Sci. Signal., 8 June 2010
Neuroscience Pharmacological Forgetting
Peter R. Stern
Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK
Extinction of conditioned fear forms a new memory in the infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex that is critical for subsequent retrieval of the extinction memory. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie this extinction-related plasticity could help in the treatment of anxiety disorders. By infusing BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) into the infralimbic cortex, Peters et al. caused the extinction of conditioned fear, even without an extinction trial. In fact, BDNF infusion seemed to act as if an extinction training session had been given. Thus, the hippocampus is a likely source of the BDNF input to the infralimbic cortex, and individual differences in extinction memory may reflect variations in hippocampal BDNF content.
Citation: P. R. Stern, Pharmacological Forgetting. Sci. Signal. 3, ec172 (2010).
Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882