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2009 | 69 | 1 | 109-118

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Influence of emotional arousal on the N150 of the Auditory Evoked Potential from the rat amygdala

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This study tested whether a general increase in emotional arousal is a sufficient determinant for the evocation of the N150, a negative wave in amygdalar Auditory Evoked Potentials (AEPs). Rats received one of three conditioning protocols: either conditioned stimulus (CS) presentations alone (Control), CS-shock pairings (Paired), or unpaired presentations of the CS and shock (Unpaired). Amygdalar AEPs were recorded in response to the CS. It was hypothesized that if a state of emotional arousal is a sufficient condition for the manifestation of the N150, its amplitude should be enhanced in the Paired and Unpaired conditions relative to the Control condition, which was indeed found. In addition, it was found that the N150 had a larger amplitude in the Paired than in the Unpaired condition. This suggests that an additional N150 increase is established when animals learn the CS-US association. The results are discussed in relation to literature on amygdala function.




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Gilles van Luijtelaar, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Donders Centre for Cognition, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands


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