American Scientists Have Figured Out Where Stress Is Hidden In The Human Brain

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American Scientists Have Figured Out Where Stress Is Hidden In The Human Brain
American Scientists Have Figured Out Where Stress Is Hidden In The Human Brain
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American scientists have figured out where stress is hidden in the human brain

For this, the subjects were shown shocking images. The discovery by researchers at Yale University may help develop effective therapies for treating stress-related anxiety and anxiety.

American scientists have figured out where stress is hidden in the human brain
American scientists have figured out where stress is hidden in the human brain

Photo: pixabay.com

When we experience pain, hunger, or any other physiological stress, the hypothalamus triggers the production of glucocorticoids, hormones produced by the adrenal cortex. Previous research has shown that emotional responses to stress - fear, anxiety, apprehension - have a different neurobiological origin. In animal studies, mechanisms have been identified that involve the hippocampus, the region of the brain that regulates emotion, memory consolidation, and the spatial memory required for navigation. Although the link between the hippocampus and stress is well understood, the nature of this link is still unclear.

In a new study from Yale University, published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists have taken a fresh look at how the neurological bases of stress function in the human brain.

The study involved 60 adult volunteers with no health problems. They were shown a series of disgusting and threatening images - snarling dogs, disfigured faces, filthy toilets - interspersed with neutral content. During the experiment, the researchers measured the participants' brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and also assessed the degree of stress and arousal they experienced from each set of images.

The results of the study showed that neural connections emanating from the hippocampus, when viewing images that cause unpleasant emotions, reach not only areas of the brain associated with physiological stress reactions, but also the dorsal lateral frontal cortex of the brain, which is involved in increasing cognitive functions and regulating emotions. When the neural connections between the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex were stronger, participants reported feeling less tense due to the problematic images. At the same time, they experienced increased tension as the neural network between the hippocampus and hypothalamus became more active.

Yale scientists point out that there are other studies that have found that people with chronic anxiety may have difficulty receiving calming feedback from the frontal cortex during stress.

“These results will allow for the adaptation of therapy to treat anxiety and anxiety through the use of multiple targets. You can strengthen the connection between the hippocampus and the frontal cortex, or reduce the signal transmitted to centers of physiological stress,”says one of the study authors, Professor Rajita Sinha.

Sinha emphasizes that in a number of cases, the reactions were adaptive, that is, connections with the frontal cortex were enhanced with stronger exposure to images. Scientists believe that this reaction is possible by referring to memories that help mitigate the stress response.

“Other studies have shown that remembering positive experiences can reduce stress responses. We believe that memory networks in the brain can be used to create a robust emotional response to stress,”said Elizabeth Goldfarb, lead author of the study, Yale Stress Center Research Fellow.

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