Discovery of an unsuspected function of the cerebellum!

Did you know that different regions of the brain are involved in memorizing emotional information, both positive and negative? One of these regions is none other than the cerebellum, best known for its role in regulating movement.

the brainbrain it is so complex that discoveries continue to come to us about it. Its posterior part, the cerebellum, is primarily known for regulating motor function. But previous studies have also shown its involvement in higher brain functions, including emotions and cognition. While the cerebellum has already been shown to play an important role in fear conditioning, its role in memorizing emotional experiences is less clear. Researchers from the University of Basel show the results of this latest discovery in a study published in the journal PNAS.

The objective of the present study was to determine if the cerebellum and the cerebellar-cerebral connections are involved in the phenomenon of episodic memoryepisodic memory superior for emotional visual information the researchers write. The latter thus showed 1,418 healthy participants emotional (positive and negative) and neutral images, and recorded their brain activity using themagnetic resonance imagingmagnetic resonance imaging functional (fMRIfMRI).

Study participants then performed a memory test on these images. Result: positive and negative images were remembered better than neutral ones. Enhanced emotional image retention was linked to increased brain activity in areas of the brain already known to play this role. But the researchers also visualized increased activity in the cerebellum, initially showing that this part of the brain plays a role in recording emotional memories.

The cerebellum belongs to a brain network involved in the memorization of emotions

In addition, the researchers showed that the cerebellum was more connected to different areas of the brain during increased storage of emotional images. For example, it receives information from the cingulate gyrus, which plays an important role in the perception and evaluation of feelings. The cerebellum would also send signals to the amygdala andSea HorseSea Horse, both involved in memory storage. The cerebellum is therefore part of a brain network whose purpose is to improve the storage of emotional information.

It may be interesting to ask what is the use of this function for the human being, who constantly lives positive and negative experiences. To which the researchers reply that improved memory for emotional information is a well-known phenomenon that has a adaptive valueadaptive value in mattermatter of evolution, because it is vital to remember both the dangerous and the favorable situations. However, this feature has drawbacks in the case of very negative experiences, which can lead to recurring anxiety.

Therefore, the results of the study could be useful to better understand psychiatric disorders with emotional circuits. Atypical valuesAtypical values such as post-traumatic stress disorder or autism spectrum disorderautism spectrum disorder.

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