Fear and the brain: where have we been, and where are we going?

  title={Fear and the brain: where have we been, and where are we going?},
  author={Joseph E LeDoux},
  journal={Biological Psychiatry},

Figures from this paper

Neurobiological Basis of Emotions

Dysfunction of these circuits has also been related to a range of behavioral and neuropsychiatric problems, with the orbitofrontal cortex being the focus of recent research interest.

There is nothing to fear but the amygdala: applying advances in the neuropsychiatry of fear to public policy

The last 25 years have seen advances in our understanding of the neuroscience and neuropsychiatry of fear. From the basic brain mechanisms of fear to new evidence-based treatments for the pathologies

The amygdaloid complex: anatomy and physiology.

The anatomical and physiological substrates proposed to underlie amygdala function are examined, suggesting that long-term synaptic plasticity of inputs to the amygdala underlies the acquisition and perhaps storage of the fear memory.

The psychobiology of anxiety

Emotion, Neural Mechanisms of

Chasing “fear memories” to the cerebellum

  • A. Vazdarjanova
  • Psychology, Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2002
An elegant study by Sacchetti and colleagues in this issue of PNAS adds a new dimension to the recently described role of the cerebellum in emotional learning and memory by revealing that the Cerebellum is essential for consolidating memories for both tone and contextual fear conditioning for several days longer than the basolateral amygdala.

Cellular Mechanisms in the Amygdala Involved in Memory of Fear Conditioning

Defining the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying fear memory will enhance the understanding of biological mechanism to enemies, as well as the ability to develop treatments for individual afflicted with anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Hemodynamic responses to fear and disgust-inducing pictures: an fMRI study.

  • R. StarkA. Schienle D. Vaitl
  • Psychology, Biology
    International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology
  • 2003

Neurobiological Evidences, Functional and Emotional Aspects Associated with the Amygdala: From “ What is it? “to “What’sto be done?“

A review of current literature with 169 studies that met inclusion criteria to synthesize findings on amygdala and their influence on the neurobiological aspects finds demonstate converging evidence that the amygdala plays a pivotal role in motor, cognitive and emotional functions.



The Amygdala and Fear Conditioning: Has the Nut Been Cracked?

Extinction of emotional learning: Contribution of medial prefrontal cortex

The emotional brain

In The Emotional Brain, Joseph LeDoux investigates the origins of human emotions and explains that many exist as part of complex neural systems that evolved to enable us to survive.

Emotion: Systems, Cells, Synaptic Plasticity

The role of the amygdala in emotional learning.

  • M. Davis
  • Biology, Psychology
    International review of neurobiology
  • 1994

Impaired auditory recognition of fear and anger following bilateral amygdala lesions

A further investigation is reported of one of these rare cases, a woman who has impaired perception of the intonation patterns that are essential to the perception of vocal affect, despite normal hearing, which shows that the amygdala's role in the recognition of certain emotions is not confined to vision, which is consistent with its being involved in the appraisal of danger and the emotion of fear.

Learning and memory: Never fear, LTP is hear

Two groups now report, however, that fear conditioning (which is a form of pavlovian conditioning) causes an increase in the strength of synapses in a region of the brain that is associated with learning and memory.

Modality-specific retrograde amnesia of fear.

The results indicate that fear memory is not a single process and that the hippocampus may have a time-limited role in associative fear memories evoked by polymodal (contextual) but not unimodal (tone) sensory stimuli.

Different types of fear-conditioned behaviour mediated by separate nuclei within amygdala

This work shows that distinct neural systems involving separate amygdaloid nuclei mediate different types of conditioned fear behaviour, and suggests that theories of amygdala function should take into account the roles of discrete amygdala subsystems in controlling different components of integrated emotional responses.