Thursday, May 8, 2008

Warning: fMRI may cause existential rambling

Days of whoring myself out to researchers for psych credit are over. Now I do it for money and pictures of my brain!

This really is the coolest thing I've seen all year. After staring at the looping video they gave me for a good five minutes straight, it finally starts to sink in. This is physical evidence that I am a biochemical machine. Whoa. That is me. It is that crumpled mass of tissue that makes me who I am. My thoughts and feelings and hopes and dreams and inability to write out thoughts without gruesomely running on sentences are all just action potentials and chemical imbalances being pumped in that gray lump of a factory. I don't know if I'm alone when I say that I tend to picture consciousness as a thick fog swirling around an otherwise hollow skull. Occasionally there is a disembodied voice floating through it, but you get the idea. It's easy to imagine our lungs as lungs, and our stomachs as stomachs, but I never really think about the fact that there is an organ throwing around electrical signals to make me think and act the way I do.
That just blows my mind.

I also never realized how hard it is it to write about consciousness without using at least one figurative representation (mental picture, blows the mind, etc).
Try wrapping your mind around that.

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