Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Neurosci. 2012 Sep;13(9):651-8. doi: 10.1038/nrn3301. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

The many paths to fear.

Author information

Mouse Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, via Ramarini 32, 00015 Monterotondo, Italy.


Fear is an emotion that has powerful effects on behaviour and physiology across animal species. It is accepted that the amygdala has a central role in processing fear. However, it is less widely appreciated that distinct amygdala outputs and downstream circuits are involved in different types of fear. Data show that fear of painful stimuli, predators and aggressive members of the same species are processed in independent neural circuits that involve the amygdala and downstream hypothalamic and brainstem circuits. Here, we discuss data supporting multiple fear pathways and the implications of this distributed system for understanding and treating fear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center