Do you remember when you tried to eat a ice-cream for the first time? Can you count the number of repetitions necessary to perform a flawless dance? Have you ever tried to master a new job? Once we become more skilled, these movements start to require less conscious awareness until everything begins to flow naturally. It’s the subconscious mind (also commonly referred to as the nonconscious mind).
SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: WHERE DOES IT HIDE?
It’s not uncommon to hear about conscious and unconscious types of actions when scientists talk about the brain. As a result, most of us are familiar with the idea that our behavior is less rational than we believe to be.
Whether we like it or not, our ability to control thoughts, synchronize movements, or experience emotions depends on the depth of information processing.
Three-level mind model
Conscious – defines all thoughts and actions within our awareness.
For example, the beauty and pleasance of the smell of a rose
Subconscious – defines all reactions and automatic actions we can become aware of if we think about them.
For example, our ability to drive a car: once we get skilled we stop thinking which gears to use, which pedals to press, or which mirror to look at, yet can always become aware of what was done once we think about it.
Unconscious – defines all past events and memories. Though at times inaccessible to us no matter how hard we try to remember to bring things up.
For example, the first word we’ve learned to say, or how it felt to be able to walk on our own.
Do you find the information useful so far?
SCIENTIFIC DETECTION OF THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
Up to this day, the ability to explain how the interaction of different levels of thoughts influences our behavior remains one of the most compelling challenges in psychology and neuroscience.
In order to untangle how one level of thought influences the other, scientists must become able to detect different depths of the mind.
Quite often, the levels of information processing captures using priming paradigms. For example, a recent psychological study shows how irrelevant cues shape learning. The effect of conscious, subconscious, and unconscious thoughts modeled varying presentation time of emotional faces.
In this experiment, participants with a set of pictures of human faces and asked to determine whether the facial expression in a previous picture mimicked the same emotion. Interestingly, results shows that people were able to correctly
Interestingly, results showed that people were able to correctly recognize the difference between facial expressions if it displays for at least 0.047s. Once the duration of pictures decreased to 0.027s – 0.033s, the rate of correct responses dropped by approximately a half. In contrast, respondents became unable to discriminate the facial expressions if the duration of the stimulus was decreased even more – to 0.020s.
ACTIVATION OF BRAIN REGIONS
You might get curious whether the brain activation differs when we experience an influence of subconscious versus conscious mind. You might want to know why conscious thoughts are often processed slower than unconscious thoughts.
Or might question whether scientists can define exact processing pathways of such tiny subtle concepts as subconscious thought.
Until recently, it was impossible to capture where in the brain these thought processes occur or visualise specific brain activation regions.
Today, brain imaging research has indeed this model of the mind and suggested that the depth of thought depends on its processing pathway. In contrast, the pathway of the subconscious mind is much difficult to define. In fact, subconscious thoughts do not seem to have their own processing pathway. Rather, they share the bits of both – conscious and unconscious – routes of information processing.
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Thank you for reading. Hope you get the good day with your homies!
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