This is an interesting line of conversation.
For brain/mental operations to function "adaptively" there has to be a delicate balance between separations and connections. As far as I know, NO ONE fully understands this issue. Too much connection and the system loses its separate operations; too much disconnection and biological/behavioral anarchy reigns. I suspect there is a poorly investigated shift in the balance among connections and disconnections when behavior is what we might call "coherent"; i.e. adaptive.
Disconnections and discommunications are indeed good ideas to bring into register. Brain events can be mirrored in social events. Its interesting to seek principles that might apply across layers of organization. Disconnections, at whatever level, prevent monitoring of contexts (surrounds). Failures to monitor context (events beyond the immediate) certainly leads to lack of subtlety, even lack of awareness in its broadest sense. The system becomes disarticulated, with one part not adjusting to actions in other parts. Works at the level of brains and at the level of social exchange. Personalities and actions become fragmented. Fragmented systems lose homeostasis (homeodynamics, and this can lead to cycles that develop extreme autonomy. They can, for example, become rigid and perseverant. Its easy to model such things in the abstract. I suspect that such models have genuine biological parallels. You guys are the ones who might find some of these.
Loses of coherence can have multiple origins, and I suspect most of us would agree that biological/social precursors themselves become more or less inseparable partners. I like the idea that retraining can bring shattered (disconnected) subsystems back into register. There is indeed some ongoing research using precisely such methods to assist persons who have suffered from neurological trauma (e.g. automobile accidents). Unfortunately, with severe brain damage the search for "gluing circuits", and ideas how to exercise these, have historically been frustrating. Maybe more thoughts about origins, in both evolutionary and developmental senses of the term, can reveal avenues needed for successful gluing or regluing.
I have personally had sufficient stresses, etc. to catch myself recycling thoughts and actions. I suspect most of us have. While introspection is a dangerous route toward insight, I recall feelings that it was simply impossible to bring other contextual events into the puzzle. You might under these conditions offer me advice (offer alternative "circuits"), and I would not hear. These autonomous loops are not fun, nor are they productive. Obsessions are an extreme form, but there are less dramatic situations that I suspect most of us have experienced. The opposite extreme, which I have also visited, is bringing events together that others think "should be separate"...sort of a metaphorical journey across officially separated domains.
I don't blush* saying these things for I suspect most can resonate through their own experiences. Sometimes, however, systems going back and forth across the domains of separation and connection get locked in to one or the other extreme. Then we have pathology.
The point I wish to offer is that adaptive mental functioning is something like an accordian...opening (widening) and closing (narrowing) as circumstances dictate. There are times we its "best" to open the flood gates and mix the circuits. Creativity and intuition and good old play behavior. There are other times when its best to isolate and narrow the circuits. We concentrate with momentarily adaptive tunnel vision, ignoring distractors. It may not be just the case that either extreme does not work well; it might be that its in part the failure to open and close with proper rhythm that compromises performance, and in more extreme cases leads to pathology.
I say all of this, of course, as an ethologist with no expertise whatsoever! My only claim to joining the conversation is that animals in nature (and in captivity!) demonstrate at least rough parallels to human pathologies when things go wrong. That touches on survival, and that touches on ethology.
Hope you folks keep talking. The topic is a fascinating one.
*I write this in my relatively "expansive" mode; when I read it later in a more critical "focussed" or self-protective mode I'll probably generate the blush!