Two Systems of Arousal
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Two Systems of Arousal book
This chapter explains the relation between immobility and arousal, stimulation, arousal, and temporal effects, arousal theory, and relation between arousal and stimulation-seeking. "Activation" theorists have assumed that the level of arousal increases linearly with "stressful" stimulation, and that wild excitement constitutes the upper end of the response continuum. Certain forms of sensory stimulation can raise the level of arousal, but high levels of arousal can also be reduced by stimulation under certain conditions. The hypothesis of "inhibition by sensory feedback" proposes that incongruity increases arousal and leads to an increase in stimulation-seeking aimed at familiar stimuli, which in turn reduces arousal. Prolonged or very intense sympathetic nervous system arousal can be give rise to parasympathetic nervous system effects directly; that is, independently of stimulation-seeking, suggesting a "short-circuiting" process. "Activation theorists" have equated "level of arousal" with sympathetic arousal. The concept of "level of arousal" thus needs to be decomposed initially into sympathetic and parasympathetic arousal.