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Theory – Memory as Basin Metaphor

with 6 comments

I would use a water basin as a metaphor. Let’s define a wave going through the water as an information carrier. The bigger the basin, the more information it can process and act as a medium for. Throw a coin to the basin filled with water, the water ripples for forty seconds. An ocean, however, can remember an earthquake which occurred much earlier; it can broadcast the message of a tsunami for several hours.


Written by Tomi Itkonen

January 1, 2007 at 9:18 pm

6 Responses

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  1. A concrete example of “volume equals memory capacity” concept: The 2004 tsunami triggered by an earthquake under Indian Ocean travelled thousands of kilometers for several hours. In other words, the ocean “remembered” the earthquake for several hours.

    Tomi Itkonen

    January 13, 2007 at 1:34 pm

  2. All kinds of signals are travelling across the universe. There’s light that began its journey millions of years ago.

    “The light Hubble sees today may have taken thousands, millions, even billions of years to reach us, carrying the story of events that happened in the distant past. ”

    The universe has enough volume (memory capacity) to remember its own birth.

    Human brain does not have that much capacity but the same concept applies:
    “The signal which our tuning sense receive today may have taken years to reach us, carrying the story of events that happened in our childhood.”

    Tomi Itkonen

    August 29, 2007 at 8:29 pm

  3. The line “the water ripples for forty seconds” could be slightly changed because “forty seconds” is misleading and too precise on this context.

    Tomi Itkonen

    October 2, 2008 at 11:44 pm

  4. Tomi,

    I think your theory, in so far as it applies to memory, can only apply to short term memory. I believe your theory is shocked to a stand-still but ECT, that is electro-convulsive therapy which is a very rough and ready way of “re-booting” the brain.

    You have to be able to account for the existence of life-long memories in the brain.

    I think that, rather than just concentrating on ‘race track’ type circulation, it is better to look at all the possibilities inherent in harmonic resonance and massively parallel reverberations in combination with logically reiterated re-entrant cortical signalling.

    With that last item you can see that I do not totally dismiss your idea. I do think that you have to account for many things though. I think Gerald Edelman’s theory of neural Darminism and neuronal group selection is a very good foundation for understanding how the brain achieves mindfulness.

    I also rely on the concept of *dynamic logical entities* which can also be called constructs.
    These are transiently enduring patterns of neuronal group activity in which cell assemblies in various parts of the brain participate in mutual reciprocal stimulation such that all together, for some significant period they function as a whole, a ‘thing’ which really exists and affects its surroundings in some way.

    Mark Peaty

    • Ooops, that should read: ” … shocked to a standstill *by* ECT …”


      • Hi Mark.

        And thanks for the good comment!

        By “theory is shocked to a standstill by ECT”, I assume you mean the effects of ECT prove otherwise than the theory.

        Regarding short-term and long-term memories: do you imply ECT makes a distinction between those two, affects them differently?


        “It is the effects of ECT on long-term memory that give rise to much of the concern surrounding its use. The acute effects of ECT include amnesia…”

        Putting “there is no evidence that ECT causes structural brain damage” and “ECT causes memory loss” together; the result points to a concept in which memories do not change our brains on structural, physical level.

        Regarding “harmonic resonance and massively parallel reverberations”, definitely those properties in addition to all other electromagnetic wave phenomena form the foundation for the theory I propose. And yes, race track is a simplification – easy-to-comprehend nonetheless.

        Gerald Edelman’s theory of consciousness and dynamic logical entities are something I need to study more.


        Tomi Itkonen

        May 31, 2009 at 10:20 pm

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