Two Brain Makeup

(Edited For Clarity) Heather brought up some good questions and I want to make sure my answer is clear.

Heather: “The two-brain makeup, would you say that is also virtually present in humans?”

KB: Yes, all mammals have two brains, the central nervous system (Big-Brain) and the enteric nervous system (little-brain.) The reason animals have two brains is so that their mind will be an action potential, a state of dynamic tension which is a source of energy. Thus, their front end isn’t connected to the hind end unless they complete this internal circuitry with an external connection.  And because the front end isn’t connected to the hind end, the front end can go faster than the hind end, and the hind end can go faster than the front end and this will cause the animal to act just as if it’s either an electrically or a magnetically charged particle. For example, if the front end is going faster than the rear end, there will be an electrostatic pressure and the dog will work on a load/overload type of static discharge kind of behavior. Whereas if the hind end is going faster than the front end, then this hunger will be a sexual or a magnetic kind of orientation wherein the dog will move circuitously and be readily deflected. This two brain makeup inculcates a principle of emotional conductivity whereby the individual either goes the path of least resistance (electrical frame of reference) or couples with another and is attracted to the path of highest resistance (magnetic frame of reference.) This is adaptive is because emotion and the principle of conductivity is the embodiment of the laws of nature, and since nature changes in accord with said laws, then if the physiology and behavior of an animal is predicated on these laws it will be able by dint of its constitution to “predict” where potential energy is going to be. In other words, social structures are a computation of change which inspires the group to position itself to capture and harness potential energy.

Heather: “When re-reading your description above, I thought about how accurately it described my behavior last night – I took Happy out for his last bathroom break of the night, and he started woofing at something in the yard (it was dark, I couldn’t see anything), and was more persistent about it than his routine boof-boof-boofing he does to scare away any boogey men lurking in the woods before settling down to his business. So I went to check it out, and I saw what I thought was a light moving around – at first I was moving in a straight line (slowly) and I was really “charged” as I approached and felt enough pressure that at some point I didn’t want to go forward anymore, but as I got closer and saw that it was indeed something non-threatening but I wasn’t sure what, I began to circle around, and in the circling I realized that it was the deck light reflecting off of the handle of the pool skimmer, which had been left leaning against the fence (normally it’s put away).”

KB: Things that reflect energy are predatory aspects and these interrupt the sense of flow and trigger physical memories of resistance/stress/shock.  And then something upright (leaning against the fence) thereby fits the form of a predator as the physical memory in the emotional battery potentiates the higher processes of the nervous system so that the mind construes variables of the present in terms of forms from the past.

Heather: “Also the quality/quantity issue – I can see how different temperaments could be tuned differently to different objects of attraction with different perceived prey/predator values (so for eg Happy, he will notice a squirrel but for him he readily perceives playing tug with me as the displacing of more emotional energy, because the emotional mass of the squirrel, and thus the force it induces in Happy, is not very large compared to mine.) Things that are very prey-like to him do not move a lot of energy, he is tuned to a higher predator/prey ratio.

Very cool, I am excited to start really looking at things in this manner and making my own observations.”

KB: Exactly, the higher the prey threshold of the temperament, the more it takes to displace the dog and the more physical tactile contacting it requires to feel grounded. Thanks for the observations. You can completely deconstruct the dog’s mind by paying close attention to your own emotional experience without injecting thoughts. Keep On Posting!

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Published August 16, 2010 by Kevin Behan
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22 responses to “Two Brain Makeup”

  1. Ben says:

    I’m curious as to how you paired magnetism with the little-brain vs the electrostatic nature of the Big-Brain? Do you mean magnetism in the literal sense? Both physical structures are made up of neurons so wouldn’t they both be of an electrical nature?

  2. kbehan says:

    Yes, there’s no such thing as electrical or magnetic when dogs actually perform an action, and yes all neurochemical activity is electromagnetic in the three brains, the little-brain, Big-Brain and the Heart and so are of an electrical nature. However, because of the two brain makeup with each one having a different agenda, BB stasis versus lb change, it’s just as if the dog is feeling electrical resistance (BB stimulated and not grounded) or magnetic deflection (physical memory of a “ground” in l-b but BB not yet permitting full action) and so the dog acts as if it’s either a charged electrical particle or a magnetically charged particle. And then when the heart is in charge, the dog acts as if it’s infused by electromagnetic induction and so can be deflected or straightforward with full velocity, or Drive. Great questions.

  3. Heather says:

    It is good that we don’t have to understand the physics when 2 dogs are in motion 😉

    But once 2 dogs have made “contact,” their interactions then would be like the induction motor, the dogs flipping polarity (to get the motor to turn)…if the flipping polarity got out of synch you could go back to look at things from the “stationary” analysis of BB/l-b?

