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Empathy in mice: role of amígdala, insula and anterior cingulate cortex in the modulation of nociceptive responses

Grant number: 12/22238-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2013
Effective date (End): February 28, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology
Principal Investigator:Azair Liane Matos do Canto de Souza
Grantee:
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos, SP, Brazil

Abstract

From an evolutionary perspective, empathy is expressed by the ability to perceive emotional signals in others. In this sense the ability to perceive pain also has clearly adaptative and evolutionary value. Some neuroscientific models, such as living together in pairs, show that a motor, perceptual and emotional state by a subject activates corresponding representations and neural processes in other subject that observes this state. Studies have been developed to clarify about the social modulation of emotional behaviors in rodents, this behavior related to empathy. Work from our group demonstrated that living together can alter nociceptive response in mice. However, clarification of how these processes would be relating remains controversal. The aim of this work is evaluate the role of different brain structures as amygdala, insular cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, on the effect of living together with a pair, submited to a model of chronic pain, in the modulation of nociception-related responses. For this, mice will be housed in pairs from weaning, where onde will be submited to constriction of the sciatic nerve. After 14 days, animals that lived with couple in distress, will receive microinjections of cobalt chloride in that above cited brain structures and the nociception indices will be evaluate by the writhing test. (AU)