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我们能编辑记忆吗?|艾米·米尔顿 – 译学馆
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我们能编辑记忆吗?|艾米·米尔顿

Can we edit memories? | Amy Milton

Memory is such an everyday thing
记忆是如此日常的存在
that we almost take it for granted.
我们几乎将其视为理所当然的事物
We all remember what we had for breakfast this morning
我们都记得今天早饭吃了什么
or what we did last weekend.
或上周末做了什么
It’s only when memory starts to fail
只有当记忆开始衰退时
that we appreciate just how amazing it is
我们才会领悟到它有多奇妙
and how much we allow our past experiences to define us.
以及我们如何用过往的经历来定义自己
But memory is not always a good thing.
但记忆并不总是一件好事
As the American poet and clergyman
正如美国诗人兼牧师
John Lancaster Spalding once said,
约翰·兰卡斯特·斯伯丁所言
“As memory may be a paradise from which we cannot be driven,
“记忆是我们不会被驱逐的天堂
it may also be a hell from which we cannot escape.”
也可能是我们无法逃离的地狱”
Many of us experience chapters of our lives
我们中许多人都会经历一些
that we would prefer to never have happened.
我们宁愿从未经历过的人生篇章
It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of us
据估计 近90%的人
will experience some sort of traumatic event during our lifetimes.
在一生中经历过某种创伤性事件
Many of us will
许多人在经历这些事件后
suffer acutely following these events
都会深感痛苦
and then recover,
然后康复
maybe even become better people because of those experiences.
甚至可能因为这些经历 而成为更好的人
But some events are so extreme
但有一些极端事件
that many —
会导致许多经历者
up to half of those who survive sexual violence, for example —
例如 多达一半的性暴力幸存者
will go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder,
患上创伤后应激障碍
or PTSD.
即PTSD
PTSD is a debilitating mental health condition
PTSD是一种使人虚弱的心理疾病
characterized by symptoms
症状特征表现为
such as intense fear and anxiety
强烈的恐惧与焦虑
and flashbacks of the traumatic event.
以及对创伤性事件的“闪回”
These symptoms have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life
这些症状会严重影响人的生活质量
and are often triggered by particular situations
经常被人们所处环境中的
or cues in that person’s environment.
特定情景或信号触发
The responses to those cues
人们面对这些信号的反应或许是
may have been adaptive when they were first learned —
在第一次遇到时就适应了
fear and diving for cover in a war zone, for example —
例如 在战区感到恐惧 卧倒以寻找掩体
but in PTSD,
但对于PTSD患者来说
they continue to control behavior
即使这些反应不再适用
when it’s no longer appropriate.
它们依旧控制着人的行为
If a combat veteran returns home
如果一位参战老兵退伍后
and is diving for cover when he or she hears a car backfiring
听到汽车回火声时 仍然会卧倒寻求掩护
or can’t leave their own home because of intense anxiety,
或是因为重度焦虑无法踏出家门
then the responses to those cues,
那么他们对于那些线索
those memories,
那些记忆的反应
have become what we would refer to as maladaptive.
就是我们所说的“适应不良”
In this way, we can think of PTSD
因此 我们可以把PTSD视为
as being a disorder of maladaptive memory.
由适应不良的记忆引发的障碍
Now, I should stop myself here,
现在 我应该就此打住
because I’m talking about memory as if it’s a single thing.
因为我一直将记忆当作个体在讨论
It isn’t.
而它并非如此
There are many different types of memory,
记忆分为很多不同种类
and these depend upon different circuits and regions within the brain.
这取决于大脑的不同回路和区域
As you can see,
如你所见
there are two major distinctions in our types of memory.
我们不同种类的记忆主要有两大类别
There are those memories that we’re consciously aware of,
有些记忆 我们是能意识到的
where we know we know
我们知道自己有这些记忆
and that we can pass on in words.
并且能用语言加以描述
This would include memories for facts and events.
