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Research and monitoring success 

The neuromatrix – what is it and how it works

Melzack, R. (1999). From the gate to the neuromatrix. PubMed, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

The Canadian Professor of Psychology Ronald Melzack coined the term Neuromatrix. In simplified terms, we are all born with some preprogrammed behavioral options, which also include our “emotional program”, for example, panic, disgust or anger. A neuromatrix contains all the behavioral and perceptual filters, which accompany the process of such emotional waves.  

The Canadian Professor of Psychology and brain researcher Ronald Melzack coined this term (Melzack, 1999). In simplified terms, we are all born with some preprogrammed behavioral options, which also include our “emotional program”. No one has to explain it to us how panic works, our body knows this all by itself due to the predetermined programming. A neuromatrix contains all the behavioral and perceptual filters, which accompany the process of the emotional waves. In case of panic, there would a activation of the leg muscle, a rapid heartbeat to activate the body to run quickly, the contraction of our surface vessel to prevent bleeding,  a restricted thinking, so that in our “tunnel vision”, we could concentrate only on the thoughts to escape in order to save ourselves. Even the inherent programs for disgust, anger, desire, sympathy, fun and pleasure run unconsciously and automatically.
 

On the journey through life, let’s say, a human being meets, for example, a competent cleaning lady, this experience is accompanied by a positive emotional response. In this case, a – now learned– neuromatrix: a CLEANING LADY wipes the dust, vacuums, cleans windows, keeps things organized and a comfortable home. In the neuromatrix, all these facets are stored, and the network of words, which has something to do with these facets, is known as – as already mentioned – “semantic fields”. This is also known as a lexical field or a semantic field (Schwarz, 2007). In this case, the words activate – as said – a pleasant experience on the emotional level, in addition to the understanding of the course of actions.

In case of the detective in the satirical movie “Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid”, the term “cleaning lady” was, however, interwoven with an anger-and-grief-matrix: The hero of the movie reacts with a fit of raving madness when he only hears that word – because his father eloped with a cleaning lady when he was seven years old and, therefore, his mother died of a broken heart. However sad this story may be – it illustrates how meaningful it is stick to the Vita language of the clients in Coaching or in therapy so as to be able to focus on their issues very precisely.