HOW THE BRAIN WORKS: MEMORIES ARE PATTERNS ORGANIZED IN LISTS

by ksleader on Mai 14th in Thinking

The brain stores and processes information and there is more between brains and computers than may be apparent. Each time we do something – or think of something – whether it is brushing our teeth, walking across the kitchen, contemplating a business problem or coming up with a new idea, we reflect on how we were able to accomplish it.

A good example to raise awareness of how our brain works is this experiment:

-> Recite the alphabet
Result: You remember this from childhood and you can do it easily.

-> Now try this: Recite the alphabet backward.
Result: You have extreme difficulties.

Why? Because we do not remember whole images.

Our memories are sequential and in order. They can only be accessed in the order that they are remembered. We are unable to directly reverse the sequence of a memory. And we have difficulty starting a memory in the middle of a sequence. When we have learned to play a piece of music on the piano we cannot just begin at an arbritrary point in the middle of the piece.

Next problem:

-> Think about people whom you have encountered only once or twice.
Can you visualize them clearly?

When we have to identify a criminal the police will not ask:
What did the criminal’s eyes look like? Rather, the police will show us a series of images of eyes and will ask to select one.

What does that show?

There are no images, videos, or sound recordings stored in the brain. Our memories are stored as sequences of patterns. And memories that are not accessed dim over time.

Here the best example for our ability to think in patterns and to being able to recognize patterns:

Garry Kasparov, the world chess champion, has indeed learned to remember 100.000 board positions! Armed with that knowledge Kasparov looks at the chessboard and compares the patterns that he sees to all 100.000 board situations that he has mastered and he does all 100.000 comparisons simultaneously. Striking, isn’t it?

Our memories are in fact patterns organized in lists (where each item in each list is another pattern in the cortical hierarchy) that we have learned and then recognize when presented with the appropriate stimulus. Memories exist in the neocortex in order to be recognized.

 

OUR BRAIN IS A FASCINATING ORGAN … WE SHOULD LEARN TO USE IT MORE EFFECTIVELY!

 

( Source: How to create a mind – the secret of human thought revealed by +Ray Kurzweil )

 

Memories

 

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