For the first time, researchers at Kyoto University were able to wipe memories from the brain of a real individual, a feat previously thought only feasible in movies. The experiment’s findings were published in Science.
Kyoto University researchers have developed a neuro-optic device that can control memories. It was tried on laboratory mice and was shown to be effective.
“In Men in Black, operatives obliterate memories with a burst of light,” scientist Akihiro Goto observed. We took a similar approach.”
Light was used by scientists to deactivate proteins essential for LTP, a form of brain activity that aids memory. Cofilin is the most important of these proteins. It influences synapses in the cerebral cortex, which is critical for the formation of long-term memories.
Experts injected an adeno-associated virus, or AAV, routinely used to convey genes into the brains of mice. It was connected to a cofillin-modified protein and a fluorescent marker. It emitted active oxygen when exposed to light, which destroyed adjacent molecules.
Scientists were able to alter the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory storage, in this manner. They taught the mouse certain movements, but after irradiating the hippocampus, the rodent lost recall of the abilities it had learned.
As a result, scientists recorded the loss of memories associated with the examined task, equating the effect to a flash of light from a memory-erasing neutralizer in the Men in Black films.
The fresh data gathered during the experiment, according to the authors, will aid in the treatment of a variety of mental diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.