"The brain does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life"

froggies315's picture

A better title for this would be: "Your Brain on Stories," but still cool, I think.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain-on-fiction.html?ref=todayspaper

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dglasser's picture

Excellent link!

Thank you so much froggies315 for posting this article! I’ve taken some quotes from it.

“The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life.”

“…produces a vivid simulation of reality.”

“…offers an especially rich replica.”

These quotes sound pertinent to last weeks discussion don’t they? The difference between dream and reality; the difference between physical and mental. Perfect parallel. It further calls into question what to trust. What is MORE real? Or are all our sensations, mentally and physically on a horizontal playing field and a hierarchy is therefore impossible? I think it’s all relative based on your personality.

If dreams help you act in “reality”, use them. For example, if you have a nightmare about being attacked or mugged, use that dream to provoke you to go to the gym. If on the other hand reality helps you dream, use your dreams. For example, go to sleep purposefully thinking about something that happened during the day, and perhaps your subconscious will incorporate your thoughts in a productive way, revealing to you some insight. Use yourself. Your brain is powerful and in my opinion, the most powerful tool to ever come into existence. Thought can change everything; your perception, your life, others’ lives. Everything!

Therefore, I don’t feel the distinction between dreams and reality is important. The distinction should be blurred in the correct percentage for the individual to be productive in both “realms”. Reality is a tool to dream, and dreams are a tool for “real” action.

It’s empowering isn’t it? You can think over yourself being in control of two lives! Two whole worlds! You can do anything; mold your lives!!!

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