The psyche is situated somewhere at the intersection of these two axes. It participates in the mechanisms that coordinate the inside and outside of the global organism with the demands the ascending and descending chains impose on behavior.

To negotiate with the environment, the complex organisms create yoga poses for male reproductive system a social milieu as an intermediary between the organism and the environment presented by the planet. The more this social environment becomes complex, the more the propensities of the organism mobilize the dynamics of the psyche. Indeed, even before considering language, socialization requires that the members of the species have come to a certain agreement concerning what is perceived and on the correlation between a stimulus and behaviors. With ants, most of the individuals react to a stimulus just about the same way. A certain variation already exists because the conformity is different for each caste (worker, soldier, queen). It would seem that the development of the psyche allowed for the appearance of socialized species that attempt, with more or less success, to combine cohesion and diversity. The more the mind can intervene in a complex way into the regulation of the organism, the more the species is able to develop a capacity to combine cohesion and diversity. The need to develop a wide variety of individual particularities can be included in such a point of view.

The Servomechanisms of Stress. Laborit often takes the thermostat as a simple example of a servomechanism The thermostat makes it possible for an operator to set a goal for a system Thus, we use a thermostat to regulate the heating system in a building: to set a target temperature. Take the case of a consumer who regulates his thermostat so that an apartment is always at 20°C. The thermostat activates the heating system for as long as the temperature of the apartment is lower than the temperature set by the consumer, and it brings the activity of the heating system to a stop when the temperature of the space exceeds the set goal. For example, the thermostat is set to engage the heating system as soon as the temperature the apartment falls below 15°C and to shut it off as soon as the temperature in the apartment reaches 25°C. The temperature of the apartment therefore oscillates between those two points. This oscillating regulatory system is characteristic of biological functioning in which a static equilibrium is tantamount to death. Only the inanimate world can follow linear functioning.86 In his discussions with Selye, Laborit distinguished two dimensions:

1. The axis of stress constitutes a system. Like every other constituted biological system, yoga poses for male reproductive system this one has the tendency to stabilize by embedding itself into organismic regulatory systems to survive for as long as possible.

2. The servomechanism. The axis of stress has a servomechanism, which, like the thermostat, can increase or decrease the functioning of the axis of stress, even extinguish it.

In an environment where the axis of stress is activated by a known predator and extinguished by its moving away, the servomechanism of the axis of stress generally functions quite well. We have seen that aggression in humans is often perpetuated by forces that are more difficult to define and localize in time and space. The servomechanism of the axis of stress is too primitive to adapt itself to the details of a situation like mobbing or a tyrannical political regime. For some people, the axis of stress is easily activated, whereas for others it more easily deactivates. Laborit, for example, studied postoperative shock. For certain people, it seems as if the servomechanism of the axis of stress does not detect that the surgery is over and successful. The organism continues to react as if it were still in the operating room.

Even if the mind participates in the dynamics that turn on and shut off the axis of stress, yoga poses for male reproductive system as Lazarus supposed, the connection is manifestly indirect. A relaxation method, psychotherapy, a tranquilizer all can deactivate an active axis of stress, but none of these strategies work in every case. Laborit assumed that these interventions have an indirect effect. He therefore looked for the specific servomechanism that directly stops the stress reaction. He was convinced that it must be a specific chemical stimulus that can sometimes be activated by one of the interventions I have just mentioned. The relation between deactivation of stress and relaxation, for example, would then be indirect. When relaxation adequately activates the parasympathetic vegetative system, this system puts a certain amount of substances into the circulation of the blood; if the substance is detected by the servomechanism of the axis of stress, it will cut off the systems it controls.

At the time, the available knowledge allowed one to think that such a servomechanism could be situated in the pituitary gland. Laborit looked for a substance that could have such an effect on the pituitary gland. He then analyzed all the hormones produced by the pituitary gland, with the hope that there would be one that deactivates, in a targeted way, the axis of stress. His hunch led him to the discovery of what we today call the neuroleptics. These substances and their derivatives have become one of the principal forms of support that psychiatrists propose to their psychotic patients. This type of intervention permits one to think that one of the mechanisms that activates a psychosis has a particularly low threshold, which puts a more complex version of the axis of stress into play. By inhibiting the substances that activate the physiological dynamics of stress and psychosis, and by raising the values of the servomechanism that activates these states, medication can stop the vicious circle of extremely painful anxiety and hallucinations. This is what neuroleptics do, according to Laborit.


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