A Dopaminergic Basis for Fear Extinction

Trends Cogn Sci. 2019 Apr;23(4):274-277. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2019.01.013. Epub 2019 Feb 22.


It is a joyous relief when an event we dread fails to materialize. In fear extinction, the appetitive nature of an omitted aversive event is not a mere epiphenomenon but drives the reduction of fear responses and the formation of long-term extinction memories. Dopamine emerges as key neurobiological mediator of these related processes.

Keywords: consolidation; fear conditioning; memory; prediction error; reinforcement learning; reward.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Extinction, Psychological / physiology*
  • Fear / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory, Long-Term / physiology*


  • Dopamine