You are on page 1of 13

The Analog Theory of Memory

Frank Saunders

31 Jan 2011

In this paper, I will argue in favor of an analog model of memory. I will first explore the
commonsense notion of memory and expose its problems and the reasons behind them. I will
then present the philosophical distinction between digital and analog memory. From there,
I will present what I will call the analog theory of memory and its various implications, and
argue for its validity using evidence ranging from philosophy to neuroscience.

1 The Computer Model of Memory and its Problems


Before presenting a new theory of memory, however, I need to explain why it is even necessary
to do so by exposing the various problems of the commonsense notion of memory that I will
refer to as the computer model of memory. The computer model of memory comes directly
from a literal interpretation of the functional definition, which is simply a thing’s ability
to store, retain, and recall information. Memories are seen as “files” that are “written” to
the brain’s “hard-drive” where they are stored and kept. This goes beyond the functional
definition of memory by claiming that the memories exist in the brain as files exist on a hard
disk. It implies that memories and experiences are written to some location of the brain and
stored for later use.
Though this is hardly a formalized theory of memory, it is generally the working as-
sumption that scientists, philosophers, and even laypeople accept. Every time somebody
says something like, “filling my head with knowledge,” “bringing the idea forward,” or even
“recalling,” an image or experience, it is implied that whatever knowledge, image, idea, or
experience it may be is somewhere in a person’s brain. Even the study of dreams and uncon-
scious forces or tendencies are generally thought to be the product of some memory or piece
of information locked away in some chamber in the brain. Again, as a functional definition,

1
The Analog Theory of Memory 1.1 Physical Limitations

these traditions are perfectly acceptable. However, accepting the ideas that memories exist
within the brain regardless of our awareness of them raises some serious issues.

1.1 Physical Limitations


First, the idea has very strong implications about the limits of memory. If memories are
physical entities that are written into the brain (perhaps in mentalese or some neural binary
code), then the amount of information able to be stored in a person’s brain is limited to the
size of the brain itself. If we are to take this model seriously for the brain, then just like a
computer hard drive can only have so many files written to it and can only store so much,
there must be a physical limit to the amount of information stored in a person’s brain as
well.
I am willing to accept that human memory has a limit. However, the limitation should
not be seen as a result of an internal “hard drive” being full; the brain does not run out
of space to store information. If this were the case, then by this time, we all would have
evolved giant heads since the demands on human memory now surely outweigh those on our
ancestors.
Right away one may object that it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that the brain
eliminates obsolete or older memories from its long term memory in order to make room
for new ones. In fact, in psychology, it is widely accepted that when long term memories
reach the threshhold of obsolesence, they temporarily become short term memories and
from there are permanently discarded. However, this idea, as we will see, creates all sorts
of problems regarding exactly who or what controls which memories are kept and which
are not. Furthermore, this still does not alleviate the claim that overall, people remember
more now than they did hundreds of thousands of years ago. Though we may have always
been biologically disposed to comprehending complex language, the ability to learn and
comprehend a variety of languages (ranging from natural to artificial languages) is surely a
modern phenomenon. It is therefore logical to claim that humans now are forced to remember
much more than they did back then.
Evolution does not provide organisms with many “just-in-case” attributes. It is highly
unlikely that the very first fully developed human brain had the same demands as yours or
mine, and to think that evolution provided us with a brain that has a 200GB hard drive
when the first humans only needed a 2GB one seems a bit far fetched, so far as evolution
is concerned. The only other explanation is that the brain has evolved simultaneously with

2
The Analog Theory of Memory 1.1 Physical Limitations

human thought ability, which is even less likely based on what we know about the slow and
gradual nature of evolution. Furthermore, the only physical link between two organisms
brain function is brain size, which would imply that if our “hard-drives”’ capacities had
grown one hundredfold, our brains would be much larger now than they were 80,000 years
ago, which is not the case. Unfortunately, this is what we must accept if we believe that
memories themselves exist within the brain like files on a computer.
An obvious objection to my argument can be posed at this point. Why should we accept
that humans remember now more than they did hundreds of thousands of years ago? After
all, in order to stay alive, humans had to be extremely aware of their surroundings. Our
knowledge of how to navigate a subway terminal or program a computer may very well be
qualitatively equivalent with primitive people’s knowledge of a particular area of land or how
to hunt effectively.
This objection, however, does not pose a threat; it merely calls for my pushing the
timescale back a bit and expanding the argument. Conscious memory occurs in the brain.
The brain is an evolved organ. Therefore, memory should be subjected to the same laws of
natural selection that all other life functions are subjected to. If memory is physical, and
memories are “written” in the brain, then there should be a direct correlation between the
ability to remember and brain size.
So far as my first example is concerned, if we accept that humans hundreds of thousands
of years ago remembered less than they do today, then memories cannot be physical, since no
physical difference in the two brains exists. If one does not accept the first premise, however,
one can easily turn to the animal kingdom for more compelling evidence.
The recent research in the cognitive abilities of animals, most notably birds, shows that
memory and brain size do not always correlate, which is more than enough evidence to prove
my point. For years, birds were believed to be incapable of intelligent behavior or complex
learning due to “the poor development in birds of any brain structure clearly corresponding
to the cerebral cortex of mammals,” which, “led to the assumption among neurologists not
only that birds are primarily creatures of instinct, but also that they are very little endowed
with the ability to learn,” (Thorpe 1964, p. 336).
It is becoming very clear to scientists, however, that this simply is not the case. As it
turns out, birds do have the ability to learn and remember and their abilities far exceed
what their brain sizes would imply. “Pigeons could maximally memorize between 800 and
1,200 picture-response association before reaching the limit of their performance. In contrast,
baboons minimally memorized 3,500-5,000 items and had not reached their limit until after

3
The Analog Theory of Memory 1.1 Physical Limitations

more than 3 years of testing.”1 What is interesting to note, however, is that a pigeon’s brain
weighs on average 0.4 grams whereas that of a baboon is on average 137 grams (over 300
times larger than the pigeon brain).2 However, the difference in memory ability between the
two animals does not reflect this large of a difference in brain size. Studies like these show
that brain size and memory do not necessarily correlate. This is as compelling evidence as
any that memories cannot be physical properties written into an organism’s brain.
Another obvious objection could be made based off of my response to the first one; since
there is a limit to the amount that baboons and pigeons (and humans) can remember, does
that imply that memories are physical? If I am denying that memories exist in the brain
physically, then must I take the position that every organism’s memory would be infinite?
The short answer is no. Just because memories are not stored in code or written in mentalese
in the brain does not mean that human memory is infinite. Writing something down is not
the only way to store a piece of information.
When a friend of mine buys a new softball bat, she first needs to “break it in,” before
actually using it in a game. Every time she hits a ball with it, the physical structure of the
bat itself becomes altered, allowing it to hit balls further and with greater speed. Clearly
when the first game comes around, the bat will “remember” all of that training and will
hopefully hit a home run. However, no encoded record or inscription of every hit taken
before that day exists anywhere in the bat itself. The memory of all of the break-in period
is a physical property of the bat itself. But still, does that imply that the bat’s “memory” is
infinite? Again, no it does not. After so much use, the bat’s performance will reach a plateau
and eventually taper off. The physical limitations of the bat put a cap on the amount of
benefit it can get from being broken in (i.e. the amount of hits it can “remember”). This
type of example will become more clear in my section about the distinction between digital
analog memory. But for now, I can avoid the infinity objection with the simple truth that
finite memory need not be written or inscribed anywhere.
Putting evolution aside for a moment, the varying ability of memory among people today
is hardly a product of variation in brain size. Your brain and mine are more or less the same
size as that of Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr, Nikola Tesla, Confucius, Buddha, and Aristotle.
However, I am certain that all of those men were much better at storing, retaining, and
recalling information than I am as well as most other humans. This kind of evidence as well
as the examples above should clearly show that memory and brain size does not necessarily
correlate.

