News Release

Unlocking consciousness: a new frontier in neuroscientific fusion

Peer-Reviewed Publication

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Chemographic representation of an “address” within the nECM surrounding the neuron and glial cells


The "address" is depicted as a electron-rich square capable of binding a metal cation and trapping a signaling molecule like a neurotransmitter (NT) or a gliotransmitter (GT) to create a metal-centered ternary complex that functions as a cognitive unit of information (cuinfo). This cuinfo serves as the fundamental unit of memory, including emotional memory, and represents the biochemical embodiment of the molecular unit of memory (MMM) concept introduced by Zeltzer et al., 2022.

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Credit: Marx and Gilon

The study conducted by Dr. Gerard Marx and Prof. Chaim Gilon combines the theories of the Global Neuronal Network (GNW) and the Tripartite Mechanism of Memory to offer new insights into the relationship between consciousness and memory. They propose a novel perspective that memory underpins consciousness, challenging conventional beliefs. Their model introduces the concept of a "brain cloud" to illustrate how information flows within the brain, and highlights a three-step process for neural memory involving neurons, the extracellular matrix, and trace metals. Additionally, the study suggests that bacterial chemical signaling has played a significant role in the evolution of memory and consciousness in complex organisms. This research significantly contributes to advancing our understanding of consciousness and memory, providing a valuable framework for further exploration in the fields of neuroscience and beyond.


- In a recent paper published in the International Journal of Psychiatry Research, Dr. Gerard Marx from MX Biotech and Prof. Chaim Gilon from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem present an innovative integration of two notable neuroscience theories - the Global Neuronal Network (GNW) hypothesis and the Tripartite Mechanism of Memory. Titled "Consciousness as a Fusion of the Global Neuronal Network (GNW) Hypothesis and the Tripartite Mechanism of Memory," the study provides fresh perspectives on the complex phenomena of consciousness and memory.

The research tackles a significant challenge in the study of consciousness that has long been considered insurmountable. Dr. Marx and Prof. Gilon propose that memory plays a pivotal role in shaping consciousness, contrasting the idea that computer-based Information Theory provides a sufficient framework for understanding neural memory. They contend that the emotional content stored within the neural network diverges from standard computer data, laying the foundation for neural memory and adding depth and significance to conscious experience.

The researchers suggest integrating the Global Neuronal Workspace (GNW) theory with the Tripartite Mechanism of Memory to better understand how the brain creates experiential memories. In their model, they posit that the complex electro-chemical activities of individual neurons are unified by the structural units of the brain, creating a unified network that facilitates consciousness through emotional memory.

Key findings of the study include:

The proposed concept of a "brain cloud" highlights the interconnected flow of information throughout the brain's anatomical regions, facilitated by the Global Neuronal Workspace (GNW).

A tripartite mechanism for neural memory has been identified, wherein neurons utilize trace metal cations and neurotransmitters to encode emotive states within the extracellular matrix.

The study also underscores the evolutionary importance of bacterial chemical signaling processes in the development of neural memory and consciousness in complex organisms.

Through a biochemical lens, the research elucidates how life transitions to consciousness via memory evolution. By mapping the progress of neural-net signaling from bacterial chemical communication to primate consciousness, the study provides a comprehensive framework for exploring the intricate interplay among memory, consciousness, and evolution.

Background: Our research on the Tripartite Mechanism of Memory delves into the collaborative roles of neurons, the neural extracellular matrix, trace metals, and neurotransmitters in memory formation, storage, and retrieval. We discovered that certain metals binding within the matrix can alter its structure, forming complexes that serve as the fundamental units of memory. These metal complexes have the ability to interact with neurotransmitters, resulting in the formation of emotional memory units. These memory units collectively create a framework for storing information in the brain. This proposed mechanism sheds light on how disturbances in metal levels could potentially impact memory functions. Furthermore, we speculate that disorders such as Alzheimer's and autism may be linked to dysregulation of metal handling by the body. Understanding these intricate relationships provides insight into the processes of memory formation and retrieval, aiding in comprehension of conditions ranging from short-term memory loss to more severe memory impairments.

Gerard Marx comes from a background of blood coagulation and biotechnology. Chaim Gilon is a Emeritus Professor Active specializing in the development and synthesis of peptide based drugs.

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