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Sample records for auditory conditioned fear

  1. Fluoxetine pretreatment promotes neuronal survival and maturation after auditory fear conditioning in the rat amygdala.

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    Lizhu Jiang

    Full Text Available The amygdala is a critical brain region for auditory fear conditioning, which is a stressful condition for experimental rats. Adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampus, known to be sensitive to behavioral stress and treatment of the antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX, is involved in the formation of hippocampus-dependent memories. Here, we investigated whether neurogenesis also occurs in the amygdala and contributes to auditory fear memory. In rats showing persistent auditory fear memory following fear conditioning, we found that the survival of new-born cells and the number of new-born cells that differentiated into mature neurons labeled by BrdU and NeuN decreased in the amygdala, but the number of cells that developed into astrocytes labeled by BrdU and GFAP increased. Chronic pretreatment with FLX partially rescued the reduction in neurogenesis in the amygdala and slightly suppressed the maintenance of the long-lasting auditory fear memory 30 days after the fear conditioning. The present results suggest that adult neurogenesis in the amygdala is sensitive to antidepressant treatment and may weaken long-lasting auditory fear memory.

  2. An organization of visual and auditory fear conditioning in the lateral amygdala.

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    Bergstrom, Hadley C; Johnson, Luke R

    2014-12-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is an evolutionary conserved and extensively studied form of associative learning and memory. In mammals, the lateral amygdala (LA) is an essential locus for Pavlovian fear learning and memory. Despite significant progress unraveling the cellular mechanisms responsible for fear conditioning, very little is known about the anatomical organization of neurons encoding fear conditioning in the LA. One key question is how fear conditioning to different sensory stimuli is organized in LA neuronal ensembles. Here we show that Pavlovian fear conditioning, formed through either the auditory or visual sensory modality, activates a similar density of LA neurons expressing a learning-induced phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK1/2). While the size of the neuron population specific to either memory was similar, the anatomical distribution differed. Several discrete sites in the LA contained a small but significant number of p-ERK1/2-expressing neurons specific to either sensory modality. The sites were anatomically localized to different levels of the longitudinal plane and were independent of both memory strength and the relative size of the activated neuronal population, suggesting some portion of the memory trace for auditory and visually cued fear conditioning is allocated differently in the LA. Presenting the visual stimulus by itself did not activate the same p-ERK1/2 neuron density or pattern, confirming the novelty of light alone cannot account for the specific pattern of activated neurons after visual fear conditioning. Together, these findings reveal an anatomical distribution of visual and auditory fear conditioning at the level of neuronal ensembles in the LA.

  3. A novel form of memory for auditory fear conditioning at a low-intensity unconditioned stimulus.

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    Ayumi Kishioka

    Full Text Available Fear is one of the most potent emotional experiences and is an adaptive component of response to potentially threatening stimuli. On the other hand, too much or inappropriate fear accounts for many common psychiatric problems. Cumulative evidence suggests that the amygdala plays a central role in the acquisition, storage and expression of fear memory. Here, we developed an inducible striatal neuron ablation system in transgenic mice. The ablation of striatal neurons in the adult brain hardly affected the auditory fear learning under the standard condition in agreement with previous studies. When conditioned with a low-intensity unconditioned stimulus, however, the formation of long-term fear memory but not short-tem memory was impaired in striatal neuron-ablated mice. Consistently, the ablation of striatal neurons 24 h after conditioning with the low-intensity unconditioned stimulus, when the long-term fear memory was formed, diminished the retention of the long-term memory. Our results reveal a novel form of the auditory fear memory depending on striatal neurons at the low-intensity unconditioned stimulus.

  4. FAAH inhibitor OL-135 disrupts contextual, but not auditory, fear conditioning in rats.

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    Burman, Michael A; Szolusha, Kerribeth; Bind, Rebecca; Kerney, Kristen; Boger, Dale L; Bilsky, Edward J

    2016-07-15

    Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent psychological disorders, have significant negative impacts on quality of life and the healthcare system, and yet effective treatments remain elusive. Manipulating the endocannabinoid system has demonstrated potential for treating anxiety, although the side effects of direct manipulations of cannabinoid receptors keeps them from widespread clinical use. Disrupting the degradation enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enhances endogenous signaling and may produce similar efficacy without the side effects. The current experiments examine the effects of low (5.6mg/kg) or moderate (10.0mg/kg) doses of OL-135, a FAAH inhibitor, on the acquisition and consolidation of classical fear conditioning, a common model of trauma-induced anxiety. The acquisition of contextual, but not auditory, fear conditioning was disrupted by both doses of OL-135. Shock reactivity was not affected. Due to the additional neural circuitry required for contextual, but not auditory, fear conditioning, these data suggest that endocannabinoid signaling outside the amygdala may be critical for a subset of fearful memories.

  5. FAAH inhibitor OL-135 disrupts contextual, but not auditory, fear conditioning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burman, Michael A; Szolusha, Kerribeth; Bind, Rebecca; Kerney, Kristen; Boger, Dale L; Bilsky, Edward J

    2016-07-15

    Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent psychological disorders, have significant negative impacts on quality of life and the healthcare system, and yet effective treatments remain elusive. Manipulating the endocannabinoid system has demonstrated potential for treating anxiety, although the side effects of direct manipulations of cannabinoid receptors keeps them from widespread clinical use. Disrupting the degradation enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enhances endogenous signaling and may produce similar efficacy without the side effects. The current experiments examine the effects of low (5.6mg/kg) or moderate (10.0mg/kg) doses of OL-135, a FAAH inhibitor, on the acquisition and consolidation of classical fear conditioning, a common model of trauma-induced anxiety. The acquisition of contextual, but not auditory, fear conditioning was disrupted by both doses of OL-135. Shock reactivity was not affected. Due to the additional neural circuitry required for contextual, but not auditory, fear conditioning, these data suggest that endocannabinoid signaling outside the amygdala may be critical for a subset of fearful memories. PMID:27083303

  6. Pre-Training Reversible Inactivation of the Basal Amygdala (BA Disrupts Contextual, but Not Auditory, Fear Conditioning, in Rats.

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    Elisa Mari Akagi Jordão

    Full Text Available The basolateral amygdala complex (BLA, including the lateral (LA, basal (BA and accessory basal (AB nuclei, is involved in acquisition of contextual and auditory fear conditioning. The BA is one of the main targets for hippocampal information, a brain structure critical for contextual learning, which integrates several discrete stimuli into a single configural representation. Congruent with the hodology, selective neurotoxic damage to the BA results in impairments in contextual, but not auditory, fear conditioning, similarly to the behavioral impairments found after hippocampal damage. This study evaluated the effects of muscimol-induced reversible inactivation of the BA during a simultaneous contextual and auditory fear conditioning training on later fear responses to both the context and the tone, tested separately, without muscimol administration. As compared to control rats micro-infused with vehicle, subjects micro-infused with muscimol before training exhibited, during testing without muscimol, significant reduction of freezing responses to the conditioned context, but not to the conditioned tone. Therefore, reversible inactivation of the BA during training impaired contextual, but not auditory fear conditioning, thus confirming and extending similar behavioral observations following selective neurotoxic damage to the BA and, in addition, revealing that this effect is not related to the lack of a functional BA during testing.

  7. Amygdala upregulation of NCAM polysialylation induced by auditory fear conditioning is not required for memory formation, but plays a role in fear extinction.

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    Markram, Kamila; Lopez Fernandez, Miguel Angel; Abrous, Djoher Nora; Sandi, Carmen

    2007-05-01

    There is much interest to understand the mechanisms leading to the establishment, maintenance, and extinction of fear memories. The amygdala has been critically involved in the processing of fear memories and a number of molecular changes have been implicated in this brain region in relation to fear learning. Although neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAMs) have been hypothesized to play a role, information available about their contribution to fear memories is scarce. We investigate here whether polysialylated NCAM (PSA-NCAM) contributes to auditory fear conditioning in the amygdala. First, PSA-NCAM expression was evaluated in different amygdala nuclei after auditory fear conditioning at two different shock intensities. Results showed that PSA-NCAM expression was increased 24 h post-training only in animals subjected to the highest shock intensity (1mA). Second, PSA-NCAM was cleaved in the basolateral amygdaloid complex through micro-infusions of the enzyme endoneuraminidase N, and the consequences of such treatment were investigated on the acquisition, consolidation, remote memory expression, and extinction of conditioned fear memories. Intra-amygdaloid cleavage of PSA-NCAM did not affect acquisition, consolidation or expression of remote fear memories. However, intra-amygdaloid PSA-NCAM cleavage enhanced fear extinction processes. These results suggest that upregulation of PSA-NCAM is a correlate of fear conditioning that is not necessary for the establishment of fear memory in the amygdala, but participates in mechanisms precluding fear extinction. These findings point out PSA-NCAM as a potential target for the treatment of psychopathologies that involve impairment in fear extinction.

  8. Contextual and auditory fear conditioning continue to emerge during the periweaning period in rats.

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    Michael A Burman

    Full Text Available Anxiety disorders often emerge during childhood. Rodent models using classical fear conditioning have shown that different types of fear depend upon different neural structures and may emerge at different stages of development. For example, some work has suggested that contextual fear conditioning generally emerges later in development (postnatal day 23-24 than explicitly cued fear conditioning (postnatal day 15-17 in rats. This has been attributed to an inability of younger subjects to form a representation of the context due to an immature hippocampus. However, evidence that contextual fear can be observed in postnatal day 17 subjects and that cued fear conditioning continues to emerge past this age raises questions about the nature of this deficit. The current studies examine this question using both the context pre-exposure facilitation effect for immediate single-shock contextual fear conditioning and traditional cued fear conditioning using Sprague-Dawley rats. The data suggest that both cued and contextual fear conditioning are continuing to develop between PD 17 and 24, consistent with development occurring the in essential fear conditioning circuit.

  9. Contextual and auditory fear conditioning continue to emerge during the periweaning period in rats.

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    Burman, Michael A; Erickson, Kristen J; Deal, Alex L; Jacobson, Rose E

    2014-01-01

    Anxiety disorders often emerge during childhood. Rodent models using classical fear conditioning have shown that different types of fear depend upon different neural structures and may emerge at different stages of development. For example, some work has suggested that contextual fear conditioning generally emerges later in development (postnatal day 23-24) than explicitly cued fear conditioning (postnatal day 15-17) in rats. This has been attributed to an inability of younger subjects to form a representation of the context due to an immature hippocampus. However, evidence that contextual fear can be observed in postnatal day 17 subjects and that cued fear conditioning continues to emerge past this age raises questions about the nature of this deficit. The current studies examine this question using both the context pre-exposure facilitation effect for immediate single-shock contextual fear conditioning and traditional cued fear conditioning using Sprague-Dawley rats. The data suggest that both cued and contextual fear conditioning are continuing to develop between PD 17 and 24, consistent with development occurring the in essential fear conditioning circuit.

  10. Voluntary exercise during extinction of auditory fear conditioning reduces the relapse of fear associated with potentiated activity of striatal direct pathway neurons.

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    Mika, Agnieszka; Bouchet, Courtney A; Bunker, Preston; Hellwinkel, Justin E; Spence, Katie G; Day, Heidi E W; Campeau, Serge; Fleshner, Monika; Greenwood, Benjamin N

    2015-11-01

    Relapse of previously extinguished fear presents a significant, pervasive obstacle to the successful long-term treatment of anxiety and trauma-related disorders. Thus, identification of a novel means to enhance fear extinction to stand the passage of time and generalize across contexts is of the utmost importance. Acute bouts of exercise can be used as inexpensive, noninvasive treatment strategies to reduce anxiety, and have been shown to enhance memory for extinction when performed in close temporal proximity to the extinction session. However, it is unclear whether acute exercise can be used to prevent relapse of fear, and the neural mechanisms underlying this potential effect are unknown. The current study therefore examined whether acute exercise during extinction of auditory fear can protect against the later relapse of fear. Male F344 rats lacking an extended history of wheel running were conditioned to fear a tone CS and subsequently extinguished within either a freely mobile running wheel, a locked wheel, or a control context lacking a wheel. Rats exposed to fear extinction within a freely mobile wheel ran during fear extinction, and demonstrated reduced fear as well as attenuated corticosterone levels during re-exposure to the extinguished CS during the relapse test in a novel context 1week later. Examination of cfos mRNA patterns elicited by re-exposure to the extinguished CS during the relapse test revealed that acute exercise during extinction decreased activation of brain circuits classically involved in driving fear expression and interestingly, increased activity within neurons of the direct striatal pathway involved in reward signaling. These data suggest that exercise during extinction reduces relapse through a mechanism involving the direct pathway of the striatum. It is suggested that a positive affective state could become associated with the CS during exercise during extinction, thus resulting in a relapse-resistant extinction memory.

  11. Voluntary exercise during extinction of auditory fear conditioning reduces the relapse of fear associated with potentiated activity of striatal direct pathway neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mika, Agnieszka; Bouchet, Courtney A; Bunker, Preston; Hellwinkel, Justin E; Spence, Katie G; Day, Heidi E W; Campeau, Serge; Fleshner, Monika; Greenwood, Benjamin N

    2015-11-01

    Relapse of previously extinguished fear presents a significant, pervasive obstacle to the successful long-term treatment of anxiety and trauma-related disorders. Thus, identification of a novel means to enhance fear extinction to stand the passage of time and generalize across contexts is of the utmost importance. Acute bouts of exercise can be used as inexpensive, noninvasive treatment strategies to reduce anxiety, and have been shown to enhance memory for extinction when performed in close temporal proximity to the extinction session. However, it is unclear whether acute exercise can be used to prevent relapse of fear, and the neural mechanisms underlying this potential effect are unknown. The current study therefore examined whether acute exercise during extinction of auditory fear can protect against the later relapse of fear. Male F344 rats lacking an extended history of wheel running were conditioned to fear a tone CS and subsequently extinguished within either a freely mobile running wheel, a locked wheel, or a control context lacking a wheel. Rats exposed to fear extinction within a freely mobile wheel ran during fear extinction, and demonstrated reduced fear as well as attenuated corticosterone levels during re-exposure to the extinguished CS during the relapse test in a novel context 1week later. Examination of cfos mRNA patterns elicited by re-exposure to the extinguished CS during the relapse test revealed that acute exercise during extinction decreased activation of brain circuits classically involved in driving fear expression and interestingly, increased activity within neurons of the direct striatal pathway involved in reward signaling. These data suggest that exercise during extinction reduces relapse through a mechanism involving the direct pathway of the striatum. It is suggested that a positive affective state could become associated with the CS during exercise during extinction, thus resulting in a relapse-resistant extinction memory. PMID

  12. A NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801 impairs consolidating extinction of auditory conditioned fear responses in a Pavlovian model.

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    Jun-Li Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In auditory fear conditioning, repeated presentation of the tone in the absence of shock leads to extinction of the acquired fear responses. The glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR is thought to be involved in the extinction of the conditioned fear responses, but its detailed role in initiating and consolidating or maintaining the fear extinction memory is unclear. Here we investigated this issue by using a NMDAR antagonist, MK-801. METHODS/MAIN FINDINGS: The effects of immediate (beginning at 10 min after the conditioning and delayed (beginning at 24 h after conditioning extinctions were first compared with the finding that delayed extinction caused a better and long-lasting (still significant on the 20(th day after extinction depression on the conditioned fear responses. In a second experiment, MK-801 was intraperitoneally (i.p. injected at 40 min before, 4 h or 12 h after the delayed extinction, corresponding to critical time points for initiating, consolidating or maintaining the fear extinction memory. i.p. injection of MK-801 at either 40 min before or 4 h after delayed extinction resulted in an impairment of initiating and consolidating fear extinction memory, which caused a long lasting increased freezing score that was still significant on the 7th day after extinction, compared with extinction group. However, MK-801 administered at 12 h after the delayed extinction, when robust consolidation has been occurred and stabilized, did not affect the established extinction memory. Furthermore, the changed freezing behaviors was not due to an alteration in general anxiety levels, since MK-801 treatment had no effect on the percentage of open-arm time or open-arm entries in an Elevated Plus Maze (EPM task. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data suggested that the activation of NMDARs plays important role in initiation and consolidation but not maintenance of fear extinction memory. Together with the fact that NMDA receptor is

  13. Stress before Puberty Exerts a Sex- and Age-Related Impact on Auditory and Contextual Fear Conditioning in the Rat

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    Maria Toledo-Rodriguez

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Adolescence is a period of major physical, hormonal, and psychological changes. It is also characterized by a significant increase in the incidence of psychopathologies and this increase is gender-specific. Stress during adolescence is associated with the development of psychiatric disorders later in life. In this study, we evaluated the impact of psychogenic stress (exposure to predator odor followed by placement on an elevated platform experienced before puberty (days 28–30 on fear memories and hormonal response of male and female rats during adolescence and early adulthood. Stress before puberty impacted in a sex- and age-specific way on the responses to auditory and contextual fear conditioning in adolescence and adulthood: (a increased conditioned fear to the tone in males during adolescence but not during adulthood; (b impaired extinction to the tone in adult males; and (c reduced freezing responses to the context in adolescent females. Stress before puberty did not influence the corticosterone levels 30 minutes after an additional stressor given in adulthood. These results indicate that stress experienced prior to puberty can exert a sex-related differential impact on fear-related behaviors displayed by individuals during late adolescence and early adulthood.

  14. Synaptic Plasticity and NO-cGMP-PKG Signaling Coordinately Regulate ERK-Driven Gene Expression in the Lateral Amygdala and in the Auditory Thalamus Following Pavlovian Fear Conditioning

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    Ota, Kristie T.; Monsey, Melissa S.; Wu, Melissa S.; Young, Grace J.; Schafe, Glenn E.

    2010-01-01

    We have recently hypothesized that NO-cGMP-PKG signaling in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) during auditory fear conditioning coordinately regulates ERK-driven transcriptional changes in both auditory thalamic (MGm/PIN) and LA neurons that serve to promote pre- and postsynaptic alterations at thalamo-LA synapses, respectively. In the…

  15. Stress before Puberty Exerts a Sex- and Age-Related Impact on Auditory and Contextual Fear Conditioning in the Rat

    OpenAIRE

    2007-01-01

    Adolescence is a period of major physical, hormonal, and psychological changes. It is also characterized by a significant increase in the incidence of psychopathologies and this increase is gender-specific. Stress during adolescence is associated with the development of psychiatric disorders later in life. In this study, we evaluated the impact of psychogenic stress (exposure to predator odor followed by placement on an elevated platform) experienced before puberty (days 28–30) on fear m...

  16. Stress before Puberty Exerts a Sex- and Age-Related Impact on Auditory and Contextual Fear Conditioning in the Rat

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Toledo-Rodriguez; Carmen Sandi

    2007-01-01

    Adolescence is a period of major physical, hormonal, and psychological changes. It is also characterized by a significant increase in the incidence of psychopathologies and this increase is gender-specific. Stress during adolescence is associated with the development of psychiatric disorders later in life. In this study, we evaluated the impact of psychogenic stress (exposure to predator odor followed by placement on an elevated platform) experienced before puberty (days 28–30) on fear memori...

  17. Serotonin in fear conditioning processes.

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    Bauer, Elizabeth P

    2015-01-15

    This review describes the latest developments in our understanding of how the serotonergic system modulates Pavlovian fear conditioning, fear expression and fear extinction. These different phases of classical fear conditioning involve coordinated interactions between the extended amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortices. Here, I first define the different stages of learning involved in cued and context fear conditioning and describe the neural circuits underlying these processes. The serotonergic system can be manipulated by administering serotonin receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and these can have significant effects on emotional learning and memory. Moreover, variations in serotonergic genes can influence fear conditioning and extinction processes, and can underlie differential responses to pharmacological manipulations. This research has considerable translational significance as imbalances in the serotonergic system have been linked to anxiety and depression, while abnormalities in the mechanisms of conditioned fear contribute to anxiety disorders.

  18. Extinction in human fear conditioning

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    Hermans, Dirk; Craske, Michelle G.; Mineka, Susan; Lovibond, Peter F.

    2006-01-01

    Although most extinction research is conducted in animal laboratories, the study of extinction learning in human fear conditioning has gained increasing attention over the last decade. The most important findings from human fear extinction are reviewed in this article. Specifically, we review experimental investigations of the impact of conditioned inhibitors, conditioned exciters, context renewal, and reinstatement on fear extinction in human samples. We discuss data from laboratory studies ...

  19. Fear conditioning is disrupted by damage to the postsubiculum.

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    Robinson, Siobhan; Bucci, David J

    2012-06-01

    The hippocampus plays a central role in spatial and contextual learning and memory, however relatively little is known about the specific contributions of parahippocampal structures that interface with the hippocampus. The postsubiculum (PoSub) is reciprocally connected with a number of hippocampal, parahippocampal and subcortical structures that are involved in spatial learning and memory. In addition, behavioral data suggest that PoSub is needed for optimal performance during tests of spatial memory. Together, these data suggest that PoSub plays a prominent role in spatial navigation. Currently it is unknown whether the PoSub is needed for other forms of learning and memory that also require the formation of associations among multiple environmental stimuli. To address this gap in the literature we investigated the role of PoSub in Pavlovian fear conditioning. In Experiment 1 male rats received either lesions of PoSub or Sham surgery prior to training in a classical fear conditioning procedure. On the training day a tone was paired with foot shock three times. Conditioned fear to the training context was evaluated 24 hr later by placing rats back into theconditioning chamber without presenting any tones or shocks. Auditory fear was assessed on the third day by presenting the auditory stimulus in a novel environment (no shock). PoSub-lesioned rats exhibited impaired acquisition of the conditioned fear response as well as impaired expression of contextual and auditory fear conditioning. In Experiment 2, PoSub lesions were made 1 day after training to specifically assess the role of PoSub in fear memory. No deficits in the expression of contextual fear were observed, but freezing to the tone was significantly reduced in PoSub-lesioned rats compared to shams. Together, these results indicate that PoSub is necessary for normal acquisition of conditioned fear, and that PoSub contributes to the expression of auditory but not contextual fear memory.

  20. Protein synthesis inhibition in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala facilitates extinction of auditory fear memory

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    JIN XinChun; QI XueLian; YANG XiaoFei; LI BaoMing

    2007-01-01

    It is known that consolidation of fear conditioning requires de novo protein synthesis in the amygdala. However, there is controversy about the role of protein synthesis in post-retrieval extinction of fear memory. The present study investigated the effect of protein synthesis inhibition (PSI) in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala (BLA) on post-retrieval extinction of auditory fear memory. Intra-BLA infusion of the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin '0' h post-retrieval facilitated the extinction, but was ineffective if the memory was not retrieved. Anisomycin had no effect on the extinction when it was infused 6 h post-retrieval. The present results suggest that there exists a protein-synthesis-dependent mechanism in the BLA that retards extinction of auditory fear memory.

  1. Worrying affects associative fear learning: a startle fear conditioning study.

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    Femke J Gazendam

    Full Text Available A valuable experimental model for the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders is that they originate from a learned association between an intrinsically non-aversive event (Conditioned Stimulus, CS and an anticipated disaster (Unconditioned Stimulus, UCS. Most anxiety disorders, however, do not evolve from a traumatic experience. Insights from neuroscience show that memory can be modified post-learning, which may elucidate how pathological fear can develop after relatively mild aversive events. Worrying--a process frequently observed in anxiety disorders--is a potential candidate to strengthen the formation of fear memory after learning. Here we tested in a discriminative fear conditioning procedure whether worry strengthens associative fear memory. Participants were randomly assigned to either a Worry (n = 23 or Control condition (n = 25. After fear acquisition, the participants in the Worry condition processed six worrisome questions regarding the personal aversive consequences of an electric stimulus (UCS, whereas the Control condition received difficult but neutral questions. Subsequently, extinction, reinstatement and re-extinction of fear were tested. Conditioned responding was measured by fear-potentiated startle (FPS, skin conductance (SCR and UCS expectancy ratings. Our main results demonstrate that worrying resulted in increased fear responses (FPS to both the feared stimulus (CS(+ and the originally safe stimulus (CS(-, whereas FPS remained unchanged in the Control condition. In addition, worrying impaired both extinction and re-extinction learning of UCS expectancy. The implication of our findings is that they show how worry may contribute to the development of anxiety disorders by affecting associative fear learning.

  2. Olfactory Fear Conditioning Induces Field Potential Potentiation in Rat Olfactory Cortex and Amygdala

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    Messaoudi, Belkacem; Granjon, Lionel; Mouly, Anne-Marie; Sevelinges, Yannick; Gervais, Remi

    2004-01-01

    The widely used Pavlovian fear-conditioning paradigms used for studying the neurobiology of learning and memory have mainly used auditory cues as conditioned stimuli (CS). The present work assessed the neural network involved in olfactory fear conditioning, using olfactory bulb stimulation-induced field potential signal (EFP) as a marker of…

  3. Effects of the swimming exercise on the consolidation and persistence of auditory and contextual fear memory.

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    Faria, Rodolfo Souza; Gutierres, Luís Felipe Soares; Sobrinho, Fernando César Faria; Miranda, Iris do Vale; Reis, Júlia Dos; Dias, Elayne Vieira; Sartori, Cesar Renato; Moreira, Dalmo Antonio Ribeiro

    2016-08-15

    Exposure to negative environmental events triggers defensive behavior and leads to the formation of aversive associative memory. Cellular and molecular changes in the central nervous system underlie this memory formation, as well as the associated behavioral changes. In general, memory process is established in distinct phases such as acquisition, consolidation, evocation, persistence, and extinction of the acquired information. After exposure to a particular event, early changes in involved neural circuits support the memory consolidation, which corresponds to the short-term memory. Re-exposure to previously memorized events evokes the original memory, a process that is considered essential for the reactivation and consequent persistence of memory, ensuring that long-term memory is established. Different environmental stimuli may modulate the memory formation process, as well as their distinct phases. Among the different environmental stimuli able of modulating memory formation is the physical exercise which is a potent modulator of neuronal activity. There are many studies showing that physical exercise modulates learning and memory processes, mainly in the consolidation phase of the explicit memory. However, there are few reports in the literature regarding the role of physical exercise in implicit aversive associative memory, especially at the persistence phase. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the relationship between swimming exercise and the consolidation and persistence of contextual and auditory-cued fear memory. Male Wistar rats were submitted to sessions of swimming exercise five times a week, over six weeks. After that, the rats were submitted to classical aversive conditioning training by a pairing tone/foot shock paradigm. Finally, rats were evaluated for consolidation and persistence of fear memory to both auditory and contextual cues. Our results demonstrate that classical aversive conditioning with tone/foot shock pairing induced

  4. Controlled cortical impact before or after fear conditioning does not affect fear extinction in mice.

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    Sierra-Mercado, Demetrio; McAllister, Lauren M; Lee, Christopher C H; Milad, Mohammed R; Eskandar, Emad N; Whalen, Michael J

    2015-05-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized in part by impaired extinction of conditioned fear. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is thought to be a risk factor for development of PTSD. We tested the hypothesis that controlled cortical impact (CCI) would impair extinction of fear learned by Pavlovian conditioning, in mice. To mimic the scenarios in which TBI occurs prior to or after exposure to an aversive event, severe CCI was delivered to the left parietal cortex at one of two time points: (1) Prior to fear conditioning, or (2) after conditioning. Delay auditory conditioning was achieved by pairing a tone with a foot shock in "context A". Extinction training involved the presentation of tones in a different context (context B) in the absence of foot shock. Test for extinction memory was achieved by presentation of additional tones alone in context B over the following two days. In pre- or post-injury paradigms, CCI did not influence fear learning and extinction. Furthermore, CCI did not affect locomotor activity or elevated plus maze testing. Our results demonstrate that, within the time frame studied, CCI does not impair the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear or extinction memory. PMID:25721797

  5. Controlled cortical impact before or after fear conditioning does not affect fear extinction in mice.

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    Sierra-Mercado, Demetrio; McAllister, Lauren M; Lee, Christopher C H; Milad, Mohammed R; Eskandar, Emad N; Whalen, Michael J

    2015-05-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized in part by impaired extinction of conditioned fear. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is thought to be a risk factor for development of PTSD. We tested the hypothesis that controlled cortical impact (CCI) would impair extinction of fear learned by Pavlovian conditioning, in mice. To mimic the scenarios in which TBI occurs prior to or after exposure to an aversive event, severe CCI was delivered to the left parietal cortex at one of two time points: (1) Prior to fear conditioning, or (2) after conditioning. Delay auditory conditioning was achieved by pairing a tone with a foot shock in "context A". Extinction training involved the presentation of tones in a different context (context B) in the absence of foot shock. Test for extinction memory was achieved by presentation of additional tones alone in context B over the following two days. In pre- or post-injury paradigms, CCI did not influence fear learning and extinction. Furthermore, CCI did not affect locomotor activity or elevated plus maze testing. Our results demonstrate that, within the time frame studied, CCI does not impair the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear or extinction memory.

  6. Impairments in Fear Conditioning in Mice Lacking the nNOS Gene

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    Kelley, Jonathan B.; Balda, Mara A.; Anderson, Karen L.; Itzhak, Yossef

    2009-01-01

    The fear conditioning paradigm is used to investigate the roles of various genes, neurotransmitters, and substrates in the formation of fear learning related to contextual and auditory cues. In the brain, nitric oxide (NO) produced by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) functions as a retrograde neuronal messenger that facilitates synaptic…

  7. Modeling fear-conditioned bradycardia in humans

    OpenAIRE

    Castegnetti, G.; Tzovara, A.; Staib, M.; Paulus, P. C.; Hofer, N.; Bach, D R

    2016-01-01

    Across species, cued fear conditioning is a common experimental paradigm to investigate aversive Pavlovian learning. While fear-conditioned stimuli (CS+) elicit overt behavior in many mammals, this is not the case in humans. Typically, autonomic nervous system activity is used to quantify fear memory in humans, measured by skin conductance responses (SCR). Here, we investigate whether heart period responses (HPR) evoked by the CS, often observed in humans and small mammals, are suitable to co...

  8. Striatal dopamine D1 receptor is essential for contextual fear conditioning.

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    Ikegami, Masaru; Uemura, Takeshi; Kishioka, Ayumi; Sakimura, Kenji; Mishina, Masayoshi

    2014-02-05

    Fear memory is critical for animals to trigger behavioural adaptive responses to potentially threatening stimuli, while too much or inappropriate fear may cause psychiatric problems. Numerous studies have shown that the amygdala, hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex play important roles in Pavlovian fear conditioning. Recently, we showed that striatal neurons are required for the formation of the auditory fear memory when the unconditioned stimulus is weak. Here, we found that selective ablation of striatal neurons strongly diminished contextual fear conditioning irrespective of the intensity of footshock. Furthermore, contextual fear conditioning was strongly reduced in striatum-specific dopamine D1 receptor knockout mice. On the other hand, striatum-specific dopamine D2 receptor knockout mice showed freezing responses comparable to those of control mice. These results suggest that striatal D1 receptor is essential for contextual fear conditioning.

  9. Contextual fear conditioning differs for infant, adolescent, and adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmorís-Arranz, Francisco J; Méndez, Cástor; Spear, Norman E

    2008-07-01

    Contextual fear conditioning was tested in infant, adolescent, and adult rats in terms of Pavlovian-conditioned suppression. When a discrete auditory-conditioned stimulus (CS) was paired with footshock (unconditioned stimulus, US) within the largely olfactory context, infants and adolescents conditioned to the context with substantial effectiveness, but adult rats did not. When unpaired presentations of the CS and US occurred within the context, contextual fear conditioning was strong for adults, weak for infants, but about as strong for adolescents as when pairings of CS and US occurred in the context. Nonreinforced presentations of either the CS or context markedly reduced contextual fear conditioning in infants, but, in adolescents, CS extinction had no effect on contextual fear conditioning, although context extinction significantly reduced it. Neither CS extinction nor context extinction affected responding to the CS-context compound in infants, suggesting striking discrimination between the compound and its components. Female adolescents showed the same lack of effect of component extinction on response to the compound as infants, but CS extinction reduced responding to the compound in adolescent males, a sex difference seen also in adults. Theoretical implications are discussed for the development of perceptual-cognitive processing and hippocampus role.

  10. Stress-induced enhancement of fear conditioning and sensitization facilitates extinction-resistant and habituation-resistant fear behaviors in a novel animal model of posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corley, Michael J; Caruso, Michael J; Takahashi, Lorey K

    2012-01-18

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by stress-induced symptoms including exaggerated fear memories, hypervigilance and hyperarousal. However, we are unaware of an animal model that investigates these hallmarks of PTSD especially in relation to fear extinction and habituation. Therefore, to develop a valid animal model of PTSD, we exposed rats to different intensities of footshock stress to determine their effects on either auditory predator odor fear extinction or habituation of fear sensitization. In Experiment 1, rats were exposed to acute footshock stress (no shock control, 0.4 mA, or 0.8 mA) immediately prior to auditory fear conditioning training involving the pairing of auditory clicks with a cloth containing cat odor. When presented to the conditioned auditory clicks in the next 5 days of extinction testing conducted in a runway apparatus with a hide box, rats in the two shock groups engaged in higher levels of freezing and head out vigilance-like behavior from the hide box than the no shock control group. This increase in fear behavior during extinction testing was likely due to auditory activation of the conditioned fear state because Experiment 2 demonstrated that conditioned fear behavior was not broadly increased in the absence of the conditioned auditory stimulus. Experiment 3 was then conducted to determine whether acute exposure to stress induces a habituation resistant sensitized fear state. We found that rats exposed to 0.8 mA footshock stress and subsequently tested for 5 days in the runway hide box apparatus with presentations of nonassociative auditory clicks exhibited high initial levels of freezing, followed by head out behavior and culminating in the occurrence of locomotor hyperactivity. In addition, Experiment 4 indicated that without delivery of nonassociative auditory clicks, 0.8 mA footshock stressed rats did not exhibit robust increases in sensitized freezing and locomotor hyperactivity, albeit head out vigilance

  11. Modeling fear-conditioned bradycardia in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castegnetti, Giuseppe; Tzovara, Athina; Staib, Matthias; Paulus, Philipp C; Hofer, Nicolas; Bach, Dominik R

    2016-06-01

    Across species, cued fear conditioning is a common experimental paradigm to investigate aversive Pavlovian learning. While fear-conditioned stimuli (CS+) elicit overt behavior in many mammals, this is not the case in humans. Typically, autonomic nervous system activity is used to quantify fear memory in humans, measured by skin conductance responses (SCR). Here, we investigate whether heart period responses (HPR) evoked by the CS, often observed in humans and small mammals, are suitable to complement SCR as an index of fear memory in humans. We analyze four datasets involving delay and trace conditioning, in which heart beats are identified via electrocardiogram or pulse oximetry, to show that fear-conditioned heart rate deceleration (bradycardia) is elicited and robustly distinguishes CS+ from CS-. We then develop a psychophysiological model (PsPM) of fear-conditioned HPR. This PsPM is inverted to yield estimates of autonomic input into the heart. We show that the sensitivity to distinguish CS+ and CS- (predictive validity) is higher for model-based estimates than peak-scoring analysis, and compare this with SCR. Our work provides a novel tool to investigate fear memory in humans that allows direct comparison between species. PMID:26950648

  12. Fear conditioning- and extinction-induced neuronal plasticity in the mouse amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Ciocchi, Stéphane

    2009-01-01

    Experience-dependent changes in behavior are mediated by long-term functional modifications in brain circuits. To study the underlying mechanisms, our lab is using classical auditory fear conditioning, a simple and robust form of associative learning. In classical fear conditioning, the subject is exposed to a noxious unconditioned stimulus (US), such as a foot-shock, in conjunction with a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS), such as a tone or a light. As a result of the training, the tone acqu...

  13. Worrying Affects Associative Fear Learning: A Startle Fear Conditioning Study

    OpenAIRE

    Gazendam, F.J.; Kindt, M

    2012-01-01

    A valuable experimental model for the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders is that they originate from a learned association between an intrinsically non-aversive event (Conditioned Stimulus, CS) and an anticipated disaster (Unconditioned Stimulus, UCS). Most anxiety disorders, however, do not evolve from a traumatic experience. Insights from neuroscience show that memory can be modified post-learning, which may elucidate how pathological fear can develop after relatively mild aversive events. W...

  14. The 3-second auditory conditioned stimulus is a more effective stressor than the 20-second auditory conditioned stimulus in male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyokawa, Y; Mikami, K; Mikamura, Y; Ishii, A; Takeuchi, Y; Mori, Y

    2015-07-23

    Using fear-conditioning model, we have used a 3-s auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) as a stressor and observed fear and stress responses during a specific experimental period regardless of the presence or absence of the CS. Because the CS was extremely short compared with the experimental period, we observed responses primarily in the absence of the CS. In contrast, most studies in the literature have analyzed responses in the presence of the CS. Therefore, the characteristics of fear and stress responses in the absence of the CS remain to be clarified. To clarify this, we compared the characteristics of fear and stress responses elicited by a 3-s auditory CS with those observed during a 20-s auditory CS. The basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), but not the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), participated in the fear response elicited by the 3-s CS, whereas both the BLA and BNST were involved in the response observed during the 20-s CS. Additional analyses revealed that the BNST participated in the fear response during the 20-s CS when the CS was paired with a 0.75-mA, but not with a 0.9-mA, foot shock, and to the contextual CS. In addition, the fear response elicited by the 3-s CS was more resistant to extinction than that during the 20-s CS. Finally, the 3-s CS produced more intense freezing and corticosterone secretion than the 20-s CS. On the basis of these characteristics, we conclude that the 3-s auditory CS is a more effective stressor than the 20-s auditory CS. Our findings also suggest that foot shock intensity is an additional determinant in the type of fear response induced by the CS.

  15. Dual functions of perirhinal cortex in fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Brianne A; Brown, Thomas H

    2012-10-01

    The present review examines the role of perirhinal cortex (PRC) in Pavlovian fear conditioning. The focus is on rats, partly because so much is known, behaviorally and neurobiologically, about fear conditioning in these animals. In addition, the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of rat PRC have been described in considerable detail at the cellular and systems levels. The evidence suggests that PRC can serve at least two types of mnemonic functions in Pavlovian fear conditioning. The first function, termed "stimulus unitization," refers to the ability to treat two or more separate items or stimulus elements as a single entity. Supporting evidence for this perceptual function comes from studies of context conditioning as well as delay conditioning to discontinuous auditory cues. In a delay paradigm, the conditional stimulus (CS) and unconditional stimulus (US) overlap temporally and co-terminate. The second PRC function entails a type of "transient memory." Supporting evidence comes from studies of trace cue conditioning, where there is a temporal gap or trace interval between the CS offset and the US onset. For learning to occur, there must be a transient CS representation during the trace interval. We advance a novel neurophysiological mechanism for this transient representation. These two hypothesized functions of PRC are consistent with inferences based on non-aversive forms of learning.

  16. Opioid receptors regulate the extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNally, Gavan P; Westbrook, R Frederick

    2003-12-01

    Rats received a single pairing of an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) with a footshock unconditioned stimulus (US). The fear (freezing) that had accrued to the CS was then extinguished. Injection of naloxone prior to this extinction significantly impaired the development of extinction. This impairment was mediated by opioid receptors in the brain and was not observed when naloxone was injected after extinction training. Finally, an injection of naloxone on test failed to reinstate extinguished responding that had already accrued to the CS. These experiments show that opioid receptors regulate the development, but not the expression, of fear extinction and are discussed with reference to the roles of opioid receptors in US processing, memory, and appetitive motivation.

  17. Long-term memory of visually cued fear conditioning: roles of the nNOS gene and CREB

    OpenAIRE

    Kelley, Jonathan B.; Anderson, Karen L.; Altmann, Stefanie L.; Itzhak, Yossef

    2010-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) produced by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) has a role in late-phase long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term memory (LTM) formation. Our recent studies implicated NO signaling in contextual and auditory cued fear conditioning. The present study investigated the role of NO signaling in visually cued fear conditioning. First, visually cued fear conditioning was investigated in wild-type (WT) and nNOS knockout (KO) mice. Second, the effects of pharmacological modulator...

  18. Demographic factors predict magnitude of conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Blake L; Bui, Eric; Marin, Marie-France; Holt, Daphne J; Lasko, Natasha B; Pitman, Roger K; Orr, Scott P; Milad, Mohammed R

    2015-10-01

    There is substantial variability across individuals in the magnitudes of their skin conductance (SC) responses during the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear. To manage this variability, subjects may be matched for demographic variables, such as age, gender and education. However, limited data exist addressing how much variability in conditioned SC responses is actually explained by these variables. The present study assessed the influence of age, gender and education on the SC responses of 222 subjects who underwent the same differential conditioning paradigm. The demographic variables were found to predict a small but significant amount of variability in conditioned responding during fear acquisition, but not fear extinction learning or extinction recall. A larger differential change in SC during acquisition was associated with more education. Older participants and women showed smaller differential SC during acquisition. Our findings support the need to consider age, gender and education when studying fear acquisition but not necessarily when examining fear extinction learning and recall. Variability in demographic factors across studies may partially explain the difficulty in reproducing some SC findings. PMID:26151498

  19. Estrous cycle phase and gonadal hormones influence conditioned fear extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milad, Mohammed R; Igoe, Sarah A; Lebron-Milad, Kelimer; Novales, Juan E

    2009-01-01

    Gonadal hormones modulate fear acquisition, but less is known about the influence of gonadal hormones on fear extinction. We assessed sex differences and the influence of gonadal hormone fluctuations and exogenous manipulations of estrogen and progesterone on acquisition, extinction learning and extinction recall in a 3-day auditory fear conditioning and extinction protocol. Experiments were conducted on males and naturally cycling female rats. Regarding female rats, significant differences in fear extinction were observed between subgroups of females, depending on their phase of the estrous cycle. Extinction that took place during the proestrus (high estrogen/progesterone) phase was more fully consolidated, as evidenced by low freezing during a recall test. This suggests that estrogen and/or progesterone facilitate extinction. In support of this, injection of both estrogen and progesterone prior to extinction learning in female rats during the metestrus phase of the cycle (low estrogen/progesterone) facilitated extinction consolidation, and blockade of estrogen and progesterone receptors during the proestrus phase impaired extinction consolidation. When comparing male to female rats without consideration of the estrous cycle phase, no significant sex differences were observed. When accounting for cycle phase in females, sex differences were observed only during extinction recall. Female rats that underwent extinction during the metestrus phase showed significantly higher freezing during the recall test relative to males. Collectively, these data suggest that gonadal hormones influence extinction behavior possibly by influencing the function of brain regions involved in the consolidation of fear extinction. Moreover, the elevated fear observed in female relative to male rats during extinction recall suggests that gonadal hormones may in part play a role in the higher prevalence of anxiety disorders in women. PMID:19761818

  20. Brain c-Fos immunocytochemistry and cytochrome oxidase histochemistry after a fear conditioning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conejo, Nélida M; González Pardo, Héctor; López, Matías; Cantora, Raúl; Arias, Jorge L

    2007-05-01

    The involvement of the basolateral and the medial amygdala in fear conditioning was evaluated using different markers of neuronal activation. The method described here is a combination of cytochrome oxidase (CO) histochemistry and c-Fos immunocytochemistry on fresh frozen brain sections. Freezing behavior was used as an index of auditory and contextual fear conditioning. As expected, freezing scores were significantly higher in rats exposed to tone-shock pairings in a distinctive environment (conditioned; COND), as compared to rats that did not receive any shocks (UNCD). CO labeling was increased in the basolateral and medial amygdala of the COND group. Conversely, c-Fos expression in the basolateral and medial amygdala was lower in the COND group as compared to the UNCD group. Furthermore, c-Fos expression was particularly high in the medial amygdala of the UNCD group. The data provided by both techniques indicate that these amygdalar nuclei could play different roles on auditory and contextual fear conditioning. PMID:17425902

  1. Fast, transient cardiac accelerations and decelerations during fear conditioning in rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Knippenberg, J.M.J.; Barry, R.J.; Kuniecki, M.J.; Luijtelaar, E.L.J.M. van

    2011-01-01

    The current study reports on a number of heart rate responses observed in rats subjected to a discriminatory Pavlovian fear conditioning procedure. Rats learned that a series of six auditory pips was followed by a footshock when presented alone, but not when the pip series was preceded by a visual s

  2. [Mechanisms for regulation of fear conditioning and memory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kida, Satoshi

    2014-11-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a model of fear learning and memory. The mechanisms regulating fear conditioning and memory have been investigated in humans and rodents. In this paradigm, animals learn and memorize an association between a conditioned stimulus (CS), such as context, and an unconditioned stimulus (US), such as an electrical footshock that induces fear. Fear memory generated though fear conditioning is stabilized via a memory consolidation process. Moreover, recent studies have shown the existence of memory processes that control fear memory following the retrieval of consolidated memory. Indeed, when fear memory is retrieved by re-exposure to the CS, the retrieved memory is re-stabilized via the reconsolidation process. On the other hand, the retrieval of fear memory by prolonged re-exposure to the CS also leads to fear memory extinction, new inhibitory learning against the fear memory, in which animals learn that they do not need to respond to the CS. Importantly, the reinforcement of fear memory after retrieval (i.e., re-experience such as flashbacks or nightmares) has been thought to be associated with the development of emotional disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this review, I summarize recent progress in studies on the mechanism of fear conditioning and memory consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction, and furthermore, introduce our recent establishment of a mouse PTSD model that shows enhancement of fear memory after retrieval.

  3. [Mechanisms for regulation of fear conditioning and memory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kida, Satoshi

    2014-11-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a model of fear learning and memory. The mechanisms regulating fear conditioning and memory have been investigated in humans and rodents. In this paradigm, animals learn and memorize an association between a conditioned stimulus (CS), such as context, and an unconditioned stimulus (US), such as an electrical footshock that induces fear. Fear memory generated though fear conditioning is stabilized via a memory consolidation process. Moreover, recent studies have shown the existence of memory processes that control fear memory following the retrieval of consolidated memory. Indeed, when fear memory is retrieved by re-exposure to the CS, the retrieved memory is re-stabilized via the reconsolidation process. On the other hand, the retrieval of fear memory by prolonged re-exposure to the CS also leads to fear memory extinction, new inhibitory learning against the fear memory, in which animals learn that they do not need to respond to the CS. Importantly, the reinforcement of fear memory after retrieval (i.e., re-experience such as flashbacks or nightmares) has been thought to be associated with the development of emotional disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this review, I summarize recent progress in studies on the mechanism of fear conditioning and memory consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction, and furthermore, introduce our recent establishment of a mouse PTSD model that shows enhancement of fear memory after retrieval. PMID:25536762

  4. Generalization of Conditioned Fear along a Dimension of Increasing Fear Intensity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Mitroff, Stephen R.; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated the extent to which fear generalization in humans is determined by the amount of fear intensity in nonconditioned stimuli relative to a perceptually similar conditioned stimulus. Stimuli consisted of graded emotionally expressive faces of the same identity morphed between neutral and fearful endpoints. Two…

  5. Mice selectively bred for High and Low fear behavior show differences in the number of pMAPK (p44/42 ERK) expressing neurons in lateral amygdala following Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coyner, Jennifer; McGuire, Jennifer L; Parker, Clarissa C; Ursano, Robert J; Palmer, Abraham A; Johnson, Luke R

    2014-07-01

    Individual variability in the acquisition, consolidation and extinction of conditioned fear potentially contributes to the development of fear pathology including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Pavlovian fear conditioning is a key tool for the study of fundamental aspects of fear learning. Here, we used a selected mouse line of High and Low Pavlovian conditioned fear created from an advanced intercrossed line (AIL) in order to begin to identify the cellular basis of phenotypic divergence in Pavlovian fear conditioning. We investigated whether phosphorylated MAPK (p44/42 ERK/MAPK), a protein kinase required in the amygdala for the acquisition and consolidation of Pavlovian fear memory, is differentially expressed following Pavlovian fear learning in the High and Low fear lines. We found that following Pavlovian auditory fear conditioning, High and Low line mice differ in the number of pMAPK-expressing neurons in the dorsal sub nucleus of the lateral amygdala (LAd). In contrast, this difference was not detected in the ventral medial (LAvm) or ventral lateral (LAvl) amygdala sub nuclei or in control animals. We propose that this apparent increase in plasticity at a known locus of fear memory acquisition and consolidation relates to intrinsic differences between the two fear phenotypes. These data provide important insights into the micronetwork mechanisms encoding phenotypic differences in fear. Understanding the circuit level cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie individual variability in fear learning is critical for the development of effective treatment of fear-related illnesses such as PTSD.

  6. Fear conditioning with film clips: a complex associative learning paradigm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.E. Kunze; A. Arntz; M. Kindt

    2014-01-01

    Background and objectives: We argue that the stimuli used in traditional fear conditioning paradigms are too simple to model the learning and unlearning of complex fear memories. We therefore developed and tested an adapted fear conditioning paradigm, specifically designed for the study of complex a

  7. Posterior insular cortex is necessary for conditioned inhibition of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foilb, Allison R; Flyer-Adams, Johanna G; Maier, Steven F; Christianson, John P

    2016-10-01

    Veridical detection of safety versus danger is critical to survival. Learned signals for safety inhibit fear, and so when presented, reduce fear responses produced by danger signals. This phenomenon is termed conditioned inhibition of fear. Here, we report that CS+/CS- fear discrimination conditioning over 5 days in rats leads the CS- to become a conditioned inhibitor of fear, as measured by the classic tests of conditioned inhibition: summation and retardation of subsequent fear acquisition. We then show that NMDA-receptor antagonist AP5 injected to posterior insular cortex (IC) before training completely prevented the acquisition of a conditioned fear inhibitor, while intra-AP5 to anterior and medial IC had no effect. To determine if the IC contributes to the recall of learned fear inhibition, injections of the GABAA agonist muscimol were made to posterior IC before a summation test. This resulted in fear inhibition per se, which obscured inference to the effect of IC inactivation with recall of the safety cue. Control experiments sought to determine if the role of the IC in conditioned inhibition learning could be reduced to simpler fear discrimination function, but fear discrimination and recall were unaffected by AP5 or muscimol, respectively, in the posterior IC. These data implicate a role of posterior IC in the learning of conditioned fear inhibitors.

  8. Equal pain – Unequal fear response: Enhanced susceptibility of tooth pain to fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Lukas Meier

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Experimental fear conditioning in humans is widely used as a model to investigate the neural basis of fear learning and to unravel the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders. It has been observed that fear conditioning depends on stimulus salience and subject vulnerability to fear. It is further known that the prevalence of dental-related fear and phobia is exceedingly high in the population. Dental phobia is unique as no other body part is associated with a specific phobia. Therefore, we hypothesized that painful dental stimuli exhibit an enhanced susceptibility to fear conditioning when comparing to equal perceived stimuli applied to other body sites. Differential susceptibility to pain-related fear was investigated by analyzing responses to an unconditioned stimulus (UCS applied to the right maxillary canine (UCS-c versus the right tibia (UCS-t. For fear conditioning, UCS-c and USC-t consisted of painful electric stimuli, carefully matched at both application sites for equal intensity and quality perception. UCSs were paired to simple geometrical forms which served as conditioned stimuli (CS+. Unpaired CS+ were presented for eliciting and analyzing conditioned fear responses. Outcome parameter were 1 skin conductance changes and 2 time-dependent brain activity (BOLD responses in fear-related brain regions such as the amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, insula, thalamus, orbitofrontal cortex and medial prefrontal cortex.A preferential susceptibility of dental pain to fear conditioning was observed, reflected by heightened skin conductance responses and enhanced time-dependent brain activity (BOLD responses in the fear network. For the first time, this study demonstrates fear-related neurobiological mechanisms that point towards a superior conditionability of tooth pain. Beside traumatic dental experiences our results offer novel evidence that might explain the high prevalence of dental-related fears in the population.

  9. The conditions that promote fear learning: prediction error and Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Susan Shi Yuan; McNally, Gavan P

    2014-02-01

    A key insight of associative learning theory is that learning depends on the actions of prediction error: a discrepancy between the actual and expected outcomes of a conditioning trial. When positive, such error causes increments in associative strength and, when negative, such error causes decrements in associative strength. Prediction error can act directly on fear learning by determining the effectiveness of the aversive unconditioned stimulus or indirectly by determining the effectiveness, or associability, of the conditioned stimulus. Evidence from a variety of experimental preparations in human and non-human animals suggest that discrete neural circuits code for these actions of prediction error during fear learning. Here we review the circuits and brain regions contributing to the neural coding of prediction error during fear learning and highlight areas of research (safety learning, extinction, and reconsolidation) that may profit from this approach to understanding learning.

  10. Effects of sleep on memory for conditioned fear and fear extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R

    2015-01-01

    Learning and memory for extinction of conditioned fear is a basic mammalian mechanism for regulating negative emotion. Sleep promotes both the consolidation of memory and the regulation of emotion. Sleep can influence consolidation and modification of memories associated with both fear and its extinction. After brief overviews of the behavior and neural circuitry associated with fear conditioning, extinction learning and extinction memory in the rodent and human, interactions of sleep with th...

  11. Identification of plasticity-associated genes regulated by Pavlovian fear conditioning in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploski, Jonathan E; Park, Kevin W; Ping, Junli; Monsey, Melissa S; Schafe, Glenn E

    2010-02-01

    Most recent studies aimed at defining the cellular and molecular mechanisms of Pavlovian fear conditioning have focused on protein kinase signaling pathways and the transcription factor cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB) that promote fear memory consolidation in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). Despite this progress, there still remains a paucity of information regarding the genes downstream of CREB that are required for long-term fear memory formation in the LA. We have adopted a strategy of using microarray technology to initially identify genes induced within the dentate gyrus following in vivo long-term potentiation (LTP) followed by analysis of whether these same genes are also regulated by fear conditioning within the LA. In the present study, we first identified 34 plasticity-associated genes that are induced within 30 min following LTP induction utilizing a combination of DNA microarray, qRT-PCR, and in situ hybridization. To determine whether these genes are also induced in the LA following Pavlovian fear conditioning, we next exposed rats to an auditory fear conditioning protocol or to control conditions that do not support fear learning followed by qRT-PCR on mRNA from microdissected LA samples. Finally, we asked whether identified genes induced by fear learning in the LA are downstream of the extracellular-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascade. Collectively, our findings reveal a comprehensive list of genes that represent the first wave of transcription following both LTP induction and fear conditioning that largely belong to a class of genes referred to as 'neuronal activity dependent genes' that are likely calcium, extracellular-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase, and CREB-dependent.

  12. Unconditioned responses and functional fear networks in human classical conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Linnman, Clas; Rougemont-Bücking, Ansgar; Beucke, Jan Carl; Zeffiro, Thomas A.; Milad, Mohammed R.

    2011-01-01

    Human imaging studies examining fear conditioning have mainly focused on the neural responses to conditioned cues. In contrast, the neural basis of the unconditioned response and the mechanisms by which fear modulates inter-regional functional coupling have received limited attention. We examined the neural responses to an unconditioned stimulus using a partial-reinforcement fear conditioning paradigm and functional MRI. The analysis focused on: (1) the effects of an unconditioned stimulus (a...

  13. Skin Conductance Fear Conditioning Impairments and Aggression: A Longitudinal Study

    OpenAIRE

    Gao, Yu; Tuvblad, Catherine; Schell, Anne; Baker, Laura; Raine, Adrian

    2014-01-01

    Autonomic fear conditioning deficits have been linked to child aggression and adult criminal behavior. However, it is unknown if fear conditioning deficits are specific to certain subtypes of aggression, and longitudinal research is rare. In the current study, reactive and proactive aggression were assessed in a sample of males and females when aged 10, 12, 15, and 18 years old. Skin conductance fear conditioning data were collected when they were 18 years old. Individuals who were persistent...

  14. Faster acquisition of conditioned fear to fear-relevant than to nonfear-relevant conditional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Yiling; Lipp, Ottmar V

    2014-08-01

    Prepared learning theory posits that prepared associations are acquired rapidly and resist extinction. Although it has been shown repeatedly that prepared associations resist extinction, there is currently little evidence to support the proposal of faster acquisition. The current study provides such evidence using a within-subjects conditioning procedure with a 50% reinforcement schedule. Participants were presented with pictures of four animals, two fear-relevant (snake, spider) and two nonfear-relevant (fish, bird), one of each paired with an unpleasant electrotactile stimulus on 50% of the trials during acquisition. Differential electrodermal responding was observed within the first two blocks of acquisition for fear-relevant but not for nonfear-relevant conditional stimuli, confirming the prediction that prepared associations are acquired faster than nonprepared associations. PMID:24725116

  15. Reinstatement of extinguished fear by an unextinguished conditional stimulus

    OpenAIRE

    Halladay, Lindsay R.; Moriel eZelikowsky; Blair, Hugh T.; Fanselow, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are often treated using extinction-based exposure therapy, but relapse is common and can occur as a result of reinstatement, whereby an aversive trigger can reinstate extinguished fear. Animal models of reinstatement commonly utilize a Pavlovian fear conditioning procedure, in which subjects are first trained to fear a conditional stimulus (CS) by pairing it with an aversive unconditional stimulus (US), and then extinguished by repeated presentations of the CS alone. Reins...

  16. Reinstatement of extinguished fear by an unextinguished conditional stimulus

    OpenAIRE

    Halladay, Lindsay R.; Zelikowsky, Moriel; Blair, Hugh T.; Fanselow, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are often treated using extinction-based exposure therapy, but relapse is common and can occur as a result of reinstatement, whereby an aversive “trigger” can reinstate extinguished fear. Animal models of reinstatement commonly utilize a Pavlovian fear conditioning procedure, in which subjects are first trained to fear a conditional stimulus (CS) by pairing it with an aversive unconditional stimulus (US), and then extinguished by repeated presentations of the CS alone. Reins...

  17. Fear less : Individual differences in fear conditioning and their relation to treatment outcome in anxiety disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duits, P.

    2016-01-01

    Findings from animal and human experimental studies highlight the importance of fear conditioning processes in the development and treatment of anxiety disorders. The work reported in this thesis was focused on potential abnormalities in the acquisition and extinction of fear in patients with anxiet

  18. Fear memory formation can affect a different memory: fear conditioning affects the extinction, but not retrieval, of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) memory

    OpenAIRE

    Joels, Gil; Lamprecht, Raphael

    2014-01-01

    The formation of fear memory to a specific stimulus leads to subsequent fearful response to that stimulus. However, it is not apparent whether the formation of fear memory can affect other memories. We study whether specific fearful experience leading to fear memory affects different memories formation and extinction. We revealed that cued fear conditioning, but not unpaired or naïve training, inhibited the extinction of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) memory that was formed after fear condi...

  19. Effects of psilocybin on hippocampal neurogenesis and extinction of trace fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catlow, Briony J; Song, Shijie; Paredes, Daniel A; Kirstein, Cheryl L; Sanchez-Ramos, Juan

    2013-08-01

    Drugs that modulate serotonin (5-HT) synaptic concentrations impact neurogenesis and hippocampal (HPC)-dependent learning. The primary objective is to determine the extent to which psilocybin (PSOP) modulates neurogenesis and thereby affects acquisition and extinction of HPC-dependent trace fear conditioning. PSOP, the 5-HT2A agonist 25I-NBMeO and the 5-HT2A/C antagonist ketanserin were administered via an acute intraperitoneal injection to mice. Trace fear conditioning was measured as the amount of time spent immobile in the presence of the conditioned stimulus (CS, auditory tone), trace (silent interval) and post-trace interval over 10 trials. Extinction was determined by the number of trials required to resume mobility during CS, trace and post-trace when the shock was not delivered. Neurogenesis was determined by unbiased counts of cells in the dentate gyrus of the HPC birth-dated with BrdU co-expressing a neuronal marker. Mice treated with a range of doses of PSOP acquired a robust conditioned fear response. Mice injected with low doses of PSOP extinguished cued fear conditioning significantly more rapidly than high-dose PSOP or saline-treated mice. Injection of PSOP, 25I-NBMeO or ketanserin resulted in significant dose-dependent decreases in number of newborn neurons in hippocampus. At the low doses of PSOP that enhanced extinction, neurogenesis was not decreased, but rather tended toward an increase. Extinction of "fear conditioning" may be mediated by actions of the drugs at sites other than hippocampus such as the amygdala, which is known to mediate the perception of fear. Another caveat is that PSOP is not purely selective for 5-HT2A receptors. PSOP facilitates extinction of the classically conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.

  20. [The Manifestation of the Anxiety during Fear Conditioning in Wistar Rats].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlova, I V; Rysakova, M P

    2015-01-01

    In order to identify the correlation between anxiety and conditioned fear, the behavior of the same male Wistar rats was compared in three anxiety tests (open field, light-dark box and elevated plus-maze) and in Pavlovian auditory fear conditioning paradigm using correlation, factor and variance analyses. The correlation between anxiety/bravery and locomotion indexes in different tests was not revealed. Positive correlations between grooming, urinations and defecations, rearing in three tests were revealed. These data suggest that animals reacted to various tests differently, resulting, apparently in the emergence of different anxiety levels, specific for each test. Vegetative reactions, inclination to exploration and substituting behavior were more stable characteristics of rats. Anxiety behavior in elevated plus-maze correlated to freezing response to context after fear conditioning, while high-anxiety rats had higher level of freezing to context than low-anxiety rats. The higher freezing response to sound after fear conditioning was found in rats with middle locomotor activity in open field. Conditioned fear to the context and to the sound was associated with different forms of rat anxiety during different tests.

  1. Extending animal models of fear conditioning to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, M R; Olsson, A; Phelps, E A

    2006-07-01

    A goal of fear and anxiety research is to understand how to treat the potentially devastating effects of anxiety disorders in humans. Much of this research utilizes classical fear conditioning, a simple paradigm that has been extensively investigated in animals, helping outline a brain circuitry thought to be responsible for the acquisition, expression and extinction of fear. The findings from non-human animal research have more recently been substantiated and extended in humans, using neuropsychological and neuroimaging methodologies. Research across species concur that the neural correlates of fear conditioning include involvement of the amygdala during all stages of fear learning, and prefrontal areas during the extinction phase. This manuscript reviews how animal models of fear are translated to human behavior, and how some fears are more easily acquired in humans (i.e., social-cultural). Finally, using the knowledge provided by a rich animal literature, we attempt to extend these findings to human models targeted to helping facilitate extinction or abolishment of fears, a trademark of anxiety disorders, by discussing efficacy in modulating the brain circuitry involved in fear conditioning via pharmacological treatments or emotion regulation cognitive strategies. PMID:16472906

  2. Dopaminergic Activity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Fear Conditioning

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    Parvin Babaei

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available "nThe purpose of the present study was to determine the role of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC dopaminergic system in fear conditioning response considering individual differences. Animals were initially counterbalanced and classified based on open field test, and then were given a single infusion of the dopamine agonist, amphetamine (AMPH and antagonist, clozapine (CLZ into the medial prefrontal cortex. Rats received tone-shock pairing in a classical fear conditioning test and then exposed to the tone alone. Freezing responses were measured as conditioned fear index. The results showed that both AMPH and CLZ infusion in mPFC reduced the expression of conditioned fear. This finding indicates that elevation or reduction in the dopaminergic activity is associated with the decrease of fear responses, despite preexisting individual-typological differences.

  3. Worrying affects associative fear learning: a startle fear conditioning study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    F.J. Gazendam; M. Kindt

    2012-01-01

    A valuable experimental model for the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders is that they originate from a learned association between an intrinsically non-aversive event (Conditioned Stimulus, CS) and an anticipated disaster (Unconditioned Stimulus, UCS). Most anxiety disorders, however, do not evolve f

  4. Opioid receptors in the midbrain periaqueductal gray regulate extinction of pavlovian fear conditioning.

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    McNally, Gavan P; Pigg, Michael; Weidemann, Gabrielle

    2004-08-01

    Four experiments studied the role of opioid receptors in the midbrain periaqueductal gray matter (PAG), an important structure eliciting conditioned fear responses, in the extinction of Pavlovian fear. Rats received pairings of an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) with a foot shock unconditioned stimulus (US). The freezing conditioned response (CR) elicited by the CS was then extinguished via nonreinforced presentations of the CS. Microinjection of the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone into the ventrolateral PAG (vlPAG) before nonrein-forced CS presentations impaired development of extinction, but such microinjections at the end of extinction did not reinstate an already extinguished freezing CR. This role for opioid receptors in fear extinction was specific to the vlPAG because infusions of naloxone into the dorsal PAG did not impair fear extinction. Finally, the impairment of fear extinction produced by vlPAG infusions of naloxone was dose-dependent. These results show for the first time that the midbrain PAG contributes to fear extinction and specifically identify a role for vlPAG opioid receptors in the acquisition but not the expression of such extinction. Taken together with our previous findings, we suggest that, during fear conditioning, activation of vlPAG opioid receptors contributes to detection of the discrepancy between the actual and expected outcome of the conditioning trial. vlPAG opioid receptors regulate the learning that accrues to the CS and other stimuli present on a trial because they instantiate an associative error correction process influencing US information reaching the site of CS-US convergence in the amygdala. During nonreinforcement, this vlPAG opioid receptor contribution signals extinction.

