8A: What is Memory



first one represents a verb or an action and the second represents a noun or an object. In this chapter we describe both definitions in more details and show their interactions.

Everything in our world is physical, nothing is abstract, not even our imagination. There are only two types of objects in nature: (a) a material object and (b) a physical action, energy, or force type object. Our imagination is also based on only these two types of objects. Thus our memory is also not an abstract object. What we have in our memory is a static picture which is a snap-shot of a physical object or a dynamic moving video of a continuous sequence of physical objects under some actions.

Every memory object has a purpose. Whenever we see a photograph, we enjoy the theme of the photo and our participation in that theme. This enjoyment is the purpose for which we captured the memory of the static object. The same is true for the dynamic video. This photo will not have any purpose to any other person. Without a purpose, memory data cannot have any meaning; the purpose is the meaning of the memory.

The human memory data can be explained using computer memory concepts. The computer does not know the meaning or purpose of the computer data; but the data has meaning to the humans, who use the computer. The humans originated and stored the data, using some special format, inside the computer [Murdocca, pp.243-291]. Thus the originator of the memory data has the meaning. The originator is outside the computer box. The same is true for human memory also. The originator has the meaning, and the data is always outside our brain and is in the nature. We show that this happens because memory is physical. We also show how we originate the data, and describe the originator.

None of us is isolated in our world. We work together simultaneously and interactively, from many different places, and over multiple time spans to create our memory data. Thus no memory data is created by a single person. Since we are not alone, we do not act alone. This space of interactions is called here as the global space time (GST) environment. This GST covers the entire universe, consisting of all objects, living and nonliving, and all actions. Every action happens by simultaneous action-reaction of many people. We show, in an analytic way, that this simultaneity law proves that the GST environment is the originator of human memory, and therefore it has the memory, and also the true meaning of our memory. The existing literature does not claim that the memory is inside the brain. On the other hand if you read the book [Sobel] on cognitive science, assuming that the memory is outside the brain, you will get a positive confirmation, although not so stated explicitly.

3. Definitions

3.1  Static Memory

Human memory is not an abstract object. It is a very real and physical quantity. Some purpose motivates us to perform some actions on some objects to produce data. This data then becomes our memory. So we define memory as a three-tuple

Memory = {data, action, purpose}.

Thus data is meaningful only when we associate it with an object and a purpose. As mentioned, nature has only two kinds of things, some physical objects and some physical actions or forces. This physical action when applied to a physical object, moves the object, or changes the shape of the object. The data is an instantiation of this object. If an object moves then the data is a snapshot of the object at different times. Static memory is the momentary view of the object under action at a specific instant of time.

3.2  Dynamic Memory

There is another important aspect of human memory that depends on the propagation of time. As time passes the static data becomes past history. When we recollect, the static data propagates over time and reacts with many other forces or actions that we take. As a result the nature of the static data changes over time. We will not be able to recover it exactly at some future time. All these processes are also physical as we show later. We show how this propagation can be analyzed using the theory of differential equations and the concepts of system theory in engineering. Thus the concept of propagation of memory is same as trying to recollect or transform the old memory at present time under the changed environment.

For every action at present time, the actor always needs to propagate the old memory to present state. Fr a yogi, this is not necessary. He sees the exact memory at all time, he does not need to propagate. For an ordinary person the propagated memory is always approximate and hazy. It may be even erroneous. However, with when everything is perfect, this propagated memory will be the exact memory.

3.3  Purpose in Memory

All human actions have some purposes. We do not do anything without any reason. The purpose is translated into actions on objects, which then gives the data that we want. This data is our memory data, and the purpose gives the meaning of the memory. That is, purpose, reason, desire, objective, goal etc. are all same and give a meaning to our data. All purposes can be defined as {birth, maturity, death} processes. Each one of these processes is a series of actions. Every purpose has a beginning; it remains useful for certain period, and then becomes useless or does not serve any more needs. But this purpose still remains attached with the memory, since it is a physical process or action.

3.4  Example of Memory

We give an example to illustrate the concept of GST and the memory generation process. When a baby is born in a hospital room, that baby senses all the sounds of instruments, nurses, doctors; effects of lights, fans, temperature, air conditioning; and all the details of the environment that create the memory of the incident. At some later time when the baby thinks about that memory she mentally enters the room and gets the feelings of her senses again. Every other person in that room also does the same thing to access the memory of that incident. Thus the total memory data is inside that room or inside that environment and has been created by all the objects and activities of all the people in that room. Every individual present in that room can explore only a different and a partial aspect of that environment. The environment for that particular moment lives forever in nature and anyone who was present there at that time, will be able to access it at anytime in future. Clearly, it is possible to associate data, objects, actions, and purposes for all of the things that happened in this hospital room. This concept of simultaneous action is the key idea behind memory definition, memory location, and memory generation process. Individual actions and memory views are only partially correct and cannot possibly describe the total memory. The total memory of this room at that instant is not known, and cannot be known, by any single person, because it was created simultaneously by many people and by many actions.

We have experienced the effect of GST in our personal lives also. In many cases we thought that we have the correct understanding of facts based on our memories. But once we hear the facts from another person, who was also present at the time of the incident, we get a better view of the incident. This shows that we can only get partial knowledge of any incident, because it is multidimensional, it is created simultaneously and interactively by many people. Total memory is the collection of the views of all people inside the GST. Observe that this idea of memory is at the foundation of our judicial system. The system tries to get many eye-witness accounts to estimate global memory picture.

3.5  Modeling Memory

Mathematically, all data can be considered as generated by an equation. Consider the following simple equation (8.1) to clarify the concepts of data, actions, objects, purpose and the data generation process.

A = Bx + Cy          (8.1)

Physically, this equation describes the actions to be performed on objects to create the memory data. Here x and y are money invested in two different stocks. B and C are the coefficients that convert the money to a return on investments, and A is the total return. The entire right hand side, represented by A, is the total action, thus the components Bx and Cy are actions also. The objects are x and y. The data will be the solution of x and y. Thus the data is a specific instance of the objects. The purpose is to choose x and y for a given return A. Thus we perform action Bx on the object x, to make A grow. The value of x at any time is the data. We generalize (8.1) later to equation (8.2) to paint a more realistic picture.


8B: Tracking Memory



environment. Our next activity works only on the newly changed environment. The environment remembers the past memories. Thus past memory can also be modeled in the same way as in Figure-8.1. The dynamic equations representing the figure, given later, will represent all possibilities of memory concepts, retrievals, and inferences etc.

Our purpose here is not to demonstrate or write out a real analytical model of a single human body as part of physical object. There are some research publications [Pentland] available in this direction. Our model describes the dynamic memory generation process using physical actions of all humans. The model is for the collective society of entire humanity and the entire material universe, which we call here as GST. Again, we remind the reader, that this concept is needed because of the simultaneity law. The goal here is to show the feasibility or existence of such a model, so that we can meaningfully think of analyzing memory data, in terms of human actions and the laws of nature.

The idea of global influence on a single human was also confirmed [Elwell] by Karl Marx, who wrote in 1857 “… the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of social relations”. Thus there is nothing like “I am” or “I did it”. Every result is a culmination of a long chain of actions and reactions of many people, over a long period of time, and under the influence of the ever changing environment.

5. Propagation of Memory

Memory is not just a static physical photograph or a dynamic video of certain duration; it is also the nature of those images after recollecting mentally at some later date. This recollection phenomenon can be considered as propagation of the images or static memory over time.

Let us say that an action is performed at time t on some object and the reaction appears at time t+dt. Here dt is a very small time, usually called delta time. The time dt can be considered as the observation delay time. If the reaction is only one force or only one reaction, then from knowing this reaction at t+dt, you can predict the action that happened in time t. This is because the action and reaction must be same, as shown by (8.5).

If the reactions are many at time t+dt, then from analyzing all the reactions we can also predict the action that happened at time t. This can be done, because the summation of all reactions at t+dt is constant and is equal to the action at time t, which originated everything, as shown in (8.6). This analysis shows that knowing the present at t+dt we can predict the past at t. In other words the present holds the memory of the past. The concept that the memory of the past is embedded in the present time is a major contribution of the Newton’s third law. The force or action at time t becomes the history or past memory for time t+dt.

It is easy to see that the future is also predictable using this action-reaction law. The logic that we have just used can be repeated by replacing t+dt by t and vice versa. That is, if we know the action at time t, then we know what will happen at time t+dt, which is nothing but the reaction, and this reaction will be same as the action at time t with opposite character. If there are multiple reactions due to one action then we will have to make more mathematical modeling to find the share of the action force for each reaction. This is very much like the billiard ball game, when one ball hits many balls then we can find the track of any one of the balls by finding its input actions. Thus we can see that the future is in the present.

What we have described is the dynamic changes or propagation of the forces or actions over time in both direction of present time, that is, past and future. We have shown how we can predict what will happen to the forces as time passes by knowing their status at any time.

