Does the brain store memory in neurons?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Gravage, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. Gravage Registered Senior Member

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    Can anyone give me a guide,detailed explanation or a website how it works,how the memory is stored inside the brain?
    Does this also occurs in near-death experiences?
    I'm just trying to check some information,I pcked up from the net,years ago.
    Thanks!
     
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  3. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    it stores it in neuronal circuits I would imagine.
     
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  5. vslayer Registered Senior Member

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    it takes several neurons, each has a charge, neural pathways connect neurons so that that charge can loop betwenn them, the brain detects the intensity and direction of a charge as a memory, when we repeat stuff the pathways become stronger so more chrage can go through and we remmber tham better.

    thats the best i can understansd it, so im probably wrong, but thats the general idea:

    it takes several neurons in sequence to store a memory.
     
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  7. apendrapew Oral defecator Registered Senior Member

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    Can each neuron partake in more than one memory?

    Memory is a truly fascinating thing. It would seem that each neuron would have to be able to help make more than one memory because there aren't enough neurons to account for all of our memories. Just think about how many detailed memories you have. Makes me remember hearing about something earlier about a holographic brain theory. I'll dig that up and if it seems worthy, I'll post it.
     
  8. hotsexyangelprincess WMD Registered Senior Member

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    well i learned that the brain has about 100 billion neurons and the number of permutations possible is more than the number of elementary particles in the universe. Thats a lot. :m:
     
  9. vslayer Registered Senior Member

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    think of your harddrive, each filament(neuron) is a 1 or a 0 depending on whether it it magneticsised, it takes 1000s of filaments(neurons) to make a program(memory), and if you can store 430 hours of high res video on a 120gb HDD then a brain with much more capacity than that can surely remember a fuck load
     
  10. apendrapew Oral defecator Registered Senior Member

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    120 gb hard drive = 1,030,792,151,040 bits.
    brain = 100,000,000,000 cells

    So a 120 gb has about 10 times as many usable memory cells as a human brain. Albeit, our brains probably have much more sophisticated means of data compression than our computer counterparts because the way we encode information is quite dynamic and we may use different methods to memorize things for different situations, like mnemonics for instance. And let's not forget how much memory implicit (unconscious) memories require. How much memory does it require to know how to drive a car and to know all its quirks? How exactly to position your lips on the mouthpiece of a trombone, the right amount of pressure and air to produce the perfect tone.

    I think probably a good reason why we can remember so much in fact is because of the way we compress data. I think that even though it may seem that we remember a dream in a lot of detail (Very bright colors, very detailed characters and emotions) there may not be much data at all about the dream in actual memory. When you remember the dream, you are not watching the same footage again, you are creating it again, and your memories about the dream serve as guides as to the direction the dream should be going. And often all, (but not always) the things happen again exactly as they did before and so it seems like it's one big contiguous block of memory when it's anything but.
     
  11. vslayer Registered Senior Member

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    a cell does not necessarily maen a neuron, im not sure but i think there are several neurons in a brain cell
     
  12. hypatia Registered Senior Member

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    1) A neuron is a single cell in the brain that can communicate with other neurons via direct synaptic connections.

    2) I don't think the analogy to a computer is useful, because neuronal function is not binary. There seems to be some importance of the temporal pattern of firing. Single neurons show many different spiking patterns that seem to mean different things.

    3) I don't think anyone has any very good explanation for memory storage.

    In gross terms, it seems that the hippocampus and limbic system are important for storing new memories, and that old memories are stored in a distributed network over the cortex.

    In cellular terms, I think most of the current thinking is based originally on the Hopfield network (this is a very old and simplistic theory but I think most of the more modern theories are built on the same principles). Basically, when two connected cells fire in tandem, this strengthens the likelihood that they will fire in tandem again. Thus, an interconnected network of nodes can be trained to recreate an entire pattern given an incomplete subset of it. I don't think this is sufficient to explain memory storage, though. For one thing, obviously the firing pattern that occurs when you recall a memory is not the same as the original experience, or you would actually be *reliving* the experience instead of just recalling it.
     
  13. sargentlard Save the whales motherfucker Valued Senior Member

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    Excellent point...I never considered that. Memory is a great though very undepndible thing when detailed accounts are needed. We all have seen or heard of experiments where the subjects memory was easily fooled.
     
