Erasing Memories

Discussion in 'Critical Discussions Among Proponents and Skeptics' started by Dante, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. Dante

    Dante Member

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  2. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    Only read the article, not the paper yet. It's very interesting that they seem to have correlated non associated memory with protein as well as associated memory.

    But I doubt we can erase memories themselves - as the article suggests, rather we can only interfere with them (their patterns). So we might be able alter the brain's network structures as the researchers suggest, but - I think - those structures probably only allow us to access memories.

    By altering the brain's network structures (a pattern) as the researchers suggest, one might lose access to a past pattern (a past experience). But even if the researchers are proven to be correct, I doubt the mechanism could be targeted so specifically by a drug, without unexpected memory and processing effects elsewhere in the network that may be difficult demonstrate. A human brain is after all much larger and more complex than a snails brain, how would one know if we were also disregarding other associations from those targeted... until we started to have problems in life.

    Further, there is no certainty that the brain won't just reverse the process overtime. Other researchers have taught a rodent to fear an environment using pain, so that it freezes when it renters the same environment. They then destroyed the rodents network structures so that they resembled final stage Alzheimer's. They were able to show the rodent no longer froze when it entered the environment, suggesting it had lost access to past learning. They then reversed the rodents network destruction with a robust process of learning. Later they reintroduced the rodent to the special environment, and it froze again. Suggesting that the rodent had only lost access to past learning, rather than losing its actual memories, which could be restored by restoration of ones networks through learning.

    Personally, I think these researchers are barking up the wrong tree... memory can't purely be stored within the brain.

    The brain appears to be little different to a notebook where one writes down patterns in black ink on white paper, so when one wants to reaccess ones past brain states sometime later (in the future), one rereads ones notes from the past.

    It seems somewhat clear to me that my brain, and my environment are probably one. The environment being the result of a shared process, where as my brain allows me to operate as an individual (to some degree). I can manipulate, store and share things in the environment. And my environmental experiences can affect my brain, and these past experiences can affect my future behaviour in the environment.

    What we put into the environment (what we store through manipulation) therefore affects us all. One might therefore need to be a bit more careful/choosy about what one puts into the environment.
     
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  3. Pollux

    Pollux New

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    I wonder if there are some cases/studies were a person suffered severe states of PTSD (from war/accidents/abuse etc) and then suffered amnesia, in one way or another; did they still suffer from PTSD without knowing why they had it, or were they totally relieved from PTSD by the amnesia?

    Anyone here heard/read of such cases?
    Would be interesting to hear how that would progress. Either way it may go, would be equally fascinating...
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  4. Dante

    Dante Member

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    Thanks for the reply, Max. I find myself agreeing with pretty much everything you wrote.

    I have always wondered about why certain animals are used as models. Obviously, it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do this kind of research on humans. But to use a snail, and through and through project it to an application on humans, seems a bit too much for me. Specifically, I understand how they purport to know that they are looking at the snails' memories. But at the end of the day, you can't ask a snail what it's thinking.

    Based on a number of various things that I know you're familiar with, it seems to me that memory can't be localized to the brain, at least fully. Certainly muscle memory and mechanical memory might be, but episodic and other kinds of memories seems to have to have some external form of storage, whatever that may be, be it your theory, or some sort of external consciousness.

    To suggest that we can erase individual memories doesn't make much sense to me, based either on the study itself or the other evidence for external memory. I think your analysis of blocking patterns vs. literally destroying memories makes a lot of sense.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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  5. E.Flowers

    E.Flowers New

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    This is one the areas where I don't get into endless debates with Max... Check the archives for a paper that I have quoted a few times discussing a case where a patient with anterograde amnesia (which by its clinical definition should not allow the formation of new memories beyond a certain point, usually involving trauma) was somehow still able to access memories of recent events while sleeping, despite being -seemingly- devoid of a short term memory (as all patients with that diagnosis).

    That throws a wrench in the idea that memory is merely a matter of 'recording' and transitioning data from short to long term, and could have been replicated a fair amount of times by now (anterograde amnesia is not exactly rare). But... I suppose that it was not a tasty subject for the 'brain as digital computer' crowd that was "in" during the 90s.
     
  6. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    Probably unrelated to your question. I think some cases of reincarnation manifest via PTSD. It raises a question of how one is to deal with painful memories, whether from this life or from another. I don't know the answer, though personally I had to work through the impact of those memories over a period of decades, though it was most intense during the first weeks and months and gradually diminished after a few years.
     
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  7. Pollux

    Pollux New

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    Do you mean you suffered PTSD from some trauma in this life, or have you done a Past Life Regression were you experienced some trauma?

    I know that some Reiki Healing or Kundalini Rising can cause some severe trauma for some people - who kinda rush in to it - when they might have some suppressed trauma that really "freaks out" when forecfully pushed to the front, so to speak.

    The thing with amnesia and possible lingering PTSD would be kinda messy if you dont know what the cause for the anxiety is. Must be pretty hard to deal with that, not knowing even were to begin with treating in in counselling etc. If you have had an traumatic experience and get PTSD (war etc.) you at least know wee to begin.

    The phenomenon with amnesia - either from "overload" or other physical head-trauma - that make a person speak other languages, or even develop talents they never had before (like being a piano player, artist, etc) really shows that our brains, or what lies beneath it, can really baffle us.
     
  8. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    Neither. To clarify, I experienced PTSD in this life due to some trauma in a previous one. However, it was entirely spontaneous, there were no particular techniques involved other than trying to live a 'normal' life. Of their own accord, a slow trickle turned into a flood.

    Indeed, the issue was twofold, on the one hand, dealing with the situation here and now. In addition, tracing the source was also key. Dealing with trauma without knowing the cause is possible, and perhaps necessary. However, making sense of an incomprehensible situation really demanded some sort of background context.

    I've hinted at this topic a number of times but find myself unwilling to go into what are deeply personal matters in a forum like this, which I'm sure is frustrating for those reading my posts.

    Indeed so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017

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