  5. Pain pathways involved in fear conditioning measured with fear-potentiated startle: lesion studies.

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    Shi, C; Davis, M

    1999-01-01

    It is well established that the basolateral amygdala is critically involved in the association between an unconditioned stimulus (US), such as a foot shock, and a conditioned stimulus (CS), such as a light, during classic fear conditioning. However, little is known about how the US (pain) inputs are relayed to the basolateral amygdala. The present studies were designed to define potential US pathways to the amygdala using lesion methods. Electrolytic lesions before or after training were placed in caudal granular/dysgranular insular cortex (IC) alone or in conjunction with the posterior intralaminar nuclei of the thalamus (PoT/PIL), and the effects on fear conditioning were examined. Pretraining lesions of both IC and PoT/PIL, but not lesions of IC alone, blocked the acquisition of fear-potentiated startle. However, post-training combined lesions of IC and PoT/PIL did not prevent expression of conditioned fear. Given that previous studies have shown that lesions of PoT/PIL alone had no effect on acquisition of conditioned fear, these results suggest that two parallel cortical (insula-amygdala) and subcortical (PoT/PIL-amygdala) pathways are involved in relaying shock information to the basolateral amygdala during fear conditioning.

  6. Reinstatement of extinguished fear by an unextinguished conditional stimulus

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    Lindsay R Halladay

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Anxiety disorders are often treated using extinction-based exposure therapy, but relapse is common and can occur as a result of reinstatement, whereby an aversive trigger can reinstate extinguished fear. Animal models of reinstatement commonly utilize a Pavlovian fear conditioning procedure, in which subjects are first trained to fear a conditional stimulus (CS by pairing it with an aversive unconditional stimulus (US, and then extinguished by repeated presentations of the CS alone. Reinstatement is typically induced by exposing subjects to an aversive US after extinction, but here we show that exposure to a non-extinguished CS can reinstate conditional fear responding to an extinguished CS, a phenomenon we refer to as conditional reinstatement. Rats were trained to fear two CSs (light and tone and subsequently underwent extinction training to only one CS (counterbalanced. Presenting the unextinguished CS (but not a novel cue immediately after extinction reinstated conditional fear responding to the extinguished CS in a test session given 24h later. These findings indicate that reinstatement of extinguished fear can be triggered by exposure to conditional as well as unconditional aversive stimuli, and this may help to explain why relapse is common following clinical extinction therapy in humans. Further study of conditional reinstatement using animal models may prove useful for developing refined extinction therapies that are more resistant to reinstatement.

  7. Odors eliciting fear: a conditioning approach to Idiopathic Environmental Intolerances.

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    Leer, Arne; Smeets, Monique A M; Bulsing, Patricia J; van den Hout, Marcel A

    2011-06-01

    Patients suffering from Idiopathic Environmental Intolerances (IEI) report health symptoms, referable to multiple organ systems, which are triggered by harmless odors and therefore medically unexplainable. In line with previous research that predominantly points towards psychological explanations, the present study tests the hypothesis that IEI symptoms result from learning via classical conditioning of odors to fear. A differential conditioning paradigm was employed. Hedonically different odors were compared on ease of fear acquisition. Conditioned stimuli (CSs) were Dimethyl Sulfide (unpleasant) and peach (pleasant). The unconditioned stimulus (US) was an electrical shock. During acquisition one odor (CS+) was followed by shock, while the other odor (CS-) was not. Next, fear extinction was tested by presenting both CS+ and CS- without US. Electrodermal response, odor evaluation, and sniffing behavior were monitored. Results showed successful fear conditioning irrespective of hedonic character as evidenced by electrodermal response. Acquired fear did not extinguish. There was no evidence of evaluative conditioning taking place, as CS evaluation did not change during fear acquisition. Early avoidance of the CS+, as deduced from odor inhalation measures, was demonstrated, but did not sustain during the entire acquisition phase. This study suggests that a fear conditioning account of IEI is only partially satisfactory.

  8. Pre-attentive, context-specific representation of fear memory in the auditory cortex of rat.

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    Akihiro Funamizu

    Full Text Available Neural representation in the auditory cortex is rapidly modulated by both top-down attention and bottom-up stimulus properties, in order to improve perception in a given context. Learning-induced, pre-attentive, map plasticity has been also studied in the anesthetized cortex; however, little attention has been paid to rapid, context-dependent modulation. We hypothesize that context-specific learning leads to pre-attentively modulated, multiplex representation in the auditory cortex. Here, we investigate map plasticity in the auditory cortices of anesthetized rats conditioned in a context-dependent manner, such that a conditioned stimulus (CS of a 20-kHz tone and an unconditioned stimulus (US of a mild electrical shock were associated only under a noisy auditory context, but not in silence. After the conditioning, although no distinct plasticity was found in the tonotopic map, tone-evoked responses were more noise-resistive than pre-conditioning. Yet, the conditioned group showed a reduced spread of activation to each tone with noise, but not with silence, associated with a sharpening of frequency tuning. The encoding accuracy index of neurons showed that conditioning deteriorated the accuracy of tone-frequency representations in noisy condition at off-CS regions, but not at CS regions, suggesting that arbitrary tones around the frequency of the CS were more likely perceived as the CS in a specific context, where CS was associated with US. These results together demonstrate that learning-induced plasticity in the auditory cortex occurs in a context-dependent manner.

  9. Differential effects of CB1 receptor agonism in behavioural tests of unconditioned and conditioned fear in adult male rats.

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    Simone, Jonathan J; Green, Matthew R; Hodges, Travis E; McCormick, Cheryl M

    2015-02-15

    We investigated the effects of the highly selective CB1 receptor agonist ACEA and the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 on two behavioural tests of unconditioned fear, the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field test (OFT), as well as on the recall and extinction of a conditioned auditory fear. Both ACEA and AM251 increased anxiety-like behaviour in the EPM and OFT. There was no effect of either drug on recall of the conditioned fear, and ACEA enhanced and AM251 impaired fear extinction. Further, though both the low (0.1 mg/kg) and high (0.5 mg/kg) dose of ACEA facilitated fear extinction, the low dose attenuated, and the high dose potentiated, fear induced corticosterone release suggesting independent effects of the drug on fear and stress responses. Although the extent to which cannabinoids are anxiogenic or anxiolytic has been proposed to be dose-dependent, these results indicate that the same dose has differential effects across tasks, likely based in differences in sensitivities of CB1 receptors to the agonist in the neural regions subserving unconditioned and conditioned fear.

  10. Social transmission of Pavlovian fear: fear-conditioning by-proxy in related female rats.

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    Jones, Carolyn E; Riha, Penny D; Gore, Andrea C; Monfils, Marie-H

    2014-05-01

    Pairing a previously neutral conditioned stimulus (CS; e.g., a tone) to an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US; e.g., a foot-shock) leads to associative learning such that the tone alone will elicit a conditioned response (e.g., freezing). Individuals can also acquire fear from a social context, such as through observing the fear expression of a conspecific. In the current study, we examined the influence of kinship/familiarity on social transmission of fear in female rats. Rats were housed in triads with either sisters or non-related females. One rat from each cage was fear conditioned to a tone CS+ shock US. On day two, the conditioned rat was returned to the chamber accompanied by one of her cage mates. Both rats were allowed to behave freely, while the tone was played in the absence of the foot-shock. The previously untrained rat is referred to as the fear-conditioned by-proxy (FCbP) animal, as she would freeze based on observations of her cage-mate's response rather than due to direct personal experience with the foot-shock. The third rat served as a cage-mate control. The third day, long-term memory tests to the CS were performed. Consistent with our previous application of this paradigm in male rats (Bruchey et al. in Behav Brain Res 214(1):80-84, 2010), our results revealed that social interactions between the fear conditioned and FCbP rats on day two contribute to freezing displayed by the FCbP rats on day three. In this experiment, prosocial behavior occurring at the termination of the cue on day two was significantly greater between sisters than their non-sister counterparts, and this behavior resulted in increased freezing on day three. Our results suggest that familiarity and/or kinship influences the social transmission of fear in female rats.

  11. Social buffering enhances extinction of conditioned fear responses in male rats.

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    Mikami, Kaori; Kiyokawa, Yasushi; Takeuchi, Yukari; Mori, Yuji

    2016-09-01

    In social species, the phenomenon in which the presence of conspecific animals mitigates stress responses is called social buffering. We previously reported that social buffering in male rats ameliorated behavioral fear responses, as well as hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, elicited by an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS). However, after social buffering, it is not clear whether rats exhibit fear responses when they are re-exposed to the same CS in the absence of another rat. In the present study, we addressed this issue using an experimental model of extinction. High stress levels during extinction training impaired extinction, suggesting that extinction is enhanced when stress levels during extinction training are low. Therefore, we hypothesized that rats that had received social buffering during extinction training would not show fear responses to a CS, even in the absence of another rat, because social buffering had enhanced the extinction of conditioned fear responses. To test this, we subjected male fear-conditioned rats to extinction training either alone or with a non-conditioned male rat. The subjects were then individually re-exposed to the CS in a recall test. When the subjects individually underwent extinction training, no responses were suppressed in the recall test. Conversely, when the subjects received social buffering during extinction training, freezing and Fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and lateral amygdala were suppressed. Additionally, the effects of social buffering were absent when the recall test was conducted in a different context from the extinction training. The present results suggest that social buffering enhances extinction of conditioned fear responses. PMID:27158024

  12. Social buffering enhances extinction of conditioned fear responses in male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikami, Kaori; Kiyokawa, Yasushi; Takeuchi, Yukari; Mori, Yuji

    2016-09-01

    In social species, the phenomenon in which the presence of conspecific animals mitigates stress responses is called social buffering. We previously reported that social buffering in male rats ameliorated behavioral fear responses, as well as hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, elicited by an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS). However, after social buffering, it is not clear whether rats exhibit fear responses when they are re-exposed to the same CS in the absence of another rat. In the present study, we addressed this issue using an experimental model of extinction. High stress levels during extinction training impaired extinction, suggesting that extinction is enhanced when stress levels during extinction training are low. Therefore, we hypothesized that rats that had received social buffering during extinction training would not show fear responses to a CS, even in the absence of another rat, because social buffering had enhanced the extinction of conditioned fear responses. To test this, we subjected male fear-conditioned rats to extinction training either alone or with a non-conditioned male rat. The subjects were then individually re-exposed to the CS in a recall test. When the subjects individually underwent extinction training, no responses were suppressed in the recall test. Conversely, when the subjects received social buffering during extinction training, freezing and Fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and lateral amygdala were suppressed. Additionally, the effects of social buffering were absent when the recall test was conducted in a different context from the extinction training. The present results suggest that social buffering enhances extinction of conditioned fear responses.

  13. Psychopaths Show Enhanced Amygdala Activation during Fear Conditioning.

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    Schultz, Douglas H; Balderston, Nicholas L; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Larson, Christine L; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2016-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by emotional deficits and a failure to inhibit impulsive behavior and is often subdivided into "primary" and "secondary" psychopathic subtypes. The maladaptive behavior related to primary psychopathy is thought to reflect constitutional "fearlessness," while the problematic behavior related to secondary psychopathy is motivated by other factors. The fearlessness observed in psychopathy has often been interpreted as reflecting a fundamental deficit in amygdala function, and previous studies have provided support for a low-fear model of psychopathy. However, many of these studies fail to use appropriate screening procedures, use liberal inclusion criteria, or have used unconventional approaches to assay amygdala function. We measured brain activity with BOLD imaging in primary and secondary psychopaths and non-psychopathic control subjects during Pavlovian fear conditioning. In contrast to the low-fear model, we observed normal fear expression in primary psychopaths. Psychopaths also displayed greater differential BOLD activity in the amygdala relative to matched controls. Inverse patterns of activity were observed in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) for primary versus secondary psychopaths. Primary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in the dorsal and ventral ACC consistent with enhanced fear expression, while secondary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in these regions consistent with fear inhibition. These results contradict the low-fear model of psychopathy and suggest that the low fear observed for psychopaths in previous studies may be specific to secondary psychopaths. PMID:27014154

  14. Psychopaths Show Enhanced Amygdala Activation during Fear Conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Douglas H; Balderston, Nicholas L; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Larson, Christine L; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2016-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by emotional deficits and a failure to inhibit impulsive behavior and is often subdivided into "primary" and "secondary" psychopathic subtypes. The maladaptive behavior related to primary psychopathy is thought to reflect constitutional "fearlessness," while the problematic behavior related to secondary psychopathy is motivated by other factors. The fearlessness observed in psychopathy has often been interpreted as reflecting a fundamental deficit in amygdala function, and previous studies have provided support for a low-fear model of psychopathy. However, many of these studies fail to use appropriate screening procedures, use liberal inclusion criteria, or have used unconventional approaches to assay amygdala function. We measured brain activity with BOLD imaging in primary and secondary psychopaths and non-psychopathic control subjects during Pavlovian fear conditioning. In contrast to the low-fear model, we observed normal fear expression in primary psychopaths. Psychopaths also displayed greater differential BOLD activity in the amygdala relative to matched controls. Inverse patterns of activity were observed in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) for primary versus secondary psychopaths. Primary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in the dorsal and ventral ACC consistent with enhanced fear expression, while secondary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in these regions consistent with fear inhibition. These results contradict the low-fear model of psychopathy and suggest that the low fear observed for psychopaths in previous studies may be specific to secondary psychopaths.

  15. Psychopaths show enhanced amygdala activation during fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas eSchultz

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by emotional deficits and a failure to inhibit impulsive behavior and is often subdivided into primary and secondary psychopathic subtypes. The maladaptive behavior related to primary psychopathy is thought to reflect constitutional fearlessness, while the problematic behavior related to secondary psychopathy is motivated by other factors. The fearlessness observed in psychopathy has often been interpreted as reflecting a fundamental deficit in amygdala function, and previous studies have provided support for a low-fear model of psychopathy. However, many of these studies fail to use appropriate screening procedures, use liberal inclusion criteria, or have used unconventional approaches to assay amygdala function. We measured brain activity with BOLD imaging in primary and secondary psychopaths and non-psychopathic control subjects during Pavlovian fear conditioning. In contrast to the low-fear model, we observed normal fear expression in primary psychopaths. Psychopaths also displayed greater differential BOLD activity in the amygdala relative to matched controls. Inverse patterns of activity were observed in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC for primary versus secondary psychopaths. Primary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in the dorsal and ventral ACC consistent with enhanced fear expression, while secondary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in these regions consistent with fear inhibition. These results contradict the low-fear model of psychopathy and suggest that the low fear observed for psychopaths in previous studies may be specific to secondary psychopaths.

  16. Induction of c-Fos expression in the mammillary bodies, anterior thalamus and dorsal hippocampus after fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conejo, Nélida M; González-Pardo, Héctor; López, Matías; Cantora, Raúl; Arias, Jorge L

    2007-09-14

    The aim of the present study was to provide further evidence on the role of particular subdivisions of the mammillary bodies, anterior thalamus and dorsal hippocampus to contextual and auditory fear conditioning. We used c-Fos expression as a marker of neuronal activation to compare rats that received tone-footshock pairings in a distinctive context (conditioned group) to rats being exposed to both the context and the auditory CS without receiving footshocks (unconditioned group), and naïve rats that were only handled. Fos immunoreactivity was significantly increased only in the anterodorsal thalamic nucleus and the lateral mammillary nucleus of the conditioned group. However, the dorsal hippocampus showed the highest density of c-Fos positive nuclei in the naïve group as compared to the other groups. Together, our data support previous studies indicating a particular involvement of the mammillary bodies and anterior thalamus in fear conditioning. PMID:17683804

  17. An Appetitive Conditioned Stimulus Enhances Fear Acquisition and Impairs Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Hiu T.; Holmes, Nathan M.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2016-01-01

    Four experiments used between- and within-subject designs to examine appetitive-aversive interactions in rats. Experiments 1 and 2 examined the effect of an excitatory appetitive conditioned stimulus (CS) on acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear. In Experiment 1, a CS shocked in a compound with an appetitive excitor (i.e., a stimulus…

  18. Unconditioned responses and functional fear networks in human classical conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linnman, Clas; Rougemont-Bücking, Ansgar; Beucke, Jan Carl; Zeffiro, Thomas A; Milad, Mohammed R

    2011-08-01

    Human imaging studies examining fear conditioning have mainly focused on the neural responses to conditioned cues. In contrast, the neural basis of the unconditioned response and the mechanisms by which fear modulates inter-regional functional coupling have received limited attention. We examined the neural responses to an unconditioned stimulus using a partial-reinforcement fear conditioning paradigm and functional MRI. The analysis focused on: (1) the effects of an unconditioned stimulus (an electric shock) that was either expected and actually delivered, or expected but not delivered, and (2) on how related brain activity changed across conditioning trials, and (3) how shock expectation influenced inter-regional coupling within the fear network. We found that: (1) the delivery of the shock engaged the red nucleus, amygdale, dorsal striatum, insula, somatosensory and cingulate cortices, (2) when the shock was expected but not delivered, only the red nucleus, the anterior insular and dorsal anterior cingulate cortices showed activity increases that were sustained across trials, and (3) psycho-physiological interaction analysis demonstrated that fear led to increased red nucleus coupling to insula but decreased hippocampus coupling to the red nucleus, thalamus and cerebellum. The hippocampus and the anterior insula may serve as hubs facilitating the switch between engagement of a defensive immediate fear network and a resting network. PMID:21377494

  19. Characterization of fear conditioning and fear extinction by analysis of electrodermal activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faghih, Rose T; Stokes, Patrick A; Marin, Marie-France; Zsido, Rachel G; Zorowitz, Sam; Rosenbaum, Blake L; Huijin Song; Milad, Mohammed R; Dougherty, Darin D; Eskandar, Emad N; Widge, Alik S; Brown, Emery N; Barbieri, Riccardo

    2015-08-01

    Electrodermal activity (EDA) is a measure of physical arousal, which is frequently measured during psychophysical tasks relevant for anxiety disorders. Recently, specific protocols and procedures have been devised in order to examine the neural mechanisms of fear conditioning and extinction. EDA reflects important responses associated with stimuli specifically administrated during these procedures. Although several previous studies have demonstrated the reproducibility of measures estimated from EDA, a mathematical framework associated with the stimulus-response experiments in question and, at the same time, including the underlying emotional state of the subject during fear conditioning and/or extinction experiments is not well studied. We here propose an ordinary differential equation model based on sudomotor nerve activity, and estimate the fear eliciting stimulus using a compressed sensing algorithm. Our results show that we are able to recover the underlying stimulus (visual cue or mild electrical shock). Moreover, relating the time-delay in the estimated stimulation to the visual cue during extinction period shows that fear level decreases as visual cues are presented without shock, suggesting that this feature might be used to estimate the fear state. These findings indicate that a mathematical model based on electrodermal responses might be critical in defining a low-dimensional representation of essential cognitive features in order to describe dynamic behavioral states. PMID:26738104

  20. Categories, concepts, and conditioning: how humans generalize fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E; Murphy, Gregory L

    2015-02-01

    During the past century, Pavlovian conditioning has served as the predominant experimental paradigm and theoretical framework to understand how humans learn to fear and avoid real or perceived dangers. Animal models for translational research offer insight into basic behavioral and neurophysiological factors mediating the acquisition, expression, inhibition, and generalization of fear. However, it is important to consider the limits of traditional animal models when applied to humans. Here, we focus on the question of how humans generalize fear. We propose that to understand fear generalization in humans requires taking into account research on higher-level cognition such as category-based induction, inferential reasoning, and representation of conceptual knowledge. Doing so will open the door for productive avenues of new research.

  1. Appetitive-aversive interactions in Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasser, Helen M; McNally, Gavan P

    2012-06-01

    The existence of value coding and salience coding neurons in the mammalian brain, including in habenula and ventral tegmental area, has sparked considerable interest in the interactions that occur between Pavlovian appetitive and aversive conditioning. Here we studied these appetitive-aversive interactions at the behavioral level by assessing the learning that occurs when a Pavlovian appetitive conditioned stimulus (conditional stimulus, CS) serves as a CS for shock in Pavlovian fear conditioning. A Pavlovian appetitive CS was retarded in the rate at which it could be transformed into a fear CS (counterconditioning), but the presence of the appetitive CS augmented fear learning to a concurrently presented neutral CS (superconditioning). Retardation of fear learning was not alleviated by manipulations designed to restore the associability of the appetitive CS before fear conditioning but was alleviated by manipulations designed to increase the aversive quality of the shock unconditioned stimulus (US). These findings are consistent with opponent interactions between the appetitive and aversive motivational systems and provide a behavioral approach for assessing the neural correlates of these appetitive-aversive interactions.

  2. Effects of sleep on memory for conditioned fear and fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pace-Schott, Edward F; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R

    2015-07-01

    Learning and memory for extinction of conditioned fear is a basic mammalian mechanism for regulating negative emotion. Sleep promotes both the consolidation of memory and the regulation of emotion. Sleep can influence consolidation and modification of memories associated with both fear and its extinction. After brief overviews of the behavior and neural circuitry associated with fear conditioning, extinction learning, and extinction memory in the rodent and human, interactions of sleep with these processes will be examined. Animal and human studies suggest that sleep can serve to consolidate both fear and extinction memory. In humans, sleep also promotes generalization of extinction memory. Time-of-day effects on extinction learning and generalization are also seen. Rapid eye movement (REM) may be a sleep stage of particular importance for the consolidation of both fear and extinction memory as evidenced by selective REM deprivation experiments. REM sleep is accompanied by selective activation of the same limbic structures implicated in the learning and memory of fear and extinction. Preliminary evidence also suggests extinction learning can take place during slow wave sleep. Study of low-level processes such as conditioning, extinction, and habituation may allow sleep effects on emotional memory to be identified and inform study of sleep's effects on more complex, emotionally salient declarative memories. Anxiety disorders are marked by impairments of both sleep and extinction memory. Improving sleep quality may ameliorate anxiety disorders by strengthening naturally acquired extinction. Strategically timed sleep may be used to enhance treatment of anxiety by strengthening therapeutic extinction learned via exposure therapy. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:25894546

  3. Conditional reasoning and phobic fear : Evidence for a fear-confirming reasoning pattern

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Peter; Mayer, B; vandenHout, M

    1997-01-01

    In two experiments we explored the role of subjects' reasoning performance in the persistence of phobic fear. More specifically, we investigated whether (phobic) subjects are prone to selectively search for danger-confirming information when asked to judge the validity of conditional rules in the co

  4. Reprint of: "Demographic factors predict magnitude of conditioned fear".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Blake L; Bui, Eric; Marin, Marie-France; Holt, Daphne J; Lasko, Natasha B; Pitman, Roger K; Orr, Scott P; Milad, Mohammed R

    2015-12-01

    There is substantial variability across individuals in the magnitudes of their skin conductance (SC) responses during the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear. To manage this variability, subjects may be matched for demographic variables, such as age, gender and education. However, limited data exist addressing how much variability in conditioned SC responses is actually explained by these variables. The present study assessed the influence of age, gender and education on the SC responses of 222 subjects who underwent the same differential conditioning paradigm. The demographic variables were found to predict a small but significant amount of variability in conditioned responding during fear acquisition, but not fear extinction learning or extinction recall. A larger differential change in SC during acquisition was associated with more education. Older participants and women showed smaller differential SC during acquisition. Our findings support the need to consider age, gender and education when studying fear acquisition but not necessarily when examining fear extinction learning and recall. Variability in demographic factors across studies may partially explain the difficulty in reproducing some SC findings. PMID:26608179

  5. Limbic system development underlies the emergence of classical fear conditioning during the third and fourth weeks of life in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deal, Alex L; Erickson, Kristen J; Shiers, Stephanie I; Burman, Michael A

    2016-04-01

    Classical fear conditioning creates an association between an aversive stimulus and a neutral stimulus. Although the requisite neural circuitry is well understood in mature organisms, the development of these circuits is less well studied. The current experiments examine the ontogeny of fear conditioning and relate it to neuronal activation assessed through immediate early gene (IEG) expression in the amygdala, hippocampus, perirhinal cortex, and hypothalamus of periweanling rats. Rat pups were fear conditioned, or not, during the third or fourth weeks of life. Neuronal activation was assessed by quantifying expression of FBJ osteosarcoma oncogene (FOS) using immunohistochemistry (IHC) in Experiment 1. Fos and early growth response gene-1 (EGR1) expression was assessed using qRT-PCR in Experiment 2. Behavioral data confirm that both auditory and contextual fear continue to emerge between PD 17 and 24. The IEG expression data are highly consistent with these behavioral results. IHC results demonstrate significantly more FOS protein expression in the basal amygdala of fear-conditioned PD 23 subjects compared to control subjects, but no significant difference at PD 17. qRT-PCR results suggest specific activation of the amygdala only in older subjects during auditory fear expression. A similar effect of age and conditioning status was also observed in the perirhinal cortex during both contextual and auditory fear expression. Overall, the development of fear conditioning occurring between the third and fourth weeks of life appears to be at least partly attributable to changes in activation of the amygdala and perirhinal cortex during fear conditioning or expression. (PsycINFO Database Record

  6. Pavlovian fear conditioning regulates Thr286 autophosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II at lateral amygdala synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Sarina M; Farb, Claudia R; Bauer, Elizabeth P; LeDoux, Joseph E; Schafe, Glenn E

    2004-03-31

    Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) plays a critical role in synaptic plasticity and memory formation in a variety of learning systems and species. The present experiments examined the role of CaMKII in the circuitry underlying pavlovian fear conditioning. First, we reveal by immunocytochemical and tract-tracing methods that alphaCaMKII is postsynaptic to auditory thalamic inputs and colocalized with the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor. Furthermore, we show that fear conditioning results in an increase of the autophosphorylated (active) form of alphaCaMKII in lateral amygdala (LA) spines. Next, we demonstrate that intra-amygdala infusion of a CaMK inhibitor, 1-[NO-bis-1,5-isoquinolinesulfonyl]-N-methyl-l-tyrosyl-4-phenylpiperazine, KN-62, dose-dependently impairs the acquisition, but not the expression, of auditory and contextual fear conditioning. Finally, in electrophysiological experiments, we demonstrate that an NMDA receptor-dependent form of long-term potentiation at thalamic input synapses to the LA is impaired by bath application of KN-62 in vitro. Together, the results of these experiments provide the first comprehensive view of the role of CaMKII in the amygdala during fear conditioning.

  7. Ethnic differences in physiological responses to fear conditioned stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Karen G; Franco-Chaves, José A; Milad, Mohammed R; Quirk, Gregory J

    2014-01-01

    The idea that emotional expression varies with ethnicity is based largely on questionnaires and behavioral observations rather than physiological measures. We therefore compared the skin conductance responses (SCR) of Hispanic (Puerto Rican) and White non-Hispanic subjects in a fear conditioning and fear extinction task. Subjects were recruited from two sites: San Juan, Puerto Rico (PR), and Boston, Massachusetts (MA), using identical methods. A total of 78 healthy subjects (39 from PR, 39 from MA) were divided by sex and matched for age and educational level. Females from the two sites did not differ in their SCRs during any experimental phase of fear conditioning (habituation, conditioning, or extinction). In contrast, PR males responded significantly to the conditioned stimulus than MA males or PR females. Subtracting ethnic differences observed during the habituation phase (prior to conditioning) eliminated differences from subsequent phases, suggesting that PR males are elevated in their response to novelty rather than fear learning. Our findings suggest that, in addition to sex differences, there are ethnic differences in physiological responses to novel stimuli at least in males, which could be relevant for the assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders. PMID:25501365

  8. Ethnic differences in physiological responses to fear conditioned stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen G Martínez

    Full Text Available The idea that emotional expression varies with ethnicity is based largely on questionnaires and behavioral observations rather than physiological measures. We therefore compared the skin conductance responses (SCR of Hispanic (Puerto Rican and White non-Hispanic subjects in a fear conditioning and fear extinction task. Subjects were recruited from two sites: San Juan, Puerto Rico (PR, and Boston, Massachusetts (MA, using identical methods. A total of 78 healthy subjects (39 from PR, 39 from MA were divided by sex and matched for age and educational level. Females from the two sites did not differ in their SCRs during any experimental phase of fear conditioning (habituation, conditioning, or extinction. In contrast, PR males responded significantly to the conditioned stimulus than MA males or PR females. Subtracting ethnic differences observed during the habituation phase (prior to conditioning eliminated differences from subsequent phases, suggesting that PR males are elevated in their response to novelty rather than fear learning. Our findings suggest that, in addition to sex differences, there are ethnic differences in physiological responses to novel stimuli at least in males, which could be relevant for the assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders.

  9. Hemodynamic responses in amygdala and hippocampus distinguish between aversive and neutral cues during Pavlovian fear conditioning in behaving rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHugh, Stephen B; Marques-Smith, Andre; Li, Jennifer; Rawlins, J N P; Lowry, John; Conway, Michael; Gilmour, Gary; Tricklebank, Mark; Bannerman, David M

    2013-02-01

    Lesion and electrophysiological studies in rodents have identified the amygdala and hippocampus (HPC) as key structures for Pavlovian fear conditioning, but human functional neuroimaging studies have not consistently found activation of these structures. This could be because hemodynamic responses cannot detect the sparse neuronal activity proposed to underlie conditioned fear. Alternatively, differences in experimental design or fear levels could account for the discrepant findings between rodents and humans. To help distinguish between these alternatives, we used tissue oxygen amperometry to record hemodynamic responses from the basolateral amygdala (BLA), dorsal HPC (dHPC) and ventral HPC (vHPC) in freely-moving rats during the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear. To enable specific comparison with human studies we used a discriminative paradigm, with one auditory cue [conditioned stimulus (CS)+] that was always followed by footshock, and another auditory cue (CS-) that was never followed by footshock. BLA tissue oxygen signals were significantly higher during CS+ than CS- trials during training and early extinction. In contrast, they were lower during CS+ than CS- trials by the end of extinction. dHPC and vHPC tissue oxygen signals were significantly lower during CS+ than CS- trials throughout extinction. Thus, hemodynamic signals in the amygdala and HPC can detect the different patterns of neuronal activity evoked by threatening vs. neutral stimuli during fear conditioning. Discrepant neuroimaging findings may be due to differences in experimental design and/or fear levels evoked in participants. Our methodology offers a way to improve translation between rodent models and human neuroimaging.

  10. Secondary extinction in Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vurbic, Drina; Bouton, Mark E

    2011-09-01

    Pavlov (1927/1960) reported that following the conditioning of several stimuli, extinction of one conditioned stimulus (CS) attenuated responding to others that had not undergone direct extinction. However, this secondary extinction effect has not been widely replicated in the contemporary literature. In three conditioned suppression experiments with rats, we further explored the phenomenon. In Experiment 1, we asked whether secondary extinction is more likely to occur with target CSs that have themselves undergone some prior extinction. A robust secondary extinction effect was obtained with a nonextinguished target CS. Experiment 2 showed that extinction of one CS was sufficient to reduce renewal of a second CS when it was tested in a neutral (nonextinction) context. In Experiment 3, secondary extinction was observed in groups that initially received intermixed conditioning trials with the target and nontarget CSs, but not in groups that received conditioning of the two CSs in separate sessions. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that CSs must be associated with a common temporal context during conditioning for secondary extinction to occur.

  11. Activation of ERK/MAP kinase in the amygdala is required for memory consolidation of pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schafe, G E; Atkins, C M; Swank, M W; Bauer, E P; Sweatt, J D; LeDoux, J E

    2000-11-01

    Although much has been learned about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying Pavlovian fear conditioning at the systems and cellular levels, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying fear memory consolidation. The present experiments evaluated the role of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK/MAPK) signaling cascade in the amygdala during Pavlovian fear conditioning. We first show that ERK/MAPK is transiently activated-phosphorylated in the amygdala, specifically the lateral nucleus (LA), at 60 min, but not 15, 30, or 180 min, after conditioning, and that this activation is attributable to paired presentations of tone and shock rather than to nonassociative auditory stimulation, foot shock sensitization, or unpaired tone-shock presentations. We next show that infusions of U0126, an inhibitor of ERK/MAPK activation, aimed at the LA, dose-dependently impair long-term memory of Pavlovian fear conditioning but leaves short-term memory intact. Finally, we show that bath application of U0126 impairs long-term potentiation in the LA in vitro. Collectively, these results demonstrate that ERK/MAPK activation is necessary for both memory consolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning and synaptic plasticity in the amygdala.

  12. Fear conditioning in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Alzheimer's disease

    OpenAIRE

    Hoefer, M.; Allison, S. C.; Schauer, G. F.; Neuhaus, J M; Hall, J.; Dang, J. N.; Weiner, M.W.; Miller, B. L.; Rosen, H.J.

    2008-01-01

    Emotional blunting and abnormal processing of rewards and punishments represent early features of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Better understanding of the physiological underpinnings of these emotional changes can be facilitated by the use of classical psychology approaches. Fear conditioning (FC) is an extensively used paradigm for studying emotional processing that has rarely been applied to the study of dementia.We studied FC in controls (n = 25), Alzheimer's disease (n =25) a...

  13. Fear-potentiation in the elevated plus-maze test depends on stressor controllability and fear conditioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Korte, S M; Bohus, B; de Boer, Sietse

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine which stressor qualities (escapable vs. inescapable stress and unconditioned vs. conditioned stress) can potentiate fear in the elevated plus-maze. While inescapable stress potentiated fear, escapable stress did not, but escapable stress increased the locomo

  14. A role for midline and intralaminar thalamus in the associative blocking of Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Auntora; McNally, Gavan P

    2014-01-01

    Fear learning occurs in response to positive prediction error, when the expected outcome of a conditioning trial exceeds that predicted by the conditioned stimuli present. This role for error in Pavlovian association formation is best exemplified by the phenomenon of associative blocking, whereby prior fear conditioning of conditioned stimulus (CS) A is able to prevent learning to CSB when they are conditioned in compound. The midline and intralaminar thalamic nuclei (MIT) are well-placed to contribute to fear prediction error because they receive extensive projections from the midbrain periaqueductal gray-which has a key role in fear prediction error-and project extensively to prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Here we used an associative blocking design to study the role of MIT in fear learning. In Stage I rats were trained to fear CSA via pairings with shock. In Stage II rats received compound fear conditioning of CSAB paired with shock. On test, rats that received Stage I training expressed less fear to CSB relative to control rats that did not receive this training. Microinjection of bupivacaine into MIT prior to Stage II training had no effect on the expression of fear during Stage II and had no effect on fear learning in controls, but prevented associative blocking and so enabled fear learning to CSB. These 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 in fear learning and fear responding.

  15. A role for midline and intralaminar thalamus in the associative blocking of Pavlovian fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Auntora eSengupta

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Fear learning occurs in response to positive prediction error, when the expected outcome of a conditioning trial exceeds that predicted by the conditioned stimuli present. This role for error in Pavlovian association formation is best exemplified by the phenomenon of associative blocking, whereby prior fear conditioning of conditioned stimulus (CS A is able to prevent learning to CSB when they are conditioned in compound. The midline and intralaminar thalamic nuclei (MIT are well placed to contribute to fear prediction error because they receive extensive projections from the midbrain periaqueductal gray – which has a key role in fear prediction error – and project extensively to prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Here we used an associative blocking design to study the role of MIT in fear learning. In Stage I rats were trained to fear CSA via pairings with shock. In Stage II rats received compound fear conditioning of CSAB paired with shock. On test, rats that received Stage I training expressed less fear to CSB relative to control rats that did not receive this training. Microinjection of bupivacaine into MIT prior to Stage II training had no effect on the expression of fear during Stage II and had no effect on fear learning in controls, but prevented associative blocking and so enabled fear learning to CSB. These 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 in fear learning and fear responding.

  16. Resting heart rate variability predicts safety learning and fear extinction in an interoceptive fear conditioning paradigm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meike Pappens

    Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate whether interindividual differences in autonomic inhibitory control predict safety learning and fear extinction in an interoceptive fear conditioning paradigm. Data from a previously reported study (N = 40 were extended (N = 17 and re-analyzed to test whether healthy participants' resting heart rate variability (HRV - a proxy of cardiac vagal tone - predicts learning performance. The conditioned stimulus (CS was a slight sensation of breathlessness induced by a flow resistor, the unconditioned stimulus (US was an aversive short-lasting suffocation experience induced by a complete occlusion of the breathing circuitry. During acquisition, the paired group received 6 paired CS-US presentations; the control group received 6 explicitly unpaired CS-US presentations. In the extinction phase, both groups were exposed to 6 CS-only presentations. Measures included startle blink EMG, skin conductance responses (SCR and US-expectancy ratings. Resting HRV significantly predicted the startle blink EMG learning curves both during acquisition and extinction. In the unpaired group, higher levels of HRV at rest predicted safety learning to the CS during acquisition. In the paired group, higher levels of HRV were associated with better extinction. Our findings suggest that the strength or integrity of prefrontal inhibitory mechanisms involved in safety- and extinction learning can be indexed by HRV at rest.

  17. Modulation of Long-Term Potentiation of Cortico-Amygdala Synaptic Responses and Auditory Fear Memory by Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, Daisuke; Wada, Keiji; Sekiguchi, Masayuki

    2016-01-01

    Converging evidence suggests that an imbalance of ω3 to ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in the brain is involved in mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown. We previously reported that the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA alters this ratio in the brain, and influences contextual fear memory. In addition to behavioral change, enhancement of cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated short-term synaptic plasticity and facilitation of the agonist sensitivity of CB1 receptors have been observed in excitatory synaptic responses in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA). However, it is not known whether long-term synaptic plasticity in the amygdala is influenced by the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA. In the present study, we examined long-term potentiation (LTP) of optogenetically-evoked excitatory synaptic responses in synapses between the terminal of the projection from the auditory cortex (ACx) and the pyramidal cells in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We found that LTP in this pathway was attenuated in mice fed with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio diet (0.97), compared with mice fed with a low ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio diet (0.14). Furthermore, mice in the former condition showed reduced fear responses in an auditory fear conditioning test, compared with mice in the latter condition. In both electrophysiological and behavioral experiments, the effect of a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA diet ratio was completely blocked by treatment with a CB1 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, a significant reduction was observed in cholesterol content, but not in the level of an endogenous CB1 receptor agonist, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), in brain samples containing the amygdala. These results suggest that the balance of ω3 to ω6 PUFA has an impact on fear memory and cortico-amygdala synaptic plasticity, both in a CB1 receptor–dependent manner. PMID:27601985

  18. Rating data are underrated: validity of US expectancy in human fear conditioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Y. Boddez; F. Baeyens; L. Luyten; D. Vansteenwegen; D. Hermans; T. Beckers

    2013-01-01

    Background and objectives: Human fear conditioning is widely regarded as one of the prime paradigms for the study of fear and anxiety disorders. We provide an evaluation of a commonly used subjective measure in the human fear conditioning paradigm, namely the US-expectancy measurement. Methods: We a

  19. Fear but not fright: re-evaluating traumatic experience attenuates anxiety-like behaviors after fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco eCostanzi

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Fear allows organisms to cope with dangerous situations and remembering these situations has an adaptive role preserving individuals from injury and death. However, recalling traumatic memories can induce re-experiencing the trauma, thus resulting in a maladaptive fear. A failure to properly regulate fear responses has been associated with anxiety disorders, like Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. Thus, re-establishing the capability to regulate fear has an important role for its adaptive and clinical relevance. Strategies aimed at erasing fear memories have been proposed, although there are limits about their efficiency in treating anxiety disorders. To re-establish fear regulation, here we propose a new approach, based on the re-evaluation of the aversive value of traumatic experience. Mice were submitted to a contextual-fear-conditioning paradigm in which a neutral context was paired with an intense electric footshock. Three weeks after acquisition, conditioned mice were treated with a less intense footshock (pain threshold. The effectiveness of this procedure in reducing fear expression was assessed in terms of behavioral outcomes related to PTSD (e.g. hyper-reactivity to a neutral tone, anxiety levels in a plus maze task, social avoidance, and learning deficits in a spatial water maze and of amygdala activity by evaluating c-fos expression. Furthermore, a possible role of lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC in mediating the behavioral effects induced by the re-evaluation procedure was investigated. We observed that this treatment (i significantly mitigates the abnormal behavioral outcomes induced by trauma, (ii persistently attenuates fear expression without erasing contextual memory, (iii prevents fear reinstatement, (iv reduces amygdala activity and (v requires an intact lOFC to be effective.The results suggest that an effective strategy to treat pathological anxiety should address cognitive re-evaluation of traumatic experiences

  20. Fast, transient cardiac accelerations and decelerations during fear conditioning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knippenberg, J M J; Barry, R J; Kuniecki, M J; van Luijtelaar, G

    2012-02-01

    The current study reports on a number of heart rate responses observed in rats subjected to a discriminatory Pavlovian fear conditioning procedure. Rats learned that a series of six auditory pips was followed by a footshock when presented alone, but not when the pip series was preceded by a visual safety signal. Each auditory pip in the series evoked a fast transient (transient decelerations are similar to the human Evoked Cardiac Response 1 (ECR1), a brief modest deceleration evoked by simple sensory stimuli that is thought to reflect an early process of stimulus registration. Immediately following these pip-evoked decelerations, modest fast accelerations were observed. These accelerations were larger when the pip series was followed by shock than when it was not followed by shock. We propose a potential linkage between these accelerations and the human acceleratory ECR2 component, which is associated with more elaborate processing following stimulus registration; something likely to take place when the pip series predicts an aversive event. Both the ECR1- and ECR2-like responses were embedded within a slow, gradual heart rate increase across the entire pip series. This tonic increase was significantly larger on trials with footshock and is therefore probably associated with anticipatory fear of the upcoming shock. An additional special type of cardiac response was found to the first pip in the series not preceded by the safety signal; here, a much larger and more sustained deceleration was apparent. This response appears relatable to the prolonged deceleration reported in humans in response to aversive picture content. We discuss the cardiac responses found in rats in the current study in the context of heart rate responses known in the human literature.

  1. Memory formation for trace fear conditioning requires ubiquitin-proteasome mediated protein degradation in the prefrontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S Reis

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The cellular mechanisms supporting plasticity during memory consolidation have been a subject of considerable interest. De novo protein and mRNA synthesis in several brain areas are critical, and more recently protein degradation, mediated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS, has been shown to be important. Previous work clearly establishes a relationship between protein synthesis and protein degradation in the amygdala, but it is unclear whether cortical mechanisms of memory consolidation are similar to those in the amygdala. Recent work demonstrating a critical role for prefrontal cortex (PFC in the acquisition and consolidation of fear memory allows us to address this question. Here we use a PFC-dependent fear conditioning protocol to determine whether UPS mediated protein degradation is necessary for memory consolidation in PFC. Groups of rats were trained with auditory delay or trace fear conditioning and sacrificed 60 min after training. PFC tissue was then analyzed to quantify the amount of polyubiquinated protein. Other animals were trained with similar procedures but were infused with either a proteasome inhibitor (clasto-lactacystin β-lactone or a translation inhibitor (anisomycin in the PFC immediately after training. Our results show increased UPS-mediated protein degradation in the PFC following trace but not delay fear conditioning. Additionally, post-training proteasome or translation inhibition significantly impaired trace but not delay fear memory when tested the next day. Our results further support the idea that the PFC is critical for trace but not delay fear conditioning highlight the role of UPS-mediated degradation as critical for synaptic plasticity.

  2. CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors Modulate Kinase and Phosphatase Activity during Extinction of Conditioned Fear in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamprath, Kornelia; Hermann, Heike; Lutz, Beat; Marsicano, Giovanni; Cannich, Astrid; Wotjak, Carsten T.

    2004-01-01

    Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) play a central role in both short-term and long-term extinction of auditory-cued fear memory. The molecular mechanisms underlying this function remain to be clarified. Several studies indicated extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase with its downstream effector AKT, and…

  3. Sleep Promotes Generalization of Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Milad, Mohammed R.; Orr, Scott P.; Rauch, Scott L.; Stickgold, Robert; Pitman, Roger K.

    2009-01-01

    Study Objective: To examine the effects of sleep on fear conditioning, extinction, extinction recall, and generalization of extinction recall in healthy humans. Design: During the Conditioning phase, a mild, 0.5-sec shock followed conditioned stimuli (CS+s), which consisted of 2 differently colored lamps. A third lamp color was interspersed but never reinforced (CS-). Immediately after Conditioning, one CS+ was extinguished (CS+E) by presentation without shocks (Extinction phase). The other CS+ went unextinguished (CS+U). Twelve hours later, following continuous normal daytime waking (Wake group, N = 27) or an equal interval containing a normal night's sleep (Sleep group, N = 26), conditioned responses (CRs) to all CSs were measured (Extinction Recall phase). It was hypothesized that the Sleep versus Wake group would show greater extinction recall and/or generalization of extinction recall from the CS+E to the CS+U. Setting: Academic medical center. Subjects: Paid normal volunteers. Measurements and Results: Square-root transformed skin conductance response (SCR) measured conditioned responding. During Extinction Recall, the Group (Wake or Sleep) × CS+ Type (CS+E or CS+U) interaction was significant (P = 0.04). SCRs to the CS+E did not differ between groups, whereas SCRs to the CS+U were significantly smaller in the Sleep group. Additionally, SCRs were significantly larger to the CS+U than CS+E in the Wake but not the Sleep group. Conclusions: After sleep, extinction memory generalized from an extinguished conditioned stimulus to a similarly conditioned but unextinguished stimulus. Clinically, adequate sleep may promote generalization of extinction memory from specific stimuli treated during exposure therapy to similar stimuli later encountered in vivo. Citation: Pace-Schott EF; Milad MR; Orr SP; Rauch SL; Stickgold R; Pitman RK. Sleep promotes generalization of extinction of conditioned fear. SLEEP 2009;32(1):19-26. PMID:19189775

  4. Individual Differences in Discriminatory Fear Learning under Conditions of Ambiguity: A Vulnerability Factor for Anxiety Disorders?

    OpenAIRE

    Arnaudova, Inna; Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis; Effting, Marieke; Boddez, Yannick; Kindt, Merel; Beckers, Tom

    2013-01-01

    Complex fear learning procedures might be better suited than the common differential fear-conditioning paradigm for detecting individual differences related to vulnerability for anxiety disorders. Two such procedures are the blocking procedure and the protection-from-overshadowing procedure. Their comparison allows for the examination of discriminatory fear learning under conditions of ambiguity. The present study examined the role of individual differences in such discriminatory fear learnin...

  5. The contextual brain: implications for fear conditioning, extinction and psychopathology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maren, Stephen; Phan, K. Luan; Liberzon, Israel

    2016-01-01

    Contexts surround and imbue meaning to events; they are essential for recollecting the past, interpreting the present and anticipating the future. Indeed, the brain’s capacity to contextualize information permits enormous cognitive and behavioural flexibility. Studies of Pavlovian fear conditioning and extinction in rodents and humans suggest that a neural circuit including the hippocampus, amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex is involved in the learning and memory processes that enable context-dependent behaviour. Dysfunction in this network may be involved in several forms of psychopathology, including post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and substance abuse disorders. PMID:23635870

  6. Early Extinction after Fear Conditioning Yields a Context-Independent and Short-Term Suppression of Conditional Freezing in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chun-hui; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats is a useful model for therapeutic interventions in humans with anxiety disorders. Recently, we found that delivering extinction trials soon (15 min) after fear conditioning yields a short-term suppression of fear, but little long-term extinction. Here, we explored the possible mechanisms underlying…

  7. Pavlovian fear conditioning as a behavioral assay for hippocampus and amygdala function: cautions and caveats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maren, Stephen

    2008-10-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning has become an important model for investigating the neural substrates of learning and memory in rats, mice and humans. The hippocampus and amygdala are widely believed to be essential for fear conditioning to contexts and discrete cues, respectively. Indeed, this parsing of function within the fear circuit has been used to leverage fear conditioning as a behavioral assay of hippocampal and amygdala function, particularly in transgenic mouse models. Recent work, however, blurs the anatomical segregation of cue and context conditioning and challenges the necessity for the hippocampus and amygdala in fear learning. Moreover, nonassociative factors may influence the performance of fear responses under a variety of conditions. Caution must therefore be exercised when using fear conditioning as a behavioral assay for hippocampal- and amygdala-dependent learning.

  8. Acute and chronic effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment on fear conditioning: implications for underlying fear circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burghardt, N S; Bauer, E P

    2013-09-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used for the treatment of a spectrum of anxiety disorders, yet paradoxically they may increase symptoms of anxiety when treatment is first initiated. Despite extensive research over the past 30 years focused on SSRI treatment, the precise mechanisms by which SSRIs exert these opposing acute and chronic effects on anxiety remain unknown. By testing the behavioral effects of SSRI treatment on Pavlovian fear conditioning, a well characterized model of emotional learning, we have the opportunity to identify how SSRIs affect the functioning of specific brain regions, including the amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and hippocampus. In this review, we first define different stages of learning involved in cued and context fear conditioning and describe the neural circuits underlying these processes. We examine the results of numerous rodent studies investigating how acute SSRI treatment modulates fear learning and relate these effects to the known functions of serotonin in specific brain regions. With these findings, we propose a model by which acute SSRI administration, by altering neural activity in the extended amygdala and hippocampus, enhances both acquisition and expression of cued fear conditioning, but impairs the expression of contextual fear conditioning. Finally, we review the literature examining the effects of chronic SSRI treatment on fear conditioning in rodents and describe how downregulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the amygdala and hippocampus may mediate the impairments in fear learning and memory that are reported. While long-term SSRI treatment effectively reduces symptoms of anxiety, their disruptive effects on fear learning should be kept in mind when combining chronic SSRI treatment and learning-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

  9. Physiological Consequences of Repeated Exposures to Conditioned Fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S. Thompson

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Activation of the stress response evokes a cascade of physiological reactions that may be detrimental when repeated or chronic, and when triggered after exposure to psychological/emotional stressors. Investigation of the physiological mechanisms responsible for the health damaging effects requires animal paradigms that repeatedly evoke a response to psychological/emotional stressors. To this end, adult male Sprague Dawley rats were repeatedly exposed (2X per day for 20 days to a context that they were conditioned to fear (conditioned fear test, CFT. Repeated exposure to CFT produced body weight loss, adrenal hypertrophy, thymic involution, and basal corticosterone elevation. In vivo biotelemetry measures revealed that CFT evokes sympathetic nervous system driven increases in heart rate (HR, mean arterial pressure (MAP, and core body temperature. Extinction of behavioral (freezing and physiological responses to CFT was prevented using minimal reinstatement footshock. MAP responses to the CFT did not diminish across 20 days of exposure. In contrast, HR and cardiac contractility responses declined by day 15, suggesting a shift toward vascular-dominated MAP (a pre-clinical marker of CV dysfunction. Flattened diurnal rhythms, common to stress-related mood/anxiety disorders, were found for most physiological measures. Thus, repeated CFT produces adaptations indicative of the health damaging effects of psychological/emotional stress.

  10. Rapid amygdala responses during trace fear conditioning without awareness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas L Balderston

    Full Text Available The role of consciousness in learning has been debated for nearly 50 years. Recent studies suggest that conscious awareness is needed to bridge the gap when learning about two events that are separated in time, as is true for trace fear conditioning. This has been repeatedly shown and seems to apply to other forms of classical conditioning as well. In contrast to these findings, we show that individuals can learn to associate a face with the later occurrence of a shock, even if they are unable to perceive the face. We used a novel application of magnetoencephalography (MEG to non-invasively record neural activity from the amygdala, which is known to be important for fear learning. We demonstrate rapid (∼ 170-200 ms amygdala responses during the stimulus free period between the face and the shock. These results suggest that unperceived faces can serve as signals for impending threat, and that rapid, automatic activation of the amygdala contributes to this process. In addition, we describe a methodology that can be applied in the future to study neural activity with MEG in other subcortical structures.

  11. Rapid amygdala responses during trace fear conditioning without awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderston, Nicholas L; Schultz, Douglas H; Baillet, Sylvain; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2014-01-01

    The role of consciousness in learning has been debated for nearly 50 years. Recent studies suggest that conscious awareness is needed to bridge the gap when learning about two events that are separated in time, as is true for trace fear conditioning. This has been repeatedly shown and seems to apply to other forms of classical conditioning as well. In contrast to these findings, we show that individuals can learn to associate a face with the later occurrence of a shock, even if they are unable to perceive the face. We used a novel application of magnetoencephalography (MEG) to non-invasively record neural activity from the amygdala, which is known to be important for fear learning. We demonstrate rapid (∼ 170-200 ms) amygdala responses during the stimulus free period between the face and the shock. These results suggest that unperceived faces can serve as signals for impending threat, and that rapid, automatic activation of the amygdala contributes to this process. In addition, we describe a methodology that can be applied in the future to study neural activity with MEG in other subcortical structures.

  12. Rethinking the fear circuit: the central nucleus of the amygdala is required for the acquisition, consolidation, and expression of Pavlovian fear conditioning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilensky, Ann E; Schafe, Glenn E; Kristensen, Morten Pilgaard;

    2006-01-01

    of the amygdala (CE), which serves as the principal output nucleus for the expression of conditioned fear responses. In the present study, we reexamined the roles of LA and CE. Specifically, we asked whether CE, like LA, might also be involved in fear learning and memory consolidation. Using functional...... inactivation methods, we first show that CE is involved not only in the expression but also the acquisition of fear conditioning. Next, we show that inhibition of protein synthesis in CE after training impairs fear memory consolidation. These findings indicate that CE is not only involved in fear expression...... but, like LA, is also involved in the learning and consolidation of pavlovian fear conditioning....

  13. Vagus nerve stimulation enhances extinction of conditioned fear and modulates plasticity in the pathway from the infralimbic prefrontal cortex to the amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Frausto Peña

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Fearful experiences can produce long-lasting and debilitating memories. Extinction of the fear response requires consolidation of new memories that compete with fearful associations. Subjects with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD show impaired extinction of conditioned fear, which is associated with decreased ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC control over amygdala activity. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS enhances memory consolidation in both rats and humans, and pairing VNS with exposure to conditioned cues enhances the consolidation of extinction learning in rats. Here we investigated whether pairing VNS with extinction learning facilitates plasticity between the infralimbic (IL medial prefrontal cortex and the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA. Rats were trained on an auditory fear conditioning task, which was followed by a retention test and one day of extinction training. Vagus nerve stimulation or sham-stimulation was administered concurrently with exposure to the fear-conditioned stimulus and retention of fear conditioning was tested again 24 hours later. VNS-treated rats demonstrated a significant reduction in freezing after a single extinction training session similar to animals that received 5x the number of extinction pairings. To study plasticity in the IL-BLA pathway, we recorded evoked field potentials in the BLA in anesthetized animals 24 h after retention testing. Brief burst stimulation in the IL produced LTD in the BLA field response in fear-conditioned and sham-treated animals. In contrast, the same stimulation resulted in potentiation of the IL-BLA pathway in the VNS-treated group. The present findings suggest that VNS promotes plasticity in the IL-BLA pathway to facilitate extinction of conditioned fear responses.

  14. Role of conceptual knowledge in learning and retention of conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E; Martin, Alex; LaBar, Kevin S

    2012-02-01

    Associating sensory cues with aversive outcomes is a relatively basic process shared across species. Yet higher-order cognitive processes likely contribute to associative fear learning in many circumstances, especially in humans. Here we ask whether fears can be acquired based on conceptual knowledge of object categories, and whether such concept-based fear conditioning leads to enhanced memory representations for conditioned objects. Participants were presented with a heterogeneous collection of images of animals and tools. Objects from one category were reinforced by an electrical shock, whereas the other category was never reinforced. Results confirmed concept-based fear learning through subjective report of shock expectancy, heightened skin conductance responses, and enhanced 24h recognition memory for items from the conditioned category. These results provide novel evidence that conditioned fear can generalize through knowledge of object concepts, and sheds light on the persistent nature of fear memories and category-based fear responses symptomatic of some anxiety disorders.

  15. Effects of neonatal amygdala lesions on fear learning, conditioned inhibition, and extinction in adult macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazama, Andy M; Heuer, Eric; Davis, Michael; Bachevalier, Jocelyne

    2012-06-01

    Fear conditioning studies have demonstrated the critical role played by the amygdala in emotion processing. Although all lesion studies until now investigated the effect of adult-onset damage on fear conditioning, the current study assessed fear-learning abilities, as measured by fear-potentiated startle, in adult monkeys that had received neonatal neurotoxic amygdala damage or sham-operations. After fear acquisition, their abilities to learn and use a safety cue to modulate their fear to the conditioned cue, and, finally, to extinguish their response to the fear conditioned cue were measured with the AX+/BX- Paradigm. Neonatal amygdala damage retarded, but did not completely abolish, the acquisition of a learned fear. After acquisition of the fear signal, four of the six animals with neonatal amygdala lesions discriminated between the fear and safety cues and were also able to use the safety signal to reduce the potentiated-startle response and to extinguish the fear response when the air-blast was absent. In conclusion, the present results support the critical contribution of the amygdala during the early phases of fear conditioning that leads to quick, robust responses to potentially threatening stimuli, a highly adaptive process across all species and likely to be present in early infancy. The neonatal amygdala lesions also indicated the presence of amygdala-independent alternate pathways that are capable to support fear learning in the absence of a functional amygdala. This parallel processing of fear responses within these alternate pathways was also sufficient to support the ability to flexibly modulate the magnitude of the fear responses.

  16. Opioid regulation of Pavlovian overshadowing in fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelikowsky, Moriel; Fanselow, Michael S

    2010-08-01

    In Pavlovian overshadowing, a stimulus that predicts a biologically important event reduces conditioning to another, equally predictive stimulus. We tested the effects of an opioid antagonist and dopamine agonist on the ability of a salient white noise to overshadow a less salient light. Rats were conditioned to fear a light or a noise-light compound using a mild footshock. Compound-conditioned rats trained under the saline vehicle revealed significant overshadowing of the light by the noise. This overshadowing effect was significantly attenuated in rats trained under the opioid antagonist naltrexone, consistent with an opioid-mediated negative feedback model of conditioning. In line with predictions made by negative feedback-type models, we failed to obtain overshadowing with few trials, suggesting that the processes underlying conditioning during initial trials do not contribute to the opioid-dependent Pavlovian overshadowing obtained in our preparation. Lastly, we compared the involvement of dopamine-mediated and opioid-mediated processes in overshadowing by conditioning rats under the partial dopamine D1 receptor agonist SKF 38393 or the opioid antagonist naltrexone. Both naltrexone and SKF 38393 were found to attenuate overshadowing; however, the behavioral profiles produced by each pharmacological manipulation were distinct. Collectively, these studies demonstrate an important role for both opioid- and dopamine-mediated processes in multiple-trial overshadowing.

  17. The effects of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation on conditioned fear extinction in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Andreas M; Verkuil, Bart; Van Diest, Ilse; Van der Does, Willem; Thayer, Julian F; Brosschot, Jos F

    2016-07-01

    A critical component of the treatment for anxiety disorders is the extinction of fear via repeated exposure to the feared stimulus. This process is strongly dependent on successful memory formation and consolidation. Stimulation of the vagus nerve enhances memory formation in both animals and humans. The objective of this study was to assess whether transcutaneous stimulation of the vagus nerve (tVNS) can accelerate extinction memory formation and retention in fear conditioned humans. To assess fear conditioning and subsequent fear extinction, we assessed US expectancy ratings, fear potentiated startle responses and phasic heart rate responses. We conducted a randomized controlled trial in thirty-one healthy participants. After fear conditioning participants were randomly assigned to receive tVNS or sham stimulation during the extinction phase. Retention of extinction memory was tested 24h later. tVNS accelerated explicit fear extinction learning (US expectancy ratings), but did not lead to better retention of extinction memory 24h later. We did not find a differential physiological conditioning response during the acquisition of fear and thus were unable to assess potential effects of tVNS on the extinction of physiological indices of fear. These findings complement recent studies that suggest vagus nerve stimulation could be a promising tool to improve memory consolidation and fear extinction. PMID:27222436

  18. Medial Auditory Thalamus Is Necessary for Acquisition and Retention of Eyeblink Conditioning to Cochlear Nucleus Stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halverson, Hunter E.; Poremba, Amy; Freeman, John H.

    2015-01-01

    Associative learning tasks commonly involve an auditory stimulus, which must be projected through the auditory system to the sites of memory induction for learning to occur. The cochlear nucleus (CN) projection to the pontine nuclei has been posited as the necessary auditory pathway for cerebellar learning, including eyeblink conditioning.…

  19. Differential roles of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in predator odor contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Melissa E; Fraize, Nicolas P; Yin, Linda; Yuan, Robin K; Petsagourakis, Despina; Wann, Ellen G; Muzzio, Isabel A

    2013-06-01

    The study of fear memory is important for understanding various anxiety disorders in which patients experience persistent recollections of traumatic events. These memories often involve associations of contextual cues with aversive events; consequently, Pavlovian classical conditioning is commonly used to study contextual fear learning. The use of predator odor as a fearful stimulus in contextual fear conditioning has become increasingly important as an animal model of anxiety disorders. Innate fear responses to predator odors are well characterized and reliable; however, attempts to use these odors as unconditioned stimuli in fear conditioning paradigms have proven inconsistent. Here we characterize a contextual fear conditioning paradigm using coyote urine as the unconditioned stimulus. We found that contextual conditioning induced by exposure to coyote urine produces long-term freezing, a stereotypic response to fear observed in mice. This paradigm is context-specific and parallels shock-induced contextual conditioning in that it is responsive to extinction training and manipulations of predator odor intensity. Region-specific lesions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus indicate that both areas are independently required for the long-term expression of learned fear. These results in conjunction with c-fos immunostaining data suggest that while both the dorsal and ventral hippocampus are required for forming a contextual representation, the ventral region also modulates defensive behaviors associated with predators. This study provides information about the individual contributions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus to ethologically relevant fear learning.

  20. Neuropeptide S reduces fear and avoidance of con-specifics induced by social fear conditioning and social defeat, respectively.

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    Zoicas, Iulia; Menon, Rohit; Neumann, Inga D

    2016-09-01

    Neuropeptide S (NPS) has anxiolytic effects and facilitates extinction of cued fear in rodents. Here, we investigated whether NPS reverses social fear and social avoidance induced by social fear conditioning (SFC) and acute social defeat (SD), respectively, in male CD1 mice. Our results revealed that intracerebroventricular NPS (icv; 10 and 50 nmol/2 μl) reversed fear of unknown con-specifics induced by SFC and dose-dependently reduced avoidance of known aggressive con-specifics induced by SD. While 50 nmol of NPS completely reversed social avoidance and reinstated social preference, 10 nmol of NPS reduced social avoidance, but did not completely reinstate social preference in socially-defeated mice. Further, a lower dose (1 nmol/2 μl) of NPS facilitated the within-session extinction of cued fear, while a higher dose (10 nmol/2 μl) reduced the expression of cued fear. We could also confirm the anxiolytic effects of NPS (1, 10 and 50 nmol/2 μl) on the elevated plus-maze (EPM), which were not accompanied by alterations in locomotor activity either on the EPM or in the home cage. Finally, we could show that icv infusion of the NPS receptor 1 antagonist D-Cys((t)Bu)(5)-NPS (10 nmol/2 μl) did not alter SFC-induced social fear, general anxiety and locomotor activity. Taken together, our study extends the potent anxiolytic profile of NPS to a social context by demonstrating the reduction of social fear and social avoidance, thus providing the framework for studies investigating the involvement of the NPS system in the regulation of different types of social behaviour.

  1. Pre-test metyrapone impairs memory recall in fear conditioning tasks: lack of interaction with β-adrenergic activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariella B.L. Careaga

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive processes, such as learning and memory, are essential for our adaptation to environmental changes and consequently for survival. Numerous studies indicate that hormones secreted during stressful situations, such as glucocorticoids (GCs, adrenaline and noradrenaline, regulate memory functions, modulating aversive memory consolidation and retrieval, in an interactive and complementary way. Thus, the facilitatory effects of GCs on memory consolidation as well as their suppressive effects on retrieval are substantially explained by this interaction. On the other hand, low levels of GCs are also associated with negative effects on memory consolidation and retrieval and the mechanisms involved are not well understood. The present study sought to investigate the consequences of blocking the rise of GCs on fear memory retrieval in multiple tests, assessing the participation of β-adrenergic signaling on this effect. Metyrapone (GCs synthesis inhibitor, administered 90 min before the first test of contextual or auditory fear conditioning, negatively affected animals’ performances, but this effect did not persist on a subsequent test, when the conditioned response was again expressed. This result suggested that the treatment impaired fear memory retrieval during the first evaluation. The administration immediately after the first test did not affect the animals’ performances in contextual fear conditioning, suggesting that the drug did not interfere with processes triggered by memory reactivation. Moreover, metyrapone effects were independent of β-adrenergic signaling, since concurrent administration with propranolol, a β-adrenergic antagonist, did not modify the effects induced by metyrapone alone. These results demonstrate that pre-test metyrapone administration led to negative effects on fear memory retrieval and this action was independent of a β-adrenergic signaling.

