Neurotoxic or electrolytic lesions of the ventral subiculum produce deficits in the acquisition and expression of Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats.
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The effects of neurotoxic or electrolytic ventral subicular (vSUB) lesions on the acquisition and expression of Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats were examined. Conditioning consisted of the delivery of tone-footshock trials in a novel observation chamber, and freezing served as the measure of conditional fear. Pretraining vSUB lesions produced a severe tone freezing deficit and a modest context freezing deficit, whereas posttraining lesions produced severe deficits in freezing to both a tone and a context conditional stimulus (CS). Similar impairments were produced by neurotoxic and electrolytic lesions. Increases in motor activity associated with the lesions could not account for freezing deficits. These results reveal that neurons in the vSUB have an important role in both the acquisition and expression of Pavlovian fear conditioning to contextual and acoustic CSs.
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