Do you have a scary memory? Scientists want to delete it.
A new approach to treating fear disorders may one day provide help for patients suffering from PTSD and various phobias.
Dr. Ben Seymour, a clinical neuroscientist from University of Cambridge in England, used a combination of brain scanning and artificial intelligence called 'Decoded Neurofeedback' to identify fear patterns in the brain. Every time that pattern appeared in the brain of a volunteer, a positive association was presented; in this case a small monetary reward.
Over a period of three days, the fear pattern was overridden by the positive memory pattern. It's hoped that with more research this approach can become a routine clinical treatment.
Paper in Nature Human Behaviour: Fear reduction without fear through reinforcement of neural activity that bypasses conscious exposure