More than a century ago, the German zoologist Richard Semon coined the term “engram” to designate the physical trace – marker - a memory must leave in the brain, like a footprint. Semon proposed that memory formation is not instantaneous. The act of remembering is crucial to printing a memory into the brain. It is high time to commit the word engram to memory.
Given ever new micro-technology, recent research has borne out Semon’s speculation of actual changes in the DNA and RNA structure of the brain tissue upon a recollection.
What Does the Word Engram Mean?
There is now a whole new lexicon spawned from the once fabled engram process:
“Engram” refers to the enduring physical and/or chemical changes that were elicited by learning and underlie the newly formed memory associations.
“Engram cells” are a population of neurons that are activated by learning, have enduring cellular changes as a consequence of learning, and whose reactivation by a part of the original stimuli delivered during learning results in memory recall.
“Engram cell pathway” is a set of engram cells for a given memory connected by specific neuronal circuits.
“Engram component” is the content of an engram stored in an individual engram cell population within the engram cell pathway.
“Engram complex” refers to the whole engram for a given memory that is stored in a set of engram cell populations connected by an engram cell pathway.
An engram can otherwise be summarized as – sensory interaction committed to memory matter.
ROOT of the Matter Entangled
Semon picked a very simple and science-worthy descriptive word for his trace theory. Breaking down the syllables of the word engram to their root words, we can make several parallels to the digitized memory priming process.
One word: two syllables:
Greek - en
a prefix forming verbs; “to cause to be in” the place, condition, or state named by the stem put into or onto, in, within, to confine in or place on, to restrict cause to be, provide with, so as to cover made of, consisting of, thoroughly, on all sides, completely a unit of width in typography
Greek - grámma
drawing, writing, record, letters matter weight under standard gravity
Enlightening To the Nth Degree
Breaking down the first syllable further, the letter n is used exte-n-sively i-n scie-n-tific discipli-n-es:
The symbol n is a pretty important variable in:
Physics: neutron, newtons (how things are put together)
Optics: index of refraction (how we see things)
Chemistry: nitrogen (key growth agent for life)
Geography: north, northern (where things are pointing)
Mathematics: an indefinite, constant whole number, natural numbers, all positive integers (1,2,3….infinity)
Also in mathematics, the factorial of a positive integer n, denoted by n!, is the product of all positive integers less than or equal to n:
n! = n * (n-1) * (n-2) * (n-3) * …
5! = 5* 4* 3 *2 * 1 = 120
The most basic use counts the possible distinct sequences – the permutations – of n distinct objects.
Source - [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factorial]
The En Factor
However you slice the noun engram, there are a lot of interesting connections to alpha-numeric representations of important things to remember. Plenty of punditry, wit and wordplay shall ensue in our blogs and marketing materials.
We’ve managed to engage a few en words in the body of this article; used to enrich the text with ens and ensure that creative thinking is entombed in the enclosed information. Ens should be engraved upon your mind; engrams can be entrusted to disentangle the ideas in your brain for goodness.
We are enthusiastic and enraptured enough with the engram concept that we are entwining the name with a fascinating new product: app-tly named engram, the enzootic app. We hereby enthrone the new idea kingmaker:engram.
Please note that the application is currently enshrouded in beta wrap, but encryption-enabled for online or offline recording of your own engrams, articles, and enticing buzzwords.
The New Engram Definition:
engram is a brand new open source knowledge management application designed to help individuals convert their ideas into actions, and to help educate those interested in software development.