Prior cocaine exposure disrupts extinction of fear conditioning.
ABSTRACT Psychostimulant exposure has been shown to cause molecular and cellular changes in prefrontal cortex. It has been hypothesized that these drug-induced changes might affect the operation of prefrontal-limbic circuits, disrupting their normal role in controlling behavior and thereby leading to compulsive drug-seeking. To test this hypothesis, we tested cocaine-treated rats in a fear conditioning, inflation, and extinction task, known to depend on medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Cocaine-treated rats conditioned and inflated similar to saline controls but displayed slower extinction learning. These results support the hypothesis that control processes in the medial prefrontal cortex are impaired by cocaine exposure.
Article: The amygdala, fear, and memory.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Lesions of the frontotemporal region of the amygdala, which includes lateral and basal nuclei, cause a loss of conditional fear responses, such as freezing, even when the lesions are made over a year and a half from the original training. These amygdala-damaged animals are not hyperactive and show normal reactivity to strong stimuli such as bright lights. After receiving tone-mild shock pairings rats normally display an appropriately weak response when exposed to the tone. Rats' fear of the tone can be inflated by giving them exposure to strong shocks in the absence of the tone between training and testing. This inflation of fear memory is abolished if the frontotemporal amygdala is inactivated by muscimol only during the inflation treatment with strong shocks. Based on such findings we suggest that the frontotemporal amygdala permanently encodes a memory for the hedonic value of the aversive stimulus used to condition fear.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 05/2003; 985:125-34. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: If rodents do not display the behavioral complexity that is subserved in primates by prefrontal cortex, then evolution of prefrontal cortex in the rat should be doubted. Primate prefrontal cortex has been shown to mediate shifts in attention between perceptual dimensions of complex stimuli. This study examined the possibility that medial frontal cortex of the rat is involved in the shifting of perceptual attentional set. We trained rats to perform an attentional set-shifting task that is formally the same as a task used in monkeys and humans. Rats were trained to dig in bowls for a food reward. The bowls were presented in pairs, only one of which was baited. The rat had to select the bowl in which to dig by its odor, the medium that filled the bowl, or the texture that covered its surface. In a single session, rats performed a series of discriminations, including reversals, an intradimensional shift, and an extradimensional shift. Bilateral lesions by injection of ibotenic acid in medial frontal cortex resulted in impairment in neither initial acquisition nor reversal learning. We report here the same selective impairment in shifting of attentional set in the rat as seen in primates with lesions of prefrontal cortex. We conclude that medial frontal cortex of the rat has functional similarity to primate lateral prefrontal cortex.Journal of Neuroscience 07/2000; 20(11):4320-4. · 7.11 Impact Factor