Data integrity and degradation of information

Reliability of the memory information system. Data integrity and degradation information with the memory manager –the intelligence– when using different forms of transmitting information.

Front cover of the book Memory, Language and other Brain Abilities. Sarcophagus of ancient Egypt with colored drawings.



Author: José Tiberius




3.c) Reliability of the memory information system

While speaking about intelligence, we have anticipated the conceptual relations between logic and math memory, intuition, and standard memory, and between language and semantic memory, dealing with both the diverse operational forms of intelligence as a relational capacity and the manager of memory information system.

Castle in Ireland
Visual memory (Public domain image)
Small ruined castle in the middle of the green field.

Math memory, which demands certainty in responses from the biological information system, should behave like logical math intelligence concerning reliability. However, it would not be surprising if other types of memory, such as standard and semantic memories –admitting errors and approximation–, were a consequence of the same genetic load creating math memory; yet under the opposite assumption to external verification of the info.

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

On the other hand, with memory, there are additional problems given its nature of storing information and the issues or characteristics of the data system manager.

It is also clear that astonishing memories exist with equally amazing managers, whose internal functioning is practically unknown in neuroscience. We are not discussing the active parts of the brain in specific activities but rather the biological mechanisms developed from a functional point of view. We can cite semantic, visual, and musical memory, among others.

Although we use the term math memory, we think secure mode memory could be more precise. Likewise, without trying to create a closed typology, we could denote the probable mode when the required reliability is high but not at its maximum, and possible when this reliability is relatively low.


3.d) Data integrity

3.d.1. Compression of information

The deeper the layers of brain memory are, the information is more depending on a multidimensional system; in other words, it is more compressed.

The process takes time, and the memory manager needs to use a lot of its power. Typically, it not only deals with information compression, but also 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 future localization.

When trying to remember something that happened a long time ago; it may feel like the information is appearing out of nowhere as if we were pulling a thread from the skein.

When one recovers information, the brain continues retrieving elements associated with the stated information. Sometimes, we can even visualize information and concepts like an explosion of data more and more precise. Of course, it depends on the length of time that has gone by since the last time we thought about the specific subject.

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 not usually used; before, decompression of that information would have been too slow.

Below we will analyze an illustrative example of older adults 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 when twenty years ago.

A reasonable explanation could be:

  • Over time, it becomes more challenging to compress information already compressed. The stronger compression is necessary to free space in the brain memory given that throughout a person's life, we assume it uses all available memory.

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

  • There comes a time when a part of the stored information needs to reduce to save new or recent acts.

  • If someone decides to save new information, it will never erase compressed information from a lifetime unless it is essential. Usually, it will try to delete data 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 typical problems that come with age, but, in some cases, the symptoms are much more severe and produce memory loss that can lead to dementia or diseases such as Alzheimer.

Like in all intricate processes, having little memory or not exercising specific sources of compressed information correlates positively to Alzheimer.

3.d.2. Degradation of information storage

Another already known method is the degradation of information while compressing.

of memory storage (Public domain image)
Memory degradation of the image above with the small castle.

When computers compress an image in BMP format to JPG format, either no information or a certain degree of information disappear, but the new file is smaller.

Sensory memory, in particular, requires the actions of degradation to reduce the enormous amount of information received, such as songs, films, or videos.

3.d.3. Reconstruction of information

The opposite phenomenon of degradation is the reconstruction of compressed data 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 does not. It may seem as if this person is lying, but, in fact, it is confused even though it may not be aware of this confusion.