Scientists have discovered the neuronal circuits in the brain that involves in the control of fear responses, a study said.

A joint team of Swiss and German scientists have found that the neuronal circuits within the central nucleus of the amygdala, a part of the brain creates the fear response. The study, which was done on laboratory mice, is being published in Nature.

Researchers conditioned the mice to a task that presaged an unpleasant event. When that happened, the mice froze due to fear. Once the researchers deactivated the lateral subdivision of the central nucleus of the amygdala, the mice no longer felt the fear because they could not associate between the sound and the unpleasant event.

"Hence, our work defines the functional architecture of the neuronal circuits of the central amygdala and their role in acquisition and regulation of fear behaviors. Precise identification of the neuronal circuits which control fear is a major clinical challenge. Patients suffering from disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety problems, exhibit disruption of certain neuronal circuits which leads to unsuitable anxiety behavior responses," the researchers said in a statement.

New therapeutic approaches could be developed to regulate fear among patients based on the selective manipulation of the neuronal circuits, the scientists said.