From: Dave Haith <visions1.nul> Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2012 15:24:42 +0100 Archived: Tue, 31 Jul 2012 12:15:45 -0400 Subject: The Forgetting Pill I ran across this interesting article yesterday about a pill to erase selected memories and wondered what relevance this might have to the UFO abduction scenario. http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/02/ff/forgettingpill/all/ I mean if we are can so effectively tamper with memory now, is it not reasonable to assume a far more advanced civilisation might have learned how to program us to their advantage? Although I disliked reading of the experiments with rats I mused that we might also be the rats in some cosmic experiment. Here's a brief summary of what the piece is about followed by a couple of paragraphs taken at random from the body of the article to tempt your brain palate. Memory Erasure: How It Works For years scientists have been able to change the emotional tone of a memory by administering certain drugs just before asking people to recall the event in detail. New research suggests that they'll be able to target and erase specific memories altogether. Here's how. 1 - Pick a memory. It has to be something deeply implanted in the brain, a long- term memory that has undergone a process called consolidation- a restructuring of neural connections. 2 - Recall requires neural connections by protein synthesis. To remember something, your brain synthesizes new proteins to stabilize circuits of neural connections. To date, researchers have identified one such protein, called PKMzeta. Before trying to erase the targeted memory, researchers would ensure that it was ensconced by having the patient write down an account of the event or retell it aloud several times. 3 - Nuke the memory. To delete the memory, researchers would administer a drug that blocks PKMzeta and then ask the patient to recall the event again. Because the protein required to reconsolidate the memory will be absent, the memory will cease to exist. Neuroscientists think they'll be able to target the specific memory by using drugs that bind selectively to receptors found only in the correct area of the brain. 4 - Everything else is fine. If the drug is selective enough and the memory precise enough, everything else in the brain should be unaffected and remain as correct-or incorrect-as ever. Extract 1 'Consider the study of flashbulb memories, extremely vivid, detailed recollections. Shortly after the September 11 attacks, a team of psychologists led by William Hirst and Elizabeth Phelps surveyed several hundred subjects about their memories of that awful day. The scientists then repeated the surveys, tracking how the stories steadily decayed. At one year out, 37 percent of the details had changed. By 2004 that number was approaching 50 percent. Some changes were innocuous-the stories got tighter and the narratives more coherent-but other adjustments involved a wholesale retrofit. Some people even altered where they were when the towers fell. Over and over, the act of repeating the narrative seemed to corrupt its content. The scientists aren't sure about this mechanism, and they have yet to analyze the data from the entire 10-year survey. But Phelps expects it to reveal that many details will be make- believe. "What's most troubling, of course, is that these people have no idea their memories have changed this much," she says. "The strength of the emotion makes them convinced it's all true, even when it's clearly not." Extract 2 The problem with eliminating pain, of course, is that pain is often educational. We learn from our regrets and mistakes; wisdom is not free. If our past becomes a playlist-a collection of tracks we can edit with ease-then how will we resist the temptation to erase the unpleasant ones? Even more troubling, it's easy to imagine a world where people don't get to decide the fate of their own memories. "My worst nightmare is that some evil dictator gets a hold of this," Sacktor says. "There are all sorts of dystopian things one could do with these drugs." While tyrants have often rewritten history books, modern science might one day allow them to rewrite us, wiping away genocides and atrocities with a cocktail of pills.' Full article at this link: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/02/ff_forgettingpill/all/ Dave Haith Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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