Good Morning Sunshine! The Brain!

The Brain.

This quote is the writing of Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University. Her latest book Seven And A Half Lessons About The Brain sounds interesting. Here are some of her thoughts.

“Neuroscience evidence clearly shows that the brain usually initiates our actions before we are aware of them.” Isn’t that interesting? “Here is what I mean. Your brain’s primary task is to regulate the systems of your body to keep you alive and well. But there is a snag: your brain spends its day locked in a dark, silent box (your skull) with no direct access to what’s going on inside your body or outside in the world. It receives ongoing information about the state of your body and the world__this is sense data___sensory surfaces of your body (your retina in your eyes, your cochlea in your ears, and so on). These sense-data are outcomes of the events in the world and inside your body. But your brain does not have access to the events or their causes. It only receives the outcomes. A loud bang, for example, might be thunder, a gunshot, or a drum, and each possible cause means different actions for your brain to launch.

How does the brain figure out the cause of sense-data so that it prepares the best actions, Without direct access to those causes, your brain has to guess. And so, in every moment, your brain remembers past experiences that are similar to your present circumstances, to guess what might happen in the next moment, so it can prepare your body’s next action. Guessing and potentially correcting mistakes is more efficient than reacting from scratch. The predictions are in effect your brain changing the firing of its own neurons to prepare the body to act, a second or so before the movements actually occur. This predictive process happens completely outside of your awareness, but it is continuous throughout your life, and a growing number of scientists are now pretty sure that it’s a primary driver for your actions.” I found this short article in BBC Science Focus magazine.

The brain is fasinating. She goes on to talk a bit about free will. But this part of the article has me thinking about human behaviors of all kinds, and how to apply this knowledge to what humans do every day. An interesting thought is it not?

By Pejj Nunes

I live in Southern Maine. I am the owner of Anisette Studios. My website is Here you can view and purchase Shibui, sign up for my newsletters, blog, and read articles about Shibui Found Image Art. Patrons get great deals several times a year and special items at times. My site makes it easy to contact me. My primary art form is Shibui Found Image Art. Shibui begins with action art and stems from the imagination. It is like seeing something in the clouds or solving a puzzle. Its creative process has its own rules and requires what I call reverse engineering due to a lack of an understructure and purely out of the imagination. In addition to those who patron me, my target groups are those who use art therapy. I will soon be teaching live. Contact me if you would like to learn live. I use Zoom. I request that although my art, other images, and what I write is now published by me here on WordPress; I do ask you do not to use my artwork, poetry, or the information about Shibui Found Image Art without my permission. I am quite available to make such requests. I wish to share the following: The existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir wrote a book called The Ethics of Ambiguity. In it, she lays out a guiding ethic in response to the philosophy of existentialism. It might be somewhat familiar to you already. She writes, “To will oneself free is also to will others free. This will is not an abstract formula. It points out to each person concrete action to be achieved.” Best wishes to all! Have good times and keep safe! Pejj

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