The influence of stress hormones on fear circuitry

Sarina M. Rodrigues, Joseph Ledoux, Robert M. Sapolsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Fear arousal, initiated by an environmental threat, leads to activation of the stress response, a state of alarm that promotes an array of autonomic and endocrine changes designed to aid self-preservation. The stress response includes the release of glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex and catecholamines from the adrenal medulla and sympathetic nerves. These stress hormones, in turn, provide feedback to the brain and influence neural structures that control emotion and cognition. To illustrate this influence, we focus on how it impacts fear conditioning, a behavioral paradigm widely used to study the neural mechanisms underlying the acquisition, expression, consolidation, reconsolidation, and extinction of emotional memories. We also discuss how stress and the endocrine mediators of the stress response influence the morphological and electrophysiological properties of neurons in brain areas that are crucial for fear-conditioning processes, including the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. The information in this review illuminates the behavioral and cellular events that underlie the feedforward and feedback networks that mediate states of fear and stress and their interaction in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-313
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Neuroscience
Volume32
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Fingerprint

Fear
Hormones
Brain
Adrenal Medulla
Adrenal Cortex
Arousal
Amygdala
Prefrontal Cortex
Cognition
Glucocorticoids
Catecholamines
Hippocampus
Emotions
Neurons
Conditioning (Psychology)

Keywords

  • Fear conditioning
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Norepinephrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

The influence of stress hormones on fear circuitry. / Rodrigues, Sarina M.; Ledoux, Joseph; Sapolsky, Robert M.

In: Annual Review of Neuroscience, Vol. 32, 06.2009, p. 289-313.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rodrigues, Sarina M. ; Ledoux, Joseph ; Sapolsky, Robert M. / The influence of stress hormones on fear circuitry. In: Annual Review of Neuroscience. 2009 ; Vol. 32. pp. 289-313.
@article{7df1c58e2009436a86cfb93ad420b7a4,
title = "The influence of stress hormones on fear circuitry",
abstract = "Fear arousal, initiated by an environmental threat, leads to activation of the stress response, a state of alarm that promotes an array of autonomic and endocrine changes designed to aid self-preservation. The stress response includes the release of glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex and catecholamines from the adrenal medulla and sympathetic nerves. These stress hormones, in turn, provide feedback to the brain and influence neural structures that control emotion and cognition. To illustrate this influence, we focus on how it impacts fear conditioning, a behavioral paradigm widely used to study the neural mechanisms underlying the acquisition, expression, consolidation, reconsolidation, and extinction of emotional memories. We also discuss how stress and the endocrine mediators of the stress response influence the morphological and electrophysiological properties of neurons in brain areas that are crucial for fear-conditioning processes, including the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. The information in this review illuminates the behavioral and cellular events that underlie the feedforward and feedback networks that mediate states of fear and stress and their interaction in the brain.",
keywords = "Fear conditioning, Glucocorticoids, Norepinephrine",
author = "Rodrigues, {Sarina M.} and Joseph Ledoux and Sapolsky, {Robert M.}",
year = "2009",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1146/annurev.neuro.051508.135620",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "32",
pages = "289--313",
journal = "Annual Review of Neuroscience",
issn = "0147-006X",
publisher = "Annual Reviews Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The influence of stress hormones on fear circuitry

AU - Rodrigues, Sarina M.

AU - Ledoux, Joseph

AU - Sapolsky, Robert M.

PY - 2009/6

Y1 - 2009/6

N2 - Fear arousal, initiated by an environmental threat, leads to activation of the stress response, a state of alarm that promotes an array of autonomic and endocrine changes designed to aid self-preservation. The stress response includes the release of glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex and catecholamines from the adrenal medulla and sympathetic nerves. These stress hormones, in turn, provide feedback to the brain and influence neural structures that control emotion and cognition. To illustrate this influence, we focus on how it impacts fear conditioning, a behavioral paradigm widely used to study the neural mechanisms underlying the acquisition, expression, consolidation, reconsolidation, and extinction of emotional memories. We also discuss how stress and the endocrine mediators of the stress response influence the morphological and electrophysiological properties of neurons in brain areas that are crucial for fear-conditioning processes, including the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. The information in this review illuminates the behavioral and cellular events that underlie the feedforward and feedback networks that mediate states of fear and stress and their interaction in the brain.

AB - Fear arousal, initiated by an environmental threat, leads to activation of the stress response, a state of alarm that promotes an array of autonomic and endocrine changes designed to aid self-preservation. The stress response includes the release of glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex and catecholamines from the adrenal medulla and sympathetic nerves. These stress hormones, in turn, provide feedback to the brain and influence neural structures that control emotion and cognition. To illustrate this influence, we focus on how it impacts fear conditioning, a behavioral paradigm widely used to study the neural mechanisms underlying the acquisition, expression, consolidation, reconsolidation, and extinction of emotional memories. We also discuss how stress and the endocrine mediators of the stress response influence the morphological and electrophysiological properties of neurons in brain areas that are crucial for fear-conditioning processes, including the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. The information in this review illuminates the behavioral and cellular events that underlie the feedforward and feedback networks that mediate states of fear and stress and their interaction in the brain.

KW - Fear conditioning

KW - Glucocorticoids

KW - Norepinephrine

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=67651021136&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=67651021136&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1146/annurev.neuro.051508.135620

DO - 10.1146/annurev.neuro.051508.135620

M3 - Article

VL - 32

SP - 289

EP - 313

JO - Annual Review of Neuroscience

JF - Annual Review of Neuroscience

SN - 0147-006X

ER -