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back to article Boffins 'write directly to memory' of living brains

An alliance of boffins from Oxford University and Virginia, America say they have developed a technique for "writing directly to memory" in a living brain, "seizing control of brain circuits" to create a memory of an experience which had never actually happened. Thus far, according to the research, the technique works reliably …

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First use

advertising, then porn, then censorship, then pirating other people's memories (reading can't be much harder than writing), then copyright protection, then circumvention, then virtual memories, and finally someone will discover "reality".

I just wonder what the first virus will do?

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Black Helicopters

MiB Pens, All Around, Then...

I'm getting some dark glasses.

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Bah!

And how is this method superior to the current way of doing the job - by applying massive amounts of alcohol to the subject?

Yet more junk "science".

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@Pete 2

"reading can't be much harder than writing"

Dunno, presumably you have to reverse the process and get the insects eyes to flash. That's the sort of thing that's gonna keep my g/f petrified of insects and arachnoids...

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Total Recall

How much for remembering an exciting interplanetary espionage trip full of hot girls?

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Alert

Steve Jackson's Illuminati!

".....a simple flash of light is used....."

So Orbital Mind Control Lasers are the way forward after all then? Presumably the boffins in the article are actually Evil Geniuses For A Better Tomorrow in disguise too.....

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Alien

For the memories of a lifetime...

Rekall, Rekall, Rekallllll.

Now get your ass to Mars.

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Matrix

Will this mean that we will be able to download into our brains learning memories?

Heh, I'll have French, German, and the Huey pilots course please.

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Clockwork Orange, anyone?

Now we will have a much better method of preventing recidivism than strapping someone into a chair for 18 hours a day and showing movies of ultraviolence and playing Beethoven.

Trust your government. The computer is your friend.

And I'm off to implement RFC 1097.

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Lord of the Flies

Years ago I watched a documentary about what happened last time we tampered with flies. I think it was hosted by Jeff Goldblum?

Scary stuff.

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Ahhhh!

So I really am a secret agent from Mars?

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Terminator

What does it mean to be real?

It may work for insects but I can't see this ever transferring to humans- the complexity is too great. For example, there's no way you could implant a memory as detailed and clear as the time I saw that unicorn running through the forest....

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This means only one thing...

...one day the Joe 90 machine will be reality.

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if only

flies could remember where the opening in the window is, and use simple logic to fly out the same way they came in.

too much to ask I know.

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Rosetta Stone

So the Rosetta Stone of the 22nd century will come with a USB4 cerebral-cortex attachment? That'll make learning French a whole lot easier.

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old news

This has been around for years, it just most people don't remember it

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Paris Hilton

OMG

This means that Phillip K Dick will be proved right - the future is going to get really weird!

Paris - cos guess what sort of memories are going to be requested first!

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Unhappy

sick

that is all.

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Prepare for unforeseen consequences

These guys are more prescient than I thought:

http://www.youtube.com/user/pixeleyesproductions

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The NXXXXt Logical Step

"the scientists found that they were able to specifically stimulate the magic twelve neurons to "give the flies the memory of an unpleasant event that never occurred""

One imagines that better Progress would be made giving them pleasant memories of events yet to occur. Although I suppose feedback for that experiment would be greatly enhanced with humanised subject matter/Master Pilot.

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@Stevie: This is important

Understanding dopaminergic neurone response is not just at the core of understanding learning and memory but is essential for the understanding and treatment of several severe mental illnesses.

Don't make a knee-jerk reaction to something you clearly do not even remotely understand.

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So tell me, what do you remember?

"give the flies the memory of an unpleasant event that never occurred"

How do the scientists differentiate between the fake memory that they have supposedly implanted and its very real unpleasant memory of somone fsking around with its brain?

Bzzzzz, well I remember asking for a cup of tea and they brought me hot Bovril instead, which was unpleasant, and.... no, that's it.

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did i really read this article or

was it a memory implanted years in the future ?

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Anyone Remember This Gem?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainstorm_(1983_film)

Remember what they found the one guy looping on?

The unheralded driver of technology will be the push behind this (along with Ivan and Vali, the friendly Russian mobs-, er, venture capitalists).

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Pint

Doris

Isn't this what mediums get up to -- making it up as they go along.

Anyway, we've seen Derren Brown on telly, nothing new but he does it with humans not flies.

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Joke

cool

I might get to loose my virginity.

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Boffin

@Garret Cotter

"Don't make a knee-jerk reaction to something you clearly do not even remotely understand."

Come on - that's the time-honored response of a commentard to any given science story.

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False memories

I'd use it on all the people, currently running around telling people they were Cleopatra, or Napoleon, in a former life, with false memories of having spent the last 200 million years being reincarnated as fruit flies.

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Life Laundry

Does this mean one day I'll be able to replace all the useless crap I was taught at school and replace it with something useful?

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Alien

May I be the first

To welcome our new mind controlling overlords

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@ AC 14:25 GMT

I smell a BIG RAT

I'll get my coat...

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Now I understand about those flashy eyes.

Well, this explains a lot of things.

Wait, what?

And who were you again?

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Ahh

This explains everything, from the funny lumps on my head to my fear of women ...

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Next step

Make it genetic, so that all flies will be born with the memory of having been flattened by a rolled-up newspaper when they flew anywhere near a house or a person. No more need for DDT.

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Seriously, it's not serious

Too bad every fly has exactly the same neurons doing exactly the same thing in exactly the same place; makes it easy to hack. Every mammalian brain is different; we can't yet even figure out what a given neuron really does, much less how memories are formed, much less how to change them. Bummer....

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@hi_robb

No, I distinctly remember being the first...

<obligatory Total Recall quote>

You see, that's "my" body you have there, and I want it back. Sorry for being an Indian giver, but I was here first. So, adios, amigo!

</obligatory Total Recall quote>

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WTF?

"boffins from

Oxford University and Virginia, America"

From the ENTIRE state of Virginia, or University of Virginia?

Geez.

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Happy

just guessing here

But I think the fly brain was not in very good shape after this.

But obviously *huge* potential.

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Pirate

Just in time...

... for Series 2 of Dollhouse...

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Coat

question

So Bennie did come after me with the mining truck right before I started the reactor?

Yes the one with the ticket to mars...

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Black Helicopters

What unpleasant memories do flies have?

Near misses from a fly swatter? Just about all unpleasant events are fatal.

Black helicopter as it looks a bit like a spider + web to me.

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Happy

Well, I for one...

...recall already welcoming our brain-twiddling overlords.

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Joke

Hope I'm a high-end model

Guess when this is applied to humans, it really means that THX1138 isn't a name, but a model of human! Wonder how many multi-cores that includes...

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Joke

@ Anonymous Coward 14:25 GMT

I'm glad to report that Joe 90 is alive and well, currently managing Aston Villa FC :-)

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Happy

So...

Where is Keanu Reeves when you need him? Johnny Mnemonic anyone?

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Big Brother

1984

No need for telescreen anymore. Scary.

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Big Brother

Uh, wait .. What?

Does that mean we'll all have a flickering box of light in the corner of the room giving us implanted memories?

Uh, wait. What?

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Joke

@Dick Emery

No Keanu Reeves I'm afraid, but after a quick squirrel around I've found a spare piece of 2x4 in the garage. I think it's pine.

Will that do as a substitute?

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Damn smartass

I am not gonna forget you shone that bright light in my eye you creep. Wait till I vomit on your lunch!

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WTF?

Errmmm..

"to "give the flies the memory of an unpleasant event that never occurred""

....you mean like having you head cracked open and your brain probed while being subjected to "Odours" ?

That would cause me to freak out a bit whenever I met that odour again!

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