Monday, 27 April 2015
The Impression of Déjà Vu.
This week we’d like to suggest some readings on a strange phenomenon that people may experience when travelling, among other occasions: the impression of déjà vu.
The first link below describes just one example of this phenomenon: you are touring a castle in a country that you are visiting for the first time, when suddenly you have the impression that you have been there before. But after the tour, while visiting the castle’s gift shop, you see a postcard with a photo of the castle, and you realize that a movie that you saw several years ago was shot there. The two experiences seemed too distant or disjointed in your memory for you to make the connection explicitly, but they were close enough for you to have an implicit sense of familiarity. (more…)
Monday, 13 April 2015
Recent Studies on the Role of Sleep
As Evan Thompson, a philosopher of biology and the mind, stated in a recent lecture, our Western way of life is so focused on productivity as a dominant value that when we go to bed, we are so exhausted that we literally “crash” into sleep. As a result, we very often do not even experience the special state of consciousness known as hypnagogia, which normally occurs during the first phase of falling asleep. When someone is in this state, they are still sensitive to sensory inputs from the outside world, but no longer entirely awake, and they are more likely to make all sorts of original mental associations.
In addition to watching Thompson’s lecture (see first link below), you may want to read Waking, Dreaming Being (the book on which the lecture is based, published in 2014), or his earlier, very rewarding book, Mind in Life (2007). (more…)