Article

Stress, memory and amygdala

Department of Neuroscience, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Nature Reviews Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 31.43). 07/2009; 10(6):423-33. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2651
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Emotionally significant experiences tend to be well remembered, and the amygdala has a pivotal role in this process. But the efficient encoding of emotional memories can become maladaptive - severe stress often turns them into a source of chronic anxiety. Here, we review studies that have identified neural correlates of stress-induced modulation of amygdala structure and function - from cellular mechanisms to their behavioural consequences. The unique features of stress-induced plasticity in the amygdala, in association with changes in other brain regions, could have long-term consequences for cognitive performance and pathological anxiety exhibited in people with affective disorders.

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