Memory, Addiction, and Epigenetics

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! A report of exciting research into treatment of memory loss, dementia, and surprisingly, addiction. Studies show profound epigenetic effects on the formation and recovery of long-term memories. Memory associations play a big role in addiction, so there’s a connection.

I find epigenetics really fascinating, not least for the meta-lesson it teaches us about scientific understanding. For a long time, all genetic expression was thought to be evolutionary – your genes behaved in ways determined by thousands of millennia of evolutionary pressure. But epigenetics show us that the present environment can affect gene expression radically.

The lesson to learn here: we should never think we know, but always assume that though we might be less wrong than before, we’re still basically always wrong.

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