The human mind is a complex reality . Psychology was born with the aim of studying this reality, as well as the different elements and processes that make it possible for us to be who and how we are.
However, there are different physical and psychic phenomena that even today remain a mystery for this discipline. For this reason we present below twelve phenomena to which psychology cannot give an answer today .
A dozen phenomena not yet resolved by psychology
Below we present some issues that for the moment have not been explained by psychology , many of them being in the process of investigation by different professionals.
1. What produces our self-consciousness and our subjectivity?
The knowledge of being oneself, of having awareness and identity of one’s own and independent of the rest of the stimuli that surround us, is a well-known phenomenon studied by sciences such as psychology.
However, it is still not clear what produces or from which concrete structures this self-knowledge is born, which we share with other species such as crows, some primates or dolphins.
2. What happens to our mind when we die?
Death is and has always been one of the great mysteries that human beings have tried to explain from different perspectives . We know that at the moment of death the nervous system, along with the rest of the systems of the body, stops working. However, we continue to be unaware of the mental processes that take place during the last moments of life.
Although the brain function of a dying individual can be explored by neuroimaging, we would only be looking at the physiological correlation of the processes followed. This aspect can also be worked on from subjects with near-death experiences or who have been clinically dead for brief moments before being resuscitated.
3. Is it possible to create a machine with a conscience?
The search for and creation of an artificial intelligence is an element that has always aroused great interest, both on a literary and scientific level. Today we know that it is possible to make a machine perform certain learning from the acquisition of concrete patterns of observation, but it is still not known whether it is possible to create something that is conscious of itself.
It is possible that we program something so that it appears to be conscious but in reality it is limited to exercising some pre-programmed actions.
Can our mind be transferred to another body?
It may sound like science fiction, but there are currently projects underway that raise the possibility of moving a person’s mind to artificial bodies that should not fear aging or disease. Although the first step is to transplant a brain into an artificial body, it is intended that in the long run the mind and personality of an individual can be transmitted or a brain also artificial or even to the network.
However, is this possible? And even if it worked, would it be the same mind transported to another body or would the first one die and then create a second one with the same memories and tastes, as if it were a clone?
5. What is the origin of Alzheimer’s?
One of the most common and increasingly common causes of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is among the barriers that science has not yet been able to deal with. While it is known roughly how the disease acts and the multiple predisposing factors, it is not yet known exactly (although genetic causes are suspected) why it occurs. In fact, so far all attempts to develop drugs that would end the amyloid plaques that appear in the brain under the effects of this disease have failed.
Knowing its exact origin could allow working towards a solution of this disease . This is a serious problem that psychology, neuropsychology and medicine are trying to solve.
6. To what limits can the mind affect the body?
Today most people know what the placebo effect is, thanks to which a sick person can get better in certain ways in the belief that taking a product or doing an activity will help them get better. It is basically a phenomenon of suggestion that causes the brain to generate internal changes by releasing hormones.
Also, an individual’s mental state can greatly alter his or her immune system and cause it to either worsen or become stronger in order to fight different problems, such as depression or anxiety and certain problems (ulcers, viruses or even cancer). All this makes us wonder where the limits are . It is clear that having a positive mentality is not going to cure a serious illness, but to what extent the mind can affect the body and how it can be stimulated in order to prolong the wellbeing, capacities and quality of life of an individual continues to be a subject of great scientific interest.
7. Is there a limit to our memory?
Throughout our lives we are constantly receiving, processing and retaining information. We know that aspects such as our working memory have a certain limit when operating with different stimuli at the same time, but, does the same thing happen with the capacity to store memories?
If our life expectancy were to increase limitlessly, would there be a time when we would not be able to record new information?
What makes some people say they see the aura or energy of others?
There are a lot of people who claim to be able to see the energy or aura of others. In some cases this may be an attempt to manipulate others or even the effect of suggestion , but in other cases people have a real perception of this phenomenon.
Although the most plausible hypothesis is the presence of synaesthesia, in which people’s perception can be tinged with aspects referring to other perceptive modalities or different dimensions of the same sensory mode (for example, they perceive a colour when they hear a sound), this is a phenomenon that has not yet been fully explained.
9. What keeps the brains of the so-called “super-elderly” from aging in the same way as the rest of the population?
The majority of the population, as it ages, gradually loses physical and mental faculties. With age the brain begins to shrink, losing strength in its synaptic connections and causing abilities such as attention and memory to be reduced. It is harder for us to learn and in general we are slower and less plastic.
However, although it is a very unusual condition, there are some individuals whose rate of brain aging is much lower than average , and they may have a performance similar to that of their youth. These individuals are called “super-elders”, and research is still underway to determine what makes their brains perform so well for so long.
10. How does intuition work?
We often have the feeling that we are reasonably sure of something of which we do not have sufficient evidence in principle and which in fact does not follow a logical or rational course. This sensation, this non-rational knowledge, is what we call intuition .
Although various theories have been put forward indicating that intuition is due to the unconscious perception of information present in the environment, or that it is generated through the accumulation of experiences, there is still no clear basis for indicating how this capacity works.
11. Why do mental disorders appear?
One of the most outstanding areas of psychology is that which deals with the presence of mental problems and disorders . The origin of these problems may have very diverse causes, and frequently there is a biological predisposition that emerges after experiencing concrete situations throughout development.
However, although sometimes we can see what has triggered them, the existence of elements that facilitate their appearance and others that make them difficult (for example, personality, beliefs, experience or the physiological constitution itself) and despite the fact that we have numerous techniques and procedures to help patients recover, it is still not entirely clear why they arise in some people and not in others.
12. How does synchronicity work?
The concept of synchronicity was created by Jung with the purpose of referring to those situations that, without having a probable causal relationship, happen in a concatenated way as if they were related. Such a relationship has meaning and significance for the observer, even though it seems to be the result of chance.
For example, meeting someone in the street you were thinking about moments before, or dreaming about a specific stimulus that appears by chance the next day. However, psychology has not yet been able to determine the meaning and functioning of this concept.