Michael Scofield is the main protagonist in the American television series Prison Break. In this series, Michael was diagnosed to be suffering from LOW LATENT INHIBITION. It is here, i got an idea to right a post about LLI.
The brains of creative people appear to be more open to incoming stimuli from the surrounding environment. Other people's brains might shut out this same information through a process called "latent inhibition" - defined as an animal's unconscious capacity to ignore stimuli that experience has shown are irrelevant to its needs. Through psychological testing, the researchers showed that creative individuals are much more likely to have low levels of latent inhibition.
This means that creative individuals remain in contact with the extra information constantly streaming in from the environment. The normal person classifies an object, and then forgets about it, even though that object is much more complex and interesting than he or she thinks. The creative person, by contrast, is always open to new possibilities.
As you grow, the mind learns to label objects and filter out extraneous information.This filtering process is called 'latent inhibition' - and it means that the conscious mind is only aware of a fraction of the data being processed by the brain. In some rare cases, the ability to filter incoming data is decreased. People with LLI (low latent inhibition) are incapable of seeing things in terms of labels. They notice an awful lot more. Reality becomes more vivid and alive. Everyone has different levels of latent inhibition. It can become a problem if the inhibition process is radically decreased. LLI is not a disease. You do not suffer from it. It is a dysfunction that has both positive and negative sides.
For most people, reality is experienced piecemeal. They concentrate on one task at the exclusion of other things. Whilst typing on the computer, hearing diminishes, smell diminishes - the awareness is narrowed. With LLI this is not the case at all. The input is constant. Your awareness does not fluctuate. It only oscillates between hyper-awareness and extreme-awareness - with the latter being something to be concerned about. LLI puts you in touch with the raw immediacy of reality. The overwhelming sensory input means that you experience everything simultaneously: the humming of the computer, the flickering of the monitor, the feel of the clothing you wear, your emotions, the bird in your garden, the smell of coffee... Every miniscule detail happening around you is felt in its entirety. This does not mean that you read every word, remember every facet, but you do see it, smell it, hear it, taste it and feel it. The information is absorbed. Your mind is sponge-like in its capacity to pick things up. You learn from them, and demonstrate new insights and understanding.
- You notice more, hear more, smell more and feel more through tactile contact. Without any conscious effort, your mind is in possession of a broader intake of information.
- Upon encountering any form of stimulus (that interests you), your mind automatically dismantles and explores its components.
- You usually see through the lies and the deceptions that people use in everyday life.
- When learning, you can often make instantaneous changes.
- Self-correction is easy because the underlying principle is more evident. Clearer.
- You make connections and associations between seemingly unrelated material.
- Comprehension is typically easy. You notice the non-verbal background information and this often provides a more comprehensive picture than what is being spoken.
- There are exponential leaps of insight taking place all the time, with the background reasoning intact. Wave-upon-wave of permutations, options, variables and choices.
- Creativity is a given. You see alternatives.
- You notice things that other people miss.
- There is no talking voice in your head. No 'chattering monkey'. The volume and complexity of the information drowns out conscious thought entirely.
- Verbalising what takes place in your mind is impossible. Words render only a fraction of the entirety.
- You see the world more thoroughly.
- Listening to other people talking/thinking aloud can be infuriating. They are at point A when you have reached point N already.
- Learning is not limited to defined periods of academic study. The assimilation of information is constant, ongoing and never static. There are no lulls or pauses. Everything offers a lesson.
- Within the maelstrom of information there exists a place of calm and quietude. The eye of the storm. No verbalisation exists. No internal narrative. Just presence. No sense of self to intrude of interrupt.
- Education is awkward. Schools are not set-up to cater with this disorder. The way in which things are approached by schools seems piecemeal and incomplete.
- It is difficult to write/type/speak quickly enough to articulate ideas and the breadth of the permutations involved.
- Tact is necessary. People lie constantly.
- LLI makes driving a car difficult. Your brain notices countless dangers and variables, and you become overwhelmed and nervous.
- Hypervigilance can lead to anxiety.
- Illusions are not very effective. You see through things without wanting to. Conventions and traditions have no significance.
- You do not value what other people value.
- Filtering out the variables and honing your options to something workable can be very difficult. Every solution potentially harbours new problems, new variables and new concerns.
- People may find you to be a little odd, unorthodox or a little intense.
- You have a habit of saying things that do not fit the accepted norm of behaviour. You often choose to disregard conventions because they serve no constructive purpose.
- Background noise is a major problem. Noisy neighbours can cause serious stress.
- Noticing things does not mean that you understand them. If anything, the abundance of what might be known lessens the desire to accumulate widespread knowledge.
A person experiencing LLI is not initially aware that they have the condition. To them, how they regard the world seems perfectly normal. Nothing unusual is apparent - they do not know anything else. The condition may become apparent through the differences in what you say and see, relative to other people. In many cases the condition remains undiagnosed.
DO YOU HAVE LLI?
If you believe you have LLI, you probably don't. It is hard to self-diagnose yourself because individuals with LLI don't know any different than what they see every day. They believe everyone sees what they see.