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Thursday, September 22, 2011

How Our Minds Work

This may be a boring post to some but I was struck again today by just how weird our minds are. I don't know about you but I've noticed that my mind has learned several things "on it's own" over the years...Maybe I should explain; you know how you associate a smell with a person/place/memory? Maybe it's a perfume, the smell of your favorite food, or how most of us think of Christmas when we smell cinnamon and nutmeg. Those are the most common unintentional things our minds learn but it can make other weird associations too. Maybe this strikes me more because I love psychology and understand why my mind has learned these things even though I had no intention of it doing so, but regardless I think it's pretty interesting if you can pick out similar things in your own brain. Maybe you'll never notice any of your own, but for the record, all of the following examples have taken me months or YEARS to realize where happening, but you remember the same moment in time often enough while always doing the same thing and eventually you start to notice...

For instance:
My kids got a new toy right around the time we took a road trip to Iowa. They played with it in the car often and it plays a cute little song about riding in the car. It also says "I'm a cat" etc. when you push on the different animals (B, this may sound familiar since it came from your house). Anyways, while they played with this new toy I was reading a new series of books- The Hunger Games. Guess what instantly pops into my head every single time the kids play with that toy?? Yup, The Hunger Games, specifically a female character that must have played a prominent part in the story when they were playing with that toy particularly hard.

Another example:
When I go to enter Evelyn's pin number into the phone directory for babyfood testing I always think of Harry Potter. Specifically the scene in The Goblet of Fire when the characters are taking a portkey to the Quidditch World Cup (yeah, I know...). I can only guess that I was watching that movie at one point when I was trying to remember her pin or entering it over and over as I often end up doing until I got it right.

My last example:
EVERY SINGLE TIME I CURL MY HAIR...I think of my friend Beth from college. I know why...it's because 7 years ago when she got married it took about 3 hours to spiral curl alllll of her very long hair. It's so ingrained in my mind I can't help but think of her every time I do it myself. Love you Beth!

There are various others that involve smell: two colognes that remind me of boys I liked in high school, the smell of hot pavement and diesel smells like India, cool weather with drizzly rain is Ireland, the smell of spring reminds me of a particular spring during my Junior year of high school, ketchup smells like Russ', etc.

So those are a few of my weird connections...what are yours?


tim and nancy said...

You're right! And I have a long list that we can talk about sometime :-)

Music is a real biggie too.

Krista said...

oh good! i'm glad you said that and not "you're nuts" ;)

tim and nancy said...

Oh you're nuts...but aren't we all!?

Krista said...

boo. i guess!