Why painful memories linger

December 11, 2014 4:06 PM

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Why painful memories linger

Memories of traumatic events can be hard to shake, and now scientists say they understand why. Studies on laboratory rats have revealed, for the first time, the brain mechanism that translates unpleasant experiences into long-lasting memories.

The findings support a 65-year-old hypothesis called Hebbian plasticity. This idea states that in the face of trauma, such as watching a dog sink its teeth into your leg, more neurons in the brain fire electrical impulses in unison and make stronger connections to each other than under normal situat...

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