Clinical observation reveals that some clients are particularly sensitive to small adjustments in medication dose and type. This is most evident in the tendency of antidepressants to elicit rapid cycling, a condition in which elation and depression alternate several times per month and sometimes daily. Rapid cycling is often noted in the treatment of mania and ADHD.
Kauffman's model suggests 1) that life operates in a narrow interval between random activity and rigidity and, 2) the continuum between chaos and structural/behavioral rigidity is a function of the number of interconnections between decision units. Mathematical analysis suggests a narrow range separating stasis from chaos, a sufficiently narrow range to be designated a "phase transition."
Phase transitions seem applicable to rapid cycling as well as to other syndromes associated with brain damage, developmental disabilities, ADHD, mania, schizophrenia, and Alzheimers. The commonality in all of these disorders is the heightened probability that density of interconnection between competing neural mechanisms, including some of those involved in different psychological adaptations, is a key regulatory factor in the quality of the disorder. Kauffman's model suggests that rapid oscillation in emotional states is a function of interconnections between neurons rather than in the total number of neurons. Analogue changes in the intensity of a reaction and smooth sequencing between opposed reactions is likely a function of the number of connections between competing cell assemblies. Evolutionary complex behaviors such as those associated with Executive Functions or creative thought may be a product of dense interconnections, rather than particular cell nuclei.
Disruption of axonal connections by any means should elicit more spastic movements, scrambled thoughts, and difficulty engaging and disengaging action sequences. Therapeutic interventions that encourage more dense interconnection should not only smooth execution of response sequences but encourage the operation of Executive Functions such as planning, waiting, task switching, analytical ability, and the ability to synthesize new motor sequences for problem solving.
It is finally speculated that language, in contrast to affective or motor sequences, is more binary in its content and more easily disrupted because of relatively fewer interconnections between competing units. Thus, we tend to have rigid labels, limited quantification of nouns or verbs, think in polar opposites, and adopt oppositional stances despite substantial agreement between people in their observations. The sensed attribute of richer connections between logic units is a wider range of indecision, a wider range in which the words "maybe," "often," "usually," or "seldom" apply. These shifts are likely regardless of whether the logic units are molecular, chemical, neuronal, or electrical. They will apply whether occurring within a single organism or within a flock and whether the signal between logic units is an action potential or the sensory impact of a conspecific.