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Scientists identify cells that can push men into aggression and sex

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American scientists set the goal of knowing what neural mechanisms are behind sex. It turned out that by blocking two chains of neurons in the brains of male mice, neurophysiologists have deprived them of aggression and interest in females. 

Previously, scientists found that there are several special areas in the human brain and in all other mammals that are responsible for the work of various aspects.

Experiments showed that its activation changes the activity of the hormonal system, as well as the reconstruction of the entire brain. Therefore, the scientists focused on finding similar areas that are associated with other instinctive forms of behaviour.

Sexual assault and desire are related to the same area of ​​the brain, the ventromedial hypothalamus, and this connection is only characteristic of males.

Scientists at New York University Grossman School of Medicine found two clusters of nerve cells that link the hypothalamus to the rear tip of the amygdala that regulates emotions, including fear, anxiety, and aggression.

When neurophysiologists blocked the signals from these groups of neurons, male mice lost interest in sex and attacked unknown males as often.

When the same signals were activated, the animals were not only able to mate but repeatedly courted the non-receptive females and also became unusually aggressive.

“Our findings provide new insights into the crucial role the posterior amygdala plays in driving male social behaviours such as sex and aggression,” said study lead author Takashi Yamaguchi.

“Our new understanding of which cells cause sexual and aggressive behaviors should help us choose better brain targets when designing future treatments for psychiatric disorders,” said study lead researcher Dayu Lin.

Still, Lin warns that much of the structure of the posterior amygdala remains poorly understood and that researchers still need to determine how these findings could translate to human brains. Their team also plans to study how the two groups of nerve cells interact in the gnawing female brains.

The new research was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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