How Does the Subconscious Influence Us?

This video by Robert Lawrence Kuhn contains interviews with five leading experts in the cognitive and neurobiological sciences about the subconscious and human functioning.

David Eagleman is a neuroscientist who heads the Laboratory for Perception and Action at Baylor College of Medicine and is the founding Director of the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. He is the author and presenter of the PBS series The Brain. He explained the influence of the subconscious on our daily lives:

Brains are in the business of gathering information and steering behavior appropriately. It doesn’t matter whether consciousness is involved in the decision making. And most of the time, it’s not. Whether we’re talking about dilated eyes, jealousy, attraction, the love of fatty foods, or the great idea you had last week, consciousness is the smallest player in the operations of the brain. Our brains run mostly on autopilot, and the conscious mind has little access to the giant and mysterious factory that runs below it [the subconscious].

Cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, an expert on the malleability of memory and its effect on the subconscious, explains the effects of memories from the subconscious on our functioning.

A psychologist who studies the evolution of cognitive abilities and consciousness, Nicholas Humphrey, describes the strange phenomenon of blindsight.

The director of the Evolutionary Neurobehavior Laboratory at Boston University, Patrick McNamara, explains the relationship of dreams to consciousness.

Julia Mossbridge, director of the Innovation Laboratory at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, explains how understanding the subconscious can help us to to understand our mentality.

View the full interviews below.

Closer to Truth

Interview of David Eagleman by Robert Lawrence Kuhn, Episode 1703.