The roles of the dorsal hippocampus and the central nucleus of the amygdala in the expression of contextual fear were assessed using two measures of conditioned fear: freezing and fear-potentiated startle. A discriminable context conditioning paradigm was developed that demonstrated both conditioned freezing and fear-potentiated startle in a context paired previously with foot shock, relative to a context in which foot shock had never been presented. Post-training lesions of the central nucleus of the amygdala completely blocked both contextual freezing and fear-potentiated startle. Post-training lesions of the dorsal hippocampus attenuated contextual freezing, consistent with previous reports in the literature; however, these same lesions had no effect on fear-potentiated startle, suggesting preserved contextual fear. These results suggest that lesions of the hippocampus disrupt the freezing response but not contextual fear itself.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - 1997|
- Memo ry