Consciousness, New Thinking About

DJ DJ at
Thu Jun 6 20:17:15 EST 2002

Matt Jones <jonesmat at> wrote in message
news:b86268d4.0206060804.6ea2f61c at
> "DJ" <DJ at> wrote in message
news:<newscache$pui9xg$n0f$1 at>...
> > JGC9 <jgcasey at> wrote in message
> > news:3cfeb3a5$1_1 at
> > >
> >You could argue that these things are coincidental.  It's an
> > interesting fact though that memory problems are commonly reported by
> > with epilepsy.
> Anyway, it's these reciprocal excitatory connections that allow
> autoassociative memory storage, but they also provide a form of
> "self-excitation" that is probably what makes the hippocampus so
> jumpy. It is an organ poised on the verge of a seizure all the time,
> and needs to be that way in order to store and recall information.
> Other regions proposed to have autoassociative functions are also
> prone to seizure activity.
> Seizures mess up memory probably because they activate everything,
> instead of allowing the normal specificity of different neuronal
> ensembles to represent different patterns.
> Cheers,
> Matt

You have to a certain extent validated my argument by illustrating close
relationships between the hippocampus, seizures and the storage and recall
of information.  You have gone to great lengths to point out that seizure
disorders can accentuate memory problems - which I agree with - and you seem
to have adopted the conventional view that the reverse isn't even worthy of
consideration - which I disagree with.  I would argue that the normal,
"excitory" activity that is associated with retrieving memories can become
chaotic if those memories are not retrieved properly.  It's my impression
that certain thought patterns can over time, make a person more susceptible
to seizure disorders than others.  For example, if a child develops a habit
of obsessively thinking and reflecting on past events (and thoughts), in
time it could theoretically make the brain's juggling act of retrieving long
term memories, short term memories and memories of "reflective" activity -
in a meaningful way - more difficult than it needs to be.  Which could in
turn lead to seizure activity, which could in turn worsen the ability to
retrieve memories, which could in turn lead to seizure activity, and so on.
If this is possible then it's also possible that other types of memory
irregularities could also produce similar problems.

It is my own personal belief that a living being cannot experience
consciousness if memories are not arriving constantly in a meaningful way.
I don't mean meaningful as in forming a logical storyline.  Dreams put paid
to that idea.  What I'm referring to is the ability to create some kind of
meaning at each instant in time.

I suspect that - unfortunately - the latest scientific understanding doesn't
even comes close to establishing the true nature of the relationship between
consciousness and memory.  Most people would probably say that consciousness
doesn't require memory.  I disagree.


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