    What if the dogs have not made physical contact, but seen each other from a distance – if they have previously established an emotional circuit, are they still able to resolve their respective arising emotions into feelings? Or even in the case of the established dog-owner group mind, the example you or Lee gave regarding the owner’s plane landing and the dog becoming excited – does the owner sense this emotional displacement too?

    Finally, do you think the experience for each dog is similar, or different, depending on temperament or other factors?

  4. AZdogerman says:

    What do you mean in the above post by “X end can go faster than Y” end? Are you speaking, literally, about the dogs “ends” as in, front limbs can move faster than hind limbs? Or does “go faster” speak about build up of energy between the brains that then discharges.

    Does hind end go faster than front end apply to heeling behaviors? I have been working with Bootsy on heeling after I read in one of the comments that “until the dog is properly heeled…don’t proceed with “. There is a point where she “locks” in on me and is very tuned to my movement, eyes wide, mouth open, ears cocked back just so. If she isn’t locked in all these external indicators disappear.

    Congrats on the show. I look forward to viewing the pilot and I hope it gets picked up.

  5. kbehan says:

    I mean that the hind brain can be aroused via hunger at a higher rate than the Big Brain is permitting to allow to go into action, and so literally the rear end moves faster than the front end and so the dog forges in heeling or takes some circuitous path toward an object of attraction just as if it is an electrical particle being magnetically deflected. This reveals the mechanism for synchronization. This is why two dogs will orbit each other and lift their legs before they might play, their hind ends are going faster than their front ends and when they are emotionally synchronized, then the front ends can catch up. When Bootsy “catches your bounce” in heeling then you are synchronized and the front end catches up.

  6. Adam says:

    Trying to deconstruct the article piece by piece. I’m stuck on your use of “action potential.” Do you mean this as analogous to a neuron being polarized during its resting potential and then depolarized when stimulated creating an action potential? I understand the concept of dynamic tension. The big brain is concerned with locomotion, staying up right, maintaining a firm footing (i.e. no change). The little brain is concerned with nourishment, the need for input in order to survive (i.e. change).
    I’m just confused about the term action potential. It would seem that it would be more like a resting potential, polarized, each brain occupying a different pole with a different agenda. Only with environmental input can an action potential occur, right?

  7. Adam says:

    Additionally, I understand that eyes are the predatory aspect granting access to the positive, the dog’s self. But, you state above that predatory aspects trigger memories of stress, interruption of flow, resistance. So is it that dogs experience predatory aspects differently in accordance with how they were raised? Like a dog raised naturally will not feel a collapse of attraction when experiencing reflective predatory stimuli…?

  8. kbehan says:

    Thank you. My understanding of neurons is quite limited and so I’m using the term action potential in the most basic sense, as in a building up of the potential to cause action, but I still feel this is accurate. Even a resting potential of a neuron at rest requires an inequity of force on one side of the membrane relative to the other. So in one moment the interior of the neuron has a negative charge relative to the exterior which has a positive charge, and then this reverses in order to transmit an electrical charge down the pathway, which is when polarization and repolarization to set up the next transmission of charge occurs, and this too depends on another kind of inequity of force in a membrane as in the sodium/potassium pump and the ion channels which implement the resting potential of a neuron. So when we talk of the specifics of nerve transmission, a distinction can be made between action and resting potential, and yet they are both dependent on the same basic principle of an inequity of force between one pole and another. Resting potential is when nothing is being transmitted but still, this is an action potential (an inequity of force between two poles of the membrane so that action will be empowered). The dynamic tension between the two brains by way of their divergent agendas is an action potential against which every environmental input will polarize the animal mind accordingly. And then if the smooth muscles of the intestines end up working rhythmically, this would be akin to the transmission of the nerve signal or action potential, “the action that’s caused by the potential that has been built up due to divergent brain agendas.” Nevertheless, if I’m using terminology incorrectly or imprecisely, please let me know so this can be clarified.

