From Big Medical Encyclopedia

SUBTOUCH PROCESSES (Latin the sub-prefix under + sensus feeling, feeling) — the kind of mental activity of the person which is carried out without participation of consciousness at the unconscious level. The so-called not clear, vague feelings caused by extramental external irritants, and also irritations from internals or the skeletal and muscular device belong to S. of the item («dark feelings», according to I. M. Sechenov); the automated skills and the movements made without participation of consciousness; behavioural, emotional, vegetative, bioelectric and other reactions to extramental external stimuluses.

The fact of impact on mental functions of extramental irritants was found by N. P. Suslova in an experiment in 1862 long before creation of the psychoanalytic theory and the lab was confirmed by many. and wedge, data. Therefore it is wrong to consider the idea about unconscious in mentality of the person unacceptable for scientific thinking, irrational, idealistic, directly connected with doctrines of Freudian sense (see. Freydizm ) or parapsychology (see). V. I. Lenin in «Philosophical notebooks» wrote down: «Our life, quite conscious, makes only very limited part of all set of our psychological activity. It is as if the center of a light projection around which wider area of the half-shade which is gradually passing into an absolute gloom is located. The ancient psychology made very large mistake, considering psychological activity only quite conscious activity» (V. I. Lenin, Half-N of SOBR. soch., 5th prod., t. 29, page 507).

Majority sovr. psychologists, psychophysiologists and psychiatrists consider real unconscious reflection of the outside world in mentality of the person and consider action of extramental incentives from the environment as the major factor in the organization of mental activity. Information on the outside world coming to a brain is processed in a brain at the different levels of its organization with preservation of a possibility of switching of nervous impulses to effectors on the lowest links of mental integration. The automated behavior can be an example, at Krom in process of consolidation of skills the increasing part of the specific information arriving from the outside begins to be processed and switch to effector system at the subtouch level of the nervous organization without participation of consciousness.

Development of reactions to subjectively extramental external signals is promoted by decrease in excitability of analyzers (e.g., at hysteria, an injury, owing to derivation of attention, exhaustion, action pharm. the drugs oppressing functional cortical activity, etc.). The effect of extramental words or other external signals is shown if they are emotionally significant also the level of motivation or emotional pressure of the subject is rather high. For preservation in long-term memory of the person of the temporary communication developed at «the unconscious level» participation of an emotional and motivational component is obligatory (see. Memory ). These temporary bonds serve fiziol. a basis of a number of the unconscious mental phenomena receiving sometimes mystical or parapsychological interpretation: «intuitive conclusion», «an unconscious inclination», «unconscious motives». Action of extramental emotionally significant irritants is shown only in cases of increase in thresholds of their understanding (a phenomenon of «protection of perception», or «psychological protection»). If separate syllables, words in the past were combined with a painful irritant or with unpleasant emotional experience, then thresholds of their understanding are much higher, than the syllables, words which are not associated with negative emotion. At similar states or circumstances there can be «unaccountable», «causeless», «endogenous» emotions, without understanding of their reason or an occasion when the person does not understand why its mood was changed. Apparently, emotions (see) evolve from mechanisms of an uslovnoreflektorny affect memory without participation of specifically human slovesnologichesky memory.

Extramental perception and «protection of perception» — two interconnected mental phenomena having considerably the general neurophysiological basis. Extramental perception assumes existence in a brain fiziol. the mechanisms participating in reactions to very weak, extramental, but psychologically significant irritants. Structures are at the same time excited limbic system (see), participating in the organization of emotions or motivations (see). Excitement of structures of limbic system on the mechanism of a brake feed-back leads to oppression of functional activity of cortical system of conscious perceptions (see). As anatomic substrate for formation of temporary bonds serves the powerful yarn, going from touch speech areas to a motorium of Brock (see. Cerebral cortex ). In electrophysiologic researches it is revealed that the caused cortical potentials on the conditional incentives combined with the extramental emotsiogenny word as a result of action of the return brake communication are oppressed diffuzno in both hemispheres, but is stronger in left, in its zadneassotsiativny subarea. Owing to braking of bark the threshold of understanding of conditioned excitators raises. The last at the «unconscious» level can have uslovnoreflektorny effect, causing unaccountable emotional experience with the corresponding somatovegetativny and bioelectric reactions. Existence of the similar mechanism of negative return temporary communication explains a phenomenon «replacement in subconscious» the unpleasant vital phenomena.

The scientific understanding of extramental perception has nothing in common with telepathy, i.e. transfer of thoughts at distance from the inductor to the recipient without impact on sense bodys of the last. There are no reliable, scientifically established facts about a similar way of information transfer. It is experimentally proved what word though it is explicit also extramental the subject, can cause specific bioelectric and vegetative reactions, change psikhol. installation, motivation to exert impact on the maintenance of dreams, imaginations, on character of assessment and storing of the subsequent events. At the same time they are not able to change significantly his behavior or to influence the choice of certain objects. Decision-making in the field of any activity can be carried out without understanding of the external signals causing this mental process on the mechanism of a conditioned reflex (see), but the temporary bonds developed at the same time are unstable and remain only in short-term memory.

Cortical regulation of the unaccountable emotions and motivations (see) caused by extramental incentives at right-handed persons is carried out by preferential right hemisphere. In favor of this assumption there is a number of arguments. So, it is known that at the isolated submission of visual information in the right hemisphere at completely broken bonds between big cerebral hemispheres visual information is not realized, though its ultimate semantic analysis is carried out. The patient rather adequately reacts to visual and speech signals, pronounces separate words, but is not capable to their organization in offers. As other argument in favor of specificity of function of the right hemisphere serves the fact that patients with organic lesion of parietooccipital area of the right hemisphere have almost no figurative dreams, and in a bystry phase of a dream (see) when there is the greatest probability of dreams (see), more expressed activation of the right hemisphere is registered. According to a hypothesis Geylin (R. S. Galin, 1974), at the healthy person mental processes in the right hemisphere under certain conditions can functionally be isolated from the left hemisphere by the selection braking of transfer of nervous impulses through a corpus collosum and other structures of a brain. On the basis of such neurophysiological mechanism there is probably also a process «replacement in subconscious». The preferential role of the right hemisphere comes to light not at all forms of extramental mental activity. In particular, extramental perception of verbal irritants, neutral and emotionally significant, is carried out at close interaction of both hemispheres, each of to-rykh makes the contribution to complete function.

Thus, the neurophysiological research C. of the item, studying of the substrate which is the cornerstone of their manifestations shows that the unconscious mental phenomena have quite certain material, neurophysiological basis, to-ruyu it is possible to investigate experimentally. Results of similar researches, to-rye are treated from nauchnomaterialistichesky positions of physiology of century of N of, on the basis of the principles of a determinism, allow to consider that existence of subtouch processes is an important factor in the organization of complete mental activity of the person.

See also Higher nervous activity .

Bibliography: Unconscious, the nature, functions, methods of a research, under the editorship of A.S. Prangishvili, etc., t. 1 — 4, Tbilisi, 1978; Gershuni G. V. Studying of subtouch reactions at activity of sense bodys, Fiziol. zhurn. USSR, t. 33, century 4, page 393, 1947; To about with t and N-d about in E. A. Perception and emotions, M., 1977, bibliogr.; Cerebral correlates of conscious experience, ed. by P. A. Buser a. A. Rouge-ul-Ruser, Amsterdam, 1978.

E. A. Kostandov.