Search activity concept: Relationship between behavior, health and brain functions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Search activity concept provides a new classification of the behavior which distinguishes search activity (activity in the uncertain situation with the constant feedback between behavior and its outcome), stereotyped behavior with a definite probability forecast, panic (activity without feedback between activity and its outcome) and renunciation of search. Only search activity which includes fight, flight, orienting behavior and creativity raises the body's resistance to stress, to natural and experimentally induced pathology whereas renunciation of search which display itself in freezing, helplessness and depression forms a nonspecific predisposition to somatic disturbances (e.g. psychosomatic diseases). Dreams in REM sleep are regarded as a specific form of search activity aimed at compensating for the lack of search in waking. REM sleep deprivation on a small as well as on rotating platform raises the requirement in REM sleep by frustrating search activity. It is suggested that in wakefulness characterized by the prominent search activity the inhibitory alpha-2-adrenoreceptors became less sensitive to stimulation and consequently in this state the activity of the brain monoamine neurons is less limited by the level of brain monoamines. During renunciation of search brain monoamine synthesis is not stimulated by monoamine exhaustion. In REM sleep the critical level of brain monoamines for search activity to start is lower than in wakefulness and alpha-2-adrenoreceptors are less sensitive than in the state of renunciation of search although more sensitive than during search behavior in waking. REM sleep indirectly contributes to memory consolidation by carrying out its main function - restoration of search activity. A functionally sufficient REM sleep contains search activity in dreams (subject is active in his/her own dream scenario) while in functionally insufficient REM sleep dreams are characterized by subject's passive position and feeling of helplessness. REM sleep insufficiency is an obligate condition for mental and somatic disorders to appear. The difference between normal (adaptive) and pathological (maladaptive) emotional tension is determined by the presence or absence of search activity in the structure of emotional tension. Repression of the unacceptable motive causing neurotic anxiety is a human variant of renunciation of search. Hypochondriac symptoms are in negative relationships with psychosomatic disorders and they, as well as positive symptoms in schizophrenia and anorectic behavior in anorexia nervosa, represent a pathological misdirected search activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-44
Number of pages33
JournalActivitas Nervosa Superior
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Brain monoamines
  • Neurosis
  • Psychosomatic diseases
  • REM sleep
  • Schizophrenia
  • Search activity


Dive into the research topics of 'Search activity concept: Relationship between behavior, health and brain functions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this