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THE AMYGDALA – A DISCRETE MULTITASKING MANAGER

 AMYGDALA
Edited by Barbara Ferry .

Among the components of the limbic system, the amygdala is a fascinating structure 
that is involved in the processes of liking and disliking and in the ways our emotions 
drive our actions and affect the strength of our memories.
Over this past decade, advances in techniques for examining brain activity have led to 
new insights into the functional contribution of the amygdala to emotions, learning, 
and related memories.
Combined with new conceptual breakthroughs, the research data obtained in animals 
reviewed in this book have helped uncover the functional contribution of the 
amygdala to these processes.
In addition, and consistent with the relations between amygdala malfunction and the 
occurrence of a number of disorders that affect the personality and learning abilities, 
this book presents recent advances in various research areas that provide insights into 
the contribution of the amygdala to some neurological and neuropsychiatric 
pathologies, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, anxiety and stress 
disorders (i.e. post-traumatic stress disorder and irritable bowel syndrome) and
Huntington disease.
In order to address these topics, results from several research fields have been used 
and the very latest data obtained by leading world experts in different aspects of 
amygdala function are presented. Of course, due to the rate of research advancement, 
all the chapters presented here correspond to precise questions addressed by experts 
using highly specific techniques.
All the data presented in each chapter should be viewed as pieces of a puzzle that 
represent all the different research areas that have to be taken into consideration in 
discussing the role of the amygdala in emotion and memory.
Eighteen years ago, when I started my research on the amygdala, it was already a hot 
topic and our knowledge about its role in emotion, learning, and memory was 
growing very fast. Because of the speed at which new data were being published, I felt 
the mystery shrouding the amygdala would soon disappear. However, time has 
passed and the amygdala is still in the spotlight. The fascination and excitation 
aroused by the functional complexity of this structure never seem to vanish and there 
is ample reason to believe that studies relating learning and memory to their neural 
substrates will continue as a result of the many advances in the use of new 
investigation tools. In this context, the discovery and the use of new techniques will 
certainly contribute to progress in amygdala research.
Although the primary goal of this book is to inform experts and newcomers of some of 
the latest data in the field of brain structures involved in mechanisms underlying 
emotional learning and memory, I hope it will also help to stimulate discussion on the 
functional role of the amygdala and connected brain structures in these mechanisms.

Barbara Ferry, Ph.D.
Center for Research in Neuroscience, LYON (CRNL)
CNRS UMR 5292 - INSERM U 1028, University Claude Bernard, Lyon 1,
France

CONTENTS :

Chapter 1 Amygdala and Emotional Learning in Vertebrates – 
A Comparative Perspective 1
Juan Pedro Vargas, Juan Carlos López and Manuel Portavella

Chapter 2 Neuroimaging of the Amygdala: 
Quantitative Mechanistic Approach 33
Miguel Ángel Bertoni

Chapter 3 The Role of the Amygdala in Anxiety Disorders 61
Gina L. Forster, Andrew M. Novick, Jamie L. Scholl and Michael J. Watt

Chapter 4 Cellular Mechanisms in the Amygdala Involved in Memory of Fear Conditioning 103
Ryong-Moon Shin

Chapter 5 The Role of Norepinephrine in Amygdala 
Dependent Fear Learning and Memory 121
Sodikdjon A. Kodirov

Chapter 6 Auditory Fear Circuits in the Amygdala – 
Insights from Computational Models 141
Satish S. Nair

Chapter 7 Amygdala Strengthening of 
Cortical Memory Representations 171
Candice M. Chavez, James L. McGaugh and Norman M. Weinberger

Chapter 8 Role of Norepinephrine in Modulating 
Inhibitory Avoidance Memory Storage: Critical Involvement of the Basolateral Amygdala 203
Barbara Ferry and Gina L. Quirarte

Chapter 9 The Insular Cortex and the Amygdala:
Shared Functions and Interactions 231
Rodrigo Moraga-Amaro and Jimmy Stehberg

Chapter 10 Amygdala and Taste Learning 257
Andrés Molero Chamizo

Chapter 11 Amygdalar Models of Neurological 
and Neuropsychiatric Disorders 285
Trevor H. Gilbert

Chapter 12 Amygdala, Childhood Adversity
and Psychiatric Disorders 303
Xiaodan Yan

Chapter 13 Traumatic Experiences Disrupt Amygdala – 
Prefrontal Connectivity 325
Dong Hoon Oh

Chapter 14 The Irritable Bowel Syndrome: How Stress Can Affect 
the Amygdala Activity and the Brain-Gut Axis 339
Bruno Bonaz, Sonia Pellissier, Valérie Sinniger, Didier Clarençon, André Peinnequin and Frédéric Canini

Chapter 15 Amygdala in Alzheimer's Disease 375
Shira Knafo

Chapter 16 The Ventral Striatopallidum and Extended 
Amygdala in Huntington Disease 385
Elisabeth Petrasch-Parwez, Hans-Werner Habbes, Marlen Löbbecke-Schumacher, Carsten Saft and Jennifer Niescery.




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