  14. river-wind Valued Senior Member

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    also, nuerons have more than two connectors. Bits on a hard drive each have a Next bit and Previous bit.
    Brain nuerons can have dozens of connections to it's surrounding cells, and it can grow new ones, as well.
     
  15. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    The interesting thing is that smell is the sense that is most linked to memory. I bet that if we found a practical way to memorize things through smell, we could recall things much faster and accurately.
     
  16. apendrapew Oral defecator Registered Senior Member

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    That's what college students have found.. if they drink mint tea while they study for a test, they're more likely to remember material if they have a mint stimulus.

    It's not just about about smell though. Memory is also linked to state of mind. If you're drunk and something happens and you forgot later, you're more likely to remember if you get drunk again (Weird how a second genocide of brain cells are going to help you recover a memory, huh?). They did this with water. If you're underwater and something happens and forgot later, your recollection of it will be better when you're underwater again.
     
  17. CharonZ Registered Senior Member

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    Actually it is quite a bit more compicated. For one mechanism of short and long term memory do vary. In the latter for instance not only activation patterns are of importance but also long-term changes in channel activity (as opposed to short term activation/inactivation), differential gene expression etc.
    In fact, these mechanisms are quite complicated to be explained in a simple post and it doesn't really help that generally only tidbits are known but yet know comprehensive model that encompasses all observations.
     
  18. ThinkPad1080 Registered Member

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    here's a thought, neurons have dendrites that are the finger like sturctures that are uses to pass a charge through enzime secretion to the adjacent neurons dendrite (aka - the connection). Well, we know that single neuron has multiple connections (as in one neuron can be connected to multiple neurons via dendrite connections). Still fallowing me? That was factor one. Heres factor two. Adult Stem Cells(asc), Scientist know now that in order for the brain to grow, our body uses (asc)'s to form new neurons to construct new pathsways, thus coinsiding that when we are infints, toddlers, aka yong human beings, we dont understand and know stuff like we do now, hah, thats called the learning proccess. Wow, hold on, I just thought of something very interesting, (A self-perpetuation AI system). An AI system that over time through sensory disruptions along neuo path-ways causes itself (the AI) to build apond itself so it can adapt and make better sense of sensory disruptions.
     
  19. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    Actually, the development of the brain is mostly characterized by elimination of unwanted connections and neurons.
     
  20. a_nabacus Registered Member

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    Spuriousmonkey is right, during the early stages of development, the brain, through the mechanisms of neurotrophic factors, makes an enormous number of connections, many of which are useless and therefore eliminate themselves. This is, however a more complicated process that would take a while to explain. As adults, the neurons that are in place pretty much stay in place and there is not too much new growth. The memories that you have are not stored in neurons, but in the connections between neurons. When neurons are activated in certain patterns, their connections grow stronger. One might think of it as a multilateral telegraph whose signal becomes stronger when the message is repeated. This is called long-term potentiation--neurons are more prone to 'fire' when the pathway is activated. Your brain is a series of 'telegraph' lines. Here's the interesting part: multiple signals do overlap and can be distinguished in a relatively simple manner by the brain. This is likened to a Fourier transform, a mathematical operation in which complex wave patterns are broken down (deconvoluted) into their individual frequencies. So, neurons can be used for many memories at once. The reverse process can also occur. If a certain frequency of pulses is administered (by experiment or naturally), a process occurs that is called long-term depression. The connection will not be easily activated again. Taking into consideration all of these possible operations, it becomes easier to see how so many complex memories can be formed.
     
  21. Gravage Registered Senior Member

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    But is that true,has this ever been proven,I've found on some websites that scientists have detected centres for short-lived memory.That means,your theory isn't that right,
     
  22. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    Why wouldn't it be right?
     
  23. loophole Registered Senior Member

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    I had no idea scientists have got as far as they have in understanding how the human brain works.

    Have a read of this link http://www.geocities.com/skews_me/implants.html

    they have reconstructed the electrical impulses from a cat brain into the actual image seen through the cats eyes

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    its only a matter of time before they start recording thoughts, memories and dreams.
     

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