Knowledge is a tree, not a conclusion, and it has been a tree for all of time. Sometime, however, it verboten in the Bible with a didactic “tale” apparently by oligarchs telling the average religious person to view the tree of knowledge and its information as verboten. This is the beginning of the limits and control of information necessary for oligarchic dominance, as opposed to capital-type control which is more commodity-based --though information is now a commodity as “intellectual property.” (With “intellectual” being a strong word for the slurry capital pumps into the population.)

The most important extension of this type of information control currently exists as academia with its early revival of control as the dialectic and didactic by academy founders Socrates and Plato in ancient Athens, and recently by Hegel to fit current capital. Important is that these instructors specifically used sexual abuse to control, which survived to our time as, for instance, the Aboriginal residence schools openly, and covertly elsewhere.

Causality is a rational reduction of the complexity of life saying that “if something happens in relation to something else, that something else caused the first thing.” As a rational reduction, it is a “dumbing-down” of all the highly sophisticade life-system that affect us. Knowledge is naturally structured both in society and in our minds in tree structures, also called “complex data structures” Personally, I have never been “causal” (I believe) because I have been influenced by aboriginal knowledge organization, and also abstract art and music early on as a child with access to all of New York’s museums and libraries (access has since been restricted to children.)

If I something is unavoidably causal, I say “simple math” --this causes that, w/o making a bid deal about it.

Empiricism is the scientific method (and system) built from causality and is considered the only (measurement) science, even by scientist who should know better. It suffers from being highly-fractured, as it is built from independent causal conclusions that also tend to be ego-vehicles from empiricist scientists. Another widely-misused term is “objective” as a synomym for “cruel” such that normal human thinking, such as the recollection of experiences, is excluded from empiricist conclusions; only empiricist numbers are used, often as an output of highly-purposed statistical systems. Dependance on statistics is such that statistics now often produce hypothesis and theory, that is validated by the same statistical systems. Information from other sources such as experience and observation, no matter how detailed, cannot test well against conclusive information produced specifically to test well by statistical systems. This statistical reality is most true for current control of the mind (both human and animal) in cognitive-behavioral strategies of CBT. Interestingly, in CBT, the dialectic method as the socratic method is also key for (as they say) “thought control.”

Objectivism, such as Ayn Rand’s and (current-capital’s) Adam Smith’s objectivism simply “objectify’s” people to make then inanimate numbers rather than feeling people to allow for capital exploitation. As it happens, capital-supporting empiricism, as info-oligarchic, also leverages this, and fills its capital-supportive role by defining and maintaining it as its own from of exploitation, originally sexual abuse.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Extinction for addiction: Conditioned compensatory response

Note: this describes a purely-behavioral approach, which, by the nature of behaviorism, deliberately ignores underlying factors such as addiction vulnerability (compulsive-impulsive-obsessive continuum?).  In practice, such approaches are unconcerned with specific clients seeking, instead, beneficial statistical outcomes for agency and directorial self-benefit.

Conditioned behavior is a key component of drug addiction, but the conditioned and unconditioned pairing stimuli and responses happen in different, or perhaps opposite, ways than would be expected from basic classical conditioning (J. Dyce, personal communication, n.d.).  In this case the conditioned response is called the conditioned compensatory response, and the conditioned stimulus is called a cue, which serves an important function in this model.  An accepted therapy for drug addiction uses another conditioned behavior process, extinction, in conjunction with this compensatory process.

Cues describe the components of an addict's environment; in lay terms, they serve as a reminder to the addict of his addiction.  As a conditioned stimulus, they stimulate craving for the drug that goes beyond a possible physical addiction, so much so that they cause craving when there is no physical addiction.

