Consolidating new memories requires the amygdala and

This requires neural communication among a number of areas in the brain: The hippocampus cues the ventromedial prefrontal cortex of changed conditions, which inhibits neuron activity — and the conditioned fear response — in the amygdala (, 2012).

In some people, though, the process goes awry, and they're unable to escape intrusive thoughts.

Ramirez co-authored a 2014 study in which he and a team from RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics were able to change bad memories to good in male mice.Subsequent findings that adrenal stress hormones activated by learning experiences enhance memory consolidation provided strong evidence supporting this hypothesis.Other findings suggest that the enhancement is induced by stress hormone activation of the amygdala.The findings also suggest that the basolateral amygdala modulates memory consolidation via its projections to brain regions involved in processing different aspects and forms of memory.This emotional-arousal-activated neurobiological system thus seems to play an important adaptive role in insuring that the strength of our memories will reflect their emotional significance.

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