Give Memory-Altering Drugs a Chance

4 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2012 Last revised: 7 Apr 2012

Date Written: March 19, 2012


Several studies suggest that memories can be pharmaceutically dampened. For example, researchers recently showed that a drug called ZIP causes cocaine-addicted rats to forget the locations where they had regularly been receiving cocaine. Other drugs, already tested in humans, may ease the emotional pain associated with memories of traumatic events.

Many are alarmed by the prospect of pharmaceutical memory manipulation. In this brief comment, I argue that these fears are overblown. Thoughtful regulation may someday be appropriate, but excessive hand-wringing now over the ethics of tampering with memory could stall research into promising methods of preventing and treating post-traumatic stress.

Suggested Citation

Kolber, Adam Jason, Give Memory-Altering Drugs a Chance (March 19, 2012). Nature, Vol. 476, August 18, 2011; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 12-11. Available at SSRN:

Adam Jason Kolber (Contact Author)

Brooklyn Law School ( email )

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
United States

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