Neural and molecular mechanisms of fear memory

G. E. Schafe, J. E. LeDoux

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The neurobiological mechanisms underlying learning and memory have become a key area of inquiry in the neurosciences. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in studies of classical or Pavlovian fear conditioning, a learning paradigm that, perhaps due to its simplicity and tractability, has become one of the choice paradigms to study the mechanisms of memory in the mammalian brain. In this chapter, we first review what is known about the neural system underlying simple forms of fear learning, including an in-depth look at the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and memory formation in the fear system. Next, we turn to more complex aspects of fear learning, including a discussion of what we have learned about the fear learning system in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLearning and Memory
Subtitle of host publicationA Comprehensive Reference
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9780123705099
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Amygdala
  • Consolidation
  • Emotion
  • Extinction
  • Fear conditioning
  • LTP
  • Memory modulation
  • Plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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