I am using the app Waking up from Sam Harris. A lot of his guided meditations tell you to perceive the world as the raw data of experience, instead of perceiving objects and concepts. To illustrate gazing at your visual field and only observing the colours and contrast, not objects. It is reasonable to wonder if this can happen.

Where in the brain could this change possibly happen. I suppose it is higher-level vision processing. Signals from the retina are relayed further to LGN and the visual cortex, where they are mapped as states of what we are perceiving. Where can this change of perception happen?

EDIT that could possibly explain this is the so called feature integration theory, which states that feature are perceived early, automatically and in parallel, while objects are identified separately.

  • $\begingroup$ I suspect it will be in the higher order (executive) centers. This deals with audio but I suspect the same applies to visuals: youtube.com/watch?v=OCpYdSN_kts when viewing it through the lens of the question (i.e., relaxing automatically triggered concepts) $\endgroup$ May 13, 2019 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ I think you need your executive function to focus, but I suppose the higher level vision centres might be less active during this type of meditation. $\endgroup$
    – Borut Flis
    May 22, 2019 at 7:31


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