Brain knows our decisions 7 seconds before we (conscious mind) do.

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  1. Richawriter profile image85
    Richawriterposted 10 years ago

    I read recently that the subconscious part of our brain knows our decisions before we are even aware of them.

    I've heard this said over and over and not just by anyone but experts and doctors so it has to be true. That isn't my question however.

    I've always been intrigued by how sometimes I'll be walking along, off to buy a French stick, searching for the loo or just anywhere and my mind is blank at the time, unthinking, when suddenly I'll look in a direction and find myself looking into the eyes of a person staring at me. The result is that one of us is startled and looks away in shock at the sudden discovery. Then it's forgotten.

    The same thing happens when I stare at someone, (not in every case) and they immediately zone in on me like they detected my lock on! It's unnerving.

    However, have you ever noticed that when you are consciously thinking, planning and hoping to attract their eyes either as an experiment or because you need to get their attention quietly, they never look!?!

    Now to the question: Could it be that because your subconscious mind knows your decisions seven seconds before you do that both our minds know we will be looking at each other and that's why we always look EXACTLY at the right spot - right into their eyes? Or if that doesn't make much sense, could our subconscious mind know they are looking at us and when we aren't thinking and busying our conscious mind, it nudges us to respond to their stare?

    Then this would be why it doesn't really work when you force it with the conscious mind because it doesn't happen with the conscious mind, it works only with the subconscious mind.

    What do you think the reason is for this event?


    1. profile image0
      Beth37posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      1) What is a French stick?
      2) I misread the opening title and thought... "Who is Brian and why is he reading our minds?"
      3)I hate that thing, when your staring at someone and you don't even realize it and then they lock eyes with you and then you're like, "Awkward!"
      4) I don't really understand the question, but in all honesty, I was still thinking about Brian.
      5) What do you think is going on with our brains in the morning when we stare off into space and can't blink at all... not even if we tried to force our eyes shut... not happening.

      1. Richawriter profile image85
        Richawriterposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Hey Beth and thanks for adding to the conversation. Seems these types of discussions can get rather lonely around here so its nice to have a little sense of humor added even if there are only THREE whole people to appreciate it!

        A French stick is French bread, you know, those long pieces of bread that look like sticks and even snap like sticks in some cases!

        haha, Brian! Well, let's make it more interesting shall we.

        Brian is that guy with the amazing power of foresight. He always seems to know when someone is staring at me, or vice versa - when I'm staring at another of his buddies. That wouldn't be too bad if he didn't also tell on me and let that person know that I'm staring at them, meaning one of those "Awkward" moments happens!!

        He really is insufferable at times but hey, what can we do? Brian's here to stay so we better learn to live with him.

        Even on those mornings where Brian hypnotizes you while he potters away in the background and you are left staring open-mouthed at the wall or your breakfast.

        Despite Brian's many flaws - I love him like father. He takes care of me.

        Thanks for adding that Beth. smile

        1. profile image0
          Beth37posted 10 years agoin reply to this

          lol. You're welcome.

        2. profile image0
          Beth37posted 10 years agoin reply to this

          lol. You're welcome.

    2. tsmog profile image83
      tsmogposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Richawriter. This is a very interesting thought challenge in itself. Sharing I studied this for near a year and once published an article here on that subject. The quick of it is they have measured how fast the brain processes information at both the University of Arizona and Johns Hopkins.

      How? They removed the top of the skull and then placed a neuronet upon it. With the wizardry of science the used the eye and the time to the occipital lobe recognized a sight seen. Seems it is near 4ms which based on the average brain size from front to back comes close to about 3.1mph or there about. That seems slow, yet it is only 9 inches about in distance. One may surmise that we can process information as fast we generally walk. Interesting when one considers a jet going at Mach III is flown by a pilot making decisions at 3.1mph. Does this mean we need computers to function in today's world?

      For substantiation you may check out this PDF article. … lTovee.pdf With a little prowling around you will discover the additional articles sharing the actual research of those universities.

      Next, with your path chosen one may have to know how the brain does process information with the five sense and how fast each sense is recognized by each lobe or processing center of the brain for that sense. Then, consider the sixth and more if you wish.

      A stark contrast with this thought exercise is the eye sees an object at the speed of light. It is not recognized as something until that near 4ms later. Ponder a 5ms computer screen monitor and the value of a 2 ms monitor. A sales gimick? I dun'no. Now, consider you saw a motor start up or the fan spins. Or it was sensed within 299,792,458 meters per second range. Yet, you heard it at a range of 340.29 meters per second. Which did you believe and why do people reassure themselves something is running by touch seeking a vibration?

      Now, we have some idea of brain processing and sensing. What of perceptions? Do we perceive at that ms transfer rate between lobes as each individual axon, nodes, and etc provides information to the nucleus? I presume, since this is where I stopped thinking on this thought challenge, that the exchange moves with the speed of electrical impulses. We are told, by physicists, that electricity travels the same exact speed, through a wire, that light travels through a vacuum. Knowing ohms law being electrical current equals voltage divided by resistance then does perception slow with resistance and what would be that resistance? Distance of impulse and the neuromap?

      An unverified premise I have is that the deja vu experience is we may see the event, recognize it at that governing brain lobe, yet not believe it until heard and governed by that brain lobe. Since we cannot touch the experience, as it is now in the past, we in essence re-experiencing it with a different sense. Or, first is sight followed by hearing. Thus, we ponder a sensed event as deja vu. Notation: Any combination of a faster sense vs. a slower sense. Do consider the brain does funny things such as presume for us on auto pilot or similar is recognized and consciously perceived as is or being reality.

      Consider this does not discuss the mind nor spirituality. That is about where I stopped my research at a novice level. However, I concluded that any event I sense in fact is a past experience recognized in the present. Yet, it is still a past event in the big picture of the universe. So, am I conscious only of the past? I dun'no . . .

      Here in is where pondering occurs when adding to with the conscious mind vs. the subconscious mind. Within the closed system of the brain they both exist and are electrical impulses moving near to the speed of light. Where does the subconscious mind exist? Is the conscious mind only those lobes or parts of the brain that process sensing. That leads to the pondering of original thought and again that is where I jumped ship sort to speak with my researching at a novice level. Can we use the RAM and ROM as a model of understanding this phenomena or did we when the computer as a system was designed?

      Thank you for allowing me a moment to ponder the past and maybe reignite a passion for learning. Those are good questions to ponder and I hope more add to this thread.

      Remember to have fun and live each moment as it comes as it comes . . .


      1. Richawriter profile image85
        Richawriterposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Wow, tsmog!

        That went very very deep but it was well worth the read. What stopped you from continuing your research? It seems like you were getting somewhere with it though judging by what you have written, it is rather mind-blowing stuff!

        I take my hat off to you for going so far with it.

        Conscious only of the past .... yes, yes, that is right isn't it? Everything, absolutely everything we react to with sense has already passed. Of course we can be experiencing the present but only if we stop and focus on it which is more of a spiritual practice these days, I guess, much like the practices of monks or Yogis.

        Your deja vu theory is very interesting also and would definitely be worth studying some more.

        Thanks for such an expansive and intelligent answer. You've really given me lots of food for thought with that answer.

  2. Goodwin Lu profile image56
    Goodwin Luposted 7 years ago

    interesting... does this mean that the subconscious can effectively pull off a plot twist each time in a dream if it wanted to? And what about random bursts countering your normal behavior? And what about chance? Let's say you can't decide whether to choose a T-shirt as white or black. You say, ah, let's flip a coin. Does that mean your subconscious can predict the outcome 7 seconds before you actually flip the coin? That would be insane...


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