Re: Study shows brain can learn without really trying

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Wed Oct 31 2001 - 18:57:01 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Study shows brain can learn without really trying
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    On Wed, Oct 31, 2001 at 01:56:25PM +0000, Chris Taylor wrote:
    > My girlfriend once got a massively higher score than she has managed
    > before or since on a pinball game, because she was totally distracted by
    > a complete idiot on a radio phone in we had on. I think to some extent
    > our subconscious is much better at most stuff (except the planning
    > stuff) so generally if our upstart (and IMO evolutionarily late
    > developing) conscious gets out from under, suddenly we become better at
    > (sometimes not so) simple tasks. I've driven for miles before I realise
    > I don't remember a damn thing about it...

    Juggling is too difficult for the conscious mind. Learning to juggle is
    largely about teaching the unconscious mind to do it. When I was
    learning, I sometimes practiced at work, and once a colleague asked
    to have a go. He tried really hard, and managed maybe about 12 cycles
    at best -- this is 3 ball juggling. A week or two later, it "clicked"
    for me, over a weekend. Next day I told him that, and said I'd managed
    about 80 cycles before dropping a ball. At first he didn't believe me.

    This was a very smart guy, just completing a PhD in comp sci and about
    to start an MBA, but he didn't understand diddly about the unconscious
    mind. What it excels at is parallel processing. Juggling has too many
    aspects to be focussed on, for the conscious mind to manage it, but
    for the unconscious, it's quite easy. Once it's got the idea, that is.
    It is slower to learn than the conscious mind. But the main problem, I
    think, for most people, is not that, but just getting the conscious mind
    out of the way. For people "in the zone", the conscious mind is out of
    the way as regards action, because it is fully focussed on perception.
    Or so I understand.

    More about such stuff at
    The connection with Zen is discussed at

    Robin Faichney
    alt.m: "Memes do not exist. Tell everyone you know."
    inside information --

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