Thursday, October 23, 2008

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

One of my favorite all time films is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I mean, besides the fact that I think that director Michael Gondry is awesome, think about it: erasing bad memories of an ex or someone you are trying to forget .. who wouldn't want to do that, especially after a horrible break-up?

Well in recent developments, with experiments involving lab rats, turns out a group of scientists believe that fiction can become reality:
In both mice and people, this enzyme is often referred to as the "memory molecule" because of its key role in facilitating brain cell communication -- especially people's ability to learn and retain information. To hone in on the specific workings of CaMKII, Tsien and his team first developed a "chemical-genetic method" that enabled them to instantly turn the protein "on" or "off" among mice intentionally bred to overproduce the molecule. After exposing the mice to emotionally powerful stimulations, such as a mild shock to their paws, the scientists then observed how well or poorly the animals subsequently recalled the particular trauma as their brain's expression of CaMKII was manipulated up and down. When the brain was made to overproduce CaMKII at the exact moment the mouse was prodded to retrieve the traumatic memory, the memory wasn't just blocked, it appeared to be fully erased. (

Would YOU want to have certain memories erased from your brain?


Anonymous said...

Generally no, it's a bad idea, since the sum of what we are is in a big way connected to our memories.

But there are a few super-traumatic things that people just can't get over, that memory-erasure can really help.

That said, a mind-eraser like they had in MiB would be pretty useful.

And not just for short-term things. There are some people that are real jerks now, and I think I big mind wipe would make them better people.

Ethically wrong, maybe, but I'm a "greater good" kind of person, as long as I can say what that good is.

sang said...

If this became a safe procedure with no side effects and 100% accuracy I would imagine it being a great success. I don't think it be such a great idea. Maybe we can have a discussion, Yuri?

sang said...

BTW need to see this movie... anyone want to see it?