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Researchers Create Short-term Memories In Rat Brains 114

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers say they've found a way to store artificial short-term memories in isolated brain tissue. 'This is the first time anyone has found a way to store information over seconds about both temporal sequences and stimulus patterns directly in brain tissue,' says the study's lead. 'This paves the way for future research to identify the specific brain circuits that allow us to form short-term memories.' The peer-reviewed study can be found here (paywalled)."
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Researchers Create Short-term Memories In Rat Brains

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  • by Ruvim ( 889012 ) on Monday September 10, 2012 @10:12PM (#41295583)
    Total Ratcall was it?
  • Oh, and my name is Hauser or is it Quaid?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I know kung-fu.

  • This will then lead to implanting false memories in people....

    Removing tin foil hat now....

    • This will then lead to implanting false memories in people....

      Removing tin foil hat now....

      They are not false you insensitive clod.

    • Removing tin foil hat now....

      Only to find you were never wearing it in the first place!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    So no, not "I just made a different life for you and implanted it in your head". But, maybe "I just made you remember it's be birthday next week"
  • by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Monday September 10, 2012 @10:43PM (#41295745) Homepage

    lawyers remember ethics for a few seconds?

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Monday September 10, 2012 @10:45PM (#41295767)

    I might be an anomaly, but after highschool and college, I developed the ability to push things directly to long-term memory, and shortchange the short-term, removing the volatility.

    I know I can do that, because the information and even the circumstances happening around me are stored such that I can recall them clearly now, years later. (The first time I did it was durng a cram session in science class concerning the simple machines physics test material in HS. I remember the entire circumstance clearly. Upon learning I could do this, I never had to really study again, just make the concious effort to store the information permanently. The most recent time I used it was last week over the holiday weekend. I visited a friend and took some extra days off. His parents wanted him to find some unusual ingredients for a recipe his dad had found online, and I memorized the missing items: mediteranean couscous, lemon preserves, and picholine olives.)

    Let me know when they can deal with long term memories, because there is some stagnant data in my head that needs purging. I don't need to remember the conversation I had with the engineering student on the SW airlines return flight from my california vacation two years ago. That and numberous other things could safely be removed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It certainly does sound as if you are an anomaly and a very interesting one at that. I'm sure the nearest university cognitive science department would be quite pleased to make your acquaintance, especially if you are willing to participate in a study of your ability. Seriously, get in touch with someone and tell them about this; it may provide a significant benefit for all of us.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Mod up! My roommate is psychology (clinical psychology) student and she claims it is extremely unlikely, and she is pretty sure cognitive study researchers would be interested

        • I am not sure my local university is properly equipped for that, and don't relish the idea of being poked, prodded, or worse-- made to remember even more tedious information.

          If it helps your room-mate, I do not have perfect autobiographical memory; instead, to store the information reliably, I have to comprehend the material I am being exposed to. For example, I have a weakness in mathematics. Showing me a mathematical proof, I will have difficulty storing it. However, a complex process, if I comprehend it

          • by Anonymous Coward

            This statement is contradictory "It is a conscious effort, and not innate, though I do have abnormally high recall for random daily occurances, and could give you a fairly accurate description of my (entire) trip last week for example" It takes effort, then it doesn't? Or you put effort into remembering all those random daily occurrences? You don't, even though I'm sure you'd back peddle and lie that you do. Get your story straight. A story you tell yourself, and others to convince them (if they are convinc

            • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @06:04AM (#41297571)

              It takes conscious effort to remember an arbitrary unit of information, such as a complete recipie, vs remembering that I made muffins that day, and that they were delicious.

              People with perfect autobiographical memory do the latter. They will associate a date with an activity, and remember it. They will remember making the muffins, what problems may have come up during baking (such as phone ringing, etc), that they were delicious, how many they ate, etc... but will not recall the recipie.

              I can recall the recipie, if I make a conscious effort to store it.

              This is something people with perfect autobiographical memory cannot do.

              I do not habe perfect autobiographical memory, and do not claim to. I have above average autobiographical memory, and also the ability to recall discrete units of information I have consciously taken the effort to store.

              Compare: remembering that my friend's dad wanted odd ingredients for something he wanted to cook VS remembering what the ingredients are.

            • I use a similar mental trick to increase retention and recall; like the opp, I would say that it takes effort and is not innate, however, like any other process instantiated and existing solely within the mind, it doesn't exactly have an off switch.

              Let's say that I asked you to picture a pink elephant with wings and the number 48 tattooed on it's side.

              I would say that this is the kind of thing that most people, myself included, would think about for a moment, then in moving on, forget.

              Now, I would like you

      • Enough chit-chat; restrain the specimen!
    • Hyperthymesia (Score:3, Informative)

      by PanDuh ( 56522 )

      Sounds like you might have a case of Hyperthymesia: []

      The actress Marilu Henner supposedly has this condition. She claims to remember every day of her life since age 11.

      Its rare, but it happens and apparently it can be a exhausting and a burden on the person.

      • That's not it. He has to make an effort to record it into long term memory.

    • by durrr ( 1316311 )

      I belive you're deluded and have just forgot all the attempts where your long term storage push failed.

      • I would be willing to be tested, as long as the test materials weren't bs that would further clutter up my head.

        Since my university is primarily outfitted for engineering, computer science, and education degrees I am not convinced it is an appropriate venue. I don't feel like taking a 4 hour drive everyday to get to the nearest one with a respectable medical training curriculum, just to get prodded and asked to do parlor tricks with my brain.

        I remember too much, and with sufficient recall that when reminded

        • So, something reminds you of something funny, and you remember it, and you laugh about it.

          That's called life.

          I think you should stop thinking about remembering and stop remembering thinking about things; just accept who and what you are and live your life. You seem to think there's something wrong or unusual about you--what if there's not? Maybe the problem is not your memory--maybe the problem is that you think there's a problem.

    • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

      Don't move. Stay where you are. Do not be alarmed. We are going to help you, and you are going to help us. Don't fight it. Just come with us. No you don't really have a choice. Here put on this gown. Those needles? Those are just vaccines. Now relax and we can begin studying you. There we go....*whine of a bone bone saw starting*

  • by PPH ( 736903 )
  • So when do we uplift the chimpanzees and dolphins?


  • Jesus Pill (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Mass visions of Jesus to follow.

  • The rat army is coming! Humans will be next.
  • "Commerce is our goal here at Tyrell. More rat than rat is our motto. Ratchael is an experiment, nothing more. We began to recognise in them a strange obsession. After all they are emotionally inexperienced, with only a few years in which to store up the experiences which you and I take for granted. If we gived them a past, we'd create a cushion, a pillow for their emotions and consequently we can control them better." (Tyrell)

    "Memories. You're talking about memories." (Deckard)

  • I want a way to remove memories from my brain.
    That way, I can see a movie over and over again and still enjoy watching it.

    Anyway, I hope advertisers don't get a hold on this invention.

    • I want a way to remove memories from my brain. That way, I can see a movie over and over again and still enjoy watching it.

      Alzheimer's disease.
      What good is watching a movie Mr. Anderson, if you can't remember wh-- wait, what were we talking about? Why is the floor so sticky?

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Alcohol works pretty well, as long as you keep applying alcohol to the problem.
  • I could see a possible use for this as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Maybe "planting" extra memories that take the sting out of the traumatic experience.
  • Does this mean that our political leaders can now be made to remember their promises and lies to us?
  • What about a brain to internet machine. We can build a online story and submit it a reader's memory.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.