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Molly Pieri's picture

Late posting re: sensory deprivation...

Hey. Sorry for not getting around to this earlier... it seems my fate to not post on serendip until the discussion for the week is pretty much over. But maybe I'll do better next week...

Anyway, the thing that interested me most about the "output with no input" or "self-generated output" idea was constructing an environment in which the mind might be totally deprived of stimulus (or input. or both if you would like to distinguish between the two). I purposefully make use of the word mind rather than brain, I don't want to confuse the two for those who like the Cartesian dualistic model of thought and body. I think that we agree that most of the actions we consider "meaningful" and "important" are produced or in some way processed by our conscious mind. That is to say, they are voluntary actions we make a choice to preform. (Not to imply that our smooth muscle functions aren't important, but rather they aren't significant in the way that I would like to investigate here...) If we focus on these sorts of actions, those that are determed by a choice of the mind, (or a physiological response of the brain, if you consider there to be a difference between the two phrasings) then what would it take the deprive our consciousness of any sort of input? Would that also imply depriving the brain/mind of memory? Or would memory beconsidered an internal aspect of the input-output box, even though it is at least in part the result of collective external experience?

I suppose a question which must be investigated prior to any of these musings would be the difference between conscious and unconscious (might non-consciousness play a role here too?) Any way, those are my thoughts for the week. Hope every one had a wonderful superbowl weekend.




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