  9. kbehan says:

    Yes exactly. Also bear in mind that the “negative-grants-access-to-the-positive” which is perceived by the dog as being able to hold the negative in mind as the same time as the positive and in terms of the hunger circuitry, which is why dogs look into the eyes of the driver of a car. All the energy of the car is positive, and knowing the negative in terms of the positive is how the dog is able to incorporate this energy into its being and therefore have a positive association to the car. So when a dog is raised by an overbearing handler, it becomes so sensitized to the negative that the qualitative aspects of its physical memory, i.e. the unpleasantness of how it was acquired, is all the dog has to go on and so it sees in the environment what it needs to see to survive. But, if its energy has been grounded in its development by working with its prey drive, then it can use the negative as a stimulant, as a trigger for the physical memories of flow and it becomes positively charged for action. In other words, it can perform a behavior with intensity, and yet with positive animation. An example for how the negative grants access to the positive is when you see a state trooper ahead, you experience a shock and so you slow down, you lose energy. But once you go past the trooper’s speed trap, you speed up. With the negative now defined, i.e. you know where the speed trap was, you are free to get back into flow. And as a matter of fact, seeing the trooper actually allowed you to go faster than before when you didn’t know where the speed trap was. (While I’m using the language of human cognition to explain this, I hope you can still see that this is an energetic logic, not a rational one.) Energy can’t move until the negative is defined in terms of the positive, i.e. the Big-Brain is grounded into the little-brain.

  10. Adam says:

    I’m still working on the p-cog and the projection of the p-cog. Do dogs only project their p-cog’s on complex, predatory objects of attraction? Or do they project them on everything, preyful or predatory?

    So displacement occurs because a dog feels interrupted by something, hunger for example, or something in its environment. And because a dog cannot think, or think of himself as separate from his environment, then what he is displaced by he perceives as himself, right?

    So if he sees a deer, and it displaces him…then if the deer runs away he has to chase it because the deer is the ground and making contact with the deer is the…only way to make the ground literally stop moving…? Ahh, I feel like I’m going in circles sometimes. I live in Bangkok, and I’m surrounded by stray dogs filling my mind with questions and confusion. Just a couple days ago I saw a dog and her pup cross a major road. She even appeared like attentive to oncoming traffic…any thoughts on this?

  11. kbehan says:

    ADAM: I’m still working on the p-cog and the projection of the p-cog. Do dogs only project their p-cog’s on complex, predatory objects of attraction? Or do they project them on everything, preyful or predatory?
    KB Dogs project the p-cog onto the form of a thing. So first there is an incident of change and this displaces the dog or animal’s two brain makeup and the intensity value of the displacement is what triggers a physical memory from past experiences of resistance, and thus a FORM automatically and instantly arises to encapsulate the source of this perception of change; at this point the dog projects its p-cog onto the form. and if this is a truly novel situation and if the dog’s in a flexible state of mind which it can be even though the template is present, then the predatory/prey ratio has yet to be worked out. (When you see a dog cocking its head at an unusual sound it is trying to focus its subliminal beam of attention–which always accompanies an external focal gaze–onto some point of its body as the epicenter of a physical memory that after location can then be projected onto the object of attraction once a form is apprehended. This is an example of working out the preyful/predatory ratio in the case of novelty.)
    Now if the hunger circuitry can be engaged or sustained, then the positive physical memories of flow are aroused and the dog perceives the eyes of the form as being access to the positive preyful values (anything to do with the essence of the body) of the form because its hunger circuitry can perceive and potentiate the higher reaches of the nervous system so that the dog can in fact see that the form has such preyful values. This then has a magnetic effect on the dog and it seeks to align with with the object of resistance in order to satisfy the underlying force of attraction. It is able to align with this complex form because eventually it can come to apprehend its center mass and thereby “flip polarity” in order to complement the energetic signature that the form is broadcasting. It feels pulled toward the form and this circumspective manner of approach and body language could very well induce the form, if it is indeed another being, to reciprocate because it’s under the very same mandate and operating system as well. If on the other hand the intensity value is too strong for that particular dog’s “prey threshold” then its subliminal beam stays locked onto its inner ear and it feels pushed on by the form and will seek to either overload, or increase the distance between them, and it thereby acts just as if its electrostatically charged, i.e. under pressure.
    When you see the dog with street smarts, it’s invariably survived a few close calls and becomes sensitized to the forms of cars in terms of this electrostatic manner and so can time its movements to when it feels the least amount of pressure in its head. Whereas the dogs that have a very high prey threshold temperament are quickly killed off because there isn’t any opportunity to align with a fast moving car, they tend to get crushed. When most people boundary train their dog they are actually lowering its prey threshold and sensitizing it to the forms of things as too intense. So such a dog “respects” the boundaries not because it understands anything, but because it has become too sensitized and then we see that later in life it becomes afraid of loud noises, or defensive to children running at it, etc., etc.. I prefer to train the dog that first, the boundary threshold is a stimulant to be attracted to the owner rather than apprehensive about an incidence of change, and then second, the owner is the negative as access to getting off of the property.

