The enhancement of emotional memory is clearly important as emotional stimuli are generally more significant than neutral stimuli for surviving and reproduction purposes. Yet, the enhancement of a negative emotional memory following exposure to stress may result in dysfunctional or intrusive memory that underlies several psychiatric disorders.Here we examined the effects of stress exposure on a negative emotional learning experience as measured by a decrease in the magnitude of the expected quantity of reinforcements in an alley maze. In contrast to other fear-related negative experiences, reward reduction is more associated with frustration and is assessed by measuring the latency to run the length of the alley to consume the reduced quantity of reward. We also examined whether the cannabinoid receptors agonist WIN55,212-2 (5. μg/side) and the glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) antagonist RU-486 (10. ng/side) administered into the rat basolateral amygdala (BLA) could prevent the stress-induced enhancement.We found that intra-BLA RU-486 or WIN55,212 before stress exposure prevented the stress-induced enhancement of memory consolidation for reduction in reward magnitude. These findings suggest that cannabinoid receptors and GRs in the BLA are important modulators of stress-induced enhancement of emotional memory.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by THE ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (Grant No. 222/08 to I.A ).
- Alley maze
- Basolateral amygdala
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience