The neural foundations of reaction and action in aversive motivation

Vincent D. Campese, Robert M. Sears, Justin M. Moscarello, Lorenzo Diaz-Mataix, Christopher K. Cain, Joseph E. LeDoux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much of the early research in aversive learning concerned motivation and reinforcement in avoidance conditioning and related paradigms. When the field transitioned toward the focus on Pavlovian threat conditioning in isolation, this paved the way for the clear understanding of the psychological principles and neural and molecular mechanisms responsible for this type of learning and memory that has unfolded over recent decades. Currently, avoidance conditioning is being revisited, and with what has been learned about associative aversive learning, rapid progress is being made. We review, below, the literature on the neural substrates critical for learning in instrumental active avoidance tasks and conditioned aversive motivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-195
Number of pages25
JournalCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Avoidance
  • Freezing
  • Instrumental
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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