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Our Brain, The Trickster : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR


Stashed in: Time, Brain, Perception

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That the brain builds reality shouldn't be news to anyone. All you have to do is mess with it, get drunk or drugged or don't sleep for a couple of nights, and your perception of reality is fundamentally altered.

Who you are, and how you relate to the world, depend exclusively on how your brain integrates sensorial stimuli with the memories you manage to invoke. It's an interesting paradox that, even though our memory of past events is so faulty and fragmented, our sense of self remains strong day in and day out.

Time flows continually, or so we perceive. But we don't have a clock in our heads. We have perceptions of the "out there" and the "in here" events, such as a waterfall, a beating heart and the never-ending flow of thoughts, the "stream of consciousness." (Whatever this means; there's a lot of debate among cognitive scientists about the so-called "theater of the self" — the notion that a movie plays inside our heads continually.)

I find the notion of theater of self to be fascinating.

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