Promoting fear extinction in humans by capitalizing on targeted memory reactivation

Project: Research project

Project Details


The neural infrastructure enabling the creation of memories has been extensively explored over the past two decades. Studies have revealed that memory consolidation involves neural ensembles which "replay" their memory related activities during specific sleep stages. Interestingly, subthreshold cuing of memories during sleep promotes related memories (targeted memory reactivation, TMR). My project will attempt to harness TMR to enhance forgetting in humans and use imaging and perhaps electrophysiology to expose the involved neural correlates. Although often viewed as counterproductive, the neglecting of memories is crucial for adaptive behavior, as is implied by the destructive nature of traumatic occurrences and phobias. Cognitive neuroscience suggests that some kinds of forgetting are in fact forms of learning ("memory extinction"). Considering TMR for extinction would enhance our understanding of how we forget and further expose how neural plasticity promotes memory consolidation.
Effective start/end date4/1/176/30/20


  • International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (Agmt 3/21/2017)


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