Desire Modification is on the way, with Anti-Addiction tech

Illustration for article titled Desire Modification is on the way, with Anti-Addiction tech

I've argued before that the most profound change from cyborg technology will come not from upgrading our capabilities, but from changing our desires. Our desires form the core of who we are. They are literally why we get up in the morning. And there are many aspects of our desires that we'd like to change, for example our desire to have just one more cigarette. That's why I believe that anti-addiction technology will be one of the earliest forms of "D-Mod" technology.

And look, it's already being researched!

Researchers at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco have been able to identify and deactivate a brain pathway linked to memories that cause alcohol cravings in rats, a finding that may one day lead to a treatment option for people who suffer from alcohol abuse disorders and other addictions.

In the study, researchers were able to prevent the addicted animals from seeking alcohol and drinking it, the equivalent of relapse...

"We learned that when rats were exposed to the smell or taste of alcohol, there was a small window of opportunity to target the area of the brain that reconsolidates the memory of the craving for alcohol and to weaken or even erase the memory, and thus the craving" he said.

The study, also supervised by co-senior author Patricia H. Janak, PhD, a Gallo Center investigator and UCSF professor of neurology, was published online on June 23 in Nature Neuroscience...


I think this is only beginning of a revolution that almost no one sees coming.

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Interesting. You could wipe out a world of cravings for drugs, gambling and sex. But would people enjoy being not addicted to those things? Would they enjoy anything?

Deactivating brain pathways sounds a lot like lobotomy to me.