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Chris Birke
06-28-2004, 05:40 AM
This was started over on the "Should I look in my opponents eyes thread" but its gone a bit off topic so I've started a new thread.

The discussion is about what sorts of things happen to you during acute stress response, specifically, how does it affect your mind, and how does it affect your vision.

//

George, I've come across that too, here's what I read from some med school;

"Effects on Long- and Short Term Memory. During the stressful event, catecholamines also suppress activity in areas at the front of the brain concerned with short-term memory, concentration, inhibition, and rational thought. This sequence of mental events allows a person to react quickly to the bear, either to fight or to flee from it. (It also hinders the ability to handle complex social or intellectual tasks and behaviors during that time.)

On the other hand, neurotransmitters at the same time signal the hippocampus (a nearby area in the brain) to store the emotionally loaded experience in long-term memory. In primitive times, this brain action would have been essential for survival, since long-lasting memories of dangerous stimuli (e.g., a large bear) would be critical for avoiding such threats in the future." from here: http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_biological_effects_of_acute_stress_000031_2.htm

To me, there seem to be conflicting "facts" out there. Always the danger of the internet. Time to figure out precisely what's true-er.

One possible resolution is that there is more of a gradient, from worry to acute shock where these symptoms manifest.

Perhaps it is simply a game of dice which symptoms you will feel and how much they will manifest.

All I have to go on is a bit misleading to me. I have my own expirences (I remember tunnel vision in fights, esp. after getting hit - I remember acute details of fights (precisely what I was thinking, what I dreamed, and what I thought when I woke up...) - but I also think I've blanked on a number of stressfull situations. Granted, its difficult to recall what I've forgotten...

Logically If blood goes to the core it will surely cause tunnel vision by exhausting the eyes of oxygen. But, it's also clear that pupils dilate from fear (which should open the field of vision, at least of the individual eyes).

//

When I heard this espoused as a tool by a jkd instructor, he meant this sort of emotionally enhanced memory as being a boon during some training.

//

What I think would be nice is to have someone with good up to date expirmental knoweldge of this stuff. This is a good discussion!

SeiserL
06-28-2004, 08:49 AM
I agree, there is a lot of conflicting material out there. That's what I love about the nternet. Gather your information, but figure it out yourself. Everyone is out to validate their own theory.

Read the sport psychology stuff on optimal performance, flow, zone, etc. for ideas on how to psyche up without psyching out. Perceptional frames of reference, how you think about the experience, make a big difference. An acute stress response can also be an acute excitement response if you trained hard and look forward to testing it out or just let go mentally and see what happens. IMHO stess is usually a fear response that comes from negative fantasies about what might happen.

Don't look at symptom, look at how you create them, and stop doing that.

George S. Ledyard
06-28-2004, 11:20 AM
This was started over on the "Should I look in my opponents eyes thread" but its gone a bit off topic so I've started a new thread.

The discussion is about what sorts of things happen to you during acute stress response, specifically, how does it affect your mind, and how does it affect your vision.

//

George, I've come across that too, here's what I read from some med school;

"Effects on Long- and Short Term Memory. During the stressful event, catecholamines also suppress activity in areas at the front of the brain concerned with short-term memory, concentration, inhibition, and rational thought. This sequence of mental events allows a person to react quickly to the bear, either to fight or to flee from it. (It also hinders the ability to handle complex social or intellectual tasks and behaviors during that time.)

On the other hand, neurotransmitters at the same time signal the hippocampus (a nearby area in the brain) to store the emotionally loaded experience in long-term memory. In primitive times, this brain action would have been essential for survival, since long-lasting memories of dangerous stimuli (e.g., a large bear) would be critical for avoiding such threats in the future." from here: http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_biological_effects_of_acute_stress_000031_2.htm

To me, there seem to be conflicting "facts" out there. Always the danger of the internet. Time to figure out precisely what's true-er.

One possible resolution is that there is more of a gradient, from worry to acute shock where these symptoms manifest.

Perhaps it is simply a game of dice which symptoms you will feel and how much they will manifest.

