The mind-body connection

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
CorranH
A-dork-able
Posts: 1514
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:43 am UTC
Location: Stockton, CA
Contact:

The mind-body connection

Postby CorranH » Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:50 am UTC

Does anyone else ever sometimes just become absolutely fascinated by this? I mean, even simple stuff, like walking. Or just moving your arm sometimes strikes me as fascinating. I just think about wanting to raise my arm and . . . Whoa, there it goes!

But what I'm specifically talking about here is that next level: when you have trained your body to such a degree that you can make something happen by pure force of will. I'll give you an example, that made me start thinking of this again. A couple nights ago, I was transcribing part of a book into text; about twelve pages worth. Now, I'm by no means a stellar typist; I probably top out at seventy WPM, perhaps eighty, max, if I hit a really good groove. But as I was typing part of this book, I realized that my best, fastest, and most error-free typing was done when I was able to get into a groove, and then just kind of relax, for lack of a better word. I didn't have to think about what I was doing anymore, I simply focused on the words (it helps that this was a book that I'm very familiar with), and they appeared on-screen without the intervention of my mind. At times, I could simply watch myself type, not having to think at all. Just focus on what I wanted to type, and then watch my fingers fly across the keyboard, having no idea what they were doing, but watching these words appear onscreen nonetheless. Just having reached that stage where, over the last decade, I have trained my hands to the point where I can translate intent into action without thought.

This is also something I've seen a few times in Guitar Hero, of all things. Again, I've never been really great at the game, but sometimes, I would get in a groove, and be playing a song, and suddenly see a complicated solo coming up, and having no idea how to play it, but if I relax a bit, and let my hands move of their own accord, they take me through without a single mistake. It's a very cool, almost surreal feeling - to watch your body do something complicated, and having no actual knowledge of what you're doing; to not be consciously directing your body at all . . . but still doing it flawlessly.

It seems, from all the replies the occasional martial arts threads get when they're made, that we have a significant number of martial artists here. Can any of you comment on this? One of the reasons learning a martial art has always appealed to me, is it seems like an activity that really strives for this kind of connection. That's always seemed cool to me - to hone your body to such a degree where you can have a sparring match, and the reactions come automatically; to direct your body and actions by pure force of will.
It's a muon, you cunt - Robin Williams

User avatar
l33t_sas
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:50 am UTC
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby l33t_sas » Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:07 am UTC

I've noticed something similar to this when I am reading. I can just sort of scan the page and not read each individual word and read very quickly but then if I start thinking about my reading speed or about if it's weird that I don't actually read each word, I lose grip of my "groove" and start reading each word individually and therefore much slower. It's kind of annoying because it's completely involuntary. Then it becomes an annoying cycle where me reading slowly frustrates me so I think about the way in which I'm reading which of course stops me from getting back into the "groove" yeuch.
You're thinking of a Pegasus. Unicorns don't fly, they just sort of... plummet.

User avatar
Sir_Elderberry
Posts: 4206
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:50 pm UTC
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:37 am UTC

Well, imagine having to think of every contraction of your muscles, as opposed to just walking. The best analogy that comes to mind at the moment is my TI84. I can put in all the numbers individually. It works. It's slow. But over time I make a program that asks for m1, m2, and r, and spits out the value of the gravitational force between two masses. Our brain develops macros early in life. The basic ones, like walking, are easy. Reading happens a little later. Mathematics falls into the "automatic" category to varying degrees for different people. For example, doing two digit division like 84 x 6 or something was simple for me after second grade or so, because I understood the concept of 80 x 6 + 4 x 6, but some people can't do that and some people had to be taught the distributive property first. Typing is really awesome when you get in the flow of things, especially if it's simultaneously writing. There are few things more wonderful to me than when I'm writing a paper and I hit the point where I can close my eyes, look up at the ceiling, let the words flow, and a few minutes later I've typed a few beautiful paragraphs with no spelling or typographical errors.
http://www.geekyhumanist.blogspot.com -- Science and the Concerned Voter
Belial wrote:You are the coolest guy that ever cooled.

I reiterate. Coolest. Guy.

Well. You heard him.

User avatar
Kithplana
Posts: 400
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 11:12 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Kithplana » Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:51 am UTC

I've had that happen with certain piano pieces I've learned then forgotten. I come back to them and find that I can't remember the notes, but I remember the hand movements, and... I play. If I think about the notes I promptly lose my groove, so I have to sit back and relax and let music happen.

Now if only I could do this with music that hasn't been composed yet.

User avatar
xooll
Posts: 804
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:11 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby xooll » Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:45 am UTC

Kithplana wrote:I've had that happen with certain piano pieces I've learned then forgotten. I come back to them and find that I can't remember the notes, but I remember the hand movements, and... I play. If I think about the notes I promptly lose my groove, so I have to sit back and relax and let music happen.
That happens to me too, even on an instrument I've only been playing for a week (bowed psaltery). The hands learn way faster than anything else, and remember things better too.
So, I got tired of the fact that the appearance of my band name in my signature made my posts on this forum the dominant result when googling for my music. Anyway, if you think I might happen to be a good musician, you can test this theory here.

