A Basic and Applied Model of the Body–Mind System



The first part of the chapter describes recent attempts to integrate biopsychosocial theories. Integrative theories differ by emphasizing some particular subsets of ideas from the range of neuroscientifically relevant domains of knowledge. Each favors some particular combination of ideas from evolution, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, ethology, cybernetics, neurology, neuropharmacology, neuropsychology and, developmental, cognitive, social, and organizational psychology. The second part of the chapter describes an application of my theory. Specifically, a scheme for characterizing biopsychosocial states is described. It considers variables of the autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic tone and sympathetic arousal), subjective experiences of thought and feeling, and overt behavior. For clarity, the applied model considers only three levels of sympathetic arousal and three levels of parasympathetic tone (high, average, and low). The result is nine sorts of somatopsychic conditions, or “prototype states:” three statistically normal, three pathological, and three highly competent. I think misattribution of sympathetic arousal underlies most forms of psychopathology, especially somatoform disorders like hypochondria and chronic pain, and cognitive disorders involving the regulation of focal attention. By definition, cognitive and motivational theories need to be integrated to explain how the mind and brain are in constant, mutual, bidirectional, causal relationships. Affective neuroscience is insufficient as a foundation for building an integrative mind–body theory because it has no real concepts for understanding the neocortical processing of semantic concepts. And, these are the most powerful controlling agencies of the person.


Neuropsychoanalysis Psychopharmacology Normal mental states Psychopathology Semantic concepts Feelings 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Board of Medical PsychologyAlbuquerqueUSA

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