Study provides contrary evidence to existing theory, finding anxiety and fear reflect overlapping neural circuits.
When a mouse senses a threat, neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus become activated and remain active for ten seconds after the threat is removed. Fear responses could be induced by artificially stimulating these neurons. Artificially silencing the neurons reduced fear behavior.
Repetitive transcranial memory stimulation applied to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex modifies the negative effects of fear memories. The findings could have implications for the treatment of PTSD.
During the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, people reported an increase in symptoms of depression, fear, anxiety, psychological trauma, and suicidal ideations.
Hippocampal neurons that respond to fearful stimuli relay that information to the amygdala. These neurons synchronize when memories of the stimuli are later recalled. The synchrony is critical to establish fear memories and the greater the synchrony, the stronger the memory becomes.
New evidence suggests the brain can update poorly formed memories with incorrect information, leading to the creation of false memories.