Brain circuit enables split-second decisions when cues conflict

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New findings shed light on how we quickly assess risks and rewards before acting. When animals hunt or forage for food, they must constantly weigh whether the chance of a meal is worth the risk of being spotted by a predator. The same conflict between cost and benefit is at the heart of many of … Read More

How the brain tells good from bad

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Eating a slice of chocolate cake or spending time with a friend usually stimulates positive feelings, while getting in a car accident or anticipating a difficult exam is more likely to generate a fearful or anxious response. An almond-shaped brain structure called the amygdala is believed to be responsible for assigning these emotional reactions. Neuroscientists … Read More

Study Reveals Brain Activities Related To Positive And Negative Perception

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Brain circuit mechanisms that can explain how positive and negative perceptions occur have been discovered by neuroscientists. The two brain activities found by experts showed the opposing events that happen following fear and reward-anticipation. The researchers used advanced optical-gentical devices that can specify the brain activities in mice after a given situation. The study was … Read More

Brain circuitry for positive vs. negative memories discovered in mice

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PN cells

Neuroscientists have discovered brain circuitry for encoding positive and negative learned associations in mice. After finding that two circuits showed opposite activity following fear and reward learning, the researchers proved that this divergent activity causes either avoidance or reward-driven behaviors. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, they used cutting-edge optical-genetic tools to pinpoint these … Read More