More of the pantomime of phantoms
Since there is some interest.........some more from VSR.
(Description of the experiment)
I have tried this experiment on twenty people and it worked on about half of them (I hope it will work on you). But to me, the astonishing thing is that it works at all--that your certain knowledge that you have a normal nose, your image of your body and face constricted over a lifetime should be negated by just few seconds of the right kind of sensory stimulation.
This simple experiment not only shows how malleable your body image is but also illustrates the single most important principle underlying all perception--
-that the mechanism of perception are mainly involved in extracting statistical correlations from the world to create a model that is temporary useful.
Like most people you probably take vision for granted . You wake up in the morning, open your eyes and voila, it's all out there in front of you, Seeing seems so effortless, so automatic that we simply fail to recognize that vision is an incredibly complex and still mysterious process.
Consider for a moment what happens each time you glance at even the simplest scene........all you're given are tiny upside down two dimensional images inside your eyeballs, but what you perceive is a single panoramic right side up, there dimensional world.
How does this miraculous transformation come about?
Many people cling to the misconception that seeing simply involves scanning an internal mental picture of some kind.
.........that there's a screen somewhere inside the brain where images are displayed-embodies a serious logical fallacy.
For if you were to display an image of a champagne glass on an internal neural screen, you'd need another little person inside the brain to see that image.
And that won't solve the problem either because you'd then need yet another even tinier person inside his head to view that image and so on ad infinitum. You would end up with an endless ingress of eyes, images and little people, without solving the problem of perception.
So the first step in understanding perception is to get rid of the idea of images in brain and to begin thinking about symbolic descriptions of objects and events in the external world.
What is meant by a symbolic description in the brain?
Not squiggles of ink, of course but the language of nerve impulses.
The human brain contains multiple areas for processing images, each of which is composed of an intricate network of neurons that is specialized for extracting certain types of information from the image.
And object evokes a pattern of activity, unique for each object- among a subset of these areas.
The patterns of activity symbolize or represent visual objects in much the same way that the squiggles of ink on the paper symbolize or represent your bedroom,
It is one of the many illusions used by Gestalt psychologists to show that perception is always relative-never absolute-always dependent on the surrounding context.
(Description of the experiment)
This little experiment may have interesting implications for day-today activities and athletics.
Marksmen say that if you focus too much on a rifle target, you will not hit the bull's eye;you need to "let go" before you shoot.Most sports rely heavily on spatial orientation.
Indeed, in sports as in many aspects of life, it may pay to "release your zombie" and let it do its thing.
(VSR deals in much detail on the neural pathway called the "how pathway" in the brain and here the term zombie refers to the how pathway)
The most obvious fact of existence is your sense of being a single, unified self "in charge" of your destiny; so obvious, in fact, that you rarely pause to think about it.
And yet Dr. Aglioti's experiment and observations on patients like Diane suggests that there is in fact another being inside you that goes about his or her business without your knowledge or awareness. And, as it turns out, there is not just one such zombie but a multiple of them inhabiting your brain.
If so, your concept of a singe "I" or "self" inhabiting your brain may be simply an illusion.
Hallelujah.......from the mouth of science!