HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Scientists uncover new clues about brain function in human behavior

Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, have discovered a genetically controlled brain mechanism responsible for social behavior in humans--one of the most important but least understood aspects of human nature. The findings are reported in Nature Neuroscience, published online on July 10, 2005.

The study compared the brains of healthy volunteers to those with a genetic abnormality, Williams Syndrome, a rare disorder that causes unique changes in social behavior. This comparison enabled the researchers to both define a brain circuit for social function in the healthy human brain, and identify the specific way in which it was affected by genetic changes in Williams Syndrome.

People with Williams Syndrome who are missing about 21 genes on chromosome seven are highly social and empathetic, even in situations that would elicit fear and anxiety in healthy people. They will eagerly, and often impulsively, engage in social interactions, even with strangers. However, they experience increased anxiety that is non-social, such as fear of spiders or heights (phobias) and worry excessively.

For several years, scientists have suspected that abnormal processing in the amygdala, an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain, may be involved in this striking pattern of behavior. The amygdala's response and regulation are thought to be critical to people's social behavior through the monitoring of daily life events such as danger signals. Scientists know from animal studies that damage to the amygdala impairs social functioning.

"Social interactions are central to human experience and well-being, and are adversely affected in psychiatric illness. This may be the first study to identify functional disturbances in a brain pathway associated with abnormal social behavior caused by a genetic disorder," said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D.

In this study, investigators used fu
'"/>

Contact: Jennifer Loukissas
nimhpress@nih.gov
301-443-4536
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
10-Jul-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
2. Scientists prove that disputed Korean stem cell line comes from an unfertilized egg and not cloning
3. Scientists move closer to bio-engineered bladders
4. Scientists find stem cell switch
5. Scientists discover new way to study nanostructures
6. Scientists a step closer to understanding how anaesthetics work in the brain
7. Scientists to make news at Computational Biology Conference
8. Accident-prone? Scientists link brain function to knee injuries
9. Scientists take next step in understanding potential target for ovarian cancer treatment
10. Scientists find brown fat master switch
11. Scientists identify 2 distinct Parkinsons networks

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/27/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2019 , ... ... patients to their Glen Ellyn, IL practice for Invisalign® treatment. Invisalign ... teeth. , Patients with a misaligned bite, also known as malocclusion, present both ...
(Date:11/20/2019)... ... ... BioInformatics Inc., part of Science and Medicine Group, the leading research and advisory ... Science Industry Awards for the most innovative new products in 2019. , Here are ... New Product – Cell Biology, Fluidigm (Gold Award) for ...
(Date:11/19/2019)... ... 19, 2019 , ... Hosted at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and brought ... the largest gathering of MJBiz business professionals in the world. With over 1,300 exhibitors ... there is no show quite like it. Atlantic Ultraviolet will exhibit at Booth C9217, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/10/2020)... ... January 09, 2020 , ... GenScript Biotech Corp., ... Biotech Global Forum on Jan. 14 in San Francisco, coinciding with the JP ... and the Booming China Market," will feature gene and cell therapy leaders in ...
(Date:1/7/2020)... SOMERVILLE, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... January 06, 2020 ... ... Center for a Digital World at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, is ... P. Sloan Foundation. The grant will be administered by Tufts University, and will ...
(Date:12/30/2019)... ... December 30, 2019 , ... Leak Detection Associates ... the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Device and Food Packaging Industries is pleased to announce ... software program specific to the custom-built helium leak testing systems it designs and ...
(Date:12/18/2019)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... December 17, 2019 , ... ... Nadel LLP is pleased to announce that it has hired Dr. Alia ... pharmaceuticals. , Orbin is experienced in the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: