Researchers have been able to alter the memories of mice for good or for bad. Using advanced optogenetics technology, the researchers were able to switch bad memories of mice into good ones when they become “unhappy” and they also helped mice to develop bad memories once they got happy. They were able to achieve this result through advanced laser techniques.
Top scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the RIKEN Institute in Japan achieved this memory-switch feat in mice, and this study was actually published recently in the Nature journal.
According to the researchers, they worked the experiment by activated certain neurons in these mice before exposing them to a type of light. The scientists used special lasers to manage the levels of the neurons to determine how mice responded to them. They found out that mice so exposed enjoyed good memories when left to mix with other female mice, and another group of mice in the control group experienced painful memories. The order of experiment in each group of mice was altered and a reverse result was obtained to establish the fact that the researchers could switch the memories of mice to either good or bad.
The researchers had one sole objective: to see how post-traumatic stress disorder patients could be cured through memory switches. Although the human brain is more advanced and complicated than those of mice, some breakthrough could still be made in humans once the technique is perfected. Humans will then be able to switch off bad memories or switch memories when they like or after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders.