Transparent brains reveal effects of cocaine and fear

Posted on November 21, 2014



A technique that makes mouse brains transparent shows how the entire brain responds to cocaine addiction and fear. The findings could uncover new brain circuits involved in drug response.

In the technique, known as CLARITY, brains are infused with acrylamide, which forms a matrix in the cells and preserves their structure along with the DNA and proteins inside them. The organs are then treated with a detergent that dissolves opaque lipids, leaving the cells completely clear.

To test whether CLARITY could be used to show how brains react to stimuli, neuroscientists Li Ye and Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University in California engineered mice so that their neurons would make a fluorescent protein when they fired. (The system is activated by the injection of a drug.) The researchers then trained four of these mice to expect a painful foot shock when placed in a particular box; another set of mice placed in the box received cocaine, rather than shocks.

Click on the link below to read the full article


Category(s):Drug Addiction

Source material from Nature


Mental Health News

  • Multi-Tasking Isn't All Bad

    newsthumbA recent published experimental study investigated the effects of multi-tasking on productivity, with the results suggesting that perceived ...

  • Forgiveness and Emotional Freedom

    newsthumbThis article talks about how showing forgiveness is the best route to emotional healing and freedom.

  • Advantages of being Narcissistic

    newsthumbNarcissism has a negative connotation and is often seen as an undesirable trait to have. However, recent findings show that there are positive ...