Doing some reading in psychology today

Phrase of the day…

“Awareness of the action/perception cycle provides the cognitive metaphor of linear causality as an agency.”

“Freeman, Walter J: Consciousness, Intentionality, and Causaility: Journal of Conscious Studies; Nov/Dec 1999.

It is a grey Tuesday and the last philosophy I read was two books on witchcraft.  I’ve been distracted and easily deterred from my interests and loves as of late.  It is common that I’ll take a walk outside after weeks of neglect and rediscover with joy the beauty of the forest.  So too it is when I am away from philosophy and questions of behavior and consciousness that when I return and grapple with ideas far larger than my small mind that I get that feeling of being on the edge of an ocean, large and unknown and though I am uncertain on which course to take in such an immensity I am, never the less, eager to set sail.

I remember riding wth my dad, a great and highly practical man of whom it seems I missed much of his pragmatic nature, and he exclaimed that he never met a person (save me) who sat around and asked the question why a person steps off with their left foot first.  At that point I marvelled at the question, intended by him as a jab, as a truly interesting question to me and I proceeded to explain why it was an interesting question (or at least to someone without any reading in philosophy/psychology at the time).  Like I just told Eliza over the phone, the only psychology class I’ve taken in the past three years, other than a motivation class in the Spring, were two intro classes I had to retake at the University of Oregon because my classes didn’t all transfer from the University of Houston, and it had been two years before that when I was at the University of Houston and my primary interest was I/O psychology (industrial and organizational…. business and such).  I am so far out of the loop, so far behind ‘the times’ in current research and thought, that I might as well retake several key classes.  It is time that I start thinking of myself as I did at UH again, as a psychologist

The cats play with one of a zilion toys that I have for them.  Oh, strike that… Persephone just jumped into my lap and proceeds to lick my arms.  These cats are extreme lickers.

The author of the article I am reading (linked to above) makes a statement regarding agency during the linear chain of causality in action.  “At one or more nodes along the chain, awareness occurs, and meaning and emotion are attached to the response.  Temporal sequencing is crucial; no effect can precede or occur simultaneously with its cause.”

That statement struck me. I recall a sophmore level psychology class at the University of Arkansas at Monticello where the professor discussed perception and one potential explaination for the phenomenon of deja vu.  He explained that the peceptual abilities of the brain were far from being linear, but were cyclical.  That we did not simply take in scenery given to us by our senses, but projected our beliefs out onto the world as well, that these beliefs, these heuristics, were quick filters to dramatically cut down on the overwhelming stimuli that must be processed by the brain, that deja vu occured when we ‘jumped the gun’ so to speak. 

The point that stayed with me was that perception of an event can, theoretically, occur before the event.

I must read the rest of this article.  Does the referred statement apply only to a linear causal chain?  Or is the author going to investigate others?

Ah, I see.  The article is a full 39 pages long and it is rich with thought.  I could read this thing and get full use of my dictionaries.  The author seems to be calling for a new set of laws in understanding behavior.  This is definitely a save and print out article.

I just love the academic search tool on both Microsoft Live and Google.