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Is there a technical term for when the mind cannot distinguish between whats real,and

  1. Jan 24, 2008 #1
    is there a technical term for when the mind cannot distinguish between what is real, and what is not. ive read many stories of people doing mental training for basketball, vs those who did know training, and those who did actual physical training, and those who did the mental training, actually showed great improvement in their skills, amongst other stories. i was wondering what the technical term for this is called, if there is one.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2008 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    If we can sort out what you are asking, maybe there is an answer.

    Distinguishing real vs not real: do you mean delusion or just imagining yourself somewhere else?

    A lot of high end athletes use taped replays of themselves in action, with special reflectors on arms and joints. They try to correct inefficiencies of motion or in play. Mentally running along with the replays, seeing where they have problems. And correcting them over and over in their mind first. Then trying it in the real world. This works very well. Bill Russell - a basketball great - worked intensely on the geometry of position and play in his mind until he got it exactly right. And that was 25? years ago.
    It is used in golf, tennis, baseball, basketball, and long distance running.

    Am I guessing what you want?
  4. Jan 24, 2008 #3


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    When I'm going into a serious pool tournament, or a ball game in my younger days, I play a few games in my head to practice my stance and stroke and aim.
    Sports aside, I still do most of my design work in my head, be it for a Hallowe'en costume or a machine gun. When it starts to get finalized is when I commit to paper or computer.
    With the pool, though, it really works. Although the game that I end up in doesn't follow the one that I imagined, that 'virtual practice' really pays off.
    If you're looking for a technical term, though, as your original question implies... you're nuts.
  5. Jan 24, 2008 #4


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    The way the title is worded, you're describing halucination, but that's not what you meant. It's just visualization.
  6. Jan 25, 2008 #5
    Yes, as Russ has said, it's called Visualization. It's a technique recommended for almost everything (piano recital, performing a 10 meter dive etc).

    What you mean by the brain not being able to distinguish reality and products of imagination, is actually called 'Schizophrenia'. It's when you withdraw from reality.

    If you want a typical famous case, check John Forbes Nash, a brilliant mathematician and groundbreaking economist..
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