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Flashcards in Body Knows The Score Deck (25):

Decreased activity in the prefrontal lobe: Less logic and more impulsive behavior.

• Digestive track- slowing down viscera/collapse.
• Executive functioning is disengaged.
• Adrenal glands release cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine.
• Thyroid: When any kind of stress cues the brain, it releases corticotropin- release hormone (CRH) tells the pituitary gland to signal adrenal glands to make cortisol. Continued stress lowers T 3 resulting in weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, poor concentration, cold intolerance, depression, and infertility.
• Communication from the brain to the facial muscles: communicating the need for defense and protection.
• Heart, lung and larynx: increased oxygen for fight or flight.


Decreased activity in the prefrontal lobe: learned helplessness

• Inescapable repeated trauma: Martin Seligman’s learned helplessness experiment.
• Long term stressful situations continue the fight/flight/freeze signal and the individual has a decrease in activity in the frontal lobe.
• Continued secretion of stress hormones is expressed as agitation, and panic and, in the long term wreaks havoc with our physical and mental health.


Decreased activity in the prefrontal lobe: traumatic reenactment

•-compulsions to repeat-Freud called these:The unconscious attempt to get control of the situation so that it could lead to mastery and resolution.
• Strong emotions can shut off prefrontal lobe/ brain manufactures moraphinelike substances to face the challenge.
• Brain remember these strong chemicals/seeks to return to source of pain and pleasure. Anxiety relieved by returning to trauma.
• Fear and aversion can be transformed into pleasure.
• Brain becomes habituated or addicted to trauma.


Increased activity in the limbic system: more emotion and anxiety. Emotion trumps reason

• High road: Pathway to frontal cortex (somewhat slow-watchtower).
• Images and trauma memory activate the right side of the brain (emotion and nutrition) and decrease the left side (logic and reasoning).
• Low road: Pathway to the amygdala (blazing fast smoke-detector).


Trauma lowers brain soothing serotonin

• Sensitivity of the amygdala is depended upon the amount of serotonin in the brain.
• Animals with low serotonin levels were hyperactive to stressful stimuli, while higher levels dampened their fears systems making them less likely to be aggressive or frozen in response to potential threats.
• Higher dominate monkeys have higher serotonin levels than lower ranking animals. Giving serotonin increased monkey status.
• Implications of supplements and SSRIs


Decreased activity in Broca’s region: communication is halted (the “silent scream”)

• Victims of assaults and accidents sit mute and frozen in emergency rooms: traumatized children “lose their tongues” and refuse to speak. Photographs of combat soldiers show hollow-eyed men staring mutely into a void. Some believe that is why children struggle to use words to explain their traumatic experience.


When past troubling visual images are replayed

-Increased activity in the visual cortex


The smoke alarm goes off and the body goes into overdrive later even a whiff of smoke will set it off. What happens?

• Adrenaline (epinephrine) is one of the hormones that is critical to help us fight back or flee in the face of danger.
• Increased adrenaline
1. Raises blood pressure
2. Speeds up the heart
3. Increases breathing
4. Heightens our senses
5. Dilates pupils


The smoke alarm goes off and the body goes into overdrive.

• Normal people react and return to normal when the threat is over.
• The stress hormone in traumatized people takes much longer to return to normal and spike quickly and disproportionately in response to mildly stressful stimuli. The insidious effects of constantly elevated stress hormones include memory and attention problems, irritability and sleep disorders.
• They also contribute to many long-term health issues.


Trauma even changes the immune system.

-incest survivors had abnormalities in their CD45 RA- to- RO ratio,
-CD45 cells are the “memory cells” of the immune system
-RA-to-RO ratio is the balance between cells that recognize known toxins and cells that wait for new information to activate.
-histories of incest, the proportions of RA that are ready to pounce is larger than normal. This makes the immune system oversensitive to threat, so that it is prone to mount a defense when none is needed, even when this means attacking the body’s own cells.


Trauma can turn genes on and off

-Life events trigger biochemical messages that turn genes on or off
- done by attaching methyl groups, a cluster of carbon and hydrogen atoms, to the outside of the gene (methylation) making them more sensitive to messages from the body.
-Methylation patterns can be passed to offspring- this is called epigenetics.


