Science Fiction about Memory Comes to Life with UC Invine Professor's Discovery
To date, science fiction films and stories had created a world where man-made memories existed and whole countries could be controlled by “planted” presidents. This brings to mind the mind-boggling technology seen in Manchurian Candidate but now it’s real.
Shocked? Scared? Utterly terrified? Yes, so are many others as they begin to hear about the chips installed into brains and mind alterations. The latest of these news items refers to man-made memories, published in the Neuroscience journal on September 13, 2013, discovered by a professor at the University of California at Irvine.
How exactly are these new memories made?
According to the research professor` Norman M. Weinberger, directly altering brain cells in the cerebral cortex can produce a specific memory. The experiment was done on rats, of course, as it would be rather unethical to publish a study where initial research on the brain was conducted for this purpose.
Perhaps in a year or two, we might have the human version to compare the rat’s brain responses to, should it be found to be ethical in a particular situation. For now, we are left to wonder about the rats and how they retained memories that were induced through playing a tone and stimulating a part of the brain to release a memory forming chemical known as acetylcholine.
For those who have memory problems and suffer from memory related diseases, man-made memories might be seen as a miracle. The purpose of the research is to find ways to treat memory and learning disorders.
Perhaps it is so, but the implications are that truth will become relative to the one in power, with the average population possibly subjected to created memories. Films have been portraying this type of world for years now, but facing it as fact does little to ease the discomfort such a study invokes. Free will might be a figment of the human imagination once the ball gets rolling and the advertising potential seen in this is breathtakingly terrifying. After all, one day an implanted memory, much like that seen in Inception though with physical manipulation, might make me believe I love that big, juicy, utterly unhealthy Big Mac. Now that’s scary!