I know the “involved” mechanism… (and other science jargon tricks)


Scientists have identified a key molecule responsible for triggering the chemical processes in our brain linked to our formation of memories. The findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Neural Circuits, reveal a new target for therapeutic interventions to reverse the devastating effects of memory loss. The BBSRC-funded research, led by scientists at the University of Bristol, aimed to better understand the mechanisms that enable us to form memories by studying the molecular changes in the hippocampus — the part of the brain involved in learning. [1]

This is a great example of how scientists write and think.

They are very carefull into their analysis and conclusions, leaving room for misjudgement if you are not well informed or prepared to that kind of wordings. Words like “linked to”, “involved into” are used simply because we have NOT yet understood the mechanism of memory and WHERE it is stored.

READ ALSO:  Chaos. Numbers. Simulations.

Such vague terminology is the only way scientists have to speak for issues they are still investigating. Ordinary people read such announcements and draw the conclusion that we “know” how memory (see here and here) is stored. Scientists let people believe that since it grants them more cudos and money.

It’s a win-win situation, except for the fact that I have to explain to every philosophy forum I write the obvious: that we do not even know WHERE memory is stored (let alone HOW)…

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Comments (


  1. Where is memory stored? NO, we do not know! | Harmonia Philosophica

    […] Mind,  Morphogenetic fields, Quantum physics…. Maybe also have a look at “I know the “involved” mechanism. (and other science jargon tricks)” post or the Philosophy  Wire: Brain, Memory & Plasticity against materialism. Or see […]

  2. Akis Tsekouras

    Interesting article Spyro – don’t forget that trying to understand the functional structure of cognition is an inherently self-referencing / circular activity: a brain that is trying to analyze itself.

    Therefore, I am not sure we will ever get there or that it is even theoretically possible to get there.

    1. skakos

      Self-reference seems to appear at every last frontier of science, from mathematics to neurobiology… 🙂

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