Accession Number:

ADA261492

Title:

Stress-Induced Enhancement of the Startle Reflex

Descriptive Note:

Annual rept. 1 Oct 1991-30 Sep 1992

Corporate Author:

YALE UNIV NEW HAVEN CT SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1992-09-30

Pagination or Media Count:

9.0

Abstract:

This study examines the role of the amygdala in the acquisition of conditioned fear. Conditioned fear-potentiated startle involves both learning e.g., learning the association between the light and the shock, memory e.g., retrieval of the association that the light predicts shock which then leads to a state of fear, and performance e.g., the state of fear elevating the startle reflex. Work prior to that supported by the Air Force had purposely focused on performance, because researchers felt this was probably the simplest aspect of this paradigm and hence the one most amenable to experimental analysis. Hence, the authors chose drugs e.g., diazepam, buspirone or lesions e.g., of the central nucleus of the amygdala which should reduce fear and thereby prevent fear-enhancement of startle. This work showed that the central nucleus of the amygdala, and its direct projection to a particular part of the acoustic startle pathway, were critically involved in the performance or expression of fear-potentiated startle.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE