Friday, May 15, 2009


After I retired a few years back, I took a couple of algebra/mathematics courses. I noticed a strange quirk in my mental processes. Frequently four years ago when I meant to write down x, I would write down the numeral 8. Recently, I've begun working through my old algebra textbook in order to get to a new unused textbook I bought and wasn't able to use back in Spokane because my wife and I moved to Vancouver. This morning, I was doing the exercises at the end of a section, and I wrote down 4 when I meant to write down +. I'm still also confusing quite frequently the 8 and the x.

So, according to my poor befuddled neurons
8 looks like x sometimes and
4 looks like + sometimes also.

These slips occur when I'm lost in the overall algebraic function I'm doing and not always paying attention to the finer details that my hand is putting on the paper. But I can see how certain neurons which are responsible for curves and curlicues can get confused between x and 8 and I can see how the neurons responsible for lines that are vertical and horizontal and which intersect in the figures for numeral 4 and a + sign can also get confused when I'm not paying strict attention and am slightly distracted.

Now isn't that fascinating to catch our neurons at work like that?

1 comment:

gypsywoman said...

just came upon your blog which i find very interesting and just wanted to say so - i'm very new to the blogging scene but have a couple started - feel free to drop by should you be so inclined - again, enjoyed yours very much - jenean