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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

posted by on October 23 at 9:15 AM

For real.

From the BBC:

Scientists in the US say they have developed the ability to selectively wipe out uncomfortable memories.

In experiments with mice, researchers from the Georgia College of Medicine were able to eliminate memories without any damage to the rodents’ brains.

They suggested that the technique which works on a particular protein in the brain could, one day, be used to help humans overcome traumatic events.

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Was your memory of posting this last night wiped out?

Posted by demo kid | October 23, 2008 9:25 AM

demo, that was dan. and didn't have a video clip. so this is totally different!

Posted by tomasyalba | October 23, 2008 9:28 AM

This is amazing science and would clearly help a lot of people but . . . it gives me some pause. Drafting fair legislation around this would be a nightmare.

And as awesome as it would be to rid people of PTSD, removing "other" events very well may have unintended consequences. It's like Kirk said in Star Trek V: "... Pain and guilt can't be taken away with the wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away! I need my pain!"

Posted by Zelbinian | October 23, 2008 9:30 AM


Posted by SERIOUSLY | October 23, 2008 9:33 AM

I'm sure the ethics of this aren't clear. But, hey, I'm no philosopher...

Posted by Leslie N. | October 23, 2008 9:36 AM

Brendan at least got the title of the movie correct.

Posted by w7ngman | October 23, 2008 9:41 AM

Wait, ESotSM is a rip-off of god damn Star Trek V? They managed to polish a turd into a fine piece of art.

Posted by w7ngman | October 23, 2008 9:43 AM

uh, was this a test of whether slog readers' memories had been erased?

Posted by josh | October 23, 2008 10:13 AM

Last summer, WNYC's Radiolab covered some folks at NYU doing similar research in a show called Memory and Forgetting.
You can just listen to that clip or the whole show. Highly recommended… the hosts are smart, funny, and only sometimes obnoxious.

Posted by Jesse Vernon | October 23, 2008 1:00 PM

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