Redesigning brain circuit

Rüdiger Klein receives an ERC Advanced Grant to analyze the development of amygdala circuits

The amygdala is important for the emotional evaluation of situations or objects. Aided by the amygdala, we are able learn to treat something with affection or aversion. How the amygdala controls the various behavioral reactions and which other brain regions are involved, remains unclear. In order to fill this gap in our knowledge, Rüdiger Klein attempts to specifically reorganize the development of the amygdala circuits in mice, thereby transforming innate and learned emotional behavior. The European Research Council (ERC) is funding this innovative project with a 2.5 million Euro grant over the next five years. Fear protects us from danger, but can also stand in our way when it becomes irrational. A good feeling from eating encourages us to choose suitable food, but can also contribute to eating disorders. No matter whether it is fear, pleasure or other emotions, neurons in the amygdala link our feelings with internal and external stimuli and thereby control our unconscious behavior.

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