Sep 10, 2012

CEREBRART - Memory Holes

In George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four the “memory holes” are mechanisms for the disappearance of inconvenient memories.  

Alzheimer Disease accounts for many cases of the cerebral “memory holes”  and shows heritability of up to 80%. The increasing burden of Alzheimer Disease, caused by aging of the world’s population, has led many scientists and policy makers to suggest that AD will become one of the major causes of economic and health distress in the next few decades. Alzheimer Disease predominantly affects episodic memory causing impaired cerebral functions and eventually a loss of one’s identity. The pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer Disease are extracellular plaques, intracellular tangles and neuronal death.

This CEREBRART work shows allegorically that as the cerebral cells die off, tiny “memory holes” appear in the brain.


  1. In order to help, could you provide specifics about what is happening to “memory holes” in the brain?

  2. Well, pathological alterations in Alzheimer's disease disrupt neuronal network function. E.g. some recent in vivo imaging studies using a fluorescent reporter of neuronal activity find dysfunction (“memory holes”) specifically in those neurons near amyloid plaques.
    Arc illuminates Alzheimer's pathophysiology Mario M Dorostkar & Jochen Herms - Nature Neuroscience 15, 1323–1325 (2012)

  3. Theodore Berger wants to restore the ability to create long-term memories by implanting chips like these in the brain. “We’re not putting individual memories back into the brain,” he says.