Re: understanding neuroscience

Robert J. Bradbury (
Wed, 1 Sep 1999 11:50:47 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 1 Sep 1999, Bryan Moss wrote:

> Clint O'Dell quoted Robert Bradbury:
> > I very much doubt that you have lost any of the programming that was
> > done to you as a child. You may have frosted over the cake or
> > buried the ideas away in the back of your mind, or logically
> > constructed a system more workable for you.
> While it is true that the brain is still developing during childhood
> I think the assumption the childhood 'programming' is therefore hard
> to overcome is probably wrong.

I didn't say "hard to overcome", I said "lost". If you can remember what the programming was, you haven't "lost" it. I believe the relative difficulty in overcoming it is strongly related to the strength of the threat to survival that was present when the formation of the memories or beliefs occured. If your father said, "If you don't go to church, I'm going to tan your hide...", then the programming may be pretty strong.

My *suspicion* would be that circulating Adrenalin functions as a strong amplifier of memory strengths. It has been my direct observation (personal experience) in multiple situations that strongly entrenched early memories that are mostly suppresed (though perhaps acted upon), may be "overcome", if you can bring the memory to the surface so that the conscious mind is aware of it. Observing this happen is really quite amazing. It seems to involve a very interesting rapid shifting of the neural "weightings" that kept the memories suppressed.

Its fascinating to me to observe what happens in my mind when I enter a church. All kinds of old feelings, beliefs, memories come bubbling up from the basement of my mind. I normally rarely think about these things, but I have no doubt that many of my early beliefs (Catholic) are still part of my programming. As the years go by, probably because I don't think about them much, the memories do seem to fade.