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Medical Is what i see what u see?

  1. Jul 9, 2005 #1
    is what is red to me red to u, or is it what i'd see as blue? :confused:
    is when i hear "A" do you hear "A" or do u hear what i'd hear as "Z"? :confused:
    when i say whack, do you hear whack, or do you hear what i'd say as phat? :confused:
    when i read time, do you read time or do you read what i'd read as byebye? :confused:

    is my perception the same as yours, or do we percieve what we want and expect someone else to percieve it the same way? What i'm trying to convey here is a little difficult to put in words... so it's okay if u dont understand any of what i've said... but i really hope u understand.... :smile:

    N.B. the examples i've used, could be changed to whatever as you please.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2005 #2


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    This is called the inverted spectrum problem. I don't think anyone has developed a method of settling the question.
  4. Aug 8, 2005 #3
    You can't really know for sure but it's probably true.
  5. Aug 8, 2005 #4


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    Two pointers to the same variable. Does it really matter?
  6. Aug 9, 2005 #5
    It does if the pointer is a different sort of thing to what it points at. (Which is only an
    artificially enforced stipiulation in computing, but maybe that is where the ananlogy breaks down).
  7. Aug 9, 2005 #6
    i love the wine.. but my friend can't drink it. he dislike the wine....
    does he feel the same falvor that me? and he dislike it? or he feel somenthing different??
  8. Aug 9, 2005 #7


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    Taste the win and pretend you don't like it. That's what he's tasting. (I do this all the time with food I hate. It makes it taste 'somewhat' better, go placebo!...)
  9. Aug 10, 2005 #8
    People usually assume everyone else has the same experience of things like the color red, the taste of food, etc. Going by this assumption doesn't usually cause any problems, which lends some support to it being true.

    Subtle problems are noticed with individuals, now and then, and it often takes quite a bit of detective work to eventually uncover that there are great gaps between their subjective experience and most others people's, gaps created, for instance, by deficiencies like partial colorblindness and dislexia.

    Realizing that conditions like this - and those aren't the only two - can silently separate people from those around them, makes you wonder about any initial assumption that red is red for everyone, or that all people hear the same tone quality in a note blown on a saxophone, for example. We've realized that a difference in the rods and cones of the eyes, or a difference in the cells of the Broca's, or Wernicke's area of the brain, can make two people's experience of the same thing quite different. Does it extend beyond pathological situations?

    Drinking from the same bottle, is my experience of the taste of the wine different from yours? Perhaps by virtue of our having been born, say, with a different ratio of the various taste buds to each other, or by virtue of having been trained to devote a different amount of brain space to the processing of taste? It doesn't seem outlandish at all to suspect it might be.
    How far might that go? Might it extend to your seeing red as the same color I call blue? Probably not that far.
  10. Aug 10, 2005 #9


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    The taste of most wines to me isn't even the same as when I first tasted it. It takes time to learn the subtleties of certain sensual experiences and they become much richer when you do.
  11. Aug 14, 2005 #10
    I have just solved this problem.

    Yes, we do. Unless there was a machine which could replicate you exactly, we all experience different sensations when sensing the same thing. We also have different understandings when we think about the world around us, because we don't learn in exactly the same way. We may come to the same step by step conclusions, but the actual process in the brain will not be the same.

    However as we experience the same colours and tastes etc in the same way as we have in the past, this suggests there are some continuous properties to experiencing something in different states of mind. The way our brains work are very similiar, especially our senses and emotions which are not affected by the environment much, though not the same.

    Different brains through time is one thing (your brain when you were 5 and your brain now), but different brains will be different in their properties as they are composed of another set of substance.

    One thing we are all aware of is the difference between pleasure, pain and our evolved responses to these stimuli, however we will not experience the same colours as someone else, we can look at the same colours, just not experience them in the same way.
  12. Aug 14, 2005 #11
    It is certainly true that no two people are precisely alike. I think it follows from there that it is reasonable to question the assumption that any two experience the same qualities from the same sensory imput. The question to ask next is whether the differences between people extend in any important way into the sensory mechanisms themselves. How do those mechanisms work, and would it be possible for two different healthy peoples' to work so differently that they have different sensory experiences as extreme as my red looking like your blue?
  13. Aug 16, 2005 #12
    Ok, let us get down to essentials: how do you know anything? If you are interested, I will explain the only rational explanation of that problem I am aware of. Do I have a taker? :rofl:

    Have fun -- Dick

    Knowledge is Power
    and the most common abuse of that power is to use it to hide stupidity
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