Delayed reaction

It is not a matter here of "thinking twice" before speaking: the neuro-linguistic processes are already activated when we get there. We are not either speaking of a kind of prolonged reflexion, indecision, hesitation, etc. If you put your hand on an very hot surface, no neuro-semantic process will prevent you from removing it very quickly. On the other hand, a delayed reaction will enable you to prevent from shouting, if it could endanger you to do so, for example.

The delayed reaction is a natural and automatic process induced by extensional orientation, leading us to visualize the processes, to 'think' in terms of 'facts', etc.

If we orient ourselves predominantly by intension or verbal definitions, our orientations depend mostly on the cortical region. If we orient ourselves by extension or facts, this type of orientation by necessity follows the natural order of evaluation, and involves thalamic factors, introducing automatically cortically delayed reactions. In other words, orientations by intension tend to train our nervous systems in a split between the functions of the cortical and thalamic regions; orientations by extension involve the integration of cortico-thalamic functions.

Orientations by extension induce an automatic delay of reactions, which automatically stimulates the cortical region and regulates and protects the reactions of the usually over-stimulated thalamic region.

Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity, Introduction to the second edition.
© ESGS, 2001.