It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


what is ur imagination made from?

page: 1

log in


posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 03:18 PM
not sure if this belongs here, but you know everything is made from atoms, n sound is made from vibrations and stuff. but what is the thoughts in your head and the images you create and dreams made out of, i dont get it.

if any1 knows ill b happy, cause ive always thought this

posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 03:19 PM
Its either innate or gained from experience.

posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 06:40 PM
I think it is an interesting question. I think as you aquire more knowledge you lose more imagination. I guess it becomes creative thought then.

posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 07:46 PM
Well, to answer this you have to study psychology. It's the science of how the mind works, and seeks to find out - essentially - what your "thoughts" are made out of.

From the class I took in Psych at Carleton University, this is what I can tell you.

Firstly, your thoughts are, for all intents and purposes, electrical impulses that travel through memory and action neurons that cumulate to create an idea. When you remember the smell of blueberry pie, you imagine the pie. This was caused by the neurons in your body detecting hunger, and informing the brain that you are hungry. The neurons that fire in your brain that have to do with processing hunger (and how to deal with it - ie, eating) cause other neurons that have to do with memory of food to fire. These neurons then bring the image of the pie to mind.

These neurons for memory of the pie then cause the neurons of the memory of the smell of the pie to fire. This causes the neurons for actually smelling things to fire false signals as if the pie were really there. However, since the neural pathways are complex, converging, and diverging - and since you remembered the image of the pie first and know already that there is no pie in front of you, you know that this memory of the blueberry pie's smell is not a real smell, but is instead the memory of the pie.

Essentially that's what happens.

Now, things get complicated from there for determining exactly HOW the neurons cause other neurons to fire and in what patterns.

For example, take a clock. You know what a clock looks like, right? In fact, even if you see a clock that you've NEVER seen before, you know it to be a clock! How does your brain know this? In what order and function do the neurons fire to process the determining of this new object being a clock?

One theory is that your neurons, since they're simple computers (each neuron, when confronted with a signal, will either send out another signal or will not send out a signal - in essence, your brain works in a complex, organic, and evolving, binary code), remember the image of something round.

When you see something round, that neuron fires to all other neurons that identify with things that are round. Is it something round with a number on it? Are there lines pointing to the numbers? In three steps your brain has now verified that the object you're looking at is a clock - because all three of these things match.

This is why people can get so easily confused. Show someone who has never seen a Grapefruit, a grapefruit, and they'll think it's an orange (providing they've seen an orange). This is because all the same neurons are firing. But then you tell them that it's NOT an orange, it's a grapefruit. Now their brain is confused, and starts to look for a further sub-divider that seperates the two. Usually the orange will be more "orange" than the grapefruit (which tends to be more yellow).

If you get them to taste it, the neurons from your tongue will send a unique and previously unencountered signal to the brain. This becomes another way for the brain to distinguish between the orange and the grapefruit - and further reinforces the neural connection between the difference for an orange and a grapefruit.

Simplisticly speaking, this is how your brain works, and what your imagination is made out of. It's a series of neural connections that are constantly firing, and causing other neurons to fire.

Now, why do I say it's like an evolving binary code? Because neural pathways are formed and dissolve over time. If a pathway is used over and over again, the space between the two neurons associated with that thought get closer and closer together, and the firing of Neuron 1 will more often cause the firing of Neuron 2. This is why it's so important to study - because you build the neural pathways to remember things more easily since that pathway is being used more often than it normally would be.

However, it's also possible for a pathway to dissolve. If a pathway isn't fired, the neurons de-link and drift apart, reducing the chances of those pathways firing.

Sometimes, and this tends to be the case of punishment, a third neuron will come in and interrupt the signal, so to speak. Say you steal a cookie and eat it. Neuron 1 for stealing the cookie, and Neuron 2 for enjoying eating, connect with each other. However, one day you get severly punished for eating the cookies. This doesn't cause Neuron 1 and Neuron 2 to disjoint and drift apart - this connection still exists and still fires. However, it's likely that a third connection was formed (Neuron 3, for punishment) that will fire if ever Neuron 2 fires because of Neuron 1. The firing of Neuron 3 will trigger bio-chemicals to be released that will lessen the chance of other neurons firing because of the firing between Neurons 1 and 2.

So, as you can see, the brain is very complicated, and very simple at the same time. Of course, now that you know this - you have to ask yourself "Is there such thing as original thought?"

Are we just neural pulses and nets? Or does the soul cause certain random neurons to fire?

posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 10:09 PM

Originally posted by Disaster_Boy
I think it is an interesting question. I think as you aquire more knowledge you lose more imagination. I guess it becomes creative thought then.

