Opponent Complementarity in Psychological Function

Don M. Tucker and Phan Luu

in Cognition and Neural Development

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199838523
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199985654 | DOI:
Opponent Complementarity in Psychological Function

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This chapter proposes that the dual modes of self-regulation can be understood as general psychological controls. They evolved as complementary neural mechanisms for regulating the activity-dependent differentiation of neural architecture in embryogenesis. They were then conserved in mammalian evolution as the opponent, yet balanced cybernetic bases for the cognitive processes underlying learning and behavioral organization throughout the life span. As constructs for human psychological theory, new terms are suggested for these neurophysiological mechanisms of self-regulation. The dorsal projectional mode is described as the impetus, Latin for impulse; the ventral reactive mode as the artus, Latin for constraint. The chapter considers how these elemental, opponent and complementary, neural control mechanisms can be understood to shape broad domains of human psychological function, from elementary learning to abstract cognition to complex challenges of social relations. It begins with concepts of self-regulation in the cognitive neuroscience literature, drawing on the unique evidence from modern neuroimaging technologies.

Keywords: self-regulation; psychological controls; neural control mechanisms; embryogenesis; cognitive neuroscience

Chapter.  20891 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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