We have learned that touch and pain sensation in many aspects do not reflect “objectively” the outside world or the body state. Rather, these experiences are shaped by various top-down influences, and they can even occur without any peripheral activation. This is similar to the way other sensory systems work, e.g., the visual or auditory systems, and seems to reflect a general way the brain process sensory events. Why do you think the brain interprets the incoming sensory information instead of giving a one-to-one readout the way a thermometer and other measuring instruments would? Imagine you instead had “direct unbiased access” between stimuli and sensation. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of this?
The direct unbiased access between stimuli and sensation can have the following impacts on our normal functioning:
It will lead to an increase in the alertness level of our body that can have both negative and positive effects.
The increased alertness will make us more vigilant against anything that is harmful and will help in our own protection. But it can also lead to an increase in stress that can be created because of the small stimuli to which sensations would be created. This can lead us to react even to the touch of mere raindrops.
So, this type of direct unbiased access will lead to more stress and less enjoyment to different stimuli.
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