Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Selective Amnesia: How A Traumatic Memory Can Be Wiped Out

Date:
April 4, 2007
Source:
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Summary:
American and French scientists have shown that a memory of a traumatic event can be wiped out, although other, associated recollections remain intact.

American and French CNRS scientists have shown that a memory of a traumatic event can be wiped out, although other, associated recollections remain intact. This is what a scientist in the Laboratory for the Neurobiology of Learning, Memory and Communication (CNRS/Orsay University), working with an American team, has recently demonstrated in the rat. This result could be used to cure patients suffering from post-traumatic stress.

Related Articles


Recalling an event stored in the long-term memory triggers a reprocessing phase: the recollection then becomes sensitive to pharmacological disturbances before being once more stored in the long-term memory. Is drug therapy capable of wiping out the initial memory, and only that memory?

The scientists trained rats to be frightened of two distinct sounds, making them listen to these sounds just before sending an electric shock to their paws. The next day, they gave half of the rats a drug known to cause amnesia for events recalled from memory, and played just one of the sounds again.

When they played both sounds to the rats on the next day, those which had not received the drug were still frightened of both sounds, while those which had received the drug were no longer afraid of the sound they had heard under its influence. Recalling the memory of the electric shock associated with the sound played while rats were under the influence of a drug thus meant that the memory was wiped out by the drug, leaving intact the memory associated with the other sound.

The researchers also recorded the neuronal activity of rats in the amygdale, an area of the brain associated with emotional memory. Neuronal activity increased when remembering the traumatic memory, but diminished in drugged rats. This result showed that pharmacological disturbance of the memory recalled did indeed consist in selectively wiping out this memory, and only this memory. This is the first demonstration that a memory can be modified or even wiped out at the cellular level, permanently and independently of other memories associated with it.

Reference: Synapse-specific reconsolidation of distinct fear memories in the lateral amygdale, V. Doyθre, J. Debiec, M.-H. Monfils, J. E Schafe, J. E LeDoux, Nature Neuroscience, doi :10.1038/nn1871 (2007).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. "Selective Amnesia: How A Traumatic Memory Can Be Wiped Out." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402102218.htm>.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. (2007, April 4). Selective Amnesia: How A Traumatic Memory Can Be Wiped Out. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402102218.htm
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. "Selective Amnesia: How A Traumatic Memory Can Be Wiped Out." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402102218.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins