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Old November 20th, 2012, 02:30 PM   #21

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I'm pretty sure that the mind has short-term and long-term storage.
A place for the inputs of the day to be quickly shoved into without too much sorting and categorising. And then when you sleep your brain has time to sift through it all and make links to other events stored away.

And so you get that weird effect of having an unsolvable problem at work, and then when you wake up the next morning you magically have a solution.

I think there are several layers of "cache", to use a computing term.
I have had times when I've woken up at night. Perhaps due to a noise outside. Peeked out the window and talked to my wife for a bit, then gone back to sleep, and completely forgotten about it in the morning, with my wife trying to talk to me about it. With going to sleep, that short term cache of events was just wiped. I have talked to people who had serious surgery and were going in an out of conciousness with drugs, and they don't remember the concious bits at all.

The brain using complicated tricks to absorb vast amounts of data, and then store, sort, categorise it all.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #22

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I have read that it is only because we need to categorise and sort all that data that we need to sleep at all.

If you think about it, everything still works when we sleep. Heart, lungs, digestive system, even our limbs still move quite a bit. We apparently need the "downtime". That is most likely why some so called sedative anti-depressants and sleeping pills leave users tired the next day, because they often don't allow such "downtime" because they cause a sort of pseudo sleep.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #23

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Originally Posted by Rosi View Post
Have no recollection of it prior to age 7 or 8, and even after that remember very little. I have what they call a "boss memory", meaning I only remember the important bits and forget the rest. Also, I'm too self-absorbed and involved with what's going on to rethink the past though obviously there are certain things that stand out and which I remember very well.

"we seem to remember false memories which can be implemented by manipulating factors."

Hmm. I do remember reading somewhere that each time we recall something the details of that thing change (however slightly). I'm not entirely convinced though; it is possible to remember something just the way it happened, depends on how much attention you were paying in the first place.

On the other hand, I seem to keep mis-remembering certain things. Like movies, for instance. I watched 'Good Will Hunting' a few months ago and I could swear that's not how the movie had ended the first time I'd seen it. I do that with movies all the time: I follow a story from many angles and if I don't like the ending I think of what could have made a better ending and this alternate ending is so vivid in my mind that that's what I end up remembering. Often when I run into a movie I've seen a number of times I'm surprised that I not only changed the dialogues in my mind but also the tone and import of them. It's like watching a new movie entirely.

There's a very good reason I do not rely on my memory very much. And the law doesn't take the testimonies of first-hand witnesses very seriously.
This happened to me with one of the Star Trek episodes.
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