A Conversation for Ask h2g2

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Post 1

Ally

As most of you probably know, an automatic reaction is one that happens usually without your brain being involved. For example, putting you arm on something hot.

Why though, when you accidently do something like knock your Mothers favorite vase you can stand there and watch it teeter and fall, but you are powerless to reach out and grab it?

Is this because your synapses get confused or is it because sheer gut terror prevents you from moving?


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Post 2

Mrs B

You appear to be confusing two different things here. Pulling your hand out of a flame is an instinctual reaction, whereas grabbing a vase so as not to seriously annoy you mum wouls need to be a learned response. Look into psychologists such as Thorndike or Skinner's work on operant conditioning, and you will realise that you need to practice catching vases (try it with plastic ones first) until you have learned the desired response to the stimulus. Positive reinforcement (ie not smashing the thing) is more useful than negative reinforcement (your mum going spare) so keep at it and you'll get there in the end.
From a very sad psychology student.


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Post 3

streety

No,it`s just sheer gut terror.


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Post 4

Cheerful Dragon

Sometimes your body can ignore the signals being sent to it. Some years ago I was soldering an electronic circuit with a soldering iron whose tip temperature was set to at least 200 degrees Celsius (it may have been higher). At some point the soldering iron rested against my left thumb. In spite of, or maybe because of, the intense heat it took my brain a while to register the pain. The soldering iron was hot enough to melt the skin away, and I still have a faint scar to prove it.


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Post 5

Ally

Thanks all of you for that.

Unfortunatly in the time it took for me to write the posting, the vase had smashed beyond repair.

Only kidding. But it has helped me to work out something that has been puzzling me for years!

ANOTHER TRIUMPH FOR ASK H2G2!

smiley - smiley


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Post 6

Hoovooloo

I'd be curious to know how many other triumphs there've been in AskH2G2 in the twenty years since this thread was last active...


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Post 7

Caiman raptor elk - Yes, but what if the box is REALLY big?

Maybe you could ask?


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Post 8

Hoovooloo

Where?


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Post 9

Caiman raptor elk - Yes, but what if the box is REALLY big?

AskH2G2?

If you get a number, you can add one for yourself.


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