Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Our Brain on Infinity

This is a little thought experiment I adapted from a book (see below).

Write an infinity symbol with your writing hand (something you've probably done before).  Now switch and write it with your left hand (something you've probably NOT done before).  See, it can be done with your left hand without any practice, or without too much stumbling (although not perfect, see my attempt below).  How is that?   What did we learn about the brain that said, hey, something we've done with our right hand before, we can do with our left, on the first try!

To me, this example proves that the human mind "has representations" for things in it.  It proves that those representations can be passed and used by different brain systems.  And it proves that it is not a rote mechanical memorization; but rather an impression of vectors of what something should be.  It also kind-of shows how the human brain has "daemons" running that handle different tasks.  That the left hand could do what the right hand can do, means that the symbols for doing that were connected to neither.  That neither hand had the "motor memory" permanent in storage... and that the symbol itself was stored.  That the left hand could do it without practice shows that there must be a left-hand system in your brain that knows how to draw curves... and that that system was activated in order to draw the infinity symbol stored in your brain.

How is this useful to Marketing or Management... I'm not sure just yet.  But that is the beauty of learning new things... you just don't know how or when or even if it will be useful.  I suspect that this little tid-bit will be useful to me in the future though... if it ever is, if I use it to help me manage people or do some marketing magic, I'll let you know!

I adapted this idea form a book I'm reading the book called "How the Mind Works" by Steven Pinker.   This and so much more can be found in it!  I highly encourage you to read it.

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