Prefrontal neuronal circuits of contextual fear conditioning.

Genes, brain, and behavior

PubMedID: 25287656

Rozeske RR, Valerio S, Chaudun F, Herry C. Prefrontal neuronal circuits of contextual fear conditioning. Genes Brain Behav. 2014;.
Over the past years, numerous studies have provided a clear understanding of the neuronal circuits and mechanisms involved in the formation, expression, and extinction phases of conditioned cued fear memories. Yet, despite a strong clinical interest, a detailed understanding of these memory phases for contextual fear memories is still missing. Besides the well-known role of the hippocampus in encoding contextual fear behavior, growing evidence indicates that specific regions of the medial prefrontal cortex differentially regulate contextual fear acquisition and storage in both animals and humans that ultimately leads to expression of contextual fear memories. In this review, we provide a detailed description of the recent literature on the role of distinct prefrontal sub-regions in contextual fear behavior and provide a working model of the neuronal circuits involved in the acquisition, expression, and generalization of contextual fear memories.