There are a hundred billion nerve cells in your brain, as many as there are stars in the Milky Way. Here’s where you live – but where is your “self” situated? Is it in the brain? In which case, where? Neurological research, research on the brain, has yet to find a particular place in the brain where the self is situated. The self consists of feelings, thoughts and memories that are spread over different parts of the brain. We create a narrative of ourselves out of our feelings, thoughts and memories.

The neuro psychologist Paul Broks says that “There is no cockpit of the soul. No pilot. The human being is a narrative machine. The self is a narrative, a story.” Francis Crick, Nobel Prize winner in medicine in 1962 puts it like this: “…you yourself, your joys and sorrows, your memories and dreams of the future, your feelings of being a unique individual, your free will – all this is, in fact, nothing other than the behaviour of a wide network of nerve cells.”

Every second, through our five senses we take up more than eleven million information signals. Consciously, during one second, we can understand only a fraction of all these signals. We can say that consciousness is connected to our attention; consciousness is like a spotlight that illuminates small bits at a time of everything that is happening at the moment around us. The rest of all these signals are stored in our unconscious. Our experiences – and also our personality – are influenced by our unconscious, even though the entrance to the unconscious is concealed from us. This means that in fact we know more than we know that we know. How consciousness arises from the brain – that grey lump weighing around one kilo – is still a mystery.

Affectarium
Entrance of the Affectarium.
A circular bench seats the viewers in the Affectarum.
The dome structure of the Affectarium consist of 72 pressed felt elements.
The dome structure of he Affectarium holds a thousand RGB/LED's creating a hemispherical projection screen.