Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two Brain Structures Key To Emotional Balance Especially In Threatening Situations

Date:
October 23, 2009
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that a primitive region of the brain responsible for sensorimotor control also has an important role in regulating emotional responses to threatening situations. This region appears to work in concert with another structure called the amygdala to regulate social and emotional behavior.

Researchers have discovered that a primitive region of the brain responsible for sensorimotor control also has an important role in regulating emotional responses to threatening situations. This region appears to work in concert with another structure called the amygdala to regulate social and emotional behavior.

Georgetown University Medical Center researchers have recently discovered that activation of a primitive brain region, the deep layers of superior colliculus (DLSC), elicits defensive behaviors such as an exaggerated startle, hypervigilance, cowering, and escape. Researchers say it is possible that a prolonged activation of this defense system may lead to emotional disorders.

In a study presented at the 39th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, the GUMC scientists say, in addition to triggering defensive behaviors, the activation of DLSC leads to a decrease in affiliative social interactions. Typically, social interactions are thought to be domain of the amygdala, a region known to work closely with high-level executive structures to regulate emotional processes. The researchers say there is no information about possible interactions between the amygdala and DLSC for regulating social and emotional responses. They decided to try simultaneously activating DLSC while inhibiting the amygdala. In doing so, they discovered that the manipulations cancelled each other out.

"These results suggest that the amygdala and DLSC interact to modulate emotional and social behaviors, either directly, or indirectly by converging on a common target in the brain," says Ashley Decker, a research assistant in the pharmacology department at GUMC, and now a student at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. "The understanding of the functional interaction between these two brain structures is expected to reveal novel targets for therapeutic intervention for post traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders."

The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health. The authors report no related financial interests.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Two Brain Structures Key To Emotional Balance Especially In Threatening Situations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021101806.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2009, October 23). Two Brain Structures Key To Emotional Balance Especially In Threatening Situations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021101806.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Two Brain Structures Key To Emotional Balance Especially In Threatening Situations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021101806.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins