Image of the Day: Fear Center

A set of neurons in the brain’s central amygdala plays a key role in forming memories of aversive experiences, scientists find in mice.  

By | October 26, 2017

A class of neurons producing protein kinase Cδ (red) in the central amygdala of a mouse brain, here targeted by a chemical that inhibits them (green)

LI LAB, COLD SPRING HARBOR LABORATORYTo explore what role the central amygdala plays in the learning of aversive experiences in mice, scientists inhibited the activity of a specific set of neurons producing protein kinase Cδ and then delivered mild foot shocks to them. Measurements of neuronal activity throughout the amygdala suggested that the seat of aversive learning lies in the central amygdala. 

See K. Yu et al., “The central amygdala controls learning in the lateral amygdala,” bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/126649, 2017.

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