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Monday, October 24, 2016

Psychologists told how to erase bad memories

A new technique that allows using special exercises to deliberately forget about something that was developed by the researchers of Princeton University and Dartmouth College. The researchers used the fact that human memory is largely based on chains of associations, and the proposed method aims to affect these chains on their own.

photo: morguefile.com

Then how does the person’s memory, largely depends on the context, the researchers note. For example, a particular song can remind you of happy and sad events of the past that are associated with it. However, new research shows that “intervention” in such associative chains can help a person to get rid of the pursuing unpleasant memories before thinking about them can develop into serious psychological problems.

25 study participants, whose age ranged from 19 to 34 years, scientists have proposed simultaneously to see the list of words and pictures depicting a particular landscape. After that, one of the participants offered to forget the list of words, and others — on the contrary, to try to keep it in memory. Experts had hoped that the words will be associated with pictures, and, apparently, it was. When the people were asked to forget the words, ceased to think about them, from their minds disappeared and the landscape, while members of the second group to remember it continued. To confirm the results, scientists were able with the help of data obtained through previous during the experiment, functional magnetic resonance imaging. Thus, according to experts, they were able to disassemble the biological nature of “forced” forgetting something help break the chain of Association, and confirm that in this way a memory can do to a certain extent erase.

Says one of the authors of the new work, Jeremy manning, to date, most studies dedicated to the memory, the focus is the process of remembering, and therefore memorization is a success, but forgetting is a kind of “failure” and, consequently, methods that contribute to forgetting, to date, poorly understood.

The scientists published their work in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.

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