Contact Information:

Media Contact

Sarah McDonnell
s_mcd@mit.edu
617-827-7637

Twitter: MIT

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice




Kredyty mieszkaniowe Kredyty mieszkaniowe

Sprawdź aktualny ranking najlepszych kredytów mieszkaniowych w Polsce - atrakcyjne kredytowanie nieruchomości.

PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION
RSS - Press News Release
Add Press Release

How we make emotional decisions


2015-05-28
(Press-News.org) CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Some decisions arouse far more anxiety than others. Among the most anxiety-provoking are those that involve options with both positive and negative elements, such choosing to take a higher-paying job in a city far from family and friends, versus choosing to stay put with less pay.

MIT researchers have now identified a neural circuit that appears to underlie decision-making in this type of situation, which is known as approach-avoidance conflict. The findings could help researchers to discover new ways to treat psychiatric disorders that feature impaired decision-making, such as depression, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder.

"In order to create a treatment for these types of disorders, we need to understand how the decision-making process is working," says Alexander Friedman, a research scientist at MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the lead author of a paper describing the findings in the May 28 issue of Cell.

Friedman and colleagues also demonstrated the first step toward developing possible therapies for these disorders: By manipulating this circuit in rodents, they were able to transform a preference for lower-risk, lower-payoff choices to a preference for bigger payoffs despite their bigger costs.

The paper's senior author is Ann Graybiel, an MIT Institute Professor and member of the McGovern Institute. Other authors are postdoc Daigo Homma, research scientists Leif Gibb and Ken-ichi Amemori, undergraduates Samuel Rubin and Adam Hood, and technical assistant Michael Riad.

Making hard choices

The new study grew out of an effort to figure out the role of striosomes -- clusters of cells distributed through the the striatum, a large brain region involved in coordinating movement and emotion and implicated in some human disorders. Graybiel discovered striosomes many years ago, but their function had remained mysterious, in part because they are so small and deep within the brain that it is difficult to image them with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Previous studies from Graybiel's lab identified regions of the brain's prefrontal cortex that project to striosomes. These regions have been implicated in processing emotions, so the researchers suspected that this circuit might also be related to emotion.

To test this idea, the researchers studied mice as they performed five different types of behavioral tasks, including an approach-avoidance scenario. In that situation, rats running a maze had to choose between one option that included strong chocolate, which they like, and bright light, which they don't, and an option with dimmer light but weaker chocolate.

When humans are forced to make these kinds of cost-benefit decisions, they usually experience anxiety, which influences the choices they make. "This type of task is potentially very relevant to anxiety disorders," Gibb says. "If we could learn more about this circuitry, maybe we could help people with those disorders."

The researchers also tested rats in four other scenarios in which the choices were easier and less fraught with anxiety.

"By comparing performance in these five tasks, we could look at cost-benefit decision-making versus other types of decision-making, allowing us to reach the conclusion that cost-benefit decision-making is unique," Friedman says.

Using optogenetics, which allowed them to turn cortical input to the striosomes on or off by shining light on the cortical cells, the researchers found that the circuit connecting the cortex to the striosomes plays a causal role in influencing decisions in the approach-avoidance task, but none at all in other types of decision-making.

When the researchers shut off input to the striosomes from the cortex, they found that the rats began choosing the high-risk, high-reward option as much as 20 percent more often than they had previously chosen it. If the researchers stimulated input to the striosomes, the rats began choosing the high-cost, high-reward option less often.

Emotional gatekeeper

The findings suggest that the striatum, and the striosomes in particular, may act as a gatekeeper that absorbs sensory and emotional information coming from the cortex and integrates it to produce a decision on how to react, the researchers say.

That gatekeeper circuit also appears to include a part of the midbrain called the substantia nigra, which has dopamine-containing cells that play an important role in motivation and movement. The researchers believe that when activated by input from the striosomes, these substantia nigra cells produce a long-term effect on an animal or human patient's decision-making attitudes.

"We would so like to find a way to use these findings to relieve anxiety disorder, and other disorders in which mood and emotion are affected," Graybiel says. "That kind of work has a real priority to it."

In addition to pursuing possible treatments for anxiety disorders, the researchers are now trying to better understand the role of the dopamine-containing substantia nigra cells in this circuit, which plays a critical role in Parkinson's disease and may also be involved in related disorders.

INFORMATION:

The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the CHDI Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. Army Research Office, the Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation, and the William N. and Bernice E. Bumpus Foundation.


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Sanford-Burnham researchers identify a new target for treating drug-resistant melanoma

2015-05-28
La Jolla, Calif., May 28, 2015 - A new collaborative study led by researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), published today in Cell Reports, provides new insight into the molecular changes that lead to resistance to a commonly prescribed group of drugs called BRAF inhibitors. The findings suggest that targeting newly discovered pathways could be an effective approach to improving the clinical outcome of patients with BRAF inhibitor-resistant melanoma tumors. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, killing more than 8,000 people ...

Sleep quality influences the cognitive performance of autistic and neurotypical children

Sleep quality influences the cognitive performance of autistic and neurotypical children
2015-05-28
This news release is available in French. One night of poor sleep significantly decreases performance on intelligence tests in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and also in neurotypical children (without ASD). This is the conclusion made by researchers at the Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, affiliated with the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal and Université de Montréal. For a paper published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, the researchers observed the EEG measures of 13 autistic children ...

Health factors influence ex-prisoners' chances of returning to jail

2015-05-28
Ex-prisoners with a history of risky drug use, mental illness or poverty are more likely to end up back behind bars. Those who are obese, are chronically ill or have attempted suicide are more likely to remain in the community. These are some of the findings from an exploratory study into health-related factors that could be used to predict whether a person released from prison will end up in custody again. It was led by Emma Thomas of the University of Melbourne in Australia and is published in Springer's journal Health & Justice, an open access journal. In many countries, ...

Public raises alarm about ineffectiveness of some Montagu's harrier conservation measures

Public raises alarm about ineffectiveness of some Montagus harrier conservation measures
2015-05-28
A citizen science programme reveals the protection measures for the Montagu's harrier in the cereal crop season in France to be ineffective if nests are not protected to decrease predation after harvesting. A study has been published as a result of this voluntary fieldwork, with the participation of the Hunting Resources Research Institute, which proposes fencing off the nests as a way of mitigating the damage and optimising conservation efforts in different areas. Over the last decade there has been an explosion in the so-called citizen science programmes, in which people ...

In battle of the sexes, a single night with a New York male is enough to kill

In battle of the sexes, a single night with a New York male is enough to kill
2015-05-28
EUGENE, Ore. -- (May 28, 2015) -- Men and women often enter relationships with different long-term goals. In the animal world, differences in approaches to reproductive success can lead to sexual conflict. Male fruit flies, for example, transfer proteins during mating that can alter the timing of a female's egg laying and her tendency to later mate with other males. Some of these male-derived proteins also migrate from the female's reproductive tract to her brain. Now, in a new study, scientists of the University of Oregon and Bowdoin College show that sexual conflicts ...

Research roundup from Penn's Abramson Cancer Center

2015-05-28
CHICAGO -- Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn's Perelman School of Medicine will present results from several clinical trials and other key studies during the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting from May 29 through June 2. Results of Phase II Trial Show Successful Antitumor Response Rate in Patients with Advanced BRCA-Related Ovarian Cancer Olaparib, an experimental twice-daily oral cancer drug, produces significant antitumor responses in more than a third of patients with BRCA-related ...

Peek eye testing app shown to work as well as charts for visual acuity

2015-05-28
An app to test eyesight easily and affordably using a smartphone is as accurate as traditional charts, according to a study published today. Peek (the Portable Eye Examination Kit) is a unique smartphone-based system for comprehensive eye testing anywhere in the world which has been designed and developed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the University of Strathclyde and the NHS Glasgow Centre for Ophthalmic Research. Globally, 285 million people are visually impaired and 80% have diseases which could be cured or prevented. However, most live in ...

Estimating the global burden of cancer in 2013; 14.9 million new cases worldwide

2015-05-28
Researchers from around the world have worked together to try to measure the global burden of cancer and they estimate there were 14.9 million new cases of cancer, 8.2 million deaths and 196.3 million years of a healthy life lost in 2013, according to a Special Communication published online by JAMA Oncology. The Global Burden of Disease study by the Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration group provides a comprehensive assessment of new cancer cases (incidence), and cancer-related death and disability. Researchers relied on cancer registries, vital records, verbal ...

Metformin use associated with reduced risk of developing open-angle glaucoma

2015-05-28
Taking the medication metformin hydrochloride was associated with reduced risk of developing the sight-threatening disease open-angle glaucoma in people with diabetes, according to a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology. Medications that mimic caloric restriction such as metformin can reduce the risk of some late age-onset disease. It is unknown whether these caloric mimetic drugs affect the risk of age-associated eye diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract or glaucoma. Researcher Julia E. Richards, Ph.D., of the University of ...

Hearing impairment higher among Hispanic/Latino men, older individuals

2015-05-28
Hearing impairment was more prevalent among men and older individuals in a study of U.S. Hispanic/Latino adults, according to a report published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Hearing impairment is a common chronic condition that affects adults. Hearing impairment may lead to lower quality of life and is associated with an increased risk for dementia. Most hearing impairment is undiagnosed and untreated. Karen J. Cruickshanks, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and co-authors determined the prevalence of hearing impairment among Hispanic/Latino ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

How your brain decides blame and punishment -- and how it can be changed

Uniquely human brain region enables punishment decisions

Pinpointing punishment

Chapman University publishes research on attractiveness and mating

E-cigarettes: Special issue from Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Placental problems in early pregnancy associated with 5-fold increased risk of OB & fetal disorders

UT study: Invasive brood parasites a threat to native bird species

Criminals acquire guns through social connections

Restoring ocean health

Report: Cancer remains leading cause of death in US Hispanics

Twin study suggests genetic factors contribute to insomnia in adults

To be fragrant or not: Why do some male hairstreak butterflies lack scent organs?

International team discovers natural defense against HIV

Bolivian biodiversity observatory takes its first steps

Choice of college major influences lifetime earnings more than simply getting a degree

Dominant strain of drug-resistant MRSA decreases in hospitals, but persists in community

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application

US defense agencies increase investment in federal synthetic biology research

Robots help to map England's only deep-water Marine Conservation Zone

Mayo researchers identify protein -- may predict who will respond to PD-1 immunotherapy for melanoma

How much water do US fracking operations really use?

New approach to mammograms could improve reliability

The influence of citizen science grows despite some resistance

Unlocking secrets of how fossils form

What happens on the molecular level when smog gets into the lungs?

Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments

Platinum and iron oxide working together get the job done

Tiny silica particles could be used to repair damaged teeth, research shows

A quantum lab for everyone

No way? Charity's logo may influence perception of food in package

[Press-News.org] How we make emotional decisions
Press-News.org is a service of DragonFly Company. All Rights Reserved.
Issuers of news releases are solely responsible for the accuracy of their content.