Memory

Discussions on behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, neurology, endocrinology, game theory, etc.

Memory

Postby Godevil on September 15th, 2017, 8:16 pm 

I have a theory on how our memories are made and stored. I want to hear some of your ideas because I don't think anyone has all the pieces yet. I'm also very interested in the pineal gland but cannot find out many FACTS about it. Please discuss.
Godevil
Forum Neophyte
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 15 Sep 2017


Re: Memory

Postby mitchellmckain on September 15th, 2017, 11:47 pm 

This sounds like a scientific question, so why is it in the philosophy section?

But as far as I know there seems to be at least two significant factors.
1. Connections -- memories require connections to other things particularly those things we do/encounter regularly and it is through these connections that we both make memories, store them and recall them.
2. Emotional reactions also seem to be a significant factor in the creation of memories. I have also heard, don't know if it is true, that the sense of smell is particularly effective in triggering the storage and recall of memories. If so, it suggests an inheritance from an evolutionary past, when the sense of smell was more important to us.

Another thing which is well known is that we have different types of memory: immediate, short term and long term, conscious and unconscious, explicit and implicit. We know this because different types of memory can be impaired while the other types remain functional.

One thing any theory of how memory is made and stored has to account for is its unreliability. Not only can false memories be created, but even memories of real events are frequently altered from what actually happened.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 735
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: Memory

Postby BadgerJelly on September 16th, 2017, 3:35 am 

It is pretty well known that the hippocampus plays the major role in memory.

I really suggest you do some more digging online and then return with more specific questions. Do you wish to discuss the endocrine system in general or how the endocrine system relates specifically to memory?

Are you mentioning these things due to some kind of mysticism, which the pineal gland has a history of being associated with?

Memory is plastic. The Hebbian adage of "what fire together wires together" pretty much defines how memories solidify through neural processes. If something is enforced enough it will remain in memory.

On a more psychological level we know about how the environmental factors enforce instinctual reactions (Pavlov's dog). These underlying "instinctual" behvaiours can be tapped into to aid memory consciously. You can try this yourself by associating certain items you wish to remember by sensationalising them (meaning, giving them a sense of "ugliness" or "beauty", because we remember such items more readily than the mundane).

Back down to the neural level of things I have found Inhibition of Return (IOR) to be very interesting. I would also recommend looking into neurogenesis and child development to see who things like sense of self and other help mold the way we store memories.

Then there is the effect of hemispheres on memory and emotion (see Gazziniga for a whole load of interesting comments regarding split brains, different effects of various brian lesions and stroke victims).

I can guess you're maybe veering toward something like serotonin production and DMT? The whole psychedelic field of research is not very well understood. There are have been clinical trials with intravenous DMT and the results were quite bizarre. Research into drug addictions is another interesting field related to this with some quite striking instances of addictions and brain disorders being "cured" (with LSD and other psychedelic concoctions).

Really though .. specific questions help. I hope the obove gives you food for thought and some idea of what thing sto read.

Good luck :)
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4593
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: Memory

Postby Godevil on September 16th, 2017, 6:12 am 

Well apart from feeling silly about posting that in the wrong place, those comments were nice and helpful. I've found those things out myself but I suppose I'm mainly looking for something that would disprove how I think it works. How the memories are "saved". Thank you.
Godevil
Forum Neophyte
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 15 Sep 2017


Re: Memory

Postby doogles on September 18th, 2017, 3:44 am 

Godevil wrote:Well apart from feeling silly about posting that in the wrong place, those comments were nice and helpful. I've found those things out myself but I suppose I'm mainly looking for something that would disprove how I think it works. How the memories are "saved". Thank you.


Godevil,

I have collected some thoughts about memory, but they are not exactly mainstream. The evidence is sparse, but to my mind enough to get some basic ideas.

Firstly, I believe that any discussion on memory has to include the following observations made by Penfield and Perot.

Penfield and Perot published a 101 page article in Brain in 1963. See https://academic.oup.com/brain/article- ... 595/321416 . This paper records findings from 1132 cases of brain surgery under local anaesthesia. Patients were conscious throughout the operation. A flap of skin and a section of the cranium and dura were folded back. While the brain was exposed, the surgeon was able to inspect the area, talk to the patient and use an electric probe in an attempt to identify the area of the brain triggering epileptic fits. During this procedure, 40 patients spoke of experiential recall of past events and 53 of spontaneous experiential hallucinations. All of were associated with the 520 temporal lobe examinations and none with frontal lobe probes.

