Total Recall: MIT Researchers Implant Fake Memories in the Brains of Mice

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News Posted: Fri, Jul 26 2013 10:35 AM
If you’ve been secretly wondering whether you’re a double-crossing secret agent, you’ll be excited (or disheartened) to know that the technology to fiddle with memories really is under development. Scientists at MIT have successfully programmed a hapless mouse to remember receiving an electric shock from a situation in which it wasn’t actually shocked.

Mouse. Mice are being used to test technology for changing memories.
Scientists are able to change memories in mice. Image credit: Rama (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re thinking that the mouse didn’t get shocked as part of the experiment, stop reading now. The researchers implanted optical fibers in the mouse’s brain and then sent it into a room with specific colors and smells to develop a pleasant (or, at least, not painful) memory. The next day, the mouse ended up in a room with different colors and sounds – and electric shocks. The team stimulated the brain during this step in the process to try to give the mouse the memory of the previous day’s room – and it worked. When the mouse returned to the non-shocking room on the third day, it was afraid of it.
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EscksuNeo replied on Fri, Jul 26 2013 12:04 PM

Americuns indeed....

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'Merca!!

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Very cool. Always fun/scary to see the steps science is leading us. I am sure to use this for any watercooler talk that might come up.

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SCIENCE!!! There were other cool things in research to come out this week too - Including researchers discovered why C. elegans glows blue as it ages and when it dies (hint: it's a protein that is released in dying cells that reacts with the cytoplasm) so they now can study cell death to possibly extend cell lives! Also, stem cells injected into the retinas of blind mice formed photosensitive cells and that could possibly lead to a cure for some types of blindness! So cool! :-)

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Tyotukovei replied on Fri, Jul 26 2013 10:15 PM

While they can program in a memory of receiving shocks in a situation where it didn't happen, I'm still less than excited for when they can program in memories of things that didn't happen at all.

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Clixxer replied on Fri, Jul 26 2013 11:05 PM

Tyotukovei:

While they can program in a memory of receiving shocks in a situation where it didn't happen, I'm still less than excited for when they can program in memories of things that didn't happen at all.

I could only hope im wormfood by then.

 

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