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New study reveals how the brain can distinguish between good and bad smells

New study reveals how the brain can distinguish between good and bad smells

Whether an odor is pleasant or disgusting to an organism is not just a matter of taste. Often, an organism's survival depends on its ability to make just such a discrimination, because odors can provide important information about food sources, oviposition sites or suitable mates. [More]
TSRI scientists awarded $2.3 million grant to find ways to erase traumatic memories

TSRI scientists awarded $2.3 million grant to find ways to erase traumatic memories

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have been awarded $2.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services of the National Institutes of Health to better understand how memories are stored in the hopes of eventually being able to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by erasing traumatic memories without altering other, more benign ones. [More]
Study: Obese children's brains light up differently when tasting sugar

Study: Obese children's brains light up differently when tasting sugar

A new study led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine finds that the brains of obese children literally light up differently when tasting sugar. [More]
Scientists identify brain mechanisms that turn unpleasant experiences into long-lasting memories

Scientists identify brain mechanisms that turn unpleasant experiences into long-lasting memories

We know that everyday events can be easy to forget, but dangerous experiences that trigger fear can remain engraved in the brain for years. Now, scientists from New York University and Japan's RIKEN Brain Science Institute have added to our understanding how this occurs. [More]
Cellular mechanisms of alcohol dependence: an interview with Dr Sanna, TSRI

Cellular mechanisms of alcohol dependence: an interview with Dr Sanna, TSRI

In the brain there are both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters. These are molecules that are released from nerve endings in the brain and in the periphery and either excite or inhibit other nerve cells, also known as neurons. [More]
Elevated anxious temperament associated with neuropeptide Y receptors

Elevated anxious temperament associated with neuropeptide Y receptors

Persistent anxiety is one of the most common and distressing symptoms compromising mental health. Most of the research on the neurobiology of anxiety has focused on the generation of increased anxiety, i.e., the processes that "turn on" anxiety. [More]

Brain scientist wins 2015 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology

A brain scientist who helped explain how our emotions affect what we learn and remember has won the 2015 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. [More]
Study shows how specific trauma changes into a state of generalized fear

Study shows how specific trauma changes into a state of generalized fear

"I can't get the memories out of my mind!... I am right back in Vietnam, in the middle of the monsoon season at my guard post. My hands are freezing, yet sweat pours from my entire body...I smell a damp sulfur smell. Suddenly I see what's left of my buddy Troy, his head on a bamboo platter, sent back to our camp by the Viet Cong." [More]
New approach can prevent chronic marijuana use, relieve mood, anxiety disorders

New approach can prevent chronic marijuana use, relieve mood, anxiety disorders

Replenishing the supply of a molecule that normally activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain could relieve mood and anxiety disorders and enable some people to quit using marijuana, a Vanderbilt University study suggests. [More]
Variants of ASIC1a gene appear to be associated with panic disorder

Variants of ASIC1a gene appear to be associated with panic disorder

Panic disorder is a severe form of anxiety in which the affected individual feels an abrupt onset of fear, often accompanied by profound physical symptoms of discomfort. Scientists have known from studying twins that genes contribute to the risk of panic disorder, but very little is known about which specific genes are involved. [More]
Different forms of ASIC1a gene associated with panic disorder

Different forms of ASIC1a gene associated with panic disorder

Panic disorder is a severe form of anxiety in which the affected individual feels an abrupt onset of fear, often accompanied by profound physical symptoms of discomfort. [More]
Oxytocin hormone inhibits fear center in brain, shows study

Oxytocin hormone inhibits fear center in brain, shows study

Frightening experiences do not quickly fade from memory. A team of researchers under the guidance of the University of Bonn Hospital has now been able to demonstrate in a study that the bonding hormone oxytocin inhibits the fear center in the brain and allows fear stimuli to subside more easily. [More]
Study provides answers regarding scientific controversies about brain anatomy in autism research

Study provides answers regarding scientific controversies about brain anatomy in autism research

In the largest MRI study to date, researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Carnegie Mellon University have shown that the brain anatomy in MRI scans of people with autism above age six is mostly indistinguishable from that of typically developing individuals and, therefore, of little clinical or scientific value. [More]
Even brief workouts can reduce risk of relapse during meth withdrawal

Even brief workouts can reduce risk of relapse during meth withdrawal

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that even brief workouts can reduce the risk of relapse in rats withdrawing from methamphetamine. In addition, the team found that exercise affected the neurons in a brain region that had never before been associated with meth withdrawal, suggesting a new direction for drug development. [More]
Researchers use light to erase specific memories in mice

Researchers use light to erase specific memories in mice

Just look into the light: not quite, but researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology have used light to erase specific memories in mice, and proved a basic theory of how different parts of the brain work together to retrieve episodic memories. [More]
New research illustrates how fear arises in the brain

New research illustrates how fear arises in the brain

An estimated 8% of Americans will suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point during their lifetime. Brought on by an overwhelming or stressful event or events, PTSD is the result of altered chemistry and physiology of the brain. [More]
Brain imaging could assist bipolar depression diagnosis

Brain imaging could assist bipolar depression diagnosis

Researchers have identified structural brain differences that could help to distinguish patients with unipolar and bipolar depression. [More]
Scientists solve mystery of why specific signaling pathway can be linked with alcohol dependence

Scientists solve mystery of why specific signaling pathway can be linked with alcohol dependence

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have solved the mystery of why a specific signaling pathway can be associated with alcohol dependence. [More]

Scientists alter emotional associations of specific memories

By manipulating neural circuits in the brain of mice, scientists have altered the emotional associations of specific memories. [More]
Amygdala stimulates stress responses in adults, say researchers

Amygdala stimulates stress responses in adults, say researchers

In contrast to evidence that the amygdala stimulates stress responses in adults, researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University have found that the amygdala has an inhibitory effect on stress hormones during the early development of nonhuman primates. [More]