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  1. Emotional modulation of attention: fear increases but disgust reduces the attentional blink.

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    Nicolas Vermeulen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It is well known that facial expressions represent important social cues. In humans expressing facial emotion, fear may be configured to maximize sensory exposure (e.g., increases visual input whereas disgust can reduce sensory exposure (e.g., decreases visual input. To investigate whether such effects also extend to the attentional system, we used the "attentional blink" (AB paradigm. Many studies have documented that the second target (T2 of a pair is typically missed when presented within a time window of about 200-500 ms from the first to-be-detected target (T1; i.e., the AB effect. It has recently been proposed that the AB effect depends on the efficiency of a gating system which facilitates the entrance of relevant input into working memory, while inhibiting irrelevant input. Following the inhibitory response on post T1 distractors, prolonged inhibition of the subsequent T2 is observed. In the present study, we hypothesized that processing facial expressions of emotion would influence this attentional gating. Fearful faces would increase but disgust faces would decrease inhibition of the second target. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We showed that processing fearful versus disgust faces has different effects on these attentional processes. We found that processing fear faces impaired the detection of T2 to a greater extent than did the processing disgust faces. This finding implies emotion-specific modulation of attention. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Based on the recent literature on attention, our finding suggests that processing fear-related stimuli exerts greater inhibitory responses on distractors relative to processing disgust-related stimuli. This finding is of particular interest for researchers examining the influence of emotional processing on attention and memory in both clinical and normal populations. For example, future research could extend upon the current study to examine whether inhibitory processes invoked by

  2. Oxytocin increases attention to the eyes and selectively enhances self-reported affective empathy for fear.

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    Hubble, Kelly; Daughters, Katie; Manstead, Antony S R; Rees, Aled; Thapar, Anita; van Goozen, Stephanie H M

    2017-11-01

    Oxytocin (OXT) has previously been implicated in a range of prosocial behaviors such as trust and emotion recognition. Nevertheless, recent studies have questioned the evidence for this link. In addition, there has been relatively little conclusive research on the effect of OXT on empathic ability and such studies as there are have not examined the mechanisms through which OXT might affect empathy, or whether OXT selectively facilitates empathy for specific emotions. In the current study, we used eye-tracking to assess attention to socially relevant information while participants viewed dynamic, empathy-inducing video clips, in which protagonists expressed sadness, happiness, pain or fear. In a double-blind, within-subjects, randomized control trial, 40 healthy male participants received 24 IU intranasal OXT or placebo in two identical experimental sessions, separated by a 2-week interval. OXT led to an increase in time spent fixating upon the eye-region of the protagonist's face across emotions. OXT also selectively enhanced self-reported affective empathy for fear, but did not affect cognitive or affective empathy for other emotions. Nevertheless, there was no positive relationship between eye-gaze patterns and affective empathy, suggesting that although OXT influences eye-gaze and may enhance affective empathy for fear, these two systems are independent. Future studies need to further examine the effect of OXT on eye-gaze to fully ascertain whether this can explain the improvements in emotional behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Instructed fear stimuli bias visual attention

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    Deltomme, Berre; Mertens, G.; Tibboel, Helen; Braem, Senne

    We investigated whether stimuli merely instructed to be fear-relevant can bias visual attention, even when the fear relation was never experienced before. Participants performed a dot-probe task with pictures of naturally fear-relevant (snake or spider) or -irrelevant (bird or butterfly) stimuli.

  4. Effects of attention manipulations on motivated attention to feared and nonfeared negative distracters in spider fear.

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    Norberg, Joakim; Wiens, Stefan

    2013-11-09

    When people view emotional and neutral pictures, the emotional pictures capture more attention than do neutral pictures. In support, studies with event-related potentials have shown that the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP) to emotional versus neutral pictures are enhanced when pictures are attended. However, this motivated attention decreases when voluntary attention is directed away from the pictures. Most previous studies included only generally emotional pictures of either negative or positive valence. Because people with spider fear report intense fear of spiders, we examined whether directing attention away from emotional pictures at fixation decreases motivated attention less strongly for spiders than for generally negative distracters. We recorded event-related potentials from 128 channels to study whether manipulations of attention (i.e., spatial attention and perceptual load) decrease the EPN and the LPP to emotional distracters less strongly for spiders than for fear-irrelevant negative pictures in people with spider fear. Results confirmed that the EPN and the LPP to spiders (vs. neutral pictures) were particularly enhanced in participants with spider fear compared to participants without spider fear. When attention was directed away from the pictures, the EPN and the LPP to spiders (vs. neutral pictures) decreased similarly in fearful and nonfearful participants. Further, in fearful participants, the decrease in the EPN and the LPP was similar for spiders and for fear-irrelevant negative pictures. Our findings suggest that for people with spider fear, directing attention away from emotional pictures at fixation decreases motivated attention to these distracters similarly for spiders as for fear-irrelevant negative pictures. These findings imply that attention to spiders in spider fear does not exceed the level of attention expected from the spider pictures' high arousal and negative valence (i.e., their intrinsic

  5. Masked fear words produce increased SCRs: An anomaly for Oehman's theory of pre-attentive processing in anxiety.

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    van den Hout, M.A.; de Jong, P.; Kindt, M.

    2000-01-01

    A. Oehman and J. J. F. Soares (1994) demonstrated that masked presentation of phobic pictures produces increased skin conductance responses (SCRs) in phobic Ss. Oehman (1993) explained this phenomenon in terms of a hypothetical "feature detector" that identifies physical characteristics of stimuli

  6. Fearful, but not angry, expressions diffuse attention to peripheral targets in an attentional blink paradigm.

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    Taylor, James M; Whalen, Paul J

    2014-06-01

    We previously demonstrated that fearful facial expressions implicitly facilitate memory for contextual events whereas angry facial expressions do not. The current study sought to more directly address the implicit effect of fearful expressions on attention for contextual events within a classic attentional paradigm (i.e., the attentional blink) in which memory is tested on a trial-by-trial basis, thereby providing subjects with a clear, explicit attentional strategy. Neutral faces of a single gender were presented via rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) while bordered by four gray pound signs. Participants were told to watch for a gender change within the sequence (T1). It is critical to note that the T1 face displayed a neutral, fearful, or angry expression. Subjects were then told to detect a color change (i.e., gray to green; T2) at one of the four peripheral pound sign locations appearing after T1. This T2 color change could appear at one of six temporal positions. Complementing previous attentional blink paradigms, participants were told to respond via button press immediately when a T2 target was detected. We found that, compared with the neutral T1 faces, fearful faces significantly increased target detection ability at four of the six temporal locations (all ps enhance environmental monitoring above and beyond explicit attentional effects related to task instructions.

  7. Attentional Control and Fear Extinction in Subclinical Fear: An Exploratory Study

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    Eduard Forcadell

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Attentional control (AC and fear extinction learning are known to be involved in pathological anxiety. In this study we explored whether individual differences in non-emotional AC were associated with individual differences in the magnitude and gradient of fear extinction (learning and recall. In 50 individuals with fear of spiders, we collected measures of non-emotional AC by means of self-report and by assessing the functioning of the major attention networks (executive control, orienting, and alerting. The participants then underwent a paradigm assessing fear extinction learning and extinction recall. The two components of the orienting network functioning (costs and benefits were significantly associated with fear extinction gradient over and above the effects of trait anxiety. Specifically, participants with enhanced orienting costs (i.e., difficulties in disengaging attention from cues not relevant for the task showed faster extinction learning, while those with enhanced orienting benefits (i.e., attention facilitated by valid cues exhibited faster extinction recall as measured by fear-potentiated startle and Unconditioned Stimulus expectancies, respectively. Our findings suggest that, in non-emotional conditions, the orienting component of attention may be predictive of fear extinction. They also show that the use of fear extinction gradients and the exploration of individual differences in non-emotional AC (using performance-based measures of attentional network functioning can provide a better understanding of individual differences in fear learning. Our findings also may help to understand differences in exposure therapy outcomes.

  8. Attentional bias towards and away from fearful faces is modulated by developmental amygdala damage.

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    Pishnamazi, Morteza; Tafakhori, Abbas; Loloee, Sogol; Modabbernia, Amirhossein; Aghamollaii, Vajiheh; Bahrami, Bahador; Winston, Joel S

    2016-08-01

    The amygdala is believed to play a major role in orienting attention towards threat-related stimuli. However, behavioral studies on amygdala-damaged patients have given inconsistent results-variously reporting decreased, persisted, and increased attention towards threat. Here we aimed to characterize the impact of developmental amygdala damage on emotion perception and the nature and time-course of spatial attentional bias towards fearful faces. We investigated SF, a 14-year-old with selective bilateral amygdala damage due to Urbach-Wiethe disease (UWD), and ten healthy controls. Participants completed a fear sensitivity questionnaire, facial expression classification task, and dot-probe task with fearful or neutral faces for spatial cueing. Three cue durations were used to assess the time-course of attentional bias. SF expressed significantly lower fear sensitivity, and showed a selective impairment in classifying fearful facial expressions. Despite this impairment in fear recognition, very brief (100 msec) fearful cues could orient SF's spatial attention. In healthy controls, the attentional bias emerged later and persisted longer. SF's attentional bias was due solely to facilitated engagement to fear, while controls showed the typical phenomenon of difficulty in disengaging from fear. Our study is the first to demonstrate the separable effects of amygdala damage on engagement and disengagement of spatial attention. The findings indicate that multiple mechanisms contribute in biasing attention towards fear, which vary in their timing and dependence on amygdala integrity. It seems that the amygdala is not essential for rapid attention to emotion, but probably has a role in assessment of biological relevance. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Attention bias modification in specific fears: Spiders versus snakes.

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    Luo, Xijia; Ikani, Nessa; Barth, Anja; Rengers, Lea; Becker, Eni; Rinck, Mike

    2015-12-01

    Attention Bias Modification (ABM) is used to manipulate attention biases in anxiety disorders. It has been successful in reducing attention biases and anxious symptoms in social anxiety and generalized anxiety, but not yet in specific fears and phobias. We designed a new version of the dot-probe training task, aiming to train fearful participants' attention away from or towards pictures of threatening stimuli. Moreover, we studied whether the training also affected participants' avoidance behavior and their physical arousal upon being confronted with a real threat object. In Experiment 1, students with fear of spiders were trained. We found that the attention manipulation was successful, but the training failed to affect behavior or arousal. In Experiment 2, the same procedure was used on snake-fearful students. Again, attention was trained in the expected directions. Moreover, participants whose attention had been trained away from snakes showed lower physiological arousal upon being confronted with a real snake. The study involved healthy students with normal distribution of the fear of spider/snake. Future research with clinical sample could help with determining the generalizability of the current findings. The effect of ABM on specific phobia is still in question. The finding in the present study suggested the possibility to alter attentional bias with a dot-probe task with general positive stimuli and this training could even affect the behavior while encountering a real threat. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Incidental fear cues increase monetary loss aversion.

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    Schulreich, Stefan; Gerhardt, Holger; Heekeren, Hauke R

    2016-04-01

    In many everyday decisions, people exhibit loss aversion-a greater sensitivity to losses relative to gains of equal size. Loss aversion is thought to be (at least partly) mediated by emotional--in particular, fear-related--processes. Decision research has shown that even incidental emotions, which are unrelated to the decision at hand, can influence decision making. The effect of incidental fear on loss aversion, however, is thus far unclear. In two studies, we experimentally investigated how incidental fear cues, presented during (Study 1) or before (Study 2) choices to accept or reject mixed gambles over real monetary stakes, influence monetary loss aversion. We find that the presentation of fearful faces, relative to the presentation of neutral faces, increased risk aversion-an effect that could be attributed to increased loss aversion. The size of this effect was moderated by psychopathic personality: Fearless dominance, in particular its interpersonal facet, but not self-centered impulsivity, attenuated the effect of incidental fear cues on loss aversion, consistent with reduced fear reactivity. Together, these results highlight the sensitivity of loss aversion to the affective context. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Attention regulates anger and fear to predict changes in adolescent risk-taking behaviors

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    Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Holmes, Christopher; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2014-01-01

    Background Regulation of negative affect is critical to healthy development in childhood and adolescence. We conducted a longitudinal study examining the moderating role of attention control in the effects of anger and fear on changes in risk-taking behaviors from early to middle adolescence. Method The sample involved participants from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), assessed at 9, 11, and 15 years of age. Composite scores for anger, fear, and attention control were computed using indicators from multiple informants, and risk-taking behaviors were assessed based on adolescents’ self-reports. Results Latent difference score analysis indicated significant moderating effects of attention control showing that increased anger between 9 and 11 years was related to increases in risk-taking behaviors between 11 and 15 years only for adolescents with low attention control but not for adolescents with high attention control. In contrast, significant moderating effects of attention control for the link between fear and risk-taking behaviors suggested increased fear between 9 and 11 years tended to be associated with decreases in risk-taking behaviors between 11 and 15 years only for adolescents with high attention control but not for adolescents with low attention control. Conclusions Attention control regulates the connections between negative affect such as anger and fear with changes in adolescent risk-taking behaviors. Our data suggest the protective role of strong attention control against the development of risk-taking behaviors in adolescence as it demotes the effects of anger and promotes the effects of fear. PMID:25280179

  12. In the presence of conflicting gaze cues, fearful expression and eye-size guide attention.

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    Carlson, Joshua M; Aday, Jacob

    2017-10-19

    Humans are social beings that often interact in multi-individual environments. As such, we are frequently confronted with nonverbal social signals, including eye-gaze direction, from multiple individuals. Yet, the factors that allow for the prioritisation of certain gaze cues over others are poorly understood. Using a modified conflicting gaze paradigm, we tested the hypothesis that fearful gaze would be favoured amongst competing gaze cues. We further hypothesised that this effect is related to the increased sclera exposure, which is characteristic of fearful expressions. Across three experiments, we found that fearful, but not happy, gaze guides observers' attention over competing non-emotional gaze. The guidance of attention by fearful gaze appears to be linked to increased sclera exposure. However, differences in sclera exposure do not prioritise competing gazes of other types. Thus, fearful gaze guides attention among competing cues and this effect is facilitated by increased sclera exposure - but increased sclera exposure per se does not guide attention. The prioritisation of fearful gaze over non-emotional gaze likely represents an adaptive means of selectively attending to survival-relevant spatial locations.

  13. When sex hurts, anxiety and fear orient attention towards pain.

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    Payne, Kimberley A; Binik, Yitzchak M; Amsel, Rhonda; Khalifé, Samir

    2005-08-01

    Hypervigilance for pain-relevant stimuli has been associated with anxiety, fear of pain and anxiety sensitivity. This attentional bias has been primarily investigated in heterogeneous pain groups or pain-free controls, but has not been examined in pain conditions where anxiety and fear are likely to play a central role. Due to the intimate and interpersonal nature of genital pain experienced during sexual intercourse, Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS) constitutes an ideal sample in which to investigate the role of cognitive and affective factors in pain perception and maintenance. Seventeen women suffering from VVS and an equal number of age and education matched control women completed an emotional Stroop and memory recall task in addition to a series of questionnaires assessing pain-hypervigilance, state and trait anxiety, fear of pain, and anxiety sensitivity. VVS sufferers reported hypervigilance for coital pain and also exhibited a selective attentional bias towards pain stimuli on the emotional Stroop task as compared with controls. This effect was predicted by state and trait anxiety and fear of pain. According to these data, treament strategies for VVS should target anxiety and fear in addition to sensory systems.

  14. Effect of vicarious fear learning on children's heart rate responses and attentional bias for novel animals.

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    Reynolds, Gemma; Field, Andy P; Askew, Chris

    2014-10-01

    Research with children has shown that vicarious learning can result in changes to 2 of Lang's (1968) 3 anxiety response systems: subjective report and behavioral avoidance. The current study extended this research by exploring the effect of vicarious learning on physiological responses (Lang's final response system) and attentional bias. The study used Askew and Field's (2007) vicarious learning procedure and demonstrated fear-related increases in children's cognitive, behavioral, and physiological responses. Cognitive and behavioral changes were retested 1 week and 1 month later, and remained elevated. In addition, a visual search task demonstrated that fear-related vicarious learning creates an attentional bias for novel animals, which is moderated by increases in fear beliefs during learning. The findings demonstrate that vicarious learning leads to lasting changes in all 3 of Lang's anxiety response systems and is sufficient to create attentional bias to threat in children. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  15. A single administration of cortisol acutely reduces preconscious attention for fear in anxious young men.

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    Putman, Peter; Hermans, Erno J; Koppeschaar, Hans; van Schijndel, Alexandra; van Honk, Jack

    2007-08-01

    Chronically elevated HPA activity has often been associated with fear and anxiety, but there is evidence that single administrations of glucocorticoids may acutely reduce fear. Moreover, peri-traumatic cortisol elevation may protect against development of post-traumatic stress disorder. Hypervigilant processing of threat information plays a role in anxiety disorders and although relations with HPA functioning have been established, causality of these relations remains unclear. Presently, self-reported anxiety and response time patterns on a masked emotional Stroop task with fearful faces were measured in 20 healthy young men after double-blind, placebo-controlled oral administration of 40 mg cortisol. The masked fearful Stroop task measures vocal colornaming response latencies for pictures of neutral and fearful faces presented below the threshold for conscious perception. Results showed increased response times on trials for fearful compared to neutral faces after placebo, but this emotional Stroop effect was acutely abolished by cortisol administration. This effect was most pronounced in subjects with heightened anxiety levels. This is the first evidence showing that exogenous cortisol acutely reduces anxiety-driven selective attention to threat. These results extend earlier findings of acute fear reduction after glucocorticoid administration. This suggests interactions of HPA functioning and vigilant attention in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders. Possible neuroendocrine mechanisms of action are discussed.

  16. Effects of attention manipulations on motivated attention to feared and nonfeared negative distracters in spider fear

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    Norberg, Joakim; Wiens, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Background When people view emotional and neutral pictures, the emotional pictures capture more attention than do neutral pictures. In support, studies with event-related potentials have shown that the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP) to emotional versus neutral pictures are enhanced when pictures are attended. However, this motivated attention decreases when voluntary attention is directed away from the pictures. Most previous studies included only gener...

  17. Attentional bias to moving spiders in spider fearful individuals.

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    Vrijsen, Janna N; Fleurkens, Pascal; Nieuwboer, Wieteke; Rinck, Mike

    2009-05-01

    We investigated if an attentional bias for spiders in spider fearful individuals (SFs) can also be found for moving spiders, rather than static images. In Study 1, 28 SFs and 33 non-anxious controls (NACs) participated in a modified version of the dot probe paradigm: they had to react to a probe that appeared either in the next, previous, or side position of a spider's or a wheel's path. 24 SFs and 29 NACs participated in Study 2, in which a fourth, highly predictable, probe position was added. We expected that moving spiders would capture the attention of SFs. In addition, we tested whether SFs try to predict the movement of the spider to make it less threatening. As expected, SFs showed an attentional bias towards moving spiders. However, both groups reacted fastest to unpredictable movements, indicating that SFs and NACs alike anticipate unpredictable spider movements.

  18. Too Far to Care? Measuring Public Attention and Fear for Ebola Using Twitter.

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    van Lent, Liza Gg; Sungur, Hande; Kunneman, Florian A; van de Velde, Bob; Das, Enny

    2017-06-13

    In 2014, the world was startled by a sudden outbreak of Ebola. Although Ebola infections and deaths occurred almost exclusively in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, few potential Western cases, in particular, caused a great stir among the public in Western countries. This study builds on the construal level theory to examine the relationship between psychological distance to an epidemic and public attention and sentiment expressed on Twitter. Whereas previous research has shown the potential of social media to assess real-time public opinion and sentiment, generalizable insights that further the theory development lack. Epidemiological data (number of Ebola infections and fatalities) and media data (tweet volume and key events reported in the media) were collected for the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and Twitter content from the Netherlands was coded for (1) expressions of fear for self or fear for others and (2) psychological distance of the outbreak to the tweet source. Longitudinal relations were compared using vector error correction model (VECM) methodology. Analyses based on 4500 tweets revealed that increases in public attention to Ebola co-occurred with severe world events related to the epidemic, but not all severe events evoked fear. As hypothesized, Web-based public attention and expressions of fear responded mainly to the psychological distance of the epidemic. A chi-square test showed a significant positive relation between proximity and fear: χ 2 2 =103.2 (Pfear for self in the Netherlands showed peaks when Ebola became spatially closer by crossing the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Fear for others was mostly predicted by the social distance to the affected parties. Spatial and social distance are important predictors of public attention to worldwide crisis such as epidemics. These factors need to be taken into account when communicating about human tragedies. ©Liza GG van Lent, Hande Sungur, Florian A Kunneman, Bob van de Velde, Enny Das

  19. Dividing Attention Increases Operational Momentum

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    Koleen McCrink

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available When adding or subtracting two quantities, adults often compute an estimated outcome that is larger or smaller, respectively, than the actual outcome, a bias referred to as “operational momentum”. The effects of attention on operational momentum were investigated. Participants viewed a display in which two arrays of objects were added, or one array was subtracted from another array, and judged whether a subsequent outcome (probe array contained the correct or incorrect number of objects. In a baseline condition, only the arrays to be added or subtracted were viewed. In divided attention conditions, participants simultaneously viewed a sequence of colors or shapes, and judged which color (a non-spatial judgment or shape (a spatial judgment was repeated. Operational momentum occurred in all conditions, but was higher in divided attention conditions than in the baseline condition, primarily for addition problems. This pattern suggests that dividing attention, rather than decreasing operational momentum by decreasing attentional shifts, actually increased operational momentum. These results are consistent with a heightened use of arithmetic heuristics under conditions of divided attention.

  20. Attentional Bias for Uncertain Cues of Shock in Human Fear Conditioning: Evidence for Attentional Learning Theory

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    Stephan Koenig

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a human fear conditioning experiment in which three different color cues were followed by an aversive electric shock on 0, 50, and 100% of the trials, and thus induced low (L, partial (P, and high (H shock expectancy, respectively. The cues differed with respect to the strength of their shock association (L < P < H and the uncertainty of their prediction (L < P > H. During conditioning we measured pupil dilation and ocular fixations to index differences in the attentional processing of the cues. After conditioning, the shock-associated colors were introduced as irrelevant distracters during visual search for a shape target while shocks were no longer administered and we analyzed the cues’ potential to capture and hold overt attention automatically. Our findings suggest that fear conditioning creates an automatic attention bias for the conditioned cues that depends on their correlation with the aversive outcome. This bias was exclusively linked to the strength of the cues’ shock association for the early attentional processing of cues in the visual periphery, but additionally was influenced by the uncertainty of the shock prediction after participants fixated on the cues. These findings are in accord with attentional learning theories that formalize how associative learning shapes automatic attention.

  1. Attentional Bias for Uncertain Cues of Shock in Human Fear Conditioning: Evidence for Attentional Learning Theory

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    Koenig, Stephan; Uengoer, Metin; Lachnit, Harald

    2017-01-01

    We conducted a human fear conditioning experiment in which three different color cues were followed by an aversive electric shock on 0, 50, and 100% of the trials, and thus induced low (L), partial (P), and high (H) shock expectancy, respectively. The cues differed with respect to the strength of their shock association (L H). During conditioning we measured pupil dilation and ocular fixations to index differences in the attentional processing of the cues. After conditioning, the shock-associated colors were introduced as irrelevant distracters during visual search for a shape target while shocks were no longer administered and we analyzed the cues’ potential to capture and hold overt attention automatically. Our findings suggest that fear conditioning creates an automatic attention bias for the conditioned cues that depends on their correlation with the aversive outcome. This bias was exclusively linked to the strength of the cues’ shock association for the early attentional processing of cues in the visual periphery, but additionally was influenced by the uncertainty of the shock prediction after participants fixated on the cues. These findings are in accord with attentional learning theories that formalize how associative learning shapes automatic attention. PMID:28588466

  2. Effect of vicarious fear learning on children's heart rate responses and attentional bias for novel animals

    OpenAIRE

    Reynolds, G; Field, AP; Askew, C

    2014-01-01

    Research with children has shown that vicarious learning can result in changes to 2 of Lang's (1968) 3 anxiety response systems: subjective report and behavioral avoidance. The current study extended this research by exploring the effect of vicarious learning on physiological responses (Lang's final response system) and attentional bias. The study used Askew and Field's (2007) vicarious learning procedure and demonstrated fear-related increases in children's cognitive, behavioral, and physiol...

  3. The Prelimbic Cortex Directs Attention toward Predictive Cues during Fear Learning

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    Sharpe, Melissa J.; Killcross, Simon

    2015-01-01

    The prelimbic cortex is argued to promote conditioned fear expression, at odds with appetitive research implicating this region in attentional processing. Consistent with an attentional account, we report that the effect of prelimbic lesions on fear expression depends on the degree of competition between contextual and discrete cues. Further, when…

  4. Differential effects of object-based attention on evoked potentials to fearful and disgusted faces.

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    Santos, Isabel M; Iglesias, Jaime; Olivares, Ela I; Young, Andrew W

    2008-04-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate the role of attention on the processing of facial expressions of fear and disgust. Stimuli consisted of overlapping pictures of a face and a house. Participants had to monitor repetitions of faces or houses, in separate blocks of trials, so that object-based attention was manipulated while spatial attention was kept constant. Faces varied in expression and could be either fearful or neutral (in the fear condition) or disgusted or neutral (in the disgust condition). When attending to faces, participants were required to signal repetitions of the same person, with the facial expressions being completely irrelevant to the task. Different effects of selective attention and different patterns of brain activity were observed for faces with fear and disgust expressions. Results indicated that the perception of fear from faces is gated by selective attention at early latencies, whereas a sustained positivity for fearful faces compared to neutral faces emerged around 160ms at central-parietal sites, independent of selective attention. In the case of disgust, ERP differences began only around 160ms after stimulus onset, and only after 480ms was the perception of disgust modulated by attention allocation. Results are interpreted in terms of different neural mechanisms for the perception of fear and disgust and related to the functional significance of these two emotions for the survival of the organism.

  5. Effect of Vicarious Fear Learning on Children’s Heart Rate Responses and Attentional Bias for Novel Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Research with children has shown that vicarious learning can result in changes to 2 of Lang’s (1968) 3 anxiety response systems: subjective report and behavioral avoidance. The current study extended this research by exploring the effect of vicarious learning on physiological responses (Lang’s final response system) and attentional bias. The study used Askew and Field’s (2007) vicarious learning procedure and demonstrated fear-related increases in children’s cognitive, behavioral, and physiological responses. Cognitive and behavioral changes were retested 1 week and 1 month later, and remained elevated. In addition, a visual search task demonstrated that fear-related vicarious learning creates an attentional bias for novel animals, which is moderated by increases in fear beliefs during learning. The findings demonstrate that vicarious learning leads to lasting changes in all 3 of Lang’s anxiety response systems and is sufficient to create attentional bias to threat in children. PMID:25151521

  6. Activity of the anterior cingulate cortex and ventral hippocampus underlie increases in contextual fear generalization.

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    Cullen, Patrick K; Gilman, T Lee; Winiecki, Patrick; Riccio, David C; Jasnow, Aaron M

    2015-10-01

    Memories for context become less specific with time resulting in animals generalizing fear from training contexts to novel contexts. Though much attention has been given to the neural structures that underlie the long-term consolidation of a context fear memory, very little is known about the mechanisms responsible for the increase in fear generalization that occurs as the memory ages. Here, we examine the neural pattern of activation underlying the expression of a generalized context fear memory in male C57BL/6J mice. Animals were context fear conditioned and tested for fear in either the training context or a novel context at recent and remote time points. Animals were sacrificed and fluorescent in situ hybridization was performed to assay neural activation. Our results demonstrate activity of the prelimbic, infralimbic, and anterior cingulate (ACC) cortices as well as the ventral hippocampus (vHPC) underlie expression of a generalized fear memory. To verify the involvement of the ACC and vHPC in the expression of a generalized fear memory, animals were context fear conditioned and infused with 4% lidocaine into the ACC, dHPC, or vHPC prior to retrieval to temporarily inactivate these structures. The results demonstrate that activity of the ACC and vHPC is required for the expression of a generalized fear memory, as inactivation of these regions returned the memory to a contextually precise form. Current theories of time-dependent generalization of contextual memories do not predict involvement of the vHPC. Our data suggest a novel role of this region in generalized memory, which should be incorporated into current theories of time-dependent memory generalization. We also show that the dorsal hippocampus plays a prolonged role in contextually precise memories. Our findings suggest a possible interaction between the ACC and vHPC controls the expression of fear generalization. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Watch out! Magnetoencephalographic evidence for early modulation of attention orienting by fearful gaze cueing.

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    Fanny Lachat

    Full Text Available Others' gaze and emotional facial expression are important cues for the process of attention orienting. Here, we investigated with magnetoencephalography (MEG whether the combination of averted gaze and fearful expression may elicit a selectively early effect of attention orienting on the brain responses to targets. We used the direction of gaze of centrally presented fearful and happy faces as the spatial attention orienting cue in a Posner-like paradigm where the subjects had to detect a target checkerboard presented at gazed-at (valid trials or non gazed-at (invalid trials locations of the screen. We showed that the combination of averted gaze and fearful expression resulted in a very early attention orienting effect in the form of additional parietal activity between 55 and 70 ms for the valid versus invalid targets following fearful gaze cues. No such effect was obtained for the targets following happy gaze cues. This early cue-target validity effect selective of fearful gaze cues involved the left superior parietal region and the left lateral middle occipital region. These findings provide the first evidence for an effect of attention orienting induced by fearful gaze in the time range of C1. In doing so, they demonstrate the selective impact of combined gaze and fearful expression cues in the process of attention orienting.

  8. Watch Out for the Beast: Fear Information and Attentional Bias in Children

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    Field, Andy P.

    2006-01-01

    Although valenced information about novel animals changes the implicit and explicit fear beliefs of children (Field & Lawson, 2003), how it might lead to anxiety is unknown. One possibility, based on cognitive models of anxiety, is that fear information creates attentional biases similar to those seen in anxiety disorders. Children between 7 and 9…

  9. Selective Attention and Fear of Cancer Recurrence in Breast Cancer Survivors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Custers, J. A. E.; Becker, E. S.; Gielissen, M. F. M.; van Laarhoven, H. W. M.; Rinck, M.; Prins, J. B.

    2015-01-01

    Anxious people show an attentional bias towards threatening information. It was investigated whether an attentional bias exists for cancer-related stimuli in breast cancer survivors and if different levels of fear of cancer recurrence would lead to different patterns of selective attention. Breast

  10. Fearful attention : Investigating event-related potentials in spider phobia

    OpenAIRE

    Norberg, Joakim

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies showed that emotional pictures capture attention. Further, this effect was decreased by manipulating spatial attention. In contrast, studies produced mixed findings for effects of perceptual load on attention to emotional pictures. Emotional pictures can be phobic or nonphobic. Because phobia might be an evolutionary adaption, it is possible that effects of phobic pictures on attention differ from effects of nonphobic emotional pictures. The present thesis aimed at investigat...

  11. The prelimbic cortex directs attention toward predictive cues during fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Melissa J; Killcross, Simon

    2015-06-01

    The prelimbic cortex is argued to promote conditioned fear expression, at odds with appetitive research implicating this region in attentional processing. Consistent with an attentional account, we report that the effect of prelimbic lesions on fear expression depends on the degree of competition between contextual and discrete cues. Further, when competition from contextual cues is low, we found that PL inactivation resulted in animals expressing fear toward irrelevant discrete cues; an effect selective to inactivation during the learning phase and not during retrieval. These data demonstrate that the prelimbic cortex modulates attention toward cues to preferentially direct fear responding on the basis of their predictive value. © 2015 Sharpe and Killcross; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  12. Fear acquisition and liking of out-group and in-group members: Learning bias or attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Stephan; Nauroth, Peter; Lucke, Sara; Lachnit, Harald; Gollwitzer, Mario; Uengoer, Metin

    2017-10-01

    The present study explores the notion of an out-group fear learning bias that is characterized by facilitated fear acquisition toward harm-doing out-group members. Participants were conditioned with two in-group and two out-group faces as conditioned stimuli. During acquisition, one in-group and one out-group face was paired with an aversive shock whereas the other in-group and out-group face was presented without shock. Psychophysiological measures of fear conditioning (skin conductance and pupil size) and explicit and implicit liking exhibited increased differential responding to out-group faces compared to in-group faces. However, the results did not clearly indicate that harm-doing out-group members were more readily associated with fear than harm-doing in-group members. In contrast, the out-group face not paired with shock decreased conditioned fear and disliking at least to the same extent that the shock-associated out-group face increased these measures. Based on these results, we suggest an account of the out-group fear learning bias that relates to an attentional bias to process in-group information. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Increased fear of progression in cancer patients with recurrence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shim, Eun-Jung; Shin, Yong-Wook; Oh, Do-Youn; Hahm, Bong-Jin

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated the fear of progression (FoP) in cancer patients and the discriminant ability of the Fear of Progression Questionnaire (FoP-Q) against the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), while also examining relationships between FoP, satisfaction outcomes and supportive needs. The FoP-Q and HADS were administered to 112 cancer patients in Korea during June and July 2006. The FoP-Q totals and subscales, and the HADS scores were compared across three groups (patients with recurrence, patients with metastases and controls experiencing neither). Comparison of the FoP-Q total score to HADS anxiety (HADS-A) and depression (HADS-D) scores showed higher FoP in the recurrence group compared to the control group (P=.009). Subscale score comparisons revealed a heightened "affective reaction" (P=.003) to cancer progression and fear of "loss of autonomy" (P=.011) in recurrence patients. FoP-Q score showed a moderate association with HADS-A (r=.54, P=.000) and a significant association with treatment satisfaction (r=-.26, P=.007), medical staff and communication (r=-.31, P=.001), and supportive needs (r=.41, P=.000). The importance of providing supportive interventions tailored to the specific emotional concerns of cancer patients, assessed via appropriate, disease-specific instruments, and the need to pay special attention to the concerns of recurrence patients are suggested. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Attentional avoidance of fearful facial expressions following early life stress is associated with impaired social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphreys, Kathryn L; Kircanski, Katharina; Colich, Natalie L; Gotlib, Ian H

    2016-10-01

    Early life stress is associated with poorer social functioning. Attentional biases in response to threat-related cues, linked to both early experience and psychopathology, may explain this association. To date, however, no study has examined attentional biases to fearful facial expressions as a function of early life stress or examined these biases as a potential mediator of the relation between early life stress and social problems. In a sample of 154 children (ages 9-13 years) we examined the associations among interpersonal early life stressors (i.e., birth through age 6 years), attentional biases to emotional facial expressions using a dot-probe task, and social functioning on the Child Behavior Checklist. High levels of early life stress were associated with both greater levels of social problems and an attentional bias away from fearful facial expressions, even after accounting for stressors occurring in later childhood. No biases were found for happy or sad facial expressions as a function of early life stress. Finally, attentional biases to fearful faces mediated the association between early life stress and social problems. Attentional avoidance of fearful facial expressions, evidenced by a bias away from these stimuli, may be a developmental response to early adversity and link the experience of early life stress to poorer social functioning. © 2016 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  15. Attention-Deficit, Fear and Aggression in Iranian Preschool Students with Regard to Gender Differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheikhzade, Mostafa; Assemi, Arezoo

    2013-01-01

    The cause of most adult psychopathologies or behavioural disorders can be traced back to childhood. In this study, we examine the attention-deficit, fear and aggression in Iran's preschool students in Oshnaviye city. In this analytical-descriptive study, 50 students were selected through stratified sampling method from 249 students. Data were…

  16. Generalization of Conditioned Fear along a Dimension of Increasing Fear Intensity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Mitroff, Stephen R.; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated the extent to which fear generalization in humans is determined by the amount of fear intensity in nonconditioned stimuli relative to a perceptually similar conditioned stimulus. Stimuli consisted of graded emotionally expressive faces of the same identity morphed between neutral and fearful endpoints. Two…

  17. Abnormal fear circuitry in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A controlled magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Andrea E; Marin, Marie-France; Milad, Mohammed R; Spencer, Thomas J; Bogucki, Olivia E; Pope, Amanda L; Plasencia, Natalie; Hughes, Brittany; Pace-Schott, Edward F; Fitzgerald, Maura; Uchida, Mai; Biederman, Joseph

    2017-04-30

    We examined whether non-traumatized subjects with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have dysfunctional activation in brain structures mediating fear extinction, possibly explaining the statistical association between ADHD and other disorders characterized by aberrant fear processing such as PTSD. Medication naïve, non-traumatized young adult subjects with (N=27) and without (N=20) ADHD underwent a 2-day fear conditioning and extinction protocol in a 3T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. Skin conductance response (SCR) was recorded as a measure of conditioned response. Compared to healthy controls, ADHD subjects had significantly greater insular cortex activation during early extinction, lesser dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) activation during late extinction, lesser ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) activation during late extinction learning and extinction recall, and greater hippocampal activation during extinction recall. Hippocampal and vmPFC deficits were similar to those documented in PTSD subjects compared to traumatized controls without PTSD. Non-traumatized, medication naive adults with ADHD had abnormalities in fear circuits during extinction learning and extinction recall, and some findings were consistent with those previously documented in subjects with PTSD compared to traumatized controls without PTSD. These findings could explain the significant association between ADHD and PTSD as well as impaired emotion regulation in ADHD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Exogenous attention to fear: Differential behavioral and neural responses to snakes and spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Sandra C; Kessel, Dominique; Hernández-Lorca, María; García-Rubio, María J; Rodrigues, Paulo; Gomes, Nuno; Carretié, Luis

