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Originally posted by midnightstar
Lets not make it sound like they did something new and amazing.
Its called a learned responce . If you teach a monkey to turn on a light for food he will do it even if he recives no food in a totaly new place.
Memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus has demonstrated through her research that it is possible to induce false memories through suggestion. She has also shown that these memories can become stronger and more vivid as time goes on. Over time, memories become distorted and begin to change. In some case, the original memory may be changed in order to incorporate new information or experiences.
Dr Boyden and his colleagues have also developed a wireless implant that uses thousands of tiny optical fibres to deliver light to the parts of the brain where it is inserted. This means they can switch brain cells on or off in any sequence they desire.
Working with scientists from around the world, Dr Boyden has have been able to send mice and primates to sleep using beams of light with this technology.
In newly published research they have also turned mice into "light addicts" by putting the algae molecules into cells found at the part of the rodents' brain that deals with reward and pleasure.
It meant that a mouse would return to a light switch over and over again to get a dose of light, which would turn on the cells in its brain to give a pleasurable sensation.
Such technology, if it is ever used in humans, would give doctors the potential to control people's behaviour. Using molecules that turn off brain cells when exposed to light, it may be possible to help people who are suffering from addiction.