UCLA researchers have shown for the first time a comprehensive picture of cell diversity in the amygdala, a vital brain region involved in the regulation of emotions and social behavior, as well as in autism spectrum disorders, depression, and other mental disorders. As part of the study, the team also reported on a new method for systematically linking the distinct types of brain cells to specific behavioral functions.
“The level of diversity of cells within the brain has not been well understood,” said study senior author Weizhe Hong, assistant professor of biological chemistry and neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “By revealing the many types of cells in the amygdala and then developing a method for studying the functional role of these cells, our findings can pave the way to unraveling some of the mysteries in how this important part of the brain works and what goes wrong in mental health disorders.”
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