Our adult Verbal Logical Explainers come up with much more sophisticated confabulations than four-year-old Miranda’s explanation about the orange toothbrush being the source of her distress, but our adult explanations still have holes that are fairly easy to spot (unless you are the person being triggered). Systematic evaluation by an outside observer will quickly reveal irrational logic and missing evidence. Even with information regarding “invisible” implicit memory, the Verbal Logical Explainer, and confabulated explanations, it’s still hard to understand the incredibly compelling subjective experience of totally believing that the triggered thoughts and emotions are true and valid in the present – that they are being fully caused by events in the present. Another way to put this is: “Why do we believe our VLE confabulated explanations with such conviction even when they have so many holes?”
Another piece of the puzzle that helps to explain our gullibility with respect to VLE confabulated explanations is that the central nervous system extrapolates, or fills in, at a number of different levels. The fascinating research presented in chapter 4 reveals the sobering ability our brains have to fill in holes/cover up problems in a variety of ways. In light of the fact that our brains fill in holes/cover up problems in so many ways at so many levels, I’m guessing that some kind of central nervous system extrapolator helps to fill in the holes that can sometimes make confabulated explanations appear so weak to outside observers.
See chapter 4 for additional explanation, true story illustrations, and thought provoking research that is surprisingly easy to understand.