Norman M. Weinberger, a research professor of neurobiology and behavior at the University of California at Irvine, and colleagues at the University of California at Irvine are the first to create a memory according to their report in the Sept. 10, 2013, edition of the journal Neuroscience.
This is the first man-made memory created by direct manipulation of specific regions of the brain. Created memories are retained for the same amount of time as natural memories.
The scientists stimulated the nucleus basalis of test mice causing that region of the brain to produce more of a memory producing chemical called acetylcholine. The mice were exposed to a specific musical tone during the memory enhancing process. The test mice responded in a definite characteristic way upon hearing the specific tone in a number of tones played to the test mice 24 hours after the memory had been created.
The purpose of the research is to enhance present ability to treat memory and learning disorders.
One might think that if and when the method is perfected for humans that a government body may use the technology in espionage and covert operations. Even more frightening is the potential to use the technology on large groups of people to manipulate voting or other activities. The advertising value of memory creation could be tremendous.