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Brain Control with Optogenetics

DDD

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Neuroscientists have managed to link existing neural connection with a particular light. Thus when the light is on those neural connections are activated and cause one to function for what the neural connections stood for. See a mouse circling when under blue light the neural connections for walking in circles became activated at 0.10 minute:

Method of the Year 2010: Optogenetics - by Nature Video - YouTube

But now the neuroscientists managed to link a new independent variable into the mixture. The neuroscientists managed to link neural connections of fear with neural connections of representing a cage, all under the control of a white light (Ramirez et al, 2013).

They activated the neural connections that represented the cage and shocked the mouse at the same time. Later the mouse was afraid of the cage. By doing so the neuroscientists claim that they have generated a false fear memory of the cage.

This method is not limited to creating fake memories related to fear and an object neither. They are experimenting with other emotions such as:

pleasure memories or memories of objects or memories of other mice.
This is still at the beginning phase now. But perhaps they can develop these "Method of the Year" to control human brains also.

What do you guys think? Would we be slaves of Optogenetics one day and would fear and love whatever the government wants us to?

References:

S. Ramirez., X. Liu., P.-A. Lin., J. Suh., M. Pignatelli., ... ... S. Tonegawa. (2013). Creating a false memory in the hippocampus. Science, 341 (6144): 387 DOI: 10.1126/science.1239073.

Stimulating brain cells can make false memories
 

grip

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Neuroscientists have managed to link existing neural connection with a particular light. Thus when the light is on those neural connections are activated and cause one to function for what the neural connections stood for. See a mouse circling when under blue light the neural connections for walking in circles became activated at 0.10 minute:

Method of the Year 2010: Optogenetics - by Nature Video - YouTube

But now the neuroscientists managed to link a new independent variable into the mixture. The neuroscientists managed to link neural connections of fear with neural connections of representing a cage, all under the control of a white light (Ramirez et al, 2013).

They activated the neural connections that represented the cage and shocked the mouse at the same time. Later the mouse was afraid of the cage. By doing so the neuroscientists claim that they have generated a false fear memory of the cage.

This method is not limited to creating fake memories related to fear and an object neither. They are experimenting with other emotions such as:



This is still at the beginning phase now. But perhaps they can develop these "Method of the Year" to control human brains also.

What do you guys think? Would we be slaves of Optogenetics one day and would fear and love whatever the government wants us to?

References:

S. Ramirez., X. Liu., P.-A. Lin., J. Suh., M. Pignatelli., ... ... S. Tonegawa. (2013). Creating a false memory in the hippocampus. Science, 341 (6144): 387 DOI: 10.1126/science.1239073.

Stimulating brain cells can make false memories
Maybe it could be used to treat PTSD and other neuropsychiatric diseases?
 

ttwtt78640

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Neuroscientists have managed to link existing neural connection with a particular light. Thus when the light is on those neural connections are activated and cause one to function for what the neural connections stood for. See a mouse circling when under blue light the neural connections for walking in circles became activated at 0.10 minute:

Method of the Year 2010: Optogenetics - by Nature Video - YouTube

But now the neuroscientists managed to link a new independent variable into the mixture. The neuroscientists managed to link neural connections of fear with neural connections of representing a cage, all under the control of a white light (Ramirez et al, 2013).

They activated the neural connections that represented the cage and shocked the mouse at the same time. Later the mouse was afraid of the cage. By doing so the neuroscientists claim that they have generated a false fear memory of the cage.

This method is not limited to creating fake memories related to fear and an object neither. They are experimenting with other emotions such as:



This is still at the beginning phase now. But perhaps they can develop these "Method of the Year" to control human brains also.

What do you guys think? Would we be slaves of Optogenetics one day and would fear and love whatever the government wants us to?

References:

S. Ramirez., X. Liu., P.-A. Lin., J. Suh., M. Pignatelli., ... ... S. Tonegawa. (2013). Creating a false memory in the hippocampus. Science, 341 (6144): 387 DOI: 10.1126/science.1239073.

Stimulating brain cells can make false memories
Hmm... The movies A Clockwork Orange and Control come into reality.
 

DDD

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Maybe it could be used to treat PTSD and other neuropsychiatric diseases?
Could you elaborate please? How could linking fear or pleasure to traumatic memories of PTSD be useful for treatment?
 

grip

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Recent work using optogenetics has now found that long-term contextual fear memories surprisingly involve both hippocampus and neocortex, even in the remote phase; this work may help inform our understanding of PTSD and attempts to ameliorate the debilitating consequences of this disease. Johansen et al. here provide a broad review on the now-extensive set of optogenetic studies focused on fear memory formation and expression, involving amygdala, hippocampus, neocortex, and other neural circuits, in freely moving mammals. Anxiety disorders are a broad category, including both conditioned (such as PTSD) and unconditioned (such as generalized anxiety disorder) forms. Optogenetics has also been used to probe unconditioned anxiety, and a specific intraamygdala pathway has been optogenetically resolved that appears to bidirectionally set anxiety expression level in real time as mammals behave. Anxiety is also cormorbid with, and likely causally linked to, major depression; Loboet al. here provide a review on optogenetic technology application to depression-related behaviors in rodent models.

