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ERIC Number: EJ768043
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0502
Lasting Increases in Basolateral Amygdala Activity after Emotional Arousal: Implications for Facilitated Consolidation of Emotional Memories
Pelletier, Joe Guillaume; Likhtik, Ekaterina; Filali, Mohammed; Pare, Denis
Learning & Memory, v12 n2 p96-102 Mar 2005
Manipulations that reduce or enhance the activity of basolateral amygdala (BLA) neurons in the minutes to hours after training have been shown to respectively impair or facilitate retention on the inhibitory avoidance task. Although this suggests that BLA activity is altered after emotional arousal, such changes have not been directly demonstrated. To test this, the authors devised a feline analog of the inhibitory avoidance task and recorded BLA unit activity before and after a single inescapable footshock. Single-unit recordings revealed that the firing rate of many BLA neurons gradually increased after the footshock, peaking 30-50 minutes post-shock and then subsiding to baseline levels two hours later. During this period of increased activity, the discharges of simultaneously recorded BLA cells were more synchronized than before the shock. Although it was known that pairing innocuous (conditioned stimulus, CS) and noxious stimuli modifies the responsiveness of BLA neurons to the CS, our results constitute the first demonstration that emotional arousal produces lasting increases in the spontaneous firing rates of BLA neurons. The authors propose that these changes in BLA activity may promote Hebbian interactions between coincident but spatially distributed activity patterns in BLA targets, facilitating the consolidation of emotional memories. (Contains 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A