A gradient of plasticity in the amygdala revealed by cortical and subcortical stimulation, in vivo

D. Yaniv, G. E. Schafe, J. E. LeDoux, G. Richter-Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Projections to the amygdala from various cortical and subcortical areas terminate in different nuclei. In the present study we examined long-term potentiation of synaptic transmission in the lateral or the basal amygdaloid nuclei by theta burst stimulation of thalamic vs. cortical sensory projections in the anesthetized rat. Although both the medial geniculate nucleus and the dorsal perirhinal cortex have direct projections to lateral nucleus, only the thalamic stimulation induced long-term potentiation of field potentials recorded in the lateral nucleus. In contrast, cortical (ventral perirhinal cortex) but not thalamic stimulation induced long-term potentiation in the basal nucleus. Since the thalamic pathway is believed to process simple/unimodal stimulus features, and the perirhinal cortex complex/polymodal sensory representations, the dissociation of long-term potentiation in lateral and basal nuclei suggests that the basal nucleus may serve as an amygdaloid sensory interface for complex stimulus information similar to the role of the lateral nucleus in relation to relatively simple representations. Thus plasticity of simple and complex representations may involve different amygdala inputs and circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-620
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 27 Sep 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Valerie Doyere for helpful comments on the manuscript and Prof. Menahem Segal and Natalie Landman for technical help with figure preparations. This work was supported by the United States–Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Grant 96-291.


  • Emotion
  • Fear
  • LTP
  • Memory
  • Perirhinal cortex
  • Thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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