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Ethical Brain: Chapter 8 
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Post Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
This thread is for discussing Ch. 8 - The Brain Produces a Poor Autobiography. You can post within this framework or create your own threads. ::121

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 11/1/05 12:27 am



Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:32 pm
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Post Re: Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
This was the best chapter thus far, in part because it didn't spend much time on ethics or neurology. Still, Gazzaniga focused on the accuracy of eyewitness in criminal trials, to the exclusion of other issues.

For example, the limits and inaccuracies of memory give rise to some philosophical concerns. How can I be sure of anything if many of my memories don't reflect reality?




Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:51 am
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Post Re: Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
On p 128 Gazzaniga discusses a phenomenon that has always fascinated me. He explains that blocking is when you can remember something later on, but not at the time you are trying to remember it. I do not have a great memory and am often plagued by this problem. Usually when I stop trying to remember what it is I wish to remember, the idea will pop into my head! Although Gazzaniga uses the term blocking to refer to the mechanism preventing the memory from being accessed, I have only heard one person tell me the name of the phenomenon of such a memory suddenly returning. A professor told me that the Zarnick Effect is the name of the phenomenon in which a memory suddenly returns after previous unsuccessful tries at remembering that something. I believe that the person who coined the term was a Mr. Zarnick. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the name of that professor though! I thought that I'd pass that information onto any of you who also enjoy that sort of useless information! Also, I'd love to hear of any memory anecdotes or information you might like to share!




Sun Nov 06, 2005 3:31 pm
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Post Re: Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
On p 130 Gazzaniga refers to discoveries made by Loftus. I thought it was interesting that it was found that people will later misattribute an event to reality even though they knew the event was dreamt or was fictional at an earlier time. I was glad to read that. There have been times where I was talking or thinking about an event and suddenly questioned whether it really happened or if it happened to a character in a book I read or in a dream I had! I am glad that this is actually a common error. It's always nice to know those strange things happen to others!




Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:25 pm
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Post Re: Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
The discussion of illusory truth effect made me think of pathological liars. When a person repeats incorrect information, confidence in the truth of that erroneous information increases. People often say things like, "He lies so much, he believes his own lies!" Such an exclamation obviously reflects an intuitive understanding of the illusory truth effect!




Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:33 pm
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Post Re: Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
Tara, I agree. I also have memories that must have occured only in a dream, as the others involved have no memory of them (at all!) It gets a little strange, because as a whole, I don't remember my dreams. I'm sure that I have them (we all do), but when I wake up in the morning, I ususally have not idea of what I might of been dreaming about. This is distinguished from the dreams that I do remember in the first few moments of being awake and then forget later. I do that, too! The weirdest thing, though is deja vu. I'll be at a client site, perhaps for a week, and I'll be in a conference room full of people listening to a conversation that I have already heard. The REALLY weird ones are when those involved do something that I know they won't do in reality, like have a fight. How and when does the conversation change to avoid the fight? It's very, very weird.




Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:29 pm
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Post Re: Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
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p121 Sir Frederic Barlett, perhaps the premier Brithish phychologyst of the last centtury, was one of the first to believe that memory is a social or cultural phenomenon


This doesn't make sense to me. From reading the top have of the page, I think what he's trying to say is that memory has a social or cultural CONTEXT. Does that make more sense to people?




Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:32 pm
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Post Re: Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
p126, I think I may fall into the trap of someone who thinks their memory is superior. I do have some backup on this, though. I was on a jury and was the only one who felt the defendant was guilty. In the course of deliberations, we asked to have some of the testimony reread. Well, the rest of the jurors had no idea that they had heard this testimony before, they all said 'wow, missed that the first time'

Of course, the antidode does not prove my memory is superior. Do others have similar experiences? I suspect that booktalk members would be more intelligent/have better memories than the public in general.




Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:36 pm
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Post Re: Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
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p130 Moreover, it appears that the mere repitition of erroneous information increases the likelihood that the information will later be remembered with confidence as being true. This is called the illusory truth effect.


Perhaps this is why Cheney still says there is a like between Iraq and 9/11 and 70% of americans think so, too! ::46




Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:39 pm
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Post Re: Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
p133/134. This was an interesting discussion about the ability to influence the thoughts by suggestion. I've also heard another side to this: In the masters and johnson survey on sex, they did not want their subjects to feel inhibited, and forcing them to come up with the acts they participated in. So, they made a very long list of questions in the form of "When did you first (perform this specific sexual act)? However, in Gazzaniga's thinking, this would lead people to remember sexual encounters they did not have.




Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:43 pm
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Post Re: Ethical Brain: Chapter 8
Gino, I am glad that you shared your strange memory errors! Gino said, "The weirdest thing, though is deja vu." That is probably another memory error related to the errors discussed in this chapter. I don't remember Gazzaniga mentioning it, but you are probably right to associate it with memory errors. Gino also said, "Of course, the antidode does not prove my memory is superior. Do others have similar experiences? I suspect that booktalk members would be more intelligent/have better memories than the public in general." I must confess that my memory is not so great! I have a good memory of music, landmarks, spelling, and things like that though. My recall of facts, directions, formulas and such has always been an area in which I must work hard. However, I do think I am pretty intelligent! I have never subscribed to the idea that a good memory reflects high intelligence! I am sure that you can understand why! LOL




Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:08 pm
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