NEW: Find great deals on the latest gadgets and more in the ScienceDaily Store!
Science News
from research organizations

Scientists identify that memories can be lost and found

Date:
August 4, 2015
Source:
Cardiff University
Summary:
A team of scientists believe they have shown that memories are more robust than we thought and have identified the process in the brain, which could help rescue lost memories or bury bad memories, and pave the way for new drugs and treatment for people with memory problems.
Share:
FULL STORY

Scientists say that reminders could reverse the amnesia caused by methods previously thought to produce total memory loss in rats.
Credit: © Nikolai Sorokin / Fotolia

A team of scientists believe they have shown that memories are more robust than we thought and have identified the process in the brain, which could help rescue lost memories or bury bad memories, and pave the way for new drugs and treatment for people with memory problems.

Published in the journal Nature Communications a team of scientists from Cardiff University found that reminders could reverse the amnesia caused by methods previously thought to produce total memory loss in rats.

"Previous research in this area found that when you recall a memory it is sensitive to interference to other information and in some cases is completely wiped out.

"Our research challenges this view and we believe proves this not the case," according to Dr Kerrie Thomas, who led the research.

"Our research found that despite using a technique in the brain thought to produce total amnesia we've been able to show that with strong reminders, these memories can be recovered,"

Whilst the results were found in rats, the team hope it can be translated into humans and new drugs and treatments could be developed for people suffering with memory disorders.

Dr Thomas added: "We are still a very long way off from helping people with memory problems.

"However, these animal models do accurately reflect what's happening in humans and suggest that our autobiographical memories, our self-histories, are clouded by new memories rather than actually lost. This is an exciting prospect in terms of treating psychiatric illness associated with memory disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis.

"We can now devise new drugs or behavioural strategies that can treat these memory problems in the knowledge that we won't overwrite our experiences," she added.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Cardiff University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon Trent, Philip Barnes, Jeremy Hall, Kerrie L. Thomas. Rescue of long-term memory after reconsolidation blockade. Nature Communications, 2015; 6: 7897 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8897

Cite This Page:

Cardiff University. "Scientists identify that memories can be lost and found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150804073706.htm>.
Cardiff University. (2015, August 4). Scientists identify that memories can be lost and found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 21, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150804073706.htm
Cardiff University. "Scientists identify that memories can be lost and found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150804073706.htm (accessed February 21, 2017).