BIOLOGY 2C03 Lecture Notes - Anxiolytic, Nmda Receptor, Fear Conditioning

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28 Jan 2013
Outline of Lecture 74 (04-01 A; Baraban)
I. The hippocampus plays a critical role in the consolidation of memory
1) Working and long-term memory are qualitatively distinct
- Patient H.M., who has a hippocampus lesion, has intact long-term and working memory, but is
unable to form new long-term memories
2) Procedural memory is different than declarative memory
- H.M. is able to improve in motor tasks with practice, but does not recall that practice has
- Mammillary bodies and anterior thalamus are also linked to memory consolidation
- fMRI and PET studies suggest right hippocampus is important in spatial memory whereas left
hippocampus is important in declarative/verbal memory
II. Amygdala and emotional memory
- Fear conditioning is mediated by the amygdala
- Fear conditioning using a neutral auditory stimulus does not use NMDA receptor dependent
form of LTP
- Although there is cortical input to the amygdala, it is not necessary for fear conditioning due to
direct sensory input to the amygdala
- There appears to be a dissociation between explicit/cognitive vs. implicit/ subconscious
emotional responses
III. Anti-anxiety therapeutics
- There are many varieties of GABA-A receptors due to subunit heterogeneity
- The amygdala expresses a unique form of GABA-A receptor (α2) and it has proven possible to
create a specific benzodiazepine antagonist that has anxiolytic effects, but less side-effects (caused
by nonspecific effects on other GABA-A subtypes)
Summary of major ideas
- See Objectives on p. 1
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