I will disagree here because I tend to associate imagination with creativity. I think the more knowledge one gains, the greater an understanding for the physical world around them becomes and consequently so does their creativity become greater. As a consequences of my studies at school, I find my musical creativity on the rise.

I think imagination is chemical reactions taking place within the brain and elsewhere. I cannot say specifically what chemicals, though.

posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 10:44 PM

Originally posted by Frosty

Originally posted by Disaster_Boy
I think it is an interesting question. I think as you aquire more knowledge you lose more imagination. I guess it becomes creative thought then.

I will disagree here because I tend to associate imagination with creativity. I think the more knowledge one gains, the greater an understanding for the physical world around them becomes and consequently so does their creativity become greater. As a consequences of my studies at school, I find my musical creativity on the rise.

I think imagination is chemical reactions taking place within the brain and elsewhere. I cannot say specifically what chemicals, though.

Frosty, I partially agree with you. My viewpoint tends to favor the physiological psychology side of things in that I think we're basically just bags of ions and chemical reactions living a reality of illusion.

The place we have a different take on things is where it comes to creativity. I think we do (most of us) reach a creative plateau early in life (20’s or 30’s). It seems after that our socialization tends to put blinders on our view of the world, and our thinking is more bounded by what we have been programmed to think is right or wrong, true or false, etc. That’s why most of the great breakthroughs in science and the arts were made by people in their 20’s or 30’s. Not all, mind you, just most. It seems at that age we can more easily think outside the box.

[edit on 3/9/2006 by netbound]

posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 11:41 PM
what is ur imagination made from?

That is a very, very good question.


That is a good explanation of the formation and retrieval of memory, but it had very little to do with imagination, unless you want to imagine something you already have in memory.

I think she means what, at the core of it, is imagination; As in where do original ideas come from?

Imagination after all is the mother of pretty much every advancement made by man. If it was that easy to formulate, then the term imagination itself would be a misnomer.

To the question, my truthful answer would be I don't know. But I'll give it a guess.

I think imagination is the 'length' your mind is able and prepared to let you peer into the realms of insanity, whilst ensuring your own sanity. The more your mind can handle, the better your imagination.

I think the greater the imagination, the greater the lease you give your mind to wander. If you aren't fussed, and if you can handle your mind dipping its toes into every school and form of thought, then that's one aspect that will improve your imagination.

If you restrict your mind permanently to the confines of your social, religious or any other beliefs, then you are restricting your imagination.

The people with the kind of imagination that brings us true genius and brilliant ideas, are born with it. There is no teaching that.

Unfortunately, imagination as a whole is something that is repressed in our society, rather than encouraged. It is seen as a threat in a system that teaches and needs conformity.

…Unless you have plenty of money of course - Then whatever two bit idea you spent three months on, faffing about with paint brushes tied to your nostrils becomes natural unequalled poetry...

Edit: clarification.

[edit on 10-3-2006 by kegs]

posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 01:19 AM
missyelliott, you might find this thread to be of some interest, as it delves into the neurochemical processes a little.

posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 01:40 AM
From my understanding, the brain has many functions, and ultimately, is the vehicle for the mind....... so here is one thing to consider..... the 'trinity'..

The brain is made up of 2 hemispheres, and the balancing organ being the Pineal Gland.

Left, Pineal, Right
Male, androgynous, Female
Analytical/ego, connection to god/hyperspace, creative/imagination
Conscious, subconscious, Superconscious

So people with mental illnesses such as Schitzophrenia, they are stuck on ONE side of the brain, and to balance, means to make the pineal gland active because the pineal gland is actually the 'bridge' between both hemispheres. Bi-polarism is the constant switching between the extremes of left and right, thus again, balancing at the pineal gland.

So being on the Analytical/left brain, you are on the male brain... however if you are on the female/right brain, you are on the creative/imaginative brain, thus the foundation of creative thought and imagination. 90% of the brain is in constant communication with God........ however consciously, you can do this by accessing the pineal gland, the androgynous part (which effectively represents god as it has no gender)...

This also explains why modern schools and careers are based on left brain people, highest paying jobs are people like architects, lawyers, policticians etc.. etc.. then you have the minority right brain people, such as musicians, artists who do make a lot of money...but not like the majority of left brain people.........

So this is why I came to realise that children used to be forced to right with the RIGHT hand, because it amplifies left brain activity, and thus left brain thinking........ in essence........ left brain people generally do not think for themselves as much as right brain people, because if the world was full of right brain people, we would simply have no need for 'controllers'....

Then there's the Brain stem, which is the 'reptilian' brain stem...which influences the brain on fight or flight characteristics........

So we have left brain, pineal, right brain, and reptilian brain stem....the human brain is one 'buggered' up bit of machinery....

If only it was all a Pineal Gland, then we would all...realistically...... think like God!