Since we have defined, purpose as an action, the trajectory of purpose can be propagated. Similarly the trajectory of all objects under these actions can also be predicted. Therefore the data, which is the consequence of the other two items in memory, {data, action, purpose}, can also be predicted. Thus entire memory can be predicted, showing that the memory is not only a physical object, its evolution in time is also physical. Since all actions, objects are in the GST, this propagated memory will also be in GST. We will extend this microscopic propagation model in more systematic way using calculus and system theory in the following sections.

Thus events can be predicted and therefore these laws, the sigma laws, are also called the memory laws. Clearly and for simple situations, like throwing a stone; we can predict its trajectory fairly well [White]. One day in future, we may achieve this prediction technology. But for now we only know the existence of its feasibility.

This determinism of our nature is not a philosophy or a fantasy. It is, as shown above, based on pure physical laws of action and reaction. But we should not confuse it to mean that we can predict future. This cannot happen, because of the complexity law, which is hidden in N in expression (4.1) of chapter-4 on conservation laws. The number N is very large and cannot be found, but it exists and is finite. Einstein and Newton both believed in this deterministic law of nature [Kaku]. The literature on the theory of relativity also talks about the predictability of future. It has been written in the physics book [Eddington, p. 46] “Events do not happen; they are just there, and we come across them”.

6.   Memory is a System

Our definition for memory, {data, action, purpose}, shows that everything in nature and in our world can create memory through actions on objects and thus our memory is a physical quantity. From another angle, everything in this universe is also a system. The subject of system theory gives a very well defined constructive approach for building models of systems. These models can then be analyzed using the theory of differential equations. The overlapping of these two structures therefore makes memory a system and system theory can be used for analysis of memory, creation of memory, and in particular, the propagation of memory over time or equivalently the retrieval of past memory. Thus this system structure maps a structure on the space of memory or the GST.

This section highlights the existence of a model [Caldwell] of type (8.2) for any system, including memory, and the existence of its solution. Since this modeling approach is constructive, so it will be



in RHS of any one equation, therefore represents the summation of all actions that all of us have performed together, simultaneously, and interactively. Since we are all changing all the time, each object is also changing all the time. This change is represented by the derivative of each elemental object in the left hand side of (8.2). The complete contribution of one person’s actions in one of the equations is highlighted. Expression (8.2) is very large; there are more than millions of equations in millions of variables. The highlighted portions may even contain thousands of actions.

Expression (8.2) represents the actions we perform on objects to create the memory. Actual memory data is given by the solution vector x(t) in equation (8.4). Each component of the vector x(t) represents a data item as a value of an object. The RHS of (8.4) shows how every data-item is related to all the values of all objects taken at present time. Or in other words, it shows how each memory component is dependent on the values of all objects used by the entire population and not just by you and me. Since (8.2) is based on the law of conservation the solution (8.4) also represents that law, showing that the memory is preserved for eternity inside the GST. Thus the GST is not only the originator of the memory, it is the preserver of the memory also.

All of us simultaneously contributed to create the total memory defined by (8.4), so the complete solution, which is the total memory, cannot exist inside any one brain. Also, the solution of any one variable of (8.4) is dependent on all other variables associated with all actions of all other persons. Therefore we cannot even create our own solutions; we can only contribute as actions via (8.2). Therefore the memory of any one variable cannot also be inside our brain. That is we cannot know the memory data completely.

The expression (8.4) also shows how the memory at present time at t0 is propagated at some different time t, this time t can be future or can be past. Since our model is simple we got a very simple relation, but in complex models the methodology will remain same. This way we can conceptualize the possibility of propagating the memory along different point on the time line.

Since the GST is outside the brain, the human memory cannot be inside our brain. We created the memory using (8.2), it must be outside us. The whole cannot be inside the part. It is inconsistent for the creation to remain inside the creator. The statement that seed contains the tree is very confusing. It takes land, water, sun, and time to produce the tree from the seed. The seed does not have the physical tree inside it. Thus the brain is only an input output processor and not the originator of total memory. It receives information from GST through our body sensors and performs actions accordingly, using our body sensors.

Thus we will never know what the true memory is. It is beyond even our comprehension, it is guided by the simultaneity and the complexity laws. All we can see or understand is the projection of a large multidimensional space on a very small hyper plane defined by you or me.

Using the theories of mathematics, physics, and system engineering, we have created a large scale global model of memory in GST starting from the microscopic definition and design of memory data element. The main results is that memory is outside our brain, it is inside nature, and is preserved for eternity. Our brain only helps to propagate the physical data; it only acts as an input output processing physical computer. The key idea of simultaneity law led to this concept of global memory in GST. Philosophically speaking, this concept has a profound impact in understanding of our behavior and the design of our society.


