The Involvement of the Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Remote Contextual Fear Memory

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Science  07 May 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5672, pp. 881-883
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094804

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Although the molecular, cellular, and systems mechanisms required for initial memory processing have been intensively investigated, those underlying permanent memory storage remain elusive. We present neuroanatomical, pharmacological, and genetic results demonstrating that the anterior cingulate cortex plays a critical role in remote memory for contextual fear conditioning. Imaging of activity-dependent genes shows that the anterior cingulate is activated by remote memory and that this activation is impaired by a null α-CaMKII mutation that blocks remote memory. Accordingly, reversible inactivation of this structure in normal mice disrupts remote memory without affecting recent memory.

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