Long term memory is extra-corporeal

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Evgenii Rudnyi

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Dec 25, 2014, 4:18:09 AM12/25/14
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In paper

Forsdyke, D.R. (2009). Samuel Butler and human long term memory: is the
cupboard bare? Journal of Theoretical Biology 258(1), 156-164. (see
http://post.queensu.ca/~forsdyke/mind01.htm)

the author considers a possibility that the long term memory is outside
the brain. I guess that Bruno should like it.

"The suggestion of the medieval physician Avicenna that the brain
‘cupboard’ is bare, – i.e. the brain is a perceptual, not storage, organ
– is consistent with a mysterious ‘universe as holograph’ model."

"Charles Darwin spent much time setting out various combinations of 26
units in linear order on paper. Yet, that each cell of an organism might
contain similar digital information, now known as DNA, was beyond his
conceptual horizon. Likewise, many today compute using remote
information storage yet are unlikely to countenance the possibility that
their own brains might functioning similarly."

Best wishes,

Evgenii

Kim Jones

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Dec 25, 2014, 6:56:38 PM12/25/14
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Haven't read it yet but just wanted to say that I have never had trouble wih his idea
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Kim Jones

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Dec 25, 2014, 7:00:48 PM12/25/14
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Good one. Haven't read it yet but just wanted to say that I have never had trouble with this idea - clearly Platonic in nature but beyond that, possibly the most clearly intuitive and ancient notion known to Man. Bruno's idea still strikes me as the best formulation of it, but most are yet to embrace the full implications of comp.

Kim

> On 25 Dec 2014, at 8:17 pm, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:
>

meekerdb

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Dec 25, 2014, 9:43:20 PM12/25/14
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On 12/25/2014 1:17 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
In paper

Forsdyke, D.R. (2009). Samuel Butler and human long term memory: is the cupboard bare? Journal of Theoretical Biology 258(1), 156-164. (see http://post.queensu.ca/~forsdyke/mind01.htm)

the author considers a possibility that the long term memory is outside the brain. I guess that Bruno should like it.

That seems backwards for Bruno's idea.  If memories are outside the brain then they should survive destruction of the brain.  But as I understand Bruno's idea one's "soul" survives destruction of the brain as in reincarnation, but memories don't.

Brent

Kim Jones

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Dec 25, 2014, 10:46:19 PM12/25/14
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Don't forget this is about long-term memory. How long is long-term? I would say beyond the life of the individual. Seen like that, there has to be some kind of library or lookup table which in no way correlates to anything to do with human brain size, the authors conclude. Certain of these very-long-term memories do get encoded somehow to survive destruction of the brain, as in Jung's 'racial memory' or "collective unconscious' - the original engrams or patterns of recognition (archetypes) some of them terrifyingly inexplicable and probably arising in dreams and recorded as revelations. Folklore is the racial memory of homo sapiens. We still churn it out. What we cannot remember exactly we plaster over with something else anyway, because HS are natural-born story tellers who cannot pass up a good story. If the shoe fits, we tend to wear it. It's literally in our DNA these authors conclude. This suggests to me that the notion of "Junk DNA" is perhaps itself junk as the very purpose of DNA is to record ie encode experience at something for the purpose of passing it on. DNA cannot fail at that purpose. Whenever scientists declare something "Junk" or "Dark" this just means "we are clueless over this" so it's time to find the macro-molecular link that allows this almost-Lamarckian effect of racial memory to come about. 

Kim

Chris de Morsella

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Dec 26, 2014, 2:46:08 AM12/26/14
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The term “junk DNA”, itself has been junked a while ago, when it was discovered that a portion of this DNA acts like a kind of OS that switches encoding sections on and off. It is a mistake I believe to look at DNA as a static repository of hereditary information alone. It is this of course, but it turns out to be more complex, dynamic and layered than the simple static model. A lot of the so called “junk DNA” (but not all of it by any means) seems to be involved in this dynamic process. Especially, during the process of embryogenesis, DNA expression is undergoing dynamic highly sequenced and seemingly (somehow) choreographed changes (through methylation and other means).

Other parts of this junk DNA, seem to be parasitical in nature; e.g. the selfish DNA hypothesis, and this also seems very likely – IMO. If such DNA “parasite entities” exist, perhaps using viruses as vehicles during their “life-cycle” in order to ride with them on into a hosts DNA and insert themselves into a new happy home, passing copies down for as long as the lineage continues. Perhaps a parasite is “junk” for the host, but from the parasites perspective I am sure the view is different… so even here in this case is it really junk.

