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aamen's picture

I also thought this was a

I also thought this was a really interesting discussion topic. I agree with Kendra and Jenna, in that I don’t think that learning necessarily has to be conscious. There are plenty of psychology experiments that involve flashing words or pictures so quickly that people don’t consciously realize that they’ve seen them, but they can still “learn” to do things based on the information since (theoretically) their ‘subconscious’ processed the information. This also implies subconscious memory, which would mean that memory does not have to be conscious either. Thinking about these ideas made me wonder what exactly the subconscious is in relation to the conscious/unconscious mind – is subconscious learning what we’re referring to when we say unconscious learning? Or are they two separate things? I liked Kendra’s idea of consciousness being a spectrum, where maybe subconscious falls somewhere between conscious and unconscious.


At first I felt like, in defining consciousness, that I liked the idea that it requires being aware of options for action, and potentially choosing how to act. However, after thinking about my own experiences I don’t really agree with this anymore. We talked some about how when people are performing/competing they will sometimes black out the entire experience. I know that for me, I don’t actually black it out, but in order to perform well I have to be in a mental state where I have no feeling of control over what I’m doing, and no real awareness of different options for action. At the same time, I’m very aware of everything around me and what’s happening in that moment – I would definitely say that I’m conscious. Again, I think it makes sense to argue for multiple different kinds of consciousness, or for consciousness as a spectrum.


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