The paper describes these recalls in detail for each of the 40 patients eg, in case 1, probing an area in the temporal lobe “caused one patient to say that she suddenly saw herself in childbirth, and she felt as if she were reliving the experience”; 14 probes in another resulted in a number of responses eg “ … it was like being in a dance hall, like standing in the doorway – in a gymnasium – like at Kenwood High School … “, “ … people’s voices … relatives, my mother … It seemed as if my niece and nephew were visiting at my home. It happened like that many times. They were getting ready to go home, putting their things on – their coats and hats. - … in the dining room – the front room – they were moving about. There were three of them and my mother was talking to them. She was rushed – in a hurry. I could not see them clearly or hear them clearly.”

Case 3, a 12-year-old boy – “Oh, gee, gosh, robbers are coming at me with guns!“ When asked if they came in front at him, he said no they were behind him. … “Oh gosh! There they are, my brother is there. He is aiming an air rifle at me.” When asked, he said his brother was walking toward him, and the gun was loaded. When asked where he was, he said "at his house in the yard." His other little brother was there and that was all. When asked if he felt scared when he saw his brother he said “Yes”. When asked if he always felt scared when he saw the robbers, he said “Yes”. … There is more.

That’s only three examples of the 40 cases of experiential recall.

The authors themselves said [i]“The conclusion is inescapable that some, if not all of these evoked responses represent activation of a neural mechanism that keeps the record of current experience. There is activation too of the emotional tone or feeling that belonged to the original experience. The responses have that basic element of reference to the past that one associates with memory. But their wealth of detail and the sense of immediacy that goes with them, serves to set them apart from the ordinary process of recollection, which rarely displays such qualities.” [/i]There is much more in the original paper …..

So Godevil, even though only 40 of 500-odd patients reacted to temporal lobe probing with experiential responses, I think it’s enough to conclude that 1) many people store meaningful experiences in their brains at least in a manner somewhat comparable to the backing up of computer data, 2) these stored experiences contain all of the emotional affects and feelings of the original experience, and this explains the basic nature of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder associated with bad memories, 3) The recalls themselves are almost eidetic in detail, and as the authors conclude, ‘their wealth of detail and the sense of immediacy that goes with them, serves to set them apart from the ordinary process of recollection’. I'll discuss that last observation later.

My comment here is that we have no idea whether this storage of experiences is limited to 40 out of every 520 citizens or whether further improvement in the technology of probing could result in more widespread recalls of experience than those witnessed here. The authors did try numerous modifications of the stimuli.

The above observations tend to suggest that memories are only stored in the temporal lobe, but there's now an accumulating body of evidence with brain scanning techniques as to where external sensory stimuli are processed in the brain.

For example In 1996, SM Grafton and others, using a technique called Positron Emission Tomography (PET), reported in the journal called Experimental Brain Research, that many areas in the brain become activated when we do such a simple thing as observing someone grasping objects, or even when we think about ourselves grasping objects. The technical method of PET is one wherein experimenters inject molecules containing positively charged oxygen atoms intravenously into the observers. Within the next few minutes, using appropriate recording devices, they recorded the areas of the brains of their subjects that took up the oxygen.

You do not need to know the names of the following areas, but to realise that the simple act of observing someone grasping objects results in increased activity in multiple areas of the brain.

There was evidence of oxygen uptake in not one, but a number of different areas including the left rostral superior temporal sulcus, left inferior frontal cortex, left rostral inferior parietal cortex, the rostral part of the left supplementary motor area, and the right dorsal premotor cortex. Ignore the one in the cerebellum.
Slightly different adjacent areas, with some overlap, were activated when people were asked to simply imagine grasping objects. Both procedures activated different areas of the posterior lobe of the right cerebellar cortex as well.

I would assume that these are the areas in which the experience is stored.

The main lesson is that impulses from our senses can go to multiple areas rather than just a single area. This gives us all of the operating capacity we need for sensory inputs to be cross-referenced across our minds.

Penfield and Perot’s work indicates that there is some kind of residue or imprint storage of our life’s experiences and that they are stored in the manner in which we experienced them at the time. The question to ask is - “What form are they stored in?”

I’ve only been able to find a couple of references but no really convincing evidence. The exact changes that represent these memory residues in our brains are still not clear but there are some possibilities.

In Physiology of Small and Large Animals (1991), Ruckebusch and his co-authors (p 370) state “The molecular basis for long term memories involves changes in the ribonucleic acid (RNA) composition of neuron cell bodies and, in turn, their synthesis of specific proteins. How neuronal activity is transformed into RNA changes remains unknown.”

In 2008, Jahanshahi and his co-workers demonstrated that the number of neurones known as astrocytes, increased significantly in the hippocampus of rats that learned how to negotiate mazes.

So we have one working theory suggesting changes in proteins within cells, and another showing increases in the numbers of a certain type of cell. So, as you can perceive, we do not yet know the answers as to what constitutes memory residues. Some evidence suggests it could even be a variation of combinations of peptides in synapses.

That’s about all I can supply in the way of research evidence on the nature of memory storage but I do have a personal opinion on 'normal recollection of memories'. You’ll remember that Penfield and Perot concluded that “their wealth of detail and the sense of immediacy that goes with them, serves to set them apart from the ordinary process of recollection, which rarely displays such qualities".

I believe that our memory recalls are actual reconstructions made up somehow from our memory residues (whatever they are).

I base this on my own introspection and personal observations from this perspective - Whenever I recall any past events in my life, I always see myself in the picture as a third person would see me. That’s a fact. Now whether I use an image from photographs or total imagination, I’m not sure. This image of me as a third person varies with my age. If I’m there as a sub-teenager, I’m there as such. If I’m there as a young adult, I’m there as such. But I’m always in the picture as a third person would see me.

Now I haven’t kept records of the following. I’ve asked many acquaintances at random if they can recall any incident from their childhood, say at about the age of 10 or 11 when they were spending time with a friend. If they've answered 'Yes', I've asked them if they could see themselves in the memory recall. The responses have been quite polarised. Those who answer immediately always say “Yes”, and those who hesitate for more than a couple of seconds always answer “No”.

In my case, I’m obviously reconstructing my recall of past experiences involving myself, as is everybody else who answers “Yes”. Naturally I have doubts about the reliability of those hesitating for some seconds. Rightly or wrongly I’m thinking that those who answer “No” are rationalising about what they SHOULD be recalling; none of us can see our entire selves at the time of an experience: we can only see the front of ourselves from the chest down.

I hope the above makes some sense.
doogles
Member
 
Posts: 861
Joined: 11 Apr 2009
Godevil liked this post


Re: Memory

Postby BadgerJelly on September 19th, 2017, 1:19 am 

Godevil » September 16th, 2017, 6:12 pm wrote:Well apart from feeling silly about posting that in the wrong place, those comments were nice and helpful. I've found those things out myself but I suppose I'm mainly looking for something that would disprove how I think it works. How the memories are "saved". Thank you.


It would help if you tell us how you think it works.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4593
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: Memory

Postby Godevil on September 19th, 2017, 8:30 am 

Ok this is the exact theory I came to. I don't expect anyone to believe me but it is all down to those residues. I have a theory on how it works and it's very similar. Although I would not use the word residues. You must let me write to you please? I want to explain what I've got so far too someone who can understand, someone who already agrees on the basics. I'm scared to post what I think because if let's say someone who I considered more up to speed than me on this were to outright say it's total nonsense, I think I would be inclined to believe them. Feels like I can trust you to at least consider it and probably help me understand it better lol. I've only just started learning about the brain. Believe it or not I came to that conclusion about memory first and an now I'm struggling to fit all the pieces together. The more I learn the more it makes sense, although somehow harder to explain. Please let me know if you are interested. Jon x
Godevil
Forum Neophyte
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 15 Sep 2017


Re: Memory

Postby Braininvat on September 19th, 2017, 10:42 am 

I hope this comment is taken as one meant to be positive and further your learning in science, Godevil:

In science, better theories that are more attuned to reality are developed by presenting ideas to a group that is not at all committed to agreement with you. You should be prepared for criticism and even the possibility that a theory is utter nonsense, if the theory is not at all supported by evidence. You should not tailor your learning to finding only what supports a conclusion you have already decided upon. That is the opposite of how good science works.

