The Creation of a Memory
I believe that conscious experience is simply the creation of a memory, while consciousness itself is the energy that powers it. This article outlines why I believe that is the case.
Most unconscious processes, like your heart rate, follow an algorithm that is regulated automatically based on parameters that come through as signals from other areas of the brain. For example, the algorithm that controls your heart rate takes in your stress level as a parameter when determining your beats per minute.
Some processes are not conscious, but can be regulated through attention. For example, breathing is not a conscious process until you direct your attention to it. Once you move your attention to the breath, it seems to stop happening automatically.
Other processes might not come naturally at all, but can become unconscious once the algorithm is good enough that the brain determines attention is better spent elsewhere. For example, learning to type on a keyboard takes a lot of conscious effort and practice. Eventually, the algorithm that your brain created to type becomes good enough where you no longer need to think about the location of the keys, you simply set an intention to type a word and your hand finds the keys automatically.
Everything we do is based on these automatic algorithms that are run as a response to inputs from either external stimuli or other areas of the brain.
Unconscious Algorithms Stop Improving
Ever wonder why you haven’t gotten better at walking? You walk every single day, but for some reason you probably haven’t changed your strategy since you first learned how to do it. When was the last time you thought about improving your walk? When was the last time you paid attention to it?
Once the algorithm becomes good enough to perform a particular task at an acceptable level, it becomes unconscious and stops improving. Your brain can’t focus on everything at once, so it shifts attention to something more worthy.
What Controls Our Attention?