Artificial recreation of happy memories may become the next big weapon against depression

Urging a depressed person to stay positive by remembering the good things in life is unlikely to be helpful advice. That is because depression blocks access to happy memories. But what if we could somehow artificially recreate such memories to allow for some more positive thinking? A study suggests that this is indeed possible – at least in rats.

Surprisingly, the psychology and physiology of rodents is not so distant from our own. And if the same effect could be observed in humans, it might help open depressed individuals up to positive general interpretation of life experiences that make it possible to lift the dark veil of depression.

The brain and depression

Clinical depression, which is different from a temporary bout of sadness, is a rather common psychopathological disorder characterised by persistent negative moods, feelings of sadness, loss of interest and motivation. It has negative consequences on sleep and affects many aspects of an individual’s life, including what would otherwise be rewarding behaviours – like eating. […]

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