"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Model for Function of Neurogenesis in Olfactory Bulb

It has been a continuing feature of this blog to cover areas of research related to the human sensorium. While I do not take the view of the connectionists that the mind can be modeled on a silly Rube Goldberg-like grammar tree structure a la Nim Chimpsky, I do think that the memory and sense of smell have are shown to be dependent upon the creation of new brain cells.

It is not surprising that wave forms in the brain are of a spiral nature and that these waves correlate to organization of mental states. It has been hypothesized that the extinction of these wave allows for the succession of consciousness. Likewise it has been hypothesized that neurogenesis allows for new memories to form by perhaps displacing older patterns of connections along synapses. This paper makes a similar case for the role of neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb.

It certainly is striking how memories are often strongly evoked by the sense of smell such that certain smells have an almost seemingly supernatural vicarious appeal.

My tantalized spirit
Here blandly reposes,
Forgetting, or never
Regretting its roses-
Its old agitations
Of myrtles and roses:

For now, while so quietly
Lying, it fancies
A holier odor
About it, of pansies-
A rosemary odor,
Commingled with pansies-
With rue and the beautiful
Puritan pansies.

Poe

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