Research: Fear sits in the island cortex of the brain
Many people suffer from anxiety disorders, which put a lot of strain on them in everyday life and can also cause physical complaints. However, how fear and fear arise in the brain and influence our behavior is still unclear. Researchers suspect that the island's cortex plays an important role in this.
How fear arises in the brain
According to experts, almost ten percent of people worldwide suffer from depression and anxiety. Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders in Germany. They usually manifest themselves in excessive worry, fear, and a tendency to avoid potentially stressful situations, including social contacts. How fear and fear arise in the brain and influence our behavior is still unclear. Researchers suspect that the island's cortex plays an important role in this. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology now want to investigate this in more detail.
Island bark seems to play a central role
Fear and fear should warn and protect against dangerous situations. However, if these emotions become too strong or arise too often, anxiety disorders can result.
In order to better understand natural and pathological fear behavior, scientists must be able to understand the underlying processes in the brain.
Research results in recent years have shown that different areas of the brain combine feelings and emotions with information from the environment and thus influence our behavior.
The so-called island bark seems to play a central role in this network. This depressed part of the cerebral cortex is important for regulating emotions, but also involved in skills such as empathy and social behavior.
How the nerve cells of the island bark are connected to functional circuits and which tasks they perform is currently unclear.
How emotions affect our behavior
Nadine Gogolla and her team at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology want to better understand the structure and function of the island's bark.
As the institute reports in a communication, the researchers want to use the mouse model to investigate how the neural networks of the island bark are structured, how they process emotions such as fear and fear, and how they influence behavior.
Studies have shown that the island bark of mice, like that of humans, is active in fear and anxiety behavior.
With the help of modern neurobiological methods, combined with different classic and newly devised behavioral experiments, the researchers want to decode the activity and tasks of the island bark on a neuronal level.
In addition to a better understanding of the functions of the brain, the results should also be helpful as a research basis for human anxiety disorders. (ad)