back to article Your mind's '.brain' jpeg-like picture file format probed

Top boffins say they have gained insights into one of the most amazing capabilities of the human brain – its ability to store and recognise visual images. They say that the noggin compresses pictures in a process roughly as efficient in terms of storage space as turning photos into jpegs – but one much superior for the purpose …

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Silver badge
Pint

.brain data compression

Well, back in the days I've always been amazed how some of my fellow students were able to compress data. No matter how much learning material they stuffed their brains with it all was packed to the entropy of ale. Mind you, it was mostly a one-way function except on those nasty occasions of one pint too many...

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Joke

RAM storage, so no problem.

"Well, back in the days I've always been amazed how some of my fellow students were able to compress data."

Yes, but it's mostly stored in the SODIMM area of the cortex. After each exam, a pulse to 0v on the /RST line clears the way for the next exam's data. Hence, only enough storage for one paper is ever needed. <g>

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Anonymous Coward

@ Anteaus

My god, that is so true - as a child I couldn't remember a word of Latin after the exams, despite getting 95% or so.

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Joke

That's all very well

But is this an open standard and does it use any patented algorithms?

I don't want to end up having to pay some shadowy patent company just to be able to open my eyes.

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impressionists

Hence the satisfaction of some schools of art where essential aspects of the subject can be conveyed by an image which lacks many details of the actual form.

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Pint

Much Of This Material...

...was covered in the book "A Model of the Brain" by John Zachary Young, 1964, and alluded to by me in previous posts.

CNET, April 7, 2010 11:01 AM PDT: "...The human eye and optic nerve pre-process visual information into triangleness, circleness, and other geometric shapes. The serifs on letters increase the amount of information sent to the brain, and thus increase speed and (probably) comprehension."

TheRegister, Posted Thursday 5th August 2010 13:22 GMT: "The Human Eye does not send a bitmap to the brain. The three bitmaps generated by the rods (Y) and two types of cones (I and Q) are enhanced and correlated beginning at the sensors themselves, and further decoded along the optic nerve into values like "circleness" "squareness" "nearness" even "faceness" before they reach the visual areas. Just the kind of information needed to solve folding problems.

Because these analyses are so very compute intense when attempted with linear processing, the slow (~44Hz) but massively parallel human eye/brain has a speed advantage.

It is interesting to note the similarities in the human hearing system, transcoding sound from the pressure domain and transmitting a frequency analysis to the brain."

It makes sense that the memory of images follows these same transformations

On a side note, when you make a .jpg file of random data, for example a cloud of pollin, the compression logic encodes non existant eyeballs, faces, and other organic forms into the image.

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Silver badge

Clarification please..

"...when you make a .jpg file of random data, for example ..."

Don't you mean a .brain file ? (Hence, we see faces, etc, in clouds and glowing embers)

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Well...

...the whole idea of image compression was to get rid of data that the brain was less likely to process, meaning non-eyes-non-faces, etc.

So .brain and .jpg files ARE similar. Here is one of the pollin pictures: http://nvmedicalpot.com/growlog/Day-66-pollin-002.jpg

You have a very good point, frank, it would be very interesting to take pictures of random (actually chaotic) events like this in a bitmap format, then render in JPEG and compare.

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Why...

Why do we always have to congratulate ourselves when we "outsmart" an inanimate tangle of silicon, (which was conceived, designed and built by humans)?

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Pint

Wonderful!

Now all I need is to get by brain reformatted, or its directory rebuilt & I'll be as good as new...

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Joke

don't forget...

re-indexing the storage medium so your search tool can quickly find what you're trying to errr.. ummm... reee.. remember! Hmmm, time for a re-index methinks!

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Silver badge

Friday came early

The way I feel today I think my Numskulls are recording images on an Etch-a-Sketch.

http://static.flickr.com/110/312020241_4c4195e8a4_b.jpg

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This post has been deleted by its author

3d? what about colour

I dont know about 3d, i don't even remember in colour. Other people tell me they do though. And i can't draw for shizzle, so i'm not sure how good my particular brain is at encoding its curves and gradients. I can remember database schema's pretty easily though...

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Paris Hilton

Card reader

There is already an interface for that...

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Anonymous Coward

(3 + 1)D

1 extra dimension for time... i think.

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Paris Hilton

You mean ...

... somewhere to plug a dongle

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Starting reading the report...

Starting reading the report but then got to:

"We recorded from visual area V4 in awake fixating monkeys "

At that point I got scared / confused / sicknened and stopped reading. Still it looks interesting.

I'll watch a review of this on Horizon some day when they can at least try to keep my interest with interesting camera angles, emotive soundtrack and a voice over by husky sounding lady with a BBC accent without the mention of monkeys....

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Bronze badge
Boffin

Brain research is not for the faint of heart

Yes Pahhh, much of this kind of research is done on living animal subjects – mostly monkeys and cats, due to physiological similarities to humans – and they often involve painful, crippling interventions, which no rare lead to the subject's death.

If you want to get really scared, look into how it was determined that neurons in the visual cortex mirror the retina's log-polar mapping. It's one gory tale of forced eye fixation, brain injections and posthumous tissue extraction – repeated multiple times, of course, since in science you cannot rely on one-time data.

Nice dreams! ^_~

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Unhappy

High-curvature regions are relatively rare in natural objects

Big busts are not normal then?

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Circular logic

"But such .brain pictures, stripped of much of the information on flat bits, are still good for subsequent recognition of objects, faces etc."

“Psychological experiments have shown that subjects can still recognize line drawings of objects when flat edges are erased. But erasing angles and other regions of high curvature makes recognition difficult,” says Connor.

Of course they can still recognise them, if you remove the straight edges the .brain compressed form remains roughly the same. The fact that a human finds it easy to recognise a compressed image is not a fair test of whether the compression format is good for subsequent recognition in general, for instance, by a computer that isn't using .brain.

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Happy

the curved or pointy bits

So men are naturally attracked to female parts.

Well, DUH!

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Paris Hilton

So, does this mean

I can compress and eventually play CRISIS at maximum everything in my head?

Paris, because she's a master at working with .brain...

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Paris Hilton

Explains a lot

Encoding curves....

Paris; curves to encode.

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title

The computer may have beaten me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.

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re: title

Sounds like you need a decider...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_boxing

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Pint

lossy

Well that explains why my memory is so fuzzy.

Can I upgrade to .png? It compresses some things much better, is lossless and even supports transparency.

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Pint

icon says it all

cheers

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Alert

At last!

“Psychological experiments have shown that subjects can still recognize line drawings of objects when flat edges are erased. But erasing angles and other regions of high curvature makes recognition difficult,” says Connor

So there is a scientific basis for childrens dot-to-dot pictures!

If you look at one (uncompleted) that has lots of curved lines broken up into dots, you can't easily tell what the picture is of. Much easier if the picture consists of straight lines broken up into dots.

Can you tell what it is yet?

WheeeayiiiiiieeeeEEeeee!

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Alert

Security

It's only a matter of time before we get malware disguised as .brain files!

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Anonymous Coward

apparently God was doing sloppy work

when he included the .brain rendering function in the kernel.

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Headmaster

@Stratman

So, you got there before me! Should not forget attribution - it was Emo Phillips first said this.

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Bronze badge

So, we CAN find the redness in red afterall.

It isn't quite vector, nor is it raster, but a mixture of both. Ingenious. You do realize that this solves the problem of the Universals, right? Aristotle was right.

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