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Guardians of the learning gate

Unexpected experiences often lead to strong memories. A new study by Krabbe and Paradiso et al. shows that vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-expressing interneurons of the basolateral amygdala control associative learning and memory formation by gating aversive stimuli scaled by their unexpectedness.

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Fig. 1: VIP interneurons act as a permissive gate on local BLA circuitry during associative fear learning.


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We thank L. Acsády for insightful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by the ‘Lendület’ Program of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (LP2015-2/2015), NKFIH KH125294, and the European Research Council Starting Grant no. 715043.

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Correspondence to Balázs Hangya.

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Hegedüs, P., Martínez-Bellver, S. & Hangya, B. Guardians of the learning gate. Nat Neurosci 22, 1747–1748 (2019).

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