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Memory implants could soon become a reality

Posted on Wednesday, 2 March, 2016 | Comment icon 18 comments

Would you want memories of things that never happened ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Glogger / Chris Aimone
A leading British scientist has suggested that we may soon have the ability to manipulate memories.
It may sound like something out of the movie 'Total Recall', but according to Professor Tim Bliss, a British neuroscientist who is set to be awarded this year's coveted Brain Prize, it may soon be possible to add and remove memories just like we save and delete data from a computer.

"I think that memory is one of the essential faculties of mind which we will eventually understand almost completely," he said. "I wouldn’t say that about other faculties of mind such as consciousness. For memory, I think we've got a pretty good handle on what happens."

"If that is the case then the question does become possible. Could we instill memories which we didn't actually have ? In theory that's possible. In practice, of course, we can't do it now, but I'm not saying that could never happen. It is one of those things which society will have to decide."

Perhaps ultimately such technology may come down to a matter of principle - would you want to have memories of meeting someone or doing something that never actually happened ?

On a similar level, would you want uncomfortable memories removed from your mind entirely ?

According to fellow prize winner Professor Graham Collingridge, the removal of distressing memories may actually prove advantageous in the treatment of a wide range of ailments.

"The classic example would be post-traumatic stress disorder and another example would be chronic pain, which is a form of memory," he said.

"There's very good evidence now that we can start to erase memories using drugs and this may be useful eventually for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorders and potentially also chronic pain. So there are reasons why it could be beneficial to manipulate memory in the future."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (18)

Tags: Memory

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by lightly on 2 March, 2016, 20:43
Manipulate what? . . What good are manipulated memories? ....hmm, maybe could be used in a helpful or healing way I suppose though. Yours vacationingly,, lightly
Comment icon #10 Posted by BeastieRunner on 2 March, 2016, 21:37
This just seems very bad ...
Comment icon #11 Posted by ROGER on 3 March, 2016, 0:24
I was thinking more of a training memory such as flying a plane or copter . I see advantages if used properly .
Comment icon #12 Posted by Codenwarra on 3 March, 2016, 1:11
A few years ago I picked up a 16GB thumb drive at a post office for something like $17. A few years before that, I recall someone as happy as Larry because he got a 4GB one for less than $100. How much text can I store on a 128GB drive? Entire chemistry and physics degree courses, I expect. Instant science (or whatever) degree. Now, how to implant it so that it is accessible and searchable?
Comment icon #13 Posted by The_Sensual_One on 3 March, 2016, 17:28
They could always pull a Memory Den maneuver from Fallout 4.
Comment icon #14 Posted by NoNickname90 on 3 March, 2016, 17:58
I am upset at this article. I've convinced myself that I've already been doing this. Now it's not possible!? WTF!? I'm actually upset!! 'In theory'!? Why can't we do this!? I've BEEN doing this!! OMG!! Ugh!! I have no idea any more. Like just none. Smh.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Finity on 3 March, 2016, 19:05
This is a politician's wet dream.
Comment icon #16 Posted by toast on 3 March, 2016, 20:48
Ok, will take the starter set (car key and aunts birthday only).
Comment icon #17 Posted by Emma_Acid on 6 March, 2016, 14:47
I've got a few memories I would pay to have removed. I usually get that every sunday morning.
Comment icon #18 Posted by gatekeeper32 on 8 March, 2016, 1:16
Total Recall baby. Don't trust anyone with such a machine.

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