Damage to anxiety-associated brain region heightens monkeys’ defensive response

Damage to parts of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) heightens monkeys’ defensive response to non-threatening stimuli, according to new research published in JNeurosci. The study proposes a critical role for subregions of this brain area in different anxiety disorders.

A network of brain regions including the OFC has been implicated in human anxiety disorders. For example, previous research has linked arachnophobia and generalized anxiety disorder to decreased activity in lateral and medial OFC, respectively. Elisabeth Murray and colleagues from the National Institute of Mental Health and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai investigated the role of these OFC subregions in male rhesus macaques trained to retrieve a fruit snack reward in the presence of one of two fake, rubber predators — a grayish-green snake or a black, hairy spider — or a neutral object.

After selectively lesion the lateral or medial OFC in eight monkeys, the researchers observed heightened defensive and reduced approach responses in these animals compared to 12 animals with intact OFC. Both experimental groups also failed to reduce their defensive responses to the snake and spider over time. Overall, these findings suggest the specific symptoms that define various anxiety disorders may be supported by distinct brain areas.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Society for Neuroscience. (2019, June 19). Damage to anxiety-associated brain region heightens monkeys’ defensive response. News-Medical. Retrieved on August 17, 2019 from https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190326/Damage-to-anxiety-associated-brain-region-heightens-monkeyse28099-defensive-response.aspx.

  • MLA

    Society for Neuroscience. "Damage to anxiety-associated brain region heightens monkeys’ defensive response". News-Medical. 17 August 2019. <https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190326/Damage-to-anxiety-associated-brain-region-heightens-monkeyse28099-defensive-response.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Society for Neuroscience. "Damage to anxiety-associated brain region heightens monkeys’ defensive response". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190326/Damage-to-anxiety-associated-brain-region-heightens-monkeyse28099-defensive-response.aspx. (accessed August 17, 2019).

  • Harvard

    Society for Neuroscience. 2019. Damage to anxiety-associated brain region heightens monkeys’ defensive response. News-Medical, viewed 17 August 2019, https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190326/Damage-to-anxiety-associated-brain-region-heightens-monkeyse28099-defensive-response.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
Post a new comment
Post
You might also like... ×
Neural activity is blunted in rats with family history of alcohol abuse