RE: Retrieving & Recreating Stored Memories

Crosby_M (
Sun, 20 Oct 1996 16:31:00 -0400

On Sunday, October 20, 1996 2:14PM Chris Hind wrote:
<How possible is it that we could record all of our sensory input and
store it as a file and how large would say a 1 minute file be?>

When you say _all_ our sensory input, if you're talking about all the
nerve signals in your body and all the endocrine signals and so on,
you're talking a huge amount of data. Of course, most of that wouldn't
be very interesting, and most of it never gets to the brain, let alone
long-term memory. Data reduction is non-trivial and emotions (or at
least the brain's limbic system) seem to play a big role in deciding
what is important enough to go into long-term memory.

<Also, would it be possible to go back into the brain and retrieve all
our old memories in sequence and then be able to play them back and
reexperience them?>

Brain surgeons have been able to bring up all sorts of old memories in
people under local anaesthesia when stimulating various parts of their
(cut-open) brains. Those having the surgery say it's just like
reexperiencing the event. However, I doubt very much if it's possible
to retrieve memories _in sequence_. Our memories seem to be stored in
something more like a hypertext web than a sequencial database. I think
we'll have to wait for digitized uploads before we could play back and
rexperience events of our lives in any kind of controlled manner.
However, there are alot of yoga and other types of disciplines that have
the goal of reexperiencing one's life in meditation in order to flush
out any karmic kinks; BUT, the key word there is *discipline* - it takes
alot of training and dedication (and I'm not sure, even then, if some of
the memories aren't being fabricated on the fly).

<possibility of being able to communicate realtime feelings or stored
memories direct to another
individual with a brain-computer-brain interface?>

Communicating real-time feelings, at least in some generic sense, is
probably already feasible. When I say 'generic', I mean that you could
feel if I was happy, sad, etc. Now, if I'm happy because the realtime
experience has reminded me of some happy memory from my childhood, I
doubt if it would be feasible to communicate that to you, at least not
in realtime - there's just too many convoluted, reentrant mappings
between concepts in our brains to do this in realtime, if at all.

BTW, the latest _Mondo 2000_ is full of articles on this type of stuff
(I just picked it up yesterday).

Mark Crosby