Could your fears ever be ‘unlearned’?
Inhibitory learning is an active process of undoing learnt behaviour that is different to just forgetting. It is important for organisms to be able to suppress detrimental memories. Experiments using mice in which a particular receptor for the brain chemical glutamate had been removed demonstrated that the mice could not ‘unlearn’ or adapt spatial information. So glutamate and a specific glutamate receptor seem to be important in inhibitory learning. This research could lead to therapies for phobias and anxiety disorders which boost or increase glutamate receptors or glutamate in the brain.