4
The Analog Theory of Memory 1.2 Application Issues

1.2 Application Issues


The other problems associated with the computer model of memory come from the artificial
intelligence and computer programming communities. It is a known fact that computers are
very bad at doing things that we are very good at and vice versa. So far as the mindless
manipulation of symbols are concerned, computers do this very well. However, pattern
recognition is much more difficult for computers. Facial recognition programs are extremely
complex when compared to say 3D graph-plotting programs. However, it is (generally) much
easier for a human to recognize his friends than to plot the graph of a mobius strip.
The computer model of memory, however, considers this problem to be one of complexity
not concept. Surely viewing an image and simultaneously comparing it to every person you
have ever come in contact with in your entire life (located in the “People” folder in your
hippocampus) in order to find out who is standing in front of you must be the way perception
and memory works; our brains must just have an infinitely fast processor and be able to
accomplish this task without us even consciously being aware of it. The same goes for chess-
playing computer programs. The difference between a chess-playing computer program and
a grandmaster must be one of complexity, according to the computer model advocate. With
enough pruning of the generation tree and heuristic functions, we can eventually create a
program that can play chess just as well as the grandmaster and go through exactly the
same thought processes as he does. Again, we have two answers to the problem. We can
either advocate infinity and say that memory is so complex that we simply do not have the
resources to run the Facial Recognition program of the brain on a computer (but if we keep
trying as technology improves, we will be able to one day), or the model itself is flawed.
The computer model of memory also implies that we should have a sort of control over
our memories that we clearly do not possess. At one extreme there are repressed memories.
These are memories that we either have limited access to or influence us indirectly. It seems
that they exist in our brains somewhere, but we cannot bring them forward or have direct
access to them like we can with others. The other extreme consists of addictive memories.
These are thoughts that we simply “cannot get out of our heads,” whether they be catchy
songs or grotesque images. In either case, we may want to “delete” these memories, but we
are powerless to do so.
Another problem associated with memory control is quite simply selective memory. Why
do some memories stick to us better than others? Why is it that I can remember the
conjugations of a Spanish verb that I learned in elementary school, but not something as
simple as my friend’s phone number? Throughout life, we often find ourselves wanting to

5
The Analog Theory of Memory The Analog Theory of Memory

remember certain things and not being able to as well as remembering particularly useless
bits of information that we would be much better off having the ability to delete. Like
the other problems with the computer model of memory, the solution to this one makes an
appeal to infinity or unknowns: there must me some unseen force picking and choosing what
memories are more important than others and which get stored or not.
Here, the fairly obvious objection could be made: why should the computer model force
us to think we have control over our memories? My response to the question is quite simply
that if we are not in control of what gets remembered or not, then who is? Is there, perhaps, a
ghost in the ghost in the machine controlling which memories get kept or not? I doubt it. But
if all memories are uniform, written in the same mental language, and kept somewhere in the
brain, why should we not have access to them? There would need to be some undiscovered
force that resides in each of us to account for this phenomenon. Perhaps the computer model
does not necessarily imply that we have limited access to our memories, but it certainly does
not account for the fact that we do have limited access. And the only way to salvage the
model and account for this phenomenon is to make an appeal to some hitherto unknown
force, which diminishes the model’s credibility. Should such a force be discovered, it will
surely be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of our time. But for now, I think it might
be best to look for a theory that can account for this on its own.
It should be fairly obvious that this model has some serious problems that either imply a
structural flaw, or an appeal to infinity (or unknowns). If the computer model of memory is
correct, then we must have an infinite hard drive, an infinitely fast processor, and some piece
of hardware in our brains that selects which memories to keep and which to throw out that is
often at odds with our desires. Since this seems implausible at best, we must construct a new
model of memory based off of a much less technological philosophy. The digital revolution
has trained people into believing that brains and computers are synonymous in spite of the
obvious differences between the two. This is why we must look to another philosophy as
our basis for a definition of memory, one that eliminates the problems discussed above and
advocates the least unknowable and infinite elements.

2 The Analog Theory of Memory


Now I need to draw an important distinction between two fundamentally different types of
memory: digital and analog.
Digital memories are isomorphic, copyable memories. They are written, etched, inscribed,

