Very interesting – and illustrative of how our perception is an artifact of
our mind/brain. It reminds me of an earlier study in which test subjects
were told they were being scored on their ability to perform some complex
two levels of order visual task – say pressing a button whenever a diagonal
red bar appeared on their visual field… so they need to focus on both color
and shape in this case. Afterwards they had to report on what they saw. What
they were really being tested on was whether or not – absorbed as their
minds were in this complex visual task – they saw the man in the gorilla
suit who clearly walked across their field of view during the sequence in
which they were being tested on.

What is surprising in the results was how many subjects never saw the man in
the gorilla suit…. How their brains helpfully edited this unimportant (for
the task) data stream, excising the gorilla from the world that they saw.
How much of what we see, smell, hear, taste, touch even is something that
has become subtly changed as it has become manufactured in our perception.

>From what I have been able to read it sounds like the brain is very
efficient about throwing out information it has “decided” is redundant,
unimportant or distracting… the brain/mind as an editing machine… turning
the raw film into the finished movie.

 

From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Weinberg
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:46 PM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Neural activity in the brain is harder to disrupt when we are aware
of it

 

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-10-neural-brain-harder-disrupt-aware.html

We consciously perceive just a small part of the information processed in
the brain – but which information in the brain remains unconscious and which
reaches our consciousness remains a mystery. However, neuroscientists
Natalia Zaretskaya and Andreas Bartels from the Centre for Integrative
Neuroscience (CIN) at the University of Tübingen have now come one step
closer to answering this question.

 
<http://medicalxpress.com/openx/www/delivery/lg.php?bannerid=373&campaignid=
196&zoneid=79&loc=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fmedicalxpress.com%2Fnews%2F2013-10-
neural-brain-harder-disrupt-aware.html&cb=79bd1b8ee7> 

Their research, published in Current Biology, used a well-known visual
illusion known as 'binocular rivalry' as a technique to make visual images
invisible. Eyes usually both see the same image – binocular rivalry happens
when each eye is shown an entirely different image. Our brains cannot then
decide between the alternatives, and our perception switches back and forth
between the images in a matter of seconds. The two images are 'rivals' for
our attention, and every few seconds they take turns to enter our
consciousness.

Using this approach the two scientists used a moving and a static picture to
cause perceptual alternations in their test subjects' minds. Simultaneously
they applied magnetic pulses to disturb brain processing in a 'motion
<http://medicalxpress.com/tags/motion/>  area' that specifically processes
visual motion <http://medicalxpress.com/tags/visual+motion/> . The effect
was unexpected: 'zapping' activity in the motion area did not have any
effect on how long the moving image was perceived – instead, the amount of
time the static image was perceived grew longer.

So 'zapping' the motion area while the mind was unconsciously processing
motion meant that it took longer for it to become conscious of the moving
image. When the moving image was being perceived, however, zapping had no
effect.

This result suggests that there is a substantial difference between
conscious and unconscious motion representation in the brain
<http://medicalxpress.com/tags/brain/> . Whenever motion is unconscious, its
neural representation can easily be disturbed, making it difficult for it to
gain the upper hand in the rivalry. However, once it becomes conscious it
apparently becomes more resistant to disturbance, so that introducing noise
has no effect. Therefore, one correlate of conscious neural codes may be a
more stable and noise-resistant representation of the outside world, which
raises the question of how this neural stability is achieved.


Indeed. It is almost as if consciousness is actually trying to make sense on
purpose ;) Could it be that consciousness is actually conscious???

 

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