Thursday, March 1, 2012

Model for Perception

The 1st block: Represents our entire mental activity in terms of its biochemical and electrical activity. It is a snapshot of the entire experience continuum of an individual. I have shown it symbolically using colors because there can be infinite combinations of various colors, saturation, contrast and opacity. This could be symbolically linked to everything we experience in a moment. Now not all of this is conscious, for example, if you do not think about your toe, you do not even know its there. There is this spotlight of conscious attention shown as the circle.

Then 2nd block: The conscious attention captures the spotlight of raw conscious experience. The raw experience keeps changing with time. The spotlight moves around in whatever regions it can quickly scan and stores a slice in immediate memory. Now, this raw input stored in the immediate memory is too complex and dynamic in its raw form. In order to create a stable graspable entity it is therefore simplified and quantized with the aid of the long term conceptual memory bank. Now, this new entity is more stable and can be grasped onto. How well you accomplish these steps depends on your awareness and attention.

In the 3rd block: Here we need to convert this raw feeling into words. The level of detail you put into this stage depends upon your vocabulary. Vocabulary in this analogy could be equated to a color palette. If your vocabulary is limited its like using a 1000 color palette. If it is extensive, it is maybe like using a 10000 color palette. Therefore another level of simplification happens here.The input that was grasped is approximated to its nearest colors and put into the language semantics framework. This stage also including serialization of the whole information. Its similar to trying to explain a picture in words. 

The 4th block: Finally how we speak the words out depends on our speech abilities i.e. have we learned to manipulate the vocal cord and tongue in sync.

Now, these blocks are connected by linkages which are bidirectional i.e. if you say the word dog in your mind, the corresponding conceptual feelings associated with the dog will show up and accordingly change your biochemistry. Also in the case of memory, its similar to wax. The memory impressions during a day also serve as filters during the extraction of meaning.

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