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Scientists have finally found a way to implant false memories in mice’s brains, for important scientific reasons.

“…And then they start to associate the second chamber with the fear response. See, he’s shaking. Pretty cool, right?”

“Yeah. Yeah, it’s great.”

“You don’t seem that excited.”

“No, I am. I am. It’s great. It’s just…”

“Just what?”

“Well, it’s just like, at what point does what we do stop being science and start being just…seeing what we can do to mice?”

“Are you saying there’s no scientific value to this project?”

“No. No. I’d never say that.”

“Because there is a lot we can do with these findings. We can inject false memories into squids, we can inject false memories into stoats…we could make rats think that they’re bacteria. We can make mice feel responsible for the deaths of other mice. We could make jellyfish think they’ve read Flowers for Algernon. We can do a lot of things, scientifically speaking.”

“Yeah.”

“What’s up with you? You were so excited when we finished the grant proposal. Nobody thought we would get funding to do that to mice. Remember? How we talked about it after we saw Gaslight together? And you said ‘This gives me a great idea f–‘”

“For our mice, yeah. I remember.”

“You said it gave you a great idea for our mice.”

“I know. I know I said that. It’s just…”

“We don’t have to give them false memories if you don’t want to. We could grow human ears on them again. Remember when we grew all those ears on the little guys?”

“Yeah.”

“And they just ran around wobbling because it messed with their center of gravity? And then they’d start screaming, but then they’d stop screaming because their hearing was so hyper-sensitive, because of the extra ears we sewed onto them?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I remember that. That was pretty great.”

“There he is. There’s that smile. There you are. I was worried about you for a minute.”

“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.”

“It’s fine. It’s fine.”

“I am sorry, though.”

“I know. Hey. Hey. Do you want to go put some mice in a maze with no exit?”

“…Yeah.”

“I’ll even let you administer the random shocks.”

“No, not this time. Let’s give them diabetes this time.”

“You have such a flair for these things. Diabetes it is.”

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