Just made a bad decision? Perhaps anxiety is the culprit

Mar 15, 2016 | | Say something

Just made a bad decision? Perhaps anxiety is the culprit ;

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most people experience anxiety in their lives. For some, it’s just a bad feeling going on, but for many, anxiety rules your everyday life, even to the point of taking over the decisions they make.

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have discovered a mechanism of how to do anxiety may disrupt decision . In a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience report that anxiety a region of brain disengages called the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is essential for flexible decision making. By controlling the activity of neurons in the prefrontal cortex while rats were anxious to make decisions about how to obtain a reward, the scientists made two observations. First, anxiety leads to poor decisions when distractors present conflict exists. Second, bad decisions under anxiety involve blunting PFC neurons.

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The data indicate that anxiety has an exquisitely selective effect on neuronal activity that supports decision-making, says Bita Moghaddam, the lead author of the study and professor in the Department of Neuroscience at P. School of Arts and Sciences Kenneth Dietrich. So far, scientists have mainly studied anxiety in animal models in the context of fear and how it is measured brain cells react to a threatening situation. But human anxiety is devastating, not only because of how the person feels, but also because it can interfere with almost every aspect of daily life, including decision-making, says Moghaddam.

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Pitt researchers studied this aspect of anxiety by controlling the activity of a large number of neurons as rats make decisions about which option was best for a reward. They compared behavior and neuronal activity two groups :. One group had a placebo injection and another that received a low dose of a drug that induces anxiety

As with many people who suffer from anxiety, but go through life everyday and make decisions, anxious rats completed the task of making decisions and, in fact, did not so bad. But they made more mistakes when the right choice involved ignoring the distracting information. “A locus brain vulnerability these errors induced anxiety in a group of cells encoding specific PFC for option. Anxiety power weakened encoding these neurons.

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“We had a simplistic study and treatment of anxiety approach. We have equated with fear and most have assumed that the return to engage the whole brain circuits. But this study shows that anxiety cells disengages brain in a highly specialized manner. “

Perhaps down the line, this better understanding of the mechanics of the brain behind the anxiety and decision-making, he says, could lead to better treatment of anxiety in people and subsequently better results in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

This article was originally published on medicalxpress, Read the original article

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