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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How the Mind Makes Sense of Patterns

LifeEdge 043 focuses on how the mind makes sense of patterns. In this chat, Rick and Susan carry on with an interesting talk about patterns and how the mind makes sense of things. What really is reality? How are patterns present in your life? Can you change yourself by recognizing your habitual patterns? Tell us your thoughts!

Life Edge 043: How the mind makes sense of patterns from RELATECASTS on Vimeo.

Here are additional thoughts about making meaning from patterns.

Visual perception is a process, and there are three sequential stages:

Stage 1:  pass the features from our field of vision from the neurons in our eyes to the primary visual cortex in the brain. This is the pre-attentive stage.

Stage 2:  the brain divides the visual field and creates groupings based on their proximity

Stage 3:  the brain tries to make sense of the patterns and does so by moving between working memory and the image, in a process that involves querying

In machine-based pattern recognition, there are five main approaches (Jain and Duin, 2004):

1.  Template matching
2.  Geometrical classification
3.  Statistical classification
4.  Structural matching
5.  Artificial neural networks

The brain's pattern recognizing processes can bring a number of possible interpretations. When the affective parts of the brain are involved in the process (or the limbic), the result is a deeply impactful experience. Meaning / cognition are linked with emotion, and the result is often what is considered a religious experience. (McNamara, etal, 20016).
Hyperconnectivity between the limbic and temporal lobes, and investigators have found such connections in individuals who have described intense mystical experiences.

Con artists are effective because they understand how to trigger the meaning-making processes of individuals and guide them along a path to a certain interpretation. They do it by skillfully replicating enough of a pattern that the victim leaps to certain conclusions, and then, especially if it is connected with an emotional trigger, will go to great lengths to defend it (even when it is clearly not correct) (Konnikova, 2016).


Few, Stephen (2006) Visual Pattern Recognition. Cognos Innovation Center White Paper.

Jain, Anil K., and Robert P. W. Duin. (2004). Introduction to Pattern Recognition. in The Oxford Companion to the Mind, second Ediction. Oxford UP: 698-703.

Konnikova, Maria. (2016) The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It ... Every Time. New York: Viking, 2016.

Paloutzian, Raymond F., Swenson, Erica L., and Patrick McNamara (2006) Religious conversion, spiritual transformation, and the neurocognition of meaning making. Where God and Science Meet: How Brain and Evolutionary Studies alter Our Understanding of Religion. Vol 2: The Neurology of Religious Experience. ed. by Patrick McNamara. pp 151-170.

How the Mind Makes Sense of Patterns LifeEdge 043 #artificalIntelligence #neurocognition #patterns #neuralnetworks

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