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Re: OT: What is your qualia of consciousness / thought? (WAS: does conlanging change your sense of reality?)

From:Kelvin Jackson <kechpaja@...>
Date:Friday, April 3, 2009, 20:55
For me it depends on the situation. If I am trying to remember
directions, I tend to think visually, imagining the path that I must
follow. However, much of my day-to-day life is "narrated", as if I am
commenting on the experiences of other people. But if I  am working
out a math problem, I use a combo of visual and text-I move stuff
around in my head until I can see the solution. If I am planning a
schedule or a chart, I do the same thing-although I sometimes imagine
blocks of color instead of symbols. I count silently in groups of
four, imagining dots or pieces of color.


On Apr 3, 2009, at 12:59 PM, Sai Emrys wrote:

> Alex invoked, so... > > IME talking with people, there are several different kinds of > perceptions of what it is *like* to think or just to be conscious. > > Going just from my personal discussions with others: > > 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 *not* the same thing as schizophrenia or MPD or the like > because the voice is *you*, i.e. it doesn't seem like some outside > commenter. And it's not an auditory (or for the below, visual) > illusion; there's no confusion as to its overlapping with real > audio/visual senses. It just is audio-like in quality. > > 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) > - signed thought, ditto but using a sort of ?proprioceptive sense of > sign language (only met 1, but have read accounts of others; all born > deaf with early access to ASL) > * abstract thought, where ideas aren't really encoded symbolically in > any perceptible way until it comes to expressing, memorizing, or > rehearsing them - i.e. their manipulation (thinking through a problem, > recognizing social context, etc) is purely abstract (this is what I > have) > * visualistic thought (which I don't really understand, but seems > nonlinguistic) > > O CONLANGers: what is *your* qualia of thought? > > > This is a potential research interest of mine, but I've not seen > anything published on it that's not blithely assuming that everyone > uses one particular form (usually the inner verbal), so if you know > stuff please forward me links / pdfs. > > 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 > actually have the opportunity to do this soon (grad school), so ideas > for research projects or background reading would be appreciated. > > - Sai > > > * Even more OT: Meditation teaching often presumes inner verbal > monologue, and that the goal of meditation is to shut it up (eg > through mantra recitation or mushin induction techniques) so that one > can experience the rest of consciousness. IMO this is inaccurately > dogmatic, in that a) not everyone does think that way to begin with (I > don't) and b) any given school usually teaches only one class of > technique (eg mantra recitation and other one-point-focus techniques), > which isn't necessarily the best for everyone to achieve that goal. > > I'd like eventually to write a recipe-book of meditation techniques; > if you're interested, see > > 20for%20hackers%20-%20all-point%20techniques.pdf > and (which are effectively > an excerpt and crude outline, respectively) and contact me off-list.