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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2005 Dec;15(6):710-5. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Fear extinction in rodents: basic insight to clinical promise.

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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA, 635 Charles Young Drive South, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Fear extinction, the reduction of fear by repeated exposure to the object of fear, is a crucial paradigm of inhibitory learning and the acknowledged preclinical model for behavior therapy of human anxiety. Recent insights have clarified roles for infralimbic prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and periaqueductal gray in extinction learning, while maintaining a central role for the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus in the acquisition and storage of this learning. Simultaneously, molecular insights have implicated several neurotransmitter and second messenger systems in extinction learning, and revealed that extinction is surprisingly easy to improve, yielding the promise of a novel approach to improved psychiatric treatments for a variety of human anxiety disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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