The role of prefrontal cortex in predictive fear learning

Furlong, Teri M., Cole, Sindy, Hamlin, Adam S. and McNally, Gavan P. (2010) The role of prefrontal cortex in predictive fear learning. Behavioral Neuroscience, 124 5: 574-586. doi:10.1037/a0020739

Author Furlong, Teri M.
Cole, Sindy
Hamlin, Adam S.
McNally, Gavan P.
Title The role of prefrontal cortex in predictive fear learning
Journal name Behavioral Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0735-7044
Publication date 2010-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/a0020739
Volume 124
Issue 5
Start page 574
End page 586
Total pages 13
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Psychological Association
Language eng
Abstract Pavlovian fear conditioning depends on prediction error, or the discrepancy between actual and expected outcomes. We used immunohistochemistry, neuronal tract tracing, and reversible inactivation to study the role of prefrontal cortex and thalamocortical pathways in predictive fear learning. Unexpected, but not expected, conditioned stimulus (CS)–unconditioned stimulus (US) presentations caused increased c-Fos expression in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), midline thalamus, lateral amygdala, as well as retrograde labeled midline thalamic afferents to PFC. Reversible inactivation of dorsomedial PFC, but not infralimbic PFC, prevented the associative blocking of fear learning. These results suggest a role for dorsomedial PFC (dmPFC), and a thalamic → dmPFC pathway, in signaling whether or not aversive events are expected or unexpected and so whether they are to be learned about.
Keyword Anterior cingulate
Prefrontal cortex
Orbitofrontal cortex
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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