Ask Mark - Week 3 responses

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Thank you to everyone who posted questions last week. I have recorded a response to four of the many interesting questions you had posed in Step 3.10 of Week 3. My video responses are on YouTube. (Please bear with us for occasional technical glitches in the Ask Mark response videos - I’m currently in Chicago and at times had poor video and audio connectivity with the team in Cape Town).

Question 1: Professor Solms, could you please explain the difference between consciousness and wakefulness? And why do you think the reticular activating system is not about just wakefulness (as Giuseppe Moruzzi and Horace Magoun thought it was)?

Response to question 1 - length: 6:39


Question 2: In your previous lectures you said you don’t include memory, similar to language, as a core component of a mind. But when we’re discussing conscious and unconscious minds, some of the evidence you presented for the unconscious mind (like the amnesiac patient refusing the shake the hand of her doctor) clearly indicates she must be storing some sort of information somewhere. How can we then exclude the information storing mechanism – memory - out of the equation of a mind?

Response to question 2 - length: 4:19


Question 3: If a conscious mind is only aware of the things that are currently affecting it, can a conscious mind be aware of more than one thing at any one time? I guess it can, but there must be a limit, but I wonder how that is managed? How does the conscious mind prioritise what it holds as conscious?

Response to question 3 - length: 5:50


Question 4: Besides the name, what parts of psychoanalysis are relevant to neuropsychoanalysis? This is not a criticism but a request for clarification, as unconscious processes have so far been discussed in general terms, and I have found nothing else that was reminiscent of psychoanalytical approaches.

Response to question 4 - length: 7:31


I look forward to your questions for this week - you can post them in Step 4.8 of Week 4.

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This article is from the free online course:

What Is a Mind?

University of Cape Town