  2. Double dissociation of amygdala and hippocampal contributions to trace and delay fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybuck, Jonathan D; Lattal, K Matthew

    2011-01-19

    A key finding in studies of the neurobiology of learning memory is that the amygdala is critically involved in Pavlovian fear conditioning. This is well established in delay-cued and contextual fear conditioning; however, surprisingly little is known of the role of the amygdala in trace conditioning. Trace fear conditioning, in which the CS and US are separated in time by a trace interval, requires the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. It is possible that recruitment of cortical structures by trace conditioning alters the role of the amygdala compared to delay fear conditioning, where the CS and US overlap. To investigate this, we inactivated the amygdala of male C57BL/6 mice with GABA (A) agonist muscimol prior to 2-pairing trace or delay fear conditioning. Amygdala inactivation produced deficits in contextual and delay conditioning, but had no effect on trace conditioning. As controls, we demonstrate that dorsal hippocampal inactivation produced deficits in trace and contextual, but not delay fear conditioning. Further, pre- and post-training amygdala inactivation disrupted the contextual but the not cued component of trace conditioning, as did muscimol infusion prior to 1- or 4-pairing trace conditioning. These findings demonstrate that insertion of a temporal gap between the CS and US can generate amygdala-independent fear conditioning. We discuss the implications of this surprising finding for current models of the neural circuitry involved in fear conditioning.

  3. Blocking of orexin receptors in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus has no effect on conditioned fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinwen eDong

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT projects to the central nucleus of the amygdala and recent experimental evidence indicates a role for the PVT in conditioned fear. Furthermore, the PVT contains a high density of orexin receptors and fibers and acute injections of orexin antagonist into the PVT produce anxiolytic effects. The present study was done to determine if administration of a dual orexin receptor antagonist (DORA in the region of the PVT interfered with the expression of conditioned fear in rats exposed to cued and contextual conditioning paradigms. Infusion of 0.5 µl of the DORA N-biphenyl-2-yl-1-{[(1-methyl-1H-benzimidazol-2yl sulfanyl] acetyl}-L-prolinamide at a concentration of 0.1, 1.0, and 10 nmol had no effect on the freezing produced by exposing rats to an auditory cue or the context associated with foot shock. In contrast, the 1.0 and 10 nmol doses were anxiolytic in the social interaction test. The results of the present study do not support a role for orexin receptors in the PVT in the expression of learned fear. The finding that the 1.0 and 10 nmol doses of DORA in the PVT region were anxiolytic in the social interaction test is consistent with other studies indicating a role for orexins in the PVT in anxiety-like behaviors.

  4. Effects of Recent Exposure to a Conditioned Stimulus on Extinction of Pavlovian Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Wan Yee Macy; Leung, Hiu T.; Westbrook, R. Frederick; McNally, Gavan P.

    2010-01-01

    In six experiments we studied the effects of a single re-exposure to a conditioned stimulus (CS; "retrieval trial") prior to extinction training (extinction-reconsolidation boundary) on the development of and recovery from fear extinction. A single retrieval trial prior to extinction training significantly augmented the renewal and reinstatement…

  5. Eye Movements Index Implicit Memory Expression in Fear Conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Lauren S; Schultz, Douglas H; Hannula, Deborah E; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2015-01-01

    The role of contingency awareness in simple associative learning experiments with human participants is currently debated. Since prior work suggests that eye movements can index mnemonic processes that occur without awareness, we used eye tracking to better understand the role of awareness in learning aversive Pavlovian conditioning. A complex real-world scene containing four embedded household items was presented to participants while skin conductance, eye movements, and pupil size were recorded. One item embedded in the scene served as the conditional stimulus (CS). One exemplar of that item (e.g. a white pot) was paired with shock 100 percent of the time (CS+) while a second exemplar (e.g. a gray pot) was never paired with shock (CS-). The remaining items were paired with shock on half of the trials. Participants rated their expectation of receiving a shock during each trial, and these expectancy ratings were used to identify when (i.e. on what trial) each participant became aware of the programmed contingencies. Disproportionate viewing of the CS was found both before and after explicit contingency awareness, and patterns of viewing distinguished the CS+ from the CS-. These observations are consistent with "dual process" models of fear conditioning, as they indicate that learning can be expressed in patterns of viewing prior to explicit contingency awareness.

  6. Eye Movements Index Implicit Memory Expression in Fear Conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren S Hopkins

    Full Text Available The role of contingency awareness in simple associative learning experiments with human participants is currently debated. Since prior work suggests that eye movements can index mnemonic processes that occur without awareness, we used eye tracking to better understand the role of awareness in learning aversive Pavlovian conditioning. A complex real-world scene containing four embedded household items was presented to participants while skin conductance, eye movements, and pupil size were recorded. One item embedded in the scene served as the conditional stimulus (CS. One exemplar of that item (e.g. a white pot was paired with shock 100 percent of the time (CS+ while a second exemplar (e.g. a gray pot was never paired with shock (CS-. The remaining items were paired with shock on half of the trials. Participants rated their expectation of receiving a shock during each trial, and these expectancy ratings were used to identify when (i.e. on what trial each participant became aware of the programmed contingencies. Disproportionate viewing of the CS was found both before and after explicit contingency awareness, and patterns of viewing distinguished the CS+ from the CS-. These observations are consistent with "dual process" models of fear conditioning, as they indicate that learning can be expressed in patterns of viewing prior to explicit contingency awareness.

  7. Updated meta-analysis of classical fear conditioning in the anxiety disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duits, Puck; Cath, Danielle C; Lissek, Shmuel; Hox, Joop J; Hamm, Alfons O; Engelhard, Iris M; van den Hout, Marcel A; Baas, Joke M P

    2015-04-01

    The aim of the current study was twofold: (1) to systematically examine differences in fear conditioning between anxiety patients and healthy controls using meta-analytic methods, and (2) to examine the extent to which study characteristics may account for the variability in findings across studies. Forty-four studies (published between 1920 and 2013) with data on 963 anxiety disordered patients and 1,222 control subjects were obtained through PubMed and PsycINFO, as well as from a previous meta-analysis on fear conditioning (Lissek et al.). Results demonstrated robustly increased fear responses to conditioned safety cues (CS-) in anxiety patients compared to controls during acquisition. This effect may represent an impaired ability to inhibit fear in the presence of safety cues (CS-) and/or may signify an increased tendency in anxiety disordered patients to generalize fear responses to safe stimuli resembling the conditioned danger cue (CS+). In contrast, during extinction, patients show stronger fear responses to the CS+ and a trend toward increased discrimination learning (differentiation between the CS+ and CS-) compared to controls, indicating delayed and/or reduced extinction of fear in anxiety patients. Finally, none of the included study characteristics, such as the type of fear measure (subjective vs. psychophysiological index of fear), could account significantly for the variance in effect sizes across studies. Further research is needed to investigate the predictive value of fear extinction on treatment outcome, as extinction processes are thought to underlie the beneficial effects of exposure treatment in anxiety disorders.

  8. Corticosterone plasma concentrations in Carioca Highand Low-conditioned freezing rats after a fear conditioned task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Andrea León A.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Our group in the Psychology Department at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio developed a rat genetic model of extreme freezing in response to contextual cues in an experimental chamber previously associated with footshock. One of the lines, Carioca High Freezing (CHF, exhibits an enhanced conditioned freezing response, whereas the other line, Carioca Low Freezing (CLF, shows the opposite response. The present study investigated corticosterone concentration between these two lines of animals and a random (RND line of rats both under basal conditions and test condition after an emotional challenge using a contextual fear conditioning protocol. Comparisons between basal and test plasma corticosterone concentrations suggested differential basal and fear-induced differences between the two lines. The differences between basal conditions is an important and relevant aspect to be considered in behavioral experiments using or assessing stress and could help to understand variability in naïve populations.

  9. Fear conditioning and extinction across development: evidence from human studies and animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shechner, Tomer; Hong, Melanie; Britton, Jennifer C; Pine, Daniel S; Fox, Nathan A

    2014-07-01

    The ability to differentiate danger and safety through associative processes emerges early in life. Understanding the mechanisms underlying associative learning of threat and safety can clarify the processes that shape development of normative fears and pathological anxiety. Considerable research has used fear conditioning and extinction paradigms to delineate underlying mechanisms in animals and human adults; however, little is known about these mechanisms in children and adolescents. The current paper summarizes the empirical data on the development of fear conditioning and extinction. It reviews methodological considerations and future directions for research on fear conditioning and extinction in pediatric populations. PMID:24746848

  10. Fear conditioning and extinction across development: evidence from human studies and animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shechner, Tomer; Hong, Melanie; Britton, Jennifer C; Pine, Daniel S; Fox, Nathan A

    2014-07-01

    The ability to differentiate danger and safety through associative processes emerges early in life. Understanding the mechanisms underlying associative learning of threat and safety can clarify the processes that shape development of normative fears and pathological anxiety. Considerable research has used fear conditioning and extinction paradigms to delineate underlying mechanisms in animals and human adults; however, little is known about these mechanisms in children and adolescents. The current paper summarizes the empirical data on the development of fear conditioning and extinction. It reviews methodological considerations and future directions for research on fear conditioning and extinction in pediatric populations.

  11. Adversity-induced relapse of fear: neural mechanisms and implications for relapse prevention from a study on experimentally induced return-of-fear following fear conditioning and extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharfenort, R; Menz, M; Lonsdorf, T B

    2016-01-01

    The efficacy of current treatments for anxiety disorders is limited by high relapse rates. Relapse of anxiety disorders and addiction can be triggered by exposure to life adversity, but the underlying mechanisms remain unexplored. Seventy-six healthy adults were a priori selected for the presence or absence of adverse experiences during childhood (CA) and recent past (RA; that is, past 12 months). Participants underwent fear conditioning (day 1) and fear extinction and experimental return-of-fear (ROF) induction through reinstatement (a model for adversity-induced relapse; day 2). Ratings, autonomic (skin conductance response) and neuronal activation measures (functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)) were acquired. Individuals exposed to RA showed a generalized (that is, not CS- specific) fear recall and ROF, whereas unexposed individuals showed differential (that is, CS+ specific) fear recall and ROF on an autonomic level despite no group differences during fear acquisition and extinction learning. These group differences in ROF were accompanied by corresponding activation differences in brain areas known to be involved in fear processing and differentiability/generalization of ROF (that is, hippocampus). In addition, dimensional measures of RA, CA and lifetime adversity were negatively correlated with differential skin conductance responses (SCRs) during ROF and hippocampal activation. As discriminating signals of danger and safety, as well as a tendency for overgeneralization, are core features in clinically anxious populations, these deficits may specifically contribute to relapse risk following exposure to adversity, in particular to recent adversity. Hence, our results may provide first and novel insights into the possible mechanisms mediating enhanced relapse risk following exposure to (recent) adversity, which may guide the development of effective pre- and intervention programs. PMID:27434492

  12. Conditioned Fear Associated Phenotypes as Robust, Translational Indices of Trauma-, Stressor-, and Anxiety-related Behaviors

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    Maria Anne Briscione

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD is a heterogeneous disorder that affects individuals exposed to trauma (e.g., combat, interpersonal violence, and natural disasters. It is characterized by hyperarousal, intrusive reminders of the trauma, avoidance of trauma-related cues, and negative cognition and mood. This heterogeneity indicates the presence of multiple neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of PTSD. Fear conditioning is a robust, translational experimental paradigm that can be employed to elucidate these mechanisms by allowing for the study of fear-related dimensions of PTSD (e.g., fear extinction, fear inhibition, and generalization of fear across multiple units of analysis. Fear conditioning experiments have identified varying trajectories of the dimensions described, highlighting exciting new avenues of targeted, focused study. Additionally, fear conditioning studies provide a translational platform to develop novel interventions. The current review highlights the versatility of fear conditioning paradigms, the implications for pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, the robustness of these paradigms to span an array of neuroscientific measures (e.g., genetic studies, and finally the need to understand the boundary conditions under which these paradigms are effective. Further understanding these paradigms will ultimately allow for optimization of fear conditioning paradigms, a necessary step towards the advancement of PTSD treatment methods.

  13. Conditioned fear associated phenotypes as robust, translational indices of trauma-, stressor-, and anxiety-related behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briscione, Maria Anne; Jovanovic, Tanja; Norrholm, Seth Davin

    2014-01-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a heterogeneous disorder that affects individuals exposed to trauma (e.g., combat, interpersonal violence, and natural disasters). It is characterized by hyperarousal, intrusive reminders of the trauma, avoidance of trauma-related cues, and negative cognition and mood. This heterogeneity indicates the presence of multiple neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of PTSD. Fear conditioning is a robust, translational experimental paradigm that can be employed to elucidate these mechanisms by allowing for the study of fear-related dimensions of PTSD (e.g., fear extinction, fear inhibition, and generalization of fear) across multiple units of analysis. Fear conditioning experiments have identified varying trajectories of the dimensions described, highlighting exciting new avenues of targeted, focused study. Additionally, fear conditioning studies provide a translational platform to develop novel interventions. The current review highlights the versatility of fear conditioning paradigms, the implications for pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, the robustness of these paradigms to span an array of neuroscientific measures (e.g., genetic studies), and finally the need to understand the boundary conditions under which these paradigms are effective. Further understanding these paradigms will ultimately allow for optimization of fear conditioning paradigms, a necessary step towards the advancement of PTSD treatment methods.

  14. [AMYGDALA: NEUROANATOMY AND NEUROPHYSIOLOGY OF FEAR].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsvetkov, E A; Krasnoshchekova, E I; Vesselkin, N P; Kharazova, A D

    2015-01-01

    This work describes neuroanatomical and neurophysiological mechanisms of Pavlovian fear conditioning, focusing on contributions of the amygdala, a subcortical nuclear group, to control of conditioned fear responses. The mechanisms of synaptic plasticity at projections to the amygdala and within amygdala were shown to mediate the formation and retention of fear memory. This work reviews current data on anatomical organization of the amygdala, as well as its afferent and efferent projections, in respect to the role of the amygdala in auditory fear conditioning during which acoustic signals serve as the conditioned stimulus. PMID:26983275

  15. Revealing context-specific conditioned fear memories with full immersion virtual reality

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    Nicole eHuff

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The extinction of conditioned fear is known to be context specific, and often referred to as more robustly contextually bound than the fear memory itself (Bouton, 2004. Yet, recent findings in rodents have challenged the notion that contextual fear retention is initially generalized. The context specificity of a cued-fear memory to the learning context has not been addressed in the human literature largely due to limitations in methodology. Here we adapt a novel technology to test the context specificity of cued fear conditioning using full immersion 3-dimensional virtual reality (VR. During acquisition training, healthy participants navigated through virtual environments containing dynamic snake and spider conditioned stimuli (CSs, one of which was paired with electrical wrist stimulation. During a 24-hour delayed retention test, one group returned to the same context as acquisition training whereas another group experienced the CSs in a novel context. Unconditioned stimulus (US expectancy ratings were assayed on-line during fear acquisition as an index of contingency awareness. Skin conductance responses (SCR time-locked to CS onset were the dependent measure of cued fear, and skin conductance levels during the interstimulus interval were an index of context fear. Findings indicate that early in acquisition training, participants express contingency awareness as well as differential contextual fear, whereas differential cued fear emerged later in acquisition. During the retention test, differential cued fear retention was enhanced in the group who returned to the same context as acquisition training relative to the context shift group. The results extend recent rodent work to illustrate differences in cued and context fear acquisition and the contextual specificity of recent fear memories. Findings support the use of full immersion VR as a novel tool in cognitive neuroscience to bridge rodent models of contextual phenomena underlying human

  16. A Discrete Population of Neurons in the Lateral Amygdala Is Specifically Activated by Contextual Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Yvette M.; Murphy, Mark

    2009-01-01

    There is no clear identification of the neurons involved in fear conditioning in the amygdala. To search for these neurons, we have used a genetic approach, the "fos-tau-lacZ" (FTL) mouse, to map functionally activated expression in neurons following contextual fear conditioning. We have identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral…

  17. The Writer’s Condition and the Concept of Fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Beatrice Chesca

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper approaches Otto Rank’s theory according to which the main cause of anxiety is the individual’s separation from the loved beings and objects. Along one’s life, anxiety takes two forms: the fear of life and the fear of death. The fear of life is the anxiety which appears when the person becomes aware of his creative abilities which could separate him from the existing relationships. Writers like Emil Cioran, Mihail Sebastian, Octavian Paler, Yukio Mishima, Ernest Hemingway suffered from the fear of life, they were haunted by a tragic that brought about theloneliness of death. It is what Kierkegaard called: ”the fatal disease”, the sin of the artist’s existence. The artistic process implies an oscillation between acceptance and rejection, satisfaction and negation, life and death, loneliness and happiness.

  18. Updating versus Exposure to Prevent Consolidation of Conditioned Fear

    OpenAIRE

    Victoria Pile; Thorsten Barnhofer; Jennifer Wild

    2015-01-01

    Targeting the consolidation of fear memories following trauma may offer a promising method for preventing the development of flashbacks and other unwanted re-experiencing symptoms that characterise Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Research has demonstrated that performing visuo-spatial tasks after analogue trauma can block the consolidation of fear memory and reduce the frequency of flashbacks. However, no research has yet used verbal techniques to alter memories during the consolidation...

  19. Behavioral determination of stimulus pair discrimination of auditory acoustic and electrical stimuli using a classical conditioning and heart-rate approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Simeon J; Paolini, Antonio G

    2012-06-06

    Acute animal preparations have been used in research prospectively investigating electrode designs and stimulation techniques for integration into neural auditory prostheses, such as auditory brainstem implants and auditory midbrain implants. While acute experiments can give initial insight to the effectiveness of the implant, testing the chronically implanted and awake animals provides the advantage of examining the psychophysical properties of the sensations induced using implanted devices. Several techniques such as reward-based operant conditioning, conditioned avoidance, or classical fear conditioning have been used to provide behavioral confirmation of detection of a relevant stimulus attribute. Selection of a technique involves balancing aspects including time efficiency (often poor in reward-based approaches), the ability to test a plurality of stimulus attributes simultaneously (limited in conditioned avoidance), and measure reliability of repeated stimuli (a potential constraint when physiological measures are employed). Here, a classical fear conditioning behavioral method is presented which may be used to simultaneously test both detection of a stimulus, and discrimination between two stimuli. Heart-rate is used as a measure of fear response, which reduces or eliminates the requirement for time-consuming video coding for freeze behaviour or other such measures (although such measures could be included to provide convergent evidence). Animals were conditioned using these techniques in three 2-hour conditioning sessions, each providing 48 stimulus trials. Subsequent 48-trial testing sessions were then used to test for detection of each stimulus in presented pairs, and test discrimination between the member stimuli of each pair. This behavioral method is presented in the context of its utilisation in auditory prosthetic research. The implantation of electrocardiogram telemetry devices is shown. Subsequent implantation of brain electrodes into the Cochlear

  20. Expression of freezing and fear-potentiated startle during sustained fear in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daldrup, T; Remmes, J; Lesting, J; Gaburro, S; Fendt, M; Meuth, P; Kloke, V; Pape, H-C; Seidenbecher, T

    2015-03-01

    Fear-potentiated acoustic startle paradigms have been used to investigate phasic and sustained components of conditioned fear in rats and humans. This study describes a novel training protocol to assess phasic and sustained fear in freely behaving C57BL/6J mice, using freezing and/or fear-potentiated startle as measures of fear, thereby, if needed, allowing in vivo application of various techniques, such as optogenetics, electrophysiology and pharmacological intervention, in freely behaving animals. An auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm, with pseudo-randomized conditioned-unconditioned stimulus presentations at various durations, is combined with repetitive brief auditory white noise burst presentations during fear memory retrieval 24 h after fear conditioning. Major findings are that (1) a motion sensitive platform built on mechano-electrical transducers enables measurement of startle responses in freely behaving mice, (2) absence or presence of startle stimuli during retrieval as well as unpredictability of a given threat determine phasic and sustained fear response profiles and (3) both freezing and startle responses indicate phasic and sustained components of behavioral fear, with sustained freezing reflecting unpredictability of conditioned stimulus (CS)/unconditioned stimulus (US) pairings. This paradigm and available genetically modified mouse lines will pave the way for investigation of the molecular and neural mechanisms relating to the transition from phasic to sustained fear.

  1. The Development of Skin Conductance Fear Conditioning in Children from Ages 3 to 8 Years

    OpenAIRE

    Gao, Yu; Raine, Adrian; Venables, Peter H.; Dawson, Michael E.; Mednick, Sarnoff A.

    2010-01-01

    Although fear conditioning is an important psychological construct implicated in behavioral and emotional problems little is known about how it develops in early childhood. Using a differential, partial reinforcement conditioning paradigm, this longitudinal study assessed skin conductance conditioned responses in 200 children at ages 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 years. Results demonstrated that in both boys and girls: (1) fear conditioning increased across age, particularly from ages 5 to 6 years, (2) t...

  2. Ketamine administration disturbs behavioural and distributed neural correlates of fear conditioning in the rat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pietersen, Charmaine Y.; Bosker, Fokko J.; Postema, Folkert; Fokkema, Dirk S.; Korf, Jakob; den Boer, Johan A.

    2006-01-01

    The neurotransmitter glutamate and its associated receptors perform an important role in the brain circuitry underlying normal fear processing. The glutamate NMDA receptor, in particular, is necessary for the acquisition and recollection of conditioned-fear responses. Here the authors examine how ac

  3. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in the conditioning and extinction of fear

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    Thomas Francis Giustino

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Once acquired, a fearful memory can persist for a lifetime. Although learned fear can be extinguished, extinction memories are fragile. The resilience of fear memories to extinction may contribute to the maintenance of disorders of fear and anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. As such, considerable effort has been placed on understanding the neural circuitry underlying the acquisition, expression, and extinction of emotional memories in rodent models as well as in humans. A triad of brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala, form an essential brain circuit involved in fear conditioning and extinction. Within this circuit, the prefrontal cortex is thought to exert top-down control over subcortical structures to regulate appropriate behavioral responses. Importantly, a division of labor has been proposed in which the prelimbic (PL and infralimbic (IL subdivisions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC regulate the expression and suppression of fear in rodents, respectively. Here we critically review the anatomical and physiological evidence that has led to this proposed dichotomy of function within mPFC. We propose that under some conditions, the PL and IL act in concert, exhibiting similar patterns of neural activity in response to aversive conditioned stimuli and during the expression or inhibition of conditioned fear. This may stem from common synaptic inputs, parallel downstream outputs, or cortico-cortical interactions. Despite this functional covariation, these mPFC subdivisions may still be coding for largely opposing behavioral outcomes, with PL biased towards fear expression and IL towards suppression.

  4. Learning and memory in conditioned fear extinction: effects of d-cycloserine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    B. Vervliet

    2008-01-01

    This review addresses the effects of the cognitive enhancer D-cycloserine (DCS) on the memory processes that occur in conditioned fear extinction, which is the experimental model for exposure techniques to reduce clinical anxiety. All reported rat studies show an enhanced fear extinction effect when

  5. Factors Regulating the Effects of Hippocampal Inactivation on Renewal of Conditional Fear after Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcoran, Kevin A.; Maren, Stephen

    2004-01-01

    After extinction of fear to a Pavlovian conditional stimulus (CS), contextual stimuli come to regulate the expression of fear to that CS. There is growing evidence that the context dependence of memory retrieval after extinction involves the hippocampus. In the present experiment, we examine whether hippocampal involvement in memory retrieval…

  6. Electrolytic Lesions of the Dorsal Hippocampus Disrupt Renewal of Conditional Fear after Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Jinzhao; Maren, Stephen

    2005-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence that the hippocampus is critical for context-dependent memory retrieval. In the present study, we used Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats to examine the role of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) in the context-specific expression of fear memory after extinction (i.e., renewal). Pre-training electrolytic lesions of…

  7. The involvement of ventral tegmental area cholinergic muscarinic receptors in classically conditioned fear expression as measured with fear-potentiated startle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greba, Q; Munro, L J; Kokkinidis, L

    2000-07-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) contribute to the complex amygdala-based neurocircuitry that mediates fear-motivated behaviors. Because of acetylcholine's (ACh) role in DA neuronal activation, the involvement of VTA cholinergic muscarinic receptors in Pavlovian conditioned fear responding was evaluated in the present study. Fear-potentiated startle was used to assess the effects of intraVTA infused methylscopolamine on conditioned fear performance in laboratory rats. Application of this nonspecific muscarinic receptor antagonist to VTA neurons was observed to inhibit the ability of a conditioned stimulus (CS) previously paired with footshock to enhance the amplitude of the acoustic startle reflex. Doses of methylscopolamine that blocked conditioned fear expression did not alter baseline sensorimotor responding. These results identify ACh neurotransmission in the VTA as a potential excitatory mechanism underlying the fear-arousing properties of threatening environmental stimuli.

  8. Functional imaging of stimulus convergence in amygdalar neurons during Pavlovian fear conditioning.

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    Sabiha K Barot

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Associative conditioning is a ubiquitous form of learning throughout the animal kingdom and fear conditioning is one of the most widely researched models for studying its neurobiological basis. Fear conditioning is also considered a model system for understanding phobias and anxiety disorders. A fundamental issue in fear conditioning regards the existence and location of neurons in the brain that receive convergent information about the conditioned stimulus (CS and unconditioned stimulus (US during the acquisition of conditioned fear memory. Convergent activation of neurons is generally viewed as a key event for fear learning, yet there has been almost no direct evidence of this critical event in the mammalian brain. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we used Arc cellular compartmental analysis of temporal gene transcription by fluorescence in situ hybridization (catFISH to identify neurons activated during single trial contextual fear conditioning in rats. To conform to temporal requirements of catFISH analysis we used a novel delayed contextual fear conditioning protocol which yields significant single- trial fear conditioning with temporal parameters amenable to catFISH analysis. Analysis yielded clear evidence that a population of BLA neurons receives convergent CS and US information at the time of the learning, that this only occurs when the CS-US arrangement is supportive of the learning, and that this process requires N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation. In contrast, CS-US convergence was not observed in dorsal hippocampus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Based on the pattern of Arc activation seen in conditioning and control groups, we propose that a key requirement for CS-US convergence onto BLA neurons is the potentiation of US responding by prior exposure to a novel CS. Our results also support the view that contextual fear memories are encoded in the amygdala and that the role of dorsal hippocampus is to process and

  9. Different brain networks underlying the acquisition and expression of contextual fear conditioning: a metabolic mapping study.

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    González-Pardo, H; Conejo, N M; Lana, G; Arias, J L

    2012-01-27

    The specific brain regions and circuits involved in the acquisition and expression of contextual fear conditioning are still a matter of debate. To address this issue, regional changes in brain metabolic capacity were mapped during the acquisition and expression of contextual fear conditioning using cytochrome oxidase (CO) quantitative histochemistry. In comparison with a group briefly exposed to a conditioning chamber, rats that received a series of randomly presented footshocks in the same conditioning chamber (fear acquisition group) showed increased CO activity in anxiety-related brain regions like the ventral periaqueductal gray, the ventral hippocampus, the lateral habenula, the mammillary bodies, and the laterodorsal thalamic nucleus. Another group received randomly presented footshocks, and it was re-exposed to the same conditioning chamber one week later (fear expression group). The conditioned group had significantly higher CO activity as compared with the matched control group in the following brain regions: the ventral periaqueductal gray, the central and lateral nuclei of the amygdala, and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. In addition, analysis of functional brain networks using interregional CO activity correlations revealed different patterns of functional connectivity between fear acquisition and fear expression groups. In particular, a network comprising the ventral hippocampus and amygdala nuclei was found in the fear acquisition group, whereas a closed reciprocal dorsal hippocampal network was detected in the fear expression group. These results suggest that contextual fear acquisition and expression differ as regards to the brain networks involved, although they share common brain regions involved in fear, anxiety, and defensive behavior. PMID:22173014

  10. Slow late component in conditioned stimulus-evoked potentials from the amygdala after fear conditioning in the rat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Knippenberg, J.M.J.; Luijtelaar, E.L.J.M. van; Maes, J.H.R.

    2003-01-01

    Male Wistar rats were subjected to a differential Pavlovian fear conditioning procedure in which one of two tones (6 or 10 kHz) was followed by an electric shock (CS+) and the other was not (CS-). Before and after fear cnditioning, we recorded the evoked potentials elicited by CS+ and CS- from elect

  11. Fear conditioning fragments REM sleep in stress-sensitive Wistar-Kyoto, but not Wistar, rats

    OpenAIRE

    DaSilva, Jamie K.; Lei, Yanlin; Madan, Vibha; Mann, Graziella L.; Richard J. Ross; Tejani-Butt, Shanaz; Morrison, Adrian R.

    2010-01-01

    Pavlovian conditioning is commonly used to investigate the mechanisms of fear learning. Because the Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat strain is particularly stress-sensitive, we investigated the effects of a psychological stressor on sleep in WKY compared to Wistar (WIS) rats. Male WKY and WIS rats were either fear-conditioned to tone cues or received electric foot shocks alone. In the fear-conditioning procedure, animals were exposed to 10 tones (800 Hz, 90 dB, 5 sec), each co-terminating with a foot s...

  12. Neural circuitry underlying the regulation of conditioned fear and its relation to extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Mauricio R; Nearing, Katherine I; Ledoux, Joseph E; Phelps, Elizabeth A

    2008-09-11

    Recent efforts to translate basic research to the treatment of clinical disorders have led to a growing interest in exploring mechanisms for diminishing fear. This research has emphasized two approaches: extinction of conditioned fear, examined across species; and cognitive emotion regulation, unique to humans. Here, we sought to examine the similarities and differences in the neural mechanisms underlying these two paradigms for diminishing fear. Using an emotion regulation strategy, we examine the neural mechanisms of regulating conditioned fear using fMRI and compare the resulting activation pattern with that observed during classic extinction. Our results suggest that the lateral PFC regions engaged by cognitive emotion regulation strategies may influence the amygdala, diminishing fear through similar vmPFC connections that are thought to inhibit the amygdala during extinction. These findings further suggest that humans may have developed complex cognition that can aid in regulating emotional responses while utilizing phylogenetically shared mechanisms of extinction.

  13. Human Fear Conditioning Conducted in Full Immersion 3-Dimensional Virtual Reality

    OpenAIRE

    Huff, Nicole C.; Zielinski, David J.; Fecteau, Matthew E.; Brady, Rachael; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2010-01-01

    Fear conditioning is a widely used paradigm in non-human animal research to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying fear and anxiety. A major challenge in conducting conditioning studies in humans is the ability to strongly manipulate or simulate the environmental contexts that are associated with conditioned emotional behaviors. In this regard, virtual reality (VR) technology is a promising tool. Yet, adapting this technology to meet experimental constraints requires special accommodati...

  14. Generalization of Conditioned Fear-Potentiated Startle in Humans: Experimental Validation and Clinical Relevance

    OpenAIRE

    Lissek, Shmuel; Biggs, Arter L.; Rabin, Stephanie J.; Cornwell, Brian R.; Ruben P Alvarez; Pine, Daniel S.; Grillon, Christian

    2008-01-01

    Though generalization of conditioned fear has been implicated as a central feature of pathological anxiety, surprisingly little is known about the psychobiology of this learning phenomenon in humans. Whereas animal work has frequently applied methods to examine generalization gradients to study the gradual weakening of the conditioned-fear response as the test stimulus increasingly differs from the conditioned stimulus (CS), to our knowledge no psychobiological studies of such gradients have ...

  15. A model of amygdala-hippocampal-prefrontal interaction in fear conditioning and extinction in animals

    OpenAIRE

    Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard J.; Myers, Catherine E.

    2012-01-01

    Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus in classical conditioning to include interactions with the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. We apply the model to fear conditioning, in which animal...

  16. Maltreatment Exposure, Brain Structure, and Fear Conditioning in Children and Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, Katie A; Sheridan, Margaret A; Gold, Andrea L; Duys, Andrea; Lambert, Hilary K; Peverill, Matthew; Heleniak, Charlotte; Shechner, Tomer; Wojcieszak, Zuzanna; Pine, Daniel S

    2016-07-01

    Alterations in learning processes and the neural circuitry that supports fear conditioning and extinction represent mechanisms through which trauma exposure might influence risk for psychopathology. Few studies examine how trauma or neural structure relates to fear conditioning in children. Children (n=94) aged 6-18 years, 40.4% (n=38) with exposure to maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, or domestic violence), completed a fear conditioning paradigm utilizing blue and yellow bells as conditioned stimuli (CS+/CS-) and an aversive alarm noise as the unconditioned stimulus. Skin conductance responses (SCR) and self-reported fear were acquired. Magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 60 children. Children without maltreatment exposure exhibited strong differential conditioning to the CS+ vs CS-, based on SCR and self-reported fear. In contrast, maltreated children exhibited blunted SCR to the CS+ and failed to exhibit differential SCR to the CS+ vs CS- during early conditioning. Amygdala and hippocampal volume were reduced among children with maltreatment exposure and were negatively associated with SCR to the CS+ during early conditioning in the total sample, although these associations were negative only among non-maltreated children and were positive among maltreated children. The association of maltreatment with externalizing psychopathology was mediated by this perturbed pattern of fear conditioning. Child maltreatment is associated with failure to discriminate between threat and safety cues during fear conditioning in children. Poor threat-safety discrimination might reflect either enhanced fear generalization or a deficit in associative learning, which may in turn represent a central mechanism underlying the development of maltreatment-related externalizing psychopathology in children. PMID:26677946

  17. Fear conditioning-related changes in cerebellar Purkinje cell activities in goldfish

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    Yoshida Masayuki

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fear conditioning-induced changes in cerebellar Purkinje cell responses to a conditioned stimulus have been reported in rabbits. It has been suggested that synaptic long-term potentiation and the resulting increases in firing rates of Purkinje cells are related to the acquisition of conditioned fear in mammals. However, Purkinje cell activities during acquisition of conditioned fear have not been analysed, and changes in Purkinje cell activities throughout the development of conditioned fear have not yet been investigated. In the present study, we tracked Purkinje cell activities throughout a fear conditioning procedure and aimed to elucidate further how cerebellar circuits function during the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear. Methods Activities of single Purkinje cells in the corpus cerebelli were tracked throughout a classical fear conditioning procedure in goldfish. A delayed conditioning paradigm was used with cardiac deceleration as the conditioned response. Conditioning-related changes of Purkinje cell responses to a conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus were examined. Results The majority of Purkinje cells sampled responded to the conditioned stimulus by either increasing or decreasing their firing rates before training. Although there were various types of conditioning-related changes in Purkinje cells, more than half of the cells showed suppressed activities in response to the conditioned stimulus after acquisition of conditioned fear. Purkinje cells that showed unconditioned stimulus-coupled complex-spike firings also exhibited conditioning-related suppression of simple-spike responses to the conditioned stimulus. A small number of Purkinje cells showed increased excitatory responses in the acquisition sessions. We found that the magnitudes of changes in the firing frequencies of some Purkinje cells in response to the conditioned stimulus correlated with the magnitudes of the conditioned

  18. Correlations between psychological tests and physiological responses during fear conditioning and renewal

    OpenAIRE

    Martínez Karen G; Castro-Couch Melissa; Franco-Chaves José A; Ojeda-Arce Brenda; Segura Gustavo; Milad Mohammed R; Quirk Gregory J

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Anxiety disorders are characterized by specific emotions, thoughts and physiological responses. Little is known, however, about the relationship between psychological/personality indices of anxiety responses to fear stimuli. Methods We studied this relationship in healthy subjects by comparing scores on psychological and personality questionnaires with results of an experimental fear conditioning paradigm using a visual conditioned stimulus (CS). We measured skin conductan...

  19. Corticotropin releasing factor type-1 receptor antagonism in the dorsolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis disrupts contextually conditioned fear, but not unconditioned fear to a predator odor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asok, Arun; Schulkin, Jay; Rosen, Jeffrey B

    2016-08-01

    The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) plays a critical role in fear and anxiety. The BNST is important for contextual fear learning, but the mechanisms regulating this function remain unclear. One candidate mechanism is corticotropin-releasing-factor (CRF) acting at CRF type 1 receptors (CRFr1s). Yet, there has been little progress in elucidating if CRFr1s in the BNST are involved in different types of fear (conditioned and/or unconditioned). Therefore, the present study investigated the effect of antalarmin, a potent CRFr1 receptor antagonist, injected intracerebroventricularly (ICV) and into the dorsolateral BNST (LBNST) during single trial contextual fear conditioning or exposure to the predator odor 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT). Neither ICV nor LBNST antalarmin disrupted unconditioned freezing to TMT. In contrast, ICV and LBNST antalarmin disrupted the retention of contextual fear when tested 24h later. Neither ICV nor LBNST antalarmin affected baseline or post-shock freezing-indicating antalarmin does not interfere with the early phases of contextual fear acquisition. Antalarmin did not (1) permanently affect the ability to learn and express contextual fear, (2) change responsivity to footshocks, or (3) affect the ability to freeze. Our findings highlight an important role for CRFr1s within the LBNST during contextually conditioned fear, but not unconditioned predator odor fear. PMID:27153520

  20. S6-4: Visual Awareness Modulated by Conditioned Fear during Bistable Perception

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    Chai-Youn Kim

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Bistable perception has been considered as a useful means to study visual awareness since it induces spontaneous fluctuation in awareness despite constant physical stimulation. Whether visual awareness during bistable perception is modulated by emotional valence associated with one of the two visual interpretations has been of great interest. This talk will present results from a couple of recent studies in my lab to investigate this issue. By comparing bistable perception prior to and followed by Pavlovian fear conditioning using disambiguated versions of the ambiguous figure, I and my colleagues found that negative emotional valence associated with one of two interpretations significantly influences conscious visual awareness during bistable perception. Specifically after fear conditioning, participants tended to be consciously aware of the interpretation associated with the aversive stimulation (CS+ longer at a time compared to the other (CS-. This influence of fear conditioning on bistable perception occurs only when the fear conditioning was effective indicated by the participant's differential physiological response (heart rate to CS+ and CS-. Changes in bistable perception after fear conditioning were also found to be correlated positively with the State-Anxiety score. I will also discuss results from the follow-up study showing that visual awareness during bistable perception is also modulated “unconsciously” conditioned fear.

  1. Effects of local anesthesia of the cerebellum on classical fear conditioning in goldfish

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    Hirano Ruriko

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Besides the amygdala, of which emotion roles have been intensively studied, the cerebellum has also been demonstrated to play a critical role in simple classical fear conditioning in both mammals and fishes. In the present study, we examined the effect of local administration of the anesthetic agent lidocaine into the cerebellum on fear-related, classical heart-rate conditioning in goldfish. Methods The effects of microinjection of the anesthetic agent lidocaine into the cerebellum on fear conditioning were investigated in goldfish. The fear conditioning paradigm was delayed classical conditioning with light as a conditioned stimulus and electric shock as an unconditioned stimulus; cardiac deceleration (bradycardia was the conditioned response. Results Injecting lidocaine into the cerebellum had no effect on the base heart rate, an arousal/orienting response to the novel stimulus (i.e., the first presentation of light, or an unconditioned response to electric shock. However, lidocaine injection greatly impaired acquisition of conditioned bradycardia. Lidocaine injection 60 min before the start of the conditioning procedure showed no effect on acquisition of conditioned bradycardia, indicating that the effect of lidocaine was reversible. Conclusions The present results further confirm the idea that the cerebellum in teleost fish, as in mammals, is critically involved in classical fear conditioning.

  2. The Role of Nucleus Accumbens Shell in Learning about Neutral versus Excitatory Stimuli during Pavlovian Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradfield, Laura A.; McNally, Gavan P.

    2010-01-01

    We studied the role of nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) in Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats were trained to fear conditioned stimulus A (CSA) in Stage I, which was then presented in compound with a neutral stimulus and paired with shock in Stage II. AcbSh lesions had no effect on fear-learning to CSA in Stage I, but selectively prevented learning…

  3. Conditioned withdrawal in goldfish: a simple and inexpensive preparation for the study of classical fear conditioning in vertebrates.

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    Barela, Peter B

    2012-02-01

    Summary.-A preparation for the study of classical fear conditioning in vertebrates is described. Its unique features are that it is inexpensive and easy to construct and operate. The following classical conditioning phenomena are demonstrated using this preparation: excitatory conditioning, extinction, contextual conditioning, blocking, a conditioned inhibition discrimination, and latent inhibition.

  4. Viral delivery of shRNA to amygdala neurons leads to neurotoxicity and deficits in Pavlovian fear conditioning.

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    de Solis, Christopher A; Holehonnur, Roopashri; Banerjee, Anwesha; Luong, Jonathan A; Lella, Srihari K; Ho, Anthony; Pahlavan, Bahram; Ploski, Jonathan E

    2015-10-01

    The use of viral vector technology to deliver short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) to cells of the nervous system of many model organisms has been widely utilized by neuroscientists to study the influence of genes on behavior. However, there have been numerous reports that delivering shRNAs to the nervous system can lead to neurotoxicity. Here we report the results of a series of experiments where adeno-associated viruses (AAV), that were engineered to express shRNAs designed to target known plasticity associated genes (i.e. Arc, Egr1 and GluN2A) or control shRNAs that were designed not to target any rat gene product for depletion, were delivered to the rat basal and lateral nuclei of the amygdala (BLA), and auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning was examined. In our first set of experiments we found that animals that received AAV (3.16E13-1E13 GC/mL; 1 μl/side), designed to knockdown Arc (shArc), or control shRNAs targeting either luciferase (shLuc), or nothing (shCntrl), exhibited impaired fear conditioning compared to animals that received viruses that did not express shRNAs. Notably, animals that received shArc did not exhibit differences in fear conditioning compared to animals that received control shRNAs despite gene knockdown of Arc. Viruses designed to harbor shRNAs did not induce obvious morphological changes to the cells/tissue of the BLA at any dose of virus tested, but at the highest dose of shRNA virus examined (3.16E13 GC/mL; 1 μl/side), a significant increase in microglia activation occurred as measured by an increase in IBA1 immunoreactivity. In our final set of experiments we infused viruses into the BLA at a titer of (1.60E+12 GC/mL; 1 μl/side), designed to express shArc, shLuc, shCntrl or shRNAs designed to target Egr1 (shEgr1), or GluN2A (shGluN2A), or no shRNA, and found that all groups exhibited impaired fear conditioning compared to the group which received a virus that did not express an shRNA. The shEgr1 and shGluN2A groups exhibited gene

  5. Plasticity of inhibitory synaptic network interactions in the lateral amygdala upon fear conditioning in mice.

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    Szinyei, Csaba; Narayanan, Rajeevan T; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2007-02-01

    After fear conditioning, plastic changes of excitatory synaptic transmission occur in the amygdala. Fear-related memory also involves the GABAergic system, although no influence on inhibitory synaptic transmission is known. In the present study we assessed the influence of Pavlovian fear conditioning on the plasticity of GABAergic synaptic interactions in the lateral amygdala (LA) in brain slices prepared from fear-conditioned, pseudo-trained and naïve adult mice. Theta-burst tetanization of thalamic afferent inputs to the LA evoked an input-specific potentiation of inhibitory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons; the cortical input was unaffected. Philanthotoxin (10 microM), an antagonist of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors, disabled this plastic phenomenon. Surgical isolation of the LA, extracellular application of a GABA(B) receptor antagonist (CGP 55845A, 10 microM) or an NMDA receptor antagonist (APV, 50 microM), or intracellular application of BAPTA (10 mM), did not influence the plasticity. The plasticity also showed as a potentiation of monosynaptic excitatory responses in putative GABAergic interneurons. Pavlovian fear conditioning, but not pseudo-conditioning, resulted in a significant reduction in this potentiation that was evident 24 h after training. Two weeks after training, the potentiation returned to control levels. In conclusion, a reduction in potentiation of inhibitory synaptic interactions occurs in the LA and may contribute to a shift in synaptic balance towards excitatory signal flow during the processes of fear-memory acquisition or consolidation.

  6. Correlations between psychological tests and physiological responses during fear conditioning and renewal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martínez Karen G

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anxiety disorders are characterized by specific emotions, thoughts and physiological responses. Little is known, however, about the relationship between psychological/personality indices of anxiety responses to fear stimuli. Methods We studied this relationship in healthy subjects by comparing scores on psychological and personality questionnaires with results of an experimental fear conditioning paradigm using a visual conditioned stimulus (CS. We measured skin conductance response (SCR during habituation, conditioning, and extinction; subsequently testing for recall and renewal of fear 24 hours later. Results We found that multiple regression models explained 45% of the variance during conditioning to the CS+, and 24% of the variance during renewal of fear to the CS+. Factors that explained conditioning included lower levels of conscientiousness, increased baseline reactivity (SCL, and response to the shock (UCR. Low levels of extraversion correlated with greater renewal. No model could be found to explain extinction learning or extinction recall to the CS+. Conclusions The lack of correlation of fear extinction with personality and neuropsychological indices suggests that extinction may be less determined by trait variables and cognitive state, and may depend more on the subject’s current emotional state. The negative correlation between fear renewal and extraversion suggests that this personality characteristic may protect against post-treatment relapse of symptoms of anxiety disorders.

  7. Expatriates’ Multiple Fears, from Terrorism to Working Conditions: Development of a Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giorgi, Gabriele; Montani, Francesco; Fiz-Perez, Javier; Arcangeli, Giulio; Mucci, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    Companies’ internationalization appears to be fundamental in the current globalized and competitive environment and seems important not only for organizational success, but also for societal development and sustainability. On one hand, global business increases the demand for managers for international assignment. On the other hand, emergent fears, such as terrorism, seem to be developing around the world, enhancing the risk of expatriates’ potential health problems. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between the emergent concept of fear of expatriation with further workplace fears (economic crisis and dangerous working conditions) and with mental health problems. The study uses a quantitative design. Self-reported data were collected from 265 Italian expatriate workers assigned to both Italian and worldwide projects. Structural equation model analyses showed that fear of expatriation mediates the relationship of mental health with fear of economic crisis and with perceived dangerous working conditions. As expected, in addition to fear, worries of expatriation are also related to further fears. Although, the study is based on self-reports and the cross-sectional study design limits the possibility of making causal inferences, the new constructs introduced add to previous research. PMID:27790173

  8. Contextual fear induced by unpredictability in a human fear conditioning preparation is related to the chronic expectation of a threatening US

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Vansteenwegen; C. Iberico; B. Vervliet; D. Hermans

    2008-01-01

    The present study was set up to investigate cued and contextual fear in situations of (un)predictability in a human fear conditioning paradigm. Forty-nine participants were presented with two different contexts (switching on and off the central lighting of the experimental room). In the predictable

  9. Fear conditioning and extinction across development: Evidence from human studies and animal models☆

    OpenAIRE

    Shechner, Tomer; Hong, Melanie; Britton, Jennifer C.; Pine, Daniel S.; Fox, Nathan A.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to differentiate danger and safety through associative processes emerges early in life. Understanding the mechanisms underlying associative learning of threat and safety can clarify the processes that shape development of normative fears and pathological anxiety. Considerable research has used fear conditioning and extinction paradigms to delineate underlying mechanisms in animals and human adults; however, little is known about these mechanisms in children and adolescents. The cu...

  10. Prereactivation propranolol fails to reduce skin conductance reactivity to prepared fear-conditioned stimuli.

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    Spring, Justin D; Wood, Nellie E; Mueller-Pfeiffer, Christoph; Milad, Mohammed R; Pitman, Roger K; Orr, Scott P

    2015-03-01

    Pharmacologic blockade of memory reconsolidation has been demonstrated in fear-conditioned rodents and humans and may provide a means to reduce fearfulness in anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder. Studying the efficacy of potential interventions in clinical populations is challenging, creating a need for paradigms within which candidate reconsolidation-blocking interventions can be readily tested. We used videos of biologically prepared conditioned stimuli (tarantulas) to test the efficacy of propranolol in blocking reconsolidation of conditioned fear in healthy young adults. Strong differential conditioning, measured by skin conductance, was observed among a screened subset of participants during acquisition. However, subsequent propranolol failed to reduce reactivity to the reactivated conditioned stimulus. These results are consistent with other recent findings and point to a need for testing other candidate drugs. PMID:25224026

  11. Delayed extinction fails to reduce skin conductance reactivity to fear-conditioned stimuli.

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    Fricchione, Jon; Greenberg, Mark S; Spring, Justin; Wood, Nellie; Mueller-Pfeiffer, Christoph; Milad, Mohammed R; Pitman, Roger K; Orr, Scott P

    2016-09-01

    A brief 10-min time delay between an initial and subsequent exposure to extinction trials has been found to impair memory reconsolidation in fear-conditioned rodents and humans, providing a potential means to reduce fearfulness in anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present study used videos of biologically prepared, conditioned stimuli (tarantulas) to test the efficacy of delayed extinction in blocking reconsolidation of conditioned fear in healthy young adults. Strong differential conditioning, measured by skin conductance, was observed among a screened subset of participants during acquisition. However, the delayed-extinction intervention failed to reduce reactivity to the conditioned stimulus paired with the extinction delay. These results are partially consistent with other recent, mixed findings and point to a need for testing other candidate interventions designed to interfere with the reconsolidation process. PMID:27314560

  12. The Development of Skin Conductance Fear Conditioning in Children from Ages 3 to 8 Years

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    Gao, Yu; Raine, Adrian; Venables, Peter H.; Dawson, Michael E.; Mednick, Sarnoff A.

    2010-01-01

    Although fear conditioning is an important psychological construct implicated in behavioral and emotional problems, little is known about how it develops in early childhood. Using a differential, partial reinforcement conditioning paradigm, this longitudinal study assessed skin conductance conditioned responses in 200 children at ages 3, 4, 5, 6,…

  13. From Pavlov to PTSD: The extinction of conditioned fear in rodents, humans, and in anxiety disorders

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    VanElzakker, Michael B.; Dahlgren, M. Kathryn; Davis, F. Caroline; Dubois, Stacey; Shin, Lisa M.

    2014-01-01

    Nearly 100 years ago, Ivan Pavlov demonstrated that dogs could learn to use a neutral cue to predict a biologically relevant event: after repeated predictive pairings, Pavlov's dogs were conditioned to anticipate food at the sound of a bell, which caused them to salivate. Like sustenance, danger is biologically relevant, and neutral cues can take on great salience when they predict a threat to survival. In anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this type of conditioned fear fails to extinguish, and reminders of traumatic events can cause pathological conditioned fear responses for decades after danger has passed. In this review, we use fear conditioning and extinction studies to draw a direct line from Pavlov to PTSD and other anxiety disorders. We explain how rodent studies have informed neuroimaging studies of healthy humans and humans with PTSD. We describe several genes that have been linked to both PTSD and fear conditioning and extinction and explain how abnormalities in fear conditioning or extinction may reflect a general biomarker of anxiety disorders. Finally, we explore drug and neuromodulation treatments that may enhance therapeutic extinction in anxiety disorders. PMID:24321650

  14. Increased tone-offset response in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala underlies trace fear conditioning.

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    Kim, Namsoo; Kong, Mi-Seon; Jo, Kyeong Im; Kim, Eun Joo; Choi, June-Seek

    2015-12-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) stores associative memory in the form of enhanced neural response to the sensory input following classical fear conditioning in which the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US) are presented in a temporally continuous manner. However, little is known about the role of the LA in trace fear conditioning where the CS and the US are separated by a temporal gap. Single-unit recordings of LA neurons before and after trace fear conditioning revealed that the short-latency activity to the CS offset, but not that to the onset, increased significantly and accompanied the conditioned fear response. The increased short-latency activity was evident in two aspects: the number of offset-responsive neurons was increased and the latency of the neuronal response to the CS offset was shortened. On the contrary, changes in the firing rate to either the onset or the offset were negligible following unpaired presentations of the CS and US. In sum, our results suggest that increased synaptic efficacy in the CS offset pathway in the LA might underlie the association between temporally distant stimuli in trace fear conditioning.

  15. The development of an attentional bias for angry faces following Pavlovian fear conditioning.

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    Pischek-Simpson, Leah K; Boschen, Mark J; Neumann, David L; Waters, Allison M

    2009-04-01

    Although it is well documented that fear responses develop following aversive Pavlovian conditioning, it is unclear whether fear learning also manifests in the form of attentional biases for fear-related stimuli. Boschen, Parker, and Neumann (Boschen, M. J., Parker, I., & Neumann, D. L. (2007). Changes in implicit associations do not occur simultaneously to Pavlovian conditioning of physiological anxiety responses. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 21, 788-803.) showed that despite the acquisition of differential skin conductance conditioned responses to angry faces paired (CS+) and unpaired (CS-) with an aversive shock, development of implicit associations was not subsequently observed on the Implicit Association Test. In the present study, participants (N=76) were assigned either to a Shock or NoShock group and completed a similar aversive Pavlovian conditioning procedure with angry face CS+ and CS- stimuli. Participants next completed a visual probe task in which the angry face CS+ and CS- stimuli were paired with angry face control stimuli and neutral faces. Results confirmed that differential fear conditioning was observed in the Shock group but not in the NoShock group, and that the Shock group subsequently showed a selective attentional bias for the angry face CS+ compared with the CS- and control stimuli during the visual probe task. The findings confirm the interplay between learning-based mechanisms and cognitive processes, such as attentional biases, in models of fear acquisition and have implications for treatment of the anxiety disorders.

  16. A mouse model of posttraumatic stress disorder that distinguishes between conditioned and sensitised fear.

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    Siegmund, Anja; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2007-11-01

    The pathomechanisms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are still unknown, but both fear conditioning and stress sensitisation are supposed to play a crucial role. Hence, valid animal models that model both associative and non-associative components of fear will facilitate elucidation of the biological substrates of the illness, and to develop novel and specific approaches for its prevention and therapy. Here we applied a single electric footshock to C57BL/6N (B6N) and C57BL/6JOla (B6JOla) mice and recorded the conditioned response to contextual trauma reminders (associative fear), the sensitised reaction to a neutral tone in a novel environment (non-associative fear, hyperarousal), social interaction and various emotional behaviours using Modified Holeboard, Test for Novelty-Induced Suppression of Feeding and Forced Swimming Test, after different incubation times (1, 14, 28 days). Freezing generally increased as a function of shock intensity. In B6N mice, sensitised fear was maximal 28 days after trauma and was accompanied by signs of emotional blunting and social withdrawal. B6JOla mice, in contrast, were less susceptible to develop PTSD-like symptoms. The phenotype of B6N exhibited high behavioural variance, allowing distinction between vulnerable and resilient individuals. Only in vulnerable B6N mice, chronic fluoxetine treatment - initiated after an incubation period of 28 days - ameliorated sensitised fear. This new mouse model fulfils common criteria for face and predictive validity and can be used to investigate the biological correlates of individual fear susceptibility, as well as the impact and interrelationship of associative and non-associative fear components in the development and maintenance of PTSD. PMID:17027033

  17. A Different Recruitment of the Lateral and Basolateral Amygdala Promotes Contextual or Elemental Conditioned Association in Pavlovian Fear Conditioning

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    Calandreau, Ludovic; Desmedt, Aline; Decorte, Laurence; Jaffard, Robert

    2005-01-01

    Convergent data suggest dissociated roles for the lateral (LA) and basolateral (BLA) amygdaloid nuclei in fear conditioning, depending on whether a discrete conditioned stimulus (CS)-unconditional stimulus (US) or context-US association is considered. Here, we show that pretraining inactivation of the BLA selectively impaired conditioning to…

  18. Blockade of endogenous opioid neurotransmission enhances acquisition of conditioned fear in humans.

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    Eippert, Falk; Bingel, Ulrike; Schoell, Eszter; Yacubian, Juliana; Büchel, Christian

    2008-05-21

    The endogenous opioid system is involved in fear learning in rodents, as opioid agonists attenuate and opioid antagonists facilitate the acquisition of conditioned fear. It has been suggested that an opioidergic signal, which is engaged through conditioning and acts inhibitory on unconditioned stimulus input, is the source of these effects. To clarify whether blockade of endogenous opioid neurotransmission enhances acquisition of conditioned fear in humans, and to elucidate the neural underpinnings of such an effect, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging in combination with behavioral recordings and a double-blind pharmacological intervention. All subjects underwent the same classical fear-conditioning paradigm, but subjects in the experimental group received the opioid antagonist naloxone before and during the experiment, in contrast to subjects in the control group, who received saline. Blocking endogenous opioid neurotransmission with naloxone led to more sustained responses to the unconditioned stimulus across trials, evident in both behavioral and blood oxygen level-dependent responses in pain responsive cortical regions. This effect was likely caused by naloxone blocking conditioned responses in a pain-inhibitory circuit involving opioid-rich areas such as the rostral anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala, and periaqueductal gray. Most importantly, naloxone enhanced the acquisition of fear on the behavioral level and changed the activation profile of the amygdala: whereas the control group showed rapidly decaying conditioned responses across trials, the naloxone group showed sustained conditioned responses in the amygdala. Together, these results demonstrate that in humans the endogenous opioid system has an inhibitory role in the acquisition of fear. PMID:18495880

  19. Appetitive behavioral traits and stimulus intensity influence maintenance of conditioned fear

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    Megan eOlshavsky

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Individual differences in appetitive learning have long been reported, and generally divide into two classes of responses: cue- vs. reward-directed. The influence of cue- vs. reward-directed phenotypes on aversive cue processing, is less well understood. In the current study, we first categorized rats based on their predominant cue-directed orienting responses during appetitive Pavlovian conditioning. Then, we investigated the effect of phenotype on the latency to exit a familiar dark environment and enter an unfamiliar illuminated open field. Next, we examined whether the two phenotypes responded differently to a reconsolidation updating manipulation (retrieval+extinction after fear conditioning. We report that the rats with a cue-directed (orienting phenotype differentially respond to the open field, and also to fear conditioning, depending on US-intensity. In addition, our findings suggest that, regardless of appetitive phenotype or shock intensity, extinction within the reconsolidation window prevents spontaneous recovery of fear.

  20. L-type Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels in Conditioned Fear: A Genetic and Pharmacological Analysis

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    McKinney, Brandon C.; Sze, Wilson; White, Jessica A.; Murphy, Geoffrey G.

    2008-01-01

    Using pharmacological approaches, others have suggested that L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (L-VGCCs) mediate both consolidation and extinction of conditioned fear. In the absence of L-VGCC isoform-specific antagonists, we have begun to investigate the subtype-specific role of LVGCCs in consolidation and extinction of conditioned fear…

  1. Extensive Extinction in Multiple Contexts Eliminates the Renewal of Conditioned Fear in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Brian L.; Vurbic, Drina; Novak, Cheryl

    2009-01-01

    Two studies examined whether nonreinforcement of a stimulus in multiple contexts, instead of a single context, would decrease renewal of conditioned fear in rats (as assessed by conditioned suppression of lever pressing). In Experiment 1, renewal was measured after 36 nonreinforced CS trials delivered during six extinction sessions in a single…

  2. Delay and trace fear conditioning in a complex virtual learning environment - neural substrates of extinction

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    Heike eEwald

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Extinction is an important mechanism to inhibit initially acquired fear responses. There is growing evidence that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC inhibits the amygdala and therefore plays an important role in the extinction of delay fear conditioning. To our knowledge, there is no evidence on the role of the prefrontal cortex in the extinction of trace conditioning up to now. Thus, we compared brain structures involved in the extinction of human delay and trace fear conditioning in a between-subjects-design in an fMRI study. Participants were passively guided through a virtual environment during learning and extinction of conditioned fear. Two different lights served as conditioned stimuli (CS; as unconditioned stimulus (US a mildly painful electric stimulus was delivered. In the delay conditioning group (DCG the US was administered with offset of one light (CS+, whereas in the trace conditioning group (TCG the US was presented 4s after CS+ offset. Both groups showed insular and striatal activation during early extinction, but differed in their prefrontal activation. The vmPFC was mainly activated in the DCG, whereas the TCG showed activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC during extinction. These results point to different extinction processes in delay and trace conditioning. VmPFC activation during extinction of delay conditioning might reflect the inhibition of the fear response. In contrast, dlPFC activation during extinction of trace conditioning may reflect modulation of working memory processes which are involved in bridging the trace interval and hold information in short term memory.

  3. Delay and trace fear conditioning in a complex virtual learning environment-neural substrates of extinction.

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    Ewald, Heike; Glotzbach-Schoon, Evelyn; Gerdes, Antje B M; Andreatta, Marta; Müller, Mathias; Mühlberger, Andreas; Pauli, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Extinction is an important mechanism to inhibit initially acquired fear responses. There is growing evidence that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) inhibits the amygdala and therefore plays an important role in the extinction of delay fear conditioning. To our knowledge, there is no evidence on the role of the prefrontal cortex in the extinction of trace conditioning up to now. Thus, we compared brain structures involved in the extinction of human delay and trace fear conditioning in a between-subjects-design in an fMRI study. Participants were passively guided through a virtual environment during learning and extinction of conditioned fear. Two different lights served as conditioned stimuli (CS); as unconditioned stimulus (US) a mildly painful electric stimulus was delivered. In the delay conditioning group (DCG) the US was administered with offset of one light (CS+), whereas in the trace conditioning group (TCG) the US was presented 4 s after CS+ offset. Both groups showed insular and striatal activation during early extinction, but differed in their prefrontal activation. The vmPFC was mainly activated in the DCG, whereas the TCG showed activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) during extinction. These results point to different extinction processes in delay and trace conditioning. VmPFC activation during extinction of delay conditioning might reflect the inhibition of the fear response. In contrast, dlPFC activation during extinction of trace conditioning may reflect modulation of working memory processes which are involved in bridging the trace interval and hold information in short term memory. PMID:24904363

  4. The development of cued versus contextual conditioning in a predictable and an unpredictable human fear conditioning preparation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    C. Iberico; D. Vansteenwegen; B. Vervliet; T. Dirikx; V. Marescau; D. Hermans

    2008-01-01

    In this human fear conditioning study, the online development of conditioned US-expectancy to discrete cues and background contexts was measured in two groups. In the paired group (n = 30), the CS was systematically followed by an aversive shock (US). In the unpaired group (n = 30), CS and US were p

  5. The Role of Muscarinic and Nicotinic Cholinergic Neurotransmission in Aversive Conditioning: Comparing Pavlovian Fear Conditioning and Inhibitory Avoidance

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    Tinsley, Matthew R.; Quinn, Jennifer J.; Fanselow, Michael S.

    2004-01-01

    Aversive conditioning is an ideal model for studying cholinergic effects on the processes of learning and memory for several reasons. First, deficits produced by selective lesions of the anatomical structures shown to be critical for Pavlovian fear conditioning and inhibitory avoidance (such as the amygdala and hippocampus) resemble those deficits…

  6. Pavlovian fear conditioning activates a common pattern of neurons in the lateral amygdala of individual brains.

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    Hadley C Bergstrom

    Full Text Available Understanding the physical encoding of a memory (the engram is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Although it has been established that the lateral amygdala is a key site for encoding associative fear memory, it is currently unclear whether the spatial distribution of neurons encoding a given memory is random or stable. Here we used spatial principal components analysis to quantify the topography of activated neurons, in a select region of the lateral amygdala, from rat brains encoding a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. Our results demonstrate a stable, spatially patterned organization of amygdala neurons are activated during the formation of a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. We suggest that this stable neuronal assembly constitutes a spatial dimension of the engram.

  7. Pavlovian fear conditioning activates a common pattern of neurons in the lateral amygdala of individual brains.

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    Bergstrom, Hadley C; McDonald, Craig G; Johnson, Luke R

    2011-01-12

    Understanding the physical encoding of a memory (the engram) is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Although it has been established that the lateral amygdala is a key site for encoding associative fear memory, it is currently unclear whether the spatial distribution of neurons encoding a given memory is random or stable. Here we used spatial principal components analysis to quantify the topography of activated neurons, in a select region of the lateral amygdala, from rat brains encoding a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. Our results demonstrate a stable, spatially patterned organization of amygdala neurons are activated during the formation of a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. We suggest that this stable neuronal assembly constitutes a spatial dimension of the engram.

  8. Blocking of orexin receptors in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus has no effect on the expression of conditioned fear in rats.

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    Dong, Xinwen; Li, Yonghui; Kirouac, Gilbert J

    2015-01-01

    The paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) projects to the central nucleus of the amygdala and recent experimental evidence indicates a role for the PVT in conditioned fear. Furthermore, the PVT contains a high density of orexin receptors and fibers and acute injections of orexin antagonist into the PVT produce anxiolytic effects. The present study was done to determine if administration of a dual orexin receptor antagonist (DORA) in the region of the PVT interferes with the expression of conditioned fear in rats exposed to cued and contextual conditioning paradigms. Infusion of 0.5 μl of the DORA N-biphenyl-2-yl-1-[(1-methyl-1H-benzimidazol-2yl) sulfanyl] acetyl-L-prolinamide at a concentration of 0.1, 1.0, and 10 nmol had no effect on the freezing produced by exposing rats to an auditory cue or the context associated with foot shock. In contrast, the 1.0 and 10 nmol doses were anxiolytic in the social interaction test. The results of the present study do not support a role for orexin receptors in the PVT in the expression of learned fear. The finding that the 1.0 and 10 nmol doses of DORA in the PVT region were anxiolytic in the social interaction test is consistent with other studies indicating a role for orexins in the PVT in anxiety-like behaviors.

