NOTE: You are going to need to pause the video at 1:49, and go here. (The video makes reference to a Key and Peele video that we have not yet been able to license, so you need to watch it on Youtube and return. The link above will take you there.)
Ambiguous stimuli are of particular consequence because when something can be interpreted in more than one way, the way in which we interpret it generally is largely mediated by our present neural platform of behavior. In this way, they are strong litmus test of the underlying state. Furthermore, in a highly unequal culture, where signs and symbols have divergent meanings depending on our social locations, many conflicts, disagreements, and misunderstanding happen because of divergent experiences of a particular stimuli. In this section we’ll watch a Key and Peele video that illustrates this beautifully. For more on this topic, see our film The Space Between Us, which dives deeply into this territory with particular regard to relating across difference (this film is particularly oriented towards American culture, and specifically was created for white folks to support useful engagement in conversations about race). The implications of Polyvagal Theory for anti-racist work and practice are a particular interest of ours. We have convened two teams working on this. One specifically focused on this work for white folks, and one focused on this work in the Black community (the Black Wellness Initiative).