Akira Tonegawa and the team of RIKEN for the first time in the world to create erroneous memories by lighting the brain
When I remember past events, I remember things that are totally different from facts, but this is "False MemoryIt is often called a problem as one of the reasons for creating an accident. To artificially create such error memorySusumu TonegawaDr. andRIKENThe research team of the world succeeded for the first time in the world.
Applying light to the ambiguity of memory - Proof that it can form memory of error, using light and genetic manipulation - RIKEN press release
Fake memory implanted in mice with a beam of light
Dr. Tone Susumu, professor of MIT Neuronal Circuit Genetics Center and Director of RIKEN Brain Science Institute Center, and a team of researchers at RIKEN-MIT Neuronal Circuit Genetics Center Tonegawa Laboratory have hitherto irradiated the mouse brainReminds of specific memoryAlthough it succeeded in particular, this time, the research team is trying to apply light to the brain of the mouseArtificially create error memoryIn particular, it succeeded for the first time in the world.
In the experiment, "Optogenetics (photogenetics)This was done using the technique called " this is,Cranial nerve cells (neurons)By introducing a photosensitizer into the neuron, we can excite and suppress neurons by light irradiation. To put it simply, it is a technique to "control the activity of brain cells by hitting light".
This time, the research team led by Dr. Tonegawa,HippocampusBy specifying a neuron that stores memory in a specific part of the cell, introducing a light-sensitive protein into it, irradiating light (blue light) and activating the specific neuronEngramI tried to evoke artificial memory error by combining this with other engrams.
As the contents of the experiment, first place the mouse in a safe environment box (box A) and then identify the neurons reacting actively only when in box A. In the neuron specified here, the engram of box A should be retained. Next, we introduce (label) a light-sensitive protein into the neuron. With this, if you hit the mouse with light, engrams in box A will be activated and a mechanism will be created to revive the memory in box A.
Next, after transferring the labeled mouse to a box (box B) in an environment different from that of box A, it irradiated with light. Now the mouse remembers the memory of box A in box B. In the experiment, we give a little electric shock to the mouse in the state of lighting the mouse in box B (remembering the memory of box A). By doing this, I got the experience of fear called electric shock in the memory of box A.
Returning this mouse to box A again, the mouse became rigid from fear. The mouse recalled the memory of electric shock even though there was no experience of receiving electric shock in box A. In other words, the engram in a safe box A environment has changed to another engram with the fear of electric shock.
Furthermore, in other environments, the mouse showed a fear response only by stimulating the neuron corresponding to the engram of box A with light. Memory in box A, which was supposed to be a peaceful environment, was replaced with a fear experience given electric shock any longer.
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Of course we can not know exactly what the mouse memorizes. However, the research team has also ascertained that the brain area used in calling fault memory is exactly the same as the brain area used in natural (true) memory calls. From this fact, it is inferred that the mechanisms for recalling false memories and remembering the correct facts are exactly the same. In other words, it can be said that it is unreasonable for us to feel error memory as a real event.
In addition, Dr. Tonegawa says, "Humans are animals with a high degree of imagination. Like the mice of this study, the" disgusting "or" pleasant "events that we encounter are past events There is a possibility that it may be associated with experience, so that error memories are formed ". In addition, RIKEN believes that the advancement of understanding of human error memory should be a warning that the witness testimony in the trial is hiding in danger.
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