Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Forgotten Memories Are Still in Your Brain, Satanists, stopping child pornography

Exclusive: Satanists recruit new members in small ads 9/20/09 Lauren Crooks - Satanists are recruiting members in Scotland through an online classifieds site. The devil worshippers, who preach from Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible, hold regular meetings involving ritualistic sacrifice. Their advert on Gumtree, which is accompanied by a picture of a goat with the devil's head, reads: "We are leaderless and nondenominational. We get together for discussion, food, drink, and ritual."....Laurie Matthew, who set up the Ritual Abuse Network Scotland, insisted police should be keeping a close eye on the group to prevent anything illegal happening. She said: "We have counselled a lot of people - many more than you'd think - who have been affected by Satanic ritual." Scotland has had problems with Satanists in the past. They were blamed for a spate of horse slayings at the time of the summer solstice last year.

FBI nabs 'Boy Lovers' child-porn ring
9/21/09 The FBI today announced child-pornography charges against four men from Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, accusing them of operating a ring that distributed pornographic images and videos and referred to themselves by the name "Boy Lovers."
....According to the complaints, the FBI began investigating the men in June after arresting one in their group. That man admitted to "possession, receipt, distribution and manufacture of child pornography," the complaint said. The man "also stated he had contacts with many other child pornography enthusiasts, some of whom were molesting children."
....Officials say he gave a USB drive to the witness on Aug. 29 that contained over 3,500 images and 60 videos of child pornography. http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/09/fbi-child-pornography-charges-garcia-maschke-stinefast-mcgill-west-chicago-schererville-indiana-cres.html

Forgotten Memories Are Still in Your Brain

By Brandon Keim September 9, 2009 ...Though the memory is hidden from your conscious mind, it might not be gone. In a study of college students, brain imaging detected patterns of activation that corresponded to memories the students thought they'd lost. "Even though your brain still holds this information, you might not always have access to it," said neurobiologist Jeffrey Johnson of the University of California, Irvine. His remarks appeared in the study he co-authored, published Wednesday in Neuron. That recalling a memory triggers the neurological patterns encoded when the memory was formed is a tenet of cognitive science. Less understood, however, is what becomes of those patterns at moments of incomplete recall...."It wasn't quite clear what happens to them," said Johnson of lost details. "But even when people claim that there are no details attached to their memories, we could still pick some of those details out."....

Johnson's team put eleven female and five male college students inside an fMRI machine, which measures real-time patterns of blood flow in the brain. Each student was shown a list of words, then asked to say each word backwards, think of how it could be used, and imagine how an artist would draw it. Twenty minutes later, the researchers showed them the list again, and asked the students to remember what they could of each word. Recollection triggered the original learning patterns, a process known technically as reinstatement; the stronger the memory, the stronger the signal. "What I think is cool about the study is that the degree of cortical reinstatement is related to the strength of our subjective experience of memory," said Anthony Wagner, a Stanford University memory researcher who wasn't involved in the experiment. But at the weak end of the gradient, where the students' conscious recall had faded to zero, the signal was still there. It's possible that the students lied about what they remembered. But if not, then memory may truly persist.

The question then is how long memories could last - weeks, months, even years. "We can only speculate that this is the case," said Johnson, who plans to run brain-imaging studies of memory degradation over days and weeks. As for whether those memories could be intentionally guided to the surface, Johnson says that "at this stage, we're just happy to be able to find evidence of reinstatement at a weak level. That would be something down the line."
Citation: "Recollection, Familiarity, and Cortical Reinstatement: A Multivoxel Pattern Analysis." By Jeffrey D. Johnson, Susan G.R. McDuff, Michael D. Rugg, and Kenneth A. Norman. Neuron, Vol. 63 Issue 5, September 8, 2009.

Recollection, Familiarity, and Cortical Reinstatement: A Multivoxel Pattern Analysis
Jeffrey D. Johnson1, 4, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Susan G.R. McDuff2, 4, Michael D. Rugg1 and Kenneth A. Norman2, 3
1Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
2Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
3Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
Published: September 9, 2009.
Episodic memory retrieval is thought to involve reinstatement of the neurocognitive processes engaged when an episode was encoded. Prior fMRI studies and computational models have suggested that reinstatement is limited to instances in which specific episodic details are recollected. We used multivoxel pattern-classification analyses of fMRI data to investigate how reinstatement is associated with different memory judgments, particularly those accompanied by recollection versus a feeling of familiarity (when recollection is absent). Classifiers were trained to distinguish between brain activity patterns associated with different encoding tasks and were subsequently applied to recognition-related fMRI data to determine the degree to which patterns were reinstated. Reinstatement was evident during both recollection- and familiarity-based judgments, providing clear evidence that reinstatement is not sufficient for eliciting a recollective experience. The findings are interpreted as support for a continuous, recollection-related neural signal that has been central to recent debate over the nature of recognition memory processes.

Call for Papers: "Sociology of Memory: New and Old Conceptualizations of Memory, Personal or Commodity, Public or Private?" Papers pertaining to: collective memory; personal memory; narrative; new and old sociological theories and conceptualizations of memory; sociological, psychological, historical or legal conceptualizations pertaining to personal, trauma, repressed, body memory; socio-political issues pertaining to "commodity memory" (such as electronic dataveillance, video surveillance; seed, sperm, egg or DNA banking); drug technology to improve or repress memory; and closely related topics are invited to present their research at the 2010 Pacific Sociological Association's 81st Annual meeting, to be held at the Marriott Oakland City Center in downtown Oakland, California on April 8 - 11 (Thursday - Saturday), 2010. Past papers from this session are featured in the book, Sociology of Memory: Papers from the Spectrum (2009), forthcoming from Cambridge Scholars Publishing. For more information see: http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Sociology-of-Memory--Papers-from-the-Spectrum1-4438-0199-2.htm
Please send initial inquirers, abstracts and contact information to: Noel Packard at packardn@prodigy.net Visit the Pacific Sociological Association website at http://www.pacificsoc.org for conference information and paper submission procedures. Follow links to Session Category Theory, Sociological Imagination, Knowledge, Science and Technology and within that category find the Sociology of Memory link. Deadline: November 15, 2009.

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