narrative – the story of our selves

page from prelim draft of “the dark gospel”, by f.k.omm

our selves are narratives written out of (or into) our experience.

neuroscientist michael gazzaniga writes: These narratives of our past behaviour seep into our awareness and give us an autobiography .

 the left hemisphere’s language areas draw on information in memory  (amygdalo-hippocampal circuits, dorsolateral prefrontal cortices) and planning regions (orbitofrontal cortices).

damage to these regions disrupts narration, leading to such things as unbounded narration (our narratives are unconstrained by reality) and denarration (we are unable to generate any narratives, external or internal).

john bickle and sean keating suggest the narrative self is written by “our little inner voice”. they specualte that as traditional narratives are joined by digital ones, our sense of self may see a corresponding change:

Digital technologies… are producing narratives that stray from this classic structure. New communicative interfaces allow for novel narrative interactions and constructions. Multi-user domains (MUDs), massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), hypertext and cybertext all loosen traditional narrative structure. Digital narratives, in their extremes, are co-creations of the authors, users and media. Multiple entry points into continuously developing narratives are available, often for multiple co-constructors.

even so, they concede that “Unbounded digital narratives, unconstrained by familiar temporal, causal ordering, seem psychologically implausible as sources for enduring, communicating selves.”

defining the self may still be a matter of projecting our experience onto “classic” narrative templates.

link to bickle and keating’s article in new scientist:
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2010/11/storytelling-20-when-new-narratives-meet-old-brains.html

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Comments

  1. Philippe de Saint Maurice says:

    the self needs a mirror site.

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