Six-hour window to erase bad memories - Macleans.ca
 

Six-hour window to erase bad memories

In limited time, a bad memory can be made good


 

According to researchers at New York University, fearful memories can be erased if tackled within six hours, which could help those with disorders like post-traumatic stress. Reliving a bad memory opens up what’s called a “reconsolidation window,” the BBC reports, a short timespan when a bad memory can be switched to good. In the study, reported in Nature, volunteers were wired to electrodes and given a shock whenever shown a picture of differently coloured squares, making them fear the images. One day later, they re-exposed volunteers to the same images, but without the shocks. This helped banish the fear only if the volunteer first recalled the bad experience no longer than six hours before “treatment” commenced. The treatment only blocked fear for the specific square the fear memory recalled, suggesting it’s a highly specific treatment. “Our memory reflects our last retrieval of it rather than an exact account of the original event,” lead researcher Dr. Elizabeth Phelps of New York University told the BBC. “Our results suggest a non-pharmacological, naturalistic approach to more effectively manage emotional memories.”

BBC News


 
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Six-hour window to erase bad memories

  1. Indeed. This is why the ancients would regularly (and promptly) expiate their crimes, beg the gods to spare them, thank the gods for overwhelming blessings, etc. Once the unexpectedly traumatic (good or bad) has been taken care of in a psychologically satisfying way, one can then usually resume the normal pace of life.

  2. Dr. Elizabeth Phelps of New York University told the BBC. “Our results suggest a non-pharmacological, naturalistic approach to more effectively manage emotional memories.”

    Next time i'm out in the bush i'll plug myself into the nearest tree. Just hope i'll remember the way home.

  3. every sage every recluse every so called initiate into the unknown seeks this….simply … letting go! what is so mystical about it? everyone desires it but no one has a clue how it is done…plus no one needs to be told by any doctor of whatever from what ever university to know this…it is free as the air…anyone can do it