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Cellular memory is the hypothesis that such things as memories, habits, interests, and tastes may somehow be stored in all the cells of human bodies, not only in the brain.
The suggestion is based largely around anecdotal evidence of organ transplants after which the recipient was reported to have developed new habits or memories.
Together with Schwartz and Russek, Pearsall conducted a study, published in the Spring 2002 issue of the Journal of Near-Death Studies, entitled, "Changes in Heart Transplant Recipients That Parallel the Personalities of Their Donors." The study consisted of open-ended interviews with 10 heart or heart-lung transplant recipients, their families or friends and the donor's families or friends. The researchers reported striking parallels in each of the cases. The following is a sampling of some these.
In one case, an 18-year-old boy who wrote poetry, played music and composed songs, was killed in an automobile accident. A year after he died his parents came across an audiotape of a song he had written, entitled, "Danny, My Heart is Yours," which was about how he "felt he was destined to die and give his heart to someone." The donor recipient "Danny" of his heart, was an 18-year-old girl, named Danielle. When she met the donor's parents, they played some of his music and she, despite never having heard the song, was able to complete the phrases.
In another case, a seven-month-old boy received a heart from a 16-month-old boy who had drowned. The donor had a mild form of cerebral palsy mostly on the left side. The recipient, who did not display such symptoms prior to the transplant, developed the same stiffness and shaking on the left side.
A 47-year-old Caucasian male received a heart from a 17-year-old African-American male. The recipient was surprised by his new-found love of classical music. What he discovered later was that the donor, who loved classical music and played the violin, had died in a drive-by shooting, clutching his violin case to his chest.
A 29-year-old lesbian and a fast food junkie received a heart from a 19-year-old woman vegetarian who was "man crazy." The recipient reported after her operation that meat made her sick and she was no longer attracted to women. If fact, she became engaged to marry a man.
A 47-year-old man received a heart from a 14-year-old girl gymnast who had problems with eating disorders. After the transplant, the recipient and his family reported his tendency to be nauseated after eating, a childlike exuberance and a little girl's giggle.
Aside from those included in the study, there are other transplant recipients whose stories are worth mentioning, such as Claire Sylvia, a woman who received a heart-lung transplant. In her book entitled, A Change of Heart: A Memoir, Ms. Sylvia describes her own journey from being a healthy, active dancer to becoming ill and eventually needing a heart transplant. After the operation, she reported peculiar changes like cravings for beer and chicken nuggets, neither of which she had a taste for prior to the transplant. She later discovered that these were favorites of her donor. She even learned that her donor had chicken nuggets in his jacket pocket when he died in a motorcycle accident.
Some people suggested that these events could be explained by cellular memory, as a result of donor organs influencing their recipients. Others suggested that they might be the result of chemical changes in the body caused by transplant medications.
To date, no case where personality traits or memories have been passed from donor to recipient following an organ transplant has ever been recorded in a peer reviewed medical or scientific journal.
Like many theories which are largely dismissed by the conventional medical establishment, the idea of cellular memory has not been rigorously tested in controlled studies. Supporters of the theory often reject such studies because they argue that they are flawed because of their connection with “the establishment,” while many skeptics are unwilling to embark on studies to disprove a theory which they already think is wrong. This rather short-sighted attitude is unfortunate, as it might be interesting to conduct large scale scientific studies to get to the bottom of the claims.
The cell membrane is an organic information processor. It senses the environment and converts that awareness into "information" that can influence the activity of protein pathways and control the expression of the genes. A description of the membrane’s structure and function reads as follows: (A) based upon the organization of its phospholipid molecules, the membrane is a liquid crystal; B) the regulated transport of information across the hydrophobic barrier by IMP effector proteins renders the membrane a semiconductor; and (C) the membrane is endowed with IMPs that function as gates (receptors) and channels. As a liquid crystal semiconductor with gates and channels, the membrane is an information processing transistor, an organic computer chip.
