ERIC Number: EJ874492
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Role of Amygdala and Hippocampus in the Neural Circuit Subserving Conditioned Defeat in Syrian Hamsters
Markham, Chris M.; Taylor, Stacie L.; Huhman, Kim L.
Learning & Memory, v17 n2 p109-116 Feb 2010
We examined the roles of the amygdala and hippocampus in the formation of emotionally relevant memories using an ethological model of conditioned fear termed conditioned defeat (CD). Temporary inactivation of the ventral, but not dorsal hippocampus (VH, DH, respectively) using muscimol disrupted the acquisition of CD, whereas pretraining VH infusions of anisomycin, a protein synthesis inhibitor, failed to block CD. To test for a functional connection between the VH and basolateral amygdala (BLA), we used a classic functional connectivity design wherein injections are made unilaterally in brain areas either on the same or opposite sides of the brain. A functional connection between the BLA and VH necessary for the acquisition of CD could not be found because unilateral inactivation of either BLA alone (but not either VH alone) was sufficient to disrupt CD. This finding suggested instead that there may be a critical functional connection between the left and right BLA. In our final experiment, we infused muscimol unilaterally in the BLA and assessed Fos immunoreactivity on the contralateral side following exposure to social defeat. Inactivation of either BLA significantly reduced defeat-induced Fos immunoreactivity in the contralateral BLA. These experiments demonstrate for the first time that whereas the VH is necessary for the acquisition of CD, it does not appear to mediate the plastic changes underlying CD. There also appears to be a critical interaction between the two BLAs such that bilateral activation of this brain area must occur in order to support fear learning in this model, a finding that is unprecedented to date.
Descriptors: Infants, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Role, Memory, Models, Fear, Drug Therapy, Conditioning, Learning Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A