Navigation Links
David Anderson to discuss what model organisms can teach us about emotion

Scientists know little about how the brain creates and controls emotions an uncertainty that presents a major obstacle in the effort to develop treatments for emotional disorders. "The study of the brain science of emotion is in its infancy," says Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator David Anderson, "yet emotional and psychiatric disorders continue to take an enormous toll on human society."

On February 20, 2010, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Annual Meeting in San Diego, Anderson, a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology, will discuss how studies of model organisms such as mice and fruit flies can improve scientists' understanding of the neural basis of emotion. That understanding, he says, is essential for developing more specific therapies for emotion disorders such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Anderson explains that while functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) studies of the human brain have linked neural activity in specific regions of the brain to particular emotional responses, there are limits to what can be learned from these types of studies. "We cannot tell which of these hotspots represents the actual cause of an emotional response, and which of them represents a reaction to the response," he says.

To makes that distinction, scientists must alter the activity of brain circuits in a targeted way, and then determine the consequences of the changes on emotional behavior. Such experiments are not possible on human subjects, and so scientists turn to model organisms. Anderson, whose own studies at Caltech and HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus explore the link between neural circuitry and emotional behaviors such as fear and aggression in both mice and fruit flies, will discuss the power and limitations of these types of experiments.

"We are in the midst of a revolution in the development of new technologies for experimentally manipulating brain circuitry," he says. Molecular and genetic tools that allow scientists to control when specific neurons are turned on in model organisms is already beginning to transform scientists' understanding of many aspects of brain function, including sensation, perception, cognition, and motor control. Anderson's presentation will address how to best apply these tools to the study of emotion.

"We need to know which animals are most suitable for studying this complex subject," he says. The laboratory mouse is amenable to powerful genetics techniques and it has a brain structure that is fundamentally similar to that of humans. But, he says, mouse research is slow, costly, technically difficult, and presents ethical challenges. Invertebrate model organisms, like the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, have simpler brains, more powerful genetic tools, and allow for faster, less expensive studies. "But can one study emotional behavior in a fly?" Anderson asks.


Contact: Jennifer Michalowski
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Related medicine news :

1. WorldHeart Appoints David Pellone Chief Financial Officer
2. Statement of Eli Lilly and Company on Dr. David Egilman Settlement:
3. David Ward Joins OrthoSynetics(TM) as Western Region Sales Manager
4. The Law Offices of John David Hart: Texas Man Sues Medtronic in Body-Snatching Case
5. Mylan Announces Appointment of David A. Lillback as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Human Resources
6. St. Davids Medical Center Implements New Robotic Technology to Treat Common Heart Rhythm Disorders
7. David Grimes, FHI physician, inducted into Institute of Medicine
8. David Kahal Joins AXA Equitable as National Sales Manager
9. Leading Authority on Health Benefits, David Hom, Joins Board of Directors of Healthcare Technology Innovator, NavigatorMD, Inc.
10. Tree named in honor of Virginia Tech chemist David G.I. Kingston
11. David Luci Joins MacroChem as General Counsel and Vice President Corporate Development
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... While it’s ... poses a problem. Fortunately, an inventor from Austin, Texas, has identified a solution. , ... medication in darkness or restricted lighting. As such, it eliminates the need to turn ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, ... guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is ... vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds ... by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing ... new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on ... subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and ... for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)...  In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic, ... (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen – ... a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s acute ... Recognizing the value and importance of the ... Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that practitioners ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination should ... helping communities across Massachusetts , Connecticut ... shots through the end of the month. *Some exclusions apply ... ... is by the end of October, according to the Centers for Disease ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... and Consulting, LLC , and named its founder as ... in Tennessee , will operate under ... EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care partners to include ... "In an interoperable world, technology delivers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: