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Friday, March 29, 2013

When we Feel at Ease

01 25 2013

As a note on perception, Randi, it is my understanding that we can examine two kinds of stimulus the familiar and the foreign. A familiar stimulus sets us at ease as it is something we know and understand. Think of it this way, if you were a primitive person searching for food for your tribe and you saw figs, and new them to be edible, you would be happy as this notes that you will now feed your tribe.

Further, on arriving home it would be calming to see familiar faces to great you and knowing were thins are in your environment is settling.  If all people disappeared from this earth but me and I was near my home I would know where the nearest lake and river is so I can find water. If I was in the middle of Los Angeles, twenty five miles away, I would have much more trouble unless the plumbing was still running.  If some calamity were to take LA my first instinct would be to return home to ground I am familiar with so that I can find what I need.

This is why it puts a person at easy when they see a name they remember in a reference list. It sets us on ground we know and can understand through past experience.

Foreign stimulus has a greater impact on the mind as a matter of survival. If you were foraging for food to feed your tribe and ran across gooseberries, and had never seen them before, this would draw interest because they have all the similarities to fruit that you know of and eat. Gooseberries kind of look like prickly green or red plumbs and grow in a bush like many fruits. The fruit hangs like grapes and sometimes appear in bunches.

If the gooseberry is the only thing that appears edible you may wind up trying one out of hunger or curiosity. You may see another animal eat them and so think that they are edible.  Still it would be wise to sniff them, break them open, and lick the exposed bits before eating one. When the berries are returned to the tribe they would be greeted with apprehension.  You would eat one showing the tribe that they are edible and slowly they would all join you.

Further, because you had never eaten the berries before they would stay distinct in memory so that knowledge of them will be strong when next they are encountered.  Even today, if you introduce a friend to gooseberries they would be more likely to remember them than if you had eaten grapes. They would be more likely to remember funny looking grapes than grapes with which they are more familiar.

This would be why you felt as you did when reading the chapter and you probably already knew that so I sound like an idiot.