What’s Making a Memory Positive or Negative - Deepstash

Keep reading for FREE

Valence And Valence Assignment

For a human or animal to learn whether to avoid, or seek out, a particular experience again in the future, their brain must associate a positive or negative feeling, or “valence” with that stimulus. The brain’s ability to link these feelings with a memory is called “valence assignment”.

22

287 reads

The Neurons Assigning Valence

In 2016, Kay Tye, today a professor in Salk’s Systems Neurobiology Laboratory and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, discovered that a group of neurons in the brain’s basolateral amygdala (BLA) helps assign valence when mice are learning. One set of BLA neurons was activated with positive valence, as the animals learned to associate a tone with a sweet taste. A separate set of BLA neurons was activated with negative valence, as the animals learned to associate a different tone with a bitter taste.

19

181 reads

The Molecule Signaling Valence

In the new study, the researchers homed in on the importance of the signaling molecule neurotensin to these BLA neurons. They already knew that neurotensin is a neuropeptide produced by the cells associated with valence processing, but so are a few other neurotransmitters. So, they used CRISPR gene editing approaches to selectively remove the gene for neurotensin from the cells—the first time that CRISPR has been used to isolate specific neurotransmitter function.

19

144 reads

Blocking Valence

Without neurotensin signaling in the BLA, mice could no longer assign positive valence and didn’t learn to associate the first tone with a positive stimulus. Interestingly, the absence of neurotensin did not block negative valence. The animals instead became even better at negative valence, having a stronger association between the second tone and a negative stimulus.

19

115 reads

Negative Valence Is The Default State

The findings suggest that the brain’s default state is to have a bias toward fear—the neurons associated with negative valence are activated until neurotensin is released, switching on the neurons associated with positive valence. From an evolutionary perspective, Tye says, this makes sense because it helps people avoid potentially dangerous situations—and it probably resonates with people who tend to find the worst in a situation.

19

106 reads

Manipulating Valence

We can actually manipulate this switch to turn on positive or negative learning,” says co-first author Hao Li, a postdoctoral fellow in the Tye Lab. “Ultimately, we’d like to try to identify novel therapeutic targets for this pathway.”

The researchers still have questions about whether levels of neurotensin can be modulated in people’s brains to treat anxiety or PTSD. They are also planning future studies to probe what other brain pathways and molecules are responsible for triggering the release of neurotensin.

19

109 reads

Valence And Prevalence (Valēre And Praevalēre)

We’ve basically gotten a handle on the fundamental biological process of how you can remember if something is good or bad,” says senior author Kay Tye. “This is something that’s core to our experience of life, and the notion that it can boil down to a single molecule is incredibly exciting.”

20

127 reads

CURATED BY

xarikleia

“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison

Researchers discovered a specific neurotransmitter that helps assign either positive or negative emotions to memories. Their discovery paves the way for a better understanding of why some people are more likely to retain negative emotions than positive ones—as can occur with anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Ready for the next level?

Read Like a Pro

stash-superman-illustration

Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas

Anywhere

Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.

Join

2 Million Stashers

4.8

Stars

5,740 Reviews

App Store

4.7

Stars

72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

samz905

Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Read & Learn

20x Faster

without
deepstash

with
deepstash

with

deepstash

Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

FAQ

Claim Your Limited Offer

Get Deepstash Pro