizophrenia. Might be another avenue to explore.

I scanned the link you provided briefy, after working on summaries of bills from the Iowa legislature for another project, my eyes are about to bleed. But the article would suggest that yes, segments of the population may be similar to our ancestors and actually may be a limitation or vulnerability that we may all have to a greater or lesser degree (this last is purely my supposition). This would also seem to indicate that there is some legitimacy to Jaynes' hypothesis. I will need to go back to Jaynes and see if he discusses any similar processes. I am pretty sure he discusses the Broca's area of the brain, but I don't remember the context. Interestingly enough the study in the link you would seem to indicate that there is increased activation of both the left and right brains (do I understand that correctly?). Or they speaking to networks that connect to the left and right brains? Was unable to find a definition through a google search and want to make sure I understand.

Patients experiencing AVHs demonstrated significantly increased activation likelihoods in a bilateral neural network, including the Broca's area (activation likelihood estimation=1.84×10−3), anterior insula (1.78×10−3), precentral gyrus (1.46×10−3), frontal operculum (1.29×10−3), middle and superior temporal gyri (1.59×10−3), inferior parietal lobule (1.33×10−3), and hippocampus/parahippocampal region (1.90×10−3).

...Three main mechanisms are briefly presented in the present meta-analysis. First, some authors have postulated that AVHs could result from aberrant perceptions generated in auditory regions. Primary support for this theory came from the generation of involuntary auditory or verbal material during per-operative electrical stimulations of the temporal cortex in nonschizophrenia subjects (4). Another influential hypothesis concerning the origin of AVHs is external misattribution of self-inner speech. According to this model, patients with schizophrenia are unable to identify their own thoughts as self-generated and, furthermore, interpret them as intrusive alien voices within their heads (5). Finally, possible dysfunctions in the neural substrates of episodic verbal memory have been proposed to account for the involuntary emergence of AVHs (6).


I did happen to come across some papers on false memories. I didn't have the time or inclination to do more than scan them, but they might provide some additional food for thought.
http://memorylab.uchicago.edu/pdf/Gallo_2010.pdf

http://www.frontiersin.org/behavioral_neuroscience/10.3389/neuro.08.053.2009/abstract

Gotta stop now, my eyes are about ready to fall out of my skull. 8)

edit: I did go back and review Jaynes. His primary theory is that the auditory hallucinations originated in Wernicke's area (located in the superior temporal gyrus) on the right hemisphere and then travel over the anterior comissures to left temporal lobe.
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Luck » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:22 am

And then I found this:

Schizophrenia Candidate Genes Affect Even Healthy Individuals

Stefanis and colleagues recruited more than 2000 young men and measured dimensions of their cognitive abilities that tend to be impaired in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. The authors also measured schizotypal personality traits, which represent behaviors that are associated with schizophrenia, such as atypical behaviors and beliefs, suspiciousness or paranoia, and discomfort in social situations. They then genotyped these volunteers in relation to the four most prominent schizophrenia candidate genes: Neuregulin1 (NRG1), Dysbindin (DTNBP1), D-amino-acid oxidase activator (DAOA), and D-amino-acid oxidase (DAAO). According to Nicholas Stefanis, the lead author on the paper, their study showed “that apparently normal individuals who posses several risk alleles within these susceptibility schizophrenia genes, have indeed minute decrements in cognitive ability such as decreased attentional capacity and worse performance on memory tasks, and alterations in schizotypal beliefs and experiences.” In other words, they found that the healthy individuals who possessed the risk variants within the DNTBP1, NRG1, and DAAO genes exhibited small reductions in their cognitive performance and had atypical experiences that might be associated with schizophrenia.

...It is striking that these genes all effect the glutamate system in the brain. Glutamate is the main excitatory chemical messenger used by the cerebral cortex. Thus, this paper highlights a role for glutamate in the development of schizophrenia-like symptoms, attention deficits, and memory problems.

http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authored_newsitem.cws_home/companynews05_00744

and this:

Glutamatergic hypofunction, mediated mainly by NMDA receptor blockade, is suggested to be indirectly responsible for dopaminergic dysfunction in schizophrenia. Increased levels of kynurenic acid (KYN-A), an endogenous NMDA receptor antagonist, resulting from disturbed tryptophan/kynurenine metabolism can explain psychotic symptoms and cognitive deterioration.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19007319

shoot. down the rabbit hole I go....
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Tim Hebert » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:03 am

Good finds, Luck! So now we have a possibility (not conclusive) that certain segments of a given population may be susceptible to schizo form traits. Suppose that all of the general population is equally susceptible base on the Stress Model? In other words, under the right circumstances, external stimuli affect perception (distort) due to sudden/brief spikes in a combination of neurotransmitters. A good starting point. I will need to define the external stimuli.

I'll explain the Stress Model in detail later (current psychiatric nursing model), but this may be key.
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Luck » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:39 am

Here is some additional information. The paper I just found discusses veterans with PTSD who suffer from auditory hallucinations. Not all who have PTSD have the hallucinations, but the article indicates that the more severe the disorder, the likelier the patient will be susceptible to auditory hallucinations.
http://core.ecu.edu/soci/vanwilligenm/mueser.pdf

So there definitely is a link between prolonged stress and hallucinations. Just based on the information that we have gathered, I agree there may be a mechanism in the human brain (with the right stressors along with a spike in the neurotransmitters) to create hallucinations, but I can't say whether the general population would be equally susceptible, because from an evolutionary standpoint, at some point, it was more beneficial for us to evolve away from a biological model that made us more susceptible to the schizophrenic-like states that exist in bicameralism. Having said that, I would be still open to model that explores the likelihood in the general population.
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Re: Coast to Coast Radio Program: Fostering Delusional Think

Postby Tim Hebert » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:28 pm

Luck wrote:So there definitely is a link between prolonged stress and hallucinations. Just based on the information that we have gathered, I agree there may be a mechanism in the human brain (with the right stressors along with a spike in the neurotransmitters) to create hallucinations, but I can't say whether the general population would be equally susceptible, because from an evolutionary standpoint, at some point, it was more beneficial for us to evolve away from a biological model that made us more susceptible to the schizophrenic-like states that exist in bicameralism. Having said that, I would be still open to model that explores the likelihood in the general population.


Stress, or to be more accurate, stressors affect those with an underlying pathology and those with out. Our brief literature search deals mainly with individuals with known pathologies, ie, schizophrenia, bi-polar, and other psychotic disorders. What of those that have no underlying issues? Can anyone, including you and I, experience a brief momentary "psychotic" event that influences our sense of perception?

I'll be at work later today and will have full access to most, if not all, professional journals (Psychiatry, Psychology). I'll try and focus more on the psychology journals to see if I can "eliminate" the psychotic disorders from the equation, hopefully dealing with studies pertaining more to the general population.

I also want to review some of the classic abduction cases and those individuals who had other "close encounters." might be able to define trait similarities and build a hypothetical model of individual susceptibility.

We probably should start a new thread since this topic has no relevance to Coast to Coast.
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