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Thread: A Drug That Could Give You Perfect Visual Memory

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    A Drug That Could Give You Perfect Visual Memory

    http://io9.com/5306489/a-drug-that-c...-visual-memory

    A Drug That Could Give You Perfect Visual Memory
    By Annalee Newitz, 12:36 PM on Thu Jul 2 2009, 237,026 views (Edit, to draft, un-top, Slurp)

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    Imagine if you could look at something once and remember it forever. You would never have to ask for directions again. Now a group of scientists has isolated a protein that mega-boosts your ability to remember what you see.

    A group of Spanish researchers reported today in Science that they may have stumbled upon a substance that could become the ultimate memory-enhancer. The group was studying a poorly-understood region of the visual cortex. They found that if they boosted production of a protein called RGS-14 (pictured) in that area of the visual cortex in mice, it dramatically affected the animals' ability to remember objects they had seen.

    Mice with the RGS-14 boost could remember objects they had seen for up to two months. Ordinarily the same mice would only be able to remember these objects for about an hour.

    The researchers concluded that this region of the visual cortex, known as layer six of region V2, is responsible for creating visual memories. When the region is removed, mice can no longer remember any object they see.

    If this protein boosts visual memory in humans, the implications are staggering. In their paper, the researchers say that it could be used as a memory-enhancer – which seems like an understatement. What's particularly intriguing is the fact that this protein works on visual memory only. So as I mentioned earlier, it would be perfect for mapping. It would also be useful for engineers and architects who need to hold a lot of visual images in their minds at once. And it would also be a great drug for detectives and spies.

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    That would be awesome but what about those things that you want to forget. There has to be a couple. Oh well, I guess it's worth it if you have perfect memory for everything else. Personally, I would be happy with something that would help me remember what I did yesterday or last week. I'm still having problems with that.
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    Senior Member Hunker's Avatar
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    I would have sexual memories since it is visula!? What else could be on a mind of a man?

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    Way Cool!
    My mouth is like a magician's hat, never know what might come out of it.

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    Reminds me of Flowers For Algernon.
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

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    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    That enormously fat man in the thong walking down the beach in Formentera, Spain.... It's been years - I still have flashbacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by rybread View Post
    That would be awesome but what about those things that you want to forget. There has to be a couple. Oh well, I guess it's worth it if you have perfect memory for everything else. Personally, I would be happy with something that would help me remember what I did yesterday or last week. I'm still having problems with that.
    Foolish

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    I wonder if it would change the way memory works -- the amount of it that is purposeful recall versus being just bombarded with visual memory, as Foolish fears. Imagine the impact on education (let alone virtually any profession). Would you be able to just look at a page, and then call it up to read it when you need information? Does visual memory work that way with words?

    Memory is really a fascinating thing. When I was tested after my head injury, I couldn't remember across two minutes most of the things I was supposed to. But one of the things I did remember the first time -- how many loaves of bread the baker delivered in how many days -- I still remembered when I was retested the second time months later. It still took me months to be able to answer my mom when she asked me with whom I'd been speaking before hanging up the phone, or what I'd had for breakfast. Ryebread, imagine the life we could have had together. Nothing ever would have gotten old. Every day would have been a new adventure.

    Oh I just read the end of the article and see it posits but doesn't really answer the text question. Does anyone know?

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    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
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    On Nova last night they ran a similar story. You can watch it here. 'Prolly old news to folks who read medical publications and journals for "fun", but the identification of 2 chemicals, one to create long term memories and one to remove them, is very interesting. Scary to think of getting an injection to wipe my long term memory, but who knows what the future holds. I know a couple people with PTSD who'd love to have targeted memories erased, but they're a long way from that. Interesting, none the less!
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