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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.' - Doc Smith, 1934.
Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.' - James Blish, 1957.
Medical Tattoos Are STILL Being Researched
'Following the current craze, she has had a subdermal pattern of micro-channels implanted.'
Rise Of Skywalker Could Trigger Epileptic Seizures
'... then the screen started to flicker. I stared at it for a while.' - John Varley, 1984.
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.
Powdered Regolith Propulsion
'... filling their great tanks with the finely divided dust which the ionic rockets would spit out in electrified jets.'
Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master...'
Would You Get 'Chipped'? Michigan May Ban Employers
'Employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'
Tesla Autopilot: What Does An Autonomous Car See When It Looks At The Road?
'Jeremiah is a sports-model to begin with and that kind is awfully hot-tempered.'
DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots
'They exist in loose swarms...'
Tether Asteroids To Save Us All
'If anything can glue the asteroids back into the planet they once were, magnology will do it.'
Blaux Your Personal Commuter Cooling Unit
A cooling unit had to be strapped to every commuter's back, by law.
3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'...lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.'
R9X Hellfire Missile With Long Blades Kills Queda Leader
'He was still roaring when the knife missile flicked past him...'
Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.'
Perhaps You Might Be Interested In Habitable Exoplanet Moon Real Estate
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Blurry Face Photos Made 60 Times Sharper
Perfect tool for blade runners.
SpaceX Will Build Floating Spaceports!
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'
Fast Radio Bursts And Space Beacons For Interstellar Navigation
'Every beacon has a code signal as part of its radiation...'
Robot Garbage Trucks Visualized
'It was a bulky, shining cylinder over twenty metres long.'
Clarke Was Right, Artificial Intelligences DO Dream
'Of course you will dream. No one knows why."
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories