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Prediction error signals are fundamental to learning. Here, in mice, we show that aversive prediction signals are found in the hemodynamic responses and theta oscillations recorded from the basolateral amygdala. During fear conditioning, amygdala responses evoked by footshock progressively decreased, whereas responses evoked by the auditory cue that predicted footshock concomitantly increased. Unexpected footshock evoked larger amygdala responses than expected footshock. The magnitude of the amygdala response to the footshock predicted behavioral responses the following day. The omission of expected footshock led to a decrease below baseline in the amygdala response suggesting a negative aversive prediction error signal. Thus, in mice, amygdala activity conforms to temporal difference models of aversive learning.

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurosci

Publication Date





9024 - 9033


amygdala, fear, hemodynamic, prediction error, theta oscillations, tissue oxygen, Acoustic Stimulation, Amygdala, Animals, Anticipation, Psychological, Avoidance Learning, Conditioning, Classical, Discrimination Learning, Electroshock, Fear, Freezing Reaction, Cataleptic, Hemodynamics, Locomotion, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred CBA, Theta Rhythm