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Re: [ontolog-forum] Origins of memories

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2014 10:11:38 -0700
Message-id: <028801cfc607$cd752170$685f6450$@englishlogickernel.com>
This discussion on the Cog Neurosci list seems
very related to the concept of ontologies since
ontologies depend on memories, both learned and
innate.    (01)

-Rich    (02)

Comment on Stonjek's comment: Rubbish. The
different "forms of memory" (as if "memory" was a
thing!) are all built out of basic conditioning
processes - at least, there is no reason to think
otherwise until such an avenue is fully explored
and the only people that do this at all are the
behaviorists. The one thing that all "memory" has
in common is that some past event is related to
current behavior*. And...surprise!
surprise!...that is also the hallmark of the most
basic learning processes. I am not saying that the
path from habituation/sensitization, classical
conditioning, and operant conditioning to the
different "kinds" of memory is simple or
well-understood, just that it is the most
parsimonious and obvious place to start.
Well...maybe it is not the start - ultimately,
IMO, all behavioral phenomena grow out of the
evolution of spontaneous movement and tropisms. My
current opinion is that reflexes arise
phylogenetically later through a kind of
"canalization" as, of course, does operant
conditioning. Further, operants that are acquired
by almost all members of a species ultimately
become canalized and, through the action of
natural selection, can become the modal action
patterns studied by ethologists. What is unique
about humans is the emergence of extensive
"recombinability" of motor patterns (and ever
proliferating numbers of motor patterns). The
emergence of "language" is a consequence of
extensive recombinability of motor patterns. What
comprises the various "declarative forms" of
"memory" arise after "language" and culture arise.
This is also, of course, the origin of
self-awareness. But calling the "declarative forms
of memory" forms is bit of a mistake. "They" are
all concatenations of basic behavioral processes.
Non-humans are incapable of many of these "forms"
because their repertoire of motor patterns is
small and canalized and there is limited
recombinability. Hence, "language" and culture
cannot arise and all that follows from that.       (03)

*Within boundaries of course. If one cuts off one
of an animal's legs, that event will likely affect
future behavior, but few would claim that the
initial effects were of interest to psychology or
neuroscience. Subsequent adaptation to this event,
of course, would be.   
On Sunday, August 31, 2014 9:22 PM, "'Robert Karl
Stonjek' stonjek@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
wrote:    (04)

There is still considerable confusion over what is
sent to the memory and why, and what the simpler
forms must be.    (05)

We can partially solve this by considering a
progressively reduced but still functional memory
system that our experience of memory
(consciousness) must have evolved from.    (06)

The naive assumption will be that simpler forms
simply contained less detail. But these would have
been less functional until a non-functional form
is reached (if one follows such an example far
enough).    (07)

The trick is to continue reduction until the
simplest form of memory is reached, but the
simplest form is still functional and increases
the survival chances of any animal that has it.    (08)

Having reached this point then the form of memory
upon which more complex species evolved is
achieved and this will remain the most fundamental
form simply because evolution can only progress if
earlier forms remain and are built upon directly
(it is not possible to evolve a more advanced
memory system or any other brain structure without
the simpler or reduced form being functional).    (09)

The simplest forms of memory will be involved in
maintaining information gathered by the senses
thus allowing a more complete picture of the
current conditions.    (010)

I call this 'orientation memory', a subgroup of
which is the 'place cell'. It is notable that when
memory is transiently lost after loss of
consciousness the individual will attempt to
populate the most fundamental form of memory
"where am I?"; "How did I get here?"; "what is
going on?"; in other words, they attempt to
orientate themselves. This orientation must be
maintained continuously i.e. be in memory.    (011)

It is also notable that when a concussion is
suspected medics will test the most fundamental
form of memory: "what is your name?"; "where are
you?"; "which team are you playing for/which
position are you playing?". In other words, they
test orientation memory.    (012)

Thus orientation is the most fundamental form of
memory in the lineage to conscious memory.
Semantic memory and procedural memory are likely
to have evolved independently. Episodic memory is
our interpretation of orientation memory. Note
that episodic memory is very poor quality in
humans being inaccurate, sporadic, and subject to
corruption, all of which is perfectly logical if
we consider the purpose of memory to be
orientation rather than a literal historical
record.    (013)

If the purpose of episodic memory is orientation
then historical memory will be updated so that it
is relevant to current conditions i.e. it assists
in orientation ('who are you?' includes your life
history, your place in society, country, world,
employment, family, friends culture etc etc).    (014)

Memory in silent neurons
August 31st, 2014 in Neuroscience    (015)

This is a group of neurons. Credit: EPFL/Human
Brain Project    (016)

According to a generally-accepted model of
synaptic plasticity, a neuron that communicates
with others of the same kind emits an electrical
impulse as well as activating its synapses
transiently. This electrical pulse, combined with
the signal received from other neurons, acts to
stimulate the synapses. How is it that some
neurons are caught up in the communication
interplay even when they are barely connected?
This is the chicken-or-egg puzzle of synaptic
plasticity that a team at UNIGE is aiming to
solve.    (017)

<Snip>    (018)

More information: Sensory-evoked LTP driven by
dendritic plateau potentials in vivo, Nature, DOI:
10.1038/nature13664    (019)

Provided by University of Geneva    (020)

"Memory in silent neurons." August 31st, 2014.
t-neurons.html    (021)

Posted by
Robert Karl Stonjek    (022)

[Non-text portions of this message have been
removed]    (023)

Posted by: Glen Sizemore <gmsizemore2@xxxxxxxxx> 
________________________________________    (024)

Rich Cooper
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2    (025)

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