[From Rick Marken (920513 9:25)]

Curt McNamara (13-05-92, 13:31):

the main
focus is my infant daughter. She has fairly severe eczema (atopic


So all I want to know is: What control
system is "out of whack" and how do we fix it?

I'd have to know more about what eczema is (physiologically -- ie,
what is happening to the skin) and how these physiological effects
might effect variables that the skin deals with. (My daughter, now 14,
had it, by the way. She still occasionally has a minor bout with it.
Neither she, nor I, has any idea what "disturbances" might lead to it.
But it has gotten far better with age; and my daughter is, indeed, quite

I think the medical people have to know more about how the skin is normally
involved in various control processes before it can understand what might
be wrong with the control systems that end up producing eczema. The skin does
seem to be involved in the control of variables that are "psychological",
though. I was amazed at how easily I could control the visual representation
of my GSR by just imagining things in a "biofeedback" situation. Perhaps
the skin is involved in the physiological processes that determine the
"gain" of our control loops (this gain being experienced as emotions).
Maybe, with eczema, the gain of these gain control loops is too high
so that there is poor control of the skin variable involved in the respiration
control that is involved in controlling the gain of the perceptual control
loop gain, blah blah. This is all, of course, total bull****. What we
really need is a model of skin control -- which will show symptoms of
'eczema' under certain circumstances. Until then, you can only deal with it
the way medicine deals with most physiological malfunctions -- do whatever
it is that ends up eliminating the symptoms (risking, of course, even worse
side-effects sometimes).





Richard S. Marken USMail: 10459 Holman Ave
The Aerospace Corporation Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 336-6214 (day)
(310) 474-0313 (evening)