User avatar
parkaboy
who dwells between the borders of time
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:17 am UTC
Location: la-la land
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby parkaboy » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:00 am UTC

muscle memory. going through the motions, and so on. i thought this was going to be a bit different, like how your physical state relates to your mental one... when i'm sore from working out, yeah i'm sore, but i feel awesome despite, or because of that. on the other hand, if i'm angry, or mentally exhausted or sad, my immune system takes a dive and i'm more noticeably susceptible to illness.

but on topic, if i picked up a clarinet after 7 years, i could probably still play chromatic and most of my major scales with only small technical errors; my fingers just KNOW. tuning, tone and reconditioning my mouth muscles would take some time though.
Image

Back in our day we had to walk uphill both ways through the snow on fire without feet to get fucking terrible relationship advice from disinterested and socially maladjusted nerds. Belial

User avatar
CorranH
A-dork-able
Posts: 1514
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:43 am UTC
Location: Stockton, CA
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby CorranH » Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:53 am UTC

parkaboy wrote:muscle memory. going through the motions, and so on. i thought this was going to be a bit different, like how your physical state relates to your mental one... when i'm sore from working out, yeah i'm sore, but i feel awesome despite, or because of that. on the other hand, if i'm angry, or mentally exhausted or sad, my immune system takes a dive and i'm more noticeably susceptible to illness.

but on topic, if i picked up a clarinet after 7 years, i could probably still play chromatic and most of my major scales with only small technical errors; my fingers just KNOW. tuning, tone and reconditioning my mouth muscles would take some time though.


Yeah, I know the explanation and all, I just find it fascinating. Especially the typing thing. To be able to think about a sentence, and then just watch my hands fly over a keyboard of their own accord, without any conscious thought; watching as they're independent of myself . . . I dunno, it always just amazes me.
It's a muon, you cunt - Robin Williams

tylerwylie
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:23 am UTC
Location: Champaign, IL
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby tylerwylie » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:08 am UTC

Drugs are bad, mkay?
Who are you and who am I
To say we know the reason why?
Some are born; some men die
Beneath one infinite sky.
There'll be war, there'll be peace.
But everything one day will cease.
All the iron turned to rust;
All the proud men turned to dust.

User avatar
McCaber
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:35 am UTC
Location: Coyote
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby McCaber » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:29 am UTC

I learned this concept as mushin, "no mind," where you know the actions well enough to not have to think about them.

Just one more awesome thing the human mind/body can do.
Spoiler:
hyperion wrote:
Hawknc wrote:Crap, that image is going to get a lot of use around here.

That's what SHE said!

She blinded me with Science!

The Ethos
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:50 am UTC
Location: Private Hell
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby The Ethos » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:10 pm UTC

Flow. It's a real psychological term.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29

It's the same feeling as being "in the zone" in sports, but for me? Guitar Hero. No question about it.
Sometimes I just let my fingers do the walking, quite literally.

It's almost the same thing as when I'm driving, and suddenly you realize that you've been driving for 15 minutes, but were totally thinking about something else?
Everything was fine, and you probably would have reacted perfectly if something needed your attention.....

/Leads to trouble when people wonder why you're not sweating playing GH3 on expert.
//Oh, sorry, I was thinking about what to order for dinner...
///Not trying to be an ass, guys. Seriously!

EDIT:

I love this quote from the wikipedia article

Another example was given by Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, who during qualifying for the 1988 Monaco Grand Prix felt like driving the car beyond his limits. "I was already on pole, [...] and I just kept going. Suddenly I was nearly two seconds faster than anybody else, including my team mate with the same car. And suddenly I realised that I was no longer driving the car consciously. I was driving it by a kind of instinct, only I was in a different dimension. It was like I was in a tunnel. Not only the tunnel under the hotel but the whole circuit was a tunnel. I was just going and going, more and more and more and more. I was way over the limit but still able to find even more."


That's how it feels when I'm playing GH, like I'm playing the notes before they hit the point, but when it comes time to, everything lines up perfectly. I'm playing on the RAZOR EDGE OF THE NOTES.

God that's a great game.
Last edited by The Ethos on Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:15 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Thanks, and have a Scientastic day! - Dr. Venture

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:12 pm UTC

Its also fascinating when using a tool has become as second nature as using your body. Of having a sensory awareness of where the tool is, of vibrations travelling along it.

Of particular note, driving cars. I find that I am far more in tune to whats happening with my car then others, and have a better awareness of where it is then when someone else is driving.

Drugs are bad, mkay?


Don't be closed minded. Read some of the Drug thread.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

SilentSigil
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:56 pm UTC
Location: The Mind

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby SilentSigil » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:21 pm UTC

We've been trying as a race to understand these things about our bodies for centuries now... We don't know what memories are or how they work, really, or so many other things...

