What do these results mean for you?
The effects of the study can't be duplicated at home (unless you inhabit a lair peopled with neuroscientists, artificial intelligence, and fMRI machines… but we can't all live that dream). Right now, researchers aren't even sure the results are permanent, or that DecNef would work on fear memories that weren't created by researchers in a lab.
If the results hold up, though, this could have huge mental health implications, and could impact treatments for anything from PTSD to phobias. Like fear of cockroaches. There's still a lot of work before researchers reach that point.
"Whether the effect was long-term is something we would like to test in the future," Dr. Koizumi said. "I hope more studies can fine-tune this technique. Some researchers are conducting follow-up studies of our study. So please stay tuned."