  9. Extinction of conditioned fear is better learned and recalled in the morning than in the evening.

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    Pace-Schott, Edward F; Spencer, Rebecca M C; Vijayakumar, Shilpa; Ahmed, Nafis A K; Verga, Patrick W; Orr, Scott P; Pitman, Roger K; Milad, Mohammed R

    2013-11-01

    Sleep helps emotional memories consolidate and may promote generalization of fear extinction memory. We examined whether extinction learning and memory might differ in the morning and evening due, potentially, to circadian and/or sleep-homeostatic factors. Healthy men (N = 109) in 6 groups completed a 2-session protocol. In Session 1, fear conditioning was followed by extinction learning. Partial reinforcement with mild electric shock produced conditioned skin conductance responses (SCRs) to 2 differently colored lamps (CS+), but not a third color (CS-), within the computer image of a room (conditioning context). One CS+ (CS + E) but not the other (CS + U) was immediately extinguished by un-reinforced presentations in a different room (extinction context). Delay durations of 3 h (within AM or PM), 12 h (morning-to-evening or evening-to-morning) or 24 h (morning-to-morning or evening-to-evening) followed. In Session 2, extinction recall and contextual fear renewal were tested. We observed no significant effects of the delay interval on extinction memory but did observe an effect of time-of-day. Fear extinction was significantly better if learned in the morning (p = .002). Collapsing across CS + type, there was smaller morning differential SCR at both extinction recall (p = .003) and fear renewal (p = .005). Morning extinction recall showed better generalization from the CS + E to CS + U with the response to the CS + U significantly larger than to the CS + E only in the evening (p = .028). Thus, extinction is learned faster and its memory is better generalized in the morning. Cortisol and testosterone showed the expected greater salivary levels in the morning when higher testosterone/cortisol ratio also predicted better extinction learning. Circadian factors may promote morning extinction. Alternatively, evening homeostatic sleep pressure may impede extinction and favor recall of conditioned fear. PMID:23992769

  10. Fear conditioning of SCR but not the startle reflex requires conscious discrimination of threat and safety.

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    Sevenster, Dieuwke; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel

    2014-01-01

    There is conflicting evidence as to whether awareness is required for conditioning of the skin conductance response (SCR). Recently, Schultz and Helmstetter (2010) reported SCR conditioning in contingency unaware participants by using difficult to discriminate stimuli. These findings are in stark contrast with other observations in human fear conditioning research, showing that SCR predominantly reflects contingency learning. Therefore, we repeated the study by Schultz and Helmstetter and additionally measured conditioning of the startle response, which seems to be less sensitive to declarative knowledge than SCR. While we solely observed SCR conditioning in participants who reported awareness of the contingencies (n = 16) and not in the unaware participants (n = 18), we observed startle conditioning irrespective of awareness. We conclude that SCR but not startle conditioning depends on conscious discriminative fear learning.

  11. Differential Transcriptional Response to Nonassociative and Associative Components of Classical Fear Conditioning in the Amygdala and Hippocampus

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    Isiegas, Carolina; Stein, Joel; Hellman, Kevin; Hannenhalli, Sridhar; Abel, Ted; Keeley, Michael B.; Wood, Marcelo A.

    2006-01-01

    Classical fear conditioning requires the recognition of conditioned stimuli (CS) and the association of the CS with an aversive stimulus. We used Affymetrix oligonucleotide microarrays to characterize changes in gene expression compared to naive mice in both the amygdala and the hippocampus 30 min after classical fear conditioning and 30 min after…

  12. Pair exposure with conspecific during fear conditioning induces the link between freezing and passive avoidance behaviors in rats.

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    Lee, Hyunchan; Noh, Jihyun

    2016-07-01

    Social factor plays an important role in dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder related to excessive physiological fear response and insufficient fear memory extinction of the brain. However, although social circumstances occurred not only during contextual retrieval but also during fear conditioning, most previous studies focused on the advantageous aspects of social buffering in fear retrieval period. To demonstrate the association between fear responses and fear memory from social stimuli during fear conditioning, pair exposed rats with conspecific as social buffering were subjected to a fear conditioning of passive avoidance test to evaluate memory function and freezing behavior. Whereas single exposed rats showed the significant increase of freezing behaviors and passive avoidance behaviors compared to control rats, pair exposed rats showed significant alleviation of the freezing behaviors and passive avoidance behaviors compared to single exposed rats. Furthermore, we determined a significant correlation between freezing and passive avoidance behavioral alteration in pair exposed rats. Taken together, we suggest that pair exposure with conspecific during fear conditioning helps to cope with both freezing response and fear memory systems and their reciprocal interaction has a crucial potential as a resource for the relief of unreasonable stress responses in posttraumatic stress disorder.

  13. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Activation Facilitates Re-Extinction of Fear in Rats

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    Chang, Chun-hui; Maren, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    It has been suggested that reduced infralimbic (IL) cortical activity contributes to impairments of fear extinction. We therefore explored whether pharmacological activation of the IL would facilitate extinction under conditions it normally fails (i.e., immediate extinction). Rats received auditory fear conditioning 1 h before extinction training.…

  14. Potentiation rather than distraction in a trace fear conditioning procedure.

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    Pezze, M A; Marshall, H J; Cassaday, H J

    2016-07-01

    Trace conditioning procedures are defined by the introduction of a trace interval between conditioned stimulus (CS, e.g. noise or light) offset and unconditioned stimulus (US, e.g. footshock). The introduction of an additional stimulus as a distractor has been suggested to increase the attentional demands of the task and to extend the usefulness of the behavioural model. In Experiment 1, the CS was noise and the distractor was provided by an intermittent light. In Experiment 2, the CS was light and the distractor was provided by an intermittent noise. In both experiments, the introduction of a 10s trace interval weakened associative learning compared with that seen in a 0s delay conditioned group. However, there was no consistent evidence of distraction. On the contrary, in Experiment 1, associative learning was stronger (in both trace and delay conditioned groups) for rats conditioned also in the presence of the intermittent light. In Experiment 2, there was no such effect when the roles of the stimuli were reversed. The results of Experiment 2 did however confirm the particular salience of the noise stimulus. The finding of increased associative learning dependent on salience is consistent with arousal-mediated effects on associative learning. PMID:27060226

  15. A Model of Amygdala-Hippocampal-Prefrontal Interaction in Fear Conditioning and Extinction in Animals

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    Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard J.; Myers, Catherine E.

    2013-01-01

    Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus…

  16. Effect of acute Fluoxetine application on a context fear conditioned task in behaviorally restrained rats

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    Laura A . León

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available In order to study the effect of behavioral or pharmacologically enhanced anxiety on the acquisition of contextual fear conditioning, thirty two Wistar rats (275±25 gm were divided in two groups (behavioral restriction and control. Half of each group received saline solution (ig.; 0.9% or fluoxetine(ig.; 4mg/Kg before the fear conditioning procedure. The two way ANOVA showed significant differences for treatment (F[1,28] = 25.261; P < 0.001. Student Newman-Keuls showed that subjects treated with fluoxetine had lower freezing times. There were no significant differences nor for restriction neither for the interaction between the factors (F[1,28] = 0.115; P = 0.737 y F[1,28] = 0.016; P = 0.899. Thus, the restriction procedure used did not modify the acquisition of the conditioned fear response suggesting that the putative 5-HT enhancement induced is not comparable to that induced by fluoxetine. Acute fluoxetine disrupted the acquisition of the conditioned fear response, suggesting that the mechanism by means of which anxiety disrupts learning could be serotonergic in nature.

  17. The influence of gonadal hormones on conditioned fear extinction in healthy humans.

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    Milad, M R; Zeidan, M A; Contero, A; Pitman, R K; Klibanski, A; Rauch, S L; Goldstein, J M

    2010-07-14

    Recent rodent studies suggest that gonadal hormones influence extinction of conditioned fear. Here we investigated sex differences in, and the influence of estradiol and progesterone on, fear extinction in healthy humans. Men and women underwent a two-day paradigm in which fear conditioning and extinction learning took place on day 1 and extinction recall was tested on day 2. Visual cues were used as the conditioned stimuli and a mild electric shock was used as the unconditioned stimulus. Skin conductance was recorded throughout the experiment and used to measure conditioned responses (CRs). Blood samples were obtained from all women to measure estradiol and progesterone levels. We found that higher estradiol during extinction learning enhanced subsequent extinction recall but had no effects on fear acquisition or extinction learning itself. Sex differences were only observed during acquisition, with men exhibiting significantly higher CRs. After dividing women into low- and high-estradiol groups, men showed comparable extinction recall to high-estradiol women, and both of these groups showed higher extinction recall than low-estradiol women. Therefore, sex differences in extinction memory emerged only after taking into account women's estradiol levels. Lower estradiol may impair extinction consolidation in women. These findings could have practical applications in the treatment of anxiety disorders through cognitive and behavioral therapies. PMID:20412837

  18. Neural Correlates of Appetitive-Aversive Interactions in Pavlovian Fear Conditioning

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    Nasser, Helen M.; McNally, Gavan P.

    2013-01-01

    We used Pavlovian counterconditioning in rats to identify the neural mechanisms for appetitive-aversive motivational interactions. In Stage I, rats were trained on conditioned stimulus (CS)-food (unconditioned stimulus [US]) pairings. In Stage II, this appetitive CS was transformed into a fear CS via pairings with footshock. The development of…

  19. Avoided by association: acquisition, extinction, and renewal of avoidance tendencies toward conditioned fear stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.M. Krypotos; M. Effting; I. Arnaudova; M. Kindt; T. Beckers

    2013-01-01

    Traditional theoretical models hold that avoidance reflects the interplay of Pavlovian and instrumental learning. Here we suggest that avoidance tendencies to intrinsically neutral cues may be established by mere Pavlovian association. Following fear conditioning, in which pictures of one object wer

  20. Effects of Post-Training Hippocampal Injections of Midazolam on Fear Conditioning

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    Gafford, Georgette M.; Parsons, Ryan G.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2005-01-01

    Benzodiazepines have been useful tools for investigating mechanisms underlying learning and memory. The present set of experiments investigates the role of hippocampal GABA[subscript A]/benzodiazepine receptors in memory consolidation using Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats were prepared with cannulae aimed at the dorsal hippocampus and trained…

  1. The Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Valproic Acid Enhances Acquisition, Extinction, and Reconsolidation of Conditioned Fear

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    Bredy, Timothy W.; Barad, Mark

    2008-01-01

    Histone modifications contribute to the epigenetic regulation of gene expression, a process now recognized to be important for the consolidation of long-term memory. Valproic acid (VPA), used for many years as an anticonvulsant and a mood stabilizer, has effects on learning and memory and enhances the extinction of conditioned fear through its…

  2. Blockade of Dopamine Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Impairs Learning Extinction of Conditioned Fear

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    Holtzman-Assif, Orit; Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments used rats to investigate the role of dopamine activity in learning to inhibit conditioned fear responses (freezing) in extinction. In Experiment 1, rats systemically injected with the D2 dopamine antagonist, haloperidol, froze more across multiple extinction sessions and on a drug-free retention test than control rats. In…

  3. Inhibition of prefrontal protein synthesis following recall does not disrupt memory for trace fear conditioning

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    Dash Pramod K

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The extent of similarity between consolidation and reconsolidation is not yet fully understood. One of the differences noted is that not every brain region involved in consolidation exhibits reconsolidation. In trace fear conditioning, the hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC are required for consolidation of long-term memory. We have previously demonstrated that trace fear memory is susceptible to infusion of the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin into the hippocampus following recall. In the present study, we examine whether protein synthesis inhibition in the mPFC following recall similarly results in the observation of reconsolidation of trace fear memory. Results Targeted intra-mPFC infusions of anisomycin or vehicle were performed immediately following recall of trace fear memory at 24 hours, or at 30 days, following training in a one-day or a two-day protocol. The present study demonstrates three key findings: 1 trace fear memory does not undergo protein synthesis dependent reconsolidation in the PFC, regardless of the intensity of the training, and 2 regardless of whether the memory is recent or remote, and 3 intra-mPFC inhibition of protein synthesis immediately following training impaired remote (30 days memory. Conclusion These results suggest that not all structures that participate in memory storage are involved in reconsolidation. Alternatively, certain types of memory-related information may reconsolidate, while other components of memory may not.

  4. Bidirectional synaptic plasticity in intercalated amygdala neurons and the extinction of conditioned fear responses.

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    Royer, S; Paré, D

    2002-01-01

    Classical fear conditioning is believed to result from potentiation of conditioned synaptic inputs in the basolateral amygdala. That is, the conditioned stimulus would excite more neurons in the central nucleus and, via their projections to the brainstem and hypothalamus, evoke fear responses. However, much data suggests that extinction of fear responses does not depend on the reversal of these changes but on a parallel NMDA-dependent learning that competes with the first one. Because they control impulse traffic from the basolateral amygdala to the central nucleus, GABAergic neurons of the intercalated cell masses are ideally located to implement this second learning. Consistent with this hypothesis, the present study shows that low- and high-frequency stimulation of basolateral afferents respectively induce long-term depression (LTD) and potentiation (LTP) of responses in intercalated cells. Moreover, induction of LTP and LTD is prevented by application of an NMDA antagonist. To determine how these activity-dependent changes are expressed, we tested whether LTD and LTP induction are associated with modifications in paired-pulse facilitation, an index of transmitter release probability. Only LTP induction was associated with a change in paired-pulse facilitation. Depotentiation of previously potentiated synapses did not revert the modification in paired pulse facilitation, suggesting that LTP is associated with presynaptic alterations, but that LTD and depotentiation depend on postsynaptic changes. Taken together, our results suggest that basolateral synapses onto intercalated neurons can express NMDA-dependent LTP and LTD, consistent with the possibility that intercalated neurons are a critical locus of plasticity for the extinction of conditioned fear responses. Ultimately, these plastic events may prevent conditioned amygdala responses from exciting neurons of the central nucleus, and thus from evoking conditioned fear responses.

  5. Reinstatement of an Extinguished Fear Conditioned Response in Infant Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revillo, Damian A.; Trebucq, Gastón; Paglini, Maria G.; Arias, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Although it is currently accepted that the extinction effect reflects new context-dependent learning, this is not so clear during infancy, because some studies did not find recovery of the extinguished conditioned response (CR) in rodents during this ontogenetic stage. However, recent studies have shown the return of an extinguished CR in infant…

  6. Protocol for studying extinction of conditioned fear in naturally cycling female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeng, Lisa Y; Cover, Kara K; Landau, Aaron J; Milad, Mohammed R; Lebron-Milad, Kelimer

    2015-01-01

    Extinction of conditioned fear has been extensively studied in male rodents. Recently, there have been an increasing number of studies indicating that neural mechanisms for certain behavioral tasks and response behaviors are different in females and males. Using females in research studies can represent a challenge because of the variation of gonadal hormones during their estrous cycle. This protocol describes well-established procedures that are useful in investigating the role of estrogen in fear extinction memory consolidation in female rats. Phase of the estrous cycle and exogenous estrogen administration prior to extinction training can influence extinction recall 24 hr later. The vaginal swabbing technique for estrous phase identification described here aids the examination and manipulation of naturally cycling gonadal hormones. The use of this basic rodent model may further delineate the mechanisms by which estrogen can modulate fear extinction memory in females. PMID:25741747

  7. Learning and memory in conditioned fear extinction: effects of D-cycloserine.

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    Vervliet, Bram

    2008-03-01

    This review addresses the effects of the cognitive enhancer D-cycloserine (DCS) on the memory processes that occur in conditioned fear extinction, which is the experimental model for exposure techniques to reduce clinical anxiety. All reported rat studies show an enhanced fear extinction effect when DCS is administered acutely before or shortly after extinction training. DCS also promotes the generalization of this fear extinction effect. In addition, DCS reduces some forms of relapse (reduced reinstatement, reduced spontaneous recovery), but not others (contextual renewal, rapid reacquisition). It is argued that this pattern of results is best explained by assuming that DCS promotes extinction learning to the background context, resulting in enhanced contextual inhibition. Four human studies have produced mixed results, but some methodological issues complicate the reported failures. It is concluded that DCS is a promising tool as an adjunct to extinction techniques in exposure treatment, but that more pre-clinical and clinical research is needed to fully characterize its behavioral consequences.

  8. ONTOGENY OF EYEBLINK CONDITIONING IN THE RAT: AUDITORY FREQUENCY AND DISCRIMINATION LEARNING EFFECTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present study sought to determine whether acoustic properties of the auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) or the use of a discrimination learning procedure would alter the emergence of eyeblink conditioning between Postnatal Day 17 and 24 (PND17-24) in the rat. n Experiment 1, ...

  9. Synaptic plasticity and NO-cGMP-PKG signaling regulate pre- and postsynaptic alterations at rat lateral amygdala synapses following fear conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristie T Ota

    Full Text Available In vertebrate models of synaptic plasticity, signaling via the putative "retrograde messenger" nitric oxide (NO has been hypothesized to serve as a critical link between functional and structural alterations at pre- and postsynaptic sites. In the present study, we show that auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning is associated with significant and long-lasting increases in the expression of the postsynaptically-localized protein GluR1 and the presynaptically-localized proteins synaptophysin and synapsin in the lateral amygdala (LA within 24 hrs following training. Further, we show that rats given intra-LA infusion of either the NR2B-selective antagonist Ifenprodil, the NOS inhibitor 7-Ni, or the PKG inhibitor Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS exhibit significant decreases in training-induced expression of GluR1, synaptophysin, and synapsin immunoreactivity in the LA, while those rats infused with the PKG activator 8-Br-cGMP exhibit a significant increase in these proteins in the LA. In contrast, rats given intra-LA infusion of the NO scavenger c-PTIO exhibit a significant decrease in synapsin and synaptophysin expression in the LA, but no significant impairment in the expression of GluR1. Finally, we show that intra-LA infusions of the ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 or the CaMKII inhibitor KN-93 impair training-induced expression of GluR1, synapsin, and synaptophysin in the LA. These findings suggest that the NO-cGMP-PKG, Rho/ROCK, and CaMKII signaling pathways regulate fear memory consolidation, in part, by promoting both pre- and post-synaptic alterations at LA synapses. They further suggest that synaptic plasticity in the LA during auditory fear conditioning promotes alterations at presynaptic sites via NO-driven "retrograde signaling".

  10. Epigenetic modulation of Homer1a transcription regulation in amygdala and hippocampus with pavlovian fear conditioning.

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    Mahan, Amy L; Mou, Liping; Shah, Nirali; Hu, Jia-Hua; Worley, Paul F; Ressler, Kerry J

    2012-03-28

    The consolidation of conditioned fear involves upregulation of genes necessary for long-term memory formation. An important question remains as to whether this results in part from epigenetic regulation and chromatin modulation. We examined whether Homer1a, which is required for memory formation, is necessary for Pavlovian cued fear conditioning, whether it is downstream of BDNF-TrkB activation, and whether this pathway utilizes histone modifications for activity-dependent transcriptional regulation. We initially found that Homer1a knock-out mice exhibited deficits in cued fear conditioning (5 tone-shock presentations with 70 dB, 6 kHz tones and 0.5 s, 0.6 mA footshocks). We then demonstrated that: (1) Homer1a mRNA increases after fear conditioning in vivo within both amygdala and hippocampus of wild-type mice; (2) it increases after BDNF application to primary hippocampal and amygdala cultures in vitro; and (3) these increases are dependent on transcription and MAPK signaling. Furthermore, using chromatin immunoprecipitation we found that both in vitro and in vivo manipulations result in decreases in Homer1 promoter H3K9 methylation in amygdala cells but increases in Homer1 promoter H3 acetylation in hippocampal cells. However, no changes were observed in H4 acetylation or H3K27 dimethylation. Inhibition of histone deacetylation by sodium butyrate enhanced contextual but not cued fear conditioning and enhanced Homer1 H3 acetylation in the hippocampus. These data provide evidence for dynamic epigenetic regulation of Homer1a following BDNF-induced plasticity and during a BDNF-dependent learning process. Furthermore, upregulation of this gene may be regulated through distinct epigenetic modifications in the hippocampus and amygdala.

  11. Deficient fear conditioning in psychopathy as a function of interpersonal and affective disturbances

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    Ralf eVeit

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The diminished fear reactivity is one of the most valid physiological findings in psychopathy research. In a fear conditioning paradigm, with faces as conditioned stimulus (CS and electric shock as unconditioned stimulus (US, we investigated a sample of 14 high psychopathic violent offenders. Event related potentials, skin conductance responses (SCR as well as subjective ratings of the CSs were collected. This study assessed to which extent the different facets of the psychopathy construct contribute to the fear conditioning deficits observed in psychopaths. Participants with high scores on the affective facet subscale of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R showed weaker conditioned fear responses and lower N100 amplitudes compared to low scorers. In contrast, high scorers on the affective facet rated the CS+ (paired more negatively than low scorers regarding the CS- (unpaired. Regarding the P300, high scores on the interpersonal facet were associated with increased amplitudes to the CS+ compared to the CS-, while the opposed pattern was found with the antisocial facet. Both, the initial and terminal contingent negative variation indicated a divergent pattern: participants with pronounced interpersonal deficits, showed increased cortical negativity to the CS+ compared to the CS-, whereas a reversed CS+/CS- differentiation was found in offenders scoring high on the antisocial facet. The present study revealed that deficient fear conditioning in psychopathy was most pronounced in offenders with high scores on the affective facet. Event related potentials suggest that participants with distinct interpersonal deficits showed increased information processing, whereas the antisocial facet was linked to decreased attention and interest to the CS+. These data indicate that an approach to the facets of psychopathy can help to resolve ambiguous findings in psychopathy research and enables a more precise and useful description of this disorder.

  12. Amygdala kindling disrupts trace and delay fear conditioning with parallel changes in Fos protein expression throughout the limbic brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botterill, J J; Fournier, N M; Guskjolen, A J; Lussier, A L; Marks, W N; Kalynchuk, L E

    2014-04-18

    Amygdala kindling is well known to increase unconditioned fear and anxiety. However, relatively little is known about whether this form of kindling causes functional changes within the neural circuitry that mediates fear learning and the retrieval of fear memories. To address this issue, we examined the effect of short- (i.e., 30 stimulations) and long-term (i.e., 99 stimulations) amygdala kindling in rats on trace and delay fear conditioning, which are aversive learning tasks that rely predominantly on the hippocampus and amygdala, respectively. After memory retrieval, we analyzed the pattern of neural activity with Fos, the protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos. We found that kindling had no effect on acquisition of the trace fear conditioning task but it did selectively impair retrieval of this fear memory. In contrast, kindling disrupted both acquisition and retrieval of fear memory in the delay fear conditioning task. We also found that kindling-induced impairments in memory retrieval were accompanied by decreased Fos expression in several subregions of the hippocampus, parahippocampus, and amygdala. Interestingly, decreased freezing in the trace conditioning task was significantly correlated with dampened Fos expression in hippocampal and parahippocampal regions whereas decreased freezing in the delay conditioning task was significantly correlated with dampened Fos expression in hippocampal, parahippocampal, and amygdaloid circuits. Overall, these results suggest that amygdala kindling promotes functional changes in brain regions involved in specific types of fear learning and memory.

  13. Encoding of fear learning and memory in distributed neuronal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herry, Cyril; Johansen, Joshua P

    2014-12-01

    How sensory information is transformed by learning into adaptive behaviors is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Studies of auditory fear conditioning have revealed much about the formation and expression of emotional memories and have provided important insights into this question. Classical work focused on the amygdala as a central structure for fear conditioning. Recent advances, however, have identified new circuits and neural coding strategies mediating fear learning and the expression of fear behaviors. One area of research has identified key brain regions and neuronal coding mechanisms that regulate the formation, specificity and strength of fear memories. Other work has discovered critical circuits and neuronal dynamics by which fear memories are expressed through a medial prefrontal cortex pathway and coordinated activity across interconnected brain regions. Here we review these recent advances alongside prior work to provide a working model of the extended circuits and neuronal coding mechanisms mediating fear learning and memory.

  14. Encoding of fear learning and memory in distributed neuronal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herry, Cyril; Johansen, Joshua P

    2014-12-01

    How sensory information is transformed by learning into adaptive behaviors is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Studies of auditory fear conditioning have revealed much about the formation and expression of emotional memories and have provided important insights into this question. Classical work focused on the amygdala as a central structure for fear conditioning. Recent advances, however, have identified new circuits and neural coding strategies mediating fear learning and the expression of fear behaviors. One area of research has identified key brain regions and neuronal coding mechanisms that regulate the formation, specificity and strength of fear memories. Other work has discovered critical circuits and neuronal dynamics by which fear memories are expressed through a medial prefrontal cortex pathway and coordinated activity across interconnected brain regions. Here we review these recent advances alongside prior work to provide a working model of the extended circuits and neuronal coding mechanisms mediating fear learning and memory. PMID:25413091

  15. Resting-state connectivity of the amygdala is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Douglas H; Balderston, Nicholas L; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2012-01-01

    Neural plasticity in the amygdala is necessary for the acquisition and storage of memory in Pavlovian fear conditioning, but most neuroimaging studies have focused only on stimulus-evoked responses during the conditioning session. This study examined changes in the resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) of the amygdala before and after Pavlovian fear conditioning, an emotional learning task. Behavioral results from the conditioning session revealed that participants learned normally and fMRI data recorded during learning identified a number of stimulus-evoked changes that were consistent with previous work. A direct comparison between the pre- and post-conditioning amygdala connectivity revealed a region of dorsal prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the superior frontal gyrus that showed a significant increase in connectivity following the conditioning session. A behavioral measure of explicit memory performance was positively correlated with the change in amygdala connectivity within a neighboring region in the superior frontal gyrus. Additionally, an implicit autonomic measure of conditioning was positively correlated with the change in connectivity between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The resting-state data show that amygdala connectivity is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning and that these changes are also related to behavioral outcomes. These alterations may reflect the operation of a consolidation process that strengthens neural connections to support memory after the learning event.

  16. Resting-state connectivity of the amygdala is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas H Schultz

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Neural plasticity in the amygdala is necessary for the acquisition and storage of memory in Pavlovian fear conditioning, but most neuroimaging studies have focused only on stimulus-evoked responses during the conditioning session. This study examined changes in the resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC of the amygdala before and after Pavlovian fear conditioning, an emotional learning task. Behavioral results from the conditioning session revealed that participants learned normally and FMRI data recorded during learning identified a number of stimulus-evoked changes that were consistent with previous work. A direct comparison between the pre and post-conditioning amygdala connectivity revealed a region of dorsal prefrontal cortex (PFC in the superior frontal gyrus that showed a significant increase in connectivity following the conditioning session. A behavioral measure of explicit memory performance was positively correlated with the change in amygdala connectivity within a neighboring region in the superior frontal gyrus. Additionally, an implicit autonomic measure of conditioning was positively correlated with the change in connectivity between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex. The resting-state data show that amygdala connectivity is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning and that these changes are also related to behavioral outcomes. These alterations may reflect the operation of a consolidation process that strengthens neural connections to support memory after the learning event.

  17. Application of Pavlovian higher-order conditioning to the analysis of the neural substrates of fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gewirtz, J C; Davis, M

    1998-01-01

    In Pavlovian first-order conditioning, a conditioned response is acquired by pairing a neutral stimulus (S1) with a stimulus that has innate motivational value. In higher-order conditioning, a neutral stimulus (S2) is paired with S1 either after (second-order conditioning) or before (sensory preconditioning) first-order conditioning has been acquired. Thus, in higher-order conditioning the motivational value of the reinforcer is acquired rather than innate. This review describes some of the potential uses of higher-order conditioning in investigating the neural substrates of fearful memories. First, because in second-order fear conditioning S2 is not paired directly with a painful stimulus, any effect of a treatment on the acquisition of fear cannot be attributed to the treatment's possible effects on transmission of nociceptive information. Second, higher-order conditioning provides opportunities for analyzing where and how different types of events, or different aspects of the same events, are represented in the brain.

  18. Resting cerebral metabolism correlates with skin conductance and functional brain activation during fear conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Linnman, Clas; Zeidan, Mohamed A.; Pitman, Roger K.; Milad, Mohammed R.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated whether resting brain metabolism can be used to predict autonomic and neuronal responses during fear conditioning in 20 healthy humans. Regional cerebral metabolic rate for glucose was measured via positron emission tomography at rest. During conditioning, autonomic responses were measured via skin conductance, and blood oxygen level dependent signal was measured via functional magnetic resonance imaging. Resting dorsal anterior cingulate metabolism positively predicted differ...

  19. Contributions of the amygdala central nucleus and ventrolateral periaqueductal grey to freezing and instrumental suppression in Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDannald, Michael A

    2010-07-29

    In Pavlovian fear conditioning animals receive pairings of a neutral cue and an aversive stimulus such as an electric foot-shock. Through such pairings, the cue will come to elicit a central state of fear that produces a variety of autonomic and behavioral responses, among which are conditioned freezing and suppression of instrumental responding, termed conditioned suppression. The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) and the ventrolateral periaqueductal grey (vlPAG) has been strongly implicated in the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear. However, previous work suggests different roles for the CeA and vlPAG in fear learning maybe revealed when fear is assessed with conditioned freezing or conditioned suppression. To further explore this possibility we gave rats selective lesions of either the CeA or vlPAG and trained them in Pavlovian first-order fear conditioning as well as Pavlovian second-order fear conditioning. We concurrently assessed the acquisition of conditioned freezing and conditioned suppression. We found that vlPAG and CeA lesions impaired both first- and second-order conditioned freezing. VlPAG lesions did not impair, and CeA lesions only transiently impaired, first-order conditioned suppression. However, both vlPAG and CeA lesions impaired second-order conditioned suppression. These results suggest that the CeA and vlPAG are critically important to expressing fear through conditioned freezing but play different and less critical roles in expressing fear through conditioned suppression.

  20. Long-term memory of visually cued fear conditioning: roles of the neuronal nitric oxide synthase gene and cyclic AMP response element-binding protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, J B; Anderson, K L; Altmann, S L; Itzhak, Y

    2011-02-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) produced by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) has a role in late-phase long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term memory (LTM) formation. Our recent studies implicated NO signaling in contextual and auditory cued fear conditioning. The present study investigated the role of NO signaling in visually cued fear conditioning. First, visually cued fear conditioning was investigated in wild-type (WT) and nNOS knockout (KO) mice. Second, the effects of pharmacological modulators of NO signaling on the acquisition of visually cued fear conditioning were investigated. Third, plasma levels of corticosterone were measured to determine a relationship between physiological and behavioral responses to fear conditioning. Fourth, levels of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK1/2) and cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation, downstream of NO signaling, were determined in the amygdala as potential correlates of fear learning. Mice underwent single or multiple (4) spaced trainings that consisted of a visual cue (blinking light) paired with footshock. WT mice acquired cued and contextual LTM following single and multiple trainings. nNOS KO mice acquired neither cued nor contextual LTM following a single training; however, multiple trainings improved contextual but not cued LTM. The selective nNOS inhibitor S-methyl-thiocitrulline (SMTC) impaired cued and contextual LTM in WT mice. The NO donor molsidomine recovered contextual LTM but had no effect on cued LTM in nNOS KO mice. Re-exposure to the visual cue 24 h posttraining elicited freezing response and a marked increase in plasma corticosterone levels in WT but not nNOS KO mice. The expression of CREB phosphorylation (Ser-133) was significantly higher in naive nNOS KO mice than in WT counterparts, and pharmacological modulators of NO had significant effects on levels of CREB phosphorylation and expression. These findings suggest that visual cue-dependent LTM is impaired in nNOS KO

  1. Effect of continuous and partial reinforcement on the acquisition and extinction of human conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grady, Ashley K; Bowen, Kenton H; Hyde, Andrew T; Totsch, Stacie K; Knight, David C

    2016-02-01

    Extinction of Pavlovian conditioned fear in humans is a popular paradigm often used to study learning and memory processes that mediate anxiety-related disorders. Fear extinction studies often only pair the conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (UCS) on a subset of acquisition trials (i.e., partial reinforcement/pairing) to prolong extinction (i.e., partial reinforcement extinction effect; PREE) and provide more time to study the process. However, there is limited evidence that the partial pairing procedures typically used during fear conditioning actually extend the extinction process, while there is strong evidence these procedures weaken conditioned response (CR) acquisition. Therefore, determining conditioning procedures that support strong CR acquisition and that also prolong the extinction process would benefit the field. The present study investigated 4 separate CS-UCS pairing procedures to determine methods that support strong conditioning and that also exhibit a PREE. One group (C-C) of participants received continuous CS-UCS pairings; a second group (C-P) received continuous followed by partial CS-UCS pairings; a third group (P-C) received partial followed by continuous CS-UCS pairings; and a fourth group (P-P) received partial CS-UCS pairings during acquisition. A strong skin conductance CR was expressed by C-C and P-C groups but not by C-P and P-P groups at the end of the acquisition phase. The P-C group maintained the CR during extinction. In contrast, the CR extinguished quickly within the C-C group. These findings suggest that partial followed by continuous CS-UCS pairings elicit strong CRs and prolong the extinction process following human fear conditioning.

  2. Effect of continuous and partial reinforcement on the acquisition and extinction of human conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grady, Ashley K; Bowen, Kenton H; Hyde, Andrew T; Totsch, Stacie K; Knight, David C

    2016-02-01

    Extinction of Pavlovian conditioned fear in humans is a popular paradigm often used to study learning and memory processes that mediate anxiety-related disorders. Fear extinction studies often only pair the conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (UCS) on a subset of acquisition trials (i.e., partial reinforcement/pairing) to prolong extinction (i.e., partial reinforcement extinction effect; PREE) and provide more time to study the process. However, there is limited evidence that the partial pairing procedures typically used during fear conditioning actually extend the extinction process, while there is strong evidence these procedures weaken conditioned response (CR) acquisition. Therefore, determining conditioning procedures that support strong CR acquisition and that also prolong the extinction process would benefit the field. The present study investigated 4 separate CS-UCS pairing procedures to determine methods that support strong conditioning and that also exhibit a PREE. One group (C-C) of participants received continuous CS-UCS pairings; a second group (C-P) received continuous followed by partial CS-UCS pairings; a third group (P-C) received partial followed by continuous CS-UCS pairings; and a fourth group (P-P) received partial CS-UCS pairings during acquisition. A strong skin conductance CR was expressed by C-C and P-C groups but not by C-P and P-P groups at the end of the acquisition phase. The P-C group maintained the CR during extinction. In contrast, the CR extinguished quickly within the C-C group. These findings suggest that partial followed by continuous CS-UCS pairings elicit strong CRs and prolong the extinction process following human fear conditioning. PMID:26692449

  3. Neural signatures of human fear conditioning: an updated and extended meta-analysis of fMRI studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fullana, M A; Harrison, B J; Soriano-Mas, C; Vervliet, B; Cardoner, N; Àvila-Parcet, A; Radua, J

    2016-04-01

    Classical Pavlovian fear conditioning remains the most widely employed experimental model of fear and anxiety, and continues to inform contemporary pathophysiological accounts of clinical anxiety disorders. Despite its widespread application in human and animal studies, the neurobiological basis of fear conditioning remains only partially understood. Here we provide a comprehensive meta-analysis of human fear-conditioning studies carried out with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), yielding a pooled sample of 677 participants from 27 independent studies. As a distinguishing feature of this meta-analysis, original statistical brain maps were obtained from the authors of 13 of these studies. Our primary analyses demonstrate that human fear conditioning is associated with a consistent and robust pattern of neural activation across a hypothesized genuine network of brain regions resembling existing anatomical descriptions of the 'central autonomic-interoceptive network'. This finding is discussed with a particular emphasis on the neural substrates of conscious fear processing. Our associated meta-analysis of functional deactivations-a scarcely addressed dynamic in fMRI fear-conditioning studies-also suggests the existence of a coordinated brain response potentially underlying the 'safety signal' (that is, non-threat) processing. We attempt to provide an integrated summary on these findings with the view that they may inform ongoing studies of fear-conditioning processes both in healthy and clinical populations, as investigated with neuroimaging and other experimental approaches.

  4. Better fear conditioning is associated with reduced symptom severity in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    South, Mikle; Larson, Michael J; White, Sarah E; Dana, Julianne; Crowley, Michael J

    2011-12-01

    Evidence from behavioral and neuroimaging studies suggest that atypical amygdala function plays a critical role in the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The handful of psychophysiological studies examining amygdala function in ASD using classical fear conditioning paradigms have yielded discordant results. We recorded skin conductance response (SCR) during a simple discrimination conditioning task in 30 children and adolescents (ages 8-18) diagnosed with high-functioning ASD and 30 age- and IQ-matched, typically developing controls. SCR response in the ASD group was uniquely and positively associated with social anxiety; and negatively correlated with autism symptom severity, in particular with social functioning. Fear conditioning studies have tremendous potential to aid understanding regarding the amygdale's role in the varied symptom profile of ASD. Our data demonstrate that such studies require careful attention to task-specific factors, including task complexity; and also to contributions of dimensional, within-group factors that contribute to ASD heterogeneity.

  5. Anterograde effects of a single electroconvulsive shock on inhibitory avoidance and on cued fear conditioning

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    Oliveira M.G.M.

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available A single electroconvulsive shock (ECS or a sham ECS was administered to male 3-4-month-old Wistar rats 1, 2, and 4 h before training in an inhibitory avoidance test and in cued classical fear conditioning (measured by means of freezing time in a new environment. ECS impaired inhibitory avoidance at all times and, at 1 or 2 h before training, reduced freezing time before and after re-presentation of the ECS. These results are interpreted as a transient conditioned stimulus (CS-induced anxiolytic or analgesic effect lasting about 2 h after a single treatment, in addition to the known amnesic effect of the stimulus. This suggests that the effect of anterograde learning impairment is demonstrated unequivocally only when the analgesic/anxiolytic effect is over (about 4 h after ECS administration and that this impairment of learning is selective, affecting inhibitory avoidance but not classical fear conditioning to a discrete stimulus.

  6. Resting cerebral metabolism correlates with skin conductance and functional brain activation during fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linnman, Clas; Zeidan, Mohamed A; Pitman, Roger K; Milad, Mohammed R

    2012-02-01

    We investigated whether resting brain metabolism can be used to predict autonomic and neuronal responses during fear conditioning in 20 healthy humans. Regional cerebral metabolic rate for glucose was measured via positron emission tomography at rest. During conditioning, autonomic responses were measured via skin conductance, and blood oxygen level dependent signal was measured via functional magnetic resonance imaging. Resting dorsal anterior cingulate metabolism positively predicted differentially conditioned skin conductance responses. Midbrain and insula resting metabolism negatively predicted midbrain and insula functional reactivity, while dorsal anterior cingulate resting metabolism positively predicted midbrain functional reactivity. We conclude that resting metabolism in limbic areas can predict some aspects of psychophysiological and neuronal reactivity during fear learning. PMID:22207247

  7. Prefrontal NMDA receptors expressed in excitatory neurons control fear discrimination and fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Philip A; Corches, Alex; Lovelace, Jonathan W; Westbrook, Kevin B; Mendoza, Michael; Korzus, Edward

    2015-03-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are critically involved in various learning mechanisms including modulation of fear memory, brain development and brain disorders. While NMDARs mediate opposite effects on medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) interneurons and excitatory neurons, NMDAR antagonists trigger profound cortical activation. The objectives of the present study were to determine the involvement of NMDARs expressed specifically in excitatory neurons in mPFC-dependent adaptive behaviors, specifically fear discrimination and fear extinction. To achieve this, we tested mice with locally deleted Grin1 gene encoding the obligatory NR1 subunit of the NMDAR from prefrontal CamKIIα positive neurons for their ability to distinguish frequency modulated (FM) tones in fear discrimination test. We demonstrated that NMDAR-dependent signaling in the mPFC is critical for effective fear discrimination following initial generalization of conditioned fear. While mice with deficient NMDARs in prefrontal excitatory neurons maintain normal responses to a dangerous fear-conditioned stimulus, they exhibit abnormal generalization decrement. These studies provide evidence that NMDAR-dependent neural signaling in the mPFC is a component of a neural mechanism for disambiguating the meaning of fear signals and supports discriminative fear learning by retaining proper gating information, viz. both dangerous and harmless cues. We also found that selective deletion of NMDARs from excitatory neurons in the mPFC leads to a deficit in fear extinction of auditory conditioned stimuli. These studies suggest that prefrontal NMDARs expressed in excitatory neurons are involved in adaptive behavior.

  8. Gene networks associated with conditional fear in mice identified using a systems genetics approach

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    Eskin Eleazar

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Our understanding of the genetic basis of learning and memory remains shrouded in mystery. To explore the genetic networks governing the biology of conditional fear, we used a systems genetics approach to analyze a hybrid mouse diversity panel (HMDP with high mapping resolution. Results A total of 27 behavioral quantitative trait loci were mapped with a false discovery rate of 5%. By integrating fear phenotypes, transcript profiling data from hippocampus and striatum and also genotype information, two gene co-expression networks correlated with context-dependent immobility were identified. We prioritized the key markers and genes in these pathways using intramodular connectivity measures and structural equation modeling. Highly connected genes in the context fear modules included Psmd6, Ube2a and Usp33, suggesting an important role for ubiquitination in learning and memory. In addition, we surveyed the architecture of brain transcript regulation and demonstrated preservation of gene co-expression modules in hippocampus and striatum, while also highlighting important differences. Rps15a, Kif3a, Stard7, 6330503K22RIK, and Plvap were among the individual genes whose transcript abundance were strongly associated with fear phenotypes. Conclusion Application of our multi-faceted mapping strategy permits an increasingly detailed characterization of the genetic networks underlying behavior.

  9. Delayed Recall of Fear Extinction in Rats with Lesions of Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebron, Kelimer; Milad, Mohammed R.; Quirk, Gregory J.

    2004-01-01

    Extinction of auditory fear conditioning is thought to form a new memory. We previously found that rats with vmPFC lesions could extinguish fear to the tone within a session, but showed no recall of extinction 24 h later. One interpretation is that the vmPFC is the sole storage site of extinction memory. However, it is also possible that lesioned…

  10. Role of the Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Mediating Behavioral Control-Induced Reduction of Later Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baratta, Michael V.; Lucero, Thomas R.; Amat, Jose; Watkins, Linda R.; Maier, Steven F.

    2008-01-01

    A prior experience of behavioral control over a stressor interferes with subsequent Pavlovian fear conditioning, and this effect is dependent on the activation of the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFCv) at the time of the initial experience with control. It is unknown whether mPFCv activity is necessary during fear learning and/or testing for…

  11. Within-session analysis of the extinction of pavlovian fear-conditioning using robust regression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vargas-Irwin, Cristina

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditionally , the analysis of extinction data in fear conditioning experiments has involved the use of standard linear models, mostly ANOVA of between-group differences of subjects that have undergone different extinction protocols, pharmacological manipulations or some other treatment. Although some studies report individual differences in quantities such as suppression rates or freezing percentages, these differences are not included in the statistical modeling. Withinsubject response patterns are then averaged using coarse-grain time windows which can overlook these individual performance dynamics. Here we illustrate an alternative analytical procedure consisting of 2 steps: the estimation of a trend for within-session data and analysis of group differences in trend as main outcome. This procedure is tested on real fear-conditioning extinction data, comparing trend estimates via Ordinary Least Squares (OLS and robust Least Median of Squares (LMS regression estimates, as well as comparing between-group differences and analyzing mean freezing percentage versus LMS slopes as outcomes

  12. Genetics of PTSD: Fear Conditioning as a Model for Future Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstadter, Ananda B; Nugent, Nicole R; Koenen, Karestan C

    2009-06-01

    In the last decade, the number of publications in psychiatric genetics has nearly tripled but little attention has been paid to the role of genetic factors in the etiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present review summarizes the current state of genetic research on PTSD. First, we outline information regarding genetic influences provided by family investigations and by twin studies. Second, we propose the fear-conditioning model of PTSD as a framework for the nomination of candidate genes that may be related to the disorder. Third, we review lines of evidence from three neurobiological systems involved in fear conditioning, and we summarize published investigations of genetic variants studied in association with PTSD in these three systems. Finally, we review gene-by-environment interaction research, a promising novel approach to genetic research in PTSD. PMID:19779593

  13. Developmental Effects of Acute, Chronic, and Withdrawal from Chronic Nicotine on Fear Conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Portugal, George S.; Wilkinson, Derek S.; Turner, Jill R.; Blendy, Julie A; Gould, Thomas J.

    2012-01-01

    Pre-adolescence and adolescence are developmental periods associated with increased vulnerability for tobacco addiction, and exposure to tobacco during these periods may lead to long-lasting changes in behavioral and neuronal plasticity. The present study examined the short- and long-term effects of nicotine and nicotine withdrawal on fear conditioning in pre-adolescent, adolescent, and adult mice, and potential underlying substrates that may mediate the developmental effects of nicotine, suc...

  14. Strain-dependent Effects of Acute, Chronic, and Withdrawal from Chronic Nicotine on Fear Conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Portugal, George S.; Wilkinson, Derek S.; Justin W Kenney; Sullivan, Colleen; Gould, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of nicotine on cognitive processes such as learning and memory may play an important role in the addictive liability of tobacco. However, it remains unknown whether genetic variability modulates the effects of nicotine on learning and memory. The present study characterized the effects of acute, chronic, and withdrawal from chronic nicotine administration on fear conditioning, somatic signs, and the elevated plus maze in 8 strains of inbred mice. Strain-dependent effects of acute ...

  15. Genetics of PTSD: Fear Conditioning as a Model for Future Research

    OpenAIRE

    Amstadter, Ananda B.; Nugent, Nicole R.; Koenen, Karestan C.

    2009-01-01

    In the last decade, the number of publications in psychiatric genetics has nearly tripled but little attention has been paid to the role of genetic factors in the etiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present review summarizes the current state of genetic research on PTSD. First, we outline information regarding genetic influences provided by family investigations and by twin studies. Second, we propose the fear-conditioning model of PTSD as a framework for the nomination of c...

  16. Modafinil and memory: effects of modafinil on Morris water maze learning and Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuman, Tristan; Wood, Suzanne C; Anagnostaras, Stephan G

    2009-04-01

    Modafinil has been shown to promote wakefulness and some studies suggest the drug can improve cognitive function. Because of many similarities, the mechanism of action may be comparable to classical psychostimulants, although the exact mechanisms of modafinil's actions in wakefulness and cognitive enhancement are unknown. The current study aims to further examine the effects of modafinil as a cognitive enhancer on hippocampus-dependent memory in mice. A high dose of modafinil (75 mg/kg ip) given before training improved acquisition on a Morris water maze. When given only before testing, modafinil did not affect water maze performance. We also examined modafinil (0.075 to 75 mg/kg) on Pavlovian fear conditioning. A low dose of pretraining modafinil (0.75 mg/kg) enhanced memory of contextual fear conditioning (tested off-drug 1 week later) whereas a high dose (75 mg/kg) disrupted memory. Pretraining modafinil did not affect cued conditioning at any dose tested, and immediate posttraining modafinil had no effect on either cued or contextual fear. These results suggest that modafinil's effects of memory are more selective than amphetamine or cocaine and specific to hippocampus-dependent memory.

  17. Object-location training elicits an overlapping but temporally distinct transcriptional profile from contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poplawski, Shane G; Schoch, Hannah; Wimmer, Mathieu E; Hawk, Joshua D; Walsh, Jennifer L; Giese, Karl P; Abel, Ted

    2014-12-01

    Hippocampus-dependent learning is known to induce changes in gene expression, but information on gene expression differences between different learning paradigms that require the hippocampus is limited. The bulk of studies investigating RNA expression after learning use the contextual fear conditioning task, which couples a novel environment with a footshock. Although contextual fear conditioning has been useful in discovering gene targets, gene expression after spatial memory tasks has received less attention. In this study, we used the object-location memory task and studied gene expression at two time points after learning in a high-throughput manner using a microfluidic qPCR approach. We found that expression of the classic immediate-early genes changes after object-location training in a fashion similar to that observed after contextual fear conditioning. However, the temporal dynamics of gene expression are different between the two tasks, with object-location memory producing gene expression changes that last at least 2 hours. Our findings indicate that different training paradigms may give rise to distinct temporal dynamics of gene expression after learning.

  18. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Fear Conditioning, and The Uncinate Fasciculus: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hölzel, Britta K; Brunsch, Vincent; Gard, Tim; Greve, Douglas N; Koch, Kathrin; Sorg, Christian; Lazar, Sara W; Milad, Mohammed R

    2016-01-01

    Mindfulness has been suggested to impact emotional learning, but research on these processes is scarce. The classical fear conditioning/extinction/extinction retention paradigm is a well-known method for assessing emotional learning. The present study tested the impact of mindfulness training on fear conditioning and extinction memory and further investigated whether changes in white matter fiber tracts might support such changes. The uncinate fasciculus (UNC) was of particular interest in the context of emotional learning. In this pilot study, 46 healthy participants were quasi-randomized to a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR, N = 23) or waitlist control (N = 23) group and underwent a two-day fear conditioning, extinction learning, and extinction memory protocol before and after the course or control period. Skin conductance response (SCR) data served to measure the physiological response during conditioning and extinction memory phases. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data were analyzed with probabilistic tractography and analyzed for changes of fractional anisotropy in the UNC. During conditioning, participants were able to maintain a differential response to conditioned vs. not conditioned stimuli following the MBSR course (i.e., higher sensitivity to the conditioned stimuli), while controls dropped the response. Extinction memory results were not interpretable due to baseline differences. MBSR participants showed a significant increase in fractional anisotropy in the UNC, while controls did not (group by time interaction missed significance). Pre-post changes in UNC were correlated with changes in the response to the conditioned stimuli. The findings suggest effects of mindfulness practice on the maintenance of sensitivity of emotional responses and suggest underlying neural plasticity. (ClinicalTrials.gov, Identifier NCT01320969, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01320969). PMID:27378875

  19. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Fear Conditioning, and The Uncinate Fasciculus: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hölzel, Britta K.; Brunsch, Vincent; Gard, Tim; Greve, Douglas N.; Koch, Kathrin; Sorg, Christian; Lazar, Sara W.; Milad, Mohammed R.

    2016-01-01

    Mindfulness has been suggested to impact emotional learning, but research on these processes is scarce. The classical fear conditioning/extinction/extinction retention paradigm is a well-known method for assessing emotional learning. The present study tested the impact of mindfulness training on fear conditioning and extinction memory and further investigated whether changes in white matter fiber tracts might support such changes. The uncinate fasciculus (UNC) was of particular interest in the context of emotional learning. In this pilot study, 46 healthy participants were quasi-randomized to a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR, N = 23) or waitlist control (N = 23) group and underwent a two-day fear conditioning, extinction learning, and extinction memory protocol before and after the course or control period. Skin conductance response (SCR) data served to measure the physiological response during conditioning and extinction memory phases. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data were analyzed with probabilistic tractography and analyzed for changes of fractional anisotropy in the UNC. During conditioning, participants were able to maintain a differential response to conditioned vs. not conditioned stimuli following the MBSR course (i.e., higher sensitivity to the conditioned stimuli), while controls dropped the response. Extinction memory results were not interpretable due to baseline differences. MBSR participants showed a significant increase in fractional anisotropy in the UNC, while controls did not (group by time interaction missed significance). Pre-post changes in UNC were correlated with changes in the response to the conditioned stimuli. The findings suggest effects of mindfulness practice on the maintenance of sensitivity of emotional responses and suggest underlying neural plasticity. (ClinicalTrials.gov, Identifier NCT01320969, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01320969). PMID:27378875

  20. Contextual change after fear acquisition affects conditioned responding and the time course of extinction learning – Implications for renewal research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel eSjouwerman

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Context plays a central role in retrieving (fear memories. Accordingly, context manipulations are inherent to most return of fear (ROF paradigms (in particular renewal, involving contextual changes after fear extinction. Context changes are, however, also often embedded during earlier stages of ROF experiments such as context changes between fear acquisition and extinction (e.g. in ABC and ABA renewal. Previous studies using these paradigms have however focused exclusively on the context switch after extinction (i.e. renewal. Thus, the possibility of a general effect of a context switch on conditioned responding that may not be conditional to preceding extinction learning remains unstudied.Hence, the current study investigated the impact of a context switch between fear acquisition and extinction on immediate conditioned responding and on the time-course of extinction learning by using a multimodal approach. A group that underwent contextual change after fear conditioning (AB; n = 36 was compared with a group without a contextual change from acquisition to extinction (AA; n = 149, while measuring autonomic (skin conductance and fear potentiated startle measures and subjective fear ratings. Contextual change between fear acquisition and extinction had a pronounced effect on both immediate conditioned responding and on the time course of extinction learning in skin conductance responses and subjective fear ratings. This may have important implications for the mechanisms underlying and the interpretation of the renewal effect (i.e. contextual switch after extinction. Consequently, future studies should incorporate designs and statistical tests that disentangle general effects of contextual change from genuine ROF effects.

  1. Time course of dorsal and ventral hippocampal involvement in the expression of trace fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, David; Czerniawski, Jennifer; Ree, Fredrick; Otto, Tim

    2013-11-01

    While a number of early studies demonstrated that hippocampal damage attenuates the expression of recent, but not remotely trained tasks, an emerging body of evidence has shown that damage to, or inactivation of, the hippocampus often impairs recall across a wide range of training-testing intervals. Collectively, these data suggest that the time course of hippocampal involvement in the storage or recall of previously-acquired memories may differ according to hippocampal subregion and the particular learning task under consideration. The present study examined the contributions of dorsal (DH) and ventral (VH) hippocampus to the expression of previously-acquired trace fear conditioning, a form of Pavlovian conditioning in which the offset of an initially neutral cue or cues and the onset of an aversive stimulus is separated by a temporal (trace) interval. Specifically, either saline or the GABA-A agonist muscimol was infused into DH or VH prior to testing either 1, 7, 28, or 42 days after trace fear conditioning. The results revealed a marked dissociation: pre-testing inactivation of DH failed to impair performance at any time-point, while pre-testing inactivation of VH impaired performance at all time-points. Importantly, pre-testing inactivation of VH had no effect on the performance of previously-acquired delay conditioning, suggesting that the deficits observed in trace conditioning cannot be attributed to a deficit in performance of the freezing response. Collectively, these data suggest that VH, but not DH, remains a neuroanatomical locus critical to the recall or expression of trace fear conditioning over an extended period of time.

  2. Reversible plasticity of fear memory-encoding amygdala synaptic circuits even after fear memory consolidation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingie Hong

    Full Text Available It is generally believed that after memory consolidation, memory-encoding synaptic circuits are persistently modified and become less plastic. This, however, may hinder the remaining capacity of information storage in a given neural circuit. Here we consider the hypothesis that memory-encoding synaptic circuits still retain reversible plasticity even after memory consolidation. To test this, we employed a protocol of auditory fear conditioning which recruited the vast majority of the thalamic input synaptic circuit to the lateral amygdala (T-LA synaptic circuit; a storage site for fear memory with fear conditioning-induced synaptic plasticity. Subsequently the fear memory-encoding synaptic circuits were challenged with fear extinction and re-conditioning to determine whether these circuits exhibit reversible plasticity. We found that fear memory-encoding T-LA synaptic circuit exhibited dynamic efficacy changes in tight correlation with fear memory strength even after fear memory consolidation. Initial conditioning or re-conditioning brought T-LA synaptic circuit near the ceiling of their modification range (occluding LTP and enhancing depotentiation in brain slices prepared from conditioned or re-conditioned rats, while extinction reversed this change (reinstating LTP and occluding depotentiation in brain slices prepared from extinguished rats. Consistently, fear conditioning-induced synaptic potentiation at T-LA synapses was functionally reversed by extinction and reinstated by subsequent re-conditioning. These results suggest reversible plasticity of fear memory-encoding circuits even after fear memory consolidation. This reversible plasticity of memory-encoding synapses may be involved in updating the contents of original memory even after memory consolidation.

  3. An Overview of Translationally Informed Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Animal Models of Pavlovian Fear Conditioning to Human Clinical Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Mallory E; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-09-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder manifests after exposure to a traumatic event and is characterized by avoidance/numbing, intrusive symptoms and flashbacks, mood and cognitive disruptions, and hyperarousal/reactivity symptoms. These symptoms reflect dysregulation of the fear system likely caused by poor fear inhibition/extinction, increased generalization, and/or enhanced consolidation or acquisition of fear. These phenotypes can be modeled in animal subjects using Pavlovian fear conditioning, allowing investigation of the underlying neurobiology of normative and pathological fear. Preclinical studies reveal a number of neurotransmitter systems and circuits critical for aversive learning and memory that have informed the development of therapies used in human clinical trials. In this review, we discuss the evidence for a number of established and emerging pharmacotherapies and device-based treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder that have been developed via a bench to bedside translational model.

  4. An Overview of Translationally Informed Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Animal Models of Pavlovian Fear Conditioning to Human Clinical Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Mallory E; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-09-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder manifests after exposure to a traumatic event and is characterized by avoidance/numbing, intrusive symptoms and flashbacks, mood and cognitive disruptions, and hyperarousal/reactivity symptoms. These symptoms reflect dysregulation of the fear system likely caused by poor fear inhibition/extinction, increased generalization, and/or enhanced consolidation or acquisition of fear. These phenotypes can be modeled in animal subjects using Pavlovian fear conditioning, allowing investigation of the underlying neurobiology of normative and pathological fear. Preclinical studies reveal a number of neurotransmitter systems and circuits critical for aversive learning and memory that have informed the development of therapies used in human clinical trials. In this review, we discuss the evidence for a number of established and emerging pharmacotherapies and device-based treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder that have been developed via a bench to bedside translational model. PMID:26238379

  5. Blocking glucocorticoid receptors at adolescent age prevents enhanced freezing between repeated cue-exposures after conditioned fear in adult mice raised under chronic early life stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arp, J Marit; Ter Horst, Judith P; Loi, Manila; den Blaauwen, Jan; Bangert, Eline; Fernández, Guillén; Joëls, Marian; Oitzl, Melly S; Krugers, Harm J

    2016-09-01

    Early life adversity can have long-lasting impact on learning and memory processes and increase the risk to develop stress-related psychopathologies later in life. In this study we investigated (i) how chronic early life stress (ELS) - elicited by limited nesting and bedding material from postnatal day 2 to 9 - affects conditioned fear in adult mice and (ii) whether these effects can be prevented by blocking glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) at adolescent age. In adult male and female mice, ELS did not affect freezing behavior to the first tone 24h after training in an auditory fear-conditioning paradigm. Exposure to repeated tones 24h after training also resulted in comparable freezing behavior in ELS and control mice, both in males and females. However, male (but not female) ELS compared to control mice showed significantly more freezing behavior between the tone-exposures, i.e. during the cue-off periods. Intraperitoneal administration of the GR antagonist RU38486 during adolescence (on postnatal days 28-30) fully prevented enhanced freezing behavior during the cue-off period in adult ELS males. Western blot analysis revealed no effects of ELS on hippocampal expression of glucocorticoid receptors, neither at postnatal day 28 nor at adult age, when mice were behaviorally tested. We conclude that ELS enhances freezing behavior in adult mice in a potentially safe context after cue-exposure, which can be normalized by brief blockade of glucocorticoid receptors during the critical developmental window of adolescence. PMID:27246249

  6. Odor fear conditioning modifies piriform cortex local field potentials both during conditioning and during post-conditioning sleep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan C Barnes

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Sleep plays an active role in memory consolidation. Sleep structure (REM/Slow wave activity [SWS] can be modified after learning, and in some cortical circuits, sleep is associated with replay of the learned experience. While the majority of this work has focused on neocortical and hippocampal circuits, the olfactory system may offer unique advantages as a model system for exploring sleep and memory, given the short, non-thalamic pathway from nose to primary olfactory (piriform cortex, and rapid cortex-dependent odor learning. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined piriform cortical odor responses using local field potentials (LFPs from freely behaving Long-Evans hooded rats over the sleep-wake cycle, and the neuronal modifications that occurred within the piriform cortex both during and after odor-fear conditioning. We also recorded LFPs from naïve animals to characterize sleep activity in the piriform cortex and to analyze transient odor-evoked cortical responses during different sleep stages. Naïve rats in their home cages spent 40% of their time in SWS, during which the piriform cortex was significantly hypo-responsive to odor stimulation compared to awake and REM sleep states. Rats trained in the paired odor-shock conditioning paradigm developed enhanced conditioned odor evoked gamma frequency activity in the piriform cortex over the course of training compared to pseudo-conditioned rats. Furthermore, conditioned rats spent significantly more time in SWS immediately post-training both compared to pre-training days and compared to pseudo-conditioned rats. The increase in SWS immediately after training significantly correlated with the duration of odor-evoked freezing the following day. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The rat piriform cortex is hypo-responsive to odors during SWS which accounts for nearly 40% of each 24 hour period. The duration of slow-wave activity in the piriform cortex is enhanced immediately post-conditioning

  7. Low levels of estradiol are associated with elevated conditioned responding during fear extinction and with intrusive memories in daily life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegerer, Melanie; Kerschbaum, Hubert; Blechert, Jens; Wilhelm, Frank H

    2014-12-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be conceptualized as a disorder of emotional memory showing strong (conditioned) responses to trauma reminders and intrusive memories among other symptoms. Women are at greater risk of developing PTSD than men. Recent studies have demonstrated an influence of ovarian steroid hormones in both fear conditioning and intrusive memory paradigms. However, although intrusive memories are considered non-extinguished emotional reactions to trauma reminders, none of the previous studies has investigated effects of ovarian hormones on fear conditioning mechanisms and intrusive memories in conjunction. This may have contributed to an overall inconsistent picture of the role of these hormones in emotional learning and memory. To remedy this, we exposed 37 healthy women with a natural menstrual cycle (during early follicular or luteal cycle phase) to a novel conditioned-intrusion paradigm designed to model real-life traumatic experiences. The paradigm included a differential fear conditioning procedure with short violent film clips as unconditioned stimuli. Intrusive memories about the film clips were assessed ambulatorily on subsequent days. Women with lower levels of estradiol displayed elevated differential conditioned skin conductance responding during fear extinction and showed stronger intrusive memories. The inverse relationship between estradiol and intrusive memories was at least partially accounted for by the conditioned responding observed during fear extinction. Progesterone levels were not associated with either fear acquisition/extinction or with intrusive memories. This suggests that lower levels of estradiol might promote stronger symptoms of PTSD through associative processes. PMID:25463649

  8. Limbic areas are functionally decoupled and visual cortex takes a more central role during fear conditioning in humans

    OpenAIRE

    Chrysa Lithari; Stephan Moratti; Nathan Weisz

    2016-01-01

    Going beyond the focus on isolated brain regions (e.g. amygdala), recent neuroimaging studies on fear conditioning point to the relevance of a network of mutually interacting brain regions. In the present MEG study we used Graph Theory to uncover changes in the architecture of the brain functional network shaped by fear conditioning. Firstly, induced power analysis revealed differences in local cortical excitability (lower alpha and beta power) between CS+ and CS− localized to somatosensory c...

  9. Rapid changes in the light/dark cycle disrupt memory of conditioned fear in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dawn H Loh

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Circadian rhythms govern many aspects of physiology and behavior including cognitive processes. Components of neural circuits involved in learning and memory, e.g., the amygdala and the hippocampus, exhibit circadian rhythms in gene expression and signaling pathways. The functional significance of these rhythms is still not understood. In the present study, we sought to determine the impact of transiently disrupting the circadian system by shifting the light/dark (LD cycle. Such "jet lag" treatments alter daily rhythms of gene expression that underlie circadian oscillations as well as disrupt the synchrony between the multiple oscillators found within the body. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We subjected adult male C57Bl/6 mice to a contextual fear conditioning protocol either before or after acute phase shifts of the LD cycle. As part of this study, we examined the impact of phase advances and phase delays, and the effects of different magnitudes of phase shifts. Under all conditions tested, we found that recall of fear conditioned behavior was specifically affected by the jet lag. We found that phase shifts potentiated the stress-evoked corticosterone response without altering baseline levels of this hormone. The jet lag treatment did not result in overall sleep deprivation, but altered the temporal distribution of sleep. Finally, we found that prior experience of jet lag helps to compensate for the reduced recall due to acute phase shifts. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Acute changes to the LD cycle affect the recall of fear-conditioned behavior. This suggests that a synchronized circadian system may be broadly important for normal cognition and that the consolidation of memories may be particularly sensitive to disruptions of circadian timing.