This muscle memory deal has actually saved my butt a few times... I get moved around a lot in my job, and I don't always remember where I'm supposed to sleep (haha). I've ended up at my door, walking from work and just thinking about the day or the flowers by the road, and I know that if I stood still and tried to remember how to get from one point to another I would have been at work for 5-10 minutes going over street names and such in my head...

@ CorranH you aren't the only one who sometimes sits still and is amazed by their arm and hand movements. It's trippy.
If I say that this is left purposely blank, then the statement contradicts the reality, which is that the sig space was not left blank, but had the words 'This space left purposely blank' in it.

User avatar
Bakemaster
pretty nice future dick
Posts: 8933
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:33 pm UTC
Location: One of those hot places

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:02 pm UTC

I think sometimes about how I'm a man sitting in my own head wearing myself and moving me around with buttons and levers and pulleys. And sometimes I think about how there's a pump in my chest that's moving the insides of me around all the time and I'm never still. And sometimes I sit in the drug store and use their free blood pressure tester and try to force my pulse to be faster or slower. My self is a fun toy.
Image
c0 = 2.13085531 × 1014 smoots per fortnight
"Apparently you can't summon an alternate timeline clone of your inner demon, guys! Remember that." —Noc

User avatar
CorranH
A-dork-able
Posts: 1514
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:43 am UTC
Location: Stockton, CA
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby CorranH » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:55 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:I think sometimes about how I'm a man sitting in my own head wearing myself and moving me around with buttons and levers and pulleys. And sometimes I think about how there's a pump in my chest that's moving the insides of me around all the time and I'm never still. And sometimes I sit in the drug store and use their free blood pressure tester and try to force my pulse to be faster or slower. My self is a fun toy.


I do that sometimes too! In fact, just now, your post reminded me, and I tried it again. Sitting perfectly still, just visualizing slow tranquility, and concentrating on having a slow heartbeat, I took my pulse at 77 beats in one minute, then gave myself a minute to change gears, and then, mentally focusing on quickness and speed, and concentrating on a fast heartbeat, I took it again at 87 beats per minute.

Biofeedback is a neat thing.
It's a muon, you cunt - Robin Williams

User avatar
Mandiful
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Mandiful » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:24 pm UTC

Stuff like this fascinates me so much that I'm taking Cognitive Science as a major in University.

User avatar
Berengal
Superabacus Mystic of the First Rank
Posts: 2707
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:51 am UTC
Location: Bergen, Norway
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Berengal » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:52 pm UTC

77 is quite fast for a relaxed human*. Mine's around 60.

*If you had just been doing something, like walking, then this is fine. I'm talking about sitting still for a little while at least.

I am one of those people who have no trouble getting into the zone. I'm doing it right now, in fact, while typing this post. It forces me to write in a more stream of conciousness way than I normally would, since my mind has to supply words much faster than it would otherwise. I have this theory about how this works, which isn't very scientific, and might not be very useful either, but I think it's nice: The mind isn't one entity, but several smaller ones working together. One part is responsible for movement, one for listening, one for speaking etc. etc. and these parts may be divided into further sub-parts, or come together to form larger parts if needed (Speech comprehension, for example, requires both sound and language to cooperate). Anyway, what you percieve as "you" is, in fact, not the whole "you", but just whatever parts are currently connected to the "greater whole" for lack of a better word.* Some parts might be off doing their own stuff without bothering to inform the rest of the brain about every little detail. When walking, for example, the walking part of your brain takes care of that for you without bothering the rest of the brain, except when you have to focus on walking because it's slipperly, or you're balancing and thus need more input than just what your feet can provide. Anyway, after doing something, like playing Guitar Hero, your brain adapts to doing that thing, and can in some cases disconnect the part that does that from the greater whole, and instead just use direct connections to your eyes and fingers, which might improve efficiency.
This theory was developed while under the influence of alcohol (and afterwards). Alcohol inhibits communication between nerve cells, and this led to the different parts of my mind not always being in full synchronization. I could for example see a state change in something, but would still "know" the item was in the previous state. My mind felt more like a collection than a single entity, and this made sense when comparing previously known data about lobotomized patients and the workings of the brain.

*What the greater whole is I don't know, and I'd say nobody else knows either. Ever since Descartes first asked the question, nobody's been able to properly answer the mind-body dualism problem.
It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students who are motivated by money: As potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.

User avatar
eternauta3k
Posts: 519
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 12:19 am UTC
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby eternauta3k » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

CorranH wrote:my best, fastest, and most error-free typing was done when I was able to get into a groove, and then just kind of relax, for lack of a better word. I didn't have to think about what I was doing anymore, I simply focused on the words

About a year ago I was typing something from a book for my sister, and I could enter this trance where the typing was like unconscious (and I'd mostly concentrate on the sound of the keys, which becomes quite delightful when you really speed up)
Berengal wrote: I'm doing it right now, in fact, while typing this post. It forces me to write in a more stream of conciousness way than I normally would, since my mind has to supply words much faster than it would otherwise
That explains the lack of line breaks :P
Kithplana wrote:I've had that happen with certain piano pieces I've learned then forgotten.
Happened to me too with the guitar, my prof. had taught me something a long while ago and I managed to remember the hand movements.
VectorZero wrote:It takes a real man to impact his own radius

That's right, slash your emo-wrists and spill all your emo-globin

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26528
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:11 pm UTC

I find the reverse far more interesting... when you're hit with a sudden and complete sense of detachment, the feeling that the shell around you is not your body, just something you're riding in for a bit, and at least I become incredibly self-aware and self-conscious of my ever single action. This is usually when I completely forget how to walk, and have to actually move my legs, rather than just 'walk', and basically have to manually do every mundane act I'm used to just happening when I want it to happen. Like remembering to move air out of my lungs and put my vocal cords in a position to vibrate along with moving the jaw, lips, and tounge when I want to speak. I'm sure it's a laugh riot when I forget and just kinda mouth words at someone for a couple of seconds before I realize what I'm doing.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
silent man
Posts: 257
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:25 pm UTC
Location: Planet Y
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby silent man » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:36 pm UTC

Typing is probably one of the most popular examples for this kind of thing. It's the same for me: I can touch-type in Dvorak, but I'm still using a qwertz keyboard so all the keys are labeled wrong. If I look at the keyboard, I have no idea where the letters are, but then I think about what I want to write and the text just appears.

I once read a book on this kind of thing where the author likened it to having a bunch of zombies in your brain. Each of them can do only one thing, but much faster and with less errors than if you did it yourself. First you have to teach them by doing things consciously, but then, whenever the task comes up again, you can just put the appropriate zombie at the metaphorical controls and it'll do your typing or driving for you while you think of other stuff.

User avatar
neon
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:27 am UTC
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby neon » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:42 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:I think sometimes about how I'm a man sitting in my own head wearing myself and moving me around with buttons and levers and pulleys. And sometimes I think about how there's a pump in my chest that's moving the insides of me around all the time and I'm never still. And sometimes I sit in the drug store and use their free blood pressure tester and try to force my pulse to be faster or slower. My self is a fun toy.


It's called The Chinese Room argument. It posits that consciousness is the result of shuffling symbols around according to some predefined rules. We don't really know or understand things like we think we do. We just pretend that we do.

Highly recomended is Metzinger's Being No One1 Still, there is a lot of bullshit written about consciousness. Pinker titled his book "How the mind works"2 but then claims on page one "We don't understand how the mind works". Gee thanks. Likewise Koch's book is subtitled "A Neurobiological Approach"3 nevertheless fails to confront the entire issue of why neural activity should result in any kind of subjective awareness at all. Koch is the originator of the "zombie" metaphor BTW.

More on the subject of free will than the question of sentience is Wegner's The Illusion of Conscious Will4 which he describes as "our mind's way of estimating what it thinks it did." When you play the piano or touch type or otherwise get into a "zone" what is really happening is that you, the Ego, recieve messages from your subconscious telling you what you just did. And like all arrogant pointy-haired managers you think to yourself "Heh, I meant to do that."

It may be that from an evolutionary perspective our brains are more like rooster feathers than anything. Or in other words, the enormous investment (brains are expensive) devoted to developing a brain capable of self awareness may be just a kind of sexual display. Is it even worth it? What is the survival value of being able to enjoy a sunset? Our experience of aesthetic enjoyment is a hack really. It's just the reward circuitry in your limbic system kicking in.1 Your brain has learned how to get the reward without actually earning it through increased fitness. Compared to unconscious processes, conscious awareness is slow.5 If you are a fruit fly, being smart can make you lose out in competing with dumb fruit flys for food6.

Sentience isn't necessary to have a "theory of mind"7. Perhaps we'd be better off without it. The unconscious mind is better at making complex decisions than the conscious mind8. The conscious mind can't handle as many variables.

1. Metzinger, T. 2003. Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 713pp.

2. Pinker, S. 1997. How the mind works. WW Norton & Co., NY. 660pp.

3. Koch, C. 2004. The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach Roberts, Englewood, CO. 447pp.

4. Wegner, D.M. 2002. The Illusion of Conscious Will. MIT Press, Cambridge. 405pp.

5. Matsumoto, K., and K. Tanaka. 2004. Conflict and Cognitive Control. Science 303: 969-970.

6. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B (DOI 10.1098/rspb.2003.2548)

7. Zimmer, C. 2003. How the mind reads other minds. Science 300:1079-1080.

8. Dijksterhuis, A., et al. 2006. Science 311:1005-1007.
"Light up the darkness."

User avatar
Berengal
Superabacus Mystic of the First Rank
Posts: 2707
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:51 am UTC
Location: Bergen, Norway
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Berengal » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:35 am UTC

eternauta3k wrote:
Berengal wrote: I'm doing it right now, in fact, while typing this post. It forces me to write in a more stream of conciousness way than I normally would, since my mind has to supply words much faster than it would otherwise
That explains the lack of line breaks :P

Yeah, I wrote that, jumped back to "regular posting" mode to read through my post and instead just figured tl;dr.
It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students who are motivated by money: As potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.

User avatar
b.i.o
Green is the loneliest number
Posts: 2519
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:38 pm UTC
Location: Hong Kong

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby b.i.o » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:55 am UTC

I do it all the time playing scales when I play trumpet. I don't actually know most of them without a few minutes of thinking, but my fingers do!

User avatar
Akula
Posts: 619
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:55 pm UTC
Location: Vermont
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Akula » Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:12 am UTC

I get this in, again, of all things, Madden on the xbox. Most the time I see whats going to happen several seconds before it happens. I get this in certain FPSs as well. Battlefield 2 primarily. I was effing nasty at that game.

I used to also have this when I was younger, and was incredibly irresponsible in the use of my automobile. I live in a rural area, criss crossed with hilly, windy, bumpy dirt roads. I was (and still am) a fan of rally racing. Yeah, you get the idea. Flying around these roads at 80mph should make most shit their pants. I never once felt out of control, and I could almost always tell exactly what was going on and what was going to happen over the next few seconds.

This kind of foresight has helped me in my chosen trade, aviation, as well though. There's a saying "never let and airplane take you anywhere your mind hasn't already been to five minutes beforehand." Part of it is diligent planning and preparation. Part of it is just intuition.
"I never let my schooling interfere with my education" - Mark Twain

User avatar
Gladjaframpf
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:54 am UTC
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Gladjaframpf » Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:12 am UTC

l33t_sas wrote:I've noticed something similar to this when I am reading. I can just sort of scan the page and not read each individual word and read very quickly but then if I start thinking about my reading speed or about if it's weird that I don't actually read each word, I lose grip of my "groove" and start reading each word individually and therefore much slower. It's kind of annoying because it's completely involuntary. Then it becomes an annoying cycle where me reading slowly frustrates me so I think about the way in which I'm reading which of course stops me from getting back into the "groove" yeuch.


I've always found this sort of thing happens to me when I read, but just recently I've noticed something even more unusual. I can't say for sure, but it seems to me that I actually read the sentences out of order. Because thinking about the process at all makes it stop working, I'm having a hard time figuring out whether this is real or something I'm just imagining, but there have been a few times in the last month or so when I've been reading and suddenly realized that I read the last sentence in a paragraph first before going back to read what came before it. This doesn't seem to interfere with my comprehension at all, but it seems like kind of a weird habit to develop.

User avatar
wst
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:06 am UTC

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby wst » Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:08 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I find the reverse far more interesting... when you're hit with a sudden and complete sense of detachment, the feeling that the shell around you is not your body, just something you're riding in for a bit, and at least I become incredibly self-aware and self-conscious of my ever single action. This is usually when I completely forget how to walk, and have to actually move my legs, rather than just 'walk', and basically have to manually do every mundane act I'm used to just happening when I want it to happen. Like remembering to move air out of my lungs and put my vocal cords in a position to vibrate along with moving the jaw, lips, and tounge when I want to speak. I'm sure it's a laugh riot when I forget and just kinda mouth words at someone for a couple of seconds before I realize what I'm doing.


I hate it when I realise that I'm walking, and have to move my legs myself.

A friend of mine often says to people 'You are now conciously thinking about breathing.', laughs, and walks off, leaving people gasping for breath every few seconds.

Akula wrote:I used to also have this when I was younger, and was incredibly irresponsible in the use of my automobile. I live in a rural area, criss crossed with hilly, windy, bumpy dirt roads. I was (and still am) a fan of rally racing. Yeah, you get the idea. Flying around these roads at 80mph should make most shit their pants. I never once felt out of control, and I could almost always tell exactly what was going on and what was going to happen over the next few seconds.


I get that 'control' feeling when I go-kart. Last summer I went on hiliday to Wales, and there's an indoor track there that I always visit. They taught me a lot about racing lines and controlling the kart, and the marshalls trust me enough to join in and give me a race.

Anyway, they had changed the layout from the first time I had been there. After a long sweeping right (from the main straight), there was a little kink left in the next straight, before an immediate hairpin left (And this second 'straight' was about 5 metres long- not a lot of space for this kink/hairpin combo), so I had to re-learn the line for it.

After doing about 5 20-lap runs around it (I'd do 2 sessions of 20 laps each visit), I has just managed to equal the lap record, set by one of the marshalls. I had found the limit of the kart going around that corner, and it wasn't in a straight line. Somehow, I was sliding into a space about 2 metres wide, then having to avoid the wall, flick the kart about 90 degrees in the other direction to do this, then flick the kart back around a hairpin to the right. I didn't think about it, I just managed to do it.

