Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Learn to Forget:
How the mind blocks painful memories

Brain scans showing how the mind buries painful memories could lead to revolutionary therapies for emotional problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, psychologists said.

The ability to suppress memories has long been a controversial issue in psychology, but researchers at the University of Colorado found that with practice, volunteers could learn to forget, a skill they used to block out images that were chosen to cause them distress.

Scans of the volunteers' brains revealed that key neural circuits switched on when their minds were trying to banish painful memories, giving scientists a new level of understanding into how the brain works, and raising hopes that it may be possible to design drugs to help troublesome memories fade away.

"We think we now have a grasp of the neural mechanisms at work, and hope the new findings and future research will lead to new therapeutic and pharmacological approaches to treating a variety of emotional disorders." said Brendan Depue, lead schientist on the study at he University of Colorado at Boulder.

Volunteers were asked to memorise 40 different pairs of pictures.

Each pair consisted of an emotionally neutral human face linked to a disturbing image, such as a car crash, an injured person or an electric chair.

The participants were then placed in a magnetic resonance imaging brain scanner and shown only the facial images.


Jehzeel Laurente said...

it's still hard to 4get.. unless ur dead meat :P

Jean Dempsey said...

Happiness is a choice. You'll surely learn to forget if you choose to be happy. (Whoa! This surely is an application of what was taught in our retreat. Lol.)

Anonymous said...

I lost my mother 3 years ago and in a way, blocked bad memories. I simply avoid thinking about some of the images that try to come to mind. I consistently turned my thoughts to something less painful. It has made life bearable, and even enjoyable.