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This DVD concerns the visuo-tactile and audio-tactile processes that specialize in the constant monitoring, detecting, and anticipating of physical threats. These processes pick up a threat by its proximity, approach speed, and/or destructive intent, and recognize it as dangerous to the integrity of the body’s structure, either as a whole or in parts (e.g., head, torso, limbs, hands and feet). They exist through hard wiring and are modified by experience, and they establish a margin of safety (reaction/response zone) between the surface areas of the body and the perceived incoming danger. This margin of safety is usually referred to as the peripersonal space.
In this DVD I show some of the methods I’ve developed to prep or neurally pester the internal processes concerned with protecting the peripersonal space. Depending upon the context of the situation (appetitive or aversive), these internal processes heuristically guide action tendencies and behavioral traits towards appropriate solutions rather than optimal ones. Such solutions may include reaching out to grasp and manipulate an object, or navigating at speed without harm through a complex and dangerous environment, for example. Here we are mostly concerned with the possibility of being suddenly attacked; in this case, the appropriate solution will depend on the proximity and speed of that attack. Appropriate defensive responses may be initiated at a subcortical level, or more volitional retaliatory responses may also be triggered; both types of response operate through the same processes.
The important point about this detection system is that evolution has designed it to be heuristic, fast, and frugal. Within the temporal and spatial constraints of a hostile environment, trying to process all of the relevant information might prove to be a fatal mistake. That is why these processes allow us to perceive anything that resembles a snake as a serious danger and respond accordingly–if the snake turns out to be a piece of rope, we’re still alive.
In the DVD I mention Hoffman’s idea of the brain hiding most of its complex processing behind a simple interface, analogous to the display of folders and apps on a computer screen. The personal training methods I show here are intended to get at those hidden processes that operate under the surface of consciousness. They enhance performance through improving neural responses in harmony with the way evolution has designed the system to work.
The first part of the video is recorded with the Enfield group. I show how to train certain mechanisms with regard to the peripersonal space. The second part is a one-on-one explanation to give a deeper insight into the material shown in the first part.