Remember the game you played as a kid where someone came up with a story and whispered it to his/her neighbor; then the person receiving the story would in turn whisper the story to the next person; and so on and on around a circle or group of people until it came to the last person. In every case, the story told by the first person was materially different from that told by the last person to hear it. That’s because each person would introduce an error (in some cases many errors) into the story. The more complex the initial story, the wilder the outcome story.
According to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization at the University of Gottingen and the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Gottingen, this chaotic messaging system is exactly how the cerebral cortex of our brains communicates. Further, they discovered that the information each neuron receives is lost rather quickly after receiving it. And, there appears to be no error correction system. In effect, the cortex is dealing only with occasional quick snapshots rather than a continuous input of sensory data and those snapshots are distorted by the cortex’s chaotic communication system. This could explain sensory illusions…
Approximately one bit of information disappears per active neuron per second. “This extraordinarily high deletion rate came as a huge surprise to us”, says Wolf. It appears that information is lost in the brain as quickly as it can be “delivered” from the senses. (Out Of Mind In A Matter Of Seconds, Medical News Today, 25 Jan 2011 – 3:00 PST)
My interpretation of the data is that we are mostly NOT sensing our world. We are taking short snapshots of it – the rest we make up!