Science in Action: You can now Delete your Unwanted Memories through Scientific Means [Video]

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The American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has released a new documentary showing how a group of scientists have been able to manipulate the human mind into creating new memories, and deleting unwanted ones.

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PBS is an American public broadcaster and television program distributor. It is independently operated, and is the most prominent provider of television programs to public television stations in America. The film has already been premiered in the United States, and it is expected to be premiered in the United Kingdom in the near future.

In the documentary shown, people can now alter their unpleasant memories so they no longer upset them; or create entirely new memories of events that never occurred in their life.

Film-Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind

The film is titled “Memory Hackers.” According to the Telegraph, Memory Hackers looks at cutting edge research into the nature of memory, and how it may be manipulated for mankind’s benefit.

The filmmakers were quoted as saying “For much of human history, memory has been seen as a tape recorder that faithfully registers information and replays it intact. But now, researchers are discovering that memory is far more malleable, always being written and rewritten, not just by us but by others. We are discovering the precise mechanisms that can explain and even control our memories.”

One of the major characters in the documentary is a 12-year-old boy, Jake Hausler, who is said to have the mind ability to remember every event he has experienced since the age of 8. It is said Jake is the youngest ever person to be diagnosed with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory. However, this Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory makes it difficult for him to distinguish between trivial and important events from his past.

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Psychology professor at London South Bank University, Julia Shaw, who is said to have designed a system for implanting false memories in people, was also a major resource person in the film. Dr. Shaw has successfully convinced subjects in her past research work that they have committed crimes that never took place. However, critics said her research is potentially troubling, having ramifications for the criminal justice system, and should not be encouraged.

Dr. Shaw expressed delight on Twitter about the success of Memory Hackers, thanking the backup crew who helped made the film successful.

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The filmmakers also spoke to a clinical psychologist, Merel Kindt, who has discovered that medication can be used to remove the negative associations of some memories. Dr. Kindt is also said to have cured patients of arachnophobia through his research. Arachnophobia is a mental disease associated with the excessive and irrational fear of spiders. It can be triggered by the mere thought of a spider, or even by a picture of a spider.

Despite this breakthrough in the study of the mind, a prominent neuroscientist who is currently working on a technique to erase painful memories, André Fenton, said the human mind is complex, and that researchers are yet to understand a fraction of it. He was quoted by the Telegraph as saying “Forgetting is probably one of the most important things that brains will do. We understand only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to human memory.”

From what we monitored on Social Media about the documentary, people reacted with mixed feelings. Whereas some commended the scientists and the filmmakers, others have said it’s a total waste of time and resources to attempt altering the human mind. These critics believed unscrupulous people; doctors especially, can take advantage of it to perpetrate crimes against innocent people.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. time has arrived! its time to create a lot of legions of super heroes with different specialists to save the world… if this is possible, why not super heroes? I wanna be a super hero… 🙂

  2. so memories will be lost forever? how to recover those memories that are not on the brain anymore? what if those memories are really important and they’re needed to save the world… I see fluctuations of memories and incomplete memories and incomplete expressions and emotions and big differences and distinctions of memories… highs and lows…

  3. lets just start deleting and creating memories as much as we want, i cant see anything going wrong there…espicialy since we already know everything there is to know about the brain (heavy sarcasm for those who didnt realize)

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