The first paper that we like to indicate to the Neuropenews readers is “The paraventricular thalamus controls a central amygdala fear circuit”, published online in Nature on January 19, 2015. The authors are: Mario Penzo, Vincent Robert, Jason Tucciarone, Dimitri De Bundel, Minghui Wang, Linda Van Aelst, Martin Darvas, Luis Parada, Richard Palmiter, Miao He, Z. Josh Huang, and Bo Li. The paper can be obtained online here.
It is hard to imagine that an intangible emotion like fear is encoded within neuronal circuits, but researchers have found that fear is stored within a distinct region of the brain. In particular, “…fear learning and memory are orchestrated by neurons in the central amygdala”. The central amygdala in turn appears to be under the control of the cluster of neurons that form the PVT, or paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus. This region of the brain is extremely sensitive to stress, acting as a sensor for both physical and psychological tension.
The second paper, “Aphasia or neglect after thalamic stroke: the various ways they may be related to cortical hypoperfusion” from Rajani S, Schein MG, Davis C, et al., was published on Front. Neurol., 19 Nov 2014, as part of a major Research Topic on Ischemic Penumbra. As other reports on diaschisis, it appears (to me) to be slightly parochial in the bibliography. Notwithstanding, diaschisis is more and more found to be a mechanism at the basis of both neurological as well as psychiatric/psychological presentations, and this is why I am pointing this report to the attention of the Neuropenews readers.