A team of researchers at Ruhr-University Bochum explored if fearlessness can be learned. The study is published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.
The researchers used a 5-HT2CR knock-out mouse line (2CKO) to gain new insights into the involvement of 5-HT2CRs in the neuronal fear circuitry. They used a cued fear conditioning paradigm on adult mice which were unlearning and learning to be fearless.
The Findings: Can Fearlessness Be Taught?
The results revealed that the neurotransmitter serotonin plays a key role in both the onset and in the unlearning of fear and anxiety. In fact, the absence of the serotonin receptor 5-HT2CRs is closely linked to reduced learning of fearlessness.
The authors added: “The results of the study may reveal how drugs typically used in the treatment of PTSD affect the brain regions analyzed in this study. There are already drugs in clinical use that regulate the amount of available serotonin, so-called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short.”
To Know More You May Refer To
Süß, S. T., Olbricht, L. M., Herlitze, S., & Spoida, K. (2022). Constitutive 5-HT2C receptor knock-out facilitates fear extinction through altered activity of a dorsal raphe-bed nucleus of the stria terminalis pathway. Translational psychiatry, 12(1), 487. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-022-02252-x