Encoding of fear learning and memory in distributed neuronal circuits

Cyril Herry, Joshua P Johansen
Nat Neurosci. 2014-11-21; 17(12): 1644-1654
DOI: 10.1038/nn.3869

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1. Nat Neurosci. 2014 Dec;17(12):1644-54. doi: 10.1038/nn.3869. Epub 2014 Nov 21.

Encoding of fear learning and memory in distributed neuronal circuits.

Herry C(1), Johansen JP(2).

Author information:
(1)INSERM U862, Neurocenter Magendie, Bordeaux, France.
(2)1] RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Laboratory for Neural Circuitry of Memory,
Wako-shi, Saitama, Japan. [2] Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of
Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

How sensory information is transformed by learning into adaptive behaviors is a
fundamental question in neuroscience. Studies of auditory fear conditioning have
revealed much about the formation and expression of emotional memories and have
provided important insights into this question. Classical work focused on the
amygdala as a central structure for fear conditioning. Recent advances, however,
have identified new circuits and neural coding strategies mediating fear learning
and the expression of fear behaviors. One area of research has identified key
brain regions and neuronal coding mechanisms that regulate the formation,
specificity and strength of fear memories. Other work has discovered critical
circuits and neuronal dynamics by which fear memories are expressed through a
medial prefrontal cortex pathway and coordinated activity across interconnected
brain regions. Here we review these recent advances alongside prior work to
provide a working model of the extended circuits and neuronal coding mechanisms
mediating fear learning and memory.

DOI: 10.1038/nn.3869
PMID: 25413091 [Indexed for MEDLINE]


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