Just as important as preserving existing memories is being able to eliminate unwanted ones. A recent study at MIT studied the effects of a gene called Tet1 in removing memories. Two sets of mice – one with normal Tet1 levels and one with the gene eliminated – were put into a cage that delivered an electric shock until they began to express fear at the sight of the cage. They were then put into the same cage without a shock being delivered. Mice with the Tet1 gene soon learned not to fear the cage, but the ones without it continued to express it. Scientists believe this opens a new pathway into learning how trauma is stored and overwritten.
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