Scientists have successfully manipulated the brains of mice to remember unhappy experiences in a positive way.
The study, published in the journal Nature today, is the closest scientists have yet come to the kind of memory manipulation explored in films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Japan’s Riken Institute identified parts of the brain involved in forming emotional responses to memories.
By manipulating the brain cells of the mice, they were able to eradicate a fearful memory associated with one place and were also able to associate fear with an area the mouse had previously linked with pleasant experiences.
The research data could help treat psychological problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).