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#26192 - 06/25/09 02:33 AM Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence
Ethophobia Offline
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This is just a topic starter. I got the idea after listening to my professor describe how he had come to associate the sound of chair screeching to the smell of coffee and something occurred to me. Crystals.

When IQ is measured, a term called "Crystallized Intelligence" is sometimes used to describe skills and experience. It comes as no surprise that experience is gathered up in the brain in chunks of useful information which it uses in later situations. Lavey mentioned how a memory "crystallized" in 'Speak of the Devil'.

Energy of nervous system reacting to stimuli, causing action potentials to act and react to the information forming crystals of information stored away for later use.

So what are the crystals?
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#26195 - 06/25/09 02:46 AM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: Ethophobia]
Morgan Offline
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Hmm, are your crystals a physical substance or an abstract idea?

As an abstrct idea, they would possibly result in feelings of deja vu.

I remember chunking as a term used to remember large groups of numbers easily. Although a key word could be used as a memory trigger to release chunk loads of stored memories.

Morgan
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#26228 - 06/25/09 11:22 AM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: Morgan]
Ethophobia Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Morgan
Hmm, are your crystals a physical substance or an abstract idea?

As an abstrct idea, they would possibly result in feelings of deja vu.

I remember chunking as a term used to remember large groups of numbers easily. Although a key word could be used as a memory trigger to release chunk loads of stored memories.

Morgan


It would seem that in order for the brain to store information, they would have to do so in a biological (hence: physical) sense because the brain simply could not keep a constant flow of electricity just to power every single memory you have ever had. It seems like that would be an awfully big waste of calories.

Deja vu, or so the psychology community would have you believe, happens when your brain stores information at the same time it retrieves the same information. A miscommunication of neurons, as it were. Personally, I would not wager a guess.

Chunking is when large bits of information are grouped together by similar traits. Generally the short-term memory can work with seven chunks at a time. Given that, even these "chunks" of information, if they are pulled from long term, or "crystalized" memory, have been stored, then how are they stored? Do neurons simply remember or do actual 'chunks' of information form when memory is adjudicated into the brain?

Thanks for the response Morgan. \:\)
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#26244 - 06/25/09 04:39 PM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: Ethophobia]
TornadoCreator Offline
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The example you gave Ethos sounds an awful lot like synaesthesia. It can make people associate different things, colours with sounds, smells with colours, tastes with words, shapes with numbers, emotions with colours, sounds with texture. It's a strange condition which is something to do with the brain misinterpreting sensory input. It's more common than people think. With about 1/3 of people having it to some degree, and about 1/4 of them having it to a definitely notable degree.

I myself see colour with sound, it's (from what research I've done online and the people I've spoken to), the most common form of synaesthesia.

It's also the basis behind many different phrases we use such as some colours being "warm tones", distinct colours of clothes being called "loud", sounds being called "grainy" or "sharp". There are others, but I can't think of them now.
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#26252 - 06/25/09 05:21 PM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: TornadoCreator]
Ethophobia Offline
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 Originally Posted By: TornadoCreator
The example you gave Ethos sounds an awful lot like synaesthesia. It can make people associate different things, colours with sounds, smells with colours, tastes with words, shapes with numbers, emotions with colours, sounds with texture. It's a strange condition which is something to do with the brain misinterpreting sensory input. It's more common than people think. With about 1/3 of people having it to some degree, and about 1/4 of them having it to a definitely notable degree.

I myself see colour with sound, it's (from what research I've done online and the people I've spoken to), the most common form of synaesthesia.

It's also the basis behind many different phrases we use such as some colours being "warm tones", distinct colours of clothes being called "loud", sounds being called "grainy" or "sharp". There are others, but I can't think of them now.


