How is data stored in the brain?

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Offline Eric A. Taylor

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How is data stored in the brain?
« on: 18/07/2010 10:09:42 »

Why are memories sometimes inaccurate? When I was a teenager I went on a hike in Lassen NP. I clearly remember a part of the trail that ran along the right side of a canyon. Many years later I did the hike again with a friend and the trail was on the left side of the canyon. I later found out that the trail has ALWAYS been on the left side. Another, earlier memory, when I was about 11, involves my sister. We had just gotten Showtime and they were showing The Shining. Our parents had told us not to watch the film. My sister got up in the middle of the night and watched it, but became too scared so she got me up to watch with her. I clearly remember seeing the film in our old house, which we had moved out of in 1978. This memory must be wrong as The Shining was made in 1980, three years after we had moved. If this memory is wrong how can I trust other memories?
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Offline Geezer

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How is data stored in the brain?
« Reply #1 on: 18/07/2010 19:49:34 »
I think out brains use very high "compression" techniques to store information. Unfortunately, very high compression tends to be very "lossy", so a lot of the detail is not actually remembered.

However, as we have very vivid imaginations, our brains quickly fill in any missing information based on experience etc. so that we are presented with a probable recollection of events. Sadly, our brains don't give us any indication of which bits they simply invented!
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