*Forming Reality


From siegel/tdm chapter 5:  representations

Modes of processing and the construction of reality


++ mental symbols are patterns of neuronal activation (activity patterns)

++  The ways individuals assemble clusters of “activity patterns of neuronal groups” into “functional units” within their brains determines “the nature of their subjective experience of reality. (siegel/tdm/160)”

++ “These groups are clustered into functional units capable of representing experiences in different modalities, such as sight or taste, words or sensations, abstract ideas or perceptual images.  The ways individuals assemble particular neuronal activations within themselves or in interaction with other people determine the nature of their subjective experience of reality.  (siegel/tdm/160)”

“…different mental modules responsible for representing the world and other people…. (siegel/tdm/161)”

copied into BRAIN NOTES


I think that these clusters into functional units can become organized around separate things and remain entirely separate from one another and from the individual’s reality.  They “float around” like bubbles, but are not connected – thus the narration is not coherent as there is no “unified whole.”  And if there’s no sense of time, they do not become grounded in REALITY or in the SELF of the individual.  Nothing is real in themselves or in interactions with others as a consequence.

I don’t think healing necessarily requires the mind-to-mind therapist thing….we are not infants and we cannot be reparented.  Yet I depend on my sister, Cindy, and on my girls.  I used to depend on Ernie.  I am borrowing these attachments, these “belongings.”  If attachment really is about belonging, and about becoming our SELF so that we can tell what belongs to us and what belongs to another person, then this is a different process than I think the one is that Siegel refers to.

It also must have to do with a PRIMARY process where we are connected to our own experiences so that we can have an experience of them, and an experience of ourselves experiencing the experiences.  Yes, that should have happened with our infantile caregivers.  And COULD on some level happen with a therapist, friend, etc.  But I think the reason I need OTHERS for this process is because I feel so fundamentally alone.

That I do not know my worth, or my value, and so nothing about my life has the proper value either….and therefore no meaning.

With some, like my mother, the “picture perfect life” (or like Scott Peterson and his mother) that is a SECONDARY reality.  Maybe they have bubbles within bubbles!


BRAIN asymmetry -bilateral differences are deeply rooted in our evolutionary history — are present in fetus and long before “complete cognition is available”

divided into two halves “that have distinctly different mental representations and modes of processing. Tdm/161”  “quite independent at times” – “directly shapes the construction of subjective experience”

“Repeated patterns of neuronal activations help to establish continuity in the individual’s representations of reality across time.  Siegel/tdm/161”


“The experiential reinforcement of particular repre- (siegel/tdm/161) sentational processes can become an engrained pattern in the way an individual comes to experience the world (siegel/tdm/162)”


information processing and mental representations

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