Navigation Links
Young Animals May Be Able to Erase Bad Memories
Date:9/4/2009

It's not clear humans could do the same, researchers say

FRIDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- New Swiss research suggests that young animals may have a mechanism that allows them to jettison traumatic memories, but experts say it's unclear whether humans of any age can do the same.

In fact, scientists are still debating whether human memories truly disappear or simply go into deep storage.

"It's fair to say that most of the researchers in human memory now believe that it's very unlikely memories are really erased," said Mark McDaniel, a psychology professor and memory specialist at Washington University in St. Louis. "What happens probably is that the memories are still stored."

In animals, however, there's evidence that traumatic memories that involve fear are actually erased in the young, said study co-author Cyril Herry, a researcher with the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland.

In adults, however, it seems that such memories can be blocked but still be retrieved later.

In the study, which appears in the Sept. 4 issue of Science, Herry and colleagues gave a slight shock to rats when they heard a tone. If their memory worked properly, they'd later link the two events and be afraid after hearing the tone.

In adult rats, researchers targeted what they called an extracellular matrix or "net" that seems to protects some neurons involved in memory from destruction. These cells, which are found in the brain area known as the amygdala, appear to form in the adult but not the juvenile rat.

When the researchers selectively destroyed this protective net, adult rats more rapidly forgot about the link between the tone and the sock, and completely forgot about it seven and 28 days later, suggesting that the memory had been erased, not just blocked.

But McDaniel noted that memories in humans do seem to stick around, although in some cases it may take special "cues" to bring them back into focus.

And he added that the rat research is looking at a special kind of memory called conditioning. This may work differently in humans than other kinds of memory, said McDaniel.

And what about young children? Do they erase memories like the rats? Memory research hasn't focused much on them, McDaniel said.

Herry said his findings do have possible implications for humans. According to him, more understanding about how to prevent memories from forming and sticking around in rats could help scientists figure out how to prevent unstoppable fear and anxiety in people.

Paul Sanberg, director of the University of South Florida College of Medicine's Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, agreed that's possible. "If they understand the molecular mechanism [of traumatic memories], they could maybe develop drugs to reduce symptoms in people who have pathological fear," he speculated.

Sanberg said he remains curious about one issue in all this: Why would evolution -- which preserves traits that help creatures survive -- give young animals the ability to forget traumatic events, but not older ones?

More information

Learn more about memory from McGill University.



SOURCES: Mark McDaniel, Ph.D., psychology professor, Washington University, St. Louis; Cyril Herry, Ph.D., researcher, Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel, Switzerland; and Paul Sanberg, Ph.D., director, University of South Florida College of Medicine's Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Tampa; Sept. 4, 2009, Science


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Air pollution linked to cardiovascular risk indices in healthy young adults
2. Urban Smog Tough on Young Adults Hearts
3. Male deer are born to live fast, die young
4. Bipolar Diagnoses in Younger People Show Huge Increase
5. HealthInsuranceFinders.com Launches Video Contest for Young Directors
6. Nuclear medicine approach can be first choice for excluding pulmonary embolism in young women
7. New HIV diagnoses rising in New York City among young men who have sex with men
8. Especially Yours and Paula Young Team up with Diahann Carroll and Jaclyn Smith in the Fight Against Breast Cancer
9. Office-Based Medical Treatment and Internet Resources Are Potential Solution to Rising Painkiller Misuse Among Teens, Young Adults
10. Young Children Thrive on 30,000 Words a Day
11. Young Twin Cities Boy Shows There is Life After Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Young Animals May Be Able to Erase Bad Memories
(Date:1/16/2017)... MA (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... season, Au Bon Pain, an internationally recognized leader in the fast-casual category, announces ... items such as the Good Egg Breakfast Sandwich, Turkey Mash-Up Sandwich, Cranberry Crunch ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 16, 2017 , ... California Southern ... Beazley has served on CalSouthern’s Board of Trustees and as a core faculty member, ... he has been a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, where he earned his ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... Elk Grove Village, IL (PRWEB) , ... January ... ... protection and personal audio products, will demonstrate their groundbreaking GunSport•PRO® and EB15•LE® electronic ... Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Booth #2809. The SHOT Show is ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... , ... Anybody who may be looking for a substance abuse rehabilitation program ... Recovery, a holistic treatment center for addiction located in Marne, MI. This video, which ... patients and staff that visited the 2016 Recovery Palooza support event in nearby Grand ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... As New York’s fastest growing ophthalmic ... to their medical staff, according to eye surgeon, Jeffrey Martin, MD, FACS, Chief ... division of SightMD. Dr. Giamos will practice primarily out of SightMD’s Riverhead, Southampton, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... According to a new market research report "Neural Network Software Market by Type ... Region - Global Forecast to 2021" published by MarketsandMarkets, the market to expand ... a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 33.2%. ... ... ...
(Date:1/17/2017)...  Market Research Future published a Half Cooked Research Report on ... reach USD 33.6 million during the period 2016 to 2022 from ... ... has been examined as a swiftly growing market and expected to ... endoscopy device in various regions.  The increasing growth in endoscopy procedures ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... Calif. and KANSAS CITY, ... Children,s Hospitals Neonatal Consortium (CHNC) has selected Velos ... their visionary data management and multicenter initiatives. ... organization comprised of 32 Neonatal Intensive Care Units ... America . The consortium provides a benchmark ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: