Scientists Change Memories With Hope Of Treating Brain Disorders06:29
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This optogenetic device uses light to activate specific brain cells. (Courtesy McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT)MoreCloseclosemore
This optogenetic device uses light to activate specific brain cells. (Courtesy McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT)

For years, scientists thought of memory as something that was linear and inflexible — akin to a videotape where an event could be recalled by hitting rewind.

But with new technology and new understanding of how memory works, scientists are now able to manipulate memory in profound ways that may lead to new treatments for disorders ranging from Alzheimer's to depression to post traumatic stress disorder.

In one lab at New York University, researchers are actually able to erase memories in human subjects.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Rachel Gotbaum reports for WBUR.

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  • Rachel Gotbaum, reporter and producer for WBUR and Here & Now.

This segment aired on September 30, 2014.

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