Mechanisms underlying the formation of the amygdalar fear memory trace: A computational perspective

F. Feng, P. Samarth, D. Paré, S. S. Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Recent experimental and modeling studies on the lateral amygdala (LA) have implicated intrinsic excitability and competitive synaptic interactions among principal neurons (PNs) in the formation of auditory fear memories. The present modeling studies, conducted over an expanded range of intrinsic excitability in the network, revealed that only excitable PNs that received tone inputs participate in the competition. Strikingly, the number of model PNs integrated into the fear memory trace remained constant despite the much larger range considered, and model runs highlighted several conditioning-induced tone responsive characteristics of the various PN populations. Furthermore, these studies showed that although excitation was important, disynaptic inhibition among PNs is the dominant mechanism that keeps the number of plastic PNs stable despite large variations in the network's excitability. Finally, we found that the overall level of inhibition in the model network determines the number of projection cells integrated into the fear memory trace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
StatePublished - May 13 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • Biophysical model
  • Hebbian learning
  • Sparse coding


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanisms underlying the formation of the amygdalar fear memory trace: A computational perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this