Enhanced extinction of aversive memories by high-frequency stimulation of the rat infralimbic cortex

PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e35853. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035853. Epub 2012 May 7.


Electrical stimulation of the rodent medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), including the infralimbic cortex (IL), immediately prior to or during fear extinction training facilitates extinction memory. Here we examined the effects of high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of the rat IL either prior to conditioning or following retrieval of the conditioned memory, on extinction of Pavlovian fear and conditioned taste aversion (CTA). IL-HFS applied immediately after fear memory retrieval, but not three hours after retrieval or prior to conditioning, subsequently reduced freezing during fear extinction. Similarly, IL-HFS given immediately, but not three hours after, retrieval of a CTA memory reduced aversion during extinction. These data indicate that HFS of the IL may be an effective method for reducing both learned fear and learned aversion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Extinction, Psychological
  • Fear / psychology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Wistar