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Significant Evidence The Hippocampus Does More Than Encode New Memories

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A new study published today published in JNeurosci says that those who have lower activity in the hippocampus after a traumatic event have worse PTSD symptoms.

Along with encoding new memories, the hippocampus also assesses the physical, emotional, and danger settings.

PTSD affects all of these functions, causing symptoms such as fear overgeneralization and recurring traumatic memories.

However, it remained unclear exactly how the hippocampus activity and PTSD interacted.

Tanriverdi et al. assessed hippocampal activity and PTSD symptoms in patients who had gone to the emergency room following a traumatic incident like a vehicle accident.

The participants completed a questionnaire regarding their PTSD symptoms before viewing neutral and frightening faces as the researchers used an fMRI to record their brain activity.

In response to the terrified expressions, people with more severe PTSD symptoms had lower hippocampal activity.

This link was reinforced in those who were readily shocked during a defensive learning exercise.

For these people, their hippocampus might not be able to tell the difference between safe and unsafe situations.

These findings suggest that certain people may be more vulnerable to PTSD due to reduced hippocampus activity.

Image Credit: Getty

You were reading: Significant Evidence The Hippocampus Does More Than Encode New Memories

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