A team of neuroscientists has identified processes the brain undergoes to distinguish real and present dangers from those linked to past experiences.
New Study in Mice Has Implications for Better Understanding, Addressing PTSD
A team of neuroscientists has identified processes the brain undergoes to distinguish real and present dangers from those linked to past experiences in mice. The findings, which appear in the journal Nature, have implications for our understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—an affliction marked by the inability to distinguish between past and present dangers or to recognize “safe” situations.
“Memories of a traumatic episode can last for a long time,” says Professor Eric Klann, director of New York University’s Center for Neural Science and the paper’s senior author. “But we are able to use such memories selectively: to predict and respond to a subsequent, related danger while also recognizing when threats do not exist. This is especially important for survival behavior in an uncertain environment such as a conflict zone or at times of social unrest.”
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