Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The close integration of different perceptions within our experience

About dogs and crushes on girls.
Scientists have found that dogs perceive kind words differently from the same words spoken without kindness. Nor are dogs fooled by kind sounding gibberish. Instead, based on MRI scans of their right/left hemispheres while being spoken to, it is observed that dogs are using both hemispheres in perceiving the positive re-enforcement of praise. This has numerous interesting consequences. I see it as suggesting that spoken language of humans shares a emotional component with the language of dogs. Just as we seem to share musical scales with birds. And these things come naturally to all of us species.

Written language is a poor thing, bereft of the emotional content carried by tone and enunciation, it simply stands to remind us of what the spoken language was like. In fact we must fill it in and "speak to ourselves while reading" to get a full sense of what is written. Still, we might get it wrong, with something like sarcasm, or reading a script out loud. This non-emotional content is huge for humans but may be different for dogs and birds.

We had that conversation about "common coding" theory, saying that the muscles used to say words are connected with the memories associated to those words, and connected with how the memories are stored. The consequence, based on the dog observation, is that we have similar muscles to dogs.

Perhaps separating thought and musculature creates a false dichotomy. Perhaps language and its function of communication are too closely tied to everything else that we act on, perceive, and experience. I don't know but I want to mention one more example.

When you have a strong crush on a girl and are trying hard to put her out of your mind, physical sensations breaks through the barrier. Physical touch becomes a trigger for recalling the person. Could it be that there is a pattern of 'woman' so built-in to my act of physical sensation, that each touch speaks her name? If this was so, then presumably the most primitive creatures would experience love. It is not much fun.

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