SciAm article [was Happy Groundhog Day!]

kenneth collins kenneth.p.collins at
Fri Feb 4 21:00:02 EST 2005

"kenneth collins" <kenneth.p.collins at> wrote in message 
news:CQzMd.1851$Th1.937 at
| [...]

| "Memory" is extremely-very-much
| more than "synapses", but this article
| reduces it all to "synapses".
| So, from right-there, it "flies off the
| handle".
| "Memory" occurs as a function of
| the neural Topology, which, with
| respect to individual cells, includes
| the =entirety= of the =highly= dyn-
| amic cellular structure [including
| it's glial "surround"].
| Reducing "memory" to "synapses"
| precludes the dynamicism that is
| easily seen to be necessary.
| Rather than constituting "memory",
| "synapses" function as energy-trans-
| ducers that map 3-D energydynam-
| ics [TD E/I] into the cellular Topol-
| ogy.
| Given such energy-mapping, cells
| manifest "microscopic trophic mod-
| ifications" [AoK, Ap5] that literally
| embody the =dynamic= 3-D energy-
| dynamics.
| [...]

Think about it in terms of other sys-
tems of information-representation.

1. The English-Alphabet.

26 symbols that can be used to create
"words", "sentences", "paragraphs",
"essays", "Letters to the Editor", "News-
group Posts", "Chapters", "Poems",
"Song Lyrics", "Books", "Libraries",
etc., ad infinitum.

What does that map into within nerv-
ous systems?

Nothing like "synapses".

There has to be a network that can
be tuned so that a particular set of
"synapses" "fires", so that a partic-
ular network-activation occurs.

But, given a particular set of all ex-
isting "synapses", if all there is in
"memory" is "synapses", then how
can new "memories" be constructed
our of just the same set of "synapses"?

Various "synapses" become more, or
less, "strengthened"? And that alters
the path in which the network's 'instant-
aneous' activation will occur?

What if the "memory" that is to be con-
structed cannot be 'contained' in the
existing set of "synapses"?

Is that a "show-stopper"? Something
that the nervous system cannot get-

Or, since I learn and remember new
stuff every 'day', how does "strength-
ening", or "weakening", of my existing
set of "synapses" just keep-on 'rememb-
ering" as much new stuff as I cram in-

These "synapses" are pretty-spectacular
things, no?

I mean, they just sit there, always con-
nected to the same post-synaptic re-
ceptor membrane-complex, and, yet,
they can "remember" stuff "ad infinitum".

That's "mysterious", alright.

Where's the "rearangement" that's so
apparent in the formation of "words"
from the Alphabet?

The network takes care of that?

But it's "supposed to be" the "synapses"
that "remember" how to make the net-
work do all of that?

The "strengthening" and "weakening"
of "synapses" varies the "timing" of
various neural pathways?

And it's such pathway "timing" that,
then, evokes different "memories"?

Why, then, do neurons grow, instead
of just "strengthening" and "weakening"

And how do neurons "know" how to

How does a neuron "know" how and
when to send an axon collateral "over-

"Synapses" tell it how to do so?

What happens when a nervous system
'goes' from thinking about Sociology to
thinking about Psychology, or Cooking,
or Shopping, or Driving, or Reading-a-
Book, or Drawing a Portrait, or Painting
a Landscape in water colors, in oils, in
acrylics, or Sculpting a Statue out of
granite, or Neuroscience, or Religion, or
Auto Mechanics, or Classical Mechanics,
or Quantum Mechanics, or something
that's never been thought before?

How is the Infinity, inherent, "crammed"
into "synapses"?

And, if it is, why do neurons grow?

Neurons' growing would displace "syn-
apses", no?

But they still "remember", even though
they've been displaced?

Once a "synapse" is established, it just
sits-there, "strengthening" or "weaken-
ing", "remembering"?

Only new "synapses" appear on new
neural growth?

How do the new "synapses" "know"
how to not interfere with the old "syn-
apses'" "remembering"?

You know?

"Memory" is =much= more than "syn-

Neural growth must occur in a way
that's governed by the needs of the
=network= with respect to its dyn-
amically achieving the particular neural
pathways that it must establish if part-
icular "information" is to be actualized
within the network.

Basically, as soon as it's admitted that
neurons grow, it becomes apparent
that "synapses" are insufficient to ac-
count for "memory" -- because the
neural growth is necessary for the in-
stantiation of "memory".

So, if "memory" is "all synapses", then
how to the "synapses" "control" neur-
al growth?

