Monday, November 10, 2008

selective memory

This article from Science News looks into the idea of the manipulation of memories, specifically in terms of erasing traumatic or uncomfortable memories. The author presents that "careful questioning can alter an eyewitness's recollection during testimony, Eichenbaum says. The new research, which he calls "terrific" and "interesting", shows that careful use of molecular tools can manipulate memories". The researchers seem to have found a method of manipulating chemicals and enzymes that could potentially erase memories, though the research is still shaky. 

The idea of erasing specific, unhappy memories is definitely a popular topic (think of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), but i'm skeptical of the usefulness of such an act.

1 comment:

Lucette said...

I think about it less in terms of use, but more in terms of ethics. If we were to control the ability to remember, perhaps it could be used in interrogation techniques and it could be used against people that don’t want their memories erased. Also, what if someone changed their mind? Can you imagine? This reminds me of a movie called “Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy.” Have any of you seen it? It is a film about a Happy Pill given to all the members of a community, and everyone is overdosing on Happiness... Its a comedy, really hilarious. Anyways, in order to resume normalcy, a Sad Pill is made and the scientists in the town rejoice over the creation of a Sad Pill. I think that memory erasure and such would need to be perfected with the creation of a reversal. I guess that already exist as the speculated “truth serum” used by the CIA and KGB. Either way, I think we are all a lot better to just leave our memories alone. Unless, talking about Alzheimer’s which would be a wonderful thing to cure/prevent.