Taking a New Look at the Unconscious

When people think about the mind, they tend to imagine it as a singular entity. When someone thinks, they usually postulate an inner singular being who is doing it. It’s a common view of the world. However, science has long discredited the basic idea behind it said Marc Sparks. According to bizjournals.com, we know that the human mind is a collection of multiple processes. Somewhat surprisingly, people aren’t aware of most of the thinking that’s going on within their brain.

The extent to which the unconscious is actually processing data has been a point of contention for a long time now. However, it’s a difficult experiment to conduct. How can one test a subject about things he doesn’t consciously know about? It’s not only a difficult study to conduct, but one that’s even harder to do properly. There’s a good reason that so much of the research in this area has come about by studying people with neurological damage. When something goes wrong in the brain, it often makes it easier to work with the unconscious.

However, a recent study used something known as continuous flash suppression to essentially pose a mathematical question to subject’s unconscious mind. One eye was bombarded with distracting imagery. The other eye was eventually presented with a simple math problem. The subjects were then asked to read off a list of numbers. The subjects tended to be faster when reading off the number which answered the math problem. The findings are quite significant, in that they suggest that the math problems were solved by the unconscious. This suggests that the unconscious mind can perform fairly advanced tasks.

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