WARNING: The following content includes graphic descriptions of abuse. If this is a trigger subject for you, you may want to sit this one out.
By ALLISON MCCARTHY
In news that sounds more like the work of science fiction, The Washington Post reported that MIT scientists were able to successfully implant false memories into a mouse’s brain through optogenetics, which uses light to switch activity on and off for each brain cell in a living animal.
The study’s authors claim this type of research could one day help treat emotional issues in human beings, including disorders that involve the invasion of unwelcome memories, such as in PTSD.
In fact, this concept has been explored in pop culture, including the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Those of us who have seen the movie remember how Joel (Jim Carrey) tries and fails to erase his memories of a long-term romantic relationship with Clementine (Kate Winslet), ultimately reuniting with her and the two of them accepting one another’s flaws.