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Distinct Hippocampal Pathways Mediate Dissociable Roles of Context in Memory Retrieval.

Cell | Nov 3, 2016

Memories about sensory experiences are tightly linked to the context in which they were formed. Memory contextualization is fundamental for the selection of appropriate behavioral reactions needed for survival, yet the underlying neuronal circuits are poorly understood. By combining trans-synaptic viral tracing and optogenetic manipulation, we found that the ventral hippocampus (vHC) and the amygdala, two key brain structures encoding context and emotional experiences, interact via multiple parallel pathways. A projection from the vHC to the basal amygdala mediates fear behavior elicited by a conditioned context, whereas a parallel projection from a distinct subset of vHC neurons onto midbrain-projecting neurons in the central amygdala is necessary for context-dependent retrieval of cued fear memories. Our findings demonstrate that two fundamentally distinct roles of context in fear memory retrieval are processed by distinct vHC output pathways, thereby allowing for the formation of robust contextual fear memories while preserving context-dependent behavioral flexibility.

Pubmed ID: 27773481 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Amygdala | Animals | Conditioning (Psychology) | Electrophysiological Phenomena | Fear | Hippocampus | Memory | Mice | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Neural Pathways | Neurons | Optogenetics | Rabies virus | Synapses

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This is a list of tools and resources that we have found mentioned in this publication.


pClamp

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IGOR Pro

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Imaris

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ImageJ

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NeuroMatic

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