Erasing Specific Memories

| 10/27/2008 3:14:41 PM

MRI Brain ScanScientists believe they may have figured out a way to erase specific memories from animals’ brains, Science News reports. For the experiment, researchers subjected a mouse to a series of electric shocks while in a chamber and while playing a sound. The mouse naturally created a memory associating the sound and the chamber with the shocks. Using a protein known as alpha-CaMKII, the scientists were able to disassociate specific parts of the mouse’s memory, so the subject would become scared when placed in the chamber but not when the sound was made, or vice versa. This way, researchers believe they have discovered a way to target and block certain memories, leaving others in tact. 

The research may, in the future, lead to new ways to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, but Science a Go Go points out that a lot of work needs to be done before the scientists can start erasing specific memories in humans.

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