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Alex Bäcker's Wiki / Memory, brain, and belief
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Memory, brain, and belief

Page history last edited by Alex Backer, Ph.D. 11 years, 4 months ago

This is a collection of papers presented at a conference. My favorite was V.S. Ramachandran's. The new thing I learned there was about patient DS and Capgras syndrome. I've long thought that the problem of deciding if a percept is something we've perceived before (yet never in the exact same form: haircut, lighting, angle, distance, clothing, etc.) or something new is one of the most fascinating problems in cognition. Well, Capgras syndrome patients have the mechanism for that process broken, so although they recognize that a woman looks "just like their mother", they say it's NOT their mother. Ramachandran hypothesizes that the link between vision and amygdala and emotional processing is broken in these patients, who recognize their mother on the phone. I wonder if the brain tries to fill in or autocomplete an existing encoded memory pattern to fit every percept, and if this autocompletion does not "match" at the sufficient level (apparently including the emotional one), then the match is discarded and a new memory encoded. The importance of emotion in this could have implications for why emotion is so important in getting buy-in: if the emotion is not the right one, a person will reject even his own mother, no matter what the evidence says.


The other essays I perused were too psychological for my taste, with the exception of one describing experiments with rat hippocampus and the ability of rats to obtain conclusions by transitivity, showing the hippocampus is needed.


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