    2017-05-01

    Research has consistently shown that threat stimuli automatically attract attention in order to activate the defensive response systems. Recent findings have provided evidence that snakes tuned the visual system of evolving primates for their astute detection, particularly under challenging perceptual conditions. The goal of the present study was to measure behavioral and electrophysiological indices of exogenous attention to snakes, compared with spiders - matched for rated fear levels but for which sources of natural selection are less well grounded, and to innocuous animals (birds), which were presented as distracters, while participants were engaged in a letter discrimination task. Duration of stimuli, consisting in a letter string and a concurrent distracter, was either presented for 180 or 360ms to explore if the stimulus duration was a modulating effect of snakes in capturing attention. Results showed a specific early (P1) exogenous attention-related brain potential with maximal amplitude to snakes in both durations, which was followed by an enhanced late attention-related potential (LPP) showing enhanced amplitudes to spiders, particularly under the longer exposure durations. These results suggest that exogenous attention to different classes of threat stimuli follows a gradual process, with the most evolutionary-driven stimulus, i.e., snakes, being more efficient at attracting early exogenous attention, thus more dependent on bottom-up processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Aversive emotional interference impacts behavior and prefronto-striatal activity during increasing attentional control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papazacharias, Apostolos; Taurisano, Paolo; Fazio, Leonardo; Gelao, Barbara; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Lo Bianco, Luciana; Quarto, Tiziana; Mancini, Marina; Porcelli, Annamaria; Romano, Raffaella; Caforio, Grazia; Todarello, Orlando; Popolizio, Teresa; Blasi, Giuseppe; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2015-01-01

    Earlier studies have demonstrated that emotional stimulation modulates attentional processing during goal-directed behavior and related activity of a brain network including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the caudate nucleus. However, it is not clear how emotional interference modulates behavior and brain physiology during variation in attentional control, a relevant question for everyday life situations in which both emotional stimuli and cognitive load vary. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of negative emotions on behavior and activity in IFG and caudate nucleus during increasing levels of attentional control. Twenty two healthy subjects underwent event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a task in which neutral or fearful facial expressions were displayed before stimuli eliciting increasing levels of attentional control processing. Results indicated slower reaction time (RT) and greater right IFG activity when fearful compared with neutral facial expressions preceded the low level of attentional control. On the other hand, fearful facial expressions preceding the intermediate level of attentional control elicited faster behavioral responses and greater activity in the right and left sides of the caudate. Finally, correlation analysis indicated a relationship between behavioral correlates of attentional control after emotional interference and right IFG activity. All together, these results suggest that the impact of negative emotions on attentional processing is differentially elicited at the behavioral and physiological levels as a function of cognitive load.

  20. Reducing attentional capture of emotion by broadening attention: increased global attention reduces early electrophysiological responses to negative stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gable, Philip A; Harmon-Jones, Eddie

    2012-05-01

    Decades of research has shown the influence of emotion on attentional capture, and more recently, the influence of emotion on neurophysiological processes related to attentional capture. The current research tested whether some of the earliest neurophysiological underpinnings of emotive attentional processes can be influenced by attentional manipulations of broadening versus narrowing. Previous research has shown that negative affects high in motivational intensity (e.g., disgust, fear) cause a relative narrowing of attentional scope (Gable and Harmon-Jones, 2010a; Easterbrook, 1959). Because of the strong link between motivation and attention, attentional scope should also influence the attentional capture of negative stimuli. The current study manipulated a local attentional scope or global attentional scope, then measured attentional capture towards disgust and neutral pictures using the N1 event-related potential component. Results revealed that a manipulated global attentional scope reduced N1 amplitude towards disgust pictures compared to a manipulated local attentional scope. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Attention Biases Towards and Away from Threat Mark the Relation between Early Dysregulated Fear and the Later Emergence of Social Withdrawal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Santiago; Pérez-Edgar, Koraly E; Buss, Kristin A

    2015-08-01

    Fearful temperament, mostly studied as behavioral inhibition (BI), has been extensively associated with social withdrawal in childhood and the later emergence of anxiety disorders, especially social anxiety disorder (SAD). Recent studies have characterized a distinct type of fearful temperament marked by high levels of fear in low threat situations - labeled dysregulated fear. Dysregulated fear has been related to SAD over and above risks associated with BI. However, the mechanism by which dysregulated fear is related to SAD has not been studied. Cognitive mechanisms, such as attentional bias towards threat, may be a possible conduit. We examined differences in attentional bias towards threat in six-year-olds who displayed a pattern of dysregulated fear at age two (N = 23) compared with children who did not display dysregulated fear (N = 33). Moreover, we examined the concurrent relation between attentional bias and social withdrawal. Results indicated that children characterized by dysregulated fear showed a significant bias away from threat, and that this bias was significantly different from the children without dysregulated fear, who showed no significant bias. Moreover, attentional bias towards threat was positively related to social withdrawal only for the dysregulated fear group. These results are discussed in consideration of the existing knowledge of attentional bias to threat in the developmental and pediatric anxiety literatures, as well as recent studies that find important heterogeneity in attentional bias.

  2. Increased fear-potentiated startle in major depressive disorder patients with lifetime history of suicide attempt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, Elizabeth D; Ionescu, Dawn F; Vande Voort, Jennifer L; Slonena, Elizabeth E; Franco-Chaves, Jose A; Zarate, Carlos A; Grillon, Christian

    2014-06-01

    Suicide is a common reason for psychiatric emergency and morbidity, with few effective treatments. Anxiety symptoms have emerged as potential modifiable risk factors in the time before a suicide attempt, but few studies have been conducted using laboratory measures of fear and anxiety. We operationally defined fear and anxiety as increased startle reactivity during anticipation of predictable (fear-potentiated startle) and unpredictable (anxiety-potentiated startle) shock. We hypothesized that a lifetime history of suicide attempt (as compared to history of no suicide attempt) would be associated with increased fear-potentiated startle. A post-hoc analysis of fear- and anxiety-potentiated startle was conducted in 28 medication-free patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) divided according to suicide attempt history. The magnitude of fear-potentiated startle was increased in depressed patients with lifetime suicide attempts compared to those without a lifetime history of suicide attempt (F(1,26)=5.629, p=.025). There was no difference in anxiety-potentiated startle by suicide attempt history. This is a post-hoc analysis of previously analyzed patient data from a study of depressed inpatients. Further replication of the finding with a larger patient sample is indicated. Increased fear-potentiated startle in suicide attempters suggests the role of amygdala in depressed patients with a suicide attempt history. Findings highlight the importance of anxiety symptoms in the treatment of patients at increased suicide risk. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Face Experience and the Attentional Bias for Fearful Expressions in 6- and 9-Month-Old Infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina Safar

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Infants demonstrate an attentional bias toward fearful facial expressions that emerges in the first year of life. The current study investigated whether this attentional bias is influenced by experience with particular face types. Six-month-old (n = 33 and 9-month-old (n = 31 Caucasian infants' spontaneous preference for fearful facial expressions when expressed by own-race (Caucasian or other-race (East Asian faces was examined. Six-month-old infants showed a preference for fearful expressions when expressed by own-race faces, but not when expressed by other-race faces. Nine-month-old infants showed a preference for fearful expressions when expressed by both own-race faces and other-race faces. These results suggest that how infants deploy their attention to different emotional expressions is shaped by experience: Attentional biases might initially be restricted to faces with which infants have the most experience, and later be extended to faces with which they have less experience.

  4. Electronic diary assessment of pain-related fear, attention to pain, and pain intensity in chronic low back pain patients.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, J.; Peters, M.L.; Patijn, J.; Schouten, E.G.; Vlaeyen, J.W.

    2004-01-01

    The present study investigated the relationships between pain-related fear, attention to pain, and pain intensity in daily life in patients with chronic low back pain. An experience sampling methodology was used in which electronic diary data were collected by means of palmtop computers from 40

  5. Electrocortical and ocular indices of attention to fearful and neutral faces presented under high and low working memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamara, Annmarie; Schmidt, Joseph; Zelinsky, Gregory J; Hajcak, Greg

    2012-12-01

    Working memory load reduces the late positive potential (LPP), consistent with the notion that functional activation of the DLPFC attenuates neural indices of sustained attention. Visual attention also modulates the LPP. In the present study, we sought to determine whether working memory load might exert its influence on ERPs by reducing fixations to arousing picture regions. We simultaneously recorded eye-tracking and EEG while participants performed a working memory task interspersed with the presentation of task-irrelevant fearful and neutral faces. As expected, fearful compared to neutral faces elicited larger N170 and LPP amplitudes; in addition, working memory load reduced the N170 and the LPP. Participants made more fixations to arousing regions of neutral faces and faces presented under high working memory load. Therefore, working memory load did not induce avoidance of arousing picture regions and visual attention cannot explain load effects on the N170 and LPP. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. CROSSWORD PUZZLE INCREASE ATTENTION OF CHILDREN WITH ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ah. Yusuf

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Attention deficit is one of three main problems of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD. Children experience difficulty of paying attention and concentrating to one or more things or objects. As a results these children cannot perform the task well. Crossword puzzle is one of games that may increase attention and concentration. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of crossword puzzle to increase attention of children with ADHD. Method: Pre-experimental design was employed in this study. The population was ADHD students in Cakra Autisme Therapy. Seven students were recruited by means of purposive sampling. The independent variable was crossword puzzle and the dependent variable was the increase of attention. Data were collected using observation sheet and analyzed using Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test with level of significance of α≤ 0.05. Result: Result showed that crossword puzzle could increase attention. Respondent’s attention improved from less to good attention, particularly in playing activities (p=0.014. Analysis: This finding suggests that there was differences of attention between pre and post-test. It can be concluded that crossword puzzle can increase attention of the students with ADHD. Discussion: It is recommended for teachers and parents of ADHD children to give them crossword puzzle game everyday at school or at home. Further studies should involve larger sample size and employs another game not only to increase attention, but also reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity of ADHD child.

  7. A single administration of cortisol acutely reduces preconscious attention for fear in anxious young men.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Putman, P.L.J.; Hermans, E.J.; Koppeschaar, H.P.F.; Schijndel, J.C.H.W. van; Honk, E.J. van

    2007-01-01

    Chronically elevated HPA activity has often been associated with fear and anxiety, but there is evidence that single administrations of glucocorticoids may acutely reduce fear. Moreover, peri-traumatic cortisol elevation may protect against development of post-traumatic stress disorder.

  8. "Incidental fear cues increase monetary loss aversion": Correction to Schulreich, Gerhardt, and Heekeren (2016).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    Reports an error in "Incidental fear cues increase monetary loss aversion" by Stefan Schulreich, Holger Gerhardt and Hauke R. Heekeren ( Emotion , 2016[Apr], Vol 16[3], 402-412). In the current article, there was an error in the Study 2 portion of the article. The fourth paragraph of the Results section should read as follows: Performing the same analyses as in Study 1, we found an effect of incidental fear cues on decision behavior. Participants accepted fewer gambles in the fearful-face condition (32.77%) than in the neutral-face condition (33.96%), with Z = -2.187, p = .027, d = -0.998 in the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test and β = 0.012, SE = 0.0053, F(1, 21) = 4.434, p = .047, partial η² = .174 in the linear regression. This suggests increased risk aversion in the fearful-face condition. Concerning personality, however, there were no significant between-subjects effects or between-within interaction effects (all ps = .349). (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2015-52358-001.) In many everyday decisions, people exhibit loss aversion-a greater sensitivity to losses relative to gains of equal size. Loss aversion is thought to be (at least partly) mediated by emotional-in particular, fear-related-processes. Decision research has shown that even incidental emotions, which are unrelated to the decision at hand, can influence decision making. The effect of incidental fear on loss aversion, however, is thus far unclear. In two studies, we experimentally investigated how incidental fear cues, presented during (Study 1) or before (Study 2) choices to accept or reject mixed gambles over real monetary stakes, influence monetary loss aversion. We find that the presentation of fearful faces, relative to the presentation of neutral faces, increased risk aversion-an effect that could be attributed to increased loss aversion. The size of this effect was moderated by psychopathic personality: Fearless dominance, in particular its interpersonal facet

  9. Direction of attention bias to threat relates to differences in fear acquisition and extinction in anxious children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, Allison M; Kershaw, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Anxious children show attention biases towards and away from threat stimuli. Moreover, threat avoidance compared to vigilance predicts a poorer outcome from exposure-based treatments, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), yet the mechanisms underlying this differential response are unclear. Pavlovian fear conditioning is a widely accepted theory to explain the acquisition and extinction of fear, including exposure-based treatments, such as CBT. In typical fear conditioning experiments, anxious children have shown larger physiological responses to an aversive unconditional stimulus (i.e., US on CS+ trials) and to non-reinforced stimuli (CS-) during fear acquisition and to both CSs during fear extinction compared to non-anxious peers. This study examined whether threat avoidance compared to threat vigilance was related to differences in fear acquisition and extinction in anxious children. Thirty-four clinically-anxious children completed a visual probe task including angry-neutral face pairs to determine the direction of threat attention bias as well as a discriminant conditioning and extinction task in which a geometric shape CS+ was paired with an aversive tone US, while the CS- geometric shape was always presented alone during acquisition trials. Both CSs were presented alone during extinction trials. Fear acquisition and extinction were indexed by skin conductance responses (SCR) and subjective measures. Children were classified as threat vigilant (N = 18) and threat avoidant (n = 16) based on the direction of threat attention bias on the visual probe task. During acquisition, threat avoidant relative to threat vigilant anxious children displayed larger orienting SCRs to both CSs during the first block of trials and larger third interval SCRs to the US on CS+ trials as well as on CS- trials. During extinction, threat avoidant anxious children showed delayed extinction of SCRs to both the CS+ and CS- and reported higher subjective anxiety ratings after

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation within the Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubry, Antonio V; Serrano, Peter A; Burghardt, Nesha S

    2016-01-01

    Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects the amygdala and amygdala-dependent fear memories remain unclear. Here we review the literature on the enhancing effects of acute and chronic stress on the acquisition and/or consolidation of a fear memory, as measured by auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, and discuss potential mechanisms by which these changes occur in the amygdala. We hypothesize that stress-mediated activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and norepinephrine release within the amygdala leads to the mobilization of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors to the synapse, which underlies stress-induced increases in fear memory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for evaluating the effects of stress on extinction and for developing treatments for anxiety disorders. Understanding how stress-induced changes in glucocorticoid and norepinephrine signaling might converge to affect emotional learning by increasing the trafficking of AMPA receptors and enhancing amygdala excitability is a promising area for future research.

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation Within the Amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Aubry

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects the amygdala and amygdala-dependent fear memories remain unclear. Here we review the literature on the enhancing effects of acute and chronic stress on the acquisition and/or consolidation of a fear memory, as measured by auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, and discuss potential mechanisms by which these changes occur in the amygdala. We hypothesize that stress-mediated activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR and norepinephrine release within the amygdala leads to the mobilization of AMPA receptors to the synapse, which underlies stress-induced increases in fear memory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for evaluating the effects of stress on extinction and for developing treatments for anxiety disorders. Understanding how stress-induced changes in glucocorticoid and norepinephrine signaling might converge to affect emotional learning by increasing the trafficking of AMPA receptors and enhancing amygdala excitability is a promising area for future research.

  12. Electrophysiological correlates of fearful and sad distraction on target processing in adolescents with attention deficit-hyperactivity symptoms and affective disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony eSinghal

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study we used event-related brain potentials (ERP as neural markers of cognitive operations to examine emotion and attentional processing in a population of high-risk adolescents with mental health problems that included ADHD, anxiety, and depression. We included a healthy control group for comparison purposes, and employed a modified version of the emotional oddball paradigm, consisting of frequent distracters (scrambled pictures, infrequent distracters (sad, fearful, and neutral pictures and infrequent targets (circles. Participants were instructed to make a right hand button press to targets and a left hand button press to all other stimuli. EEG/ERP recordings were taken using a high-density 256-channel recording system. Behavioral data showed that for both clinical and non-clinical adolescents, reaction time was slowest in response to the fearful images. Electrophysiological data differentiated emotion and target processing between clinical and non-clinical adolescents. In the clinical group we observed a larger P100 and Late Positive Potential (LPP in response to fearful compared to sad or neutral pictures. There were no differences in these ERPs in the healthy sample. Emotional modulation of target processing was also identified in the clinical sample, where we observed an increase in P300 amplitude, and a larger sustained LPP in response to targets that followed emotional pictures (fear & sad compared to targets that followed neutral pictures or other targets. There were no differences in these target ERPs for the healthy participants. Taken together, we suggest that these data provide important and novel evidence of affective and attention dysfunction in this clinical population of adolescents, and offer an example of the disruptive effects of emotional reactivity on basic cognition.

  13. Increased perceived self-efficacy facilitates the extinction of fear in healthy participants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armin eZlomuzica

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Self-efficacy has been proposed as an important element of a successful cognitive behavioral treatment. Positive changes in perceived self-efficacy have been linked to an improved adaptive emotional and behavioral responding in the context of anxiety-provoking situations. Furthermore, a positive influence of self-efficacy on cognitive functions has been confirmed. The present study examined the effect of verbal persuasion on perceived self-efficacy and fear extinction. Healthy participants were subjected to a standardized differential fear conditioning paradigm. After fear acquisition, half of the participants received a verbal persuasion aimed at increasing perceived self-efficacy. The extinction of fear was assessed immediately thereafter on both the implicit and explicit level. Our results suggest that an increased perceived self-efficacy was associated with enhanced extinction, evidenced on the psychophysiological level and accompanied by more pronounced decrements in conditioned negative valence. Changes in extinction were not due to a decrease in overall emotional reactivity to conditioned stimuli. In addition, debriefing participants about the false positive feedback did not affect the processing of already extinguished conditioned responses during a subsequent continued extinction phase. Our results suggest that positive changes in perceived self-efficacy can be beneficial for emotional learning. Findings are discussed with respect to strategies aimed at increasing extinction learning in the course of exposure-based treatments.

  14. Attention Increases Spike Count Correlations between Visual Cortical Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Marlene R.

