Memory, cells and atoms
Posted 16 April 2006 - 09:51 PM
Posted 16 April 2006 - 09:55 PM
"Special" Relativity, stupid ideas seem smarter when they come at you really fast.
Posted 18 April 2006 - 01:33 AM
A very loose computer analogy would be a 3-D optical memory storage unit, where each light color will activate all the color coordinated memory stored throughout the unit. If one changes the color, another layer of the memory will be used. A futuristic example may be DVD's that play with both red and blue light. The red light will limit the data that can be read. The blue light will open up many more options.
Posted 18 April 2006 - 01:50 AM
Posted 18 April 2006 - 03:05 AM
--Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) Russian playwright
Posted 22 April 2006 - 03:53 AM
In the context of macromolecules, such as proteins and RNA, there are complex protein interactions that lead to memory formation. Experimentally, this phenomna is associated with an electrophysiological phenomena, refered to as Long Term Potentiation (LTP), and Long Term Depression (LTD).
Basically LTP (or LTD) refers to experiments that show if you give an electric field stimulation (HFS at certain frequence and amplitude) you can record an enhanced response (LTP) to the same stimulus at distal time points.
Through elegant studies that combine electrophysiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, and molecular biology, it has been shown that glutamate receptors, (ionotropic..and yes..metabotrobic!!..but we'll keep it to ionotropic for simplicity) AMPA and NMDA subtypes, play a pivotal role in LTP. Magnisium, Mg2+, (an atom) plays an important role in mediating glutamate NMDA receptor function, and consequently LTP (thus memory formation). But the role of Mg2+ is dependant on coordinating amino acids of the NMDA receptor and, more importantly, synaptic summation of AMPA receptor activation. Furthermore, at the atomic level, Ca2+, plays an important role in glutamate (presynatpic neurotransmitter release) release and Na+ and K+, as well as Cl- also particpate (axon potentials..remember..Nernst equasions and neuroscience 101) in eventual neurotransmitter release and synaptic activation.
So yeah..atoms to play a role, but there is an interdependant relationship between proteins (macromolecules and the atoms).
If you want to explore memory (at the molecular level) I suggest readings by,
Paul Adams (SUNY Stony Brook), Rodrick McKinnon (Rockefeller U), Eric Kandel (Columbia U), and Edward Ziff (NYU Sch of Med).
Posted 22 April 2006 - 11:30 AM
The brain is so complex that we haven't even began to scratch the surface of truly how it functions. But no, atoms can be arrainged in certain ways to make up a mosaic of basic signals, but they do not store memory.
i'm afraid atoms do store memory
a particular protein can be triggered to autophosphorylate itself for a certain amount of time. the time the molecule remains phosphorylated and therefore active is proportional to the stimulus rate, therefore acting as memory.
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