Barad M. Fear extinction in rodents: basic insight to clinical promise. Curr Opin Neurobiol 15: 710-715
Fear extinction, the reduction of fear by repeated exposure to the object of fear, is a crucial paradigm of inhibitory learning and the acknowledged preclinical model for behavior therapy of human anxiety. Recent insights have clarified roles for infralimbic prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and periaqueductal gray in extinction learning, while maintaining a central role for the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus in the acquisition and storage of this learning. Simultaneously, molecular insights have implicated several neurotransmitter and second messenger systems in extinction learning, and revealed that extinction is surprisingly easy to improve, yielding the promise of a novel approach to improved psychiatric treatments for a variety of human anxiety disorders.