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.

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)…

Author: skakos

Spiros Kakos is a thinker located in Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector related to the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!

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

  1. 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.

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