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Asked • 03/17/19

How and where, in the human brain, are memories stored?

Background: I am a computer programmer who is fascinated by artificial intelligence and artificial neural networks, and I am becoming more curious about how biological neural networks work. Context & what I think I understand: In digesting all I have been reading, I am beginning to understand that there are layers to neural networks. A front-line layer of neurons may receive, for example, a visual stimulus such as a bright light. That stimulus is taken in by the front-line neurons, each of which produce a weighted electro-chemical response that results in a binary decision to pass an electrical charge through its axon to the dendrites of the tens of thousands of neurons to which it is connected.This process repeats through layers channeling the electrical signals and focusing them based on their permutations until ultimately a charge is passed to a focused response mechanism such as the nerves that control shrinking of the pupils.Hopefully I got that correct. Preamble to the question: Assuming that I am not completely off-base with my basic understanding of how a biological neural network operates, I am beginning to grasp how an input (stimulus) results in an output (response) such as motor movement or reflexes. That would just seem to be basic electricity of open and closed circuits. HOWEVER, what confuzzles me still is how a memory is stored. The analogy to an electrical circuit breaks down here, for in a circuit I can't really stop the flow of electrons unless I dam up said electrons in a capacitor. If I do that, once the electrons are released (accessed), they are gone forever whereas a memory endures. So. . .How the heck are memories constructed and stored in the human brain? Are they stored in a specific region? If so, where?

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