Posted by: zyxo | February 25, 2009

How do you store words ?

Drawing of Purkinje cells (A) and granule cell...
Image via Wikipedia

We know that our brain is a huge network of neurons. Research showed that words are stored in our memories not as isolated entities but as part of a network of related words. When someone says one word, we immediatly think of related words or meanings.

Words that are “entangled” with many other words have a great chance of being recalled, while words that are entangled with few or no other words have a very small chance of being recalled.
An entangled state occurs when two words (e.g. “Red” and “rose”) are either both recalled or both not recalled in relation to a cue word (e.g. “lips”).
Note the difference between “correlated” and “entangled”. Apparently for words to be correlated, they have to be created at the same time, or under the same circumstances. To be entangled is much stranger. It is like influencing from a distance.
For the brave ones of my readers : read the original article of
Peter Bruza, Kirsty Kitto, Douglas Nelson, and Cathy McEvoy from the University of South Florida. They are are doing serious research on the way words are recalled in relation to other words.

This way of storing words or meanings in our heads is totally different of how our computors handle things.
Perhaps the closest to this comes google, with their huge database of words and sentences, who do not care about grammatical rules but use the raw computation power of their IT infrastructure?

Did you like this post ? Then you might also be interested in the following :
Image recognition software
Psychons : Elementary particles of the mind
Text mining : Reading at Random


Other blogs on this subject :
Scientists Model Words as Entangled Quantum States in our Minds
Words as Entangled Quantum States in our Minds?

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