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An update on contextual fear memory mechanisms: Transition between amygdala and hippocampus


Chaaya, N and Battle, AR and Johnson, LR, An update on contextual fear memory mechanisms: Transition between amygdala and hippocampus, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 92 pp. 43-54. ISSN 0149-7634 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.05.013


Context is an ever-present combination of discrete environmental elements capable of influencing many psychological processes. When context is associated with an aversive stimulus, a permanent contextual fear memory is formed. Context is hypothesized to greatly influence the treatability of various fear-based pathologies, in particular, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In order to understand how contextual fear memories are encoded and impact underlying fear pathology, delineation of the underlying neural circuitry of contextual fear memory consolidation and maintenance is essential. Past understandings of contextual fear suggest that the hippocampus only creates a unitary, or single, representation of context. This representation is sent to the amygdala, which creates the associative contextual fear memory. In contrast, here we review new evidence from the literature showing contextual fear memories to be consolidated and maintained by both amygdala and hippocampus. Based on this evidence, we revise the current model of contextual fear memory consolidation, highlighting a larger role for hippocampus. This new model may better explain the role of the hippocampus in PTSD.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:amygdala, contextual fear conditioning, hippocampus, memory consolidation, memory maintenance
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Cellular nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Johnson, LR (Associate Professor Luke Johnson)
ID Code:145113
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:60
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2021-07-01
Last Modified:2022-08-23

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