    2016-01-01

    Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously

  15. Attention Increases Spike Count Correlations between Visual Cortical Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, Douglas A; Cohen, Marlene R

    2016-07-13

    Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously from neurons in primary

  16. Warding off the evil eye: when the fear of being envied increases prosocial behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Ven, Niels; Zeelenberg, Marcel; Pieters, Rik

    2010-11-01

    The fear of being envied makes people act prosocially, in an attempt to ward off the potentially destructive effects of envy. In three experiments, people who were in a superior position and could be envied were more likely than control participants to give time-consuming advice to a potentially envious person or to help a potentially envious person pick up erasers she had accidentally scattered. However, helping behavior increased only if envy was likely to be malicious rather than benign. People who were better off did not increase their helping behavior toward people in general, but increased their helping only toward the potentially envious. This finding is consistent with the idea that the better off act more prosocially as an appeasement strategy. The fear of being envied serves useful group functions, because it triggers prosocial behavior that is likely to dampen the potentially destructive effects of envy and simultaneously helps to improve the situation of people who are worse off.

  17. Feature-based attentional modulation increases with stimulus separation in divided-attention tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sally, Sharon L; Vidnyánsky, Zoltán; Papathomas, Thomas V

    2009-01-01

    Attention modifies our visual experience by selecting certain aspects of a scene for further processing. It is therefore important to understand factors that govern the deployment of selective attention over the visual field. Both location and feature-specific mechanisms of attention have been identified and their modulatory effects can interact at a neural level (Treue and Martinez-Trujillo, 1999). The effects of spatial parameters on feature-based attentional modulation were examined for the feature dimensions of orientation, motion and color using three divided-attention tasks. Subjects performed concurrent discriminations of two briefly presented targets (Gabor patches) to the left and right of a central fixation point at eccentricities of +/-2.5 degrees , 5 degrees , 10 degrees and 15 degrees in the horizontal plane. Gabors were size-scaled to maintain consistent single-task performance across eccentricities. For all feature dimensions, the data show a linear increase in the attentional effects with target separation. In a control experiment, Gabors were presented on an isoeccentric viewing arc at 10 degrees and 15 degrees at the closest spatial separation (+/-2.5 degrees ) of the main experiment. Under these conditions, the effects of feature-based attentional effects were largely eliminated. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that feature-based attention prioritizes the processing of attended features. Feature-based attentional mechanisms may have helped direct the attentional focus to the appropriate target locations at greater separations, whereas similar assistance may not have been necessary at closer target spacings. The results of the present study specify conditions under which dual-task performance benefits from sharing similar target features and may therefore help elucidate the processes by which feature-based attention operates.

  18. Attention bias for chocolate increases chocolate consumption--an attention bias modification study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werthmann, Jessica; Field, Matt; Roefs, Anne; Nederkoorn, Chantal; Jansen, Anita

    2014-03-01

    The current study examined experimentally whether a manipulated attention bias for food cues increases craving, chocolate intake and motivation to search for hidden chocolates. To test the effect of attention for food on subsequent chocolate intake, attention for chocolate was experimentally modified by instructing participants to look at chocolate stimuli ("attend chocolate" group) or at non-food stimuli ("attend shoes" group) during a novel attention bias modification task (antisaccade task). Chocolate consumption, changes in craving and search time for hidden chocolates were assessed. Eye-movement recordings were used to monitor the accuracy during the experimental attention modification task as possible moderator of effects. Regression analyses were conducted to test the effect of attention modification and modification accuracy on chocolate intake, craving and motivation to search for hidden chocolates. Results showed that participants with higher accuracy (+1 SD), ate more chocolate when they had to attend to chocolate and ate less chocolate when they had to attend to non-food stimuli. In contrast, for participants with lower accuracy (-1 SD), the results were exactly reversed. No effects of the experimental attention modification on craving or search time for hidden chocolates were found. We used chocolate as food stimuli so it remains unclear how our findings generalize to other types of food. These findings demonstrate further evidence for a link between attention for food and food intake, and provide an indication about the direction of this relationship. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation within the Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Aubry, Antonio V.; Serrano, Peter A.; Burghardt, Nesha S.

    2016-01-01

    Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by w...

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation Within the Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Antonio Aubry; Antonio Aubry; Peter Serrano; Peter Serrano; Nesha Burghardt; Nesha Burghardt

    2016-01-01

    Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by...

  1. Asthma-specific cognitions, self-focused attention, and fear of negative evaluation in adolescents and young adults diagnosed with childhood-onset asthma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junghans-Rutelonis, Ashley N; Tackett, Alayna P; Suorsa, Kristina I; Chaney, John M; Mullins, Larry L

    2018-01-01

    The present study examined the impact of asthma-specific thought intrusion (TI) and thought suppression (TS) on two cognitive-affective variables (self-focused attention and fear of negative evaluation) among adolescents and young adults (AYAs) diagnosed with childhood-onset asthma. Participants were 290 AYAs who completed assessment questionnaires and participated in a written exercise electronically. Asthma-TI and TS were reported by participants following participation in a writing assignment. Asthma-TI was associated with increased private, public, and social anxiety self-focused attention, and greater fear of negative evaluation. Interestingly, asthma-TS was not associated with these same outcome variables. Findings suggest illness-specific cognitions are associated with cognitive-affective variables and it may be important to assess for illness-specific intrusive thoughts following asthma-focused medical appointments. Additionally, findings suggest the importance of assessing asthma-TI and TS separately in order to better understand thoughts about health and psychological functioning.

  2. Increases in extracellular zinc in the amygdala in acquisition and recall of fear experience and their roles in response to fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, A; Tamano, H; Imano, S; Oku, N

    2010-07-14

    The amygdala is enriched with histochemically reactive zinc, which is dynamically coupled with neuronal activity and co-released with glutamate. The dynamics of the zinc in the amygdala was analyzed in rats, which were subjected to inescapable stress, to understand the role of the zinc in emotional behavior. In the communication box, two rats were subjected to foot shock stress and anxiety stress experiencing emotional responses of foot-shocked rat under amygdalar perfusion. Extracellular zinc was increased by foot shock stress, while decreased by anxiety stress, suggesting that the differential changes in extracellular zinc are associated with emotional behavior. In rats conditioned with foot shock, furthermore, extracellular zinc was increased again in the recall of fear (foot shock) in the same box without foot shock. When this recall was performed under perfusion with CaEDTA, a membrane-impermeable zinc chelator, to examine the role of the increase in extracellular zinc, the time of freezing behavior was more increased, suggesting that zinc released in the lateral amygdala during the recall of fear participates in freezing behavior. To examine the role of the increase in extracellular zinc during fear conditioning, fear conditioning was also performed under perfusion with CaEDTA. The time of freezing behavior was more increased in the contextual recall, suggesting that zinc released in the lateral nucleus during fear conditioning also participates in freezing behavior in the recall. In brain slice experiment, CaEDTA enhanced presynaptic activity (exocytosis) in the lateral nucleus after activation of the entorhinal cortex. The present paper demonstrates that zinc released in the lateral amygdala may participate in emotional behavior in response to fear. Copyright 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Spatial Attention-Related Modulation of the N170 by Backward Masked Fearful Faces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Joshua M.; Reinke, Karen S.

    2010-01-01

    Facial expressions are a basic form of non-verbal communication that convey important social information to others. The relevancy of this information is highlighted by findings that backward masked facial expressions facilitate spatial attention. This attention effect appears to be mediated through a neural network consisting of the amygdala,…

  4. Flexible attention deployment in threatening contexts: an instructed fear conditioning study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shechner, Tomer; Pelc, Tatiana; Pine, Daniel S; Fox, Nathan A; Bar-Haim, Yair

    2012-10-01

    Factors leading humans to shift attention away from danger cues remain poorly understood. Two laboratory experiments reported here show that context interacts with learning experiences to shape attention avoidance of mild danger cues. The first experiment exposed 18 participants to contextual threat of electric shock. Attention allocation to mild danger cues was then assessed with the dot-probe task. Results showed that contextual threat caused subjects to avert attention from danger cues. In the second experiment, 36 participants were conditioned to the same contextual threat used in Experiment 1. These subjects then were randomly assigned to either an experimental group, trained to shift attention toward danger cues, or a placebo group exposed to the same stimuli without the training component. As in Experiment 1, contextual threat again caused attention allocation away from danger in the control group. However, this did not occur in the experimental group. These experiments show that acute contextual threat and learning experiences interact to shape the deployment of attention away from danger cues.

  5. Biases in attention, interpretation, memory, and associations in children with varying levels of spider fear: Inter-relations and prediction of behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Anke M; van Niekerk, Rianne; Ten Brink, Giovanni; Rapee, Ronald M; Hudson, Jennifer L; Bögels, Susan M; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2017-03-01

    Cognitive theories suggest that cognitive biases may be related and together influence the anxiety response. However, little is known about the interrelations of cognitive bias tasks and whether they allow for an improved prediction of fear-related behavior in addition to self-reports. This study simultaneously addressed several types of cognitive biases in children, to investigate attention bias, interpretation bias, memory bias and fear-related associations, their interrelations and the prediction of behavior. Eighty-one children varying in their levels of spider fear completed the Spider Anxiety and Disgust Screening for Children and performed two Emotional Stroop tasks, a Free Recall task, an interpretation task including size and distance indication, an Affective Priming Task, and a Behavioral Assessment Test. We found an attention bias, interpretation bias, and fear-related associations, but no evidence for a memory bias. The biases showed little overlap. Attention bias, interpretation bias, and fear-related associations predicted unique variance in avoidance of spiders. Interpretation bias and fear-related associations remained significant predictors, even when self-reported fear was included as a predictor. Children were not seeking help for their spider fear and were not tested on clinical levels of spider phobia. This is the first study to find evidence that different cognitive biases each predict unique variance in avoidance behavior. Furthermore, it is also the first study in which we found evidence for a relation between fear of spiders and size and distance indication. We showed that this bias is distinct from other cognitive biases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Emotionally negative pictures increase attention to a subsequent auditory stimulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartar, Jaime L; de Almeida, Kristen; McIntosh, Roger C; Rosselli, Monica; Nash, Allan J

    2012-01-01

    Emotionally negative stimuli serve as a mechanism of biological preparedness to enhance attention. We hypothesized that emotionally negative stimuli would also serve as motivational priming to increase attention resources for subsequent stimuli. To that end, we tested 11 participants in a dual sensory modality task, wherein emotionally negative pictures were contrasted with emotionally neutral pictures and each picture was followed 600 ms later by a tone in an auditory oddball paradigm. Each trial began with a picture displayed for 200 ms; half of the trials began with an emotionally negative picture and half of the trials began with an emotionally neutral picture; 600 ms following picture presentation, the participants heard either an oddball tone or a standard tone. At the end of each trial (picture followed by tone), the participants categorized, with a button press, the picture and tone combination. As expected, and consistent with previous studies, we found an enhanced visual late positive potential (latency range=300-700 ms) to the negative picture stimuli. We further found that compared to neutral pictures, negative pictures resulted in early attention and orienting effects to subsequent tones (measured through an enhanced N1 and N2) and sustained attention effects only to the subsequent oddball tones (measured through late processing negativity, latency range=400-700 ms). Number pad responses to both the picture and tone category showed the shortest response latencies and greatest percentage of correct picture-tone categorization on the negative picture followed by oddball tone trials. Consistent with previous work on natural selective attention, our results support the idea that emotional stimuli can alter attention resource allocation. This finding has broad implications for human attention and performance as it specifically shows the conditions in which an emotionally negative stimulus can result in extended stimulus evaluation. Copyright © 2011

  7. Selective attention increases choice certainty in human decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zizlsperger, Leopold; Sauvigny, Thomas; Haarmeier, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Choice certainty is a probabilistic estimate of past performance and expected outcome. In perceptual decisions the degree of confidence correlates closely with choice accuracy and reaction times, suggesting an intimate relationship to objective performance. Here we show that spatial and feature-based attention increase human subjects' certainty more than accuracy in visual motion discrimination tasks. Our findings demonstrate for the first time a dissociation of choice accuracy and certainty with a significantly stronger influence of voluntary top-down attention on subjective performance measures than on objective performance. These results reveal a so far unknown mechanism of the selection process implemented by attention and suggest a unique biological valence of choice certainty beyond a faithful reflection of the decision process.

  8. Self-esteem, Self-focused Attention, and the Mediating Role of Fear of Negative Evaluation in College Students With and Without Asthma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junghans-Rutelonis, Ashley N; Suorsa, Kristina I; Tackett, Alayna P; Burkley, Edward; Chaney, John M; Mullins, Larry L

    2015-01-01

    The current study investigated the mediating role of fear of negative evaluation on the relationship between self-focused attention and self-esteem among college students with and without asthma. Young adults with (n = 148) and without (n = 530) childhood-onset asthma were recruited from a college student population. Self-focused attention and fear of negative evaluation measures were completed. Participants also answered questions about inclusion in a social activity. Higher levels of self-focused attention and fear of negative evaluation were associated with lower self-esteem in both groups within the context of social activity participation. Fear of negative evaluation mediated the relationship between self-consciousness and self-esteem. No significant differences were found between groups. Findings indicate significant relationships among self-focused attention, fear of negative evaluation, and self-esteem in the context of social activity participation. Further examination of self-esteem regarding participation in social activities among college students appears warranted.

  9. Pre-attentive, context-specific representation of fear memory in the auditory cortex of rat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihiro Funamizu

    Full Text Available Neural representation in the auditory cortex is rapidly modulated by both top-down attention and bottom-up stimulus properties, in order to improve perception in a given context. Learning-induced, pre-attentive, map plasticity has been also studied in the anesthetized cortex; however, little attention has been paid to rapid, context-dependent modulation. We hypothesize that context-specific learning leads to pre-attentively modulated, multiplex representation in the auditory cortex. Here, we investigate map plasticity in the auditory cortices of anesthetized rats conditioned in a context-dependent manner, such that a conditioned stimulus (CS of a 20-kHz tone and an unconditioned stimulus (US of a mild electrical shock were associated only under a noisy auditory context, but not in silence. After the conditioning, although no distinct plasticity was found in the tonotopic map, tone-evoked responses were more noise-resistive than pre-conditioning. Yet, the conditioned group showed a reduced spread of activation to each tone with noise, but not with silence, associated with a sharpening of frequency tuning. The encoding accuracy index of neurons showed that conditioning deteriorated the accuracy of tone-frequency representations in noisy condition at off-CS regions, but not at CS regions, suggesting that arbitrary tones around the frequency of the CS were more likely perceived as the CS in a specific context, where CS was associated with US. These results together demonstrate that learning-induced plasticity in the auditory cortex occurs in a context-dependent manner.

  10. Pre-attentive, context-specific representation of fear memory in the auditory cortex of rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funamizu, Akihiro; Kanzaki, Ryohei; Takahashi, Hirokazu

    2013-01-01

    Neural representation in the auditory cortex is rapidly modulated by both top-down attention and bottom-up stimulus properties, in order to improve perception in a given context. Learning-induced, pre-attentive, map plasticity has been also studied in the anesthetized cortex; however, little attention has been paid to rapid, context-dependent modulation. We hypothesize that context-specific learning leads to pre-attentively modulated, multiplex representation in the auditory cortex. Here, we investigate map plasticity in the auditory cortices of anesthetized rats conditioned in a context-dependent manner, such that a conditioned stimulus (CS) of a 20-kHz tone and an unconditioned stimulus (US) of a mild electrical shock were associated only under a noisy auditory context, but not in silence. After the conditioning, although no distinct plasticity was found in the tonotopic map, tone-evoked responses were more noise-resistive than pre-conditioning. Yet, the conditioned group showed a reduced spread of activation to each tone with noise, but not with silence, associated with a sharpening of frequency tuning. The encoding accuracy index of neurons showed that conditioning deteriorated the accuracy of tone-frequency representations in noisy condition at off-CS regions, but not at CS regions, suggesting that arbitrary tones around the frequency of the CS were more likely perceived as the CS in a specific context, where CS was associated with US. These results together demonstrate that learning-induced plasticity in the auditory cortex occurs in a context-dependent manner.

  11. But what about the Empress of Racnoss? The allocation of attention to spiders and Doctor Who in a visual search task is predicted by fear and expertise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purkis, Helena M; Lester, Kathryn J; Field, Andy P

    2011-12-01

    If there is a spider in the room, then the spider phobic in your group is most likely to point it out to you. This phenomenon is believed to arise because our attentional systems are hardwired to attend to threat in our environment, and, to a spider phobic, spiders are threatening. However, an alternative explanation is simply that attention is quickly drawn to the stimulus of most personal relevance in the environment. Our research examined whether positive stimuli with no biological or evolutionary relevance could be allocated preferential attention. We compared attention to pictures of spiders with pictures from the TV program Doctor Who, for people who varied in both their love of Doctor Who and their fear of spiders. We found a double dissociation: interference from spider and Doctor-Who-related images in a visual search task was predicted by spider fear and Doctor Who expertise, respectively. As such, allocation of attention reflected the personal relevance of the images rather than their threat content. The attentional system believed to have a causal role in anxiety disorders is therefore likely to be a general system that responds not to threat but to stimulus relevance; hence, nonevolutionary images, such as those from Doctor Who, captured attention as quickly as fear-relevant spider images. Where this leaves the Empress of Racnoss, we are unsure. (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved.

  12. How fear of falling can increase fall-risk in older adults: applying psychological theory to practical observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, William R; Mark Williams, A

    2015-01-01

    It is widely reported that fear of falling (FOF) has a profound and largely detrimental effect on balance performance in older adults. However, the mechanisms by which FOF influence postural stability are poorly understood. In the current article, we use psychological theory to explain FOF-related changes to postural control. First, we review literature describing associations between FOF and the 'stiffening' strategies observed during control of posture, including observations of eye and head movements. Second, we present a framework illustrating the interactions between increased age, FOF, and altered attentional processes, which in turn influence balance performance and fall-risk. Psychological theory predicts that anxiety can cause attentional bias for threatening and task-irrelevant stimuli and compromise the efficiency of working memory resources. We argue that while the adoption of stiffening strategies is likely to be beneficial in avoiding a loss of balance during simple postural tasks, it will ultimately compromise performance in dynamic and highly demanding functional tasks. The adoption of stiffening strategies leads to inadequate acquisition of the sensory information necessary to plan and execute dynamic and interactive movements. We conclude with some suggestions for future research. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Owners' direct gazes increase dogs' attention-getting behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohkita, Midori; Nagasawa, Miho; Kazutaka, Mogi; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2016-04-01

    This study examined whether dogs gain information about human's attention via their gazes and whether they change their attention-getting behaviors (i.e., whining and whimpering, looking at their owners' faces, pawing, and approaching their owners) in response to their owners' direct gazes. The results showed that when the owners gazed at their dogs, the durations of whining and whimpering and looking at the owners' faces were longer than when the owners averted their gazes. In contrast, there were no differences in duration of pawing and likelihood of approaching the owners between the direct and averted gaze conditions. Therefore, owners' direct gazes increased the behaviors that acted as distant signals and did not necessarily involve touching the owners. We suggest that dogs are sensitive to human gazes, and this sensitivity may act as attachment signals to humans, and may contribute to close relationships between humans and dogs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Self-Esteem, Self-Focused Attention, and the Mediating Role of Fear of Negative Evaluation in College Students with and without Asthma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junghans-Rutelonis, Ashley N.; Suorsa, Kristina I.; Tackett, Alayna P.; Burkley, Edward; Chaney, John M.; Mullins, Larry L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The current study investigated the mediating role of fear of negative evaluation on the relationship between self-focused attention and self-esteem among college students with and without asthma. Participants: Young adults with (n = 148) and without (n = 530) childhood-onset asthma were recruited from a college student population.…

  15. Increasing the Persuasiveness of Fear Appeals: The Effect of Arousal and Elaboration.

    OpenAIRE

    Keller, Punam Anand; Block, Lauren Goldberg

    1996-01-01

    We investigate the conditions under which messages that prompt low and high levels of fear are likely to be effective. Our premise is that when a low level of fear is ineffective, it is because there is insufficient elaboration of the harmful consequences of engaging in the destructive behavior. By contrast, when appeals arousing high levels of fear are ineffective, it is because too much elaboration on the harmful consequences interferes with processing of the recommended change in behavior....

