Vincent creates
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Vincent creates

Summary
Alfred Nemeczek reveals the chaotic, stressful is a multi-faceted condition reflecting high cortisol levels.  Dr. Robert Sapolsky's studies of baboons indicate that stress helps build readiness for fight or flight.  As these actions occur the levels of cortisol return to the baseline rate.  A stressor is anything that disrupts the regular homeostatic balance.  The stress response is the array of neural and endocrine changes that occur to respond effectively to the crisis and reestablish homeostasis. 
  • The short term response to the stressor
    • activates the amygdala which: Stimulates the brain stem resulting in inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system and activation of the sympathetic nervous system with the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine deployed around the body, Activates the PVN which generates a cascade resulting in glucocorticoid secretion to: get energy to the muscles with increased blood pressure for a powerful response.  The brain's acuity and cognition are stimulated.  The immune system is stimulated with beta-endorphin and repair activities curtail.  In order for the body to destroy bacteria in wounds, pro-inflammatory cytokines increase blood flow to the area.  The induced inflammation signals the brain to activate the insula and through it the ACC.  But when the stressor is
  • long term: loneliness, debt; and no action is necessary, or possible, long term damage ensues.  Damage from such stress may only occur in specific situations: Nuclear families coping with parents moving in.  Sustained stress provides an evolved amplifier of a position of dominance and status.  It is a strategy in female aggression used to limit reproductive competition.  Sustained stress:
    • Stops the frontal cortex from ensuring we do the harder thing, instead substituting amplification of the individual's propensity for risk-taking and impairing risk assessment! 
    • Activates the integration between the thalamus and amygdala. 
      • Acts differently on the amygdala in comparison to the frontal cortex and hippocampus: Stress strengthens the integration between the Amygdala and the hippocampus, making the hippocampus fearful. 
      • BLA & BNST respond with increased BDNF levels and expanded dendrites persistently increasing anxiety and fear conditioning. 
    • Makes it easier to learn a fear association and to consolidate it into long-term memory.  Sustained stress makes it harder to unlearn fear by making the prefrontal cortex inhibit the BLA from learning to break the fear association and weakening the prefrontal cortex's hold over the amygdala.  And glucocorticoids decrease activation of the medial prefrontal cortex during processing of emotional faces.  Accuracy of assessing emotions from faces suffers.  A terrified rat generating lots of glucocorticoids will cause dendrites in the hippocampus to atrophy but when it generates the same amount from excitement of running on a wheel the dendrites expand.  The activation of the amygdala seems to determine how the hippocampus responds. 
    • Depletes the nucleus accumbens of dopamine biasing rats toward social subordination and biasing humans toward depression. 
    • Disrupts working memory by amplifying norepinephrine signalling in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala to prefrontal cortex signalling until they become destructive.  It also desynchronizes activation in different frontal lobe regions impacting shifting of attention.  
    • Increases the risk of autoimmune disease (Jan 2017) 
  • During depression, stress inhibits dopamine signalling.  
  • Strategies for stress reduction include: Mindfulness. 
life of Vincent van Gogh in Arles. 

Nemeczek shows that Vincent was driven to create, and successfully invented new methods of representing feeling are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
in paintings, and especially portraits.  Vincent worked hard to allow artists like him-self to innovate is the economic realization of invention and combinatorial exaptation.  While highly innovative, monopolies: AT&T, IBM; usually have limited economic reach, constraining productivity.  This explains the use of regulation, or even its threat, that can check their power and drive the creations across the economy. 
.  But Vincent failed in this goal, collapsing into psychosis

Nemeczek also provides a brief history of Vincent's life

Following our summary of his main points, RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio frames the details from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS)
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
theory

 
Van Gogh in Arles
In Alfred Nemeczek's biographic study 'Van Gogh in Arles', Vincent van Gogh's hugely creative period in Arles is discussed. 

Nemeczek writes that Vincent came to Arles, an eccentric failure, on his fifth attempt to find out what he should be doing with his life, after: art dealer, lay preacher, book seller, pastor; all failures & now artist, to which he could bring his: patient and methodical approach, experiences as an art dealer, his acquaintance with old masters works from visits to galleries, his intense interest in clever painters, his discovery of Shakespeare, and his collection of reproductions of artists of the Barbizon and Hague. 

Vincent's study of art had raised three aspects on to a pedestal: Delacroix's use of color, the intonation of Jean-Francois Millet, and stylized Japanese woodcuts; which he was convinced provided a way forward to a new Renaissance. 

Even as a child, Vincent had suffered from 'the blues also termed manic-depression is an episodic developmental disorder beginning in late adolescence, which can stimulate great creativity during the manic phase and suicide in the depressive phase.  Vincent van Gough suffered from depression for much of his adult life, and killed himself at thirty seven.  He produced three hundred of his greatest art works, using color to convey mood, while struggling with psychotic depression and mania in the last two years of his life.  Only the first manic phase requires a significant positive or negative stressful situation.  Type I bipolar includes more manic situations which may include psychosis.  Type II does not include psychosis.  Some people suffer 'mixed state' where mania and depression occur at the same time.  Sleep deprivation activates the amygdala and can induce mania in some people with bipolar disorder.  It affects 3 million Americans.  The amygdala is more active in people with bipolar disorder.  Franz Kallman found identical twins are likely (70% chance) to share the disorder.  Genetic analysis of 2.3 million different regions of DNA of 9,747 people with bipolar disorder and 14,278 comparable people without, found five regions that appear connected with bipolar disorder.  Gene ADCY2, was identified, supports production of an enzyme facilitating neural signalling, and correlates with observed impairment of communication in certain brain regions in bipolar disorder.  GWAS implicate ANK3 and CACNA1C SNPs in bipolar disorder.  And de Novo mutations increase the risk.  Lithium limits the extremes of the mood swings in some patients but has side effects.  Anti-psychotic medications are prescribed.  .'  He described his symptoms "I am often terribly melancholy, irritable, hungering and thirsting, as it were, for sympathy; and when I do not get it, I try to act indifferently, speak sharply, and often even pour oil on the fire.  I do not like to be in company, and often find it painful and difficult to mingle with people, to speak with them." 

Van Gogh wrote to his sister, Wil, about how he responded to the stress is a multi-faceted condition reflecting high cortisol levels.  Dr. Robert Sapolsky's studies of baboons indicate that stress helps build readiness for fight or flight.  As these actions occur the levels of cortisol return to the baseline rate.  A stressor is anything that disrupts the regular homeostatic balance.  The stress response is the array of neural and endocrine changes that occur to respond effectively to the crisis and reestablish homeostasis. 
  • The short term response to the stressor
    • activates the amygdala which: Stimulates the brain stem resulting in inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system and activation of the sympathetic nervous system with the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine deployed around the body, Activates the PVN which generates a cascade resulting in glucocorticoid secretion to: get energy to the muscles with increased blood pressure for a powerful response.  The brain's acuity and cognition are stimulated.  The immune system is stimulated with beta-endorphin and repair activities curtail.  In order for the body to destroy bacteria in wounds, pro-inflammatory cytokines increase blood flow to the area.  The induced inflammation signals the brain to activate the insula and through it the ACC.  But when the stressor is
  • long term: loneliness, debt; and no action is necessary, or possible, long term damage ensues.  Damage from such stress may only occur in specific situations: Nuclear families coping with parents moving in.  Sustained stress provides an evolved amplifier of a position of dominance and status.  It is a strategy in female aggression used to limit reproductive competition.  Sustained stress:
    • Stops the frontal cortex from ensuring we do the harder thing, instead substituting amplification of the individual's propensity for risk-taking and impairing risk assessment! 
    • Activates the integration between the thalamus and amygdala. 
      • Acts differently on the amygdala in comparison to the frontal cortex and hippocampus: Stress strengthens the integration between the Amygdala and the hippocampus, making the hippocampus fearful. 
      • BLA & BNST respond with increased BDNF levels and expanded dendrites persistently increasing anxiety and fear conditioning. 
    • Makes it easier to learn a fear association and to consolidate it into long-term memory.  Sustained stress makes it harder to unlearn fear by making the prefrontal cortex inhibit the BLA from learning to break the fear association and weakening the prefrontal cortex's hold over the amygdala.  And glucocorticoids decrease activation of the medial prefrontal cortex during processing of emotional faces.  Accuracy of assessing emotions from faces suffers.  A terrified rat generating lots of glucocorticoids will cause dendrites in the hippocampus to atrophy but when it generates the same amount from excitement of running on a wheel the dendrites expand.  The activation of the amygdala seems to determine how the hippocampus responds. 
    • Depletes the nucleus accumbens of dopamine biasing rats toward social subordination and biasing humans toward depression. 
    • Disrupts working memory by amplifying norepinephrine signalling in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala to prefrontal cortex signalling until they become destructive.  It also desynchronizes activation in different frontal lobe regions impacting shifting of attention.  
    • Increases the risk of autoimmune disease (Jan 2017) 
  • During depression, stress inhibits dopamine signalling.  
  • Strategies for stress reduction include: Mindfulness. 
of his life: "The more ugly, old, vicious, ill, poor I get, the more I want to take my revenge by producing a brilliant color, well arranged, resplendent."  Nemeczek notes, Vincent never allowed him-self to be photographed as an adult. 

He was helped by his younger brother, Theo, who after Vincent fell out with the rest of his family, and his father died, was his main financial support, friend and confidant. 

He sent Theo any faint news of success, which Nemeczek highlights, was key to Vincent being able to feel that "his own thoughts and deeds were the result of serious intellectual reflection and reasoning," in an analysis by Roland Dorn.  Dorn questions the quality of Vincent's reflections as being conceptually imprecise, with a good deal of undisciplined thought.  Dorn concludes that "avoiding any very rigorous intellectual hold on the seemingly obvious had some dubious advantages: it allowed the artist to generalize his own personal experiences and to hide his own personal needs behind perfectly good reasons without having to face up to the now irrational, now sentimental, now idealistically utopian core of his thinking."  

Bold Ideas
Nemeczek explains that Vincent travelled to Arles with a goal: to help the plight of young Impressionist painters: Armand Guillaumin, Georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Camille Pissarro (the last two both bankrupt is a legal status for an entity that cannot repay its creditor's loans.  It holds creditor lawsuits in abeyance while the restructuring process proceeds to allow the entity to continue operations.  It also has legal tools for forcing holdout creditors to accept repayments that are lower than the bond sale initially promised. 
) and himself; by building a commune where they could support one another, and leveraging Theo, and hence his employer's resources, to push the commune's works to the buyers of art around the globe.  He hoped for the support of established older artists: Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Pissarro; who had benefited from a clever ruse by a dealer, where their paintings were shipped to the US, building some awareness of their names. 

Vincent reported to Theo, that his trip to Paris, made him "so seriously sick at heart and in body" that he had to go "off somewhere down south, to get away from the sight of so many painters that disgust me as men."  Here he meant the Salon system, which excluded his talented friends, controlled the training, management and organization of the art world and left artists struggling and stressed is a multi-faceted condition reflecting high cortisol levels.  Dr. Robert Sapolsky's studies of baboons indicate that stress helps build readiness for fight or flight.  As these actions occur the levels of cortisol return to the baseline rate.  A stressor is anything that disrupts the regular homeostatic balance.  The stress response is the array of neural and endocrine changes that occur to respond effectively to the crisis and reestablish homeostasis. 
  • The short term response to the stressor
    • activates the amygdala which: Stimulates the brain stem resulting in inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system and activation of the sympathetic nervous system with the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine deployed around the body, Activates the PVN which generates a cascade resulting in glucocorticoid secretion to: get energy to the muscles with increased blood pressure for a powerful response.  The brain's acuity and cognition are stimulated.  The immune system is stimulated with beta-endorphin and repair activities curtail.  In order for the body to destroy bacteria in wounds, pro-inflammatory cytokines increase blood flow to the area.  The induced inflammation signals the brain to activate the insula and through it the ACC.  But when the stressor is
  • long term: loneliness, debt; and no action is necessary, or possible, long term damage ensues.  Damage from such stress may only occur in specific situations: Nuclear families coping with parents moving in.  Sustained stress provides an evolved amplifier of a position of dominance and status.  It is a strategy in female aggression used to limit reproductive competition.  Sustained stress:
    • Stops the frontal cortex from ensuring we do the harder thing, instead substituting amplification of the individual's propensity for risk-taking and impairing risk assessment! 
    • Activates the integration between the thalamus and amygdala. 
      • Acts differently on the amygdala in comparison to the frontal cortex and hippocampus: Stress strengthens the integration between the Amygdala and the hippocampus, making the hippocampus fearful. 
      • BLA & BNST respond with increased BDNF levels and expanded dendrites persistently increasing anxiety and fear conditioning. 
    • Makes it easier to learn a fear association and to consolidate it into long-term memory.  Sustained stress makes it harder to unlearn fear by making the prefrontal cortex inhibit the BLA from learning to break the fear association and weakening the prefrontal cortex's hold over the amygdala.  And glucocorticoids decrease activation of the medial prefrontal cortex during processing of emotional faces.  Accuracy of assessing emotions from faces suffers.  A terrified rat generating lots of glucocorticoids will cause dendrites in the hippocampus to atrophy but when it generates the same amount from excitement of running on a wheel the dendrites expand.  The activation of the amygdala seems to determine how the hippocampus responds. 
    • Depletes the nucleus accumbens of dopamine biasing rats toward social subordination and biasing humans toward depression. 
    • Disrupts working memory by amplifying norepinephrine signalling in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala to prefrontal cortex signalling until they become destructive.  It also desynchronizes activation in different frontal lobe regions impacting shifting of attention.  
    • Increases the risk of autoimmune disease (Jan 2017) 
  • During depression, stress inhibits dopamine signalling.  
  • Strategies for stress reduction include: Mindfulness. 
at best, destitute more generally.  Even when artists sold a creation, it realized little for them, the leverage was achieved as it passed through the dealer network building profits. 

Modern Paintings
Nemeczek writes that there is snow in Arles when Vincent first arrives.  Vincent recalls the Japanese representation of snow topped mountains which inspires his initial landscapes in the techniques he learned in Paris.  Then as spring begins Vincent takes the opportunity to paint fruit trees using both Impressionist and Pointillist techniques.  His ability to shift, challenges people's ideas about technique.  Vincent draws a variety of scenes, drawing at great speed, while demonstrating precision, control and drive of one of the great graphic artists.  He is driven by fear that he will be overcome by depression is a debilitating episodic state of extreme sadness, typically beginning in late teens or early twenties. This is accompanied by a lack of energy and emotion, which is facilitated by genetic predisposition - for example genes coding for relatively low serotonin levels, estrogen sensitive CREB-1 gene which increases women's incidence of depression at puberty; and an accumulation of traumatic events.  There is a significant risk of suicide: depression is involved in 50% of the 43,000 suicides in the US, and 15% of people with depression commit suicide.  Depression is the primary cause of disability with about 20 million Americans impacted by depression at any time.  There is evidence of shifts in the sleep/wake cycle in affected individuals (Dec 2015).  The affected person will experience a pathological sense of loss of control, prolonged sadness with feelings of hopelessness, helplessness & worthlessness, irritability, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, and inability to experience pleasure.  Michael Pollan concludes depression is fear of the past.  It affects 12% of men and 20% of women.  It appears to be associated with androgen deprivation therapy treatment for prostate cancer (Apr 2016).  Chronic stress depletes the nucleus accumbens of dopamine, biasing humans towards depression.  Depression easily leads to following unhealthy pathways: drinking, overeating; which increase the risk of heart disease.   It has been associated with an aging related B12 deficiency (Sep 2016).  During depression, stress mediates inhibition of dopamine signalling.  Both depression and stress activate the adrenal glands' release of cortisol, which will, over the long term, impact the PFC.  There is an association between depression and additional brain regions: Enlarged & more active amygdala, Hippocampal dendrite and spine number reductions & in longer bouts hippocampal volume reductions and memory problems, Dorsal raphe nucleus linked to loneliness, Defective functioning of the hypothalamus undermining appetite and sex drive, Abnormalities of the ACC.  Mayberg notes ACC area 25: serotonin transporters are particularly active in depressed people and lower the serotonin in area 25 impacting the emotion circuit it hubs, inducing bodily sensations that patients can't place or consciously do anything about; and right anterior insula: which normally generates emotions from internal feelings instead feel dead inside; are critical in depression.  Childhood adversity can increase depression risk by linking recollections of uncontrollable situations to overgeneralizations that life will always be terrible and uncontrollable.  Sufferers of mild autism often develop depression.  Treatments include: CBT which works well for cases with below average activity of the right anterior insula (mild and moderate depression), UMHS depression management, deep-brain stimulation of the anterior insula to slow firing of area 25.  Drug treatments are required for cases with above average activity of the right anterior insula.  As of 2010 drug treatments: SSRIs (Prozac), MAO, monoamine reuptake inhibitors; take weeks to facilitate a response & many patients do not respond to the first drug applied, often prolonging the agony.  By 2018, Kandel notes, Ketamine is being tested as a short term treatment, as it acts much faster, reversing the effect of cortisol in stimulating glutamate signalling, and because it reverses the atrophy induced by chronic stress.   Genomic predictions of which treatment will be effective have not been possible because: Not all clinical depressions are the same, a standard definition of drug response is difficult; and stop producing.  For the remainder of his life this fear is not realized.  Vincent brilliantly mixes hatching from the pen with the unmarked paper. 

