3.c) Reliability of the memory information system

By speaking about intelligence, we have already anticipated the conceptual relations between logic and math memory, intuition, and normal memory, and between language and linguistic memory, dealing with the different operational forms of intelligence as a relational capacity and of intelligence as a manager of memory information system, and ways of transmitting such information.

Castle in Ireland
Visual memory
(Public domain image)  Visual memory

Math memory, which demands certainty in responses from the biological information system, should behave just like logical math intelligence in that it demands reliability. However, it would not be surprising if other types of memory, such as normal memory or the capacity related to language -that characteristically admit errors and approximation- were a consequence of the same genetic information that acts to create math memory, yet under the assumption contrary to that of external verification of the information.

That is, our brain is the result from the genetic codes from both parents and when operating certain processes like normal memory, it does not require the certainty of responses.

On the other hand, memory proposes additional problems given its own nature of storing information and the problems or characteristics of the information system manager.

It is also clear that very special memories exist with equally special managers, whose internal functioning is presently practically unknown in neuroscience. We are not referring to the parts of the brain that are enable or not in specific activities but rather the biological mechanisms that are developed from a functional point of view. We can cite linguistic, visual, and musical memory among others.

Although we have been using the term math memory, I think that the term secure mode memory in the transmission of information is more precise. Likewise, but without trying to create a closed typology, we could refer to probable mode when the required reliability is high but not at its maximum, and possible mode when this reliability is relatively low.

3.d) Data integrity 

3.d.1. Compression of information

Now that we have commented on the types of memory, as you get further into the layers of brain memory, the nature of the information changes into a multidimensional system, or similarly, the information is compressing.

This process takes time and the memory manager needs to use a lot of its power. Normally, it not only deals with information compression, but rather with its decompression, its analysis, and comparison with new information. Then it deals with its re-compression after having looked for more appropriate dimensional references for information saving and future localization.

When you think about something that you have not thought about for a while, you may feel like the information is appearing out of nowhere, as if you were putting two and two together for the first time.

When you retrieve or become conscious of information or a concept, it seems as if the brain were continuing to retrieve elements associated with the stated information or concept at the same time. At certain times, you can even visualize information and concepts like an explosion of data that are more and more precise in relation to what you were speaking or thinking. Obviously, this retrieval depends on the length of time that has gone by since the last time that you thought about the specific subject and your necessity to continue thinking about it.

New computers, with their best techniques, keep becoming more and more similar to the brain. With their current processing speed, they can start automatically to compress information that is not habitually used; before, decompression of a source of compressed information, if needed, would have been too slow.

Below we will analyze an illustrative example of elderly people who, often say the following sentences:

  • I do not remember what I said five minutes ago.
  • I do not remember what I ate yesterday.
  • Strange, but I always remember perfectly when twenty years ago…

A reasonable explanation could be the following:

  • Over time, it becomes more difficult to compress more information that it compressed previously. This larger compression is necessary to free space in the brain memory given that throughout a person's life, we assume that it has used all available memory.

  • In addition, the gradual loss of an organism's vital energy with age, or any other problem, makes the compression mechanism less powerful.

  • Logically, there comes a time when a part of the stored information needs to reduce in order to save news or a recent act.

  • When in this situation, if someone decides to save new information, it will never erase compressed information from during a lifetime, unless the new information is very important. Normally, it will try to erase information contained in the first or second superficial memory layers.

  • Another related aspect that we have already commented on is that older people do not need as much sleep.

We are talking about normal problems that come with age, but obviously, in some cases the symptoms are much more serious and produce memory loss that can lead to dementia or diseases such as Alzheimer.

I imagine, like in all complex processes, having little memory or not exercising specific sources of compressed information properly correlates positively to Alzheimer.

3.d.2. Degradation of information storage

Another already known method in our culture is the degradation of information when it is compressed.

When computers compress an image in Bmp format to Jpg format, either no information is lost or a certain degree of information is lost, but nonetheless the new file has been significantly reduced.

Degradation
of memory storage
(Public domain image)  Degradation of memory storage

Sensory memory, in particular, requires the actions of degradation in order to reduce the enormous amount of information received, such as when we think about music and songs, films, videos, etc.

3.d.3. Reconstruction of information  

Corresponding to the phenomenon of the information degradation, there is also reconstruction of compressed or degraded information storage when required by the memory manager.

As we know, this phenomenon may convince a person of the existence of an act or a specific aspect because its memory says it exists when it actually does not. It may seem as if this person was lying, but, in fact, it is confused even though it may not be aware of this confusion.

 

 
 
© 2002, All rights are reserved

María José T. Molina

Global Cognitive Theory

MEMORY, LANGUAGE
AND OTHER BRAIN ABILITIES