Today I was watching a news program. The news anchor was wearing a dress. With red dots. My mind couldn't help but go to an image I had seen so many times under high stress. Fascinating. News Anchor.jpg
In march last year I still checked the Johns Hopkins (with the now famous COVID-19 dashboard) on a daily basis. It was often very slow to load. One time, I noticed in a flash, how this image had been etched in our collective memory. It wasn't fully loaded yet. I only saw the red dots. My mind could only see how the pattern of the dots was in the shape of the continents. Just like a Rorschach test it couldn't help but fill in the blanks. I took a print screen and stored the image somewhere on my hard drive and forgot about it. Until now. Fascinating. Johns Hopkins.jpg
It's amazing how the brain can decipher visuals when given such a vague representation. Without reading your words I could tell the image was a world map.
In regards to high stress and visual cues, I felt that today when shopping when I saw Christmas sale signage. I straight away felt the anxiety pour over me because Christmas has always been very stressful.
It sure is! A friend of mine works in the AI field. A couple of years ago he told me entire sectors could pack their bags because AI was going to take over. Recently he told me his boss had been wrong. The human brain still vastly outshines AI when it comes to concepts and therefore specific predictions. Our minds are exceptionally good at abstract thinking and attributing meaning! Too good, even. Because we also see patterns when they aren't there. Interesting to hear your mind could also tell it was a world map.
This and your Christmas sale sign experience show what negativity bias means in our day and age. Dangerous and negative things just happen to be more significant from a survival perspective. Those emotions are like a red marker pen highlighting what matters most for survival. Too bad our brains are particularly trigger happy.
I hadn't even thought about this link being one between something positive or neutral, to something morbid. But yeah, that's what happened in my brain. Scary stuff gets lots of significance attributed to it in our psyche. That "world map" is highly emotionally charged, even though it doesn't stress me out anymore.