  10. Systemic or Intra-Amygdala Injection of a Benzodiazepine (Midazolam) Impairs Extinction but Spares Re-Extinction of Conditioned Fear Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Genevra; Harris, Justin A.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2009-01-01

    Rats were subjected to one or two cycles of fear conditioning and extinction, injected with a benzodiazepine, midazolam, before the first or second extinction, and tested for long-term inhibition of fear responses (freezing). In Experiment 1, inhibition of context-conditioned fear was spared when midazolam was injected before the second…

  11. Auditory event-related responses to diphthongs in different attention conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, David J; Steinmetzger, Kurt; Tøndering, John

    2016-07-28

    The modulation of auditory event-related potentials (ERP) by attention generally results in larger amplitudes when stimuli are attended. We measured the P1-N1-P2 acoustic change complex elicited with synthetic overt (second formant, F2Δ=1000Hz) and subtle (F2Δ=100Hz) diphthongs, while subjects (i) attended to the auditory stimuli, (ii) ignored the auditory stimuli and watched a film, and (iii) diverted their attention to a visual discrimination task. Responses elicited by diphthongs where F2 values rose and fell were found to be different and this precluded their combined analysis. Multivariate analysis of ERP components from the rising F2 changes showed main effects of attention on P2 amplitude and latency, and N1-P2 amplitude. P2 amplitude decreased by 40% between the attend and ignore conditions, and by 60% between the attend and divert conditions. The effect of diphthong magnitude was significant for components from a broader temporal window which included P1 latency and N1 amplitude. N1 latency did not vary between attention conditions, a finding that may be related to stimulation with a continuous vowel. These data show that a discernible P1-N1-P2 response can be observed to subtle vowel quality transitions, even when the attention of a subject is diverted to an unrelated visual task. PMID:27158036

  12. Extinction reverses olfactory fear-conditioned increases in neuron number and glomerular size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Filomene G; Dias, Brian G; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-10-13

    Although much work has investigated the contribution of brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex to the processing of fear learning and memory, fewer studies have examined the role of sensory systems, in particular the olfactory system, in the detection and perception of cues involved in learning and memory. The primary sensory receptive field maps of the olfactory system are exquisitely organized and respond dynamically to cues in the environment, remaining plastic from development through adulthood. We have previously demonstrated that olfactory fear conditioning leads to increased odorant-specific receptor representation in the main olfactory epithelium and in glomeruli within the olfactory bulb. We now demonstrate that olfactory extinction training specific to the conditioned odor stimulus reverses the conditioning-associated freezing behavior and odor learning-induced structural changes in the olfactory epithelium and olfactory bulb in an odorant ligand-specific manner. These data suggest that learning-induced freezing behavior, structural alterations, and enhanced neural sensory representation can be reversed in adult mice following extinction training.

  13. Cannabinoid modulation of chronic mild stress-induced selective enhancement of trace fear conditioning in adolescent rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reich, Christian G; Iskander, Anthony N; Weiss, Michael S

    2013-10-01

    History of stress is considered a major risk factor for the development of major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Elucidating the neurobiological mechanisms of Pavlovian fear conditioning may provide insight into the etiology of PTSD. In the current study, adolescent male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 3 weeks of a chronic-mild-unpredictable stress (CMS) protocol. Immediately following the CMS, the animals were subjected to hippocampal-dependent (trace and contextual) and hippocampal-independent (delay) fear conditioning. CMS exposure enhanced trace freezing behavior compared to non-stress controls. This effect was not observed in contextual or delay conditioned animals. Given that the endocannabinoid system is negatively affected by CMS procedures, separate groups of stressed rats were administered the CB1 receptor agonist, ACEA (0.1 mg/kg), prior to trace fear conditioning or a memory-recall test. Regardless of administration time, ACEA significantly reduced freezing behavior in stressed animals. Furthermore, when administered during the first memory recall test, ACEA enhanced long-term extinction in both stress and non-stress groups. The results demonstrate that chronic unpredictable stress selectively enhances hippocampal-dependent episodic fear memories. Pathologies of the episodic memory and fear response may increase the susceptibility of developing PTSD. Reduction in fear responses via exogenous activation of the CB1 receptor suggests that a deficiency in the endocannabinoid system contributes to this pathology.

  14. Fear-potentiated startle processing in humans: Parallel fMRI and orbicularis EMG assessment during cue conditioning and extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindner, Katja; Neubert, Jörg; Pfannmöller, Jörg; Lotze, Martin; Hamm, Alfons O; Wendt, Julia

    2015-12-01

    Studying neural networks and behavioral indices such as potentiated startle responses during fear conditioning has a long tradition in both animal and human research. However, most of the studies in humans do not link startle potentiation and neural activity during fear acquisition and extinction. Therefore, we examined startle blink responses measured with electromyography (EMG) and brain activity measured with functional MRI simultaneously during differential conditioning. Furthermore, we combined these behavioral fear indices with brain network activity by analyzing the brain activity evoked by the startle probe stimulus presented during conditioned visual threat and safety cues as well as in the absence of visual stimulation. In line with previous research, we found a fear-induced potentiation of the startle blink responses when elicited during a conditioned threat stimulus and a rapid decline of amygdala activity after an initial differentiation of threat and safety cues in early acquisition trials. Increased activation during processing of threat cues was also found in the anterior insula, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and the periaqueductal gray (PAG). More importantly, our results depict an increase of brain activity to probes presented during threatening in comparison to safety cues indicating an involvement of the anterior insula, the ACC, the thalamus, and the PAG in fear-potentiated startle processing during early extinction trials. Our study underlines that parallel assessment of fear-potentiated startle in fMRI paradigms can provide a helpful method to investigate common and distinct processing pathways in humans and animals and, thus, contributes to translational research.

  15. Neuropeptide Y input to the rat basolateral amygdala complex and modulation by conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitermann, Randy J; Rostkowski, Amanda B; Urban, Janice H

    2016-08-15

    Within the basolateral amygdaloid complex (BLA), neuropeptide Y (NPY) buffers against protracted anxiety and fear. Although the importance of NPY's actions in the BLA is well documented, little is known about the source(s) of NPY fibers to this region. The current studies identified sources of NPY projections to the BLA by using a combination of anatomical and neurochemical approaches. NPY innervation of the BLA was assessed in rats by examining the degree of NPY coexpression within interneurons or catecholaminergic fibers with somatostatin and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) or dopamine β-hydroxylase (DβH), respectively. Numerous NPY(+) /somatostatin(+) and NPY(+) /somatostatin(-) fibers were observed, suggesting at least two populations of NPY fibers within the BLA. No colocalization was noted between NPY and TH or DβH immunoreactivities. Additionally, Fluorogold (FG) retrograde tracing with immunohistochemistry was used to identify the precise origin of NPY projections to the BLA. FG(+) /NPY(+) cells were identified within the amygdalostriatal transition area (AStr) and stria terminalis and scattered throughout the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. The subpopulation of NPY neurons in the AStr also coexpressed somatostatin. Subjecting animals to a conditioned fear paradigm increased NPY gene expression within the AStr, whereas no changes were observed within the BLA or stria terminalis. Overall, these studies identified limbic regions associated with stress circuits providing NPY input to the BLA and demonstrated that a unique NPY projection from the AStr may participate in the regulation of conditioned fear. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2418-2439, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26779765

  16. Effect of the coadministration of citalopram with mirtazapine or atipamezole on rat contextual conditioned fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masuda T

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Takahiro Masuda,1,2 Takeshi Inoue,1 Yan An,1 Naoki Takamura,1,3 Shin Nakagawa,1 Yuji Kitaichi,1 Tsukasa Koyama,1 Ichiro Kusumi1 1Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo Japan; 2Medical Affairs, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Co, Ltd, Tokyo, Japan; 3Regenerative and Cellular Medicine Office, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Co, Ltd, Osaka, Japan Background: Mirtazapine, a noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant, which blocks the α2-adrenergic autoreceptors and heteroreceptors, has shown anxiolytic properties in clinical trials and preclinical animal experiments. The addition of mirtazapine to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs is clinically suggested to be more effective for anxiety disorders. In this study, we examined the combined effects of mirtazapine and citalopram, an SSRI, on the freezing behavior of rats, which was induced by contextual conditioned fear as an index of anxiety or fear. Methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats individually received footshocks in a shock chamber, and 24 hours later, they were given citalopram and/or mirtazapine injections. One hour after citalopram and 30 minutes after mirtazapine administration, freezing behavior was analyzed in the same shock chamber without shocks. Results: Mirtazapine decreased freezing in a dose-dependent manner, which is consistent with a previous report; it also enhanced an anxiolytic-like effect at a high dose (30 mg/kg of citalopram. Because mirtazapine blocks α2-adrenoreceptors, the combined effect of atipamezole, a selective α2 receptor antagonist, with citalopram was also examined. Similar to mirtazapine, atipamezole reduced freezing dose-dependently, but the enhancement of citalopram's effects by atipamezole was not clear when compared with mirtazapine. Conclusion: The present findings suggest that mirtazapine has an anxiolytic-like effect and may enhance the anxiolytic-like effect of SSRIs, but this enhancement may not be

  17. Long-term memory for pavlovian fear conditioning requires dopamine in the nucleus accumbens and basolateral amygdala.

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    Jonathan P Fadok

    Full Text Available The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA is essential for learning in a pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm known as fear-potentiated startle (FPS. Mice lacking the ability to synthesize DA fail to learn the association between the conditioned stimulus and the fear-inducing footshock. Previously, we demonstrated that restoration of DA synthesis to neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA was sufficient to restore FPS. Here, we used a target-selective viral restoration approach to determine which mesocorticolimbic brain regions receiving DA signaling from the VTA require DA for FPS. We demonstrate that restoration of DA synthesis to both the basolateral amygdala (BLA and nucleus accumbens (NAc is required for long-term memory of FPS. These data provide crucial insight into the dopamine-dependent circuitry involved in the formation of fear-related memory.

  18. Using the conditioned fear stress (CFS) animal model to understand the neurobiological mechanisms and pharmacological treatment of anxiety

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    Li, Xiaobai

    2012-01-01

    Summary The mechanisms underlying the etiology and pathophysiology of anxiety disorders — the most prevalent class of mental disorders — remain unclear. Over the last 30 years investigators have used the animal model of conditioned fear stress (CFS) to investigate the brain structures and neurotransmitter systems involved in aversive emotional learning and memory. Recent studies have focused on the neuronal circuitry and cellular mechanisms of fearful emotional experiences. This review descri...

  19. Estradiol levels in women predict skin conductance response but not valence and expectancy ratings in conditioned fear extinction.

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    White, Emily C; Graham, Bronwyn M

    2016-10-01

    Anxiety disorders are more prevalent in women than men. One contributing factor may be the sex hormone estradiol, which is known to impact the long term recall of conditioned fear extinction, a laboratory procedure that forms the basis of exposure therapy for anxiety disorders. To date, the literature examining estradiol and fear extinction in humans has focused primarily on physiological measures of fear, such as skin conductance response (SCR) and fear potentiated startle. This is surprising, given that models of anxiety identify at least three important components: physiological symptoms, cognitive beliefs, and avoidance behavior. To help address this gap, we exposed women with naturally high (n=20) or low estradiol (n=19), women using hormonal contraceptives (n=16), and a male control group (n=18) to a fear extinction task, and measured SCR, US expectancy and CS valence ratings. During extinction recall, low estradiol was associated with greater recovery of SCR, but was not related to US expectancy or CS evaluation. Importantly, women using hormonal contraceptives showed a dissociation between SCR and cognitive beliefs: they exhibited a greater recovery of SCR during extinction recall, yet reported similar US expectancy and CS valence ratings to the other female groups. This divergence underscores the importance of assessing multiple measures of fear when examining the role of estradiol in human fear extinction, especially when considering the potential of estradiol as an enhancement for psychological treatments for anxiety disorders. PMID:27544848

  20. Impaired extinction of fear conditioning after REM deprivation is magnified by rearing in an enriched environment.

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    Hunter, Amy Silvestri

    2015-07-01

    Evidence from both human and animal studies indicates that rapid eye movement sleep (REM) is essential for the acquisition and retention of information, particularly of an emotional nature. Learning and memory can also be impacted by manipulation of housing condition such as exposure to an enriched environment (EE). This study investigated the effects of REM deprivation and EE, both separately and combined, on the extinction of conditioned fear in rats. Consistent with prior studies, conditioning was enhanced in EE-reared rats and extinction was impaired in REM deprived rats. In addition, rats exposed to both REM deprivation and EE showed the greatest impairment in extinction, with effects persisting through the first two days of extinction training. This study is the first to explore the combination of REM deprivation and EE and suggests that manipulations that alter sleep, particularly REM, can have persisting deleterious effects on emotional memory processing.

  1. Dissociation of learned helplessness and fear conditioning in mice: a mouse model of depression.

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    Dominic Landgraf

    Full Text Available The state of being helpless is regarded as a central aspect of depression, and therefore the learned helplessness paradigm in rodents is commonly used as an animal model of depression. The term 'learned helplessness' refers to a deficit in escaping from an aversive situation after an animal is exposed to uncontrollable stress specifically, with a control/comparison group having been exposed to an equivalent amount of controllable stress. A key feature of learned helplessness is the transferability of helplessness to different situations, a phenomenon called 'trans-situationality'. However, most studies in mice use learned helplessness protocols in which training and testing occur in the same environment and with the same type of stressor. Consequently, failures to escape may reflect conditioned fear of a particular environment, not a general change of the helpless state of an animal. For mice, there is no established learned helplessness protocol that includes the trans-situationality feature. Here we describe a simple and reliable learned helplessness protocol for mice, in which training and testing are carried out in different environments and with different types of stressors. We show that with our protocol approximately 50% of mice develop learned helplessness that is not attributable to fear conditioning.

  2. The role of "interoceptive" fear conditioning in the development of panic disorder.

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    De Cort, Klara; Griez, Eric; Büchler, Marjolein; Schruers, Koen

    2012-03-01

    More than 20% of the general population experience a panic attack at least once in their lives; however, only a minority goes on to develop panic disorder (PD). Conditioning mechanisms have been proposed to explain this evolution in persons who are susceptible to developing panic disorder upon a "traumatic" panic attack. According to preparedness theory, some cues are more likely to condition than others, namely, those referring to internal, bodily signals of danger. The aim of the present study was to test this theory in a differential conditioning paradigm, making use of scripts referring to different internal, bodily sensations as conditioned stimulus (CS) and inhalation of 35% CO(2) as unconditioned stimulus (UCS). Thirty-three healthy volunteers were assigned to three scripts conditions: "suffocation," "neutral," or "urgency." During acquisition, one of two versions of a particular script was always followed by an inhalation of 35% CO(2) (CS+) and the other by room air (CS-). Acquisition was followed by a test phase, where only inhalations of room air were administered. In line with our hypothesis, only participants in the suffocation condition exhibited a selective conditioning effect. They were more fearful and showed a significantly higher increase in tidal volume than participants in the two control conditions. Results are discussed with relation to interoceptive conditioning, preparedness, and the possible role of tidal volume in PD. PMID:22304891

  3. Immediate Extinction Causes a Less Durable Loss of Performance than Delayed Extinction following Either Fear or Appetitive Conditioning

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    Woods, Amanda M.; Bouton, Mark E.

    2008-01-01

    Five experiments with rat subjects compared the effects of immediate and delayed extinction on the durability of extinction learning. Three experiments examined extinction of fear conditioning (using the conditioned emotional response method), and two experiments examined extinction of appetitive conditioning (using the food-cup entry method). In…

  4. Reinstatement of Extinguished Conditioned Responses and Negative Stimulus Valence as a Pathway to Return of Fear in Humans

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    Dirikx, Trinette; Hermans, Dirk; Vansteenwegen, Debora; Baeyens, Frank; Eelen, Paul

    2004-01-01

    The present study investigated reinstatement of conditioned responses in humans by using a differential Pavlovian conditioning procedure. Evidence for reinstatement was established in a direct (fear rating) and in an indirect measure (secondary reaction time task) of conditioning. Moreover, the amount of reinstatement in the secondary reaction…

  5. A pragmatic comparison of noise burst and electric shock unconditioned stimuli for fear conditioning research with many trials.

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    Sperl, Matthias F J; Panitz, Christian; Hermann, Christiane; Mueller, Erik M

    2016-09-01

    Several methods that are promising for studying the neurophysiology of fear conditioning (e.g., EEG, MEG) require a high number of trials to achieve an adequate signal-to-noise ratio. While electric shock and white noise burst are among the most commonly used unconditioned stimuli (US) in conventional fear conditioning studies with few trials, it is unknown whether these stimuli are equally well suited for paradigms with many trials. Here, N = 32 participants underwent a 260-trial differential fear conditioning and extinction paradigm with a 240-trial recall test 24 h later and neutral faces as conditioned stimuli. In a between-subjects design, either white noise bursts (n = 16) or electric shocks (n = 16) served as US, and intensities were determined using the most common procedure for each US (i.e., a fixed 95 dB noise burst and a work-up procedure for electric shocks, respectively). In addition to differing US types, groups also differed in closely linked US-associated characteristics (e.g., calibration methods, stimulus intensities, timing). Subjective ratings (arousal/valence), skin conductance, and evoked heart period changes (i.e., fear bradycardia) indicated more reliable, extinction-resistant, and stable conditioning in the white noise burst versus electric shock group. In fear conditioning experiments where many trials are presented, white noise burst should serve as US.

  6. Fear conditioning in an abdominal pain model: neural responses during associative learning and extinction in healthy subjects.

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    Joswin Kattoor

    Full Text Available Fear conditioning is relevant for elucidating the pathophysiology of anxiety, but may also be useful in the context of chronic pain syndromes which often overlap with anxiety. Thus far, no fear conditioning studies have employed aversive visceral stimuli from the lower gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, we implemented a fear conditioning paradigm to analyze the conditioned response to rectal pain stimuli using fMRI during associative learning, extinction and reinstatement. In N = 21 healthy humans, visual conditioned stimuli (CS(+ were paired with painful rectal distensions as unconditioned stimuli (US, while different visual stimuli (CS(- were presented without US. During extinction, all CSs were presented without US, whereas during reinstatement, a single, unpaired US was presented. In region-of-interest analyses, conditioned anticipatory neural activation was assessed along with perceived CS-US contingency and CS unpleasantness. Fear conditioning resulted in significant contingency awareness and valence change, i.e., learned unpleasantness of a previously neutral stimulus. This was paralleled by anticipatory activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, the somatosensory cortex and precuneus (all during early acquisition and the amygdala (late acquisition in response to the CS(+. During extinction, anticipatory activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to the CS(- was observed. In the reinstatement phase, a tendency for parahippocampal activation was found. Fear conditioning with rectal pain stimuli is feasible and leads to learned unpleasantness of previously neutral stimuli. Within the brain, conditioned anticipatory activations are seen in core areas of the central fear network including the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex. During extinction, conditioned responses quickly disappear, and learning of new predictive cue properties is paralleled by prefrontal activation. A tendency for parahippocampal activation during

  7. Lack of protection against gentamicin ototoxicity by auditory conditioning with noise

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    Alex Strose

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Auditory conditioning consists of the pre-exposure to low levels of a potential harmful agent to protect against a subsequent harmful presentation. OBJECTIVE: To confirm if conditioning with an agent different from the used to cause the trauma can also be effective. METHOD: Experimental study with 17 guinea pigs divided as follows: group Som: exposed to 85 dB broadband noise centered at 4 kHz, 30 minutes a day for 10 consecutive days; group Cont: intramuscular administration of gentamicin 160 mg/kg a day for 10 consecutive days; group Expt: conditioned with noise similarly to group Som and, after each noise presentation, received gentamicin similarly to group Cont. The animals were evaluated by distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs, brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs and scanning electron microscopy. RESULTS: The animals that were conditioned with noise did not show any protective effect compared to the ones that received only the ototoxic gentamicin administration. This lack of protection was observed functionally and morphologically. CONCLUSION: Conditioning with 85 dB broadband noise, 30 min a day for 10 consecutive days does not protect against an ototoxic gentamicin administration of 160 mg/kg a day for 10 consecutive days in the guinea pig.

  8. Maladaptive behavioral consequences of conditioned fear-generalization: a pronounced, yet sparsely studied, feature of anxiety pathology.

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    van Meurs, Brian; Wiggert, Nicole; Wicker, Isaac; Lissek, Shmuel

    2014-06-01

    Fear-conditioning experiments in the anxiety disorders focus almost exclusively on passive-emotional, Pavlovian conditioning, rather than active-behavioral, instrumental conditioning. Paradigms eliciting both types of conditioning are needed to study maladaptive, instrumental behaviors resulting from Pavlovian abnormalities found in clinical anxiety. One such Pavlovian abnormality is generalization of fear from a conditioned danger-cue (CS+) to resembling stimuli. Though lab-based findings repeatedly link overgeneralized Pavlovian-fear to clinical anxiety, no study assesses the degree to which Pavlovian overgeneralization corresponds with maladaptive, overgeneralized instrumental-avoidance. The current effort fills this gap by validating a novel fear-potentiated startle paradigm including Pavlovian and instrumental components. The paradigm is embedded in a computer game during which shapes appear on the screen. One shape paired with electric-shock serves as CS+, and other resembling shapes, presented in the absence of shock, serve as generalization stimuli (GSs). During the game, participants choose whether to behaviorally avoid shock at the cost of poorer performance. Avoidance during CS+ is considered adaptive because shock is a real possibility. By contrast, avoidance during GSs is considered maladaptive because shock is not a realistic prospect and thus unnecessarily compromises performance. Results indicate significant Pavlovian-instrumental relations, with greater generalization of Pavlovian fear associated with overgeneralization of maladaptive instrumental-avoidance.

  9. Systemic mifepristone blocks reconsolidation of cue-conditioned fear; propranolol prevents this effect.

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    Pitman, Roger K; Milad, Mohammed R; Igoe, Sarah A; Vangel, Mark G; Orr, Scott P; Tsareva, Alina; Gamache, Karine; Nader, Karim

    2011-08-01

    Reducing reconsolidation of reactivated traumatic memories may offer a novel pharmacological treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Preclinical research is needed to identify candidate drugs. We evaluated the ability of postreactivation mifepristone (RU38486, a glucocorticoid antagonist), alone and in combination with propranolol (a beta-adrenergic blocker), both given systemically, to reduce cue-conditioned fear in rats. On Day 1, a 30-s tone conditioned stimulus (CS) was paired with an electric shock unconditioned stimulus (US). On Day 2, the CS was presented without the US (reactivation), and the freezing conditioned response (CR) was measured. This was immediately followed by subcutaneous injection of vehicle, mifepristone 30 mg/kg, propranolol 10 mg/kg, or both. On Day 3, the CR was again measured as a test of postreactivation long-term memory (PR-LTM). On Day 10, the CR was again measured to evaluate spontaneous recovery. On Day 11, the US was presented alone (reinstatement). On Day 12, the CR was again measured. A fifth group received mifepristone without the CS presentation (nonreactivation) on Day 2. A sixth group was tested four hours after the Day 2 mifepristone injection to measure postreactivation short-term memory. Postreactivation, but not nonreactivation, mifepristone produced a decrement in the CR that did not undergo spontaneous recovery and underwent only modest reinstatement. Mifepristone did not exert its effect when administered concurrently with propranolol. Postreactivation mifepristone did not impair short-term memory. Systemic mifepristone blocks the reconsolidation of cue-conditioned fear in rats. Concurrent administration of propranolol prevents this effect. Postreactivation mifepristone may be a promising treatment for PTSD, but not necessarily in combination with propranolol. PMID:21688892

  10. Effect of the NMDA antagonist MK-801 on latent inhibition of fear conditioning.

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    Traverso, Luis M; Ruiz, Gabriel; De la Casa, Luis G

    2012-10-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors seem to play a central role in learning and memory processes involved in Latent Inhibition (LI). In fact, MK-801, a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, has proved its effectiveness as a drug for attenuating LI when administered before or after stimulus preexposure and conditioning stages. This paper presents three experiments designed to analyze the effect of MK-801 on LI when the drug is administered before (Experiment 1A) or after (Experiment 1B) preexposure and conditioning stages with a conditioned emotional response procedure. Additionally, we analyze the effect of the drug when it was administered before preexposure, before conditioning or before both phases (Experiment 2). The results show that the effect of the drug varied as a function of the dose (with only the highest dose being effective), the moment of administration (with only the drug administered before the experimental treatments being effective), and the phase of procedure (reducing LI when the drug was administered only at preexposure, and disrupting fear conditioning when administered at conditioning). These differences may be due to several factors ranging from the role played by NMDA receptors in the processing of stimuli of different sensorial modalities to the molecular processes triggered by drug administration.

  11. Consequences of adolescent ethanol exposure in male Sprague-Dawley rats on fear conditioning and extinction in adulthood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broadwater, Margaret A.

    Some evidence suggests that adolescents are more vulnerable than adults to alcohol-induced cognitive deficits and that these deficits may persist into adulthood. Five experiments were conducted to assess long-term consequences of ethanol exposure on tone and context Pavlovian fear conditioning in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Experiment 1 examined age-related differences in sensitivity to ethanol-induced disruptions of fear conditioning to a pre-conditioning ethanol challenge. Experiments 2 examined fear conditioning 22 days after early-mid adolescent (P28-48) or adult (P70-90) exposure to 4 g/kg i.g. ethanol or water given every other day (total of 11 exposures). In Experiment 3, mid-late adolescents (P35-55) were exposed in the same manner to assess whether timing of ethanol exposure within the adolescent period would differentially affect later fear conditioning. Experiment 4 assessed the influence of prior adolescent or adult ethanol exposure on the disrupting effects of a pre-conditioning ethanol challenge. In Experiment 5, neurogenesis (doublecortin---DCX) and cholinergic (choline acetyltransferase---ChAT) markers were measured to assess potential long-term ethanol-induced changes in neural mechanisms important for learning and memory. Results indicated that the long-lasting behavioral effects of ethanol exposure varied depending on exposure age, with early-mid adolescent exposed animals showing attenuated context fear retention (a relatively hippocampal-dependent task), whereas mid-late adolescent and adult exposed animals showed slower context extinction (thought to be reliant on the mPFC). Early-mid adolescent ethanol-exposed animals also had significantly less DCX and ChAT expression than their water-exposed counterparts, possibly contributing to deficits in context fear. Tone fear was not influenced by prior ethanol exposure at any age. In terms of age differences in ethanol sensitivity, adolescents were less sensitive than adults to ethanol

  12. Cholinergic modulation of Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats: differential effects of intrahippocampal infusion of mecamylamine and methyllycaconitine.

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    Vago, David R; Kesner, Raymond P

    2007-03-01

    The cholinergic system has consistently been implicated in Pavlovian fear conditioning. Considerable work has been done to localize specific nicotinic receptor subtypes in the hippocampus and determine their functional importance; however, the specific function of many of these subtypes has yet to be determined. An alpha7 nicotinic antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) (35 microg), and a broad spectrum non-alpha7 nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine (35 microg) was injected directly into the dorsal hippocampus or overlying cortex either 15 min pre-, 1 min post-, or 6h post-fear conditioning. One week after conditioning, retention of contextual and cue (tone) conditioning were assessed. A significant impairment in retention of contextual fear was observed when mecamylamine was injected 15 min pre- and 1 min post-conditioning. No significant impairment was observed when mecamylamine was injected 6h post-conditioning. Likewise, a significant impairment in retention of contextual fear was observed when MLA was injected 1 min post-conditioning; however, in contrast, MLA did not show any significant impairments when injected 15 min pre-conditioning, but did show a significant impairment when injected 6h post-conditioning. There were no significant impairments observed when either drug was injected into overlying cortex. No significant impairments were observed in cue conditioning for either drug. In general, specific temporal dynamics involved in nicotinic receptor function were found relative to time of receptor dysfunction. The results indicate that the greatest deficits in long-term retention (1 week) of contextual fear are produced by central infusion of MLA minutes to hours post-conditioning or mecamylamine within minutes of conditioning.

  13. Reduced Electrodermal Fear Conditioning from Ages 3 to 8 Years Is Associated with Aggressive Behavior at Age 8 Years

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    Gao, Yu; Raine, Adrian; Venables, Peter H.; Dawson, Michael E.; Mednick, Sarnoff A.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Poor fear conditioning characterizes adult psychopathy and criminality, but it is not known whether it is related to aggressive/antisocial behavior in early childhood. Methods: Using a differential, partial reinforcement conditioning paradigm, electrodermal activity was recorded from 200 male and female children at ages 3, 4, 5, 6, and…

  14. Testing conditions in shock-based contextual fear conditioning influence both the behavioral responses and the activation of circuits potentially involved in contextual avoidance.

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    Viellard, Juliette; Baldo, Marcus Vinicius C; Canteras, Newton Sabino

    2016-12-15

    Previous studies from our group have shown that risk assessment behaviors are the primary contextual fear responses to predatory and social threats, whereas freezing is the main contextual fear response to physically harmful events. To test contextual fear responses to a predator or aggressive conspecific threat, we developed a model that involves placing the animal in an apparatus where it can avoid the threat-associated environment. Conversely, in studies that use shock-based fear conditioning, the animals are usually confined inside the conditioning chamber during the contextual fear test. In the present study, we tested shock-based contextual fear responses using two different behavioral testing conditions: confining the animal in the conditioning chamber or placing the animal in an apparatus with free access to the conditioning compartment. Our results showed that during the contextual fear test, the animals confined to the shock chamber exhibited significantly more freezing. In contrast, the animals that could avoid the conditioning compartment displayed almost no freezing and exhibited risk assessment responses (i.e., crouch-sniff and stretch postures) and burying behavior. In addition, the animals that were able to avoid the shock chamber had increased Fos expression in the juxtadorsomedial lateral hypothalamic area, the dorsomedial part of the dorsal premammillary nucleus and the lateral and dorsomedial parts of the periaqueductal gray, which are elements of a septo/hippocampal-hypothalamic-brainstem circuit that is putatively involved in mediating contextual avoidance. Overall, the present findings show that testing conditions significantly influence both behavioral responses and the activation of circuits involved in contextual avoidance. PMID:27544875

  15. Sex differences in the relationship between maternal fear of pain and children's conditioned pain modulation

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    Evans S

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Subhadra Evans, Laura C Seidman, Kirsten C Lung, Lonnie K Zeltzer, Jennie C TsaoPediatric Pain Program, Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USABackground: Parental behaviors, emotions, and cognitions are known to influence children's response to pain. However, prior work has not tested the association between maternal psychological factors and children's responses to a conditioned pain modulation (CPM task. CPM refers to the reduction in perceived pain intensity for a test stimulus following application of a conditioning stimulus to a remote area of the body, and is thought to reflect the descending inhibition of nociceptive signals.Methods: The present study examined sex differences in the association between maternal anxiety about pain and children's CPM responses in 133 healthy children aged 8–17 years. Maternal pain anxiety was assessed using the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale-20. In addition to the magnitude of CPM, children's anticipatory anxiety and pain-related fear of the CPM task were measured.Results: Sequential multiple linear regression revealed that even after controlling for child age and general maternal psychological distress, greater maternal pain anxiety was significantly related to greater CPM anticipatory anxiety and pain-related fear in girls, and to less CPM (ie, less pain inhibition in boys.Conclusion: The findings indicate sex-specific relationships between maternal pain anxiety and children's responses to a CPM task over and above that accounted for by the age of the child and the mother's general psychological distress.Keywords: diffuse noxious inhibitory controls, pediatric pain, mother-child relationship, cold pressor, pressure pain, laboratory pain

  16. Increased skin conductance responses and neural activity during fear conditioning are associated with a repressive coping style

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    Tim eKlucken

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The investigation of individual differences in coping styles in response to fear conditioning is an important issue for a better understanding of the etiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders. It has been assumed that an avoidant (repressive coping style is characterized by increased emotion regulation efforts in context of fearful stimuli as compared to a more vigilant coping style. However, no study so far has investigated the neural correlates of fear conditioning of repressors and sensitizers.In the present fMRI study, 76 participants were classified as repressors or as sensitizers and were exposed to a fear conditioning paradigm, in which the CS+ predicted electrical stimulation, while another neutral stimulus (CS- did not. In addition, skin conductance responses (SCRs were measured continuously.As the main findings, we found increased neural activations in repressors as compared to sensitizers in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex during fear conditioning. In addition, elevated activity to the CS+ in amygdala, insula, occipital, and orbitofrontal cortex as well as conditioned SCRs were found in repressors.The present results demonstrate increased neural activations in structures linked to emotion down-regulation mechanisms like the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which may reflect the increased coping effort in repressors. At the same time, repressors showed increased activations in arousal and evaluation-associated structures like the amygdala, the occipital cortex, and the orbitofrontal cortex, which is also mirrored in increased SCRs. The present results support recent assumptions about a two-process model of repression postulating a fast vigilant response to fearful stimuli, but also a second emotion down-regulating process.

  17. Infant rats can learn time intervals before the maturation of the striatum: evidence from odor fear conditioning

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    Julie eBoulanger Bertolus

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Interval timing refers to the ability to perceive, estimate and discriminate durations in the range of seconds to minutes. Very little is currently known about the ontogeny of interval timing throughout development. On the other hand, even though the neural circuit sustaining interval timing is a matter of debate, the striatum has been suggested to be an important component of the system and its maturation occurs around the third post-natal week in rats. The global aim of the present study was to investigate interval timing abilities at an age for which striatum is not yet mature. We used odor fear conditioning, as it can be applied to very young animals. In odor fear conditioning, an odor is presented to the animal and a mild footshock is delivered after a fixed interval. Adult rats have been shown to learn the temporal relationships between the odor and the shock after a few associations. The first aim of the present study was to assess the activity of the striatum during odor fear conditioning using 2-Deoxyglucose autoradiography during development in rats. The data showed that although fear learning was displayed at all tested ages, activation of the striatum was observed in adults but not in juvenile animals. Next, we assessed the presence of evidence of interval timing in ages before and after the inclusion of the striatum into the fear conditioning circuit. We used an experimental setup allowing the simultaneous recording of freezing and respiration that have been demonstrated to be sensitive to interval timing in adult rats. This enabled the detection of duration-related temporal patterns for freezing and/or respiration curves in infants as young as 12 days post-natal during odor-fear conditioning. This suggests that infants are able to encode time durations as well as and as quickly as adults while their striatum is not yet functional. Alternative networks possibly sustaining interval timing in infant rats are discussed.

  18. Repeated exposure to conditioned fear stress increases anxiety and delays sleep recovery following exposure to an acute traumatic stressor

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    Benjamin N Greenwood

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Repeated stressor exposure can sensitize physiological responses to novel stressors and facilitate the development of stress-related psychiatric disorders including anxiety. Disruptions in diurnal rhythms of sleep-wake behavior accompany stress-related psychiatric disorders and could contribute to their development. Complex stressors that include fear-eliciting stimuli can be a component of repeated stress experienced by humans, but whether exposure to repeated fear can prime the development of anxiety and sleep disturbances is unknown. In the current study, adult male F344 rats were exposed to either control conditions or repeated contextual fear conditioning for 22 days followed by exposure to either no, mild (10, or severe (100 acute uncontrollable tail shock stress. Exposure to acute stress produced anxiety-like behavior as measured by a reduction in juvenile social exploration and exaggerated shock-elicited freezing in a novel context. Prior exposure to repeated fear enhanced anxiety-like behavior as measured by shock-elicited freezing, but did not alter social exploratory behavior. The potentiation of anxiety produced by prior repeated fear was temporary; exaggerated fear was present 1 day but not 4 days following acute stress. Interestingly, exposure to acute stress reduced REM and NREM sleep during the hours immediately following acute stress. This initial reduction in sleep was followed by robust REM rebound and diurnal rhythm flattening of sleep / wake behavior. Prior repeated fear extended the acute stress-induced REM and NREM sleep loss, impaired REM rebound, and prolonged the flattening of the diurnal rhythm of NREM sleep following acute stressor exposure. These data suggest that impaired recovery of sleep / wake behavior following acute stress could contribute to the mechanisms by which a history of prior repeated stress increases vulnerability to subsequent novel stressors and stress-related disorders.

  19. A role for nitric oxide-driven retrograde signaling in the consolidation of a fear memory

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    Kathie A Overeem

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available In both invertebrate and vertebrate models of synaptic plasticity, signaling via the putative “retrograde messenger” nitric oxide (NO has been hypothesized to serve as a critical link between functional and structural alterations at pre- and postsynaptic sites. However, while in vitro models of synaptic plasticity have consistently implicated NO signaling in linking postsynaptic induction mechanisms with accompanying presynaptic changes, a convincing role of such “retrograde signaling” in mammalian memory formation has remained elusive. Using auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, we show that synaptic plasticity and NO signaling in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA regulate the expression of the ERK-driven immediate early gene early growth response gene I (EGR-1 in regions of the auditory thalamus that are presynaptic to the LA. Further, antisense knockdown of EGR-1 in the auditory thalamus impairs both fear memory consolidation and the training-induced elevation of two presynaptically localized proteins in the LA. These findings indicate that synaptic plasticity and NO signaling in the LA during auditory fear conditioning promote alterations in ERK-driven gene expression in auditory thalamic neurons that are required for both fear memory consolidation as well as presynaptic correlates of fear memory formation in the LA, and provide general support for a role of NO as a “retrograde signal” in mammalian memory formation.

  20. Dynamic competition between large-scale functional networks differentiates fear conditioning and extinction in humans.

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    Marstaller, Lars; Burianová, Hana; Reutens, David C

    2016-07-01

    The high evolutionary value of learning when to respond to threats or when to inhibit previously learned associations after changing threat contingencies is reflected in dedicated networks in the animal and human brain. Recent evidence further suggests that adaptive learning may be dependent on the dynamic interaction of meta-stable functional brain networks. However, it is still unclear which functional brain networks compete with each other to facilitate associative learning and how changes in threat contingencies affect this competition. The aim of this study was to assess the dynamic competition between large-scale networks related to associative learning in the human brain by combining a repeated differential conditioning and extinction paradigm with independent component analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data. The results (i) identify three task-related networks involved in initial and sustained conditioning as well as extinction, and demonstrate that (ii) the two main networks that underlie sustained conditioning and extinction are anti-correlated with each other and (iii) the dynamic competition between these two networks is modulated in response to changes in associative contingencies. These findings provide novel evidence for the view that dynamic competition between large-scale functional networks differentiates fear conditioning from extinction learning in the healthy brain and suggest that dysfunctional network dynamics might contribute to learning-related neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:27079532

  1. c-Jun-N-terminal kinase 1 is necessary for nicotine-induced enhancement of contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leach, Prescott T; Kenney, Justin W; Gould, Thomas J

    2016-08-01

    Acute nicotine enhances hippocampus-dependent learning. Identifying how acute nicotine improves learning will aid in understanding how nicotine facilitates the development of maladaptive memories that contribute to drug-seeking behaviors, help development of medications to treat disorders associated with cognitive decline, and advance understanding of the neurobiology of learning and memory. The effects of nicotine on learning may involve recruitment of signaling through the c-Jun N-terminal kinase family (JNK 1-3). Learning in the presence of acute nicotine increases the transcription of mitogen-activated protein kinase 8 (MAPK8, also known as JNK1), likely through a CREB-dependent mechanism. The functional significance of JNK1 in the effects of acute nicotine on learning, however, is unknown. The current studies undertook a backward genetic approach to determine the functional contribution JNK1 protein makes to nicotine-enhanced contextual fear conditioning. JNK1 wildtype (WT) and knockout (KO) mice were administered acute nicotine prior to contextual and cued fear conditioning. 24h later, mice were evaluated for hippocampus-dependent (contextual fear conditioning) and hippocampus-independent (cued fear conditioning) memory. Nicotine selectively enhanced contextual conditioning in WT mice, but not in KO mice. Nicotine had no effect on hippocampus-independent learning in either genotype. JNK1 KO and WT mice given saline showed similar levels of learning. These data suggest that JNK1 may be recruited by nicotine and is functionally necessary for the acute effects of nicotine on learning and memory. PMID:27235579

  2. Modulation of gene expression in contextual fear conditioning in the rat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Federighi

    Full Text Available In contextual fear conditioning (CFC a single training leads to long-term memory of context-aversive electrical foot-shocks association. Mid-temporal regions of the brain of trained and naive rats were obtained 2 days after conditioning and screened by two-directional suppression subtractive hybridization. A pool of differentially expressed genes was identified and some of them were randomly selected and confirmed with qRT-PCR assay. These transcripts showed high homology for rat gene sequences coding for proteins involved in different cellular processes. The expression of the selected transcripts was also tested in rats which had freely explored the experimental apparatus (exploration and in rats to which the same number of aversive shocks had been administered in the same apparatus, but temporally compressed so as to make the association between painful stimuli and the apparatus difficult (shock-only. Some genes resulted differentially expressed only in the rats subjected to CFC, others only in exploration or shock-only rats, whereas the gene coding for translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 20 protein and nardilysin were differentially expressed in both CFC and exploration rats. For example, the expression of stathmin 1 whose transcripts resulted up regulated was also tested to evaluate the transduction and protein localization after conditioning.

  3. Modulation of Gene Expression in Contextual Fear Conditioning in the Rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macchi, Monica; Ciampini, Cristina; Bernardi, Rodolfo; Baldi, Elisabetta; Bucherelli, Corrado; Brunelli, Marcello; Scuri, Rossana

    2013-01-01

    In contextual fear conditioning (CFC) a single training leads to long-term memory of context-aversive electrical foot-shocks association. Mid-temporal regions of the brain of trained and naive rats were obtained 2 days after conditioning and screened by two-directional suppression subtractive hybridization. A pool of differentially expressed genes was identified and some of them were randomly selected and confirmed with qRT-PCR assay. These transcripts showed high homology for rat gene sequences coding for proteins involved in different cellular processes. The expression of the selected transcripts was also tested in rats which had freely explored the experimental apparatus (exploration) and in rats to which the same number of aversive shocks had been administered in the same apparatus, but temporally compressed so as to make the association between painful stimuli and the apparatus difficult (shock-only). Some genes resulted differentially expressed only in the rats subjected to CFC, others only in exploration or shock-only rats, whereas the gene coding for translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 20 protein and nardilysin were differentially expressed in both CFC and exploration rats. For example, the expression of stathmin 1 whose transcripts resulted up regulated was also tested to evaluate the transduction and protein localization after conditioning. PMID:24278235

  4. Cholinergic Modulation during Acquisition of Olfactory Fear Conditioning Alters Learning and Stimulus Generalization in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavesi, Eloisa; Gooch, Allison; Lee, Elizabeth; Fletcher, Max L.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the role of cholinergic neurotransmission in olfactory fear learning. Mice receiving pairings of odor and foot shock displayed fear to the trained odor the following day. Pretraining injections of the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine had no effect on subsequent freezing, while the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine significantly…

  5. Sex differences in the neurobiology of fear conditioning and extinction: a preliminary fMRI study of shared sex differences with stress-arousal circuitry

    OpenAIRE

    Lebron-Milad Kelimer; Abbs Brandon; Milad Mohammed R; Linnman Clas; Rougemount-Bücking Ansgar; Zeidan Mohammed A; Holt Daphne J; Goldstein Jill M

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background The amygdala, hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and brain-stem subregions are implicated in fear conditioning and extinction, and are brain regions known to be sexually dimorphic. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate sex differences in brain activity in these regions during fear conditioning and extinction. Methods Subjects were 12 healthy men comparable to 12 healthy women who underwent a 2-day experiment in a 3 T MR scanner. Fear...

  6. Development of a Protocol for Studying Premature Onset of Fear as a Feature of Pathological Fear: The Effects of Conditional Stimulus Duration and Counting Behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Y. Boddez; K. Takano; J. Gijbels; F. Baeyens; T. Beckers

    2015-01-01

    We propose that the premature onset of fear responding is a potentially important feature of pathological fear. A behavioral protocol to study the temporal regulation of fear in humans is, however, lacking. The present study aims at developing such a protocol for healthy individuals. To this end, we

  7. Distinct Contributions of the Basolateral Amygdala and the Medial Prefrontal Cortex to Learning and Relearning Extinction of Context Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2008-01-01

    We studied the roles of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in learning and relearning to inhibit context conditioned fear (freezing) in extinction. In Experiment 1, pre-extinction BLA infusion of the NMDA receptor (NMDAr) antagonist, ifenprodil, impaired the development and retention of inhibition but…

  8. Fear conditioning and shock intensity: the choice between minimizing the stress induced and reducing the number of animals used

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pietersen, C.Y.; Bosker, F.J; Posterna, F.; Den Boer, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    Many fear conditioning studies use electric shock as the aversive stimulus. The intensity of shocks varies throughout the literature. In this study, shock intensities ranging from 0 to 1.5 mA were used, and the effects on the rats assessed by both behavioural and biochemical stress parameters. Resul

  9. Fear conditioning and shock intensity : the choice between minimizing the stress induced and reducing the number of animals used

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pietersen, CY; Bosker, FJ; Posterna, F; den Boer, JA

    2006-01-01

    Many fear conditioning studies use electric shock as the aversive stimulus. The intensity of shocks varies throughout the literature. In this study, shock intensities ranging from 0 to 1.5 mA were used, and the effects on the rats assessed by both behavioural and biochemical stress parameters. Resul

  10. Histone Modifications around Individual BDNF Gene Promoters in Prefrontal Cortex Are Associated with Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredy, Timothy W.; Wu, Hao; Crego, Cortney; Zellhoefer, Jessica; Sun, Yi E.; Barad, Mark

    2007-01-01

    Extinction of conditioned fear is an important model both of inhibitory learning and of behavior therapy for human anxiety disorders. Like other forms of learning, extinction learning is long-lasting and depends on regulated gene expression. Epigenetic mechanisms make an important contribution to persistent changes in gene expression; therefore,…

  11. D-Cycloserine Does Not Facilitate Fear Extinction by Reducing Conditioned Stimulus Processing or Promoting Conditioned Inhibition to Contextual Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Kathryn D.; McNally, Gavan P.; Richardson, Rick

    2012-01-01

    The NMDA receptor partial agonist d-cycloserine (DCS) enhances the extinction of learned fear in rats and exposure therapy in humans with anxiety disorders. Despite these benefits, little is known about the mechanisms by which DCS promotes the loss of fear. The present study examined whether DCS augments extinction retention (1) through reductions…

  12. Multimodal assessment of long-term memory recall and reinstatement in a combined cue and context fear conditioning and extinction paradigm in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Haaker

    Full Text Available Learning to predict danger via associative learning processes is critical for adaptive behaviour. After successful extinction, persisting fear memories often emerge as returning fear. Investigation of return of fear phenomena, e.g. reinstatement, have only recently began and to date, many critical questions with respect to reinstatement in human populations remain unresolved. Few studies have separated experimental phases in time even though increasing evidence shows that allowing for passage of time (and consolidation between experimental phases has a major impact on the results. In addition, studies have relied on a single psychophysiological dimension only (SCRs/SCL or FPS which hampers comparability between different studies that showed both differential or generalized return of fear following a reinstatement manipulation. In 93 participants, we used a multimodal approach (fear-potentiated startle, skin conductance responses, fear ratings to asses fear conditioning (day 1, extinction (day 2 as well as delayed memory recall and reinstatement (day 8 in a paradigm that probed contextual and cued fear intra-individually. Our findings show persistence of conditioning and extinction memory over time and demonstrate that reinstated fear responses were qualitatively different between dependent variables (subjective fear ratings, FPS, SCRs as well as between cued and contextual CSs. While only the arousal-related measurement (SCRs showed increasing reactions following reinstatement to the cued CSs, no evidence of reinstatement was observed for the subjective ratings and fear-related measurement (FPS. In contrast, for contextual CSs, reinstatement was evident as differential and generalized reinstatement in fear ratings as well as generally elevated physiological fear (FPS and arousal (SCRs related measurements to all contextual CSs (generalized non-differential reinstatement. Returning fear after reinstatement likely depends on a variety of variables

  13. Extinction and retrieval+extinction of conditioned fear differentially activate medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala in rats

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    Hongjoo Joanne Lee

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Pairing a previously neutral conditioned stimulus (CS; e.g., a tone to an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US; e.g., a footshock leads to associative learning such that the tone alone comes to elicit a conditioned response (e.g., freezing. We have previously shown that an extinction session that occurs within the reconsolidation window (termed retrieval+extinction attenuates fear responding and prevents the return of fear in Pavlovian fear conditioning (Monfils et al., 2009. To date, the mechanisms that explain the different behavioral outcomes between standard extinction and retrieval+extinction remain poorly understood. Here we sought to examine the differential temporal engagement of specific neural systems by these 2 approaches using Arc catFISH (cellular compartment analysis of temporal activity using fluorescence in situ hybridization. Our results demonstrate that extinction and retrieval+extinction lead to differential patterns of expression, suggesting that they engage different networks. These findings provide insight into the neural mechanisms that allow extinction during reconsolidation to prevent the return of fear in rats.

  14. The L-Type Voltage-Gated Calcium Channel Ca[subscript v]1.3 Mediates Consolidation, but Not Extinction, of Contextually Conditioned Fear in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Brandon C.; Murphy, Geoffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    Using pharmacological techniques, it has been demonstrated that both consolidation and extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning are dependent to some extent upon L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (LVGCCs). Although these studies have successfully implicated LVGCCs in Pavlovian fear conditioning, they do not provide information about the…

  15. Age differences in fear retention and extinction in male Sprague-Dawley rats: effects of ethanol challenge during conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broadwater, Margaret; Spear, Linda P

    2013-09-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is an ideal model to investigate how learning and memory are influenced by alcohol use during adolescence because the neural mechanisms involved have been studied extensively. In Exp 1, adolescent and adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were non-injected or injected with saline, 1 or 1.5 g/kg ethanol intraperitoneally 10 min prior to tone or context conditioning. Twenty-four hours later, animals were tested for tone or context retention and extinction, with examination of extinction retention conducted 24h thereafter. In Exp 2, a context extinction session was inserted between the tone conditioning and the tone fear retention/extinction days to reduce pre-CS baseline freezing levels at test. Basal levels of acquisition, fear retention, extinction, and extinction retention after tone conditioning were similar between adolescent and adult rats. In contrast adolescents showed faster context extinction than adults, while again not differing from adults during context acquisition, retention or extinction retention. In terms of ethanol effects, adolescents were less sensitive to ethanol-induced context retention deficits than adults. No age differences emerged in terms of tone fear retention, with ethanol disrupting tone fear retention at both ages in Exp 1, but at neither age in Exp 2, a difference seemingly due to group differences in pre-CS freezing during tone testing in Exp 1, but not Exp 2. These results suggest that age differences in the acute effects of ethanol on cognitive function are task-specific, and provide further evidence for age differences cognitive functioning in a task thought to be hippocampally related.

  16. The protein kinase KIS impacts gene expression during development and fear conditioning in adult mice.

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    Valérie Manceau

    Full Text Available The brain-enriched protein kinase KIS (product of the gene UHMK1 has been shown to phosphorylate the human splicing factor SF1 in vitro. This phosphorylation in turn favors the formation of a U2AF(65-SF1-RNA complex which occurs at the 3' end of introns at an early stage of spliceosome assembly. Here, we analyzed the effects of KIS knockout on mouse SF1 phosphorylation, physiology, adult behavior, and gene expression in the neonate brain. We found SF1 isoforms are differently expressed in KIS-ko mouse brains and fibroblasts. Re-expression of KIS in fibroblasts restores a wild type distribution of SF1 isoforms, confirming the link between KIS and SF1. Microarray analysis of transcripts in the neonate brain revealed a subtle down-regulation of brain specific genes including cys-loop ligand-gated ion channels and metabolic enzymes. Q-PCR analyses confirmed these defects and point to an increase of pre-mRNA over mRNA ratios, likely due to changes in splicing efficiency. While performing similarly in prepulse inhibition and most other behavioral tests, KIS-ko mice differ in spontaneous activity and contextual fear conditioning. This difference suggests that disregulation of gene expression due to KIS inactivation affects specific brain functions.

  17. Emotional stress evoked by classical fear conditioning induces yawning behavior in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, Natsuko; Amemiya, Seiichiro; Yanagita, Shinya; Nishijima, Takeshi; Kita, Ichiro

    2014-04-30

    Yawning is often observed not only in a state of boredom or drowsiness but also in stressful emotional situations, suggesting that yawning is an emotional behavior. However, the neural mechanisms for yawning during stressful emotional situations have not been fully determined, though previous studies have suggested that both parvocellular oxytocin (OT) and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) are responsible for induction of yawning. Thus, using ethological observations and c-Fos immunohistochemistry, we examined whether emotional stress evoked by classical fear conditioning is involved in induction of yawning behavior in freely moving rats. Emotional stress induced yawning behavior that was accompanied by anxiety-related behavior, and caused neuronal activation of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), as well as increases in activity of both OT and CRF neurons in the PVN. These results suggest that emotional stress may induce yawning behavior, in which the neuronal activation of the CeA may have a key role.

  18. Ablation of mouse adult neurogenesis alters olfactory bulb structure and olfactory fear conditioning

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    Matthew Valley

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Adult neurogenesis replenishes olfactory bulb (OB interneurons throughout the life of most mammals, yet during this constant fl ux it remains unclear how the OB maintains a constant structure and function. In the mouse OB, we investigated the dynamics of turnover and its impact on olfactory function by ablating adult neurogenesis with an x-ray lesion to the subventricular zone (SVZ. Regardless of the magnitude of the lesion to the SVZ, we found no change in the survival of young adult born granule cells (GCs born after the lesion, and a gradual decrease in the population of GCs born before the lesion. After a lesion producing a 96% reduction of incoming adult born GCs to the OB, we found a diminished behavioral fear response to conditioned odor cues but not to audio cues. Interestingly, despite this behavioral defi cit and gradual anatomical changes, we found no electrophysiological changes in the GC population assayed in vivo through dendro-dendritic synaptic plasticity and odor-evoked local fi eld potential oscillations. These data indicate that turnover in the granule cell layer is generally decoupled from the rate of adult neurogenesis, and that OB adult neurogenesis plays a role in a wide behavioral system extending beyond the OB.

  19. The influence of acute stress on the regulation of conditioned fear

    OpenAIRE

    Raio, Candace M.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Fear learning and regulation is a prominent model for describing the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders and stress-related psychopathology. Fear expression can be modulated using a number of regulatory strategies, including extinction, cognitive emotion regulation, avoidance strategies and reconsolidation. In this review, we examine research investigating the effects of acute stress and stress hormones on these regulatory techniques. We focus on what is known about the impact of stress on the ...

  20. Abnormal fear conditioning and amygdala processing in an animal model of autism

    OpenAIRE

    Markram, Kamila; Rinaldi, Tania; La Mendola, Deborah; Sandi, Carmen; Markram, Henry

    2008-01-01

    A core feature of autism spectrum disorders is the impairment in social interactions. Among other brain regions, a deficit in amygdala processing has been suggested to underlie this impairment, but whether the amygdala is processing fear abnormally in autism, is yet not clear. We used the valproic acid (VPA) rat model of autism to (a) screen for autism-like symptoms in rats, (b) test for alterations in amygdala-dependent fear processing, and (c) evaluate neuronal reactivity and synaptic plast...

  1. Testicular hormones do not regulate sexually dimorphic Pavlovian fear conditioning or perforant-path long-term potentiation in adult male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anagnostaras, S G; Maren, S; DeCola, J P; Lane, N I; Gale, G D; Schlinger, B A; Fanselow, M S

    1998-04-01

    We recently reported that Pavlovian fear conditioning and hippocampal perforant-path long-term potentiation (LTP) are sexually dimorphic in rats. Males show greater contextual fear conditioning, which depends on the hippocampus, as well as greater hippocampal LTP. In order to examine the role of circulating gonadal hormones in adult male rats, animals were castrated in two experiments, and Pavlovian fear conditioning and in vivo perforant-path LTP were examined. It was found that sexually-dimorphic LTP and fear conditioning are not regulated by the activational effects of testicular hormones in adult male rats. That is, in every respect, castrated male rats were similar to intact male rats in Pavlovian fear conditioning and hippocampal LTP. It is likely that sexual dimorphism in this system is established earlier in development by the organizational effects of gonadal hormones.

  2. Acquisition of contextual Pavlovian fear conditioning is blocked by application of an NMDA receptor antagonist D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid to the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanselow, M S; Kim, J J

    1994-02-01

    Rats, with chronic cannula placed bilaterally in the amygdala, received infusions of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) before contextual Pavlovian fear conditioning. Administration of APV to the basolateral nucleus prevented acquisition of fear. Central nucleus infusions had no effect. It is concluded that an NMDA-mediated process near the basolateral region of the amygdala (e.g., lateral or basolateral nucleus) is essential for the learning of fear.

  3. Pre-test metyrapone impairs memory recall in fear conditioning tasks: lack of interaction with β-adrenergic activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Careaga, Mariella B. L.; Tiba, Paula A.; Ota, Simone M.; Suchecki, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive processes, such as learning and memory, are essential for our adaptation to environmental changes and consequently for survival. Numerous studies indicate that hormones secreted during stressful situations, such as glucocorticoids (GCs), adrenaline and noradrenaline, regulate memory functions, modulating aversive memory consolidation and retrieval, in an interactive and complementary way. Thus, the facilitatory effects of GCs on memory consolidation as well as their suppressive effects on retrieval are substantially explained by this interaction. On the other hand, low levels of GCs are also associated with negative effects on memory consolidation and retrieval and the mechanisms involved are not well understood. The present study sought to investigate the consequences of blocking the rise of GCs on fear memory retrieval in multiple tests, assessing the participation of β-adrenergic signaling on this effect. Metyrapone (GCs synthesis inhibitor; 75 mg/kg), administered 90 min before the first test of contextual or tone fear conditioning (TFC), negatively affected animals’ performances, but this effect did not persist on a subsequent test, when the conditioned response was again expressed. This result suggested that the treatment impaired fear memory retrieval during the first evaluation. The administration immediately after the first test did not affect the animals’ performances in contextual fear conditioning (CFC), suggesting that the drug did not interfere with processes triggered by memory reactivation. Moreover, metyrapone effects were independent of β-adrenergic signaling, since concurrent administration with propranolol (2 mg/kg), a β-adrenergic antagonist, did not modify the effects induced by metyrapone alone. These results demonstrate that pre-test metyrapone administration led to negative effects on fear memory retrieval and this action was independent of a β-adrenergic signaling. PMID:25784866

  4. Some Aspects of Speech Production under Controlled Conditions of Oral Anaesthesia and Auditory Masking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardcastle, W. J.

    1975-01-01

    Reports on the effects of oral anaesthesia and auditory masking on various aspects of speech articulation as objectively quantified by electropalatography and sound spectrography. The results show changes in speech production caused by altered tactile and auditory feedback. (Author/TL)

  5. Absence of verbal recall or memory for symptom acquisition in fear and trauma exposure: a conceptual case for fear conditioning and learned nonuse in assessment and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifert, A Ronald

    2012-01-01

    Absence of memory or verbal recall for symptom acquisition in fear and trauma exposure, as well as absence of successful coping behavior for life events, is associated with a number of diagnoses, including traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, and anxiety. The difficulty with diagnosis and treatment planning based on the absence of recall, memory, and successful coping behavior is threefold: (1) these assessments do not distinguish between disruption of behavior and lack of capacity, (2) the absence of verbal recall and memory complicates cognitive-based treatment, and (3) a confounding issue is the same absent behavior can be observed at different times and contexts. While memory of the specific details of the initial traumatic event(s) may not be available to verbal report, the existence of time- and context-dependent relationships for the initial as well as subsequent experiences is arguable. The absence of memory or lack of verbal recall does not rule out measurable physiological bodily responses for the initial trauma(s), nor does it help to establish the effects of subsequent experiences for symptom expression. Also, the absence of memory must include the prospect of fear-based learning that does not require or involve the cortex. It is posited that the literatures of fear conditioning and learned nonuse provide complementary illustrations of how the time and context of the initial trauma(s) and subsequent experiences affect behavior, which is not dependent on the effected individual being able to provide a memory-based verbal report. The replicated clinical application demonstrates that, without scientific demonstration, neither neuroanatomy nor verbal report can be assumed sufficient to predict overt behavior or physiologic responses. For example, while commonly assumed to be predictively so, autonomic nervous system innervation is insufficient to define the unique stimulus- and context-dependent physiological responses of an

  6. Absence of verbal recall or memory for symptom acquisition in fear and trauma exposure: A conceptual case for fear conditioning and learned nonuse in assessment and treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ronald Seifert, PhD

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Absence of memory or verbal recall for symptom acquisition in fear and trauma exposure, as well as absence of successful coping behavior for life events, is associated with a number of diagnoses, including traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, and anxiety. The difficulty with diagnosis and treatment planning based on the absence of recall, memory, and successful coping behavior is threefold: (1 these assessments do not distinguish between disruption of behavior and lack of capacity, (2 the absence of verbal recall and memory complicates cognitive-based treatment, and (3 a confounding issue is the same absent behavior can be observed at different times and contexts. While memory of the specific details of the initial traumatic event(s may not be available to verbal report, the existence of time- and context-dependent relationships for the initial as well as subsequent experiences is arguable. The absence of memory or lack of verbal recall does not rule out measurable physiological bodily responses for the initial trauma(s, nor does it help to establish the effects of subsequent experiences for symptom expression. Also, the absence of memory must include the prospect of fear-based learning that does not require or involve the cortex. It is posited that the literatures of fear conditioning and learned nonuse provide complementary illustrations of how the time and context of the initial trauma(s and subsequent experiences affect behavior, which is not dependent on the effected individual being able to provide a memory-based verbal report. The replicated clinical application demonstrates that, without scientific demonstration, neither neuroanatomy nor verbal report can be assumed sufficient to predict overt behavior or physiologic responses. For example, while commonly assumed to be predictively so, autonomic nervous system innervation is insufficient to define the unique stimulus- and context-dependent physiological responses

  7. Differences in Memory Development among C57BL/6NCrl, 129S2/SvPasCrl, and FVB/NCrl Mice after Delay and Trace Fear Conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    March, Amelia; Borchelt, David; Golde, Todd; Janus, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Fear-conditioning testing paradigms have been used to study differences in memory formation between inbred mouse strains, including numerous mouse models of human diseases. In this study, we characterized the conditioned fear memory of 3 inbred strains: C57BL/6NCrl, 129S2/SvPasCrl, and FVB/NCrl, obtained from Charles River Laboratories. We used 2 training paradigms: delay conditioning, in which an unconditional stimulus coterminates with the presentation of a conditional stimulus, and trace c...

  8. Oxytocin Signaling in Basolateral and Central Amygdala Nuclei Differentially Regulates the Acquisition, Expression, and Extinction of Context-Conditioned Fear in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell-Smith, Emma J.; Holmes, Nathan M.; Lingawi, Nura W.; Panayi, Marios C.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated how oxytocin (OT) signaling in the central (CeA) and basolateral (BLA) amygdala affects acquisition, expression, and extinction of context-conditioned fear (freezing) in rats. In the first set of experiments, acquisition of fear to a shocked context was impaired by a preconditioning infusion of synthetic OT into the…

  9. Like Extinction, Latent Inhibition of Conditioned Fear in Mice Is Blocked by Systemic Inhibition of L-Type Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blouin, Ashley M.; Cain, Chris K.; Barad, Mike

    2004-01-01

    Having recently shown that extinction of conditioned fear depends on L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (LVGCCs), we have been seeking other protocols that require this unusual induction mechanism. We tested latent inhibition (LI) of fear, because LI resembles extinction except that cue exposures precede, rather than follow, cue-shock pairing.…

  10. A review on experimental and clinical genetic associations studies on fear conditioning, extinction and cognitive-behavioral treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lonsdorf, T B; Kalisch, R

    2011-09-20

    Fear conditioning and extinction represent basic forms of associative learning with considerable clinical relevance and have been implicated in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders. There is considerable inter-individual variation in the ability to acquire and extinguish conditioned fear reactions and the study of genetic variants has recently become a focus of research. In this review, we give an overview of the existing genetic association studies on human fear conditioning and extinction in healthy individuals and of related studies on cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) and exposure, as well as pathology development after trauma. Variation in the serotonin transporter (5HTT) and the catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) genes has consistently been associated with effects in pre-clinical and clinical studies. Interesting new findings, which however require further replication, have been reported for genetic variation in the dopamine transporter (DAT1) and the pituitary adenylate cyclase 1 receptor (ADCYAP1R1) genes, whereas the current picture is inconsistent for variation in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene. We end with a discussion of the findings and their limitations, as well as future directions that we hope will aid the field to develop further.

  11. The usefulness of olfactory fear conditioning for the study of early emotional and cognitive impairment in reserpine model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Rimenez R; França, Sanmara L; Bessa, Marília M; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2013-11-01

    Due to the ability for depleting neuronal storages of monoamines, the reserpine model is a suitable approach for the investigation of the neurobiology of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the behavioral effects of low doses of reserpine are not always detected by classic animal tests of cognition, emotion, and sensory ability. In this study, the effects of reserpine (0.5-1.0mg/kg) were evaluated in olfactory fear conditioning, inhibitory avoidance, open-field, elevated plus-maze, and olfactory discrimination. Possible protective effects were also investigated. We found that single administration of reserpine impaired the acquisition of olfactory fear conditioning (in both doses) as well as olfactory discrimination (in the higher dose), while no effects were seen in all other tests. Additionally, we demonstrated that prior exposure to environmental enrichment prevented effects of reserpine in animals tested in olfactory fear conditioning. Altogether, these findings suggest that a combined cognitive, emotional and sensory-dependent task would be more sensitive to the effects of the reserpine model. In addition, the present data support the environmental enrichment as an useful approach for the study of resilience mechanisms in neurodegenerative processes.

