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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Role of the Basolateral Amygdala in the Storage of Fear

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
Role of the Basolateral Amygdala in the Storage of Fear
Memories across the Adult Lifetime of Rats
Greg D. Gale,1 Stephan G. Anagnostaras,2 Bill P. Godsil,1 Shawn Mitchell,1 Takashi Nozawa,1 Jennifer R. Sage,1
Brian Wiltgen,1 and Michael S. Fanselow1
Departments of 1Psychology and 2Neurobiology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095-1563
for this region in the storage of fear memory but do not rule out a time-limited role in the memory consolidation. To examine this issue,
a novel context (recent memory). Twenty-four hours after recent training, rats were given NMDA or sham lesions of the BLA. Contextual
and tone freezing were independently assessed in individual test sessions. Sham-lesioned rats showed high and comparable levels of
freezing across all context and tone tests. In contrast, BLA-lesioned rats displayed robust freezing deficits across both recent and remote
tests. Subsequent open-field testing revealed no effects of BLA lesions on activity patterns in a dark open field or during bright light
exposure. Lesioned rats were able to reacquire normal levels of context-specific freezing after an overtraining procedure (76 unsignaled
shocks). Together, these findings indicate that BLA lesions do not disrupt freezing behavior by producing hyperactivity, an inability to
a role for the BLA in the permanent storage of fear memory.
Key words: behavior; learning; memory; NMDA; retrograde; shock


Source: Anagnostaras, Stephan - Neurosciences Program & Department of Psychology, University of California at San Diego


Collections: Biology and Medicine