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Neurosci Lett. 2010 Jan 1;468(1):18-22. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.10.049. Epub 2009 Oct 21.

Amphetamine and extinction of cued fear.

Author information

1
Molecular Cognition Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093-0109, USA. sacarmac@ucsd.edu

Abstract

Much research is focused on developing novel drugs to improve memory. In particular, psychostimulants have been shown to enhance memory and have a long history of safe use in humans. In prior work, we have shown that very low doses of amphetamine administered before training on a Pavlovian fear-conditioning task can dramatically facilitate the acquisition of cued fear. The current experiment sought to expand these findings to the extinction of cued fear, a well-known paradigm with therapeutic implications for learned phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. If extinction reflects new learning, one might expect drugs that enhance the acquisition of cued fear to also enhance the extinction of cued fear. This experiment examined whether 0.005 or 0.05 mg/kg of D-amphetamine (therapeutic doses shown to enhance acquisition) also enhance the extinction of cued fear. Contrary to our hypothesis, amphetamine did not accelerate extinction. Thus, at doses that enhance acquisition of conditioned fear, amphetamine does not appear to enhance extinction.

PMID:
19853020
PMCID:
PMC2884194
DOI:
10.1016/j.neulet.2009.10.049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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