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Dec 05, 2016 12:01 PM EST

Magnets: Used Retrieve Past Memory and Treat Mental Disorders, According to Scientists

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According to studies, there are certain memories you have forgotten in the past that a magnet can help you remember. Before, magnets were only known to help you retrieve important memory stored for a short amount of time, but recent research suggest that even the less important memory and details can be recalled.

The researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison said that magnets can help retrieve old information back, and that this should be useful in the treatment of schizophrenia and depression.

"A lot of mental illness is associated with the inability to choose what to think about," said lead author Brad Postle, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"What we're taking are first steps toward looking at the mechanisms that give us control over what we think about."

"Many psychiatric diseases are associated with disorders of thought" Professor Postle told MailOnline.

"For example depression with rumination on negative thoughts; schizophrenia with hallucinations, which amount to attending to and thinking about 'noisy' signals in the brain that psychiatrically healthy people can ignore."

Professor Postle believe that their study can help people gain better understanding of how they control their thoughts and this could be useful in controlling or preventing mental disorders. He also highlights that in contrary to what most people believe, you are not really thinking or holding a lot of thoughts at once. Instead, you are only attending to a small number of things at a given moment.

With the use of a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), researchers are trying to find ways by which they could locate the part of the brain that stores the "lost memory".

"The fact that you're able to bring it back at all in this example proves it's not gone. It's just that we can't see evidence for its active retention in the brain."

"What's still unknown here is how the brain determines what falls away, and what enables you to retrieve things in the short-term if you need them," Professor Postle said.

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