Organization of intra-amygdaloid circuitries in the rat: An emerging framework for understanding functions of the amygdala

Asia Pitkänen, Vesa Savander, Joseph E. LeDoux

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The amygdala is located in the medial aspects of the temporal lobe. In spite of the fact that the amygdala has been implicated in a variety of functions, ranging from attention to memory to emotion, it has not attracted neuroscientists to the same extent as its laminated neighbours, in particular the hippocampus and surrounding cortex. However, recently, principles of information processing within the amygdala, particularly in the rat, have begun to emerge from anatomical, physiological and behavioral studies. These findings suggest that after the stimulus enters the amygdala, the highly organized intra-amygdaloid circuitries provide a pathway by which the representation of a stimulus becomes distributed in parallel to various amygdaloid nuclei. As a consequence, the stimulus representation may become modulated by different functional systems, such as those mediating memories from past experience or knowledge about ongoing homeostatic states. The amygdaloid output nuclei, especially the central nucleus, receive convergent information from several other amygdaloid regions and generate behavioral responses that presumably reflect the sum of neuronal activity produced by different amygdaloid nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-523
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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