Sacred Disorder | Cliff Bostock's blog – 'Finally, I came to regard as sacred the disorder of my mind' (Rimbaud)

Say good-bye to bad memories

Neuroscience is eclipsing psychology. A new study, from the Chinese, reports on experiments that may lead to a “treatment” for traumatic memories — effectively detaching the emotional intensity from the narrative itself, perhaps permanently, through a single treatment. The article, weirdly, does not take up how this might affect the incidence or treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lead of the story:

Can we pick and choose which memories to keep?

The current issue of Neuron features a new study on selective memory erasure. It comes from a group of Chinese researchers, led by Joe Tsien, who have successfully targeted and destroyed specific memories in mice. Now, there’s a possibility that they will adapt their method for human use.

In fact, a team of scientists that includes Roger Pitman, a psychiatrist at Harvard, and Karim Nader, a neuroscientist at McGill, is already much farther along in the effort to reshape human memories. Last year, they published findings suggesting certain drugs might be able to affect the way in which traumatic events are remembered if administered shortly afterward. Now, they are looking for a way to refashion memories even years after they were created. Recently they received a grant from the Department of Defense, which has a vested interest in their line of research, as more and more American troops are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Read the entire article on the Daily Beast.

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