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Ability to recall and retain information is fascinating

by madhatter106
Tags: ability, fascinating, information, recall, retain
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Nov17-10, 02:11 AM
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this may have been discussed before, blame it on bad memory if so.

the ability to recall and retain information is fascinating in that as we age our bodies and brain constantly replace and regenerate. so this begs the question? what happens to the information? we can see the locations in the brain that are active when performing tasks and yet as far as I know we have no idea on how it is stored? is it purely electrical impulses? does the brain constantly shuffle the 'cards' in order to write/rewrite the information?

just something I've wondered about, the who we are is our 'recorded' life, where and how is it stored that the brain can regenerate and not lose us?

In the case of amnesia it's also strange that the information goes missing but then can be found again in a sense. is it purely an access problem, has the brain memory interface been damaged and the re-sync of said system needs to occur so as to access those memories again?
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Nov17-10, 02:37 AM
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Long-term potentiation is one example, where the surface of the dendritic spine increases, making a stronger connection between two particular neurons.
Nov18-10, 07:18 PM
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the ability to recall and retain information is fascinating in that as we age our bodies and brain constantly replace and regenerate. so this begs the question? what happens to the information?
The system of memory (the storage of information) actually depends on the constant change and regeneration going on at the cellular level. Neuroplasticity operates on a complex, electrochemical system. The mechanisms of that system require energy to operate (generally glucose, in the brain). The energy comes from chemical reactions (making/breaking bonds). This causes heat and waste on the cellular level (some of which eventually becomes the waste that you know of). The process: taking in new materials for energy, getting rid of the waste, is probably responsible for a large portion of molecular turnover.

But these cells are all guided by dynamics processes: a kind of domino effect. The cell structure requires that it build a certain way, so the nanomachinery puts out attractants and repellents to shape the construction of the cell. Utilizing materials and energy and working together from the genetic code housed in the cell's nucleus. This domino effect is very similar to the way society operates.

Cells are really quite fascinating pieces of machinery. Inside a single cell is a society of nature's nano-machines (organelles and proteins). Some organelles are even thought ot have, at once, been other single-celled organisms that got absorbed and adapted by our single-celled ancestor.

Neurons are just one example of cells. Al this adaptive machinery that it has (just for being a cell) allows it to develop networks with other neurons (just like your skin is a network of skin cells) and interact in specific ways with other neurons in a way that can sense, store, and actuate information. Even single celled organisms can do these things, they just don't have neurons (which are much more adaptive and efficient in terms of information processing).

So I guess in the end, it's not really storing information indefinitely (i.e. the term memory is misleading). It's processing and integrating many kinds of information over very long periods of time and throughout a span of very intricate spatial topology.

Nov18-10, 07:59 PM
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Ability to recall and retain information is fascinating

"When a memory is first formed, a small protein involved in synaptic transmission -- the NMDA receptor -- is indispensable to the process, said study co-author Bryce Vissel, a group leader of the neuroscience research program at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Activation of the NMDA receptor allows calcium to enter a neuron, and calcium permeability enables a chain of molecular reactions that help encode experience and consolidate memory, Fanselow and Vissel said."

This is some of the newest research, which I believe is heading in the right direction to be of real benefit.

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