Category Archives: Neuroscience

We Are Not Our Memories Anymore


Memories are what make us. We are, in a biological sense, just mobile containers for the (occasionally spotty) recall of everything we’ve ever learned or ever done.

And this is a good thing because, seriously, how much would it suck to wake up every morning and have to re-learn everything we know? We exist to learn, to gather knowledge, and to pass that knowledge along. Sure, we do other stuff, too. We build rocketships and tweet about sandwiches and reproduce and get lost trying to drive to the mall, but that memory thing? That’s important.

What’s more, that memory thing is permanent, right? I mean, setting aside the things we forget, the things we misunderstand, the memories we warp either deliberately or just in the course of being alive and imperfect containers of data, once something goes into the brain, it’s in there for keeps.

Except that maybe that’s not the case anymore. What if we really could Eternal-Sunshine-Of-The-Spotless-Mind ourselves and wipe out memories that we just don’t want to hang onto?

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