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    Creating Artificial Memories

    Variousmag
    Tuesday, January 8, 2019 Last Updated 2019-10-25T11:05:16Z
    Is it possible to artificially create an entirely fake memory that is virtually indistinguishable from a real one?

    Yes, it is—if you’re one of the researcher at UC Irvine.In a study on rats, these researchers managed to introduce new, targeted memories into the rodents’ brains.

    They played a specific tone to which they wanted the rats to respond, while simultaneously releasing acetylcholine—a chemical responsible for the formation of new memories.

    The result? Rats developed the expected response to that particular tone, when tested the day after the experiment.

    These new memories had “the same features” as their naturally-occurring counterparts. Furthermore, the artificial memories were retained in the long run, proving that it is possible to permanently shape memories under lab conditions.

    The researchers hope that these findings pave way for helping people with memory and learning disabilities, potentially by introducing new memories using similar accelerated techniques.

    We’re probably still some way from a future where we acquire new knowledge on demand, like the protagonists in The Matrix—but one can always dream.
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