Would you visit a 'Total Recall' clinic ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Glogger / Chris Aimone
Scientists report that they have successfully implanted a false memory into a mouse through brain manipulation.
In the 1990 science-fiction movie 'Total Recall', Arnold Schwarzenegger's character visits a company that implants false memories of adventures, relationships and other life-changing experiences.
But just how realistic is the idea of implanting memories of things that never happened ?
In a recent study, scientists demonstrated that it is possible to create a false memory in animals by simulating brain cells in the pattern of a natural memory.
To do this, researchers effectively reverse engineered an existing memory by mapping the specific brain circuits underlying its formation, then reproducing it in the brain of a separate subject.
According to the team's findings, the implanted memories were indistinguishable from a memory created through normal means.
While such a technique is currently infeasible for use in humans, the research seems to suggest that the potential is there for implanting memories once the technology catches up.
But would you really want to have memories of a holiday or relationship that never happened ?
Such technology is likely to one day open up a broad set of social and ethical implications.
Source: Scientific American | Comments (14)
Total Recall, Memory, Brain