Fear conditioning (context or cue-induced)

Evaluation of aversive memory

fear-conditioningIn contextual fear conditioning, mice are placed in a conditioning box (context 1), in which they receive an unconditioned stimulus. After a few hours or days (depending on the research question), mice are placed back in context 1 and so-called freezing is monitored, a behaviour that indicates that the mouse is fearful and has successfully paired the unconditioned stimulus with context 1.

In cued fear conditioning, the unconditioned stimulus in context 1 is presented together with a tone (cue).  After a few hours or days, mice are placed in a novel context (context 2) and the cue is presented. Freezing is monitored to assess the extent to which the unconditioned stimulus is paired with the cue.

A more detailed protocol for fear conditioning can be found here.