    ADAM: So displacement occurs because a dog feels interrupted by something, hunger for example, or something in its environment. And because a dog cannot think, or think of himself as separate from his environment, then what he is displaced by he perceives as himself, right?
    KB: An incidence of change always causes displacement, but if the prey threshold is high enough (and therefore hunger circuitry) then there isn’t the perception of interruption but rather of an increase of MORE ENERGY. And yes, the dog always perceives the external as being part of the internal, but if the balance/pressure thing is going on, the dog feels blocked from its “self” whereas if the hunger/magnetic thing is going on, the dog feels connected to its “self.”

    ADAM: So if he sees a deer, and it displaces him…then if the deer runs away he has to chase it because the deer is the ground and making contact with the deer is the…only way to make the ground literally stop moving…?
    KB: If the deer is running AT the dog, then the dog feels as if the ground beneath its feet is moving and it will run to get away from that place. If the deer is running AWAY from the dog, the dog feels pulled toward the deer. If the dog could always catch the deer, then it would become highly selective about when and where to chase the deer because it wouldn’t have much electrostatic charge. This in fact is what the well-trained herding dog experiences. It feels connected to the sheep because it was allowed to learn to align with its handler as negative granting it access to the positive.
    ADAM: Ahh, I feel like I’m going in circles sometimes.
    KB: The reason you feel you’re going in circles is because the movement of energy is infinitely reflective and after you follow the various elaborations for a while, and even though you may have correctly articulated these series of elaborations, after a while your mind loses track of the “ground” and so you feel lost in the ping-ponging of it all. This then causes the intellectual mind to judge against the feeling mind (heart, the network brain) as it just wants to say something easy and keep everything neatly contained within the boxes with which it has compartmentalized experience. I’m reminded of the scene in the “Matrix” when one of the good guys gone bad is tempted by an agent to swallow the blue pill that causes him to be under the spell of delusion. The current mental models which intellectualize nature and animals are likewise seductive. So while it is hard to see through the illusion of the mental mind, Heart is a muscle that needs exercise in order to become strong enough so one can feel the ground when observing animals no-matter-what. Therefore we must …. KEEP ON PUSHING!

  12. christine randolph says:

    i recommend hot yoga for feeling one’s heart beat. unless you are all scared of the feeling of an impending heart attack !

    i think the reason we are unable to follow Kevin’s theories to their final point is we are not sure how to proof them in the dogs.

    i.e. some kind of a final test, has the doggie GOT IT ? has the owner GOT IT ? are dog and owner in the zone ? would be nice to have a kind of Behan geiger counter that we could just look at to see where we are at.

    the matrix guy who asks to be hooked up again so he can be something famous like “an actor” inside ? why did he not ask to be a dog trainer ?

  13. Heather says:

    “We can’t have half the world at our feet, but we can have half the world around us”

    I am not sure how to come to a resolution with my neighbor regarding my neighbor’s dog. This dog isn’t doing anything wrong, yet I wonder if my neighbor realizes that I am put in the uncomfortable situation of training her dog when he comes over to my house. Happy is being boarded right now so fighting is not an issue on my end, but still our philosophies of dog training are at odds, and I notice that it annoys my neighbor, then this makes me feel ashamed based on previous neighborly squabbles I have experienced. Not the best emotional climate for neighbors to come together in. Any input?

  14. Heather says:

    Anyone see the movie Wall-e? Few words but also mindbending, but good example of keeping focus on the heart.

  15. Donnie_O says:

    “This then causes the intellectual mind to judge against the feeling mind (heart, the network brain) as it just wants to say something easy and keep everything neatly contained within the boxes with which it has compartmentalized experience.”

    Perhaps this is why there is so much hostility from +R trainers when their methods are questioned.

  16. kbehan says:

    The first thing to explore is like-to-like, which is often, what is it about your neighbor that impels you (from physical memory) to seek their approval, in other words, we seek accord with others generally for an indirect way of proving something to ourselves and when we don’t get it, we become angry with them, the anger is a way of protecting ourselves from shame.

  17. Heather says:

    That is an insightful question. Right now I seem to be in the phase of “look where you fear most to look” in my meditation practice, this fits right within those parameters. This is a place for dog stuff though, so I don’t want to get off track too much.

  18. christine randolph says:

    I think it is a doggie issue Heather. Many people do not know how to build boundaries around themselves and the dog.
    if you do not want Happy to hang out with this dog, then tell them they need to keep their dog on their land
    just because these people live next to you does not mean they will be very compatible with you.
    we have many neighbors with whom we have ceased to communicate simply because we have found out what they are about and we do not like it.
    my general recommendation is stick to dogs for your friends. if you want to be friends with your neighbors dog and not them you might be in a bit more of a pickle.

