Memories Can Now Be Created — And Erased — in a Lab

Eternal Sunshine-style memory wiping coming to a doctor’s office near you?

  • Share
  • Read Later
Getty Images

Two recently published studies describe scientists implanting fabricated memories and selectively erasing unwanted memories in the brains of lab rodents.

Researchers at UC Irvine have found that by playing a particular tone while stimulating the release of a brain chemical associated with memory formation they can artificially “condition” a response to the tone in lab rats, which is recalled and observable the following day. Fabricated memories have the same features as naturally-occurring memories, Science Daily reports, “including long-term retention.” Researchers say this represents “the first evidence that memories can be created by direct cortical manipulation.”

Fortunately for the test subjects, scientists on the other side of the country may have found a way to undo the work of memory implanters (and perhaps the whole unpleasant experience of being a lab rat).

Researchers at the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have been able to pinpoint memories in mice and rats and eliminate them without affecting other memories, according to Science Daily. The process involves inhibiting a chemical associated with memory formation during “the maintenance phase” of memory formation. As a result of this intervention, the memories of meth-addicted rodents associated with methamphetamine were “immediately and persistently” lost.

“Not unlike in the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, we’re looking for strategies to selectively eliminate evidence of past experiences related to drug abuse or a traumatic event,” said Courtney Miller, who led the project. “Our study shows we can do just that in mice — wipe out deeply engrained drug-related memories without harming other memories.”

[Science Daily]

SEE ALSO:  The Big Surprise of Martin Luther King’s Speech

12 comments
PaoloManzelli
PaoloManzelli

QUANTUM-BRAIN: l' ORGANIZZAZZIONE della PERCEZIONE e' PROBABILISTICA Rudolf Arnheim nel suo libro "Il pensiero visivo" scrive:

"...le operazioni cognitive chiamate pensiero non sono privilegio dei processi mentali posti al di sopra e al di là della percezione, bensì gli ingredienti essenziali della percezione stessa".In realtà si tratta di un unico procedimento probabilistico di decodifica nel quale la percezione e il pensiero interagiscono agendo entrambi sulla probabilita' quantistica : pertanto i nostri pensieri influenzano quanto vediamo e viceversa. La bella foto di Autunno mette in evidenza come la percezione del rapporto delle informazioni relative alla figura e sfondo vengano a a caratterizzarsi per tramite le probabilita di "coesistenza e separabilita", che permettono di mettere a fuoco e porre attenzione ad una immagine percettiva. Se infatti non esistesse nessuna forma di contrasto tra le probabilita di informazione di grandezza forma e colore, la figura risulterebbe del tutto impercettibile. Della non facile distinzione della probailita di percezione sulla figura rispetto allo sfondo trae agevolazione il mimetismo. Alcuni rapporti equivalenti tra le probabilita di informazione tra figura e sfondo generano illusioni ottiche . Nella dinamica della percezione il cervello crea od annulla i contorni della figura per permettere la stabilita percettiva delle informazioni dinamiche provenienti da varie angolature e varie situazioni dinamiche. Sulla base queste considerazioni sul Quantum Brain , produrremo un Progetto del titolo: "Augmented Quantum Brain Reality" con ARXLAB ed EGOCREANET ed un esteso Partenariato. Paolo Manzellihttps://www.facebook.com/groups/431161846963599/

KhanneaSuntzu
KhanneaSuntzu

Please remove all memories or convictions that my current life sucks. Please implant memories that convince me everything is just amazing and I am really happy and satisfied. 

SamKnight
SamKnight

Scientific breakthroughs such as this, can be held to a double standard that we Amerikans have grown to love so much. Yes, in theory it is good for ptsd sufferers and recovering dope heads, but in reality we all know it will end up being used by the CIA or some other clandestine entity for nothing but political madness and gain. I say let us not be God and let he who suffers suffer but for the greater good of the world. "What is this sorcery?" But who am I? Just a wolf in sheeple clothing.

KBNJ
KBNJ

Isn't this what alcohol is for?

jardennis
jardennis

The implications of discrediting reality will bankrupt the economy of cognition. Easily, this is the most dangerous discovery ever made.

DanRuck
DanRuck

I've been able to wipe out memories just by getting very old.

DonutWars
DonutWars

Can't wait until the government gets a hold of this technology.

DefenseLawyer
DefenseLawyer

What if the technology fell into the wrong hands. It would be like Men in Black (that flashing pen thing). Not good.

EricBencivenga
EricBencivenga

I would love this i have some things i dont want to remember and now others do as well this could really help rape victims or other victims of violent crime get on with life

wrathbrow
wrathbrow

I think a lot of people that took drugs and some memories made up.