Previous studies examining the neural substrates of fear conditioning have indicated unequivocally that the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear depends critically on the integrity of the amygdala. The extent to which the rhinal cortical areas contribute to fear conditioned to either the explicit conditioned stimulus (CS) or to the training context is less clear, however. The effects of pretraining lesions of the anterior perirhinal (PRH) cortex on fear conditioned to an explicit odor CS and to the context in which CS-unconditioned stimulus pairing took place was examined in rats. Rats with PRH cortex lesions demonstrated a robust attenuation of fear conditioned to the explicit CS, but no attenuation of fear conditioned to the training context. These data suggest that the PRH cortex is an important component of the neural system supporting the association between olfactory cues and footshock and add to a growing body of evidence implicating the rhinal cortical regions in associative learning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience