[Advaita-l] Brain structure and Memorization

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 18 22:34:05 CDT 2015

Rameshamji - PraNAms

When Sunlji posted the URL first time, I did point out that these objective correlations have no meaning unless they show converse validity and that involves one to one correspondence. 

I respect objective sciences but being a good scientist also involves clear understanding of  their limitations in trying to account things that are subtle and are  not amenable by the objective tools. The very limitations of the tools need to be objectively understood. 

I am trying understand the process of perception and I find some of the axiomatic statements in Navya Nyaaya and meemaamsa are taken as facts which may be speculative at best at that time, but not really valid based on the current observations. One has to reinterpret them without stepping on to the things where objective tools are no more valid particularly in the analysis of subtle things like mind, thoughts, and of course consciousness. 

Hari Om!

On Tue, 8/18/15, Ramesam Vemuri <vemuri.ramesam at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Brain structure and Memorization
 To: "Ajith Srinivas" <ajithpolo at gmail.com>, "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 Cc: "Sunil Bhattacharjya" <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com>, "kuntimaddi sadananda" <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
 Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 11:03 AM
 Respected Members,
 I have been seeing these
 reports being circulated in many
 public and private e-mail groups in our country and have
 been waiting to see
 that a more competent Scientist than me will correct the
 'covert' slant implied
 in the announcement. 
 As far as changes in the
 brain are concerned, it is long
 known that any activity does modify the neuronal connections
 and repeated
 practices do alter the cortical thickness, not only in
 people but also in many
 animals and birds.
 Even the morning cup of
 coffee we drink changes the neuronal
 connections. The sensorimotor areas of the brains of
 athletes also show
 relative differences compared to non-athletes.
 A well-known example for
 the 'alteration' in the brain is
 the case of London Taxi Drivers, as showed from the work
 done over five years
 ago. Quoting from various published reports:
 The examination to become
 a London cabby is possibly the
 most difficult test in the world. "The
 Knowledge," as it is
 called, is unique to London taxi licensing and involves a
 series of grueling
 exams that only about 50 percent of hopefuls pass.
 Ever since 1865, they’ve
 had to memorise the location of
 every street within six miles of Charing Cross – all
 25,000 of the capital’s
 arteries, veins and capillaries. They also need to know the
 locations of 20,000
 landmarks – museums, police stations, theatres, clubs, and
 more – and 320
 routes that connect everything up.
 The taxi drivers need to
 know the way around so well that,
 when asked, he can calculate the most direct legal route
 between any two
 addresses anywhere in the entire 113-square-mile
 metropolitan area within seconds, without looking at a map,
 and be able to
 rattle off the precise sequence of streets, junctions,
 roundabouts, and left-
 and right-hand turns necessary to complete such a
 The Scientists found
 that The Knowledge may enlarge the
 hippocampus's posterior (rear) at the expense of its
 anterior (front), creating
 a trade-off of cognitive talents—that is, taxi drivers
 master some forms of
 memory but become worse at others. 
 Thus we may note that the
 Pundits may undoubtedly have
 altered brain conditions in some lobes, but maybe at the
 expense of some other
 On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at
 6:36 AM, Ajith Srinivas via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 Came across a similar topic from other group.
 Courtesy: Dr.James Hartzell
 Dear all,
 Herewith a link to the published (in Neuroimage, open
 peer-reviewed study we did of the brain structure of
 Delhi-area, qualified
 Yajurveda Pandits from government Vedic schools.  I hope
 this may be of
 some interest and/or use to some members of the list.
 We found very large changes in the grey matter (neuronal
 tissue) of the
 Yajurveda Pandits' brains.  The evidence we found
 strongly suggests that
 7-10 years of intensive, professional-level training in
 memorizing and
 reciting the Yajurveda Samhita (and related texts) is
 associated with some
 of the largest changes in brain structure ever reported for
 cross-sectional study (i.e. one that compares two closely
 matched groups,
 here two groups that differ primarily in the Yajurveda
 Article Title:  Brains of verbal memory specialists show
 differences in language, memory and visual systems
 Authors:  James F. Hartzell,  Ben Davis, David Melcher,
 Gabriele Miceli,
 Jorge Jovicich, Tanmay Nath, Nandini Chatterjee Singh, Uri
 •  We compared professional Sanskrit verbal memory
 specialists and
 well-matched controls.
 •  We measured cortical thickness (CT), gray matter
 density (GM), and
 gyrification (LGI).
 •  Pandits showed increases in CT and GM in lateral
 temporal cortices.
 •  Pandits showed relative decrease in subcortical GM and
 occipital LGI.
 •  Findings suggest brain organization supporting
 intensive oral
 *** snip

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list