When extinction is used as a therapy, a recovering addict is exposed to the cues from his environment but not given the unconditioned stimulus, or drug, to create the unconditioned response, which is drug-induced euphoria.  Eventually, the effect of the cues, or the conditioned stimulus, to create the craving, or conditioned response, diminishes as a result of extinction, and the addict is cured of addiction--at least momentarily.  To maintain the therapeutic benefit of extinction, the addict has to avoid the cues, presumably by not returning to the drug-related cues of his past environment.

There are also internal cues, called pre-drug cues, that complicate the addict's experience and hopeful therapy by increasing tolerance and withdrawal symptoms (Siegel, 2005).  For example, drug-onset describes how a conditioned stimulus will cause a life-long alcoholic to relapse.  The taste of an alcoholic drink, a drug-onset cue, acts as a conditioned stimulus that is associated with the effect of alcohol that triggers the craving that defines addiction.

Siegel, S. (2005). Drug Tolerance, Drug Addiction, and Drug Anticipation. Current Directions in Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 14(6), 296-300. doi:10.1111/j.0963-7214.2005.00384.x.

Conditioned stimulus (CS cues) causes no response

Conditioned compensatory responses

1) Pre-condition
Conditioned stimulus (CS cues ) causes no response

Unconditioned stimulus (UCS drug ) causes unconditioned response (UCR euphoria )

Combine CS-cue with UCS-drug to cause UCR-euphoria

2) CS-cue causes CR-craving, does not modify UCR-euphoria to become CR-euphoria

3) CS-cue causes CR-craving (CR) to create behavior to get drug (UCR)


Gradual weakening of CR-craving (conditioned response) from CS-cue (conditioned stimulus) when no UCS-drug (unconditioned stimulus) is provided to cause UCR-euphoria (unconditioned response)

Tolerance is learned:
The stimuli present at the time of drug administration are the conditional stimulus (CS),
while the effect produced by the drug is the unconditional stimulus (UCS).
drug effects involve disruption of the homeostatic level of physiological systems (e.g., alcohol lowers body temperature), and these disruptions elicit compensatory responses that tend to restore functioning to normal levels.
The compensatory, restorative response to a drug effect is the unconditional response (UCR).
usual predrug cues coming to elicit as a conditional response (CR) the compensatory, restorative response

In order to eliminate a CR, it is necessary to present the CS not followed by the UCS, a procedure termed extinction.

Research indicates that the loss of tolerance occurs as a result of extinction of drug-compensatory CRs.

"Conditioned Tolerance." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. 2nd Ed. Ed. Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt. Macmillan-Thomson Gale, 2001.


Understanding the basis of drug addiction, along with applying therapies to treat it, relies on behavioral science. 
cues associated with drug use (friends, place, smells, behaviors prior to use) cause craving as a CR which is the opposite of the drug pleasure.

Extinction drug approach -- extinction, provide cues but no drugs so that the response to the cues goes away -- without UCS, cravings go away

 conditional response that opposes, rather than being the same as, the unconditional response

the conditioned compensatory responses produced by taking heroin oppose the desired effects of the drug.

When a drug is taken in a new environment, there will be less conditioned compensatory response and the drug will have an enhanced effect.

Drug use
cues associated with drug use (friends, place, smells, behaviors prior to use) cause craving which is a conditioned response CR which is craving -- which is not the drug (unlike food)

Hunger and drug are different because they use different bodily functions

Extinction drug approach -- extinction, provide cues but no drugs so that the response to the cues goes away -- without UCS, cravings go away


interoceptive early-drug onset cues (DOCs) may become associated with the later, larger drug effect (intraadministration associations)

The findings suggest that associative analyses of tolerance should acknowledge the conditional responding elicited by DOCs, and extinction-based addiction treatments should incorporate extinction of DOC-elicited conditional responding.


The phenomenon, although noted almost 150 years ago, has repeatedly been confirmed in epidemiological and experimental studies.

Siegel, S. (1999). Drug anticipation and drug addiction. The 1998 H. David Archibald Lecture. Addiction, 94(8), 1113-1124. doi:10.1080/09652149932901.

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