Recall of stressful events caught in pictures

Share via AddThis
Posted January 15, 2014

In a world first, University of Melbourne researchers along with international collaborators have used Functional Magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine brain function to help better understand the affects of repressed stressful memories.

The study is of patients with conversion disorder (what Freud would have called Hysteria), which is still a very common disorder though rarely discussed or researched today.

“Freud started his whole theory by arguing that patients with hysteria repressed their memories of traumatic events and that this led to their developing their symptoms (of paralysis, for example) – what he called ‘conversion,” said Professor Richard Kanaan from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne and Austin Health.

“The world has pretty much given up on that theory largely because they thought it couldn’t be tested,” he said.

Published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Psychiatry, the fMRI findings support Freud’s theories for the first time in over a century.

Researchers first painstakingly identified what they thought were the traumatic events that led to them becoming sick using the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule (LEDS) as a guide. This is a well-known psychological measurement for assessing life stress levels and experience.

“We got our patients to remember the traumatic events while we scanned their brains. Results showed something that looked like it could be them repressing their memories and possibly what could be them developing symptoms in response.”

“While it is still a preliminary study, in the history of psychiatry as a science it is potentially a significant breakthrough,” he said.

Source: http://newsroom.melbourne.edu



53,358 science & technology articles

Categories

Our Articles (see all)

General News

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   StumbleUpon   Plurk
Google+   Tumblr   Delicious   RSS   Newsletter via Email

Featured Video (see all)

The Danish researchteam, CODER, has found out, that the human brain can beat the calculating powers of a computer, when it comes to solving quantum-problems. Image credit: Colourbox
Scientists map brain’s thesaurus to help decode inner thoughts
What if a map of the brain could help us decode people’s inner thoughts? UC Berkeley scientists have taken…

Featured Image (see all)


Experimental therapy for brain cancer could prevent drug resistance
UCLA and Caltech researchers have developed a technique that shows promise for preventing drug resistance in people with…