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From Stress to Anhedonia: Molecular Processes through Functional Circuits

Converging evidence across species highlights the contribution of environmental stress to anhedonia (loss of pleasure and/or motivation). However, despite a…

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Converging evidence across species highlights the contribution of environmental stress
to anhedonia (loss of pleasure and/or motivation). However, despite a clear link between
stress and the emergence of anhedonic-like behavior in both human and animal models,
the underlying biological pathways remain elusive. Here, we synthesize recent findings
across multiple levels, from molecular signaling pathways through whole-brain networks,
to discuss mechanisms through which stress may influence anhedonia.

Systematic review and meta-analysis of age-related differences in instructed emotion regulation success

The process model of emotion regulation (ER) is based on stages in the emotion generative process at which regulation may…

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The process model of emotion regulation (ER) is based on stages in the emotion generative process at which regulation may occur. This meta-analysis examines age-related differences in the subjective, behavioral, and physiological outcomes of instructed ER strategies that may be initiated after an emotional event has occurred; attentional deployment, cognitive change, and response modulation. Within-process strategy, stimulus type, and valence were also tested as potential moderators of the effect of age on ER. A systematic search of the literature identified 156 relevant comparisons from 11 studies. Few age-related differences were found. In our analysis of the subjective outcome of response modulation strategies, young adults used expressive enhancement successfully (g = 0.48), but not expressive suppression (g = 0.04). Response modulation strategies had a small positive effect among older adults, and enhancement vs suppression did not moderate this success (g = 0.31 and g = 0.10, respectively). Young adults effectively used response modulation to regulate subjective emotion in response to pictures (g = 0.41) but not films (g = 0.01). Older adults were able to regulate in response to both pictures (g = 0.26) and films (g = 0.11). Interestingly, both age groups effectively used detached reappraisal, but not positive reappraisal to regulate emotional behavior. We conclude that, in line with well-established theories of socioemotional aging, there is a lack of evidence for age differences in the effects of instructed ER strategies, with some moderators suggesting more consistent effectiveness for older compared to younger adults.

Bivariate genome-wide association analysis strengthens the role of bitter receptor clusters on chromosomes 7 and 12 in human bitter taste

Human perception of bitter substances is partially genetically determined. Previously we discovered a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within the cluster…

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Bivariate genome-wide association analysis strengthens the role of bitter receptor clusters on chromosomes 7 and 12 in human bitter taste

Human perception of bitter substances is partially genetically determined. Previously we discovered a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within the cluster of bitter taste receptor genes on chromosome 12 that accounts for 5.8% of the variance in the perceived intensity rating of quinine, and we strengthened the classic association between TAS2R38 genotype and the bitterness of propylthiouracil (PROP). Here we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using a 40% larger sample (n = 1999) together with a bivariate approach to detect previously unidentified common variants with small effects on bitter perception. We identified two signals, both with small effects (< 2%), within the bitter taste receptor clusters on chromosomes 7 and 12, which influence the perceived bitterness of denatonium benzoate and sucrose octaacetate respectively. We also provided the first independent replication for an association of caffeine bitterness on chromosome 12. Furthermore, we provided evidence for pleiotropic effects on quinine, caffeine, sucrose octaacetate and denatonium benzoate for the three SNPs on chromosome 12 and the functional importance of the SNPs for denatonium benzoate bitterness. These findings provide new insights into the genetic architecture of bitter taste and offer a useful starting point for determining the biological pathways linking perception of bitter substances.

New study identifies the genes expressed by our largest organ

In a new study, scientists have identified 888 genes that define the various cell types and structures that make up…

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New study identifies the genes expressed by our largest organ

In a new study, scientists have identified 888 genes that define the various cell types and structures that make up the human skin.

A simple blood count could help diagnose cancer earlier

In Short: Having a high blood platelet count is a strong predictor of cancer and should be urgently investigated to…

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A simple blood count could help diagnose cancer earlier

In Short: Having a high blood platelet count is a strong predictor of cancer and should be urgently investigated to save lives, according to a…

Oxygen might not lead us to aliens after all

A new study published in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry suggests the presence of atmospheric oxygen on another planet is…

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Oxygen might not lead us to aliens after all

A new study published in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry suggests the presence of atmospheric oxygen on another planet is far from a sure sign.