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Unconscious psychological treatments for physiological survival circuits


The idea of targeting unconscious or implicit processes in psychological treatments is not new, but until recently it has not been easy to manipulate these processes without also engaging consciousness. Here we review how this is possible, using various modern cognitive neuroscience methods including a technique known as Decoded Neural-Reinforcement. We discuss the general advantages of this approach, such as how it can facilitate double-blind placebo-controlled studies, and minimize premature patient dropouts in the treatment of fear. We also speculate how this may generalize to other similar physiological survival processes.

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