By William Sargant, Charles Swencionis
It is a booklet at the body structure of non secular and ideological conversion in line with mental theories of Ivan Pavolov.
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Additional info for Battle for the Mind A Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing
Some memories of this lost period might return spontaneously later, or be recovered under sedatives which relaxed the inhibition. The "equivalent" phase of transmarginal inhibition, described by Pavlov in his experiments on dogs, also seemed frequent among our patients in the war. Normally energetic and active people would sit about complaining that nothing interested them any longer, that 54 BATTLE FOR THE MINX) they had ceased to feel joy or sorrow whatever might happen. This phase would gradually pass off after rest and treatment but, in some cases, persisted for a long time.
When it occurred the brain might have no other means left of avoiding damage due to nervous stress. He found a means of examining the degree of protective transmarginal inhibition in any dog at any given time: by using his salivary gland conditioned-reflex technique. Though the dog's general behavior might seem normal at first sight, the amount of saliva being secreted would tell him what was beginning to happen in its brain. In these tests the dog would be given a definite signal, such as the beating of a metronome at a certain rate or the passing of a weak electric current into its leg, before being given food.
Its behavior, in fact, becomes exactly opposed to all its previous conditioning. The possible relevance of these experiments to sudden religious and political conversion should be obvious even to the most skeptical: Pavlov has shown by repeated and repeatable experiment just how a dog, like a man, can be conditioned to hate what it previously loved, and love what it previously hated. Similarly, one set of behavior patterns in man can be temporarily replaced by another that altogether contradicts it; not by persuasive indoctrination alone, but also by imposing intolerable strains on a normally functioning brain.
Battle for the Mind A Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing by William Sargant, Charles Swencionis