-Chris

 

Kim

Bruno Marchal

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Dec 26, 2014, 5:18:42 AM12/26/14
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On 26 Dec 2014, at 03:43, meekerdb wrote:

On 12/25/2014 1:17 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
In paper

Forsdyke, D.R. (2009). Samuel Butler and human long term memory: is the cupboard bare? Journal of Theoretical Biology 258(1), 156-164. (see http://post.queensu.ca/~forsdyke/mind01.htm)

the author considers a possibility that the long term memory is outside the brain. I guess that Bruno should like it.

That seems backwards for Bruno's idea.  If memories are outside the brain then they should survive destruction of the brain. 

But not of the *generalized brain", which in this case might be in the "hologram". 



But as I understand Bruno's idea one's "soul" survives destruction of the brain as in reincarnation, but memories don't.

In the computationalist thought experience, we suppose that the generalized brain is the biological brain, and we survive with our memories unchanged. Then, for death, I said that there is an inflation of type of survival possible, some with partial or total amnesia, and others with the complete memory of lifetime staying preserved. Of course we cannot evaluate the probabilities without extracting the (quantum) measure from the material hypostases. (There has been recent progresses, but this is really a program of research for the centuries to come).

I might add that with salvia, I "understand" better that our "deep" identity is indeed not in our memories, but in our universality, so that you can already understand you are immortal, simply because you realize that you are already Peano Arithmetic (say). In that case we are all the same person, just put in different context. This can have positive ethical consequences as you can develop more empathy toward others.

Bruno





Brent


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Jason Resch

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Dec 26, 2014, 11:36:44 AM12/26/14
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If the memories aren't in the brain, then what physical causes enable a positive or negative recognition of the photo of a person's face? It seems to me that this would require some extra-physical interaction beyond all known physical laws. If this excess storage area could be tapped, could we build computers of infinite memory and storage capacity by storing these bits into the ether and overcome the information/volume limits of quantum mechanics and the holographic principle?

Jason

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meekerdb

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Dec 26, 2014, 1:55:43 PM12/26/14
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On 12/25/2014 11:45 PM, 'Chris de Morsella' via Everything List wrote:

 

 

From: everyth...@googlegroups.com [mailto:everyth...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Kim Jones
Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2014 7:46 PM
To: everyth...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Long term memory is extra-corporeal

 

 

 


On 26 Dec 2014, at 1:43 pm, meekerdb <meek...@verizon.net> wrote:

On 12/25/2014 1:17 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

In paper

Forsdyke, D.R. (2009). Samuel Butler and human long term memory: is the cupboard bare? Journal of Theoretical Biology 258(1), 156-164. (see http://post.queensu.ca/~forsdyke/mind01.htm)

the author considers a possibility that the long term memory is outside the brain. I guess that Bruno should like it.


That seems backwards for Bruno's idea.  If memories are outside the brain then they should survive destruction of the brain.  But as I understand Bruno's idea one's "soul" survives destruction of the brain as in reincarnation, but memories don't.

Brent 

 

Don't forget this is about long-term memory. How long is long-term? I would say beyond the life of the individual. Seen like that, there has to be some kind of library or lookup table which in no way correlates to anything to do with human brain size, the authors conclude. Certain of these very-long-term memories do get encoded somehow to survive destruction of the brain, as in Jung's 'racial memory' or "collective unconscious' - the original engrams or patterns of recognition (archetypes) some of them terrifyingly inexplicable and probably arising in dreams and recorded as revelations. Folklore is the racial memory of homo sapiens. We still churn it out. What we cannot remember exactly we plaster over with something else anyway, because HS are natural-born story tellers who cannot pass up a good story. If the shoe fits, we tend to wear it. It's literally in our DNA these authors conclude. This suggests to me that the notion of "Junk DNA" is perhaps itself junk as the very purpose of DNA is to record ie encode experience at something for the purpose of passing it on. DNA cannot fail at that purpose. Whenever scientists declare something "Junk" or "Dark" this just means "we are clueless over this" so it's time to find the macro-molecular link that allows this almost-Lamarckian effect of racial memory to come about. 

 

The term “junk DNA”, itself has been junked a while ago, when it was discovered that a portion of this DNA acts like a kind of OS that switches encoding sections on and off. It is a mistake I believe to look at DNA as a static repository of hereditary information alone. It is this of course, but it turns out to be more complex, dynamic and layered than the simple static model. A lot of the so called “junk DNA” (but not all of it by any means) seems to be involved in this dynamic process. Especially, during the process of embryogenesis, DNA expression is undergoing dynamic highly sequenced and seemingly (somehow) choreographed changes (through methylation and other means).

