May 23, 2007

From Debra Hurt:

Re: What is consciousness? Study aims to settle debate (May 20): Educators have known for a couple of decades now that people of all ages have certain sensory predispositions in relating to the world. For example, some are primarily visual, others kinesthetic. While these perceptual biases operate all the time, they are especially involved in “novel” experiences, like “learning.”

It seems silly to me that an experiment on consciousness such as the one described in the article would be constructed in such a way as to ignore these perceptual biases. It seems to me that leaving the body would be a novel enough experience that I would especially attune to it through my primary sensory mode, which has been reinforced (in my case for several decades) as being the first choice in evaluating new things. Since I am primarily auditory tonal, I might be a good candidate for research based on perception of sound as the benchmark of having had or not had a particular experience. But if I were primarily kinesthetic, why would I be drawn to auditory cues? Likely sensation, or lack of sensation, would be my main preoccupation.

If the premise of the experiment is that sensory input can be perceived in the state of consciousness being observed, why are certain prejudices with regard to that input being ignored?


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