According to the authors of this research work, which was recently published in the scientific journal NeuroImage, certain brains act via a mechanism which makes them more prone to suffer and not control anxiety than other brains when faced with identical situations. In patients with anxiety disorders, an excessive activation in the face of certain stimuli exists, which activates a disproportionate response to experiences subjectively understood to be tense, stressful or dangerous. Their anxiety would be determined by their excessive activation of fear or their incapacity to fulfil the needs that they consider important. Therefore it would be difficult for them to react to a situation of tension or stress, and this situation would consequently trigger a feeling of frustration; thus the frequent relation of complaints of a depressive nature arises.
A disproportionate feeling of lack of reward, or even punishment, is produced during anxiety disorders. What these Spanish scientists have discovered through functional magnetic resonance is that an excessive activation of the so-called BIS (behavioural inhibition system) exists in this type of patients in the face of adverse stimuli.
The basis of the neuropsychological model of anxiety proposed by the present-day psychology thought is that the natural existence of BIS is activated by stimuli in the form of punishment or lack of reward; innate stimuli of fear in which certain stimuli are experienced as a threat without the need for learning, for example, a train approaching and the risk of being hit; or new fear stimuli acquired through experience or familiarity, such as phobias and post-traumatic stress.
The brain regions involved in the anatomic substrate of BIS are the cerebral amygdala and the septohippocampal system. Therefore, this altered response of anxiety and hyperactivity in patients who are predisposed to suffer anxiety in the face of such stimuli (punishment or lack of reward) can be measured with its incidence on these encephalic areas while patients undergo a test of sensitivity to mechanisms of reward or punishment.
A team of researchers at UJI and UAB in collaboration with Eresa, an image diagnosis company, has carried out a study with 63 individuals who were subjected to the sensitivity test and a magnetic resonance study which quantified the volume of grey matter in the different encephalic structures.
This research work reveals that a greater volume of grey encephalic matter exists in the brain areas of the right parahippocampus, the right cerebral amygdala and the left anterior parahippocampus of some individuals who went on to obtain higher scores in the test. This coincides with some anatomical regions which are triggered in the face of punishment or reward stimuli.
According to Vicente Belloch, the scientific director at Eresa and part-time lecturer at UJI, the combined research of both universities along with Eresa “reveals the existence of a different anatomy in small areas of the brain which could, in part, help explain why a stimulus triggers anxiety in some people but not in others”. However, the researchers recognise that unknown quantities remain to be solved. Benlloch reminds us that “the mechanism by which this increased volume of grey matter leads patients to obtain higher scores in the questionnaire remains unknown”.
Hugo Cerdà | alfa
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy