Erasing bad memories is possible
The science fiction film "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" follows a couple who erase the memory of each other, but a new study claims that the idea isn't science fiction. Just science.
Researchers have found that when people actively try to forget an undesired memory, they can actually remove it from their unconscious mind. Participants in the study were shown two images then some were told to forget the first image, for example an image of a coffee cup. Researchers wanted to see if the subjects could identify the coffee cup if they were shown a scrambled image of the object, or other added visual noise.
As crazy as it sounds, participants had a harder time identifying the object if they were told to forget about it. The study's researcher, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge said, "Basically, you're shutting down regions that would ordinarily play a role in seeing that object, just to keep it from coming into the consciousness. The side effect of doing that is that whatever memory traces of the coffee cup were there, they are weakened, and later on, when you have to detect the cup in visual noise, you find just a bit harder."
More recent studies are focused on the effects this can have on long term memories. Like a bad ex. French neuroscientists manipulated the memories of sleeping mice by placing paired-electrodes into their brains. Learn more about the results of this research in the video below:
If we could change the emotional component of our memories, that would we a game changer. If you could erase your bad memories, would you do it?
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