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    Scientists Create False Memories in Mice

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Researchers from the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics have found a way to implant false memories in the brains of mice.

    Researchers from the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics have found a way to implant false memories in the brains of mice.
    By manipulating the neurons in their brains, the mice in the study wrongly connected a safe environment with one where they had an unpleasant experience.

    Susumu Tonagawa, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said: “Our study showed that the false memory and the genuine memory are based on very similar, almost identical, brain mechanisms. It is difficult for the false memory bearer to distinguish between them. We hope our future findings along this line will further alert legislatures and legal experts how unreliable memory can be.”

    The genetically engineered mice used in the study have optic fibers sending pulses of light to their brain as a response system.

    Researchers put the mice in a blue box and and activated the brain cells that create memory with the pulses of light.

    Then they moved the mice to a different colored box and activated the same memory cells while shocking their feet.

    When moved back to the first box, the mice displayed indications of fear, which shows that they formed a false memory and negative association with the first box.