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Memory cannot reside solely in the brain?

  1. May 18, 2003 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    A scientific model why memory aka consciousness cannot reside solely in the brain:

  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2003 #2


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    Greetings !

    Well, this is indeed an intresting 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 intresting aspects of
    this complexity issue and modern mathematical
    research in this direction.

    Live long and prosper.
  4. May 19, 2003 #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.
  5. May 19, 2003 #4


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    Re: Re: Memory cannot reside solely in the brain?

    First time, I seen some explain that 40 000 genes is enough with mathermatical concept. Biologically, what the many people do not take in to 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.
  6. May 19, 2003 #5


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    Hmm... I disagree, aspecialy looking at the
    author. I do think that this is a novel
    and intresting 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.
  7. May 19, 2003 #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.
  8. May 21, 2003 #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.
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