Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Neural Plasticity
Volume 2007, Article ID 78171, 12 pages
Review Article

Neurobiology of Memory and Anxiety: From Genes to Behavior

Laboratory of Clinical Science, Division of Intramural Research Program (DIRP), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Bethesda, MD 20892-1264, USA

Received 15 May 2006; Revised 15 November 2006; Accepted 16 November 2006

Academic Editor: Georges Chapouthier

Copyright © 2007 Allan V. Kalueff. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Interaction of anxiety and memory represents an essential feature of CNS functioning. This paper reviews experimental data coming from neurogenetics, neurochemistry, and behavioral pharmacology (as well as parallel clinical findings) reflecting different mechanisms of memory-anxiety interplay, including brain neurochemistry, circuitry, pharmacology, neuroplasticity, genes, and gene-environment interactions. It emphasizes the complexity and nonlinearity of such interplay, illustrated by a survey of anxiety and learning/memory phenotypes in various genetically modified mouse models that exhibit either synergistic or reciprocal effects of the mutation on anxiety levels and memory performance. The paper also assesses the putative role of different neurotransmitter systems and neuropeptides in the regulation of memory processes and anxiety, and discusses the role of neural plasticity in these mechanisms.