  12. Abnormal fear conditioning and amygdala processing in an animal model of autism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Markram, Kamila; Rinaldi, Tania; La Mendola, Deborah;

    2008-01-01

    acid (VPA) rat model of autism to (a) screen for autism-like symptoms in rats, (b) test for alterations in amygdala-dependent fear processing, and (c) evaluate neuronal reactivity and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala by means of in vitro single-cell electrophysiological recordings. VPA...

  13. Neuronal Correlates of Fear Conditioning in the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haufler, Darrell; Nagy, Frank Z.; Pare, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Lesion and inactivation studies indicate that the central amygdala (CeA) participates in the expression of cued and contextual fear, whereas the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is only involved in the latter. The basis for this functional dissociation is unclear because CeA and BNST form similar connections with the amygdala and…

  14. Sleep deprivation impairs contextual fear conditioning and attenuates subsequent behavioural, endocrine and neuronal responses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagewoud, Roelina; Bultsma, Lillian J.; Barf, R. Paulien; Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Meerlo, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Sleep deprivation (SD) affects hippocampus-dependent memory formation. Several studies in rodents have shown that brief SD immediately following a mild foot shock impairs consolidation of contextual fear memory as reflected in a reduced behavioural freezing response during re-exposure to the shock c

  15. Effect of heroin-conditioned auditory stimuli on cerebral functional activity in rats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trusk, T.C.; Stein, E.A.

    1988-08-01

    Cerebral functional activity was measured as changes in distribution of the free fatty acid (1-14C)octanoate in autoradiograms obtained from rats during brief presentation of a tone previously paired to infusions of heroin or saline. Rats were trained in groups of three consisting of one heroin self-administering animal and two animals receiving yoked infusions of heroin or saline. Behavioral experiments in separate groups of rats demonstrated that these training parameters imparts secondary reinforcing properties to the tone for animals self-administering heroin while the tone remains behaviorally neutral in yoked-infusion animals. The optical densities of thirty-seven brain regions were normalized to a relative index for comparisons between groups. Previous pairing of the tone to heroin infusions irrespective of behavior (yoked-heroin vs. yoked-saline groups) produced functional activity changes in fifteen brain areas. In addition, nineteen regional differences in octanoate labeling density were evident when comparison was made between animals previously trained to self-administer heroin to those receiving yoked-heroin infusions, while twelve differences were noted when comparisons were made between the yoked vehicle and self administration group. These functional activity changes are presumed related to the secondary reinforcing capacity of the tone acquired by association with heroin, and may identify neural substrates involved in auditory signalled conditioning of positive reinforcement to opiates.

  16. Ethanol Disrupts Reactivated Contextual Conditioned Fear Memory: Behavioral and Histological Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iran Goudarzi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: This research study is an attempt to examine whether the administration ofethanol after memory reactivation would modulate subsequent expression of memory inrats. Additionally, we examined whether this administration alters the density of Cornu Ammonis(CA1 and CA3 pyramidal and dentate gyrus (DG granule cells.Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, adult male Wistar rats (200-300 gwere trained in a fear conditioning system using two 1 second, 0.6 mA shocks with aninterval of 180 seconds. Twenty four hours later rats were returned to the chamber for 120seconds. Immediately after reactivation they were injected with ethanol (0.5, 1, 1.5 mg/kg or saline. 1, 7 and 14 days after reactivation, rats were returned to the context for 5minutes. Seconds of freezing (absence of all movement except respiration were scored.In the second experiment (described in the previous paragraph, after test 1, animalswere anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital and perfused transcardially with phosphatebuffer (10 minutes and 4% paraformaldehyde (15 minutes. The brains were postfixed inphosphate-buffered 4% paraformaldehyde (24 hours and 30% sucrose. 10-μm sectionswere stained with cresyl violet.Data were analyzed by 1-and 2-way ANOVA for repeated measurements by means ofSPSS 16.0. Tukey’s post hoc test was performed to determine the source of detectedsignificant differences. P <0 .05 were considered significant. Data are presented as mean± SEM.Results: Findings from the first experiment indicated that ethanol at a dose of 1.5 mg/kgsignificantly impaired recall of memory only in the first test. The density of CA1 and CA3pyramidal and DG granule cells in the ethanol group was decreased (p< 0.01 comparedwith control group respectively 43.7%, 35.8%, and 37.8.Conclusion: The data demonstrate that ethanol exposure impairs post retrieval processes.Moreover, ethanol decreases the density of CA1, CA3 and DG cells. Presumably itwould be a correlation

  17. D-cycloserine and the facilitation of extinction of conditioned fear: consequences for reinstatement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledgerwood, Lana; Richardson, Rick; Cranney, Jacquelyn

    2004-06-01

    Several recent studies have reported that D-cycloserine (DCS), a partial N-methyl-D-aspartate agonist, facilitates extinction of learned fear in rats. Other studies have shown that representation of the unconditioned stimulus (US) can reinstate learned fear after extinction. This study examined whether this reinstatement effect occurs in Sprague-Dawley rats given DCS at the time of extinction. Results showed that saline-treated rats exhibited the reinstatement effect but DCS-treated rats did not (Experiments 1 and 2). This lack of reinstatement in DCS-treated rats was not due to residual effects of DCS on either US or context processing (Experiment 3). Overall, these results (a) raise questions about the mechanisms underlying DCS facilitation of extinction and (b) suggest that DCS might have substantial practical benefit.

  18. Hidden sources of joy, fear, and sadness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bogert, Brigitte; Numminen-Kontti, Taru; Gold, Benjamin;

    2016-01-01

    Music is often used to regulate emotions and mood. Typically, music conveys and induces emotions even when one does not attend to them. Studies on the neural substrates of musical emotions have, however, only examined brain activity when subjects have focused on the emotional content of the music....... Here we address with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) the neural processing of happy, sad, and fearful music with a paradigm in which 56 subjects were instructed to either classify the emotions (explicit condition) or pay attention to the number of instruments playing (implicit condition...... to be associated with the cognitive processing of music and emotion recognition and regulation. Moreover, happiness in music was associated with activity in the bilateral auditory cortex, left parahippocampal gyrus, and supplementary motor area, whereas the negative emotions of sadness and fear corresponded...

  19. Increases in the numerical density of GAT-1 positive puncta in the barrel cortex of adult mice after fear conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Siucinska

    Full Text Available Three days of fear conditioning that combines tactile stimulation of a row of facial vibrissae (conditioned stimulus, CS with a tail shock (unconditioned stimulus, UCS expands the representation of "trained" vibrissae, which can be demonstrated by labeling with 2-deoxyglucose in layer IV of the barrel cortex. We have also shown that functional reorganization of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1 increases GABAergic markers in the hollows of "trained" barrels of the adult mouse. This study investigated how whisker-shock conditioning (CS+UCS affected the expression of puncta of a high-affinity GABA plasma membrane transporter GAT-1 in the barrel cortex of mice 24 h after associative learning paradigm. We found that whisker-shock conditioning (CS+UCS led to increase expression of neuronal and astroglial GAT-1 puncta in the "trained" row compared to controls: Pseudoconditioned, CS-only, UCS-only and Naïve animals. These findings suggest that fear conditioning specifically induces activation of systems regulating cellular levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

  20. Temporary inhibition of dorsal or ventral hippocampus by muscimol: distinct effects on measures of innate anxiety on the elevated plus maze, but similar disruption of contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei-Ning; Bast, Tobias; Xu, Yan; Feldon, Joram

    2014-04-01

    Studies in rats, involving hippocampal lesions and hippocampal drug infusions, have implicated the hippocampus in the modulation of anxiety-related behaviors and conditioned fear. The ventral hippocampus is considered to be more important for anxiety- and fear-related behaviors than the dorsal hippocampus. In the present study, we compared the role of dorsal and ventral hippocampus in innate anxiety and classical fear conditioning in Wistar rats, examining the effects of temporary pharmacological inhibition by the GABA-A agonist muscimol (0.5 ug/0.5 ul/side) in the elevated plus maze and on fear conditioning to a tone and the conditioning context. In the elevated plus maze, dorsal and ventral hippocampal muscimol caused distinct behavioral changes. The effects of ventral hippocampal muscimol were consistent with suppression of locomotion, possibly accompanied by anxiolytic effects, whereas the pattern of changes caused by dorsal hippocampal muscimol was consistent with anxiogenic effects. In contrast, dorsal and ventral hippocampal muscimol caused similar effects in the fear conditioning experiments, disrupting contextual, but not tone, fear conditioning.

  1. Retrosplenial Cortex Is Required for the Retrieval of Remote Memory for Auditory Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Travis P.; Mehlman, Max L.; Keene, Christopher S.; DeAngeli, Nicole E.; Bucci, David J.

    2016-01-01

    The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) has a well-established role in contextual and spatial learning and memory, consistent with its known connectivity with visuo-spatial association areas. In contrast, RSC appears to have little involvement with delay fear conditioning to an auditory cue. However, all previous studies have examined the contribution of…

  2. Trib3 is developmentally and nutritionally regulated in the brain but is dispensable for spatial memory, fear conditioning and sensing of amino acid-imbalanced diet.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiit Örd

    Full Text Available Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3 is a mammalian pseudokinase that is induced in neuronal cell cultures in response to cell death-inducing stresses, including neurotrophic factor deprivation. TRIB3 is an inhibitor of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4, the central transcriptional regulator in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α phosphorylation pathway that is involved in the cellular stress response and behavioral processes. In this article, we study the expression of Trib3 in the mouse brain, characterize the brain morphology of mice with a genetic ablation of Trib3 and investigate whether Trib3 deficiency alters eIF2α-dependent cognitive abilities. Our data show that the consumption of a leucine-deficient diet induces Trib3 expression in the anterior piriform cortex, the brain region responsible for detecting essential amino acid intake imbalance. However, the aversive response to leucine-devoid diet does not differ in Trib3 knockout and wild type mice. Trib3 deletion also does not affect long-term spatial memory and reversal learning in the Morris water maze and auditory or contextual fear conditioning. During embryonic development, Trib3 expression increases in the brain and persists in the early postnatal stadium. Neuroanatomical characterization of mice lacking Trib3 revealed enlarged lateral ventricles. Thus, although the absence of Trib3 does not alter the eIF2α pathway-dependent cognitive functions of several areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, amygdala and anterior piriform cortex, Trib3 may serve a role in other central nervous system processes and molecular pathways.

  3. Limbic but not non-limbic kindling impairs conditioned fear and promotes plasticity of NPY and its Y2 receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botterill, J J; Guskjolen, A J; Marks, W N; Caruncho, H J; Kalynchuk, L E

    2015-11-01

    Epileptic seizures negatively affect cognition. However, the mechanisms that contribute to cognitive impairments after seizures are largely unknown. Here, we examined the effects of long-term kindling (i.e., 99 stimulations) of limbic (basolateral amygdala, dorsal hippocampus) and non-limbic (caudate nucleus) brain sites on conditioned fear and hippocampal plasticity. We first showed that kindling had no effect on acquisition of a hippocampal-dependent trace fear-conditioning task but limbic kindling impaired the retrieval of these fear memories. To determine the relationship between memory and hippocampal neuronal activity, we examined the expression of Fos protein 90 min after memory retrieval (i.e., 4 days after the last kindling stimulation). We found that limbic kindling, but not non-limbic kindling, decreased Fos expression in the granule cell layer, hilus, CA3 pyramidal cell layer, and CA1 pyramidal cell layer. Next, to investigate a mechanism that could contribute to dampen hippocampal neuronal activity in limbic-kindled rats, we focused on the endogenous anticonvulsant neuropeptide Y (NPY), which is expressed in a subset of GABAergic interneurons and can prevent glutamate release through interactions with its Y2 receptor. We found that limbic kindling significantly decreased the number of NPY-immunoreactive cells in several hippocampal subfields despite minimal staining of the neurodegenerative marker Fluoro-Jade B. However, we also noted that limbic kindling enhanced NPY immunoreactivity throughout the mossy fiber pathway. In these same regions, we observed limbic kindling-induced de novo expression of the NPY Y2 receptor. These novel findings demonstrate the site-specific effects of kindling on cognition and NPY plasticity, and they provide evidence that altered hippocampal NPY after limbic seizures coincides with dampened neural activity and cognitive impairments.

  4. Tracking the Fear Memory Engram: Discrete Populations of Neurons within Amygdala, Hypothalamus, and Lateral Septum Are Specifically Activated by Auditory Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Christopher W.; Wilson, Yvette M.; Gunnersen, Jenny M.; Murphy, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Memory formation is thought to occur via enhanced synaptic connectivity between populations of neurons in the brain. However, it has been difficult to localize and identify the neurons that are directly involved in the formation of any specific memory. We have previously used "fos-tau-lacZ" ("FTL") transgenic mice to identify…

  5. Effects of β-Estradiol on Enhanced Conditioned Fear Induced by Single Prolonged Stress and Shock in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Rashidy-Pour

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction:This study examined the effects of administration of subcutaneous β-estradiol on PTSD-like symptoms (the enhanced conditioned fear response, CFR that induced by a single-prolonged stress (SPS and shock in rats. Methods: Adult male Wistar rats were exposed to SPS procedure: restraint for 2 h, forced swim for 20 min, and ether anesthesia. Then the rats were placed in fear conditioning system and received 1 mA electric foot shock for 4 s. Following, stressed rats injected with β-estradiol (600 μg/kg or sesame oil. For CFR testing, 24 h later animals were re-exposed to the shock chamber for 3-min without further shock application. Percent of freezing was scored. Following testing, the animals were anesthetized and their brains were removed for histological examination (cell count of the hippocampus that stained with cresyl violet. Results: Our results indicated that rats who received electric shock after the SPS exhibited the CFR. β-estradiol significantly reduced the CFR in the SPS rats as compared with control rats. No significant differences were found in cell count in different regions of the hippocampus between experimental groups. Discussion: Our findings indicated that β-estradiol administration after SPS prevents the enhanced CFR in an animal model of PTSD, suggesting a possible role for β-estradiol in the prevention of PTSD

  6. Cortical spreading depression and involvement of the motor cortex, auditory cortex, and cerebellum in eyeblink classical conditioning of the rabbit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Case, Gilbert R; Lavond, David G; Thompson, Richard F

    2002-09-01

    The interrelationships of cerebellar and cerebral neural circuits in the eyeblink paradigm were explored with the controlled application of cortical spreading depression (CSD) and lidocaine in the New Zealand albino rabbit. The initial research focus was directed toward the involvement of the motor cortex in the conditioned eyeblink response. However, CSD timing and triangulation results indicate that other areas in the cerebral cortex, particularly the auditory cortex (acoustic conditioned stimulus), appear to be critical for the CSD effect on the eyeblink response. In summary: (1) CSD can be elicited, monitored, and timed and its side effects controlled in 97% of awake rabbits in the right and/or left cerebral hemisphere(s) during eyeblink conditioning. (2) The motor cortex appears to play little or no part in classical conditioning of the eyeblink in the rabbit in the delay paradigm. (3) Inactivating the auditory cortex with CSD or lidocaine temporarily impairs the conditioned response during the first 5 to 15 days of training, but has little effect past that point.

  7. Conditioning the Cochlea to Facilitate Survival and Integration of Exogenous Cells into the Auditory Epithelium

    OpenAIRE

    Park, Yong-Ho; Wilson, Kevin F.; Ueda, Yoshihisa; Tung Wong, Hiu; Lisa A. Beyer; Donald L. Swiderski; Dolan, David F.; Raphael, Yehoash

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian auditory epithelium (AE) cannot replace supporting cells and hair cells once they are lost. Therefore, sensorineural hearing loss associated with missing cells is permanent. This inability to regenerate critical cell types makes the AE a potential target for cell replacement therapies such as stem cell transplantation. Inserting stem cells into the AE of deaf ears is a complicated task due to the hostile, high potassium environment of the scala media in the cochlea, and the robu...

  8. Using Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials as a predictor of speech perception ability in Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder and conditions with ANSD-like clinical presentation

    OpenAIRE

    Stirling, Francesca

    2015-01-01

    Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD) is diagnosed by the presence of outer hair cell function, and absence or severe abnormality of the auditory brainstem response (ABR). Within the spectrum of ANSD, level of severity varies greatly in two domains: hearing thresholds can range from normal levels to a profound hearing loss, and degree of speech perception impairment also varies. The latter gives a meaningful indication of severity in ANSD. As the ABR does not relate to functional perfo...

  9. Auditory-motor learning influences auditory memory for music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2012-05-01

    In two experiments, we investigated how auditory-motor learning influences performers' memory for music. Skilled pianists learned novel melodies in four conditions: auditory only (listening), motor only (performing without sound), strongly coupled auditory-motor (normal performance), and weakly coupled auditory-motor (performing along with auditory recordings). Pianists' recognition of the learned melodies was better following auditory-only or auditory-motor (weakly coupled and strongly coupled) learning than following motor-only learning, and better following strongly coupled auditory-motor learning than following auditory-only learning. Auditory and motor imagery abilities modulated the learning effects: Pianists with high auditory imagery scores had better recognition following motor-only learning, suggesting that auditory imagery compensated for missing auditory feedback at the learning stage. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 with melodies that contained greater variation in acoustic features. Melodies that were slower and less variable in tempo and intensity were remembered better following weakly coupled auditory-motor learning. These findings suggest that motor learning can aid performers' auditory recognition of music beyond auditory learning alone, and that motor learning is influenced by individual abilities in mental imagery and by variation in acoustic features. PMID:22271265

  10. Auditory Display

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    volume. The conference's topics include auditory exploration of data via sonification and audification; real time monitoring of multivariate date; sound in immersive interfaces and teleoperation; perceptual issues in auditory display; sound in generalized computer interfaces; technologies supporting...... auditory display creation; data handling for auditory display systems; applications of auditory display....

  11. Absence of verbal recall or memory for symptom acquisition in fear and trauma exposure: A conceptual case for fear conditioning and learned nonuse in assessment and treatment

    OpenAIRE

    A. Ronald Seifert, PhD

    2012-01-01

    Absence of memory or verbal recall for symptom acquisition in fear and trauma exposure, as well as absence of successful coping behavior for life events, is associated with a number of diagnoses, including traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, and anxiety. The difficulty with diagnosis and treatment planning based on the absence of recall, memory, and successful coping behavior is threefold: (1) these assessments do not distinguish between disruption of behavior and lac...

  12. Conditioned fear and startle magnitude: effects of different footshock or backshock intensities used in training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, M; Astrachan, D I

    1978-04-01

    In Experiment 1 four groups of rats received 30 light-shock pairings using footshock intensities of either .2, .4, .8, or 1.6 mA. One day later all rats were tested for startle by presenting tones in the presence or absence of the light CS. Potentiated startle (the difference between startle on light-tone vs tone-alone trials) was nonmonotonically related to the shock intensity used in training, with the greatest potentiation at intermediate shock levels. Experiment 3 demonstrated a similar relationship when backshocks instead of footshocks were used. In Experiment 2 rats were trained with either a moderate or high shock and then given an extended extinction-test session 1 day later. The moderate-shock group showed a gradual decline in potentiated startle over extinction. The high-shock group showed a nonmonotonic extinction curve where potentiation progressively increased toward the middle of extinction and dissipated thereafter. The results suggest that acoustic startle bears an inverted U-shaped relationship to fear and are discussed in relation to other studies concerned with this issue. PMID:670892

  13. Sex differences in the neurobiology of fear conditioning and extinction: a preliminary fMRI study of shared sex differences with stress-arousal circuitry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lebron-Milad Kelimer

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The amygdala, hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC and brain-stem subregions are implicated in fear conditioning and extinction, and are brain regions known to be sexually dimorphic. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to investigate sex differences in brain activity in these regions during fear conditioning and extinction. Methods Subjects were 12 healthy men comparable to 12 healthy women who underwent a 2-day experiment in a 3 T MR scanner. Fear conditioning and extinction learning occurred on day 1 and extinction recall occurred on day 2. The conditioned stimuli were visual cues and the unconditioned stimulus was a mild electric shock. Skin conductance responses (SCR were recorded throughout the experiment as an index of the conditioned response. fMRI data (blood-oxygen-level-dependent [BOLD] signal changes were analyzed using SPM8. Results Findings showed no significant sex differences in SCR during any experimental phases. However, during fear conditioning, there were significantly greater BOLD-signal changes in the right amygdala, right rostral anterior cingulate (rACC and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC in women compared with men. In contrast, men showed significantly greater signal changes in bilateral rACC during extinction recall. Conclusions These results indicate sex differences in brain activation within the fear circuitry of healthy subjects despite similar peripheral autonomic responses. Furthermore, we found that regions where sex differences were previously reported in response to stress, also exhibited sex differences during fear conditioning and extinction.

  14. Maternal separation enhances conditioned fear and decreases the mRNA levels of the neurotensin receptor 1 gene with hypermethylation of this gene in the rat amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroyuki Toda

    Full Text Available Stress during postnatal development is associated with an increased risk for depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse later in life, almost as if mental illness is able to be programed by early life stressors. Recent studies suggest that such "programmed" effects can be caused by epigenetic regulation. With respect to conditioned fear, previous studies have indicated that early life stress influences its development in adulthood, whereas no potential role of epigenetic regulation has been reported. Neurotensin (NTS is an endogenous neuropeptide that has receptors densely located in the amygdala and hippocampus. Recently, NTS systems have constituted an emerging target for the treatment of anxiety. The aim of the present work is to clarify whether the NTS system is involved in the disturbance of conditioned fear in rats stressed by maternal separation (MS. The results showed that MS enhanced freezing behaviors in fear-conditioned stress and reduced the gene expression of NTS receptor (NTSR 1 but not of NTS or NTSR2 in the amygdalas of adult rats. The microinjection of a NTSR1 antagonist into the amygdala increased the percentage of freezing in conditioned fear, whereas the microinjection of NTSR1 agonist decreased freezing. These results suggest that NTSR1 in the amygdala may play a role in the effects of MS on conditioned fear stress in adult rats. Moreover, MS increased DNA methylation in the promoter region of NTSR1 in the amygdala. Taken together, MS may leave epigenetic marks in the NTSR1 gene in the amygdala, which may enhance conditioned fear in adulthood. The MS-induced alternations of DNA methylation in the promoter region of NTSR1 in the amygdala may be associated with vulnerability to the development of anxiety disorders and depression in adulthood.

  15. The Amygdala Is Not Necessary for Unconditioned Stimulus Inflation after Pavlovian Fear Conditioning in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinak, Christine A.; Orsini, Caitlin A.; Zimmerman, Joshua M.; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    The basolateral complex (BLA) and central nucleus (CEA) of the amygdala play critical roles in associative learning, including Pavlovian conditioning. However, the precise role for these structures in Pavlovian conditioning is not clear. Recent work in appetitive conditioning paradigms suggests that the amygdala, particularly the BLA, has an…

  16. Fear Extinction in Rodents

    OpenAIRE

    Chang, Chun-hui; Knapska, Ewelina; Orsini, Caitlin A.; Rabinak, Christine A.; Zimmerman, Joshua M; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Pavlovian conditioning paradigms have become important model systems for understanding the neuroscience of behavior. In particular, studies of the extinction of Pavlovian fear responses are yielding important information about the neural substrates of anxiety disorders in humans. These studies are germane to understanding the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral interventions that suppress fear, including exposure therapy. This chapter described detailed behavioral protocols for examining ...

  17. Gut vagal afferents differentially modulate innate anxiety and learned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarer, Melanie; Arnold, Myrtha; Günther, Lydia; Winter, Christine; Langhans, Wolfgang; Meyer, Urs

    2014-05-21

    Vagal afferents are an important neuronal component of the gut-brain axis allowing bottom-up information flow from the viscera to the CNS. In addition to its role in ingestive behavior, vagal afferent signaling has been implicated modulating mood and affect, including distinct forms of anxiety and fear. Here, we used a rat model of subdiaphragmatic vagal deafferentation (SDA), the most complete and selective vagal deafferentation method existing to date, to study the consequences of complete disconnection of abdominal vagal afferents on innate anxiety, conditioned fear, and neurochemical parameters in the limbic system. We found that compared with Sham controls, SDA rats consistently displayed reduced innate anxiety-like behavior in three procedures commonly used in preclinical rodent models of anxiety, namely the elevated plus maze test, open field test, and food neophobia test. On the other hand, SDA rats exhibited increased expression of auditory-cued fear conditioning, which specifically emerged as attenuated extinction of conditioned fear during the tone re-exposure test. The behavioral manifestations in SDA rats were associated with region-dependent changes in noradrenaline and GABA levels in key areas of the limbic system, but not with functional alterations in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal grand stress. Our study demonstrates that innate anxiety and learned fear are both subjected to visceral modulation through abdominal vagal afferents, possibly via changing limbic neurotransmitter systems. These data add further weight to theories emphasizing an important role of afferent visceral signals in the regulation of emotional behavior.

  18. Role of NPY Y1 receptor on acquisition, consolidation and extinction on contextual fear conditioning: dissociation between anxiety, locomotion and non-emotional memory behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lach, Gilliard; de Lima, Thereza Christina Monteiro

    2013-07-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is the most abundant peptide in the central nervous system (CNS) and is densely localized in the brain regions involved in stress, memory, fear and anxiety. Although previous research supports a role for NPY in the mediation of rodent and human emotional behavior, there is currently a lack of information on the effects of low doses of NPY that could have a potential therapeutic advantage, minimizing side-effects such as cognition impairment or sedation. Herein, we assessed the effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of low doses of NPY, and of the Y1-agonist Leu31Pro34-NPY (LP-NPY) on contextual fear conditioning (CFC), as they have no effect on unconditioned anxiety-like, locomotor activity and non-emotional memory. NPY (3 pmol) and LP-NPY (1 pmol) inhibited freezing behavior when administered in the acquisition or consolidation stages, indicating a reduction of fear. When injected in the extinction phase, only NPY inhibited freezing behavior on CFC. Pre-treatment with the Y1-antagonist BIBO3304 before NPY and LP-NPY was able to prevent the inhibition of fear responses induced by both NPY agonists. Taken together, our results demonstrate robust fear-inhibiting effects of i.c.v. injection of NPY on contextual fear conditioning in rats, a response that is mediated, at least in part, by the Y1 receptor. Moreover, these treatments were unable to change locomotor activity or to show an anxiolytic-like effect, as evaluated in an open-field and an elevated plus-maze. This specific fear reduction effect may underlie resilience systems in the CNS and has potential therapeutic relevance in PTSD.

  19. Revisiting the Role of Infralimbic Cortex in Fear Extinction with Optogenetics

    OpenAIRE

    Do-Monte, Fabricio H; Manzano-Nieves, Gabriela; Quiñones-Laracuente, Kelvin; Ramos-Medina, Liorimar; Quirk, Gregory J.

    2015-01-01

    Previous rodent studies have implicated the infralimbic (IL) subregion of the medial prefrontal cortex in extinction of auditory fear conditioning. However, these studies used pharmacological inactivation or electrical stimulation techniques, which lack temporal precision and neuronal specificity. Here, we used an optogenetic approach to either activate (with channelrhodopsin) or silence (with halorhodopsin) glutamatergic IL neurons during conditioned tones delivered in one of two phases: ext...

  20. The neuronal PAS domain protein 4 (Npas4 is required for new and reactivated fear memories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Ploski

    Full Text Available The Neuronal PAS domain protein 4 (Npas4 is a neuronal activity-dependent immediate early gene that has recently been identified as a transcription factor which regulates the transcription of genes that control inhibitory synapse development and synaptic plasticity. The role Npas4 in learning and memory, however, is currently unknown. Here, we systematically examine the role of Npas4 in auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, an amygdala-dependent form of emotional learning. In our first series of experiments, we show that Npas4 mRNA and protein are regulated in the rat lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in a learning-dependent manner. Further, knockdown of Npas4 protein in the LA via adeno-associated viral (AAV mediated gene delivery of RNAi was observed to impair fear memory formation, while innate fear and the expression of fear memory were not affected. In our second series of experiments, we show that Npas4 protein is regulated in the LA by retrieval of an auditory fear memory and that knockdown of Npas4 in the LA impairs retention of a reactivated, but not a non-reactivated, fear memory. Collectively, our findings provide the first comprehensive look at the functional role of Npas4 in learning and memory.

  1. Dorsolateral periaqueductal gray matter CB1 and TRPV1 receptors exert opposite modulation on expression of contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uliana, D L; Hott, S C; Lisboa, S F; Resstel, L B M

    2016-04-01

    Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and Transient Potential Vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptors in the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (dlPAG) matter are involved in the modulation of conditioned response. Both CB1 and TRPV1 receptors are related to glutamate release and nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. It was previously demonstrated that both NMDA glutamate receptors and NO are involved in the conditioned emotional response. Therefore, one aim of this work was to verify whether dlPAG CB1 and TRPV1 receptors modulate the expression of contextual conditioned emotional response. Moreover, we also investigated the involvement of NMDA receptors and the NO pathway in this response. Male Wistar rats with local dlPAG guide cannula were submitted to contextual fear conditioning. Following 24 h, a polyethylene catheter was implanted in the femoral artery for cardiovascular recordings. After an additional 24 h, drugs were administered in the dlPAG and freezing behavior and autonomic responses were recorded during chamber re-exposure. Both a CB1 antagonist (AM251) and a TRPV1 agonist (Capsaicin; CPS) increased the expression of a conditioned emotional response. This response was prevented by an NMDA antagonist, a preferential neuronal NO synthase inhibitor, an NO scavenger and a soluble guanylate cyclase inhibitor (sGC). Furthermore, pretreatment with a TRPV1 antagonist also prevented the increased conditioned emotional response induced by AM251. Considering that GABA can counterbalance glutamate effects, we also investigated whether GABAA receptors were involved in the effect of a higher dose of AM251. Pretreatment with a GABAA receptor antagonist caused an increased conditioned emotional response by AM251. Our results support the possibility that dlPAG CB1 and TRPV1 receptors are involved in the expression of conditioned emotional response through the NMDA/NO/sGC pathway. Moreover, the opposite effects exerted by GABA and glutamate could produce different outcomes of drugs modulating eCBs.

  2. Further evidence for involvement of the dorsal hippocampus serotonergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic pathways in the expression of contextual fear conditioning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almada, Rafael C; Albrechet-Souza, Lucas; Brandão, Marcus L

    2013-12-01

    Intra-dorsal hippocampus (DH) injections of 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino) tetralin (8-OH-DPAT), a serotonin-1A (5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-1A) receptor agonist, were previously shown to inhibit the expression of contextual fear when administered six hours after conditioning. However, further understanding of the consolidation and expression of aversive memories requires investigations of these and other mechanisms at distinct time points and the regions of the brain to which they are transferred. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of DH serotonergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic mechanisms in the expression of contextual fear 24 h after conditioning, reflected by fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and freezing behavior. The recruitment of the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in these processes was also evaluated by measuring Fos protein immunoreactivity. Although intra-DH injections of 8-OH-DPAT did not produce behavioral changes, muscimol reduced both FPS and the freezing response. Fos protein immunoreactivity revealed that contextual fear promoted wide activation of the mPFC, which was significantly reduced after intra-DH infusions of muscimol. The present findings, together with previous data, indicate that in contrast to 5-HT, which appears to play a role during the early phases of contextual aversive memory consolidation, longer-lasting GABA-mediated mechanisms are recruited during the expression of contextual fear memories.

  3. When Two Paradigms Meet: Does Evaluative Learning Extinguish in Differential Fear Conditioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blechert, Jens; Michael, Tanja; Williams, S. Lloyd; Purkis, Helena M.; Wilhelm, Frank H.

    2008-01-01

    Contemporary theories of Pavlovian conditioning propose a distinction between signal learning (SL), in which a conditioned stimulus (CS) becomes a predictor for a biologically significant unconditioned stimulus (US), and evaluative learning (EL), in which the valence of the US is transferred to the CS. This distinction is based largely on the…

  4. Fear conditioning of SCR but not the startle reflex requires conscious discrimination of threat and safety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Sevenster; T. Beckers; M. Kindt

    2014-01-01

    There is conflicting evidence as to whether awareness is required for conditioning of the skin conductance response (SCR). Recently, Schultz and Helmstetter (2010) reported SCR conditioning in contingency unaware participants by using difficult to discriminate stimuli. These findings are in stark co

  5. Auditory Processing Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auditory Processing Disorders Auditory processing disorders (APDs) are referred to by many names: central auditory processing disorders , auditory perceptual disorders , and central auditory disorders . APDs ...

  6. Classical conditioning of autonomic fear responses is independent of contingency awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Douglas H; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2010-10-01

    The role of contingency awareness in classical conditioning experiments using human subjects is currently under debate. This study took a novel approach to manipulating contingency awareness in a differential Pavlovian conditioning paradigm. Complex sine wave gratings were used as visual conditional stimuli (CS). By manipulating the fundamental spatial frequency of the displays, we were able to construct pairs of stimuli that varied in discriminability. One group of subjects was given an "easy" discrimination, and another was exposed to a "difficult" CS+ and CS-. A 3rd group was exposed to a stimulus that was paired with the unconditional stimulus (UCS) 50% of the time and served as a control. Skin conductance response (SCR) and continuous UCS expectancy data were measured concurrently throughout the experiment. Differential UCS expectancy was found only in the easy discrimination group. Differential SCRs were found in the easy discrimination group as well as in the difficult discrimination group, but not in the 50% contingency control. The difficult discrimination group did not exhibit differential UCS expectancy but did show clear differential SCR. These observations support a dual process interpretation of classical conditioning whereby conditioning on an implicit level can occur without explicit knowledge about the contingencies. The role of contingency awareness in classical conditioning experiments using human subjects is currently under debate. This study took a novel approach to manipulating contingency awareness in a differential Pavlovian conditioning paradigm. Complex sine wave gratings were used as visual conditional stimuli (CS). By manipulating the fundamental spatial frequency of the displays, we were able to construct pairs of stimuli that varied in discriminability. One group of subjects was given an "easy" discrimination, and another was exposed to a "difficult" CS+ and CS-. A 3rd group was exposed to a stimulus that was paired with the

  7. A Modified Counterconditioning Procedure Prevents the Renewal of Conditioned Fear in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Brian L.; Cutler, Marlo; Novak, Cheryl

    2012-01-01

    Two studies using an ABA design examined the Extinction and renewal of conditioned barpress suppression. Following lights-off and foot shock pairings in Context A, rats were placed in Context B and were given either a standard counterconditioning procedure where the lights-off CS was paired with a novel food US delivered freely or a modified…

  8. GABA(A) receptor activation in the CA1 area of the dorsal hippocampus impairs consolidation of conditioned contextual fear in C57BL/6J mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misane, Ilga; Kruis, Ayla; Pieneman, Anton W; Ögren, Sven Ove; Stiedl, Oliver

    2013-02-01

    Local infusion of the GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol is used for reversible inactivation of septohippocampal brain structures associated with cognitive functions. However, information on the effective duration, affected processes and site(s) of action of muscimol in the hippocampus is lacking. Therefore, the dose- and time-dependent effects of bilateral dorsohippocampal infusion of muscimol (0.01-2.0 μg/mouse) below the CA1 area were examined on processing of fear memory in male C57BL/6J mice. Infusion of muscimol 15 min-6 h but not 9 h or 24 h before training impaired conditioned context-dependent fear tested 24 h or 48 h after training. Post-training infusion of muscimol also impaired context-dependent fear when applied either 4 h or 6 h after training, although with lower efficacy. Muscimol was ineffective when administered immediately, 1 h or 24 h after training. Infusion of muscimol 15 min before training impaired context-dependent fear 4-6 h after training indicating preserved short-term but impaired long-term memory. Regardless of infusion time and dose, muscimol had no effect on tone-dependent (cued) fear memory. The impairment by the fluorescently-labeled muscimol-bodipy (5.3 μg/mouse) were similar to those of an equimolar dose of muscimol (1 μg/mouse). The distribution profile after local infusion indicated that muscimol-bodipy (5.3 μg/mouse) was confined to the CA1 area of the dorsal hippocampus. These results demonstrated that GABA(A) receptor activation in the CA1 area of the dorsal hippocampus causes a long-term memory impairment of conditioned context-dependent fear mediated by a long-lasting (≥6 h) muscimol action most likely affecting consolidation processes.

  9. The Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg model of absence epilepsy exhibits alterations in fear conditioning and latent inhibition consistent with psychiatric comorbidities in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marks, Wendie N; Cavanagh, Mary E; Greba, Quentin; Cain, Stuart M; Snutch, Terrance P; Howland, John G

    2016-01-01

    Behavioural, neurological, and genetic similarities exist in epilepsies, their psychiatric comorbidities, and various psychiatric illnesses, suggesting common aetiological factors. Rodent models of epilepsy are used to characterize the comorbid symptoms apparent in epilepsy and their neurobiological mechanisms. The present study was designed to assess Pavlovian fear conditioning and latent inhibition in a polygenetic rat model of absence epilepsy, i.e. Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg (GAERS) and the non-epileptic control (NEC) strain. Electrophysiological recordings confirmed the presence of spike-wave discharges in young adult GAERS but not NEC rats. A series of behavioural tests designed to assess anxiety-like behaviour (elevated plus maze, open field, acoustic startle response) and cognition (Pavlovian conditioning and latent inhibition) was subsequently conducted on male and female offspring. Results showed that GAERS exhibited significantly higher anxiety-like behaviour, a characteristic reported previously. In addition, using two protocols that differed in shock intensity, we found that both sexes of GAERS displayed exaggerated cued and contextual Pavlovian fear conditioning and impaired fear extinction. Fear reinstatement to the conditioned stimuli following unsignalled footshocks did not differ between the strains. Male GAERS also showed impaired latent inhibition in a paradigm using Pavlovian fear conditioning, suggesting that they may have altered attention, particularly related to previously irrelevant stimuli in the environment. Neither the female GAERS nor NEC rats showed evidence of latent inhibition in our paradigm. Together, the results suggest that GAERS may be a particularly useful model for assessing therapeutics designed to improve the emotional and cognitive disturbances associated with absence epilepsy.

  10. Conditioning the cochlea to facilitate survival and integration of exogenous cells into the auditory epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yong-Ho; Wilson, Kevin F; Ueda, Yoshihisa; Tung Wong, Hiu; Beyer, Lisa A; Swiderski, Donald L; Dolan, David F; Raphael, Yehoash

    2014-04-01

    The mammalian auditory epithelium (AE) cannot replace supporting cells and hair cells once they are lost. Therefore, sensorineural hearing loss associated with missing cells is permanent. This inability to regenerate critical cell types makes the AE a potential target for cell replacement therapies such as stem cell transplantation. Inserting stem cells into the AE of deaf ears is a complicated task due to the hostile, high potassium environment of the scala media in the cochlea, and the robust junctional complexes between cells in the AE that resist stem cell integration. Here, we evaluate whether temporarily reducing potassium levels in the scala media and disrupting the junctions in the AE make the cochlear environment more receptive and facilitate survival and integration of transplanted cells. We used sodium caprate to transiently disrupt the AE junctions, replaced endolymph with perilymph, and blocked stria vascularis pumps with furosemide. We determined that these three steps facilitated survival of HeLa cells in the scala media for at least 7 days and that some of the implanted cells formed a junctional contact with native AE cells. The data suggest that manipulation of the cochlear environment facilitates survival and integration of exogenously transplanted HeLa cells in the scala media. PMID:24394296

  11. Interoceptive fear conditioning as a learning model of panic disorder: an experimental evaluation using 20% CO(2)-enriched air in a non-clinical sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acheson, Dean T; Forsyth, John P; Prenoveau, Jason M; Bouton, Mark E

    2007-10-01

    Despite the role afforded interoceptive fear conditioning in etiologic accounts of panic disorder, there are no good experimental demonstrations of such learning in humans. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the interoceptive conditioning account using 20% carbon dioxide (CO(2))-enriched air as an interoceptive conditioned stimulus (CS) (i.e., physiologically inert 5-s exposures) and unconditioned stimulus (US) (i.e., physiologically prepotent 15-s exposures). Healthy participants (N=42) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a CS-only, contingent CS-US pairings, or unpaired/non-contingent CS and US presentations. Electrodermal and self-report (e.g., distress, fear) served as indices of conditioned emotional responding. Results showed greater magnitude electrodermal and evaluative fear conditioning in the paired relative to the CS-only condition. The explicitly unpaired condition showed even greater electrodermal and evaluative responding during acquisition, and marked resistance to extinction. The latter results are consistent with the possibility that the unpaired procedure constituted a partial reinforcement procedure in which CO(2) onset was paired with more extended CO(2) exposure on 50% of the trials. Overall, the findings are consistent with contemporary learning theory accounts of panic.

  12. ApoE Isoform-Dependent Deficits in Extinction of Contextual Fear Conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Olsen, Reid H. J.; Agam, Mati; Davis, Matthew James; Raber, Jacob

    2012-01-01

    The three major human apoE isoforms (apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4) are encoded by distinct alleles (ε2, ε3, and ε4). Compared to ε3, ε4 is associated with increased risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD), cognitive impairments in Parkinson’s disease (PD), and other conditions. In contrast, a recent study indicated an increased susceptibility to the recurring and re-experiencing symptom cluster of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well as related memory impairments, in patients carrying a...

  13. Improvement of memory recall by quercetin in rodent contextual fear conditioning and human early-stage Alzheimer's disease patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, Toshiyuki; Itoh, Masanori; Ohta, Kazunori; Hayashi, Yuichi; Hayakawa, Miki; Yamada, Yasushi; Akanabe, Hiroshi; Chikaishi, Tokio; Nakagawa, Kiyomi; Itoh, Yoshinori; Muro, Takato; Yanagida, Daisuke; Nakabayashi, Ryo; Mori, Tetsuya; Saito, Kazuki; Ohzawa, Kaori; Suzuki, Chihiro; Li, Shimo; Ueda, Masashi; Wang, Miao-Xing; Nishida, Emika; Islam, Saiful; Tana; Kobori, Masuko; Inuzuka, Takashi

    2016-06-15

    Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) experience a wide array of cognitive deficits, which typically include the impairment of explicit memory. In previous studies, the authors reported that a flavonoid, quercetin, reduces the expression of ATF4 and delays memory deterioration in an early-stage AD mouse model. In the present study, the effects of long-term quercetin intake on memory recall were assessed using contextual fear conditioning in aged wild-type mice. In addition, the present study examined whether memory recall was affected by the intake of quercetin-rich onion (a new cultivar of hybrid onion 'Quergold') powder in early-stage AD patients. In-vivo analysis indicated that memory recall was enhanced in aged mice fed a quercetin-containing diet. Memory recall in early-stage AD patients, determined using the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale, was significantly improved by the intake of quercetin-rich onion (Quergold) powder for 4 weeks compared with the intake of control onion ('Mashiro' white onion) powder. These results indicate that quercetin might influence memory recall. PMID:27145228

  14. Repeated Exposure to Conditioned Fear Stress Increases Anxiety and Delays Sleep Recovery Following Exposure to an Acute Traumatic Stressor

    OpenAIRE

    Greenwood, Benjamin N.; Thompson, Robert S.; Opp, Mark R.; Fleshner, Monika

    2014-01-01

    Repeated stressor exposure can sensitize physiological responses to novel stressors and facilitate the development of stress-related psychiatric disorders including anxiety. Disruptions in diurnal rhythms of sleep–wake behavior accompany stress-related psychiatric disorders and could contribute to their development. Complex stressors that include fear-eliciting stimuli can be a component of repeated stress experienced by human beings, but whether exposure to repeated fear can prime the develo...

  15. Association between oxidative stress and contextual fear conditioning in Carioca high- and low-conditioned freezing rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Waseem; Gomes, Vitor de Castro; Pinton, Simone; Batista Teixeira da Rocha, Joao; Landeira-Fernandez, J

    2013-05-28

    We recently reported two novel breeding lines of rats known as Carioca high-and low-conditioned freezing (CHF and CLF), based on defensive freezing responses to contextual cues previously associated with electric footshock. The anxiety-like profile of these animals from the 7th generation was tested in the elevated plus maze. The results indicated that CHF animals presented a significantly more "anxious" phenotype compared with CLF animals. Animals from the 12th generation were used to evaluate the oxidative stress status of the cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. Reactive oxidative species (ROS) were evaluated using 2,7-dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA; a sensor of reactive oxygen species [ROS]), and the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), an early marker of lipid peroxidation, were assessed. The results indicated that free radical concentrations and MDA levels were significantly higher in all three brain structures in CHF rats compared with CLF rats. Our data also showed that the hippocampus had the highest reactive species and MDA concentrations compared with the cortex and cerebellum in CHF rats. Animals from the 16th generation were used to evaluate the antioxidant enzyme activity of catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) within these three brain structures. The results indicated that CAT activity was lower in the cortex and hippocampus in CHF rats compared with CLF rats. No significant difference was observed in the cerebellum. The enzymatic activity of GPx was significantly decreased in all three structures in CHF rats compared with CLF rats. The hippocampus exhibited the highest GPx activity compared with the other two brain structures. These findings suggest the involvement of a redox system in these two bidirectional lines, and the hippocampus might be one of the prime brain structures involved in this state of oxidative stress imbalance. PMID:23566816

  16. Preventing long-lasting fear recovery using bilateral alternating sensory stimulation: A translational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurtz, H; El-Khoury-Malhame, M; Wilhelm, F H; Michael, T; Beetz, E M; Roques, J; Reynaud, E; Courtin, J; Khalfa, S; Herry, C

    2016-05-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a highly debilitating and prevalent psychological disorder. It is characterized by highly distressing intrusive trauma memories that are partly explained by fear conditioning. Despite efficient therapeutic approaches, a subset of PTSD patients displays spontaneous recurrence of traumatic memories after successful treatment. The development of animal behavioral models mimicking the individual variability in treatment outcome for PTSD patients represent therefore an important challenge as it allows for the identification of predicting factors of resilience or susceptibility to relapse. However, to date, only few animal behavioral models of long-lasting fear recovery have been developed and their predictive validity has not been tested directly. The objectives of this study were twofold. First we aimed to develop a simple animal behavioral model of long-lasting fear recovery based on auditory cued fear conditioning and extinction learning, which recapitulates the heterogeneity of fear responses observed in PTSD patients after successful treatment. Second we aimed at testing the predictive validity of our behavioral model and used to this purpose a translational approach based (i) on the demonstration of the efficiency of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to reduce conditioned fear responses in PTSD patients and (ii) on the implementation in our behavioral model of an electrical bilateral alternating stimulation of the eyelid which mimics the core feature of EMDR. Our data indicate that electrical bilateral alternating stimulation of the eyelid during extinction learning alleviates long-lasting fear recovery of conditioned fear responses and dramatically reduces inter-individual variability. These results demonstrate the face and predictive validity of our animal behavioral model and provide an interesting tool to understand the neurobiological underpinnings of long-lasting fear recovery. PMID:26091614

  17. Intact neurogenesis is required for benefits of exercise on spatial memory but not motor performance or contextual fear conditioning in C57BL/6J mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P J; Brzezinska, W J; Thomas, M W; Ryzhenko, N A; Toshkov, S A; Rhodes, J S

    2008-09-01

    The mammalian hippocampus continues to generate new neurons throughout life. Experiences such as exercise, anti-depressants, and stress regulate levels of neurogenesis. Exercise increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis and enhances behavioral performance on rotarod, contextual fear and water maze in rodents. To directly test whether intact neurogenesis is required for gains in behavioral performance from exercise in C57BL/6J mice, neurogenesis was reduced using focal gamma irradiation (3 sessions of 5 Gy). Two months after treatment, mice (total n=42 males and 42 females) (Irradiated or Sham), were placed with or without running wheels (Runner or Sedentary) for 54 days. The first 10 days mice received daily injections of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to label dividing cells. The last 14 days mice were tested on water maze (two trials per day for 5 days, then 1 h later probe test), rotarod (four trials per day for 3 days), and contextual fear conditioning (2 days), then measured for neurogenesis using immunohistochemical detection of BrdU and neuronal nuclear protein (NeuN) mature neuronal marker. Consistent with previous studies, in Sham animals, running increased neurogenesis fourfold and gains in performance were observed for the water maze (spatial learning and memory), rotarod (motor performance), and contextual fear (conditioning). These positive results provided the reference to determine whether gains in performance were blocked by irradiation. Irradiation reduced neurogenesis by 50% in both groups, Runner and Sedentary. Irradiation did not affect running or baseline performance on any task. Minimal changes in microglia associated with inflammation (using immunohistochemical detection of cd68) were detected at the time of behavioral testing. Irradiation did not reduce gains in performance on rotarod or contextual fear, however it eliminated gain in performance on the water maze. Results support the hypothesis that intact exercise-induced hippocampal neurogenesis

  18. CS-dependent response probability in an auditory masked-detection task: considerations based on models of Pavlovian conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Christine R; Idrobo, Fabio; Early, Susan J; Abibi, Ayome; Zheng, Ling; Harrison, J Michael; Carney, Laurel H

    2003-05-01

    Experimental studies were performed using a Pavlovian-conditioned eyeblink response to measure detection of a variable-sound-level tone (T) in a fixed-sound-level masking noise (N) in rabbits. Results showed an increase in the asymptotic probability of conditioned responses (CRs) to the reinforced TN trials and a decrease in the asymptotic rate of eyeblink responses to the non-reinforced N presentations as a function of the sound level of the T. These observations are consistent with expected behaviour in an auditory masked detection task, but they are not consistent with predictions from a traditional application of the Rescorla-Wagner or Pearce models of associative learning. To implement these models, one typically considers only the actual stimuli and reinforcement on each trial. We found that by considering perceptual interactions and concepts from signal detection theory, these models could predict the CS dependence on the sound level of the T. In these alternative implementations, the animals response probabilities were used as a guide in making assumptions about the "effective stimuli".

  19. Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa S Monsey

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.

  20. Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsey, Melissa S; Ota, Kristie T; Akingbade, Irene F; Hong, Ellie S; Schafe, Glenn E

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM) is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM) is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP) at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.

  1. Effects of Exercise and Environmental Complexity on Deficits in Trace and Contextual Fear Conditioning Produced by Neonatal Alcohol Exposure in Rats

    OpenAIRE

    Schreiber, W.B.; St. Cyr, S.A.; Jablonski, S A; Hunt, P S; Klintsova, A.Y.; Stanton, M.E.

    2012-01-01

    In rodents, voluntary exercise and environmental complexity increases hippocampal neurogenesis and reverses spatial learning and long-term potentiation deficits in animals prenatally exposed to alcohol. The present experiment extended these findings to neonatal alcohol exposure and to delay, trace, and contextual fear conditioning. Rats were administered either 5.25 g/kg/day alcohol via gastric intubation or received sham-intubations (SI) between Postnatal Day (PD) 4 and 9 followed by either ...

  2. Overexpression of Homer1a in the basal and lateral amygdala impairs fear conditioning and induces an autism-like social impairment

    OpenAIRE

    Banerjee, Anwesha; Luong, Jonathan A.; Ho, Anthony,; Saib, Aeshah O.; Ploski, Jonathan E.

    2016-01-01

    Background Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders with a wide range of behavioral impairments including social and communication deficits. Apart from these core symptoms, a significant number of ASD individuals display higher levels of anxiety, and some studies indicate that a subset of ASD individuals have a reduced ability to be fear conditioned. Deciphering the molecular basis of ASD has been considerably challenging and it currently remains poorly un...

  3. Neuroleptic Drugs Revert the Contextual Fear Conditioning Deficit Presented by Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats: A Potential Animal Model of Emotional Context Processing in Schizophrenia?

    OpenAIRE

    Calzavara, Mariana Bendlin; Medrano, Wladimir Agostini; Levin, Raquel; Kameda, Sonia Regina; Andersen, Monica Levy; Tufik, Sergio; Silva, Regina Helena; Frussa-Filho, Roberto; Abílio, Vanessa Costhek

    2008-01-01

    Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) present abnormalities in emotion processing. A previous study showed that the spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), a putative animal model of ADHD, present reduced contextual fear conditioning (CFC). The aim of the present study was to characterize the deficit in CFC presented by SHR. Adult male normotensive Wistar rats and SHR were submitted to the CFC task. Sensitivity of the animals to the shock and the ...

  4. Nicotine Withdrawal Disrupts Both Foreground and Background Contextual Fear Conditioning but not Pre-Pulse Inhibition of the Acoustic Startle Response in C57BL/6 Mice

    OpenAIRE

    André, Jessica M.; Gulick, Danielle; Portugal, George S.; Gould, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    Nicotine withdrawal is associated with multiple symptoms such as anxiety, increased appetite, and disrupted cognition in humans. Although animal models have provided insights into the somatic and affective symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, less research has focused on the effects of nicotine withdrawal on cognition. Therefore, in this study, C57BL/6 mice were used to test the effects of withdrawal from chronic nicotine on foreground and background contextual fear conditioning, which present th...

  5. Auditory training can improve working memory, attention, and communication in adverse conditions for adults with hearing loss

    OpenAIRE

    Ferguson, Melanie A.; Henshaw, Helen

    2015-01-01

    Auditory training (AT) helps compensate for degradation in the auditory signal. A series of three high-quality training studies are discussed, which include, (i) a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of phoneme discrimination in quiet that trained adults with mild hearing loss (n = 44), (ii) a repeated measures study that trained phoneme discrimination in noise in hearing aid (HA) users (n = 30), and (iii) a double-blind RCT that directly trained working memory (WM) in HA users (n = 57). AT res...

  6. Auditory training can improve working memory, attention and communication in adverse conditions for adults with hearing loss

    OpenAIRE

    Melanie Ann Ferguson; Helen eHenshaw

    2015-01-01

    Auditory training (AT) helps compensate for degradation in the auditory signal. A series of three high-quality training studies are discussed, (i) a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of phoneme discrimination in quiet that trained adults with mild hearing loss (n=44), (ii) a repeated measures study that trained phoneme discrimination in noise in hearing aid (HA) users (n=30), and (iii) a double-blind RCT that directly trained working memory (WM) in HA users (n=57). AT resulted in generalized ...

  7. Lesions of the posterior paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus attenuate fear expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonghui eLi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT has generated interest because of its strong projections to areas of the brain associated with the regulation of emotional behaviors. The posterior aspect of the PVT (pPVT is notable for its projection to the central nucleus of the amygdala which is essential for the expression of a conditioned fear response. The present study was done to determine if the pPVT is involved in the expression of fear by examining the effect of post-conditioning lesions of the pPVT. Male rats were trained to bar press for food pellets on a variable ratio schedule. Fear conditioning was done using auditory tones (30 s that co-terminate with footschocks (0.65 mA, 1.0 s. Rats were anesthetized 24 hours later and small bilateral electrolytic lesions of the pPVT were made. Fear expression to the tone was assessed using suppression of bar-pressing and freezing after one week of recovery from the surgical procedure. Small bilateral lesions of the pPVT increased bar-pressing for food and decreased freezing during the presentation of the conditioned tone. Lesions of the pPVT had no effect on fear extinction, fear conditioning to a novel tone, or the motivation for food as assessed using a progressive ratio schedule. The results of the experiment support a role for the pPVT in fear expression. In contrast, the pPVT does not appear to be involved in fear learning or extinction nor does it appear to play a role in the motivation of rats to bar press for food.

  8. Effects of continuous conditioning noise and light on the auditory- and visual-evoked potentials of the guinea pig.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goksoy, Cuneyt; Demirtas, Serdar; Ates, Kahraman

    2005-11-01

    Neurophysiological studies aiming to explore how the brain integrates information from different brain regions are increasing in the literature. The aim of the present study is to explore intramodal (binaural, binocular) and intermodal (audio-visual) interactions in the guinea pig brain through the observation of changes in evoked potentials by generalized continuous background activity. Seven chronically prepared animals were used in the study and the recordings were made as they were awake. Epidural electrodes were implanted to the skulls by using stereotaxic methods. Continuous light for retinal or continuous white noise for cochlear receptors were used as continuous conditioning stimuli for generalized stimulation. To evoke auditory or visual potentials, click or flash were used as transient imperative stimuli. The study data suggest that (a) white noise applied to one ear modifies the response to click in the contralateral ear which is a binaural interaction; (b) continuous light applied to one eye modifies the response to flash applied to the contralateral eye which is interpreted as a binocular interaction; (c) regardless of the application side, white noise similarly modified the response to flash applied to the either eye connoting a nonspecific effect of white noise on vision, independent from spatial hearing mechanisms; (d) on the other hand, continuous light, in either eye, did not affect the response to click applied to any ear, reminding a 'one-way' interaction that continuous aural stimulation affects visual response.

  9. Repeated elicitation of the acoustic startle reflex leads to sensitisation in subsequent avoidance behaviour and induces fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janik Vincent M

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Autonomous reflexes enable animals to respond quickly to potential threats, prevent injury and mediate fight or flight responses. Intense acoustic stimuli with sudden onsets elicit a startle reflex while stimuli of similar intensity but with longer rise times only cause a cardiac defence response. In laboratory settings, habituation appears to affect all of these reflexes so that the response amplitude generally decreases with repeated exposure to the stimulus. The startle reflex has become a model system for the study of the neural basis of simple learning processes and emotional processing and is often used as a diagnostic tool in medical applications. However, previous studies did not allow animals to avoid the stimulus and the evolutionary function and long-term behavioural consequences of repeated startling remain speculative. In this study we investigate the follow-up behaviour associated with the startle reflex in wild-captured animals using an experimental setup that allows individuals to exhibit avoidance behaviour. Results We present evidence that repeated elicitation of the acoustic startle reflex leads to rapid and pronounced sensitisation of sustained spatial avoidance behaviour in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus. Animals developed rapid flight responses, left the exposure pool and showed clear signs of fear conditioning. Once sensitised, seals even avoided a known food source that was close to the sound source. In contrast, animals exposed to non-startling (long rise time stimuli of the same maximum sound pressure habituated and flight responses waned or were absent from the beginning. The startle threshold of grey seals expressed in units of sensation levels was comparable to thresholds reported for other mammals (93 dB. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that the acoustic startle reflex plays a crucial role in mediating flight responses and strongly influences the motivational state of an animal beyond a short

  10. Acquisition of Pavlovian fear conditioning using β-adrenoceptor activation of the dorsal premammillary nucleus as an unconditioned stimulus to mimic live predator-threat exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavesi, Eloisa; Canteras, Newton S; Carobrez, Antônio P

    2011-04-01

    In the present work, we sought to mimic the internal state changes in response to a predator threat by pharmacologically stimulating the brain circuit involved in mediating predator fear responses, and explored whether this stimulation would be a valuable unconditioned stimulus (US) in an olfactory fear conditioning paradigm (OFC). The dorsal premammillary nucleus (PMd) is a key brain structure in the neural processing of anti-predatory defensive behavior and has also been shown to mediate the acquisition and expression of anti-predatory contextual conditioning fear responses. Rats were conditioned by pairing the US, which was an intra-PMd microinjection of isoproterenol (ISO; β-adrenoceptor agonist), with amyl acetate odor-the conditioned stimulus (CS). ISO (10 and 40 nmol) induced the acquisition of the OFC and the second-order association by activation of β-1 receptors in the PMd. Furthermore, similar to what had been found for contextual conditioning to a predator threat, atenolol (β-1 receptor antagonist) in the PMd also impaired the acquisition and expression of OFC promoted by ISO. Considering the strong glutamatergic projections from the PMd to the dorsal periaqueductal gray (dPAG), we tested how the glutamatergic blockade of the dPAG would interfere with the OFC induced by ISO. Accordingly, microinjections of NMDA receptor antagonist (AP5, 6 nmol) into the dPAG were able to block both the acquisition, and partially, the expression of the OFC. In conclusion, we have found that PMd β-1 adrenergic stimulation is a good model to mimic predatory threat-induced internal state changes, and works as a US able to mobilize the same systems involved in the acquisition and expression of predator-related contextual conditioning.

  11. Regulation of the fear network by mediators of stress: Norepinephrine alters the balance between Cortical and Subcortical afferent excitation of the Lateral Amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke R Johnson

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Pavlovian auditory fear conditioning crucially involves the integration of information about and acoustic conditioned stimulus (CS and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA. The auditory CS reaches the LA subcortically via a direct connection from the auditory thalamus and also from the auditory association cortex itself. How neural modulators, especially those activated during stress, such as norepinephrine (NE, regulate synaptic transmission and plasticity in this network is poorly understood. Here we show that NE inhibits synaptic transmission in both the subcortical and cortical input pathway but that sensory processing is biased towards the subcortical pathway. In addition binding of NE to β-adrenergic receptors further dissociates sensory processing in the LA. These findings suggest a network mechanism that shifts sensory balance towards the faster but more primitive subcortical input.

  12. Auditory training can improve working memory, attention and communication in adverse conditions for adults with hearing loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Ann Ferguson

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Auditory training (AT helps compensate for degradation in the auditory signal. A series of three high-quality training studies are discussed, (i a randomized controlled trial (RCT of phoneme discrimination in quiet that trained adults with mild hearing loss (n=44, (ii a repeated measures study that trained phoneme discrimination in noise in hearing aid (HA users (n=30, and (iii a double-blind RCT that directly trained working memory (WM in HA users (n=57. AT resulted in generalized improvements in measures of self-reported hearing, competing speech and complex cognitive tasks that all index executive functions. This suggests that for AT related benefits, the development of complex cognitive skills may be more important than the refinement of sensory processing. Furthermore, outcome measures should be sensitive to the functional benefits of auditory training. For WM training, lack of far-transfer to untrained outcomes suggests no generalized benefits to real-world listening abilities. We propose that combined auditory-cognitive training approaches, where cognitive enhancement is embedded within auditory tasks, are most likely to offer generalized benefits to the real-world listening abilities of adults with hearing loss.

  13. Pharmacological intervention of conditioned fear and its extinction%条件性恐惧消退的药理学干预

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄任之; 李则宣; 陈欢; 黄月胜; 丁立平

    2012-01-01

    Conditioned fear and its abnormal extinction are involved in the psychopathology of anxiety disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Cognitive enhancing agents have been demonstrated to alter fear extinction in many animal research literatures. The present review has examined the pharmacological role of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamatergic, cholinergic, adrenergic, dopaminergic, and cannabinoid as well as compounds able to alter the epigenetic and neurotrophic mechanism in fear extinction, highlighting great hope for the future treatment of anxiety disorders with new agents based on the fear extinction.%条件性恐惧记忆及其消退的异常参与焦虑障碍如创伤后应激障碍的精神病理机制.大量的动物研究已经展示了药理学手段增强条件性恐惧消退的可能性;对此,本文从作用于gamma-氨基丁酸能、谷氨酸能、胆碱能、肾上腺素能、多巴胺能和大麻素能以及从改变表观遗传学和神经营养机制的药理学方面进行综述,表明临床上开发和使用药理学干预来增强基于消退原理的暴露疗法治疗焦虑障碍可能具有远大的前景.

  14. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist MK-801 impairs learning but not memory fixation or expression of classical fear conditioning in goldfish (Carassius auratus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, X; Davis, R E

    1992-04-01

    The amnestic effects of the noncompetitive antagonist MK-801 on visually mediated, classic fear conditioning in goldfish (Carassius auratus) was examined in 5 experiments. MK-801 was administered 30 min before the training session on Day 1 to look for anterograde amnestic effects, immediately after training to look for retrograde amnestic effects, and before the training or test session, or both, to look for state-dependence effects. The results showed that MK-801 produced anterograde amnesia at doses that did not produce retrograde amnesia or state dependency and did not impair the expression of conditioned or unconditioned branchial suppression responses (BSRs) to the conditioned stimulus. The results indicate that MK-801 disrupts the mechanism of learning of the conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus relation. Evidence is also presented that the learning processes that are disrupted by MK-801 occur during the initial stage of BSR conditioning.

  15. 条件性恐惧记忆消退返回的性别差异%Sex Differences in Extinction Return of Conditioned Fear Memory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙楠; 魏艺铭; 李倩; 郑希付

    2012-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder is a kind of anxiety disorder which developed after severe trauma. Conditioned fear model is the most emblematical model of posttraumatic stress disorder. At the present time, the most effective therapy is the exposure therapy which uses extinction training to repress the conditioned fear memory. However, some of the PTSD patients were having relapses after the exposure therapy, these relapses were later named as the extinction return.An experiment was designed to research for sex differences in the extinction return of conditioned fear memory. Forty normal students participated in the experiment, including 20 females and 20 males. Before the actual experiment, the participants had to attend the extinction training session; the participants were trained to consciously establish and extinguish the connection between neutral stimulus and repugnant stimulus. The experiment consisted of pre-exposure, acquisition, extinction, and test phases. The pre-exposure phase required the participants to understand the procedure. In the acquisition phase, the participants would acquire the conditioned fear response via the connection of the neutral stimulus and the repugnant stimulus. In the extinction, the neutral stimulus would be presented alone without the repugnant stimulus. Four hours later, test phase was to examine whether the extinction return would be found, and whether males or females performed differently on the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear memory.The results were as following: (1) The participants were observed to have obvious extinction return overall when they were tested after 4 hours later during the extinction phase. (2)The extinction return in females was much more significant than in males. (3)The females tended to acquire the conditioned fear memory more effectively and extinguish more slowly than males. But the difference is not significant.The results of this study suggested that the extinction return was a

  16. Consequences of ethanol exposure on cued and contextual fear conditioning and extinction differ depending on timing of exposure during adolescence or adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broadwater, Margaret; Spear, Linda P

    2013-11-01

    Some evidence suggests that adolescents are more sensitive than adults to ethanol-induced cognitive deficits and that these effects may be long-lasting. The purpose of Exp 1 was to determine if early-mid adolescent [postnatal day (P) 28-48] intermittent ethanol exposure would affect later learning and memory in a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm differently than comparable exposures in adulthood (P70-90). In Exp 2 animals were exposed to ethanol during mid-late adolescence (P35-55) to assess whether age of initiation within the adolescent period would influence learning and memory differentially. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were given 4 g/kg i.g. ethanol (25%) or water every 48 h for a total of 11 exposures. After a 22 day non-ethanol period, animals were fear conditioned to a context (relatively hippocampal-dependent task) or tone (amygdala-dependent task), followed by retention tests and extinction (mPFC-dependent) of this conditioning. Despite similar acquisition, a deficit in context fear retention was evident in animals exposed to ethanol in early adolescence, an effect not observed after a comparable ethanol exposure in mid-late adolescence or adulthood. In contrast, animals that were exposed to ethanol in mid-late adolescence or adulthood showed enhanced resistance to context extinction. Together these findings suggest that repeated ethanol imparts long-lasting consequences on learning and memory, with outcomes that differ depending on age of exposure. These results may reflect differential influence of ethanol on the brain as it changes throughout ontogeny and may have implications for alcohol use not only throughout the developmental period of adolescence, but also in adulthood.

  17. Placing prediction into the fear circuit

    OpenAIRE

    McNally, Gavan P.; Johansen, Joshua P.; Blair, Hugh T.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning depends on synaptic plasticity at amygdala neurons. Here we review recent electrophysiological, molecular, and behavioral evidence suggesting the existence of a distributed neural circuitry regulating amygdala synaptic plasticity during fear learning. This circuitry, which involves projections from the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) region, can be linked to prediction error and expectation modulation of fear learning as described by associative and computationa...

  18. Differential modulation of changes in hippocampal-septal synaptic excitability by the amygdala as a function of either elemental or contextual fear conditioning in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desmedt, A; Garcia, R; Jaffard, R

    1998-01-01

    Recent data obtained using a classic fear conditioning paradigm showed a dissociation between the retention of associations relative to contextual information (dependent on the hippocampal formation) and the retention of elemental associations (dependent on the amygdala). Furthermore, it was reported that conditioned emotional responses (CERs) could be dissociated from the recollection of the learning experience (declarative memory) in humans and from modifications of the hippocampal-septal excitability in animals. Our aim was to determine whether these two systems ("behavioral expression" system and "factual memory" system) interact by examining the consequences of amygdalar lesions (1) on the modifications of hippocampal-septal excitability and (2) on the behavioral expression of fear (freezing) resulting from an aversive conditioning during reexposure to conditional stimuli (CSs). During conditioning, to modulate the predictive nature of the context and of a discrete stimulus (tone) on the unconditional stimulus (US) occurrence, the phasic discrete CS was paired with the US or randomly distributed with regard to the US. After the lesion, the CER was dramatically reduced during reexposure to the CSs, whatever the type of acquisition. However, the changes in hippocampal-septal excitability persisted but were altered. For controls, a decrease in septal excitability was observed during reexposure to the conditioning context only for the "unpaired group" (predictive context case). Conversely, among lesioned subjects this decrease was observed in the "paired group" (predictive discrete CS case), whereas this decrease was significantly reduced in the unpaired group with respect to the matched control group. The amplitude and the direction of these modifications suggest a differential modulation of hippocampal-septal excitability by the amygdala to amplify the contribution of the more predictive association signaling the occurrence of the aversive event.

  19. Sex- and dose-dependent effects of calcium ion irradiation on behavioral performance of B6D2F1 mice during contextual fear conditioning training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raber, Jacob; Weber, Sydney J.; Kronenberg, Amy; Turker, Mitchell S.

    2016-06-01

    The space radiation environment includes energetic charged particles that may impact behavioral and cognitive performance. The relationship between the dose and the ionization density of the various types of charged particles (expressed as linear energy transfer or LET), and cognitive performance is complex. In our earlier work, whole body exposure to 28Si ions (263 MeV/n, LET = 78keV / μ m ; 1.6 Gy) affected contextual fear memory in C57BL/6J × DBA2/J F1 (B6D2F1) mice three months following irradiation but this was not the case following exposure to 48Ti ions (1 GeV/n, LET = 107keV / μ m ; 0.2 or 0.4 Gy). As an increased understanding of the impact of charged particle exposures is critical for assessment of risk to the CNS of astronauts during and following missions, in this study we used 40Ca ion beams (942 MeV/n, LET = 90keV / μm) to determine the behavioral and cognitive effects for the LET region between that of Si ions and Ti ions. 40Ca ion exposure reduced baseline activity in a novel environment in a dose-dependent manner, which suggests reduced motivation to explore and/or a diminished level of curiosity in a novel environment. In addition, exposure to 40Ca ions had sex-dependent effects on response to shock. 40Ca ion irradiation reduced the response to shock in female, but not male, mice. In contrast, 40Ca ion irradiation did not affect fear learning, memory, or extinction of fear memory for either gender at the doses employed in this study. Thus 40Ca ion irradiation affected behavioral, but not cognitive, performance. The effects of 40Ca ion irradiation on behavioral performance are relevant, as a combination of novelty and aversive environmental stimuli is pertinent to conditions experienced by astronauts during and following space missions.

  20. Sex- and dose-dependent effects of calcium ion irradiation on behavioral performance of B6D2F1 mice during contextual fear conditioning training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raber, Jacob; Weber, Sydney J; Kronenberg, Amy; Turker, Mitchell S

    2016-06-01

    The space radiation environment includes energetic charged particles that may impact behavioral and cognitive performance. The relationship between the dose and the ionization density of the various types of charged particles (expressed as linear energy transfer or LET), and cognitive performance is complex. In our earlier work, whole body exposure to (28)Si ions (263 MeV/n, LET=78keV/μm; 1.6 Gy) affected contextual fear memory in C57BL/6J × DBA2/J F1 (B6D2F1) mice three months following irradiation but this was not the case following exposure to (48)Ti ions (1 GeV/n, LET=107keV/μm; 0.2 or 0.4 Gy). As an increased understanding of the impact of charged particle exposures is critical for assessment of risk to the CNS of astronauts during and following missions, in this study we used (40)Ca ion beams (942 MeV/n, LET=90keV/μm) to determine the behavioral and cognitive effects for the LET region between that of Si ions and Ti ions. (40)Ca ion exposure reduced baseline activity in a novel environment in a dose-dependent manner, which suggests reduced motivation to explore and/or a diminished level of curiosity in a novel environment. In addition, exposure to (40)Ca ions had sex-dependent effects on response to shock. (40)Ca ion irradiation reduced the response to shock in female, but not male, mice. In contrast, (40)Ca ion irradiation did not affect fear learning, memory, or extinction of fear memory for either gender at the doses employed in this study. Thus (40)Ca ion irradiation affected behavioral, but not cognitive, performance. The effects of (40)Ca ion irradiation on behavioral performance are relevant, as a combination of novelty and aversive environmental stimuli is pertinent to conditions experienced by astronauts during and following space missions. PMID:27345201

  1. Auditory Neuropathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... field differ in their opinions about the potential benefits of hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other technologies for people with auditory neuropathy. Some professionals report that hearing aids and personal listening devices such as frequency modulation (FM) systems are ...

  2. Grin1 receptor deletion within CRF neurons enhances fear memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgette Gafford

    Full Text Available Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF dysregulation is implicated in mood and anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD. CRF is expressed in areas engaged in fear and anxiety processing including the central amygdala (CeA. Complicating our ability to study the contribution of CRF-containing neurons to fear and anxiety behavior is the wide variety of cell types in which CRF is expressed. To manipulate specific subpopulations of CRF containing neurons, our lab has developed a mouse with a Cre recombinase gene driven by a CRF promoter (CRFp3.0Cre (Martin et al., 2010. In these studies, mice that have the gene that encodes NR1 (Grin1 flanked by loxP sites (floxed were crossed with our previously developed CRFp3.0Cre mouse to selectively disrupt Grin1 within CRF containing neurons (Cre+/fGrin1+. We find that disruption of Grin1 in CRF neurons did not affect baseline levels of anxiety, locomotion, pain sensitivity or exploration of a novel object. However, baseline expression of Grin1 was decreased in Cre+/fGrin1+ mice as measured by RTPCR. Cre+/fGrin1+ mice showed enhanced auditory fear acquisition and retention without showing any significant effect on fear extinction. We measured Gria1, the gene that encodes AMPAR1 and the CREB activator Creb1 in the amygdala of Cre+/fGrin1+ mice after fear conditioning. Both Gria1 and Creb1 were enhanced in the amygdala after training. To determine if the Grin1-expressing CRF neurons within the CeA are responsible for the enhancement of fear memory in adults, we infused a lentivirus with Cre driven by a CRF promoter (LV pCRF-Cre/fGrin1+ into the CeA of floxed Grin1 mice. Cre driven deletion of Grin1 specifically within CRF expressing cells in the CeA also resulted in enhanced fear memory acquisition and retention. Altogether, these findings suggest that selective disruption of Grin1 within CeA CRF neurons strongly enhances fear memory.

  3. Mice lacking Ras-GRF1 show contextual fear conditioning but not spatial memory impairments: convergent evidence from two independently generated mouse mutant lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raffaele ed'Isa

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Ras-GRF1 is a neuronal specific guanine exchange factor that, once activated by both ionotropic and metabotropic neurotransmitter receptors, can stimulate Ras proteins, leading to long-term phosphorylation of downstream signaling. The two available reports on the behavior of two independently generated Ras-GRF1 deficient mouse lines provide contrasting evidence on the role of Ras-GRF1 in spatial memory and contextual fear conditioning. These discrepancies may be due to the distinct alterations introduced in the mouse genome by gene targeting in the two lines that could differentially affect expression of nearby genes located in the imprinted region containing the Ras-grf1 locus. In order to determine the real contribution of Ras-GRF1 to spatial memory we compared in Morris Water Maze learning the Brambilla’s mice with a third mouse line (GENA53 in which a nonsense mutation was introduced in the Ras-GRF1 coding region without additional changes in the genome and we found that memory in this task is normal. Also, we measured both contextual and cued fear conditioning, which were previously reported to be affected in the Brambilla’s mice, and we confirmed that contextual learning but not cued conditioning is impaired in both mouse lines. In addition, we also tested both lines for the first time in conditioned place aversion in the Intellicage, an ecological and remotely controlled behavioral test, and we observed normal learning. Finally, based on previous reports of other mutant lines suggesting that Ras-GRF1 may control body weight, we also measured this non-cognitive phenotype and we confirmed that both Ras-GRF1 deficient mutants are smaller than their control littermates. In conclusion, we demonstrate that Ras-GRF1 has no unique role in spatial memory while its function in contextual fear conditioning is likely to be due not only to its involvement in amygdalar functions but possibly to some distinct hippocampal connections specific to

  4. Enhanced discriminative fear learning of phobia-irrelevant stimuli in spider-fearful individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina eMosig

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Avoidance is considered as a central hallmark of all anxiety disorders. The acquisition and expression of avoidance which leads to the maintenance and exacerbation of pathological fear is closely linked to Pavlovian and operant conditioning processes. Changes in conditionability might represent a key feature of all anxiety disorders but the exact nature of these alterations might vary across different disorders. To date, no information is available on specific changes in conditionability for disorder-irrelevant stimuli in specific phobia (SP. The first aim of this study was to investigate changes in fear acquisition and extinction in spider-fearful individuals as compared to non-fearful participants by using the de novo fear conditioning paradigm. Secondly, we aimed to determine whether differences in the magnitude of context-dependent fear retrieval exist between spider-fearful and non-fearful individuals. Our findings point to an enhanced fear discrimination in spider-fearful individuals as compared to non-fearful individuals at both the physiological and subjective level. The enhanced fear discrimination in spider-fearful individuals was neither mediated by increased state anxiety, depression, nor stress tension. Spider-fearful individuals displayed no changes in extinction learning and/or fear retrieval. Surprisingly, we found no evidence for context-dependent modulation of fear retrieval in either group. Here we provide first evidence that spider-fearful individuals show an enhanced discriminative fear learning of phobia-irrelevant (de novo stimuli. Our findings provide novel insights into the role of fear acquisition and expression for the development and maintenance of maladaptive responses in the course of SP.

  5. Orexin receptor-1 in the locus coeruleus plays an important role in cue-dependent fear memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soya, Shingo; Shoji, Hirotaka; Hasegawa, Emi; Hondo, Mari; Miyakawa, Tsuyoshi; Yanagisawa, Masashi; Mieda, Michihiro; Sakurai, Takeshi

    2013-09-01

    The noradrenergic (NA) projections arising from the locus ceruleus (LC) to the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis have been implicated in the formation of emotional memory. Since NA neurons in the LC (LC-NA neurons) abundantly express orexin receptor-1 (OX1R) and receive prominent innervation by orexin-producing neurons, we hypothesized that an OX1R-mediated pathway is involved in the physiological fear learning process via regulation of LC-NA neurons. To evaluate this hypothesis, we examined the phenotype of Ox1r(-/-) mice in the classic cued and contextual fear-conditioning test. We found that Ox1r(-/-) mice showed impaired freezing responses in both cued and contextual fear-conditioning paradigms. In contrast, Ox2r(-/-) mice showed normal freezing behavior in the cued fear-conditioning test, while they exhibited shorter freezing time in the contextual fear-conditioning test. Double immunolabeling of Fos and tyrosine hydroxylase showed that double-positive LC-NA neurons after test sessions of both cued and contextual stimuli were significantly fewer in Ox1r(-/-) mice. AAV-mediated expression of OX1R in LC-NA neurons in Ox1r(-/-) mice restored the freezing behavior to the auditory cue to a comparable level to that in wild-type mice in the test session. Decreased freezing time during the contextual fear test was not affected by restoring OX1R expression in LC-NA neurons. These observations support the hypothesis that the orexin system modulates the formation and expression of fear memory via OX1R in multiple pathways. Especially, OX1R in LC-NA neurons plays an important role in cue-dependent fear memory formation and/or retrieval.

  6. Adolescent and adult rats differ in the amnesic effects of acute ethanol in two hippocampus-dependent tasks: Trace and contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Pamela S; Barnet, Robert C

    2016-02-01

    Experience-produced deficits in trace conditioning and context conditioning have been useful tools for examining the role of the hippocampus in learning. It has also been suggested that learning in these tasks is especially vulnerable to neurotoxic effects of alcohol during key developmental periods such as adolescence. In five experiments we systematically examined the presence and source of age-dependent vulnerability to the memory-disrupting effects of acute ethanol in trace conditioning and contextual fear conditioning. In Experiment 1a pre-training ethanol disrupted trace conditioning more strongly in adolescent (postnatal day, PD30-35) than adult rats (PD65-75). In Experiment 1b when pre-training ethanol was accompanied by pre-test ethanol no deficit in trace conditioning was observed in adolescents, suggesting that state-dependent retrieval failure mediated ethanol's disruption of trace conditioning at this age. Experiment 2a and b examined the effect of ethanol pretreatment on context conditioning. Here, adult but not adolescent rats were impaired in conditioned freezing to context cues. Experiment 2c explored state-dependency of this effect. Pre-training ethanol continued to disrupt context conditioning in adults even when ethanol was also administered prior to test. Collectively these findings reveal clear age-dependent and task-dependent vulnerabilities in ethanol's disruptive effects on hippocampus-dependent memory. Adolescents were more disrupted by ethanol in trace conditioning than adults, and adults were more disrupted by ethanol in context conditioning than adolescents. We suggest that adolescents may be more susceptible to changes in internal state (state-dependent retrieval failure) than adults and that ethanol disrupted performance in trace and context conditioning through different mechanisms. Relevance of these findings to theories of hippocampus function is discussed.

  7. Neuronal connectivity and interactions between the auditory and limbic systems. Effects of noise and tinnitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Kari Suzanne; Canlon, Barbara

    2012-06-01

    Acoustic experience such as sound, noise, or absence of sound induces structural or functional changes in the central auditory system but can also affect limbic regions such as the amygdala and hippocampus. The amygdala is particularly sensitive to sound with valence or meaning, such as vocalizations, crying or music. The amygdala plays a central role in auditory fear conditioning, regulation of the acoustic startle response and can modulate auditory cortex plasticity. A stressful acoustic stimulus, such as noise, causes amygdala-mediated release of stress hormones via the HPA-axis, which may have negative effects on health, as well as on the central nervous system. On the contrary, short-term exposure to stress hormones elicits positive effects such as hearing protection. The hippocampus can affect auditory processing by adding a temporal dimension, as well as being able to mediate novelty detection via theta wave phase-locking. Noise exposure affects hippocampal neurogenesis and LTP in a manner that affects structural plasticity, learning and memory. Tinnitus, typically induced by hearing malfunctions, is associated with emotional stress, depression and anatomical changes of the hippocampus. In turn, the limbic system may play a role in the generation as well as the suppression of tinnitus indicating that the limbic system may be essential for tinnitus treatment. A further understanding of auditory-limbic interactions will contribute to future treatment strategies of tinnitus and noise trauma. PMID:22440225

  8. The group I metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR5 is required for fear memory formation and long-term potentiation in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Sarina M; Bauer, Elizabeth P; Farb, Claudia R; Schafe, Glenn E; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2002-06-15

    The group I metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype mGluR5 has been shown to play a key role in the modulation of synaptic plasticity. The present experiments examined the function of mGluR5 in the circuitry underlying Pavlovian fear conditioning using neuroanatomical, electrophysiological, and behavioral techniques. First, we show using immunocytochemical and tract-tracing methods that mGluR5 is localized to dendritic shafts and spines in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) and is postsynaptic to auditory thalamic inputs. In electrophysiological experiments, we show that long-term potentiation at thalamic input synapses to the LA is impaired by bath application of a specific mGluR5 antagonist, 2-methyl-6-(phenyle-thynyl)-pyridine (MPEP), in vitro. Finally, we show that intra-amygdala administration of MPEP dose-dependently impairs the acquisition, but not expression or consolidation, of auditory and contextual fear conditioning. Collectively, the results of this study indicate that mGluR5 in the LA plays a crucial role in fear conditioning and in plasticity at synapses involved in fear conditioning.

  9. Forming Competing Fear Learning and Extinction Memories in Adolescence Makes Fear Difficult to Inhibit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Kathryn D.; Richardson, Rick

    2015-01-01

    Fear inhibition is markedly impaired in adolescent rodents and humans. The present experiments investigated whether this impairment is critically determined by the animal's age at the time of fear learning or their age at fear extinction. Male rats (n = 170) were tested for extinction retention after conditioning and extinction at different ages.…

  10. Natural antioxidant L-carnosine inhibits LPO intensification in structures of the auditory analyzer under conditions of chronic exposure to aminoglycoside antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuravskii, S G; Aleksandrova, L A; Sirot, V S; Ivanov, S A

    2004-10-01

    Intragastric administration of L-carnosine suspension to Wistar-Kyoto rats 3 days before and after 7-day course of intraperitoneal injections of ototoxic aminoglycoside antibiotic kanamycin compensated expenditures of tissue antioxidant systems and significantly eliminated kanamycin-induced intensification of MDA production in tissues of the membrane part of the cochlea and in the auditory cortex of the temporal lobe. L-NAME (competitive NO synthase inhibitor) also inhibited LPO, increased total antioxidant activity, and decreased ototoxicity of kanamycin, which confirms the contribution of NO into LPO intensification under conditions of aminoglycoside treatment. Inhibition of pathological intensification of LPO processes and increase in total antioxidant activity under conditions of induced acute aminoglycoside ototoxicity characterizes L-carnosine as a highly effective otoprotector. PMID:15665945

  11. Commentary about fear of movement

    OpenAIRE

    K. Meyer

    2010-01-01

    Chronic pain influences many aspects of a patient’s life and often results in physical disability. There are many concepts to explain this condition of disability. For example, several psychological variables like coping with pain, depression, hypervigilance, catastrophizing and fear avoidance are considered in literature to play an important role. In Vlaeyen’s model of fear avoidance, he proposes that in a first step negative affectivity and threatening illness information could trigger the ...

  12. Exposure to extinction-associated contextual tone during slow-wave sleep and wakefulness differentially modulates fear expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ai, Si-Zhi; Chen, Jie; Liu, Jian-Feng; He, Jia; Xue, Yan-Xue; Bao, Yan-Ping; Han, Fang; Tang, Xiang-Dong; Lu, Lin; Shi, Jie

    2015-09-01

    Recent research has used context cues (odor or auditory cues) to target memories during sleep and has demonstrated that they can enhance declarative and procedural memories. However, the effects of external cues re-presented during sleep on emotional memory are still not fully understood. In the present study, we conducted a Pavlovian fear conditioning/extinction paradigm and examined the effects of re-exposure to extinction memory associated contextual tones during slow-wave sleep (SWS) and wakefulness on fear expression. The participants underwent fear conditioning on the first day, during which colored squares served as the conditioned stimulus (CS) and a mild shock served as the unconditioned stimulus (US). The next day, they underwent extinction, during which the CSs were presented without the US but accompanied by a contextual tone (pink noise). Immediately after extinction, the participants were required to take a nap or remain awake and randomly assigned to six groups. Four of the groups were separately exposed to the associated tone (i.e. SWS-Tone group and Wake-Tone group) or an irrelevant tone (control tone, CtrT) (i.e. SWS-CtrT group and Wake-CtrT group), while the other two groups were not (i.e. SWS-No Tone group and Wake-No Tone group). Subsequently, the conditioned responses to the CSs were tested to evaluate the fear expression. All of the participants included in the final analysis showed successful levels of fear conditioning and extinction. During the recall test, the fear responses were significantly higher in the SWS-Tone group than that in the SWS-No Tone group or the SWS-CtrT group, while the Wake-Tone group exhibited more attenuated fear responses than either the Wake-No Tone group or Wake-CtrT group. Otherwise, re-exposure to auditory tones during SWS did not affect sleep profiles. These results suggest that distinct conditions during which re-exposure to an extinction memory associated contextual cue contributes to differential effects on

  13. Surface expression of hippocampal NMDA GluN2B receptors regulated by fear conditioning determines its contribution to memory consolidation in adult rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yan-Yan; Cai, Wei; Yu, Jie; Liu, Shu-Su; Zhuo, Min; Li, Bao-Ming; Zhang, Xue-Han

    2016-01-01

    The number and subtype composition of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) at synapses determines their functional properties and role in learning and memory. Genetically increased or decreased amount of GluN2B affects hippocampus-dependent memory in the adult brain. But in some experimental conditions (e.g., memory elicited by a single conditioning trial (1 CS-US)), GluN2B is not a necessary factor, which indicates that the precise role of GluN2B in memory formation requires further exploration. Here, we examined the role of GluN2B in the consolidation of fear memory using two training paradigms. We found that GluN2B was only required for the consolidation of memory elicited by five conditioning trials (5 CS-US), not by 1 CS-US. Strikingly, the expression of membrane GluN2B in CA1was training-strength-dependently increased after conditioning, and that the amount of membrane GluN2B determined its involvement in memory consolidation. Additionally, we demonstrated the increases in the activities of cAMP, ERK, and CREB in the CA1 after conditioning, as well as the enhanced intrinsic excitability and synaptic efficacy in CA1 neurons. Up-regulation of membrane GluN2B contributed to these enhancements. These studies uncover a novel mechanism for the involvement of GluN2B in memory consolidation by its accumulation at the cell surface in response to behavioral training. PMID:27487820

  14. Surface expression of hippocampal NMDA GluN2B receptors regulated by fear conditioning determines its contribution to memory consolidation in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yan-Yan; Cai, Wei; Yu, Jie; Liu, Shu-Su; Zhuo, Min; Li, Bao-Ming; Zhang, Xue-Han

    2016-01-01

    The number and subtype composition of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) at synapses determines their functional properties and role in learning and memory. Genetically increased or decreased amount of GluN2B affects hippocampus-dependent memory in the adult brain. But in some experimental conditions (e.g., memory elicited by a single conditioning trial (1 CS-US)), GluN2B is not a necessary factor, which indicates that the precise role of GluN2B in memory formation requires further exploration. Here, we examined the role of GluN2B in the consolidation of fear memory using two training paradigms. We found that GluN2B was only required for the consolidation of memory elicited by five conditioning trials (5 CS-US), not by 1 CS-US. Strikingly, the expression of membrane GluN2B in CA1was training-strength-dependently increased after conditioning, and that the amount of membrane GluN2B determined its involvement in memory consolidation. Additionally, we demonstrated the increases in the activities of cAMP, ERK, and CREB in the CA1 after conditioning, as well as the enhanced intrinsic excitability and synaptic efficacy in CA1 neurons. Up-regulation of membrane GluN2B contributed to these enhancements. These studies uncover a novel mechanism for the involvement of GluN2B in memory consolidation by its accumulation at the cell surface in response to behavioral training. PMID:27487820

  15. Fear Inhibition in High Trait Anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Merel Kindt; Marieke Soeter

    2014-01-01

    Trait anxiety is recognized as an individual risk factor for the development of anxiety disorders but the neurobiological mechanisms remain unknown. Here we test whether trait anxiety is associated with impaired fear inhibition utilizing the AX+/BX- conditional discrimination procedure that allows for the independent evaluation of startle fear potentiation and inhibition of fear [1]. Sixty undergraduate students participated in the study - High Trait Anxious: n = 28 and Low Trait Anxious: n =...

  16. The prelimbic cortex uses higher-order cues to modulate both the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Judith Sharpe

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The prelimbic (PL cortex allows rodents to adapt their responding under changing experimental circumstances. In line with this, the PL cortex has been implicated in strategy set shifting, attentional set shifting, the resolution of response conflict, and the modulation of attention towards predictive stimuli. One interpretation of this research is that the PL cortex is involved in using information garnered from higher-order cues in the environment to modulate how an animal responds to environmental stimuli. However, data supporting this view of PL function in the aversive domain are lacking. In the following experiments, we attempted to answer two questions. Firstly, we wanted to investigate whether the role of the PL cortex in using higher-order cues to influence responding generalizes across appetitive and aversive domains. Secondly, as much of the research has focused on a role for the PL cortex in performance, we wanted to assess whether this region is also involved in the acquisition of hierarchal associations which facilitate an ability to use higher-order cues to modulate responding. In order to answer these questions, we assessed the impact of PL inactivation during both the acquisition and expression of a contextual bi-conditional discrimination. A contextual bi-conditional discrimination involves presenting two stimuli. In one context, one stimulus is paired with shock while the other is presented without shock. In another context, these contingencies are reversed. Thus, animals have to use the present contextual cues to disambiguate the significance of the stimulus and respond appropriately. We found that PL inactivation disrupted both the encoding and expression of these context-dependent associations. This supports a role for the PL cortex in allowing higher-order cues to modulate both learning about, and responding towards, different cues. We discuss these findings in the broader context of functioning in the medial prefrontal

  17. Distinctive Roles for Amygdalar CREB in Reconsolidation and Extinction of Fear Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tronson, Natalie C.; Wiseman, Shari L.; Neve, Rachael L.; Nestler, Eric J.; Olausson, Peter; Taylor, Jane R.

    2012-01-01

    Cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) plays a critical role in fear memory formation. Here we determined the role of CREB selectively within the amygdala in reconsolidation and extinction of auditory fear. Viral overexpression of the inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER) or the dominant-negative mCREB, specifically within the lateral…

  18. Neuroleptic drugs revert the contextual fear conditioning deficit presented by spontaneously hypertensive rats: a potential animal model of emotional context processing in schizophrenia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calzavara, Mariana Bendlin; Medrano, Wladimir Agostini; Levin, Raquel; Kameda, Sonia Regina; Andersen, Monica Levy; Tufik, Sergio; Silva, Regina Helena; Frussa-Filho, Roberto; Abílio, Vanessa Costhek

    2009-07-01

    Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) present abnormalities in emotion processing. A previous study showed that the spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), a putative animal model of ADHD, present reduced contextual fear conditioning (CFC). The aim of the present study was to characterize the deficit in CFC presented by SHR. Adult male normotensive Wistar rats and SHR were submitted to the CFC task. Sensitivity of the animals to the shock and the CFC performance after repeated exposure to the task were investigated. Pharmacological characterization consisted in the evaluation of the effects of the following drugs administered previously to the acquisition of the CFC: pentylenetetrazole (anxiogenic) and chlordiazepoxide (anxiolytic); methylphenidate and amphetamine (used for ADHD); lamotrigine, carbamazepine, and valproic acid (mood stabilizers); haloperidol, ziprasidone, risperidone, amisulpride, and clozapine (neuroleptic drugs); metoclopramide and SCH 23390 (dopamine antagonists without antipsychotic properties); and ketamine (a psychotomimmetic). The effects of paradoxical sleep deprivation (that worsens psychotic symptoms) and the performance in a latent inhibition protocol (an animal model of schizophrenia) were also verified. No differences in the sensitivity to the shock were observed. The repeated exposure to the CFC task did not modify the deficit in CFC presented by SHR. Considering pharmacological treatments, only the neuroleptic drugs reversed this deficit. This deficit was potentiated by proschizophrenia manipulations. Finally, a deficit in latent inhibition was also presented by SHR. These findings suggest that the deficit in CFC presented by SHR could be a useful animal model to study abnormalities in emotional context processing related to schizophrenia. PMID:18281713

  19. 消退训练对大鼠条件性恐惧行为及海马CA1区突触超微结构的影响%Effects of extinction training on conditioned fear behaviour and synaptic structure in hippocampal CA1 area in fear conditioned rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张丽丽; 李培培; 李敏; 韦美; 彭李

    2012-01-01

    Objective To determine the effect of fear extinction training on the behaviours and the ultrastructure of hippocampal CA1 area in fear conditioned rats. Methods Forty male adult SD rats were randomly divided into native group (re =8), extinction control group (re = 16) and extinction group (re = 16). In 24 h after fear condition was established by reference instruction in the later 2 groups, extinction training was carried out in the extinction group and extinction retention test was performed in 7 and 21 d after fear extinction. The test was performed in 8 and 22 d in extinction control group. The changes of synaptic structure in CA1 of hippocampus were observed at 7 and 21 d after fear extinction. Results Compared with the extinction control group, the scores of extinction retention was significantly increased (P<0.01) at 7 and 21 d after extinction in the extinction group. There was no significant difference between extinction group and native group at 7 and 21 d. At 7 d after extinction training, the synaptic density was significantly higher in extinction group than that in the extinction control group (P <0.05 ) , and there was no difference among groups at 21 d. Compared with native group, the width of synaptic gap was significantly lower at 7 and 21 d after extinction training in extinction group ( P <0.01, 0. 05 ). At 21 d, the width of synaptic gap was significantly lower in the extinction group than that in the control group (P <0. 05). But there was no significant difference between the extinction control group and native group at 7 and 21 d after extinction. Compared with native group, at 7 and 21 d after extinction training, postsynaptic density (PSD) was significantly thicker in extinction group (P<0.01). And at 21 d, the density was significantly thicker in extinction group than that in the extinction control group (P < 0.05 ). There was no significant difference among the groups in active zone length. Conclusion Fear extinction training changes

  20. Immediate extinction promotes the return of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merz, Christian J; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Wolf, Oliver T

    2016-05-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that immediate extinction is less effective than delayed extinction in attenuating the return of fear. This line of fear conditioning research impacts the proposed onset of psychological interventions after threatening situations. In the present study, forty healthy men were investigated in a differential fear conditioning paradigm with fear acquisition in context A, extinction in context B, followed by retrieval testing in both contexts 24h later to test fear renewal. Differently coloured lights served as conditioned stimuli (CS): two CS (CS+) were paired with an electrical stimulation that served as unconditioned stimulus, the third CS was never paired (CS-). Extinction took place immediately after fear acquisition or 24h later. One CS+ was extinguished whereas the second CS+ remained unextinguished to control for different time intervals between fear acquisition and retrieval testing. Immediate extinction led to larger skin conductance responses during fear retrieval to both the extinguished and unextinguished CS relative to the CS-, indicating a stronger return of fear compared to delayed extinction. Taken together, immediate extinction is less potent than delayed extinction and is associated with a stronger renewal effect. Thus, the time-point of psychological interventions relative to the offset of threatening situations needs to be carefully considered to prevent relapses. PMID:26995309

  1. Memory suppression trades prolonged fear and sleep-dependent fear plasticity for the avoidance of current fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuriyama, Kenichi; Honma, Motoyasu; Yoshiike, Takuya; Kim, Yoshiharu

    2013-07-01

    Sleep deprivation immediately following an aversive event reduces fear by preventing memory consolidation during homeostatic sleep. This suggests that acute insomnia might act prophylactically against the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even though it is also a possible risk factor for PTSD. We examined total sleep deprivation and memory suppression to evaluate the effects of these interventions on subsequent aversive memory formation and fear conditioning. Active suppression of aversive memory impaired retention of event memory. However, although the remembered fear was more reduced in sleep-deprived than sleep-control subjects, suppressed fear increased, and seemed to abandon the sleep-dependent plasticity of fear. Active memory suppression, which provides a psychological model for Freud's ego defense mechanism, enhances fear and casts doubt on the potential of acute insomnia as a prophylactic measure against PTSD. Our findings bring into question the role of sleep in aversive-memory consolidation in clinical PTSD pathophysiology.

  2. Effects of chromium and chromium + vitamin C combination on metabolic, oxidative, and fear responses of broilers transported under summer conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perai, A. H.; Kermanshahi, H.; Moghaddam, H. Nassiri; Zarban, A.

    2015-04-01

    A total of 240 female broilers (42 days old) were randomly assigned to four groups with six replicates and fed either a basal diet (two control groups) or a basal diet supplemented with either 1,200 μg Cr+3 from chromium (Cr) methionine/kg (Cr group) or 1,200 μg Cr+3 from Cr methionine plus 800 mg vitamin C (Vit C)/kg of diet (Cr + Vit C group). After 7 days on the dietary treatment, all groups except one of the controls were transported for 3 h under the summer conditions. Performance parameters were not influenced by dietary treatments. The plasma concentrations of insulin, triiodothyronine, triglyceride, and the ratio of triiodothyronine/thyroxin were decreased and the ratio of glucose/insulin was increased due to transport process. Road transportation also increased the plasma concentrations of protein, cholesterol, aspartate aminotransferase, and creatine kinase and decreased the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the Cr + Vit C group. The pretransport concentrations of insulin and triiodothyronine were highest in the Cr + Vit C group. The concentration of phosphorous was lower in the Cr group than that in the other groups after transport. No significant effects of dietary treatments were observed on the other biochemical parameters. Transport increased malondialdehyde concentration in the control group and did not change plasma total antioxidant capacity and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity. Either in combination or alone, Cr increased plasma total antioxidant capacity (before transport P ≤ 0.05, after transport P = 0.07) but did not affect the concentration of malondialdehyde and activity of glutathione peroxidase. The duration of tonic immobility (TI) was similar between nontransported control chicks and transported chicks without any supplements. Pretreatment with Cr + Vit C significantly reduced the duration of TI.

  3. Stressor controllability modulates fear extinction in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Catherine A; Gorun, Alyson; Reddan, Marianne C; Ramirez, Franchesca; Phelps, Elizabeth A

    2014-09-01

    Traumatic events are proposed to play a role in the development of anxiety disorders, however not all individuals exposed to extreme stress experience a pathological increase in fear. Recent studies in animal models suggest that the degree to which one is able to control an aversive experience is a critical factor determining its behavioral consequences. In this study, we examined whether stressor controllability modulates subsequent conditioned fear expression in humans. Participants were randomly assigned to an escapable stressor condition, a yoked inescapable stressor condition, or a control condition involving no stress exposure. One week later, all participants underwent fear conditioning, fear extinction, and a test of extinction retrieval the following day. Participants exposed to inescapable stress showed impaired fear extinction learning and increased fear expression the following day. In contrast, escapable stress improved fear extinction and prevented the spontaneous recovery of fear. Consistent with the bidirectional controllability effects previously reported in animal models, these results suggest that one's degree of control over aversive experiences may be an important factor influencing the development of psychological resilience or vulnerability in humans.

  4. Resizing Auditory Communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kreutzfeldt, Jacob

    2012-01-01

    Heard through the ears of the Canadian composer and music teacher R. Murray Schafer the ideal auditory community had the shape of a village. Schafer’s work with the World Soundscape Project in the 70s represent an attempt to interpret contemporary environments through musical and auditory...... of sound as an active component in shaping urban environments. As urban conditions spreads globally, new scales, shapes and forms of communities appear and call for new distinctions and models in the study and representation of sonic environments. Particularly so, since urban environments are increasingly...... presents some terminologies for mapping urban environments through its sonic configuration. Such probing into the practices of acoustic territorialisation may direct attention to some of the conflicting and disharmonious interests defining public inclusive domains. The paper investigates the concept...

  5. Increased whole-body auditory startle reflex and autonomic reactivity in children with anxiety disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, Mirte J.; Tijssen, Marina A. J.; van der Meer, Johan N.; Koelman, Johannes H. T. M.; Boer, Frits

    2009-01-01

    Background: Young patients with anxiety disorders are thought to have a hypersensitive fear system, including alterations of the early sensorimotor processing of threatening information. However, there is equivocal support in auditory blink response studies for an enlarged auditory startle reflex (A

  6. Fears and Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the situation calls for. Many people have a fear of public speaking . Whether it's giving a report in class, speaking ... cloudy. A guy with social phobia experiences intense fear of public speaking or interacting, and may be afraid to answer ...

  7. Promotion effect of D-cycloserine on long-term retention of rat extinction memory of conditioned fear%D-环丝氨酸促进大鼠条件性恐惧消退记忆的长期保持

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张钰; 李敏

    2011-01-01

    目的 研究D-环丝氨酸(D-serine,DCS)对条件性恐惧消退记忆的长时保持的影响.方法 成年雄性SD大鼠40只,采用完全随机方法分为空白对照组、消退对照组、消退训练组、消退训练前DCS干预组、消退训练后DCS干预组,每组8只.在消退训练后3d时进行僵立行为测试与旷场行为测试.结果 ①消退训练组的僵立时间百分比[(39.77±22.69)%]显著低于消退对照组[(61.46±11.10)%](P<0.05),但仍高于空白对照组[(2.82±1.27)%](P<0.01);旷场测试中消退训练组的中央路程百分比及直立次数[(2.82±2.89)%,(7±4)]显著高于消退对照组[(0.50±0.84)%,(3士4)],但低于空白对照组[(19.29±6.08)%,(20±6)](P<0.05);②消退训练后DCS干预组的僵立时间百分比与旷场行为测试成绩与其他组比较均有统计学差异(P<0.05).结论 消退训练后给予D-环丝氨酸能够促进条件化恐惧消退记忆的长时保持.%Objective To investigate the influence of D-cycloserine (DCS) on the long-term retention of rat extinction memory of conditioned fear. Methods Forty healthy male adult SD rats were randomly divided into five groups (n = 8 ): a blank control group, an extinction control group, an extinction training group, a group with DCS treatment before extinction training, and a group with DCS treatment after extinction training. Following fear conditioning, which includes auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) paired with foot-shock uncondi tioned stimulus (US), rats received non-reinforced exposure to CS for extinction training. CS-elicited freezing test for fear assessment and open-field test were conducted 3 d after extinction training. Results The percent age of freezing time of the extinction training group [( 39.77 ± 22.69 ) %]was significantly lower than that of the extinction control group[(61.46 ± 11.10) %]( P < 0. 05 ), but significantly higher than that of the blank control group[(2.82 ± 1.27)%](P <0. 01 ). The percentage of

  8. Frequency band-importance functions for auditory and auditory-visual speech recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Ken W.

    2005-04-01

    In many everyday listening environments, speech communication involves the integration of both acoustic and visual speech cues. This is especially true in noisy and reverberant environments where the speech signal is highly degraded, or when the listener has a hearing impairment. Understanding the mechanisms involved in auditory-visual integration is a primary interest of this work. Of particular interest is whether listeners are able to allocate their attention to various frequency regions of the speech signal differently under auditory-visual conditions and auditory-alone conditions. For auditory speech recognition, the most important frequency regions tend to be around 1500-3000 Hz, corresponding roughly to important acoustic cues for place of articulation. The purpose of this study is to determine the most important frequency region under auditory-visual speech conditions. Frequency band-importance functions for auditory and auditory-visual conditions were obtained by having subjects identify speech tokens under conditions where the speech-to-noise ratio of different parts of the speech spectrum is independently and randomly varied on every trial. Point biserial correlations were computed for each separate spectral region and the normalized correlations are interpreted as weights indicating the importance of each region. Relations among frequency-importance functions for auditory and auditory-visual conditions will be discussed.

  9. A climate of fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garner, Tom Alexander; Grimshaw, Mark Nicholas

    2011-01-01

    This paper proposes a framework that incorporates fear, acoustics, thought processing and digital game sound theory; with the potential to not only improve understanding of our relationship with fear, but also generate a foundation for reliable and significant manipulation of the fear experience....

  10. Genetic influences on the acquisition and inhibition of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendt, Julia; Neubert, Jörg; Lindner, Katja; Ernst, Florian D; Homuth, Georg; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O

    2015-12-01

    As a variant of the Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm the conditional discrimination design allows for a detailed investigation of fear acquisition and fear inhibition. Measuring fear-potentiated startle responses, we investigated the influence of two genetic polymorphisms (5-HTTLPR and COMT Val(158)Met) on fear acquisition and fear inhibition which are considered to be critical mechanisms for the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. 5-HTTLPR s-allele carriers showed a more stable potentiation of the startle response during fear acquisition. Homozygous COMT Met-allele carriers, which had demonstrated delayed extinction in previous investigations, show deficient fear inhibition in presence of a learned safety signal. Thus, our results provide further evidence that 5-HTTLPR and COMT Val(158)Met genotypes influence the vulnerability for the development of anxiety disorders via different mechanisms.

  11. [Cautious gait and fear of falling in the elderly].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aizen, E

    2001-11-01

    Falls are common in the elderly, and fear of falling is widely prevalent. This review emphasizes some of the defensive adaptations that occur in relation to concern about balance, and the phenomenon of cautious gait and fear of falling. Fear of falling affects those who never fall as well as those who do. Anxiety and fear can profoundly influence motor performance, resulting in a timid gait. However, fear of falling can take a more pathological turn and negate its survival value. Comorbid conditions associated with fear of falling appear to be similar to those responsible for falls. A fall evaluation should always include an assessment of fear of falling. All these conditions should be viewed as reversible causes of gait failure in the elderly. A number of interventions can help alleviate fear of falling and improve confidence. PMID:11759389

  12. A Time for Learning and a Time for Sleep : The Effect of Sleep Deprivation on Contextual Fear Conditioning at Different Times of the Day

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagewoud, Roelina; Whitcomb, Shamiso N.; Heeringa, Amarins N.; Havekes, Robbert; Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Meerlo, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Study Objectives: Sleep deprivation negatively affects memory consolidation, especially in the case of hippocampus-dependent memories. Studies in rodents have shown that 5 hours of sleep deprivation immediately following footshock exposure selectively impairs the formation of a contextual fear memor

  13. Neonatal lesions of orbital frontal areas 11/13 in monkeys alter goal-directed behavior but spare fear conditioning and safety signal learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andy M Kazama

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies in monkeys have demonstrated that damage to the lateral subfields of orbital frontal cortex (OFC areas 11/13 yields profound changes in flexible modulation of goal-directed behaviors and a lack in fear regulation. Yet, little consideration has been placed on its role in emotional and social development throughout life. The current study investigated the effects of neonatal lesions of the OFC on the flexible modulation of goal-directed behaviors and fear responses in monkeys. Infant monkeys received neonatal lesions of OFC areas 11/13 or sham-lesions during the first post-natal week. Modulation of goal-directed behaviors was measured with a devaluation task at 3-4 years and 6-7 years. Modulation of fear reactivity by safety signals was assessed with the AX+/BX- potentiated-startle paradigm at 6-7 years. Similar to adult-onset OFC lesions, selective neonatal lesions of OFC areas 11/13 yielded a failure to modulate behavioral responses guided by changes in reward value, but spared the ability to modulate fear responses in the presence of safety signals. These results suggest that these areas play a critical role in the development of behavioral adaptation during goal-directed behaviors, but not, or less so, in the development of the ability to process emotionally salient stimuli and to modulate emotional reactivity using environmental contexts, which could be supported by other OFC subfields, such as the most ventromedial subfields (i.e. areas 14/25. Given similar impaired decision-making abilities and spared modulation of fear followed both neonatal lesions of either OFC areas 11 and 13 or amygdala (Kazama et al., 2012; Kazama & Bachevalier, 2013, the present results suggest that interactions between these two neural structures play a critical role in the development of behavioral adaptation; an ability essential for the self-regulation of emotion and behavior that assures the maintenance of successful social relationships.

  14. Auditory and motor imagery modulate learning in music performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rachel M.; Palmer, Caroline

    2013-01-01

    Skilled performers such as athletes or musicians can improve their performance by imagining the actions or sensory outcomes associated with their skill. Performers vary widely in their auditory and motor imagery abilities, and these individual differences influence sensorimotor learning. It is unknown whether imagery abilities influence both memory encoding and retrieval. We examined how auditory and motor imagery abilities influence musicians' encoding (during Learning, as they practiced novel melodies), and retrieval (during Recall of those melodies). Pianists learned melodies by listening without performing (auditory learning) or performing without sound (motor learning); following Learning, pianists performed the melodies from memory with auditory feedback (Recall). During either Learning (Experiment 1) or Recall (Experiment 2), pianists experienced either auditory interference, motor interference, or no interference. Pitch accuracy (percentage of correct pitches produced) and temporal regularity (variability of quarter-note interonset intervals) were measured at Recall. Independent tests measured auditory and motor imagery skills. Pianists' pitch accuracy was higher following auditory learning than following motor learning and lower in motor interference conditions (Experiments 1 and 2). Both auditory and motor imagery skills improved pitch accuracy overall. Auditory imagery skills modulated pitch accuracy encoding (Experiment 1): Higher auditory imagery skill corresponded to higher pitch accuracy following auditory learning with auditory or motor interference, and following motor learning with motor or no interference. These findings suggest that auditory imagery abilities decrease vulnerability to interference and compensate for missing auditory feedback at encoding. Auditory imagery skills also influenced temporal regularity at retrieval (Experiment 2): Higher auditory imagery skill predicted greater temporal regularity during Recall in the presence of

  15. Auditory and motor imagery modulate learning in music performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2013-01-01

    Skilled performers such as athletes or musicians can improve their performance by imagining the actions or sensory outcomes associated with their skill. Performers vary widely in their auditory and motor imagery abilities, and these individual differences influence sensorimotor learning. It is unknown whether imagery abilities influence both memory encoding and retrieval. We examined how auditory and motor imagery abilities influence musicians' encoding (during Learning, as they practiced novel melodies), and retrieval (during Recall of those melodies). Pianists learned melodies by listening without performing (auditory learning) or performing without sound (motor learning); following Learning, pianists performed the melodies from memory with auditory feedback (Recall). During either Learning (Experiment 1) or Recall (Experiment 2), pianists experienced either auditory interference, motor interference, or no interference. Pitch accuracy (percentage of correct pitches produced) and temporal regularity (variability of quarter-note interonset intervals) were measured at Recall. Independent tests measured auditory and motor imagery skills. Pianists' pitch accuracy was higher following auditory learning than following motor learning and lower in motor interference conditions (Experiments 1 and 2). Both auditory and motor imagery skills improved pitch accuracy overall. Auditory imagery skills modulated pitch accuracy encoding (Experiment 1): Higher auditory imagery skill corresponded to higher pitch accuracy following auditory learning with auditory or motor interference, and following motor learning with motor or no interference. These findings suggest that auditory imagery abilities decrease vulnerability to interference and compensate for missing auditory feedback at encoding. Auditory imagery skills also influenced temporal regularity at retrieval (Experiment 2): Higher auditory imagery skill predicted greater temporal regularity during Recall in the presence of

  16. Individual phases of contextual fear conditioning differentially modulate dorsal and ventral hippocampal GluA1-3, GluN1-containing receptor complexes and subunits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sase, Sunetra; Sase, Ajinkya; Sialana, Fernando J; Gröger, Marion; Bennett, Keiryn L; Stork, Oliver; Lubec, Gert; Li, Lin

    2015-12-01

    In contextual fear conditioning (CFC), the use of pharmacological and lesion approaches has helped to understand that there are differential roles for the dorsal hippocampus (DH) and the ventral hippocampus (VH) in the acquisition, consolidation and retrieval phases. Concomitant analysis of the DH and the VH in individual phases with respect to α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptors and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subtype N1 (GluN1)-containing complexes (RCC) and subunits has not been reported so far. Herein, CFC was performed in mice that were euthanized at different time points. DH and VH samples were taken for the determination of RCC and subunit levels using BN- and SDS-PAGE, respectively, with subsequent Western blotting. Evaluation of spine densities, morphology, and immunohistochemistry of GluA1 and GluA2 was performed. In the acquisition phase levels of GluA1-RCC and subunits in VH were increased. In the consolidation phase GluA1- and GluA2-RCC levels were increased in DH and VH, while both receptor subunit levels were increased in the VH only. In the retrieval phase GluA1-RCC, subunits thereof and GluA2-RCC were increased in DH and VH, whereas GluA2 subunits were increased in the VH only. GluN1-RCC levels were increased in acquisition and consolidation phase, while subunit levels in the acquisition phase were increased only in the DH. The immunohistochemical studies in the individual phases in subareas of hippocampus supported immunochemical changes of GluA1 and GluA2 RCC's. Dendritic spine densities and the prevalence of thin spines in the acquisition phase of VH and mushroom spines in the retrieval phase of the VH and DH were increased. The findings from the current study suggest different receptor and receptor complex patterns in the individual phases in CFC and in DH and VH. The results propose that different RCCs are formed in the individual phases and that VH and DH may be involved in CFC.

  17. Effect of prolonged traumatic context exposure on conditioned fear response%延长创伤环境暴露时间对条件性恐惧表达的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    安献丽; 梁璟; 郑伦; 李幼虹; 王文忠; 郑希耕

    2009-01-01

    Objective To understand the effect of immediately prolonged context exposure on cued conditioning.Methods Prolonged or not prolonged traumatic context exposure(rats stayed 90 minutes or 2 minutes in train context after the last light-shock trial,that was 90 min group or 2 min group respectively)immediately after visual Pavlov fear conditioning train to extinct the fear response to traumatic context.Results Results showed that contextual fear memory was an important factor modulating cued conditioned fear response of rats.In traumatic context,the fear response to conditioned light of 90 min group was marginally significant low compared with 2 min group[freezing levels were(19.531±6.073)%,(46.094±10.427)%respectively,P=0.085],and the decrease of fear expression of 90 min group could last at least 35 days[freezing levels were(21.094±4.897)%,(74.219±9.481)%respectively for groups,P<0.01].Conclusion Immediately prolonged context exposure transfer the traumatic context as a"safe occasion setter",then decreased the fear response to discrete conditioned cues.This suggests that immediately prolong the traumatic environment exposure time might be a favorable way to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder.%目的 明确延长创伤后创伤环境的暴露时间对单一线索条件性恐惧表达的影响.方法 灯光线索条件性恐惧训练后延长动物在训练环境中的停留时间.结果 创伤后延长环境暴露时间能够消除动物对环境的恐惧,使之不能自发恢复.并因此抑制了对单一线索的条件性恐惧反应,主要表现为在创伤环境中,延长暴露组动物对灯光线索的条件性恐惧反应低于非延长暴露组[恐惧水平分别为(19.531±6.073)%,(46.094±10.427)%],达到边缘显著水平(P=0.085),且这种恐惧下调可以持续至少35d[延长暴露组与非延长暴露组的恐惧水平分别为(21.094±4.897)%,(74.219±9.481)%,P<0.01].结论 延长创伤环境暴露时间改变了对创伤环境的"恐惧"

  18. Zinc Transporter 3 Is Involved in Learned Fear and Extinction, but Not in Innate Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, Guillaume; Hevi, Charles; Friebely, Olivia; Baybutt, Trevor; Shumyatsky, Gleb P.

    2010-01-01

    Synaptically released Zn[superscript 2+] is a potential modulator of neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in fear-conditioning pathways. Zinc transporter 3 (ZnT3) knock-out (KO) mice are well suited to test the role of zinc in learned fear, because ZnT3 is colocalized with synaptic zinc, responsible for its transport to synaptic vesicles,…

  19. Inhibition of cognitive reappraisal on the negative valence facilitates extinction in conditioned fear%认知重评对负性效价的抑制促进条件性恐惧消退

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    廖素群; 郑希付

    2016-01-01

    认知重评能有效降低个体对情感刺激的负性情绪体验,但指导性认知重评在恐惧记忆治疗中效果存在争议。本文将认知重评范式与辨别式条件恐惧反应范式结合,以效价和US预期值为指标,探讨指导性认知重评训练对恐惧情绪习得和消退的影响效果。以低认知重评能力个体为被试,在实验前24 h进行指导性认知重评训练。条件性恐惧任务为期2天,第一天完成条件性恐惧的习得和消退任务,第二天完成条件性恐惧的再消退任务。结果显示,经过重评训练后个体在条件性恐惧任务中的恐惧情绪效价显著较低,说明认知重评有效降低低认知重评能力个体在急性应激状态下的负性情绪体验。所有被试均成功完成辨别式条件性恐惧的习得和消退任务,因此重评训练并不削弱个体对危险或者安全信息的辨别能力。但在条件性恐惧的消退过程中,认知重评指导训练加快了恐惧消退,且24 h后测得的条件性恐惧程度显著较低,说明指导性重评提高了条件性恐惧记忆的消退效率,并减弱了条件性恐惧的消退返回。%The negative cognitive bias is common in affective disorder patients, which is resistance to treatment and recovery. Cognitive reappraisal is an emotion regulation strategy that involves the process of changing the emotion response by reinterpreting the meaning of the emotional stimulus. It has been shown that cognitive reappraisal decreases negative cognitive and emotion valance effectively. Conditioned fear is an important model of affective disorder. However, whether reappraisal changes the negative cognitive and emotion in the conditioned fear is controversial. Here, we investigate whether the short-term cognitive reappraisal training could change the process of conditioned fear for individuals with low reappraisal ability and further reveal the influence of cognitive reappraisal on the

  20. Neurabin contributes to hippocampal long-term potentiation and contextual fear memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long-Jun Wu

    Full Text Available Neurabin is a scaffolding protein that interacts with actin and protein phosphatase-1. Highly enriched in the dendritic spine, neurabin is important for spine morphogenesis and synaptic formation. However, less is known about the role of neurabin in hippocampal plasticity and its possible effect on behavioral functions. Using neurabin knockout (KO mice, here we studied the function of neurabin in hippocampal synaptic transmission, plasticity and behavioral memory. We demonstrated that neurabin KO mice showed a deficit in contextual fear memory but not auditory fear memory. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings in the hippocampal CA1 neurons showed that long-term potentiation (LTP was significantly reduced, whereas long-term depression (LTD was unaltered in neurabin KO mice. Moreover, increased AMPA receptor but not NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission was found in neurabin KO mice, and is accompanied by decreased phosphorylation of GluR1 at the PKA site (Ser845 but no change at the CaMKII/PKC site (Ser831. Pre-conditioning with LTD induction rescued the following LTP in neurabin KO mice, suggesting the loss of LTP may be due to the saturated synaptic transmission. Our results indicate that neurabin regulates contextual fear memory and LTP in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.

  1. Fear in horses

    OpenAIRE

    Christensen, Janne Winther

    2006-01-01

    Fear is generally considered to be an undesirable emotional state that may reduce welfare, growth and reproductive performance in animals. Fear in horses is additionally problematic, because fear reactions can cause serious injury to both horse and human. Horses are primarily used for sports and leisure for a large number of children and young women. Unfortunately, horse riding ranks as one of the most dangerous sports in terms of the number and seriousness of accidents, and the ability of a ...

  2. Attachment Without Fear

    OpenAIRE

    Bell, David C.

    2009-01-01

    John Bowlby hypothesized an attachment system that interacts with caregiving, exploration, and fear systems in the brain, with a particular emphasis on fear. Neurobiological research confirms many of his hypotheses and also raises some new questions. A psychological model based on this neurobiological research is presented here. The model extends conventional attachment theory by describing additional attachment processes independent of fear. In this model, the attachment elements of trust, o...

  3. Timing of extinction relative to acquisition: A parametric analysis of fear extinction in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.D. Norrholm; B. Vervliet; T. Jovanovic; W. Boshoven; K.M. Myers; M. Davis; B.O. Rothbaum; E.J. Duncan

    2008-01-01

    Fear extinction is a reduction in conditioned fear following repeated exposure to the feared cue in the absence of any aversive event. Extinguished fear often reappears after extinction through spontaneous recovery. Animal studies suggest that spontaneous recovery can be abolished if extinction occu

  4. Memory suppression trades prolonged fear and sleep-dependent fear plasticity for the avoidance of current fear

    OpenAIRE

    Kenichi Kuriyama; Motoyasu Honma; Takuya Yoshiike; Yoshiharu Kim

    2013-01-01

    Sleep deprivation immediately following an aversive event reduces fear by preventing memory consolidation during homeostatic sleep. This suggests that acute insomnia might act prophylactically against the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even though it is also a possible risk factor for PTSD. We examined total sleep deprivation and memory suppression to evaluate the effects of these interventions on subsequent aversive memory formation and fear conditioning. Active suppress...

  5. Auditory and motor imagery modulate learning in music performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel M. Brown

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Skilled performers such as athletes or musicians can improve their performance by imagining the actions or sensory outcomes associated with their skill. Performers vary widely in their auditory and motor imagery abilities, and these individual differences influence sensorimotor learning. It is unknown whether imagery abilities influence both memory encoding and retrieval. We examined how auditory and motor imagery abilities influence musicians’ encoding (during Learning, as they practiced novel melodies, and retrieval (during Recall of those melodies. Pianists learned melodies by listening without performing (auditory learning or performing without sound (motor learning; following Learning, pianists performed the melodies from memory with auditory feedback (Recall. During either Learning (Experiment 1 or Recall (Experiment 2, pianists experienced either auditory interference, motor interference, or no interference. Pitch accuracy (percentage of correct pitches produced and temporal regularity (variability of quarter-note interonset intervals were measured at Recall. Independent tests measured auditory and motor imagery skills. Pianists’ pitch accuracy was higher following auditory learning than following motor learning and lower in motor interference conditions (Experiments 1 and 2. Both auditory and motor imagery skills improved pitch accuracy overall. Auditory imagery skills modulated pitch accuracy encoding (Experiment 1: Higher auditory imagery skill corresponded to higher pitch accuracy following auditory learning with auditory or motor interference, and following motor learning with motor or no interference. These findings suggest that auditory imagery abilities decrease vulnerability to interference and compensate for missing auditory feedback at encoding. Auditory imagery skills also influenced temporal regularity at retrieval (Experiment 2: Higher auditory imagery skill predicted greater temporal regularity during Recall in the

  6. Olfactory instruction for fear: neural system analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Newton Sabino Canteras

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Studies using cat odor have led to detailed mapping of neural sites engaged in innate and contextual fear responses. Here, we reviewed three lines of work examining the dynamics of the neural systems that organize innate and learned fear responses to cat odor. In the first, we explored the neural systems involved in innate fear responses and in the different stages of fear conditioning to cat odor (i.e., acquisition and expression, with a particular emphasis on the role of the dorsal premammillary nucleus (PMd and the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (PAGdl as key sites that influence innate and contextual conditioning. In the second line of studies, we reviewed how chemical stimulation of these sites (i.e., the PMd and PAGdl may serve as a useful unconditioned stimulus in an olfactory fear conditioning paradigm; these experiments provide an interesting perspective for the understanding of learned fear to predator odor. Finally, in the third line of studies, we explored the fact that neutral odors that acquire an aversive valence in a shock-paired conditioning paradigm may mimic predator odor and mobilize elements of the hypothalamic predator-responsive circuit.

  7. The influence of serotonin on fear learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Hindi Attar

    Full Text Available Learning of associations between aversive stimuli and predictive cues is the basis of Pavlovian fear conditioning and is driven by a mismatch between expectation and outcome. To investigate whether serotonin modulates the formation of such aversive cue-outcome associations, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI and dietary tryptophan depletion to reduce brain serotonin (5-HT levels in healthy human subjects. In a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm, 5-HT depleted subjects compared to a non-depleted control group exhibited attenuated autonomic responses to cues indicating the upcoming of an aversive event. These results were closely paralleled by reduced aversive learning signals in the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex, two prominent structures of the neural fear circuit. In agreement with current theories of serotonin as a motivational opponent system to dopamine in fear learning, our data provide first empirical evidence for a role of serotonin in representing formally derived learning signals for aversive events.

  8. Fearing religious satire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brink, Dennis Meyhoff

    2015-01-01

    The article examines the history of the fear of religious satire in modern Europe. The article argues that this fear primarily concerns the potential dissolution of 'the social bond of society' or 'the moral and social order'. From the 17th Century until today, censorship measures and blasphemy l...

  9. A Real Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffins, Paul

    2007-01-01

    For years, mainstream thinking about math anxiety assumed that people fear math because they are bad at it. However, a growing body of research shows a much more complicated relationship between math ability and anxiety. It is true that people who fear math have a tendency to avoid math-related classes, which decreases their math competence.…

  10. Stressor controllability modulates fear extinction in humans

    OpenAIRE

    Hartley, Catherine A.; Gorun, Alyson; Reddan, Marianne C.; Ramirez, Franchesca; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic events are proposed to play a role in the development of anxiety disorders, however not all individuals exposed to extreme stress experience a pathological increase in fear. Recent studies in animal models suggest that the degree to which one is able to control an aversive experience is a critical factor determining its behavioral consequences. In this study, we examined whether stressor controllability modulates subsequent conditioned fear expression in humans. Participants were ra...

  11. Individual differences in recovery from traumatic fear

    OpenAIRE

    Holmes, Andrew; Singewald, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    Although exposure to major psychological trauma is unfortunately common, risk for related neuropsychiatric conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), varies greatly among individuals. Fear extinction offers a tractable and translatable behavioral readout of individual differences in learned recovery from trauma. Studies in rodent substrains and subpopulations are providing new insights into neural system dysfunctions associated with impaired fear extinction. Rapid progress is ...

  12. Auditory Condition and Hearing Aids in 91 Adults with Hearing-impairment%91例成人听力状况及助听效果分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邱素梅; 冯娟; 邹建华

    2014-01-01

    Objective To investigate the auditory condition in adults with hearing-impairment and evaluate the outcome of the hearing aid. Methods The threshold of air-bone-conduction audiometry and binaural hearing aid in 91 adults were determined with pure tone audi-ometry, and their satisfaction to hearing aids were investigated with free interview. Results The threshold of hearing and hearing aid were positively correlated. The satisfaction did not significantly correlate with the threshold of hearing aid, but with the time of deprivation of hearing. The hearing threshold classification was better in the patients with the audiogram of flat, raising, slow down type than with audio-gram of Shu type, which defined as hearing reacted only in 1 or 2 frequency. Conclusion It is important to improve the primary otology pro-tection, as well as the rehabilitation from the hearing aids.%目的:了解成人听力状况,评价助听效果。方法回顾性分析91例听力损害成人纯音测听法双耳气骨导听阈及助听听阈;通过与患者的日常用语交谈确定患者满意程度。结果裸耳听阈与助听听阈呈正相关;助听效果最适并不代表患者心理感知最好;听力剥夺时间越短,佩戴助听器后的心理感知越好;听力曲线呈平坦型、上升型、缓降型的助听效果较佳,蜀型助听效果较差。结论应加强耳科初级保护,及时发现听力问题,同时保证助听器发挥最大作用。

  13. Tactile feedback improves auditory spatial localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gori, Monica; Vercillo, Tiziana; Sandini, Giulio; Burr, David

    2014-01-01

    Our recent studies suggest that congenitally blind adults have severely impaired thresholds in an auditory spatial bisection task, pointing to the importance of vision in constructing complex auditory spatial maps (Gori et al., 2014). To explore strategies that may improve the auditory spatial sense in visually impaired people, we investigated the impact of tactile feedback on spatial auditory localization in 48 blindfolded sighted subjects. We measured auditory spatial bisection thresholds before and after training, either with tactile feedback, verbal feedback, or no feedback. Audio thresholds were first measured with a spatial bisection task: subjects judged whether the second sound of a three sound sequence was spatially closer to the first or the third sound. The tactile feedback group underwent two audio-tactile feedback sessions of 100 trials, where each auditory trial was followed by the same spatial sequence played on the subject's forearm; auditory spatial bisection thresholds were evaluated after each session. In the verbal feedback condition, the positions of the sounds were verbally reported to the subject after each feedback trial. The no feedback group did the same sequence of trials, with no feedback. Performance improved significantly only after audio-tactile feedback. The results suggest that direct tactile feedback interacts with the auditory spatial localization system, possibly by a process of cross-sensory recalibration. Control tests with the subject rotated suggested that this effect occurs only when the tactile and acoustic sequences are spatially congruent. Our results suggest that the tactile system can be used to recalibrate the auditory sense of space. These results encourage the possibility of designing rehabilitation programs to help blind persons establish a robust auditory sense of space, through training with the tactile modality. PMID:25368587

  14. Tactile feedback improves auditory spatial localization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica eGori

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Our recent studies suggest that congenitally blind adults have severely impaired thresholds in an auditory spatial-bisection task, pointing to the importance of vision in constructing complex auditory spatial maps (Gori et al., 2014. To explore strategies that may improve the auditory spatial sense in visually impaired people, we investigated the impact of tactile feedback on spatial auditory localization in 48 blindfolded sighted subjects. We measured auditory spatial bisection thresholds before and after training, either with tactile feedback, verbal feedback or no feedback. Audio thresholds were first measured with a spatial bisection task: subjects judged whether the second sound of a three sound sequence was spatially closer to the first or the third sound. The tactile-feedback group underwent two audio-tactile feedback sessions of 100 trials, where each auditory trial was followed by the same spatial sequence played on the subject’s forearm; auditory spatial bisection thresholds were evaluated after each session. In the verbal-feedback condition, the positions of the sounds were verbally reported to the subject after each feedback trial. The no-feedback group did the same sequence of trials, with no feedback. Performance improved significantly only after audio-tactile feedback. The results suggest that direct tactile feedback interacts with the auditory spatial localization system, possibly by a process of cross-sensory recalibration. Control tests with the subject rotated suggested that this effect occurs only when the tactile and acoustic sequences are spatially coherent. Our results suggest that the tactile system can be used to recalibrate the auditory sense of space. These results encourage the possibility of designing rehabilitation programs to help blind persons establish a robust auditory sense of space, through training with the tactile modality.

  15. An exploratory research : Fear and the need of security interplay as a business mechanism

    OpenAIRE

    Beltrán Alanis, Martha Alicia; Cruz Sánchez, Javier Arnulfo

    2011-01-01

    Background: Humanity builds and writes its history. Overtime the need of feeling secure has been present originated from an emotion, a condition and reaction: the fear of threats or danger. The impact of human fear over the humanity behaviour leads for searching ways of reducing such fear. Consequently, security companies have a potential opportunity for fulfilling this human need reducing the phenomenon of fear. Some organisations and companies discovered that human fear can be used as tool ...

  16. Timing of Extinction Relative to Acquisition: A Parametric Analysis of Fear Extinction in Humans

    OpenAIRE

    Norrholm, Seth D.; Vervliet, Bram; Jovanovic, Tanja; Boshoven, William; Myers, Karyn M.; Davis, Michael; Rothbaum, Barbara; Duncan, Erica J.

    2008-01-01

    Fear extinction is a reduction in conditioned fear following repeated exposure to the feared cue in the absence of any aversive event. Extinguished fear often reappears after extinction through spontaneous recovery. Animal studies suggest that spontaneous recovery can be abolished if extinction occurs within minutes of acquisition. However, a limited number of human extinction studies have shown that short interval extinction does not prevent the return of fear. For this reason, we performed ...

  17. Auditory imagery: empirical findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Timothy L

    2010-03-01

    The empirical literature on auditory imagery is reviewed. Data on (a) imagery for auditory features (pitch, timbre, loudness), (b) imagery for complex nonverbal auditory stimuli (musical contour, melody, harmony, tempo, notational audiation, environmental sounds), (c) imagery for verbal stimuli (speech, text, in dreams, interior monologue), (d) auditory imagery's relationship to perception and memory (detection, encoding, recall, mnemonic properties, phonological loop), and (e) individual differences in auditory imagery (in vividness, musical ability and experience, synesthesia, musical hallucinosis, schizophrenia, amusia) are considered. It is concluded that auditory imagery (a) preserves many structural and temporal properties of auditory stimuli, (b) can facilitate auditory discrimination but interfere with auditory detection, (c) involves many of the same brain areas as auditory perception, (d) is often but not necessarily influenced by subvocalization, (e) involves semantically interpreted information and expectancies, (f) involves depictive components and descriptive components, (g) can function as a mnemonic but is distinct from rehearsal, and (h) is related to musical ability and experience (although the mechanisms of that relationship are not clear). PMID:20192565

  18. Hidden sources of joy, fear, and sadness: Explicit versus implicit neural processing of musical emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogert, Brigitte; Numminen-Kontti, Taru; Gold, Benjamin; Sams, Mikko; Numminen, Jussi; Burunat, Iballa; Lampinen, Jouko; Brattico, Elvira

    2016-08-01

    Music is often used to regulate emotions and mood. Typically, music conveys and induces emotions even when one does not attend to them. Studies on the neural substrates of musical emotions have, however, only examined brain activity when subjects have focused on the emotional content of the music. Here we address with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) the neural processing of happy, sad, and fearful music with a paradigm in which 56 subjects were instructed to either classify the emotions (explicit condition) or pay attention to the number of instruments playing (implicit condition) in 4-s music clips. In the implicit vs. explicit condition, stimuli activated bilaterally the inferior parietal lobule, premotor cortex, caudate, and ventromedial frontal areas. The cortical dorsomedial prefrontal and occipital areas activated during explicit processing were those previously shown to be associated with the cognitive processing of music and emotion recognition and regulation. Moreover, happiness in music was associated with activity in the bilateral auditory cortex, left parahippocampal gyrus, and supplementary motor area, whereas the negative emotions of sadness and fear corresponded with activation of the left anterior cingulate and middle frontal gyrus and down-regulation of the orbitofrontal cortex. Our study demonstrates for the first time in healthy subjects the neural underpinnings of the implicit processing of brief musical emotions, particularly in frontoparietal, dorsolateral prefrontal, and striatal areas of the brain. PMID:27394152

  19. Fear load: The psychophysiological over-expression of fear as an intermediate phenotype associated with trauma reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norrholm, Seth Davin; Glover, Ebony M; Stevens, Jennifer S; Fani, Negar; Galatzer-Levy, Isaac R; Bradley, Bekh; Ressler, Kerry J; Jovanovic, Tanja

    2015-11-01

    Psychophysiological measures of fear expression provide observable intermediate phenotypes of fear-related symptoms. Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) advocate using neurobiological intermediate phenotypes that provide dimensional correlates of psychopathology. Negative Valence Systems in the RDoC matrix include the construct of acute threat, which can be measured on a physiological level using potentiation of the acoustic startle reflex assessed via electromyography recordings of the orbicularis oculi muscle. Impairments in extinction of fear-potentiated startle due to high levels of fear (termed fear load) during the early phases of extinction have been observed in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goals of the current work were to examine dimensional associations between fear-related symptoms of PTSD and fear load variables to test their validity as an intermediate phenotype. We examined extinction of fear-potentiated startle in a cohort (n=269) of individuals with a broad range of civilian trauma exposure (range 0-13 traumatic events per person, mean=3.5). Based on previously reported findings, we hypothesized that fear load would be significantly associated with intrusion and fear memories of an index traumatic event. The results indicated that early extinction was correlated with intrusive thoughts (p=0.0007) and intense physiological reactions to trauma reminders (p=0.036). Degree of adult or childhood trauma exposure, and depression severity were not associated with fear load. After controlling for age, sex, race, income, level of prior trauma, and level of fear conditioning, fear load during extinction was still significantly predictive of intrusive thoughts (p=0.004). The significance of these findings is that they support dimensional associations with symptom severity rather than diagnostic category and, as such, fear load may emerge as a transdiagnostic intermediate phenotype expressed across fear-related disorders (e.g., specific phobia, social

  20. THE FEAR OF FEAR CONCEPT - EVIDENCE IN FAVOR OF MULTIDIMENSIONALITY

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ARRINDELL, WA

    1993-01-01

    In recent years, questions have been raised regarding the dimensionality of existing measures of fear of fear. This is an important issue that needs to be addressed if the dimensions(s) of any scale purporting to assess fear of fear are to guide theory and research. One of the most widely used measu

  1. [Fear of childbirth].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouhe, Hanna; Saisto, Terhi

    2013-01-01

    Fear of childbirth casts a shadow in 10% of the pregnancies. It can cause fear, mental illnesses and previous experiences of violence or bad experiences in giving birth. It is treated at the phobia clinic with the support of a midwife and an obstetrician. Psychoeducative group therapy intended for primigravid women has proven to be the most effective form of therapy. In addition to obstetric assessment, its cornerstones include hearing and supporting of the phobic patient. For most women fearing childbirth, proper therapy will encourage them and abandon their wish for cesarean section. Nobody should, however, be forced into vaginal delivery. PMID:23520896

  2. The Biology of Fear

    OpenAIRE

    Adolphs, Ralph

    2013-01-01

    Each of us has felt afraid, and we can all recognize fear in many animal species. Yet there is no consensus in the scientific study of fear. Some argue that “fear” is a psychological construct rather than discoverable through scientific investigation. Others argue that the term “fear” cannot properly be applied to animals because we cannot know whether they feel afraid. Studies in rodents show that there are highly specific brain circuits for fear, whereas findings from human neuroimaging see...

  3. Activation of the Infralimbic Cortex in a Fear Context Enhances Extinction Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Brittany M.; Baratta, Michael V.; Biedenkapp, Joseph C.; Rudy, Jerry W.; Watkins, Linda R.; Maier, Steven F.

    2010-01-01

    Activation of the infralimbic region (IL) of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) reduces conditioned fear in a variety of situations, and the IL is thought to play an important role in the extinction of conditioned fear. Here we report a series of experiments using contextual fear conditioning in which the IL is activated with the GABAa antagonist…

  4. Oxytocin Facilitates Pavlovian Fear Learning in Males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckstein, Monika; Scheele, Dirk; Patin, Alexandra; Preckel, Katrin; Becker, Benjamin; Walter, Annika; Domschke, Katharina; Grinevich, Valery; Maier, Wolfgang; Hurlemann, René

    2016-03-01

    In human evolution, social group living and Pavlovian fear conditioning have evolved as adaptive mechanisms promoting survival and reproductive success. The evolutionarily conserved hypothalamic peptide oxytocin is a key modulator of human sociality, but its effects on fear conditioning are still elusive. In the present randomized controlled study involving 97 healthy male subjects, we therefore employed functional magnetic resonance imaging and simultaneous skin conductance response (SCR) measures to characterize the modulatory influence of intranasal oxytocin (24 IU) on Pavlovian fear conditioning. We found that the peptide strengthened conditioning on both the behavioral and neural levels. Specifically, subjects exhibited faster task-related responses and enhanced SCRs to fear-associated stimuli in the late phase of conditioning, which was paralleled by heightened activity in cingulate cortex subregions in the absence of changes in amygdala function. This speaks against amygdalocentric views of oxytocin having pure anxiolytic-like effects. Instead, it suggests that the peptide enables extremely rapid and flexible adaptation to fear signals in social contexts, which may confer clear evolutionary advantages but could also elevate vulnerability for the pathological sequelae of interpersonal trauma.

  5. Nuclear fear revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crease, Robert P.

    2010-10-01

    In 1988 the science historian Spencer Weart published a groundbreaking book called Nuclear Fear: A History of Images, which examined visions of radiation damage and nuclear disaster in newspapers, television, film, literature, advertisements and popular culture.

  6. The Fears of Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamber, James H.

    1974-01-01

    This study investigated the self-reported fears and some personality characteristics of a sample of 1112 adolescents ranging in age from 12 to 18 years (attending grammar and secondary schools in Northern Ireland). (CS)

  7. Perceptual discrimination in fear generalization: Mechanistic and clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Struyf, Dieter; Zaman, Jonas; Vervliet, Bram; Van Diest, Ilse

    2015-12-01

    For almost a century, Pavlovian conditioning is the imperative experimental paradigm to investigate the development and generalization of fear. However, despite the rich research tradition, the conceptualization of fear generalization has remained somewhat ambiguous. In this selective review, we focus explicitly on some challenges with the current operationalization of fear generalization and their impact on the ability to make inferences on its clinical potential and underlying processes. The main conclusion is that, despite the strong evidence that learning influences perception, current research has largely neglected the role of perceptual discriminability and its plasticity in fear generalization. We propose an alternative operationalization of generalization, where the essence is that Pavlovian conditioning itself influences the breadth of fear generalization via learning-related changes in perceptual discriminability. Hence a conceptualization of fear generalization is incomplete without an in-depth analysis of processes of perceptual discriminability. Furthermore, this highlights perceptual learning and discriminability as important future targets for pre-clinical and clinical research.

  8. Revisiting the role of infralimbic cortex in fear extinction with optogenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do-Monte, Fabricio H; Manzano-Nieves, Gabriela; Quiñones-Laracuente, Kelvin; Ramos-Medina, Liorimar; Quirk, Gregory J

    2015-02-25

    Previous rodent studies have implicated the infralimbic (IL) subregion of the medial prefrontal cortex in extinction of auditory fear conditioning. However, these studies used pharmacological inactivation or electrical stimulation techniques, which lack temporal precision and neuronal specificity. Here, we used an optogenetic approach to either activate (with channelrhodopsin) or silence (with halorhodopsin) glutamatergic IL neurons during conditioned tones delivered in one of two phases: extinction training or extinction retrieval. Activating IL neurons during extinction training reduced fear expression and strengthened extinction memory the following day. Silencing IL neurons during extinction training had no effect on within-session extinction, but impaired the retrieval of extinction the following day, indicating that IL activity during extinction tones is necessary for the formation of extinction memory. Surprisingly, however, silencing IL neurons optogenetically or pharmacologically during the retrieval of extinction 1 day or 1 week following extinction training had no effect. Our findings suggest that IL activity during extinction training likely facilitates storage of extinction in target structures, but contrary to current models, IL activity does not appear to be necessary for retrieval of extinction memory.

  9. 女性生理周期对条件性恐惧习得和消退的影响%Influence of Female Menstrual Cycle on the Acquisition and Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    金艳; 郑希付

    2015-01-01

    Animal studies have shown that estrogens exert important influence on the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear, however, the gonadal hormone regulation of fear in human is not known. The purpose of the present study is to examine effects of female menstrual phases on the conditioned fear acquisition and extinction. Twenty female college students in luteal phase and 20 female college students in menses phase participated in the experiment. They were exposed to three conditions: 1) predictable aversive stimuli were signaled by a cue; 2) aversive stimuli were administered unpredictably; 3) no aversive stimuli were anticipated. Aversive unconditioned stimulus (US) expectancy was used to assess anxious responses to the threat cue and to contexts associated with each condition. The results showed that, at the acquisition stage, females in luteal phase (FL) showed higher US expectance for the conditioned context fear in N and P context than females in menses phase (FM); at the extinction stage, FL had a significantly higher US expectancy in N and P context compared to FM. In other words, the females of luteal phase acquired the conditioned context fear response more effectively and extinguished more slowly than females of menses phase. These data suggest that menstrual cycle can possibly influence the conditioned context fear responses in females. This phenomenon suggests that the gonadal hormone level of luteal phase may affect fear regulation.%动物研究显示, 雌激素调节条件性恐惧习得和消退, 但是, 人类的性激素对条件性恐惧习得和消退的影响还不太清楚.因此, 本研究以大学生为研究对象, 考察女性不同生理周期对条件性情境恐惧的习得和消退的影响.20名经前期和20名经期女被试暴露于3种情境下:无厌恶刺激情境(N)、可预测情境(P)和不可预测情境(U), 预测此 3 种情境下是否出现厌恶刺激.以在线索条件下和无线索条件下对厌恶刺激的主观

  10. Conceptual similarity promotes generalization of higher order fear learning

    OpenAIRE

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; White, Allison J.; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2011-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that conceptual similarity promotes generalization of conditioned fear. Using a sensory preconditioning procedure, three groups of subjects learned an association between two cues that were conceptually similar, unrelated, or mismatched. Next, one of the cues was paired with a shock. The other cue was then reintroduced to test for fear generalization, as measured by the skin conductance response. Results showed enhanced fear generalization that correlated with trait a...

  11. Fear of childbirth in pregnant women: External and internal factors.

    OpenAIRE

    Kashshapova, E. V.; Lopukhova, O. G.

    2015-01-01

    Fear of childbirth (FOC) is an important psychological problem that is studied worldwide because it affects the well-being of pregnant women. However, in Russia, this problem does not receive adequate attention among researchers. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the conditionality of fear of childbirth (FOC) in pregnant women by external and internal factors, which we assumed were the reasons for this fear. As external factors, we considered socio-demographic indicators (e....

  12. Fear of childbirth in pregnant women: external and internal factors

    OpenAIRE

    LOPUKHOVA OLGA G.; KASHSHAPOVA ELENA V.

    2015-01-01

    Fear of childbirth (FOC) is an important psychological problem that is studied worldwide because it affects the well-being of pregnant women. However, in Russia, this problem does not receive adequate attention among researchers. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the conditionality of fear of childbirth (FOC) in pregnant women by external and internal factors, which we assumed were the reasons for this fear. As external factors, we considered socio-demographic indicators (e....

  13. Auditory-Visual Transfer in Four-Month-Old Infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendelson, Morton J.; Ferland, Mark B.

    1982-01-01

    Twenty-seven 4-month-old infants heard a repetitive auditory rhythm, then viewed silent film of puppet opening/closing its mouth, either in the familiar rhythm or a novel rhythm. Results showed infants exposed to the novel condition watched the film longer than infants shown the familiar condition, providing evidence for auditory-visual transfer…

  14. Prefrontal neuronal assemblies temporally control fear behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Cyril; Courtin, Julien; Karalis, Nikolaos; Chaudun, Fabrice; Wurtz, Hélène; Bienvenu, Thomas C M; Herry, Cyril

    2016-07-21

    Precise spike timing through the coordination and synchronization of neuronal assemblies is an efficient and flexible coding mechanism for sensory and cognitive processing. In cortical and subcortical areas, the formation of cell assemblies critically depends on neuronal oscillations, which can precisely control the timing of spiking activity. Whereas this form of coding has been described for sensory processing and spatial learning, its role in encoding emotional behaviour remains unknown. Fear behaviour relies on the activation of distributed structures, among which the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) is known to be critical for fear memory expression. In the dmPFC, the phasic activation of neurons to threat-predicting cues, a spike-rate coding mechanism, correlates with conditioned fear responses and supports the discrimination between aversive and neutral stimuli. However, this mechanism does not account for freezing observed outside stimuli presentations, and the contribution of a general spike-time coding mechanism for freezing in the dmPFC remains to be established. Here we use a combination of single-unit and local field potential recordings along with optogenetic manipulations to show that, in the dmPFC, expression of conditioned fear is causally related to the organization of neurons into functional assemblies. During fear behaviour, the development of 4 Hz oscillations coincides with the activation of assemblies nested in the ascending phase of the oscillation. The selective optogenetic inhibition of dmPFC neurons during the ascending or descending phases of this oscillation blocks and promotes conditioned fear responses, respectively. These results identify a novel phase-specific coding mechanism, which dynamically regulates the development of dmPFC assemblies to control the precise timing of fear responses. PMID:27409809

  15. Auditory-visual spatial interaction and modularity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radeau, M

    1994-02-01

    The results of dealing with the conditions for pairing visual and auditory data coming from spatially separate locations argue for cognitive impenetrability and computational autonomy, the pairing rules being the Gestalt principles of common fate and proximity. Other data provide evidence for pairing with several properties of modular functioning. Arguments for domain specificity are inferred from comparison with audio-visual speech. Suggestion of innate specification can be found in developmental data indicating that the grouping of visual and auditory signals is supported very early in life by the same principles that operate in adults. Support for a specific neural architecture comes from neurophysiological studies of the bimodal (auditory-visual) neurons of the cat superior colliculus. Auditory-visual pairing thus seems to present the four main properties of the Fodorian module.

  16. Generalisation of fear and avoidance along a semantic continuum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, Sean; Roche, Bryan; Dymond, Simon; Hermans, Dirk

    2016-01-01

    Directly conditioned fear and avoidance readily generalises to dissimilar but conceptually related stimuli. Here, for the first time, we examined the conceptual/semantic generalisation of both fear and avoidance using real words (synonyms). Participants were first exposed to a differential fear conditioning procedure in which one word (e.g., "broth"; CS+) was followed with brief electric shock [unconditioned stimulus (US)] and another was not (e.g., "assist"; CS-). Next, an instrumental conditioning phase taught avoidance in the presence the CS+ but not the CS-. During generalisation testing, synonyms of the CS+ (e.g., "soup"; GCS+) and CS- (e.g., "help"; GCS-) were presented in the absence of shock. Conditioned fear and avoidance, measured via skin conductance responses, behavioural avoidance and US expectancy ratings, generalised to the semantically related, but not to the semantically unrelated, synonyms. Findings have implications for how natural language categories and concepts mediate the expansion of fear and avoidance repertoires in clinical contexts.

  17. Visualization of Plasticity in Fear-Evoked Calcium Signals in Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gore, Bryan B.; Soden, Marta E.; Zweifel, Larry S.

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine is broadly implicated in fear-related processes, yet we know very little about signaling dynamics in these neurons during active fear conditioning. We describe the direct imaging of calcium signals of dopamine neurons during Pavlovian fear conditioning using fiber-optic confocal microscopy coupled with the genetically encoded calcium…

  18. Young and Old Pavlovian Fear Memories Can Be Modified with Extinction Training during Reconsolidation in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinfurth, Elisa C. K.; Kanen, Jonathan W.; Raio, Candace M.; Clem, Roger L.; Huganir, Richard L.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Extinction training during reconsolidation has been shown to persistently diminish conditioned fear responses across species. We investigated in humans if older fear memories can benefit similarly. Using a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm we compared standard extinction and extinction after memory reactivation 1 d or 7 d following acquisition.…

  19. Do infants find snakes aversive? Infants' physiological responses to "fear-relevant" stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrasher, Cat; LoBue, Vanessa

    2016-02-01

    In the current research, we sought to measure infants' physiological responses to snakes-one of the world's most widely feared stimuli-to examine whether they find snakes aversive or merely attention grabbing. Using a similar method to DeLoache and LoBue (Developmental Science, 2009, Vol. 12, pp. 201-207), 6- to 9-month-olds watched a series of multimodal (both auditory and visual) stimuli: a video of a snake (fear-relevant) or an elephant (non-fear-relevant) paired with either a fearful or happy auditory track. We measured physiological responses to the pairs of stimuli, including startle magnitude, latency to startle, and heart rate. Results suggest that snakes capture infants' attention; infants showed the fastest startle responses and lowest average heart rate to the snakes, especially when paired with a fearful voice. Unexpectedly, they also showed significantly reduced startle magnitude during this same snake video plus fearful voice combination. The results are discussed with respect to theoretical perspectives on fear acquisition.

  20. The effect of positive mood induction on reducing reinstatement fear: Relevance for long term outcomes of exposure therapy

    OpenAIRE

    Zbozinek, Tomislav D.; Holmes, Emily A.; Craske, Michelle G.

    2015-01-01

    While exposure therapy is effective in treating anxiety, fear can return after exposure. Return of fear can be understood through mechanisms of extinction learning. One form of return of fear is reinstatement, or, the fear that results from an unsignaled unconditional stimulus (US) presentation after extinction. Though the conditional response (CR; e.g., fear) typically reduces during extinction, the excitatory conditional stimulus (CS+) valence remains negative. The more negative the CS+ val...

  1. Lifelong disturbance of serotonin transporter functioning results in fear learning deficits : Reversal by blockade of CRF1 receptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bijlsma, Elisabeth Y; Hendriksen, Hendrikus; Baas, Johanna M P; Millan, Mark J; Groenink, Lucianne

    2015-01-01

    The inability to associate aversive events with relevant cues (i.e. fear learning) may lead to maladaptive anxiety. To further study the role of the serotonin transporter (SERT) in fear learning, classical fear conditioning was studied in SERT knockout rats (SERT(-/-)) using fear potentiation of the

  2. Fear and Aggression in German Shepherd, Boxer and Rottweiler Dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krassimira Uzunova

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available As a result of long-term active fear, variable moods can occur – howling, whimpering, crying, tremor, tics, manias, depressions, etc. It is now acknowledged that fear and aggression are closely related. It is also known that the different dog breeds manifest a various extent of fear and aggression. The study aimed to provide answers to two questions - classification of factors invoking fear and aggression according to their significance and which of investigated dog breeds – German Shepherd, Rottweiler or Boxer is the most resistant to fear and aggression episodes? The exclusion of all factors on the cultivation of three breeds of dogs / they complied with the norms / found that the causes of fear aggressive conditions are listed as follows – first of fear and aggression depend on the temperament of the dog and on the second place of the breed origin, growing conditions and the associated level of primary and secondary socialization. Fear aggressive manifestations occur at least in dogs with sanguine and choleric temperament. Representatives of the breed "Boxer" and "German Shepherd" are at the same level on the manifestations of fear and aggression. Rottweiler breed is in third place in this direction.

  3. Comparison of inbred mouse substrains reveals segregation of maladaptive fear phenotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie J Temme

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Maladaptive fear, such as fear that is persistent or easily generalized to a nonthreatening stimuli, is associated with anxiety-related disorders in humans. In the laboratory, maladaptive fear can be modeled in rodents using Pavlovian fear conditioning. Recently, an inbred mouse strain known as 129S1/SvImJ, or 129S1 have been reported as exhibiting impairments in fear extinction and enhanced fear generalization. With a long-term goal of identifying segregating genetic markers of maladaptive fear, we used Pavlovian fear conditioning to characterize a closely related substrain designated as 129S6/SvEvTac, or 129S6. Here we report that, like 129S1 animals, 129S6 mice exhibit appropriate levels of fear upon conditioning, but are unable to extinguish fear memories once they are consolidated. Importantly, the maladaptive fear phenotype in this inbred stain can be segregated by sub-strain when probed using conditioning protocols designed to assess generalized fear. We find that unlike the 129S1 substrain, mice from the 129S6 sub-strain do not generalize conditioned fear to previously novel contexts and can learn to discriminate between two similar contexts when trained using a discrimination protocol. These results suggest that at least two forms of maladaptive fear (deficits in fear extinction and fear generalization can be can be functionally segregated, further suggesting that the underlying neurobiology is heritable. Given the observation that two closely related sub-strains can exhibit different constellations of maladaptive fear suggests that these findings could be exploited to facilitate the identification of candidate genes for anxiety-related disorders.

  4. Conceptual priming for realistic auditory scenes and for auditory words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Aline; Aramaki, Mitsuko; Besson, Mireille

    2014-02-01

    Two experiments were conducted using both behavioral and Event-Related brain Potentials methods to examine conceptual priming effects for realistic auditory scenes and for auditory words. Prime and target sounds were presented in four stimulus combinations: Sound-Sound, Word-Sound, Sound-Word and Word-Word. Within each combination, targets were conceptually related to the prime, unrelated or ambiguous. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to judge whether the primes and targets fit together (explicit task) and in Experiment 2 they had to decide whether the target was typical or ambiguous (implicit task). In both experiments and in the four stimulus combinations, reaction times and/or error rates were longer/higher and the N400 component was larger to ambiguous targets than to conceptually related targets, thereby pointing to a common conceptual system for processing auditory scenes and linguistic stimuli in both explicit and implicit tasks. However, fine-grained analyses also revealed some differences between experiments and conditions in scalp topography and duration of the priming effects possibly reflecting differences in the integration of perceptual and cognitive attributes of linguistic and nonlinguistic sounds. These results have clear implications for the building-up of virtual environments that need to convey meaning without words. PMID:24378910

  5. Pavlovian fear memory induced by activation in the anterior cingulate cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Calejesan Amelita A

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Identifying higher brain central region(s that are responsible for the unpleasantness of pain is the focus of many recent studies. Here we show that direct stimulation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC in mice produced fear-like freezing responses and induced long-term fear memory, including contextual and auditory fear memory. Auditory fear memory required the activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors in the amygdala. To test the hypothesis that neuronal activity in the ACC contributes to unpleasantness, we injected a GABAA receptor agonist, muscimol bilaterally into the ACC. Both contextual and auditory memories induced by foot shock were blocked. Furthermore, activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors in the ACC enhanced behavioral escape responses in a noxious hot-plate as well as spinal nociceptive tail-flick reflex. Our results provide strong evidence that the excitatory activity in the ACC contribute to pain-related fear memory as well as descending facilitatory modulation of spinal nociception.

  6. Dorky Poll Scientific Fears

    CERN Multimedia

    2008-01-01

    The questions posed in yesterday's posts about hopes for 2008 were half of what we were asked by the Powers That Be. The other half: What scientific development do you fear you'll be blogging or reading about in 2008?

  7. Fear of the Formal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    du Gay, Paul; Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    term this ‘fear of the formal’, outlining key elements of its genealogy and exploring its contemporary manifestation in relation to recent and ongoing reforms of organisational life in a range of contexts. At the same time, we seek to indicate the continuing constitutive significance of formality...

  8. Animal Models of Fear Relapse

    OpenAIRE

    Goode, Travis D.; Maren, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Whereas fear memories are rapidly acquired and enduring over time, extinction memories are slow to form and are susceptible to disruption. Consequently, behavioral therapies that involve extinction learning (e.g., exposure therapy) often produce only temporary suppression of fear and anxiety. This review focuses on the factors that are known to influence the relapse of extinguished fear. Several phenomena associated with the return of fear after extinction are discussed, including renewal, sp...

  9. Does Religious Involvement Generate or Inhibit Fear of Crime?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd Matthews

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In victimology, fear of crime is understood as an emotional response to the perceived threat of crime. Fear of crime has been found to be affected by several variables besides local crime rates and personal experiences with victimization. This study examines the relationship between religion and fear of crime, an underexplored topic in the criminological literature. This gap is rather surprising given the central role religion has been found to play in shaping the attitudes and perceptions of congregants. In particular, religion has been found to foster generalized trust, which should engender lower levels of distrust or misanthropy, including that which is directed towards a general fear of crime. OLS regression was performed using data from the West Georgia Area Survey (n = 380. Controlling for demographic, community involvement, and political ideology variables, frequency of religious attendance was significantly and negatively associated with fear of property crime. This relationship remained even after a perceived neighborhood safety variable was introduced to the model. However, religious attendance was not significantly related to fear of violent crime, and religious orientation was unrelated to fear of property and violent crime. These results suggest that religious involvement conditionally reduces fear of crime, and the authors recommend that future research explore relationships between religion and fear of crime.

  10. Enhanced sensitization to animal, interpersonal, and intergroup fear-relevant stimuli (but no evidence for selective one-trial fear learning).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipp, Ottmar V; Cronin, Sophie L; Alhadad, Sakinah S J; Luck, Camilla C

    2015-11-01

    Selective sensitization has been proposed as an alternative explanation for enhanced responding to animal fear-relevant stimuli--snakes and spiders--during extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning. The current study sought to replicate the phenomenon using a shock workup procedure as the sensitizing manipulation and to extend it to interpersonal and intergroup fear-relevant stimuli--angry faces and other-race faces. Assessment of selective sensitization was followed by a one-trial fear learning procedure. Selective sensitization, larger electrodermal responses to fear-relevant than to control stimuli after sensitization, or a larger increase in electrodermal responding to fear-relevant than to control stimuli after sensitization was observed across stimulus domains. However, the one-trial fear learning procedure failed to provide evidence for enhanced fear conditioning to fear-relevant stimuli. One-trial fear learning was either absent or present for fear-relevant and nonfear-relevant stimuli. The current study confirms that electrodermal responses to fear-relevant stimuli across stimulus domains are subject to selective sensitization. PMID:26283264

  11. METUS REVEALED. HOBBES ON FEAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RAFFAELLA SANTI

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Fear is a universal emotion, experienced by everybody. When it becomes collective and social, it can enter into the processes of political imagination, being used for political purposes. This article is a brief examination of the meanings and functions of fear(s in Hobbes’s thought. Some of his views may be ‘historically’ related to his own time, the Seventeenth Century, and others may be linked and confined to his own theory. However, his reflections on the importance of the perturbatio animi of fear for human psychology, and its impact on human interactions and collective behaviour, are still interesting for us today. The various meanings of fear highlighted by Hobbes (especially in his political works: Elements of Law, De cive, and Leviathan are here synthetically reconstructed, with particular emphasis on fear as passion, expectation and will, and on fear in his various social aspects: mutual fear and fear of death, which give rise to the political community; fear of punishment and fear for the laws, which help to maintain the State and finally, fear of invisible power and timor Dei, from which religion originates, and the religious power that Hobbes wanted to be held by the State.

  12. Auditory Responses of Infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watrous, Betty Springer; And Others

    1975-01-01

    Forty infants, 3- to 12-months-old, participated in a study designed to differentiate the auditory response characteristics of normally developing infants in the age ranges 3 - 5 months, 6 - 8 months, and 9 - 12 months. (Author)

  13. A novel fear conditioning memory model formation and erasing by foot-shock in tree shrew%足底电击诱导树鼩条件恐惧记忆模型的建立及抹除

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭呈斌; 张晨; 王烈成

    2015-01-01

    Objective To investigate the way of fear conditioning memory model evoked and erased by foot-shock in tree shrew. Methods First, detect the tree shrew activities regularly in light/dark box. Second, test a suitable voltage degree of foot shock on tree shrew. Third, investigate the memory formation and erasing of fear conditioning on tree shrew of trial group. Results The duration of tree shrew (n=4) stay in the dark-box was significantly lon-ger than that of in the light box (P<0. 01) in normal condition. In the same environment of two light boxes, given different voltage degrees, the durations of tree shrew (n=6) stay in the stimulating chamber gradually reduced and the durations of tree shrew stay had significant difference between stimulatus chamber and no stimulatus chamber when the stimulus voltage up to 12 V ( P<0. 05 ) , 16 V ( P<0. 01 ) and 20 V ( P<0. 01 ) . The animal of trial group ( n=4 ) could build up the fear conditioning memory of the dark box with the stimulus of 16 V foot-shock in the dark box ( P<0. 001 ) . After formation of the fear conditioning memory, the same stimulus in light box ap-peared for 4 days. The durations of tree shrew stay in trial group (n=4) decreased in light box, and there was no significant difference between the trial group and the control group. Conclusion Tree shrew prefers to stay in the dark box. The suitable voltage for foot-shock on tree shrew is 16 V. The fear conditioning memory can be evoked and erased by foot-shock.%目的 探索足底电击诱导树鼩条件恐惧记忆模型的建立及抹除方法. 方法 测定在无刺激条件下,树鼩在明暗箱中的活动规律;然后用梯度刺激实验测定合适的足底电击电压;最后用合适的电压通过足底电击诱导并建立实验组树鼩条件恐惧记忆模型并抹除其记忆. 结果 正常条件下,树鼩(n=4)在暗箱中的停留时间明显多于明箱中的停留时间(P<0. 01);在两明箱中,足底电压梯度刺激实验显示,随着

  14. Auditory Masking Effects on Speech Fluency in Apraxia of Speech and Aphasia: Comparison to Altered Auditory Feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacks, Adam; Haley, Katarina L.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To study the effects of masked auditory feedback (MAF) on speech fluency in adults with aphasia and/or apraxia of speech (APH/AOS). We hypothesized that adults with AOS would increase speech fluency when speaking with noise. Altered auditory feedback (AAF; i.e., delayed/frequency-shifted feedback) was included as a control condition not…

  15. Fear of Negative Evaluation Moderates the Effect of Subliminal Fear Priming on Rejection of Unfair Offers in the Ultimatum Game.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takagishi, Haruto; Fujii, Takayuki; Nishina, Kuniyuki; Okada, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether the tendency to fear negative evaluation moderates the effect of fear emotion on the rejection of unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG). A photograph of a fearful face or landscape was displayed subliminally (i.e., for 10 ms) before the proposer's offer in the UG was presented to participants. We used the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (FNES) to measure participants' anxiety regarding negative evaluations from others. Results showed a significant interaction between FNES and condition (fearful face vs. landscape) in relation to the rejection of an unfair offer. Furthermore, the mean rejection rate of an unfair offer was significantly higher in the fearful face condition relative to that in the landscape condition among participants whose FNES scores were higher than the median; however, this difference was not observed in participants whose FNES scores were lower than the median. These results suggest that fear of negative evaluation moderates the effect of subliminal fear priming on the rejection of unfair offers in the UG, and that negative emotion induced by unconscious stimuli enhances rejection of these unfair offers. PMID:27549022

  16. [Central auditory prosthesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenarz, T; Lim, H; Joseph, G; Reuter, G; Lenarz, M

    2009-06-01

    Deaf patients with severe sensory hearing loss can benefit from a cochlear implant (CI), which stimulates the auditory nerve fibers. However, patients who do not have an intact auditory nerve cannot benefit from a CI. The majority of these patients are neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) patients who developed neural deafness due to growth or surgical removal of a bilateral acoustic neuroma. The only current solution is the auditory brainstem implant (ABI), which stimulates the surface of the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem. Although the ABI provides improvement in environmental awareness and lip-reading capabilities, only a few NF2 patients have achieved some limited open set speech perception. In the search for alternative procedures our research group in collaboration with Cochlear Ltd. (Australia) developed a human prototype auditory midbrain implant (AMI), which is designed to electrically stimulate the inferior colliculus (IC). The IC has the potential as a new target for an auditory prosthesis as it provides access to neural projections necessary for speech perception as well as a systematic map of spectral information. In this paper the present status of research and development in the field of central auditory prostheses is presented with respect to technology, surgical technique and hearing results as well as the background concepts of ABI and AMI. PMID:19517084

  17. Complementary Roles for Amygdala and Periaqueductal Gray in Temporal-Difference Fear Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Sindy; McNally, Gavan P.

    2009-01-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is not a unitary process. At the neurobiological level multiple brain regions and neurotransmitters contribute to fear learning. At the behavioral level many variables contribute to fear learning including the physical salience of the events being learned about, the direction and magnitude of predictive error, and the…

  18. Inactivation of the Infralimbic but Not the Prelimbic Cortex Impairs Consolidation and Retrieval of Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2009-01-01

    Rats were subjected to one or two cycles of context fear conditioning and extinction to study the roles of the prelimbic cortex (PL) and infralimbic cortex (IL) in learning and relearning to inhibit fear responses. Inactivation of the PL depressed fear responses across the first or second extinction but did not impair learning or relearning fear…

  19. Interoceptive fear learning to mild breathlessness as a laboratory model for unexpected panic attacks

    OpenAIRE

    Pappens, Meike; Vandenbossche, Evelien; Van den Bergh, Omer; Van Diest, Ilse

    2015-01-01

    Fear learning is thought to play an important role in panic disorder. Benign interoceptive sensations can become predictors (conditioned stimuli – CSs) of massive fear when experienced in the context of an initial panic attack (unconditioned stimulus – US). The mere encounter of these CSs on a later moment can induce anxiety and fear, and precipitate a new panic attack. It has been suggested that fear learning to interoceptive cues would result in unpredictable panic. The present study aimed ...

  20. Interoceptive fear learning to mild breathlessness as a laboratory model for unexpected panic attacks

    OpenAIRE

    Meike ePappens; Omer eVan Den Bergh; Evelien eVandebossche; Ilse eVan Diest

    2015-01-01

    Fear learning is thought to play an important role in panic disorder. Benign interoceptive sensations can become predictors (conditioned stimuli - CSs) of massive fear when experienced in the context of an initial panic attack (unconditioned stimulus – US). The mere encounter of these CSs on a later moment can induce anxiety and fear, and precipitate a new panic attack. It has been suggested that fear learning to interoceptive cues would result in unpredictable panic. The present study aimed ...

  1. Inhibition of vicariously learned fear in children using positive modeling and prior exposure

    OpenAIRE

    Askew, Chris; Reynolds, Gemma; Fielding-Smith, Sarah; Field, Andy P.

    2016-01-01

    One of the challenges to conditioning models of fear acquisition is to explain how different individuals can experience similar learning events and only some of them subsequently develop fear. Understanding factors moderating the impact of learning events on fear acquisition is key to understanding the etiology and prevention of fear in childhood. This study investigates these moderators in the context of vicarious (observational) learning. Two experiments tested predictions that the acquisit...

  2. The roles of the nucleus accumbens core, dorsomedial striatum, and dorsolateral striatum in learning: performance and extinction of Pavlovian fear-conditioned responses and instrumental avoidance responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendler, Etieli; Gaspar, Jessica C C; Ferreira, Tatiana L; Barbiero, Janaína K; Andreatini, Roberto; Vital, Maria A B F; Blaha, Charles D; Winn, Philip; Da Cunha, Claudio

    2014-03-01

    This study examined the effects of bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the nucleus accumbens core (NAc-co), dorsomedial striatum (DMS) or dorsolateral striatum (DLS) of rats on the learning and extinction of Pavlovian and instrumental components of conditioned avoidance responses (CARs). None of the lesions caused sensorimotor deficits that could affect locomotion. Lesions of the NAc-co, but not DMS or DLS, decreased unconditioned and conditioned freezing. The NAc-co and DLS lesioned rats learned the 2-way active avoidance task more slowly. These results suggest: (i) CARs depend on both Pavlovian and instrumental learning; (ii) learning the Pavlovian component of CARs depends on the NAc-co; learning the instrumental component of CARs depends on the DLS, NAc and DMS; (iii) although the NAc-co is also needed for learning the instrumental component, it is not clear whether it plays a role in learning the instrumental component per se or if it simply allows learning of the Pavlovian component which is a pre-condition for learning the instrumental component; (iv) we did not find evidence that the DMS and DLS play the same roles in habit and goal-directed aspects of the instrumental component of CARs as observed in appetitive motivated instrumental responding.

  3. Fear of holes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Geoff G; Wilkins, Arnold J

    2013-10-01

    Phobias are usually described as irrational and persistent fears of certain objects or situations, and causes of such fears are difficult to identify. We describe an unusual but common phobia (trypophobia), hitherto unreported in the scientific literature, in which sufferers are averse to images of holes. We performed a spectral analysis on a variety of images that induce trypophobia and found that the stimuli had a spectral composition typically associated with uncomfortable visual images, namely, high-contrast energy at midrange spatial frequencies. Critically, we found that a range of potentially dangerous animals also possess this spectral characteristic. We argue that although sufferers are not conscious of the association, the phobia arises in part because the inducing stimuli share basic visual characteristics with dangerous organisms, characteristics that are low level and easily computed, and therefore facilitate a rapid nonconscious response.

  4. Fear of holes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Geoff G; Wilkins, Arnold J

    2013-10-01

    Phobias are usually described as irrational and persistent fears of certain objects or situations, and causes of such fears are difficult to identify. We describe an unusual but common phobia (trypophobia), hitherto unreported in the scientific literature, in which sufferers are averse to images of holes. We performed a spectral analysis on a variety of images that induce trypophobia and found that the stimuli had a spectral composition typically associated with uncomfortable visual images, namely, high-contrast energy at midrange spatial frequencies. Critically, we found that a range of potentially dangerous animals also possess this spectral characteristic. We argue that although sufferers are not conscious of the association, the phobia arises in part because the inducing stimuli share basic visual characteristics with dangerous organisms, characteristics that are low level and easily computed, and therefore facilitate a rapid nonconscious response. PMID:23982244

  5. Chronic corticosterone exposure persistently elevates the expression of memory-related genes in the lateral amygdala and enhances the consolidation of a Pavlovian fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsey, Melissa S; Boyle, Lara M; Zhang, Melinda L; Nguyen, Caroline P; Kronman, Hope G; Ota, Kristie T; Duman, Ronald S; Taylor, Jane R; Schafe, Glenn E

    2014-01-01

    Chronic exposure to stress has been widely implicated in the development of anxiety disorders, yet relatively little is known about the long-term effects of chronic stress on amygdala-dependent memory formation. Here, we examined the effects of a history of chronic exposure to the stress-associated adrenal steroid corticosterone (CORT) on the consolidation of a fear memory and the expression of memory-related immediate early genes (IEGs) in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). Rats received chronic exposure to CORT (50 μg/ml) in their drinking water for 2 weeks and were then titrated off the CORT for an additional 6 days followed by a 2 week 'wash-out' period consisting of access to plain water. Rats were then either sacrificed to examine the expression of memory-related IEG expression in the LA or given auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning. We show that chronic exposure to CORT leads to a persistent elevation in the expression of the IEGs Arc/Arg3.1 and Egr-1 in the LA. Further, we show that rats with a history of chronic CORT exposure exhibit enhanced consolidation of a fear memory; short-term memory (STM) is not affected, while long-term memory (LTM) is significantly enhanced. Treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine following the chronic CORT exposure period was observed to effectively reverse both the persistent CORT-related increases in memory-related IEG expression in the LA and the CORT-related enhancement in fear memory consolidation. Our findings suggest that chronic exposure to CORT can regulate memory-related IEG expression and fear memory consolidation processes in the LA in a long-lasting manner and that treatment with fluoxetine can reverse these effects.

  6. Chronic corticosterone exposure persistently elevates the expression of memory-related genes in the lateral amygdala and enhances the consolidation of a Pavlovian fear memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa S Monsey

    Full Text Available Chronic exposure to stress has been widely implicated in the development of anxiety disorders, yet relatively little is known about the long-term effects of chronic stress on amygdala-dependent memory formation. Here, we examined the effects of a history of chronic exposure to the stress-associated adrenal steroid corticosterone (CORT on the consolidation of a fear memory and the expression of memory-related immediate early genes (IEGs in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA. Rats received chronic exposure to CORT (50 μg/ml in their drinking water for 2 weeks and were then titrated off the CORT for an additional 6 days followed by a 2 week 'wash-out' period consisting of access to plain water. Rats were then either sacrificed to examine the expression of memory-related IEG expression in the LA or given auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning. We show that chronic exposure to CORT leads to a persistent elevation in the expression of the IEGs Arc/Arg3.1 and Egr-1 in the LA. Further, we show that rats with a history of chronic CORT exposure exhibit enhanced consolidation of a fear memory; short-term memory (STM is not affected, while long-term memory (LTM is significantly enhanced. Treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI fluoxetine following the chronic CORT exposure period was observed to effectively reverse both the persistent CORT-related increases in memory-related IEG expression in the LA and the CORT-related enhancement in fear memory consolidation. Our findings suggest that chronic exposure to CORT can regulate memory-related IEG expression and fear memory consolidation processes in the LA in a long-lasting manner and that treatment with fluoxetine can reverse these effects.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction: insights from RNAseq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malan-Müller, Stefanie; Fairbairn, Lorren; Daniels, Willie M U; Dashti, Mahjoubeh Jalali Sefid; Oakeley, Edward J; Altorfer, Marc; Kidd, Martin; Seedat, Soraya; Gamieldien, Junaid; Hemmings, Sîan Megan Joanna

    2016-02-01

    D-cycloserine (DCS) has been shown to be effective in facilitating fear extinction in animal and human studies, however the precise mechanisms whereby the co-administration of DCS and behavioural fear extinction reduce fear are still unclear. This study investigated the molecular mechanisms of intrahippocampally administered D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction in a contextual fear conditioning animal model. Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 120) were grouped into four experimental groups (n = 30) based on fear conditioning and intrahippocampal administration of either DCS or saline. The light/dark avoidance test was used to differentiate maladapted (MA) (anxious) from well-adapted (WA) (not anxious) subgroups. RNA extracted from the left dorsal hippocampus was used for RNA sequencing and gene expression data was compared between six fear-conditioned + saline MA (FEAR + SALINE MA) and six fear-conditioned + DCS WA (FEAR + DCS WA) animals. Of the 424 significantly downregulated and 25 significantly upregulated genes identified in the FEAR + DCS WA group compared to the FEAR + SALINE MA group, 121 downregulated and nine upregulated genes were predicted to be relevant to fear conditioning and anxiety and stress-related disorders. The majority of downregulated genes transcribed immune, proinflammatory and oxidative stress systems molecules. These molecules mediate neuroinflammation and cause neuronal damage. DCS also regulated genes involved in learning and memory processes, and genes associated with anxiety, stress-related disorders and co-occurring diseases (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, digestive system diseases and nervous system diseases). Identifying the molecular underpinnings of DCS-mediated fear extinction brings us closer to understanding the process of fear extinction. PMID:26400817

  8. Molecular mechanisms of D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction: insights from RNAseq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malan-Müller, Stefanie; Fairbairn, Lorren; Daniels, Willie M U; Dashti, Mahjoubeh Jalali Sefid; Oakeley, Edward J; Altorfer, Marc; Kidd, Martin; Seedat, Soraya; Gamieldien, Junaid; Hemmings, Sîan Megan Joanna

    2016-02-01

    D-cycloserine (DCS) has been shown to be effective in facilitating fear extinction in animal and human studies, however the precise mechanisms whereby the co-administration of DCS and behavioural fear extinction reduce fear are still unclear. This study investigated the molecular mechanisms of intrahippocampally administered D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction in a contextual fear conditioning animal model. Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 120) were grouped into four experimental groups (n = 30) based on fear conditioning and intrahippocampal administration of either DCS or saline. The light/dark avoidance test was used to differentiate maladapted (MA) (anxious) from well-adapted (WA) (not anxious) subgroups. RNA extracted from the left dorsal hippocampus was used for RNA sequencing and gene expression data was compared between six fear-conditioned + saline MA (FEAR + SALINE MA) and six fear-conditioned + DCS WA (FEAR + DCS WA) animals. Of the 424 significantly downregulated and 25 significantly upregulated genes identified in the FEAR + DCS WA group compared to the FEAR + SALINE MA group, 121 downregulated and nine upregulated genes were predicted to be relevant to fear conditioning and anxiety and stress-related disorders. The majority of downregulated genes transcribed immune, proinflammatory and oxidative stress systems molecules. These molecules mediate neuroinflammation and cause neuronal damage. DCS also regulated genes involved in learning and memory processes, and genes associated with anxiety, stress-related disorders and co-occurring diseases (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, digestive system diseases and nervous system diseases). Identifying the molecular underpinnings of DCS-mediated fear extinction brings us closer to understanding the process of fear extinction.

  9. From ear to hand: the role of the auditory-motor loop in pointing to an auditory source

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Eric O.; Babayan, Bénédicte M.; Bevilacqua, Frédéric; Noisternig, Markus; Warusfel, Olivier; Roby-Brami, Agnes; Hanneton, Sylvain; Viaud-Delmon, Isabelle

    2013-01-01

    Studies of the nature of the neural mechanisms involved in goal-directed movements tend to concentrate on the role of vision. We present here an attempt to address the mechanisms whereby an auditory input is transformed into a motor command. The spatial and temporal organization of hand movements were studied in normal human subjects as they pointed toward unseen auditory targets located in a horizontal plane in front of them. Positions and movements of the hand were measured by a six infrared camera tracking system. In one condition, we assessed the role of auditory information about target position in correcting the trajectory of the hand. To accomplish this, the duration of the target presentation was varied. In another condition, subjects received continuous auditory feedback of their hand movement while pointing to the auditory targets. Online auditory control of the direction of pointing movements was assessed by evaluating how subjects reacted to shifts in heard hand position. Localization errors were exacerbated by short duration of target presentation but not modified by auditory feedback of hand position. Long duration of target presentation gave rise to a higher level of accuracy and was accompanied by early automatic head orienting movements consistently related to target direction. These results highlight the efficiency of auditory feedback processing in online motor control and suggest that the auditory system takes advantages of dynamic changes of the acoustic cues due to changes in head orientation in order to process online motor control. How to design an informative acoustic feedback needs to be carefully studied to demonstrate that auditory feedback of the hand could assist the monitoring of movements directed at objects in auditory space. PMID:23626532

  10. Cognitive vulnerability and dental fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spencer A John

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Cognitive Vulnerability Model proposes that perceptions of certain characteristics of a situation are critical determinants of fear. Although the model is applicable to all animal, natural environment and situational fears, it has not yet been applied specifically to dental fear. This study therefore aimed to examine the association between dental fear and perceptions of dental visits as uncontrollable, unpredictable and dangerous. Methods The study used a clustered, stratified national sample of Australians aged 15 years and over. All participants were asked in a telephone interview survey to indicate their level of dental fear. Participants who received an oral examination were subsequently provided with a self-complete questionnaire in which they rated their perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness associated with dental visiting. Results 3937 participants were recruited. Each of the three vulnerability-related perceptions was strongly associated with the prevalence of high dental fear. In a logistic regression analysis, uncontrollability and dangerousness perceptions were significantly associated with high dental fear after controlling for age and sex. However, unpredictability perceptions did not have a statistically significant independent association with dental fear after controlling for all other variables. Conclusion Results are mostly consistent with the Cognitive Vulnerability Model of the etiology of fear, with perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness each showing a strong bivariate relationship with high dental fear prevalence. However, more extensive measures of vulnerability perceptions would be valuable in future investigations.

  11. Cannabinoid facilitation of fear extinction memory recall in humans

    OpenAIRE

    Rabinak, Christine A.; Angstadt, Mike; Sripada, Chandra S.; James L. Abelson; Liberzon, Israel; Milad, Mohammed R; Phan, K. Luan

    2012-01-01

    A first-line approach to treat anxiety disorders is exposure-based therapy, which relies on extinction processes such as repeatedly exposing the patient to stimuli (conditioned stimuli; CS) associated with the traumatic, fear-related memory. However, a significant number of patients fail to maintain their gains, partly attributed to the fact that this inhibitory learning and its maintenance is temporary and conditioned fear responses can return. Animal studies have shown that activation of th...

  12. 860 MHz微波辐射对小鼠场景性条件恐惧的影响%Effects of 860 MHz microwave on context conditioned fear in mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴冰; 胡波; 隋建峰

    2010-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effects of 860MHz microwave on the formation and extinction of context conditioned fear in mice. Methods The mice were exposed to 860MHz continuous microwave ( power density were 380 μW/cm2 or 550 μW/cm2, respectively) for 30 min or 2 h, which then were divided in to 5 groups.Each group consisted of 15 animals. Footshocks were used to induce context conditioned fear by 75 voltages. The frequency and time of freezing after irradiation were investigated. Results When 24 h after foot shocking, the values of freezing time: control group was 2.31 ±4. 17 , two groups of the microwave irradiation 2 h were 3.93 ±6.99 and 2.47 ± 3.34, the Nemenyi test results (P = 0.004): control group was 32.63333, while two groups of the microwave irradiation 2 h were 52.46667 and 39.76667; and the values of freezing frequency: control group was 0.73 ± 1.16 , two groups of the microwave irradiation 2 h were 0.86 ± 1.41 and 1.07 ± 1.16, the Nemenyi test results of (P=0. 014): control group was 33. 26667, while two groups of the microwave irradiation 2 h were 50. 76667 and 40.90000. Conclusion The mice receiving relatively longer period of microwave irradiation showed more stable memory of the context conditioned fear.%目的 研究860 MHz微波辐射对小鼠场景性条件恐惧(context conditioned fear)形成和消退的影响.方法 用频率为860 MHz、功率密度分别为380μW/cm2、550μW/cm2的微波辐照小鼠.辐照时间分别设定为30min和2h,因此共分成5组,每组15只动物.在暗箱内用75 V电压电击动物足部的方法 产生与之关联的场景性条件恐惧,而后观察辐照后小鼠在特定时间内出现僵立(Freezing)的时间和次数.结果 足部电击后24h时的僵立时间的值:对照组为(2.13±4.17)s,微波辐照2h的两个组分别为(3.93±6.99)s和(2.47±3.34)s,Nemenyi的检验(P=0.004)结果 :对照组为32.63333,而微波辐照2h的两个组分别为52.46667和39.76667;僵立

  13. Auditory and Visual Sensations

    CERN Document Server

    Ando, Yoichi

    2010-01-01

    Professor Yoichi Ando, acoustic architectural designer of the Kirishima International Concert Hall in Japan, presents a comprehensive rational-scientific approach to designing performance spaces. His theory is based on systematic psychoacoustical observations of spatial hearing and listener preferences, whose neuronal correlates are observed in the neurophysiology of the human brain. A correlation-based model of neuronal signal processing in the central auditory system is proposed in which temporal sensations (pitch, timbre, loudness, duration) are represented by an internal autocorrelation representation, and spatial sensations (sound location, size, diffuseness related to envelopment) are represented by an internal interaural crosscorrelation function. Together these two internal central auditory representations account for the basic auditory qualities that are relevant for listening to music and speech in indoor performance spaces. Observed psychological and neurophysiological commonalities between auditor...

  14. Effects of Approach-Avoidance Training on the Extinction and Return of Fear Responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelos-Miltiadis Krypotos

    Full Text Available Exposure therapy for anxiety involves confronting a patient with fear-evoking stimuli, a procedure based partially on Pavlovian extinction. Exposure and other extinction-based therapies usually lead to (partial reduction of fear symptoms, but a substantial number of patients experience a return of fear after treatment. Here we tested whether the combination of fear extinction with modification of approach-avoidance tendencies using an Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT would result in the further reduction of conditioned fear and/or help prevent return of fear after extinction.Two groups of participants underwent a fear acquisition procedure during which pictures of one neutral object were sometimes paired with shock (CS+, whereas pictures of another neutral object were not (CS-. The next day, in a fear extinction procedure, both objects were presented without shock. During the subsequent joystick AAT, one group primarily pulled CS+ pictures towards themselves and pushed CS- pictures away from themselves; reversed contingencies applied for the other group.Approach training was effective in modifying conditioned action tendencies, with some evidence for transfer to a different approach/avoidance task. No group differences in subjective fear or physiological arousal were found during subsequent post- training and return-of-fear testing.No reliable return-of-fear was observed in either group for either subjective or physiological fear measures.Our results suggest that approach training may be of limited value for enhancing the short- and long-term effects of extinction-based interventions.

  15. Lifelong disturbance of serotonin transporter functioning results in fear learning deficits: Reversal by blockade of CRF1 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bijlsma, Elisabeth Y; Hendriksen, Hendrikus; Baas, Johanna M P; Millan, Mark J; Groenink, Lucianne

    2015-10-01

    The inability to associate aversive events with relevant cues (i.e. fear learning) may lead to maladaptive anxiety. To further study the role of the serotonin transporter (SERT) in fear learning, classical fear conditioning was studied in SERT knockout rats (SERT(-/-)) using fear potentiation of the startle reflex. Next, fear acquisition and concomitant development of contextual conditioned fear were monitored during training. To differentiate between developmental and direct effects of reduced SERT functioning, effects of acute and chronic SSRI treatment were studied in adult rats. Considering the known interactions between serotonin and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), we studied the effect of the CRFR1 antagonist CP154,526 on behavioral changes observed and determined CRF1 receptor levels in SERT(-/-) rats. SERT(-/-) showed blunted fear potentiation and enhanced contextual fear, which resulted from a deficit in fear acquisition. Paroxetine treatment did not affect acquisition or expression of fear-potentiated startle, suggesting that disturbed fear learning in SERT(-/-) results from developmental changes and not from reduced SERT functioning. Although CRF1 receptor levels did not differ significantly between genotypes, CP154,526 treatment normalized both cue- and contextual fear in SERT(-/-) during acquisition, but not expression of fear-potentiated startle. The disrupted fear acquisition and concomitant increase in contextual conditioned fear-potentiated startle fear in SERT(-/-) resembles the associative learning deficit seen in patients with panic disorder and suggests that normal SERT functioning is crucial for the development of an adequate fear neuro-circuitry. Moreover, the normalization of fear acquisition by CP154,526 suggests a role for central CRF signaling in the generalization of fear.

  16. Animal models of fear relapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goode, Travis D; Maren, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Whereas fear memories are rapidly acquired and enduring over time, extinction memories are slow to form and are susceptible to disruption. Consequently, behavioral therapies that involve extinction learning (e.g., exposure therapy) often produce only temporary suppression of fear and anxiety. This review focuses on the factors that are known to influence the relapse of extinguished fear. Several phenomena associated with the return of fear after extinction are discussed, including renewal, spontaneous recovery, reacquisition, and reinstatement. Additionally, this review describes recent work, which has focused on the role of psychological stress in the relapse of extinguished fear. Recent developments in behavioral and pharmacological research are examined in light of treatment of pathological fear in humans. PMID:25225304

  17. Overview of Central Auditory Processing Deficits in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atcherson, Samuel R; Nagaraj, Naveen K; Kennett, Sarah E W; Levisee, Meredith

    2015-08-01

    Although there are many reported age-related declines in the human body, the notion that a central auditory processing deficit exists in older adults has not always been clear. Hearing loss and both structural and functional central nervous system changes with advancing age are contributors to how we listen, hear, and process auditory information. Even older adults with normal or near normal hearing sensitivity may exhibit age-related central auditory processing deficits as measured behaviorally and/or electrophysiologically. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of assessment and rehabilitative approaches for central auditory processing deficits in older adults. It is hoped that the outcome of the information presented here will help clinicians with older adult patients who do not exhibit the typical auditory processing behaviors exhibited by others at the same age and with comparable hearing sensitivity all in the absence of other health-related conditions. PMID:27516715

  18. Improvement in γ-hydroxybutyrate-induced contextual fear memory deficit by systemic administration of NCS-382.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiwari, Keita; Sircar, Ratna

    2016-06-15

    Low, nonsedative doses of γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) produce short-term anterograde amnesia in humans and memory impairments in experimental animals. We have previously shown that acute systemic treatment of GHB in adolescent female rats impairs the acquisition, but not the expression, of contextual fear memory while sparing both the acquisition and the expression of auditory cued fear memory. In the brain, GHB binds to specific GHB-binding sites as well as to γ-aminobutyric acid type B (GABAB) receptors. Although many of the behavioral effects of GHB at high doses have been attributed to its effects on the GABAB receptor, it is unclear which receptor mediates its relatively low-dose memory-impairing effects. The present study examined the ability of the putative GHB receptor antagonist NCS-382 to block the disrupting effects of GHB on fear memory in adolescent rat. Groups of rats received either a single dose of NCS-382 (3-10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or vehicle, followed by an injection of either GHB (100 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or saline. All rats were trained in the fear paradigm, and tested for contextual fear memory and auditory cued fear memory. NCS-382 dose-dependently reversed deficits in the acquisition of contextual fear memory induced by GHB in adolescent rats, with 5 mg/kg of NCS-382 maximally increasing freezing to the context compared with the group administered GHB alone. When animals were tested for cued fear memory, treatment groups did not differ in freezing responses to the tone. These results suggest that low-dose amnesic effects of GHB are mediated by GHB receptors. PMID:27105320

  19. Improvement in γ-hydroxybutyrate-induced contextual fear memory deficit by systemic administration of NCS-382

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiwari, Keita

    2016-01-01

    Low, nonsedative doses of γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) produce short-term anterograde amnesia in humans and memory impairments in experimental animals. We have previously shown that acute systemic treatment of GHB in adolescent female rats impairs the acquisition, but not the expression, of contextual fear memory while sparing both the acquisition and the expression of auditory cued fear memory. In the brain, GHB binds to specific GHB-binding sites as well as to γ-aminobutyric acid type B (GABAB) receptors. Although many of the behavioral effects of GHB at high doses have been attributed to its effects on the GABAB receptor, it is unclear which receptor mediates its relatively low-dose memory-impairing effects. The present study examined the ability of the putative GHB receptor antagonist NCS-382 to block the disrupting effects of GHB on fear memory in adolescent rat. Groups of rats received either a single dose of NCS-382 (3–10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or vehicle, followed by an injection of either GHB (100 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or saline. All rats were trained in the fear paradigm, and tested for contextual fear memory and auditory cued fear memory. NCS-382 dose-dependently reversed deficits in the acquisition of contextual fear memory induced by GHB in adolescent rats, with 5 mg/kg of NCS-382 maximally increasing freezing to the context compared with the group administered GHB alone. When animals were tested for cued fear memory, treatment groups did not differ in freezing responses to the tone. These results suggest that low-dose amnesic effects of GHB are mediated by GHB receptors. PMID:27105320

  20. Genetics Home Reference: autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Genetics Home Health Conditions ADPEAF autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features Enable Javascript to view the ... Accessibility FOIA Viewers & Players U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health National Library of ...