Fear conditioning and LTP in the lateral amygdala are sensitive to the same stimulus contingencies

  title={Fear conditioning and LTP in the lateral amygdala are sensitive to the same stimulus contingencies},
  author={Elizabeth P. Bauer and Joseph E LeDoux and Karim Nader},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
Pavlovian fear conditioning depends not so much on the contiguity (temporal overlap) of the conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) as on contingency, the ability of the CS to predict US occurrence. Associative long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular model of associative learning, occurs in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA), the putative locus of plasticity in fear conditioning. Here we show that associative LTP in LA, like fear conditioning, is sensitive to stimulus… 

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Results reveal that amygdala neurons are differentially engaged by aversive conditioning, but questions remain concerning the associative basis and functional role for these unit responses.

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An associative blocking design was used and results show an important role for MIT in predictive fear learning and are discussed with reference to previous findings implicating the midline and posterior intralaminar thalamus inFear learning and fear responding.

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These experiments show for the first time in vivo and in vitro that mGluR5 receptors are necessary for plasticity in the amygdala.



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Probability of shock in the presence and absence of CS in fear conditioning.

  • R. Rescorla
  • Psychology, Environmental Science
    Journal of comparative and physiological psychology
  • 1968
2 experiments indicate that CS-US contingency is an important determinant of fear conditioning and that presentation of US in the absence of CS interferes with fear conditioning. In Experiment 1,

L-Type Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels Mediate NMDA-Independent Associative Long-Term Potentiation at Thalamic Input Synapses to the Amygdala

Thalamoamygdala LTP was independent of NMDA receptors, despite their presence at these synapses, and instead was dependent on L-type voltage-gated calcium channels, and it was synapse specific.

The influence of prior synaptic activity on the induction of long-term potentiation.

The results suggest that the threshold for LTP induction may be continually adjusted according to the recent history of NMDA receptor activation and provide a physiological mechanism by which LTP can be transiently inhibited.

Hebbian synapses in hippocampus.

The demonstrated spatiotemporal specificity of this pseudo-Hebbian conjunctive mechanism can account qualitatively for the known neurophysiological properties of associative long-term potentiation in these synapses, which in turn can explain the "cooperativity" requirement for long- term potentiation.

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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

Both Protein Kinase A and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Are Required in the Amygdala for the Macromolecular Synthesis-Dependent Late Phase of Long-Term Potentiation

Results suggest that PKA and MAPK are critical for the expression of a persistent phase of LTP in the lateral amygdala and that this late component requires the synthesis of new protein and mRNA.