Neuroscientists have charted the incoming and outgoing connections of a brain region located deep within the primate prefrontal cortex that has important roles in emotion and memory processes. The comprehensive, high-resolution map reported in JNeurosci provides new insight into how emotional regulation may become disrupted in psychiatric disorders.
By mapping pathways of subgenual cingulate area 25 (A25) of non-human primates, Helen Barbas and Mary Kate Joyce demonstrate strong connections between this brain area and others involved in emotional regulation and maintenance of body states like the stress response. The researchers also found connections that may contribute to the emotional content of memories and a pathway between A25, which is activated during feelings of sadness, and frontopolar area 10, a part of the brain that helps regulate emotions and is weakened in depression in humans. As depression is associated with excessive activity in A25, strengthening the link between these two areas suggests a possible mechanism to help disengage from persistent negative thoughts characteristic of the disorder.
Article: Cortical connections position primate area 25 as a keystone for interoception, emotion, and memory
Corresponding author: Helen Barbas (Boston University, MA, USA), firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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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.