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Sex Influences on Substance Abuse and Other Brain Disorders: The Burden of Proof has Shifted

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Air date: Monday, August 06, 2012, 11:00:00 AM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 154, (20 Live, 134 On-demand)
Category: Special
Runtime: 00:58:23
Description: My research focuses on neural mechanisms of memory formation for emotionally arousing events. Although in the past I have pursued this goal using both animal and human subject models, my current work involves only human subject studies. I employ neuropharmacological, neuropsychological, and brain imaging approaches in these studies. My research suggests that activation of beta-adrenergic receptors and the amygdala in humans are critical for enhanced conscious ("declarative") memory associated with emotional arousal. For example, I have found that beta-adrenergic blockade in healthy humans selectively impairs long-term memory for emotionally arousing material. Patients with selective damage to the amygdala show a similar deficit. Furthermore, amnesic patients with intact amygdalae demonstrate enhanced memory for emotional material despite their overall impaired memory performance.

Finally, human brain imaging studies are consistent with the neuropyschological findings in suggesting that amygdala activity in humans is selectively related to memory formation under conditions of emotional arousal.

More recently, our work is showing that sex and cerebral hemisphere constitute twin, interacting influences on brain mechanisms of emotion and memory that can no longer be ignored.
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NLM Title: Sex influences on substance abuse and other brain disorders : the burden of proof has shifted [electronic resource] / Larry Cahill.
Author: Cahill, Larry.
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Publisher:
Abstract: (CIT): My research focuses on neural mechanisms of memory formation for emotionally arousing events. Although in the past I have pursued this goal using both animal and human subject models, my current work involves only human subject studies. I employ neuropharmacological, neuropsychological, and brain imaging approaches in these studies. My research suggests that activation of beta-adrenergic receptors and the amygdala in humans are critical for enhanced conscious ("declarative") memory associated with emotional arousal. For example, I have found that beta-adrenergic blockade in healthy humans selectively impairs long-term memory for emotionally arousing material. Patients with selective damage to the amygdala show a similar deficit. Furthermore, amnesic patients with intact amygdalae demonstrate enhanced memory for emotional material despite their overall impaired memory performance. Finally, human brain imaging studies are consistent with the neuropyschological findings in suggesting that amygdala activity in humans is selectively related to memory formation under conditions of emotional arousal. More recently, our work is showing that sex and cerebral hemisphere constitute twin, interacting influences on brain mechanisms of emotion and memory that can no longer be ignored.
Subjects: Brain Diseases
Neuroradiography--methods
Sex Factors
Substance-Related Disorders
Publication Types: Lectures
Webcasts
Download: To download this event, select one of the available bitrates:
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Caption Text: Download Caption File
NLM Classification: WM 270
NLM ID: 101591632
CIT Live ID: 11599
Permanent link: http://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?17482

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