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Latest Amygdala Stories

2012-01-23 13:16:49

In the classic film "12 Angry Men," Henry Fonda's character sways a jury with his quiet, persistent intelligence. But would he have succeeded if he had allowed himself to fall sway to the social dynamics of that jury? Research led by scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute found that small-group dynamics -- such as jury deliberations, collective bargaining sessions, and cocktail parties -- can alter the expression of IQ in some susceptible people. "You may joke about...

2011-12-10 01:32:05

The study, initiated by the Swiss researchers and published in Nature, constitutes ground-breaking work in exploring emotions in the brain. Anxiety disorders constitute a complex family of pathologies affecting about 10% of adults. Patients suffering from such disorders fear certain situations or objects to exaggerated extents totally out of proportion to the real danger they present. The amygdala, a deep-brain structure, plays a key part in processing fear and anxiety. Its functioning can...

Domestic Violence Triggers Brain Changes In Children
2011-12-06 05:23:17

Children exposed to family violence show the same pattern of activity in their brains as soldiers exposed to combat, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Current Biology. The study is the first to use brain scans, or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to investigate the impact of physical abuse and domestic violence on children´s emotional development. Scientists at University College London found that exposure to family violence was associated with...

2011-09-29 22:58:44

Finding offers new insights into neural basis of social perception Responding to faces is a critical tool for social interactions between humans. Without the ability to read faces and their expressions, it would be hard to tell friends from strangers upon first glance, let alone a sad person from a happy one. Now, neuroscientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), with the help of collaborators at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center...

Marijuana Could Help Prevent PTSD Symptoms
2011-09-21 09:14:29

  Cannabinoids (marijuana) administration after experiencing a traumatic event blocks the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-like symptoms in rats, according to a new study conducted at the University of Haifa and published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. “We found that there is a ℠window of opportunity´ during which administering synthetic marijuana helps deal with symptoms simulating PTSD in rats,” said Dr. Irit Akirav of the...

2011-09-15 12:17:14

Research provides new insight into why some individuals may be more aggressive than others Fluctuations of serotonin levels in the brain, which often occur when someone hasn't eaten or is stressed, affects brain regions that enable people to regulate anger, new research from the University of Cambridge has shown. Although reduced serotonin levels have previously been implicated in aggression, this is the first study which has shown how this chemical helps regulate behavior in the brain...

Study: Humans Are Wired To Respond To Animals
2011-09-12 09:11:59

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) found in a new study that an area of your brain is hard-wired to respond to animals, whether they are cute and fluffy or ugly and threatening. No matter what your response is to animals, it could be thanks to that specific area of the brain that is hard-wired to rapidly detect other creatures. Working with researchers from UCLA, Caltech researchers report that neurons throughout the amygdala -- a center in the brain known...

2011-09-09 11:44:34

Some people feel compelled to pet every furry animal they see on the street, while others jump at the mere sight of a shark or snake on the television screen. No matter what your response is to animals, it may be thanks to a specific part of your brain that is hardwired to rapidly detect creatures of the nonhuman kind. In fact, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and UCLA report that neurons throughout the amygdala–a center in the brain known for processing...

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2011-08-19 15:56:23

When a male rat senses the presence of a fetching female rat, a certain region of his brain lights up with neural activity, in anticipation of romance. Now Stanford University researchers have discovered that in male rats infected with the parasite Toxoplasma, the same region responds just as strongly to the odor of cat urine. Is it time to dim the lights and cue the Rachmaninoff for some cross-species canoodling? "Well, we see activity in the pathway that normally controls how male...

2011-08-18 14:41:32

A press release from PLoS ONE New research shows how a brain parasite can manipulate rodent fear responses for the parasite's own benefit. The study, authored by Patrick House and Dr. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University and released this week in PloS One, addressed how the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii makes infected rodents more likely to spend time near cat odors. The study finds Toxoplasma-infected male rats have altered activation in brain regions involved in fear and...


Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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