Thursday, October 23, 2008

The spotless mind

Via Slashdot, looks like the world of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind might be here sooner than we expected (ok I'm half kidding, but still ... and the movie is a gem).
It sounds like science fiction, but scientists say it might one day be possible to erase undesirable memories from the brain, selectively and safely. After exposing mice to emotionally powerful stimuli, such as a mild shock to their paws, the scientists then observed how well or poorly the animals subsequently recalled the particular trauma as their brain's expression of CaMKII was manipulated up and down. When the brain was made to overproduce CaMKII at the exact moment the mouse was prodded to retrieve the traumatic memory, the memory wasn't just blocked, it appeared to be fully erased.

Excellent timing too, as Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York gets released tomorrow.

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