Vincent rated highly the Harvest landscape, which he compared to all the other works he developed at the same period.  But it is still an exercise in technique.  The Millet inspired Sower with Setting Sun, developed as a study for a larger picture, introduces a new strategy, associated with his observations of Japanese art: Vincent shifts the colors, making the sky yellow, earth violet and yellow, the sun painted chrome yellow no 1 with just a little white; making the sun a radiant object for the first time. 

Nemeczek notes that Vincent has a method, he aims to use: drawing, study, picture; which as usual he explains in his letters.  Nemeczek highlights the creative need for the correspondence, since the ideas behind Vincent's new form of art were developed in isolation, but the ideas must be introduced to the viewers

Real Life
Vincent finds it impossible to understand the Provencale dialect spoken by the people of Arles, and so is isolated and lonely, but for his correspondence with Theo, Wil and Bernard.  He seems more negative and writes that the artist and whore are both exiled from society.  He gives up on the idea of succeeding in his quest.  He still paints, but in an attempt to remove his suffering.  He is disappointed with God's design of the world, equating it to one of his failed practice sessions. 

Theo reflects in a note to Wil, that Vincent is two different people: one hugely talented, fine and tender; the other egotistic and hard-hearted. 

Vincent worries about:
  • Theo's health, and his job
  • Vincent's health.  He has: eye strain, toothache, lack of appetite, stomach pain;
  • Wil
  • Loneliness trapped not understanding.  Bernard and Paul Gauguin would exchange pictures with Vincent.  Theo takes advantage of Gauguin's debt to incent him to spend time in Arles working with Vincent. 
  • Gauguin's visit.  When Vincent hears of Gauguin's planned visit he feels compelled to accelerate the production of his art. 

Truer colors
Nemeczek explains that, over time living in Arles, Vincent found a number of people who would sit for portraits.  He identifies three approaches to painting portraits: start from the soul is an ancient concept that was eternal according to Plato.  In his cave analogy he promotes the ideal and the sensory which highlights the dualism of soul and body.  The soul was eternal - being simple, pure and generated by the creator.  Bodies were associated with souls by gods at birth.  Epicurus argued that souls were constructed from atoms, were complex and died.  CAS theory likens:
  • 'souls' to schematic strings, and 'bodies' to organisms, and
  • 'souls' to the mind's well known entities: amygdala, insula etc, and the 'bodies' to the percepts & representations that the well known entities become conscious hubs for; which agrees in part with both positions. 
, start from the clothes, or focus on the infinitely beautiful nature; and he selects to paint the most beautiful representation.  In so doing Vincent creates a new color symbolism:
Nemeczek notes that today we find no conflict in viewing these emotional are low level fast unconscious agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The cerebellum and basal ganglia support the integration of emotion and motor functions, rewarding rhythmic movement.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism. 
masterpieces, proving Vincent right in his choices.  But Vincent was becoming obsessed with working: Sunflowers, Bedroom, Stage coach; a set of work Vincent viewed as forming one whole when hung correctly, to prepare the Yellow House for the arrival of Gauguin, and demonstrate Vincent's progress. 

