re: again, or to indicate something with backward motion
cognize: to know, to become aware of
recognize: to know again, to identify from having encountered before
"Memories are the architecture of our identity."
My gaze bounces from her long, straight black hair, to the blackness of the hole in the machine I’ll be entering. It does feel familiar. She tells me to stay still as I lay down on the table. As I enter the machine, I’m conscious of how small I am in its comparison. I think how man and machine has merged; an unexpected union. It would not exist without us, and we would not exist in the same way without it. I close my eyes and listen to its hum, its heartbeat. I remember my dream of the woman with long black hair and shudder. It’s already too late.
The whole experience made me feel a certain sensation, like my blood pressure had suddenly dropped. Before I got to the door, she asked, "Have you ever heard of blind sight?” I turned around, surprisingly happy that she had wisdom for me to depart with. “Blind sight is a rare phenomenon. People who have blind sight are consciously blind, but they’re not physically blind. They describe seeing only darkness, but they can see. Scientists test this by placing different colored objects in front of them and asking them to touch a certain colored object, and they can. Sometimes you can do things you didn’t think you could do. And sometimes you know things you thought were unknowable.”
I think of Oliver’s voice again, and him saying my name. The feeling strikes again, this time my stomach clenches, giving me the sensation that I’m sobbing, only I don’t have the tears to prove it.
Research reveals that we'll be able to record our memories and re-watch them
The study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, calls itself the first to attempt facial reconstruction through thoughts.
"It is mind reading," said Cowen.
It's hoped that the process could one day assist in solving crimes, better understand mental disorders and even recording dreams.
As for the likelihood it could be used to extract memories, Cowen assures they're still ways away from that.
"This sort of technology can only read active parts of the brain. So you couldn't read passive memories — you would have to get the person to imagine the memory to read it," Cowen said.
Memories are an Illusion
"Every time you recall a memory, it becomes sensitive to disruption. Often that is used to incorporate new information into it." That's the blunt assessment from one of the world's leading experts on memory, Dr. Eric Kandel from Columbia University.
And that means our memories are not abstract snapshots stored forever in a bulging file in our mind, but rather, they're a collection of brain cells — neurons that undergo chemical changes every time they're engaged.
So when we think about something from the past, the memory is called up like a computer file, reviewed and revised in subtle ways, and then sent back to the brain's archives, now modified slightly, updated, and changed.
The fact that memory turns out to be far from permanent is a positive thing for human survival. Evolution thinks it's the best way for it to work. Therefore, it's not a bad way. If it was a bad way, then we would have been extinct a while ago."
Serrena’s words sound purposeful, but her psyche is adrift. She’s unhinged. I can’t decide yet if she’s psychotic or perhaps iconic. As if she heard my thoughts, she shrugs her shoulders and says, “I’m just a girl who decided to go for it.”
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