Other parts of this junk DNA, seem to be parasitical in nature; e.g. the selfish DNA hypothesis, and this also seems very likely – IMO. If such DNA “parasite entities” exist, perhaps using viruses as vehicles during their “life-cycle” in order to ride with them on into a hosts DNA and insert themselves into a new happy home, passing copies down for as long as the lineage continues. Perhaps a parasite is “junk” for the host, but from the parasites perspective I am sure the view is different… so even here in this case is it really junk.

-Chris



But to say that DNA provides "long term memory" seems like an abuse of terminology, making a metaphor into a factual description.  DNA provides "memory" only in that sometimes parts of it get to reproduce.  Genes are more persistent units, but their "memory" is just get copied to not.  There's nothing Lamarckian about it, much less extra-corporeal survival of memories.  Memories are necessarily things that are remembered.  I don't remember any previous life and I doubt that you do either.

Brent

Evgenii Rudnyi

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Dec 26, 2014, 2:56:15 PM12/26/14
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Am 26.12.2014 um 19:55 schrieb meekerdb:

>
> But to say that DNA provides "long term memory" seems like an abuse
> of terminology, making a metaphor into a factual description. DNA
> provides "memory" only in that sometimes parts of it get to
> reproduce. Genes are more persistent units, but their "memory" is
> just get copied to not. There's nothing Lamarckian about it, much
> less extra-corporeal survival of memories. Memories are necessarily
> things that are remembered. I don't remember any previous life and I
> doubt that you do either.

From the paper:

"In the twenty-first century the Hebbian network hypothesis came under
attack and attention returned to storage of specific items of mental
information as DNA (Dietrich and Been, 2001; Arshavsky, 2006a)."

Dietrich, A., Been, W., 2001. Memory and DNA. J. Theor. Biol. 208, 145-149.

Arshavsky, Y. I., 2006a. ‘The seven sins’ of the Hebbian synapse: can
the hypothesis of synaptic plasticity explain long-term memory? Prog.
Neurobiol. 80, 99-113.


Evgenii

meekerdb

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Dec 26, 2014, 4:06:18 PM12/26/14
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I can't get the first paper.  The second is nonsense.  Arshavsky claims that long-term memory can't be based on network structure because it's not stable - but he doesn't provide any empirical evidence that it's not stable enough.  He ignores the fact that very little information is actually retained in long-term memory (do you remember what you had for lunch on this day last month?) and concentrates on the small amount that is.  He ignores the studies finding that recalling memories tends to change them.  And he does nothing to support his DNA theory except to say DNA is more stable.  It would be trivial to look at some brain cells and see whether they have identical DNA or not - which would blow away his theory.

Brent

Chris de Morsella

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Dec 26, 2014, 4:46:03 PM12/26/14
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Not sure who you are responding to. I was commenting on Kim’s use of the term “junk DNA” and how some of what had been thought of as being “junk” was later discovered to play a role in determining what DNA actually got encoded… and that some of these DNA regions also appear to be “parasitic” (e.g. the selfish gene hypothesis).

I could see some instinct-behavioral patterns being encoded in the DNA, but memories I do not see how this would occur. Recording a memory would have to have some measurable effect on the underlying substrate (e.g. the DNA) in which it was being recorded. I see no evidence of memory formation having any effect on an organisms DNA, and also do not see DNA as being even well suited for this… how would the mind communicate with a hypothetical memory recorded in DNA?

Now the glial cells are another matter. I have been reading interesting studies that indicate that at least some kinds of glial cells (thought by most researchers to play a secondary minor role and largely ignored in favor of focusing in on the much more active and visible electrically active neural sheet) may play a fundamental role in the formation and storage/retrieval of long term memories. I could see the far more numerous glial cells as forming some kind of chemical switch based repository for memory that is read and written to by the electrically active neurons (perhaps at an order of magnitude slower rates than neuron to neuron activity… which would fit the introspective perception of the relative slowness of the process of deep memory retrieval… recalling deep memories takes time)

-Chris


Brent

Evgenii Rudnyi

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Dec 27, 2014, 3:06:08 AM12/27/14
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I should say that I am not an expert in this issue, however I have found
the paper entertaining. The history of Samuel Butler is quite
interesting. Butler in 19th century held that heredity and brain memory
both involved the storage of information and that the two forms of
storage were the same. Now there are even more papers along this line,
see for example the abstract

DNA methylation and memory formation
http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v13/n11/abs/nn.2666.html

"Memory formation and storage require long-lasting changes in
memory-related neuronal circuits. Recent evidence indicates that DNA
methylation may serve as a contributing mechanism in memory formation
and storage."

