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Chill Out, It’s Just A Fantasy

2009 April 11
by DC

With our informal debate on Wednesday concerning the boundaries of onseself, I was very concerned with the idea of reality. Are the fantastic scenarios that play in our active imaginations just as real as our actual life experiences? If so, the implication here is that reality is subjective. My paper for my Neurobiology and Behavior class this semester concerned the emerging field of neuroplasticity. From its meaning, neuroplasticity implies that the brain is a constantly evolving organ. A study conducted at Harvard University that elucidated the notion of an ever-changing brain. Researchers of the study wanted to observe the effects on the motor cortex of the brain by actual, physical practice on a piano versus the effects on the motor cortex by imagining doing the same physical exercise. Two groups were employed: one that actually practiced on the piano and another that just looked at the musical notes and imagined playing them. Before and after each exercise, the motor cortex region was measured for expansion on every individual in both groups. By the end of the study, it was found that both groups displayed approximately the same expansion of the motor cortex thus suggesting that concentrating on doing something is comparable to actually practicing the activity in terms of information absorption by the brain. Thinking is just the same as doing.

But where does it end? Where does non-reality end and reality begin? Is there even a line? As mentioned in class, to extend the notion of self beyond our bodies would be a “slippery slope”. I personally hold the body and actual life experiences as more sacred than whatever goes on inside a game. To me, body is more important than fantasy.

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