Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Sunday - test your brain.

1) Ask yourself about the picture on the left:
What do you see?

This is an example of how your sensory information is interpreted. The brain tends to create a coherent image or structures from incoming information into a meaningful form, distinct from surrounding. Hence most people usually see a vase or faces in this somewhat ambiguous drawing.


2) Then try: How do you spell SILK?
Then say SILK five times
SILK
SILK
SILK
SILK
SILK
What do cows drink?

Most people answer milk to the second question. It seems so obvious, the words just come out immediately, but of course cows produce milk, yet more often drink water. Part of the explanation is that milk rhymes with silk, but it is also that the word milk is associated with the word cow. Therefore what tends to happen is that the word milk comes to consciousness so quickly it arrives before, or overrides, an approapriate answer.

To continue with the theme yesterday, stress can make this kind of error more frequent even in spontaneous speech. So watch out when you start putting silk in your tea at work, it could be time for some time out.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Really like these exercises. Keep them coming. And I'll remember not to put silk in the tea!

Benedict White said...

Many thanks for that Michelle, however as a diagnostic tool it lacks a certain something, as there is no silk at work to put in my tea!

:)

Good test, I liked it. Also it could be a candle stick.

Anonymous said...

loved the silk milk one- i fell for it !!!

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Thanks for all comments here - very much appreciated. Michelle

Maalie said...

In the picture I saw the white image against a purple background first but smelled a rat (experience from your previous posts) and then quickly found the purple image.

But you got me on the milk, you runcible thing :-)

David Anthony said...

This is my personal favourite..

http://coe.sdsu.edu/edtec544/Modules/1-1-SITE/i/youngoldwoman.2.gif

For some reason I always see the old woman first and have to force myself into seeing the young woman

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

maalie, thanks for that, saying milk makes you like the rest of us humans!

David - that is tomorrows post! It's one of my favourites - we shall see what other people see. Thanks for the comment.

Michelle

David Anthony said...

oops, sorry for stealing your thunder...

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

David - no problems, actually it will help to give the blog continuence for tomorrow - so thanks again. Michelle

Clare said...

Thanks for that Michelle. The first thing I thought of when I saw that picture was an hourglass for some reason :).

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Michelle, one of my favourite silk drawings of a cup or chalice.

On the subject, I can't seem to find the link to NHS escapee on your sidebar - or am I supposed to search IN the blogs to find him/her
On the previous post, I see you are careful to avoid 'stress'
That is why I use haloscan

I follow your thread on shift work (and long hours) being a possible source of stress ...
but I repeat, as shown in ER and all the medical shows most actors are portraying people who are letting their stress outside work and in their personal lives seep into their work - but it is human nature to reverse the emphasis.

In any other career if you said to the manager that 'work' is interfering with your 'private' life - he may look at you amused.

Sure, they are not totally separate, (after all we are only one person - in different roles) but if you are not getting enough sleep or rest in your 'downtime' then you are technically speaking not meeting your obligations.

If you choose to load or overload your private or personal life, with extra-curricular activities that prevent you from completing your work obligations - well?

Of course, we are elastic - and we provide time off to go to the doctor (or dentist) to go to the optician, to care for the kids (including going to the school play or sports event, or simply to pick up the kids) to go to hospital or visit sick relatives.

We offer time off for sickness or personal matters, we offer paid or unpaid leave for holidays, rest, weddings, kids graduation - and we have paid maternity (or paternity?) leave.

Work or the job in itself is less stressful.
Even a housewife now has a washing machine - you just put the laundry in - and it does everything for you except hang the washing and do the ironing. But if you fill saved time with more extra-curricular activities. It would be like blaming the washing machine for adding to your stress.

Woman (or man), be thankful you don't have to walk three miles to the river for water, and do your laundry by hand - else you would have no time to blog and complain about stress.

Some lead stressful lives, chaotic time mangement I call it, just like earning £100,000 a year and not being able to make ends meet reflects chaotic money management.
Worse is if a stressed person is in a position to stress those below them in a hierarchy - whether it be Gordon Ramsey in a restaurant or a manager in an insurance, sales or telemarketing firm - or in the NHS

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Thanks Clare and Quasar9 for your comments. I am glad you seemed to like the Sunday brain tests! Many thanks as always for your comments. Michelle

Anonymous said...

what happens if you put milk in the sea? I love the blog.

ceeque said...

the "silk" thing is a bit frightening almost...it sounds as though we can be "programmed" into responses quite easily really...I fell for that hook line and sinker! Yet with just a "scrap" of thought, Milk is not the answer! Glad too that I also don`t have silk to put in tea!
I count myself lucky to have seen the image many times! Love those kinds of illusory pics....

jmb said...

Oh Michelle,
Now I'll be confused for ever. Lucky I don't take silk in my tea, actually I drink rooibos, still no silk.
I like the fun parts as well as the serious side of this blog.
Regards
jmb

Heidi said...

I enjoy these! First the our glass then as I slowly scrolled down 2 faces occured. I'll be back next Sunday for more ;)

Dr No No said...

hehehe...excellent stuff, keep it coming...

sally said...

you got me on the silk/milk one :-)