8C: Human Brain

8. Human Brain

There are few basic limitations we have in the exploration of human brain. First, we do not have meaningful access to human brains while it is in operation. We cannot layout the brain on a table, and use all different kinds of instruments to examine it thoroughly at all different test points. Without such an ability to test, we cannot really know anything about human brain. The human brain is filled with nerve cells, called Neurons [Discovery]; more than hundred billions of them are there. In addition to neurons, the brain has almost ten times glial [Byron] [Kast] [Noback] cells. So the brain is far more complex than anything physical we can imagine in this universe. It is the best example of the complexity law. Thus all tests on brain will violate the simultaneity law.

Second, all the tools used in brain research are based only on electrical, electronic, or electromagnetic phenomenon of nature. We do not have tools that are chemical or biological in nature. The biological and chemical signals must be converted completely to electrical signals to derive information. We will never know how well we are converting all the features of these signals to electrical signals. Third, we are looking for the meaning of the memory data in this paper, and not just flow of electrical signals or dynamic activities of the brain, or the chemical composition of brain cells.

Fourth, the humans as subjects of experiments are inconsistent with the man-made technologies and associated test plans. A person may not try to remember things, may not want to remember things, and may not be interested in seeing the details [Desimone] based on their philosophies and life time experiences with the GST. Thus all researches on human subjects may fail to show how the memory is generated and where it is located.

Mental imagery activates parietal areas, particularly intra-parietal sulcus [Just]. It is believed also that brain operations are governed by both local activities and distributed networked activities [Edwards]. These researches do not claim that the memory resides in that active region of brain, they only claim brain activities.

Some researches show that brain has short and long term memory storage space. But they have not identified any places inside the brain where these memory items are stored. Thus this storage categorization is functional and not brain hardware or structure related. This research cannot exclude the possibility that the memory is outside the brain. The research [Brady] shows that the storage capacity of long term memory is huge, which is consistent with the idea that the memory is outside the brain, therefore has infinite capacity. This will not deny the concept that our brain is only an input output processor like normal digital computers [Comer, pp. 207-213].

The paper [Motah] summarizes the confusions in research reports on the results of locations, localized vs distributed memory inside the brain. It has also been known that every human brain is physically and structurally unique for every person, that is, no two brains are same [Kirchhoff].  The author in [Rock] says that the human brain is a social organ; its physiological and neurological reactions are directly and profoundly shaped by social interactions which confirm our definition of memory and the GST concept of memory.

We see high correlation [Haier] between the size of brain volume of interests (VOI) and IQ, apparently indicating that intelligence is inside the brain. However this is related to only the electrical activity of the brain VOI. This experiment is inconclusive due to the fact that the brain activity is not local as VOI, the spontaneous activity at rest [Song] is an important contributor. Just to be clear, the brain memory scan images, like fMRI, only shows [Strauss] how activities move inside the brain, bottom up, networked, constructive etc. It does not show any meaning of the memory data. It also does not indicate that the memory is stored in the brain.

The paper [Hamani] reports an experiment where several electrodes were implanted bilaterally in the ventral hypothalamus. Once an electrode is stimulated the patient reported a perception of being in a park with friends. Standard perception of this experiment is that the image is stored in that specific location of the brain. However, it does not contradict the idea that brain is only accessing the image from the GST using our body sensors. Moreover, the reports also show that these experiments are not consistent and repeatable for other human subjects.

It appears that in cognitive science and in medical disciplines the word memory is used in a different context than the way we are using in this paper. The brain cells are considered as memory devices, but we have shown that they are physical objects and cannot store any abstract concepts. We have also considered the fact that memory is never generated by one person; therefore memory cannot reside inside our brain. In addition, we considered that every memory item has a meaning, which is defined using the simultaneity law. Without such a meaning, memory is meaningless.

9. Conclusions

Human memory has been defined as physical objects consisting of {data, action, purpose}. A purpose motivates us to perform some actions on some objects which generate the data. This data is the memory content and the purpose is its meaning. Without a purpose memory is meaningless. Every action we perform is linked, directly and indirectly, to the actions of many people of the world. We are not alone.  The collection of all these actions and the corresponding global purpose creates the global memory and gives its meaning. Thus global space time (GST) environment is the originator of our memory and has the complete meaning. This GST is outside our brain. Thus our brain cannot know the meaning and therefore it cannot also have the memory. Our experiences show that we get a better meaning only when we exchange information with others.