Basis Neuro helps you to be happy!

The human’s ability to control their own thoughts is crucial to mental health. Disturbance of this ability leads to the occurrence of obsessive negative memories and even hallucinations, which are signs of a mental disorder. Such thoughts can appear again and again, bringing people back to the traumatic event. Researchers from Cambridge suggested that there must be a mechanism in the brain that slows down negative memories, just as the nervous system controls our body. For example, when the brain feels danger, it quickly slows down the motor reflexes, while the muscular system acquires an increased tone due to adrenaline production.

In a study published in the journal Nature, leading researchers Taylor Schmitz and Michael Anderson hypothesized that the mechanism for removing obsessive memories is of a similar chemical nature and is realized through the prefrontal cortex and its connections to the hippocampus. The prefrontal cortex is, on the one hand, an important link in the regulation of behavior and thinking, and on the other hand, of the hippocampus, which forms the memory engrams. The volunteers participating in the study completed the widely used GO/NOGO task. In this task participants must recall a corresponding word of negative content in response to a certain stimulus and very quickly press the button, and then try not to remember it in response to other stimulus and not to press the button by mistake. Combining methods of functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the researchers observed what was happening in key areas of the brain when participants performed the task. Spectroscopy allowed to investigate changes in the chemical composition of the brain neurotransmitters, not just brain activity, as is usually the case with neuroimaging.

The results of experiments revealed that the ability to suppress negative thoughts and memories depends on the concentration of the neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the hippocampus and activating influences on it from the prefrontal region. GABA is one of the leading neurotransmitters in the brain involved in inhibiting the work of neurons transmitting electrical impulses to each other. High concentration of GABA in the hippocampus allowed to most efficiently suppress negative memories and make the minimum number of errors in the performance of the NOGO task. At the same time, the activation of the prefrontal cortex played an important role in the activity of the hippocampus, forcing it to produce more GABA if these brain structures interacted more intensively.

Now a more complete picture has been formed, showing not just the frontal-hippocampal connections, but also the chemical influences on the processes of extracting and removing memory engrams. However, researchers report that the abnormal activity in the hippocampus is observed in various cases, including post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression, which are accompanied by a pathological uncontrolled state of consciousness and anxiety. Although the study does not widely consider methods of treating such mental disorders, a new approach to this problem was proposed. In this regard, improving the functioning of the prefrontal cortex that controls the activity of the hippocampus can help people better control obsessive and negative thoughts. The neural stimulator Basis Neuro has been adjusted for these purposes, which treats the cerebral cortex with a direct current and intensifies neuron activity in the prefrontal, frontal and premotor regions, which are key to the realization of the thinking and memory processes, as well as complex forms of behavior.