The news you're not supposed to know...

Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand the World
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
Article posted Sep 06 2008, 2:26 AM Category: Science/Technology Source: Epoch Times Print

Does Memory Reside Outside the Brain?

By Leonardo Vintiñi

After decades of investigation, scientists are still unable to explain why no part of the brain seems responsible for storing memories.

Most people assume that our memories must exist somewhere inside our heads. But try as they might, medical investigators have been unable to determine which cerebral region actually stores what we remember. Could it be that our memories actually dwell in a space outside our physical structure?

Biologist, author, and investigator Dr. Rupert Sheldrake notes that the search for the mind has gone in two opposite directions. While a majority of scientists have been searching inside the skull, he looks outside.

According to Sheldrake, author of numerous scientific books and articles, memory does not reside in any geographic region of the cerebrum, but instead in a kind of field surrounding and permeating the brain. Meanwhile, the brain itself acts as a “decoder” for the flux of information produced by the interaction of each person with their environment.

In his paper "Mind, Memory, and Archetype Morphic Resonance and the Collective Unconscious" published in the journal Psychological Perspectives, Sheldrake likens the brain to a TV set—drawing an analogy to explain how the mind and brain interact.

“If I damaged your TV set so that you were unable to receive certain channels, or if I made the TV set aphasic by destroying the part of it concerned with the production of sound so that you could still get the pictures but could not get the sound, this would not prove that the sound or the pictures were stored inside the TV set.

“It would merely show that I had affected the tuning system so you could not pick up the correct signal any longer. No more does memory loss due to brain damage prove that memory is stored inside the brain. In fact, most memory loss is temporary: amnesia following concussion, for example, is often temporary.

This recovery of memory is very difficult to explain in terms of conventional theories: if the memories have been destroyed because the memory tissue has been destroyed, they ought not to come back again; yet they often do,” he writes.

Sheldrake goes on to further refute the notion of memory being contained within the brain, referring to key experiments which he believes have been misinterpreted. These experiments have patients vividly recall scenes of their past when areas of their cerebrum were electrically stimulated.

While these researchers concluded that the stimulated areas must logically correspond to the contained the memory, Sheldrake offers a different view as he revisits the television analogy: “… if I stimulated the tuning circuit of your TV set and it jumped onto another channel, this wouldn’t prove the information was stored inside the tuning circuit,” he writes.

Morphogenetic Fields

But if memory does not live in the brain, where does it reside? Following the notions of previous biologists, Sheldrake believes that all organisms belong to their own brand of form-resonance—a field existing both within and around an organism, which gives it instruction and shape.

An alternative to the predominant mechanist/reductionism understanding of biology, the morphogenetic approach sees organisms intimately connected to their corresponding fields, aligning themselves with the cumulative memory that the species as a whole has experienced in the past.

Yet these fields become ever more specific, forming fields within fields, with each mind—even each organ—having its own self resonance and unique history, stabilizing the organism by drawing from past experience. “The key concept of morphic resonance is that similar things influence similar things across both space and time,” writes Sheldrake.

Still, many neurophysicists insist on probing ever deeper into the cerebrum to find the residence of memory. One of the more well known of these researchers was Karl Lashley, who demonstrated that even after up to 50 percent of a rat’s brain had been cut away, the rat could still remember the tricks it had been trained to perform.

Curiously, it seemed to make no difference which half of the brain was removed—lacking either a left or right hemisphere, the rodents were able to execute the learned actions as before. Successive investigators revealed similar results in other animals.

Picture This

The holographic theory, born from experiments such as those of Lashley, considers that memory resides not in a specific region of the cerebrum but instead in the brain as a whole. In other words, like a holographic image, a memory is stored as an interference pattern throughout the brain.

However, neurologists have discovered that the brain is not a static entity, but a dynamic synaptic mass in constant flux— all of the chemical and cellular substances interact and change position in a constant way. Unlike a computer disc which has a regular, unchanging format that will predictably pull up the same information recorded even years before, it is difficult to maintain that a memory could be housed and retrieved in the constantly changing cerebrum.

But conditioned as we are to believe that all thought is contained within our heads, the idea that memory could be influenced from outside our brains appears at first to be somewhat confusing.

Sheldrake writes in his article “Staring Experiments”: “… as you read this page, light rays pass from the page to your eyes, forming an inverted image on the retina. This image is detected by light-sensitive cells, causing nerve impulses to pass up the optic nerves, leading to complex electrochemical patterns of activity in the brain.

All this has been investigated in detail by the techniques of neurophysiology. But now comes the mystery. You somehow become aware of the image of the page. You experience it outside you, in front of your face. But from a conventional scientific point of view, this experience is illusory. In reality, the image is supposed to be inside you, together with the rest of your mental activity.”

While the search for memory challenges traditional biological understanding, investigators like Sheldrake believe that the true residence of memory is to be found in a non-observable spatial dimension.

This idea aligns with more primal notions of thought such as Jung’s “collective unconscious” or Taoist thinking that sees the human mind and spirit derived from various sources both inside and outside the body, including the energetic influences of several different organs (except, or course, the brain).

In this view, the brain does not act as a storage facility, or even the mind itself, but the physical nexus necessary to relate the individual with its morphic field. Last Updated Aug 30, 2008

Latest Science/Technology
- Bezos Beats Musk
- Sorry, George Carlin, Plastic Is Biodegradable
- First of its Kind Study Finds Virtually no Driving Impairment Under the Influence of Marijuana
- Should We Fear the Era of Driverless Cars?
- Bad News: Supreme Court Refuses to Review Oracle v. Google API Copyright Decision
- Lexus Says They've Invented World's First Hoverboard
- The Migration of Guns from Physical to Digital
- The Ingenious Design of the Aluminum Beverage Can

Comments 1 - 3 of 3 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Nov 07 2009, 9:59 AM

85230 I do not believe this.

Posted: Nov 14 2009, 9:08 PM

202180 Brain=eBook?

When you read the world 'cat' in a book, it triggers you to visualise--on some level--a physical cat. The word in the book is not the memory, it is the signature that triggers the memory in your brain.

But then how do you know that the brain holds real memories, and not merely the signatures of memories? How do we know that we don't just read the brain like a book, and the essence of mind resides within the consciousness on some other level?

We don't and maybe can't know. Neurological correlations to thought only prove the correlations: not the actual experiential role of the brain.

Posted: Nov 14 2009, 10:37 PM

2468 Remember Charlie Brown? Big head for a wee guy.
One of the funniest I have seen.
January 27 1952
h ttp://

Add Comment


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below

Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy

Advanced Search


Remember Me
Forgot Password?

VIDEO: Off-Duty Cop Rams His SUV Into Man's Car For Trying To Hold Him Accountable For Reckless Driving - 11/30Donald Sutherland Reveals The Real Meaning Of The Hunger Games - 11/27The Mathematical Paradox That Destroys The Argument For NSA Surveillance - 11/30Police Brutality Victim Mysteriously Killed a Day Before Receiving $450k Settlement - 11/30Paul Craig Roberts Rages At The "Arrogance, Hubris, & Stupidity" Of The US Government - 11/30Two Brave Cops Under Attack For Exposing Militarization and Corruption in Their Department - 11/30Drone Pilots Have Bank Accounts and Credit Cards Frozen by Feds For Exposing US Murder - 11/27Georgia Sheriff Puts Up Sign Warning People Who Disagree With Him About God to Leave - 11/27

Man Follows Speeding Cop, Finds Out He Was Speeding To Buy PeanutsMission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement'Cop Shoots Couple's Dog, Threatens Jail For Trying To Save Dog's LifeSWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong HomeDurham, NC Cop Testifies Faking 911 Calls To Enter Homes Is "Official Policy"Indiana Sheriff Says US A "War Zone" To Justify New MRAP Military VehicleTampa Cops Surveil Pot Dealer, Catch Him Selling Pot, Raid His Home & Kill Him"You Just Shot An Unarmed Man!": Witness Says Police Shot His Friend With His Hands Up