Optogenetics and Psychiatry: Applications, Challenges, and Opportunities
 

DDD

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But people went through real trauma, events that most should be afraid to begin with! I am slightly skeptical that treating PTSD with say fake memories may fool the brain not to fear what indeed should be cause of fear.

Example, one should be afraid of an approaching army with intent to kill you. Are there safety locks that would stop fake memories from spilling out of control and influencing one to love the approaching army instead?
 

MoSurveyor

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But people went through real trauma, events that most should be afraid to begin with! I am slightly skeptical that treating PTSD with say fake memories may fool the brain not to fear what indeed should be cause of fear.

Example, one should be afraid of an approaching army with intent to kill you. Are there safety locks that would stop fake memories from spilling out of control and influencing one to love the approaching army instead?
Fear, itself, is extremely useful because it triggers many physiological reactions in our bodies. To bypass that would not necessarily be a good thing, IMO. But I don't think it's the fear response that's the problem with PTSD patients, it's a psychological issue. We might be able to treat it if we can trigger the fear response to a small extent, then overlay it with something neutral in addition to the fear. But that's all just wild ass guessing on my part. I haven't studied PSTD, though I have read a little about fear and it's probable origins.



As for being slaves, we already know at least one way to influence behavior on a rough scale, subliminal imaging, and there are others that have been found with rough influence, too. I think this would have to be dealt with the same way - outlawed from public use if it's an unconscious response as this seemed to be.
 
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DDD

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Fear, itself, is extremely useful because it triggers many physiological reactions in our bodies. To bypass that would not necessarily be a good thing, IMO.
Right.

But I don't think it's the fear response that's the problem with PTSD patients, it's a psychological issue. We might be able to treat it if we can trigger the fear response to a small extent, then overlay it with something neutral in addition to the fear. But that's all just wild ass guessing on my part. I haven't studied PSTD, though I have read a little about fear and it's probable origins.
The psychological issue related to PTSD has to do with fear. They have been extreeeemly challenged to their core limit with a traumatic event that involved incredible amounts of fear. The problem is that that is normal. Such a traumatic event should cause fear otherwise one may go to oblivion.

So how could optogenetics treat PTSD by making one less fearful of that event that otherwise could send one to oblivion if one were neutral (your proposed treatment?).

As for being slaves, we already know at least one way to influence behavior on a rough scale, subliminal imaging, and there are others that have been found with rough influence, too. I think this would have to be dealt with the same way - outlawed from public use if it's an unconscious response as this seemed to be.
Yes it is highly unethical to have access and selectively choose certain neural activities over others for personal and group favors. However we know that not everyone is ethical.

Even leaders are not ethical sometimes. Leaders like: Hitler, Miloschevitch, Stalin, Japan's emperor, they did not care ethics when they were in power.
 

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The psychological issue related to PTSD has to do with fear. They have been extreeeemly challenged to their core limit with a traumatic event that involved incredible amounts of fear. The problem is that that is normal. Such a traumatic event should cause fear otherwise one may go to oblivion.

So how could optogenetics treat PTSD by making one less fearful of that event that otherwise could send one to oblivion if one were neutral (your proposed treatment?).
I said it was all wild-ass guessing on my part. It seems PTSD issues have to do with excessive amounts of fear as opposed to the normal fear response. If so, then using neutral imagery in such a way as to bring the fear response without normal limits would seem to be something that might work. The idea being not to eliminate the response (or reverse it as in your example) but to tone it down.



Yes it is highly unethical to have access and selectively choose certain neural activities over others for personal and group favors. However we know that not everyone is ethical.

Even leaders are not ethical sometimes. Leaders like: Hitler, Miloschevitch, Stalin, Japan's emperor, they did not care ethics when they were in power.
If it's not one form of control it'll be another.

We just have to make sure our society makes it illegal, since most of us would already consider it immoral and unethical.
 

DDD

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I said it was all wild-ass guessing on my part. It seems PTSD issues have to do with excessive amounts of fear as opposed to the normal fear response. If so, then using neutral imagery in such a way as to bring the fear response without normal limits would seem to be something that might work. The idea being not to eliminate the response (or reverse it as in your example) but to tone it down.

If it's not one form of control it'll be another.

We just have to make sure our society makes it illegal, since most of us would already consider it immoral and unethical.
Yeah.

But I cannot believe we are here man! Just look at what issue, what development we are debating!
 
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