The Key to Memes: Resonance

September 7, 2010 |  by

The idea of neural resonance first appeared in A General Theory of Love (2000), by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon, psychiatry professors at UCSF. The main point is that Attractors (fixed patterns in the neural network of the brain that reflect our emotions and beliefs) influence how we relate to each other – and how we perceive the world.

Neural resonance has 4 main pillars:

  1. Attractors are stimulated by those we resonate with (those we love, work with, anyone whose consciousness mixes with ours) – and vice versa
  2. Resonance joins groups together in “local networks/clouds” that share Attractors
  3. Attractors filter our perceptions, discarding “outlying” data, perceptions and feelings
  4. Attractors grow stronger through repetition and use

As an example, let’s imagine a brawling soccer fan. The Attractor might be a passion for the club, which gets extra hot in the presence of other fans (1 and 2). “Outliers” like love of common man and fear of arrest go out the window (3). Lastly, the more matches a fan attends, the stronger the passion for the club will likely be (4).

This goes a long way toward a new theory of memes (which I actually need to write).


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