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"At its best, SF is the medium in which our miserable certainty that tomorrow will be different from today in ways we can't predict, can be transmuted to a sense of excitement and anticipation, occasionally evolving into awe."
- John Brunner

Automatic Reversed Memory  
  A device that activates memories and plays them back in reverse order.  

Timothy Sims had a problem; he had misplaced his wife's diamond engagement ring. He couldn't remember where he put it. If only there was a way for him to replay the experiences of the past few days...

He was seated in Dr. Bergstrom's office with a sort of helmet on his head from which a thick cable of wire ran to an aggregation of electrical instruments on the table beside him. ..

"That," sad the doctor, "was the preliminary trial. How did it go?"

"Why" - Tim laughed - "pretty confusing, but I see now that I merely lived through the five minutes before I entered this office, in reverse order; everything happened backward. .."

The doctor was pleased. "Evidently my process worked perfectly. I call it automatic reversed memory. By sending the proper electric currents through that helmet I reverse the electrical action of the nerve cells in the brain and produce this reversed memory... as real as actual experience."

"That helmet I have devised has a great number of small metal plates inside which I pick up the impulses from the various parts of the brain. They pass through the wires to my instruments and their beats, frequencies, and potentials are recorded..."

From Brain Control, by Dave Cummins.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1937
Additional resources -

Once the impulses are recorded, they are played back into the brain so as to "exactly counteract and reverse the original impulses. This ... apparently reverses the directions of the chemical action of the dendrites and axones, and this results in a reversal of the ideas in the mind."

The use of electrodes to capture the electrical phenomena in the brain was first demonstrated in 1912 by Russian physiologist Vladimir Pravdich-Neminsky. By the mid-1930's, the field of clinical electroencephalography had opened up.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Brain Control
  More Ideas and Technology by Dave Cummins
  Tech news articles related to Brain Control
  Tech news articles related to works by Dave Cummins

Automatic Reversed Memory-related news articles:
  - Memory Improved By Direct Electrical Stimulation

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