The brain employs an alarm system to suppress intrusive thoughts.

Forget what you saw: a brain region detects when you are about to think of an unwanted memory and alerts other regions to suppress it, according to research recently published in JNeurosci.

Crespo García et al. measured participants’ brain activity with both EEG and fMRI while they completed a memory task. The participants memorized sets of words (i.e., gate and train) and were asked to either recall a cue word’s pair (see gate, think about train) or only focus on the cue word (see gate, only think about gate). 

During proactive memory suppression, activity increased in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a brain region involved in cognitive control, within the first 500 milliseconds of the task. The ACC relayed information to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which then inhibited activity in the hippocampus, a key region for memory recall.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

The activity levels in the ACC and DLPFC remained low for the rest of the trial, a sign of success — the memory was stopped early enough so no more suppression was needed. If the memory was not suppressed in time, the ACC generated a reactive alarm, increasing its activity to signal to the DLPFC to stop the intrusion.

IMAGE CREDIT: Crespo García et al., JNeurosci 2022


During general anaesthesia, 1 in 10 people may be ‘conscious’ following intubation.
HAVE YOUR SAY.We are proud to announce the inaugural session of The …
VR a tool to give better quality of life in aged care.
HAVE YOUR SAY.We are proud to announce the inaugural session of The …
Boosting ‘game-changing’ technology to strengthen drug development.
HAVE YOUR SAY.We are proud to announce the inaugural session of The …
DAILY DOSE: Monkeypox spread continues; Ford delivers first EV truck, pipping Tesla to the market
HAVE YOUR SAY.We are proud to announce the inaugural session of The …

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: