posted on Mar, 7 2005 @ 01:26 PM
Not your conscious mind. Of all the choices you've made, from taking a different exit on the highway, even to marrying your loved one, the majority
are not made by your conscious, rational mind. In fact, objectivity may be very rare.
The snap judgment. The song that constantly runs through your head whenever you close your office door. The desire to drink Coke rather than
Pepsi or to drive a Mustang rather than a Prius. The expression on your spouse's face that inexplicably makes you feel either amorous or enraged. Or
how about the now incomprehensible reasons you married your spouse in the first place?
This part is about the study:
But in a stunning study published this month in the journal Neurology, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the
brains of two minimally conscious patients and compared them with the brains of seven healthy men and woman. The scans revealed that the minimally
conscious patients had less than half of the brain activity of the others. But then all the subjects were played a tape made by a family member or
friend, recounting happy memories and shared experiences. One minimally conscious man listened to his sister reminiscing about her wedding and about
the toast that he made. The result was astonishing: All those who were scanned, including the minimally conscious patients, shared similar brain
activity, some with activation in the visual cortex. "This shows that there is a life of the mind beyond what is apparent," says Joseph Fins, chief
of the medical ethics division of New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. But Fins, who was not involved in the study, points out
that philosophical questions also emerge. "Does this mean that they are seeing words? Visualizing semantic concepts? Does this in some way
conceptualize consciousness?" As Zaltman points out, language is only the narrowest determination of our thoughts. This study shows that our brains,
even damaged brains, are exquisitely attuned to that fact.
Welcome to evidence of your robust unconscious at work.
While these events are all superficially unrelated, each reveals an aspect of a rich inner life that is not a part of conscious, much less rational,
thought. Today, long after Sigmund Freud introduced the world to the fact that much of what we do is determined by mysterious memories and emotional
forces, the depths of the mind and the brain are being explored anew. "Most of what we do every minute of every day is unconscious, " says
University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Paul Whelan. "Life would be chaos if everything were on the forefront of our consciousness."
This gives a much better understanding of the mind and of peoples behaviours that very often seem illogical and irrational. Also here on this forum.
The article also explains the phenomena known in the NLP world as "anchoring". An anchor is when an impulse (from one of the five sense) generates
unconscious thoughts and feelings the mind has associated with that anchor. People can be easily influenced and formed by utilizing anchors.
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine offered 67 committed Coke and Pepsi drinkers a choice, and in blind testing, they preferred Pepsi.
When they were shown the company logos before they drank, however, 3 out of 4 preferred Coke. The researchers scanned the brains of the participants
during the test and discovered that the Coke label created wild activity in the part of the brain associated with memories and self-image, while
Pepsi, though tasting better to most, did little to these feel-good centers in the brain. P. Reed Montague, director of the Brown Foundation Human
Neuroimaging laboratory at Baylor, explained when the study was released last October: "There's a huge effect of the Coke label on brain activity
related to the control of actions, the dredging up of memories and self-image." The mere red-and-white image of Coke made the hippocampus, our
brain's vault of memories, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for many of our higher human brain functions like working
memory and what is called executive function or control of behavior, light up. The point, says Montague, is that "there is a response in the brain
which leads to a behavioral effect." And curiously, it has nothing to do with conscious preference.
The dog comes up and begins to sniff. If it remembers you, and you were a nice person, then instantly it wags its tail, perhaps even deigns to lick
your wrist. It may avoid you. It may associate you with food or with a swift kick. And all those images, all those associations are evoked by one
Apparently we have underestimated our unconscious mind again. The unconscious mind often causes people to do irrational things, and have irrational
viewpoints on different matters, as can be seen here on ATS for example. I am not immune to it either. This is not a excuse post, neither a post about
not being responsible for your actions. Everybody has to be responsible for their actions of course, but it's important to find out what causes
people to do the stuff that they do in order to be able to better it.
[edit on 7-3-2005 by TheBandit795]
[edit on 7-3-2005 by TheBandit795]