The contextual brain: implications for fear conditioning, extinction and psychopathology. Academic Article uri icon


  • Contexts surround and imbue meaning to events; they are essential for recollecting the past, interpreting the present and anticipating the future. Indeed, the brain's capacity to contextualize information permits enormous cognitive and behavioural flexibility. Studies of Pavlovian fear conditioning and extinction in rodents and humans suggest that a neural circuit including the hippocampus, amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex is involved in the learning and memory processes that enable context-dependent behaviour. Dysfunction in this network may be involved in several forms of psychopathology, including post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and substance abuse disorders.

published proceedings

  • Nat Rev Neurosci

altmetric score

  • 203.224

author list (cited authors)

  • Maren, S., Phan, K. L., & Liberzon, I.

citation count

  • 1060

complete list of authors

  • Maren, Stephen||Phan, K Luan||Liberzon, Israel

publication date

  • June 2013