What does studying the sensory side of the nervous system say about your sense of reality?

I guess at face value, it would indicate that everyone's sense of reality, theoretically (how do you spell that word?), could be different. Or maybe even should be different. As far as I can tell, everyone may very well have the same sense of reality, but how would you know.

There is an old theory on pain. Is it possible for someone else to "feel my pain?" Even if all of the same sensory neurons were fired upon impact with a baseball bat--I'm fascinated with baseball--how do you quantify pain? The answer is, you can't. That is why everyone's reality is different. However, everyone who gets hit with a baseball bat feels something. Quantitatively, that "something" can be compared to other impacts felt in the past. So, everyone's sense of reality is not all that different.

Perhaps it is degrees of pain, or pleasure, or sadness, or bliss that makes an individual indeed an individual. But, since we are all, for the most part, given the same tools (sensory neurons, ionic concentrations, etc.), we are only individuals in the by the strictest definitions. I think that everyone's sense of reality is the same--we all feel pain when the bat hits us. But, rather the difference is in the interpretation of that reality. There are masochists who love pain. And there are people who whine when the dog runs into his leg (not that great of an example, but you know what I mean). It is these perceptions and conscious interpretations of reality that defines the individual.

Interesting explorations. I'm not sure there is as sharp a distinction between "feeling" and "interpretation" as you seem to suggest there is. Both are action patterns of action potentials in neurons and (despite your thinking we have the same tools) there is a lot of individual variation in those both close to sensory cells and deeper into the nervous system (where they correspond to "interpretations"?). Regardless, I agree that what we've talked about implies that "everyone's sense of reality ... could be different. Or maybe even should be different". Want, maybe, to explain sometime what you were thinking when you added the "maybe even should be different"? I think that's important. PG