The "synapses'" "strengthening" and
"weakening" "determines" the archi-
tecture of the microtubules and actin
filaments, and the 'spherical'-folded-
ness of the endoplasmic reticulum,
and all of the protein synthesis that
occurs in a neuron?

How does the "synapses" "determ-
ine" where, in the neuron, membrane
constituents are to go so that the neur-
on's growth will occur in ways that
enhance the global neural Topology?

The neuron just "grows in all direct-

How does that embody "memory"?

How does the "strengthening" and
"weakening" of "synapses" "determine"
"memory" within such "grow-everywhere"-

Do folks see what I'm getting at?

The "synapses" are insufficient to "be

Yes, they form "junctions" through
which energy flows, but the energy
that so flows is not 'restricted' to
the "synapses", and the energy that
flows through the "synapses" is on-
ly a small portion of the energy that
flows within, and around, a neuron
and it's glial surround.

Why have all that 'extra' energy flow-
ing all around in-there if "memory"
is all-"synapses"?

Huge waste, no?


It's 'just' the 3-D energydynamics
that I've been discussing for about
the last ten 'years'.

It's the 3-D-ness that forms part-
icular energy-distribution Topol-
ogies, within a neuron and it's ex-
tracelular-space and glial suround,
that sets the Geometry that com-
municates 3-D-differentially with
"the genome" that activates "the
genome" differentially which con-
trols the differential growth of the
neuron so that it will physically-
embody it's portion of the global
"in-form-ation" that is to be "re-
membered" [doing so, as I've dis-
cussed in former posts, in the form
of Directionalities within the =global=
nerual Topology].

One can't get to "here" invoking
only "synapses" -- "memory" is
=much= more than "synapses".

'Memory" occurs as a function of
=whole= neurons within the =whole=
network, and there must be a mech-
anism that maps into this compound
"whole"-ness -- which is why it can
only be the 3-D energydynamics
that "control" "memory".

You know?

=Only= the 3-D energydynamics
trace, continuously, at =all= scales.

The global scale if the mapping of
the 3-D energydynamics is the sub-
ject of AoK's "Short Paper" sec-
tion. It's easy to see the nervous
system's "left", "right", "up", and
"down" at the global scale.

Think about that.

Where does this easily-observed
global order 'disappear'?

Yes, there are =many= "twists and
turns" within the neural Topology,
but, if all of these did not preserve
global Directionality, how, then,
would a nervous system "know"
how to, say, Direct the motion of
one's arm so that it coincides with
the experiential external environment
in which the nervous system's host
organism exists?

If Directionality were not preserved
all the way down, one's arm would
move like the tongues of the frogs
in the experiments done by M. Arbib,
who "reversed" the connectedness
of optical fibers to the frog's tectum.
Thereafter, the frogs' tongues would
'move away from' an insect that flew
by, rather than 'moving toward' it.

So, Directionality must be preserved
into this level of the neural Topology.

It's the same all the way down be-
cause of the same Reason.

If it were not, neural dynamics would
be, observably, like the operated-

Instances in which Directionality is not
so-preserved do occur, but they only
Prove the point because, in such, in-
stances, there's always an observable
"delay" that dynamically-maps exactly
to the extra information-processing
workload that has to be "carried" be-
cause Directionality has to be calc-
ulated dynamically.

All of this has been implicit in AoK,
all along. Specific examples are dis-
cussed at the level of the TD E/I-
minimization mechanisms.

Nervous systems are =really= that
Elegantly-Simple. It's this Elegant-
Simplicity that enables nervous sys-
tems to so-Powerfully, and so-Rap-
idly, process in-form-ation.

And what's =really= "Neat" is that,
once one knows about this Pre-
serving of Directionality all the way
down, one can =Follow= it, and
=everything= within nervous sys-
tems 'just' discloses itself to one's
understanding. All one has to do is
keep-on Following Directionality
all the way down. It can be so-Fol-
lowed all the way to the sub-ionic
level, and it's =Fun= to do so -- 
like going for a walk in a Wonder-
land in which one Knows how to
Appreciate all of the Wonders one

Get it?

Reader: "Ken, we hate it when you
say, 'Get it?'."

I understand, but it's necessary to
"pause", and that's what I'm always
bidding folks to do when I say, "Get it?"

I've Lived for your Understanding.

But, "gees, 'louise'!" I wish there was
a way other than writing it into Ex-

There are many other Reasons that
underpin this or that of what's been
my writing 'style'.

Sometimes, I just have to do what
enables me to not-give-up.

It shows. I understand.

k. p. collins 

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