July 16, 2010

A few wild Statements About Emotions and Memory

This text  is a quick and sleazy way to fast-note down one's thoughts, leaving the blanks for the reader to figure out, but anyway, I think that for the one, who can't figure out the blanks, this text is useless anyway.

So, I note down a set of statements, and leave the connections between them for the reader to figure out. :-)

My own hypothesis, the statement that is a bit of news to me at the time of writing this post, is:"Emotions are DATA that gets written into memory and the occurrence of emotion Y in situation X is just an ordinary memory retrieval event, where situation X helps to recall data in the memory, in this case, emotion Y."

Think of it this way: if one loses a thing, let's say, apartment keys, then by replaying the situation, where one might have lost the keys, can help to remember the place, the move, how/where one placed the keys.

The way I understand, in 2010, even one of the axioms of the Cognitive Psychology is that a situation triggers an automatic thought, which then determines human behavior and physical feelings. Think of it like, if one were to find oneself suddenly in the same room with a cobra snake, let's say, just 2 meters from it and with nothing but air between one and the snake, then probably it often takes just a fraction of a second to really get frightened and may be scream, startle and may be a few seconds or 10 seconds to start sweating from fear.

Another loose assertion, which is also present at http://brainrules.net, is that a presentation that touches peoples emotions, is remembered better.

Next loose assertion, from the book of http://brainrules.net , the way I understand it as of July 2010, is that memories are stored and enhanced in a region of a brain, where they were placed at the very first instance and that they are most easily retrieved if they are heavily linked to some data that is already, "firmly", there.

I'm not sure, I guess that if I consider a blog, specially this soap opera blog here, somewhat as my diary, then may be the reason, why I wrote all of this text here is to sort out my own thoughts a little bit. It seems to me that my conclusion, at the time of writing this section, is that fear is very often an unjustified, irrational, automatic thought that should be recognized and consciously ignored, because calm assessment, analyze, of the situation should always be sufficient. I acknowledge that fear helps rats and other animals to avoid their predators, but if there is nowhere to run or the situation is so fast that one knows for sure that one can not run, let's say, sufficiently far away from a bomb, then calm assessment does seem to me to be the most fruitful asset.

I admit that I was listening the following video in the background then writing this post. It seems to me that music helps me to get to get to inner memories, thoughts, in my mind where I would not get otherwise. The idea is that a music associates to me with something and then I'm able to think, what is it about that piece of music that I really like, why is it that I like this particular feature within that music, what is it this thing really that I'm dreaming about, what my heart yearns for. I guess that's it's the same thing that I just described in this post: the music creates the situation and brings out emotions that I can then analyze to get to know myself a little bit more.

For example, once I was walking home at night while listening to some of my favorite MP3 files and came to a conclusion that the reason, why I liked those particular pieces of music was that they associated to me with some of my earlier, childhood dreams of success. When I listed the features of success in my mind and thought it over a bit, I found that those dreams were naive and contradictory and started to think, whether I am at the "right path" in reality, how I should try to plan my career in reality, where to aim, what political stances I should have.