Suppressing memories may be as simple as deciding not to think about them, scientists say, offering hope to survivors of traumatic events. Researchers say the findings in a report out today could lead to new treatments for PTSD by offering patients a measure of control over their recollection of disturbing experiences, the LA Times reports.
Volunteers studied disturbing images of car crashes and crime scenes next to pictures of expressionless faces. When they saw the faces again, brain activity in an area related to memory dropped in people asked to not think about the photos they were paired with. Although the sample was small, one unaffiliated researcher calls the results "a big step forward."