Our brains have got distributed networks including cortex to store memories which can be consciously accessed to remember an event. When the mice were administered drugs they were in a different brain state and the stressful event primarily activated subcortical memory regions of the brain. The drug rerouted the processing of stress-related memories within the brain circuits so that they couldn’t be consciously accessed. That’s how traumatic memories are hidden away.
The Brain Stations
Just like radio FM stations, our brains have got different frequency bands according to Principal researcher Dr Jelena Radulovic, a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
He said, “It’s as if the brain is normally tuned to FM stations to access memories, but needs to be tuned to AM stations to access subconscious memories.”
The findings from the research on mice revealed that brains of some individuals who had traumatic experiences and stress don’t form memories the regular route. Instead, create inaccessible memories by turning on the extra-synaptic GABA system.
It is one of the methods that our minds use to protect us from horror and stress we had just experienced.
Dr Radulovic said that this study “could eventually lead to new treatments for patients with psychiatric disorders for whom conscious access to their traumatic memories is needed if they are to recover.”
The researchers conclude that trauma victims can receive psychological counselling or any medical help if their brains are returned to the same state of consciousness as when the memory was encoded.
No doubt, it would be a challenging task for victims to discover their childhood trauma and horrifying events in the past. Because you never thought or expected that it existed. But, that is the only way of healing childhood trauma.
Else, your past will keep haunting you!
This is wonderful research which brings hope to people who cannot figure out what is holding them back in life.