Synthesism pt. 4 “I” #2 the Body

I. somatic awareness
a. brain areasomatosensory/gustatory/motor cortices, hypothalamus, parietal lobe
b. organ systemskin and digestive
c. neurotransmitter(s)opioid
i. psychological construct(s)taste, temperature, psychophysics, mind-body connection
ii. emotional spectrumwarm/fuzzy-cold/sharp
iii. diseases/disordersIBS, chronic pain, fever, hypothermia
d. developmental stage6 mos.-2 yrs. (until walking); safety (Maslow); attachment model created; sensorimotor (Piaget)
e. lifecycle stagethird trimester to birth
f. evolutionary stageprokaryotes, bacteria & fungi
g. cosmological stageplanets & stars forming
h. space-time/info. gathered/learningspace-time; the body; assessing for light, temp., food, inanimate dangers; healthy-unhealthy; short term/one-time acquisition & short-term retention/behavior change (& long term from mistakes)
i. Behaviortaking control of reflexes, locomotion, eating/drinking, stop/drop/roll; input and behavior strongly linked
j. personphysical; hunger drive; pain; temperature
k. environmentinanimate and slow-moving foods and dangers and benefits
l. chakra2. svadhisthana
m. sephirot10. yesod – foundation
n. colorbrown/orange
o. Freudian concept/phaseid/anal stage
p. OCEAN traitsn/a

The first of the self-aware machine’s systems that feels (though being awake feels a certain way) in the traditional sense and does not simply see, the somatic self is easy to identify with and as an evolved system is in charge of sustenance and avoiding bodily harm and moving through space. The somatic or bodily self is similar to or overlaps with the on/off system in that space-time is physical space and time though with the somatic self it is not just the dimensions of space but the implications of the space for locomotion like cliffs and sharp objects, and for physical comfort, like textures and gradients of temperature and part per million. Skin and the gut are in fact continuous with each other and the gut and skin can both feel pain; the gut simply being inner skin and vise versa.

Building on the assessment of the environment made by self number one that 60 times/second tells us the dimensions of space around us and what the separate objects are, the bodily self feels hunger, thirst, temperature and touch and thus overlays on top of width, height, and depth, texture, temperature and the implications of objects that can increase or decrease physical comfort. There are two drives at play here, homeostasis, not being too hot or cold or in an environment that is too soft or rough and the negative drive states of thirst and hunger that we move through literal space-time towards.

Input-output-wise, this system has no long-term memory but makes immediate changes to its location based on how far it is or close it is to a heat source or source of food, for example. Its only memories are in scars from miscalculations, ulcers from bad food, etc. Space-time is not only the surrounding space but a map of the feeling body. There are two environments, one’s body and the physical environment, with implications for this body if it moves. Will it move closer to homeostasis and lack of hunger or danger or non-digestible? The question here is: do humans learn the hard way or through instruction only what to approach, what burns, what is sharp, what is edible, and can we imagine non-domesticated humans that had an innate sense that, for example, I should not move toward denser noxious particles but rather away on a gradient toward less densely CO-filled air without long-term memory of cultured humans?

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