Many people have memories that they would like not to have. Traumatic experiences, hard times … can memories be erased with the help of science? I mean, could they really get out of our minds? A study conducted in the US took a step in this direction.
With a known technique
It was carried out by an expert group from Texas A&M University. They suggest using a procedure already used, but in a different way. Doctors can indirectly reactivate traumatic episodes in the minds of patients. However, this could “provide a window through which these reminders can be modified or even completely erased”. This is reported by the institution.
It happens to veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For example, in therapy sessions you can be asked to remember certain external stimuli. For example flashes of light or noises. They are memories of the memory that triggered the trauma.
What is the idea behind this method? Invoke the memory without causing additional suffering to the patient. They hope to moderate responses to anxiety through exposure.
“There is a challenge with the deletion processes. And it is that the memory of the original trauma is not erased. It’s always there and can reappear. This is what leads to relapse in people who are afraid again. Says Stephen Maren, professor of psychology and brain sciences at the university.
Can memories then be erased? The scientists used a conditioning procedure. A sign is indirectly linked to a terrible event. Then the same signal will be presented later. This indirectly reactivates a memory of the event. This increases activity in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is important for memory.
Does it make sense to reactivate a traumatic memory by re-exposure? Yes, because it can make you susceptible to interference. The scientists now hope to deepen their study. With this technique you are trying to create a permanent loss of traumatic information.
The research appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience. It will help you find additional techniques and treatments to completely change your memories.