Re: OT: What is your qualia of consciousness / thought? (WAS: does conlanging change your sense of reality?)
|Date:||Friday, April 3, 2009, 20:19|
On the verbal/non-verbal aspects of consciousness, this short lecture by
neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Tayor describes her experience of stroke and the
relation between the two modalities.
On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 3:23 PM, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 12:59 PM, Sai Emrys <sai@...> wrote:
> > IME talking with people, there are several different kinds of
> > perceptions of what it is *like* to think or just to be conscious.
> This is one of the things I have been planning to ask people
> about in my follow-up conlang fluency survey (another dozen
> or so questions to be sent to those who answered yes to
> one or more of the fluency questions on my first survey).
> It's been on my mind a lot lately since I started analyzing
> the results of the first phase of the survey; some people,
> in responses to questions about whether they sometimes
> think spontaneously in their conlang, or dream in it,
> said that they think, or dream, nonverbally.
> I've asked several friends about this recently. Mostly they
> report that theyperceive their thoughts to be a mix, sometimes a verbal
> monologue and sometimes visual or otherwise nonverbal.
> > The most common one seems to be an 'inner verbal monologue'. That is,
> > there is a sense of oneself as talking about stuff, and that talking
> > *is* the consciousness. E.g. you'll think out a problem by talking it
> > out in your head; have a running commentary about what others are
> > saying or doing; what others might think of you; etc etc.
> This is what my thinking feels like most of the time -- probably
> most often in Engllish, pretty often in Esperanto, sometimes
> in toki pona or gjâ-zym-byn. A possibly unusual feature of
> my inner monologue (or dialogue?) is that it sometimes has
> actual dialogue tags, e.g. "he said", "he asked"... I think
> that only happens when I'm thinking in English (in which I've
> read far more narrative fiction than in other languages).
> > Less common and less easily described, there are:
> > * other linguistic-monologue kinds of thought:
> > - textual thought, which is essentially the same as an inner verbal
> > monologue except that it's not-quite-visual text (somewhat like a
> > 'typewriter' display effect) rather than psuedo-verbal speech (I've
> > only met one person who has this)
> I occasionally get this, but usually as an "echo" of what I'm
> verbally thinking, not by itself. I think it happens more often
> with Esperanto and other languages where I spend more time
> reading the language than conversing in it.
> > * visualistic thought (which I don't really understand, but seems
> Most of my thought that isn't verbal takes this form: e.g. my
> plans about what I'm going to do or where I'm going to go
> may take the form of visually imagining myself doing various
> things, or of a kind of map of where I expect to be travelling,
> with little verbal or textual echoes here and there that don't
> really carry the main burden of thought.
> There is also musical thought, which seems to be useful
> only for composing music, as far as I can tell.
> > I'd like at some point to do research on the neural correlates of
> > these different qualia, see if they could be messed with (eg cause
> > someone to have a different type of conscious experience), and see if
> > they correlate well with changes created by meditation*. I may
> I've tried doing some of this at times -- deflecting my thoughts
> on certain subjects from their default verbal paths into more
> textual or visual paths instead -- with very limited success.
> A few years ago I had a conversation with some friends about
> how we count things silently to ourselves -- do we think verbally
> with the names of numbers, or textually with arabic numerals,
> or visually with arrays of dots or other mathematical objects
> corresponding to the numbers...? Most of us counted verbally,
> but IIRC the ones who counted textually, visualising arabic numerals,
> counted faster. I tried for while after that to count with textual
> instead of verbal, and could sometimes do so when
> deliberately thinking about it, but it never became my default
> mode (though I sometimes count spontanteously with numeral
> words in Esperanto or gjâ-zym-byn rather than English).
> Jim Henry