Human Memory Research Mistake

The human memory research mistake is that science has not yet focused on explaining its massive capacity and precision. While memory must reside in the nervous system, the mathematical underpinnings of science prevent it from seeing the nerve cell as a pattern recognition entity, which can remember and precisely recall patterns on a galactic scale.

Leslie Vosshall reports that, in her lab, ordinary volunteers, (not wine tasters or perfumers), could clearly distinguish between different combinations of 128 odor molecules, indicating an average human ability to differentiate between 1 trillion smells. Combinatorial codes can theoretically store a galactic memory and recall it with infinite precision. This view has not been followed up by science in its research.

Human and animal memory involves the ability to remember and recognize millions of images. In the muscle movements for habitual activities from running to speaking, the system stores massive combinatorial memories. Yet, the most important area for memory research has been for simple remembered responses in fear conditioning. In these experiments, mice and rats learn to avoid a mild electric shock to their feet, while they move around a small chamber. Once learned, animals do not forget. Placed back in the chamber a day, or even a month later, they remember to avoid the shock. By focusing on this simple "Dial 100" response, science fails to seek explanations for trillions of other memory links.

  • Science focuses on the storage of strong traumatic memories, instead of faint episodic memories.
  • Long term potentiation is merely a speed dial link in the system.
  • PKMzeta also deals with critical memories.
  • Dial 100 ability cannot explain the ability to store 10,000 images sequentially.
  • Branch growth to remember millions of images sounds more like cancer. 
  • Damage to the hippocampus does not cause a loss of past memories.
  • Combinatorial codes can store astronomically large memories with microscopic precision.

Over 2 Million Page Views - How Did It Happen?
I am not a physician, but an engineer.  Way back in 1989, I noticed the unique speed of an AI algorithm for disease recognition and pieced together the implications of that phenomenon.  Intuition could be the same algorithm, applied by the nervous system to manage its stored knowledge!  The axon hillocks of neurons could store and retrieve memories of trillions of links between symptoms and known diseases.  Neurons respond to received impulses in 5 milliseconds.  The axon hillocks of neurons could use the elimination algorithm to eliminate (inhibit) unrelated relationships.  Since his memory did not store links of the symptom to any other known disease, a doctor could locate one disease in milliseconds.  

Functional regions could use precise combinatorial codes in feedback and feed forward links to recognize events, identify strategies and fire motor controls.  The axon hillocks of the neurons could store and retrieve memories of danger signals, of survival strategies and of muscular  responses to battle from ancient jungle encounters and herd struggles.  One region could link sensory signals to potential trouble from people and things. That could cause other neural organs to trigger anger, or fear. In turn, these emotion signals could make a person flee, or fight.  An insult could trigger stress in a split second.  On the other hand, the self awareness tool could inhibit stress and still the mind.

Not metaphysical theories, but millisecond pattern recognition could explain human psychology and turmoil.  It could also offer the means for its control. Several years after 1989, a Nobel Prize acknowledged the astonishing power of combinatorial pattern recognition.  Over 30 years, I have assembled evidence of emotional and physical reactions activated by neural pattern recognition and published three books about artificial intelligence and the nervous system. 

Human Memory Research Mistake
What Are Neural Speed Dial Links?
Nature created “speed dial links” between nerve cells to remember notably dangerous situations. Neural plasticity grew new branches to support such links. LTP established quick response systems. High frequency stimulation of the dendrites of a neuron were known to improve the sensitivity of the synaptic nerve junctions. Such activity was seen to be "remembered" by the cell through greater sensitivity at specific inputs. Harvard scientists listed 117 molecules involved at the synaptic junctions which could increase such sensitivity. These chemicals assisted in linking neural paths to create increased levels of activity between neurons in different areas. Can a few speed dial links explain the phenomenal range and depth of human memory?

Human Memory Research Mistake
How Does PKMzeta Affect Memory Formation?

Recently, Dr. Sacktorat discovered a substance called PKMzeta, which was present and activated in neighboring cells with speed-dial links. The PKMzeta molecules formed into precise fingerlike connections among brain cells that were strengthened. The molecules remained in place to sustain the speed dial links, which enabled heightened responses to danger. However, when a drug, which interferes with PKMzeta was injected directly into the brain, the animals forgot their fear. The animals even forgot a strong disgust they had developed for a taste after the administration of the drug. It was hoped that by disabling LTP, the drug could blunt painful memories and addictive urges. The ability of LTP to handle urgent messages does not explain how the system remembers last night's dinner menu.

Human Memory Research Mistake -
Is LTP The Basis For Memory Formation?

While LTP can establish “speed dial links,” combinatorial memories are required for the galaxy of events, remembered by the nervous system daily. People are reported to be able to recognize every one of 10,000 images shown to them at 1 second intervals. Such memories involve combinatorial arrangements of millions of pixels. Even habits require memories. The intricate movements of centipedes and horses need colossal memories. The graceful steps of a ballet dancer are learned through tedious practice. They require millions of motor memories repeating thousands of time a second. Such independent combinatorial memories are stored at such speeds and deal with memories of the whole nervous system for daily events. The “Dial 100” character of LTP cannot be the basis for such memories.

Human Memory Research Mistake
What Is Branching?

Memory research follows many leads. One clue relates to the branched inputs of nerve cells, called dendrites. Branch growth is assisted by a protein called cypin. Some memory disabilities were related to deficits in cypin. So, one possibility was that nerve cells grew new branches to store memory. New branches could represent added memory. But, when the size and scale of human memory is considered, the idea of branches, however microscopic, growing to add memories sounds perilously cancerous.

Human Memory Research Mistake 
What Is The Role Of The Hippocampus?

Damage to the hippocampus, a component of a region of thebrain called the limbic system, is known to cause patients to forget ongoing events within a few seconds. But, incidents from childhood and early adult life were still remembered. Memory had faded from a couple of years prior to the event that caused damage to the hippocampus. Older memories were still retained by the patient even without the hippocampus. Research has identified the role of the organ in storing long term contextual episodic memories all over the cortical regions.

Human Memory Research Mistake
Can Maths Explain Human Memory?

The brilliance of the mind can only be explained through the pattern recognition process. But, since scientists favor maths, neurons, the basic building blocks of human intelligence, are assumed to be computers. Nerve cells are presumed to compute, not recognize. So, memory research failed to note the significance of neurons in the discovery of combinatorial codes. Combinatorial codes can store astronomically large volumes of data and can explain the immense wisdom of the mind. This website suggests that the mind functions by remembering and recognizing patterns. Combinatorial codes store human memory for both events and for habitual muscular responses.

This page was last updated on 31-Dec-2013

Jordan Peterson - Happiness
Can Artificial Intelligence Replace Humans?

JUST THINK...   What happens when you begin to talk? Your nervous system has picked an emotion. It has articulated an idea around it, chosen apt words from a vocabulary of thousands of words, arranged them in lexical and grammatical order and adjusted the pitch of your voice. Before you speak you've no consciousness of the words you will use. Who's actually in charge?  This question leads to the question "What is consciousness itself?" Is consciousness a spirit living in a human body?  Is it a mystical life form that emerges from the nervous system?  This is the hard problem of consciousness.