Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
“In this article, we gather ecological theories and empirical data from a variety of related fields in an attempt to create a unified model of how humans predict, respond to, control and learn about danger. We will discuss hierarchical theories of threat, how these hierarchies are represented within a global neural architecture, and present evidence for components of an optimized survival system in humans, which is consistent with (c.f. Blanchard et al., 2011), and sometimes distinct from those observed in other animals.
The Survival Optimization System (SOS) is based on the assumption that a set of systems have evolved to avoid and combat threats that pose danger to the species’ fitness. These extend from neurocognitive systems that predict the sensory environment, orienting toward potential threat, assessing threat and escape possibilities, and to hard-wired defensive reactions instantiated by the oldest sectors of the nervous system. In tandem, these survival strategies are steered by modulatory systems including cognitive appraisal and learning systems.”
Fantastic read. I’ve taken a pause from the Dias book to have a look at the research (some which he cited, some which he didn’t.) This paper is particularly interesting (and available free by clicking on the link above.) A bell rang in my head yesterday which reminded me of something I read on the similarities between human and ant societies…