Friday, January 25, 2013

Mind Time 3: Implications for Mental Functions 2

The third set of quotations from the ``Mind Time'', Chapter 3: Unconscious and Conscious Mental Functions.

(12) Modulation of the content of a conscious experience is recognized as an important process in psychology and psychiatry. It is most directly demonstrable when a person reports an experience that differs from the actual visual image presented. Persons who are emotionally disturbed by the sight of a nude woman may report seeing an altered version of the nude picture shown to them. ... The alteration in the content of the experience appears not to be one of conscious distortion; the subject is unaware of his distortion of the image and the process appears to be an unconscious one.
Freud, of course, made use of the modulatory phenomenon in his views of the unconscious effects of emotional conflicts on a person's conscious experience and verbal expressions (see Shervin, 1973). The time-one theory provides a physiological opportunity in which unconscious modulations of the content of an experience can occur. ...
Our evidence indicates that a substantial period of neural activity (500 msec of time-on) is in fact required to elicit awareness of the sensory event. That delay provides a simple and sufficient physiological opportunity during which unconscious brain patterns can alter the content of the experience before awareness of it appears! Indeed the experimental phenomenon of subjective referral of a conscious sensory experience backward in time provides relatively direct evidence for one kind of modulatory distortion of the subjective experience. The delayed experience is subjectively timed as if it were not delayed at all. ...
Any modulations of modification of the developing experience would be unique to the person involved. It would reflect the person's own history of experiences and his emotional and moral make up. But the modulations are made unconsciously! Consequently, one may say that the unique nature of a given person can express itself in unconscious processes. This is in accord with the proposals of Sigmund Freud and with much of clinical psychiatry and psychology. --- pp. 120--122, Mind Time

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