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

'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'

Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.'

Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Charging An Electric Car In 2019 (Video), 1912 (Photo) And 1894 (Fiction)
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.'

Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.'

FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.

Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'

China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'

Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'

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.