Joseph E. LeDoux

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The field of neuroscience has, after a long period of looking the other way, again embraced emotion as an important research area. Much of the progress has come from studies of fear, and especially fear conditioning. This work has pinpointed the amygdala as an important component of the system involved in the acquisition, storage, and expression of fear(More)
The contribution of the amygdala and hippocampus to the acquisition of conditioned fear responses to a cue (a tone paired with footshock) and to context (background stimuli continuously present in the apparatus in which tone-shock pairings occurred) was examined in rats. In unoperated controls, responses to the cue conditioned faster and were more resistant(More)
Understanding how fears are acquired is an important step in translating basic research to the treatment of fear-related disorders. However, understanding how learned fears are diminished may be even more valuable. We explored the neural mechanisms of fear extinction in humans. Studies of extinction in nonhuman animals have focused on two interconnected(More)
Research on the neural systems underlying emotion in animal models over the past two decades has implicated the amygdala in fear and other emotional processes. This work stimulated interest in pursuing the brain mechanisms of emotion in humans. Here, we review research on the role of the amygdala in emotional processes in both animal models and humans. The(More)
Echoplanar functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used in normal human subjects to investigate the role of the amygdala in conditioned fear acquisition and extinction. A simple discrimination procedure was employed in which activation to a visual cue predicting shock (CS+) was compared with activation to another cue presented alone (CS-). CS+ and(More)
Although much has been learned about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying Pavlovian fear conditioning at the systems and cellular levels, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying fear memory consolidation. The present experiments evaluated the role of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase(More)
The lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) is the first site in the amygdala where the plasticity underlying fear conditioning could occur. We simultaneously recorded from multiple LA neurons in freely moving rats during fear conditioning trials in which tones were paired with foot shocks. Conditioning significantly increased the magnitude of tone-elicited(More)
Recent research on changing fears has examined targeting reconsolidation. During reconsolidation, stored information is rendered labile after being retrieved. Pharmacological manipulations at this stage result in an inability to retrieve the memories at later times, suggesting that they are erased or persistently inhibited. Unfortunately, the use of these(More)
1. Considerable progress has been made over the past 20 years in relating specific circuits of the brain to emotional functions. Much of this work has involved studies of Pavlovian or classical fear conditioning, a behavioral procedure that is used to couple meaningless environmental stimuli to emotional (defense) response networks. 2. The major conclusion(More)