Valence And Prevalence (Valēre And Praevalēre) - Deepstash
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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.”

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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 neurotransmitter...

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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 ne...

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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 a...

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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 neur...

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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,

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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 research...

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“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).

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