Perception, consciousness and rugby


How do we know what we know? Doubting everything apart from our own thoughts seems a bit of a cop out, particularly if you end up making your conclusions fit some notion of spirituality.

Why not question the notion of self and the uniqueness of brain activity? The interconnectedness of the physical world is not fully understood. So that even if you scoff at the idea of supernatural deities, there is plenty to develop into plausible theories about the way that biological beings interact with each other.

Horse whisperers, dog trainers are not always cranks. Humans are beginning to acknowledge that other species have brain states similar to our own. Brains that are capable of reflection, not just engaged in decision activities geared towards survival and steered by emotions.

The proof of consciousness in other species is logical enough, if Darwin’s observations are respected. But what about the extent to which we share consciousness? Intuitive responses might be good guesswork, but thoughts that drift into our consciousness uninvited  and signify a specific event are hard to discount. The death of a twin, the imminent danger of a close friend or the sense that something has happened before, could be strands of an extremely complex network of  synaptic chemical and electrical messages. The importance we attribute to one message might only be its correlation with an actual event, rather than its place within a plethora of messages that we order according to perplexing criteria.

Prof. Cathy Craig at Queen’s University Belfast is conducting interesting psychological research into movement and perception. Colour seems to play an important role in distraction,303844,en.html





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