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  1. #1
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Post Don’t Speak, Memory

    Don’t Speak, Memory
    by Sue Halpern
    Aug 28 2014
    The Dish

    Excerpt:
    I’ve been reading various reports (like this one) of the success of a research group at MIT in taking the sting out of bad memories by switching the bad ones with good ones:

    “In our day to day lives we encounter a variety of events and episodes that give positive or negative impact to our emotions,” said Susuma Tonegawa, Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at the Riken-MIT Centre for Neural Circuit Genetics.

    “If you are mugged late at night in a dark alley you are terrified and have a strong fear memory and never want to go back to that alley.

    “On the other hand if you have a great vacation, say on a Caribbean island, you also remember it for your lifetime and repeatedly recall that memory to enjoy the experience.

    “So emotions are intimately associated with memory of past events. And yet the emotional value of the memory is malleable. Recalling a memory is not like playing a tape recorder. Rather it is like a creative process.

    Granted, the experiments are on mice, but mouse models tend to transfer well-enough to humans that the scientists are hopeful that they are on to something useful. But will it be?

    I realize this sounds crazy. Given the chance, who wouldn’t want to erase or in some way circumvent the memory of being mugged? And what about PTSD? The MIT group is hopeful that their technique, when applied to humans, will counter the effects of post traumatic stress.

    If the MIT group fails, there still may be hope, courtesy of DARPA, the research arm of the Defense Department, which is developing an implantable chip that intended to lessen the effects of post traumatic stress. According to the Washington Post:

    It’s part of the Obama administration’s larger “BRAIN Initiative,” which involves the National Institutes of Health, DARPA, the National Science Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration, among other organizations.

    Officials say the BRAIN Initiative — which stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies — includes a related DARPA effort to build new brain chips that will be able to predict moods to help treat post-traumatic stress. It’s known as the SUBNETS program, short for Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies. Teams at both the University of California, San Francisco, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are involved.

    “Instead of relying only on medication, we envision a closed-loop system that would work in concept like a tiny, intelligent pacemaker,” said Doug Weber, the program’s manager. “It would continually assess conditions and provide stimulus patterns tailored to help maintain healthy organ function, helping patients get healthy and stay healthy using their body’s own systems.”

    (If I am a little suspicious of this technique, it may be because a few years ago, while writing about the use of virtual reality to help veterans overcome PTSD, I also learned that the military was interested in using the technique in the field, to get psychologically damaged soldiers quickly back into action, which seemed both dangerous and creepy to me.)

    We are made of memories and formed by experience. I keep wondering what kind of people we would be, and what kind of world this would be, if when bad things happened we could erase them, or somehow make them sweet.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I wonder if in instances where it makes the person completly unfuctional maybe. but still not sure. Bad memories/experiences can actually help you. help you relate to others understand others, if a similar situation happens again you have the reference of the past experience that you got through it. and though you still might not think you'd get through it this time, you do know you have in the past and if you can grow the realization of that fact the more likely you are to push on. at least this has been my experience. not that i enjoyed going through them, because I didn't, but i did get something out of them that was good.

    of course i'm not talking ptsd memories for myself, hopefully that's ok. if not i'll delete this post.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  3. #3
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    @Vasilisa Have you read The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton?
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  4. #4
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD45T-2 View Post
    @Vasilisa Have you read The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton?
    Ah, no, I have not. How do you see it related?

    I have a friend who is a Crichton junkie, I shall have to share this information with them and see if they find parallels, too.
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  5. #5
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I think not all memories are created equal. Emotional memories are deeply seated in our psyche - positive ones and negative ones. I doubt they will ever find a way to erase that kind of thing as much as we might try.

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  6. #6
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    Ah, no, I have not. How do you see it related?

    I have a friend who is a Crichton junkie, I shall have to share this information with them and see if they find parallels, too.
    A few years ago I came across it at the library. I sat down on one of those metal step stool thingies with wheels and read the whole thing.

    A man with epilepsy (among other problems) undergoes treatment with an experimental device that would now be known as a brain pacemaker. The brain surgery stuff is pretty detailed, which makes sense considering Crichton was a Harvard Medical School grad. Anyway, things don't turn out quite as planned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD45T-2 View Post
    A few years ago I came across it at the library. I sat down on one of those metal step stool thingies with wheels and read the whole thing.

    A man with epilepsy (among other problems) undergoes treatment with an experimental device that would now be known as a brain pacemaker. The brain surgery stuff is pretty detailed, which makes sense considering Crichton was a Harvard Medical School grad. Anyway, things don't turn out quite as planned.
    The dinosaurs escaped?


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  8. #8
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    The dinosaurs escaped?


    [/I'll leave now]
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