Re: Doogie Mice

Patrick Wilken (
Sat, 4 Sep 1999 13:10:06 +1000

>Philip Witham wrote:
>This is amazing. How could it be that nature didn't select for this?

Persumably there is some advantages to forgetting. Interesting that one of the tests done on these mice showed that they remembered the pain associated with a hot plate much better than your standard mouse. Perhaps negative situations would be stored too well and lead to greater avoidance of risky behaviour.

Supermouse: "I smelt a Persian cat in the kitchen last week no way I'm going out there today no matter how much food there is!" Starves to death....

Normal Mouse 1: "What's a cat? Need food..." Promply gets eaten...

Normal Mouse 2: "What's a cat? Need food..." Promply gets eaten...

Normal Mouse 3: "What's a cat? Need food..." Gets food and produces big litter...

A.R. Luria wrote an fascinating book (Mind of a Mnemonist, 1968, Basic Books) on a case study of 'S' a person with what appeared to be perfect memory (able to recall a random set of figures shown to him by Luria perfectly 17 years latter without any prior warning!), but who was basically a failure in life. Unable to hold down a job. Frustrated by memories an unhappy childhood he could not forget etc. Worth checking out to see how bad an extremely good memory can be. Pity we don't have any DNA from 'S' it would be interesting if he suffered something akin to the Doggie mouse mutation.

best, patrick

Patrick Wilken
Editor:        PSYCHE: An International Journal of Research on Consciousness
Board Member:      The Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness