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How the brain processes emotions


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According to this MIT News article, neuroscientists believe they have identified the neurons associated with how we process our emotions. The article describes how tagging neurons of mice amygdala with light-sensitive proteins and then exposing these study animals to fear and pleasure stimuli led to their preliminary findings. The article suggests how identifying this emotional circuitry could further our understanding and treatment of mental illness and depression. Enjoy!

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wow thats grate. hopefully they will find a universal well working medication for depression from this. and hopefully this will work on more then just mice. I wish this video said more about the brain it just says how the amigdala when depressed dosent assign an emotion to the event. that just seems like not a very impressive discovery and that there is more to it. what i would want is a medication that controls emotions during periods because i think it effects me very negatively its something i cant control and so far there is no medication for it.

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The amygdala and the limbic system are known to control emotions, so in this sense I'm not surprised they have identified amydala neurons that possess this function. The novelty in the study seems to be that they have functionally divided the amygdala into nuclei using fluorescent or other light-based probes. Positive and negative memories may be routed differently through the amygdala. That's interesting if neurons that route negative memories can be pharmacologically and selectively suppressed.


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0896627316001835

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wow thats grate. hopefully they will find a universal well working medication for depression from this. and hopefully this will work on more then just mice. I wish this video said more about the brain it just says how the amigdala when depressed dosent assign an emotion to the event. that just seems like not a very impressive discovery and that there is more to it. what i would want is a medication that controls emotions during periods because i think it effects me very negatively its something i cant control and so far there is no medication for it.

 

As I understood the MIT article accompanying it's video, scientist believe that amygdala neurons do not respond to positive emotional stimuli amid depression as perhaps they should. They believe there work could lead to better therapies "in the long-term."

 

The amygdala and the limbic system are known to control emotions, so in this sense I'm not surprised they have identified amydala neurons that possess this function. The novelty in the study seems to be that they have functionally divided the amygdala into nuclei using fluorescent or other light-based probes. Positive and negative memories may be routed differently through the amygdala. That's interesting if neurons that route negative memories can be pharmacologically and selectively suppressed.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0896627316001835

 

According to the article, researchers found that the neuron projections of the amygdala are "'very heterogeneous. They don't all do the same thing.'" As you may have read, researchers have also found a pattern where neurons projecting to the central amygdala were more "excited" by "aversive" cues than reward stimuli, which suggests they may now have a more focused target for pharmacological and selective study. However, the implication that these negative projections are somewhat responsive to positive stimulus is concerning. Perhaps that finding is unique to mice amygdala that has yet to be determined.

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According to the article, researchers found that the neuron projections of the amygdala are "'very heterogeneous. They don't all do the same thing.'" As you may have read, researchers have also found a pattern where neurons projecting to the central amygdala were more "excited" by "aversive" cues than reward stimuli, which suggests they may now have a more focused target for pharmacological and selective study. However, the implication that these negative projections are somewhat responsive to positive stimulus is concerning. Perhaps that finding is unique to mice amygdala that has yet to be determined.

 

It may be unique in mice, but my understanding is that the generally accepted view of the amygdala in the scientific community is that it is involved in fear processing and conditioning. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_processing_in_the_brain. I think it's nice they have functionally compartmentalised the amygdala, apparently quinine vs. sucrose can differentiate these neurons. Hopefully this translates to differential pharmacological targeting in vivo.

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  • 4 weeks later...

According to this MIT News article, neuroscientists believe they have identified the neurons associated with how we process our emotions. The article describes how tagging neurons of mice amygdala with light-sensitive proteins and then exposing these study animals to fear and pleasure stimuli led to their preliminary findings. The article suggests how identifying this emotional circuitry could further our understanding and treatment of mental illness and depression. Enjoy!

 

Sounds promising! That study and the whole neuron tagging thing.

 

But then again, I thought when I saw those first PET scan images a couple decades ago...as well as subsequent computer driven brain imaging pics...that those would surely end any remaing mysteries there might be about the homo sapien mind.

 

Guess not.

 

Aren't as already pretty sure that clinical depression is the result of a lack of serotonin in the brain? Hence the significant success and efficacy of SSRIs at alleviating it?

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