A complete void
Nemeczek describes Vincent becoming stressed is a multi-faceted condition reflecting high cortisol levels.  Dr. Robert Sapolsky's studies of baboons indicate that stress helps build readiness for fight or flight.  As these actions occur the levels of cortisol return to the baseline rate.  A stressor is anything that disrupts the regular homeostatic balance.  The stress response is the array of neural and endocrine changes that occur to respond effectively to the crisis and reestablish homeostasis. 
  • The short term response to the stressor
    • activates the amygdala which: Stimulates the brain stem resulting in inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system and activation of the sympathetic nervous system with the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine deployed around the body, Activates the PVN which generates a cascade resulting in glucocorticoid secretion to: get energy to the muscles with increased blood pressure for a powerful response.  The brain's acuity and cognition are stimulated.  The immune system is stimulated with beta-endorphin and repair activities curtail.  In order for the body to destroy bacteria in wounds, pro-inflammatory cytokines increase blood flow to the area.  The induced inflammation signals the brain to activate the insula and through it the ACC.  But when the stressor is
  • long term: loneliness, debt; and no action is necessary, or possible, long term damage ensues.  Damage from such stress may only occur in specific situations: Nuclear families coping with parents moving in.  Sustained stress provides an evolved amplifier of a position of dominance and status.  It is a strategy in female aggression used to limit reproductive competition.  Sustained stress:
    • Stops the frontal cortex from ensuring we do the harder thing, instead substituting amplification of the individual's propensity for risk-taking and impairing risk assessment! 
    • Activates the integration between the thalamus and amygdala. 
      • Acts differently on the amygdala in comparison to the frontal cortex and hippocampus: Stress strengthens the integration between the Amygdala and the hippocampus, making the hippocampus fearful. 
      • BLA & BNST respond with increased BDNF levels and expanded dendrites persistently increasing anxiety and fear conditioning. 
    • Makes it easier to learn a fear association and to consolidate it into long-term memory.  Sustained stress makes it harder to unlearn fear by making the prefrontal cortex inhibit the BLA from learning to break the fear association and weakening the prefrontal cortex's hold over the amygdala.  And glucocorticoids decrease activation of the medial prefrontal cortex during processing of emotional faces.  Accuracy of assessing emotions from faces suffers.  A terrified rat generating lots of glucocorticoids will cause dendrites in the hippocampus to atrophy but when it generates the same amount from excitement of running on a wheel the dendrites expand.  The activation of the amygdala seems to determine how the hippocampus responds. 
    • Depletes the nucleus accumbens of dopamine biasing rats toward social subordination and biasing humans toward depression. 
    • Disrupts working memory by amplifying norepinephrine signalling in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala to prefrontal cortex signalling until they become destructive.  It also desynchronizes activation in different frontal lobe regions impacting shifting of attention.  
    • Increases the risk of autoimmune disease (Jan 2017) 
  • During depression, stress inhibits dopamine signalling.  
  • Strategies for stress reduction include: Mindfulness. 
at Paul Gauguin's planned arrival.  Vincent responds by increasing his production of pieces of art.  Gauguin, who is visiting under sufferance, incented to come by Theo, finds Vincent behaving oddly.  They paint together and visit Montpellier to study and discuss works by Delacroix and Courbet.  Vincent feels the distance between them and paints their two chairs, including signals, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
of their dissonance.  Vincent suffers a psychotic are diseases of the brain which impact the patient's models of reality and their ability to differentiate illusion from reality.  Anti-psychotic medications are prescribed: Risperdal; attack, cuts off his ear, enters a hospital and Gauguin leaves. 

Vincent is seen as dangerous by the people of Arles.  They have him committed again, although he is subsequently released.  Vincent checks into a sanatorium where he remains for a year.  All the while, Vincent continues creating art, until he mortally injures himself. 


This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
comparison and analysis suggests various contributors to Vincent van Gogh's creation of artistic masterpieces:


Van Gogh bibliographic notes:

Alfred Nemeczek's focused study highlights the dramatic creativity of Van Gogh. 




























































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This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
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  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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