The Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Freiburg


Announcement for the next
BCCN Seminar

Prof. Dr. Andreas Lüthi

Friedrich-Miescher-Institute Basel

SPECIFIC AMYGDALA CIRCUITS FOR EXTINCTION AND CONTEXT-DEPENDENT RENEWAL OF CONDITIONED FEAR


Thursday, October 18th, 2007

17:15h

Lecture Hall (ground floor)
BCCN building
Hansastraße 9A
79104 Freiburg
Abstract:
Considerable evidence suggests that once encoded, fear memories are resistant to decay. Nonetheless, they can be inhibited in a context-dependent manner after fear extinction. While tremendous progress has been made in identifying the mechanisms underlying fear learning, much less is known about the neuronal substrates mediating fear extinction and its context-dependency. We have addressed this question using a combination of targeted pharmacological inactivation and single unit recordings in awake and freely moving mice. In contrast to previous models suggesting that amygdala neurons are active during states of high fear and inactive during states of low fear, we found that activity in distinct neuronal circuits within the basal nucleus of the amygdala cause opposite behavioral outcomes, thus providing a new framework for understanding context-dependent expression and extinction of conditioned fear behavior.
The talk is open to the public. Guests are cordially invited!
www.bccn.uni-freiburg.de