Functional inactivation of the amygdala before but not after auditory fear conditioning prevents memory formation.

A. E. Wilensky, G. E. Schafe, Joseph Ledoux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Two competing theories predict different effects on memory consolidation when the amygdala is inactivated after fear conditioning. One theory, based on studies using inhibitory avoidance training, proposes that the amygdala modulates the strength of fear learning, and post-training amygdala manipulations interfere with memory consolidation. The other, based on studies using Pavlovian fear conditioning, hypothesizes that fear learning occurs in the amygdala, and post-training manipulations after acquisition will not affect memory consolidation. We infused the GABAA agonist muscimol (4.4 nmol/side) or vehicle into lateral and basal amygdala (LBA) of rats either before or immediately after tone-foot shock Pavlovian fear conditioning. Pre-training infusions eliminated acquisition, whereas post-training infusions had no effect. These findings indicate that synaptic activity in LBA is necessary during learning, but that amygdala inactivation directly after training does not affect memory consolidation. Results suggest that essential aspects of plasticity underlying auditory fear conditioning take place within LBA during learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume19
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1999

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Amygdala
Fear
Learning
GABA-A Receptor Agonists
Muscimol
Conditioning (Psychology)
Foot
Shock
Memory Consolidation

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Functional inactivation of the amygdala before but not after auditory fear conditioning prevents memory formation. / Wilensky, A. E.; Schafe, G. E.; Ledoux, Joseph.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 19, No. 24, 1999.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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