Research Article

Prefrontal Regions Orchestrate Suppression of Emotional Memories via a Two-Phase Process

Science  13 Jul 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5835, pp. 215-219
DOI: 10.1126/science.1139560

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Abstract

Whether memories can be suppressed has been a controversial issue in psychology and cognitive neuroscience for decades. We found evidence that emotional memories are suppressed via two time-differentiated neural mechanisms: (i) an initial suppression by the right inferior frontal gyrus over regions supporting sensory components of the memory representation (visual cortex, thalamus), followed by (ii) right medial frontal gyrus control over regions supporting multimodal and emotional components of the memory representation (hippocampus, amygdala), both of which are influenced by fronto-polar regions. These results indicate that memory suppression does occur and, at least in nonpsychiatric populations, is under the control of prefrontal regions.

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