Reliving a Memory
My friend Patryk and I were walking home from a party when we started talking about consciousness and the relative consciousness of many different beings. I said something like, “I think consciousness requires memory, because it’s the only way to perceive time and space, how you occupy those dimensions, how you affect it and how it affects you”. He started talking about how elusive memory is when it comes to understanding how the brain stores such a complex array of conscious information, and then to recall it many years later.
This piece inspires my hypothesis that much like the endoplasmic reticulum, the brain also has a high surface area where electrical impulses can bounce off like a thousand-layered maze made of a house of mirrors. Each event is like a lazer, bouncing through the walls of the brain while neurons transmit the electrical signals. When we relive a memory, we trigger a command using our own organic RAM (random access memory) to retrace the succession of those impulses, much like asking someone to repeat a series of steps. It is that process that recall certain information like sounds, feelings, even your thoughts when the event was transpiring.
When this occurs, it is as if your past is bridging with the present. In the drawing, I portrayed that idea as the “s-orbital” shape interacting with the “p-orbital shape” to make a “synthetic bridge”. This is perhaps why the past seems very interesting (and even endearing) in retrospect because when we relive a memory, we are actually creating a hybrid of our past and our present. To learn more about orbitals in the real sense http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_orbital.
I think that humans are very adept at evolving because we are conscious of time and space, which helps us to plan for the notion of a future…but like I said to Patryk, “now to put that into perspective: our organic computer of a brain is like, a really crappy technology. We can’t even remember what we learned from first year!”