An article on the Preconscious mechanism in the brain

The article below describes how scientists are searching for the physical mechanism in the brain that directs our attention by filtering information. Sounds a lot like the Preconscious filter described in various Dramatica articles. One part of the article explains how visual information can be filtered out before reaching the visual cortex. If I understand it, it’s explaining that visual information can be filtered before we have a chance to see it. Imagine being presented with information that is contrary to your beliefs, and because it is contrary your mind filters it out before you can perceive it and then what you get is just the parts that appear to corroborate your beliefs. And then you act on or react to that filtered information. Because your actions are based on filtered information, they are maybe not the most appropriate actions, and that brings some form of conflict. That filtering or changing of info (filtering out or filtering in) becomes the source of conflict.


I’ve read articles about people misreading numbers because they don’t conform to their world view.

1 Like

It makes me think of when someone says “so what you’re saying is…” and then they follow it up with something the person didn’t say at all and clearly they just heard what they wanted to hear, or they just heard what they expected to hear from the other person.


This is an improvement over people who don’t say anything at all, and still proceed to assume that’s what the other said. At least here, there is the option to correct misunderstandings, whether they’re conscious or not.

Not that this is necessarily the motivation for saying it.

A major technique of mediating is to have side B repeat back to side A what was just said, so that everyone stays on the same page.


A basic Cognition class teaches that the brain gives out dopamine when one agrees (and possibly disagrees,) but gives NONE when using reason. I fondly remember my youth when the news programs were just plain boring. As Spock would say, “Fascinating”

1 Like

We can pick out a conversation in a loud room, amid the rise and fall of other voices or the hum of an air conditioner. We can spot a set of keys in a sea of clutter, or register a raccoon darting into the path of our onrushing car. Somehow, even with massive amounts of information flooding our senses, we’re able to focus on what’s important and act on it.

But now, some researchers are trying a different approach, studying how the brain suppresses information rather than how it augments it.
~ Quanta Magazine

The opening of this article reminds me of all those scenes in vampire movies where a person’s hearing and sight picks up every detail when they turn. They lose their preconscious filter. Every stimulus gains equal importance.


I’ve been reading a lot about human cognition over the last few years and it is amazing how the brain works. Our senses take in far more information than it can process so it has to devise tricks to filter out data that is not relevant to its goals (by the way, Autism spectrum disorder and those with various sensory issues suffer from a difficulty in filtering in this way)

What we perceive as reality is really a series of educated guesses that our brains put together and updates as it can. Using automatic implicit reasoning guided by past experience it can not only help fill in sensory gaps, it can compensate for the faint sensory lag between when the data was received and when it was processed. Without this, you would always miss the ball being thrown at you or jump too late when the tiger pounces. :slight_smile:


I find all this fascinating. The more I hear about scientists theorizing that we live in a simulated world or a hologram or whatever, the more I think they may just be discovering what it looks like when a mind creates its reality. In the sense that our brains do what you described, our minds are creating the universe that we observe.

And in the sense that Space is a division between mass and energy, it seems like Physics might be described as the difference between the way the world is and the way we observe it, or the way we create it to be, if that makes sense.

…and after trying to determine what Universe parsed across Mind would look like and why it wouldn’t look like regular physics and planets colliding and chemical reactions, I started think of it in terms of information (Universe) meeting observation (Mind). And it didn’t take long to realize that information met with observation might produce an Understanding or the Gathering of Info or Experience (Learning) and now I finally feel like I get how and why those two are there.

1 Like

This is very much aligned with our (Melanie’s and my) definition / understanding of “Preconscious” in the Dramatic-sense.

Thanks for the link to the article.



Not to get political, but reading the various papers and listening to various commentators the day after the presidential debate has been an interesting study in Preconscious.