low latent inhibition (pathology)

Most people are able to ignore the constant stream of incoming stimuli, but this capability is reduced in those with low latent inhibition.

Low latent inhibition (that may resemble hyper-activity in early decades of the individual life) seems to often correlate with distracted behaviors.[9]

This distractedness can manifest itself as general inattentiveness, a tendency to switch subjects without warning in conversation, and other absentminded habits. […]

This is not to say that all distractedness can be explained by low latent inhibition, nor does it necessarily follow that people with low LI will have a hard time paying attention.

It does mean, however, that the higher quantity of incoming information requires a mind capable of handling it.

These individuals tend to sense other’s pain and suffering as they are very sensitive persons.

Those of above average intelligence are thought to be capable of processing this stream effectively, enabling their creativity and increasing their awareness of their surroundings.

Those with less than average intelligence, on the other hand, are less able to cope, and as a result are more likely to suffer from mental illness and sensory overload.[10]

It is hypothesized that a low level of latent inhibition can cause either psychosis or a high level of creative achievement[11] or both, which is usually dependent on the individual’s intelligence.[12][13]

There have even been similarities observed between the behaviors of autistic individuals and those with low LI[citation needed].

When they can not develop the creative ideas, they become frustrated and/or depressive.

High levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine (or its agonists) in the ventral tegmental area of the brain have been shown to decrease latent inhibition.[14]

Certain dysfunctions of the neurotransmitters glutamate, serotonin and acetylcholine have also been implicated.[15]

Low latent inhibition is not a mental disorder but an observed personality trait[citation needed], and a description of how an individual absorbs and assimilates data or stimuli.

Furthermore, it does not necessarily lead to mental disorder or creative achievement—this is, like many other factors of life, a case of environmental and predispositional influences, whether these be positive (e.g., education) or negative (e.g., abuse) in nature.

via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latent_inhibition

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