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Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Subjects

Memory, Cognitive psychology, Memory disorders -- Treatment, Anxiety disorders -- Treatment, Clinical trials

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Nicholas Smith

Student Level

Undergraduate

Abstract

Long-term memories are stored in the brain by cementing experiences through a process known as consolidation. These memories can be updated, modified, or deleted after being destabilized by a different neural process known as reconsolidation. While there has been research that indicates the benefit of memory reconsolidation in treating disorders such as PTSD, SUDs, and phobias, there has been a lack of studies on its usage in treating anxiety. We hypothesize that patients who undergo treatment with memory reconsolidation will have a larger decrease in symptoms of anxiety, both unconscious and conscious. Participants underwent one of two therapy interventions for three weeks: traditional exposure therapy or reconsolidation of traumatic memories (RTM). Our results show a significant difference between the two types of treatments, with the reconsolidation integrated therapy reporting lower levels of anxiety. This has great implications for future development in treatment for anxiety and other maladaptive memory disorders that do not focus on a single memory or stimuli.

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Integrating Reconsolidation into Treatment for Maladaptive Memory: Clinical Trials in Patients with Anxiety Disorder

Long-term memories are stored in the brain by cementing experiences through a process known as consolidation. These memories can be updated, modified, or deleted after being destabilized by a different neural process known as reconsolidation. While there has been research that indicates the benefit of memory reconsolidation in treating disorders such as PTSD, SUDs, and phobias, there has been a lack of studies on its usage in treating anxiety. We hypothesize that patients who undergo treatment with memory reconsolidation will have a larger decrease in symptoms of anxiety, both unconscious and conscious. Participants underwent one of two therapy interventions for three weeks: traditional exposure therapy or reconsolidation of traumatic memories (RTM). Our results show a significant difference between the two types of treatments, with the reconsolidation integrated therapy reporting lower levels of anxiety. This has great implications for future development in treatment for anxiety and other maladaptive memory disorders that do not focus on a single memory or stimuli.

2021 SRS Feedback Form