Navigation Links
David Anderson to discuss what model organisms can teach us about emotion
Date:2/20/2010

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
michalow@hhmi.org
301-215-8576
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... The Sharie Withers ... has announced the latest beneficiary of their thriving community involvement program. The current ... to fulfilling the dreams of terminally ill patients. Donations to this worthy cause ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , ... January 17, 2017 , ... Today, FloSports ... Wrestling announced a new agreement as part of a long-term extension of their ... and includes the airing of some of the sport’s premier events exclusively on FloWrestling.com ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... Battle Creek, MI (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... substance abuse located in Southwest Michigan, joined other volunteers and organizations in support of ... sees hundreds of children and families dressed up in colorful costumes of all designs ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... ... demonstrate their groundbreaking GunSport•PRO® and EB15•LE® electronic earplugs at the NSSF SHOT Show ... Vegas, Booth #2809. The SHOT Show is the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Houston dentist, Dr. Behzad Nazari, announces that ... and financing for orthodontics for a limited time. Complimentary for a limited time, ... orthodontic options. Walk-in, late-evening, Saturday, and same-day appointments are available. Antoine Dental also ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/16/2017)... 2017  An aneurysm develops due to the weakening of ... Aneurysms can occur in any artery, it happens most often ... blood to legs. Most aortic aneurysms occur in the section ... referred as abdominal aortic aneurysms, sometimes in the chest referred ... in the abdomen is about 2 cm but in the ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... 16, 2017  This report by Persistence Market ... market for the period 2016–2024. The primary objective ... information related to market opportunities in the global ... study demonstrates the various dynamics that are expected ... of the global peripherally inserted central catheters market ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... 2017 The global pacemaker market is expected ... a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The ... of medical coverage is a key driving factor governing ... in these devices are supporting the expansion of this ... a high-impact growth rendering driver for this market. A ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: