Amygdala inhibitory circuits and the control of fear memory

Neuron. 2009 Jun 25;62(6):757-71. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.05.026.


Classical fear conditioning is a powerful behavioral paradigm that is widely used to study the neuronal substrates of learning and memory. Previous studies have clearly identified the amygdala as a key brain structure for acquisition and storage of fear memory traces. Whereas the majority of this work has focused on principal cells and glutamatergic transmission and its plasticity, recent studies have started to shed light on the intricate roles of local inhibitory circuits. Here, we review current understanding and emerging concepts of how local inhibitory circuits in the amygdala control the acquisition, expression, and extinction of conditioned fear at different levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / cytology
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Extinction, Psychological
  • Fear*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*