Navigation Links
Anticipation Could Have An Intense Effect On Memory

Anticipation of a fearful situation can play an important role in inspiring memory.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, while conducting a more in-depth research// on the formation of memory have come up with the findings that the very anticipation of a fearful situation can stir up two memory-forming regions of the brain even before the event has occurred.

The researchers explained that the simple act of anticipation might play a astonishingly important role in how fresh the memory of a tough experience could remain. Like for example, it has always been known by psychologists that memories of disturbing emotional events such as an act of violence or the unexpected death of a loved one are more clear and deeply imprinted in the brain than dull and routine recollections of everyday matters.

The findings of the brain-imaging study, which appear in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have important implications for the treatment of psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety, which are often characterized by flashbacks and intrusive memories of upsetting events.

"The main motivation for this study was a clinical one, in terms of understanding and applying knowledge about memory so that we can better inform the treatment of disorders that have a large memory component, like PTSD," says lead author Kristen Mackiewicz, a graduate student at the University of Colorado who worked on the anticipation study while a student at UW-Madison.

The project also builds on a relatively new body of work on the role of anticipation in emotion and clinical disorders, says senior author Jack Nitschke, a UW-Madison assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology.

"Our study illustrates how the power of expectancy can extend to memory formation as well," says Nitschke, also an associate of UW-Madison's Waisman Laborato ry for Brain Imaging and Behavior. "Just the expectation of seeing something bad can enhance the memory of it after it happens."

A teacher who struggles with stage fright, for example, might feel anxious before every class she has to teach. The UW-Madison work suggests that the longer she spends dreading her next lecture, the stronger her memory of the uncomfortable experience is likely to be when it is over. Unfortunately, that sets a vicious cycle in motion, because the stronger her memory of discomfort, the worse her performance anxiety is likely to get.

The UW-Madison scientists found that two key regions of the brain - the amygdala and the hippocampus - become activated when a person is anticipating a difficult situation. Scientists think the amygdala is associated with the formation of emotional memories, while the hippocampus helps the brain form long-term recollections, Nitschke says.

The researchers studied the brain activity of 36 healthy volunteers using a technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging, which produces high-contrast images of human tissue. They began by showing the volunteers two kinds of signals. One was neutral, but the other indicated that some type of gruesome picture was soon to follow, such as explicit photos of bloody, mutilated bodies. Thirty minutes after the researchers had shown dozens of violent images, they quizzed study participants on how well they remembered the pictures they had just seen.

"We found that the more activated the amygdala and hippocampus had been during the anticipation [of the pictures], the more likely it was that a person would remember more of them right away," says Nitschke.

Two weeks after the experiment, scientists met with the study subjects again to measure how well they remembered the same disturbing images. This time, they found that people who best remembered them had shown the greatest amygdala and hippocampus activity during t he picture-viewing exercise two weeks before. That suggested that those subjects' brains had already started converting short-term memories of the images into longer-lasting ones.

Mackiewicz says the anticipation of an uncomfortable situation probably kick-starts a kind of "arousal or fear circuitry" in the brain, which in turn helps to reinforce old memories.

"In the future, we could look for ways to dampen that arousal response in patients so that they do not evoke negative memories so easily," she adds.


Related medicine news :

1. Anticipation Of Pain Hurts Just As Bad As Experiencing It
2. Lean Protein Could Be Key to Obesity Drugs
3. Nasal Spray Could Take Drugs Direct to Brain.
4. Nasal Spray Could Take Drugs Directly to Brain
5. Oxygen Usage During Exercise Could Indicate Heart Problems
6. Ultrasound Screening Could Improve The Outcome Of Critically ill Patients
7. Anger Could Be Linked To Weight Gain
8. A Seizure Late In Life Could be A Stroke Warning
9. New Findings Could Reduce The Extent Of Spinal Cord Injuries
10. Could There Be A Link Between Famine and Breast Cancer ?
11. Bone Marrow Cells Could Yield A New Lease of Life
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... TherapySites, the leading website ... Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to continue to ... adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited about this ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... recently ... of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada ... become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media ... give their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ... Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not ... comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on ... Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability ... fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with ... Latin America . ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The vast majority of dialysis patients ... Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with treatment ... travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen ... for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly ... rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: