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Neural mechanisms underlying extinction of emotional memory

DOI
  • YAMADA Kazuo
    Institute of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Tsukuba
  • ICHITANI Yukio
    Institute of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Tsukuba

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Other Title
  • 情動記憶の消去過程に関与する脳内メカニズム
  • ジョウドウ キオク ノ ショウキョ カテイ ニ カンヨスル ノウナイ メカニズム

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Abstract

Development of pharmacological manipulations that facilitate extinction of emotional memory may lead to improvement in treatment effectiveness for anxiety disorders such as PTSD, and drug dependency. The first part of this paper explains Pavlovian fear conditioning and conditioned place preference which are typically used to measure aversive and euphoric emotional memories respectively. The next part explains behavioral mechanisms of the extinction of conditioned fear responses and reviews important findings on the role of the amygdala, hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex in the extinction of emotional memory. The final part reviews the latest studies on involvement of brain glutamatergic NMDA receptors in the extinction. In conclusion, partial NMDA receptor agonist, D-cycloserine, may have potential clinical benefits. (Japanese Journal of Physiological Psychology and Psychophysiology, 26 (1) : 27-39, 2008.)

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