Mario Penzo - The Role of the Paraventricular Thalamus in Fear
From Katie Gentilello
Fear learning is associated with the expression of defensive behaviors upon fear memory retrieval. In rodents, these behaviors range from reactions such as freezing, to instrumental responses like active avoidance. Notably, while decades of research on Pavlovian conditioning have yielded profound knowledge of the brain mechanisms that regulate conditioned freezing behavior, the processes that shape active avoidance behavior are far less understood. During my presentation, I will discuss recent work from our group demonstrating that the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) – a midline thalamic structure previously linked to fear processing – is critical for the expression of active avoidance behavior. Currently, we are investigating how cortical and subcortical inputs to the PVT regulate avoidance behavior.