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Advances in Psychological Science    2014, Vol. 22 Issue (10) : 1585-1596     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01585
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Neural Circuits of the Relapse of Extinguished Fear Memory Induced by Changed Contexts
CHEN Weihai; QIAO Jing; YANG Yu; YUAN Jiajin
(Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
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Abstract  

Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy used for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Using the cognitive behavioral therapy, the fear memory can be extinguished if the subjects are repeatedly exposed to a conditioned stimulus in absence of an unconditioned stimulus. However, the fear memory is not completely erased and tends to relapse in some conditions. Fear renewal is a typical model of fear relapse, which is induced when subjects are exposed to contexts outside of the extinction training. The hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala are critical brain regions involved in fear renewal and the connections and circuitries between these brain areas are also crucial physiological bases for fear renewal. The hippocampus regulates the amygdala activity by its direct projection to the basal amygdala or by its indirect projection via the prelimbic cortex in the renewal.

Keywords fear memory      neural circuit      renewal      context      extinction     
Corresponding Authors: CHEN Weihai, E-mail: whchen@swu.edu.cn   
Issue Date: 15 October 2014
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CHEN Weihai
QIAO Jing
YANG Yu
YUAN Jiajin
Cite this article:   
CHEN Weihai,QIAO Jing,YANG Yu, et al. Neural Circuits of the Relapse of Extinguished Fear Memory Induced by Changed Contexts[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2014, 22(10): 1585-1596.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01585     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/Y2014/V22/I10/1585
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