But none the less, I like your interest in this subject and would like to hear what other members have got to say about it!
"Was he a beer drinker?" I asked. His sisters nodded.
When I told them how I had wanted a beer soon after the operation, there were smiles all around. It was so amazing just to be there that I had to remind myself that I had come with some specific questions.
I asked if Tim had ever had colds and whether he recovered quickly.
They told me that he was hardly ever ill, and I wondered if this explained my new-found resilience?
I also asked if he liked green peppers.
I'd never liked them before the operation - but afterwards I loved them and included them in virtually every meal.
His sister told me that, yes, Tim had loved green peppers - "but what he really loved were chicken nuggets".
This explained my trips to Kentucky Fried Chicken. I was dumbfounded.
Sorta lends credence that the home of consiousness is just not limited to what is between our ears!
Originally posted by physicalbeing
Kind of like "mind melds" from Star Trek? Cellular memory is completely real and really fascinating. I've been talking to different friends about this recently, and it's really interesting to see it posted here...
I do have a question..
Does anyone think it's possible for us to be getting "visions" or memories of some sort (past life memories) based on the concept of cellular memory? I know there's more to the phenomena than just cells.. I think there could be some kind of energy memory, of some sort.. I am interested in other's opinions...
Electrodes implanted in the brains of people with epilepsy might have resolved an ancient question about consciousness.
Signals from the electrodes seem to show that consciousness arises from the coordinated activity of the entire brain. The signals also take us closer to finding an objective "consciousness signature" that could be used to probe the process in animals and people with brain damage without inserting electrodes.
Previously it wasn't clear whether a dedicated brain area, or "seat of consciousness", was responsible for guiding our subjective view of the world, or whether consciousness was the result of concerted activity across the whole brain.
Probing the process has been a challenge, as non-invasive techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and EEG give either spatial or temporal information but not both. The best way to get both simultaneously is to implant electrodes deep inside the skull, but it is difficult to justify this in healthy people for ethical reasons.
Now neuroscientist Raphaël Gaillard of INSERM in Gif sur Yvette, France, and colleagues have taken advantage of a unique opportunity. They have probed consciousness in 10 people who had intercranial electrodes implanted for treating drug-resistant epilepsy.
While monitoring signals from these electrodes, Gaillard's team flashed words in front of the volunteers for just 29 milliseconds. The words were either threatening (kill, anger) or emotionally neutral (cousin, see).
The words were preceded and followed by visual "masks", which block the words from being consciously processed, or the masks following the words weren't used, meaning the words could be consciously processed. The volunteers had to press a button to indicate the nature of the word, allowing the researchers to confirm whether the volunteer was conscious of it or not.
Between the 10 volunteers, the researchers received information from a total of 176 electrodes, which covered almost the whole brain. During the first 300 milliseconds of the experiment, brain activity during both the non-conscious and conscious tasks was very similar, indicating that the process of consciousness had not kicked in. But after that, there were several types of brain activity that only occurred in the individuals who were aware of the words.
First, there was an increase in the voltage levels of the signals in their brains. Second, the frequency and phase of neurons firing in different parts of the brain seemed to synchronise. Then some of these synchronised signals appeared to be triggering others. For example, activity in the occipital lobe seemed to cause activity in the frontal lobe.
Because this activity only occurred in volunteers when they were aware of the words, Gaillard's team argue that it constitutes a consciousness signature. As much of this activity was spread across the brain, they say that consciousness has no single "seat". "Consciousness is more a question of dynamics, than of a local activity," says Gaillard.
Bernard Baars of the Neuroscience Institute in San Diego, California, who proposed a "global access" theory of consciousness in 1983 agrees: "I'm thrilled by these results."
He says they provide the "first really solid, direct evidence" for his own theory. He also says that having such a signature will make it easier to look for signs of consciousness in people with brain damage, infants and animals with the help of non-invasive techniques such as EEG.
Journal reference: PLoS Biology, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000061