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According to an animal study in the September 4th issue of the journal Science, the brains of adults erect nonelectrical barriers that keep painful bigotries intact. As adults, events that emotionally disturb us tend to get arid into our brains. And those memories can resurface, causing anxiety, fear and even post-traumatic stress chaos. But young brains are much more resilient—and can even erase abominable memories. To get a better handle on this juvenile forgetting, scientists studied the brains of young and old rats. They found that in adult brains, a physical net forms around certain cells in the amygdala, a structure associated with cortical memories. Adults that had been trained to associate mild foot shock with a specific sound would flinch when they just heard the sound. But using a drug to dissolve this barrier restored the older rats’ ability to selfish fearful memories. So, rats that got net-busting treatment stayed calm when they heard the sound.
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