Ben Goult (University of Kent)


Title: The MeshCODE theory – does our brain store memories in a binary format?

Abstract: Cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM), mediated by integrins, is exquisitely sensitive to biochemical, structural, and mechanical features of the ECM. Talin, the primary link between integrins and the actin cytoskeleton, coordinates the binding of a wide range of cytoskeletal and signaling adaptors in a force-dependent manner. Our work has defined talin as a major mechanosensitive signalling hub. More recently we have discovered that talin has “molecular memory” and so provides organisms with a way to store data, through persistent alterations in protein conformation. In this talk I discuss the implications of these findings and describe a novel role for integrin adhesions in data-storage leading to a novel theory of how memories are stored in our brain. The MeshCODE theory presented here provides an original concept for the molecular basis of memory storage. I propose that memory is biochemical in nature, written in the form of different protein conformations in each of the trillions of synapses. Based on established biophysical principles, a mechanical basis for memory would provide a physical location for data storage in the brain. Furthermore, the conversion and storage of sensory and temporal inputs into a binary format identifies an addressable read/write memory system supporting the view of the mind as an organic supercomputer.

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Seminar CAMBAM Seminar Series
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