The advancement in Science and Technology has opened up new avenues and future prospects. This progress has both positive and negative connotations attached with it. Where one development can benefit someone, it can equally pose a threat to the other.
The new technology in Cognitive Psychology that has peaked a lot of interest within the past decade or so is False Memory Implantation. This is what we will be specifically talking about in this article.
What are False Memory Implant?
Fake or False Memory Implantation refers to “a technique used in cognitive psychology to investigate human memory. In memory implantations’ studies, researchers make people believe that they remember an event that actually never happened.” This can result in the “deletion, addition, activation and suppression of certain memories.”
The experiments were first carried out successfully on mice by inducing a fear response in mice via an electric shock in different cages. Certain brain cells were genetically engineered into the brain of the mice. For observation, chemicals that could highlight the change in neurons via light were also introduced in these brain cells. Light used activated those engineered brain cells controlling certain memories. The researchers, thus, successfully carried out fake memory implants in mice.
The last decade or so has increased the attention and interest towards this area of cognitive psychology. This is due to the scope of this study that could actually change the way we remember memories or even manipulate the memories we have stored in our brains. This could also lead to creation of fake memories; events that never even took place in our lives.
To study more about the possible outcomes of Fake Memory Implant, we will briefly discuss the positive and negative prospects of false memory implantation.
Some of the positive prospects of Fake Memory Implant are listed below:
-Can help treat PTSD and other psychiatric disorders:Veterans and other people with severe PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), psychiatric disorders, etc. could be treated by deletion of those stressful recollections of the trauma in their past causing depression, anxiety or nightmares.
-Could treat Alzheimer’s:Patients of Alzheimer’s (a type of dementia) could be treated by fixing the memory impairment and loss. Certain forgotten memories could be activated in such patients.
-Lessen depression, anxiety and stress:The trauma of past memories leading to depression, anxiety, panic attacks or extreme stress could be lessened or treated by Fake Memory Implants. Deactivation of such memories could possibly result in a happier individual by release of oxytocin, dopamine, etc. too.
Some of the negative prospects of Fake Memory Implants are listed below:
-Unethical: This practice is unethical as manipulating people’s memories and past could affect individual’s health. Their experiences are something that shapes them and their personality.
-Manipulation of people:People could be implanted with memories that never happened. It could lead to confusion, identity crisis or misinterpretation.
-Criminal justice system affected:Innocent victims could be implanted with memories of crimes they never even committed. Culprits could get away with their crimes without a proper legal inquiry, if this technology gets into the wrong hand and is not regulated.
-Rise in illegal activities:As discussed above, in the wrong hands, fake memory implants could be used negatively by criminals and cults. This could lead to social and political chaos in society and nations. Illegal activities would be on a high with this sort of tech.
Fake Memory Implantation has a lot of scope in research and study of Cognitive Psychology. But this kind of tech has both negative and positive future prospects. It could be impactful in a number of ways, which only time can determine for us.