The Brain Functions Mind Map will help you to discover how your right and left brain works. Would You Like Access To A Free Visual Poster That Will Help You Achieve Your Goals?Now Downloaded Over 50,000 Times!"Your mind maps gave me the big picture about many topics. The Wall Street Journal has an infographic online showing the effects of Marijuana and how it compares to other substances. Home Consciousness The Conscious, Subconscious, And Unconscious Mind – How Does It All Work?
In these series of articles we’ll have a look at how the three minds – conscious, subconscious, and unconscious – work together to create your reality … and how to use that knowledge to change your habits and create a happier, more peaceful and confident you. The best way I have found to illustrate the concept of the three minds is by using a triangle. Below this is a slightly larger section that Freud called the preconscious, or what some refer to as the subconscious. Advertisements Your conscious mind is what most people associate with who you are, because that is where most people live day to day. Your conscious mind is a bit like the captain of a ship standing on the bridge giving out orders.
The conscious mind communicates to the outside world and the inner self through speech, pictures, writing, physical movement, and thought.
The subconscious mind, on the other hand, is in charge of our recent memories, and is in continuous contact with the resources of the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is the storehouse of all memories and past experiences, both those that have been repressed through trauma and those that have simply been consciously forgotten and no longer important to us.
The unconscious constantly communicates with the conscious mind via our subconscious, and is what provides us with the meaning to all our interactions with the world, as filtered through your beliefs and habits.
The following analogy may help to clarify the concept of how the three minds work a little more. Your unconscious mind (and ultimately your subconscious mind) then uses these programs to make sense of all the data you receive from the world and to keep you safe and ensure your survival. As mentioned, these sections and their functions have been hotly debated over the years by many other psychologists, philosophers, and scientists, because it’s very hard to empirically prove they exist.
Another argument people put forth is that the conscious mind is where you do all your thinking and logical reasoning.
While your subconscious mind has a much stronger sense of awareness of your surroundings than your conscious mind (some suggest it’s where your “sixth sense” comes from) and is always switched on, even when asleep, it really does just obey orders from your conscious mind. Take, for example, when you are laying in bed late at night and hear something go “bump” in the night. On the other hand, if you consciously tell yourself and direct your focus to more rational, calming thoughts, then the feelings will subside or disappear.
Some people find it quite easy and natural to direct their thoughts towards a more positive outlook on life and every situation. This ability of your conscious mind to direct your attention and awareness is one of the most important powers you have, and to create change in your life you must learn to control what you consciously focus on. Our mental thoughts are probably the only one true freedom we have in this world that we can actually control.
But the really neat trick is that the subconscious can’t distinguish between that which the conscious mind imagines and that which is real, so whatever is brought up by conscious imagination and intently focused on, also brings up all the emotions and feelings that are associated with that image in your mind for you to experience. For example, if you’ve ever day dreamed before about winning lotto, or perhaps looked forward to being with that someone special you love, then you would have felt the joy that those thoughts had conjured up in your head, even though you knew intellectually it wasn’t physically happening at that very moment. But your subconscious thought it was happening to you, and that’s why it offered those feelings and emotions it associated with those thoughts. Apart from short term memory, the subconscious also plays an important role in our day to day functioning. It works hard at ensuring you have everything you need for quick recall and access to when you need it. Memories – such as what your telephone number is, how to drive a car without having to consciously think about it, what you need to get from the shop on the way home etc. If it doesn’t happen to have a filter or reference point in its RAM for some bits of information that come in, then it has a direct line to the storage place of the mind – the unconscious. The subconscious is also constantly at work, staying a lot more aware of your surroundings than you realize.
Instead, your subconscious filters out all the unnecessary information and delivers only that which is needed at the time, around 7 chunks of information.
And as discussed earlier in the article, it then communicates all the results into consciousness via emotions, feelings, sensations and reflexes, images and dreams. One of the truly great things about the subconscious (and one which we need to take advantage of to affect change) is … it obeys orders!
People often erroneously think that the subconscious is in charge and you are merely at its mercy. Now I’m not saying it’s as easy as changing what you think of in one moment and your entire life will be changed. The unconscious mind is very similar to the subconscious mind in that it also deals with memories. If you remember the symbol of the triangle I used to describe the levels of the human mind, then you’ll remember that the unconscious sits a layer deeper in the mind under the subconscious. If you want significant change at a core level, then this is the place to work on … but it’s not easy to get to!
Unconscious is the term usually preferred by Psychologists and Psychiatrists to refer to the thoughts we have that are “out of reach” of our consciousness.
In simple terms, the unconscious is the storage place for all our memories that have been repressed or which we don’t wish to recall. The important point to remember here, is that we cannot, by choice, remember anything in our unconscious without some special event or technique. The subconscious, on the other hand, is almost the same, but the major difference is we can choose to remember. For example, if I were to ask you to remember what your phone number is, then you could easily bring that into conscious thought. If, however, it wasn’t important to you to recall your phone number that often then it may be stored a bit deeper, and as a result when you’re asked for your phone number on the spot you might struggle to remember it. In many respects the unconscious deals with all the same tasks as the subconscious – memory, habits, feelings, emotions, and behaviors. If you want to affect change in your life at a core level then you will have to work on your programs that are held in the unconscious mind. By continuously being in charge of your own thoughts through directing your focus and using visualization, you can influence what programs the subconscious mind constantly runs. By David Hamilton Filed Under: Change - Growth, Mindset Harnessing the power of the mind allows words to be turned into new realities. For years, common thought regarding the brain was what developed as a child stuck with the individual throughout life.
In addition, it was thought that chemicals and neural connections were to doom the human thought process, consciousness, behaviors, habits and ultimate reality.
Today, new breeds of science like quantum physics, digital physics and even plasma physics offer hope that the mind has the power to influence changes in physical reality.
You may find it fascinating to know that all human tissues, including the brain is made of essentially the same ingredients. Through time as well as repetition, the brain learns connections needed to thrive and function. This comes through experience so that every speck of skin learns where it is being kissed or touched. While babies from birth to six months can perceive vocal inflections of any language, once the child reaches the age of one year, he or she can no longer recognize the sounds of other languages.

As children they did not need to distinguish between the English L and R sounds and the ability is weeded out.
However, this does not mean life is hopeless and the brain fates you to live the life you lead. Scientific experiments with amputees show the mind rewires the brain to feel sensations that would normally be felt in the now missing limb in other parts of the body. The limb is rehabilitated by continuing to use until the brain determines its needs to map the input being received. This has lead to remarkable recovery. In a 1995 experiment one group of pianist physically practiced 5-fingered piano exercises while another only thought about practicing the same exercise. Each group was instructed to put their full attention to the exercise, a single note and finger at the time. Because the brain is in constant flux and responds to the environment as well as sensory input on a continual basis.
Even though modern physics and neurobiology have given great insight into how the mind and brain work, and even affect reality, they don’t always explain practical application of how to increase mind power. 1) Meditation: it has been scientifically shown that meditation increases mind power, self-acceptance, relaxation, presence, task-focus, and overall well-being and success. There are even methods based on quantum physics like quantum entrainment which are highly recommended for exploring this space of mind power building. 2) Visualization: this is a second powerful tool, though not necessarily better than meditation.
For visualization to be powerful, it should be combined with mindfulness or meditative states to amplify it. Read previous post:Using Alpha Meditation For Creating Positive ChangesAlpha meditation taps into the state of awareness of being nearly asleep but at the same time, completely awake. Utilising all of your brain functions encourages radial thinking rather than linear thinking. I was able to understand how things were connected… things that you learned in 20 years in like one day.
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Sigmund Freud, the famous Austrian psychologist was probably the first to popularize it into mainstream society as we know it today. It is much larger than the conscious mind and accounts for around 50-60% of your brain capabilities.
It occupies the whole width of the base of the triangle and fills out the other 30-40% of the triangle. In reality it’s the crew in the engine room below deck (the subconscious and the deeper unconscious) that carry out the orders. It’s from these memories and experiences that our beliefs, habits, and behaviors are formed. For those who don’t know, RAM is the place in a computer where programs and data that are currently in use are kept so they can easily be reached quickly by the computer processor. Any recent memories are stored there for quick recall when needed, such as what your telephone number is or the name of a person you just met. It is the long term storage place for all your memories and programs that have been installed since birth.
The logic of these two minds is that if it worked in the past and you survived, then it will help you get through similar situations by the same means, no matter how misguided, painful, and unhelpful the results may be to you personally in the outside world.
Despite all this, I still find it a great analogy to use, and at the end of the day if it works for you and makes sense, then that’s all that matters. Some say what distinguishes it from the subconscious (or even the unconscious) is awareness. It has been well documented that you can be influenced by your surroundings or what people say even when your conscious mind is totally out of it, such as when you’re under anesthetic or asleep. Your conscious mind had not yet developed enough to test and measure all the information from your environment, so at this age it sits in the background and it’s your subconscious and unconscious that does all the data gathering and reasoning – identifying that the bottle or nipple is a source of food, that crying gets you attention, that cuddles from mum means you are safe.
If all you do is focus your conscious thoughts continually on negative things, then your subconscious will obediently deliver the feelings, emotions, and memories that you have associated with that type of thinking.
If you let your thoughts and imagination wander to all the horrible things that might happen, then your subconscious will throw up the feelings, emotions, and memories of past events that you’ve associated with those thoughts. It really depends on the type of programming your subconscious and unconscious has had since birth. The actual skill of directing your focus is quite simple … all it comes down to is making a choice. Deciding how you will think and what thoughts you will allow into your mind will determine your destiny. A man can be physically trapped in prison in absolute inhumane conditions and yet still be free in his own mind – Victor Frankl and Nelson Mandela (among many others) are testament to that fact. Your mind can literally imagine something that is totally new and unique – something you’ve never physically experienced before.
In one sporting study three groups of people were tested on their ability to improve their free throw accuracy in basketball. It will ask the unconscious to pull out the programs that it best associates with the incoming data to help make sense of it all. In fact, according to the NLP communication model we are assaulted with over 2 million bits if data every second.
In most cases your default programs have too much energy attached to them to change instantaneously. Although the subconscious and unconscious have direct links to each other and deal with similar things, the unconscious mind is really the cellar, the underground library if you like, of all your memories, habits, and behaviors.
It shouldn’t be confused with the medical term for unconscious, which basically means knocked out or anesthetized, although both definitions do have similar qualities. A traumatic event in our childhood that has been blocked out is an example, but it doesn’t have to be so serious as this. The interesting thing is that before I asked you to recall it, you had no conscious thought of it at all. Its from these memories that your beliefs, habits, and behaviors are formed and reinforced over time. There are specialized ways to make that happen, and if you’ve read the entire series of these articles then you’ll know that the place to start doing that is in the conscious mind. Do this often enough (and with enough emotional energy) then it will start to reprogram your unconscious internal representation and belief system. If you resonate with what you see here, you can follow us by clicking any of the social icons below.
In the 20th century, science came to a revolution of thoughts regarding the human brain and mind, because fundamental perspectives changed with the advent of quantum physics. Each has already or will soon make connections to help the body to act and the mind receives input. For example, those whose primary language is Japanese find it difficult to distinguish between the words rake and lake.
The brain maps can change based on what people are doing and the areas of the life and body needing most attention.
Using Mind Maps taps into your unique potential unlocking your creative flair and ability and encouraging greater and more efficient use of all parts of your brain.
Even though his theories have subsequently been widely disputed in Psychology circles because they are very hard to scientifically prove, Freud nonetheless created a useful model of the mind, which he separated into 3 tiers or sections – the conscious mind or ego, the preconscious, and the unconscious mind. It occupies only a small portion of space at the top, a bit like an iceberg where only a fraction of it is showing above the water.
It is vast and deep and largely inaccessible to conscious thought, a bit like the dark depths of the ocean.

The captain may be in charge of the ship and give the orders but its the crew that actually guides the ship, all according to what training they had been given over the years to best do so.
That is how your conscious mind works – information is taken in via some outside (or internal) stimulus from your environment and the results are thrown up instantaneously into your consciousness. It also holds your current programs that you run every day, such as your current recurring thoughts, behavior patterns, habits, and feelings.
And what about when you drive to some destination but when you get there you have no memory of the trip. Your unconscious minds are the storage place of all your memories, emotions and habits and are in fact very good at reasoning and logic.
In this stage it’s your other two minds hard at work forming logical patterns of association (habits, beliefs, and emotions) that help you to survive. And because those feelings will become your reality, you can then be caught up in a never ending loop of negativity, fear, and anxiety, constantly looking for the bad in every situation. Its your subconscious’s way of protecting you and preparing you for fight or flight in those situations. For example – do you sway towards pessimism or optimism, negative thinking or positive thinking, happiness or anger, or somewhere in between?
By contrast, your subconscious can only offer versions of what memories it has stored of your past experiences. The third group spent 20 minutes a day getting into a relaxed state and only imagining themselves performing the free throws.
If your conscious mind had to deal with all that you would very quickly become overwhelmed and not be able to get anything done. And it does this as logically as it can, based on the programs it has access to in your unconscious. Your conscious mind gives it the direction, the environment if you like, for which it operates in. It can be done though – such as after a massive life altering event or if enough pain is associated with the old behavior – but without a major shift like that it is likely the old programs will reemerge. It is the storehouse of all your deep seated emotions that have been programmed since birth. It could be something very distant like what you had for lunch on your first day of school or what the name was of the childhood friend you played with a couple of times. Certain psychoanalytical methods can bring back these memories (such as hypnosis) or it can be triggered by a particular event (a scent, a familiar place etc). It was stored in your subconscious available for ready recall when needed, a bit like RAM in a computer because it’s something that you require quite regularly to remember. In those situations it’s your subconscious that stays aware and performs the necessary functions.
They were also taught that if they missed in their minds, to adjust slightly and see themselves getting it the next time. But the third group, who had only visualized doing it, actually improved their score by an amazing 23% – nearly as much as group one! The subconscious will only deliver the emotions and feelings of what you continuously think about. If you want an in-depth yet concise tutorial on the current state of textbook neuroscience knowledge, try this one from Columbia University. Reader beware, though: Neuroscientists have discovered a lot, but there are many different, widely divergent expert opinions about how to integrate the diverse data available from neuroscience into a coherent whole. The ideas I give here are just one opinion, albeit one I think is well grounded from a variety of directions. The Big Picture I like this picture created by IBM researcher Dharmendra Modha and his team: As I discussed in an earlier blog post, this picture shows 300+ regions of the macaque monkey brain and how they connect to each other.
Each of these brain regions has a literature of scientific papers about it, telling you what sorts of functions they tend to carry out.
But all these different parts of the brain do seem to work according to some common underlying principles.
Between Neurons and Brains All the parts of the brain are made of cells called neurons, that connect to each other and spread electricity amongst each other. Things like mood or emotion or food or drugs affect these neurotransmitters, modulating the nature of thought. There are also other cells in the brain, like the glia that fill up much of the space between neurons, that seem to play important roles in some kind of memory.
Some folks have speculated that intelligence relies on complex quantum-physical phenomena occurring in water mega-molecules floating inbetween the neurons — though I have no idea if this is true or not. The part of the brain most central for thinking and complex perception — as opposed to body movement or controlling the heard, etc.
In the visual cortex, you can have columns recognizing particular patterns in particular regions of space-time, for instance.
So one column might contain neurons responding to patterns in a particular part of the visual field — where the neurons higher up in the column represent more abstract, high-level patterns. Lower-level neurons in the column might recognize the edges of a car, whereas higher-level neurons in the same column might help identify that these edges, taken together, do actually look like car. But the functions of columns and the neurons and minicolumns inside them seem to vary a fair bit from one brain region to another.
Glocal Memory and Complex Neurodynamics One of the tricky things about the brain is the way it mixes up local and global structure and dynamics. Each cortical column does something on its own, but also, it stimulates and inhibits many other columns — thus potentially causing a brain-wide pattern of activity.
If one certain column causes a global brain activity pattern, and then other columns react to this pattern, then basically these other columns are reacting to that one certain column. One can prove that this kind of system is able to give rise to endlessly complex forms, and do any kind of calculation that a computer can do.
In technical terms, this sort of dynamical system is not only complicated but chaotic and complex. And  the columns and minicolumns in the different regions of the brain, underlying all this self-organizing network activity, are all architected and interconnected in slightly different ways. Neuroscience and AGI Suppose this general picture of how the brain works is correct — what would it mean for Artificial General Intelligence, for the quest to build thinking machines with intelligence at the human level or beyond? It would mean that, once we’ve unraveled the specifics of how all the columns and their internals and interconnections work, then we could build a digital brain. On the other hand, before brain imaging technology advances far enough to tell us how the internal details of the brain actually work — then what? However, that seems extremely difficult — which is probably why nobody is actually trying to do this at the moment.
Instead, it seems to me that what folks who advocate brain-like AGI architectures are doing, is basically like this: take a crude approximation of one part of the brain hypothesize that the whole brain basically works like that one part in detail try to make a quasi-simulation of that part of the brain make various compromises in biological accuracy to achieve more computational efficiency.
Jeff Hawkins made a fortune with the PalmPilot and Treo handheld devices, and after he retired from that business, he went into neuroscience and AGI. And when given enough time they have been measured to be the best at dealing with randomly generated environments.

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