Navigation Links
Fearless fish forget their phobias
Date:3/22/2010

Imagine if your fear of spiders, heights or flying could be cured with a simple injection. Research published in BioMed Central's open access journal, Behavioral and Brain Functions suggests that one day this could be a reality.

The cerebellum, an area of the brain thought to be involved with the development of our fears, was studied in goldfish by researchers at the University of Hiroshima in Japan. Using classical conditioning, Masayuki Yoshida and Ruriko Hirano taught their fish to become afraid of a light flashed in their eyes. By administering a low voltage electric shock every time a light was shone, the fish were taught to associate the light with being shocked, which slowed their hearts the typical fish reaction to a fright. Yoshida explains, "As you would expect, the goldfish we used in our study soon became afraid of the flash of light because, whether or not we actually gave them a shock, they had quickly learned to expect one. Fear was demonstrated by their heart beats decreasing, in a similar way to how our heart rate increases when someone gives us a fright".

Humans can also be 'trained' to become afraid, and in fact, simple classical conditioning rooted in our childhood and early development can explain many of our behaviours. In this study however, the team discovered that fish that had first been injected in the cerebellum with lidocaine had stable heart rates and showed no fear when the light was shone they were unable to learn to become afraid.

Since the brains of goldfish show many similarities with those of mammals, including humans, it is hoped that with further study it may soon be possible to understand more about the biological and chemical processes that cause us to become afraid. For the goldfish, the effect of lidocaine is only temporary fearless fish return to being frightened fish as soon as the anaesthetic has worn off. Nevertheless, one day, our irrational phobias could become a thing of the past.


'/>"/>

Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-203-192-2165
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Forget the garlic necklace -- learn more about bats and rabies
2. Forget the freezer: Research suggests novel way to control water behavior
3. Forget the antioxidants? McGill researchers cast doubt on role of free radicals in aging
4. Dont forget the vitamin A when working with its carrier protein
5. Fighting Aussie yabbies dont forget a face -- new research by the University of Melbourne
6. When accounting for the global nitrogen budget, dont forget fish
7. Urged on by urchins: How sea lilies got their get-up-and-go
8. Americans want Uncle Sams help putting healthy foods on their dinner table
9. New way to control disease-spreading mosquitoes: Make them hold their urine
10. Baby monkeys receive signals through their mothers breast milk
11. Beewolves protect their offspring with antibiotics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , ... the first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was ... 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings ... flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 2016 The new GEZE SecuLogic ... web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It ... the door interface with integration authorization management system, and ... The minimal dimensions of the access control and the ... installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard to ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... BioCatch ™, the global ... the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as CEO. ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of significant ... of its platform at several of the world,s largest ... unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2016)... ... June 22, 2016 , ... Quantitative ... business incubator and current participant in the Phase 1 Ventures program, is leveraging ... , Quantitative Radiology Solutions helps physicians make better treatment decisions by quantifying ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 21, 2016 , ... New light-based ... cutting into the tissue — promise to enable both compact, wearable devices for point-of-care ... even deeper under the skin. , Recent work and visionary future directions are detailed ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... that has developed a testing platform designed specifically ... the formation of their scientific advisory board (SAB). ... of directors, the SAB is chartered to advise ... infectious disease assay platform. Led by Dr. ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016 On Tuesday, June ... 4,843.76, up 0.14%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.14% ... 2,088.90, up 0.27%. The gains were broad based as five ... has initiated coverage on the following equities: Minerva Neurosciences Inc. ... PTLA ), Trevena Inc. (NASDAQ: TRVN ), ...
Breaking Biology Technology: