The central amygdala controls learning in the lateral amygdala

Nat Neurosci. 2017 Dec;20(12):1680-1685. doi: 10.1038/s41593-017-0009-9. Epub 2017 Oct 23.


Experience-driven synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala is thought to underlie the formation of associations between sensory stimuli and an ensuing threat. However, how the central amygdala participates in such a learning process remains unclear. Here we show that PKC-δ-expressing central amygdala neurons are essential for the synaptic plasticity underlying learning in the lateral amygdala, as they convey information about the unconditioned stimulus to lateral amygdala neurons during fear conditioning.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning
  • Central Amygdaloid Nucleus / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Psychological
  • Eating
  • Fear / psychology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Optogenetics
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Protein Kinase C-delta / biosynthesis
  • Protein Kinase C-delta / genetics
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Thalamus / physiology


  • Prkcd protein, mouse
  • Protein Kinase C-delta