The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing brain chips that will implant or remove specific memories from a subject, a prospect some may deem chilling given DARPA's previous advocacy of authentication microchips.
Neuroscientists foresee a brave new world where minds can be programmed using lasers, drugs and microchips in order to create false memories, a technology that has already been used on mice.
"DARPA [the U.S. military's R&D agency] seems to be going full steam ahead on these kinds of technologies," neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux told MIT Review. "What they plan to do is put chips in [the brain]. It would be like a prosthesis—instead of moving your arm, you're fixing memory. I have no idea how they would achieve that."
MIT Review's Brian Bergstein admits that the notion of implanting or removing specific memories "often sounds creepy," but that it will be useful in treating PTSD, reducing anxiety or combating addiction and depression.