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Neural Correlates of Competing Fear Behaviors Evoked by an Innately Aversive Stimulus

Mongeau, Raymond and Miller, Gabriel A. and Chiang, Elizabeth and Anderson, David J. (2003) Neural Correlates of Competing Fear Behaviors Evoked by an Innately Aversive Stimulus. Journal of Neuroscience, 23 (9). pp. 3855-3868. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC6742203. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.23-09-03855.2003.

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Environment and experience influence defensive behaviors, but the neural circuits mediating such effects are not well understood. We describe a new experimental model in which either flight or freezing reactions can be elicited from mice by innately aversive ultrasound. Flight and freezing are negatively correlated, suggesting a competition between fear motor systems. An unfamiliar environment or a previous aversive event, moreover, can alter the balance between these behaviors. To identify potential circuits controlling this competition, global activity patterns in the whole brain were surveyed in an unbiased manner by c-fos in situ hybridization, using novel experimental and analytical methods. Mice predominantly displaying freezing behavior had preferential neural activity in the lateral septum ventral and several medial and periventricular hypothalamic nuclei, whereas mice predominantly displaying flight had more activity in cortical, amygdalar, and striatal motor areas, the dorsolateral posterior zone of the hypothalamus, and the vertical limb of the diagonal band. These complementary patterns of c-fos induction, taken together with known connections between these structures, suggest ways in which the brain may mediate the balance between these opponent defensive behaviors.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Anderson, David J.0000-0001-6175-3872
Additional Information:© 2003 Society for Neuroscience. Received Dec. 2, 2002; Revised Feb. 14, 2003; Accepted Feb. 19, 2003. This work was supported in part by a Keck foundation grant to California Institute of Technology. D.J.A. is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. We thank Gabriele Mosconi and Jennifer Uyeda for technical assistance and Erin Schuman, Nirao Shah, and Eric Kandel for comments on this manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:defense behaviors; ultrasound; C56Bl6 mice; anxiety; flight behavior; freezing behavior; septum; hypothalamus; pedunculopontine tegmentum; diagonal band; cingulate cortex; motor cortex; retrosplenial cortex; accumbens; caudate putamen; amygdala
Issue or Number:9
PubMed Central ID:PMC6742203
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150303-115347441
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Official Citation:Mongeau, R., Miller, G. A., Chiang, E., & Anderson, D. J. (2003). Neural Correlates of Competing Fear Behaviors Evoked by an Innately Aversive Stimulus. The Journal of Neuroscience, 23(9), 3855-3868.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:55474
Deposited By: Joanne McCole
Deposited On:03 Mar 2015 20:26
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:46

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