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  1. #1
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    Default Consciousness and sensory perception

    This is something I've been thinking about for a while now... how does it happen, that we perceive things the way we do? For instance, how do we perceive colours or hear things - the very quality of them, not the physical process. Why are the senses like they are, why and how are they experienced as they are? Why is the perception of sound the way it is? Once again, not the actual mechanism in the body that allows us to experience it, but why it is experienced in very nature that it is.

    Obviously it is related to the nature of consciousness. But it is a mystery how processes in the universe would conjure up something that perceives in this way. For instance, short-wavelength light enters our eyes etc and we experience what we would call 'blue' or 'purple'. But how does this perception exist in the manner that we see it - why is it like that, or how? Same with sounds or touch or taste or smell. Hopefully I am making myself clear.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    I've thought about this recently as well, and I have introspected and figured some things out that seem absolutely insane.
    The world seems completely different to each individual and loosely similar among people's families. How have I figured this out? Well first I came to the realization that all of our senses are calculated and simulated inside our innovative computer we call our brain, which looking at it from a realistic perspective means that we never actually see anything in the outside world but what our brain wants our consciousness to see. This means that we are limited to only what our brain picks up on, and that the outside world could be infinitely different from how we render it inside our head.

    A real world example: People with Aspergers Syndrome tend to experience hypersensitivity to sounds, lights, smells, tastes, etc. and Aspergers Syndrome is also presumed to be genetic. One may conclude that the way they perceive the world is passed down through the family tree along with the syndrome itself (because its part of the syndrome). The only problem is that we cannot do this with people without mental disorders, for all mentally healthy individuals are grouped into the same category, "normal". But normal could vary for different people when it comes to how we render the world.

    Just my thoughts on the subject, and this is an interesting thread by the way.

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    i think it's fascinating too because not only are we all picking up different things we are making different associations to them based not only on our completely unique memory banks but also on our particular set of sensitivities or thresholds.

    also curious is sensory processing disorder and how it may or may not have anything to do with being strong n dominate. ??

    and! the insane realization that our brains and eyesight are limited in their ability to actually see the full reality...and how much of this is on a spectrum? how much does this differ between individuals and we're not even aware of it...besides the fact that some claim to see auras or energy or feel vibrations etc that others do not.

    or even hear voices from the otherside etc

    sorry...just took that all of course didn't i?
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    I've thought about this recently as well, and I have introspected and figured some things out that seem absolutely insane.
    The world seems completely different to each individual and loosely similar among people's families. How have I figured this out? Well first I came to the realization that all of our senses are calculated and simulated inside our innovative computer we call our brain, which looking at it from a realistic perspective means that we never actually see anything in the outside world but what our brain wants our consciousness to see. This means that we are limited to only what our brain picks up on, and that the outside world could be infinitely different from how we render it inside our head.

    A real world example: People with Aspergers Syndrome tend to experience hypersensitivity to sounds, lights, smells, tastes, etc. and Aspergers Syndrome is also presumed to be genetic. One may conclude that the way they perceive the world is passed down through the family tree along with the syndrome itself (because its part of the syndrome). The only problem is that we cannot do this with people without mental disorders, for all mentally healthy individuals are grouped into the same category, "normal". But normal could vary for different people when it comes to how we render the world.

    Just my thoughts on the subject, and this is an interesting thread by the way.
    Ah yes, it is an interesting concept that everything we perceive is personal to us. I think you're right in that the world is similar to how our parents see it considering genetics, but one thing that stops me from believing that it is completely different for everyone e.i. my blue is nothing like your blue, is that all human brains are physiologically similar and apart from mutations remain relatively similar. So I'm thinking there are slight difference, but nothing drastic. But agreed, the objective universe is probably completely different to how the human brain interprets it, but that subjectivity is collectively alike. It would be remarkable though if it was completely different for everyone... what if the forms I see visually are nothing like anyone elses for instance? And all the other senses are lined up with that to create this subjective experience on a personal level...

