How does your Memory Work?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Cactus Jack, May 26, 2002.

  1. Cactus Jack Death Knight of Northrend Registered Senior Member

    See I have horrible short-term, I can stand up to do something but then forget what it was I was going to do. Even have trouble holding a thought. But I have really incredible, like "instinctual memory" I can remeber the lay out of places after walking through them once, association with pictures, and Spanish and reading music has been too easy man. Than My long term is weird, I have to associate a memory with objects or try really hard to come up with stuff, but when I do I remeber a lot. Plus I have trouble holding images in my head.

    The other thing is, how do you remeber? I am such a movie freak all my long term memories are like movies. Cuts, angles, music, hell I'm not even doing it first person, I can see myself in it. It's really weird.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

    I tend to forget the most important things. I can't keep track of times and dates at all. However, I tend to recall way too much small, useless crap.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    I know how you mean about memory, I suffer from it too for reasons beyond description.

    You are on the right track though about assigning a memory to an object.

    The way you percieve the world is through 5 senses and the ability to think. If memory is just left to thought, there is an 83.3% chance that you'll forget something. But you assign more senses to that memory, (See it written or hear someone tell you) then there is more chance of remembering it.

    I know for a fact that if a Beautiful lady was to walk into and out of your life, but said "Call me" and gave you her number, you would remember it.

    If it's numbers you are trying to remember then thats simple.

    to remember 42935764976, remember it as 429 357 649 76
    (four hundred and nine, three hundred and fifty seven etc..)

    This breaks it into smaller numbers, but not too small, afterall if you were just remembering singular numbers you would find it far more difficult.

    As for how memory works?
    Once upon a time it was thought the mind worked on electrical impulses, and then they moved to thoughts of chemical reactions.

    From my understanding though the body is comprised of Acids, and there is a charge that firing neurons makes that can stimulate or lower the viscosity of the acids reaction with the other chemicals.

    The understanding of this acidic nature gives a clue of how, over time a memory can deteriorate. (It also explains how dead braincells are re-utilised in the growth of new ones etc)

    How most thoughts are stored in the actual brain is like having a crystal infront of some photogenic paper and allowing light to flow through it.
    At one point the photosensative paper can take a picture of the light, and next when you move the crystal, it has a different light pattern.

    But should that pattern ever realign (if only a little bit) you regain an image of clarity. (You remember!)

    Although the brain isn't actually a crystal, it does work on the fact that cells are photosensative and don't like UV.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Tyler Registered Senior Member

    I went to Phantom of the Opera one night. We bought the cd the next night. I knew every word to every song.

    When I study, I look at a page, rouhgly read it once through and I can memorize a picture of it.

    Ask me to remember an order however and I forget within 30 seconds.
  8. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

    I've had a lot of physiological psyche courses (psyche degree), so I'll try to help you guys out with the current theories on this. It's so huge though, so it might work best if you guys ask me specific questions. I'll start by talking about what Stryder said. Also if anyone else has ideas or theories of their own, feel free to chip in. Like I said, this is just what is currently thought (Although there is a lot of evidence to support it).

    Actually all of these processes are still thought to be involved in neural communication. Within a neuron an action potential is created, which is kind of like an electric pulse. This electric pulse propagates down the axon (kind of like a long branch that extends from the nucleus of the cell). A bundle of these axons is what is known as a nerve. The axon ends at another cell (generally another neuron if within the brain). At the end of the axon chemicals are released because of the action potential. These chemicals are called neural transmitters (NT). The chemical messengers travel across the small gap (called a synapse) to the neighboring neuron and bind to receptors on it. Depending on the type of NT it will push that neuron towards either having an action potential itself, or inhibit it from doing so. This is kind of the basic of neural transmissions, some of you may know a lot of this already. In this way, the brain is a set of complicated switches. (this strongly relates to a binary computer analogy also)

    As for acids, there are many kinds of amino acids that are involved in neural communication indirectly. Can't think of anything specific right now.

    This analogy seems to suggest that our memories are like pictures that are stored in a neural network. Most peoples memories aren't like this (except for "photographic" memories???, haven't looked into that much though). Memories are more of a confabulation of events. It's as if you store a few key points, and when you remember it, you brain just fills in the gaps to make it more continuous. Crucial aspects seem to be stored in a series of switches and the rest is filled in. Cactus jack, this is why you remember yourself in the third person a lot.

    This is not how the psychological scientific community views this. As far as I know, there isn't any evidence to support this. If you clarify this it might make more sense to me.

    Ok, remember those receptors on the receiving cell, well they can be reduced or increased. Meaning that the neurotransmitters (NT) have a greater or reduced chance to bind to them. Some NTs will cause the voltage of the cells to go up (excitatory NTs), while others will cause the voltage of the cell to go down (inhibitory NTs). If the cell is pushed to a certain level, called threshold, the neuron will have an action potential itself. So it's like a tug of war, some NTs will be pushing towards threshold and others will push away from it. The falling in the mud of the inhibitory side would be like the action potential.

    This next part is going to be described very basically for right now. If a cell has many action potentials within a short period of time the cell will increase the number of receptors at the synapses that are excitatory at that time when the cell had an action potential. This makes the cell more readily able to fire the next time around. If these syapses are inactive for extended periods of time the number or receptors may reduce making the cell less likely to fire. This is the basis for how we form memories and how memories "degrade" over time.

    There is a debate in the psych realm of whether memories actually "degrade" or if new info "interferes" with old info. In my opinion it's probably both.

    There is also debate on when you forget something, whether it's a decay in storage or just an inability to retrieve the info. Again I think it's a little bit of both.

    I hope I'm not coming off as trying to be some know-it-all-brainiac-wannabee. It's just that this is my main focus of study and would like to educate you with what I've learned about it. Please fire away with the questions. I'm moving in the next few days here though, so it might be a bit before I can answer them.

  9. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    [Firstly I was actually saving the body of information for the paper I'm partially through writing, so thats why I didn't go into full neurological details]

    Well you pretty much stated what I didn't overlook, but I admittedly truncated discussion on the firing of Neurons and the methodology of how synapses re-align.

    I was concentrating on the inter-usage of acids, Let me explain how I term an acid.

    I see an Acid as a molecule with a particular element(s) that act a it's body, while it has many "arms" of lower elements, notibly in Hydrochloric Acid, Hydrogen.

    Due to the number of lower bonding atoms, it can cause the molecule to increase in viscosity, it also means that the lower bonding atoms can break from the molecule and realign to another element. This is what causes acid to behave corrosively (like Desolving, and Diluting a material).

    Now as Xenu has mentioned the brain does work on multiple levels. As mentioned Neurons interconnect together through Axon's, which inturn connect to the Synapses of other neurons to create a neural network.

    The synapses are "chemical" switches, and from time to time the axons can die back and re-sprout somewhere else.

    [This in my theory would be down to an acid acting de-generatively and then causing a new growth through utilising the now free floating materials that the acids have diluted.

    This in turn means the dilution of the acid is also used in the rebuilding of axions, but there is a possibility that an impulse has to be direct towards the source of the new pathway. This would mean that the "harmonisation" of materials through neurological stimulation would cause the elements to rebond as a new axon]

    Now I've mentioned the way the acids dilute materials, of course when an axon has been broken from it's synapse due to one of these acids, it causes the lack of ability for a neural pathway to be transverse through that route.

    So if you remembered something that followed that route one instance (and only remember "Nodes of patterning") and then your pathway is broken by a chemical reaction, then you can no longer "remember".

    Now I mentioned that Cells are photosensative, it has been proven that to bombard a cell with UV causes the cell to change in chemistry. (In fact it's known that some chemical reactions only occur when light is produced, thus why we have photosensative paper and film)

    This cellular photosensativity isn't new, afterall you get a sun tan when your sunbath and the brain is known to house the Pituitary Gland. It is this gland that controls the Pineal Bodies production of Melalin when you sleep at night. This chemical is only produced during the lower periods of UV radiation (namely night)

    Melalin finds its way around the body and gets converted to Melatonin which is the chemical pigmentation that creates a natural UV barrier (Although not highly effective), it's what causes your skin to tan, and your iris to dark.

    I mention this as I believe it too has a factor as a neural supressant perhaps. (possibly aid's sleep) But this again is just another "Hunch". This is mentioned as believe that neurons store data through something similar to the chemical reactions caused by photonic stimuli, when a frequency of through its passed through the neurons it causes them to fire, depending on their chemical makeup decides on the amount of halogens within the neuron. When it fires it causes the neuron to "light up" like a neon bulb.

    This is why you "See" with the Occipital Lobe because your view doesn't just follow a path, but pathways. This is also the reason why you can fabricate complete complex realities that look real through a daydream with your eyes shut or through dreaming.

    It's just that when you stimulate particular pathways subconsciously, your brain stimulates whole pattern recognition that makes you see images. The same can be said for sound, but it would be on an electromagnetic resonance level.

    Now I've mentioned the neurological connections partially, and particular methods of chemistry, although I'm neglecting Dopamine acting as a relay between neurons and Protein receptors. This of course is a matter for mobility, amongst the topic of neurological stimulation.

    Here its proven that a person that has a higher concentrate of dopamine (possibly produced by their body through abnormal conditions like THC through pot smoking)

    can actually cause the brain to become stimulated by more relays. In fact when you look at the difference it's like having boats on a pond that are ferrying people back and forth from all sides, smoking pot would add more boats to the water.

    This chaos causes: More neurological stimulation, which in turn causes acids to become more volitile through the frequency of the dopamines viscosity and the neurological stimuli. In short, it creates Short term memory loss.

