Destruction of the auditory thalamus disrupts the production of fear but not the inhibition of fear conditioned to an auditory stimulus

Scott Heldt, William A. Falls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The auditory thalamus is part of a neural circuit that mediates the expression of fear to auditory stimuli. Bilateral lesions of the auditory thalamus prevent the expression of fear to an auditory stimulus paired with shock. The present study assessed whether bilateral lesions of the auditory thalamus would also disrupt the inhibition of fear to an auditory stimulus paired with the absence of shock. Rats were given bilateral lesions of the auditory thalamus followed by Pavlovian conditioned inhibition training in which a light was paired with shock and a noise and light compound was presented in the absence of shock. Fear and the inhibition of fear were measured with the fear-potentiated startle effect. Lesions of the auditory thalamus did not disrupt the ability of the noise to inhibit the expression of fear to the light. However, these lesions did disrupt the ability of the noise to produce fear-potentiated startle after it had been subsequently paired with shock. These results suggest that although the auditory thalamus is an essential part of a neural circuit that mediates the expression of fear to auditory stimuli, it is not an essential part of the circuit that mediates the inhibition of fear to auditory stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-282
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Volume813
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 7 1998

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Thalamus
Fear
Shock
Noise
Aptitude
Inhibition (Psychology)
Light

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Destruction of the auditory thalamus disrupts the production of fear but not the inhibition of fear conditioned to an auditory stimulus. / Heldt, Scott; A. Falls, William.

In: Brain Research, Vol. 813, No. 2, 07.12.1998, p. 274-282.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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