Scientists discovered how to fabricate memories through direct brain manipulation

MGMT released a single on their new self-titled album called ‘Your life is a lie’ that’s a whimsical start-stop tune which reiterates the many ways in which we’re all just living a lie (obviously). When it comes down to it, if we all are indeed living a lie, then there would be absolutely no way of confirming that it is false. If there’s no way to validate or exchange that claim, then a lie holds the same value as truth — there would be no distinction.

Therefore if someone were to fabricate memories through direct brain manipulation, how could we ever know if they are false? Well fortunately we can cross-reference events with others, if they don’t match up with another person’s recollection of those events then it’s obviously a lie. Still the fact remains that the technology to implant false memories through brain manipulation exists, and we can all attribute it to researchers at the University of California in Irvine. Check out this excerpt from a recent press release from the university.

By studying how memories are made, UC Irvine neurobiologists created new, specific memories by direct manipulation of the brain, which could prove key to understanding and potentially resolving learning and memory disorders.

Research led by senior author Norman M. Weinberger, a research professor of neurobiology & behavior at UC Irvine, and colleagues has shown that specific memories can be made by directly altering brain cells in the cerebral cortex, which produces the predicted specific memory. The researchers say this is the first evidence that memories can be created by direct cortical manipulation. Study results appeared in the August 29 issue of Neuroscience.

During the research, Weinberger and colleagues played a specific tone to test rodents then stimulated the nucleus basalis deep within their brains, releasing acetylcholine (ACh), a chemical involved in memory formation. This procedure increased the number of brain cells responding to the specific tone. The following day, the scientists played many sounds to the animals and found that their respiration spiked when they recognized the particular tone, showing that specific memory content was created by brain changes directly induced during the experiment. Created memories have the same features as natural memories including long-term retention.

Now we’re all just waiting for the day in which NBC can implant false memories in our brain and convince us Heroes didn’t fall off after the second season. Damn that show. Props to DENV3RtheDESTROY3R for the +100 news tip.

Published on September 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm
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