JIJITANG2014-07-10 10:53 AM

These neurons trigger both sex and violence in mice

Scientists have pinpointed a group of neurons deep in the brain that make mice either want to have sex or to fight.

In fact, the researchers could switch the behavior of a single animal from mounting to attacking by gradually increasing how strongly the neurons were stimulated.

In this case, the scientists stimulated the neurons with pulses of light, a method called optogenetics. When the neurons were strongly activated, a male mouse would attack another male or a female mouse.

When the same neurons, which are located in the hypothalamus, were weakly activated, the mouse would start to sniff and mount, both mating behaviors.

Inhibiting the neurons stopped both behaviors dead in their tracks.

The findings by researchers at the California Institute of Technology are published in the journal Nature.

The neurons initially were identified because they express a protein receptor for the hormone estrogen, reinforcing the view that estrogen plays an important role in the control of male aggression, contrary to popular opinion.

Because the human brain contains a hypothalamus that is structurally similar to that in the mouse, these results may be relevant to human behavior as well.


Original Article: 
《Scalable control of mounting and attack by Esr1+ neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus》, Published on Journal 《nature》in  April 25, 2014. 
http://www.jijitang.com/note/5130

KEYWORDS

SHARE & LIKE

COMMENTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JIJITANG

0 Following 3 Fans 0 Projects 310 Articles

SIMILAR ARTICLES

Changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) have resulted in families eating more fruits and vegetable

Read More

In contests drawn from game theory, chimpanzee pairs consistently outperform humans in games that test memory and strategic thinking.A new study, condu

Read More

Publishing is one of the most ballyhooed metrics of scientific careers, and every researcher hates to have a gap in that part of his or her CV. Here’s

Read More

Pornography triggers brain activity in people with compulsive sexual behaviour -- known commonly as sex addiction -- similar to that triggered by drugs

Read More

In a recent survey, academic staff at the University identified the interrelated skills of writing and reasoning as the two most important skills for s

Read More

In a recent survey, academic staff at the University identified the interrelated skills of writing and reasoning as the two most important skills for s

Read More

Reading cautionary tales like The Boy Who Cried Wolf and Pinocchio to little kids might not be the best way to teach them to tell the truth.New researc

Read More

Those flat, glassy solar panels on your neighbor’s roof may be getting a more efficient makeover, thanks to a new class of solar-sensitive nanoparticle

Read More

Physicists have overcome a major challenge in the science of measurement using quantum mechanics. They’ve used multiple detectors to measure photons in

Read More

If you want to slow down long enough to smell the proverbial roses, you might want to move to a neighborhood with fewer drive-thru restaurants, researc

Read More