In hindsight, adrenaline probably paid a big part in this, but I would have bricked it if I'd thoguht about what could have happened if I'd got it wrong. I had, the previous year, span the kart into the barrier (backwards, and fairly slowly), so I knew they were soft enough, but I'd have still had a lingering fear of crashing, had I thought.

But I didn't, and set a new lap record (~.3 seconds off of the old one), and also been beyond what the people running the track thought the threshold of laptimes was. (They reckoned it was around 19.6 and I got a 19.42. The marshall got 19.71)
Anything I said pre-2014 that you want to quote me on, just run it past me to check I still agree with myself.

User avatar
Xeio
Friends, Faidites, Countrymen
Posts: 5101
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:12 am UTC
Location: C:\Users\Xeio\
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Xeio » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:42 am UTC

wst wrote:A friend of mine often says to people 'You are now conciously thinking about breathing.', laughs, and walks off, leaving people gasping for breath every few seconds.


I so must do this now. :twisted: Though, has anyone ever tried to keep track of their breathing for a long time (was actually part of a lucid dream checking thing I was trying, since you don't normally breathe in dreams)? I can't seem to keep conscious thought on it for more than a couple minutes at best, and thats if I'm REALLY thinking about it.

Though, its kinda weird when I suddenly think about walking, and I forget how to do it. It usually ends in a 2-3 step stumble then I stop to think about what I'm trying to do. Must look really strange to people who are looking at me. Not to mention I end up walking funny afterwards. :lol:

User avatar
wst
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:06 am UTC

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby wst » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:04 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:Though, its kinda weird when I suddenly think about walking, and I forget how to do it. It usually ends in a 2-3 step stumble then I stop to think about what I'm trying to do. Must look really strange to people who are looking at me. Not to mention I end up walking funny afterwards. :lol:


And when you're talking about something and you think "Oh my god, I'm alive. All this chemistry and stuff all making me alive!"

Yesterday I also thought "Holy shit, I'm going to die one day. Wow!"
Anything I said pre-2014 that you want to quote me on, just run it past me to check I still agree with myself.

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26528
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:45 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:since you don't normally breathe in dreams)?


First I've heard of that.

I always dream in color, I always have smells, tastes, things have the appropriate textures (except when they don't), I can read..... basically, almost every single dream* I've ever had is exactly like real life, except there's usually flying, or plasma weaponry, or I'm just cruising around with Abraham Lincoln and Jim Corrigan listening to them argue the merits of the Dreamcast.

Every single time I've ever heard "blah blah and of course, we don't do that in dreams blah blah blah" it's never applied to me.




*I've had a few dreams in a Film noirish fashion, and they were suitably black and white. Of course, just about every female in those dreams was also referred to as a Dame. Including cats.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
4=5
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:02 am UTC

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby 4=5 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:44 pm UTC

Gladjaframpf wrote:
l33t_sas wrote:I've noticed something similar to this when I am reading. I can just sort of scan the page and not read each individual word and read very quickly but then if I start thinking about my reading speed or about if it's weird that I don't actually read each word, I lose grip of my "groove" and start reading each word individually and therefore much slower. It's kind of annoying because it's completely involuntary. Then it becomes an annoying cycle where me reading slowly frustrates me so I think about the way in which I'm reading which of course stops me from getting back into the "groove" yeuch.


I've always found this sort of thing happens to me when I read, but just recently I've noticed something even more unusual. I can't say for sure, but it seems to me that I actually read the sentences out of order. Because thinking about the process at all makes it stop working, I'm having a hard time figuring out whether this is real or something I'm just imagining, but there have been a few times in the last month or so when I've been reading and suddenly realized that I read the last sentence in a paragraph first before going back to read what came before it. This doesn't seem to interfere with my comprehension at all, but it seems like kind of a weird habit to develop.

I don't even read sentences usually, I recognize words too fast for that. I just kinda statistically figure out the meaning of it.

User avatar
neon
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:27 am UTC
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby neon » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:10 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
wst wrote:A friend of mine often says to people 'You are now conciously thinking about breathing.', laughs, and walks off, leaving people gasping for breath every few seconds.


I so must do this now. :twisted: Though, has anyone ever tried to keep track of their breathing for a long time (was actually part of a lucid dream checking thing I was trying, since you don't normally breathe in dreams)? I can't seem to keep conscious thought on it for more than a couple minutes at best, and thats if I'm REALLY thinking about it.

Though, its kinda weird when I suddenly think about walking, and I forget how to do it. It usually ends in a 2-3 step stumble then I stop to think about what I'm trying to do. Must look really strange to people who are looking at me. Not to mention I end up walking funny afterwards. :lol:


Most people do not have this experience. Are you neuro-atypical? If so that could be one explanation why. "Forgetting how to walk" (or breathe) might be indicative of Aspergers or perhaps other neurological disorders. Can't say for sure though.
"Light up the darkness."

