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
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
18.10.2017 | Health and Medicine
18.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences