How does the brain hold memories?



How does something that is simply meat and tissue hold memories? Im watching a brain dissection study video and my mine is simply melting at the concept of something that looks like cauliflower and steak hold the perception of everything I know of in existence. Let alone have separate sections that control different actions. Thank you

In: Biology

well no one really knows that, it’s still kinda of a mystery. What we do know is that apparently they are somehow stored all along the brain, there is not a singular region specific for holding memories.

It’s unknown what all the mechanisms are. Given that they were able to transfer memories from one snail to another using RNA though, along with how ‘stress’ and ‘traumas’ seem to show up with changes in the DNA of mammals (with hints that this is a thing even with humans), there exists the possibility that memories are likely a multiple-system thing that uses different tools for the tasks associated with it.

First you need to make the distinction between long term and short term memories. Then within each there are different types of memories (implicit vs explicit, episodic vs semantic). I’m guessing you are referring more to the episodic type.

I think the idea is that memories are essentially circuits connecting different regions of the brain that represent the contents of our consciousness. Different stimuli (touch, taste, smell, etc) excite different regions of the brain. A memory can be elicited when the circuit is activated by a specific stimulus (ie explains why certain smells can sometimes associate with specific memories). The stronger the circuit, the more easily the memory can be remembered. Circuits that aren’t accessed fade with time (and are forgotten). It’s far more complicated than I have attempted to describe but the circuit analogy helps me understand the general concept.

I’d check out the book Moonwalking with Einstein for a better (and more interesting explanation).

Ultimately, we don’t know exactly how it’s done. But our nervous system has specialized cells that process information. These can be setup to “trap” information. We have some artificial versions with AI, but they don’t work as well (I don’t believe the information stored can be changed) but we don’t know how close they are to the organic versions (they’re still really math based).

We don’t know nearly enough yet, but we have think we know the concept. Memory is stored as associations. You have a huge number of neurons that are very largely connected to each other. Let’s say you’re a baby, you see a banana, your brain strengthens a specific connection between many neurons, let’s say two of them for it being the color yellow (it’s way more, but let’s make it simple). Now whenever you think of a banana you’re actually passing signals through this connection along with the others related to the banana. Next week you see a yellow bus, this also signals through those two neurons from the banana, so you start building a second set of connections that are connected to the banana at the yellow concept. Now you think of bananas when you see a yellow schoolbus. Then you try candy, it forms connections that overlap with the sweetness connection in the banana. Of course you start with far simpler things like as building blocks and you connect different neural networks at the overlapping concept. When you have seen, touched, smelled and heard so many things, you have a complex network of associations. It’s all relative to each other, but some things are completely independent. That is how we think memory is stored. It’s like taking a random object and assigning it to something you’ve sensed, and connecting it to other objects in how they’re related over time.