Friday, June 17, 2011

A technology for selectively erasing memories.

CNet writes:

Now scientists in Israel say they have devised a method to erase memories that trigger cravings in rats addicted to cocaine--a method that works so well it actually results in rats ignoring the place where they had been scoring the drug.

The protein they use is known for inhibiting learning processes by affecting memories. I wonder if it can be used in reverse, i.e. to improve learning by selectively erasing memories that prevent us from learning. That is, it's much more difficult to teach a person who clings to prejudices and obsolete ideas, than somebody with a fresh mind. If we were able to control memory deletion mechanism, we could free up our minds from the baggage of unneeded information and, as a result, increase our creativity by escaping "the curse of knowledge".

tags: creativity, brain, mind, psychology, biology, education, information

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