  19. Heather says:

    I’ll tell my story of approval (already hearing the echo) As a kid I was “too sensitive” (especially regarding animals) parents always discussing “is something wrong with her” because of this and also I didn’t do well in math (this turned out to be a couldn’t-see the trees before the forest type of problem but that’s a common theme for me too) Anyway, the cycle goes like this: someone judging me, dread, give up or give in or resolve emotion, if unresolved, anger/guilt, judge against self, shame, repeat. I am not a conformist but that was how I got through, using my street (social) smarts. But basically I am roadkill as I get back to my true self, and that’s ok. Back to regularly scheduled programming…

  20. Sang says:

    I don’t usually say much here, but I thought I’d jump in.

    Heather, it’s never about the dogs, even though they show us everything we need to see. Your conflict with the neighbors has nothing to do with the dogs, they just bring to the surface whatever internal conflict you are struggling with. And as you mentioned so astutely, you hold yourself in judgement based on what’s going on. So in reality, you could “resolve” the dog thing with your neighbors, and then come right back to being in conflict with them about something else. If you choose to “resolve” the issue with your neighbors by “giving in” to their beliefs, then you give up your will and the cycle of judgement, dread, shame repeats itself all over again.

    I always like to look at it this way. If in the past, you’ve always followed a certain pattern or paradigm, then it’s likely always led you into a state of judgement/shame against yourself. It’s always felt like the “right” thing to do, because you’ve always done it. So what if, when you start to feel that urge to do it again, you do the opposite? That’s how you can get your will back, by doing the opposite of what you’ve always done in the past that has led you to be self judging and shameful. That’s how you can start to break the pattern, by NOT following your feelings, and making a conscious choice to do something different this time.

    Which is of course all completely dog related since that’s how we change the dog’s paradigm. A behaviorally challenged dog has always gotten himself into “trouble” because of a kink that was put in his system that drove him to feel a certain way about certain things. From the outside, it’s obvious that his feelings are “wrong” about that other dog, or that stranger, but he can’t make a distinction. He only feels what he feels, and since that’s all he has to go by, what he feels is that the other dog or stranger means danger. Every part of him is telling him to be afraid, so he follows that feeling of fear since he has no choice but to follow it. So we create a new imprint for him by putting him in situations that will trigger that fear, and then re-channel him into things with a better outcome. As Kevin always likes to say “negative grants access to the positive”. And through this process, a new imprint takes hold, and the things that used to trigger feelings of fear trigger feelings of pleasure.

    And that’s exactly what happens with us, only we possess the intellect to be able to NOT follow the path of least resistance that we always have, which in your case would be to seek resolution with your neighbors, at the cost of going against your beliefs. So when you start to feel that feeling of collapse because of the conflict brewing between you, it’s an amazing opportunity to go AGAINST your feelings, follow the path of highest resistance, and create a new imprint, just as we do with our dogs, to regain your will and your heart.

  21. Heather says:

    Thank you Christine and Sang, you are both correct.

    When I am in conflict lately, it is because I know what will or has to happen and I don’t want it to happen. In that way I envy a dog. I am indeed angry about my neighbor’s aloofness in the face of this situation, because the situation is making me heartsick. I don’t actually want my will to be done though — as Sang indicated, because of my beliefs I want Nature’s Will to be done. So I must respectfully request my neighbor to honor our respective boundaries, and of course I’ll do the same.

  22. christine randolph says:

    i know we do not want to talk about this any more…however.

    your typical north american parents always talk in front of their children about what might be wrong with them ? my husband was treated the same way by his parents…i am not saying that there aren’t many things wrong with him but still…

    i am grateful to say that they are all not in immediate need of psychiatric treatment.

    and yet americans come across so self confident, maybe the nationality that radiates self confidence more than any other.

    your neighbors. might have a lot more wrong with them than meets the eye. Their dog’s straying seems to be a math problems they are unable to solve, so you might need to help them…

    give the neighbors fair warning that if the dog comes to your house, you will stick the dog in the car and ship him.her off to the ASPCA.or call the aspca and they will pick the dog up.

    I would assume the dispute will end right there. otherwise you will have to follow through.

    If the dog spends time at the ASPCA this also would serve the purpose of creating an official record of the fact that the dog is straying, which will be useful if the dispute still continues.

    we can try to resolve our conflicts like doggies, by showing our teeth or make calming signals respectively – but if that does not result in a satisfactory solution, we can morph into civilized people using the law of the land.

    you can judge and be judged…just like you live and let live…do you want to be the bitch or the doormat. not many things in between

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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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