Richard Long long at
Sat Aug 5 22:13:07 EST 1995

x011 at Lehigh.EDU wrote:
>Richard Long wrote
>> It might be
>>that the hippocampus' role is more one-to-one, and so would admit of a
>>refresh mechanism, which is then consolidated into the cortex's more
>>complicated and interwoven system of "memory" slowly over time.  But then
>>we still have the problem of how this process can affect our memories
>>without "affecting" them :-) (i.e. without leaving a trace that it occured).
>Remember that movement is suppressed during sleep.  So the memory component
>of movement would have to be erased during "resonance".  So the information
>component would be refreshed or reprocessed.  This could be part of the
>function of REM.  The attractors could be major resonnances for a pure
>idea.  REM could be to store information under such models.

>Ron Blue

I believe that movement is suppressed during REM by an active inhibition by the brainstem
(either Pons or reticular formation I think), and that the motor cortex and associated
motor circuits are quite active during REM.  Indeed, some of these active motor circuits
give rise to eye movements, hence REM sleep.
Now, it may be that a trace is indeed left behind from a cortical refresh, but that this
trace is not allowed to reach conscious memory for some reason.  But this places 
consciousness in a very unique position, from a neural point of view, that seems difficult
to explain as to why it might have evolved, or what purpose such a conscious blocking
might serve.

Richard Long
long at
University of Central Florida

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list