My brain is made up of multiple selves

I just got back from a crap workout at the gym. In the elevator, i asked myself why the workout was so bad and I realized I didn’t have breakfast because I was full from stuffing my face with cookie dough last night. I decided I would throw away the rest of the cookie dough so I wouldn’t be tempted to have another gorging session tonight. Happy with my decision I walked into the kitchen opened the fridge picked up the cookie dough then put it straight back down and closed the fridge. After a second of confusion, I decided I wasn’t 100% sure the cookie dough was responsible for my shitty workout so it would be best to eat the rest tonight and see if tomorrow’s workout suffers.

This was an interesting experience because I’ve been reading Homo Deus which talks about how a human brain is made up of many selves. What I think of as me, is actually an elusion and different parts of my brain can disagree with each other all the time.

What happened with the cookie dough was my narrating self which controls speech decided to trash the delicious cookie goodness but my experiencing self which controls writing decided to keep the cookie dough because it wanted to eat more. My narrating self then retroactively made up a reason why I should keep the cookie dough.

Split brain patients

The multiple selves theory was best tested in split-brain patients. These people suffered from epilepsy so doctors severed the main bond connecting the left and right hemispheres of patients brains. After surgery, the two hemispheres do not exchange information as efficiently as before. The left hemisphere controls the right hand and right eye and vice versa. They asked each side of the brain what they wanted to be when they grew up but writing the question on a piece of paper and showing it first to the right eye controlled by the left hemisphere. The right hand controlled by the same hemisphere then wrote down the answer which was “a draftsman”. They posed the same question to the right hemisphere and the left hand wrote down “an automobile racer.”

How can I use this knowledge to my advantage?

If I identify the various strengths, weaknesses, and abilities of each part of my brain I should be able to leverage that knowledge. I already know it’s easier for me to think through a problem by writing about it. Perhaps that’s because the part of my brain that controls writing is more logical or has a better memory. I am going to do some research and experiments to answer some of the following questions. I will report back my findings.

  • Does each side of my brain control the eye and hand on the opposite side of my body?
  • Which controls internal monolog vs writing vs talking.
  • Do they have access to the same memories.
  • Which has more self-control.
  • Which is more logical.
  • Which is better at delaying gratification.
  • How do they work together.
  • When & why do they agree vs disagree.
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