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In addition, several studies used optogenetics to investigate neural circuits that underlie fear conditioning and memory formation (see Johansen et al., 2012, for a review).

Other work on contextual fear memories revealed that optogenetic inhibition of CA1 hippocampal neurons can reverse contextual fear memory recall, even weeks after training (Goshen et al., 2011).

Studies like these play an important role in the understanding of fundamental cognitive processes like memory formation, but also in anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder, which are characterized by disturbing, recurring contextual memories.

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