I am actually doing a thesis on synaesthesia. I believe i may have mentioned it in a prior post. S.F.I. or Synaesthetic Frequency Imaging. If you are synaesthetic, I could use you. \:\)

Unfortunately, Synaesthetics do not generally have difficulties with memory, although they may remember a word as a color, or a sound as a smell, the memory remains the way it came in. The memories are still store in the same fashion.
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#26258 - 06/25/09 06:13 PM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: Ethophobia]
TornadoCreator Offline
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Sure I'd be happy to help with your thesis.

My synaesthesia is linked to sound. I see colour when I hear sound, but I also hear the sound. With certain notes I feel a texture and temperature as well, certain instruments like violins are great for it, they can actually make me feel hot or cold as well as being the most vivid and brightest in colour and with a texture ironically like that of the violin bow.

But yeah, if I can be helpful I'd happily do so.
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#26261 - 06/25/09 06:41 PM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: Ethophobia]
coelentrate Offline
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One mechanism of memory is the ability of an electrical impulse to follow a specific path between specific neurons in the brain. Synapses forming conductive bridges from one cell to another occasionally change position to a different cell. Recalling a memory often creates more connections between cell 1 and 2, not recalling the memory causes the connections to be eventually lost, and you forget.

I don't think that'll be the complete story. Never heard anything about crystals. There aren't any crystals in a healthy brain if you look at it on an electron microscope.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17901...Pubmed_RVDocSum

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#26285 - 06/25/09 11:45 PM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: Ethophobia]
Draculesti Offline
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20th century composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), who is probably most well-known for his Quartet for the End of Time, had what is commonly referred to as "colored-hearing synaesthesia," or the association of color with sound, specifically musical sound, which is what you describe TC. It seems that in most colored-hearing synaesthetes, their ability is associated with another (though less common) ability referred to as absolute, or "perfect," pitch. For those that don't know (though I've described this on other areas of the forum), absolute pitch is the ability to identify a pitch, any pitch, immediately upon hearing, regardless of register, timbre (also referred to as tone color), or instrumentation. For example, someone plays a note on a piano at exactly the midpoint, and the person with perfect pitch, with his/her back turned or in some way unable to see the keyboard, will identify this pitch as "middle C" without hesitation. It is this ability that allowed both Mozart and Shostakovich to compose straight into full score.

Messiaen's ability informs much of his composition. He would often describe his sensations as an odd combination of colors, like reds specked with gold, forming his compositions around these colors. He was an interesting guy, and a hell of a composer. He'd be a fascinating subject as well.

You may or may not have already read it, but a good book recommendation is Oliver Sacks' Musicophilia; he treats synaesthesia (not just the colored-hearing type) in a chapter of its own.

As for memory, it is almost as if these abilities serve as memory aids. Going back to Mozart, he was able to contain in his memory entire compositions (symphonies, operas, you name it). I think it may be the associations that almost cement something in the subject's memory.
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#26298 - 06/26/09 12:36 PM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: Draculesti]
Ethophobia Offline
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 Originally Posted By: coelentrate
One mechanism of memory is the ability of an electrical impulse to follow a specific path between specific neurons in the brain. Synapses forming conductive bridges from one cell to another occasionally change position to a different cell. Recalling a memory often creates more connections between cell 1 and 2, not recalling the memory causes the connections to be eventually lost, and you forget.

I don't think that'll be the complete story. Never heard anything about crystals. There aren't any crystals in a healthy brain if you look at it on an electron microscope.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17901...Pubmed_RVDocSum


Thank you for re-enacting the basic process by which information travels along action potentials. Very helpful. I understand that there would not be physical crystals within the brain, at least none that could be seen by the naked eye. What I am saying is that, when the memory is not being called upon, and is going unused, how do do neurons "remember" what the oinformation is and where to send it when the brain recalls?


-

Hm. Maybe synaesthesia does have something to do with it. Synaesthesia, when you boil it down, is when neurons "misfire" and send information from stimuli into different parts of the brain so that color can have a taste or a sensation can have a sound. Personally, I have a light sensation synaesthesia. I rarely notive it though.
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#26300 - 06/26/09 02:05 PM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: Ethophobia]
coelentrate Offline
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Well, that is kind of what I was trying to get at. What I've heard a few suggest is that those synapses are themselves the physical seat of memory. That the memory really is a dynamic flux of electrical energy, not matter. The information of memory is encoded in the presence or absence, and possibly type of energy flow along a specific route. It sounds like a lame answer, but it's about all we've got for now...as far as I've heard.

