Hypothalamic Oxytocin Neurons Represent Fear Engrams in Rats

Emotional memory representations or engrams (i.e. memory traces, stored in the brain) such as fear, are critical for survival. These engrams allow both animals and humans to sense, evaluate, and respond to dangerous situations in an appropriate manner. Two brain regions involved in the development of fear-related memories—the hypothalamus and the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA)—are connected by oxytocin neurons. The endogenous hormone oxytocin may play an important role in modulating fear, due to its ability to modulate the salience of…

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Published by BrainPost.

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Lincoln M. Tracy
Research Fellow and Freelance Writer