Noradrenergic regulation of central amygdala in aversive pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer

Vincent D. Campese, Jose M. Soroeta, Elena M. Vazey, Gary Aston-Jones, Joseph E. Ledoux, Robert M. Sears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neural mechanisms through which a Pavlovian conditioned stimulus (CS) elicits innate defense responses are well understood. But a Pavlovian CS can also invigorate ongoing instrumental responding, as shown by studies of aversive Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT). While the neural circuitry of appetitive PIT has been studied extensively, little is known about the brain mechanisms of aversive PIT. We recently showed the central amygdala (CeA) is essential for aversive PIT. In the current studies, using pharmacology and designer receptors in rodents, we demonstrate that noradrenergic (NE) activity negatively regulates PIT via brainstem locus coeruleus (LC) activity and LC projections to CeA. Our results provide evidence for a novel pathway through which response modulation occurs between brainstem neuromodulatory systems and CeA to invigorate adaptive behavior in the face of threat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0224-17.2017
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Central amygdala
  • Expression
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Motivation
  • Norepinephrine
  • PIT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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