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 08:54 AM
This thread is what caused me to join. I was researching neurons and binaural beats and came across this. It's genius. I think there is something within the world of neurons and synapses that can link to magick. Eliphas Levi said magick and the other world (astral) acts directly on the nervous system. Maybe there is a connection between what the imagination is and the astral or other realities. This was the teaching of Carlos Castenada when he talked about breaking the assemblage point. Any thoughts?

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 10:50 AM
I agree with others that it is quite an interesting question.

I am pretty sure our conscious minds are pure imaginary space.
Granted, oft designed to correlate reasonably tightly with a seeming objective reality, but still actually imaginary. A quasi-parallel sketch of 'reality' that is, in addition, free to conjure things 'known' not to actually exist.

We live in an ocean of fine granular stuff & activity.
The imagination is the abstractor mechanism from this amorphous stuff. The imagination is the place where we manipulate, deconstruct & reconstruct configurations of abstractions.
Some kind of aggregate coherency/construction mechanism? But in a more pure logic, extremely low overhead environment? It is a bit like we are extracting the conceptual essence of something. We see the flat surface of a table. Note its perpendicularity to the gravity field. Perhaps note its possible optimal height. Perhaps the friction parameters of its major surface. Maybe we note the support structure characteristics.

But what is the "catcher's mitt" that allows for that abstraction?
Obviously biology is full of pre-existing structure.
The imagination starts from reflections of the presumed reality around us. [perception space?] But then hopefully it goes far & creatively beyond that.
I suppose to some degree it simply starts with our visual & conceptualization interface, which is itself dependent on a whole boatload of pre-processing of raw sensations -> semi-abstracted -> conceptulization.

Obviously if our minds were simply allowed to go off on a complete imagination tangent & never bother to re-interface with immediate reality, we probably couldn't survive unless some sympathetic soul is caring for us.
In privileged places of a technologically advanced society arguably some few do come moderately close to that semi-detachment from reality.

Imagination is a parallel concept/imagery space?
Potentially very useful for operating in & adapting to & from reality,
as well as simply a domain of escape from mundanity by those with the time & privileged freedom to do so.

Imagination is a physics free zone. We can create the images & ideas of things, but they are potentially freed up from all the physics overhead. In imagination the table weighs nothing. it can be reshaped nearly instantaneously with whatever altered form our creativity may allow. It can be crafted of whatever real or imaginary substance we choose. It can have whatever attributes we want to fancifully give it, or we can strip it down to the most spare elegant logic a table could fit. We can try to fit it in economic constraints, or physics constraints, or functional constraints or any combinations of those considerations or others.

Imagination is almost certainly 'designed' to abstract & conceptualize.
I suspect the imagination is sort of hyper-responsive. Like it has a lot of anticipatory 'software' working with/for/on it. It probably [likes?] tries to guess what we want to or 'should' think. And we have to be a little careful of that. If not monitored properly that inclination leads to bigotry & ignorance & technological terminality.
Automated thinking, while extremely fast & energy efficient, limits one's responses. It can limit potential avenues of benefit.

Is imagination functioning almost like an automatic insularity? Or creating an anticipatory response insulation? We see the flames of the forest fire, & anticipating horrible pain & likely death we run the opposite direction.

You see that with drug/food/sex/money addiction. The 'junkie' begins to get excited just from the pre-cursor stimuli rather than supposedly from the actual thing itself. Anticipatory, neural network training systems.

One implied function of imagination is a means of usefully programming our brains for the purposes of reality interface benefit.
It can also be a real-time monitor & guesser for immediate situations.

One of the joys of imagination is as a domain of pure play, where & when we don't have to interface with a largely mundane reality.

[edit on 11-5-2010 by slank]

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 11:19 AM
I am talking more about imagination rather than directly to 'what' it is made of,
although anticipatory software does partly go there.

The imagination can amplify or diminish things, which makes it somewhat scale independent. Which is why it can confabulate things on & to tremendous scales. Hyper-micro or Universes inconceivably larger than our mere 26 billion lightyear bubble of observation.

The weird [amazing?] thing to me is the filling in of intricate detail. Like in dreams they seem quite detailed, but often if you try to focus in on them they shift, change or disappear.
That is a quite interesting ability. Like a sketch artist creating just enough texture & detail to make it complete, without tortuously spending [wasting?] time, energy & focus on something that will evaporate in mere instants.

Descriptors would be sinuous & electric. Like amazing gossamer stage backdrops that appear in detail & are replaced in a moment by another completely different one.

The illusion(?) is of suspension at the center of some satin smooth image show. If one were to have a more holodeck type imagination i suspect it would take a more powerful one than mine.

Technology is applied imagination.

new topics

top topics


log in