The Science Behind Dollhouse

dollhouse_technology On Monday after watching Dollhouse I found myself in a conversation debating whether Dollhouse was Scifi or Science Fiction.  We got into the technology and psychology used on the dolls and how close are we as a society to being able to do what they do in real life.  After reading io9’s article I figured it would be neat to share what we discussed and update what was included in the article.

The Dollhouse uses a technology that allows the operators to wipe the memories of their “dolls”, like erasing a hard drive, leaving them in a passive state.  Then as needed they can put in a new memory collective, like installing a new computer program, thus creating an “active” that fits the clients needs.

Some real life technologies used:

  • The sciences behind all of the technology is covered under Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Erasing memories:  scientists have been looking into an enzyme called CaMKII which can block memory recall abilities, though we are still a ways off for picking specific types of memory blocking there are lots of advancements on this front.  Read the Full article here on Control of Memory Formation Through Regulated Expression of a CaMKII Transgene.

  • Using Electromagnetic stimulation to effect memory and the mind.  There are many studies on this.  Here are some where current technology can induce a desired effect from the mind:

  • We already are in studies to use infrared brain scans to predict what people want.  Once we understand the areas that those preferences are stored in we could merely turn on and off areas changing the preferences stored. (via Journal of neural Engineering)

It’s quite fascinating to think how close we are as a society to reproducing what we see in the Dollhouse.  The important question is how do we go about using these technologies responsibly?  How can we violate what a person wants when we can merely change their desires?

For more on Dollhouse and to watch it streaming online read: Review: Dollhouse Ghost