Modern science provides us with endless possibilities to help our body and mind stay healthy. But recent scientific studies are alarming: they show the possibility of manipulating someone else’s memory.
Evil or good?
Our memories say so much about who we are, and the things we remember often determine our experience. And while positive memories can help us grow and thrive, negative fragments of the past do not always produce such effects. There are memories that really hurt and they can lead to serious mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
And although we still need to learn more about how the memory of the brain is formed, researchers in recent years have begun to explore the possibility of manipulating memories – especially negative ones – to see if they can be weakened or removed altogether.
How is this possible?
Scientists tend to associate stronger synapses with better memory. The brain constantly “renews” synaptic connections, forming new or strengthening old ones, as new memories are created or old ones are updated. However, synapses can also weaken if they are not activated often enough, and the brain often loses some of these connections.
To try to understand whether we can artificially manipulate memories, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge first tried to instill false memories in mice. Scientists activated the necessary neurons with light and achieved that the mice began to feel fear in a dark place, although they did not have any bad memories. The control group of animals behaved calmly.
The success of this experiment means that very soon we will be able to test the methodology in public and learn to selectively remove bad memories from their memory, making their lives easier. Everything will be fine until the technology falls into the hands of some mad scientist.
Source: Medical News Today