其中包括对事实和事件的记忆
Because we can declare these memories,
因为我们能阐明这些记忆
we refer to these as declarative memories.
所以称之为“陈述性记忆”
The other type of memory is non-declarative.
另一种记忆是“非陈述性记忆”
These are memories where we often don’t have conscious access
我们对这类记忆的内容
to the content of those memories
一般没有主观意识
and that we can’t pass on in words.
也无法用语言加以描述
The classic example of a non-declarative memory
非陈述性记忆的一个经典例子是
is the motor skill for riding a bike.
骑自行车的运动技能
Now, this being Cambridge,
现在 因为这里是剑桥
the odds are that you can ride a bike.
所以你大概率会骑自行车
You know what you’re doing on two wheels.
你知道自己在两个轮子上该怎么做
But if I asked you to write me a list of instructions
但如果我要你写出一个
that would teach me how to ride a bike,
教我如何骑自行车的指令清单
as my four-year-old son did
就像去年我们给四岁的儿子
when we bought him a bike for his last birthday,
买了自行车作为生日礼物时 他问我们的那样
you would really struggle to do that.
你会发现其实非常难
How should you sit on the bike so you’re balanced?
你该怎样坐在自行车上才能保持平衡?
How fast do you need to pedal so you’re stable?
你要踩多快才能平稳前进?
If a gust of wind comes at you,
如果一阵狂风刮向你
which muscles should you tense and by how much
你要将哪些肌肉绷紧到什么程度
so that you don’t get blown off?
才不会被风吹倒?
I’ll be staggered if you can give the answers to those questions.
如果你能给出这些问题的答案 我会目瞪口呆
But if you can ride a bike,
但如果你会骑自行车
you do have the answers,
你一定是有答案的
you’re just not consciously aware of them.
你只是没有意识到它们而已
Getting back to PTSD,
再说回PTSD
another type of non-declarative memory
另一种类型的非陈述性记忆
is emotional memory.
是“情绪性记忆”
Now, this has a specific meaning in psychology
这个词在心理学中具有特定含义
and refers to our ability to learn about cues in our environment
指我们了解环境中的信号
and their emotional and motivational significance.
理解其情感意义和动机意义的能力
What do I mean by that?
这是什么意思呢?
Well, think of a cue like the smell of baking bread,
想象一下某个信号 例如烤面包的气味
or a more abstract cue like a 20-pound note.
或是更抽象的信号 例如20英镑纸钞
Because these cues have been pegged with good things in the past,
因为这些信号与过往的好事挂钩
we like them and we approach them.
所以我们喜欢并愿意接近它们
Other cues, like the buzzing of a wasp,
其他信号 例如黄蜂的嗡嗡声
elicit very negative emotions
会诱发一些人非常负面的情绪
and quite dramatic avoidance behavior in some people.
以及相当夸张的回避行为
Now, I hate wasps.
我讨厌黄蜂
I can tell you that fact.
我可以告诉你们这个事实
But what I can’t give you
但我无法与你们诉说
are the non-declarative emotional memories
附近有黄蜂时 我会作何反应
for how I react when there’s a wasp nearby.
这种非陈述性情绪记忆
I can’t give you the racing heart,
我无法与你分享 心跳加速
the sweaty palms,
手心冒汗
that sense of rising panic.
那种油然而生的恐惧感
I can describe them to you,
我能向你描述它们
but I can’t give them to you.
却无法让你感同身受
Now, importantly, from the perspective of PTSD,
重点是 从PTSD的角度来说
stress has very different effects on declarative and non-declarative memories
压力对陈述性记忆和非陈述性记忆
and the brain circuits and regions supporting them.
以及承载它们的脑回路与区域 有非常不同的影响
Emotional memory is supported by a small almond-shaped structure
情绪性记忆是由一颗小杏仁状 即“杏仁核”结构
called the amygdala and its connections.
