Central and basolateral amygdala neurons crash the aversive conditioning party: Theoretical comment on Rorick-Kehn and Steinmetz (2005).
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Rorick-Kehn and Steinmetz (2005) report that neurons in the central and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala exhibit learning-related spike firing to conditional stimuli associated with shock in 3 different aversive conditioning paradigms: eyeblink conditioning, fear conditioning, and signaled avoidance conditioning. Central nucleus neurons responded in all 3 tasks, whereas basolateral nucleus neurons were more activated by fear and avoidance conditioning. These results reveal that amygdala neurons are differentially engaged by aversive conditioning, but questions remain concerning the associative basis and functional role for these unit responses. Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association.
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