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Here we provide a review of the animal and human literature concerning the role of the amygdala in fear conditioning, considering its potential influence over autonomic and hormonal changes, motor behavior and attentional processes. A stimulus that predicts an aversive outcome will change neural transmission in the amygdala to produce the somatic, autonomic(More)
The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis is a limbic forebrain structure that receives heavy projections from, among other areas, the basolateral amygdala, and projects in turn to hypothalamic and brainstem target areas that mediate many of the autonomic and behavioral responses to aversive or threatening stimuli. Despite its strategic anatomical position,(More)
NMDA receptor antagonists block conditioned fear extinction when injected systemically and also when infused directly into the amygdala. Here we evaluate the ability of D-cycloserine (DCS), a partial agonist at the strychnine-insensitive glycine-recognition site on the NMDA receptor complex, to facilitate conditioned fear extinction after systemic(More)
Data will be reviewed using the acoustic startle reflex in rats and humans based on our attempts to operationally define fear vs anxiety. Although the symptoms of fear and anxiety are very similar, they also differ. Fear is a generally adaptive state of apprehension that begins rapidly and dissipates quickly once the threat is removed (phasic fear). Anxiety(More)
Administration of benzodiazepines or serotonin reuptake inhibitors in combination with behavior therapy for the treatment of many anxiety disorders has generally lead to only modest gains. In this article we suggest that pharmacotherapy aimed not at treating the symptoms of anxiety but instead aimed at improving the learning that takes place in exposure(More)
The concept of the "extended amygdala", developed and explored by Lennart Heimer, Jose de Olmos, George Alheid, and their collaborators, has had an enormous impact on the field of neuroscience and on our own work. Measuring fear-potentiated startle test using conditioned stimuli that vary in length we suggest that the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA)(More)
The endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) system represents a major therapeutic target for the treatment of a variety of anxiety-related disorders. A recent study has demonstrated that pharmacologic or genetic disruption of CB1-receptor-mediated neurotransmission decreases the extinction of conditioned fear in mice. Here, we examined whether CB1 blockade would(More)
Both the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear appear to require the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Because these two forms of learning have opposing effects on the expression of conditioned fear, we hypothesized that they may modulate GABAergic tone differentially within the BLA. Previously, we reported that gene expression for the GABA(A) receptor(More)
This review will focus on a motivational circuit in the brain, centered on the amygdala, that underlies human emotion. This neural circuitry of appetitive/approach and defensive/avoidance was laid down early in our evolutionary history in primitive cortex, sub-cortex, and mid-brain, to mediate behaviors basic to the survival of individuals and the(More)