Conditioned suppression and freezing as measures of aversive Pavlovian conditioning: effects of discrete amygdala lesions and overtraining

Jonathan L C Lee, Anthony Dickinson, Barry J Everitt

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39 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Freezing and suppression are measures of conditioned fear that correlate in unlesioned animals. Both the basolateral (BLA) and central (CeN) nuclei of the amygdala are required for conditioned freezing, though there can be recovery with overtraining. The neuroanatomical substrates of conditioned suppression are less clear, with evidence both for a specific requirement of the CeN and for disruption by BLA lesions. The present study investigated the impact of selective excitotoxic lesions of the BLA and CeN upon the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear, measured by freezing and both on-baseline and off-baseline conditioned suppression in the same rats. BLA and CeN lesions both abolished all measures of conditioned fear after 9 trials of fear conditioning. However, when conditioning was extended to 33 trials, whereas rats with combined lesions of both the BLA and CeN continued to show no conditioned fear responses, there was a pattern of recovery observed after selective lesions. There was a partial recovery of freezing with both lesions, and full recovery of conditioned suppression, except for off-baseline suppression in CeN lesioned rats. These results indicate that with few conditioning trials, both the BLA and CeN are required in a serial manner for conditioned fear responses, but that overtraining can mitigate such impairments, likely involving parallel pathways in and through the amygdala.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-33
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume159
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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