Saturday, May 28, 2016
We can identify things that we percieve. This does not mean that we do not
percieve things that we can not identify.
If the input perturbation is too small, we can not hear, see etc., identify the entity.
For example, in an orchestra, it is impossible for every violin player in the violin
section to play exactly the same color, pitch namely the sound. It is impossible
for us, the listener to hear each performer's different sound but instead we hear the
rich, deep sound of the violin section, rather than the week sound of a single violin.
We percieve the minute differences in the violin section as a feeling, a warmth,
richness and depth. We percieve small changes that can not be identified not
cognitively but emotionally.
This may be the reason why small changes are frequently used in music performances.
The key here is to make the change, for ex. a temporary tempo change, in such a way
that it can barely be heard but can not be identified or noticed, though can be
The entities that are unidentified include not only very small values but also
unmeasurable continuous quantities. This varies from the perception of physical
values of heat, light etc. to the social values such as risk, friendness etc.
The languages include words such as hot, cold, very hot, bright etc. or dangerous,
true friend etc. words to describe these entities. If paid attention one can notice
that these are all emotion related words or concepts.
The reason that an entity is unidentified may be related to the modality of the
perception. We cannot identify quantitatively any visual input. We cannot
identify something if it is the first time we see it.
Color, hue, brightness etc. light attributes are all unmeasurable continuous values.
It is impossible to identify them objectively. We cannot remember a view if it
is not identified in the related semantical memory. We can only recall that view
if we see it again. Namely, we can remember a view only if it is recorded as
part of an event in the episodic memory.
Aural modality has some similarities with visual modality. Timbre, loudness,
tempo, etc. many parameters are continuous unidentifiable values, except pitch.
Instrumental music can mostly not go to episodic memory. There is a window of
attention of the listener which slides through the music piece which builds a
balance of recalled elements and freshness. The unity of the piece is achieved
through making small or unidentifiable changes of the initial material. The
listener can percieve this emotionally rather than cognitively.
This is the reason that music expresses things that words cannot. Music touches
the heart through feelings aroused by unidentified entities.
The Role of Belief in Cognition
There are working, episodic and semantic memories in our brain among others. It is not very clear whether these are completely seperate regions in our brain. They can be easily detected functionally.
Working memory is the memory we use when we are actually thinking or talking. Episodic memory holds the information related to events and when/where they occur. Semantic memory holds the abtracted concepts/knowledge.
An event first happens in the working memory, then it is recorded in the episodic memory. If there is a knowledge that can be deducted, it is recorded in the semantic memory.
The semantic memory is specially organised so that generalization and instantiation can be done automatically. For example we do not think too much to say an eagle flies. In the semantic tree, eagle is connected to bird and bird is connected to flying animal and that to animal. How the information is stored in our brain is possibly related with the formation of connections during the perception and further processing. It is not a surprise that categorical subject test have shown regions close to the perception/subject specialization.
When some concept is being inserted to the semantic memory, an appropriate location in the semantic tree is searched. Actually this may be an innate procedure that is done automatically while forming new connections. The crux of the issue is how it is established that a connection of the eagle to the bird occur.
The context of the word eagle may establish the relation of eagle to bird if the context of the bird is similar to the eagle. The more the contexts' similarity the better. The better what? We answer this what question as: Belief.
The more the new item, the new leaf fits into the semantic tree the more it is confident. On the other hand, the more confident the leafs of a semantic tree, the more confident it is.
Schachter says in his 'Memory, Brain and Belief', "I use the term 'belief' when I use the attribution of truth value to a particular thought content, either percieved of recalled."
The semantic tree holds not only the data items but also their belief factors. Harold Pashler says in his 'Encyclopedia of the Mind', "An alternative answer to the question of what justifies memory beliefs turns on the idea that memory is preservative not just respect to the content of beliefs but also with respect to their justification".
Belief helps us to feel our thoughts.
Belief is how we sense our brain.
Belief is how we sense our brain.
Ali R+ SARAL