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Exploring the Concept of Memory

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posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 06:25 PM
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I believe thought is divided into free will and memory. The free will part is controversial, but the memory part is fairly standard. So let's take a look at that, first.

I am using the term memory broadly as something that stores information - for example, genes or even books.

Let us take the example of bacteria that encounter anti-bacterial agents. The ones that are weak against those agents are destroyed, and the ones who are not affected by them are left. Then the ones that are left behind reproduce (maybe even faster because their competition for resources died off). This brings us to the point where the memory (genes) of the bacteria that are left has included the new information about how to be resistant to anti-bacterial agents. Therefore, through this process, information is stored in memory. This memory is the gene.

Culture stores data such as constantly evolving languages, social structures, gender roles, etc. in memory through spoken word or actions or especially writing. Along with writing arose more complex culture, such as science and mathematics, and academia. These intellectuals store their knowledge in books that are read later and used by others to keep their ideas alive and build on them.

In many ways, stored culture is like a gene. They are also different. One way they are different is that genes (specifically of a bacteria) can be explained entirely by evolution while culture is created by will. Not that culture itself cannot evolve and compete with other cultures. But that is for another time. Micro-cultures are tested and those that work remain and those that don't fall off or merge with others. This is similar to how bacteria fend for themselves in the wild. The result is stored in memory in both cases, in the case of the bacteria, in its genes and in the case of culture, written down.

With the advancement of the scientific method, scientific thought has become more ordered as it is required to be backed-up by evidence (which can be gained through a repeatable, independently-varified experiment). The academic papers are also subject to peer review. This structured ordering of academia is great because it brings unity and there are not factions that go against the data (There are, however, factions that have different opinions of the various unproven theories out there).

So as we learn more about science, it is stored in our culture's memory. And of course, with the advent of computers, there comes digital memory. On hard drives across the world, there are songs, social networks, videos, pictures and encyclopedias and more - this is our cultural memory.

If there was a cataclysmic event and computers went down and books were burned or lost, most of that culture would be lost and what would be left is what could be spoken or freshly written or had been memorized by people who were still alive. It would be akin to brain trauma.

Even something as simple as a menu for a video game has a lot of data encoded in it. Every word in the menu is composed of letters. which have a history and sound associated with them. The words also have definitions. When put together, as in the phrase "New Game," the player knows what to press.

Digital memory is fast becoming normal - people store their ideas online, publish their ideas online, etc. Studies have also shown that the Internet is changing how people use their memory - instead of memorizing things, they have a tendency to look them up online. The Internet is serving as a cultural memory bank. It also means that many web surfers aren't thinking as deeply as they would be without the use of the web.


In the book, I argued that what we created with computers and the Internet was a system of distraction. We got the great rewards of having basically unlimited information at our fingertips, but the cost of that was we created a system that kept us in a state of perpetual distraction and constant disruption.


The Internet May Be Changing Your Brain In Ways You’ve Never Imagined
edit on 05pmWed, 05 Oct 2016 18:38:25 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 06:39 PM
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When considering memory one needs to understand people's belief system as well.

The fact that science cannot determine if we have a soul, begs the question ...

Is our memory stored in our brains or in our soul.

I have no idea but if the body is a temporary storage area then our memory must be in the soul.

Science cannot prove or disprove this and so, science generally stays away from such concepts.

P



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: pheonix358

I'm researching the nature of the soul right now, and hopefully can get some experiments up and running as soon as I finish my reading. Right now, I figure that memory is stored in the mind and our soul is able to access that. However, as we get older, if we develop Alzheimer's for example, our soul is still functioning but it is unable to connect to the memory stored in the brain.

Whether or not our soul remembers things after death is clearly in uncharted territory - but I hope that either it is researched one day or that I can research that one day.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 06:46 PM
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a reply to: darkbake

Perhaps memory is anything that stores an imprint of a previous situation or action.

It would be hard for 'the memories' of humanity to be wiped selectively, not for the reason of data redundancy, but because such a cataclysm is likely to end our lives.

Also, memory itself in human populations is ephemeral.

I once used to have the addresses and 'phone numbers for my friends committed to memory and I thought nothing of it.

These days, however, those details are always available, stored in 'phones and computers and so it would seem that I have re-purposed the areas of my brain that once contained those memories.

This is quite logical as we are finite creatures.

edit on 5/10/2016 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 06:48 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: darkbake
I once used to have the addresses and 'phone numbers for my friends committed to memoryand I thought nothing of it.

These days, however, those details are always available, stored in 'phones and computers and so it would seem that I have re-purposed the areas of my brain that once contained those memories.



Exactly - the Internet is changing how our memory works. I think those areas of the brain are repurposed, but for what? Maybe situational awareness?



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 06:49 PM
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Memory may not be stored in the brain, according to many theories. Shuffle Brain, read that book. So where is memory? What is memory? A pattern? Memory cannot be differntiated from a dream or a thought or imagination in the brain, so what is it? Interesting post and you definitely done a lot of research, OP, this is a great thread and I wish there were more like these.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 06:52 PM
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a reply to: JackKcaj

Bring over some more of your knowledge about memory being stored outside the brain - can you provide some links and quotes? I'm interested. It is hard to know, but at the moment, the evidence seems to point towards memory being stored in the brain.
edit on 05pmWed, 05 Oct 2016 18:55:22 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 07:16 PM
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There is a book called Shuffle Brain where the author wanted to disprove holographic universe theory, and took out salamander brains and literally dissected and shuffled them around and inserted them back. The salamanders still behaved as normal... when brains were upside down, backward and even shuffled around, they still behaved as normal.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 07:17 PM
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I arrived at a point where I don't believe that our memories are stored in the brain. It never made any sense to me.

