Gerald Edelman a Nobel Prize winner and immunologist who turned to be a brain scientist is a distinguished person among the neuroscientists-in his book second nature, together with other neuroscientists-he uses the C-word to express how memory is formed, as well as being deleted from human minds. He refers to these two processes as “what you lose after entering a dreamless deep sleep, anesthesia or comma or what you regain after emerging from these states.” He tries to explain his definition of the neuroscience in a wider based referring it to as “brain based epistemology.” (Nature 5)
Eternal Sunshine is a film that covers the story of two lovers who are trying to erase memories of each other. This happens to be the case for both of them, each trying to forget the other. The movie features Clementine as the female character and Joel as the male character. Both of these lovers are trying to shed memories of each other. The dialogue in this film contains argument which almost sounds like actual neuroscience. Neuroscientists have regarded to how the brain stores information to as mystery. This is what Edelman does not agree with stipulating that what is regarded to as the’ mysterious by scientists as false.
With use of today’s technology, it is not easy to forget a person who may be of any importance, from one’s brain. With the understanding of how brain functions, External Sunshine demonstrates how brains form memories. In particular the formation of an intense emotional encounter with one’s spouse. The film stipulates how erasing memory formation of long term memories is not possible with the regard to what Edelman referred to the degree of connection between the mind and the surroundings. This is using the acclaimed thriller Memento hunting down a killer before his memories fades to black.
The secret on how the brains store some information remains to be researched on. Over the years it has been indicated that the secret behind this storage of the brain remain to the gaps regarded to as the synapses. Synapses are the gaps which are left in between the different types of nerves. According to Edelman, in the brain more than 30 in the primate visual system alone, each responsible for analyzing some specific characteristics of the visual environment such as color or motion - that many neuroscientists now see consciousness emerging (Nature 33). Right from the time of receiving the impulse through the senses of human beings, the signals reaches the area of brain, responsible for any encoding regarded to as the amygdala and the hippocampus. After reaching the electrical pulse, the particular neuron regarded to as the community is charged to become more secretive to each other. This becomes the basis of the memory formation which is stored in different slices and retrieved at certain instances.
According to neuroscience memory is formed through the experiences. At times it becomes hard to forget experiences which could at time; we would wish them to be erased. In the film, Clementine and his lover Joel are wishing to forget each other, something which become hard and almost impossible. This film can be compared to the neuroscience which to some people who are traumatic causes some neurological patterns. These patterns take roots and time which in turn may disrupt their lives. To help these individuals out of their situation, scientists have come up with ways in which memories can be erased from our brains.
In the medical college of Georgia, Joe Tsien carried out a research on how experiences can be recalled using a rat. He found out that an enzyme in the name of CaMKII is the one which plays a vital role in memory consolidation or uniting. At some levels of this enzyme beyond the normal it becomes hard to forget a certain experience. Using the mice Tsien found out that the mice could not forget instances with increased CaMKII. This was because the enzyme was high at certain levels. Similar to Edelman in his book the second nature, the emphasis on competition between growing nerve cells ignores the equally important cooperative role that they must play to reach and connect appropriately with their target cells, within both the brain and the rest of the body. These connections between the connections of the neurons suddenly could weaken and memory of the rat could vanish after a short while. This effect happens after some few minutes and can either be selective or permanent. The memory being recalled is erased and the other memories are left intact. In the case of the film, Clementine and Joel are not in a position to forget e each other because their enzyme CaMKII is above the normal degrees (Mark Bear , Barry Connors and Michae 66-80).
Another research was carried out in UCLA. This research targeted the enzyme kinase M using Aplysia regarded to as the marine slug. The shock was first intimated on a tail of the marine slug. For a period of one week or more the shock could be detected after the tail was touched on its tail. This shows that the memory had been formed in the brains of the marine slag regarding the touch. Later on the researchers introduced inhibitory peptide which was meant to prevent to block the activity of enzyme M. when the shock was introduced on the tail of the slug, they only quailed for just a few minutes and the stopped. This showed that the same reaction never acted in the same way when an inhibitor to the enzyme was introduced. The same case to the film, Clementine and Joel can recall their friendship but in the case of introduction of another friend- maybe- as their inhibitor can lead to forgetting one another. Even if they can still recall this friendship it can only occur for some time and then fade away.
At human brains usually stores emotional experiences in a different sector compared to other experiences we encounter in our daily lives. Negative emotions for example tend to capture so many details. This is with the comparison to positive emotional experiences, for example one tends to recall the general feeling in the beach, but one can recall every detail of two seconds which a Bruick crashed into your back at high school. At this position the activities in the beach could be recalled as general but the negative life in high school can be recalled at certain instances encountered. If someone is suffering from the Mension condition can easily have the feeling of unease encountering a person that had caused them to be uncomfortable. Clementine in the film Eternal Sunshine, finds herself encountering traces of emotional memory of the event that wiped from her waking mind.
Eternal Sunshine plays the idea of traumatic are stored in a separate part of the mind. When Joes is in the mood of thinking about Clementine, of which he desires erased. He comes up to his memories and claims that he doesn’t want the memories erased from his mind. Joel remembers the journey which they had gone with his lover Clementine. This is the all-time friendship journey which they had all encountered together. Though these memories are slowly being erased in the brain, Joel doesn’t know how this is going to happen meaning it will be hard on his side.
Researchers have been assuming that memories are like volumes in the library. When one is trying to remember something, it means it is simply entitled to searching from the stacks and then registering what had been encountered from the past experiences. Some other researchers believe that brain get effectively written when they get activated to collect information. This is through a process regarded to as the reconsolidation. Proteins are also associated with recalling information located in our brains. This is because if theoretically there was blocking of these proteins synthesis, there could be memory erasure, which one wanted to, from the brain. If both characters, Joel and Clementine, would stop the synthesis of the protein there memories towards each other could slowly be erased from their memories. This is because in erasing Clementine, Joel is asked to bring all the objects which were associated with clementine. In doing so Joel describes it as giving all the thoughts he had for Clementine. This is what can be regarded to as the protein synthesis blockage. It once and for all saves Joel from Clementine thoughts.
In conclusion, the film Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind is in line with the modern neuroscience. This is because what it puts across had been emphasized by the researchers from different institutions of learning. What these researchers had found out and found their support of their argument was encountered in the film. Regardless of the film being in emphasis of the wrong place, it has similarities with the findings of researchers in the modern neuroscience.