Rodents responded to these false memories as if they were real. This was because the neurological traces of false memories were not different from those associated with the original.
Neuroscientist Susumu Tonegawa states, "Whether it is a false or a real memory, the mechanism of the brain that governs memory recall is the same.
According to the researchers who conducted these experiments, they demonstrated that implanting an idea into one's mind is not only a science fiction. At least, no longer.
To implant false memories into the brain of the mice, the researchers first placed several rodents in a chamber and allowed them to explore it until they became acquainted.
In the meantime, they have discovered and "tagged" the cells that encode the newly formed memories of this chamber with channelrhodopsin, a protein produced by the brain to activate neurons when exposed to light.
The mice that took part in the experiment were shocked in a different room, put back in the first chamber and showed signs of fear, even if nothing bad had ever happened in this space.
This proves that the mice had false memories.
"In this study, we believe that for the first time we were able to implant a false memory in the mouse brain," the researchers said.