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Tag: memory


Is There a Difference Between Memory and Imagination?

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If you remember something wrong, is the label “memory” still accurate? Does the label of memory necessitate a 1:1 correspondence with the past? If not 1:1, how much correspondence with the past is necessary for us to still be comfortable using the label of memory? More importantly, if we can talk about a memory being…

Glowing Astrocyte

Is Implicit Memory Actually Memory?

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Implicit memory is normally thought of as a type of memory where past experiences influence current thought and behavior, but without conscious awareness of those previous experiences. How does this work? Is there a “thing” in the brain we can point to and say “this is an implicit memory?” And is “memory” even the best…


In Defense of Nostalgia

Some people say you should live without any ties to material possessions, that material goods replace the value of real valuable experiences in life. But material possessions interact causally with our conscious states, themselves causing us to have certain experiences, and allowing for interactions not possible without them. Using the role of nostalgic items in our lives, I discuss some interesting relationships between memory and the environment, and memory and consciousness.


Should we erase our memories?

Imagine we live in a world where you can go to a clinic and choose to have certain memories wiped away, erased forever. Think of all the terrible memories you have accumulated in your life, and about the prospect of them never being able to force themselves on your consciousness ever again. Would you go…


Can we delete our memories?

Please note, what I am doing here is philosophy as informed by some very new research in the sciences. Memory deletion is NOT a reality. There is no clinic or hospital to go to have your memories erased. Please do not email me or comment with requests for help with trauma you have suffered. If…

Moving toward the Consciousness [Prime Mover]

What is a memory?

Today I want to talk about memory, and what’s wrong with some of our standard conceptions of how memory works, and even fundamentally what memory is. If you open up a brain and look inside it you won’t see any memories. You don’t open up a neuron as if it was a storage container and memories come spilling out. What about a network of them makes this story any different? How the heck changes in the strength of connections between cells cause a memory to be stored and experienced later is not something cognitive science has been able to address yet.