Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory

Suppose scientists could erase certain memories by tinkering with a single substance in the brain. Could make you forget a chronic fear, a traumatic loss, even a bad habit.

Researchers in Brooklyn have recently accomplished comparable feats, with a single dose of an experimental drug delivered to areas of the brain critical for holding specific types of memory, like emotional associations, spatial knowledge or motor skills.

The drug blocks the activity of a substance that the brain apparently needs to retain much of its learned information. And if enhanced, the substance could help ward off dementias and other memory problems.

So far, the research has been done only on animals. But scientists say this memory system is likely to work almost identically in people.

Read it all from the front page of this morning’s New York Times.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Psychology, Science & Technology

4 comments on “Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory

  1. Fr. Dale says:

    Editing Memory sounds more like erasing memory than improving memory. Alcohol has been the traditional method of “memory editing” but it is too much like a shotgun on the installment plan. Eventually it leads to Organic Brain Syndrome, a form of dementia. Psychopharmacology is not as far along a folks would like it to be. Additionally, how does this approach treat the disease aspect of Alzheimers?

  2. Albany+ says:

    “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” — anyone see it?

  3. TridentineVirginian says:

    Any technique that could erase a traumatic memory, could erase any other one too. What uses do you think this might be put to? Administered to make you forget your “primitive religion” so you stop being a homophobe or whatever? People can’t be trusted with something like this, the abuse potential is so huge it would be irresistible, particularly now.

    Quamdiu, Domine?

  4. IchabodKunkleberry says:


    Spotless indeed. Just edit out the bad stuff and all our thoughts
    will be immaculate conceptions, no ?