Listening

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Marko Kohv
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Listening

Post by Marko Kohv » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:03 pm

I just read an intresting article labelled as "Unconscious Decisions in the Brain"
And first thing that I thought was: ah thats how/why listening works...

You can find it here: http://physorg.com/news127395619.html

CERogers
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Open ended

Post by CERogers » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:28 pm

We need more info on this. Even if you make a decision 7 seconds in advance, how do you actually "listen" to your duifeng if he does something 4 seconds after you made your decision? You are too busy listening to the decision you have already made so how are you actually listening to him? Does this mean that you already knew what he was going to do 3 seconds before? This may suggest there is witchcraft at play! Pishposh I say!!!! <looking for my pitchfork to go witch huntin>
Seriously, were we able to find any other supporting data on this? 7 seconds is a really long time!

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Re: Listening

Post by Psi Man » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:42 pm

how do you actually "listen" to your duifeng if he does something 4 seconds after you made your decision? You are too busy listening to the decision you have already made so how are you actually listening to him?
Ya gotta listen while you're acting. You can't just focus on what you're doing; that would mean you're not listening to the duifeng closely enough.

Of course, it's not like I understand how to do this at all... :shock:

Dan Pasek
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Post by Dan Pasek » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:57 pm

Seven seconds is an extremely long time!

A common method for measuring reaction time (often used at science museums in interactive children’s displays) is to have a dropping ruler that a person grabs as soon as they realize it has begun to drop (the release is usually initiated in a manner that cannot be detected ahead of time (no anticipation) by the test subject – for example, with an electromagnetic release set to drop the ruler at a randomized moment in time). If the decision time necessary to tell the fingers to close to catch the falling ruler was ~7 seconds, then nobody would be able to catch the ruler before it hit the floor!

Perhaps what the researchers measured is the activity in the brain that readies the person to make the particular decision? If you are having your reaction time tested in a manner as described above, then the decision to try to catch the ruler as soon as movement is detected would have already been made well before the actual act of deciding to close the fingers to catch the dropping ruler.

Fighting (pushing, pulling, striking, etc.) would seem to be more like the situation where one already decided to attack when an opening is detected, but the actual decision to initiate the attack (and the specifics of the type of attack, as well as the determination of the when and how the opportunity to attack presents itself…) occurs on the shorter time scale similar to the time scale seen in the testing of reaction time. I also think that responses to information detected through touch may be quicker than simply using vision or other senses so that we may be able to respond quicker in a fight where we are touching our opponent than what may be indicated by the reaction time test which relies on eyesight rather than touch.

DP

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Linda Heenan
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Post by Linda Heenan » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:12 pm

Here .... test your reaction time http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/ ... rsion5.swf and have a bit of fun. Anyone over 0.2 of a second, is a sluggish snail. As for me, I'm a rocketting rabbit :D .

Listening seems to me to be more linked to intuition than conscious decision making. Thought is too slow. I know very little about listening or even if what I attempt to do is normal. Breaking it down into words, it goes something like this: capture a coming intention with the spirit, translate it into an almost preemptive body movement through the bridge of mind. On the rare occasion I achieve this, I feel surprised at the success because it happened faster than conscious thought.

Even that explanation doesn't work for good taijiquan because it separates the parts of one's being and delegates them specific roles, rather than flowing as a unified whole. We can also "create" time by doubling or halving the speed of the response we have signalled to the duifang, or replacing it, on the way, with something unexpected. This is slower because it works through conscious thought and deliberately controlled body movements.

Anyway .... I'm not pretending to know anything here - just experimenting, trying things out, working on skills. Go and play with the sheep in the link. They're fun :P

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Re: Open ended

Post by Roland Tepp » Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:05 am

CERogers wrote:We need more info on this. Even if you make a decision 7 seconds in advance, how do you actually "listen" to your duifeng if he does something 4 seconds after you made your decision?
I think you are misinterpreting here.

The article was about decision making process and the 7 seconds was the time that it apparently took from the moment of making the decision and actually materializing the decision. With listening, the intent is quite opposite - taking the decision making out of the process, you just have to "listen" for any external signals and follow them, without any prejudice* or thought of reaction. This is almost completely passive process.

There is a caveat though in this - just merely following, one may easily fall into the trap of softness without internal structure (remember - it has to be "steel hidden inside the cotton"), but that is a whole another topic to discuss...

*By "prejudice" I mean, that mentally we all expect some sort of action from duifang and prepare ourselves to deal with that kind of action ... this is a decision we have made and besides almost always being a wrong assumption, it also means that we have employed the mental process, thus slowing down our reaction time...
Roland

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Post by Dan Pasek » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:42 am

In the context of martial arts the study may not be relevant. As the article state: "Most researchers investigate what happens when people have to decide immediately, typically as a rapid response to an event in our environment. Here we were focusing on the more interesting decisions that are made in a more natural, self-paced manner." The martial arts would tend to be more interested in the former.

What may possibly be relevant is if the mechanism for predetermining preferred actions as much as seven seconds prior to the conscious determination could be shown in future research to relate, for example, to a fighters decision to punch rather than push when an opportunity is detected. It could also possibly relate to the tendency of fighters to try a technique against their opponent that the opponent just successfully used against them. If the predetermining factors in the brain involved in this decision already are in place after experiencing the result of a successful attack against oneself, this may partially explain the subsequent decision to ‘respond in kind’. While I previously attributed the ‘respond in kind’ type of action in a fight possibly to ego (if you could do it successfully, then I will show that I am not inferior by doing the same technique back on you), it would be interesting to learn if the brain predisposes us to ‘respond in kind’. In fights this ‘reply in kind’ type of action is often executed several seconds after having received the successful attack by the opponent. Finally, it may also relate to analysis of fighters where preferred ‘tendencies’ are observed. Perhaps these tendencies merely reflect predetermined tendencies determined unconsciously in the brain several seconds prior to the conscious decision to execute a technique.

Especially as ‘internal’ style martial artists, we are attempting to train our sensitivity such that we respond appropriately to whatever we sense from our opponents. We want the versatility and changeability to respond to infinite possibilities, and it would inhibit these qualities if there was some level of predetermination in our actions. While we need to train our bodies to move appropriately (knowing ourselves) through training Taijiquan principles, when interacting with someone else we want to maintain the ability to respond (knowing others) without predetermined techniques.

Dan

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