Last week, I wrote about some scientists who have erased memories by injecting a drug into the brains of rats (our memory appears to work the same way as rat memory, but nobody is currently injecting propranolol into human test subjects).
Now some other scientists have reported the ability to create memories in rats by injecting a certain kind of virus into their brains. The virus affects the creation of a protein that underlies the storage of memories. In this case, the rats were made to remember a certain environment as being painful, even though they had never experienced pain in that environment.
Erasing real memories. Creating false ones. We’re a long way from our memories being manipulated like a character in a Philip K. Dick story (“We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”). But what’s a nice rat to think about its memories these days? Did I have that excellent cheese yesterday or not?