Although the meaning of the term "long term memory" might not be exactly
the same.

Evgeii

LizR

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Dec 27, 2014, 4:58:00 AM12/27/14
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I haven't managed to read the entire paper yet, but it seems to be along similar lines to the idea that the brain receives consciousness from somewhere else, like in the story by Barrington Bayley (I forget the title) in which the universe is criss-crossed with beams of consciousness that cause life to emerge and get filtered through the structures that appear as a result. One amusing point in the story (which is opnly about 5 pages long) is that the beams have no origin - they come from an infinite distance, and occasionally get redirected by beings who arise as a result of their influence.

On the subject of DNA being memory, it's a form of memory of what worked in the past, but not very like the sort we appear to use in our brains - that is, it's a pattern that represents successful past reproducers, but is more or less fixed in any given organism (as far as I know, ignoring retroviruses etc). The similarity between DNA and brain type memory seems roughly the similarity between genes and memes. I can't see any reason to assume they would use the same molecular mechanism.

Bruno Marchal

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Dec 27, 2014, 7:19:59 AM12/27/14
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It might depend what we mean by "long term memory". When an spider is born it certainly comes with some amount of memory, at least procedural memories like the way to build a web, or to recognize a mate or a prey, etc. There is nothing irrational in thinking that we too have such prewired skills, and most plausibly also some more declarative form of knowledge, that is some forms of memories. This would not contradict Darwin Evolution (and does not need anything like a Lamarckian theory). Our brain is not much wired in advance, compared to some other animals, but it is still wired in a large part. We might not remember a past life, but we do remember the result of billions years of evolution. This might be illustrated with the genetics of phobia for example, or of instincts.

Now, brains and molecules are useful fictions, but when thinking about the mind-brain relation, the idea that memories can belong to parts outside the skulls is a bit of an aristotelian delusion. With computationalisme our memories are distributed in infinities of number relations, and nowhere else. 

Brains? That's all in the head!   (note the pun).

Bruno




Brent


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meekerdb

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Dec 27, 2014, 4:33:29 PM12/27/14
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On 12/27/2014 12:05 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
> I should say that I am not an expert in this issue, however I have found the paper
> entertaining. The history of Samuel Butler is quite interesting. Butler in 19th century
> held that heredity and brain memory both involved the storage of information and that
> the two forms of storage were the same. Now there are even more papers along this line,
> see for example the abstract
>
> DNA methylation and memory formation
> http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v13/n11/abs/nn.2666.html
>
> "Memory formation and storage require long-lasting changes in memory-related neuronal
> circuits. Recent evidence indicates that DNA methylation may serve as a contributing
> mechanism in memory formation and storage."

Notice how vague "may serve as a contributing mechanism" is. He starts the paper by
claiming that memory must be at the molecular level because it "lasts a lifetime", BUT the
only molecule that is persistent over that span is DNA. So he's skipped right over the
possibility of structural persistence of neural networks. He might as well have concluded
that memory is in bones, because "the last a lifetime". But then when he tries to imagine
a way of coding information in DNA the only possibility if methylation. Unfortunately for
his theory he finds methylation is "dynamic" (which he would have called "unstable" except
that would make his hypothesis obviously wrong). The whole paper is speculation to
support and conclusion that was assumed at the beginning.

Brent

Evgenii Rudnyi

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Dec 28, 2014, 2:59:21 AM12/28/14
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I would agree that the idea is vague. Yet, scientists discuss it and
this is not the only paper in this direction, Google Scholar shows that
this theme is quite popular nowadays.

The main point here is that what these scientists claim is close to
Butler's ideas. An interesting twist in thinking especially if to
observe it from historical perspective.

Evgenii

John Mikes

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Jan 9, 2015, 4:35:33 PM1/9/15
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Evgenyij, we know sssoooo little 'bout our natural existence (and in my agnosticism I hope for so much we don't even imagine...) that I come up with the question: what should be called "human brain"? the tissue in the lab or more? if you add all the "brainfunctions" (explainable today, or not) you may end up with a 'monster' unfathomable for our ongoing (naiv?) natural sciences. Do the gut-microbes THINK for us? and so on...

B O D Y ????

Best regards
John Mikes

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