Memories are fluid. They alter over time. Sometimes the details are lost or adjusted, other times they are manufactured in response to an overlap of experiences. Recall is just an illusion, recreated from a triggered smell, word, sight or sound, but could those memories also be transmitted across space and time?
The hippocampus can be considered as a personal database of our unique viewpoints of the past. Those memories deemed important, are reinforced via internal replays or storytelling, each time the tiny connections between our brain cells are strengthened. Facts that our subconscious select as useful for later, are then recoded in the cortex, where long term memories are stored.
The Science of Forgetting
These emotional and physical experiences go on to help shape our future, providing us with a reference to predict the outcome of certain actions prior to decisions being made. Memories become our comparison points. This association was highlighted during a study in the 1980’s on people who suffered from Amnesia. One subject, a motorcyclist with impaired memories following an accident, could retain and recall facts, but no emotional or personal experiences from the past. He also struggled to imagine his future.
Eleanor Maguire at University College London, states that there is a strong link between memories and planning. She backs up this supposition with scans of brain activity showing similar patterns where subjects were tested on each of those actions. She goes on to suggest that both recall and planning involve visualising ourselves in different scenarios inside our minds, therefore having a sharp memory would logically aid sound decision making in the future.
Several scientists and entrepreneurs are now working on devices which can enhance intelligence and correct memory deficits, Elon Musk being just one of them. This controversial branch of neurology attempts to ramp up the human neural capacity by electrical induction. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) or brain zapping via an implanted electrode, has already proven effective treatment against the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. Now neurologists are looking to adapt technologies to target the hippocampus, thus offering a boost to short term memory retention.
Early studies have shown a promising impact on reversing damaged regions of the brain and reducing the rate of shrinkage in Alzheimer’s sufferers. The downside to these procedures is that they almost invariably involve delicate and invasive surgery. For those with severe neurological disorders though, it may well be worth risking the surgeon’s knife. For others, it is an exciting new enterprise worthy of massive investment,
Bryan Johnson invested $100 million in 2016, to develop brain implants which targeted intelligence. Since then Elon Musk has thrown his cap into the ring, co-founding their joint venture of brain-machine interfaces called Neurolink. It’s not difficult to see what the commercial value of this might be if they are successful in their quest, but what would the effects on society be?
Just think of the thousands of under-performing students whose parents are wealthy enough to implant a short-term memory booster capable of retaining all the information required to pass the exams in medical school, only to forget the lot upon qualification. What about those students who were unable to secure a place on the course, because their funds did not extend to neural implants? It sounds like the basis for a science fiction drama.
What happens if we boost our memories so that we are no longer capable of forgetting past hurts or unpleasant experiences?
For some people, PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a crippling condition where harmful and disturbing memories flood back into the mind and overwhelm present day senses. Other people seem to have the ability to simply instruct their brains to forget. Jeremy Manning at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, tested this inclination using lists of words memorised via visualising associated cues. He found that some of his test subjects were able to dismiss the words on command. This was considered as being particularly strange, since rehearsing and visualising memories are known to reinforce the pathways in the brain.
Justin Hulbert at Bard College, New York, has linked the suppression of memories to decreased activity in the hippocampus. Does that mean, therefore, that some people are able to control the function of their brain regions at will? It’s an interesting premise.
For those unable to suppress harmful memories, certain techniques are known to help. One such technique involves playing visually stimulating computer games, during a time when a traumatic event is recalled. The theory is that by overloading the brain with visual stimuli, the process of reinforcing harmful memory pathways is disrupted. In so doing, this technique ‘inoculates’ the brain against favouring negative memories.
Using memory manipulation while asleep is another technique. Katharine Simon et al, at the University of Arizona, trained subjects to associate sounds with an instruction to forget something. As volunteers slept, her team introduced sound coded words to trigger memories in their dreams. They then prompted the instruction for them to forget with an additional trained sound. It is a form of unconscious hypnotic suggestion, allowing a traumatic event to be dealt with at the sub-conscious level.
Sleep plays a crucial part in memory formation and retention. New pathways and connections are forged during different sleep stages.
Bob Stickgold, at Harvard Medical School, claims that sleep dictates which memories are pulled from the hippocampus to be relocated as long-term storage in the cortex. Anna Shapiro, also at Harvard Medical School, goes as far as saying that the selection process seems to favour that which might prove useful to decisions making later on, particularly negative and emotional responses.
The brain can also use sleep to modulate intense experiential memories, dampening the fiercely emotional ones over time. That would explain why many women cannot remember the intensity of pain during childbirth. If each baby born had a lingering reminder of the agony suffered to bring the child into the world, there may be a reversal in population growth. Stickgold suggests that PTSD could be a failure of the brain to complete this modulating process.
