The Extended Mind
Think there is more to us than the mundane?
Here are some aspects of the extended mind. See also the article under Nature vs. Nurture for a primer on how this might work.
First we have to define what is the extended mind? At where does it begin, and where does it end?
The first video features Derren Brown, a well-known stage artist in the UK who specializes in tricks of the mind. He demonstrates here how we are all subliminally influenced by events happening all around us at levels that don't normally enter into consciousness.
It might be worth noting that when we are in a relaxed easy-going state, we are open to information entering on many levels. It's as if the barriers are down in this state of mind, so we take in much more than we realize:
Next, we have to contrast this in the following video with a narrowing down of attention so we may see very little, perhaps just one thing. Both ends of the spectrum are useful of course, and both are normal states of mind for most everyone. So how do we define where the extended mind begins?
Follow the directions on-screen at the beginning of this video:
Jessica has had a near death experience (NDE). She relates her regret while "out of body" of not doing enough in this life.
In the following two videos, neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists relish: She relates how one morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, she studied and remembered every moment. These videos are well worth watching and are a powerful story about how our brains make us who we are, our connections to the world, and to one another.