  16. Increased anxiety and fear memory in adult mice lacking type 2 deiodinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bárez-López, Soledad; Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Bosch-García, Daniel; Venero, César; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana

    2017-10-01

    A euthyroid state in the brain is crucial for its adequate development and function. Impairments in thyroid hormones (THs; T3 or 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine and T4 or thyroxine) levels and availability in brain can lead to neurological alterations and to psychiatric disorders, particularly mood disorders. The thyroid gland synthetizes mainly T4, which is secreted to circulating blood, however, most actions of THs are mediated by T3, the transcriptionally active form. In the brain, intracellular concentrations of T3 are modulated by the activity of type 2 (D2) and type 3 (D3) deiodinases. In the present work, we evaluated learning and memory capabilities and anxiety-like behavior at adult stages in mice lacking D2 (D2KO) and we analyzed the impact of D2-deficiency on TH content and on the expression of T3-dependent genes in the amygdala and the hippocampus. We found that D2KO mice do not present impairments in spatial learning and memory, but they display emotional alterations with increased anxiety-like behavior as well as enhanced auditory-cued fear memory and spontaneous recovery of fear memory following extinction. D2KO mice also presented reduced T3 content in the hippocampus and decreased expression of the T3-dependent gene Dio3 in the amygdala suggesting a hypothyroid status in this structure. We propose that the emotional dysfunctions found in D2KO mice can arise from the reduced T3 content in their brain, which consequently leads to alterations in gene expression with functional consequences. We found a downregulation in the gene encoding for the calcium-binding protein calretinin (Calb2) in the amygdala of D2KO mice that could affect the GABAergic transmission. The current findings in D2KO mice can provide insight into emotional disorders present in humans with DIO2 polymorphisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The role of fear of movement and injury in selective attentional processing in patients with chronic low back pain: a dot-probe evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelofs, Jeffrey; Peters, Madelon L; Fassaert, Thijs; Vlaeyen, Johan W S

    2005-05-01

    The present study sought to investigate to what extent patients with chronic low back pain and pain-free control subjects selectively attend to pain-related stimuli as measured with 2 dot-probe tasks with word stimuli and pictorial stimuli. Selective attentional processing was measured by means of 3 indices: the bias index, a congruency effect, and an incongruency effect. Pain-related fear as a trait measure (Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia [TSK]) was expected to be positively associated with all indices of selective attentional processing of pain stimuli. Results were analyzed with repeated-measures analysis of variance. An incongruency effect was found for patients and to a significantly less degree for pain-free control subjects on the dot-probe task with pictorial stimuli, indicating that pain patients have difficulty disengaging from threat pictures. Pain-related fear as a trait measure (TSK) was not associated with selective attentional processing of word and pictorial stimuli in either pain patients or control subjects. Results from the present study are discussed, and directions for future research are provided. Demonstrating difficulty to disengage from threat might be clinically relevant because patients might pay less attention to fear-disconfirming information and remain engaged in avoidance, which might eventually lead to prolonged anxiety states.

  18. Repeated exposure to conditioned fear stress increases anxiety and delays sleep recovery following exposure to an acute traumatic stressor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin N Greenwood

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Repeated stressor exposure can sensitize physiological responses to novel stressors and facilitate the development of stress-related psychiatric disorders including anxiety. Disruptions in diurnal rhythms of sleep-wake behavior accompany stress-related psychiatric disorders and could contribute to their development. Complex stressors that include fear-eliciting stimuli can be a component of repeated stress experienced by humans, but whether exposure to repeated fear can prime the development of anxiety and sleep disturbances is unknown. In the current study, adult male F344 rats were exposed to either control conditions or repeated contextual fear conditioning for 22 days followed by exposure to either no, mild (10, or severe (100 acute uncontrollable tail shock stress. Exposure to acute stress produced anxiety-like behavior as measured by a reduction in juvenile social exploration and exaggerated shock-elicited freezing in a novel context. Prior exposure to repeated fear enhanced anxiety-like behavior as measured by shock-elicited freezing, but did not alter social exploratory behavior. The potentiation of anxiety produced by prior repeated fear was temporary; exaggerated fear was present 1 day but not 4 days following acute stress. Interestingly, exposure to acute stress reduced REM and NREM sleep during the hours immediately following acute stress. This initial reduction in sleep was followed by robust REM rebound and diurnal rhythm flattening of sleep / wake behavior. Prior repeated fear extended the acute stress-induced REM and NREM sleep loss, impaired REM rebound, and prolonged the flattening of the diurnal rhythm of NREM sleep following acute stressor exposure. These data suggest that impaired recovery of sleep / wake behavior following acute stress could contribute to the mechanisms by which a history of prior repeated stress increases vulnerability to subsequent novel stressors and stress-related disorders.

  19. Increasing Endurance by Building Fluency: Precision Teaching Attention Span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Carl; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Precision teaching techniques can be used to chart students' attention span or endurance. Individual differences in attention span can then be better understood and dealt with effectively. The effects of performance duration on performance level, on error rates, and on learning rates are discussed. Implications for classroom practice are noted.…

  20. The Effect of Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy on Fear-Related Capture of Attention in Parkinson's Disease and Essential Tremor: A Comparison to Healthy Individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camalier, Corrie R; McHugo, Maureen; Zald, David H; Neimat, Joseph S

    2018-01-01

    In addition to motor symptoms, Parkinson's disease (PD) involves significant non-motor sequelae, including disruptions in cognitive and emotional processing. Fear recognition appears to be affected both by the course of the disease and by a common interventional therapy, deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS). Here, we examined if these effects extend to other aspects of emotional processing, such as attentional capture by negative emotional stimuli. Performance on an emotional attentional blink (EAB) paradigm, a common paradigm used to study emotional capture of attention, was examined in a cohort of individuals with PD, both on and off STN-DBS therapy (n=20). To contrast effects of healthy aging and other movement disorder and DBS targets, we also examined performance in a healthy elderly (n=20) and young (n=18) sample on the same task, and a sample diagnosed with Essential Tremor (ET) undergoing therapeutic deep brain stimulation of the ventral-intermediate nucleus (VIM-DBS, n=18). All four groups showed a robust attentional capture of emotional stimuli, irrespective of aging processes, movement disorder diagnosis, or stimulation. PD patients on average had overall worse performance, but this decrement in performance was not related to the emotional capture of attention. PD patients exhibited a robust EAB, indicating that the ability of emotion to direct attention remains intact in PD. Congruent with other recent data, these findings suggest that fear recognition deficits in PD may instead reflect a highly specific problem in recognition, rather than a general deficit in emotional processing of fearful stimuli.

  1. Attention bias modification training under working memory load increases the magnitude of change in attentional bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Patrick J F; Branson, Sonya; Chen, Nigel T M; Van Bockstaele, Bram; Salemink, Elske; MacLeod, Colin; Notebaert, Lies

    2017-12-01

    Attention bias modification (ABM) procedures have shown promise as a therapeutic intervention, however current ABM procedures have proven inconsistent in their ability to reliably achieve the requisite change in attentional bias needed to produce emotional benefits. This highlights the need to better understand the precise task conditions that facilitate the intended change in attention bias in order to realise the therapeutic potential of ABM procedures. Based on the observation that change in attentional bias occurs largely outside conscious awareness, the aim of the current study was to determine if an ABM procedure delivered under conditions likely to preclude explicit awareness of the experimental contingency, via the addition of a working memory load, would contribute to greater change in attentional bias. Bias change was assessed among 122 participants in response to one of four ABM tasks given by the two experimental factors of ABM training procedure delivered either with or without working memory load, and training direction of either attend-negative or avoid-negative. Findings revealed that avoid-negative ABM procedure under working memory load resulted in significantly greater reductions in attentional bias compared to the equivalent no-load condition. The current findings will require replication with clinical samples to determine the utility of the current task for achieving emotional benefits. These present findings are consistent with the position that the addition of a working memory load may facilitate change in attentional bias in response to an ABM training procedure. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Non-expert listeners show decreased heart rate and increased blood pressure (fear bradycardia) in response to atonal music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proverbio, Alice M; Manfrin, Luigi; Arcari, Laura A; De Benedetto, Francesco; Gazzola, Martina; Guardamagna, Matteo; Lozano Nasi, Valentina; Zani, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies suggested that listening to different types of music may modulate differently psychological mood and physiological responses associated with the induced emotions. In this study the effect of listening to instrumental classical vs. atonal contemporary music was examined in a group of 50 non-expert listeners. The subjects' heart rate and diastolic and systolic blood pressure values were measured while they listened to music of different style and emotional typologies. Pieces were selected by asking a group of composers and conservatory professors to suggest a list of the most emotional music pieces (from Renaissance to present time). A total of 214 suggestions from 20 respondents were received. Then it was asked them to identify which pieces best induced in the listener feelings of agitation, joy or pathos and the number of suggested pieces per style was computed. Atonal pieces were more frequently indicated as agitating, and tonal pieces as joyful. The presence/absence of tonality in a musical piece did not affect the affective dimension of pathos (being touching). Among the most frequently cited six pieces were selected that were comparable for structure and style, to represent each emotion and style. They were equally evaluated as unfamiliar by an independent group of 10 students of the same cohort) and were then used as stimuli for the experimental session in which autonomic parameters were recorded. Overall, listening to atonal music (independent of the pieces' emotional characteristics) was associated with a reduced heart rate (fear bradycardia) and increased blood pressure (both diastolic and systolic), possibly reflecting an increase in alertness and attention, psychological tension, and anxiety. This evidence fits with the results of the esthetical assessment showing how, overall, atonal music is perceived as more agitating and less joyful than tonal one.

  3. Non-expert listeners show decreased heart rate and increased blood pressure (fear bradycardia in response to atonal music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice Mado eProverbio

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies suggested that listening to different types of music may modulate differently psychological mood and physiological responses associated with the induced emotions. In this study the effect of listening to instrumental classical vs. atonal contemporary music was examined in a group of 50 non-expert listeners. The subjects’ heart rate and diastolic and systolic blood pressure values were measured while they listened to music of different style and emotional typologies. Pieces were selected by asking a group of composers and conservatory professors to suggest a list of the most emotional music pieces (from Renaissance to present time. A total of 214 suggestions from 20 respondents was received. Then it was asked them to identify which pieces best induced in the listener feelings of agitation, joy or pathos and the number of suggested pieces per style was computed. Atonal pieces were more frequently indicated as agitating, and tonal pieces as joyful. The presence/absence of tonality in a musical piece did not affect the affective dimension of pathos (being touching. Among the most frequently cited six pieces were selected that were comparable for structure and style, to represent each emotion and style. They were equally evaluated as unfamiliar by an independent group of 10 students of the same cohort and were then used as stimuli for the experimental session in which autonomic parameters were recorded. Overall, listening to atonal music (independent of the pieces’ emotional characteristics was associated with a reduced heart rate (fear bradycardia and increased blood pressure (both diastolic and systolic, possibly reflecting an increase in alertness and attention, psychological tension, and anxiety. This evidence fits with the results of the aesthetical assessment showing how, overall, atonal music is perceived as more agitating and less joyful than tonal one.

  4. Non-expert listeners show decreased heart rate and increased blood pressure (fear bradycardia) in response to atonal music

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proverbio, Alice M.; Manfrin, Luigi; Arcari, Laura A.; De Benedetto, Francesco; Gazzola, Martina; Guardamagna, Matteo; Lozano Nasi, Valentina; Zani, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies suggested that listening to different types of music may modulate differently psychological mood and physiological responses associated with the induced emotions. In this study the effect of listening to instrumental classical vs. atonal contemporary music was examined in a group of 50 non-expert listeners. The subjects’ heart rate and diastolic and systolic blood pressure values were measured while they listened to music of different style and emotional typologies. Pieces were selected by asking a group of composers and conservatory professors to suggest a list of the most emotional music pieces (from Renaissance to present time). A total of 214 suggestions from 20 respondents were received. Then it was asked them to identify which pieces best induced in the listener feelings of agitation, joy or pathos and the number of suggested pieces per style was computed. Atonal pieces were more frequently indicated as agitating, and tonal pieces as joyful. The presence/absence of tonality in a musical piece did not affect the affective dimension of pathos (being touching). Among the most frequently cited six pieces were selected that were comparable for structure and style, to represent each emotion and style. They were equally evaluated as unfamiliar by an independent group of 10 students of the same cohort) and were then used as stimuli for the experimental session in which autonomic parameters were recorded. Overall, listening to atonal music (independent of the pieces’ emotional characteristics) was associated with a reduced heart rate (fear bradycardia) and increased blood pressure (both diastolic and systolic), possibly reflecting an increase in alertness and attention, psychological tension, and anxiety. This evidence fits with the results of the esthetical assessment showing how, overall, atonal music is perceived as more agitating and less joyful than tonal one. PMID:26579029

  5. Intranasal Cotinine Plus Krill Oil Facilitates Fear Extinction, Decreases Depressive-Like Behavior, and Increases Hippocampal Calcineurin A Levels in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Ricartes, Nathalie; Oliveros-Matus, Patricia; Mendoza, Cristhian; Perez-Urrutia, Nelson; Echeverria, Florencia; Iarkov, Alexandre; Barreto, George E; Echeverria, Valentina

    2018-02-27

    Failure in fear extinction is one of the more troublesome characteristics of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Cotinine facilitates fear memory extinction and reduces depressive-like behavior when administered 24 h after fear conditioning in mice. In this study, it was investigated the behavioral and molecular effects of cotinine, and other antidepressant preparations infused intranasally. Intranasal (IN) cotinine, IN krill oil, IN cotinine plus krill oil, and oral sertraline were evaluated on depressive-like behavior and fear retention and extinction after fear conditioning in C57BL/6 mice. Since calcineurin A has been involved in facilitating fear extinction in rodents, we also investigated changes of calcineurin in the hippocampus, a region key on contextual fear extinction. Short-term treatment with cotinine formulations was superior to krill oil and oral sertraline in reducing depressive-like behavior and fear consolidation and enhancing contextual fear memory extinction in mice. IN krill oil slowed the extinction of fear. IN cotinine preparations increased the levels of calcineurin A in the hippocampus of conditioned mice. In the light of the results, the future investigation of the use of IN cotinine preparations for the extinction of contextual fear memory and treatment of treatment-resistant depression (TRD) in PTSD is discussed.

  6. Dividing Attention Lowers Children's but Increases Adults' False Memories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otgaar, Henry; Peters, Maarten; Howe, Mark L.

    2012-01-01

    The present study examined the impact of divided attention on children's and adults' neutral and negative true and false memories in a standard Deese/Roediger-McDermott paradigm. Children (7- and 11-year-olds; n = 126) and adults (n = 52) received 5 neutral and 5 negative Deese/Roediger-McDermott word lists; half of each group also received a…

  7. Testosterone administration in women increases amygdala responses to fearful and happy faces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, P.A.; Honk, J. van; Ramsey, N.F.; Stein, D.J.; Hermans, E.J.

    2013-01-01

    Data from both rodents and humans show that testosterone reduces fear. This effect is hypothesized to result from testosterone's down regulating effects on the amygdala, a key region in the detection of threat and instigator of fight-or-flight behavior. However, neuroimaging studies employing

  8. Phobic spider fear is associated with enhanced attentional capture by spider pictures: a rapid serial presentation event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Strien, Jan W; Franken, Ingmar H A; Huijding, Jorg

    2009-03-04

    The early posterior negativity (EPN) reflects early selective visual processing of emotionally significant information. This study explored the association between fear of spiders and the EPN for spider pictures. Fifty women completed a Spider Phobia Questionnaire and watched the random rapid serial presentation of 600 neutral, 600 negatively valenced emotional, and 600 spider pictures (three pictures per second). The EPN was scored as the mean activity in the 225-300-ms time window at lateral occipital electrodes. Participants with higher scores on the phobia questionnaire showed larger (i.e. more negative) EPN amplitudes in response to spider pictures. The results suggest that the attentional capture of spider-related stimuli is an automatic response, which is modulated by the extent of spider fear.

  9. Increased Cortical Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Precedes Incomplete Extinction of Conditioned Fear and Increased Hippocampal Excitatory Tone in a Mouse Model of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Brandy L; Ghoddoussi, Farhad; Charlton, Jennifer L; Kohler, Robert J; Galloway, Matthew P; Perrine, Shane A; Conti, Alana C

    2016-09-01

    Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) contributes to development of affective disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychiatric symptoms typically emerge in a tardive fashion post-TBI, with negative effects on recovery. Patients with PTSD, as well as rodent models of PTSD, demonstrate structural and functional changes in brain regions mediating fear learning, including prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala (AMYG), and hippocampus (HC). These changes may reflect loss of top-down control by which PFC normally exhibits inhibitory influence over AMYG reactivity to fearful stimuli, with HC contribution. Considering the susceptibility of these regions to injury, we examined fear conditioning (FC) in the delayed post-injury period, using a mouse model of mTBI. Mice with mTBI displayed enhanced acquisition and delayed extinction of FC. Using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ex vivo, we examined PFC, AMYG, and HC levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate as surrogate measures of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission, respectively. Eight days post-injury, GABA was increased in PFC, with no significant changes in AMYG. In animals receiving FC and mTBI, glutamate trended toward an increase and the GABA/glutamate ratio decreased in ventral HC at 25 days post-injury, whereas GABA decreased and GABA/glutamate decreased in dorsal HC. These neurochemical changes are consistent with early TBI-induced PFC hypoactivation facilitating the fear learning circuit and exacerbating behavioral fear responses. The latent emergence of overall increased excitatory tone in the HC, despite distinct plasticity in dorsal and ventral HC fields, may be associated with disordered memory function, manifested as incomplete extinction and enhanced FC recall.

