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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)
Dysregulation of the fear system is at the core of many psychiatric disorders. Much progress has been made in uncovering the neural basis of fear learning through studies in which associative emotional memories are formed by pairing an initially neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus, CS; e.g., a tone) to an unconditioned stimulus (US; e.g., a shock).(More)
It is currently believed that the acquisition of classically conditioned fear involves potentiation of conditioned thalamic inputs in the lateral amygdala (LA). In turn, LA cells would excite more neurons in the central nucleus (CE) that, via their projections to the brain stem and hypothalamus, evoke fear responses. However, LA neurons do not directly(More)
Emotion enhances our ability to form vivid memories of even trivial events. Norepinephrine (NE), a neuromodulator released during emotional arousal, plays a central role in the emotional regulation of memory. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive. Toward this aim, we have examined the role of NE in contextual memory formation and in(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)
them a remarkable illustration of the power of the evolutionary process to create varied biological types from a single ancestral form. Moreover, their close phylogenetic proximity to humans makes them invaluable subjects for comparative study. Presently, the power of this comparative framework is being realized in the study of primate genomics and(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)
Single neurons were recorded in freely behaving rats during fear conditioning from areas of auditory cortex that project to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). The latency and rate of conditioning and extinction were analyzed, and the results were compared to previous recordings from LA itself. Auditory cortex neurons took more trials to learn, and(More)