Persinger’s Interconnected Memories
Professor Michael Persinger gave a fascinating lecture in 2011 at the Laurentian University, on his psychology studies into the interconnectedness of thoughts, dreams and memories. He posited the notion that there are roughly 7 billion electromagnetically charged humans connected together by the Earth’s geomagnetic field. He stated that if we consider the strength of field for each brain’s thoughts as approximately 1 trillionth of a Tesla, or one Picotesla, and multiply that by the number of humans on the planet, it equals the magnetic field strength of the Earth.
“The sum equalling the whole.”
In thus doing, Persinger suggested that this condition is ideal for a holographic configuration of consciousness. These suppositions may seem crazy, but they form the basis for many of his studies conducted over the years. With over 500 technical articles in science journals, 7 of his own books and dozens of contributions to others, Persinger spent the majority of his career in search of scientific and quantifiable bases for various unusual phenomenon.
Many of his articles regarding clinical and experimental neuropsychology involved the electromagnetic theories of consciousness. He suggested that since a resting pattern of 7Hertz was common during dream states and meditative practices, it was therefore possible to synchronise with that of the Earth’s geomagnetic field lines and the resonant frequency of around 7-8Hz. In so doing, every man, woman and child on the planet has the capability to connect to every other brain, thus sharing thoughts, memories and visual experiences.
He is quoted as saying the following: “Calculations suggests that the time required for an event in one human brain to diffuse into all other human brains on this planet, would be about ten minutes. This would occur primarily during dreams or during altered states, when the right hemisphere is dominant.”
To test his theory, Persinger experimented on a subject who had known morphological differences in his brain. He knew that he could read peoples’ thoughts and memories. When Sean Harribance was in action, sensitive instruments recorded a tiny distortion in the geomagnetic readings on the right side of his head. Persinger also recorded a measurable quantity of photon emissions, which when calculated, was equal to that of the magnetic distortion. He claimed that they were witnessing the conservation of energy laws at work. He also argued that since minuscule biophotonic emissions could be detected, it was possible to link quantum entanglement theory to that of non-local memory storage. His supposition being, that the Earth’s ionosphere had the capacity and charged particles to encode all the human thoughts and memories throughout time.
Harribance was given a random volunteer with whom to connect and read. His abilities were astounding. Electroencephalographic readings showed that after a short time, the volunteer’s brain waves synchronised with that of Harribance, allowing him to extract information and embarrassing memories that no one else knew about. Persinger tested Harribance’s skill at different sites, distances and using other volunteers, but the results were always the same. The only time his abilities were inaccurate or disabled, were during global geomagnetic storm activity or when conflicting solenoids were deliberately applied between Harribance and the volunteer.
Morphic Resonance and Mind Reading Dogs.
It would be easy to dismiss this as out of date thinking, or tenuous conclusions at the cost of rigorous experimental protocols, but Persinger was not alone in his research suppositions. Cambridge University and Harvard alumni, Rupert Sheldrake, has conducted many lectures and written research papers and books on a similar theme. He purports that the theory of Morphic Resonance, supports a species level or collective evolution. That which is learned by one creature, is then immediately learned by the rest of the species. He backs up this theory with behaviour experiments on rats separated by entire continents. When one rat learns how to navigate a new laboratory maze, all others follow suit immediately after, even when the tests are conducted at the same time in different countries.
Sheldrake relates his finding to humans, claiming that we are the odd ones out in the animal world. Telepathy is not supernatural in the animal kingdom, but common. He claims that dogs regularly use Morphic Fields to communicate, and will also synchronise with their owners, predicting when they will arrive home, even when they are not following a routine.
He states: “The resonance of a brain with its own past states also helps to explain the memories of individual animals and humans. There is no need for all memories to be "stored" inside the brain. The morphic fields of mental activity are not confined to the insides of our heads. They extend far beyond our brain through intention and attention. We are already familiar with the idea of fields extending beyond the material objects in which they are rooted: for example magnetic fields extend beyond the surfaces of magnets; the earth's gravitational field extends far beyond the surface of the earth, keeping the moon in its orbit; and the fields of a cell phone stretch out far beyond the phone itself. Likewise the fields of our minds extend far beyond our brains.”
This seems to correlate with Persinger’s view that not only can we use an external field, such as the ionosphere, as a method to connect us all, but it can form a repository of memories and ideas beyond the physical body. Now that really is a concept fit for science fiction.
If, for the sake of this argument, we accept this as fact, what effect will conflicting frequencies, such as 5G and the all-pervasive internet signals, plus that of research equipment like ionospheric heaters, have on our collective memories? Could there possibly be a causal link between manmade frequency proliferation and the rise of mental illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia?