The Neuroscience of Experience
A significant proportion of brain resources are dedicated to the detection and processing of incoming sensory information about the environment, and producing appropriate responses. This processing takes place in primitive brain areas, connected emotional centers, and higher cognitive structures with wide connectivity throughout the brain. Many forms of mental illness arise from malfunctions in neurosensory processing; we believe that by modulating the quality and quantity of incoming sensory information it is possible to shape perceptions and experiences – for health or enrichment of personal experience. Examples of some of the neurosensory processing modalities we working with are listed below.
Neurosensory and Interpretive Processes
- Archetype - universally recognized symbols that convey a meaning.
- Metaphor - the ways the brain processes one modality through an alternative mechanism (e.g., sense of time passage mapped onto space).
- Presence - the awareness of existing; either of the self or of something “other.”
- Context - interpretation of meaning based on present conditions, a past experience, or future expectation.
- Agency – the capacity of a person to act, as initiated from within, or directed from outside the self. The signals through which we attribute those actions to people, animate, or inanimate objects.
- Locus of Control – the way that Agency is attributed to internal or external force or condition.
- Identifying with the actions or state of being of other things, based on the activity of Mirror Neurons.
- Somatosensory Mapping – the conditions that shape our perceptions of our bodily boundaries.
- Narrative – the way in which a series of experiences are constructed and remembered as a story that we use to define our reality.
- Making meaning – how a person understands or makes sense of life events, relationships, and self, and ascribes significance to them.
- Triggering of memories through the use of evocative sensory triggers.
- Immersive Flow – loss of the sense of self or of existing outside of a series of experiences, and feeling integrated into those experiences.
- Transcendence – going beyond the bounds of ordinary experience, in a memorable or meaningful way.
- Sense of self, as shaped by combinations of these other factors.