People can be trained to forget specific details associated with bad memories, according to breakthrough findings that may usher the way for the development of new depression and post-traumatic stress disorder therapies.
New study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, reveals that individuals can be taught to forget personal feelings associated with an emotional memory without erasing the memory of the actual event.
Researchers found that individuals were still able to accurately recall the cause of the event even after they’ve been trained to forget the consequences and personal meaning associated with the memory.
“The ability to remember and interpret emotional events from our personal past forms the basic foundation of who we are as individuals,” lead researcher Dr. Saima Noreen said in a news release.
“These novel findings show that individuals can be trained to not think about memories that have personal relevance and significance to them and provide the most direct evidence to date that we possess some kind of control over autobiographical memory,” Noreen added.