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Proxemics and neurosciences

de Isabelle Sabrié

A « neurobiological peace principle» observed in the Amazonian forest !

The proxemics basing rhythm-space harmony is a natural phenomenon that I have been observing over 12 years of living in the Amazon forest. Proxemics is a “scientific discipline studying the significant organization of the space, of different animal species and in particular the human species [1] .” It was scientifically observed first by statistics during the XXth century[2], then by neurosciences of the brain amygdala in 2009 [3].

Proxemics showed that in a group of humans or animals, the distances between the individuals are not hazardous but very precise. They are obeying to specific rules, the interpersonal distances, decided after “consulting” our brain amygdala. Analyzing if a living presence near us is a danger, is neutral, or represents a possible benefit, we adapt the physical distance between these other living beings and ourselves, approaching, staying or running away from them.

The brain amygdala is the one analyzing the presences, their movements and purposes, to make a decision about the future of our space position. First, a measure of the physical distance in space between us and other living beings has to be realized, so that our  position in space can be correctly defined, and our next movement correctly prepared. This “calculation” of distances is made by our brain, analyzing our past, present and future localization. And the brain amygdala takes its decision sometimes more quickly than our consciousness, in case of physical danger for example.

The recent discovery of the brain amygdala role was a fascinating confirmation of my first intuition, the one which was detecting the principles of a “world peace” materialized by this multipolar sound balance ! Every time that the amygdala decides about the most secure spatiotemporal position for our person, considered as the “center” of a world containing lots of beings in movement, the amygdala spontaneously builds a “multipolar strategic balance” to share the physical space, as in the train car example.  Proxemics really plays a fundamental role for our internal and external peace.

Concerning rhythm-space harmony, a loud and unexpected sound coming from behind without allowing us to see its source provokes a sensation of danger which automatically activates the human amygdala and its defense systems. This fact, which could not occur in a current concert situation in which all the sounds are coming from the stage or the screen in front of the spectators, can happen during a spatialized concert when some sounds are emitted on the back of them, on left and right side, up or down, by sources out of their vision field. 

Rhythm-space harmony, by balancing the sounds in space, allows the auditors to feel the surprises and provisory imbalances of the musical “life” with a relative tranquility, without provoking physical strong alerts of the brain amygdala, but also without diminishing the asperities or the suavity of the musical composition. And, of course, it increases the consciousness and intelligence of the world by adding dimensions, adding the “side left-right-back-up-down” worlds to the frontal audio and visual perception of the public.

Rhythm-space harmony is some sort of “neurobiological peace principle” ! It balances a multipolar world made of a great diversity of resonant beings and simultaneous movements of sounds. And this balance of the physical distances between ourselves, the resonant beings and the sound movements is also a “harmony” with our neurobiological nature.

[2] The hidden dimension, Edward T Hall, Garden City,N.Y, Doubleday 1966.
[3] Kennedy, Daniel P et al. “Personal space regulation by the human amygdala.”
Nature neuroscience vol. 12,10 (2009): 1226-7. doi:10.1038/nn.2381. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2753689/