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Conference Details

Amygdala Function in Emotion, Cognition & Disease
Gordon Research Conference

Conference Information



Initial Year





Meeting Cycle

24 Months

Conference Description

The amygdala, a temporal lobe structure that forms part of the limbic system, plays a key role in emotional processing. Its relevance to fear and anxiety in animals has been well known since the classic experiments of Kluver and Bucy, who made mid-temporal lesions in monkeys and found profound effects on the emotional and social behaviour of these animals. Focus on studies of the amygdala expanded greatly when its role in fear conditioning was established. Fear conditioning is a simple Pavlovian conditioning task in which a neutral stimulus is contingently paired with an aversive stimulus. The simple nature of this learning task, and the readily measured physiological changes that accompany it, have made the study of fear conditioning a very attractive target for the study of learning and memory consolidation. As the neural circuitry that underlies fear conditioning is simple and appears to be preserved between species, it presents an accessible model for the study of learning and memory formation in the mammalian nervous system.

Because of the physiological similarities between animal and human fear, fear conditioning is seen as relevant to the genesis of anxiety disorders in humans. Moreover, recent research indicates that changes in amygdala function may contribute more generally to pathological forms of emotional learning such as drug addiction. Functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans has clearly established the role of the amygdala in emotional processing. Interest in amygdala function has therefore attracted growing interest in both animal and human experiments using both simple behavioural tests and functional imaging. This Conference focuses on research investigating the role of the amygdala in the formation of emotional memories, both normal and pathological.

What is a GRC? Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) are 5-day meetings that bring scientists together from around the world to present and discuss unpublished research with other leaders in their field.

Related Conference

This Gordon Research Conference (GRC) series is related to the "Amygdala Function in Emotion, Cognition & Disease" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) series. Although a related GRS will typically be scheduled in conjunction with its parent GRC each time it meets, that may not always be the case. Refer to the individual meetings in the Meeting History section below for more details. For more information about the associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) series, click here.

What is a GRS? Gordon Research Seminars (GRS) are 2-day meetings that bring graduate students and post-docs together to discuss their cutting edge research among peers and mentors. Each GRS immediately precedes an associated Gordon Research Conference (GRC), and topics addressed at the GRS relate closely to the GRC.

Meeting History

YearMeeting NameDatesConference SiteChair(s)
2017 Amygdala Function in Emotion, Cognition & Disease
Emerging Perspectives on the Role of the Amygdala in Regulating Higher-Order Behavior and Neuropsychiatric Disease
Aug 6-11 Stonehill College Andrew Holmes
2015 Amygdala in Health & Disease
Classical Fear/Threat Conditioning and Beyond
Aug 2-7 Stonehill College Sheena Josselyn
2013 Amygdala in Health & Disease Jul 28 - Aug 2 Stonehill College Sumantra Chattarji
2011 Amygdala in Health & Disease Jul 31 - Aug 5 Colby College Kerry J. Ressler
2009 Amygdala in Health & Disease
Contributions to Emotional Memories
Jul 12-17 Colby College Denis Pare
Gregory J. Quirk
2007 Amygdala in Health & Disease
Contributions to Emotional Memories
Jul 29 - Aug 3 Bates College Pankaj Sah
Andreas Luthi
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