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Mindsight: Partially explaining "sixth sense"

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994638

'Mindsight' could explain sixth sense

19:00 04 February 04

Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.


Some people may be aware that a scene they are looking at has changed without being able to identify what that change is. This could be a newly discovered mode of conscious visual perception, according to the psychologist who discovered it. He has dubbed the phenomenon "mindsight".

Ronald Rensink, based at the University of British Columbia in Canada, showed 40 people a series of photographic images flickering on a computer screen. Each image was shown for around a quarter of a second and followed by a brief blank grey screen. Sometimes the image would remain the same throughout the trial; in other trials, after a time the initial image would be alternated with a subtly different one.

In trials where the researchers manipulated the image, around a third of the people tested reported feeling that the image had changed before they could identify what the change was. In control trials, the same people were confident that no change had occurred. The response to a change in image and control trials was reliably different.

Our visual system can produce a strong gut feeling that something has changed, Rensink says, even if we cannot visualise that change in our minds and cannot say what was altered or where the alteration occurred.

"I think this effect explains a lot of the belief in a sixth sense." He has no idea what physical processes generate mindsight, but says it may be possible to confirm it exists using brain scanners.


Attentional mechanism

Mindsight is not simply a precursor to normal visual perception, he argues, because there seems to be no correlation between how long it takes someone to feel the change, and the time taken to identify what it is. The two sometimes happened almost simultaneously, while at other times the subjects did not report seeing any difference until seconds after they were aware of it.

Vision researcher Dan Simons of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign says Rensink's finding "suggests the existence of an interesting and previously unknown attentional mechanism".

He cautions that people can sometimes believe they have perceived something when they clearly have not, pointing out that Rensink's volunteers sometimes reported seeing a change in the image when in fact it remained consistent. But he says Rensink's study is an important first step in distinguishing accurate sensing from believing.

Rensink acknowledges that not everyone seems to sense something, and that the experimental setting might encourage people to simply guess. But he also thinks that people who do not experience mindsight may be screening out what appear to be gut feelings in favour of what appears to be more rational information, while those who do are happy to trust their instincts.

Mindsight may also be at work when someone goes into a room and senses something is different but cannot put their finger on what. "It could well be an alerting system," he says. There is no reason the effect shouldn't operate with other senses too, he says. Knowing someone is behind you may be the auditory equivalent.

Journal reference: Psychological Science (vol 15, p 27)


Helen Phillips
 

vveerrgg

TRIBE Promoter
i don't believe it....

wait a sec. on second look, i have a gut feeling there might be something to this.... :p
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
I think this can explain also why you can sometimes just tell when someone is lying... subtle changes in their face, so subtle you can't consciously perceive it, triggering something in your brain. Of course, the changes could be from some other thought the person is having at the same time, so caution is obviously necessary.

I knew this guy really well who lied to me for years. In fact, he lied pretty well every time he spoke. Then, one day, I caught him doing something which he denied and denied and denied, and all the while I believed him, since his facial expression stayed the same as it always did. Finally, to shut up my questioning, he said,"Okay, I'll admit to doing it, just so you shut up." The change in his face when HE WAS TELLING THE TRUTH gave him away.... he had actually DONE IT, but I believed he hadn't, since up to that point, pretty well everything he has ever said to me was a lie.... meaning that his lying facial expression was up to that point what I thought was his truthful expression.

Anyway, he no longer exists to me. Thing is, when someone is consistently lying, it seems that they are telling the truth, and only when you suddenly note what they look like when they actually tell the truth can you look back and see that they were always lying.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Not only consciousness, but "psychic" ability or the "sixth sense" can also be explained by quantum effects...

The American physicist Nick Herbert has been even more specific on the similarities between Quantum Theory and consciousness. Herbert thinks that consciousness is a pervasive process in nature. Mind is as fundamental a component of the universe as elementary particles and forces. Mind can be detected by three features of quantum theory: randomness, thinglessness (objects acquire attributes only once they are observed) and interconnectedness (John Bell's discovery that once two particles have interacted they remain connected). Herbert thinks that these three features of inert matter can account for three basic features of mind: free will, essential ambiguity, and deep psychic connectedness. Scientists may be vastly underestimating the quantity of consciousness in the universe.

The computer scientist James Culbertson, a pioneer of research on robots, has even speculated that consciousness may be a relativistic feature of spacetime. In his opinion, too, consciousness permeates all of nature, so that every object has a degree of consciousness.

