Check this out: much like in the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, new research on genetically engineered, optically-sensitive neurons in mice demonstrates that we can now decisively conclude that MEMORIES are in fact PHYSICAL, not CONCEPTUAL – and, that specific memories may be erased by destroying or intercepting specific neurons.
I think it’s cool how the mice’s neurons are stimulated with flashes of light. It reminds me of those stun guns in the Men in Black movies from the ’90s – (good memories in the happy part of my brain.)
This research study in effect destroys centuries of embarrassing memory in Western Civilization’s confounded meanderings of epistemological discussion, on consciousness and “soul.” Most specifically, it shines light on (zaps, eradicates) the Cartesian dualism of mind and body. Monism rules the day – in the age of microtechnologies, we humans are nothing if not material beings.
But I’m a little bit skeptical: from the article, it seems the mice reacted with a rather generic fear/startle response. Could it be due to the rather fearsome procedure that they have just undergone? How can the researcher prove definitively that they have just re-experienced a specific memory? Did the mice do a particular action, such as climb a certain object, or swat in a certain direction, which shows that they are recalling a particular scene in their minds??
Need to read the research paper that comes with this work!