Using optogenetics to stimulate different areas of the hippocampus has the ability to enhance or suppress memories in mice. The findings could have implications for suppressing memories associated with traumatic events in PTSD, and also in enhancing cognitive ability or improving memory for those with neurodegenerative diseases, in the future.
Researchers report scary movies can have a residual anxiety effect years after people watch them.
Following exposure to visual stimuli, the neurons activated by the stimuli remain more active during subsequent sleep. Sleep is vital for these neurons to connect an emotional or fearful memory to a sensory event.
A new mouse study reveals males recall fearful memories better than females. Researchers attribute the difference to the gene Cdk5, which has previously been implicated in creating fear memories and stress behaviors. The study reports Cdk5 is naturally activated in males, but not females.
From designing drugs to help suppress traumatic memories, to harnessing the power of heartbeats, researchers are searching for new therapies to help people overcome their fears and phobias.
A new study provides proof that the amygdala is not the only gatekeeper of fear in the human brain. Other regions, such as the brainstem, diencephalon, or insular cortex, could sense the body’s most primal inner signals of danger when basic survival is threatened.