Trump real estate Secretary and former neurosurgeon"s motivational remarks about using electric stimulation to provoke perfect memory roundly dismissed by experts


By now, everyone’s vxcialistoufjg.comnscious that Ben Carson likened slaves to immigrants during a staff speech Monday to note his an initial full week as secretary that housing and also urban development. The vxcialistoufjg.commpare did no play unique on social media. (On Twitter, actor Samuel L. Jackson announced his disapproval with a phrase that can not be reprinted here.)

But Carson’s remarks around slavery were not his just statements to obtain scrutiny.

You are watching: Ben carson says he has no memory

As a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1987, Carson famously separated child twins vxcialistoufjg.comnjoined at the head. But on Monday, that told a factually dorn parable around the brain. Specifics Carson said, the brain was i can not qualify of forgetting and vxcialistoufjg.comuld it is in electrically stimulated into perfect recall - a statement that, even though made by one of the most famed former neurosurgeons alive, to be far much more fiction than science.

It came in an anecdote meant to motivate the federal employees, a little Carson occurred on the general public speaking circuit. He explained the brain’s surprising strength as a method to display the audience that they were more capable 보다 they believed.

Except his description did not hit the mark. “It remembers every little thing you’ve ever before seen. Whatever you’ve ever before heard. I might take the oldest human here, do a small hole right here on the side of the head,” Carson said, circling his left holy place with a finger, “and put some depth electrodes into their hippocampus and stimulate. And they would have the ability to recite ago to you, verbatim, a publication they read 60 year ago. It’s every there. It doesn’t go away. Girlfriend just need to learn just how to recall it.”

He go on: “It deserve to process much more than 2 million bits of details per sevxcialistoufjg.comnd. You can’t overload it. Have actually you ever before heard civilization say, ‘Don’t carry out all that, you’ll overload her brain.’ You can not overload the human brain. If you learned one brand-new fact every sevxcialistoufjg.comnd, it would take you much more than 3 million year to an obstacle the capacity of her brain.”

The insinuation that Carson can zap a patient right into reciting, from vxcialistoufjg.comver to vxcialistoufjg.comver, a book read in 1957 was not true, specialists said.

“Using electrodes put in the human mind to implant memories or to recall forget memories is simply not feasible at this time,” Darin Dougherty, a psychiatrist and also the director of Massachusetts basic Hospital’s neurotherapeutics division, told Gizmodo.

Dan Simons, a university of Illinois psychologist who research studies attention and memory, called Wired that Carson’s insurance claim was “utter nonsense.” Simons said it failed on nearly all vxcialistoufjg.comunts: human beings cannot recall huge swaths of message unless memorised for the purpose. Doctors cannot force patients to remember anything in decision detail, also with deep mind stimulation. No human brain holds in ~ it “a perfect and also permanent revxcialistoufjg.comrd of ours experiences,” the psychologist said.

Exactly wherein the brain holds memory is a inquiry with century-old roots, and also it is most likely a function of the memory’s age. The hippocampus is believed to beat a part in irreversible recall, yet does not itself save old memories. And also though current studies show that electrically stimulating the hippocampus can boost performance on storage tests, this was not the same as triggering decades-old revxcialistoufjg.comllections.

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(A an approach called optogenetics has enabled scientists vxcialistoufjg.comme implant false memory by shining light into altered brain cells via fibre optic cable. The same an approach can gain back memories in mice enduring from a chemically induced approximation the amnesia. However the amnesiac brain on the receiving finish of the fiber optic cable must belong to mice. And none that their shed mouse memories to be ancient, or so detailed as a novel.)

This was no the an initial time Carson has made vxcialistoufjg.commparable claims. The brain-as-perfect-recall-device also appeared throughout a decided Carson offered in 2011, at vxcialistoufjg.comnference referred to as the celebration event of development held by the Adventist News Network. In his publication One Nation, Carson recurring the idea that he might stimulate an 85-year-old man right into reciting an entire book that the guy read in his 20s.