A Possible Code for Human Memory Found

This release is about the theoretical decoding of the mechanism of human memory and is published as a book. The currently pursued hypothesis for memory was made in 1949 by Donald Hebb, a Canadian. Its insufficiency has lead Dr. Kunjumon Vadakkan, another Canadian, to make a new hypothesis.

Toronto, Canada, December 27, 2007 --(PR.com)-- When it comes to memory, it seems that Canadians are endowed with a special gift of owning the right to unravel its mystery. The currently pursued hypothesis is based on the proposals made by Donald Hebb, a psychology professor from Canada, in 1949. Professor Hebb proposed that when two neurons fire together then the junction between them, named synapse, undergoes changes. Since then scientists all around the globe were struggling more than half a century to put together these pieces of synaptic change puzzle to find answers for memory. Even though experiments conducted thereafter proved changes in synapses, sufficient mechanism for memory was not found. Alternative proposals for the mechanism of memory also couldn’t find answers.

Scientific nature of memory requires theoretical suggestions similar to that in Physics, followed by laboratory investigations to test it. Dr. Kunjumon Vadakkan, a Canadian, has come up with a new hypothesis named as “Semblance Hypothesis” and is published as a book.

Dr.Vadakkan says that he has theoretically solved the puzzle. From published data he has recognized patterns of dendritic spine structures that have features which support memory. These structures were named as “shared postsynapses and exneurons”. The first one is a fusion of many postsynaptic terminals that remain functionally independent in the beginning. Learning cause spread of activation between postsynapses of those independent presynaptic terminals (one from the cue and another from the new material) that are activated together. When two synapses, that are located distantly in a shared postsynapse, are activated during learning, then they slowly try to get closer over repetition of learning and form neighbors facilitating the spread of activation. By doing so the neuronal cell tries to reduce unnecessary energy expenditure and conserve molecular resources.

When the cue is introduced to retrieve memory, initially the cue’s own neurons start firing. If it can activate the same old neighboring postsynapse within the shared postsynapse that was co-activated during the memory acquisition, it results in an illusion that their presynaptic terminals are being activated. Another structure “exneuron”, is a potential space between isolated dendritic spines either from the same or different neuron. Changes in the pattern of ionic changes in exneuron will be perceived (another illusion) by the surrounding postsynapses as an incoming message at their presynaptic terminals. When a threshold number of synapses in a pathway get the illusions, it will lead to a “semblance” of activity and leads to memory. Added learning through experience increase the number of connected postsynapses in the shared postsynapse leading to spread of activity to more postsynapses and strengthens memory.

For each memory there is a code consisting of the neighboring synapse within a shared postsynapses that was co-activated during memory acquisition or that was co-activated enough to get pulled towards it to become the new neighbor. With increased experience, neighbor’s neighbor will be sufficient to evoke memory from a related cue.

Dr. Vadakkan says that our memory is from “systematic functional illusions” occurring at the shared postsynapses and exneurons. A physician turned biochemist from Kerala state in India came to Canada after spending some years of research in India. He has received a PhD in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of Toronto.


Contact person: Kunjumon I. Vadakkan
Company name: Neurosearch Centre, Toronto
Email address: kunjumon.vadakkan@utoronto.ca
Book: “Semblance of activity at the shared postsynapses and extracellular matrices: A structure function-hypothesis of memory”
ISBN: 978-0-595-47002-0

Neurosearch Center
Kunjumon Vadakkan
416 925 0921