Layman's question on the biology of Long-term memory.

Glen M. Sizemore gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 17 11:12:50 EST 2002


<snip>

KA: But then again I may be completely wrong !

GS: You are.



"Khalid Akbar" <khalid at homechoice.co.uk> wrote in message
news:3CBD7011.709 at homechoice.co.uk...
> mat wrote:
>
> >I concur wih Sizemore upthread about RAM or hard drive-like storage
> >not being a particualrly helpful metaphor.  As it seems to me, after
> >reading quite a bit about the subtleties of synaptic modulation a more
> >gneral point can be made.  It is unhelpful to associate any particular
> >cellular or network level function with an (almost arbitrary) division
> >of higher cognitive function.  It happens all the time e.g.
> >LTP=memory, Schizophrenia=Dopamine Receptor or NMDA receptor,
> >Depression=Serotonin Receptor.  I think it is a fallacy to mix levels
> >like this.  Given that the brain has presumably evolved, then it is
> >not designed.  It did not suddenly decide that it needed a memory
> >function so LTP was created.  Instead, higher cognitive function is
> >the emergent activity of the whole host of complex regulaory pathways
> >that exist in the brain.  What evolution has done is to increase the
> >variety of interactions and changes that can occur in the brain in
> >reponse to the world, which has consequently allowed the development
> >of more complex higher function.  However, to separate out any
> >particular mechanism and say 'this celllar process does this cognitive
> >function' is wrong.
> >
> >
> I dont know much about this ... but aftersome thought I would have
> thought that the protein structure attached to the DNA in the nucleus of
> our cells would be affected, in that they would store
> aspects/properties  of our experience. So when sufficient neuclei (or
> whatever) store enough info to withhold a snapshot of our experience
> (something akin to taking a picture), these experiences could then be
> stimulated to result in recall i.e memory. Furthermore I would have
> thought certain types of cells would be more sensitive to being affected
> in this way then others.
>
> Hence, possibly, when you look at a person, you can tell the type of
> life they have lead ... since the cell structure stores this info and
> this will inevitably be reflected in the individuals characteristics.
>
> But then again I may be completely wrong !
>





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