Neuroscience

Inhibition in the fear-learning circuitry

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Science  07 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6419, pp. 1125-1126
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6419.1125-b

Many mental health disorders can be traced to abnormal associative learning. The basolateral amygdala of the brain plays a central role in associative learning and the formation of emotional memories and motivated behaviors. The relevance of the amygdala's anatomical substructure for the acquisition of memories is less clear. Tipps et al. used neuron-specific chemogenetics to systematically probe the circuitry and signaling mechanisms involved in auditory fear learning in mice. Stimulating inhibitory interneurons or inhibiting pyramidal cells was enough to induce an association between a behavior and an auditory cue. This understanding is key to developing therapies for diseases in which associative learning has been disrupted.

eNeuro 5, ENEURO.0272-18.2018 (2018).

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