All I have to go on is a bit misleading to me. I have my own expirences (I remember tunnel vision in fights, esp. after getting hit - I remember acute details of fights (precisely what I was thinking, what I dreamed, and what I thought when I woke up...) - but I also think I've blanked on a number of stressfull situations. Granted, its difficult to recall what I've forgotten...

Logically If blood goes to the core it will surely cause tunnel vision by exhausting the eyes of oxygen. But, it's also clear that pupils dilate from fear (which should open the field of vision, at least of the individual eyes).

//

When I heard this espoused as a tool by a jkd instructor, he meant this sort of emotionally enhanced memory as being a boon during some training.

//

What I think would be nice is to have someone with good up to date expirmental knoweldge of this stuff. This is a good discussion!

The information I've gotten has mostly come from the Defensive Tactics training I've done. Peyton Quinn does comment on it in his book and his experience comes from running thousands of scenario based training seesions. My own personal experience corroborates the memory problem issue, however. One of my Seattle Police Deaprtment students opened the door of a car and the driver had a knife next to him on the console and came flying out at him. I asked him what he did and he said that he couldn't remember, he just did something and the next thing he knew the guy was disarmed and down on the pavement. But the officer siad he simply couldn't remember a thing about how they got there.

I read another account of an officr who was put through a scenario based training seesion as part of his firearms training. He freaked out and emptied his entire clip into the subject. When asked how many shots he had fired (after the scenario) he thought it might be around four or five and was absolutely astounded to see the film of himself spraying the whole clip.

The one thing that is REALLY interesting about what takes place in this state is that it seems that your body / mind assumes that if you had an adrenaline dump, your were under threat. If you are still alive you must have done the right thing and, according to Quinn's experience, the experience you get in this state goes far deeper and stays with you almost indefinitely, unlike learning done in a normal emotional state which needs much more reptitition and reuires periodic refresher practice.

George S. Ledyard
06-28-2004, 11:41 AM
The information I've gotten has mostly come from the Defensive Tactics training I've done. Peyton Quinn does comment on it in his book and his experience comes from running thousands of scenario based training sessions. My own personal experience corroborates the memory problem issue, however. One of my Seattle Police Department students opened the door of a car and the driver had a knife next to him on the console and came flying out at him. I asked him what he did and he said that he couldn't remember, he just did something and the next thing he knew the guy was disarmed and down on the pavement. But the officer said he simply couldn't remember a thing about how they got there.

I read another account of an officer who was put through a scenario based training session as part of his firearms training. He freaked out and emptied his entire clip into the subject. When asked how many shots he had fired (after the scenario) he thought it might be around four or five and was absolutely astounded to see the film of himself spraying the whole clip.

The one thing that is REALLY interesting about what takes place in this state is that it seems that your body / mind assumes that if you had an adrenaline dump, your were under threat. If you are still alive you must have done the right thing and, according to Quinn's experience, the experience you get in this state goes far deeper and stays with you almost indefinitely, unlike learning done in a normal emotional state which needs much more repetition and requires periodic refresher practice.
I went to add the following and the system wouldn't let me so here is the rest of what I wanted to say. It continues what I posted above:

This is rather like what your article is saying about the need to retain effective defense responses as a survival tool but I don't think that this necessarily means that it has to be accessible in the conscious memory.

Anyway, Peyton Quinn talks about the ability to construct training so that the individual becomes conditioned to the stress response. With repeated exposure to the stressful encounters the individual begins to take more to trigger the adrenaline dump and when he does experience the dump, his recovery time is far shorter, allowing him to access his normal skill sets.

He has run thousands of scenarios. Many experienced martial artists have done the training he conducts at his ranch in Colorado. In his book he recounts a number of experiences in which they would run a scenario and a very experienced fighter would completely lose his depth perception and swing and simply miss his opponent entirely. I saw a film that they did in which a guy threw an elbow at the "Bullet Man" as they call him. He missed by a good six inches and fell on the ground at the attacker's feet.

Anyway, I would HIGHLY recommend his book for anyone who teaches martial arts or trains law enforcement and military personnel. Quinn's not a scientist but he has tons of experience running training for folks and he is a thoughtful guy and a good observer. He is also a VERY nice guy. I've had some correspondence with him via e-mail and he was extremely generous with his time and experience.