You might have heard or seen the story about Stephen Wiltshire's incredible ability to remember the most complex structures imaginable. Simply by flying once over a city like London or New York he could later draw a one to one copy of the city's street network down to the correct numbers of the windows of each building.
Imagine you could do the same! Wouldn't it be incredible to take a photograph with your brain? The moment you look at something it will be stored in your head forever.
This dream of many seems to have come closer to reality according to Science magazine. A group of scientist from Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta, USA) have discovered that if they blocked a certain RGS14 gene in mice brains they could dramatically enhance the animals' visual memory. They jokingly had named it the 'Homer Simpson' gene as it held back mice's mental abilities. (read more)
Another team of Spanish researchers claims that de-activating the RGS14 gene allowed rats to remember shapes of objects for many months. Normally they were only able to store those informations for up to 45 minutes! (read more!)
As we also have the RGS14 gene the question arises if the same could be achieved within the human brain.
The idea is fascinating on one hand but also scary. While it can be great to remember faces, paintings or complex structures of any sort, what about the stuff that we would much rather forget? Accidents, injuries or the face of the girlfriend that just dumped you. ;)