Could an ingredient in curry erase scary memories? Scientists in the lab of Glenn Schafe at hunter College gave rats electric jolts, and played a sound at the same time, so they’d link the two; after a while, they played the sound without the shocks, and the rats still froze, frightened, in their little rat tracks. The team then switched up the rats’ food, feeding one group curcumin, a compound in the Indian spice turmeric, an ingredient in curry. When the sound was later played again, the rats eating regular food still froze with fear, but those eating curcumin didn’t—a sign that their memory of the earlier experiment had vanished.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016