Scientific Sense Podcast

Monday, October 13, 2014

Erasing bad memories

A recent article in the journal Neuron describes how bad memories could be erased in mouse models using light. This has broad applications in humans if the experiment could be extended to complex systems. TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) - both carry similar markers in the brain.If these could be erased, that has beneficial impacts on humans suffering from such CNS disorders.

The brain, source and cause of most human strife, remains to be largely unexplored by modern science. Memories, responsible for most pain for humans, have been left untreated as medicine follows complex brain altering mechanisms in the treatment of diseases. The ability to selectively erase memories could usher in a new era in the treatment of CNS disorders. A massive and misunderstood organ, the brain, holds the keys to happiness and diseases in human systems.

Memories – with a negative skew of disutility – are likely bad for humans. The ability to erase them could substantially enhance individual and societal utility.

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