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Neuromodulators and Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity in Learning and Memory: A Steered-Glutamatergic Perspective
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Functional and Dysfunctional Neuroplasticity in Learning to Cope with Stress

1
Department of Psychology, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, 00185 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Experimental Neurosciences, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, 00143 Rome, Italy
3
Department of Psychiatry and Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
4
IRCCS Neuromed, via Atinense 18, 86077 Pozzilli (IS), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(2), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10020127
Received: 1 February 2020 / Revised: 15 February 2020 / Accepted: 20 February 2020 / Published: 24 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Regulation of Learning-induced Neuronal Plasticity)
In this brief review, we present evidence of the primary role of learning-associated plasticity in the development of either adaptive or maladaptive coping strategies. Successful interactions with novel stressors foster plasticity within the neural circuits supporting acquisition, consolidation, retrieval, and extinction of instrumental learning leading to development of a rich repertoire of flexible and context-specific adaptive coping responses, whereas prolonged or repeated exposure to inescapable/uncontrollable stressors fosters dysfunctional plasticity within the learning circuits leading to perseverant and inflexible maladaptive coping strategies. Finally, the results collected using an animal model of genotype-specific coping styles indicate the engagement of different molecular networks and the opposite direction of stress effects (reduced vs. enhanced gene expression) in stressed animals, as well as different behavioral alterations, in line with differences in the symptoms profile associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. View Full-Text
Keywords: active avoidance; epigenetics; extinction learning; genetic models; glucocorticoid; hippocampus; learned helplessness; post-traumatic stress disorder active avoidance; epigenetics; extinction learning; genetic models; glucocorticoid; hippocampus; learned helplessness; post-traumatic stress disorder
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Cabib, S.; Campus, P.; Conversi, D.; Orsini, C.; Puglisi-Allegra, S. Functional and Dysfunctional Neuroplasticity in Learning to Cope with Stress. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 127.

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