Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Microstory 572: Amnesia Patients Receive Erroneous Memory Infusions

When then-President of Development at Sikie International Knowledge Insights Enterprises. stood before a press conference, he promised us one thing; the cure for all memory-related neurological disorders within ten years. That was five years ago, and it has recently come to the attention of the authorities that this is a promise Sikie will not be able to fulfill. The board of directors, according to documentation recovered by SDS detectives, has been acutely aware of this fact for at least a year, however. In response to this problem, they redirected resources towards a new strategy. They decided to refocus all efforts on one singular technomedical advancement: memory infusions. By aggregating data from medical histories, correspondence, criminal reports, second-hand accounts and other anecdotal evidence, along with many other resources, Sikie believed that memories could be reconstructed and implanted in the damaged brain. They believed that the brain simply possessing the verifiable evidence of past events could be enough for that brain to fill in the gaps, and possibly even restore the actual memories hidden away in broken neural connections.
Historically, amnesia patients, for instance, have been told about who they are. They meet their loved ones, and are shown photographic evidence of their adventures together, with the hope that something will spark their memories. Sikie’s new process was an attempt to expand on this by actually inserting these data into the neurosubstrate itself, thereby allowing the brain to absorb that information physically. Unfortunately for Sikie, and its early program testers, this method does not work. At best, patients possess a distant understanding of these ‘memories’ but no emotional attachment to them, as if recounting nothing more than a fictional narrative. At worst, the process further damaged the patient neurologically, leading to a life of even less quality than they had before. It is for this reason that a second round of testing was ordered, but with even more unethical parameters. Recorded data is supplemented by the transferred memories of others. Without their reasoned consent, the brains of the patient’s loved ones were scanned. Their memories were then extracted, and inserted into the patient’s brain. The hope was that the memories of their events together, coupled with the original data, would create an even clearer picture of their time together, and these memories will enrich other memories through a snowball effect. Of course, this method did not work either, leaving patients with altered perceptions, and dissociative disorders. They no longer felt like themselves, but a horrific amalgamation of other people they knew. So far, only ground floor researchers have been arrested by the SDS, but an investigation into everyone who possibly knew what was going on the department is presently underway.

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