I believe the brain is simply a device giving us access to our soul and memories. Like a smartphone doesn't store the internet, just accesses it.

This also would explain why brain damage, Alzheimers, etc. show the symptoms that they do.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 07:19 PM
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originally posted by: bluesjr
I arrived at a point where I don't believe that our memories are stored in the brain. It never made any sense to me.

I believe the brain is simply a device giving us access to our soul and memories. Like a smartphone doesn't store the internet, just accesses it.

This also would explain why brain damage, Alzheimers, etc. show the symptoms that they do.


Indeed, you can have a lobotomy, remove half of your brain and still be essentially the same person, minus a few capabilities.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 07:20 PM
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a reply to: darkbake

Great topic OP. Its thought provoking!!

Who knows where it is... I would say it's outside the brain. When we die we take memories with us. The research is ongoing which is exciting!!

There was a good thread about this a few years back with the notion your memories are outside your brain.

Here is the link. www.abovetopsecret.com...




Memories are stored in your brain, right? You learn something and it gets encoded in some configuration of chemicals in you head. Common knowledge. Not so fast. I have often wondered how some animals can remember spawning grounds or migration locals without ever having been there. Instinct has always been an unexplained phenomena for me. A recent study I read about has now opened a can of worms. Michael Levin and Tal Shomrat, at Tufts University have performed an interesting study. Normally flatworms will shy away from lighted areas and circle around probing for danger before eventually honing in on a food source. They used a punishment/reward training method to train a group of flatworms to recognize a particular surface as safe and containing food. These worms would go right for the food source right away, now knowing where the food was. They used these worms because, while simple life forms, they still have a brain and nervous system. One other thing flatworms can do is regenerate. After training the worms, they cut off their heads and waited the two weeks it took to grow them back. They then put the worms back in the test environment. These worms were able to hone in on the food with the same accuracy as they did before the surgery! They effectively regrew this trained response from DNA within their bodies. Here's the National Geographic report: newswatch.nationalgeographic.com...



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 07:54 PM
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originally posted by: JackKcaj
Memory may not be stored in the brain, according to many theories. Shuffle Brain, read that book. So where is memory? What is memory? A pattern? Memory cannot be differntiated from a dream or a thought or imagination in the brain, so what is it? Interesting post and you definitely done a lot of research, OP, this is a great thread and I wish there were more like these.


Ideas that our intellect is 'in the brain' are strongly challenged by cases such as: Meet The Healthy, Functioning Man Who Survived With Almost No Brain.

If our intellect is not 'in the brain', then our identity/soul/personhood may also not be there.

I like the idea that we are part of a noosphere as proposed by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (who may also have invented the term).

If you are interested in Philosophy, I would recommend that you should read: "The Phenomenon of Man" by Teilhard de Chardin and "The Physics of Immortality" (for its concept of the "Omega Point") by Frank Tippler (They probably aren't on the usual Philosophy book-list).



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 09:36 PM
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a reply to: darkbake

I think biologists agree the human brain is way bigger than it needs to be, I say to store a lifetime of experience. Every thought, every action, everything you see and hear, even while asleep.

Like a CCD camera on the wall record is always on.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 09:59 PM
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Many years ago, scientists carried out some lovely experiments with willing subjects.

They used their tech to record what the brain was doing.

When asked to remember something from their childhood, a certain area of the brain lit up and when asked to remember something recent, like what they had for breakfast, another area lit up.

So far, all great research.

However, then the scientists made their deductions!

They proudly announced they had found the areas of the brain where long term and short term memories are stored.

Now they may be right ... or not!

What they may have identified is the areas of the brain that handled communication between the body and the soul.

They have no way as yet to determine the facts but they still came out with their 'discovery.'

We need to continue to separate out scientific data from scientific postulating. The two are not the same.

Science based conclusions are often wrong.

P



posted on Oct, 6 2016 @ 06:05 PM
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originally posted by: darkbake
a reply to: pheonix358


Whether or not our soul remembers things after death is clearly in uncharted territory - but I hope that either it is researched one day or that I can research that one day.


You should research it yourself. It is the only way. Do not let somebody search it for you and then publish result in a scientific magazine. You will get BS.

Whether the soul remembers things after death is not an uncharted territory. Does the word "charting" means a scientist with a white overall, in a laboratory, doing experiments. If so , then definitely "uncharted" and it will remain so.



posted on Oct, 8 2016 @ 09:36 PM
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a reply to: crowdedskies

I already know the answer so I do not need to do the research.

The only reason to undertake research would be to convince everyone else.

I have no wish nor any need to do this. Most people will simply hold on to their religious beliefs in any case so it is a bit pointless.

After I die, I will understand fully and I am happy to wait for that answer.

This is why I understand as I do. But it only applies to me.

Linky

P



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