Concepts: ROI>iCube>Dynamic Density
One simple difference is the beginning of building a viable, heuristic model of "thinking" so as to understand how the military worsens PTSD. The difference is the neural activity and associated consciousness (mentality) between being awake and being asleep. Objective studies shows higher neural activity while awake. Less objective is the conclusion that "awake" thoughts are larger or more complex than the thoughts of dreams or nightmares. In other words, one can conceive of consciousness as composed of a thought varying in size. Furthermore, one can view thinking as composed of subthoughts that come and go like dancers on a dance floor that changes in size based on one level of awakeness, alertness, consciousness, etc.
While this writer originally preferred "deme" for the size of a thought, readings introduced him to the term "meme" which sounds better for thinking and the "memories" thereof. Demes was originally chosen because of its use in the politcal process that originated democracies--the demes of Greece which were led by demearchs. The size of the demes varied based on the size of the problems and population. While a separate series of essays, the self-similiarity of memes and demes in defining and solving problems are self-similar in reflecting the quality and quanity of problem content. (Varying deme size is the essence of "level rights" to improve upon the distinction of states rights (depotism) and human rights (anarchy). But I digress ....
It is well known that memories of dreaming usually disappear within 15 minutes of the dream. That is, if you do not wake up within 15 minutes, you probably will not remember having dreamed. Of importance to the proposed concept of "rate of integration" (ROI) and understanding PTSD is how the rate of dream recall declines as the neural activity rises. Integration means combining different thoughts or objects into a single summary conclusion or over-riding memory of the moment.
A graph of REM sleep shows the drop into deep sleep with a gradual rise from it. Do the memories fade? Or, do our enlarging memes of awakeness preclude the smaller memes of sleep from dominating our consciousness? Is it akin to the aching in-grown toenail forgotten when we drop a anvil on the toe?
Assumptions were made by this writer in the early 1970's:
Memories are "stored" as patterns throughout the brain, particularly in the cortex. Think of clouds. Think of clouds at different altitudes scurrying in different directions. Think of big clouds of different sizes, shapes and colors with your predicting future weather based the clouds of today being similar to past cloud patterns.
If the rate of integation varies (aka level of consciousness) then the probability of recalling memories from another level varies based on the differences in the rates of integration or size of the memes. If you see small clouds and blue sky do you predict or think snow blizzard?
The rate of integration is effectively how many thoughts can be simultaneously processed to form and store the memory of the moment.
In integrating new sensory input and old sensory, the mind storage is like an abacus. At a lower ROI, one can only put only a limited number of beads compared to a higher ROI where more beads can be compared for a larger calculation, conclusion or memory. As to the beads of the on-going computation, it is like a new clouds pushing existing and old clouds out of your vision or mind.
If one takes a chemical stimulant to raise one's ROI, the stored memories
will be to larger to later recall/digest as a whole when later recalled like
the dreamer who integrates only parts of recent experiences. If unpleasant,
one has a self-feeding nightmare as one is not able to simultaneously integrate
the related factors that neutralize the negative thoughts.
This is an introduction to why PTSD is worsened by the military: In giving front-line combat troops chemical stimulants to stay awake and alert, the troops are storing their horrible experiences in larger than normal memories (or, memes, if you will). Later, at a lower rate of integration, they can recall only parts of the larger, whole meme.
It is good that troops be at their best or better when in life and death situation. But, as is the case, if they do not know that the recalled memories will be incomplete, distorted or jaggged, then their PTSD will be worse. They suffer partial recall like a person dreaming. It is like having a member of your unit in a firefight go down: Suddenly, your unit's cross-training and "I've got your back." is not all there ... a troubling thought. It is like being on drugs after surgery with a hateful attitude toward your loving, devoted husband who puts up with your slipping into recalling, exaggerating or manufacturing short-comings (been there, suffered that). You don't have the total comparable mindset (ROI) to integrate a logical, coherent picture to comfort you when you get stressed. Trying to recall what you know to have happened but suffering Sisyphipian slippage makes one very uncomfortable.
The military is aware of the memory problem and has inititated a multi-million dollar research into a pill for selective memory suppresion. Will never happen. Why? Because memories are stored, as they say in computing, as 'objects' which from a different level "do not compute."
The contrasts and differences of mental activity at different ROI can be used to explain numerous conditions that are defined as different but are variations of ROI differences in conjunction with sensory sensitivity. (You can be the most reclusive catatonic autist and I am sure you will respond when I hit your knee with a hammer.)
This writer believes the train of thought leading to the conclusion that the military worsens PTSD by prescribing stimulants (Modafinl/Provigil) to frontline combat troops is a conclusion with great merit. More merit can be found in extending this model of thinking to iCube (below) for human mentality and emotions. The most merit comes from realizing this models is applicable to all levels of existence as "Dynamic Density," to wit, the same model can not only unite relativity and quantum physics but explain gravity. Applying this mentality model to economics, politics and morality is a no-brainer.