Skip Nav
Netflix
23 Insanely Sexy GIFs From Orange Is the New Black
Wedding
Tara Lipinski’s Engagement Party Deserves a Gold Medal
ben higgins
The Bachelor Couples: Where Are They Now?

We Have Six Hours to Erase Fear From Our Memory

There may be hope for those exposed to traumatic experiences — but they have to act fast. A team of psychologists at NYU found that people have a six-hour window to erase fearful memories.

When participants were re-exposed to an image associated with fear within six hours recalling the traumatizing experience, the fearful memory could be erased. Psychologists were essentially able to re-write the memories to make them less traumatic.

The scientists say the study is a major breakthrough because it suggests that a "non-pharmacological" natural approach can be used to manage emotional memories. In other words, drugs might not be required to treat people with post-traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety disorders, or phobias. The potential to modify human memory is also quite fascinating — and hopefully nothing to fear!

Source: Flcikr User avialle

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 6 years
Ah yes, it does. :)
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 6 years
Ah yes, it does. :)
bethinabox bethinabox 6 years
oops, cut off my comment! "A day later, the investigators worked on banishing the fear. They re-exposed the volunteers to the same image, but this time without the shocks. They found that this worked, but only if the volunteer was first made to recall the fearful experience and, critically, made to recall it no longer than six hours before the "treatment" commenced." So they were re-exposed a day after the "trauma", and treated within six hours of being re-exposed. Does that make sense?
bethinabox bethinabox 6 years
oops, cut off my comment!"A day later, the investigators worked on banishing the fear.They re-exposed the volunteers to the same image, but this time without the shocks.They found that this worked, but only if the volunteer was first made to recall the fearful experience and, critically, made to recall it no longer than six hours before the "treatment" commenced."So they were re-exposed a day after the "trauma", and treated within six hours of being re-exposed. Does that make sense?
bethinabox bethinabox 6 years
I agree, either way this is definitely a big step forward in therapies. But here's where I got my line of thinking from: "In the study, the volunteers were wired up to electrodes and given a shock each time they were shown a picture of differently coloured squares to make them fearful of the image - which they did. >A day later<, the investigators worked on banishing the fear. They re-exposed the volunteers to the same image, but this time without the shocks. They found that this worked, but only if the volunteer was first made to recall the fearful experience and, critically, made to recall it no longer than six hours before the "treatment" commenced." So it was a day after the initial "trauma", but they had to be treated within six hours of being "reminded" of it. Does that make sense? Of course there's no telling whether or not this could work with serious PTSD cases and other things, but I hope it does, it would be fantastic.
bethinabox bethinabox 6 years
I agree, either way this is definitely a big step forward in therapies. But here's where I got my line of thinking from: "In the study, the volunteers were wired up to electrodes and given a shock each time they were shown a picture of differently coloured squares to make them fearful of the image - which they did.>A day later<, the investigators worked on banishing the fear.They re-exposed the volunteers to the same image, but this time without the shocks.They found that this worked, but only if the volunteer was first made to recall the fearful experience and, critically, made to recall it no longer than six hours before the "treatment" commenced."So it was a day after the initial "trauma", but they had to be treated within six hours of being "reminded" of it. Does that make sense? Of course there's no telling whether or not this could work with serious PTSD cases and other things, but I hope it does, it would be fantastic.
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 6 years
Hey bethinabox — This is the way I understood it: in the experiment, the treatment came 6 hours after the traumatic event (being electrically shocked while looking at an image). If within 6 hours after the shock the image was shown without the shock, the participants could be taught to no longer associate fear with that image (the reminder of the traumatic event). Either way, I hope they're able to apply the findings in a broad way.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
Oh I hope bethinabox is right! I'd volunteer for more research in this. I suffer pseudodysphagia - an anxiety based fear of choking and I hate it! I choked on a piece of chicken when I was 5 (I couldn't breathe in at all to try and cough) and it was very traumatic for me. My family made fun of me for it instead of realizing how traumatic it was and taking me to get counselling. I was 13 before I ate meat or anything crunchy again. To this day - eating gives me anxiety and I have these embarrassing ticks - such as holding my throat as I swallow. If it doesn't go down smoothly, my whole body will jerk - and my legs kick out and I involuntarily try and stand up. There's nothing more embarrassing than sitting at a restaurant and having one of those jerks and kicking the table so all the tableware chinks and all the people at the surrounding tables turn to look at you as you are partially standing up over the table. I wish I could control it better. At Thanksgiving this year, my 4 year old niece had a piece of food go down the wrong pipe and she started coughing,and it sent me into a panick attack. I couldn't eat another bite of food for hours afterwards until I had calmed down. So seeing someone else choke also triggers it for me. UGH!!! I've tried therapy, hypnotherapy and nothing seems to work. The only thing that has ever helped it was paxil but I don't want to be on medication so I don't take it.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
Oh I hope bethinabox is right! I'd volunteer for more research in this.I suffer pseudodysphagia - an anxiety based fear of choking and I hate it! I choked on a piece of chicken when I was 5 (I couldn't breathe in at all to try and cough) and it was very traumatic for me. My family made fun of me for it instead of realizing how traumatic it was and taking me to get counselling. I was 13 before I ate meat or anything crunchy again. To this day - eating gives me anxiety and I have these embarrassing ticks - such as holding my throat as I swallow. If it doesn't go down smoothly, my whole body will jerk - and my legs kick out and I involuntarily try and stand up. There's nothing more embarrassing than sitting at a restaurant and having one of those jerks and kicking the table so all the tableware chinks and all the people at the surrounding tables turn to look at you as you are partially standing up over the table. I wish I could control it better.At Thanksgiving this year, my 4 year old niece had a piece of food go down the wrong pipe and she started coughing,and it sent me into a panick attack. I couldn't eat another bite of food for hours afterwards until I had calmed down. So seeing someone else choke also triggers it for me. UGH!!!I've tried therapy, hypnotherapy and nothing seems to work. The only thing that has ever helped it was paxil but I don't want to be on medication so I don't take it.
chillchic chillchic 6 years
This will be very cool if it actually works in real situations and not just in a lab. It's too late for me, though.
bethinabox bethinabox 6 years
I don't think the article was saying that you have do the "treatment" within six hours after the actual traumatic event - it's six hours after the REMINDER of the traumatic event. I don't know if that's what you meant to say up there or not but that's how I understood the article.
You Asked: I Have an Irrational Fear of Getting Pregnant
You Asked: I'm Scared Every Day
You Asked: I'm Tired of Being Afraid
Dear Poll: Are You Scared of Being Alone?
Are Your Pets Scared of Fireworks?
Handle This: Groped at a Bar
The How-To Lounge: Emergency Situations

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Love
X