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Sometimes, even when we have power, we shouldn’t express it. Other times when we are powerless in the face of the worlds spinning, we should add our force to its momentum.

Fluid Intelligence in Savant


So, there is another theory that is also gaining ground, and my own experience supports as well. It’s backed up by FMRI research also, that motor function and perception are intimately linked to the point that what we consider to be conscious thought is really rather peripheral.

You mean, peripheral in a hardware sense? Peripheral in a functional sense. Like a daemon subroutine in a main piece of software, it’s not necessary to have to subroutine, but potentially useful.

Well, perhaps a concrete example. Shall we use cooking?

You’re in your kitchen and scanning the counters as your attention settles on and recognizes each appliance, each food item or ingredient. It triggers a catalog of potential actions related to those objects even before you begin thinking about anything consciously. By the time you begin thinking about it consciously, your brain has already dropped a subset of potential actions as irrelevant to your current mood and or physical state. Your brain will drop objects from your perception as being things you can’t lift without you thinking about that.

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Perhaps why I need to go into the kitchen to know what I’m going to eat? Yes, and why people control these impulses so poorly.

Now what normally happens that makes your “habits” recognizable in your behavior, is that your conscious mind has an inhibitory influence on this vast network of perceptual and behavioral options. Literally without your deliberate intention, the conscious part of your mind reflexively applies “free won’t” to what your brain is experiencing. Everyone has aggressive impulses, but some have those impulses very well filtered. Your conscious and subconscious minds sort of work against each other. Long term memory is subconscious, short term memory is conscious. They are even finding that fluid intelligence can be improved by training yourself to broaden the range of items you try to juggle in your short term memory at any one time. This counters the automatic filter response a bit.

Make broader relationships among conscious objects in the mind? Actually, just track more items. You won’t be easily able to do association, if at all, but your subconscious mind will do that for you anyway.

Shall I get into my personal experience a bit?

The parts of my brain that would allow for energy efficiency, rapid pattern recognition, developing a reliable social “dictionary”, are impaired. Due to a genetic defect, my body’s cells, and more specifically my neurons, have formed in such a way that they are too tangled to sort through noise from irrelevant sources, screen other types of information out, and well, because of the abnormal metabolism in my brain resulting from that, insufficient copies of some rather important neurons formed as well.

What this all means is that what they refer to as the “top down” pattern of thinking is weak in me. It’s also called weak central coherence. The easy obvious common sense perceptions, those assumptions that people need to operate smoothly, they don’t work for me. I don’t get the social concepts. I don’t get the jokes. I don’t recognize beauty as socially defined or other people’s emotional states well.

Like seeing someone standing on the side of the road, we automatically assume why they’re there, waiting for a bus for example, but you need to dialogue a scenario to get your mind around it? Excellent example. My wife deals with that patiently. I do it compulsively. If I don’t, I become progressively disoriented over time.

Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.

Travis Saunders
Dragon Intuitive

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