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Paul Grobstein's picture

more on the unconscious, and the story teller

"the inputs our unconscious receives as a result of interaction with another conscious being are just like any other kind of inputs" or "are they *special* neural pathways for some reason?"

A seriously interesting question. Yes, in the inputs we get from other people, like inputs from other things, involve action potentials in sensory neurons, and yes, they too get processed in the unconscious before reaching the story teller. But there may well be "special" circuits for doing this. Babies pay special attention to other human beings for example. And mimic human sounds in early speech rather than other sounds. The whole issue of the extent to which there are specialized "boxes" for handling social interactions is an active area of current research (see Social Neuroscience for a recent thoughtful review).

"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?"

At least a useful way, I suspect. Actually it does have an "on-off switch," as in falling asleep/waking up. But it probably also has "different levels of intricacy/depth." It would, I suspect, be worthwhile to try and characterize these more explicitly. And there are certainly several potentially relevant literatures, including clinical ones, about "states of consciousness."

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