The Engram Problem

Kenneth Collins k.p.collins at worldnet.att.net
Thu Jun 20 00:10:41 EST 2002


Joseph Martin III wrote in message ...
>Does sound interesting too.....but I'll still throw my own two cents in,
but
>I readily admit that I have not kept up with recent advances in the
>neuroscience of memory.......too busy in the day to day world of neuropsych
>assessment.
>
>I'd agree that memory is based on the performance of the neural network,
but
>my own personal thought is that what will eventually be found is that
>specific memories are not the pattern of the entire network, but rather
than
>patterns generated through particular sensory subsytems within the brain.

the thing is that, as soon as any 'part' of the network is 'disconnected',
the performance of the rest of the network degrades, so 'memory' occurrs as
a function of everything that's happening within everything that's in-there.

of course, different 'subsystems' serve different purposes within the whole.
it's just that all the 'different-purposes' form one, elegantly-integrated
whole.

you're getting at this in your "interesting question" analysis, quoted
below.

>That is to say, for example, that visual memory of a particular event is a
>neural firing pattern within the occipital lobe that closely resembles a
>previous firing pattern. Perhaps the strength or detail of the memory is
>related to the number and duration of neural firings within  a particular
>area.
>
>The interesting question for me would be do these areas operate
>independently in generating memories or do they need some sort of pattern
>recognition process to identify (at least consciously) a particular neural
>pattern as being familiar.  Perhaps this is where some of the old
structures
>of memory, Hippocampus, Cingulate Gyrus, etc, actually play a role.
Rather,
>than as was once thought, they are the seats of memory, they are in some
>sense, the areas where patterns are encoded and stored and thus recognized
>when they occur again.  This neural recognition we thus call memory. Once a
>particular modality "recognizes" a patern it then leads to a triggering of
>patterns within other areas of the brain that we would call associated
>memories.

the ["TD E/I-minimization] mechanisms, and their integrated functioning, are
described in AoK [the hypertext doc i'm offering to send out [to those who
asked for it: please tell me if you did =not= receive it OK.]

 k. p. collins [ken]
>[...]





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