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Latest Amygdala Stories

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2011-04-06 11:15:50

Drugs like marijuana act on naturally occurring receptors in the brain called cannabinoid receptors. However, the mechanisms by which these drugs produce their sensory and mood altering effects within the brain are largely unknown. Research led by Steven Laviolette at The University of Western Ontario has now identified a critical brain pathway responsible for the effects of cannabinoid drugs on how the brain processes emotional information. The findings, published in The Journal of...

2011-03-15 07:53:19

(Ivanhoe Newswire) "“ Adolescence is usually characterized as a tumultuous time. Previous research has pointed to the immature brain as a major cause, but now, this unique study reveals that some brain changes associated with adolescence may not be driving teens towards risky behavior but may actually reflect a decrease in susceptibility to peer pressure. Subcortical neural systems associated with emotional responses are believed to mature earlier than the higher cortical areas that...

7a79b04afff9a6f3125bb75ccc819ac71
2011-03-10 13:59:11

Study uses NSF-supported technology to identify neuronal circuitry A new study sheds light--both literally and figuratively--on the intricate brain cell connections responsible for anxiety. Scientists at Stanford University recently used light to activate mouse neurons and precisely identify neural circuits that increase or decrease anxiety-related behaviors. Pinpointing the origin of anxiety brings psychiatric professionals closer to understanding anxiety disorders, the most common class of...

2011-03-09 16:32:53

Stimulation of a distinct brain circuit that lies within a brain structure typically associated with fearfulness produces the opposite effect: Its activity, instead of triggering or increasing anxiety, counters it. That's the finding in a paper by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers to be published online March 9 in Nature. In the study, Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD, and his colleagues employed a mouse model to show that stimulating activity exclusively in this circuit enhances...

2011-03-09 16:00:19

Scans with fMRI show areas in brain that change in response to emotions as children enter adolescence Just when children are faced with intensifying peer pressure to misbehave, regions of the brain are actually blossoming in a way that heighten the ability to resist risky behavior, report researchers at three West Coast institutions. The findings -- detailed in the March 10 issue of the journal Neuron -- may give parents a sigh of relief regarding their kids as they enter adolescence and pay...

2011-03-09 15:53:03

Although it is quite common for a brief, unique experience to become part of our long-term memory, the underlying brain mechanisms associated with this type of learning are not well understood. Now, a new brain-imaging study looks at the neural activity associated with a specific type of rapid learning, insight. The research, published by Cell Press in the March 10 issue of the journal Neuron, reveals specific brain activity that occurs during an "A-ha!" moment that may help encode the new...

2011-03-09 15:51:34

Adolescence is often described as a tumultuous time, where heightened reactivity and impulsivity lead to negative behaviors like substance abuse and unsafe sexual activity. Previous research has pointed to the immature adolescent brain as a major liability, but now, a unique study reveals that some brain changes associated with adolescence may not be driving teens towards risky behavior but may actually reflect a decrease in susceptibility to peer pressure. The findings, published by Cell...

2011-02-10 20:35:57

Researchers find 2 neural pathways that play role in developing phobias Why do some people fret over the most trivial matters while others remain calm in the face of calamity? Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified two different chinks in our brain circuitry that explain why some of us are more prone to anxiety. Their findings, published today (Thursday, Feb. 10) in the journal Neuron may pave the way for more targeted treatment of chronic fear and anxiety...

2011-02-09 14:48:18

New research examines the anxious brain during a fear conditioning task and provides insight into why some individuals may be more or less prone to anxiety disorders. The study, published by Cell Press in the February 10 issue of the journal Neuron, reveals neural mechanisms that may contribute to resilience against pathological fear and anxiety. The findings may help to direct therapeutic strategies for individuals who suffer from chronic anxiety as well as strategies that could help "at...

2011-01-26 20:38:36

Works only if given during windows of memory malleability A naturally occurring growth factor significantly boosted retention and prevented forgetting of a fear memory when injected into rats' memory circuitry during time-limited windows when memories become fragile and changeable. In the study funded by the National Institutes of Health, animals treated with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-II) excelled at remembering to avoid a location where they had previously experienced a mild shock. "To...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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