6
The Analog Theory of Memory The Analog Theory of Memory

or imprinted into a selected medium, and that memory exists until it is replaced by another or
the medium is destroyed. The inscriptions can vary, however, in both content and mediums.
They can range from footprints in mud to pictures on a wall, writing in books, and even
binary code on a hard-drive.
The main property of digital memory to note, however, is that its contents are isomorphic
and they must be interpreted. A digital memory of a hurricaine would be written documen-
tation of the event written in some language; a record of the event. Note that this is the
working assumption of the computer model of memory, that memories are written, etched,
or in some way “stored” in the brain.
Analog memory is something completely different altogether. Unlike digital memories,
analog memories are not written or recorded anywhere at all. They are physical, structural
changes that an object undergoes due to some repeated action. A simple example of analog
memory is the bending of a wire. Initially, a wire may be difficult to bend. However, after
repeated efforts, the wire is broken in, so to speak, to the point that bending it becomes
effortless. This type of memory occurs with any object that requires some sort of breaking
in (recall the softball bat above), whether it be a pair of speakers, or a car engine. Analog
memory occurs when an object becomes naturally accustomed to a certain behavior through
repeated use so much that a disposition to have such behavior becomes a property of the
object itself.
Another object that uses analog memory is muscle tissue. When someone lifts weights at
the gym, he tears his muscles to the point that they are reasonably weaker than they were
at the beginning of the workout. When he returns a few days later and repeats the same
workout, his muscles have regenerated and come back stronger than they were before. They
“remembered” being torn and returned with a bit more strength this time. Note that there
is no written record anywhere in the muscles themselves that tells them exactly how much
weight was lifted for how many repetitions. The muscles’ physical structure has changed,
however, due to the repeated action of lifting weights.
For analog memory, the memories themselves do not exist within the object. Just because
the wire is now predisposed to being bent (or the muscles are more predisposed to lifting
heavy weights), does not mean that it is bent in half at this very moment. To be more
explicit, just because a forest is dry and is predisposed to catching fire does not imply that
fire exists anywhere in the forest at this very moment in time. Analog memory occurs when
objects are inherently disposed to performing certain acts and it becomes an organic property
of them. It is a proclivity to respond a certain way to certain stimuli, a habit.

7
The Analog Theory of Memory 2.1 The Analog Theory of Memory

To summarize, the two types of memory can be distinguished in the following way: digital
memories exist as pieces of information written on a medium. Analog memories are habits
formed by repeated actions.3

2.1 The Analog Theory of Memory


I am arguing that human memory is analog. It is the habit formation of certain sequences
of brainstates. Memories are not stored anywhere in the mind as they are on a computer,
but are recreated from scratch each time a memory is had. We only “remember” certain
brainstates and sequences of brainstates when we grow accustomed to having them, when
they become familiar.

2.2 Habit Formation


Although I dubbed the computer model (which will now be referred to as the digital model
of memory) the more commonsense and intuitive model, there is common, everyday support
for the analog theory as well. The concept of habit formation, for example, is much more
easily explained by the analog theory than the digital one.
Whenever I hear “Sunshine of Your Love,” by the band, Cream, I almost instantaneously
start playing along in my head with my brain’s guitar. I have played and heard that song
so many times that I simply cannot separate listening to it from playing it, and I do not
have the slightest bit of control over the matter. I actually form an image in my head of a
first person view of my guitar’s neck and my fingers playing the right notes in time with the
song. Most people with musical experience could sympathize with this need to play along
with anything they hear, but why does it happen?
According to the analog theory, after so much association between playing the song and
hearing the song (a natural side effect of playing it), the two brainstates, that of playing and
that of hearing, become virtually inseparable. One brainstate is simply so used to coinciding
with the other that when a person hears the song, the brain, out of habit, must play along.
The Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov is famous for observing that he could induce
salivation in his dogs simply by ringing a bell after the dogs had become conditioned to
receiving food immediately after hearing the bell. It is reasonably clear that his dogs had
a memory of what had happened in the immediate aftermath of Pavlov ringing the bell in
times past; the dogs associated the bell and food together. But does this really imply that
somewhere in their brains it was “written” that they were to begin salivating at the sound

8
The Analog Theory of Memory 2.3 Associationism

of the bell?
According to my theory, not at all. There was nothing but habit formation occuring in
the dogs’ brains. There was no searching, computing, examining past stimuli, calculating the
probable outcome of events to come after the bell was rung or “bringing forward,” of past
similar events. Rather, upon the ringing of the bell, brainstate A was induced. Immediately
afterwards, the dogs would eat and brainstate B would be induced. After enough times, a
causal relationship was created due to the habit formation of brainstate A naturally leading
into brainstate B. Therefore, when brainstate A was induced, B naturally followed.
The two examples differ in that the first has instantaneous association of the two brain
states while the second has a more dynamic and fluid scenario. However, the implications of
the theory are exactly the same. Whether brainstate A and B happen simultaneously or with
a slight delay is not important; the same phenomenon is occurring. The brain habitually
associates the two brainstates and when one is induced in reality, the other is induced by
brain itself.

2.3 Associationism
The analog theory is starting to look quite a bit like associationism, which says that intelli-
gent behavior is the product of associative learning. Furthermore, it says that animals learn
cause and effect relationships in the world by analyzing and associating events that regularly
coincide. My theory, however, takes these claims a step further. So far as psychology is con-
cerned, associationism may very well be true in some sense, but the underlying phenomenon
that allows us to even make associations is what my theory addresses. My theory states that
operant conditioning and association takes place on the neural level.
I am not simply claiming that people associate school with homework or shoes with
socks, but that the brain associates brainstate A with brainstate B, causing us to remember
something. Associationism (and behaviorism) in its classical sense could still work with
the computer model of memory. Perhaps after a threshhold was met, Pavlov’s dogs’ brains
copied “salivation” into the “bell-ringing” experience folder and from that point onward, the
two events would coincide. In this way, associationism could still be true. However, I claim
that the events happening within the dogs’ brains are not at all what the computer model
advocates. The brainstates themselves associate with one another after being conditioned
enough so much that it is a physical property of the brain that one state follows the other.

9
The Analog Theory of Memory 2.4 Mental Momentum

2.4 Mental Momentum


Another piece of everyday evidence in support of the analog theory is what I call mental
momentum. This phenomenon occurs when people find themselves remembering certain
things better when prompted a certain way immediately before. In essence, they try to
induce brainstate A so that it will naturally lead into a more complete brainstate B than
would exist had they tried to induce brainstate B from scratch.
This occurs most often with memorization. When a student, for example, is told to recite
a speech that he was required to memorize, and he stumbles at a word, it is very likely that
he will repeat the phrase immediately before the one he is having trouble with in the hopes of
having the missing word naturally follow. Sometimes it works better than others (it depends
on how familiar the student really is with the material), but there certainly is some merit to
the idea of trying to induce brainstate B by inducing A first.
To return to a musical example, one thing I would always dread when I was at a lesson
was when my teacher would ask me to begin a song at a section that I was having trouble
with. I would play the song fine until a certain point, stumble at a section, and my teacher
would stop me and ask me to repeat the troublesome part. More often than not, I played
the troublesome part worse than I did the first time because there was nothing leading me
into it. I had no mental momentum.
Anytime someone’s memory is “jogged” or they need to be prompted of something before
remembering something else, mental momentum is a factor. It occurs when people attempt
to generate the surrounding brainstates in the hopes that the brain will naturally fill in the
necessary blanks. This is exactly what people do when they try and retrace their steps when
they lose something. They go back to where they were and relive all of the events leading
up to the last time they remember having the object and hope that they will remember the
last place they put it.
The phenomenon of mental momentum shows the dynamic aspect of memory. No com-
putations, searching, or appeals to unknowns are made at all. Quite simply, brainstate A
causes brainstate B to happen due to both the frequency and the intensity of the association
between the two brainstates.

2.5 Neurological and Psychological Evidence


A number of philosophers and scientists have adopted the view that memory is a fluid entity
and that it would be impossible for memories to exist in coded form anywhere in the brain.

