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The Brain as a Computer (Part IV)


Graphics! The bells and whistles that today's generation of computer games have to offer. Most of us would desire a graphics card that could allow the game to be played at full specs: max AA, max AS, highest resolution, max shadows, max lighting effects, and etc. And while game developers keep churning out more awesome ways to put together scenes of destruction, we struggle with our pockets to get a card that can at least give us a glimpse of what those scenes are.

But what's the role of a graphics card anyway? Simply, it handles anything to do with the output towards the monitor. The CPU hands it all the information it needs to calculate the stuff it needs to display, it calculates, and then renders the scene, which it stores into its own RAM (ever heard of VRAM?) and regulates the display. One must never forget that what we see on screen is not solid! It's a series of pictures that flashes so fast, it appears that the scene is moving.

Of course, a graphics card alone is useless if your computer can't use it to the maximum abilities. In comes the role of the drivers. Their job is to let the CPU understand how to relay information to the card to allow maximum usage of what the card has to offer.

Now, what about the mind then? Our "graphics card" is pretty powerful. Graphical imagination is what I am looking at here. We can imagine many things, but they don't always take visual form. When they do, how well they do I'd suppose depends on our "graphics card".

Females have a disadvantage here unfortunately. I've noticed this in examination questions (science based) where the question explains a whole scenario, and in order to take the first step of calculations, one is required to understand the whole scenario. One of the best ways to do so is to picture it, and that's where some trouble lies.

I have been wondering which part would be analogous to this problem. The card or the driver? I'd say it's probably our driver, since, nothing has been said of whether females have less vivid dreams than males. Dreams are probably the best evidence that our graphics ability of our brains are extremely high, since the brain is able to simulate an entire landscape rather realistically, i.e. lighting conditions, shapes, perspective, and even animate this whole scene. So, considering a dream to be the ultimate benchmarking test for our capability to render visual scenes, then in that case, both males and females would be on par. Thus it leads me to believe that it is not that females are not able to visualise certain scenes biologically, but rather this most likely lies in the mental state. So, the problem is likely driver related ;)

Continuing with dreams being the ultimate benchmarking test, I'd, from experience, say that our graphics card has a very very powerful processor, but is rather lacking in RAM. Being a lucid dreamer, I explore the dream world quite regularly, and I realised that the scenes around us do not change in general, but certain specific objects on the scene do change pretty regularly. For example, text being re-read would be different each time you read it unless you make a point to remember what was read the first time properly. I'm actually quite thankful for this, and so are my fellow lucid dreamers. It's thanks to this inconsistency of detail that allows us to notice that we are dreaming. But anyway, so I deduce that we have rather little VRAM, just enough for the general scene, but not enough for detail, although we have a fantastic graphics processor. Dedicated or not, I'm not too sure. That has to be physically proven.

12:34 10 May 2009
none,The Brain as a Computer

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