Alex Constantine - November 25, 2007
I recently became interested in this neuroscientist, Dr. Eric Kandel at Columbia University, whose research on the biology of memory debunks the oily rhetoric of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), an organization comprised of slippery courtroom pedophile advocates, quacks and mind control doctors who have conducted illegal experimentation for the CIA, DARPA, Naval Intelligence, etc.
The medical criminals of the FMSF don't want reporters and researchers to look too closely into their classified work on traumatic (repressed and recovered) memory, a well-known psychiatric condition - in fact, the foundation of all modern psychotherapies - that they flatly deny ... because the world might catch on the these agencies have been covertly experimenting on small children, mental patients, political dissidents, prisoners, etc. for decades to advance their knowledge of mind control.
Three stories here. The first is a flashback on Dr. Kandel's life in Nazi Germany (because it's interesting). The second is an attempt by the FMSF to discredit his laboratory research. Dr. Kandel's work strongly reinforces the case for recovered memory, so the Foundation bares its fangs and concocts reasons why it must be unfounded and disreputable. The third article demonstrates that Kandel knows the functioning of the brain so well that he has designed memory-enhancing drugs that are revolutionizing brain medicine. The most that can be said for members of the FMSF is that they lie well under oath. - AC
Prof. Recounts Experiences in Nazi Vienna
By Roland Zemla
NOVEMBER 13, 2007
Nobel laureate and Columbia neuroscience professor Eric Kandel discussed and signed his recent autobiography Monday night.
The book, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, described his grim childhood memories of living in Nazi-occupied Vienna, his successful escape to the United States, and his life as a student, psychiatrist, and scientist. These experiences served as inspiration for his search for the biological link between the mind and the brain.
Kandel is best known for his theory on the molecular basis of the mind’s ability to store memories created through the formation or strengthening of new synapses within existing neural networks. As he describes in his book, this theory emerged through the fascism, hatred, and hardship he experienced throughout his life.
“I can very well remember my journey on the steamboat to the United States when I was eight,” Kandel, now 78, said.
Kandel said he entered the field of psychology to understand the mental framework of cruelty that drove the Nazis to abuse and mistreat Jewish families during World War II.
This passion for psychoanalysis and understanding the human memory led him to ultimately pursue research in neuroscience.
After graduating from a public high school in Brooklyn, Kandel went on to double-major in history and literature at Harvard, where he developed an interest in psychoanalysis. He then studied at the New York University School of Medicine and worked in Dr. Harry Grundfest’s laboratory of electrophysiology.
When initially asked what he would like to study at NYU, Kandel remembers passionately replying, “I would like to locate the id, ego, and super-ego in the brain.” Today, he recalls this moment as one of humorous overambition. Kandel ultimately decided to focus on understanding the mechanisms governing the formation of memory and behavior in the simple crayfish Aplysia, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2000.
Kandel noted that much of the inspiration for his book came from his desire to preserve the traces of both his scientific work and the life that influenced it. “It was part of my natural desire to preserve this record and put my life into perspective,” he said.
“It was a great experience to see him discuss his book today in which he so beautifully brings together the history of neuroscience and his personal life,” Irene Chen, BC ’09, said.
Kandel closed the session at Columbia bookstore saying, “When you step back and look at my work, you might think that all my research was planned out, while in truth I had no particular plan of action,” adding, “Don’t be afraid to tackle difficult problems and search for answers.”
Roland Zemla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) From FMSF Online:
... "Flights of memory," (Discover, May 1994) by Minouche Kandel, an
attorney with the Support Network for Battered Women, and her father,
Eric Kandel, recipient of the National Medal of Science and many other
awards argues for the biological foundation for recovered memories.
The material presented in this article is hypothetical. It is
speculative. The authors note that when there are improvements in
brain imaging, "We may then be able to see whether sexual abuse leads
to physical changes in the amygdala that reflect a person's memories
of the event..."
Because we do not have a technical background in neurobiology, we
requested permission of Harvard psychiatrists Alexander Bodkin, M.D.
and Harrison Pope, M.D. to print a letter they wrote to Discover in
response to the Kandels' article:
In the May issue of Discover, Minouche and Eric Kandel argue that
"repression" of childhood traumatic memories may have a biological
basis. Specifically, these authors suggest that traumatic experiences
are encoded only dimly in explicit (verbal) memory, but strongly in
implicit (motor, affective) memory. They argue that psychotherapy and
other key experiences can cause implicit memories to reawaken the
explicit memory of traumatic events. They suggest that explicit memory
of sexual abuse may be blunted by the release of endogenous opiates at
the time of trauma, then reactivated and made conscious by
noradrenalin release under stress at a later date. Do the data support
First, explicit and implicit memory are not equivalent to the psychoanalytic concepts of conscious and unconscious memory. They are closer to the concepts of "verbal" and "performance" memory. There is no good evidence that implicit memory lurks in a hidden form, secretly influencing thought, feeling, and behavior to manifest as clinical psychopathology, as is claimed for "repressed" memories.
Second, if endogenous opiates can dim traumatic memories, why do most survivors remember their trauma clearly? Survivors of fires, kidapings, and war atrocities -- whether children or adults -- often have painfully detailed memories of their experiences, in contrast to what the opiate hypothesis would predict.
The Kandels' next hypothesis -- that previously repressed memories are "released" as vivid flashbacks by endogenous noradrenalin -- is also questionable: many forms of psychopathology, including symptoms that may be mistakenly interpreted as flashbacks, from panic attacks to exacerbations of psychosis, are known to be associated with noradrenergic activation.
Finally, there is no methodologically sound scientific evidence that repression actually occurs. In a recent review, David Holmes noted that 60 years of laboratory studies have failed to provide experimental evidence of repression. And outside the laboratory, only four clinical investigations have specifically tested whether the memory of adverse sexual experiences can be repressed. All four have sufficient methodologic limitations that none can exhibit a single unequivocal case of documented amnesia for documented trauma. For example, the Williams study, cited in the Kandels' article
demonstrates only that many women will not report abuse experiences
when interviewed by a stranger years later. It was not ascertained whether these women actually remembered the abuse, but simply chose not to report it.
In short, while we commend Discover for frequently publishing interesting speculative articles at the frontiers of research, we fear that it is a disservice to publish material which may mislead the reader into believing that science has sound evidence for "repression."
J. Alexander BODKIN, M.D.
Instructor in Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
Harrison G. POPE, Jr., M.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
Excerpt: "The Battle for Your Brain"
Science is developing ways to boost intelligence,
expand memory, and more. But will
you be allowed to change your own mind?
By Ronald Bailey
... A number of companies are already hard at work developing memory drugs. Cortex Pharmaceuticals has developed a class of compounds called AMPA receptor modulators, which enhance the glutamate-based transmission between brain cells. Preliminary results indicate that the compounds do enhance memory and cognition in human beings. Memory Pharmaceuticals, co-founded by Nobel laureate ERIC KANDEL, is developing a calcium channel receptor modulator that increases the sensitivity of neurons and allows them to transmit information more speedily and a nicotine receptor modulator that plays a role in synaptic plasticity. Both modulators apparently improve memory. Another company, Targacept, is working on the nicotinic receptors as well. ...