Researchers at USC and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a brain prosthesis that is designed to help individuals suffering from memory loss.
If there's damage at any region that prevents this translation, then there is the possibility that long-term memory will not be formed. That's why an individual with hippocampal damage (for example, due to Alzheimer's disease) can recall events from a long time ago -- things that were already translated into long-term memories before the brain damage occurred -- but have difficulty forming new long-term memories.
Song and Berger found a way to accurately mimic how a memory is translated from short-term memory into long-term memory, using data obtained by Deadwyler and Hampson, first from animals, and then from humans. Their prosthesis is designed to bypass a damaged hippocampal section and provide the next region with the correctly translated memory.
That's despite the fact that there is currently no way of "reading" a memory just by looking at its electrical signal.
I look forward to the day where a person could say, "I just had a triple hippocampal bypass surgery."
Also, if they were to record the impulse from one individual, could they then transfer that impulse to another, giving two people the same memory?