The Real Science of Erasing Your Brain

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What if you could erase any knowledge of unpleasant experiences? It would be easier than forgetting, wouldn't it? This is not just a Hollywood fantasy as in the plotline of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." In reality, scientists have been working for years on figuring out how memories are stored, and how we can might be able to erase them. Todd Sacktor is a neurologist and neuroscientist, who has been working on this question. He runs a memory lab with the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.

Sacktor explains that the way our brain creates and stores memories is somewhat similar to that of a computer. "There's something fundamentally analogous to the hard drive," Sacktor says. 

"We have these different types of memories. We have memories for fear, we have memories for pleasurable events in the past, we have memories for the language that we speak, the words," Sacktor explains. "And yet, as in a hard disc on a computer, it's all being stored by these ones and zeros...we're just beginning to understand the fundamental way that information is being stored in the brain."

Guests:

Todd Sacktor

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [2]

Chris (PDX,OR) from Portland, OR

John, after the stunning (and frightening) news of the enzyme "PZM Zeta" (did I get that right?) and it's suseptibility to inhibition I umm...OK I cruised on over to Danger Room where I ran across David Axe's profile of Andrew Herr and his resaearch on "neuro-enhancements". If you really want to be freaked out, may I invite you attention to this article. I remember this was something "the Jasons" brain trust was looking at a while ago for DOD. I don't know if terrified is strong enoungh a word, but after today's 'cast and this article (DR 12.26.12 0630 "This Scientist Wants Tomorrow's Troops to Be Mutant-Powered") I'm certainly feeling that way. Thank You, that was a great program. I am very pleased OPB picked up your show.

Dec. 27 2012 12:02 AM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

We are in Phillip K. Dick territory. I am more interested in regaining my memories than in losing them...I have had many friends who found using drugs and alcohol as a way of losing their painful memories and very successfully I may add

Dec. 26 2012 02:44 PM

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