Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Erasing fearful memories

fearful experience for a mouse
Researchers have recently reported that they can selectively erase specific traumatic memories in mice.

Could this be the seed that sprouts an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Could it mean that ALL of our students can be made to fond memories of us and their course as they fill out their evaluations of us?

The original research was published in the journal Science:
Selective Erasure of a Fear Memory
Jin-Hee Han, et al.
Science 13 March 2009:Vol. 323. no. 5920, pp. 1492 - 1496 DOI: 10.1126/science.1164139
[FREE abstract of the full research report.]
Here are a few resources that provide a more student-friendly (and professor-friendly) summary of the research findings and their significance:

Haley Stephenson
ScienceNOW 2009 (312), 1. (12 March 2009)
[Nice summary article that includes a cool image from the original research article.]

Altering Fearful Memories

Science Friday segment first broadcast 13 March 2009
[Interview discussing the results and their implications.]

Erasing traumatic memory possible, researchers say
J. Hall
thestar.com 12 March 2009
[Summary article.]

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