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kmanning's picture

Interaction and the story teller

One of the (many) questions I left class last night pondering was whether or not "social interaction" was actually different from any other kind of interaction between the unconscious and the outside world. Though Prof Grobstein drew in light grey arrows on his diagram of two people interacting showing 6 different ways they could interact, these arrows are of course not actually sources of interaction, but just explanations of how different paths through the unconscious can conclusively connect the story tellers of two different people. What this makes me wonder, is if there is actually an inherenetly different kind of relationship between two conscious beings, or if, as I find myself believing, the inputs our unconscious receives as a result of interaection with another conscious being are just like any other kind of inputs. Sure, these inputs may stimulate mirror neurons, or some other new neural pathway, which until we encountered other conscious beings (in evolution, I mean) we didn't need/have, but aren't the different neural pathways activiated when we interact with other people just that, different neural pathways? Or are they *special* neural pathways for some reason? Why did they get their own class meeting to discuss while all the other inputs to the unconscious got grouped together into one? Perhaps this is because "unresolved conflict" seems more frequently to have to do with our interactions with others, and thus this allows us to set the stage for talking about mental health, but is there more than this?

Also, I felt I left class still not really knowing how to conceptualize or understand the story teller. I feel as though I understand what it does: it allows for consciosness, and acts as a control center to create a coherent story out of the myriad of signals from the unconscious; it can be off when asleep or on when asleep but dreaming; it cannot directly access the outside world, but can interact with the unconscious and vica versa, etc. But in all our talk about it, I still dont really know how to understand/visualize it. It helped me to some extent to understand it when we talked about how there can be different extents of development/use of the story teller - some animals may have a limited story teller, but it is not as developed as ours, for example - because this clarified for me (not necessarily correctly) that the story teller doesn't have an on-off switch, but rather has different levels of intricacy/depth. Is this a correct way to think about it? 



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