magic signals

03Dec09

Is it our facination with  perfection that stimulates various sciences to research the imperfection of the brain? Or the improved instruments to explain the unexplainable deviations humans make au contrair to machines?  Or have we always been facinated by these fallacies but just recently defined names for these fields of interest: cognitive neuro science, bahavioral economics, environmental pschology…etc. Whatever the case is,  in this new era we’ve apparently accepted the fact that our brain can play tricks on us – and moved to understanding the these tricks in order to recognize, use or prevent impact of these mindgames. But can we enjoy a construction of feeling if we know how it is constructed or will our logical mind prevent our emotions to be enchanted and not go beyond the appreciation of the construction quality?

Image

We have known for a long time that our visual interpretation did not always reflect reality. The act of viewing can arouse affects that alter by adding or removing pixels.

double interpretation picture

viusal tricks

The rules of harmony to define beauty in the Rennaisance and magicians who guide our vision to distract from action. The illusion of depth, the trompe l’oeil effect in paintings, buildings and augmented reality. We are familiar with the pictures like Escher that play with our interpretation, but still have a hard time not being fooled by these images. These optical illusions have been explained with the cones and cilindres in our eyeballs and the neural circuit that recreates the image in our brain. We can use reason to explain the results and see the trick that is plaed on us but are not always capable of neglecting the feeling it arouses.

Words

The power of arguments studied in Rhetorics (Cicero) and the informal logic, that we try to falsify when we practice critical thinking, are signs of our struggle with words. Some words do have tendencies that are bigger than the literal meaning. To lure or seduce a child with an apple is not a sympathetic way of telling that you distracted the child to prevent it from seeing (and wishing for) candy. Writers use meaningfull words to colour their sentences. You can walk or you can creep up to another person, it immediately defines the setting of the situation. Some words can make you happy, others can make you feel sad. They have a power to arouse feelings. In literature, poetry, NLP this phenomenan is studied to reveal the secrets and also often used to qualify the good from the bad. But it’s like magic, if you know how the trick is done it is harder to simply enjoy and appreciate its effect and drawn into the battle of professional judgement.

Gesture

Yoga teaches us that our body movements can help us to call states of the mind that stimulate reflection of your soul. Our physical activity impacts the way we feel, sometimes explained by the chemicals that are produced by the wonderful factory of our body but not always defined when we feel ourselves in an awkward position. Do we prefer the Iphone UI (like stretching your fingers to enlarge) because it is easier? How accurate are our motorics? Ever tried to play music with an Theremin?

theremin musical instrument

theremein

Sounds & smell

The  impact of music on our emotional state is something that goes without saying. The combination of dissonant or harmonious tunes is used in musical therapy and by musicians. On battlefields music was used to energize the troops. It’s reputation for influencing our moods or expressing our feelings is even used when whe cheer and sing at birthdays or at in memoriam events. Smell and taste have the same  power to arouse feelings, although our conscious detection had become less subbtle since we live our artificial ives in cities and eat synthetic food.

The interesting thing is that we can construct the sensorial impact to establish an experience. If all senses are  coherently composed we can enjoy a strong feeling that prevents our brain from logical explaination. Maybe we should practice more to arouse a positive state and simply enjoy the sensory tricks without trying to understand the magic of it. Or is it sheer impossibile to stop deconstruction if we are able to construct?

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