User avatar
Mandiful
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Mandiful » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:23 pm UTC

neon wrote:
Bakemaster wrote:I think sometimes about how I'm a man sitting in my own head wearing myself and moving me around with buttons and levers and pulleys. And sometimes I think about how there's a pump in my chest that's moving the insides of me around all the time and I'm never still. And sometimes I sit in the drug store and use their free blood pressure tester and try to force my pulse to be faster or slower. My self is a fun toy.


It's called The Chinese Room argument. It posits that consciousness is the result of shuffling symbols around according to some predefined rules. We don't really know or understand things like we think we do. We just pretend that we do.

Highly recomended is Metzinger's Being No One1 Still, there is a lot of bullshit written about consciousness. Pinker titled his book "How the mind works"2 but then claims on page one "We don't understand how the mind works". Gee thanks. Likewise Koch's book is subtitled "A Neurobiological Approach"3 nevertheless fails to confront the entire issue of why neural activity should result in any kind of subjective awareness at all. Koch is the originator of the "zombie" metaphor BTW.

More on the subject of free will than the question of sentience is Wegner's The Illusion of Conscious Will4 which he describes as "our mind's way of estimating what it thinks it did." When you play the piano or touch type or otherwise get into a "zone" what is really happening is that you, the Ego, recieve messages from your subconscious telling you what you just did. And like all arrogant pointy-haired managers you think to yourself "Heh, I meant to do that."

It may be that from an evolutionary perspective our brains are more like rooster feathers than anything. Or in other words, the enormous investment (brains are expensive) devoted to developing a brain capable of self awareness may be just a kind of sexual display. Is it even worth it? What is the survival value of being able to enjoy a sunset? Our experience of aesthetic enjoyment is a hack really. It's just the reward circuitry in your limbic system kicking in.1 Your brain has learned how to get the reward without actually earning it through increased fitness. Compared to unconscious processes, conscious awareness is slow.5 If you are a fruit fly, being smart can make you lose out in competing with dumb fruit flys for food6.

Sentience isn't necessary to have a "theory of mind"7. Perhaps we'd be better off without it. The unconscious mind is better at making complex decisions than the conscious mind8. The conscious mind can't handle as many variables.

1. Metzinger, T. 2003. Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 713pp.

2. Pinker, S. 1997. How the mind works. WW Norton & Co., NY. 660pp.

3. Koch, C. 2004. The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach Roberts, Englewood, CO. 447pp.

4. Wegner, D.M. 2002. The Illusion of Conscious Will. MIT Press, Cambridge. 405pp.

5. Matsumoto, K., and K. Tanaka. 2004. Conflict and Cognitive Control. Science 303: 969-970.

6. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B (DOI 10.1098/rspb.2003.2548)

7. Zimmer, C. 2003. How the mind reads other minds. Science 300:1079-1080.

8. Dijksterhuis, A., et al. 2006. Science 311:1005-1007.


Actually, I think the point of Searle's Chinese Room Argument was for him to attempt to show that symbol manipulation is NOT how the mind actually works, due to the fact that there wouldn't be real intentionality involved.

However, I believe that one can argue against the Chinese Room thought experiment if you twerk the example a bit.

User avatar
Mandiful
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Mandiful » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:26 pm UTC

Gladjaframpf wrote:I don't even read sentences usually, I recognize words too fast for that. I just kinda statistically figure out the meaning of it.


W00t for top-down processing!

User avatar
Azrael001
Posts: 2385
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:15 am UTC
Location: The Land of Make Believe.
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Azrael001 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:47 pm UTC

I have similar experiences to those described, but in Halo 3. I am fairly decent at the game (level 39 or so) and I usually get my fair share of kills, but sometimes, I will get in the zone, and become "invincible". Playing with the same group of guys as usual I will suddenly get over half of my teams kills, playing against (and with) people who should be just as good as I am. Unfortunately, because of the way matchmaking kicks you out of the game to find a new one, it is rare that this lasts more than one or two rounds.
23111

User avatar
Xeio
Friends, Faidites, Countrymen
Posts: 5101
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:12 am UTC
Location: C:\Users\Xeio\
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Xeio » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:54 am UTC

neon wrote:Most people do not have this experience. Are you neuro-atypical? If so that could be one explanation why. "Forgetting how to walk" (or breathe) might be indicative of Aspergers or perhaps other neurological disorders. Can't say for sure though.


Eh, it doesn't exactly happen often, usually when I try to over analyze what my feet are doing as I walk (and it doesn't happen to breathing). Usually when I take manual control of my feet though they seem to move about a bit weirder, but then again maybe it just feels weird because I'm controlling them? :P

Also, I have no idea what neuro-atypical would mean. I assume you'd have to be diagnosed with something like that?

User avatar
neon
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:27 am UTC
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby neon » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Mandiful wrote:
Actually, I think the point of Searle's Chinese Room Argument was for him to attempt to show that symbol manipulation is NOT how the mind actually works, due to the fact that there wouldn't be real intentionality involved.

