In this week’s blog I wish to focus our attention on memory. One of the things I most enjoyed during those days when I practiced criminalistics was forensic hypnosis sessions. It never ceased to amaze me how, in an altered state of consciousness, the mind could retrieve information otherwise unavailable. Indeed, in my book, Self Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology I shared a few stories about just how much detail could actually be recovered. For instance, under hypnosis a convicted murderer was able to access information from months prior that occurred while he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The detail was so complete that we were easily able to verify it and thus overturn his conviction.
I have long argued that the non-conscious mind stores everything we experience—and it does so without discrimination—simply writing the memory, including any emotion attached to it, in our bio-computing non-conscious. Later, when we call upon ourselves for some action this non-conscious information raises it’s head and sometimes sabotages our conscious efforts due to some subconscious defense strategy. Further, this mechanism is automatic and hidden well enough that typically we have no awareness of the action. We just find ourselves doing, or not doing, something that fails to serve our conscious interest.
Well this past week scientists retrieved lost memories using optogenetics. Now I have spoken about this technique in the past including how this technology can take some memories and hide them, as in the incidence of trauma treatment. In the latest reported research appearing in the journal Science, researchers at MIT made this claim, “Amnesia is a problem of retrieval impairment.”
Quoting from Science Daily, “Studies carried out by Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor in MIT’s Department of Biology and director of the RIKEN-MIT Center at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and his group demonstrated that memories are stored not in synapses strengthened by protein synthesis in individual engram cells, but in a circuit, or “pathway” of multiple groups of engram cells and the connections between them.
Multiple Brain Areas
“We are proposing a new concept, in which there is an engram cell ensemble pathway, or circuit, for each memory,” he says. “This circuit encompasses multiple brain areas and the engram cell ensembles in these areas are connected specifically for a particular memory.”1
Carl Pribram suggested many years ago that memories were stored holographically across the brain—or again, across multiple brain areas. My own research has demonstrated this to be more probable than not. So the next time you think you have lost a memory—think again.
Thanks for the read,
NY Time Bestselling Author of Choices and Illusions
1 Scientists Retrieve Lost Memories