  10. Fear extinction deficits following acute stress associate with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroun, Mouna; Ioannides, Pericles J; Bergman, Krista L; Kavushansky, Alexandra; Holmes, Andrew; Wellman, Cara L

    2013-08-01

    Stress-sensitive psychopathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder are characterized by deficits in fear extinction and dysfunction of corticolimbic circuits mediating extinction. Chronic stress facilitates fear conditioning, impairs extinction, and produces dendritic proliferation in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a critical site of plasticity for extinction. Acute stress impairs extinction, alters plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex-to-BLA circuit, and causes dendritic retraction in the medial prefrontal cortex. Here, we examined extinction learning and basolateral amygdala pyramidal neuron morphology in adult male rats following a single elevated platform stress. Acute stress impaired extinction acquisition and memory, and produced dendritic retraction and increased mushroom spine density in basolateral amygdala neurons in the right hemisphere. Unexpectedly, irrespective of stress, rats that underwent fear and extinction testing showed basolateral amygdala dendritic retraction and altered spine density relative to non-conditioned rats, particularly in the left hemisphere. Thus, extinction deficits produced by acute stress are associated with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, the finding that conditioning and extinction as such was sufficient to alter basolateral amygdala morphology and spine density illustrates the sensitivity of basolateral amygdala morphology to behavioral manipulation. These findings may have implications for elucidating the role of the amygdala in the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  11. Fear extinction deficits following acute stress associate with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroun, Mouna; Ioannides, Pericles J.; Bergman, Krista L.; Kavushansky, Alexandra; Holmes, Andrew; Wellman, Cara L.

    2013-01-01

    Stress-sensitive psychopathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder are characterized by deficits in fear extinction and dysfunction of corticolimbic circuits mediating extinction. Chronic stress facilitates fear conditioning, impairs extinction, and produces dendritic proliferation in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a critical site of plasticity for extinction. Acute stress impairs extinction, alters plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex-to-BLA circuit, and causes dendritic retraction in the medial prefrontal cortex. Here, we examined extinction learning and basolateral amygdala pyramidal neuron morphology in adult male rats following a single elevated platform stress. Acute stress impaired extinction acquisition and memory, and produced dendritic retraction and increased mushroom spine density in basolateral amygdala neurons in the right hemisphere. Unexpectedly, irrespective of stress, rats that underwent fear and extinction testing showed basolateral amygdala dendritic retraction and altered spine density relative to non-conditioned rats, particularly in the left hemisphere. Thus, extinction deficits produced by acute stress are associated with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, the finding that conditioning and extinction as such was sufficient to alter basolateral amygdala morphology and spine density illustrates the sensitivity of basolateral amygdala morphology to behavioral manipulation. These findings may have implications for elucidating the role of the amygdala in the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders. PMID:23714419

  12. Contractor Support on the Battlefield -- Increased Reliance Requires Commander's Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Maloney, Kathy J

    2006-01-01

    .... Department of Defense initiatives to adopt a leaner business strategy, increase efficiency, and reduce expenditures have exposed the battlefield commander to additional operational risk centered...

  13. "I Don't Want to Grow Up, I'm a [Gen X, Y, Me] Kid": Increasing Maturity Fears across the Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, April; Bodell, Lindsay P.; Holm-Denoma, Jill; Joiner, Thomas; Gordon, Kathryn; Perez, Marisol; Keel, Pamela

    2017-01-01

    The current studies examined the hypothesis that maturity fears are increasing among undergraduate men and women from the United States over time. Study 1 used a time-lag method to assess generational effects of maturity fears among a large sample (n = 3291) of undergraduate men and women assessed in 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2012. Results revealed…

  14. Exposure to increased environmental complexity during rearing reduces fearfulness and increases use of three-dimensional space in laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margrethe eBrantsæter

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The complexity of the rearing environment is important for behavioral development and fearfulness. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that laying hens reared in a complex aviary system with exposure to mild intermittent stressors, would be less fearful, less sensitive to stress, and would use elevated areas of the pen more often as adults than hens reared in a barren cage environment. Laying hens (N = 160 were housed in the same rearing house; half of the birds (n = 80 in an aviary and the other half (n = 80 in cages. At 16 weeks of age, the birds were transported to the experimental facilities. Their behavior was recorded at 19 and 23 weeks of age and analyzed by ANOVA on individual scores for a fearfulness-related principal component generated using principal component analysis (PCA. The results indicate that aviary-reared birds had lower levels of fearfulness, compared with cage-reared birds both at 19 weeks and at 23 weeks of age. When comparing the response induced by initial exposure to a novel object at 19 and 23 weeks of age, more aviary-reared birds tended to fly up at 19 weeks compared to the cage-reared birds, indicating a tendency towards a more active behavioral response in the aviary- than in cage-reared birds. There was no difference between treatments in the flight response at 23 weeks. The groups did not differ in defecation frequency or the concentration of fecal corticosterone metabolites at either age. At 19 weeks, observation of the spatial distribution in the home pens indicated that more aviary-reared birds spent time on the low perch, the elevated platform and upper perch compared to the cage-reared birds. However, at 23 weeks of age, these differences were no longer detected. The results of this study support the hypothesis that increased environmental complexity during rearing reduces fearfulness of adult laying hens.

  15. "I don't want to grow up, I'm a [Gen X, Y, Me] kid": Increasing maturity fears across the decades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, April R; Bodell, Lindsay P; Holm-Denoma, Jill; Joiner, Thomas E; Gordon, Kathryn H; Perez, Marisol; Keel, Pamela K

    2017-11-01

    The current studies examined the hypothesis that maturity fears are increasing among undergraduate men and women from the United States over time. Study 1 used a time-lag method to assess generational effects of maturity fears among a large sample (n = 3,291) of undergraduate men and women assessed in 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2012. Results revealed that both men and women reported significantly higher rates of maturity fears across time. Study 2 replicated these findings, and used a more restricted time frame to more closely examine the rate of change. Undergraduate women (n = 554) were assessed in 2001, 2003, 2009, and 2012. Maturity fears were again found to increase from 2001 to 2012. Recent cohorts of emerging adults seem more reluctant to mature than previous cohorts. Many contributing factors may be at play, including challenging economic times, social pressures to remain youthful, and/or internal fears of assuming increased responsibility.

  16. Chronic stress enhanced fear memories are associated with increased amygdala zif268 mRNA expression and are resistant to reconsolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Ann N; Parga, Alejandro; Paode, Pooja R; Watterson, Lucas R; Nikulina, Ella M; Hammer, Ronald P; Conrad, Cheryl D

    2015-04-01

    The chronically stressed brain may present a vulnerability to develop maladaptive fear-related behaviors in response to a traumatic event. In rodents, chronic stress leads to amygdala hyperresponsivity and dendritic hypertrophy and produces a post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-like phenotype that includes exaggerated fear learning following Pavlovian fear conditioning and resistance to extinction. It is unknown whether chronic stress-induced enhanced fear memories are vulnerable to disruption via reconsolidation blockade, as a novel therapeutic approach for attenuating exaggerated fear memories. We used a chronic stress procedure in a rat model (wire mesh restraint for 6h/d/21d) to create a vulnerable brain that leads to a PTSD-like phenotype. We then examined freezing behavior during acquisition, reactivation and after post-reactivation rapamycin administration (i.p., 40mg/kg) in a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm to determine its effects on reconsolidation as well as the subsequent functional activation of limbic structures using zif268 mRNA. Chronic stress increased amygdala zif268 mRNA during fear memory retrieval at reactivation. Moreover, these enhanced fear memories were unaffected by post reactivation rapamycin to disrupt long-term fear memory. Also, post-reactivation long term memory processing was also associated with increased amygdala (LA and BA), and decreased hippocampal CA1 zif268 mRNA expression. These results suggest potential challenges for reconsolidation blockade as an effective approach in treating exaggerated fear memories, as in PTSD. Our findings also support chronic stress manipulations combined with fear conditioning as a useful preclinical approach to study a PTSD-like phenotype. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Cat odor causes long-lasting contextual fear conditioning and increased pituitary-adrenal activation, without modifying anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Abellán, Cristina; Daviu, Nuria; Rabasa, Cristina; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio

    2009-10-01

    A single exposure to a cat or cat odors has been reported by some groups to induce contextual and auditory fear conditioning and long-lasting changes in anxiety-like behaviour, but there is no evidence for parallel changes in biological stress markers. In the present study we demonstrated in male rats that exposure to a novel environment containing a cloth impregnated with cat fur odor resulted in avoidance of the odor, lower levels of activity and higher pituitary-adrenal (PA) response as compared to those exposed to the novel environment containing a clean cloth, suggesting increased levels of stress in the former animals. When re-exposed 9 days later to the same environment with a clean cloth, previously cat fur exposed rats again showed avoidance of the cloth area and lower levels of activity, suggesting development of contextual fear conditioning, which again was associated with a higher PA activation. In contrast, unaltered both anxiety-like behaviour and PA responsiveness to an elevated plus-maze were found 7 days after cat odor exposure. It is concluded that: (i) PA activation is able to reflect both the stressful properties of cat fur odor and odor-induced contextual fear conditioning; (ii) development of cat odor-induced contextual fear conditioning is independent of the induction of long-lasting changes in anxiety-like behaviour; and (iii) greater PA activation during exposure to the odor context is not explained by non-specific sensitization of the PA axis caused by previous exposure to cat fur odor.

  18. Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Patrick M; Terry, Alvin V

    2015-01-01

    The ability to focus one's attention on important environmental stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli is fundamental to human cognition and intellectual function. Attention is inextricably linked to perception, learning and memory, and executive function; however, it is often impaired in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Accordingly, attention is considered as an important therapeutic target in these disorders. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the most common behavioral paradigms of attention that have been used in animals (particularly rodents) and to review the literature where these tasks have been employed to elucidate neurobiological substrates of attention as well as to evaluate novel pharmacological agents for their potential as treatments for disorders of attention. These paradigms include two tasks of sustained attention that were developed as rodent analogues of the human Continuous Performance Task (CPT), the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRTT) and the more recently introduced Five-Choice Continuous Performance Task (5C-CPT), and the Signal Detection Task (SDT) which was designed to emphasize temporal components of attention.

  19. Increases in the numerical density of GAT-1 positive puncta in the barrel cortex of adult mice after fear conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Siucinska

    Full Text Available Three days of fear conditioning that combines tactile stimulation of a row of facial vibrissae (conditioned stimulus, CS with a tail shock (unconditioned stimulus, UCS expands the representation of "trained" vibrissae, which can be demonstrated by labeling with 2-deoxyglucose in layer IV of the barrel cortex. We have also shown that functional reorganization of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1 increases GABAergic markers in the hollows of "trained" barrels of the adult mouse. This study investigated how whisker-shock conditioning (CS+UCS affected the expression of puncta of a high-affinity GABA plasma membrane transporter GAT-1 in the barrel cortex of mice 24 h after associative learning paradigm. We found that whisker-shock conditioning (CS+UCS led to increase expression of neuronal and astroglial GAT-1 puncta in the "trained" row compared to controls: Pseudoconditioned, CS-only, UCS-only and Naïve animals. These findings suggest that fear conditioning specifically induces activation of systems regulating cellular levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

  20. Reduction of pain-related fear and increased function and participation in work-related upper extremity pain (WRUEP): effects of exposure in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Jeroen R; Vlaeyen, Johan W S; van Eijsden, Marjon; Loo, Christoph; Onghena, Patrick

    2012-10-01

    There is increasing evidence that pain-related fear influences the development and maintenance of pain disability, presumably mediated through the fear-related avoidance of valued activities. Individually tailored graded exposure in vivo (GEXP) has been demonstrated to reduce pain-related fear and increase functional abilities in patients with chronic low back pain, neck pain, and complex regional pain syndrome. The current study aimed to test whether these effects generalize towards patients with work-related upper extremity pain. A sequential replicated and randomized single-case experimental phase design with multiple measurements was used. Within each participant, GEXP was compared to a no-treatment baseline period and a no-treatment 6-month follow-up period. Eight patients who reported a high level of pain-related fear were included in the study. Daily changes in pain catastrophizing, pain-related fear, and pain intensity were assessed using a diary, and subjected to randomization tests. Before the start of the baseline period, just after GEXP, and at 6-month follow-up, clinically relevant changes of pain catastrophizing, pain-related fear, perceived harmfulness of physical activity, pain disability, and participation/autonomy were verified. When GEXP was introduced, levels of pain catastrophizing and pain-related fear decreased significantly. Clinically relevant improvements were observed for pain disability, perceived participation, and autonomy. These favourable changes were maintained until 6-month follow-up. The findings of the current study underscore the external validity of a cognitive-behavioural GEXP treatment for patients with chronic pain reporting increased pain-related fear. Copyright © 2012 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Increased psychophysiological parameters of attention in non-psychotic individuals with auditory verbal hallucinations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Lutterveld, Remko; Oranje, Bob; Abramovic, Lucija

    2010-01-01

    with an auditory oddball paradigm in 18 non-psychotic individuals with AVH and 18 controls. RESULTS: P300 amplitude was increased in the AVH group as compared to controls, reflecting superior effortful attention. A trend in the same direction was found for processing negativity. No significant differences were...... found for mismatch negativity. CONCLUSION: Contrary to our expectations, non-psychotic individuals with AVH show increased rather than decreased psychophysiological measures of effortful attention compared to healthy controls, refuting a pivotal role of decreased effortful attention...

  2. Attention enhances contrast appearance via increased input baseline of neural responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutrone, Elizabeth K; Heeger, David J; Carrasco, Marisa

    2014-12-30

    Covert spatial attention increases the perceived contrast of stimuli at attended locations, presumably via enhancement of visual neural responses. However, the relation between perceived contrast and the underlying neural responses has not been characterized. In this study, we systematically varied stimulus contrast, using a two-alternative, forced-choice comparison task to probe the effect of attention on appearance across the contrast range. We modeled performance in the task as a function of underlying neural contrast-response functions. Fitting this model to the observed data revealed that an increased input baseline in the neural responses accounted for the enhancement of apparent contrast with spatial attention. © 2014 ARVO.

  3. Europe's thirst for Russian gas increases fears over security of supply

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shepherd, John [nuclear 24, London (United Kingdom)

    2014-10-15

    A new report from Russian Gazprom indicates that Europe is becoming increasingly reliant on gas from Russia. In 2013 the volume of Gazprom Group's gas sales to countries beyond the Commonwealth of Independent States amounted to 174.3 billion cubic metres, which accounts for one-third of the total gas consumption in Europe. Europe might normally welcome the increasing free-flow of gas to the continent, but the fact that this rising dependency on Russia comes at a time of even greater political tensions should be a wake-up call to policymakers. Policymakers should focus more on what is practical than what is politically correct. If one nation wants to tilt at windmills and abandon the security of energy supply offered by modern, safe and technological solutions of the future, such as baseload nuclear, it does not mean everyone has to follow suit. Europe's collective political leadership would do well to remember that you do not cast out or effectively demonise tried and tested solutions to keeping nations safe, warm, productive and economically vibrant at a time when very real threats to energy supply loom on the horizon.

  4. The Attentional Boost Effect: Transient increases in attention to one task enhance performance in a second task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swallow, Khena M; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2010-04-01

    Recent work on event perception suggests that perceptual processing increases when events change. An important question is how such changes influence the way other information is processed, particularly during dual-task performance. In this study, participants monitored a long series of distractor items for an occasional target as they simultaneously encoded unrelated background scenes. The appearance of an occasional target could have two opposite effects on the secondary task: It could draw attention away from the second task, or, as a change in the ongoing event, it could improve secondary task performance. Results were consistent with the second possibility. Memory for scenes presented simultaneously with the targets was better than memory for scenes that preceded or followed the targets. This effect was observed when the primary detection task involved visual feature oddball detection, auditory oddball detection, and visual color-shape conjunction detection. It was eliminated when the detection task was omitted, and when it required an arbitrary response mapping. The appearance of occasional, task-relevant events appears to trigger a temporal orienting response that facilitates processing of concurrently attended information (Attentional Boost Effect). Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. A sad mood increases attention to unhealthy food images in women with food addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frayn, Mallory; Sears, Christopher R; von Ranson, Kristin M

    2016-05-01

    Food addiction and emotional eating both influence eating and weight, but little is known of how negative mood affects the attentional processes that may contribute to food addiction. The purpose of this study was to compare attention to food images in adult women (N = 66) with versus without food addiction, before and after a sad mood induction (MI). Participants' eye fixations were tracked and recorded throughout 8-s presentations of displays with healthy food, unhealthy food, and non-food images. Food addiction was self-reported using the Yale Food Addiction Scale. The sad MI involved watching an 8-min video about a young child who passed away from cancer. It was predicted that: (1) participants in the food addiction group would attend to unhealthy food significantly more than participants in the control group, and (2) participants in the food addiction group would increase their attention to unhealthy food images following the sad MI, due to increased emotional reactivity and poorer emotional regulation. As predicted, the sad MI had a different effect for those with versus without food addiction: for participants with food addiction, attention to unhealthy images increased following the sad MI and attention to healthy images decreased, whereas for participants without food addiction the sad MI did not alter attention to food. These findings contribute to researchers' understanding of the cognitive factors underlying food addiction. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Fear extinction deficits following acute stress associate with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Maroun, Mouna; Ioannides, Pericles J.; Bergman, Krista L.; Kavushansky, Alexandra; Holmes, Andrew; Wellman, Cara L.

    2013-01-01

    Stress-sensitive psychopathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder are characterized by deficits in fear extinction and dysfunction of corticolimbic circuits mediating extinction. Chronic stress facilitates fear conditioning, impairs extinction, and produces dendritic proliferation in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a critical site of plasticity for extinction. Acute stress impairs extinction, alters plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex-to-BLA circuit, and causes dendritic retrac...

  7. Repeated Exposure to Conditioned Fear Stress Increases Anxiety and Delays Sleep Recovery Following Exposure to an Acute Traumatic Stressor

    OpenAIRE

    Greenwood, Benjamin N.; Thompson, Robert S.; Opp, Mark R.; Fleshner, Monika

    2014-01-01

    Repeated stressor exposure can sensitize physiological responses to novel stressors and facilitate the development of stress-related psychiatric disorders including anxiety. Disruptions in diurnal rhythms of sleep–wake behavior accompany stress-related psychiatric disorders and could contribute to their development. Complex stressors that include fear-eliciting stimuli can be a component of repeated stress experienced by human beings, but whether exposure to repeated fear can prime the develo...

