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Latent inhibition is a process by which exposure to a stimulus of little or no consequence prevents conditioned associations with that stimulus being formed. The ability to disregard or even inhibit formation of memory, by preventing associative learning of observed stimuli, is an automatic response and is thought to prevent information overload. Latent inhibition is observed in many species, and is believed to be an integral part of the observation/learning process, to allow the self to interact successfully in a social environment.[How to reference and link to summary or text]
Low latent inhibition
Most people are able to shut out the constant stream of incoming stimuli, but those with low latent inhibition cannot. It is hypothesized that a low level of latent inhibition can cause either psychosis, a high level of creativity or both, which is usually dependent on the subject's intelligence. Those of above average intelligence are thought to be capable of processing this stream effectively, an ability that greatly aids their creativity and ability to recall trivial events in incredible detail and which categorizes them as almost creative geniuses. Those with less than average intelligence, on the other hand, are less able to cope, and so as a result are more likely to suffer from mental illness. Still, very many individuals who have a high level of intelligence and low latent inhibition suffer from mental differences.
High levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine (or its agonists) in the brain are thought to lower latent inhibition. Certain dysfunctions of the neurotransmitters glutamate, serotonin and acetylcholine have also been implicated, and the glutamate hypothesis of schizophrenia is increasingly being seen as an alternative to the classic dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia.
In recent years, low latent inhibition is being looked at as less of a mental disorder; in the past it was often confused with schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, bi-polar disorder, and even depression, and almost all cases of misdiagnoses have been known to lead to over-medicated individuals.[How to reference and link to summary or text] In some cases, these individuals have had adverse reactions to the intended medicines.[How to reference and link to summary or text]
- Asperger's syndrome
- Conditioned stimulus
- Dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia
- Prepulse inhibition
- Proactive inhibition
- Retroactive inhibition
- Sensory integration dysfunction
- Decreased Latent Inhibition Is Associated With Increased Creative Achievement in High-Functioning Individuals
- FuturePundit: Low Latent Inhibition Plus High Intelligence Leads To High Creativity?
- University of Toronto: Biological basis for creativity linked to mental illness
- Latent Inhibition in Humans: Data, Theory, and Implications for Schizophrenia
- Swerdlow NR, Stephany N, Wasserman LC, Talledo J, Sharp R, Auerbach PP. Dopamine agonists disrupt visual latent inhibition in normal males using a within-subject paradigm. Psychopharmacology. 2003 Sep;169(3-4):314-20. PMID 12610717
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