Brain does not see the surrounding reality, but only processes memories

(ORDO NEWS) — A group of researchers from Boston University proposed a new theory of consciousness, according to which our brain does not really have an idea of ​​the surrounding reality, but only processes subconscious memories that arose only half a second ago.

The scientists believe their new theory could explain why it’s so hard to resist strict diets and impulsive behavior, as well as explain phenomena that existing theories can’t explain.

“In a nutshell, our theory is that consciousness evolved as a memory system that is used by our unconscious brain to help us freely and creatively imagine and plan for the future,” said study author Andrew Budson, professor of neuroscience.

“What’s new about this theory is that it assumes that we don’t perceive the world, we don’t make decisions, and we don’t act directly. Instead, we do all these things unconsciously, and then, after about half a second, we consciously remember that we did it. “.

There are many theories of consciousness. Some propose a hierarchical scheme in which the brain actively stimulates or downgrades cognitive processes to either unconscious or conscious.

Other theories focus on whether certain areas of the brain can generate the correct information, thereby deciding whether it is conscious or not.

However, all of this involves direct processing of stimuli as they enter the brain, and then making decisions based on data from the external or internal context, which, according to Budson and his team, is too slow to explain the fast reflexes seen in sports and other high-energy sports. activities.

The researchers’ theory suggests that stimuli go directly to the unconscious before the brain translates them into consciousness based on memories of the event. And the actions we think of as conscious actions are actually often impulsive.

According to them, this explains why we do things we know we shouldn’t do, such as eating non-stop.

“Even our thoughts are usually not under our conscious control. It is because of the lack of control that it can be difficult for us to stop the flow of thoughts rushing through our heads when we are trying to sleep,” Budson continues.

Using this theory, scientists have outlined clinical teaching methods that may be useful in studying the consequences of neurological diseases such as dementia. What’s more, if they’re right, it could provide new ways to deal with compulsive behaviors and mental disorders.”


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