Memory cannot reside solely in the brain?

In summary, there is evidence that memory exists ONLY in the brain, and that this is a physical process that can be affected by physical damage.
  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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A scientific model why memory aka consciousness cannot reside solely in the brain:

http://www.nderf.org/Berkovich.htm
 
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  • #2
Greetings !

Well, this is indeed an interesting possibility.
However, I personally dislike the way it
treats other possibilities. To say that
almost 40,000 human genes are not enough to
display the apparent complexity we observe,
without some proof, is disrespectfull of modern
mathematics which includes chaos and other
advanced mathematical concepts which we can,
amongst other things, use to explain seemingly
incredible levels of complexity. It is also
disrespectful of QM which combined with modern
mathematics allows for an even greater diversity.

P.S. I recommend a popular level book called
Nature's Numbers by Ian Stewart which includes,
amongst others, some interesting aspects of
this complexity issue and modern mathematical
research in this direction.

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #3
I agree - disrespectful. I would bet there are religion people behind this idea. Sounds as though the implication is some kind of "spirit" BS. Despite what the article says.

All evidence states simply that memory exists ONLY in the brain. To say something else is to not only go against science, but logical itself.
 
  • #4


Originally posted by drag
Greetings !
To say that
almost 40,000 human genes are not enough to
display the apparent complexity we observe,
without some proof, is disrespectfull of modern
mathematics which includes chaos and other
advanced mathematical concepts which we can,
amongst other things, use to explain seemingly
incredible levels of complexity.

First time, I seen some explain that 40 000 genes is enough with mathermatical concept. Biologically, what the many people do not take into concideration is that 40 000 genes is more than enough because there process such as regulation of genes, post-translation modification and post-transcription modification. The author also over simplify the role of the DNA and how it works. More studies of the cell and miolecular biology will prove that 40000 genes is more than enough.
 
  • #5
Originally posted by LogicalAtheist
Sounds as though the implication is some kind
of "spirit" BS. Despite what the article says.
Hmm... I disagree, aspecialy looking at the
author. I do think that this is a novel
and interesting way of looking at things -
connecting dark matter and modern theoretical
physics concepts with the workings of our mind.
Of course, as inspiring as new and fresh
scientific perspectives may be, like they say:
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. :wink:

Then again maybe they are BSing us...

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #6
Yeah, there's a lot in that essay that's either misinformed or very sketchy -- the 40k-genes-can't-be-complex-enough thing, the idea that not explaining memory-formation indicates a problem in modern physics (?), etc.

An important argument against this view is that we can, in fact, seriously affect memory by purely physical processes. Damage to the hippocampus and various drugs will block the ability to form new long-term memories without affecting short-term ones. (cf Korsakoff's syndrome.) In a brain-as-transmission theory, it's odd that purely physical damage would let memories could get transmitted to consciousness but not stored permanently. Other types of physical damage to the brain can destroy some long-term memory traces but not others; and electrical stimulation of certain portions of the brain can bring strong recollection of particular memories. All these are consistent with a theory that closely ties memory to the physical brain in some way, but hard to reconcile with one that holds them very distinct.

In fact this strong connection between the induced brain changes and changes in consciousness extends to nearly all areas, such as emotion and personality, and is by far the strongest argument IMO for an epiphenomenal or similar view of consciousness.

Oliver Sacks' "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" and Ramachandran's "Phantoms in the Brain" are good accessible books with colorful descriptions of patients with these odd types of brain 'damage'. The neuropsychology, affective neuroscience, etc literature is full of more detailed information.
 
  • #7
I suspect the brain is main thang. Chemicals and injury can affect someone profoundly. I suppose you could claim that the damaged brain prevents the external 'mind' from being able to express itself, but I have a difficult time not thinking; hey, this poor sole is really off his rocker…

I think there may be a way to reach even the seemingly most unreachable people, but haven’t enough knowledge to say anything more about it.
 

1. What do you mean by "memory cannot reside solely in the brain"?

This means that while the brain is responsible for storing and retrieving memories, memory itself is not limited to just the physical brain. Other factors such as emotions, experiences, and external cues also play a role in memory formation and retrieval.

2. Can you provide evidence to support this claim?

Yes, there have been numerous studies that have shown the impact of external factors on memory. For example, emotions can enhance or distort memories, and the context in which an event takes place can affect how it is remembered. Additionally, cases of brain damage or injury have shown that individuals can still retain memories despite physical changes in the brain.

3. How does this affect our understanding of the brain and memory?

This challenges the traditional view of the brain as the sole storage site for memories. Instead, it suggests that memory is a complex and dynamic process that involves multiple factors, not just the physical brain. It also highlights the importance of considering external influences when studying memory and understanding how it works.

4. Does this mean that memory can exist outside of the brain?

No, memory still requires the brain to encode, store, and retrieve information. However, the brain is not the only factor that influences memory. Other factors, such as emotions and external cues, can impact how memories are formed and retrieved, leading to the statement that memory cannot solely reside in the brain.

5. How does this concept impact our daily lives?

Understanding that memory is not solely confined to the brain can help us better understand and improve our memory. For example, incorporating emotional associations or creating a specific context for learning can aid in memory retention. It also reminds us to consider external factors when trying to recall information or when experiencing memory difficulties, as they can play a role in memory recall.

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