There has been substantial research into the role of the amygdala in fear conditioning and extinction of conditioned fear. The role of the amygdala in appetitive conditioning is relatively less explored. Here, we will review research into the role of the amygdala in reward‐related learning. Research to date suggests that the basolateral and central amygdala are responsible for learning about distinct aspects of a reinforcing event. For example, the basolateral amygdala is essential for distinguishing and choosing between specific rewards based on the specific‐sensory properties of those rewards as well as updating the relative value of specific rewarding events. In contrast, the central amygdala is involved in encoding reinforcement more generally and for regulating motivational influences on responding. We will also review what is known about the role of the amygdala in extinction of reward‐related behaviours and highlight areas for future research.
Part of the book: The Amygdala