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Brain Implant Could Help Patients Generate New Memories

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Brain implant in the hippocampus, pictured here in red, could be capable of helping patients generate memories. | Getty Images

A team of scientists at the University of Southern California believe they are two years away from creating a brain implant capable of generating memories within patients' brains.

The implications could be profound for medicine - and probably not horrific in a 'Total Recall' sort of way.

If successful it could help victims of brain injuries and possibly Alzheimer's with memory recall - and has the potential to help patients remember who they are.

The implant will target the hippocampus, an area thought to be crucial in forming long-term memories.

The team intend to develop a technique to recreate the electrical signals used in the hippocampus that have been lost due to illness or injury.

They have already had success in tests on rats and monkeys.

Professor Ted Berger who worked on the project told MIT Technology Review: "We're not putting individual memories back into the brain. We're putting in the capacity to generate memories.

"I never thought I'd see this in my lifetime. I might not benefit from it myself but my kids will."

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