Memory editing from science fiction to clinical practice

Elizabeth A. Phelps, Stefan G. Hofmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Science fiction notions of altering problematic memories are starting to become reality as techniques emerge through which unique memories can be edited. Here we review memory-editing research with a focus on improving the treatment of psychopathology. Studies highlight two windows of memory vulnerability: initial storage, or consolidation; and re-storage after retrieval, or reconsolidation. Techniques have been identified that can modify memories at each stage, but translating these methods from animal models to humans has been challenging and implementation into clinical therapies has produced inconsistent benefits. The science of memory editing is more complicated and nuanced than fiction, but its rapid development holds promise for future applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalNature
Volume572
Issue number7767
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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