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In: On (Writing) Families
In: On (Writing) Families
Reimagining the Story of Dementia
Author: Mark Freeman
Do I Look at You with Love? were the words uttered by Mark Freeman’s mother when she learned, once again, that he was her son. This book explores the experience of dementia as it transpired during the course of the final twelve years of her life, from the time of her diagnosis until her death in 2016 at age 93. As a longtime student of memory, identity, and narrative, as well as the son of a woman with dementia, he had a remarkable opportunity to try to understand and tell her story. Much of the story is tragic. But there were other periods and other dimensions of relationship that were beautiful and that could not have emerged without her very affliction. In the midst of affliction there were gifts, arriving unbidden, that served to alert Freeman and his family to what is most precious and real. These are part of the story too. Part narrative psychology, part memoir, part meditation on the beauty and light that might be found amidst the ravages of time and memory, Freeman’s moving story is emblematic of nothing less than the bittersweet reality of life itself.

Abstract

The paper presents an innovative theory of perception of multiple features across and within modalities. Each step is illustrated by an aspect of data from diverse experiments. The theory is that a template or norm of previously configurated features is used to perceive an object in a situation, such as consuming an item of food or drink. A mouthful usually stimulates sight first and then touch, taste and smell, with thermal, irritative, kinaesthetic and auditory patterns often also involved. The visual information also typically includes meanings of words, numbers and pictures. Attended sensory and symbolic features of the situation are integrated by the individual into a multidimensional distance from the norm. Dimensions are calibrated in units of the response's discrimination between levels of each stimulus feature. This approach to perceptual performance is expounded for sensed and/or conceived visual features of drinks and foods, and their tasted or smelt constituents, or felt and heard cracking during a bite. In addition, the conceptual process that informs an analytical judgment can influence another judgment. Applying the concept to a stimulus forms a descriptive process. A concept may also be applied to another concept or to a description, giving greater depth of meaning to an integrative judgment. Furthermore, a description can be applied to an environmental source of stimulation, creating a percept that presumably is conscious, whereas unconceptualised stimulation may be subconscious.

In: Seeing and Perceiving