Saturday, February 18, 2017

There may be a way to delete bad memories from your mind

Via Drudge:  In news that will be particularly good for England football fans, experts have developed a way to delete unwanted memories from the brain.
The process mirrors the storyline in the hit movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind although it fails to bring happiness to Jim Carrey’s character.
University of Toronto experts have discovered that although there are millions of brain cells in the brain, only a handful are linked to bad memories.
And in groundbreaking studies on mice, they were able to pinpoint those brain cells associated with “fear or threat” memories - and delete them.
Crucially, the researchers found they could wipe away single, specific memories while leaving other memories intact.
The next step will be testing the treatment in people.
Elsewhere in the cosmos, it turns out bad memories are good for you...

12 comments:

Leland said...

Oh good, it's DirecTV free weekend for HBO and Cinemax, and I just saw Girls...

Lem said...

There are only five ways to erase the bad memories of the two losses to the Giants for Patriot fans...

ricpic said...

Suffering by nature or chance never seems so painful as suffering inflicted on us by the arbitrary will of another.

--Arthur Schopenhauer


Let's see the scientists try to erase that.

edutcher said...

Delete memories?

Yeah, there are those I'd like to go bye-byes, but why does the idea of deleting stuff in your brain sound like a bad idea?

Leland said...

Oh good, it's DirecTV free weekend for HBO and Cinemax, and I just saw Girls

You have my sympathies.

ampersand said...

Get rid of all my bad memories and I'd be in a total vegetative state.

windbag said...

There's a Black Mirror episode about deleting memories. It was pretty good.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ridiculous idea and a very bad idea. Bad memories and the mistakes we make in life are what make us learn, advance and become who we are. Overcoming bad memories and bad experiences are necessary.

Extremely bad things that can happen in life, things which can scar you emotionally, may need to be overcome with therapy or other intervention. But....If you erase those memories of those experiences....then who are you?

That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

ndspinelli said...

For the most part, I agree w/ DBQ. But I have seen people in my career suffer unspeakable horror. I wouldn't stand in the way if they wanted that erased.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Nick. Yes. There are some memories that are unspeakable and horrific. People who went through Auschwitz or who are victims of child abuse. I can understand erasing those memories, especially the children. Children should be given a clean slate.

But. If no one is around to remember Auschwitz and other horrors, if no one is around to testify to the horror, how can we avoid repeating them?

William said...

I've got lots of bad memories. I can handle them. They're over, and I won't have to face down those problems ever again. It's the happy memories that drive me crazy. They're also over, and they'll never come again.

bagoh20 said...

The worst memories I have are all watching videos online. I watched one beheading video way back in the early days of the Iraq war - never need to see another, and I wish I could get it out of my mind forever. Others are animals being hurt or killed by humans or other animals. Even the completely natural and necessary ones by predictors on prey leave me feeling uneasy. I've had to put down a number of pets, including having to shoot my own badly injured dog when I was 12, but nothing in my actual life comes close to the videos I've seen and now avoid. I assume those who have been in combat have much worse memories. I don't envy them. This might be a good procedure for sufferers of PTSD.

Leland said...

DBQ, I almost asked if you worked in government, and then you mentioned Auschwitz. I swear, governments already have this device. It seems collected groups can forget, very easily. We already see this today by the casual calling Trump as Hitler. There is no perspective, because people have forgotten what Hitler did: Aschwitz. Or FDR: Japanese Internment.

But I think you get this, because you understand the value of learning from bad things. In engineering, we often learn more from failures than success.

And Bags, I probably saw that same video (Nick Berg), and while I never want to forget him or what he suffered; I'd like to forget that video. If that video, or the one of the Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage, of thousands of other videos happily made and distributed by ISIS, Al Qeada, the Taliban, or Iran mullahs were shown 1/10th the time they were made; I don't think anyone would question the existence of radical Islam. These people are barbaric, and that's not just an opinion. It can be proven. And I hate that it is so, but it is. It needs to be addressed.