...that wants to try to crystallize something from last Wednesday’s post on attention together with a reading (still going on) of Metzinger’s recent book “The Ego Tunnel.” Metzinger’s compelling analysis, along with others, shows our introspective selves to be fictions even if they are imaged to fit in a metacognitive hierarchy, such as a watcher (closer to a Damasio-style homeostatic pre-emotional core) that is sensed as observer of its products (being an angry/happy/kind/compassionate/whatever person.) All are actually logically equivalent (watch-ing, be-ing, angry-ing, desire-ing, compassion-ing). Even while being in principle illusory, many of these self models can be shown to correlate with distinctive pattern of brain activity, can be altered by brain lesions. The experiential and behavioral issue is which of these members of an imaginary governing board is being held within the limited attentional resources of the frontal lobes. (William James: “My experience is what I agree to attend to.”). Training regimes that settle this issue by putting in place new habits for what is held in attention (compassion meditation, piano or other athletic practice, etc.) can be transformative. Physical changes in brain areas serving these functions can be documented.
This blog reports new ideas and work on mind, brain, behavior, psychology, and politics - as well as random curious stuff
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Experience as what we agree to attend to...
I have decided to paste in just a fragment of writing from a parallel private journal that I keep. It has some of my private jargon, apologies if it is not intelligible to you. It is a random walk...
Posted by Deric Bownds at 5:30 AM
Blog Categories: acting/choosing, brain plasticity, meditation, self, self help
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