FunCan you remember something you have already forgotten?

Can you remember something you have already forgotten?

According to some recent research, many memories are not completely erased from our hard drive even if we think otherwise. Because where does the lost memory go ? Is there a space that collects what once were data, experiences, dreams and that today we have forgotten, at least with our conscious brain? Science and philosophy have been trying for centuries to find out. If memory has some kind of physical format, if it obeys chemical and neurological phenomena that leave their mark, why is forgetting sometimes irreversible? Is the lived experience erased forever or are we simply not able to rescue it from the place where it is stored?

Well, some research might have the answer. For example, a study published in the journal Neuron detected patterns of neuronal activation that corresponded to memories that volunteers had given up for lost. One of the authors of the research, Jeffrey Johnson, from the University of California at Irvine, concluded that, “although the brain still retains certain information, we may not always have access to it.” When we try to conjure up a face, something funny that happened to us, or a delicious meal, we activate the neurological elements necessary to put the pieces together. What happens, then, with incomplete memories? Why are only part of these patterns set in motion? What about the rest?

Other research, conducted with mice by the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics in Japan, has attempted to answer these questions. And his final conclusion is that the biochemical traces that correspond to supposedly vanished memories can be reactivated . To see if this was the case, the scientists injected some rodents with a substance that inhibited certain neurons and made them amnesiac . They then placed all the animals in an environment where they could or could not avoid electric shocks to which they had previously been subjected.

Although the forgetful returned to the place of the unpleasant sensation, the researchers managed to reactivate their lost memories by sending micro pulses of blue light using a technique called optogenetics to nerve cells previously switched off by the drug. The result was that, from the intervention, the mice began to avoid the place where they received the electroshock. That is, the mice remembered again ; They turned away from the places where they knew something unpleasant was going to happen to them. Or, what is the same, the induced amnesia had not erased his memories but had disabled his ability to recall the scenes.

An amnesic mouse does not lose memory, but rather loses the ability to recreate in the mind the events that are stored in memory. It is as if we had the memories archived on a computer and we lost the password to access them. The information is there, but we cannot rescue it.

These works support the hypothesis that there are a large number of events that are not permanently erased from our brain. What happens is that we lose the ability to recall them, but experts in this field think that it will be possible to develop artificial techniques to do so.

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