Memory Hackers

Scientists are learning how we can edit memories—and delete our worst fears. Airing February 10, 2016 at 9 pm on PBS Aired February 10, 2016 on PBS

Program Description

Memory is the glue that binds our mental lives. Without it, we’d be prisoners of the present, unable to use the lessons of the past to change our future. From our first kiss to where we put our keys, memory represents who we are and how we learn and navigate the world. But how does it work? Neuroscientists using cutting-edge techniques are exploring the precise molecular mechanisms of memory. By studying a range of individuals ranging—from an 11-year-old whiz-kid who remembers every detail of his life to a woman who had memories implanted—scientists have uncovered a provocative idea. For much of human history, memory has been seen as a tape recorder that faithfully registers information and replays intact. But now, researchers are discovering that memory is far more malleable, always being written and rewritten, not just by us but by others. We are discovering the precise mechanisms that can explain and even control our memories. The question is—are we ready?

Broadcast Credits

DIRECTED BY
Anna Lee Strachan
WRITTEN BY
Michael Bicks
PRODUCED BY
Michael Bicks and Anna Lee Strachan
EDITED BY
Daniel Gaucher
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Jason Longo
NARRATED BY
Jan Maxwell
SOUND RECORDISTS
Willem de Wijs
Peter Deutscher
Sam Kashefi
Bryan Kweskin
Lynne Trepanier
ANIMATION
Ekin Akalin
MUSIC
Christopher Rife
ADDITIONAL EDITING
Daniel McCabe
ONLINE EDITORS
Jim Ferguson
David Bigelow
COLORIST
Jim Ferguson
AUDIO MIX
Heart Punch Studio
SOUND DESIGN
Geof Thurber
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Stacey Nation
ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
Apricot
Bridgeman Footage
Getty
In Search of Memory, Icarus Films
Shutterstock
Touchable Memories
SPECIAL THANKS
Ben Briand
Matt Dooley
LOLA
Fidel Nazaire-Hicks
Lucy Bicks
American Holocaust Museum
Xu Liu
Judy Martin Finch
Mario Ortega
Ken Paller
Peggy St. Jacques
Rachel Yarmolinsky
NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS
yU + co.
NOVA THEME MUSIC
Walter Werzowa
John Luker
Musikvergnuegen, Inc.
ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC
Ray Loring
Rob Morsberger
CLOSED CAPTIONING
The Caption Center
POST PRODUCTION ONLINE EDITOR
Dave Bigelow
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Jennifer Welsh
PUBLICITY
Eileen Campion
Eddie Ward
RESEARCH
Diane Toomey
SENIOR SCIENCE RESEARCHER
Caitlin Rotman Saks
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Linda Callahan
PARALEGAL
Sarah Erlandson
TALENT RELATIONS
Janice Flood
LEGAL COUNSEL
Susan Rosen
DIGITAL MANAGING PRODUCER
Kristine Allington
SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR
Tim De Chant
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA
Lauren Aguirre
RIGHTS MANAGER
Lauren Miller
UNIT MANAGER
Ariam McCrary
POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Brittany Flynn
SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Kevin Young
POST PRODUCTION EDITOR
Michael H. Amundson
BROADCAST MANAGER
Nathan Gunner
BUSINESS MANAGER
Elizabeth Benjes
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER
David Condon
PROJECT DIRECTOR
Pamela Rosenstein
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Laurie Cahalane
SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
SENIOR PRODUCER
Chris Schmidt
SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER
Melanie Wallace
DEPUTY EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Julia Cort
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Alan Ritsko
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

A NOVA Production by Little Bay Pictures for WGBH Boston.

© 2016 WGBH Educational Foundation

All rights reserved

This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.

Original funding for this program was provided by Google, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the George D. Smith Fund and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

IMAGE:

Image credit (bald woman)
© Rubberball/Corbis

Participants

Christine Denny
Columbia University
Nico Dosenbach
Washington University
André Fenton
NYU
Eric Kandel
Columbia University
Merel Kindt
University of Amsterdam
Joe Ledoux
NYU
Elizabeth Loftus
UC Irvine
Kelsey Martin
UCLA
Kathleen McDermott
Washington University
Jim McGaugh
UC Irvine
Brenda Milner
McGill University
Karim Nader
McGill University
Steve Ramirez
MIT
Roddy Roediger
Washington University of St. Louis
Dan Schacter
Harvard University
Daniela Schiller
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Julia Shaw
London South Bank University
Matt Walker
UC Berkeley

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Full Program | 53:07

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