Scientists Can Alter Or Erase Traumatic Memories, According To New Study

Brain News: A study published recently in the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggest that scientists can reactivate traumatic memories, which gives them the scope to completely alter, or even erase those memories.

Researchers at Texas A&M University aimed to isolate memory in a person and drive fear responses through re-exposure to the cue – and then destroy the original memory itself. To accomplish this research team used a conditioning procedure in which a cue becomes indirectly associated with a fearful event.

Later, when the cue is presented it indirectly reactivates a memory of the event and increases activity in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with memory. When reactivated artificially, a contextual fear memory is prone to disruption. Researchers found that procedures currently in use to indirectly reactivate traumatic memories provide promise.

The study results highlight that scientists are one step closer to finding a way to lower the impact of traumatic memories. The research findings have therapeutic implications for treating trauma. There is a need for further research to find if permanent loss of traumatic information is possible.

To Know More, You May Refer To:

Reed L. Ressler, Travis D. Goode, Sohmee Kim, Karthik R. Ramanathan, Stephen Maren. Covert capture and attenuation of a hippocampus-dependent fear memory. Nature Neuroscience, 2021; DOI: 10.1038/s41593-021-00825-5

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  • Scientists Can Alter Or Erase Traumatic Memories, According To New Study