According to Relativity, our lives are world lines in spacetime. Spacetime does not happen, it always exists. It is our brain that shows us a movie of matter evolving in time.

All spacetime events are conscious: they are conscious of other spacetime events. The "experience" of a spacetime event is static, a frozen region of spacetime events. All the subjective features of the "psychospace" of an observer can be completely derived from the objective features of the region of spacetime that the observer is connected to. Special circuits in our brain create the impression of a time flow, of a time travel through the region of spacetime events connected to the brain.

Memory of an event is re-experiencing that spacetime event, which is fixed in spacetime. We don't store an event, we only keep a link to it. Conscious memory is not in the brain, is in spacetime.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
I've always had this strange ability to look at a page or two of writing, and pick out spelling mistakes within like 1 second, not having read it. I'm glad to have an explanation as to how the fuck my brain does that shit.

Or maybe it's gawd.
 
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sweet_e

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd
I think this can explain also why you can sometimes just tell when someone is lying... subtle changes in their face, so subtle you can't consciously perceive it, triggering something in your brain. Of course, the changes could be from some other thought the person is having at the same time, so caution is obviously necessary.

I knew this guy really well who lied to me for years. In fact, he lied pretty well every time he spoke. Then, one day, I caught him doing something which he denied and denied and denied, and all the while I believed him, since his facial expression stayed the same as it always did. Finally, to shut up my questioning, he said,"Okay, I'll admit to doing it, just so you shut up." The change in his face when HE WAS TELLING THE TRUTH gave him away.... he had actually DONE IT, but I believed he hadn't, since up to that point, pretty well everything he has ever said to me was a lie.... meaning that his lying facial expression was up to that point what I thought was his truthful expression.

Anyway, he no longer exists to me. Thing is, when someone is consistently lying, it seems that they are telling the truth, and only when you suddenly note what they look like when they actually tell the truth can you look back and see that they were always lying.

HAHA, that would explain my ex.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by sweet_e
HAHA, that would explain my ex.

When it happened, I had like a rolodex of flashbulb memories flip past in my head, with all the times he had lied...

Really fucking weird.
 

sweet_e

TRIBE Member
Yup totally. When i finally caught him, i knew right away all the other times he had lied in the past. although I could never explain how

And now i have Pubmed published proof. His ass is going to pay
 

seeker

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
Not only consciousness, but "psychic" ability or the "sixth sense" can also be explained by quantum effects...

was that quote from "The Dancing Wu Li Masters"? It looks familiar...

Perception is very interesting. I perceive, though, that I may be adding very little to this conversation, so I will now disappear.
 

Resolver

TRIBE Member
Compulsive liars just suck. These people can ramble on and on about bullshit it's just unbelievable. They really never shut up. There is just no point in living your life a lie. Honesty is the best policy!!
 
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PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by ~atp~
Not only consciousness, but "psychic" ability or the "sixth sense" can also be explained by quantum effects...

Yeah, but a liberal shave with Occam's razor gets rid of any notions that there is an actual "sixth sense".

Instead, some people just have finely honed perceptual abilities. Sometimes these may seem supernatural, and just plain scary.

There are ways to tune these "sixth sense-like" abilities, no doubt, and sometimes one is even forced to tune them, through a need to--for instance--deal with a mentally deranged stepmother.

Oddly, years later, when someone may have decided that they want to change something about someone using methods that worked on some other people, the methods may backfire on someone who has a tuned up 6th sense-like ability mixed with a distrust of people, and an ability to dissassociate somewhat, and pretend that stuff ain't happening, thereby rendering the feedback to the changer screwed up. In fact, the changee might even be a lover of experiments so much that they--in effect-- go along with everything to a large extent (after all, they can see that change is good), yet not show their hand, if you will. The problem I find with changers is that they are narrow-minded, and can't deal with perspectives outside of their too well. Shame really, since they are probably such nice people other than in their do-gooder meddling ways.

This gets me thinking of something I've wanted to do for a while, just to see if I may have a tuned up sixth sense-like ability: play poker. So, who wants to?
 

SuperKennyK

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd
I think this can explain also why you can sometimes just tell when someone is lying... subtle changes in their face, so subtle you can't consciously perceive it, triggering something in your brain. Of course, the changes could be from some other thought the person is having at the same time, so caution is obviously necessary.

