Images, Textual Information, Sign Information
First, we will analyze the brainís reaction on existing objects. How does the brain manage to reproduce them when no researcher can find proof of visual images within it? Nature has accomplished this in her own cunning way. Every existing object has its inner connections. The brain is able to perceive and memorize these connections. Have you ever thought why humans need several sensesÖ why can we smell, taste, see and hear?
Existing objects radiate physical and chemical signals into space. These are light (either reflected or radiated), air vibrations. An object can also have a taste, and its molecules can fly quite far away from it. If we only had one sensory organ, the reflex memory would not be able to memorize anything - because the reflex memory suggests presence of several analyzers. One integral information field coming from an object is divided into several constituents; information comes to the brain through several perception channels. A visual analyzer perceives a silhouette of an object (like an apple). A hearing analyzer perceives the objectís sounds: when you bite an apple, you hear a specific crack. A smell analyzer perceives smell: your nose is capable of catching molecules radiated by an apple over a distance of several feet. Information is brought to your brain through your hands (tactile perception).
As a result of breaking the information up into several parts, the brain is able to create connections. These connections occur naturally. Everything that is in our mind at one particular moment of time is connected and, thus, memorized. Consequently, as we scrutinize an apple, turn it in our hands, taste it, our brain distinguishes different specific features of the object and automatically creates connections between them while we are still studying it.
None of the features are memorized, as-is, separately. Only the connections are being remembered. Later on, when our nose catches the smell of an apple, the brain receives an incoming stimulus and the previously-created connections reappear in our mind and make the other features reappear along with them. We memorize the full image of the apple.
The natural memorization mechanism is so obvious that it feels strange describing it. Such memorization methods allow us to RECOGNIZE surrounding objects through only a part of the information available.
When you hear a squawking sound outside, you can tell there is a crow near you, not a goose. When you smell a specific smell, you can tell that your neighbor is making garlic chicken for dinner. You can easily tell a guitar from a violin by its sound, a plane from a car, and a kettle from a coffee-grinder.
Inner connections that exist between real objects are distinguished by the brain and remembered automatically. Later on, our brain creates an integral image of an object. Neither the object nor its features are registered by the brain.
Since the principal human analytical system is a visual system (not to be confused with the leading perception systems in the NLP), when speaking about real objects, we mainly speak about visual images. It is visual images that provide us with the main information about the surrounding world. Visual images also have another significant feature: when a person can control visual images in his imagination.
The connections that have just been described (connections based upon different analytical systems) are called hetero-modal connections. Modality is an organ of sense. Hetero-modal connections are created automatically by the brain when you study an object. All human experience relies upon hetero-modal connections, though they are not suitable for studying scientific data. We use them only to be able to quickly recognize objects and orient ourselves in space. No one can teach you this. This process happens in a natural, spontaneous way. An animalís brain has the same, and even more so, developed ability.
However, the analysis of truly perceived objects is not yet finished at this point. Experience tells us that we can remember a sole, visual image of an object when information comes to our brain through only one channel, the visual one. So, how does our brain manage to create connections in this case?
This is where the most interesting part begins. The brain can create connections even if information is coming from only one analyzer. This process will be examined later in the book. At this stage, we will tell you only that your visual analytical system divides an object into several components, every one of which is sent to your brain separately. As a result, we think we see an apple. In your brain, the apple is broken into parts, which makes it possible for the brain to create connections between the perceived apple parts. Anamnesis occurs as was already described earlier: stimulus Ė reaction, according to the scheme you already know. Hence, you will only need to see one part of an apple for the already-created connections to react for the brain to reproduce an integral visual image of an apple.
Such connections (when our brain breaks visual images into parts and creates connections between the parts of the same object) are called mono-modal connections. Mono-modal connections are thus labeled because the connections are created due to one analytical system - in this case, the visual analytical system.
Mono-modal connections are created by the brain automatically, in a natural way. You do not need to do anything. Memorizing connections between image parts and between different images occurs without any effort on your part. It is because of the mono-modal connections that you remember your way to work or the placement of objects in your apartment.
Mono-modal and hetero-modal connections will be examined separately according to the way they are used in GMS®. Now, we will only explain the most important one we have mentioned.
Connections existing between the surrounding world and objects in it are automatically memorized in the brain. Genetically, the brain is attuned to distinguish different features of these objects and create connections between them. The brain creates hetero-modal connections (between signals from different analytical systems) as well as mono-modal connections (coming from the same analytical system). However, the mechanics of these two connection types are different.
Anamnesis (generation, reproduction of an integral image in your imagination) only occurs when there is a stimulating signal that is a part of the previously perceived object.
If the stimulus perceived does not activate any connection in the brain, a person cannot identify the object, and an integral image of the object does not appear. Such signals inevitably attract your attention (the "What is that?" reflex). A person then wants to study the object and the unknown signal in more detail, to distinguish its separate parts and create connections between them.