    But it still doesn't answer why we perceive in the way we do - even if it is wholly subjective, something makes the experience appear in such a fashion. What is happening exactly in the universe, how does the system actually work, to create the sensory perceptions. I suppose how consciousness manifests needs to be understood first. I think consciousness is a manifestation from higher dimensions than what we perceive, and so its nature is extremely difficult to comprehend because what makes it up cannot be directly, or even indirectly, observed.

    Anyway... blah, blah and more blah. Maybe it's unanswerable. Most cannot even put into words what the experience of a colour or sound itself is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    i think it's fascinating too because not only are we all picking up different things we are making different associations to them based not only on our completely unique memory banks but also on our particular set of sensitivities or thresholds.
    That's a good point, we're inherently biased by individual experience, and who knows what differences this would cause. I was thinking, if someone was hypothetically placed in isolation from birth, in a nondescript room of sorts, how that would affect their perception in comparison to the rest of us. The very terms 'blue' or 'red' may just be societal concepts we all agree on because we are taught it, even though what is actually seen is different depending on the individual. How would this person perceive when all they have in their memorybanks is a single room to associate with?

    also curious is sensory processing disorder and how it may or may not have anything to do with being strong n dominate. ??
    N dominants supposedly have a problem with sensory data, for instance, inf-Se being hypersensitive to outside noises, and inf-Si more being this way with body sensations (hyperchondriacism) so that is plausible.

    and! the insane realization that our brains and eyesight are limited in their ability to actually see the full reality...and how much of this is on a spectrum? how much does this differ between individuals and we're not even aware of it...besides the fact that some claim to see auras or energy or feel vibrations etc that others do not.
    Indeed, only the tiniest amount of reality do we see. Even other animals get it better in some respects - such as vision going through to ultraviolet, and birds being able to see magnetic fields. It's still a small portion nevertheless.

    They'll be people more sensitive than others, so maybe that's how some claim to feel energy vibrations and whatnot.

    or even hear voices from the otherside etc
    Probably hallucinations now.

    sorry...just took that all of course didn't i?
    Heh, it's all interesting anyway.

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    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    We can never fully understand why we sense what we do, for we are not the creators of ourselves (which could be taken both spiritually and non-spiritually). We can figure out how we experience what we do by looking at the inner functions of our body, such as cones in the eye and the ear drum in the ear. But why vibrations are experienced as sound and why light is experienced as sight and why flavor is experienced by taste is simply impossible to know with what we have today. It could be that through evolution we evolved this exact way to deal with various crises, or that we were simply engineered this way by a higher power (I'm inclined to believe the first one, but I digress). And remember, there have been several instances where other human beings have developed different senses or sense disorders. The most interesting of which seems to be tetrachromacy (present in about .4 percent in females and drastically less in males), or having a fourth cone in the eye, widening the color spectrum from a few million to hundreds of millions (fourth cone supposedly detects a fourth primary color that exists in the ultraviolet spectrum). Synesthesia is a disorder where neurons are confused as to the input of sensory information they are given and send sensory information to the wrong part of the brain, i.e. smelling colors, hearing tastes, etc. All in all, we can only speculate as to why we sense the way we do.

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    You are presupposing the experience of reality can be partitioned away from the physical presence of existence.

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    "I appreciate the inestimable value of introspection in the preservation of life, as well as a means of achievement.

    The pressure of occupation and the incessant stream of impressions pouring into our consciousness through all the gateways of knowledge make modern existence hazardous in many ways.

    Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves."
    ~ Nikola Tesla

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    Quote Originally Posted by superunknown View Post
    You are presupposing the experience of reality can be partitioned away from the physical presence of existence.
    No, I'm not, that premise is the exact reason why this thread exists. Why does physical reality create such an experience in conscious beings? How do the specific processes create such an outcome? What exact qualities of the universe make it this way?

    Unless existence (or perception of) is an effect of the mind and not the other way round.

  10. #10
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    Default Qualia and Distinction

    Yes, it's called qualia which is subjective, conscious experience.

    However we perceive by making distinctions.

    So until we make a distinction we see nothing, and the more distinctions we make, the more we see.

    Of course we have the illusion of seeing something directly but the reality is that we only perceive by making distinctions.

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