Category: Translational

Symposium

Preventing the Return of Fear Using Reconsolidation Updating and Methylene Blue is Dependent on Extinction Learning

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom I & J, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Translational Research | Fear
Presentation Type: Symposium

Many factors account for how well individuals extinguish conditioned fears, such as genetic variability, learning capacity as well as conditions under which extinction training is administered. We predicted that memory-based interventions would be more effective to reduce the reinstatement of conditioned fear in subjects genetically predisposed to display more extinction learning. We tested this hypothesis in rats genetically selected for differences in fear extinction using two strategies: 1) attenuation of fear memory using post-retrieval extinction training, and 2) pharmacological enhancement of the extinction memory after extinction training by low-dose USP methylene blue (MB). Subjects selectively bred for divergent extinction phenotypes were fear conditioned to a tone stimulus and administered either standard extinction training or retrieval + extinction. Following extinction, subjects received injections of saline or MB. Both reconsolidation updating and MB administration showed beneficial effects in preventing fear reinstatement, but differed in the groups they targeted. Reconsolidation updating showed an overall effect in reducing fear reinstatement, whereas pharmacological memory enhancement using MB was an effective strategy, but only for individuals who were responsive to extinction. 

Marie H. Monfils

Associate Professor
University of Texas at Austin

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Preventing the Return of Fear Using Reconsolidation Updating and Methylene Blue is Dependent on Extinction Learning



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