Selective Memory Deletion In Mice

Selective memory deletion has been accomplished in mice, according to scientists from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and the East China Normal University in Shanghai.

A mouse might not be able to recall a memory for two reasons, Joe Tsien, a neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia, says. “Either you can’t open the door to get the memory, or you can open the door but there’s no memory there.”

Altering [kinase enzyme] alpha-CaMKII’s activity erases memories as they are being retrieved, the researchers found. And the erasure is specific to the memory being recalled.

The researchers placed mice in a chamber and played a sound, then mildly shocked the mice’s feet. The mice learned to associate both the chamber and the sound with a shock and would freeze in anticipation of getting shocked when they entered the chamber or heard the sound.

Once the mouse learned to associate both the chamber and sound with getting shocked, the researchers replayed one of the conditions while altering activity of alpha-CaMKII. If the researchers placed the mouse in the chamber but didn’t play the sound, only the memory of the chamber was erased when alpha-CaMKII’s activity was altered. When tested again later, the mouse forgot to freeze when placed in the chamber, but the mouse would still freeze when it heard the sound. And if conditions were reversed and alpha-CaMKII activity was altered when the mouse was recalling that the sound signals a shock, the sound memory was erased. But the mice still remembered to freeze when entering the chamber. Those results show that erasure is limited only to the portion of the memory being recalled.

Memory erasure and selective memory deletion are popular themes in science fiction. In his 1966 short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, Philip K. Dick wrote about memory erasure.

In Requiem for Methuselah, a 1967 Star Trek episode, Spock helps Kirk forget a specific memory of lost love.


("Forget" stated forcefully during Vulcan mind-meld)

In his 1982 novel Mindkiller, Spider Robinson refers to mindwipe, the complete erasure of particular memory contents.

In the 1997 movie Men in Black, MIB members have a neuralizer that can delete memories from specific periods of time.


(Neuralizer from Men in Black (MIB))

In the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey play lovers who have a falling out. Winslet's character goes to a company called Lacuna, Inc. to have her memories of the relationship removed.


(Jim Carrey gets spotless)

From Selective Memory. Thanks also to Adi for writing in about this one.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/23/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...' - Larry Niven, 1968.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.