Sensory Amnesia

Sensory perception registers relationship and tells you what is going on in relationship to the norm. Perception is relative, meaning it is not absolute fact. This is why such a surprise occurs as you are hearing your own voice when it has been recorded playing back – or seeing yourself on a video camera.

Let’s say you habitually lean forward, for instance as you walk. For some situational reason, you find yourself re-orienting yourself. If you happen to look in a mirror or get the feedback of a video camera, you may be surprised to find yourself more upright when you mistakenly sensed you are leaning backwards! Given whatever state you are in, you will only register a change in your orientation or attitude, (attitude in a nautical sense,) but not the fact of absolute location.

Sensory distortion is a very strange sensation. Optical illusions are visual examples of this same effect. Rather than merely being entertained, wonder how these things can happen! They exploit elements of perception that people have learned to take for granted.

Another example of this can be experienced in the auditory sense. If you make a short tape loop or CD skip of any voice, and play it over and over again….you’ll at first hear it saying familiar words. Then as your sense of emphasis drifts slightly, the words will recombine into saying something else. If you continue listening, a third and even fourth phrase will emerge. The number of phrases a person hears in variations will increase depending if you are younger.

Most people are not familiar with the idea that auditory illusions exist. So check out this research: http://deutsch.ucsd.edu/psychology/deutsch_research1.php

Perception is built to sense new variations. The conclusions you come to and what you do about it after you sense these novelties is, of course, up to you. In the kinesthetic sense, weird and unfamiliar feedback encourages the reaction to put yourself back where you are habitually located, which is sometimes not to your advantage if new orientation takes less effort.

Obviously, it pays to reflect about what it means and what you are going to do abou it when you experience something new. The first knee-jerk reaction is often not particularly constructive. It’s not your only choice.

The characteristics of what is new are unusual. What is new doesn’t fit, doesn’t match; it feels weird, unclassified. It may be that the new perceptual experience could be used in some way to your advantage. Allow it to continue and describe its characteristics for a bit and see what happens…

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