  8. Fear potentiated startle increases phospholipase D (PLD) expression/activity and PLD-linked metabotropic glutamate receptor mediated post-tetanic potentiation in rat amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, Balaji; Scott, Michael T; Pollandt, Sebastian; Schroeder, Bradley; Kurosky, Alexander; Shinnick-Gallagher, Patricia

    2016-02-01

    Long-term memory (LTM) of fear stores activity dependent modifications that include changes in amygdala signaling. Previously, we identified an enhanced probability of release of glutamate mediated signaling to be important in rat fear potentiated startle (FPS), a well-established translational behavioral measure of fear. Here, we investigated short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in FPS involving metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) and associated downstream proteomic changes in the thalamic-lateral amygdala pathway (Th-LA). Aldolase A, an inhibitor of phospholipase D (PLD), expression was reduced, concurrent with significantly elevated PLD protein expression. Blocking the PLD-mGluR signaling significantly reduced PLD activity. While transmitter release probability increased in FPS, PLD-mGluR agonist and antagonist actions were occluded. In the unpaired group (UNP), blocking the PLD-mGluR increased while activating the receptor decreased transmitter release probability, consistent with decreased synaptic potentials during tetanic stimulation. FPS Post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) immediately following long-term potentiation (LTP) induction was significantly increased. Blocking PLD-mGluR signaling prevented PTP and reduced cumulative PTP probability but not LTP maintenance in both groups. These effects are similar to those mediated through mGluR7, which is co-immunoprecipitated with PLD in FPS. Lastly, blocking mGluR-PLD in the rat amygdala was sufficient to prevent behavioral expression of fear memory. Thus, our study in the Th-LA pathway provides the first evidence for PLD as an important target of mGluR signaling in amygdala fear-associated memory. Importantly, the PLD-mGluR provides a novel therapeutic target for treating maladaptive fear memories in posttraumatic stress and anxiety disorders. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Increased attention and memory for beloved-related information during infatuation: behavioral and electrophysiological data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeslag, Sandra J E; Olivier, Jamie R; Köhlen, Martine E; Nijs, Ilse M; Van Strien, Jan W

    2015-01-01

    Emotionally salient information is well attended and remembered. It has been shown that infatuated individuals have increased attention for their beloved. It is unknown whether this attention bias generalizes to information related to the beloved. Moreover, infatuated individuals report to remember trivial things about their beloved, but this has not yet been tested empirically. In two studies, we tested whether infatuated individuals have increased attention and memory for beloved-related information. In a passive viewing task (Study 1), the late positive potential, an event-related potential (ERP) component reflecting motivated attention, was enhanced for beloved-related vs friend-related words/phrases. In a recognition task (Study 2), memory performance and the frontal and parietal ERP old/new effects, reflecting familiarity and recollection, respectively, were not enhanced for beloved-related compared with friend-related words/phrases. In free recall tasks in both studies, memory was better for beloved-related than friend-related words/phrases. This research reveals that attention and memory are enhanced for beloved-related information. These attention and memory biases for beloved-related information were not due to valence, semantic relatedness, or experience, but to arousal. To conclude, romantic love has profound effects on cognition that play a clear role in daily life. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Attention increases the temporal precision of conscious perception: verifying the Neural-ST Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srivas Chennu

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available What role does attention play in ensuring the temporal precision of visual perception? Behavioural studies have investigated feature selection and binding in time using fleeting sequences of stimuli in the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP paradigm, and found that temporal accuracy is reduced when attentional control is diminished. To reduce the efficacy of attentional deployment, these studies have employed the Attentional Blink (AB phenomenon. In this article, we use electroencephalography (EEG to directly investigate the temporal dynamics of conscious perception. Specifically, employing a combination of experimental analysis and neural network modelling, we test the hypothesis that the availability of attention reduces temporal jitter in the latency between a target's visual onset and its consolidation into working memory. We perform time-frequency analysis on data from an AB study to compare the EEG trials underlying the P3 ERPs (Event-related Potential evoked by targets seen outside vs. inside the AB time window. We find visual differences in phase-sorted ERPimages and statistical differences in the variance of the P3 phase distributions. These results argue for increased variation in the latency of conscious perception during the AB. This experimental analysis is complemented by a theoretical exploration of temporal attention and target processing. Using activation traces from the Neural-ST(2 model, we generate virtual ERPs and virtual ERPimages. These are compared to their human counterparts to propose an explanation of how target consolidation in the context of the AB influences the temporal variability of selective attention. The AB provides us with a suitable phenomenon with which to investigate the interplay between attention and perception. The combination of experimental and theoretical elucidation in this article contributes to converging evidence for the notion that the AB reflects a reduction in the temporal acuity of

  11. Plugging the attention deficit: perceptual load counters increased distraction in ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Sophie; Robertson, David J; Jennings, Alistair; Asherson, Philip; Lavie, Nilli

    2014-01-01

    Increased vulnerability to extraneous distraction is a key symptom of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which may have particularly disruptive consequences. Here we apply Load Theory of attention to increase understanding of this symptom, and to explore a potential method for ameliorating it. Previous research in nonclinical populations has highlighted increased perceptual load as a means of improving the ability to focus attention and avoid distraction. The present study examines whether adults with ADHD can also benefit from conditions of high perceptual load to improve their focused attention abilities. We tested adults with ADHD and age- and IQ-matched controls on a novel measure of irrelevant distraction under load, designed to parallel the form of distraction that is symptomatic of ADHD. During a letter search task, in which perceptual load was varied through search set size, participants were required to ignore salient yet entirely irrelevant distractors (colorful images of cartoon characters) presented infrequently (10% of trials). The presence of these distractors produced a significantly greater interference effect on the search RTs for the adults with ADHD compared with controls, p = .005, ηp² = .231. Perceptual load, however, significantly reduced distractor interference for the ADHD group and was as effective in reducing the elevated distractor interference in ADHD as it was for controls. These findings clarify the nature of the attention deficit underlying increased distraction in ADHD, and demonstrate a tangible method for overcoming it.

  12. Attentional Bias Predicts Increased Reward Salience and Risk Taking in Bipolar Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Liam; Trujillo-Barreto, Nelson J; Bentall, Richard P; El-Deredy, Wael

    2016-02-15

    There is amassing evidence that risky decision-making in bipolar disorder is related to reward-based differences in frontostriatal regions. However, the roles of early attentional and later cognitive processes remain unclear, limiting theoretical understanding and development of targeted interventions. Twenty euthymic bipolar disorder and 19 matched control participants played a Roulette task in which they won and lost money. Event-related potentials and source analysis were used to quantify predominantly sensory-attentional (N1), motivational salience (feedback-related negativities [FRN]), and cognitive appraisal (P300) stages of processing. We predicted that the bipolar disorder group would show increased N1, consistent with increased attentional orienting, and reduced FRN, consistent with a bias to perceive outcomes more favorably. As predicted, the bipolar disorder group showed increased N1 and reduced FRN but no differences in P300. N1 amplitude was additionally associated with real-life risk taking, and N1 source activity was reduced in visual cortex but increased activity in precuneus, frontopolar, and premotor cortex, compared to those of controls. These findings demonstrate an early attentional bias to reward that potentially drives risk taking by priming approach behavior and elevating reward salience in the frontostriatal pathway. Although later cognitive appraisals of these inputs may be relatively intact in remission, interventions targeting attention orienting may also be effective in long-term reduction of relapse. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Endogenous visuospatial attention increases visual awareness independent of visual discrimination sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernet, Marine; Japee, Shruti; Lokey, Savannah; Ahmed, Sara; Zachariou, Valentinos; Ungerleider, Leslie G

    2017-08-12

    Visuospatial attention often improves task performance by increasing signal gain at attended locations and decreasing noise at unattended locations. Attention is also believed to be the mechanism that allows information to enter awareness. In this experiment, we assessed whether orienting endogenous visuospatial attention with cues differentially affects visual discrimination sensitivity (an objective task performance) and visual awareness (the subjective feeling of perceiving) during the same discrimination task. Gabor patch targets were presented laterally, either at low contrast (contrast stimuli) or at high contrast embedded in noise (noise stimuli). Participants reported their orientation either in a 3-alternative choice task (clockwise, counterclockwise, unknown) that allowed for both objective and subjective reports, or in a 2-alternative choice task (clockwise, counterclockwise) that provided a control for objective reports. Signal detection theory models were fit to the experimental data: estimated perceptual sensitivity reflected objective performance; decision criteria, or subjective biases, were a proxy for visual awareness. Attention increased sensitivity (i.e., improved objective performance) for the contrast, but not for the noise stimuli. Indeed, with the latter, attention did not further enhance the already high target signal or reduce the already low uncertainty on its position. Interestingly, for both contrast and noise stimuli, attention resulted in more liberal criteria, i.e., awareness increased. The noise condition is thus an experimental configuration where people think they see the targets they attend to better, even if they do not. This could be explained by an internal representation of their attentional state, which influences awareness independent of objective visual signals. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Serotonergic Modulation of Conditioned Fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith R. Homberg

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Conditioned fear plays a key role in anxiety disorders as well as depression and other neuropsychiatric conditions. Understanding how neuromodulators drive the associated learning and memory processes, including memory consolidation, retrieval/expression, and extinction (recall, is essential in the understanding of (individual differences in vulnerability to these disorders and their treatment. The human and rodent studies I review here together reveal, amongst others, that acute selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI treatment facilitates fear conditioning, reduces contextual fear, and increases cued fear, chronic SSRI treatment reduces both contextual and cued fear, 5-HT1A receptors inhibit the acquisition and expression of contextual fear, 5-HT2A receptors facilitates the consolidation of cued and contextual fear, inactivation of 5-HT2C receptors facilitate the retrieval of cued fear memory, the 5-HT3 receptor mediates contextual fear, genetically induced increases in serotonin levels are associated with increased fear conditioning, impaired cued fear extinction, or impaired extinction recall, and that genetically induced 5-HT depletion increases fear conditioning and contextual fear. Several explanations are presented to reconcile seemingly paradoxical relationships between serotonin levels and conditioned fear.

  15. Effectiveness of Premarital Education Program Based on Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge Program in Reducing Fear of Marriage and Increasing the Marriage Motivation of Single Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gholamreza Rajabi

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The present study aimed to examine the effectiveness of premarital education based on interpersonal choice and knowledge program in reducing fear of marriage and increase motivation of marriage. Methods: This research was designed as an experimental study with pretest-posttest and follow-up with a control group. Thirty-nine volunteer single students were selected from universities of Ahvaz city if they obtained a standard deviation higher than the mean score of fear subscale and were assigned randomly to experimental group (n=20 and control group (n=19. The experiment group was given a premarital interpersonal choice and knowledge program of nine 90-minute sessions twice a week. Results: The results of repeated measures analysis of variance showed that the premarital interpersonal choice and knowledge program reduced fear of marriage and increased motivation for marriage in the experimental group as compared with the control group at posttest and follow-up. Conclusion: Our results showed that the premarital interpersonal choice and knowledge program is a suitable method for reducing fear of marriage and increasing motivation for marriage in single students.

  16. Infants' visual sustained attention is higher during joint play than solo play: is this due to increased endogenous attention control or exogenous stimulus capture?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wass, Sam V; Clackson, Kaili; Georgieva, Stanimira D; Brightman, Laura; Nutbrown, Rebecca; Leong, Victoria

    2018-04-06

    Previous research has suggested that when a social partner, such as a parent, pays attention to an object, this increases the attention that infants pay to that object during spontaneous, naturalistic play. There are two contrasting reasons why this might be: first, social context may influence increases in infants' endogenous (voluntary) attention control; second, social settings may offer increased opportunities for exogenous attentional capture. To differentiate these possibilities, we compared 12-month-old infants' naturalistic attention patterns in two settings: Solo Play and Joint Play with a social partner (the parent). Consistent with previous research, we found that infants' look durations toward play objects were longer during Joint Play, and that moments of inattentiveness were fewer, and shorter. Follow-up analyses, conducted to differentiate the two above-proposed hypotheses, were more consistent with the latter hypothesis. We found that infants' rate of change of attentiveness was faster during Joint Play than Solo Play, suggesting that internal attention factors, such as attentional inertia, may influence looking behaviour less during Joint Play. We also found that adults' attention forwards-predicted infants' subsequent attention more than vice versa, suggesting that adults' behaviour may drive infants' behaviour. Finally, we found that mutual gaze did not directly facilitate infant attentiveness. Overall, our results suggest that infants spend more time attending to objects during Joint Play than Solo Play, but that these differences are more likely attributable to increased exogenous attentional scaffolding from the parent during social play, rather than to increased endogenous attention control from the infant. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Increasing attention is being paid to the quality of meat as living ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Increasing attention is being paid to the quality of meat as living standards rise and this tendency is accentuat- ed in game meat. Whereas game meat is a common and essential component of the human diet in some countries, it is considered a delicacy in highly developed countries and for this reason stronger emphasis is ...

  18. Fear of pain potentiates nocebo hyperalgesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aslaksen PM

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Per M Aslaksen,1 Peter S Lyby2 1Department of Psychology, Research Group for Cognitive Neuroscience, The Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway; 2Catosenteret Rehabilitation Center, Son, Norway Abstract: Nocebo hyperalgesia has received sparse experimental attention compared to placebo analgesia. The aim of the present study was to investigate if personality traits and fear of pain could predict experimental nocebo hyperalgesia. One hundred and eleven healthy volunteers (76 females participated in an experimental study in which personality traits and fear of pain were measured prior to induction of thermal heat pain. Personality traits were measured by the Big-Five Inventory-10. Fear of pain was measured by the Fear of Pain Questionnaire III. Heat pain was induced by a PC-controlled thermode. Pain was measured by a computerized visual analog scale. Stress levels during the experiment were measured by numerical rating scales. The participants were randomized to a Nocebo group or to a no-treatment Natural History group. The results revealed that pain and stress levels were significantly higher in the Nocebo group after nocebo treatment. Mediation analysis showed that higher levels of the Fear of Pain Questionnaire III factor "fear of medical pain" significantly increased stress levels after nocebo treatment and that higher stress levels were associated with increased nocebo hyperalgesic responses. There were no significant associations between any of the personality factors and the nocebo hyperalgesic effect. The results from the present study suggest that dispositional fear of pain might be a useful predictor for nocebo hyperalgesia and emotional states concomitant with expectations of increased pain. Furthermore, measurement of traits that are specific to pain experience is probably better suited for prediction of nocebo hyperalgesic responses compared to broad measures of personality

  19. Increased connectivity between sensorimotor and attentional areas in Parkinson's disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Onu, Mihaela; Badea, Liviu; Roceanu, Adina; Bajenaru, Ovidiu; Tivarus, Madalina

    2015-01-01

    Our study is using Independent Component Analysis (ICA) to evaluate functional connectivity changes in Parkinson's disease (PD) in an unbiased manner. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data was collected for 27 PD patients and 16 healthy subjects. Differences for intra- and inter-network connectivity between healthy subjects and patients were investigated using FMRIB Software Library (FSL) tools (Melodic ICA, dual regression, FSLNets). Twenty-three ICA maps were identified as components of neuronal origin. For intra-network connectivity changes, eight components showed a significant connectivity increase in patients (p < 0.05); these were correlated with clinical scores and were largest for (sensori)motor networks. For inter-network connectivity changes, we found higher connectivity between the sensorimotor network and the spatial attention network (p = 0.0098) and lower connectivity between anterior and posterior default mode networks (DMN) (p = 0.024), anterior DMN and visual recognition networks (p = 0.026), as well as between visual attention and main dorsal attention networks (p = 0.03), for patients as compared to healthy subjects. The area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve for the best predictor (partial correlation between sensorimotor and spatial attention networks) was 0.772. These functional alterations were not associated with any gray or white matter structural changes. Our results show higher connectivity between sensorimotor and spatial attention areas in patients that may be related to the reduced movement automaticity in PD. (orig.)

  20. Uncertainty is associated with increased selective attention and sustained stimulus processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieterich, Raoul; Endrass, Tanja; Kathmann, Norbert

    2016-06-01

    Uncertainty about future threat has been found to be associated with an overestimation of threat probability and is hypothesized to elicit additional allocation of attention. We used event-related potentials to examine uncertainty-related dynamics in attentional allocation, exploiting brain potentials' high temporal resolution and sensitivity to attention. Thirty participants performed a picture-viewing task in which cues indicated the subsequent picture valence. A certain-neutral and a certain-aversive cue accurately predicted subsequent picture valence, whereas an uncertain cue did not. Participants overestimated the effective frequency of aversive pictures following the uncertain cue, both during and after the task, signifying expectancy and covariation biases, and they tended to express lower subjective valences for aversive pictures presented after the uncertain cue. Pictures elicited increased P2 and LPP amplitudes when their valence could not be predicted from the cue. For the LPP, this effect was more pronounced in response to neutral pictures. Uncertainty appears to enhance the engagement of early phasic and sustained attention for uncertainly cued targets. Thus, defensive motivation related to uncertainty about future threat elicits specific attentional dynamics implicating prioritization at various processing stages, especially for nonthreatening stimuli that tend to violate expectations.

  1. Increased connectivity between sensorimotor and attentional areas in Parkinson's disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Onu, Mihaela [Medical Imaging Department, Clinical Hospital ' ' Prof. Dr. Th. Burghele' ' , Bucharest (Romania); Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Biophysics, Bucharest (Romania); Badea, Liviu [National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics, Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics Group, Bucharest (Romania); Roceanu, Adina; Bajenaru, Ovidiu [University of Bucharest Emergency Hospital, Neurology Department, Bucharest (Romania); Tivarus, Madalina [University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Imaging Sciences and Rochester Center for Brain Imaging, Rochester, NY (United States)

    2015-09-15

    Our study is using Independent Component Analysis (ICA) to evaluate functional connectivity changes in Parkinson's disease (PD) in an unbiased manner. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data was collected for 27 PD patients and 16 healthy subjects. Differences for intra- and inter-network connectivity between healthy subjects and patients were investigated using FMRIB Software Library (FSL) tools (Melodic ICA, dual regression, FSLNets). Twenty-three ICA maps were identified as components of neuronal origin. For intra-network connectivity changes, eight components showed a significant connectivity increase in patients (p < 0.05); these were correlated with clinical scores and were largest for (sensori)motor networks. For inter-network connectivity changes, we found higher connectivity between the sensorimotor network and the spatial attention network (p = 0.0098) and lower connectivity between anterior and posterior default mode networks (DMN) (p = 0.024), anterior DMN and visual recognition networks (p = 0.026), as well as between visual attention and main dorsal attention networks (p = 0.03), for patients as compared to healthy subjects. The area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve for the best predictor (partial correlation between sensorimotor and spatial attention networks) was 0.772. These functional alterations were not associated with any gray or white matter structural changes. Our results show higher connectivity between sensorimotor and spatial attention areas in patients that may be related to the reduced movement automaticity in PD. (orig.)

