Stress and Neuroassociative Conditioning

Stress and neuroassociative conditioning

It should be emphasized that the same stimulus is capable of producing both a more or less positive stress and a more or less negative stress, based on our interpretation, aware and unaware, of it; it depends on our experiences, prejudices, beliefs, etc. Furthermore, the emotional aspect is the main factor in determining the physiological and biochemical processes of the stress reaction.


As Milton H. Erickson, psychiatrist father of modern hypnosis demonstrated, we all live in a secondary reality whose boundaries are determined by our conscious mind, which constantly filters and interprets our perceptions of the external world and elaborates them internally. That is, as Richard Bandler and John Grinder, creators of the "Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)" - born from the study of the work of Dr. MH Erickson - affirm the perception of the environment, always filtered and interpreted by the experiences, beliefs and generalizations of each, to create a personal internal representation of reality and consequently a behavior associated with a certain state of mind. Also Erickson, with his experimental hypnosis studies, has also shown that the brain does not distinguish between reality and an "excellent visualization. In fact, we know that an imaginary stressor has in the organism the same effect as a tangible one (hence the importance Not only that, but as the Russian physiologist Ivan P. Pavlov, Nobel laureate in 1904, demonstrated in his famous experiment on salivary secretion in response to certain stimuli, universally known as "classical conditioning", there are "stimuli conditioned ", which induce conditional responses. In his experiment Pavlov created in a dog a neuro-association between food and a sound, that of the bell. As a result of the experiment, the neuroassociative conditioning that was created meant that, by activating the sound alone, the dog reacted in the same way as when he was presented with food. From further experiments conducted also on human subjects, it turned out that this conditioning is much stronger the more the number of experiences related to it grows and the more intense is the state of mind associated with it. Moreover, through the innate process of generalization, the subject conditioned to respond to a certain stimulus in a given situation, in similar circumstances tends to behave in a similar way. The generalization process, which plays an important role in adaptation as it helps save time, can often lead to incorrect answers (for example, a child who has a very strict father can easily fear the teacher as well). This "learning" remains latent in us, relegated to the "unconscious, ready to reactivate itself when the right stimulus appears. And" like when, for example, hearing on the radio the song that made us fall in love for the first time, automatically, undergoing a true "age regression" process, we experience that state of mind again.
Hence, it is meant by neuroassociation or neuroassociative conditioning or psychobiological imprinting, the state of mind associated with a certain stimulus. The response to this stimulus is a certain conditioned behavior, associated with physiological changes in the organism, based on the characteristics (type, intensity) of the conditioning itself.
Suffice it to add, to reiterate the "importance of neuroassociative conditioning, that, as stated by MS Gazzaniga, director of the" Program in Cognitive Neuroscience "at Dormouth College," 98% of what the brain does is outside the domain of consciousness. ".

Environmental inputs → Reception (visual, auditory, olfactory, kinesthetic) → Modulation through experiences, beliefs, generalizations, neuroassociations etc. → Internal representation → Physiological reaction → State of mind → Behavior

From these studies all the therapies and techniques based on neuroassociative conditioning (cognitive-behavioral, modern hypnosis, strategic therapy, Pnl etc.) were born which aim at an expansion of the limits of reality created by each of us and at a voluntary management of conditioning. Thanks to current knowledge, in fact, it is possible to consciously use, in our favor, at least part of these unconscious processes by creating or modifying them ad hoc.In this regard, it is essential to develop the ability to visualize: an "excellent visualization is in fact able to change our mood" and, consequently, physiological as well as to expand brain performance, for example by improving the resolution capacity of problems, through induced relaxation, or memory abilities (as demonstrated in the past by characters such as Cicero, Pico Della Mirandola and Giordano Bruno and today by Gianni Golfera).

As M. Erickson states in his book "Hypnotherapy", "the human mind is a dynamic process, which continually corrects, modifies and reformulates itself. Incompatibilities are either resolved in a satisfactory way, or expressed as" problems "(complex , neurosis, psychosomatic symptoms, etc.) "and, in the book" Healing with "hypnosis", he adds "the" essence of psychotherapy is to make people accept new ideas and new ways of seeing things ".

Psychological support often becomes indispensable, because it is of primary importance in diseases and stress problems. The use of psychiatric drugs should normally be reserved for extreme cases and for the shortest possible time.

Edited by Dr. Giovanni Chetta

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