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Sarah Powers's picture

Creating the Constant

In lecture on Tuesday we discussed that the sensory system of the brain really only processes transitions from one state to another.  It takes in the transitions from the white squares to the black squares on the checker board, but it the brain activity is the same at the middle of one of the white squares and one of the black squares.  Basically the brain is filling in the blanks. Creating the constancy between the transitions.Wow. Our brains make a lot of stuff up for us.  It must be easier to infer the realities between the transitions than to try to actively process those interum inputs.  I don't really have a problem with this. The interpretation my brain is doing has served me well thus far. I don't run into walls because I don't think anything it there. I run into walls because I don't watch where I'm going.I think the brain makes up the constants because it's easier that way.  There are less inputs to process than if you were to try to make sense of every single input that came into the nervous system.  The brain focuses on the most important parts--the transitions.  Changes in the environment are more important than the constants because they give you new information, more information.  Evolutionarily speaking, this is advantageous--to find prey or avoid predation. The problem I have is with the variation from person to person.  If we are all creating our own constancies in our own realities, there is a lot of room for variation.  But there doesn't seem to be that many differences  in the observation of 'reality.'  Does the blue that I see look like the blue you see because we were both taught that that specific wavelength of color is called blue? Or are we truly experiencing the same color?I believe our realities are the same from person to person--or so it would appear. Maybe, the variation is in the different interpretations.


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