The human experience is made up of (at least) four distinct information input channels: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, and Olfactory. Contained within each of these Representational Systems lies an entire spectrum of processing units known as Sub-modalities, highly specialized parts designed to process discreet units of information — or chunks. And within each sub-modality unit, another vast spectrum of meaning and interpretation.
The limited capacity for consciously processing information was detailed by George A. Miller of Harvard University in The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two. Miller found that human awareness and memory is limited to seven chunks of information (plus or minus two chunks).
“…we must recognize the importance of grouping or organizing the input sequence into units or chunks. Since the memory span is a fixed number of chunks, we can increase the number of bits of information that it contains simply by building larger and larger chunks, each chunk containing more information than before.
It seems probable that even memorization can be studied in these terms. The process of memorizing may be simply the formation of chunks, or groups of items that go together…”
When experience is recalled, memory breaks down into Representational System categories, then further into Sub-modality categories — or features. Many people are highly specialized in how they represent World-At-Large in their own minds, whether through what they see, how they feel, what they hear, or their own inner dialogue. People who specialize in a particular representational system certainly gain more perceptual distinction in that particular system, but their range of perception decreases. For example when communicating verbally, someone who mostly attends to their visual system may be watching facial expressions and gestures while at the same time not aware of pitch or timber in the speaker’s voice, which may hold valuable information, more valuable that the words being said or the expression on their face.
Every experience is defined by all sub-modality units. However, taking into account Miller’s Law, the conscious mind will only bring seven (plus or minus two) sub-modality features into awareness at any given time, while the subconscious stores away the remaining infinite [seemingly erroneous] chunks of information — the mind’s reducing valve as described by Huxley.
For each individual, experience is defined by a particular sequence (code) of conscious sub-modalities, those pieces of experience are what we bring into awareness and those pieces of experience are what we respond to. As people receive information from World-At-Large, experiences coded with the same sub-modality categories are archived together and stored in the depths of the mind until triggered; a phenomenon known as Isomorphism. Isomorphic experiences are different experiences represented by the same “line of code”, a program that generates a specific behavior pattern or emotional state. Said another way, all behavior patterns and emotional states are defined by a precise algorithm of experience features (sub-modalities) brought into conscious awareness — Experiences with the same code result in the same output.
As shown in the model above, each layer of sub-modalities can be grouped together by Intensity, Frequency, Purity, Dimension, and Location. The significance of these groups comes into play when recoding the mind, altering behaviors or emotional states triggered by certain experiences. When recalling an experience within personal history, a conscious shift in awareness from one representational system to another alters one or more sub-modality units causing a change in perception for the entire package of isomorphic events. For example, an unpleasant feeling may be intensified until an internal visual image manifests. This overlap from kinesthetic to visual systems brings with it an entirely new set of experience features, and perception.
Then by consciously amplifying (or minimizing) a prominent feature, some or all sub-modalities contained within the perception system must change; momentary instability ensues, forcing the system to regain equilibrium through a complete systemic adjustment. The individual’s conscious state dramatically alters, reframing perception and modifying the behavior/emotions generated by recalled experience. An event now has more than one code and more than one output, ultimately widening the range of perception and giving choice where none existed.
Through the talents of linguistic wizardry and keen knowledge of our multifaceted human language system, a shift in perception of an individual’s personal history can be made with ease, resulting in altered experience, a change in behavior/emotional output, a change in memory, a change in self.