The Place of Quarantine – Human Memory 2

“Neurons play a part in memorization but only by acting together with something else…” – THE PLACE OF QUARANTINE

myqmarkMy colleague, in his article published long ago, had only outlined the basic principles. Memory, he wrote, is formed by two related mechanisms, not just one based solely on neural cells. Neurons enter into the game first: responding to external stimuli, they begin to “fire” electrical impulses. But their role is auxiliary – through their activity, they only help other participants living in the microworld.

Neural signals trigger not the classical but quantum dynamics of the hypothetical micro-objects that fill the entire space of the brain. Disordered initially, they transform into a state of stable order and maintain this order, like atoms in crystals, exchanging quasiparticles – collective excitations, the waves of some sort of field. These quasiparticle-waves create an oscillatory background that affects the neurons and in turn regulates and coordinates their work. This dynamic interplay between neurons and micro-objects is a fragment of the memory, and the collective oscillations are some kind of code that, once it emerges, is stably stored in the brain. It condenses in the lowest energy state, the so-called ground state, and can then be reactivated by a familiar stimulus – forcing the brain to enter into the same dynamics, “recalling” what was remembered earlier.

Thus, the brain – or, more precisely, the part of it responsible for memory – was considered as a single whole, where all components simultaneously interact with each other. This fundamentally differed from the traditional models based on the individual elements of the whole “seeing and hearing” only their nearest neighbors. The two main things – the nonlocality and stability of memory – were now explained in a natural way: first, the oscillations of quantum micro-objects were distributed throughout the entire brain, so that each point instantly received information from the other points regardless of the distance between them; and second, these oscillations require almost no energy in their ground state. They do not die out like classical macrowaves; they are capable of living in the brain for a very long time: in ideal conditions, forever…

The author did not attempt to identify these micro-objects; he just postulated that they existed. And he demonstrated with precise mathematics how their presence could cause the observed memory properties. I repeated his calculations – everything was right. Out of disorder – suddenly, spontaneously – order arose, reducing the dynamic symmetry of the system and leading to the emergence of quasiparticles, bosons of a certain type that preserved this order, kept it in place…” – THE PLACE OF QUARANTINE

Image credit: KenChanCake


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