Virtual reality is helping researchers uncover some of the secrets of anxiety. Using VR, study participants were able to distinguish between safe and dangerous environments in a game. However, brain scans of those with anxiety showed increased activity in the insula and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex while in a safe zone, indicating their brains were associating the safe environment with threat or danger.
The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in mapping out personal actions and outcomes as well as responding to the actions of others.
Researchers have uncovered the neural mechanism underlying rumination. The study reports when rumination occurs, coupling between the core and medial temporal lobe subsystems of the default mode network becomes elevated, while coupling between the core and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex decreases.
In men with a history of childhood trauma, oxytocin reduced the activity within the amygdala and cravings for cocaine. Women who were addicted to cocaine and had experienced childhood trauma showed an increase in amygdala activity following exposure to oxytocin.
Researchers report the medial prefrontal cortex calibrates current visual information with previously obtained information to help us perceive the world with more stability, helping to retain visual consistency as we blink.
Researchers report ADHD and conduct disorder exhibit similar, overlapping changes in the brain.