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Can We Erase Bad Memories?

Brian Wiltgen, Associate Professor in the Center for Neuroscience, and colleagues at UC Davis are studying the possibility of erasing bad memories

Researchers at the UC Davis's Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology have made groundbreaking inroads that they say make erasing bad memories more of a possibility than ever before. Dr. Brian Wiltgen has already proven it in studies with mice, successfully eradicating particular memories within mice's brains by using controlled light beams. Deep in the brain is a small structure called the hippocampus, it works as our memory bank. Using pulses of laser light, Wiltgen was able to ultimately get rid of selected bad memories. The recent discovery potentially has many other applications from easing traumatic memories of child abuse to healing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and possibly mitigating memory loss in damaged parts of the brain for patients suffering from disorders like Alzheimer's.