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NEUROSCIENCE NEWSSummary: Neurons in an area of the brain commonly associated with fear drive pleasure seeking behaviors, a new study reports.
Surprisingly, the neurons are located in a brain region thought to be linked with fear.
Scientists have long believed that the central amygdala, a structure located deep within the brain, is linked with fear and responses to unpleasant events.
However, a team of MIT neuroscientists has now discovered a circuit in this structure that responds to rewarding events. In a study of mice, activating this circuit with certain stimuli made the animals seek those stimuli further. The researchers also found a circuit that controls responses to fearful events, but most of the neurons in the central amygdala are involved in the reward circuit, they report./.../