Nav: Home

Anxiety-associated brain regions regulate threat responses in monkeys

March 25, 2019

Damage to parts of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), a region within the prefrontal cortex, heightens monkeys' defensive responses to threat, according to new research published in JNeurosci. The study proposes a critical role for subregions of this brain area in different anxiety disorders.

A network of brain regions including the OFC has been implicated in human anxiety disorders. For example, previous research has linked arachnophobia and generalized anxiety disorder to decreased activity in lateral and medial OFC, respectively. Elisabeth Murray and colleagues from the National Institute of Mental Health and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai investigated the role of these OFC subregions in male rhesus macaques trained to retrieve a fruit snack reward in the presence of one of two fake, rubber predators - a grayish-green snake or a black, hairy spider - or neutral objects.

After producing selective lesions in the lateral or medial OFC in eight monkeys, the researchers observed that these animals took longer to reach for the fruit snack in the presence of the predator stimuli compared to 12 animals with intact OFC. The researchers also found that this effect could be attributed to the heightened defensive and reduced approach behaviors that followed damage to either subregion of OFC. Both experimental groups also failed to reduce their defensive responses to the snake and spider over time. Finally, monkeys with medial OFC lesions showed a greater tendency to express defensive behaviors even in the absence of threat. Overall, these findings suggest that specific symptoms of various anxiety disorders may arise from dysfunction in distinct subregions of OFC.
-end-
Manuscript title: Heightened Defensive Responses Following Subtotal Lesions of Macaque Orbitofrontal Cortex

Please contact media@sfn.org for full-text PDF and to join SfN's journals media list.

About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

Society for Neuroscience

Related Monkeys Articles:

Why monkeys choose to drink alone
Why do some people almost always drop $10 in the Salvation Army bucket and others routinely walk by?
Marmoset monkeys can learn a new dialect
Monkeys and other animals communicate through calls that can differ depending on region.
Monkeys can also thank their body for vocal development, not only their brain
Development of vocal behavior during maturation is typically attributed to the brain.
Monkeys like alcohol at low concentrations, but probably not due to the calories
Fruit-eating monkeys show a preference for concentrations of alcohol found in fermenting fruit, but do not seem to use alcohol as a source of supplementary calories, according to a study by researchers from Linköping University, Sweden, and the Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico.
Flies may also spread disease among monkeys and apes
People the world over have a good sense that we do not want flies landing on our food.
Boosting glutamate reduces anxiety in monkeys
Researchers studying male and female marmosets have homed in on the primate brain circuitry responsible for individual differences in overall anxiety.
Marmoset monkeys expect the melody's closing tone
In speech and music, words and notes depend on each other.
What social stress in monkeys can tell us about human health
A new University of Washington-led study examines one key stress-inducing circumstance -- the effects of social hierarchy -- and how cells respond to the hormones that are released in response to that stress.
Monkeys do not start to resemble their parents before puberty
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the University of Leipzig presented experienced human raters with digital images of rhesus macaques of different ages and asked them to identify related individuals.
Why leaf-eating Asian monkeys do not have a sweet tooth
Asian colobine monkeys are unable to taste natural sugars, and in fact have a generally poor sense of taste.
More Monkeys News and Monkeys Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Meditations on Loneliness
Original broadcast date: April 24, 2020. We're a social species now living in isolation. But loneliness was a problem well before this era of social distancing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we can live and make peace with loneliness. Guests on the show include author and illustrator Jonny Sun, psychologist Susan Pinker, architect Grace Kim, and writer Suleika Jaouad.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#565 The Great Wide Indoors
We're all spending a bit more time indoors this summer than we probably figured. But did you ever stop to think about why the places we live and work as designed the way they are? And how they could be designed better? We're talking with Emily Anthes about her new book "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of how Buildings Shape our Behavior, Health and Happiness".
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Third. A TED Talk.
Jad gives a TED talk about his life as a journalist and how Radiolab has evolved over the years. Here's how TED described it:How do you end a story? Host of Radiolab Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.Jad Nicholas Abumrad is a Lebanese-American radio host, composer and producer. He is the founder of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab, which is broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide and is downloaded more than 120 million times a year as a podcast. He also created More Perfect, a podcast that tells the stories behind the Supreme Court's most famous decisions. And most recently, Dolly Parton's America, a nine-episode podcast exploring the life and times of the iconic country music star. Abumrad has received three Peabody Awards and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011.