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:5/3/2016)... Lithuania , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, ... released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System ... of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process ... accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face or ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 20, 2016 The new GEZE ... compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. ... or the door interface with integration authorization management system, ... systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control and ... building installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...   LegacyXChange, Inc. ... LegacyXChange is excited to release its first ... be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed authentic ... also provide potential shareholders a sense of the value ... industry that is notorious for fraud. The video is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Cancer experts from ... believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Surviving ... to read it now. , Biomarkers are components in the blood, tissue ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design company ... as one of the World Economic Forum,s Technology ... companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to manufacture ... the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. The ... Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for their ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with ... in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
Breaking Biology Technology: