NEWS & UPDATES: Should We Delete Unpleasant Memories?

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Here is the list of  current updates to: 

Memory Distortions in a Museum Tour—Mice (and fMRI) Tell the Truth     (Posted 3/16/2014)

8/28/2014      Susumu Tonegawa, the neurobiologist from MIT and HHMI, who conducted the above quoted research on memory distortions in mice, just reported new research on the re-coding of  fear and other emotional  memories in mice. See Changing the Emotional Association of Memories. He wanted to know if he could replace an existing fear memory in mice with a pleasant one—he did. This has huge implications for post-traumatic syndrome and other debilitating fears. The caveat here is that we do not do this willy-nilly. Eric Kandel, the Nobel neurobiologist from Columbia University who spent his life studying the cellular and molecular basis of memory, and who escaped the Nazis as a young boy, flying to America without his parents thinks that one needs to be very careful in removing memories. He said, referring to his time living in fear in Vienna under the Nazis:

“You know, in the end, we are who we are. We’re all part of what we’ve experienced. Would I have liked to have had the Viennese experience removed from me? No! And it was horrible. But it shapes you.”

6/24/2014      The Freud Museum’s (London) current exhibition is The False Memory Archive (6/11/ – 8/3/2014). It is a collection of vivid false memories and artists’ work on the subject. False memory is truly the stuff of art, and what better place to show it than at the Freud Museum!

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