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Ray Recchia wrote:
I was thinking that when I described something like anxiety being stored in
different locations for different people I should have mentioned the
holistic theory of memory. The holistic theory proposes that a memory of a
particular thing is not stored in one place but is spread out across the
brain. I do believe there has been some localization of function, the most
famous of which is Broca's region and certain aspects of language use, but
the current theory of memory is a holistic one.
It has to be holistic. There's no way memory could have a single storage
site. Neurons known to be active during recall are all over the map. It's
just like the so-called "binding problem" of language. There's just no
central processing area for language. That's because what brings it all
together isn't the brain but the mind. That is to say, the influence of the
brain's past on itself is nonlocal, and why wouldn't it be? There's no
reason why the mind, based in time and not space, can't work the brain at
disparate locations at once, unifying their functions into a single
It is my understanding is that there is a proposed mechanism for storing
memories in the brain.
If information is stored in the brain, it would have to be a dynamic form of
storage, not static, like in a book or a computer. But if the brain is
continually active, always erasing what it's just "written," then why would
we assume it contains memory? Seems more like it's the on-going component
of mentality. Memory would be precisely that aspect of mentality that's not
contained in the brain. It can't be in the brain because it's not in space.
Memory is the presence of the past. Since when did the past take up any
My recollection is
that potentially one neuron could also have receptor threshold changes
which reflected partial storage of different memories.
Perhaps you could find the information in a book or a journal. In that
case, you wouldn't have to rely on your memory. On the other hand, even
when you do remember something, you have to look it up in your brain, right?
So there really is no such thing as memory, is there? After all, when you
remember something, that's precisely when you *don't* have to look it up.
If memory is merely information storage, then it no longer exists. Turns
out it was just a prescientific myth. In that case, to invoke the term
"memory" is to reveal oneself as scientifically illiterate. Same goes for
mind, self, life, novelty, and anything having to do with quality or
experience. It's all right down the toilet. The science meme is driven by
a will to self-annihilation. On the inside it takes the form of atomistic
determinism. On the outside it manifests as nuclear missiles and
carcinogenic pesticides. Of course, true science is driven logically, not
If I have this correctly what Ted seems to be asserting is that despite the
knowledge of a potential storage mechanism and sufficient complexity we
will never be able to link memories and the brain.
If memories are bits of stored information, then they're not really
memories, are they? It's not just wrong, it's incoherent.
Given the strides that
have already been made in linking physical sensation to neural receptors,
the advances that have been made in understanding how the brain processes
visual and audio information, and the countless other advances it seems
more reasonable to assume that we will.
All of this is a distraction from the main point of my original posts which
was that the uncertainties associated with our lack of knowledge concerning
the boundaries of internal representations should not provide fatal
deterrents to our use of those representations in memetic research. This
is true whether 'the mind' is an illusion based upon the difference of
external and internal perceptions, a dance danced by the brain, or a
dimensionless entity that interacts with time.
To say that it's an illusion is the same as saying it's no more than the
dance of the neurons. Since your last suggestion is gibberish, that leaves
illusion, by your reckoning, as the only possible status of the mind.
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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