ERIC Number: EJ892605
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Nucleus Accumbens Shell in Learning about Neutral versus Excitatory Stimuli during Pavlovian Fear Conditioning
Bradfield, Laura A.; McNally, Gavan P.
Learning & Memory, v17 n7 p337-343 Jul 2010
We studied the role of nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) in Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats were trained to fear conditioned stimulus A (CSA) in Stage I, which was then presented in compound with a neutral stimulus and paired with shock in Stage II. AcbSh lesions had no effect on fear-learning to CSA in Stage I, but selectively prevented learning about the neutral conditioned stimulus (CS) in Stage II. These results add to a growing body of evidence indicating an important role for the ventral striatum in fear-learning. They suggest that the ventral striatum and AcbSh, in particular, directs learning toward or away from a CS as a consequence of how well that CS predicts the shock unconditioned stimulus (US). AcbSh is required to reduce the processing of established predictors, thereby permitting neutral or less predictive stimuli to be learned about.
Descriptors: Stimuli, Classical Conditioning, Fear, Child Development, Neurological Organization, Animals, Neurological Impairments, Cognitive Processes, Predictor Variables, Brain, Science Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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