However, I believe that one can argue against the Chinese Room thought experiment if you twerk the example a bit.


Intention? You mean like when people are playing the piano or touch typing? That's not intention, the signal to your finger to press this key or that note on the piano is already on it's way down your arm before you "decide" to do so. We are arrogant master programs that think we are in charge but not really. Your wetware makes the decision, sends the signal to your hand, and only then sends you a signal telling you, "Hey boss, we pressed C#" and you take all the credit.

We don't perceive the world directly and unmediated. Our senses are little more than a "bag of tricks"1 and the data collected so fragmentary that the brain interprets it using statistical rules of probability.2 Improbable stimuli tends to go unprocessed and unnoticed. Due to the phenomena called the saccadal glitch3 there could be raptors all around you but if they moved just right you would never know they were there.

Sustained inattentional blindness
These videos were used as stimuli in Simons & Chabris (1999). Gorillas in our midst: sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events. Perception, 28, 1059-1074. These videos are based on earlier studies by Neisser and colleagues (the first one below). Subjects were asked to monitor one of the teams of players by counting the number of passes they made. After about 45 seconds of performing this task, an unexpected event occurred. In all versions, many observers failed to see the change.


We are machines. Our sensory organs evolved to help our ancestors survive the savannas and for that they perform well. They are hardly the last word though.

Xeio wrote:Eh, it doesn't exactly happen often, usually when I try to over analyze what my feet are doing as I walk (and it doesn't happen to breathing). Usually when I take manual control of my feet though they seem to move about a bit weirder, but then again maybe it just feels weird because I'm controlling them? :P

Also, I have no idea what neuro-atypical would mean. I assume you'd have to be diagnosed with something like that?


Yeah and it's expensive so if it isn't a real problem then it may be best to leave well enough alone (though there is an online test somewhere). Neuro-atypical is just my way of trying to be polite. Usually those with Asperger's or high functioning Autistics are referred to as neuro-atypical. There seem to be an awful lot on the forums at xkcd, but maybe that is just my perception. Forgetting how to walk just struck me as a red flag is all.


1. Ramachandran, V.S. 1990. pp346-360 in The Utilitarian Theory of Perception, C. Blakemore (Ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

2. Purves, D. and R.B. Lotto. 2003. Why We See What We Do An Empirical Theory of Vision. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA. 272 pp.

3. Yarbus, A.L. 1967. Eye movements during perception of complex objects. In L. A. Riggs, Ed., Eye Movements and Vision, Plenum Press, New York, Chapter VII, 171-196.
"Light up the darkness."

User avatar
shinybaby
In-Tents
Posts: 800
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:41 pm UTC
Location: formerly Toronto, now London (Ontario)... anyone here??
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby shinybaby » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:32 am UTC

neon wrote:Most people do not have this experience. Are you neuro-atypical? If so that could be one explanation why. "Forgetting how to walk" (or breathe) might be indicative of Aspergers or perhaps other neurological disorders. Can't say for sure though.

perhaps it doesn't happen to most people, but it does happen to some... you're not alone, Xeio! i have this walking thing too... it totally used to make me walk funny. now i'm pretty used to it, and unless you either know me really well, are paying a *lot* of attention to how i walk, or i happen to have a corresponding clumsy moment, you'd never know i just 'forgot how to walk'. i can really fake it now!! :D
Gordon wrote:1) Meet Gordon
2) Deploy Gordon
3) ...
4) Profit!!!

User avatar
Sir_Elderberry
Posts: 4206
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:50 pm UTC
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:34 am UTC

I always avoid consciously thinking about breathing, or I have to distract myself to make it start back again without my interference.
http://www.geekyhumanist.blogspot.com -- Science and the Concerned Voter
Belial wrote:You are the coolest guy that ever cooled.

I reiterate. Coolest. Guy.

Well. You heard him.

User avatar
Mandiful
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Mandiful » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:33 am UTC

No, intentionality. Often referred to as "aboutness."

Very little do with the word "intention," meaning a deliberate act.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentionality

User avatar
Mandiful
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby Mandiful » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:35 am UTC

neon wrote:
We are machines. Our sensory organs evolved to help our ancestors survive the savannas and for that they perform well. They are hardly the last word though.



Actually, the extent to which we can compare ourselves to machines is debatable.
Especially when it comes to things such as consciousness.

User avatar
neon
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:27 am UTC
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: The mind-body connection

Postby neon » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:36 am UTC

Mandiful wrote:
neon wrote:
We are machines. Our sensory organs evolved to help our ancestors survive the savannas and for that they perform well. They are hardly the last word though.



Actually, the extent to which we can compare ourselves to machines is debatable.
Especially when it comes to things such as consciousness.


How so? That seems to be the topic at hand. Care to elaborate? I think that consciousness is an emergent property that rises from the activity of many sub-processes. All of it eventually reduces to symbolic computation. You say there is a ghost in there? Fine, where?
"Light up the darkness."


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 27 guests