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Thread: Manipulating emotional memories via the Hippocampus

  1. #1
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    Manipulating emotional memories via the Hippocampus

    https://www.cell.com/current-biology...showall%3Dtrue

    ...Is it just me, or just this sound really scary?

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0523143040.htm

    By artificially activating memory cells in the bottom part of the brain's hippocampus, negative memories can become even more debilitating. In contrast, stimulating memory cells in the top part of the hippocampus can strip bad memories of their emotional oomph, making them less traumatic to remember.
    Activating the top of the hippocampus seems to function like effective exposure therapy, deadening the trauma of reliving bad memories. But activating the bottom part of the hippocampus can impart lasting fear and anxiety-related behavioral changes, hinting that this part of the brain could be overactive when memories become so emotionally charged that they are debilitating.
    What could possibly go wrong?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I cannot offer a critical critique of the specific research. I'm sure lots of things can go wrong, but lots of things can also go wrong with drug therapy, surgery, or any behavioral modification therapy. And PTSD, depression and anxiety can be debilitating diseases. And stimulating specific sites in the brain, either chemically or otherwise, is key to a lot of treatments.

    The method done in this study is probably not applicable to human therapies, since the mice have to be genetically modified for it to work; this work was just to map the brain sites.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I cannot offer a critical critique of the specific research. I'm sure lots of things can go wrong, but lots of things can also go wrong with drug therapy, surgery, or any behavioral modification therapy. And PTSD, depression and anxiety can be debilitating diseases. And stimulating specific sites in the brain, either chemically or otherwise, is key to a lot of treatments.

    The method done in this study is probably not applicable to human therapies, since the mice have to be genetically modified for it to work; this work was just to map the brain sites.
    I'm just thinking of the potential for abuse, if it eventually becomes possible to "impart lasting fear and anxiety related behavioral changes" on humans. Such a method could easily lead to a conditioning process. Wash your brain for you, sir?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I'm just thinking of the potential for abuse, if it eventually becomes possible to "impart lasting fear and anxiety related behavioral changes" on humans. Such a method could easily lead to a conditioning process. Wash your brain for you, sir?
    Such methods exist already and have for many years.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Such methods exist already and have for many years.
    And this would likely make it exponentially easier and more effective.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Let's put it this way; with "traditional" conditioning, a person with training or simply an extremely strong will might resist attempts to manipulate their emotional responses. With direct brain stimulation, this would not be the case.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post

    What could possibly go wrong?
    I've actually put out press releases for papers that Steve Ramirez did when he was a graduate student. It's pretty interesting work that they do, like this too. At the moment, optigenetics can only be done in animals--it's quite invasive--but it does show that memory can be clearly manipulated. But it makes sense since memory is really a pattern in our brains, and if you can change the pattern...
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I've actually put out press releases for papers that Steve Ramirez did when he was a graduate student. It's pretty interesting work that they do, like this too. At the moment, optigenetics can only be done in animals--it's quite invasive--but it does show that memory can be clearly manipulated. But it makes sense since memory is really a pattern in our brains, and if you can change the pattern...
    Researchers at the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics and MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have incepted false memories into mice, potentially illuminating the mechanisms underlying the human phenomenon of “recalling” experiences that never occurred.
    So there's that.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  9. #9
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    And here I threw my tin foil hat away.

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