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Behav Neurosci. 2012 Feb;126(1):204-8. doi: 10.1037/a0026462. Epub 2011 Dec 5.

Event-specific enhancement of memory via brief electrical stimulation to the basolateral complex of the amygdala in rats.

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Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) modulates memory for emotional events, and direct activation of the BLA following a learning session can enhance subsequent memory. Yet optimal enhancement of episodic memory during emotional events would likely require that BLA activation occur close in time to the event and to be brief enough to target specific memories if some events are to be remembered better than others. In the present study, rats were given a novel object recognition memory task in which initial encounters with some of the objects were immediately followed by brief electrical stimulation of the BLA, and these objects were remembered better one day later as compared to objects for which the initial encounter was not followed by stimulation. The results indicated that BLA stimulation can enhance memory for individual events, a necessary ability for the BLA to modulate episodic memory effectively.

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