以及其神经连接 所支撑的
Declarative memory,
陈述性记忆
especially the what, where and when of event memory,
尤其是事件记忆的内容 地点和时间
is supported by a seahorse-shaped region of the brain
由大脑中的一个海马状区域所支持
called the hippocampus.
即“海马体”
The extreme levels of stress experienced during trauma
在创伤中经历极限水平的压力
have very different effects on these two structures.
对这两个结构有非常不同的影响
As you can see,
如你所见
as you increase a person’s level of stress
当你把一个人所承受的压力水平
from not stressful to slightly stressful,
从“无压力”提高到“轻微压力”时
the hippocampus, acting to support the event memory,
海马体发挥了支持事件记忆的作用
increases in its activity
提升了其活跃度
and works better to support the storage of that declarative memory.
以更好地支持对陈述性记忆的存储
But as you increase to moderately stressful, intensely stressful
但当你将压力水平增至“中等压力” “强烈压力”
and then extremely stressful, as would be found in trauma,
然后是创伤应激中会经历的 “极端压力”时
the hippocampus effectively shuts down.
海马体实际上关闭了
This means that under the high levels of stress hormones
这意味着 在创伤期间经历的
that are experienced during trauma,
高浓度压力激素的作用下
we are not storing the details,
我们无法储存记忆细节
the specific details of what, where and when.
关于事件内容 地点和时间的具体细节记忆
Now, while stress is doing that to the hippocampus,
压力会对海马体产生这样的影响
look at what it does to the amygdala,
再看看它会如何影响杏仁核
that structure important for the emotional, non-declarative memory.
即那个非陈述性情绪记忆的关键结构
Its activity gets stronger and stronger.
它的活跃度越来越强
So what this leaves us with in PTSD
所以在PTSD中 它给我们留下
is an overly strong emotional —
一种过于强烈的情绪记忆
in this case fear — memory
在这种情况下是恐惧记忆
that is not tied to a specific time or place,
这些记忆与特定时间或地点无关
because the hippocampus is not storing what, where and when.
因为海马体没有储存内容 地点或时间的记忆
In this way,
这种情况下
these cues can control behavior
这些线索会不合时宜地
when it’s no longer appropriate,
控制人们的行为
and that’s how they become maladaptive.
因而导致适应不良
So if we know
如果我们知道了PTSD
that PTSD is due to maladaptive memories,
是源于适应不良的记忆
can we use that knowledge to improve
我们就能利用它来改善
treatment outcomes for patients with PTSD?
PTSD患者的治疗效果吗?
A radical new approach being developed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder
目前新研发的一种彻底治疗PTSD的方法
aims to destroy those maladaptive emotional memories
旨在消除那些引起这种障碍的
that underlie the disorder.
适应不良的情绪记忆
This approach has only been considered a possibility
由于这些年我们对记忆的了解 发生了深刻变化
because of the profound changes in our understanding of memory in recent years.
这种方法才被认为是可行的
Traditionally, it was thought that making a memory
传统观点认为 创造记忆
was like writing in a notebook in pen:
就像用钢笔在笔记本上写字
once the ink had dried,
一旦墨水干了
you couldn’t change the information.
你就无法再对信息加以修改
It was thought that all those structural changes
人们认为 所有在大脑内发生的
that happen in the brain to support the storage of memory
支持记忆存储的结构性变化
were finished within about six hours,
都是在约六小时内完成的
and after that, they were permanent.
在那之后 记忆就是永久性的了
This is known as the consolidation view.
这被称为“记忆巩固”理论
However, more recent research suggests that making a memory
然而 最近的研究表明 创造记忆
is actually more like writing in a word processor.
实际上更像在文本处理器上写字
We initially make the memory
我们首先创造记忆
and then we save it or store it.
然后保存或存储它
But under the right conditions,
但在合适的条件下
we can edit that memory.
我们能对它进行编辑
This reconsolidation view suggests that
这种“记忆再巩固”理论认为
those structural changes
那些在大脑内发生的
that happen in the brain to support memory
支持记忆的结构性变化
can be undone,
是可以撤销的
even for old memories.
甚至对于久远的记忆也是如此
Now, this editing process isn’t happening all the time.
这种编辑过程不是一直发生的
It only happens under very specific conditions of memory retrieval.
它只发生在记忆检索 这种非常特定的条件下
So let’s consider memory retrieval as being recalling the memory
让我们把记忆检索看作重新唤醒记忆
or, like, opening the file.
或像是打开文档
Quite often, we are simply retrieving the memory.
通常 我们只是简单地检索记忆
We’re opening the file as read-only.
就像用只读模式打开文档
But under the right conditions,
但在合适的条件下
we can open that file in edit mode,
我们就能以编辑模式打开文档
and then we can change the information.
然后修改信息
In theory, we could delete the content of that file,
理论上 我们可以删除文档内容
and when we press save,
然后当我们按下“保存”时
that is how the file — the memory — persists.
文档 也就是记忆 将保持此时的状态
Not only does this reconsolidation view
这种记忆再巩固的理论
allow us to account for some of the quirks of memory,
不仅能让我们理解有关记忆的古怪之处
like how we all sometimes misremember the past,
例如我们都曾记错过去的某些事
it also gives us a way to destroy those maladaptive fear memories
它还为消除导致PTSD适应不良的恐惧记忆
that underlie PTSD.
提供了新方法
All we would need would be two things:
我们只需要两样东西:
a way of making the memory unstable —
一是使记忆不稳定的方法
opening that file in edit mode —
即以编辑模式打开文档
and a way to delete the information.
二是删除信息的途径
We’ve made the most progress
在研究如何删除信息方面
with working out how to delete the information.
我们已经取得很大进展
It was found fairly early on
很早以前就已经发现
that a drug widely prescribed to control blood pressure in humans —
一种被广泛用于控制人类血压的药物
a beta-blocker called Propranolol —
即名为“普萘洛尔”的β-受体阻滞剂
could be used to prevent the reconsolidation of fear memories in rats.
用在老鼠身上 能阻碍恐惧记忆的再巩固
If Propranolol was given
在记忆处于编辑模式时
while the memory was in edit mode,
对其使用普萘洛尔
rats behaved as if they were no longer afraid of a frightening trigger cue.
老鼠表现得仿佛不再害怕触发恐惧的信号
It was as if they had never learned to be afraid of that cue.
仿佛它们从未学会对该信号产生恐惧
And this was with a drug that was safe for use in humans.
而且这是一种人类能安全服用的药物
Now, not long after that,
在那之后不久
it was shown that Propranolol could destroy fear memories in humans as well,
有研究表明 普萘洛尔也能破坏人类的恐惧记忆
but critically,
但关键在于
it only works if the memory is in edit mode.
该药只在记忆处于编辑模式时才起作用
Now, that study was with healthy human volunteers,
虽然这项研究正处于健康人类志愿者实验阶段
but it’s important because it shows that the rat findings
但它很重要 因为它表明老鼠身上的研究结果
can be extended to humans and ultimately, to human patients.
能外推至人类 且最终应用于人类患者
And with humans,
而对于人类
you can test whether destroying the non-declarative emotional memory
你能试验 破坏非陈述性情绪记忆
does anything to the declarative event memory.
是否会影响陈述性事件记忆
And this is really interesting.
这一点非常有趣
Even though people who were given Propranolol
尽管在记忆处于编辑模式时
while the memory was in edit mode
服用了普萘洛尔的人
were no longer afraid of that frightening trigger cue,
不再害怕那些触发恐惧的信号
they could still describe the relationship
但他们仍能描述
between the cue and the frightening outcome.
信号与恐惧的结果之间的关系
It was as if they knew they should be afraid,
仿佛他们知道自己应当感到害怕
and yet they weren’t.
实际上并不害怕
This suggests that Propranolol can selectively target
这表明普萘洛尔能选择性地
the non-declarative emotional memory
作用于非陈述性情绪记忆
but leave the declarative event memory intact.
