I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

472. Instincts, Choice And The Frontal Lobe

472.    Instincts, Choice And The Frontal Lobe

I have been speculating before, that human behavior is the result of an instinctive urge either overridden by rationality or not.     

An example: 
  • A man can be promiscuous, when he only follows his instinctive urges.
  • A man can be monogamous because he has no strong innate urges determining him to ruthless promiscuity.   One woman is all he feels a need for.
  • A man can be monogamous in spite of innate instinctive urges to use any accessible female body.   His rational long term thinking allows him to consider detrimental consequences of promiscuity and to choose monogamy in defiance of his instincts.   
This was a vague concept, while only interpreting behavior.   But there is a part of the brain, which in fact is the tool to supply the inhibition for the willpower to act in accordance with rational choices. 
"The orbitofrontal cortex is concerned with response inhibition, impulse control, and social behaviour"

The frontal lobe is the part of the brain directly behind the forehead. It is responsible for providing inhibition, essentially censoring any impulse to say or do anything, and now appears to be also related to many aspects of personality, particularly a person's sense of self.

Rationality allows a man to consider the long term consequences of either resisting or succumbing to his instincts.   The frontal lobe is the tool to enforce his rational decision and control the instinctive urges.  
Promiscuity is just one example of an innate urge, that is detrimental to either the self or others and therefore is in need of being inhibited by rationally defined self-control.  
Conscious rationality as a part of the unique human cognition allows humans the choice between acting by instinct or in defiance to instincts.  The frontal lobe enables them to enforce the choice.

Since there are wide differences between the self-control of different people, it seems plausible to assume a bell curve distribution of individual differences in the strength of the successful inhibitory powers of the frontal lobe.   

The unique ability to override instincts has evolved in humans for very logical reasons.  
Animals act by instinct without any awareness for causing harm.   But they also suffer subjectively less when harmed than do humans.   Animals only suffer physical pain and discomforts like fear in the moment of the danger.   

Along with the evolution of cognition, only humans have evolved a sensitivity to non-physical pain, that can be strong enough to devastate, traumatize and disable someone completely.    Such pain can be caused by the indirect and non-physical impact of others.   Humiliation, betrayal, disappointment are just a few examples.   Long term memory prolongs the effect of such pains over a long time.   Prediction of future events causes feelings like anxiety or grief in anticipation.  

As a result, being the target of the same instinctive behavior causes a human today much more suffering than it did to our ancestors some million years ago.    What did not have any impact upon them, can devastate people today.      Our animal ancestors before evolving cognition did not suffer any harm by the promiscuity of the mate, due to lacking the cognitive ability to get emotionally attached to a specific person.   Today being cheated upon can seriously harm a person. 
Had humans only evolved more sensitivity to non-physical pain without also co-evolving a compensation, the human species would long ago have been distinct due to disabling emotional sufferings.   Therefore the ability for inhibition and self-control in the frontal lobe has co-evolved together with cognition.   

The co-evolution of loving attachment and monogamy are an example.   
Animals mate by instinctive selection of a mate suitable for healthy offspring.   
The evolution of cognition included the evolution of a growing ability to distinguish other humans as individuals, enabling humans to perceive and recognize non-physical qualities.   Getting attracted to a unique person enabled couples to get bonded by emotional attachment and love.   The wish for exclusivity was the logical consequence.   
But this mental wish to be exclusive did not diminish the instinctive urge of most men and a few women to be promiscuous.   The general low instinctive urge to procreate did not contribute to the gene pool.  
As a consequence instinctive behavior was experienced as more and more hurting and thus disruptive to the same evolution of cognition, that also caused the technological progress.   Natural selection solved this by the evolution of the frontal lobe to control the instincts.   
The monogamous couple was emotionally more stable and healthy.   Their focusing in cooperation on raising their offspring had an advantage in procreative fitness over the couple, in which one, usually the man, cheated.  
While promiscuity in male animals usually was a method to spread their genes most successfully, the emotional consequences changed this in humans.  Emotional damage has detrimental consequences upon the mate and as a consequence upon the reproductive success.   The man, who cheats, has less chances to have not only physically but also emotionally and mentally healthy offspring.   Therefore the ability to inhibit the impulse to promiscuity evolved in the frontal lobe by natural selection as being the best non-physical trait contributing to fitness.     

But it is an ongoing evolution, that has not reached the quality of inhibitions stopping all men from being jerks.  While happy couples sharing the burden of raising children give them the best start in life, therefore they are those contributing innate monogamy to the gene pool, there are still many jerks forcing and manipulating women into raising unwanted children, this still maintains also the lack of inhibition in the gene pool.