Author(s): Antoniadis EA, Winslow JT, Davis M, Amaral DG
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Abstract In experiment 1, we assessed the role of the primate amygdala and hippocampus in the acquisition of learned fear measured with fear-potentiated startle. Three groups of six rhesus monkeys were prepared with bilateral ibotenic acid lesions of the amygdaloid complex and the hippocampus or were sham operated. Selective ibotenic acid lesions of the amygdala, but not the hippocampus, blocked the acquisition of fear-potentiated startle. In experiment 2, we assessed the role of the primate amygdala in the expression of fear-potentiated startle. Surprisingly, animals that sustained amygdala damage after they successfully learned fear-potentiated startle expressed normal fear-potentiated startle, despite a complete amygdala lesion based on magnetic resonance imaging assessments. These results suggest that although the amygdala is necessary for the initial acquisition of fear-potentiated startle, it is not necessary for the retention and expression of fear-potentiated startle. These findings are discussed in relation to the role of the amygdala in emotional learning and in cross-species comparisons of emotional behavior.
This article was published in J Neurosci
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy