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Moral Grandstanding, Empathic Polarization, And Mood Disorders Neurobiology

Moral grandstanding is the use of public moral discourse for self-promotion and status attainment. If you find yourself in an open discussion of morality or politics to impress others with your superior moral qualities, you may be a card-carrying moral grandstander. A new study in PLOS found that grandstanders were more likely to report antagonistic […]

REM Sleep Quiets The Brain’s Warning Bells

Overnight amygdala adaptation fails proportionally to the restlessness of REM sleep, new research from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience suggests. The finding helps explain why you will be better able to bear tomorrow what you are distressed about today, and why that can go wrong. Something frightening or unpleasant does not go unnoticed. In our […]

Can We Turn Down The Emotion On Traumatic Memories?

A small structure in the brain could hold the keys to future therapeutic techniques for treating depression, anxiety, and PTSD, someday allowing clinicians to enhance positive memories or suppress negative ones, according to Steve Ramirez, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University. Inside our brains, a cashew-shaped structure called the hippocampus […]

MDMA Reopens Critical Window In Brain For Reward Learning

The psychedelic drug MDMA (3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine, commonly known as ecstasy), reopens a sort of window, or “critical period,” when the brain is sensitive to learning the reward value of social behaviors, Johns Hopkins neuroscientists have found. Their findings may explain why MDMA could be helpful in treating people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Critical periods were […]

Neurons That Suppress Fear Memories Hide In The Hippocampus

A group of cells in the brain that are responsible when a frightening memory re-emerges unexpectedly has been found by neuroscientists at the University of Texas at Austin. The discovery could lead to new recommendations about when and how often certain therapies are deployed for the treatment of anxiety, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). […]