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Latest Amygdala Stories

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...

2011-01-12 16:03:09

Mice previously exposed to traumatic situations demonstrate a more persistent memory of fear conditioning - acquired by associating an acoustic stimulus with an aversive stimulus - and lack the ability to inhibit this fear. This phenomenon is similar to that of people who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder which appears after being exposed to highly traumatic situations, such as a violent attack, a natural disaster or physical abuse. In the study...

2010-12-30 10:09:46

(Ivanhoe Newswire) "“ Researchers at the University of Iowa have pinpointed the part of the brain that causes people to experience fear- a discovery that could immensely improve the treatment for the many people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety conditions. The study assesses how the emotion of fear depends on the amygdale, a region in the brain. The patient in the case study has a rare condition in which her amygdale is destroyed. UI researchers observed her...

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2010-12-27 09:20:00

Scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program have discovered a link between the size of a particular part of the brain and a person's likelihood to experience a full and active social life. The part of the brain in question is known as the amygdala, and according to an MGH press release dated December 26, it is a small, almond shaped structure located deep inside the temporal lobe. People have one amygdala in the right side of their brain...

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2010-12-20 06:25:00

It is quite likely that most people have more than a few fears? But imagine what it would be like to not have any fears whatsoever. A woman with a rare genetic disorder, Urbach-Wiethe disease, isn't frightened by anything -- not spiders, snakes, monsters, drowning, death threats, being attacked or being robbed, according to a report by the Live Science website. Researchers at the University of Iowa have tried their best to scare the 44-year-old woman, identified only as "SM," without any...

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2010-12-16 13:41:12

A new study, published online on December 16 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, offers new insight into the emotional life of a unique individual who completely lacks the function of an almond-shaped structure in the brain known as the amygdala. Studies over the last 50 years have shown that the amygdala plays a central role in generating fear reactions in animals from rats to monkeys. Based on the detailed case study of the woman identified only as SM, it now appears that the same...

2010-11-29 18:36:09

When crossing a street, we look to the left and right for cars and stay put on the sidewalk if we see a car close enough and traveling fast enough to hit us before we're able to reach the other side. It's an almost automatic decision, as though we instinctively know how to keep ourselves safe. Now neuroscientists have found that other animals are capable of making similar instinctive safety decisions. In a study published online the week of Nov. 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'