A task has been looming over me, one that I have not been looking forward to but am nonetheless about to attempt. That would be the task of attempting to explain the truth about a rare and obscure behavioural trait known as low latent inhibition, a trait that I infact exude. This will end up being a common subject under discussion, not out of some egocentric self-love trip but simply because LLI is so very rare, interesting and information about it is scarce and often inaccurate.
Case in point, If anybody reading this has watched the tv show 'Prison break' then they might remember that the main character in that (Michael Schofield if memory serves) supposedly has LLI. Their portrayal of it however is greatly lacking, terribly patronising and just generally wrong. I'm not going to go into a comparison of why it's wrong, I'm just asking you kindly now to let go any preconceptions you have on this topic from sources such as 'Prison break' so that I may better explain this for you from a personal point of view.
Your senses take in all information thrown at them with no exceptions, all light that hits your eyes is accepted, the same is true for all sound and your ears. This stream of random information is sent to your brain which filters, sorts and then collates the information into a sensible stream of consciousness. The first thing it does is to decide which bits of information are relevant and which aren't, the natural process of disgarding the irrelevant is known as your inhibition. It stands to reason therefore that a person with low latent inhibition lacks this process either partially or entirely, hindering the minds capability to pick and choose more and less important pieces of sensory data.
The way the information is processed affects your perception of the world so it's quite easy to see how important a process inhibition is. In real terms this leads to not being able to ignore pointless things that you notice. This can be the relative colour of everything in the room around you, the amount of tiles on the wall or bristles on the carpet in a given area, it can include distant incomprehensible sounds that are unnecessary because they're too vague to be identifiable. This is an annoying and often stressful element of LLI but it is made exponentially worse when coupled with the second effect.
I call this a second effect but in truth it's just another way that the one and only 'symptom' of this odd condition alters the analysis of your perceptions. Another thing that inhibition deals with is your thought stream. When considering a word your brain maps out all of its implications to you and in turn all of their individual connotations, allow me to demonstrate:
Consider the word 'table' for a good 10 seconds or so. You will have, more than likely, come up with a rough idea of what a table is, how it is usually shaped, what it is usually made of, where you have one in your house, maybe even an example image of one popped up in your head too. While you are aware of all of these connections, it's actually a very short list of the most important ones, as decided by your brain. In reality your brain forms countless more connections that it doesn't tell you about because they are unnecessary and would confuse you too much, wasting too much brain power to think about such as:
-Related qualia (packets of sensory information) like tablecloths, coasters, table legs, dovetail joints, copper bracketed hinge tables, doilies, glasses of milk, small black address books etc.
-The furthest limits of what object could be always or never classed as a table (how vertical/horizontal the table top is, how it is supported, what it is used for etc.)
But also more abstract instantly disregarded connections like:
-How many languages the world 'table' would be recogniseable in, based on linguistic similarities ('German = Tisch' maybe. 'French = La table' more than likely. 'Russian = стол' probably not, although it is pronounced as "stol" rather like "stuhl" which is German for chair, which isn't a table but you see my point, hopefully.)
-How much ink it takes to write the word 'Table' in a large font on a whiteboard (based on the size of the whiteboard, the manufacturer of the pen etc.)
-The sound a 3-legged oak table would make if it awkwardly rolled down an iron spiral staircase.
Well a person with LLI lacks the inherent function of the brain to remove thoughts like this automatically and can therefore be attempting to consider all the connections I've mentioned so far plus many more and it isn't optional, it's automatic. This effect also increases by an order of power because each individual connection (such as tablecloths) has its own set of connections to be considered and so on. This is an overwhelming thing to think about alot of the time, but imagine thinking about it along with everything else all of the time.
Different individuals react differently to having such an abstract way of thinking and it can lead to a myriad of bizarre effects and psychological alterations.
Hopefully this post has captured the absurdity of this kind of mental trait so that future related posts have a distinct context to be taken in.
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