jintropin

Calendar

January 2011
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Pages

Archives

Recent Posts

Blogroll






 

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 14, 2010

Emerging research improves the understanding of brain mechanisms that allow us to make choices — a finding that will advance treatments for the millions of people who suffer from the effects of anxiety disorders.

In the study, University of Colorado at Boulder psychology Professor Yuko Munakata and her research colleagues found that “neural inhibition,” a process that occurs when one nerve cell suppresses activity in another, is a critical aspect in our ability to make choices.

“The breakthrough here is that this helps us clarify the question of what is happening in the brain when we make choices, like when we choose our words,” Munakata said.

“Understanding more about how we make choices, how the brain is doing this and what the mechanisms are, could allow scientists to develop new treatments for things such as anxiety disorders.”

Researchers have long struggled to determine why people with anxiety can be paralyzed when it comes to decision-making involving many potential options. Munakata believes the reason is that people with anxiety have decreased neural inhibition in their brain, which leads to difficulty making choices.

“A lot of the pieces have been there,” she said.

“What’s new in this work is bringing all of this together to say here’s how we can fit all of these pieces of information together in a coherent framework explaining why it’s especially hard for people with anxiety to make decisions and why it links to neural inhibitors.”

A paper on the findings titled “Neural inhibition enables selection during language processing” appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the study, researchers tested the idea that neural inhibition in the brain plays a big role in decision-making by creating a computer model of the brain called a neural network simulation.

“We found that if we increased the amount of inhibition in this simulated brain then our system got much better at making hard choices,” said Hannah Snyder, a psychology graduate student who worked with Munakata on the study.

“If we decreased inhibition in the brain, then the simulation had much more trouble making choices.”

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/09/14/better-treatment-of-anxiety-disorder/18126.html



Leave a Reply

*