Incidental Reality

A Perspective on Resident to Resident Violence

Many of us have experienced dream states in which the events of our dream flowed
together in ways that did not make sense. Imagine yourself in this dreamscape:

You are walking down the hallway. You look into the bedroom. You see your spouse
lying in bed. It will feel so nice for you to curl up with your lover. You’re missing that
intimacy. You decide to climb into bed with them. You raise the covers to slip in
underneath. You notice their eyes fly open. Their panic floods you with fear and shock.
They swing violently at you. Adrenalin and anger course through you. They scratch at
you. It stings. You beat them back, and you get out…

What happened in this scenario?
Was there intent to harm?
Why was there conflict?

Consider if the scenario wasn’t a dream, but instead, a first-person account of someone
with a dying brain making mistakes as they interpret the world around them.

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Managing Amygdalae

Consider the following experiences and whether they elicit fear or excitement in you:

Riding a rollercoaster. Reading a thriller. Skydiving. Visiting a haunted house. First kiss.     
Watching a horror movie. Getting news. Falling in love. Public speaking.

  • What are the physiological sensations for each experience?
  • What leads us as individuals to interpret whether this is scary and dangerous or exciting and fun?
  • Can this be simultaneously terrifying for one person and great fun for another?
  • What does this mean for the way we conduct ourselves/show up in the world?
  • Is there room for interpretation with all experiences or just some?
  • How can we use this to manage ourselves better?

Many people claim that excitement and fear can present the same physiological responses in the body; the heart pounds, palms sweat, breathing changes, etc. Although some of the above scenarios may seem clearly in the realm of either fear or excitement, can you find exceptions? For example, falling in love may seem like pure pleasure, but aren’t there a great many who find it utterly intimidating? Could it be that excitement is nervousness with positive internal narratives and that fear is excitement when we have negative thoughts or interpretations? What tips us one way or the other?

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Fun with Frequencies and Phonetics

What was intended to be a serious and neuroscientific article instead became a barrel of family fun when sharing the original concepts with my sister led to activities that surprised and delighted us. Grab your mates and get out your earphones, the links in this article are quick activities that are better done together.

Our senses are tuned and honed through exposure and usage as we develop. In the early years of our lives our brains are incredibly plastic (changeable), absorbing input like a sponge. In the critical period for language development, mere exposure is enough to shape brain mapping and set foundations for auditory processing and speech production. After 5 years of age and especially after puberty, acquisition of language takes more effort and phonetic range is more fixed (as demonstrated with accents).

Sensory Illusion #1:
Check out this quick video with a bit of phonetics fun and learning.

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