Saturday, December 19, 2009

The variable unconscious

In the Brain Club (our research group's journal club) yesterday, Tetsuro Ishikwa, (Ph. D student) introduced Shurger et al. (2009). Their research reported that reproducibility distinguishes conscious from nonconscious neural representations.

I found the idea quite interesting. When we see an object, the conscious percept remains basically the same, no matter how often we may observe it. The unconscious cognitive processes associated, however, might be quite variable, corresponding to the heterogeneous multiple processes that makes our cognition robust.

Take the particular example of an apple. The visual image of an apple is basically the same, if we look at a particular apple from a certain angle and under specific lighting conditions. The significance attributed to the apple, however, might be different from time to time, depending on one's mood, memory, feelings, and the context in which the fruit is presented.

The picture emerges that conscious perception corresponds to the invariable in perception, while there is much variability in the related unconscious processes. It is the co-existence and co-dynamics of two processes of distinguished nature that makes human cognition robust and evolvable.


Anonymous said...

Recently I very think if I always could be in bright feeling or positive thinking, I might change every thing bright and advance.
I remembered when I was crying very often about a year ago.

Thank you so much. I have no wards for this kind of feeling. Thank you so much.

(ma)gog said...

It seems the fact that the realm of unconsciousness has variability in each conscious perception which is invariable, proves that when we believe we are witnessing an object, our cognition might actually be governed mostly by unconsciousness.

When we observe an apple, the hardest thing is perhaps to recognize the object just as an apple, because it is almost impossible to see an apple without the accompanied feelings whatever they might be.

The vast sea of unconsciousness is probably controlling us and playing our consciousness. I would like to know more about this research.

P.S. It was below -10 centigrade today. I experienced "paki paki" for the first time this winter!