A strange, beautiful woman

Self perception and image are two concepts that remain intriguing and immensely prevalent throughout my life. Bewildering is the fact that the majority of people I know have a negative self image. Comparing ourselves to others while simultaneously putting ourselves and others down creates a distorted breeding ground of competition.

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INTP Goals Don’t Make Sense

If you’re an INTP who has to deal with a lot of J’s, then you probably know exactly how this works. The Judger (as opposed to the Perceiver) prefers to make his plans in advance. He likes clear goals and wants to know exactly what is happening and how it’s going to work.

The INTP isn’t a Judger. Obviously. We don’t think like a Judger. But we do live in a society that has a higher percentage of Judgers than Perceivers, and it often seems that the INTP is a bit more extreme when it comes to being a Perceiver. INTPs dislike committing to anything, from opinions to actions.

For example, even when I have an opinion, I’m often loathe to express it because I don’t know if something will later make me change that opinion. If my mother (a Judger) asks me to make a declarative statement on my brother’s girlfriend, then I’m going to hem and haw, not because I don’t like her, but because I don’t want to say anything definite.

Another thing about being an INTP is having to make goals. Everyone expects you to have goals for your life. The world abounds with quotes about people who fail to plan planning to fail, and other similar maxims. Stuff like that drives me up a nutty wall because I don’t like setting goals.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have goals.

When living with Judgers, one learns to keep one’s goals to oneself. It’s not that I don’t have stuff I want to do with my life. I actually have an internal plan for writing a novel and submitting it for publication, but it’s not what a Judger would call a plan. It’s not written down, and I don’t have any accountability partners. It’s much easier to do the work and not focus on the goal. Focusing on a goal simply puts pressure on that Introverted Thinking and Extroverted Intuition, and it makes one feel panicky.

INTPs don’t need goals in the traditional sense of the word. Although we’re commonly thought of as procrastinators on an epic scale, the fact is that we simply know exactly what really needs to be done, and we’re not going to waste more than one second of time on doing it than we absolutely must. We don’t think from point to point, but rather in a tangle of thoughts that somehow make sense to us.

It’s not that the INTP doesn’t have goals for his life. Rather, the INTP is going to keep his goals locked away from common sight and work towards them so quietly that other people will be continually shocked by his intelligence and ingenuity.

How older people learn

As a person ages, perception declines, accompanied by augmented brain activity. Learning and training may ameliorate age-related degradation of perception, but age-related brain changes cannot be undone. Rather, brain activity is enhanced even further, but for other reasons and with different outcomes. Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) discovered these facts in a recent study, the results of which have now been published in Scientific Reports.

Enhanced brain activity at old age

The researchers asked test participants in different age cohorts to feel two needlepoints that were located closely to each other with the tips of their fingers. Older participants perceived two points as a single event even when they were located quite far apart, whereas younger people were still able to distinguish them as two distinct points, which is evidence for degraded tactile perception at higher age. This impaired perception experienced by older people goes hand in hand with a spatial enhancement of brain activity, which researchers generally interpret as a compensatory mechanism.

Learning and training improve perception

“Age-related degraded perception is not irreversible; rather, it can be improved through training and learning,” explains Dr Hubert Dinse from the RUB Neural Plasticity Lab. The question researchers then asked was: if age-related impaired perception can be restored, will the age-related expansion of brain activity be reduced as well? In other words: can training and learning lead to a “rejuvenation” of the brain?

Learning too enhances brain activity

Studies with young adults have shown that learning processes are typically associated with an enhanced and broadened brain activity. If age-related impaired perception can be restored through learning, learning should have a different effect on the brain in older people than in young adults: the age-related enhanced brain activity should be reduced. Yet, as the neuroscientists from Bochum observed, the opposite is the case: learning processes in old people result in a further enhancement of brain activity too, which is associated with improved perception.

Learning to understand ageing and learning processes with the computer

“We asked ourselves: how can the different effects of enhanced brain activity on perception in older people be explained?” recounts Dr Burkhard Pleger from the RUB Neurology Clinic in Bergmannsheil Hospital. For the purpose of the study, the researchers used computer simulations to model both brain activity and associated perception. To this end, they simulated a number of alternatives of how those results might have been generated. These simulations showed that the observed pattern of age-related changes at the level of brain activity and perception could only be explained by the weakening of a mechanism that limits spread of activation, thus keeping activity focussed. In contrast, the observed learning effects could only be explained by reduced inhibition, which leads to higher brain activity. This mechanism is operating in both young and older people. Thus, the older brain learns according to the same principles as the younger brain. Considering the magnitude of learning-induced improved perceptual ability in younger and older participants, the study shows that older people improve even more than younger people. This result too can be explained by the computer simulations through reduced suppressive neural mechanisms in the elderly participants.

Training pays off at every age – but it does not rejuvenate the brain

“The computer simulations explain how changed brain activity can have opposite effects on the level of perception. In addition, they explain the observation that the ‘treatment’ of ageing processes does not reverse age-related brain changes, but rather remodels them,” says Hubert Dinse. “They demonstrate that training and learning pay off at every age, in order to remain fit.”

Can we stop this idea that witches on here are always perfect, know everything, and are infallible to feeling raw emotions? Can this stop? Now? We are all human. We have opinions. We have baggage. Remember that the next time you take offense when a witch defends him/herself or expresses their opinion on something that is near and dear to their heart.

Why are there so many posts that make Annabeth and Nico out to be such cold, cynical, unfeeling people that like to make fun of others? Like they’re such adorkable sweet hearts and they care so much? Like how excitedly Annabeth talks about architecture and how deeply she cares for Percy and her friends and when she’s scared she longs for physical contact. And Nico still is a Mythomagic nerd and he just wants friends and to be loved and he loves his sisters more than anything and kisses Hazel’s cheek and it’s just so sad when people only focus on the colder aspects of their personalities cause they’re big dorks that care too much.


perception is very important if you want to understand astrology.

there are some awfully kind people on this website and sometimes they’ll send me nice messages 💕 and most of the time they say something like: “you seem so comfortable in your own skin”, “I love your posts and answers because they’re so concise”, “I love that you’re confident”, “I love that you’re straightforward”, “you’re so smart” or “you’re so real and you’re always yourself”. these are positive perceptions of me (specifically my online persona/MC)

and then, there are the negative perceptions of me. being “comfortable in my own skin”, “being confident” and “real” turns into being conceited and arrogant. being “smart” turns into being a know it all and being “straightforward and concise” becomes condescending and lazy.

I know why this happens, my 10th house… is complicated, and I have mars there & all the above traits are pretty mars like. but the point is, all of these people are seeing the same version of me but coming to different conclusions based on their personal perception.

I know a pair of twins, but they ended up with different moon signs. one has moon in virgo and the other has moon in libra. being twins, they weren’t really raised differently. they were treated the same by their parents. their mum was image concerned, cared about manners and enforced the importance of social skills and politeness. this is how a lot of libra moons are raised; to be very conscious in social situations, to be polite and respectful. hence why one of the twins was given a libra moon. the other twin with the virgo moon was taught and raised around these exact same beliefs, but when they were corrected on how to say something more politely they didn’t see it was being taught manners, they saw it as their mum being critical and judgemental. he perceived their mum as being perfectionistic, and believed his mum was teaching him common sense and trying to make him “perfect”.

once there was a discussion on my blog about how libra and leo suns naturally sextile but don’t actually seem to get along that well in real life in a lot of cases. this prompted /many/ libra and leo suns to tell me why they didn’t like these signs. leo’s said that they found libra’s weak, passive, copycat-like, and dull. libra’s are natural peacekeepers so they’re polite, considerate and adapt to their surroundings but the former traits listed is how leo’s perceived that. since libra’s are so polite, they perceived leo’s ~self-love~/self-involved nature as conceit, melodramatic, and lack of manners and so forth.

this post was unplanned so I don’t know where exactly I was headed but what I’m trying to say is, if you want to understand astrology, like really understand it, you need to understand perception and how if affects your judgement and how people (including you) will relate to their own charts.

How the brain merges the senses

Utilizing information from all the senses is critical for building a robust and rich representation of our surroundings. Given the wealth of multisensory information constantly bombarding us, however, how does our brain know which signals go together and thus need to be combined? And how does it integrate such related signals? Scientists from the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) at Bielefeld University and the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics have proposed a computational model that explains multisensory integration in humans utilizing a surprisingly simple processing unit. This research, funded by the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, appears in the current issue of “Nature Communications”.

A sudden explosion, cracking sounds and flashing lights. In a blink of an eye, you realize that sounds and lights belong together, you look down and see firecrackers on the sidewalk. The human brain is surprisingly efficient at processing multisensory information. However, we still do not know how it solves the seemingly simple task of deciding whether sound and light belong together or not. “Figuring out a correspondence between the senses is by no means a trivial problem” says Dr. Cesare Parise, who works at CITEC in the research group Cognitive Neurosciences. Parise, who is also active at the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, is the lead author of the new study, which he wrote together with Professor Dr. Marc Ernst, who conducted research at Bielefeld University through March 2016. “Despite originating from the same physical events, visual and auditory information are processed in largely independent neural pathways, and yet, with no apparent effort, we can instantly tell which signals belong together. Such a task would be challenging, even for the most advanced robots”.