Canadian study of the kappa opioid receptor gene.

• This post mortem study showed that those with child abuse had lower hydroxymethylation of an introm of the variant of the Kappa opioid receptor in the anterior insula leading to a decrease of the variant.
• means key receptors in the opioid system of the body are affected by abuse. The end result is the body changes in response to how it handles stress and disorganizes individuals’ responses to change.
• The bottom line is that child abuse can change how individuals handle stress and how they adapt.


The timekeeper collapse and the thalamus shuts down

• The overwhelming experience is split off and fragmented, so that the emotions, sounds and images, thoughts and physical sensations related to the trauma take on a life of their own. Flashbacks: replay of the trauma rather than letting the individual decide what they choose to focus on.
• Victims of childhood sexual abuse may anesthetize their sexuality, then feel intensively ashamed if they become excited by sensations or images that they recall their molestation, even when those sensations are natural pleasures associated with particular parts of the body.
• If trauma survivors are forced to discuss their experiences, one person’s blood pressure may increase while another responds with the beginning of a headache. Still others may shut down emotionally and not feel any obvious changes. However, in the lab we have no trouble detecting their racing hearts and the stress hormone churning through their bodies.


The brains most important task is survival:

Brain from bottom to top is interrupted by trauma
• Generate internal signals that register what our bodies need such as food, rest, protection, sex and shelter.
• Create a map of the world to point us where to go to satisfy those needs.
• Generate necessary energy and actions to get us there.
• Warn us of dangers and opportunities along the way.
• Adjust our actions based on requirements of the moment.


Complex trauma can lead to depersonalization:

split off from self.
• Chronic emotional abuse and neglect can be just as devastating as physical abuse sexual molestation.
• DNS (default state network)- the Mohawk of self-awareness: Midline structure of the brain starting right over the eyes, running through the center of the brain all the way to the back.
• The DNS is involved in our senses of self. It's how we know who we are and what we are doing.
• Chronic PTSD patients had little or almost no activity in the DNS or other self-sensing areas of the brain.






Kinesthetic-muscle tension patterns

Propriocentive-awareness of our position in space

Vestibular-acceleration and deceleration

Visceral- sensations from the visceral (guts, heart, and lungs) and blood vessels



-the external impressions,which include sight, taste, hearing, and touch (tactile sense)



-only channel the therapist is able to observe directly can infer clients inner state from reading his or her body language

Voluntary gestures
Emotional facial expressions
Posture-platform from which intrinsic movement is initiated
Automatic Signals-cardiovascular and respiratory system (pulse)
Visceral Behavior-digestive shift observed by the changing sounds in the gut
Archetypal Behavior-including involuntary gestures or postural shifts that convey universal meaning



Categorical emotions
Contours of feelings (nuanced sensation based(felt sense) that guide us through our lives. Rudders that take us through the day
-goodness & badness



Label we attach to the totality (the combined S,I,B, and M
-affected by cognition, beliefs, philosophical and spiritual mindset that may or may not be obvious
-these include those influenced by trauma
-therapist helps client to freely access full spectrum of developing sensations and feelings to form new meanings: allows old cognitions of “badness” to transform as part of the process of renegotiation


People who experience trauma are more likely:

Times more likely:

15 suicide
4 alcoholism
4 STDs
4 Inject drugs
3 Antidepressants medication
3 Absent from work
3 Serious job problems
3 Experience depression


The “3 brain” Brain Complex

Cerebellum- the “motor control” part of the brain
Limbic System- the “reactionary” part of brain: emotion, fight/flight, pleasure and pain
Cerebral Cortex- the “thinking” part of the brain: reason, judgment, motivation, perception


Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous System

sympathetic nervous system-prepares the body for intense physical activity and is often referred to as the fight-or-flight response.

parasympathetic nervous system-exact opposite effect and relaxes the body and inhibits or slows many high energy functions.


Hydropopic Vs Hyponogogic

Hydropopic- the in b/w state from asleep to awake
Hypnogogic- the in b/w state from awake to asleep

-no guard from image in trauma-