2/24: Aaron, Kristen F., Kimberly
3/10: Kristen G., Dahlia
4/7: Gordon, Emily M.
4/21: Eleanor, Aidan, Nicole, Rebecca
5/5: Emma, Natalie, Viviana
Is the concept of wanting to remember and thus choosing what to remember really a choice? If emotions play a role in what will and will not be stored, should the question be can we control our emotional responses and thus our memory? But even if we keep our emotional responses in check on the outside, (i.e. our behavior), will the amygdala still be activated? Also, I wonder if the process of uncoupling, for example the separation of the Arc protein from its respective gene, facilitates the brain's malleability?
I found this article very interesting and it reenforced elements introduced in Daniel Schacter's book. This article states that emotionally taxing or arousing events, however short lived they may be, activate the amygdala. This events are thus imprinted in one's mind. However I am curious how this contrasts with the concept of repressed emotions. Although not directly discussed in this article: what makes a memory more susceptible to heightened awareness rather than repression? Why are some traumatic experiences so vivid, while others are subsequently forgotten?
The identification of the protein known as “Arc” and its relationship to storage of long-term memories raises significant questions concerning personal agency in memory making. What if you were able to control when your amygdala was stimulated, and thus control the creation of Arc proteins? For example, if soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan could somehow block amygdala stimulation during combat, it seems likely that less Arc proteins would be produced in the hippocampus, which would perhaps decrease the strength of the traumatic combat memory. I think that research of trauma and memory formation such as this is bound to raise a number of moral and ethical questions, as well as inspire reflection upon the meaning of trauma itself.
This is all very interesting, but it seems to me like something is missing. We can have powerful, vivid memories that aren't associated with trauma - sometimes they can be associated with pleasure or discovery. On the other hand, I have a friend who underwent prolonged trauma when she was younger and she has vivid memories of some of it, has forgotten other parts, and even has memories that are a mix of true and false. What role does the amygdala play in the remembering of trauma that doesn't last an instant but goes on for weeks, months and years? What role does it play in strong memories that aren't associated with trauma?