Some days are better than others



I just finished this morning’s session with the vOICe. My performance was less effective than the last few sessions, so far as reach and grab, or reach and get close. I only had visual qualia a few times. More than once, I “saw” it, and then reached for the wrong spot, only to find that it was where I’d “seen” it. But the visual qualia came and went so quickly that it was difficult to localize the target. What’s more, when I started, I kept seeing several targets on different spots of the bed, ghost images.

I could avoid posting about sessions that don’t go well, but somewhere out there, someone else who is training with the vOICe, or considering using it needs to know that some days will go better than others. What’s more, gaining facility could take months, or years.

If you consider neural network entrainment, one could assume that today was about testing the model that my brain has built up so far.

I’m using the vOICe and my own experience as part of the overall research efforts, attempting to find ways to improve my ability to use my own mind and brain in a more optimal fashion. However, because I’m trying a number of different things, if I do suddenly find myself learning at a considerably faster rate than the average, it will be difficult to tell which thing or combination of things caused that, or if I just happen to luck out and be unusually good at learning this task, just because of the way I’m wired, regardless of my approach. I could also end up being slower than most, but still be better than I would have been without the experiments. Or perhaps the experiments might be counter-productive. There are so many confounding factors.

Meanwhile, I find that my instinct is to inhibit my emotional reaction, to try and hold down my level of frustration. This is something I do more or less automatically. Yet those with savant syndrome often have trouble regulating their emotions. That’s also true when one considers the tortured artist, mad scientist, or even children. Perhaps, the neural chemical reaction associated with frustration helps to refine the neural patterns that are being build up as my brain models the process. Perhaps I would learn better if I did get upset, so long as the frustration doesn’t interfere with my motivation and push me away from continuing to practice. All respect to Shawn Achor and the positive psychology folk with their “happiness advantage,” but just because something feels unpleasant, doesn’t mean that what’s happening is “bad.”

Oh, for a budget, and willing participants.

Meanwhile, more Tetris effect. In fact, as soon as I was done and sat down to turn on my computer and write this, I started to hear the sounds of the vOICe, so at least some automatic processing is still going on. Here’s one place where some insight strikes me as useful. I could fight it—try and push the back of the head noises completely out of my head. Instead, on the theory that more processing is better, I do my best to let it run.


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