Oscillations Synchronize Amygdala-to-Prefrontal Primate Circuits during Aversive Learning

Neuron. 2018 Jan 17;97(2):291-298.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.11.042. Epub 2017 Dec 28.


The contribution of oscillatory synchrony in the primate amygdala-prefrontal pathway to aversive learning remains largely unknown. We found increased power and phase synchrony in the theta range during aversive conditioning. The synchrony was linked to single-unit spiking and exhibited specific directionality between input and output measures in each region. Although it was correlated with the magnitude of conditioned responses, it declined once the association stabilized. The results suggest that amygdala spikes help to synchronize ACC activity and transfer error signal information to support memory formation.

Keywords: PTSD; amygdala; anterior cingulate cortex; anxiety; aversive learning; fear conditioning; phase locking; prediction error; theta synchrony.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Action Potentials
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Extinction, Psychological / physiology
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic / physiology
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuroimaging
  • Odorants
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Theta Rhythm / physiology