I’m posting it here in case it helps someone now or in the future – Google archives everything – and also for my own future retrieval of these ideas, which seem selfish to print out and keep locked away in some private folder somewhere, to die.
A letter I wrote to *this guy*https://www.princeton.edu/neuroscience/people/display_person.xml?netid=dwtank&display=Faculty whose idea about feedback loops *might* help me in my understanding of how you get memories or ideas from long term memory back into short term memory. He came up when I searched for:feedback loops balance circuits brain ’cause I wanted to know if there was an electrical explanation for feedback loops. (I don’t think electricity explains it all – a neat idea called ”Soliton model” in neuroscience ”feels” closer to true- helps explain how anthestitics work, which is a mystery right now otherwise) It is close to ”music” and harmonic oscillators / how gravity works and, wow, I’m sounding like a kook so I’ll stop there and just share.
My name is Kenneth Udut. I am quite excited writing to you and I hope, perhaps you can help or at least give me a ”thumbs up and good luck to you, stranger”.
I am a layman, not studied in the brain, but I am introspective and think deeply about things.
I have been baffled about why it is so hard to capture thoughts before they go away. This question has been puzzling me since I was at least 11 years old and invented my first ”Thought Collector” (a roll of calculator paper on a wooden board with a tear-off strip of metal at the bottom). Thoughts, musical ideas are difficult to capture in the presence of continual distraction that life brings us. So, on and off through the decades (I am 41 now), I would return to this idea of the ”Thought Collector”, devising different methods with varying degrees of success.
A month ago, I decided to tackle this once and for all, and either find or come up with a completely scientifically based methodology for thought collection that incorporates the stream of inputs through the sensory memory, the introspective retrieval of long term memory into short term memory, the limbic system and managing the push and pull of chemistry and, in short, come up with a working model of the system of memory along with simple, practical, easy to learn methods for never losing another idea again.
Nothing I’m doing is new – but in the process of trying to understand the systems, things like ”the doorway phenomenon” / retracing your steps / the Peg system / Roman room and various tricks for encoding memory from the sensory to the short term to the working to the long term and back again (and I could write pages on this but don’t know enough yet to be fully accurate) – I was terribly dissatisfied with the current models of the brain.
Then I came across the Soliton Model of Neuroscience article in Wikipedia, which led me to reading about ”how anesthesia works?”, and then reading up on harmonic oscillations in physics which led me to wondering, ”How the heck does the electrical model of the brain explain feedback loops?”
I’m not an electrical engineer – the details are all way over my head …
More ”circuits” are dedicated to feedback loops than to input or output – the brain is constantly talking to itself., within itself..
So, I did a search for the terms and you came up:
feedback loops balance circuits brain
And I was blown away where you say,”The memory is actually the dynamic state of the circuit”…
which resonates with my way of thinking…
It’s all about the balance of the system as a whole.
It would explain how memories are always retrievable – even after decades of not being recalled. Even if there are little peptides that seem to keep it alive, I think it is the what is OUTSIDE of the electrical components of the system that is as important as what is happening INSIDE.
The ”freezing/melting” hypothesis of Thomas Heimburg and Andrew D. Jackson sparked me in this direction.
Even if that’s not true.. the idea jives with me. The current ideas seem to describe a garden hose by its water, which can never explain a kink in the hose, because the hose isn’t part of the consideration.
It also leads to the tantalizing possibility – which I believe is true but I haven’t investigated if anybody checked it out yet – that memories are permanent and forever, it’s just that levels of cortisol block the retrival from long term back into short term memory and it requries relaxation – Nitric Oxide perhaps – to free up the paths for the memories to automatically flow back into conscious memory. The harder you try to remember something, the more difficult it is to remember it. Relax and ”it will come back to you”. Nitric Oxide is tantalizing because of its relationship as well to erectile Idysfunction – the more you think about it, the less it works. But when you relax ‘it works’ (Nitric Oxide relaxes, it allows blood to flow easily into the penis) – AND into the heart (with nitroglycerin for congestive heart failure patients – AND into the brain when forming new memories)…..
It’s hard to fully explain where I’m trying to go with this. I’m a long way from completion. But I have hundreds of index cards full of notes. I have come up with several working systems for thought collectors as I investigate thought collection. (trusting external systems for memory, as the capacity of the short term memory is too darned short to be useful by itself – and the presence of distractions makes it impossible to rely on alone, hence, writing/music/art/talking (getting it into oher people’s heads for them to help you retrieve it later).. A little concentration helps – but a lot makes it hard (too much cortisol I guess) yet if you can enter a state of Flow – allowing procedural/implicit memory to engage – everything happens automatically and efortlessly….
This is train-of-thought, no editing except adding ”PAST PRESENT FUTURE” when I realized I was basically following Time.
I’m entering into complexity to eventually return back to simplicity, hopefully with a New Idea that will be so blindingly obvious to anyone who reads it, they will feel as if they have already known it their entire lives, recoloring all that they ever heard on the subject in light of this as ”obvious” and ”of course that’s true” – rather how tectonic plates are obvious now, but not before they were discovered. ”Thinking a thought is very hard until you thought it.” so to speak. I’d much prefer to find someone else who put this together as its a lot of work, but if not, I’ll just have to do it.
If you have a free moment to shed any light on anything, I’d like to know. I sound like a kook now, but mostly I’d like to know if I seem on the right track or not. I need brains with higher amounts of knowledge at their disposal than my own for some kind of validation/repudiation (?) and what you are investigating in your field *seems* to be in a similar vein.
David, thank you for your time.