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Memory and remembering
#1

Memory and remembering
Last night, I was trying to remember the name of a very famous actor. Could picture him very clearly in my mind, but could not remember his name.

Suddenly, the name was there. There was no sense  of it coming from anywhere, it was just there .  I became puzzled.

I have long thought that the mind is a dynamic of the living brain. A process rather than a separate thing. Harm the brain, harm the mind , the person. .EG a lobotomy, or say as the result of a car accident.  Kill the brain , with say a bullet to the brain , kill the mind and the person. 

With that understanding came  the conclusion  that memory is stored somewhere. That this storage is imperfect, subject  to harm , even to almost complete loss, from from a range  of sources. 


Does anyone know the science on this?   Are memories stored? If so where, and by what mechanism?  Memory doesn't fade with age for everyone.  My dad started to 'slip 'in his early 70's. By the time he died , at age 87 he had been away with the fairies for some years. Yet mum was lucid, memory almost intact to the day she died, at 92. 


My fear is not of dying, but of  becoming demented long before I die.
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#2

Memory and remembering
Every time I can’t retrieve a word, I worry that it’s the start of the end.  And I can definitely perceive various parts of my brain not working as fast as formerly, which annoys me a lot.  For example, I’m slower at memorizing music than I used to be...it used to be effortless.  Until I was in my early 20s, I could remember every piece of music I’d ever played.  Now (in my 50#s) i have to work at it more.  However, when I was in a group for the past few years that performed all of its music from memory, I was still the fastest at memorizing compared to people 20 and 30 years younger than I was.  

I think that some word-retrieval problems come from whatever inhibitory processes are involved with anxiety/nerves, exacerbated by extra anxiety about getting older and slower.
god, ugh
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#3

Memory and remembering
There is no *thing* called a "mind", separate from the brain.
There are only brains and brain processes.
https://www.livescience.com/32798-how-ar...brain.html
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#4

Memory and remembering
Whenever I have difficulty pulling up a word to speak or I feel the least bit foggy, I just blame it all on the fact that I'm a single parent with a lot of stuff on my mind and there's no way my brain can process 100% of everything it needs to every day.

Or maybe it's early onset dementia, who knows.

I read some fascinating articles a few years ago about researchers permanently erasing traumatic memories in mice.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017...tudy-shows

I believe this will eventually be done in humans who volunteer for it (or maybe involuntarily if we ever reach a dystopia).

I'm not sure I would sign up to delete terrible memories, though. I would have to think long and hard before I decided to do that.

-Teresa
There is in the universe only one true divide, one real binary, life and death. Either you are living or you are not. Everything else is molten, malleable.

-Susan Faludi, In the Darkroom
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#5

Memory and remembering
Last I read, they are still struggling to develop a workable understanding of memory. Rupert Sheldrake makes this one of the centerpieces of his skepticism surrounding the modern scientific consensus. He can be very biased and dishonest, so I don't know that for a fact, but it wouldn't surprise me.
[Image: signature%20The-Ascension-of-Iweko.jpg]
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#6

Memory and remembering
(08-27-2019, 11:42 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: There is no *thing* called a "mind", separate from the brain.

"A mind is the subjective experience of having an objective brain." -- Dr. J. Allan Hobson
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#7

Memory and remembering
In Bart Ehrman's "Jesus Before the Gospels" he spends a great deal of time dealing with the issue of memory.  He cites several studies of the phenomenon of people filling in the gaps when their memories are blank.

One involved the professor's description of a video of a plane crashing into an apartment building in the 80's.  Students who recalled seeing the video were asked to write a description of it.  They did.

There was no such video.  This was long before cell phone cameras and the only way there could have been a video was if a TV crew was set up watching that building when the plane hit it.

Did not stop a lot of them from "remembering" it, though.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#8

Memory and remembering
(08-28-2019, 12:17 AM)Tres Leches Wrote: I believe this will eventually be done in humans who volunteer for it (or maybe involuntarily if we ever reach a dystopia).

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004)

No gods necessary
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#9

Memory and remembering
(08-27-2019, 10:22 PM)grympy Wrote: I have long thought that the mind is a dynamic of the living brain. A process rather than a separate thing. Harm the brain, harm the mind , the person. .EG a lobotomy, or say as the result of a car accident.  Kill the brain , with say a bullet to the brain , kill the mind and the person. 

With that understanding came  the conclusion  that memory is stored somewhere. That this storage is imperfect, subject  to harm , even to almost complete loss, from from a range  of sources. 


Does anyone know the science on this?   Are memories stored? If so where, and by what mechanism?  Memory doesn't fade with age for everyone.  My dad started to 'slip 'in his early 70's. By the time he died , at age 87 he had been away with the fairies for some years. Yet mum was lucid, memory almost intact to the day she died, at 92. 

Wikipedia Wrote:The mind is the set of cognitive faculties including consciousnessimaginationperceptionthinkingjudgementlanguage and memory, which is housed in the brain (sometimes including the central nervous system). It is usually defined as the faculty of an entity's thoughts and consciousness.[3] It holds the power of imagination, recognition, and appreciation, and is responsible for processing feelings and emotions, resulting in attitudes and actions.[citation needed]




Addressing the bolded part above, in my case my spina bifida has the comorbidity of hydrocephalus, or "water on the brain". For this reason, I have a pump in my brain called a shunt. I have LD's related to organization, speech, and, pertinent to this thread, short term memory, and I've always assumed it could be due to the shunting procedure (not that it wenbt wrong. It just has its limitations).
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”
Carl Sagan
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#10

Memory and remembering
(08-27-2019, 11:42 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: There is no *thing* called a "mind", separate from the brain.
There are only brains and brain processes.
https://www.livescience.com/32798-how-ar...brain.html

That seems to be case as far science can  currently tell.  Quite content to accept that  until some different evidence based  explanation comes along .
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#11

Memory and remembering
(08-28-2019, 12:17 AM)Tres Leches Wrote: Whenever I have difficulty pulling up a word to speak or I feel the least bit foggy, I just blame it all on the fact that I'm a single parent with a lot of stuff on my mind and there's no way my brain can process 100% of everything it needs to every day.

Or maybe it's early onset dementia, who knows.

I read some fascinating articles a few years ago about researchers permanently erasing traumatic memories in mice.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017...tudy-shows

I believe this will eventually be done in humans who volunteer for it (or maybe involuntarily if we ever reach a dystopia).

I'm not sure I would sign up to delete terrible memories, though. I would have to think long and hard before I decided to do that.

-Teresa


If all of my traumatic/unpleasant memories were erased, there  wouldn't be much left.   However, there are some memories I would delete in a heart beat if I could.
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#12

Memory and remembering
I read somewhere that memories aren't stored in specific locations in the brain, and that even when pulled together from all over the place as they appear to be, they aren't like video recordings or something. They are more a rough synthesis of what you perceived and how you emotionally responded together with just enough facts to make it better than a dream. Even then they need the right (combination of) trigger(s) to bring them forward to be accessed.

It was a little unsettling reading stuff like that, as it highlights how sloppy and inexact our thought processes are. But at the same time, comforting and validating in the face of the fact that we all on some level sort of KNOW that already and worry that we're slipping relative to our fellow humans.
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#13

Memory and remembering
(09-03-2019, 11:31 AM)mordant Wrote: I read somewhere that memories aren't stored in specific locations in the brain, and that even when pulled together from all over the place as they appear to be, they aren't like video recordings or something. They are more a rough synthesis of what you perceived and how you emotionally responded together with just enough facts to make it better than a dream. Even then they need the right (combination of) trigger(s) to bring them forward to be accessed.

It was a little unsettling reading stuff like that, as it highlights how sloppy and inexact our thought processes are. But at the same time, comforting and validating in the face of the fact that we all on some level sort of KNOW that already and worry that we're slipping relative to our fellow humans.

I guess the best way to deal with questionable memories is to live in the present, because if you live in the past you are likely living in a fantasy world.
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#14

Memory and remembering
Some lite reading:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2373641/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4070396/
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#15

Memory and remembering
I keep IMDB open to find out what other movies I've seen that person in. Karen Allen was the latest.
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#16

Memory and remembering
(09-03-2019, 11:31 AM)mordant Wrote: I read somewhere that memories aren't stored in specific locations in the brain, and that even when pulled together from all over the place as they appear to be, they aren't like video recordings or something. They are more a rough synthesis of what you perceived and how you emotionally responded together with just enough facts to make it better than a dream. Even then they need the right (combination of) trigger(s) to bring them forward to be accessed.

It was a little unsettling reading stuff like that, as it highlights how sloppy and inexact our thought processes are. But at the same time, comforting and validating in the face of the fact that we all on some level sort of KNOW that already and worry that we're slipping relative to our fellow humans.

Perhaps  another argument of evolution over intelligent  design.

On examination, much of the design of the human body ,and indeed of many animals  seems inelegant, a matter of function over form.An explanation I've read for this sloppiness is that that nature is a lousy engineer . That good enough is good enough .Evolution produces function. Any elegance is in the mind of the beholder. 

I admit this notion does not seem to explain  some mathematical/geometric beauty found in nature. EG, the Golden Mean . Is that simply beauty in the eye of the beholder?  That it is common is perhaps because it  is the easiest path for evolution?
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#17

Memory and remembering
Like Mordant, my understanding is that memories consist of data packets scattered through various parts of the brain, that are referenced when the memory is considered.

This weekend, my mom, my sis, step-sis, and I had a great talk about our last days in Iran and our homecoming thereafter (step-sis was in Texas the whole time). It was not surprising to me that some of the things I remember they don't, and vice-versa. The plasticity and volatility of memory in human brains makes such flaws virtually inevitable ... not to mention age-related deterioration and/or brain damage caused by health issues.

The best trick I can think of for pulling something out of memory that is just beyond my grasp is to stop thinking of it and focus on something else, allowing my subconcious to dig through the files and hopefully find the right shit.
<Insert intelligent thought here>
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#18

Memory and remembering
(09-03-2019, 11:45 AM)Alan V Wrote:
(09-03-2019, 11:31 AM)mordant Wrote: I read somewhere that memories aren't stored in specific locations in the brain, and that even when pulled together from all over the place as they appear to be, they aren't like video recordings or something. They are more a rough synthesis of what you perceived and how you emotionally responded together with just enough facts to make it better than a dream. Even then they need the right (combination of) trigger(s) to bring them forward to be accessed.

It was a little unsettling reading stuff like that, as it highlights how sloppy and inexact our thought processes are. But at the same time, comforting and validating in the face of the fact that we all on some level sort of KNOW that already and worry that we're slipping relative to our fellow humans.

I guess the best way to deal with questionable memories is to live in the present, because if you live in the past you are likely living in a fantasy world.

Well, I guess  the present and reality are Ok to visit if you must. However, I wouldn't like to have to LIVE there.

The above is  a facetious , statement  which is half true. Which half, I'm not saying   . Consider
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#19

Memory and remembering
False memory and sudden memory recovery:

Exactly a year ago i was tasked with modifying a couple of our  MK100 brake ECUs in the lab*. This was due to a buggy IC from Texas (Instruments). I was also involved in modifying a few of our more recent and more complex MkC1** ECUs.

Yesterday, almost exactly one year later, i was tasked with modifying another 5 Mk100 ECUs. I could swear that i outsourced this to our prototype facility in Bavaria and handed them a small "how to". I was searching the whole fucking day on all local and network drives and in my mail for this. Today, just 2hrs ago, i found the "how to". It was the modding of the MkC1 units. And when i saw it, it dawned on me, that my memory was totally fucked up. I suddenly remembered all of it. How i modified our Mk100 myself because the plastic cover is easy to remove and re-fit, but outsourced the MkC1, because the 5mm Alu cover is a biatch to remove.

