Feb 24, 2024

Scientists discover neural pathway that explains the escalation of fear responses

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Survival requires the selection of appropriate behaviour in response to threats, and dysregulated defensive reactions are associated with psychiatric illnesses such as post-traumatic stress and panic disorder.

Scientists have discovered a new neural pathway involved in how the brain encodes the transition to high-intensity fear response behaviors that are necessary for survival, according to a recent study published in Nature.

Jones Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of Neuroscience, of Pharmacology and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, was a co-author of the study.

In mammals, the amygdala is involved in generating survival responses and transitioning to different high-intensity behaviors such as freezing or immobility (avoidance behavior) to escaping (flight behavior) in response to perceived threats.

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