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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Scientists Can Implant False Memories- Human Trials Next? (Video)

By Susan Duclos

Scientists have now, for the first time, managed to implant false memories into mice and have published their findings in the journal Science.

The Editors Summary asks "Can You Trust Your Memory?"

Short answer, not if these scientists play with it.

Official answer from the summary: "Being highly imaginative animals, humans constantly recall past experiences. These internally generated stimuli sometimes get associated with concurrent external stimuli, which can lead to the formation of false memories. Ramirez et al. (p. 387; see the cover) identified a population of cells in the dentate gyrus of the mouse hippocampus that encoded a particular context and were able to generate a false memory and study its neural and behavioral interactions with true memories. Optogenetic reactivation of memory engram–bearing cells was not only sufficient for the behavioral recall of that memory, but could also serve as a conditioned stimulus for the formation of an associative memory."

Bottom line, they managed to manipulate the brain of a mouse to convince it that it had been shocked in a chamber when it really hadn't been.

Mice today, humans tomorrow?