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Terrains of Meaning

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

In biocognitive science I propose that, rather than modifying behavior, change should be focused on recontextualizing the terrains that inform behavior. A terrain is the cultural contexts that determine demand characteristics, attributions of cause, and narratives that enact the meaning and function of behavior. When the contextual meaning of the terrain changes, the mindbody perception of what constitutes a behavior is recontextualized (deep meaning shifting) rather than substituted (replacement (without deep meaning shifting).

The difference between recontextualizing and behavior modification appears deceptively simple because the neuropsychological processes are not considered. The cultural perception of a behavior is embodied in deep meaning transitioning from survival consciousness to significance in the embodiment of self. Beyond behavior modification, suitable for rats, terrains of meaning open portals to a higher consciousness of self-in-the-world rather than circumstances unwittingly determining change.

The neuropsychology of behavior modification vs recontextualizing terrains of meaning is differentiated in brain function. While behavior modification, based on approach (motivation) and avoidance (aversion), activate pleasure and fear areas of the brain, shifting terrains involves brain areas related to selfing and meaning-making rather than seeking pleasure and avoiding pain: A transition from hedonic (pleasure seeking) to eudaemonic (meaning seeking) consciousness. Resent research show, enacting eudaemonia has stronger immunological response to adversity than hedonic behavior. Finally, we can now assert that Aristotle was right.

Terrains of Meaning

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