Museum of the science of future
Philosophy of evolution, history and life
The design and evolution of the human brain structure. The efficiency of the brain structure is easily observed as much in intelligence as in memory
Logically, yet against widespread belief, the design of the way the brain operates should tend to its optimization along with the human evolution to take advantage of the available resources in the brain structure. Moreover, I would say optimization is an epistemological principle of any system of vital impulse.
I am not trying to justify the evolutionist or the creationist theory (evolutionism versus essentialism), or more particular philosophical tendencies like animal psychology (instinct as a pseudo-concept), behaviorism, and etiology or, from another point of view, ethnocentrism, cultural relativism, or universalism.
Human brain structure
(Public domain image)
On the contrary, I would say that this analysis tries to explain the possible connection or conceptual identity between the present reality of the complexity of the human brain's cognitive functions and the original essence of these vital functions, qualities or capacities by the study of their objective evolution and its logical requirements.
In fact, if I had to philosophically describe my ideas in this subject, I would say that, literally speaking, they could be classified in vitalism. That is to say, that the essence of the life implies freedom, intelligence, and memory and that, a logical (non-random) and internal evolution has certainly existed throughout time, and since the beginning of which we call time.
Particularly, we can detect in human evolution the following characteristics related to brain structure optimization in both intelligence and memory:
Although these characteristics can be used as synonyms, in our case, we are going to assign them two different concepts or nuances. The multifunctional nature refers to intelligence processes' diverse functions of analyses and information relation. For example, the operations may be aiming to arrive at a conclusion about an individual's specific or the result of a mathematical operation -for intelligence this is normally the most well-known case. But it can also operate analyzing and classifying information to store in the different memory levels.
We will also consider the different way intelligence operates a part of its multifunctional nature within human brain structure, offering somewhat certain responses according to the operative mode it is in. A more detailed explanation related to intelligence will be shown in the next title.
Memory also has a multifunctional nature within human brain structure, although there are differences with intelligence brain structure. We can cite the different types of memory as regards to the temporal horizon with which it works: instantaneous, short, medium, and long term. Likewise, this nature of memory will be seen in more detail in its special section.
We understand its multifaceted nature as the different subject to which both memory and intelligence can be applied. For example, regarding intelligence we can cite, among others, spatial, color, and auditory relations, logical abstraction, multiple characterization, etc.
And as far as memory is concerned, we can mention information related to: images, abstract concepts, linguistics, colors, etc.
These characteristics are easier to explain using computers as an example. As previously mentioned, the central processor is used as much for the treatment of information as for its localization, and, at the same time, to execute programs of diverse natures. In reference to computers, there are various types of information support and multiple subjects are stored.
For intelligence, this multifunctional and multifaceted nature allows us to delve slightly deeper into its content or definition. We have shown that we understand intelligence as a capacity to relate. Therefore, the group of abstract and elemental relational functions that allow all fairly complex relation operations to be carried out are what form intelligence.
The efficiency of the brain structure is easily observed as much in intelligence as in memory. The first supports itself on the second so as not to unnecessarily repeat a multitude of operations; it even reaches the formation of what we could call subprograms of automatic action, like the pre-defined responses to different situations when driving.
We could assume that almost half of memory is devoted to storing information about support relations directly to intelligence, independently of whether information from the perceptions is found stored in accordance to a multiple system of references or not.
Likewise, the memory, or better said, the memory manager, will try to save only the information it considers relevant, that which does not already exist or save similar information together, only adding a new nuance to already present information. Further along, we will return this subject when discussing types of memory.
It is possible that conscious thought is not unique, that is, that not all of it follows the same line of argument, there may be two or more lines simultaneously. Moreover, I would say that human brain structure is designed to allow are almost always at least two. It would be like the existence of a somewhat conscious thought that is, however, in the background.
This should not be confused with situations when we are thinking about two things at the same time; in this case, the two things are in the foreground of thought.
On the one hand, this would be taking advantage of the system's idle resources, and on the other, we would always have an idea in mind when we decide to stop thinking about something or if we obtained our goal by reasoning.
A blank mind can be attributed to two simultaneous thoughts ending at the same time, although normally I think this happens because we try to go back in a sequence of thought; this is not always easy or feasible.
In respect to the fact that computers already do something similar and that they are becoming more and more complicated needs no further explanation.
Given the complexity of the intellectual system of human brain structure and the necessity to maintain an optimum operational capacity in relation to the temporal horizons of information, the system needs to reorganize itself daily. This cleaning function is mainly performed while we are asleep.
Los Angeles - Skyline
(Public domain image)
The fundamental reason why we need to be asleep may be that it is a time when the memory of work and the relational capacity are freed from a multitude of tasks and that, for the exploitation of daily experience and its analysis faced with its possible memorization, the two abilities are needed with a great available capacity.
Bearing in mind the human brain structure, dreams widely represent the work that the memory manager performs when storing certain information. When it does not know exactly what to do, because it lacks sufficient information, it recreates a situation and tries to force the intelligence to dedicate itself; this decision affects the way information is memorized. In this fashion, it will clean short-term memory and not lose information considered important or feel obligated to provisionally save all information related to a specific subject.
When intelligence does not manage to offer a clear decision for complex subjects, people may have recurrent dreams. Certainly the subject is important and the adopted solution will effect on the saving of a lot of other information in different places in the memory, or it will affect the configuration of one of the dimensions where many references are situated.
The degree of difficulty of some relational problems may be so great that, at certain times, the quickest solution to a problem is to forget it and try it later, especially after sleeping. Any experienced programmer knows that, faced with an elemental problem that seems irresolvable, you always have to try to shut down the computer and try again.
In the first case, after sleeping, the short-term memory has been cleaned due to the way human brain structure works. When the human brain analyses the problem again, everything related and in agreement with the priorities or importance of each element will be loaded; this is what allows the analysis to be notably simplified.
After restarting a computer, all the programs and variables in the memory have disappeared and only the necessary programs and variables will be loaded. This assures us that there is free space and that none of the variables have erroneous values that could have been generated in the multiple tests performed by a programmer in the development of his / her programs.
Another yet different example of the way human brain structure works is the human eye. The eye adapts best to sudden changes in luminosity by opening and closing the lids, that is, by restarting the system. The latter is important for those who drive for long periods of time at night. The light from cars that travel in the opposite direction and those that pass provoke sudden changes in the luminosity that can be tiresome for the eyes.
However, it is very interesting to check that, if when faced with a sudden change in light the eye blinks right at the time of the change, eyes fatigue and the discomfort that people suffer from is reduced at least to one third. This means that there are mechanisms that adjust to luminosity and do not cause eye fatigue; these are optimized to work starting in the darkness, and are therefore more efficient when given the appropriate circumstances.
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