I think just don't know. To prove that electrical energy (or anything else) is it, you have to show that it's necessary and sufficient. We know it's necessary, but how do you show that it's sufficient?


It does make sense that synaethesia is a synaptic connection between auditory and visual nerves that isn't present in most people. One prediction of this idea would be that you can get a linkage between other senses as well: sight and smell, provided you have visual and olfactory neurons close enough together. Does anyone here know if that happens?

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#26320 - 06/26/09 09:00 PM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: coelentrate]
Morgan Offline
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"I think just don't know. To prove that electrical energy (or anything else) is it, you have to show that it's necessary and sufficient. We know it's necessary, but how do you show that it's sufficient?"

You would have to do case studies using Alzheimer's patients, along with adults of different age groups. So you can compare and contrast the electrical impulses, and see if you can track the brains reaction when putting the subject to a series of mental tests.

You would in theory get a ratio of higher electrical impulses among non-alzheimer's patients, with the alzheimser's patients showing a decrease in some areas. Then you would possible study what substances can keep the synapses working well and not misfiring or disinigrating.


Sometimes a smell, can trigger a memory.
Thank you guys for the info on synaesthesia, it was something I had not come across.

Morgan
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#26338 - 06/27/09 06:34 AM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: Morgan]
coelentrate Offline
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That should have read "I think we just don't know." Sorry about the typo, I got a little excited.

That would be a very useful study to do.

Something else being done is work on worms with very primitive brains. We have counted the brain cells, and we might be able to simultaneously see all the synapses in action in the live animal. Others are trying to make a robotic brain. The ultimate way to see if the synaptic path and the electrical flux are sufficient to encode memory, is to build a system with only that.

It's a really interesting field. I think it's going to give us something extremely useful. I don't get to talk to those guys much. They kind of live inside a bubble.

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#26339 - 06/27/09 07:02 AM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: coelentrate]
Morgan Offline
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True, it would be, but unless the drug companies can find a way to make money it won't happen.

Or write up a really good grant proposal.

The worm mapping sounds interesting.

There was a video posted here about using electrical impulses in the brain to teach a computer to respond to thoughts.

Look for Beyond the Crisis in the video section if this doesn't work.
http://www.the600club.com/topic20947-1.html

I like neuroscience, one book I read from a surgeon's perspective is "when the air hits your brain" by Dr. Frank Vertosick

Morgan


Edited by Morgan (06/27/09 07:06 AM)
Edit Reason: added video name & link
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#26364 - 06/27/09 09:07 PM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: coelentrate]
TornadoCreator Offline
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 Originally Posted By: coelentrate
It does make sense that synaethesia is a synaptic connection between auditory and visual nerves that isn't present in most people. One prediction of this idea would be that you can get a linkage between other senses as well: sight and smell, provided you have visual and olfactory neurons close enough together. Does anyone here know if that happens?

Yes it does happen. It's one of the less common ones though. Normally it's sound related as the area of the brain that processes sound is also used to process long term memory, pleasure, optical recognition and even lust. By optical recognition I mean the part of the brain that deciphers certain things we can see such as reading, recognising shapes and recognising colours, but not the part of the brain that is responsible for actually processing sight itself if that at all makes sense.

The only sense that I've never heard of having synaesthesia linked to it is touch, I'm not sure why, but it's likely due to the nature of the sense, with it being based around pressure it may not be possible to sense a general feeling of increased pressure with no location (such as finger tip when typing) to link it to, because you're not actually touching anything. This is however just my speculation.

