Dec 19, 2013

Appetitive behavioral traits and stimulus intensity influence maintenance of conditioned fear

Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Megan E OlshavskyMarie-H Monfils

Abstract

INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN APPETITIVE LEARNING HAVE LONG BEEN REPORTED, AND GENERALLY DIVIDE INTO TWO CLASSES OF RESPONSES: cue- vs. reward-directed. The influence of cue- vs. reward-directed phenotypes on aversive cue processing, is less well understood. In the current study, we first categorized rats based on their predominant cue-directed orienting responses during appetitive Pavlovian conditioning. Then, we investigated the effect of phenotype on the latency to exit a familiar dark environment and enter an unfamiliar illuminated open field. Next, we examined whether the two phenotypes responded differently to a reconsolidation updating manipulation (retrieval+extinction) after fear conditioning. We report that the rats with a cue-directed ("orienting") phenotype differentially respond to the open field, and also to fear conditioning, depending on US-intensity. In addition, our findings suggest that, regardless of appetitive phenotype or shock intensity, extinction within the reconsolidation window prevents spontaneous recovery of fear.

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Mentioned in this Paper

EAF2 gene
Spontaneous Recovery of Conditioned Reflex
Phenotype Determination

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