Neuroscientists use neurofeedback to erase fear in the brain

By Christian Jarrett Imagine a person is terrified of dogs because they once suffered a terrible bite. Following long-established techniques, their psychologist might gradually expose them to dogs in a safe setting, until their fear gradually faded away. This “exposure therapy” can be effective but it has some serious drawbacks, including the fact that the person might at first find it traumatic to be close to dogs again. What if there were a way to remove this person’s fear of dogs at a subconscious level, without the need for any traumatic exposure? Such an approach has now come much closer to clinical reality thanks to a new study reported recently in Nature Human Behaviour. The findings suggest that neurofeedback can be used to unlearn a fear by pairing relevant non-conscious neural activity with a reward, such as money. Significant technical hurdles remain before this becomes a real-life treatment, but it’s an exciting breakthrough.  Ai Koizumi at ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Japan and her colleagues trained 17 participants (11 men) to fear two colourful grating patterns presented on a computer screen by repeatedly pairing the patterns with safe but unpleasant electric shocks. Toward the end of this session, measures of the participants’ electrodermal response (skin sweatiness) to the sight of the two patterns confirmed that they now found them aversive. Prior to the fe...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Brain Emotion Mental health Source Type: blogs

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Source: TIME: Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Uncategorized onetime Science Space Source Type: news
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Source: Traffic Injury Prevention - Category: Accident Prevention Authors: Tags: Traffic Inj Prev Source Type: research
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Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Brain Source Type: blogs
Functional Head Impulse Test in Professional Athletes: Sport-Specific Normative Values and Implication for Sport-Related Concussion Fausto Romano1,2,3†, Giovanni Bertolini1,2,3*†, Daniel Agostino3, Dominik Straumann1,2,3, Stefano Ramat4 and Nina Feddermann-Demont1,2,3 1Department of Neurology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland 2Clinical Neuroscience Center, University Hospital of Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland 3Swiss Concussion Center, Zurich, Switzerland 4Department of Computer, Electric and Biomedical Engineering, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy Dizziness, slow visual tracking, or bl...
Source: Frontiers in Neurology - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
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Source: Frontiers in Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research
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Source: Frontiers in Microbiology - Category: Microbiology Source Type: research
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Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
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Source: Indian Journal of Ophthalmology - Category: Opthalmology Authors: Source Type: research
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Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs
From Jules Verne to Isaac Asimov, science fiction writers have inspired scientists, explorers, and thrill seekers to influence the future of humanity. While Sci-Fi may seem like it’s about the distant future, more often than not it’s comm...
Source: Medgadget - Category: Medical Devices Authors: Tags: Art Exclusive Medicine Source Type: blogs
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