Synaptic Mechanisms of Associative Memory in the Amygdala
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Do associative learning and synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) depend on the same cellular mechanisms? Recent work in the amygdala reveals that LTP and Pavlovian fear conditioning induce similar changes in postsynaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptors and that occluding these changes by viral-mediated overexpression of a dominant-negative GluR1 construct attenuates both LTP and fear memory in rats. Novel forms of presynaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus may also contribute to fear memory formation, bolstering the connection between synaptic plasticity mechanisms and associative learning and memory.
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