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A recent discov…

A recent discovery in neuroscience identifies a connection between microtubules and synaptic memory:

ScienceDaily (Mar. 9, 2012) — Despite a century of research, memory encoding in the brain has remained mysterious. Neuronal synaptic connection strengths are involved, but synaptic components are short-lived while memories last lifetimes. This suggests synaptic information is encoded and hard-wired at a deeper, finer-grained molecular scale.

In an article in the March 8 issue of the journal PLoS Computational Biology, physicists Travis Craddock and Jack Tuszynski of the University of Alberta, and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff of the University of Arizona demonstrate a plausible mechanism for encoding synaptic memory in microtubules, major components of the structural cytoskeleton within neurons.

Microtubules are cylindrical hexagonal lattice polymers of the protein tubulin, comprising 15 percent of total brain protein. Microtubules define neuronal architecture, regulate synapses, and are suggested to process information via interactive bit-like states of tubulin. But any semblance of a common code connecting microtubules to synaptic activity has been missing. Until now.

Key to the discovery is how “in long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular and molecular model for memory, post-synaptic calcium ion (Ca2+) flux activates the hexagonal Ca2+-calmodulin dependent kinase II (CaMKII)”.

What is CaMKII?

“Ca2+-calmodulin dependent kinase II (CaMKII), a dodacameric holoenzyme containing 2 hexagonal sets of 6 kinase domains.”

Image

Image

“The term “holoenzyme” can also be applied to enzymes that contain multiple protein subunits, such as the DNA polymerases; here the holoenzyme is the complete complex containing all the subunits needed for activity.” – Wiki

*a kinase[1] is a type of enzyme that transfers phosphate groups from high-energy donor molecules, such as ATP,[2] to specific substrates, a process referred to as phosphorylation.

The hexagonal symmetry of these molecular mandalas are very familiar to me, as is the MWC model in terms of Tension and Relaxation  (with Agonist, Inhibitor, and Substrate relations).

This theme is echoed in another fundamental structure of memory encoding, the bipolar junction transistor:

Neither the holoenzyme, the transistor, or any other symmetric tri-element models related to information (like RNA/DNA, semiotic trichotomy) address a how or why any of these digital units become feelings, images, etc. No sign of any translation/conversion homunculus performing this little bit of mechanically superfluous, metaphysical imagineering. We infer forms being transduced from one encoding schema to another, but at no point do they reach their semantic destination.

Multisense realism picks up where these descriptions leave off. In enzyme reactions as in electronics, the underlying theme of holding and releasing is understandable to us, as it is a universal theme which we can make sense of on many levels in our own experience. The commonality then, can be described in subjective terms as sense: the experiential syzygy of stability (which is essential and continuous) and variation (which is existential and discrete).

When we experience directly, it can be described in terms of sense and motive, whereas our indirect experience is splintered into many nested perceptions and understandings on different physical scales and levels (physical, chemical, biological, somatic, geological, stellar, galactic, etc)

The experience of a living human being is not a collection of molecular ‘information’ fragments in the brain, it is the unique wholeness which permeates the entire interpretation and operation of the molecules, cells, organs, etc from the moment of zygotic mitosis until death which remains irreducible. Not a soul, but a participant in a story of stories. Not a machine, but a sequence of self-recognizing sequences.

This idiosyncratic resonance, rather than only being augmented gradually as objective ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ in space also extends as a ‘who’ and a ‘why’ which is etched subtractively into eternity (experienced as ‘time’). The resonance cannot be separated from the objects and events, anymore than shadows can be separated from lights, they are different aspects of the same thing.

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