I was literally facepalming, and i was frustrated about how i could have been so sure that i did this for Mk100 and not MkC1. Facepalm

*i just took over projct management from my teamleader who went on parental leave for a year. So it was a busy year and tuff project for me
** MkC1 is also for hybrid vehicles, because brake force amplification is electric. Mk100 stock is hydraulic with vacuum booster and has to be modded (with n additional vaccuum pump) to be fit for hybrid
cetero censeo religionem esse delendam 
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#20

Memory and remembering
Memory is a strange thing ain't it?

I can easily recall our very first telephone number from 60 years ago, but I have not the faintest memory
of the number at the last house we moved from only 8 years ago, or the one preceding that.  The same
with the registration number (license plate) of my very first car in the 1950s, but ask me for the registration
number of a car I sold only last year, and I don't have the foggiest.

I can only think that the most impactful memories are created by "firsts" or maybe "one-offs"?  But why in
particular does our brain do that?  What makes a telephone number from the 1950s so worthy of recalling
so easily?  Isn't the number from my last house far more (relatively) important?
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#21

Memory and remembering
(09-04-2019, 10:43 AM)SYZ Wrote: Memory is a strange thing ain't it?

I can easily recall our very first telephone number from 60 years ago, but I have not the faintest memory
of the number at the last house we moved from only 8 years ago, or the one preceding that.  The same
with the registration number (license plate) of my very first car in the 1950s, but ask me for the registration
number of a car I sold only last year, and I don't have the foggiest.

I can only think that the most impactful memories are created by "firsts" or maybe "one-offs"?  But why in
particular does our brain do that?  What makes a telephone number from the 1950s so worthy of recalling
so easily?  Isn't the number from my last house far more (relatively) important?

I think "you never forget your first time" applies to a lot of things besides sex.

But in the larger perspective, in my experience and that of others I've discussed it with, it seems like we live in a memory bubble where the vividness and coherence of MOST memories (apart from "firsts" and things with high emotional content, positive or negative) get fuzzier the further back in time you go. Prior to 10 years ago it gets pretty foggy for me, and prior to 25 years ago literally the ONLY stuff readily accessible to me are the things I marked as important milestones or cared alot about or had a particularly striking emotional response to. I remember the gist of all the Gemini and Apollo launches and mission coverage because it was fascinating to me. But I was too young to remember any of the Mercury missions. I remember my favorite sci-fi shows of the era, even the Irwin Allen potboilers (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Time Tunnel, Lost in Space) and the silly puppet shows like Thunderbirds. I remember snippets of Fractured Fairytales and Rocky & Bullwinkle and Mr Peabody and Sherman. I recall key events from grade school. I recall a couple of 45 rpm and 78 rpm records that were around the house that I must have played a thousand times. This symbolically makes me feel like I had a past and a narrative back to my earliest years, but if pressed to detail it -- like if someone made me write an autobiography -- I'm not sure that I could come up with a lot more than what I listed above.

Another thing that has surprised me is that the 15 years of my first marriage, which was a very, VERY bad one, seems almost completely erased. It seems the human mind (or mine, at least) is adept at letting really unpleasant details fall right off the buffer, never to be seen again. My current wife has asked me to describe that marriage to her but other than the penultimate events (me waking up to wife #1 in a trance like state holding a butcher knife; my daughter begging me to get her and her brother the fuck out of Dodge) and some pleasant vignettes of raising my children or my hobbies from that era ... I honestly can barely remember a sentence my first wife and I ever spoke to each other. I remember a fair bit from my professional life at the time, but my personal life ... might as well not have existed.

So yeah memory is a very slippery thang for me, but it seems, for others. too. Who here has never had someone who you thought knew you, recount some shared event from the past that is not AT ALL how you recall it? And wondering which of you are nuts? Or if maybe you both are?
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#22

Memory and remembering
Memories are often economical. We habituate to what is repeated, which means we don't pay as much attention. That often leaves our earliest memories as the most detailed. And being the earliest, they are often the most recalled for reference, making them even more indelible.

Strong emotions can make our memories indelible too, both pleasures and pains. I assume there is an evolutionary purpose to this, since so many of our behaviors are guided by pleasures and pains.
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