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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So the new thought I often think of is.....

How do our minds work? I mean, how do our minds organize our thoughts, memories, skills, and all the empty space we don't use. Once our thoughts are where ever they go in our heads, how do we call them up to the surface. For example, if I have a memory of a bike ride I took at age eight to get to the school where I played, how does it get recalled and put to the front of my mind?

Most scholars on the subject say there are two separate ways of this happening

1 Our minds work like computers with Central processors. So in the example my central processor says call up this memory of the bike ride from this storage area barred deep in the old childhood area. Our Central processor my also store short term memories like what I ate this morning. If the Central processor decides that the short term memory is not that important it puts it in the "trash" like in our computers.

2 Our minds have many many many "Central processors" each one dealing with a certain thing. For example taste, walking, thoughts, love, anger, and memories. Interesting this set-up seems to fit with the way our physical minds are known to work for example we know that we damage this part of the brain, a person cannot talk, this part, no short term memory. Another advantage of this system is that it lends itself to interconnectedness. So, our mind could go to bike ride to smells to age to old memories to play with out having to stop back to the central processor each time a jump was made.

So, I know this is a lot of stuff but I would love to hear if others have any ideas of how the mind works or what they think of the ideas listed above!!!

I cannot wait to hear from the blog group!!!


GunthërBrown said...

Well, I'm pretty sure that my mind has no single CPU to govern everything. To illustrate, I have a real difficulty listening to music sometimes because later, like when I go to bed, thoughts will be racing around with that same song playing in the background. It happens with everything from REM to Arcade Fire to The Dimes...not so much with Ben Arthur or Classical music. The music is somehow lodged in my stream of consciousness in a strong way, apart from everything else that is going on... In those situations it takes alot of mental effort to "unplug" whatever cable got stuck in there. The frustrating result is that I am kind of an insomniac.

I often tell my wife that I think my brain is just a ton of loose cables floating around in a sea of memory and imagination, sprinkled here and there with strong determination. I do my best to keep a good amount of cables near that determination part. All the time cables are connecting two points and I have a stream of thoughts as a result. Simultaneously another cable might make a connection, adding to the flow of thoughts. Like a flute adding to the music of a violin, except my thoughts are way more garbled, and less pretty. Its more like playing CNN at the same time as CSPAN. Maybe. Then when the thoughts slow down a little the cable will disconnect and float off to be of use somewhere else. Sometimes with music it doesn't disconnect.

The REAL problem is that there are way too many cables going around, and whne lots of them randomly connect all at once, my mouth tries to fill in the gap of being THE central processor. While a kamanjah might sound good in a proper setting, it doesn't belong in the Turkish March.

Maybe I should also compare it to a partly cloudy city powered by photovoltaics. All the time sunlight is peeking through in spots and powering up different stuff, which in turn interacts with the other parts of the city in all sorts of ways. Like through email, cell phone, even the neighbors AC, or whatever you can do with the burst of electricity. Those interactions are what I'm talking about with "cables." The people (or "things") on each end of the connection are memory and imagination, etc. I feel like my thoughts result from those interactions.

So the question is, why do I not have complete control over those clouds? Or the people in the city for that matter? I know I have some, even possibly alot, of control. I can focus pretty heavily on what I'm learning, especially if it excites me. Or get me to tell a snowboarding or climbing anecdote and my thoughts are nearly 100% focused. No sunlight on any other part of the city, just that fun memory and a little bit of exaggerative imagination. But most of the time other stuff will pop in unexpected. Sometimes alot of it. That is kind of a stinker, like when I am noticeably distracted from a one on one conversation.

Anyhow, I am somewhat proud of my city. I try and keep it clean, and I try and keep it growing in a good way. Unfortunately there are too many parts out of repair, Like my Japanese section. Or Arabic. I've got a ton of Japanese people in my city, all throughout making connections to a lot of things. But the "Little Tokyo" branch of the city library is in complete shambles, not having seen even a new magazine in years, let alone good attractive reading material. Same with the restaurants and even the homes. Sadly most of the good folks that used to live there have up and left. One day I hope I can renew that neighborhood, and get things poppin again. But in the meantime they have spreac out, and now they have neighbors who love mountaineering in the North Cascades, or who can recite the Restatement (second) on Contracts like nothin. (I wish there were more of those guys... actually, I wish there was even one of those guys.) When those neighbors have electrical interactions, interesting things happen.

I don't know if I have main processors for certain things, maybe more like somewhat thicker cables that are harder to move around so they generally stay in the same area. Like typing. My fingers are moving over the board repetitiously, and they've been doing that alot lately. But to me its not like a processor operating off of files pulled into the RAM. Every once and a while I use my pointer finger to hit the "p"...Where the heck does that come from? I think it is my cable drifting a little bit. That cable is pretty heavy, but not impossible to move.

Consider my Japanese population, interspersed everywhere. Is each person a processor, because they can make connections in all their various ways? Or are they physically all in the same spot inside my head, so that area of grey matter "is" the central processor? I dunno.

If I had to subscribe to one of your two views, I would choose the blue pill. I mean number two, the "many CPU" theory. But that is entirely based on my own thought patterns.

Crazy question, and an even crazier answer. haha. Since you just came over and released me from the obligation of writing more I'll end. Hope this journey "through the looking glass" was along the lines of what you were thinking.


Barbara Hurst said...

Hi John, I just had to add my thought. I'm still trying to figure out how it is the lights turn on when I hit the switch. So how the brain might funtions has never entered my brain. Boy I take a lot of things for granted. I do know that when I would visit a lady in the nursing home who had had a stroke she could not speak more than a couple of words, BUT she could recognize and sing a few of our church hymns. I enjoyed seeing her light up when I played one that she knew. Soooo I'm telling you guys now, if I ever end up in a nursing home and can no longer speak, bring in our church music I know it will be in my brain someplace. I love it so much! I feel to add that I am pretty sure we are counciled not to see R rated movies because of how things are stored in our brain. When you least expect it or want it one of those graphic scenes will pop into your mind. "Thoughts lead to acts, acts lead to habits, habits lead to character--and our character will determine our eternal destiny."
Guess that's it for now. I'll be seeing you in a couple of weeks. Do you want anything from the Japanese Store?
Love, Momhurst

mike & teresa said...

So if I was the one that got to say this is how it works. It would be a bit of an amalgam of the two. While we may have many many smaller capacitors that are responsible for things like the tastes and smells and touch, I would say that there is a larger more divine CPU that governs things like love, hate, joy, and fear. And then a big file cabinet that stores memory’s some have a better filing system’s than others thus that lack to remember small things like what I had for lunch last Monday.

Mike Watson

John said...

I like that Mike. The disadvantage of not having a central processor is that your mind has to duplicate things like feeling, speaking about it, etc. for each memory or storage space that you have. This seems to be very redundant and inefficient..

John said...

I like that Mike. The disadvantage of not having a central processor is that your mind has to duplicate things like feeling, speaking about it, etc. for each memory or storage space that you have. This seems to be very redundant and inefficient..

Kandis Mortensen said...

Ok, I'm not meaning to go all 'churchie' on you, but how to you think intuition and revelation fit into the mix? Is our 'spirit' our 'brain'? Do you think we actually have a 'mental block' on all the happened before this life?
The reason I even bring this up is that I often get ideas (or inspiration) that I KNOW don't belong to me, but that come to me in my thoughts and seem like great ideas that I wish I could take credit for! So, how does that fit in the mix(if it does at all!)
Is God like Professor Xavier in X-Men--with the ability to hear everyone's thoughts and interject His own to us when we need them ? Does this all sound completely insane? So, John--you're it...

mike & teresa said...

John I did not say that there would be any redundancy in the system I said that there is a smaller sub system that handles more temporal things and that there is a file cabinet to hold your memories off all the things processed large or small

Mike Watson

hortinthewho said...

I like to think of it as a partitioned hard drive or a computer with multiple hard drives. Perhaps you could even compare it to a computer that runs 2 different operating systems on each different section of the partitioned hard drive (maybe that's a little to geeky). Each side is capable of operating independent of the other.

Sometimes something may come along that reminds us we need to switch to the other hard drive or partition and that is what results in a memory coming up. This is also why a stroke or another form of mental damage will only inhibit certain things or, as mentioned above, leave us able to sing but barely able to speak.

AS far as the unused portion of our brains... 2 primary thoughts; 1) There could be a lot of things stored there but our access is restricted until it becomes needed. 2)I am a firm believer that the veil is primarily in our minds (this was told to me by a GA due to some circumstances on my Mission. Maybe I will end up telling that story one day). This is why sometimes we are able to dream things (future events), in our sleep the veil is thinner due to the "natural man" having less control.

This is also why visions are frequently described as appearing "almost like a movie on a screen (another story for another day)." Perhaps unless we are actually seeing another being these are really just images being released from the other side of the veil or we are given access to a restricted file.

John said...


I like where you are going with that. Maybe all empty space in are brain isn't empty at all. Maybe its full of all the stuff that God gave us in the way of knowledge before we got here. Because God knows everything past, present, and future couldn't he give us a map made just for our own life's in our "unused" space of our minds. Is this maybe who visions work? This happened to me just tonight. Lately, I have been having dreams of going to the hospital with Miles. In short these dreams, I had to hold him down on a table. Miles hated this; He cried and was very afraid. I comforted him the best I could but my heart broke because I knew he was hurting and he couldn't understand what was going on. Well to try to keep it short this very thing happened tonight in the x-ray room. We must have taken six x-rays and I held him down just as in the dream. In between each x-ray I held him tight to me and I cried inside. I knew he was scared and hurting. So where did this dream of mine come from? I know it came from God. I would guess it was given to me to prepare me? Maybe this was that map I spoke of earlier? Maybe it was stored in my brain already?