Those who like to attract attention may specifically want to take a note of this. Make unclear sounds, wear extravagant clothes, behave in an unconventional way, and you will be in the center of everyoneís attention. But, do not get overexcited; you do not want to attract the attention of law enforcement institutions.
The next type of information that we try to memorize is textual or speech information. A human can perceive information verbally. In this case, the speech information comes in through ears and goes to the speech analyzer. We can also perceive speech information through texts; in this case, the information comes to the speech analyzer through our eyes. Such information is called verbal information.
It is more difficult for our brain to memorize textual information. Understanding of a text or a speech happens due to our imaginationís reproductive mechanism. We will review this mechanism later in more detail but, at this point, let me illustrate it using the following example: "A dragonfly is sitting on an apple." How does one understand this message? The connection between the word "apple" and the image of an "apple" as well as the connection between the word "dragonfly" and its corresponding image have been previously generated by the brain in a natural way. These connections are reproduced automatically when you perceive the words and your imagination shows their corresponding visual images. When you hear this phrase, you see a combination of images in your mind, and that is the reason why you can understand it. If you hear a phrase with previously unregistered connections, you will not see anything in your imagination and, subsequently, will not understand it. Read this: "Anatawa gakusei des ka?" Do you understand it? The speech understanding mechanisms are also quite simple. Speech comprehension is carried out by means of a visual analytical system using oneís previously created connections between words and visual images.
Textual (speech) information is harder to memorize than image information. Visual images which appear in the imagination under the stimulating effect of words are not as vivd as the actually perceived objects. Not every word read causes a visual image to appear, and some amount of textual information is never transformed into visual images. If there is no image, the brain cannot create connections and, consequently, fails to memorize the information. Moreover, the human brain would fail to memorize a sequence of information. This is one more reason why textual information can be so hard to remember.
If you carefully investigate how you remember a text you have just read, you will see that summarizing it equates to retelling the story by pictures. It is a group of images appearing in your imagination that you remember, and these images that will be transformed back into speech.
There is one more type of information, one that is fundamentally different from the visual and the speech information. Interestingly enough, psychologists failed to categorize it. Contemporary psychology only distinguishes verbal and non-verbal information (that is, speech and non-speech information). Sign information is usually seen as verbal, or speech information, which is wrong. This is a very particular type of information. The particularity is that the human brain is absolutely incapable of memorizing such information.
What is this information? It is phone numbers, historical dates, names, terms and concepts. It is first and last names. It is formulas and constant values. It is long rows of numbers or senseless syllables. It is addresses and car VIN numbers and the like. Everything that we usually call EDUCATIONAL information belongs to this category.
If the human brain could memorize such information, students would never need to use cheat sheets. If you could memorize a phone number, you would not need a telephone directory. If you have one, it unquestionably proves that you cannot remember phone numbers!
So, why is it that at schools and universities, they expect people to do the impossible? They demand that students memorize things our brain is incapable of memorizing due to physiological reasons? How does anyone pass the exams? To do this, you avoid memoryís "sharp angles." No one asks you to recall a wealth of precise data for exams. This is the secret of good results: no one tests the presence (or memorization) of precise information. What is usually demanded from a student is an approximate retelling of information, which our memory is capable of as speech information is more or less easily memorized.
Did anyone demand your recollection of the table of elements or an entire physics reference book? Did anyone demand that you recount historyís chronological tables? If someone began to test the knowledge of such precise information, it could negatively affect the statistics of studentsí results. (The subject of memory and education is fully covered in one of our articles at:
http://www.pmemory.com/articles/fake-studying What is the particularity of precise (sign) information? Let us examine one extreme case of precise information, a random sequence of numbers.
We already know that our brain memorizes only connections, and that everything else is generated from the basis of these connections. However, the connections are created either between visual images or between signals from different analytical systems (image + word + smell + taste). We will now concentrate on connections between visual images.
When perceiving an array of numbers, no image appears in your imagination. Consequently, the brain cannot create connections. This information is fundamentally unmemorizable.
We will now give a definition of precise (sign) information:
PRECISE (SIGN) INFORMATION IS INFORMATION THAT DOES NOT CREATE A VISUAL IMAGE WHEN PERCEIVED.
Another particularity of this information is that it, unlike a text, cannot be reproduced approximately. Imagine that you reproduce a phone number or a historical date, the structure of an atom, or a mathematical formula approximately! Or imagine that you remembered a first and a last name approximately!
Precise information needs to be memorized precisely, and GMS® actually allows you to do so! In addition to that, it is the precise information that is the primary study focus of GMS®.
Here is the summary of the described above information in the form of a table:
The brainís reaction to different information types (sorted by the figurativeness of information).
||The Brainís Reaction
||The connections are fixed automatically.
|Textual (speech) information
Only a small portion of words is transformed into images
|Precise (sign) information
||Never transformed into images. Creating connections (memorization) is impossible without special training.