Selective memory | Science News

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


News

Selective memory

Altering a protein in the brain of mice can wipe out specific memories as they are recalled

By
12:23pm, October 22, 2008

As much as you might want to wipe Uncle Frank’s tasteless joke out of your mind but still remember the flavor of Aunt Fran’s pie, memory researchers have always said “fuhgedabboudit!” Now, a genetically engineered mouse suggests it may be possible to erase certain unwanted memories.

Scientists from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and the EastChinaNormalUniversity in Shanghai selectively removed a shocking memory from a mouse’s brain, the team reports in the Oct. 23 Neuron.

 

Insight from such experiments may one day lead to therapies that can erase traumatic memories for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or wipe clean drug-associated cues that lead addicts to relapse.

 

“We should never think of memories as being fixed,” says Howard Eichenbaum, a neuroscientist at BostonUniversity. “They are constantly being renovated and restructured.”

 

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content