A question for people smarter then I.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Data Holmes, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, memories are extremely inaccurate. When it comes down to it, they are merely very poor records of an imperfect reconstruction of incomplete sensory input. Not only are they subjective, and not only do they change every time you access them, as Mr Awe said, but they can be easily made up out of whole cloth, and there is absolutely no way to distinguish between a true memory and an artificial memory for either the subject or the neurologist (both function the exact same way physically in the brain).

    Another very interesting memory phenomenon is stolen memories. They happen most often between siblings, and I actually experienced this once -- I stole a memory from my sister.

    As for music, there's been some really fascinating research into the unique nature of music in human brains. I think sometimes people are in awe of how powerful music is at triggering memories, or as a nemonic (everyone can remember song lyrics to hundreds, if not thousands of songs, but would be hard-pressed to memorize the same amount of text from a novel), but I think sometimes people don't realize is that music is a form of language, just a different form.

    The unique thing about human language (at least as is known thus far) is its musicality. Lots of species have words -- for specific things, actions, events, etc., indeed, many higher-order primates have speech like this, and dolphins too. Birds have music, and it is definitely used as a form of language, with different songs communicating different things. But humans are the only species that have both. We have words for things but also tonality, and that separates our language from other animals, and could be why our language is so much more advanced. Some have even postulated that early humans sang to each other before they spoke, which is a hypothesis I absolutely love, because it is excellent picturing caveman opera.

    For me, music is a very important part of my life, since I was a musician from a young age, and I can read music. It brings back very powerful memories from childhood, and very strong feelings. However, my earliest memories are completely silent, because I was deaf until age 4.
     
  2. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always wonder how actors can remember such a lot of text. I already have trouble memorizing a 10 item shopping list.
    *note to self: remember to ask next actor you meet*
     
  3. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    Interesting thing I read about Homer. The Iliad and The Odyssey are very long pieces to memorise, and they did originate in a time before writing. One theory has it that they were actually songs.

    I don't know about you, but I can sing along with the radio, with just about every song from the 60s to the 90s (after that I haven't enjoyed music so much, but the good songs do go in). That's a LOT of words to remember. I'm pretty sure there's a tie-in with memory and music, maybe something to do with rhythm or melody. Have a think about how many songs you know.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  4. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    there's also a kind of mechanical memory. If you play an instrument you may be familiar with the phenomenon that you can't recall a tune but when your fingers have managed the first few notes the rest will come automatically.