What you need, as Badge pointed out, is a more specific hypothesis that you can present here and then see how we might test that hypothesis. But first, do some reading in the field, and build a knowledge base of "prior art," what's already been done in the study of memory. Doogles, as usual, gave some excellent leads as to further research.
User avatar
Braininvat
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5833
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


Re: Memory

Postby Godevil on September 19th, 2017, 11:13 am 

Yeah I guess you're right. Just lack the guts to be told I'm wrong basically. I just feel like it's so urgent and learning about prior work to build a valid presentable theory will take so long. I would love to sit with someone like you for hours and pick your brain. I could learn exponentially faster. But regardless of you being right I don't think I will be able to stop now until I know, how I know anything at all. Thank you so much for your time.
Godevil
Forum Neophyte
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 15 Sep 2017


Re: Memory

Postby BadgerJelly on September 19th, 2017, 8:25 pm 

Godevil -

Being unafraid to look stupid and be humiliated is the best habit you can gain. I do it often. Eventually all those that previously mocked you will start to listen once you've developed a better understanding whilst they remain rigid and static in their thinking.

There is a great deal of use in playing around with naive ideas, ideas that many disregard and move past without a second glance.

I can tell you now, if you merely wish to let your ego and dictate your line of questioning you'll get nowhere as fast as if you were bold enough and willing to look stupid. Also, for us who know a little explaining the most obvious things clearly helps us take heed of the flaws in our exposition and underatanding.

Pleaee, go ahead and help us all :)
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4593
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: Memory

Postby doogles on September 20th, 2017, 6:25 am 

Godevil,

Rather than you making a fool of yourself, I think I've done exactly that. I think I just messed up a PM request from you that I saw today..

I've been a member of this forum for 9 years and have just recently become aware of the PM capacity.

I believe I stuffed up a request of yours today. My attempt to work out the PM function was a failure. In FAQs, I clicked on "How to Communicate with PM" without success. I kept getting a message to the extent that it was in the wrong language or something.

My quick glance at the message after I clicked on "new Notifications" today also suggested that a number of other people have attempted to communicate with me privately over the years. I never noticed the red messages under "What's New" until recently.

I apologise unreservedly to anyone I appeared to ignore in the past. I was just plain ignorant of Private Messaging.

Please have another go, Godevil.
doogles
Member
 
Posts: 861
Joined: 11 Apr 2009


Re: Memory

Postby BadgerJelly on September 20th, 2017, 11:22 am 

... and spelling and punctuation ... :(

It appears when I take a break from writing on forums so much my punctuation and general attention to detail falls off!
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4593
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: Memory

Postby doogles on September 20th, 2017, 5:08 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:... and spelling and punctuation ... :(

It appears when I take a break from writing on forums so much my punctuation and general attention to detail falls off!


Good day to you BadgerJelly. It's another beautiful Spring morning here in Brisbane.

Your message is not clear, but I assume you are referring to the way I punctuate some quotations eg “ … it was like being in a dance hall, like standing in the doorway – in a gymnasium – like at Kenwood High School … “, “ … people’s voices … relatives, my mother … It seemed as if my niece and nephew were visiting at my home. It happened like that many times. They were getting ready to go home, putting their things on – their coats and hats. - … in the dining room – the front room – they were moving about.

As far back as I can remember, I've used "... " to indicate that I've left out passages in the original quote for the sake of brevity when much of the original is not relevant. The hyphens above were part of the original report.

I'm still an eager learner about most things. Is there another way of doing this better?
doogles
Member
 
Posts: 861
Joined: 11 Apr 2009


Re: Memory

Postby BadgerJelly on September 20th, 2017, 10:02 pm 

I was referring to my own mistakes haha!!
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4593
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: Memory

Postby BadgerJelly on September 21st, 2017, 11:56 am 

Godevil -

I would also suggest you do a quick search about the differences between "implicit" and "explicit" memory. Right there you'll see that different types of memories are stored in different ways.

There are cases where certain lesions have caused people to lose the ability to store long term memories, but they are still able to learn new motor skills even though they don't remember putting in the practice!
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4593
Joined: 14 Mar 2012



Return to Behavioral Science

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests