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The Brain as Hologram

It isn't that the world of appearances is wrong;it isn't that there 

aren't objects out there, at one level of reality. It's that if you 

penetrate through and look at the universe with a holographic 

system, you arrive at a different view, a different reality. And 

that other reality can explain things that have hitherto re- 

mained inexplicable scientifically: paranormal phenomena, 

synchronicities, the apparently meaningful coincidence of 


—Karl Pribram

in an interview in Psychology Today

The puzzle that first started Pribram on the road to formulating his 

holographic model was the question of how and where memories are 

stored in the brain. In the early 1940s, when he first became interested 

in this mystery, it was generally believed that memories were localized 

in the brain. Each memory a person had, such as the memory of the 

last time you saw your grandmother, or the memory of the fragrance 

of a gardenia you sniffed when you were sixteen, was believed to have 

a specific location somewhere in the brain cells. Such memory traces 

were called engrams, and although no one knew what an engram was 

made of—whether it was a neuron or perhaps even a special kind of 

molecule—most scientists were confident it was only a matter of time 

before one would be found.

There were reasons for this confidence. Research conducted by Ca- 


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