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Journal Article

Citation

Harb R, Taulor JR. PLoS One 2015; 10(5): e0123908.

Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry, Division of Molecular Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2015, Public Library of Science)

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0123908

PMID

25945800

Abstract

Fear is a well-characterized biological response to threatening or stressful situations in humans and other social animals. Importantly, fearful stimuli in the natural environment are likely to be encountered concurrently by a group of animals. The modulation of fear acquisition and fear memory by a group as opposed to an individual experience, however, remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate a robust reduction in fear memory to an aversive event undertaken in a group despite similar fear learning between individually- and group-conditioned rats. This reduction persists outside the group confines, appears to be a direct outcome of group cognizance and is counteracted by loss of olfactory signaling among the group members. These results show that a group experience of fear can be protective and suggest that distinct neural pathways from those classically studied in individuals modulate collective fear memories.


Language: en

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