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jlustick's picture

Thoughts on I-Function

In class last week, I asked whether or not the "I-Function" is something used among neurobiologists or if the term/concept is just for the convenience of the class. While this may have seemed to be a trivial concern, I think it is important to understand where our class conversations intersect with the larger conversations that neurobiologists are having- especially given that part of the purpose of this online forum is to open our discussion to people outside the classroom. At some point, I hope that the two conversations can merge, and we can feel as though we are all pondering the same questions. I do wonder what the purpose is of developing terminology/concepts that continue to separate us from larger field. Is the aim to propose a new theory? To put complex science into layman's terms?

If we think about the I-function as what's responsible for a sense of causing and experiencing action, I'm curious as to whether dreams are part of it. Do dreams pass through the I-function?I cannot claim to have caused the experience in the dream because it's not an experience I ever really have- and I often don't have control/will-power in my dreams. Additionally, I act in a dream, but do not really act in terms of my physical environment- so is running in a dream an action I can claim to have experienced/caused? We discussed the fact that the I-function is related to, but not the same as, the conscious/unconscious distinction, but I'm interested in learning more about where these two concepts overlap. In other words, if dreams are part of the unconscious, can they also be part of the I-function? 


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