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Title: Functional specialisation of GABAergic cells in the basolateral amygdala
Author: Bienvenu, Thomas Claude Michel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 5313
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The amygdala, in particular its basolateral part (BLA), plays a critical role in binding affective qualities to otherwise neutral stimuli, and in eliciting emotional behaviors. Plasticity of inputs to BLA projection neurons involved in emotional memory has been extensively studied. However, how BLA neurons collectively process sensory information to encode and stabilize emotional memories is unknown. Precise coordination of BLA network activities seems critical. Specifically, timed integration of salient stimuli, and synchrony with hippocampal theta oscillations appear to be important. Recent reports suggest that GABAergic neurons may be instrumental in shaping ensemble activity in the BLA. Studies of neocortex and hippocampus showed that diverse GABAergic interneuron types play highly specific roles in coordinating network operations. The presence of similar interneuron populations in the BLA suggests comparable mechanism may govern its activities. However, GABAergic cell types and their functions have not been characterized.
Supervisor: Capogna, Marco Sponsor: Medical Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Neuroscience ; Emotion research ; amygdala ; hippocampus ; interneuron ; theta oscillations ; pain ; electrophysiology ; in vivo ; juxtacellular ; histochemistry