而使陈述性事件记忆保持完整
But critically, Propranolol can only have any effect on the memory
严格来说 普萘洛尔只在记忆处于编辑模式时
if it’s in edit mode.
才对其产生影响
So how do we make a memory unstable?
我们该如何使一段记忆不稳定呢?
How do we get it into edit mode?
如何使记忆进入编辑模式?
Well, my own lab has done quite a lot of work on this.
我所在的实验室在这方面进行了很多研究
We know that it depends on introducing some but not too much
我们知道这需要引入一些新信息
new information
整合至记忆中
to be incorporated into the memory.
但是不能过量
We know about the different chemicals the brain uses to signal
我们知道大脑使用不同的化学物质
that a memory should be updated
示意记忆需要更新
and the file edited.
即文档需要编辑
Now, our work is mostly in rats,
我们的研究目前主要在老鼠身上进行
but other labs have found the same factors
但其他实验室已经证实
allow memories to be edited in humans,
可在人类身上运用同样的因素编辑记忆
even maladaptive memories
即使是适应不良的记忆
like those underlying PTSD.
例如诱发PTSD的记忆
In fact, a number of labs in several different countries
实际上 几个不同国家的许多实验室
have begun small-scale clinical trials
已经开始进行针对PTSD
of these memory-destroying treatments for PTSD
破坏记忆疗法的小规模临床试验
and have found really promising results.
且已得到相当可喜的成果
Now, these studies need replication on a larger scale,
现在 这些研究需要进行大规模的重复试验
but they show the promise of these memory-destroying treatments
但它们已经展示了这些针对PTSD的
for PTSD.
破坏记忆疗法是有前景的
Maybe trauma memories do not need to be the hell from which we cannot escape.
也许创伤记忆将不再是我们无法逃离的地狱
Now, although this memory-destroying approach holds great promise,
虽然人们对这种破坏记忆的方法寄予厚望
that’s not to say that it’s straightforward
但并不是说这种方法一定可行
or without controversy.
或是毫无争议
Is it ethical to destroy memories?
破坏记忆是否符合伦理?
What about things like eyewitness testimony?
目击者证词该怎么办?
What if you can’t give someone Propranolol
如果普萘洛尔会与其他正在服用的药物相抵触
because it would interfere with other medicines that they’re taking?
而导致病人无法服用普萘洛尔呢?
Well, with respect to ethics and eyewitness testimony,
关于伦理和目击者证词方面
I would say the important point to remember
我想说 关键是要记住
is the finding from that human study.
那项人类研究中的发现
Because Propranolol is only acting on the non-declarative emotional memory,
因为普萘洛尔只对非陈述性记忆起作用
it seems unlikely that it would affect eyewitness testimony,
它应该不太可能会影响目击者证词
which is based on declarative memory.
因为目击者证词是基于陈述性记忆的
Essentially, what these memory-destroying treatments are aiming to do
这种破坏记忆疗法的根本目的
is to reduce the emotional memory,
是为了减少情绪记忆
not get rid of the trauma memory altogether.
而不是完全消除创伤性记忆
This should make the responses of those with PTSD
治疗效果应该是让PTSD患者的表现
more like those who have been through trauma
更像那些经历了创伤
and not developed PTSD
却未发展成为PTSD的人
than people who have never experienced trauma in the first place.
而不是像那些从未经历过创伤的人
I think that most people would find that more ethically acceptable
我想大部分人会觉得 比起创造一尘不染的心灵
than a treatment that aimed to create some sort of spotless mind.
这种做法在伦理上更易被接受
What about Propranolol?
那么普萘洛尔呢?
You can’t give Propranolol to everyone,
你无法让每个人都服用普萘洛尔
and not everyone wants to take drugs to treat mental health conditions.
也不是每个人都希望使用药物治疗精神疾病
Well, here Tetris could be useful.
在这方面 俄罗斯方块可能会起作用
Yes, Tetris.
