break this theory

Review and comment “On How the Brain Functions” theory.

Theory – Memory

with 6 comments

The memory of an organic brain is dissimilar to currently used computer memory, where each bit resides in a fixed slot accessible via a memory address. The organic brain is based on continuously travelling electromagnetic waves. Thus, our memories are not hardcoded physically to neurons and connections between them. I propose that the storage concept is the same as in the first digital computers in the 1950s: a delay line memory.

To contrast brain’s memory with the internet, memories are not stored in a server hardware somewhere – they are on a constant run on copper wires and fibre-optic cables instead, i.e. distributed and flowing all around the neural network of the brain. Memories are streaming all the time: words and sounds we have heard, muscle movements we have made, etc. In this kind of memory, there is no need to orchestrate vast amount of neurons to operate sequentially; to fire in a sequence. To provide a rough example for illustrating this point; when we are throwing a ball, we are “listening” to a previously recorded action and channeling it to our muscles.

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Written by Tomi Itkonen

December 31, 2006 at 3:39 am

6 Responses

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  1. I suggest that the brains utilize electromagnetic delay line memory storage. Here’s an article about an optical one:
    http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/388784.html
    [An Optical Delay Line Memory Model with Efficient Algorithms by John H. Reif, Akhilesh Tyagi]

    Tomi Itkonen

    January 11, 2007 at 3:30 am

  2. Our lives begin uncalibrated.

    Then, calibration between the senses and the information in our brains commences. When we are toddlers, we are doing all kinds of stuff in order to “record” proper muscle movements. Thus we improve our eye-hand coordination and learn to walk, for example. These recordings stream in our brains, and we tap into/tune in to them.

    Tomi Itkonen

    January 13, 2007 at 1:15 pm

  3. Check if there are any major differences between reverberating circuits and delay-line memory.

    Discussion about “reverberating circuits”:
    http://www.bio.net/bionet/mm/neur-sci/2007-April/061832.html

    Here’s a picture from Scientific American, Aug 1958 issue:
    http://www.dyslexiaonline.com/information/brain/reverb_circuits.html

    Tomi Itkonen

    October 20, 2007 at 6:13 pm

  4. Similar concept as in racetrack memory:

    “The answer may lie in a new kind of spintronic chip called racetrack memory (RM), which I proposed in 2002. RM stores bits of data as magnetized regions on nanowires—the “racetracks.” These magnetized regions are as nonvolatile and rewritable as those on an HDD, but the chip needs no moving parts larger than an electron to read and write bits, boosting speed and reliability. The bits themselves zoom along their racetrack, passing a read/write head at a fixed location beside the wire.”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=data-in-the-fast-lanes

    Tomi Itkonen

    May 29, 2009 at 2:42 pm

  5. Optical delay line memory model with efficient algorithms

    “In particular, the system sends a sequence of optically encoded bits down one end of the loop and after a certain delay (which depends on the length and optical characteristics of the loop), the optically encoded bits appear at the end of the loop, to be either utilized at that time and/or once again sent down the loop.

    This idea of using propagation delay for data storage dates back to the use of mercury delay loops in early electronic computing systems before the advent of large primary or secondary memory storage. Jordan has been able to store 10^4 bits per fiber loop with the fiber length of approximately 1 km…

    Note that this does not represent the ultimate limitations on the storage capacity of optical delay loops, which could in principle provide very large storage using higher performance electro-optical transducers and multiple loops.”

    http://www.cs.duke.edu/~reif/paper/tyagi/loop.pdf

    Tomi Itkonen

    February 22, 2010 at 10:28 pm


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