Friday, April 29, 2011

Our most traumatic memories could be erased, thanks to the marine snail

Our most traumatic memories could be erased, thanks to the marine snail

Alasdair Wilkins — Although the idea of erasing your memories may sound horrific, there may be nothing better for those dealing with severe trauma. Now we're one step closer to making it a reality, with a little help from the tiny marine snail.

UCLA researcher David Glanzman led the study, which discovered that it's possible to erase long-term memories in snails by inhibiting a specific protein kinase known as PKM. While researchers have previously made headway with memory-erasing drugs, this new work focuses on the actual neurons of the brain, potentially allowing far finer control over the memory erasure process. If the methods used here could be adapted to humans, Glanzman hopes it could be used to help treat severe post-traumatic stress disorder, drug addiction, and possible long-term memory disorders such as Alzheimer's.

Glanzman explains how it all works:

"Almost all the processes that are involved in memory in the snail also have been shown to be involved in memory in the brains of mammals. We found that if we inhibit PKM in the marine snail, we will erase the memory for long-term sensitization. In addition, we can erase the long-term change at a single synapse that underlies long-term memory in the snail."


via Our most traumatic memories could be erased, thanks to the marine snail.

Many negative behaviors, I think, can be attributed to bad memories. You can reprogram your bad memories, because the way memory works, you only remember the last time you remembered something. You don't remember the actual event. You rebuild your memories every time you remember them.

Reprogramming takes time ... although if you do it in lucid dreams, you might reclaim the lost 1/3rd of your life as well as making your waking life better. I'd like to be able to get into my head and switch off a few things, make it as if they never happened. ... with the option to switch them back on later.

Here's how. Step 1: Start having lucid dreams. Step 2: Meditate and cultivate your objective observer. Step 3: Observe your dream as you dream. If fun stuff happens, enjoy it. If anything bad happens, take the opportunity to solve the problem. It's your world in the dream, so create a solution and see how it feels.

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