A memory can it be altered against our will ?

Un souvenir peut-il être altéré contre notre volonté ?

A memory can it be altered against our will ?

Force yourself consciously to bury an unpleasant memory in the depths of his memory ? The neurosciences have demonstrated that it was possible. But what is it that an alteration in unconscious ? In other words, we could change our memories against our will ?

The answer, if it opens new perspectives in the understanding of the phenomena of unconscious psychic, is also cold in the back.

Researchers of the Centre of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at Inserm, the Centre hospitalier Sainte-Anne and université Paris Descartes wanted to check if it was possible to alter unconsciously memories. Knowing that the possibility of a conscious modification of those has been recently demonstrated.

In order to have the heart net, they have recruited volunteers. The latter had to “learn pairs of related words (e.g., candle-champagne, ride-hill…),” explain the authors. They have then “been trained for, when the first word was presented, to think of the second word of the pair, is to prevent to think about it, in the function of a visual signal”.

Orders subliminal

Small precision, “the visual signals giving the instruction to think or try not to think of the second word of the pair were sometimes presented subliminally, that is to say, all too briefly for access to consciousness”, they stress.

Result, “although these signals have not been consciously perceived, the researchers have demonstrated an impaired ability to recall the second word”. The brain, therefore, has obeyed an order outside, no awareness.

If it is only the memory of a word, this experience storyline as much as she can scare them. However, according to the scientists “this work opens new perspectives in the understanding of the phenomena of unconscious psychic”.

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