Stanisław Karkosz is a cognitive scientist, Ph.D. student of psychology at SWPS University, and Co-Founder of Fido Therapeutics. His research focuses on imagery techniques mechanisms, schemat therapy and agent-guided cognitive behavioral therapy. He is cocreating Fido, one of first mental health chatbots in Poland.
Imagery rescripting and disruption of memory reconsolidation - psychophysiological and fMRI study
Imagery rescripting (ImRs) is an efficient form of treatment, although its foundations are still undergoing research. In the present study, we aimed to combine ImRs with a procedure enabling disruption of memory reconsolidation, as the latter was shown beneficial for acquisition of knowledge in previous studies. In our study, we conducted two experiments that researched the effectiveness of this combination in young adults with high fear of failure, using a framework for turning aversive childhood memories into standardized audio recordings. In the first experiment, we studied this using self-evaluation and skin conductance as dependent variables in two groups: one undergoing ImRs and the other one undergoing ImRs combined with a procedure aimed at disrupting memory reconsolidation. In the second study, we conducted the same procedure using fMRI measurement. In both experiments, we invited participants with high fear of failure, who first listened to standardized audio recordings of their own criticism experiences and neutral situations and then participated in 4 intervention sessions in a period of two weeks. After two weeks they took part in a second measurement when they once again listened to the audio recordings of criticism and neutral scenes. The same was repeated at follow-up sessions that were conducted 3 and 6 months after treatment completion. Both experiments provided evidences that ImRs effectively reduces the fear of failure and related physiological or neuronal activity. In the first experiment, we didn’t detect differences between the two ImRs groups, which may suggest that the memory reconsolidation disruption is involved in imagery rescripting regardless of experimental condition. Preliminary results from the second (fMRI) experiment provide evidences that memories of criticism evoke lower responses in fear-related brain areas after ImRs.
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