But anyway, Ethos, you said you where doing a thesis. What is the aim of the thesis? I'm interested to hear more about this.
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#26423 - 06/29/09 09:24 AM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: coelentrate]
Morgan Offline
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I came across this today and thought you might find it interesting in regards to this discussion:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31570902/ns/technology_and_science-science/

Its an article on the first image of a memory being made.
The fluorescent proteins changed color when cells formed memories.


Enjoy,
Morgan
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#26450 - 06/30/09 07:11 AM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: coelentrate]
god.over.djinn Offline
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 Originally Posted By: coelentrate
The ultimate way to see if the synaptic path and the electrical flux are sufficient to encode memory, is to build a system with only that.


Artificial neural nets learn. Data that is used to train them will continue to have an effect long after the training data has been discarded.

It is hard to say that this is memory per se, but then, what is memory? And in any case, ANNs can't hold a candle to the complexity of their biological counterparts.

Whether or not memory has a physical substrate beyond what synaptic connections encode for requires a null hypothesis along the following lines: that in fact, the neural/synaptic model is sufficient. The onus is then on anyone who wishes to test (or challenge) this hypothesis to seek conclusive experimental evidence favouring some alternative.

But maybe this evidence has already been found and presented? I don't know, I am not a neuroscientist. It is possible, but I doubt that any such findings would be uncontroversial.

If we can assume that coelentrate, as a biologist, is familiar with biology in general, then it seems reasonable to suppose that if the synaptic model of memory faced severe opposition, then he would probably have heard whispers of this at some point.

On the other hand, to take the angle that "crystallisation of memory within the brain" actually refers to some abstract or distributed process that follows the principle of crystallisation, I don't think that sounds far-fetched. It would, however, require some creative experimentation to actually demonstrate it. Perhaps something to do with measuring the change in entropy of a brain as it approaches some phase transition associated with the storage of a fresh memory?
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#26453 - 06/30/09 07:40 AM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: Ethophobia]
Dimitri Offline
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Maybe a little off topic but I'd like to mention this:
Intelligence can hardly be measured by ANY test. There are too many factors which have their influence. (Mood, sick/healthy, heat/cold, stress,...)
IQ-test such as mensa uses to see if you fit in, I call hardly intelligent due to the above parameters. Some seem to forget intelligence is also experience of life. Of the actions one undertakes, of the motoric skills you attained thanks to intensive practice and so on. Intelligence is not limited to "brainpower".

If you really want to measure intelligence you'll have to follow a person his whole life and see the actions he takes in life together with the excuses why he/she does so.


Edited by Dimitri (06/30/09 07:43 AM)
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#26461 - 06/30/09 09:53 AM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: god.over.djinn]
coelentrate Offline
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 Originally Posted By: god.over.djinn

Whether or not memory has a physical substrate beyond what synaptic connections encode for requires a null hypothesis along the following lines: that in fact, the neural/synaptic model is sufficient. The onus is then on anyone who wishes to test (or challenge) this hypothesis to seek conclusive experimental evidence favouring some alternative.


There's no evidence yet that synapses and electrical currents are sufficient for human memory. It's just a model at this point, definitely not some standard to beat.



Morgan, that is a really good story. I can't access the original work right now to find what the function of that protein is. I'll definitely check it out later. I wonder if that protein synthesis is a cause or an effect of that memory, and how important it is. I'm reasonably sure that formation of short term memories is faster than protein synthesis.


Edited by coelentrate (06/30/09 09:54 AM)

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#26506 - 07/01/09 04:46 AM Re: Analyzing Methods of Measuring Intelligence [Re: coelentrate]
god.over.djinn Offline
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 Originally Posted By: coelentrate

There's no evidence yet that synapses and electrical currents are sufficient for human memory. It's just a model at this point, definitely not some standard to beat.


Null hypotheses are not about standards to beat but about retaining the simplest models that have sufficient explanatory power to match our knowledge to date. Neural nets are simple models with good explanatory power.

The principle of parsimony is an essential part of forming robust scientific models.

G.O.D.
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