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December 18, 2014

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Fascinating about imagination and how science is learning so much more about the brain:

"Popular Science features new Dartmouth research that focuses on what the brain’s “mental workplace” looks like when people manipulate images in their mind.

“Our lab is very interested in the kind of flexible cognitive behaviors that humans have,” Alex Schlegel, a graduate student in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and lead author of the study, tells Popular Science. “We can learn new things, we can think of new concepts, seeing things from different perspectives—a lot of this has to do with a very rich mental space, kind of a mental playground.”

Participants in the study were asked to look at pictures of abstract shapes, explains Popular Science. While undergoing an fMRI scan, they were asked to recall or manipulate the images in their mind. “We saw differences in activity all over the brain when we compared to control conditions,” Schlegel tells the magazine. “Rather than being a single area responsible for imagining or manipulating, it seems like lots of areas have to work in concert.”

From both a Buddhist and neuroscientific perspective, he sees imagination as permeating every form of consciousness.

Also :
he doesn't consider that consciousness is fundamental, immaterial, or capable of observing reality "as it is" (whatever that might mean)


Why do people "consider" these things?

These are at best hypotheses, and not facts, and not proved/accepted theories either!

People can hypothesize anything under the sun (and investigate those hypothesizes), but why do they consider something is such and such (to themselves, and also publicly) without first coming to a proof of that position?

Theists do it with God. They "consider" God is a tablet-graffiti-artist, they "consider" God wants them to machine-gun schoolchildren, they "consider" all kinds of stuff.

And others "consider" imagination permeating every form of consciousness (when we aren't even quite agreed what consciousness is, or if animals have it, or if plants do), or that "there's no way to stand outside consciousness".

Why do people have such a hard time saying "I don't know"? They may well add : "I'm hypothesizing this, and am investigating (or would like to have investigated) this line of thinking", but that's a very different thing to say and think, isn't it?

Why do people have such a hard time saying "I don't know"?

It's more difficult and less sociable to admit the extent of one's ignorance than it is to state something definitive, even if it is just speculation or suspicion. No one wants to be clueless, it seems.

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