|Ecce Homo, Caravaggio (1605)|
Behold the HOMO (Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital), seeking reception;
Behold the LUMO (Lowest Unoccupied Molecular Orbital), offering reception.
Chemical reactions are electronic transfers. I don't mean electronic transfers like PayPal is (although there are similarities between electricity and money). I mean electronic transfers like oxidations and reductions, substitutions, proton transfers--which all involve electron donors and acceptors. I still think that BH3NH3 best illustrates how chemistry is like sex: link
Presumably, the chemistry of memory has some donor and acceptor aspect at the molecular level. Long term potentiation. Learning is also like transubstantiation--words becoming neuronal flesh and all that. But there is more to learning than replication. As Plutarch noted, learning is less like bucket filling and more like igniting little fires; Jefferson echoed that same thought: knowledge is contagious.
Here are some mnemonics for today's lesson:
You can guess the rest.