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Thread: Where do you believe memories are stored?

  1. #1 Where do you believe memories are stored? 
    Forum Freshman americium-yttrium's Avatar
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    In the brain, obviously.

    But I've heard different opinions; the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, it depends on the person, etc.
    But i believe memories are not space specific, but they are rather stored physically across the entire brain, connected by neurons, and the physically closer the distance the electrochemicals have to travel, the closer the association with those specific memories are.
    But this doesn't explain why when brain damage occurs, people can lose significant parts of their memory, just from a blow to one target of the brain.

    What do you think?


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  3. #2  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Somewhere there was an article that said that your assumption is correct. That memories are stored at different neuron connection points. Although Ive had several blows to the head and that hasn't chopped my memory down so maybe they are stored.

    There has to be some study done on LTM and STM storage in psychology at sometime. I shall have a look at my A level psych book and get back to you.

    Other than that your question did seem a tad general. What is the purpose behind this question? HHmmmm?


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  4. #3  
    Forum Junior DrmDoc's Avatar
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    By my study, the entirety of the cerebrum was evolved for the purpose of storing and attenuating sensory input. Iíve envisioned the cerebrum as a sophisticated mapping and memory storage device. We employ this device to chart and guide our path to the defined mental, emotional, social, and behavioral destinations we seek and encounter through life exploration and experience.

    There isnít one specific area in the cerebrum where we may find the entirety of a specific map or memory. For example, the memory of what we may have had for dinner last Thursday isnít store in an area of the brain devoted to dates and content of dinners. The maps and memories our cerebrum stores must be summoned and coalesced from diffuse cerebral locations. Hereís where it gets really interesting; how do we summon and coalesced all the shades, colors, and intricacies of a past experience? From one moment to the next, how do we almost instantaneously summon and coalesce all the sensory information and behavioral data we require to navigate our every step through the whole of life experience? If the cerebrum is merely a sophisticated memory storage device, what part of our brain or central nervous system (CNS) employs that device?

    Although mentation resides in the cerebrum (cortex), some separate aspect of our CNS must initiate, guide and render that mentation cogent and applicable to our sensory encounters and life experiences. My study suggests that the thalamus is a primary participant in this process. The thalamus is the only core component of our CNS that we can most clearly associate with coherency in gathering, organizing, and binding data to and from the cortex. The relationship between the thalamus and cortex is analogous to an ape (thalamus) whose intelligence is boosted to human levels by wearing a thinking cap or device (cortex). Evolving before the cortex, thalmic function provides a template for the thought processes in the cortex--processes most likely inspired by subcortical directives. I welcome your thoughts.
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  5. #4 Re: Where do you believe memories are stored? 
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by americium-yttrium
    But i believe memories are not space specific, but they are rather stored physically across the entire brain, connected by neurons...
    I agree that memories are not space specific, moreover I don't see why they need be connected by neurons. Your brain contents are written in other "dimensions" besides hard neural connection. One additional dimension is the grossly variable neurotransmitter. By adjusting this, certain synapses will be more or less likely to bridge. It is not micromanaged, rather it's a system-wide filter. In this way different structures are overlaid and perform multiple duty. Another dimension is harmonic. This is what we call "brain-waves". Like the variable neurotransmitter, it's another filter enabling one neuron to mean different things depending on the frequency it's firing at. An analogy I like: imagine you have a sheet of paper, and you want to cram the most (legible) writing onto it. Now suppose you're also armed with some different coloured pens, and various translucent colour slides to filter out different colours. You'd multiply the storage capacity of that page by overwriting it in many colours. The colours here are "moods" so to speak. You would cram yet more words in by overwriting in different font sizes and styles, even forming larger letters out of tiny words. This is what I mean by brain contents existing in multiple dimensions.


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  6. #5  
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    As far as why brain damage/memory loss could still occur even though memory seems to be distributed somewhat globally throughout the brain is that some parts of the brain are more important in that damage to them would be drastic, while other parts are more labile and have less of a role, like the story of Phineas Gage, the railway worker who accidently had a stake shoot through his head and was fine, despite some mood changes.
    To make a bad analogy, you can think of it like the Jenga building game. Removing some of the key blocks will make the entire thing topple, but other blocks are more easily removed with little effect.
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  7. #6 Re: Where do you believe memories are stored? 
    Forum Masters Degree Twit of wit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong

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    It does not work on a computer screen.
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  8. #7  
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    Memories are stored all across the brain. This is why you remember your friend when you see them. A memory is just information about the past and the brain doesn't know the difference between information now and information then. It's just information. Past information just isn't as fresh.
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