Stress Dependence of Fear Memory established by a Study

In a study reported in the reputed science journal, Psychopharmacology,?the stress dependence of fear memories has been established by the presented results.

What has happened?

  • In a study carried out of the researchers of the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) Bengaluru, it was found that the fear memories on our brains which were formed before and after chronic stress can have separate behavioral effects.
  • This affects brain morphology in separate ways.

Significance of the Study?

  • The results presented by the researchers show that it may become possible to reverse fear memories which have become unnaturally strengthened by the occurrence of severe stress.
  • This is possible only because stress has no impact on the process of fear memory reversal.
  • The results of the study depended on the increase in the dendritic spines which were observed to increase the capacity of the neuron to communicate with other neurons.
  • This impacts the functioning of the neuron in communication with the other neurons.

Why is this research important?

  • Stress can be defined as a feeling of emotional or physical tension which usually occurs due to any event or thought process which makes a person feel angry, frustrated, ill-tempered or nervous.
  • It is the human body’s natural reaction when a challenge or demand is thrust before it.

While in extremely short durations, stress can be thought of as positive, it is always detrimental in the long run as it clouds human thought process and emotions.

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