The Principle of Emotional Conductivity

“Movement is the only way we have of interacting with the world, whether foraging for food or attracting a waiter’s attention. Indeed, all communication, including speech, sign language, gestures and writing, is mediated via the motor system. Taking this viewpoint, the purpose of the human brain is to use sensory signals to determine future actions.”

Daniel Wolpert Phd.

Emotional movement piggybacks on the dynamic of physical movement, i.e. “mediated via the motor system.” Locomotion and emotion are mechanically speaking, synonymous. The first image below depicts an idealized view of pure emotional conductivity in that there is no resistance between the dog and the object of attraction. (Technically even open ground provides resistance and so a physical memory is recorded. But the resistance doesn’t reach the level of intensity that triggers an instinctive response of attribution, i.e. searching for the source of the resistance.) In this scenario the dog is free to run at full speed and thus its physical movements are 100% concordant with the strength of its attraction. This is also the case in the equal/opposite scenario, i.e. running away from something terrifying. (I say equal because even that is a function of attraction. If one were able to outrun and outmaneuver a Grizzly Bear we would see lots of people running with the Grizzlies. In fact this is the emotional appeal of Safari tours so that people can gape at lions from the safety of a Land Rover.)





The locomotive dynamic incorporates an embodied cognition so that the body autonomically configures itself symmetrically about the body’s constantly shifting physical center of gravity through an automatic sequence of footfalls, perfectly spaced so as to conduct the body precisely from point A to point B in an autonomic wave pattern. The p-cog is projected forward and then the body races to catch up. The Rotary Gallop is the purest state of physical movement since it conducts the body the fastest and this gait is characterized by two beats of physical suspension (extension–>output, which we could also call projection, and then collection—>input) and these two beats render an overall emotional impression of weightlessness. The dog feels as if it is flying. Feeling this wave from the archives of physical memory is the same as running at full speed. This feeling is registered (and the physical memory summoned to the surface of awareness) by a subliminal beam of attention directed toward the forequarters and in particular the heart. These two physical/emotional beats, extension of the p-cog forward and then collecting the body above this forward point, constitute an emotional cycle and correspond to a rate of breath. Stimuli are perceived as either being part of this cycle, part of this feeling, or falling outside it and thereby triggering an instinctive response. (The latter being the basis of the so-called “reactive dog.”) The specific pattern of breathing that is in sync with full physical locomotion and the rhythmic beating of the heart is the metric of a pure wave function, of an emotional cycle strong enough to subsume external stimuli into its rhythm. This emotional cycle is recapitulated when we teach our dog to bark on command with a deep metered mechanic.



In this next scenario however, free flowing movement isn’t possible. The hill offers resistance to unimpeded travel.



Therefore when the dog ascends the hill…………..


…….it has experienced resistance and this is recorded as unresolved emotion and internalized as a physical memory of the experience. The hill thereafter carries an emotional charge, a physical memory of resistance, that is triggered when the dog has to look up at a place or a thing to which it is attracted.




After climbing the hill the dog’s muscles are tight and his breathing is labored and so the physical cost of climbing a high is synonymous with the experience of being emotionally charged in social interactions. However if the strength of attraction is high enough, if the individual’s subliminal focus on its Heart is strong enough, even the resistance of the hill can be incorporated into a smooth wave function and an obstacle can be incorporated into an improvement of the configuration.

The principles of thermodynamics are intimately entwined with the principle of emotional conductivity because as Dr. Wolpert has discovered, all brain processes are mediated by the motor system. The principle of emotional conductivity is the only theory of behavior predicated on the motor system and is consonant with the Constructal law. In order to use “sensory signals to determine future action” the organism first references its physical center-of-gravity. It then projects this onto objects of attraction in order to feel its potential energy (we will be looking at this in greater depth) by referencing their heart. Feeling by heart is how the animal mind projects its body forward in space in order to improve the flow over Time.



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Published August 5, 2013 by Kevin Behan
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6 responses to “The Principle of Emotional Conductivity”

  1. wetnosewarmhearts says:

    Good blog. The emotion, motion & somatic memory nexus is key. I like your wave dog.

    Slowly, it is all taking hold. You may like these articles: “Communicating Emotion: How Music and Movement Cam Make This Happen.” by Joseph Blumberg, in Dartmouth Now, 23 Jan. 2013. “Bodily motions influence memory and emotions” April 21, 2010 by Mo

  2. kbehan says:

    Unfortunately that link from Dartmouth retrieved an error message, sounds very interesting. In my model, balance is the source of all fear and on a higher level serves as a tuning metric during the process of elaboration by which social interactions unfold so I found it interesting that the victim was inappropriately friendly with the researchers and wasn’t able to gage her attraction to them according to a tuned escalation of the elaborative process. More drawings on emotional conductivity on the way, glad to hear things are starting to gel!

  3. joanne frame says:

    Kevin, are you outlining this because you are recreating the same ‘physiology’ the dog gets when running without resistance when you are getting a dog in flow with the NDT techniques? Or am I missing the point?!

  4. kbehan says:

    Yes that’s exactly right. I’m going step by step to show the logical progression how the physical memory of running is resonant with all experiences of flow, and goes on to integrate the many into one functional system. The point of the core exercises is to strengthen the dynamic which induces the feeling of flow so that it becomes readily available to the dog in a moment of stress, crisis, excitement. My goal is to help the reader see the universal template at work in every frame of reference, linking moment-to-moment through an energetic logic, rather than having to resort to a human psychology to explain motive. The motive is attraction, how it manifests in any given circumstance illustrates an underlying principle of emotional conductivity. Animals feel this and are informed how to improve their feeling of flow (emotional conductivity) by the interaction of stress (the physical memory of an emotional desire that didn’t run to ground) by configuring themselves around objects of attraction. This is the basis of intelligence that predates verbal capacity by millions of years. It is the only system of interpretation that is consistent not only with the laws of nature, but most especially with the Constructal law. My goal is for the reader to be able to see this underlying principle in action, manifested by two (or more) bodies forming one mind, what we otherwise call cooperation, sociability, altruism, love, etc., etc..

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Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin Behan

In Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions. Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined — by heart — and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.
  Natural Dog Training is about how dogs see the world and what this means in regards to training. The first part of this book presents a new theory for the social behavior of canines, featuring the drive to hunt, not the pack instincts, as seminal to canine behavior. The second part reinterprets how dogs actually learn. The third section presents exercises and handling techniques to put this theory into practice with a puppy. The final section sets forth a training program with a special emphasis on coming when called.
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