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"The Neuroscientific Case For Facing Your Fears" - Ed Yong

  • The Atlantic
  • New York, NY
  • (June 14, 2018)

A new study shows that mice have to remember their phobias if they are to lose them effectively. When people bring up old memories, the engram neurons fire up again. They also enter a brief period of instability, when the molecules that preserved the connections between them disappear and must be remade. This process known as reconsolidation, means that humans are partly reconstructing our memories every time they bring them to mind. And it means that the act of recollection creates a window of time in which memories can be updated, and fears can be unlearned. “That was the theory,” says Daniella Schiller, associate professor of neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “It’s been speculated, but [this new study] is one of the most direct demonstrations so far.”

- Daniela Schiller, PhD, Associate Professor, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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