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Amygdalar and Hippocampal Theta Rhythm Synchronization During Fear Memory Retrieval

Science  08 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5634, pp. 846-850
DOI: 10.1126/science.1085818

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Abstract

The amygdalohippocampal circuit plays a pivotal role in Pavlovian fear memory. We simultaneously recorded electrical activity in the lateral amygdala (LA) and the CA1 area of the hippocampus in freely behaving fear-conditioned mice. Patterns of activity were related to fear behavior evoked by conditioned and indifferent sensory stimuli and contexts. Rhythmically synchronized activity at theta frequencies increased between the LA and the CA1 after fear conditioning and became significant during confrontation with conditioned fear stimuli and expression of freezing behavior. Synchronization of theta activities in the amygdalohippocampal network represents a neuronal correlate of conditioned fear, apt to improve neuronal communication during memory retrieval.

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