Use the future to build the present
Memory Modification
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

2.1.4Memory Modification

Boosting memory has already been accomplished in experimental laboratory work by stimulation of the medial temporal lobe, performed with depth electrodes during pre-surgical evaluation of epileptic patients. This was shown to enhance performance on certain types of memory tasks.17,18
Suppression of memory has also been achieved in the past 10 years. Researchers have been able to identify and label ensembles of hippocampal neurons that encode specific memories in the mouse brain, enabling them to then reactivate those ensembles to trigger memory recall, or inhibit them to prevent memory recall.19,20 Implantation of false memories is also under development. More targeted interventions seem likely to arise: closed-loop, miniaturised and AI-assisted technologies may make it possible to identify areas of the brain whose electrical stimulation augurs a boost in memory capacity.21 Or we may find areas to target for memory suppression, or even implantation.

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

The basic science of memory becomes better understood

Fornix data in deep brain stimulation, currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for Alzheimer’s, yields results and advances understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and memory. Specific brain functions are elucidated. It becomes possible to target specifics of memory to enhance cognition. Invasive and non-invasive brain stimulation are used to target and suppress the brain network activated in response to traumatic memories.

10-yearhorizon

Memory modulation becomes a reality

Drug-induced modification of memory engrams and specific, long-lasting learning enhancement begin to be applied in education. The ability to modify the expression of memory-associated genes is combined with exposure therapies to efficiently extinguish traumas and phobias.

25-yearhorizon

Implants aid memory in healthy people

Memory aids are used pervasively to facilitate learning, transforming the learning process and the way we use our “native” cognitive functions. Optogenetic manipulation suppresses fear memories experienced in phobias, or the intrusive memories of PTSD. Induced false memories help to change self-harming behaviour, for example by transposing memories of calm and happy situations onto dangerous states of mind.

Memory Modification - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.

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