To understand how humans combine visual and auditory information, volunteers agreed to participate to a perception experiment in which they observed random sequences of clicks and flashes. After each sequence, they had to report whether sound and light perceptually belonged together, and which signal appeared first. Statistical analyses revealed that human responses were systematically determined by the similarity (i.e., correlation) of the temporal sequences of the clicks and flashes. “This is a very important finding,” says Prof. March Ernst, “not just because it shows that the brain uses the temporal correlation of sound and light to detect whether or not they are physically related, but also because it opens an even more intriguing question: how does the brain detect correlation across the senses?”

To answer this question, Parise and Ernst used computational modeling and computer simulations, and identified an elementary neural mechanism that could closely replicate human perception. Such a mechanism – called the Multisensory Correlation Detector – monitors the senses and looks for similarity (correlation) across visual and auditory signals: if the stimuli have a similar temporal structure, the brain concludes that they belong together, and integrates the stimuli. Remarkably enough, this mechanism is surprisingly similar to the motion detectors found in the insect brain.

“This is exciting because it shows that the brain systematically exploits general-purpose processing strategies, which can be implemented across very different domains of perception where the correlation between signals is a key feature, such as the perception of visual motion, 3-D perception using binocular disparities, binaural hearing, and now multisensory processing. Furthermore, such correlation mechanisms can be found in very different animal species, from insects to vertebrates, including humans”, says Prof. Marc Ernst, who has just accepted a new position at Ulm University. To further test the generalizability of this model, Parise and Ernst ran additional computer simulations, where they used the Multisensory Correlation Detector model to replicate several previous findings on the temporal and the spatial aspects of multisensory perception. Without further changes, the same model proved capable of replicating human perception in all simulated studies, and displayed the same temporal and spatial constraints of multisensory perception found in humans.

“Over the last decade we have discovered that the brain integrates multisensory information in a statistically optimal fashion. However, the nature of the underlying neural mechanisms has so far defied proper scientific explanation”, says Dr. Cesare Parise. “This study marks a milestone in our understanding of human perception, as it provides for the first time a general mechanism capable of explaining a large variety of findings in multisensory perception”.

“This result has strong application potential” says Dr. Parise, who has just accepted a new position as research scientist at Oculus VR (Facebook): “A deep understanding of multisensory processing opens new clinical perspectives for neurological syndromes that are associated with multisensory impairments, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Dyslexia. Moreover, our computational model could be easily implemented for use in robots and artificial perception”.

The anthropology of optical illusions.

By Lisa Wade, PhD

Which line is longer?

Most people who grow up in industrialized environments will be at least a little bit tricked by this optical illusion, called the Müller-Lyer illusion. At first look, it may seem as if the line on the left is shorter than the line on the right. In fact, if you look closely and carefully, you can probably see that both lines are the same length.

Some psychologists theorize that susceptibility to this illusion is due to a strongly “carpentered” environment, one built by humans with the help of machines. Such environments are made mostly of straight lines and right angles. If this geometry is all around us all the time, our brains get very good at interpreting these environments.

That advantage, though, is a disadvantage when looking at the Müller-Lyer lines because our brain learns to associate angles like the one on the right with distance and ones like the one on the left with closeness. Then, it alters our perception of their height to adjust for perceived space.

Bear with me.

Consider my drawing of a room and hallway below. You can see that the corner closest to us (A) has lines like the point of an arrow on both ends (like the line on the left above), while the one further away (B) has lines like the rear of an arrow on both sides (like the line on the right). Our brain gets so used to inferring distance when it sees these angles, it assumes that any line with angles like B appears inaccurately short because it’s far away. That’s how the illusion tricks our brain.

People who don’t grow up in a carpentered environments, though—hunter gatherers and other groups who spend most of their time in nature and other uncarpentered environments—don’t have brains adjusted to understanding straight lines and angles, so the illusion doesn’t work on them.

The Müller-Lyer illusion, then, is a great example of how our brains get acculturated in ways that shape even simple and straightforward perception tasks.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Immanuel Kant perhaps composed the longest list of defect in classical Greek “pure reason”. One that has received less publicity than most goes like this:

When an arrow gets fired from a bow toward a target it appears to move through space. However, at every instant the arrow actually occupies one position in space, not two or three or more positions. Thus, at every instant the arrow exists in one place, not in two or three or more. In other words, at every instant the arrow has a position. If the arrow has one and only one definition position at every instant, then at every instant it does not move. If it does not move at any of these instants, it never moves at all.
You cannot escape this Logic by positing instants-between-instants. In these nanotime units, the same logic holds. At each nano-instant, the arrow has some location, not several locations. Therefore, even in nano-instant, the arrow does not move at all.
It seems the only way out of this absurdity consists of claiming that the arrow does, after all, occupy two locations at the same time. Alas, this leads to worse problems, which I leave you to discover for yourself.

And that shows where Logic gets you, if uncorrected by observations. If we do not correct our Logic by comparing it with experience, we may go on for centuries elaborating our most ancient errors endlessly.

—  Robert Anton Wilson - Quantum Psychology