    Although there are potential uses for increasing the dopamine relays, in such people as arthritis & MS sufferers. Such people will have had a similar problem to the loss of memory through neurological pathways breaking down, but it can happen to their section for mobility. So the stimulation of their neurons through an increase in dopamine can actually create a work around through "Over stimulating" those regions, giving temporary relief.

    On top of all this it's perceivable how the interaction of such drugs can effect people as LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylmide) and even neurological treatment drugs. Particular when you look at LSD, you can tell from my theory that the Acidic nature causes changes in the layout of the brain, which in turn can cause the chemical production centres to produce a different amount. (Infact it's known that LSD can change the very DNA of a person preportionally, which you could then probably look to Opiates as being used in the past by man, for use to have chemical receptors that are stimulated by opiates)

    Well thats about it, I've tried to concise it, and I wish I could write a list of people to say that I've borrowed pieces. In fact all I've used is a dictionary (Oxford) a couple of television programs (BBC) and my own perseverance with (Google) being used as a method to spell check through searches lol)
    Last edited: May 26, 2002
  10. kmguru Staff Member

    My theory is:

    The brain is composed of organic hardware (proteins, amino-acids, cells, blood, hormones, DHA, etc) and software as to how the data is manipulated....

    While it is easy to identify the hardware side - it is not so easy to understand how they work to result a specific action without understanding the program, the branching and the math behinds it. I think brain works in a holographic memory base with a fractal science overlay. Though some say brain also works as a organic quantum computer - I am not so sure about that. Using a fractal methodology, one can derive the result set from a highly condensed data set. We use this methodology in business where gigabytes of data (600:1) can be condensed to a file in a laptop to query a result set in a very short time.

    The holographic part works this way. If you take a hologram picture of a vase, and crop to 10% of the original, you can still see the full picture of the vase even though at somewhat lower resolution. When you combine both methodology, you can take a lower resolution but fill in the details from the fractal algorithm from the condensed data set.

    The other part is associative linkage. One has to store only one specific image per item. So even if you forgot how a pencil looks like when you were a child (your childhood image) you can fill in the blanks from a pencil in front of you.

    I do not think an image is stored frame by frame - you wont have enough space in the brain to store a life time of images. I think, images are componetized, metadata-ed, associated in a fractal geometry.

    Quantum thinking: Sometimes I come up with solutions to extremely complex problems while on the fly. Like the other day, I was talking to a friend on the sad state of our data overload in the fight for terrorism and instantly came up with an elegant solution. If I would have been working normally, I would have the same old solution as the rest of the people who designed the system. Because that is by the book, standard methodology (SEI CMM) is what we do. I still do not know if there is such thinking...
  11. Joeman Eviiiiiiiil Clown Registered Senior Member


    Nobody officially knows how memory works.
  12. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

    I totally agree. But I'd like to add, nobody officially knows how anything works

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    However, some models are scientifically better than others.

  13. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member


    If I get you right, you suggest that memory resides in the creation and breakdown of axons (via acids).

    There is evidence out there which shows that even when an axon is severed, it can regrow to its target. Axon growth takes time however. It would be very inefficient for the brain to grow an axon everytime it needs to make a new association/memory. For instance, if a rat were to get shocked everytime it pressed a button, it wouldn't be able to make the association until the axon grew, which could be several weeks or months (depending on the distance). Receptor increases/decreases (which are chemical reactions) are very fast and efficient however.

    Think of it as telephone wires. A wire can be linked directly between my house and my neighbors house so we can talk. But what if I wanted to talk to my friend in Texas I'd have to redig that wire and then run it all the way down the country. This is obviously ridiculous. Instead, a network of wires is placed, linking all of the houses and buildings - routers are then placed within these to direct and redirect the calls. The router is flexible and efficient, changing dynamically all the time. This is like the receptors on the neuron. This is not to say that axons aren't ever redirected- they are, but not nearly as much as it would take to account for memory.

    When neurons have an action potential, they produce electricity, not light. Even the electricity stays within neuron, it's the neurotransmitters (chemical) that regulate communication between neurons. Neurons don't glow. If you do open brain surgery, people's head's don't light up like lightbulbs. Things like fMRIs show the brain lighting up, but this is a pictoral model; they actually measure glucose metabolism, not light.

    Within the primary visual cortex, researchers have found that specific neurons will fire to different contours in different areas of the visual field. Neurons at the beginning of the "visual pathway" respond to simple lines and orientations, but later on in the pathway neurons begin to fire in response to more and more complex things.

    Also perception seems to be more of a constructed thing, rather than a "photograph" or exact replica, of what one sees.

    Then by this same reasoning L-Dopa (which is changed into dopamine within the brain) given to Parkinson's patients would cause them to forget more. This is not true. Actually dopamine restores memory to Parkinson's patients - one of the primary affects of Parkinson's is memory loss.

    Also, I've never heard of THC increasing dopamine receptor stimulation. I'd have to look that up.

    Stryder, nice try on the theory, but the scientific community has too much "evidence" against it. Tell me if you want me to clarify anything.


Share This Page