We’ve previously posted about the use of medications like propranolol to interfere with memory reconsolidation and reduce the power of addicts’ neurological triggers to get high.
Chinese researchers are experimenting with non-pharmaceutical approaches to using memory reconsolidation to reduce craving:
Addicts tend to associate a drug’s effects with drug-taking equipment and a certain environment, which can make them vulnerable to relapse if they encounter those conditions. The technique, studied by Lin Lu of the National Institute of Drug Dependence at Peking University in Beijing and his colleagues, aims to break that link by briefly reactivating the memory of drug taking and following it with an ‘extinction session’ of repeated exposure to the same memory cues.
The short reminder of drug-taking seems to take the memory out of storage and make it easier to overwrite.
- Altering the Factual Content of Memories (kolber.typepad.com)
- the forgetting pill erases painful memories forever (atolemdro.com)
- Learning To Forget (wired.com)