Scary Science: Implanting Memories

Call it cool or just plain creepy: Memory researchers from U.S. and Japan have, for the first time, implanted false memories into a lab animal.

The researchers made mice believe that they had once received electrical shocks in their feet while sitting in a certain little chamber, even though that had never happened. Thereafter, whenever the researchers put the mice in that chamber, the mice would freeze up in a typical mouse response to fear.

Well, there goes the species. Implanting memories is a very scary thought, especially when you take into account corruption and the history of the human race. Here's the problem, implanting memories is a HUGE deal in understanding neuroscience.

However, it's also a very scary idea when you think of the implications. Implanting memories into a sleeper cell so that they can carry out their mission believing that they are truly the person they are imitating makes for a great sci-fi story. It also makes for a very scary reality.

Manipulating memories through suggestion isn't all that difficult. Our memories are a fickle thing as it is. But it's so integrated into who we are that we tend to feel as if they ARE who we are. I don't think there's a single person out there that doubts the memories they have as a kid. I have a lot of memories even if they're blurry, and to think that some of them potentially aren't real puts me on edge.

Just to be clear, I don't believe that I have any reason to fear this. Most of us would never be subjected to such things, but it is a scary thought. Or is it? Some of us may WANT to live in a dystopian world of science espionage and high tech mind boggling gadgets. That would be cool, I just fear what that technology would do in the wrong hands.

Still, we shouldn't shy away from the taboo, or scary science. We learn things from our mistakes, and our fears. To shy away from them would be more tragic than not seeking to understand them!