James wrote:Hey, you know about brains and stuff. What would you call that apparently paradoxical combination of sensations? Some form of cognitive dissonance?
I seem to remember hearing about some clever guy fairly obsessed with the ability of the brain to hold two seemingly contradictory ideas or thoughts at once, probably in my philosophy course. Let's hear it for dimly-recollected vague concepts!
Hmm, cognitive dissonance in a sense, although that moreso refers to the discomfort that a person feels when they realise they are holding contradictory feelings/beleif/whatever. I'm not sure what to call the actual act of experiencing contradictory feelings. I also have no idea about the underlying neural mechanisms, but considering that our brain is incredibly complex and capable of processing a gigantic amount of information simultaneously, it's not suprising that it is possible.
A vaguely-related concept that came to mind is synesthesia
! Basically, a strange combination of sensations where one might elicit another. For example, seeing numbers might elicit colour perception, such that a person actually sees numbers in colour (even though they are not!). Or, to see landscapes when doing maths, to taste music, etc etc. It's thought to occur when the brain areas responsible for processing various sensations end up overlapping or forming a connection to the point where it is impossible to separate the two sensations.
ANYWAYS, No point to this post, just speculating / rambling.