Researchers figure out how to turn bad memories into good ones (in mice)

Sponsored Links

James Trew
August 28th, 2014
In this article: memories, mice, research
Researchers figure out how to turn bad memories into good ones (in mice)

We've all got memories we wish we could view less negatively. Some are trivial, like that drunken display at the office party; some are serious and create genuine psychological challenges. So far, researchers have figured out how to create false ones, or remove them entirely. Now -- in mice at least -- scientists have converted a bad memory into a good one. The researches established good and bad memories in the mice (with food rewards, or light shocks) and recorded the parts of the brain that dealt with the location (hippocampus) of those events, and the emotional recording part (amygdala). To switch the memories, when the mice returned to the location where they received the shock or food, they triggered the location memory of the other event. The mice then displayed behaviours consistent with the opposite memory (quickly moving from, or remaining calm in the current location). While the work gives us a new insight into the mechanics of memory, the process is too complex and invasive for there to be any hope of it being used for treatment of obvious conditions like PTSD. It could however lead to further validation of other therapies (like CBT) that work on similar principles.

[Image credit: rduffy/Flickr]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget