Instinctual Intelligence

The Reptilian Brain or Hindbrain evolved early and houses our instinctual level of intelligence. We share our instinctual level of intelligence with birds and reptiles. This mind-processing center responds to simple physical inputs and controls physical responses in yes/no terms. It renders basic, instantaneous judgments on who is acceptable for sex through a language consisting of automatic physical responses to the production of complex chemical compounds or neurotransmitters.  Quite on its own, it receives input from all the senses and approves or rejects a potential love candidate accounting for at least one of the mysteries surrounding romantic love, physical attraction.  Scholars have suspected our instincts role in attraction and the forming of love relationships or pair bonds for some time but the scientific community is only now beginning to understand how the chemistry involved actually works.

The Pre-Cambrian Epoch, approximately 550 million years ago marked a split from cellular level organism evolution to far more complex organisms and, simultaneously, passive intelligence to the first signs of active intelligence or instincts and the split between the Plant and Animal kingdoms with no reconciliation to this day.  Animal life learned quickly!  Through their newly found instincts, organisms shared substance and information to better win the intelligence arms race and, as they danced in a broader eco-system, their life forces intermingled with other species and for some, intelligence was rewarded in the form of competitive advantage.  Balance was achieved through role playing in and among organisms as the bio-sphere formed.  Like specialized cellular structure function within individuals, roles, predator and prey, are played by organisms within local ecosystems. For others, who are not intelligent enough to play nice, extinction.

Organisms mutated to take advantage of environmental resources.  Basic instinctual intelligence formed and was rewarded in spades, those with it thrived, those without withered away. Instincts were passed to the next generation directly through gene development and specialization.  Examples of instinctually fixed action patterns can be observed in the behavior of animals today, which perform various activities (sometimes complex) that are believed not to be based on prior experience, such as reproduction, cooperative colony formation, and feeding among insects.  More specific examples include, sea turtles hatched on a beach automatically move toward the ocean and honeybees communicate the direction of a food source by dancing, all without formal instruction.  Other examples include animal fighting, animal courtship behaviors, internal escape functions, and nest building.  Another term for the same concept is innate behavior.

Human infants display such instinctual behaviors.  Of the most observed and notable instinctual behaviors is the routing instinct, or the instant search for their mothers’ milk delivery system.  A simple exercise we have all experienced and one that will leave no doubt about how your instinctual intelligence can take charge of your body and behavior is to hold your breath for as long as you can.  Eventually, unless you are Michael Phlephs, your instincts will overpower your consciousness and you will breath.  You cannot commit suicide in this fashion.

Instinctual actions have no learning curve; they are hard-wired and ready to use without learning, but do depend on maturational processes to appear. This is in contrast to those based on learning, which require memory and provide individually stored successful reactions built on experience.

Biological predispositions are innate, easily learned biologically vectored behaviors.  For example, in one hour after birth a baby colt can learn to run.  It is near impossible to study pure instinctual expressions in humans as individual experiences at all levels of intelligence constantly mingle in the mind.  Experience will change gene expression where some cases can be transmitted as predispositions toward a particular behavior to one’s children.  Learning and the environment can affect protein production leading to changes in gene function.  Changing the environment will change what the gene does in future generations.  For example, learning to swim by being thrown into the water illustrates the confusion between instinct and perceptual intelligence, or learning through experience.  Even though the vast majority of eight-year-old human children will naturally float, it is their ability to learn quickly through experience, not instinct, that allows them to make their way back to the water’s edge.

Of course, this discussion is purposely oversimplified and designed to provide the most basic understanding of fundamental intelligence as it exists in its most rudimentary state.  Instincts drive critical behaviors within the context of dating and relationship formation among modern humans and it is this particular behavior, at the point of first encounters that cannot be suppressed or denied.  Therefore, it is important to have a firm understanding of what to look for in a potential partner’s instinctual behavior that can reveal their intentions.  I promise you that they will not be aware of or be able to completely hide or control their “hard-wired” instincts and, if you pay particular attention, you will be able to anticipate positive versus negative outcomes with a high degree of accuracy.

One other note to the female of the species concerning a lesser used attention strategy.  Ladies, the next time you are instinctually signaling your desire to a dating prospect from across the bar and he is not getting the message, simply walk over and place your hand on his face completely covering his nose and mouth. I assure you that you will get the attention of his instinctual intelligence before he passes out.

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