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Neuroscientist Daniela Schiller, PhD, grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust. Her father was a survivor, but he refused to talk about his experiences. Propelled by his silence, Dr. Schiller became an expert on how the brain stores fear memories. In 2010, she published a landmark paper in Nature that shed light on a neurological process called “reconsolidation,” in which memories become subject to change when they are recalled. In recent years, she has explored the power of imagination and mindfulness to alter the intense emotions associated with painful memories. Her research may point the way to new treatments for a range of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this interview she talks about how learning to see memories as malleable is liberating and about how her research changed her understanding of her father.


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