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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cistern Chapel Thumbs

Thumbnails of the Cistern Chapel murals have been added to the Mural Page. Tantalisingly, just like the Bridge Street thumbnails, they don't link to anything yet.

So for now you're stuck with looking at an array of small rectangles - which according to a recently published discovery, by some clever people in the field of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oregon, can illustrate that awareness, or "visual working memory," depends on your ability to filter out irrelevant information.

Using new techniques for measuring brainwaves, the study asked people to remember arrays of colored squares or rectangles. In one experiment, researchers told subjects to hold in mind two red rectangles and ignore two blue ones. Without exception, high-capacity individuals excelled at dismissing blue, but low-capacity individuals held all of the rectangles in mind.

"Until now, it's been assumed that people with high capacity visual working memory had greater storage but actually, it's about the bouncer – a neural mechanism that controls what information gets into awareness."

As Pravda phrases it Ignoring Useless Information Aids Memory

And the reason I'm telling you this? Because "this doesn't mean people with low capacity are cognitively impaired. There may be advantages to having a lot of seemingly irrelevant information coming to mind. Being a bit scattered tends to be a trait of highly imaginative people.

Shan't be too long and I'll get around to finishing that Mural Page. I think.

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