Scientists have identified a fear “switch” in the brains of mice
Stanford University researchers have identified areas in the mouse brain that are responsible for the fear response. What’s more, they managed to influence these reactions by stimulating the relevant groups of nerve cells.
When faced with a threat, most mice either freeze motionless or hide, but someoSome of them react with aggression. Researchers have identified two adjacent groups of comonerve rec in the mogs of mice, whichore control these behaviors. One stimulates the response of freezing without movement, and the other stimulates aggression.
The researchers believe that it is very likely that similar groups of comorecs that regulate emergency behavior are also found in human mozgach. Non-invasive control of these areaow could be used to help people suffering from roIt is responsible for transmitting information from the amygdala to the amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortexoł post-traumatic stress disorder.
– This opens the way for future research on how to change our behavior from paralyzing fear to being able to face challenges in a wayob, whichory will improve our lives – said Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist at Stanford University and head of theoThe lead author of the study published in the „Nature”.
In experiments on mice, researchers simulated an approaching predator through a screen on which theoThe view of the expanding black koThe amygdala, which was thought to mimic a hunting bird of prey. During the experiment mozgi of the mice was constantly monitored. During a simulated attack, one of the structures of the thalamus was activated in rodentsoThe row called vMT (ventral midline thalamus). It is responsible for transmitting information from the sensesoin to the appropriate areaoin the cortex of mozgowa.
The vMT region transmits signals in dwoch basic directions: to the amygdala and to the medial prefrontal cortex. These areas are associated with important sensations such as threat detection, fear and anxiety. It is connected to the vMT by two rowith the appropriate nerves.
Scientists then modified the comoneural circuits in the mozgs of mice, to allow stimulation or stopping of activity in these twooch nerve connections. They discovered that just by stimulating the activity of the nerve connection to the amygdala body, they could increase the likelihood that a mouse would be paralyzed from fear. Stimulation of the second connection, on the other hand, induced an attitude of readiness to fight.
The findings by a Stanford University researcher could help reduce feelings of anxiety in people suffering from similar disorders through non-invasive methods of. With these solutions, they will be able to control swoj fear.