没错 俄罗斯方块
Working with clinical collaborators,
通过与临床研究者合作
we’ve been looking at whether behavioral interventions
我们一直在研究 行为干预
can also interfere with the reconsolidation of memories.
是否也能干扰记忆的再巩固
Now, how would that work?
这是怎么做到的呢?
Well, we know that it’s basically impossible to do two tasks at the same time
我们知道 如果两项任务需要大脑的同一区域处理
if they both depend on the same brain region for processing.
那么同时完成这两项任务 几乎是不可能的
Think trying to sing along to the radio
想象一下 试图跟着收音机唱歌
while you’re trying to compose an email.
同时撰写电子邮件
The processing for one interferes with the other.
其中一项任务的处理会干扰到另一项任务
Well, it’s the same when you retrieve a memory,
检索记忆与此同理
especially in edit mode.
尤其是在编辑模式下
If we take a highly visual symptom
例如有一个高度依赖视觉的症状
like flashbacks in PTSD
比如PTSD的闪回
and get people to recall the memory in edit mode
让人在编辑模式下回忆那段记忆
and then get them to do a highly engaging visual task
并让他们进行一项非常费神的视觉任务
like playing Tetris,
比如玩俄罗斯方块
It should be possible to
那么我们就有可能在那段记忆中
introduce so much interfere information into that memory
加入如此多的干扰信息
that it essentially becomes meaningless.
使那段记忆实质上变得毫无意义
That’s the theory,
我们的理论就是这样
and it’s supported by data from healthy human volunteers.
并且有健康的人类志愿者的实验数据支持这一点
Now, our volunteers watched highly unpleasant films —
我们的志愿者们观看了相当令人不适的视频
so, think eye surgery,
比如说眼科手术
road traffic safety adverts,
道路交通安全广告
Scorsese’s “The Big Shave.”
斯科塞斯的电影《剃须记》
These trauma films
这些创伤性视频
produce something like flashbacks in healthy volunteers
能使志愿者在观看后的约一周内
for about a week after viewing them.
产生类似闪回的效果
We found that getting people to recall those memories,
我们发现 让志愿者回想这些记忆
the worst moments of those unpleasant films,
即那些不适视频中中最糟糕的片段
and playing Tetris at the same time,
同时让他们玩俄罗斯方块
massively reduced the frequency of the flashbacks.
能极大降低闪回的频率
And again: the memory had to be in edit mode for that to work.
再次重申 只对处于编辑模式的记忆有作用
Now, my collaborators have since taken this
现在 我的同事们已将这个方法
to clinical populations.
应用至临床受试群体中
They’ve tested this in survivors of road traffic accidents
他们对交通事故幸存者
and mothers who’ve had emergency Caesarean sections,
和经历了紧急剖腹产的母亲们试验了这种疗法
both types of trauma that frequently lead to PTSD,
这两种创伤常常会导致PTSD
and they found really promising reductions in symptoms
并且他们在这两种临床案例中
in both of those clinical cases.
都发现症状得到很大缓解
So although there is still much to learn and procedures to optimize,
虽然还有不少未知 还有过程需要优化
these memory-destroying treatments hold great promise
这些针对诸如PTSD之类精神疾病的
for the treatment of mental health disorders like PTSD.
记忆破坏疗法 前景广阔
Maybe trauma memories do not need to be a hell from which we cannot escape.
或许创伤性记忆将不再是我们无法逃离的地狱
I believe that this approach should allow those
我相信这种方法能让
who want to to turn the page on chapters of their lives
那些有需要的人们
that they would prefer to never have experienced,
翻过他们宁愿不曾经历的人生篇章
and so improve our mental health.
进而改善我们的心理健康
Thank you.
谢谢
[Applause]
[掌声]

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译制信息
视频概述

关于记忆的新理论,以及PTSD可能的新疗法介绍

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

路痴

审核员

审核员MS

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK7ih4V0erc

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