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Study of the cortical circuitry underlying contextual fear processing to predatory threat.

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Author(s):
Miguel Antonio Xavier de Lima
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB/SDI)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Newton Sabino Canteras; Marcus Lira Brandao; Sara Joyce Shammah Lagnado; Carolina Demarchi Munhoz; Roelf Justino Cruz Rizzolo
Advisor: Newton Sabino Canteras
Abstract

Neurochemical lesions placed into ventral part of anteromedial thalamic nucleus (AMv) disrupt contextual, but not innate, fear responses to predatory threats. In the present investigation, we determined whether the AMv is involved in the acquisition and/or retrieval of the conditioned responses, and if its cortical targets are involved in the fear memory processing. In the first assay, we found that AMv has a critical role in the acquisition of conditioned responses. The cortical areas prelimbic (PL), anterior cingulate area (ACA), anteromedial visual area (VISam) and the ventral part of retrosplenial area (RSPv), receive projections from AMv and are recruited during predator exposure. The integrity of these cortical areas is required for the processing of the mnemonic processes here addressed. Our data corroborate current ideas on functional cortical modules, and help to elucidate how they are involved in the acquisition of fear memories related to life threatening situations. (AU)