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A duty to remember, a right to forget? Behavioral Interventions into emotional memory traces

This interdisciplinary project investigates manipulations of memories in general and traumatic memories that may develop into a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in particular. In several experiments conducted at the Charité, we explore how and the extent to which traumatic memories can be effectively modulated by behavioral strategies. We apply a multi-methodological approach using structural und functional MRI, EEG, actigraphy, sleep research methodology and ecological valid behavior experiments. 

The empirical experiments are connected to the ethical-legal examination of the status of memories in the law. The project seeks to re-consider some substantive legal doctrines and procedural aspects in light of current memory research. With a special focus on trauma and the justice system, we also explore tensions between requirements of the law and interventions into memories in various trauma therapies and seek to improve the situation of victims and witnesses.

  • Dr. Dimitris Repantis, Charité Berlin, Department of Psychiatry
  • Prof. Dr. Simone Kühn, Max Planck Institut for Human Development &  UKE , Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
  • Dr. Christoph Bublitz, University of Hamburg, Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Martin Dresler, Assistant Professor, Radboud University Medical Center, Donders Institute, Nijmegen, Netherlands and Max Planck Institut of Psychiatry, Munich

The project runs from 2015 to 2020 and is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.