I knew this guy really well who lied to me for years. In fact, he lied pretty well every time he spoke. Then, one day, I caught him doing something which he denied and denied and denied, and all the while I believed him, since his facial expression stayed the same as it always did. Finally, to shut up my questioning, he said,"Okay, I'll admit to doing it, just so you shut up." The change in his face when HE WAS TELLING THE TRUTH gave him away.... he had actually DONE IT, but I believed he hadn't, since up to that point, pretty well everything he has ever said to me was a lie.... meaning that his lying facial expression was up to that point what I thought was his truthful expression.

Anyway, he no longer exists to me. Thing is, when someone is consistently lying, it seems that they are telling the truth, and only when you suddenly note what they look like when they actually tell the truth can you look back and see that they were always lying.


What is the word for that? Christopher Walken uses it in True Romance. There are something like 42 expressions a person exhibits when they lie and there is a word for that. Does anyone know? I forget.
 

Reflex

TRIBE Member
i didn't read the whole article so this is half-knee jerk reaction, but.. don't we know this already?

we're animals. as much as some people seem to like to distance themselves from that, we still rely heavily on instincts, gut, intuition.

they're important. they're there for a reason.

i mean we know this right?

i think his testing is interesting, but as for the discovery...what's new about it really?
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by SuperKennyK
What is the word for that? Christopher Walken uses it in True Romance. There are something like 42 expressions a person exhibits when they lie and there is a word for that. Does anyone know? I forget.

Actually, that's a myth, that there are ways to tell that someone is lying by changes in their face (this has been studied extensively).

Though I am seeming to contradict myself, 'tis not so. You see, I am talking about someone who was so used to lying (he lied to me for 15 years straight), that when he told the truth, the DIFFERENCE was so noticeable to me, it was just incredible. I noticed only because this guy was like a brother to me...

Unless you no somebody that well, telling whether they are lying is not really that easy.

On a related note, we all know these weird liar types who are kind of stupid too, but think that they are smart, right? Those are the worst, because they are so obvious to everyone, and nobody says anything, and I'm really not sure why... like those old SNL skits, "Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.... I just had sex with 12 supermodels, yeah, yeah..."
 
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PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by Reflex
i think his testing is interesting, but as for the discovery...what's new about it really?

What's new is the actual scientific evidence supporting the hypothesis. I like nothing more than an elegant experiment that finds evidence for something seemingly mundane.
 

SuperKennyK

TRIBE Member
Pantomime: Communication by means of gesture and facial expression

People exhibit upto 42 pantomimes when they lie.

I am pretty good at spotting when someone tells a lie. I guess it must be my 6th sense. I can always tell, but it is more of a sense then an actual gesture.
 

Gunark

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by SuperKennyK
Pantomime: Communication by means of gesture and facial expression

People exhibit upto 42 pantomimes when they lie.

I am pretty good at spotting when someone tells a lie. I guess it must be my 6th sense. I can always tell, but it is more of a sense then an actual gesture.

7th goddamit.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by SuperKennyK
I am pretty good at spotting when someone tells a lie. I guess it must be my 6th sense. I can always tell, but it is more of a sense then an actual gesture.

How do you know? There is no way for you to do a controlled experiment.

Many studies have previously shown that people who think they can tell when someone is lying really can't. They do no better than guessing, as a matter of fact. However, they insist that they can tell.
 
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SuperKennyK

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd
How do you know? There is no way for you to do a controlled experiment.

Many studies have previously shown that people who think they can tell when someone is lying really can't. They do no better than guessing, as a matter of fact. However, they insist that they can tell.


With me it's more of a gut feeling. But you can usually tell when someone is lying if they touch their face, look to the left, look away, etc... It's obvious.
 

Gunark

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd
How do you know? There is no way for you to do a controlled experiment.

Many studies have previously shown that people who think they can tell when someone is lying really can't. They do no better than guessing, as a matter of fact. However, they insist that they can tell.


Yes. You're also a lot more likely to remember when you guessed it right than when you didn't (or more likely, you'll just never know it). We all have a nasty tendency to seek confirmation of our own beliefs and ignore evidence against them.
 

SelfExel

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd

Many studies have previously shown that people who think they can tell when someone is lying really can't. They do no better than guessing, as a matter of fact. However, they insist that they can tell.

You keep on insisting that.Go keep insisting.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by SuperKennyK
With me it's more of a gut feeling. But you can usually tell when someone is lying if they touch their face, look to the left, look away, etc... It's obvious.

See the link I just posted. Unless you are trained as a Secret Service Agent, you are merely guessing. You have no way of confirming, i.e. validating, if you knew that the person was lying or not, right?
 
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