10
The Analog Theory of Memory 2.5 Neurological and Psychological Evidence

The work of both Gerald Edelman and Israel Rosenfield shows that neurons very often
work in groups after being exposed to certain repeated stimuli. In Edelman’s book Bright
Air, Brilliant Fire, he explains this process as it takes place in a developing embryo. As
an embryo develops, nerve cells become associated with one another and specialize based
on how they are stimulated. This specialization process merely involves moving around and
linking up with the proper neurons so that they are accustomed to certain types of stimuli.
For this reason, no two brains are alike, not even those of twins. The epigenetic development
of the brain causes specialization that is solely based on the individual’s environment.
This is why it is so difficult to “diagram” the brain and divide it up into specialized
sections. Where the frontal lobe ends and the temporal lobe begins varies greatly from
person to person, showing that our genetic makeup has a limited amount to say about how
our brains actually turn out. This type of variety in neuronal group specialization even takes
place in the case of identical twins.
The most important idea here for our purposes is the adaptive ability of neurons. Cer-
tain repeated stimuli and conditioning that occur on the neural level determine what each
neuron’s function is. In Rosenfield’s The Strange, Familiar, and Forgotten, he quite clearly
states that, “after repeated excitation by similar stimuli, its (the neuronal group) response
will be reinforced: some of the groups will come to respond better to certain stimuli on
later occasions and some that had initially responded weakly will not respond at all. Thus
environmental stimuli select neuronal groups.” (p. 82)
That neurons specialize and form working neuronal groups through repeated stimuli
during development lends an inordinate amount of credibility to my theory because unlike
stem-cells, whose ability to specialize is lost once it “chooses” a particular cell, a neuron’s
ability to specialize and form groups with other neurons is not lost as the brain develops.
Recently, a baby, Dylan Catania, underwent a surgery to treat a rare condition that
gave him as many as 100 epileptic siezures per day, which involved a procedure that severed
half of his brain.4 The reason this procedure worked was because of the plasticity of the
human brain, the ability for neurons to specialize long after the embryonic stage. Although
he will only be able to use half of his brain, nearly all of the vital functions, as well as the
ability to think and reason, will be preserved. People who suffer from strokes also very often
find themselves being saved by the plasticity of the brain, although the property diminishes
significantly as the person grows older.
Rosenfield also writes that, “Recent neurophysiological evidence appears to confirm that
the brain creates coherent patterns of responses to stimuli.”(p. 84) This claim was made

11
The Analog Theory of Memory Conclusions

in light of a study that found that neuronal groups (in cats) would oscillate at the same
frequency in response to particular visual stimuli. The most baffling consequences was that
these neurons would oscillate at the same frequency even in different parts of the brain.5
It should be very clear to the reader how all of this fits into the analog theory of memory.
Neurons, through repeated stimuli, specialize, group up, and even network themselves in
ways that certain neurons are more likely (or less likely) to respond to particular stimuli than
others. The result is that neuronal groups have physical structures based on environmental
stimuli. This is analog memory. It is the operant conditioning, associationism, and habit
formation of neuronal groups.
Notice that at this point, there is no room for the computer model of memory whatso-
ever. There is no room for memories to be inscribed or stored anywhere. There is no room
for conclusions such as that of John Searle who claims that, “When, for example, we store
memories, it seems we must store them somehow in the synaptic connections between neu-
rons.” Memory simply comes from the way that the neurons group together and react with
one another after certain repeated stimuli, just like they do in developing embryos, and just
like they do in developing people. Just because certain neuronal groups become predisposed
after repeated stimuli to respond in certain ways does not mean that the stimuli or response
is “written” or exists anywhere in the brain independent of the event itself; it is just more
likely to respond a certain way due to habit. Likewise, just because somebody is a smoker
does not necessarily imply that he is smoking at this very moment in time.

3 Conclusions
Though on the surface this model of memory as simply habit of the brain seems very different
from the traditional digital model, it really is not too much at odds with what we know about
the brain. Scientists searching for the area of the brain where memories are stored are making
a category mistake. There is no one area where memories are kept in the brain and sifted
through each time someone wants to remember something; memory simply is a physical
property of the brain itself.6
In conclusion, memory is the result of neuronal specialization and the development of
cause and effect relationships in the brain on the neural level itself. It is the ability to induce
brainstate B from brainstate A out of habit.

12
The Analog Theory of Memory NOTES

Notes
1
(Jol Fagot and Robert G. Cook Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 November 14; 103(46): 1756417567.
Published online 2006 November 6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0605184103. PMCID: PMC1634836)
2
http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/facts.html
3
Digital and analog memories are not to be confused with the terms digital and analog in their other
applications. Brainstates are digital. Neurons either fire or do not and operate in a sort of neural binary.
However, the sequences themselves are not written or stored anywhere in the brain, the memories themselves
are analog whereas the brainstates are digital.
4
http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-dylan-html,0,6113116.htmlstory
5
C.M. Gray and W. Singer, “Stimulus-Specific Neuronal Oscillations in Orientation Columns of Cat
Visual Cortex,” PNAS 86 (1989): 1698-1702.
6
Although there is general agreement that long-term and short-term memory is where memories occur,
we have no reason to believe that these areas are where the memories are “written,” for they are not written
anywhere in the brain at all. The functional roles of long-term and short-term memory are not at odds with
my theory of memory. Memories do occur in the brain, and there may very well be localized areas that are
responsible for inducing them. I am simply saying that they are not written in these areas but, rather, are
physical properties of the areas themselves.

13