micro mods to neurons

kenneth paul collins KPCollins at postoffice.worldnet.att.net
Sun Oct 13 21:47:28 EST 1996


> doing what?

in your response to a prior message to someone else, you repeatedly misrepresented 
what I'd posted to you in an even-earlier message... this is unacceptable, and you 
misrepresented the Science, too... unacceptable... I'll go over your prior post...

from your prior post, Colleen:

> i just happend to catch this old post today.
> the dialogue between Ken Collins and myself was mostly related to semantics.
> you see, when ken says 'neural changes related to learning,' for example, he
> does not mean the same thing that i mean when i say it.
> he speaks as if we know precisely what a memory is (neurally) when we do not.

...we do, to the extent to which I addressed such in my prior posts...

> he thinks a mathematical model for memory means the *same thing* as neural
> confirmation of *memory* when it is not.

...here, you precisely reversed the meaning of what I posted...

> as an example, he recently attempted to tell me that a symbol or modol of a
> phenomenon is that same thing as a phenomenon.

...I did not such thing...

> he gave a (terrific) example
> that words (eg. BIG MAC) are a mathematical model of the actual, physical, big
> mac.

...no, that's not what I said... I said that words are mathematical 

> but the words are *not* the big mac, they just represent one.  that is all
> words ever do.

...here, you're saying what I did say, but saying that I did not say it :-)

> in this way, he confuses a model of learning with actual learning.

..."who's on first?"

> LTP, which he suggests, is a model for learning in a LIVING system.

...that's not what I said... I said, in a msg to another person, BTW, that "lTP" 
is a useful starting point for searches in the literature with respect to 

> The problem with LTP,
> however, after all the excitement, is that nobody has been able to demonstrate
> that LTP occurs while learning takes place NATURALLY.  therefore, LTP is a
> model of learning in a living system.  BUT IT IS NOT LEARNING.

...do you know what "long term potentiation" is...? it's the physical embodiment 
of the leading edge of physical modifications that encode "memory"... I wasn't 
asserting that LTP is the whole thing... I was just using it as a starting point 
for searches in the literature...

> the neural engram refers to the documentation of a MEMORY in a living system.
> so far, it has not been discovered.

...I disagree with you, Colleen... the micro mods which underpin memory are 
well-documented... if what you are saying is that folks don't know how to point 
exactly to the micro mods that encode, say, the memory of one's first kiss, I 
agree with you that Neuroscience is not yet capable of pinning down the micro 
mods pertaining to such specific memories... if that was your point, I agree with 

...where we disagree is in the relative weights that should be attributed to all 
of the evidence (tons of it) that verifies the existence of 
nerual-activation-driven microscopic trophic modifications and the fact that 
specific memories are not yet localizable...

...where you seem to see the the specific-memory thing as a "road block", I see it 
as a future extension to the currently-available work, and I see the 
currently-available work as being sufficient to say that it is verified that 
"memory" is, in fact, encoded in nerual-activation-driven microscopic trophic 

...this is a =big= difference... your position disallows theorization... but the 
view that acknowledges that memory is encoded in activity-dependent micro mods 
allows useful theorization, because, given this, all of the experimental data 
pertaining to neural dynamics then becomes correlated with the formation of the 
micromods... study the neural dynamics, and the formation of the micro mods is =in 
there=... and with this, anything that can, then be rigorously stated with respect 
to the neural dynamics delimits the possible realm of the micro mods which encode 
memory... in this way, that which constitutes the "engram" becomes 

...if you, or anyone else, "discounts" such, you're just copping out... look back 
through the history of Science, and you'll see, clearly, that virtually all 
progress within Science has been via successive approximations... any strategy 
which insists on "perfection" before allowing anything to be said, amounts to 
nothing more than a cop out which excuses one from having to actually do the work 
of wresstling with what =is= known...

...Let me tell you, Colleen, you're taking this approach with the wrong person... 
I've made a study of the way that so-called "neuroscientists" excuse themselves 
from having to deal with the great mass of information that's been collected... so 
if you want to discuss this one thing, lead on...

>  hopefully, someday, it will be found.  and
> it will be a real memory, not a representation or model of it.

...open your eyes... it's already =in= that which is delimited by the experimental 
results... and with respect to the worth of what =can= be done with what is 
already known relative to the worth that would be added it I could tell a person 
which molecules in the person's brain stored the memory of the person's first 
kiss, it's no contest... in this matter, the exact molecular representation is 
=relatively= worthless... at this point in the history of Neuroscience, it's no 

...the position you've taken is in the realm of that worthlessness...

> please do not let me dissuade you from looking into LTP - it is actually a
> fascinating neural phenomenon but it is created in the laboratory with
> relatively high electric currents that do not normally exist in a physiological
> system.  this does not mean that LTP has no use; it just means it is NOT

...in this, you are also wrong... read in the stacks... any instance in which you 
read of trailing-off high-frequency components in an activation trace is an 
instance in which there is a form of tuning which is in the realm that can be 
termed "LTP"... the length of the term of potentiation varies, but it's all in the 
same realm as "LTP"...

> p.s. there is much indirect evidence for "changes" in the nervous system in
> response to learning or situations where learning has taken place.

...and you cannot see the encoding of memory within this set of things...?

> and i would
> make a "theoretical" argument for peripheral memories (which have also not been
> found) based on learned motor tasks.  briefly, you cannot master a piano with
> just a brain (i.e. central nervous system).  the connections between your
> motoneurons (to muscle tissue) are also plastic and this is probably, in part,
> how we 'learn' fine motor tasks.

...I do not argue this... in my discussion of the differences peripheral vs 
central dynamics, I was discussing the relative complexity of the 
respective networks, and the cross-modal interactions... it's no contest... the 
central problem is orders of magnitude more-complex nhan is the peripheral 
problem... compared to the central problem there's virtually no integration in the 
PNS... (note, I'm not saying that there's no integration in the PNS... there 
=is=... it's just that when the integration that occurs in the PNS is compared to 
the integration that has to appear in the CNS, the PNS stuff is so relatively 
small that it loses significance with respect to the thing that I was discussing 
in my prior post... the difference between the peripheral and central healing 
capacities... and I stand on what I posted...

...as for your peripheral learning... and neuron-muscle interface modifications 
due to exercise... they are exactly within the realm of the sorts of 
activity-dependent micro mods that I've been addressing... muscles grow stronger 
with exercise, and there are neural correlates of such... what you've raised does 
not even begin to address what was integrated in the discussion of the CNS PNS 
healing differential that I posted...

...and if you want to know why I'm so "hot under the collar" about all of this, 
it's just that I've just about had it with folks who trash what I bring to them 
without even bothering to understand it... and who attempt to do so with this or 
that "fashionable quote" from one of the texts that, rather than =doing= 
Neuroscience, amounts to nothing more than a "throwing up of hands" in a putrid 
swoon over "how difficult is the problem on which we're working"... "oh, aren't we 
grand?" ...it is precisely =this= which I refer to as B.S. ...such is unworthy of 
any place in the company of Scientists, "Neuro" or otherwise...

> And i am sure that it would not
> be any more independent of the cns than the cns is of the periphery.  they are
> not separate entities any more than the esophogus is of the stomach.  they just
> act differently, like the latter do, although they have a common goal.

...B. S. ...with respect to cross-modality integration the PNS is 
=hugely= differentiated from the CNS... of course they are connected... so what? I 
was discussing the differential healing, and why it occurs...

> we have to remember, the distinction between cns and pns is a man made one,
> even though they have many differences between them.

...B. S. ...=study= the relative cross-modality integration problems...

...Colleen, it's offensive in the extreme to have one's Life's work brushed aside 
with the sorts of "canned objections" with which you've responded... get one thing 
straight... with me, in discussions of the Neuroscience, only the stuff of the 
experimental results matters... the rest, including all of the trite sayings with 
respect to the "difficulty" of the "neuroscientific" problem that are fairly 
celebrated at meetings among "neruoscientists", are B. S. ...broach such in my 
presence, and I'll take such and fling it up against the nearest "wall"...

...and don't come back at me with recriminations with respect to my "attitude"... 
people are suffering greatly under the yoke of prejudice... nations, under the 
yoke of nationalistic prejudice, are fighting, or preparing for war... all of 
which can be can be ameliorated with the stuff of the Neuroscience experimental 
results that have existed for decades already...

...when you, or anyone else who's taking up a funded position in Neuroscience 
talks canned B.S. rather that doing what's necessary on behalf of those who 
suffer, they become the cause of the suffering... can't anyone see that... good 
grief! Neuroscience is funded by the tax dollars of those who are forsaken by 

...I am here to =do= neuroscience... I have tolerated B.S. for more than 2 
decades. I will not tolerate such any further... B. S. will not be allowed to 
stand... and this is not an "attitude problem"... this is =Neuroscience=, and 
Neuroscience deserves no less... people are suffering and dying for goodness' 
sakes... and folks in Neuroscience resort to B.S.? K. P. Collins
People hate because they fear, and they fear because
they do not understand, and they do not understand 
because hating is less work than understanding.

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