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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2000 Apr;10(2):219-23.

Classical fear conditioning in functional neuroimaging.

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The Wellcome Department of Cognitive Neurology, Institute of Neurology, London, UK.


Classical conditioning, the simplest form of associative learning, is one of the most studied paradigms in behavioural psychology. Since the formal description of classical conditioning by Pavlov, lesion studies in animals have identified a number of anatomical structures involved in, and necessary for, classical conditioning. In the 1980s, with the advent of functional brain imaging techniques, particularly positron emission tomography (PET), it has been possible to study the functional anatomy of classical conditioning in humans. The development of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)--in particular single-trial or event-related fMRI--has now considerably advanced the potential of neuroimaging for the study of this form of learning. Recent event-related fMRI and PET studies are adding crucial data to the current discussion about the putative role of the amygdala in classical fear conditioning in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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