Sticking with the theme of the previous update, today's "TED Talk" is delivered by MIT neuroscientists Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu, who "located a specific memory in a mouse’s brain and designed a system to activate and deactivate it at will."

“We began touching on these ideas mainly because all of us are huge fans of movies like Inception … For me personally, looking to Hollywood is a great source of questions.”

There's an accompanying post on the TED blog, about classic films that inspired real-life neuroscience. You-know-who gets the first mention.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Writer Charlie Kaufman and director Michel Gondry dreamed up this 2004 indie classic, in which a man (Jim Carey) and woman (Kate Winslet) attempt to erase the memory of their relationship. Ramirez mentions this movie in his Fast Company interview, pointing out a scientific flaw in it. “One thing Eternal Sunshine got wrong was localizing memories. There’s a scene with Elijah Wood, where they’re going into the brain, and [saying] ‘There’s a memory right here, it’s at point A in the brain’, and boom, they delete it. But in reality, memories are distributed throughout the brain,” he says. “There’s the memory of Kate Winslet, and then there’s the awful underlying, visceral feelings that Jim Carey has when he recalls Kate Winslet: the emotional undertones that color in that memory. The emotional undertones and the memory of Kate Winslet itself are largely mediated by separate brain systems. So you can imagine going into the brain, finding the brain cells that represent that dark feeling of a break-up, and inactivating only those.” (Source)

Here's the Talk itself.


Thanks to Julie and Sarah!



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