Connections between brain areas involved in memory and emotion also are involved in fear relapse—the return of fear after therapy.
“A spider phobic who is completely capable of controlling their fear of spiders in the safety of the therapist’s office is very likely to relapse outside of that context and shriek at the sight of a spider crawling on the floor of the garage when they return home,” says Texas A&M University psychologist Stephen Maren.
The research findings on rats could open the door for new medicines to treat such fear relapse in humans, Maren says.
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