Why 'Memory' is more than 'Synapses [was Re: On the Non-Existence of 'time' [was Re: SciAm article [was Happy Groundhog Day!]]]

kenneth collins kenneth.p.collins at worldnet.att.net
Tue Feb 8 01:09:29 EST 2005

"kenneth collins" <kenneth.p.collins at worldnet.att.net> wrote in message 
news:DlONd.14155$Th1.2455 at bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
| [...]

| [I'll post further discussion with respect
| to "synapses" later this 'day'.]

By chance, one of the Books that I brought
in from my porch the other 'night' was =The
Joy of Mathematics=, by T. Pappas, 1989,
ISBN: 0-933174-65-9. I purchased it long
ago, but got around to reading it only last
'night'. It's a really-good book, and I rec-
ommend it to all. It's not a regular Maths
book. Rather, it's a collection of vignettes
that Lovingly carry one into the depths
of Maths. [Pappas does the same thing in
his "Mathematics Calandars", which I
also used to purchase when I was em-
ployed, and which I also recommend. [Pap-
pas has a Gift for drawing one's mind in-
to the heart of Maths, and exposing all
of the wonders in-there. His enjoyment of
Maths is "contagious".]

The vignette on p14 is about "The Quipu",
which was a 2-D knotted-rope "account-
ing" recording-method used by the Incas.

The "quipu" system incorporated a version
of the decimal number system, and was
startlingly-useful. Instances of it were fash-
ioned by an "accounting" calls that passed
the methodology down through generations
of their families. Quipus were carried by
dedicated runners, each of whom ran ov-
er his own ~two-mile section of overall
routes. Pappas points out that these run-
ners became so 'familiar' with their sections
of the running of the quipus that they could
run them at full-speed under any conditions.

There's more interesting discussion in the
book, but what struck me as I was read-
ing this vignette was how the "knots" in
the quipu were like "synapses" and the
route-segments travelled by the runners
were like axons, and, thus, information
was carried to the Incan Rulers in a man-
ner that's reminiscent of neural activation
within nervous systems.

But this 'analogy' is inadequate because,
once the "knots" are tied into a quipu,
they just sit-there, never changing, which,
for the Incas, was exactly what they want-
ed -- a permanent "information"-store.

But do you see the problem?

And this 'analogy' exposes the problem
inherent in seeing "synapses" as the locus
of "memory" -- if "memory" were to be
recorded in "synapses", then, like the
quipu, to create a new "information"-rec-
ord requires the 'tying of new knots' -- 
the creation of new "synapses", and, al-
though there are g'zillions of "synapses"
in the brain, it also requires g'zillions of
them to "address" a "memory". The
other 'half' of the problem stems from
the fact that, prior to the onset of sen-
escence, "memories" can be accumul-
ated at will.

See the Problem?

If "memory" were only "synapses", even
though "synapses" are microscopic, we'd
all be great blockheads because each small
bit of "information" that's "stored" would
require a constellation of myriad "synapses"
to be created and maintained "forever". Ev-
en individual neurons would have to 'get-
bigger' without limit.

And, as soon as one says, "Well, the syn-
apses are modulated", one simultaneously
asserts that "memory" is not "synapses",
but, at most, "synapses" are involved in

And it's easy to see that it cannot be, be-
cause the problems of fashioning and read-
ing the 'quipu' remain unresolved if one as-
serts that "memory is synapses".

All that is is 'rope' without any means of
getting the 'knots' into it, or reading them,
or getting the 'quipus' from "here" to "there",
all of which have their analogues in "the
brain", and all of which are necessary for
functional "memory".

So, the =only= way that "memory" can
be "stored" is in a way that confines the
contribution of each neuron to a dyn-
amically-tuned set of all-encompassing
"memories" with respect to its particular
topologically-localized role in each glo-
bal "memory", in which each neuron's
contribution to the global "memory" is
Directionally-ordered with respect to
the "special topological homeomorphism"
of central nervous systems" [AoK, "Short
Paper", Ap3, 5 & 7]. So the set of all
possible "memories" that any individual
neuron has to "remember" is delimited
to the set of all of its possible Directional
contributions, which is completely con-
tained by a 'sphere' -- which is why I
"flipped-out", a few weeks back, when
I noticed that the endoplasmic reticulum
is 'exactly' that -- a "spherical-controller"
for a neuron's interaction with "the ge-

Prior to then, I'd been invoking the raw
3-D energydynamics to do the same
thing. But the the ER is invoked, as it is
in the ER_Engram hypothesis, just makes \
it all Strong -- because "folds" in the ER,
which can vary =continuously= and,
this's =Gorgeous= with respect to what's
actually Necessary to "address memory",
which includes tuning of ion gates, even
in dendritic trees -- be-cause it does no
good to just "accept" incoming stimulation.
Neurons' responses to incoming activation
must be tuned so that neurons "bursting"
will act appropriately upon post-synaptic
neurons -- which tuning is what's going-
on while one is "hunting" for a "memory".

The one thing that's =Necessary= is to
have a generalized neuronal "memory-
governor" that acts as a neuron-level
"engram", and the endoplasmic retic-
ulum is =Perfect= for such because it
exists as a 'sphere' surrounding the nuc-
leus, so it can Robustly-encode "Dir-
ectionality", and which, via growth that
occurs as "folds", can encode specific
Directional "information", and, via the
same "folding", act upon protein synth-
esis with respect to any activation that
impinges upon a neuron, varying it's
spherical conformation in response to
the 'instantaneous' 3-D energydynamics
that impinge upon it, thus establishing,
and maintaining, neurons' topological
growth and 'instantaneous' tuning.

"Synapses" cannot even begin to ap-
proach what's necessary. They're too
far from the nucleus, and being unable
to multiply indefinitely, they're too few
in number to encode Directionality.

In 3-D energydynamics approaches,
"synapse"-architecture can be varied
as a function of the ER-folding-con-
trolled protein synthesis, thus being
tuned like everything else within a

This sort of 3-D energydynamics ap-
proach is also commensurate with the
needs of "supersystem configuration",
in which =global= "memory" can be
tuned across the full spectrum of ex-
perience [going back to Childhood
"memories"] and is an Absolute pre-
requisite of the dynamic cross-correl-
ation of "imformation" that routinely
occurs during "thought". Such would
just not be possible if the cross-cor-
relation inherent were dependent upon
"synapse"-stored "memory". "Synapses"
are inadequate "receivers" for the tot-
ality of the 3-D energydynamics that
are active within neurons.

All of this should be easily-verifiable,
=to a first approximation=, via light mic-
roscopy with respect to ER at various
'stages' of maturation, and under var-
ious training regimes.

If there's a "continuous" variation of
the ER's gross conformation and com-
plexity with increasing maturation, all
that's discussed in this post will be
Verified as experimental technique
comes up to speed with respect to it.

You know -- I can say much more
about all of this stuff, if I'm allowed to
discuss it in-person [it's just easier to
do so in-person].

Anyway, "synapses" do not encode
"memory". They are energy-trans-
duction =servants=, not "bosses".

Within nervous systems, the 3-D
energydynamics are "Boss".

k. p. collins

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