A group of cells regulating the response to threat have been identified in the brain by researchers at Semmelweis University

03/08/2021 | Semmelweis

The research project, led by the Research Group of Experimental Neuroanatomy and Developmental Biology was realised in an international collaboration with the Medical University of Vienna and Karolinska Institute.

The amygdala is located in the temporal lobes of the hemispheres of the brain and plays an important role in processing and storing emotional reactions. Researchers have identified a group of cells in this area that play a critical role in giving a response in case of a threatening situation. They were trying to find what is the cerebral regulatory process that initiates the behavioral response to danger. The response to threat is a reaction made up of very ancient, innate and simple panels, which is one of the basic conditions for survival in evolution. 

They have precisely defined the neurons in an area of the brain that are responsible for the response to fear and have also identified the mechanism enabling or inhibiting the production of threat responses.

If this mechanism in the brain could be prevented by a slight intervention, it could play a huge role in producing a particular behavioral response. This is the reason why the mechanism they described, may even be a therapeutic target in the long run.

The research results have been published in one of the most prestigious international journals, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.