My Brain Tricked Me

Kenny (@kenny) 10 years, 7 months ago

I’ve always been fascinated by the brain. Not only because of it’s power but because of it’s ability to be tricked and manipulated.

Here’s a recent study.

Summary: Subjects were asked to taste test two "different" shakes a week apart. They were actually the same shakes both times (same ingredients, same calories) but the first was labeled "indulgence" with the slogan "decadence you deserve." The second was labeled "guilt-free satisfaction." When researchers measured ghrelin ( a hunger hormone) they found that ghrelin dropped significantly when subjects consumed the "indulgent" shake compared to a slight increase in ghrelin when subjects consumed the "sensible" shake. They were physiologically satisfied with the indulgent shake but not with the sensible one even though they were the same shake.

Our body reacts differently to the same input depending on how we think about it.

June 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm
daveb (119) (@daveb) 10 years, 7 months ago ago

nice thread, I am excited to hear everybody’s experiences on this topic!!

I fish a lot. I cast my line – as I’ve done millions of times in my life – and as it settled towards the water 100 yards or so away a seagull was cruising on a collision course with my lure. at that moment I got confused, and then after a couple of seconds I could “remember” seeing my lure splash into the water. in fact I can still remember “seeing” the splash.

only the splash never happened. the seagull started going back up in the air, without ever coming any closer to the water. and my line went up with it. And eventually I reeled in a seagull, which my friend and I were able to safely release unharmed. the spoon was right in it’s beak.

my brain totally invented the “splashdown” of my lure, simply because the reality that it observed – the seagull plucking my lure out of mid-air – was so implausible that my brain made up something more believable.

Roxanne Fox (0) (@hifoxyroxy) 10 years, 7 months ago ago

cool story Dave. Could it have been Jonathon Livingston Seagull?

Martin Walsh (6) (@kakistos) 10 years, 7 months ago ago

Its weird the tricks your mind will play on you to avoid cognitive dissonance. It actually causes you to invest more heavily in fictions just to prove they’re not fictions. even causing mental satisfaction where none is deserved. Like smoking. There is a ridiculous amount of the habit thats simply in holding the fucking thing. When i quit before part of how i did it was by having a cigarette in front of me most of the day, picking it up, holding it, pretending to take a drag off it. i was off them for 3 months with what i thought of as constant temptation when actually it was pretty much just keeping up 90% of the habit.

Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 10 years, 7 months ago ago

Must watch:

Martin Walsh (6) (@kakistos) 10 years, 7 months ago ago

Brilliant post Martijn. This kind of debunks a lot of societal myths too.

Kenny (5) (@kenny) 10 years, 7 months ago ago

Awesome video Martijn.

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