About Me

Friday, May 05, 2006


I am enrolled in a FREE online course about the brain at Barnes and Noble University. The course started on May 1st but I got my books for it only yesterday. Today I took the bus in and so I had time to read one of the books- "The Feeling of What Happens" by Antonio Damasio. (The other book is "Mapping the Mind" by Rita Carter.)

I am reading about consciousness and have a glimmer of a connection to attention and memory. Attention is the starting point for creating a memory. Poor concentration is the root cause of a poor memory. However, even when we pay attention it seems like we cannot remember until we go through some kind of transformation of consciousness. Attention has to be followed by something that brings our consciousness to terms with the information that we want to remember.

Say that I want to remember that the birthstone for the month of May is emerald. I am told that the birthstone is emerald and I pay attention to this information when it is told. I develop a meaning or context for it by saying that the month of May is the real start of spring in Wisconsin and it means green grass. I associate the green of the emerald with the green of my lawn in May and this helps me remember that the birthstone for May is emerald. Is it now in my consciousness? Has my consciousness somehow been transformed so that the next time someone says birthstone for May, I don't have to think about it and it just pops into my mouth and I say it?

Attention to consciousness - this needs further exploration.

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