  2. Reward speeds up and increases consistency of visual selective attention: a lifespan comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola; Eppinger, Ben; Li, Shu-Chen

    2014-06-01

    Children and older adults often show less favorable reward-based learning and decision making, relative to younger adults. It is unknown, however, whether reward-based processes that influence relatively early perceptual and attentional processes show similar lifespan differences. In this study, we investigated whether stimulus-reward associations affect selective visual attention differently across the human lifespan. Children, adolescents, younger adults, and older adults performed a visual search task in which the target colors were associated with either high or low monetary rewards. We discovered that high reward value speeded up response times across all four age groups, indicating that reward modulates attentional selection across the lifespan. This speed-up in response time was largest in younger adults, relative to the other three age groups. Furthermore, only younger adults benefited from high reward value in increasing response consistency (i.e., reduction of trial-by-trial reaction time variability). Our findings suggest that reward-based modulations of relatively early and implicit perceptual and attentional processes are operative across the lifespan, and the effects appear to be greater in adulthood. The age-specific effect of reward on reducing intraindividual response variability in younger adults likely reflects mechanisms underlying the development and aging of reward processing, such as lifespan age differences in the efficacy of dopaminergic modulation. Overall, the present results indicate that reward shapes visual perception across different age groups by biasing attention to motivationally salient events.

  3. Neuronal Nitric-Oxide Synthase Deficiency Impairs the Long-Term Memory of Olfactory Fear Learning and Increases Odor Generalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavesi, Eloisa; Heldt, Scott A.; Fletcher, Max L.

    2013-01-01

    Experience-induced changes associated with odor learning are mediated by a number of signaling molecules, including nitric oxide (NO), which is predominantly synthesized by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the brain. In the current study, we investigated the role of nNOS in the acquisition and retention of conditioned olfactory fear. Mice…

  4. Cue-Elicited Increases in Incentive Salience for Marijuana: Craving, Demand, and Attentional Bias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metrik, Jane; Aston, Elizabeth R.; Kahler, Christopher W.; Rohsenow, Damaris J.; McGeary, John E.; Knopik, Valerie S.; MacKillop, James

    2016-01-01

    Background Incentive salience is a multidimensional construct that includes craving, drug value relative to other reinforcers, and implicit motivation such as attentional bias to drug cues. Laboratory cue reactivity (CR) paradigms have been used to evaluate marijuana incentive salience with measures of craving, but not with behavioral economic measures of marijuana demand or implicit attentional processing tasks. Methods This within-subjects study used a new CR paradigm to examine multiple dimensions of marijuana’s incentive salience and to compare CR-induced increases in craving and demand. Frequent marijuana users (N=93, 34% female) underwent exposure to neutral cues then to lit marijuana cigarettes. Craving, marijuana demand via a marijuana purchase task, and heart rate were assessed after each cue set. A modified Stroop task with cannabis and control words was completed after the marijuana cues as a measure of attentional bias. Results Relative to neutral cues, marijuana cues significantly increased subjective craving and demand indices of intensity (i.e., drug consumed at $0) and Omax (i.e., peak drug expenditure). Elasticity significantly decreased following marijuana cues, reflecting sustained purchase despite price increases. Craving was correlated with demand indices (r’s: 0.23–0.30). Marijuana users displayed significant attentional bias for cannabis-related words after marijuana cues. Cue-elicited increases in intensity were associated with greater attentional bias for marijuana words. Conclusions Greater incentive salience indexed by subjective, behavioral economic, and implicit measures was observed after marijuana versus neutral cues, supporting multidimensional assessment. The study highlights the utility of a behavioral economic approach in detecting cue-elicited changes in marijuana incentive salience. PMID:27515723

  5. Uncertainty increases neural indices of attention in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieterich, Raoul; Endrass, Tanja; Kathmann, Norbert

    2017-11-01

    Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) experience abnormally high levels of uncertainty, and unpredictability is evaluated negatively and not well tolerated. The current study examined neural correlates of attentional processing in response to experimentally induced uncertainty in OCD. Twenty-four OCD patients and 24 healthy controls performed a task where neutral and negative pictures were preceded by a cue, either being predictive (certain condition) or nonpredictive (uncertain condition) of subsequent picture valence. We examined prepicture anticipatory attention through α (∼8-12 Hz) suppression, and attentional allocation during picture presentation with the P1, N1, P2, N2, and late positive potential (LPP) of the event-related potential. Additionally, we tested how clinical measures related to these attentional markers. Subjectively, patients overestimated the frequency of negative pictures after nonpredictive cues. Patients, but not controls, showed upper α(10-12 Hz) suppression after nonpredictive and predictive negative cues relative to predictive neutral cues. Only patients showed increased P2 and decreased N2 amplitudes for pictures after nonpredictive cues, and, whereas both groups showed increased LPP amplitudes for pictures after nonpredictive cues, this modulation was more pronounced in OCD during the early LPP (pictures were associated positively with anxiety and negatively with depression. These results suggest that OCD patients process anticipation of inevitable and potential threat similarly and highlight the substantial motivational impact of uncertain events to OCD patients. Finally, the correlation with anxiety implies that anxiety represents the source of hypervigilance during uncertainty resolution. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Increased coherence among striatal regions in the theta range during attentive wakefulness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lepski

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The striatum, the largest component of the basal ganglia, is usually subdivided into associative, motor and limbic components. However, the electrophysiological interactions between these three subsystems during behavior remain largely unknown. We hypothesized that the striatum might be particularly active during exploratory behavior, which is presumably associated with increased attention. We investigated the modulation of local field potentials (LFPs in the striatum during attentive wakefulness in freely moving rats. To this end, we implanted microelectrodes into different parts of the striatum of Wistar rats, as well as into the motor, associative and limbic cortices. We then used electromyograms to identify motor activity and analyzed the instantaneous frequency, power spectra and partial directed coherence during exploratory behavior. We observed fine modulation in the theta frequency range of striatal LFPs in 92.5 ± 2.5% of all epochs of exploratory behavior. Concomitantly, the theta power spectrum increased in all striatal channels (P 0.7 between the primary motor cortex and the rostral part of the caudatoputamen nucleus, as well as among all striatal channels (P < 0.001. Conclusively, we observed a pattern of strong theta band activation in the entire striatum during attentive wakefulness, as well as a strong coherence between the motor cortex and the entire striatum. We suggest that this activation reflects the integration of motor, cognitive and limbic systems during attentive wakefulness.

  7. Dual n-back training increases the capacity of the focus of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilienthal, Lindsey; Tamez, Elaine; Shelton, Jill Talley; Myerson, Joel; Hale, Sandra

    2013-02-01

    Working memory (WM) training has been reported to benefit abilities as diverse as fluid intelligence (Jaeggi et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105:6829-6833, 2008) and reading comprehension (Chein & Morrison, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 17:193-199, 2010), but transfer is not always observed (for reviews, see Morrison & Chein, Psychonomics Bulletin & Review, 18:46-60, 2011; Shipstead et al., Psychological Bulletin, 138:628-654, 2012). In contrast, recent WM training studies have consistently reported improvement on the trained tasks. The basis for these training benefits has received little attention, however, and it is not known which WM components and/or processes are being improved. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to investigate five possible mechanisms underlying the effects of adaptive dual n-back training on working memory (i.e., improvements in executive attention, updating, and focus switching, as well as increases in the capacity of the focus of attention and short-term memory). In addition to a no-contact control group, the present study also included an active control group whose members received nonadaptive training on the same task. All three groups showed significant improvements on the n-back task from pretest to posttest, but adaptive training produced larger improvements than did nonadaptive training, which in turn produced larger improvements than simply retesting. Adaptive, but not nonadaptive, training also resulted in improvements on an untrained running span task that measured the capacity of the focus of attention. No other differential improvements were observed, suggesting that increases in the capacity of the focus of attention underlie the benefits of adaptive dual n-back training.

  8. Enhanced attention to context: An intervention that increases perceived control in mild depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Msetfi, R M; Brosnan, L; Cavus, H A

    2016-01-01

    People perceive that they have control over events to the extent that the same events do not occur outside of their control, randomly, in the environment or context. Therefore, perceived control should be enhanced if there is a large contrast between one's own control and the control that the context itself seems to exert over events. Given that depression is associated with low perceived control, we tested the hypothesis that enhanced attentional focus to context will increase perceived control in people with and without depression. A total of 106 non-depressed and mildly depressed participants completed a no control zero-contingency task with low and high outcome probability conditions. In the experimental context-focus group, participants were instructed to attend to the context, whereas in the control group, participants were instructed to attend to their thoughts. Irrespective of attentional focus, non-depressed participants displayed illusory control. However, people with mild depression responded strongly to the attention focus manipulation. In the control group, they evidenced low perceived control with classic depressive realism effects. In the experimental group, when asked to focus on the context in which events took place, participants with mild depression displayed enhanced perceived control or illusory control, similar to non-depressed participants. Findings are discussed in relation to whether depression effects on perceived control represent tendencies towards realism or attentional aspects of depressive thoughts.

  9. Moderate Partially Reduplicated Conditioned Stimuli as Retrieval Cue Can Increase Effect on Preventing Relapse of Fear to Compound Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junjiao Li

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The theory of memory reconsolidation argues that consolidated memory is not unchangeable. Once a memory is reactivated it may go back into an unstable state and need new protein synthesis to be consolidated again, which is called “memory reconsolidation”. Boundary studies have shown that interfering with reconsolidation through pharmacologic or behavioral intervention can lead to the updating of the initial memory, for example, erasing undesired memories. Behavioral procedures based on memory reconsolidation interference have been shown to be an effective way to inhibit fear memory relapse after extinction. However, the effectiveness of retrieval–extinction differs by subtle differences in the protocol of the reactivation session. This represents a challenge with regard to finding an optimal operational model to facilitate its clinical use for patients suffering from pathogenic memories such as those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Most of the laboratory models for fear learning have used a single conditioned stimulus (CS paired with an unconditioned stimulus (US. This has simplified the real situation of traumatic events to an excessive degree, and thus, limits the clinical application of the findings based on these models. Here, we used a basic visual compound CS model as the CS to ascertain whether partial repetition of the compound CSs in conditioning can reactivate memory into reconsolidation. The results showed that the no retrieval group or the 1/3 ratio retrieval group failed to open the memory reconsolidation time window. The 2/3 repetition retrieval group and the whole repetition retrieval group were able to prevent fear reinstatement, whereas only a 2/3 ratio repetition of the initial compound CS as a reminder could inhibit spontaneous recovery. We inferred that a retrieval–extinction paradigm was also effective in a more complex model of fear if a sufficient prediction error (PE could be generated in the

  10. How fear of falling can increase fall-risk in older adults: Applying psychological theory to practical observations

    OpenAIRE

    Young, WR; Williams, AM

    2013-01-01

    This article was made available through the Brunel Open Access Fund. It is widely reported that fear of falling (FOF) has a profound and largely detrimental effect on balance performance in older adults. However, the mechanisms by which FOF influence postural stability are poorly understood. In the current article, we use psychological theory to explain FOF-related changes to postural control. First, we review literature describing associations between FOF and the 'stiffening' strategies o...

  11. Moderate Partially Reduplicated Conditioned Stimuli as Retrieval Cue Can Increase Effect on Preventing Relapse of Fear to Compound Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Junjiao; Chen, Wei; Caoyang, Jingwen; Wu, Wenli; Jie, Jing; Xu, Liang; Zheng, Xifu

    2017-01-01

    The theory of memory reconsolidation argues that consolidated memory is not unchangeable. Once a memory is reactivated it may go back into an unstable state and need new protein synthesis to be consolidated again, which is called “memory reconsolidation”. Boundary studies have shown that interfering with reconsolidation through pharmacologic or behavioral intervention can lead to the updating of the initial memory, for example, erasing undesired memories. Behavioral procedures based on memory reconsolidation interference have been shown to be an effective way to inhibit fear memory relapse after extinction. However, the effectiveness of retrieval–extinction differs by subtle differences in the protocol of the reactivation session. This represents a challenge with regard to finding an optimal operational model to facilitate its clinical use for patients suffering from pathogenic memories such as those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Most of the laboratory models for fear learning have used a single conditioned stimulus (CS) paired with an unconditioned stimulus (US). This has simplified the real situation of traumatic events to an excessive degree, and thus, limits the clinical application of the findings based on these models. Here, we used a basic visual compound CS model as the CS to ascertain whether partial repetition of the compound CSs in conditioning can reactivate memory into reconsolidation. The results showed that the no retrieval group or the 1/3 ratio retrieval group failed to open the memory reconsolidation time window. The 2/3 repetition retrieval group and the whole repetition retrieval group were able to prevent fear reinstatement, whereas only a 2/3 ratio repetition of the initial compound CS as a reminder could inhibit spontaneous recovery. We inferred that a retrieval–extinction paradigm was also effective in a more complex model of fear if a sufficient prediction error (PE) could be generated in the reactivation period

  12. Negative Mood Increases Selective Attention to Negatively Valenced Body Parts in Female Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Svaldi

    Full Text Available Previous research has yielded evidence of increased attentional processing of negatively valenced body parts in women with anorexia nervosa (AN, especially for those with high depressive symptomatology. The present study extended previous research by implementing an experimental mood manipulation.In a within-subjects design, female adolescents with AN (n = 12 and an age matched female control group (CG; n = 12 were given a negative and a positive mood induction at a one-week interval. After each mood induction, participants underwent a 3-min mirror exposure, while their eye movements were recorded.After the positive mood induction, both AN and CG participants displayed longer and more frequent gazes towards their self-defined most ugly relative to their self-defined most beautiful body part. However, after the negative mood induction, only females with AN were characterized by increased attention to their most ugly compared to their most beautiful body part, while CG participants' attention distribution was balanced. Furthermore, in the negative (but not in the positive mood induction condition gaze frequency and duration towards the most ugly body part was significantly stronger in the AN group relative to the CG.The results emphasize the role of negative mood in the maintenance of pathological information processing of the self-body. This increased body-related negativity-bias during negative mood may lead to the persistence and aggravation of AN patients' body image disturbance.

  13. Mindful attention to breath regulates emotions via increased amygdala-prefrontal cortex connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doll, Anselm; Hölzel, Britta K; Mulej Bratec, Satja; Boucard, Christine C; Xie, Xiyao; Wohlschläger, Afra M; Sorg, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Mindfulness practice is beneficial for emotion regulation; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The current study focuses on effects of attention-to-breath (ATB) as a basic mindfulness practice on aversive emotions at behavioral and brain levels. A key finding across different emotion regulation strategies is the modulation of amygdala and prefrontal activity. It is unclear how ATB relevant brain areas in the prefrontal cortex integrate with amygdala activation during emotional stimulation. We proposed that, during emotional stimulation, ATB down-regulates activation in the amygdala and increases its integration with prefrontal regions. To address this hypothesis, 26 healthy controls were trained in mindfulness-based attention-to-breath meditation for two weeks and then stimulated with aversive pictures during both attention-to-breath and passive viewing while undergoing fMRI. Data were controlled for breathing frequency. Results indicate that (1) ATB was effective in regulating aversive emotions. (2) Left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex was associated with ATB in general. (3) A fronto-parietal network was additionally recruited during emotional stimulation. (4) ATB down regulated amygdala activation and increased amygdala-prefrontal integration, with such increased integration being associated with mindfulness ability. Results suggest amygdala-dorsal prefrontal cortex integration as a potential neural pathway of emotion regulation by mindfulness practice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Bilingualism and increased attention to speech: Evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuipers, Jan Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume

    2015-10-01

    A number of studies have shown that from an early age, bilinguals outperform their monolingual peers on executive control tasks. We previously found that bilingual children and adults also display greater attention to unexpected language switches within speech. Here, we investigated the effect of a bilingual upbringing on speech perception in one language. We recorded monolingual and bilingual toddlers' event-related potentials (ERPs) to spoken words preceded by pictures. Words matching the picture prime elicited an early frontal positivity in bilingual participants only, whereas later ERP amplitudes associated with semantic processing did not differ between groups. These results add to the growing body of evidence that bilingualism increases overall attention during speech perception whilst semantic integration is unaffected. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Antiretroviral treatment is associated with increased attentional load-dependent brain activation in HIV patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, L; Yakupov, R; Nakama, H; Stokes, B; Ernst, T

    2008-06-01

    The purpose of this paper was to determine whether antiretroviral medications, especially the nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors, lead to altered brain activation due to their potential neurotoxic effects in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Forty-two right-handed men were enrolled in three groups: seronegative controls (SN, n = 18), HIV subjects treated with antiretroviral medications (HIV+ARV, n = 12), or not treated with antiretroviral medications (HIV+NARV, n = 12). Each subject performed a set of visual attention tasks with increasing difficulty or load (tracking two, three or four balls) during functional magnetic resonance imaging. HIV subjects, both groups combined, showed greater load-dependent increases in brain activation in the right frontal regions compared to SN (p-corrected = 0.006). HIV+ARV additionally showed greater load-dependent increases in activation compared to SN in bilateral superior frontal regions (p-corrected = 0.032) and a lower percent accuracy on the performance of the most difficult task (tracking four balls). Region of interest analyses further demonstrated that SN showed load-dependent decreases (with repeated trials despite increasing difficulty), while HIV subjects showed load-dependent increases in activation with the more difficult tasks, especially those on ARVs. These findings suggest that chronic ARV treatments may lead to greater requirement of the attentional network reserve and hence less efficient usage of the network and less practice effects in these HIV patients. As the brain has a limited reserve capacity, exhausting the reserve capacity in HIV+ARV would lead to declined performance with more difficult tasks that require more attention.

  16. Fear activation and distraction during the emotional processing of claustrophobic fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Telch, M.J.; Valentiner, D.P.; Ilai, D.; Young, P.R.; Powers, M.B.; Smits, J.A.J.

    2012-01-01

    We tested several hypotheses derived from the emotional processing theory of fear reduction by manipulating claustrophobic participants' focus of attention during in vivo exposure. Sixty participants displaying marked claustrophobic fear were randomized to one of four exposure conditions. Each

  17. Biases in attention, interpretation, memory, and associations in children with varying levels of spider fear : Inter-relations and prediction of behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, A.M.; van Niekerk, R.; ten Brink, G.; Rapee, R.M.; Hudson, J.L.; Bögels, S.M.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Cognitive theories suggest that cognitive biases may be related and together influence the anxiety response. However, little is known about the interrelations of cognitive bias tasks and whether they allow for an improved prediction of fear-related behavior in addition to

  18. Psychoeducational group increases vaginal dilation for younger women and reduces sexual fears for women of all ages with gynecological carcinoma treated with radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, John W.; Faris, Peter D.; Scott, Carol B.

    1999-01-01

    Purpose: The association between radiotherapy for gynecological carcinoma and sexual dysfunction is well established. Regular vaginal dilation is widely recommended to these women as a way for them to maintain vaginal health and good sexual functioning. However, the compliance rate with this recommendation is low. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a group psychoeducational program based on the 'information-motivation-behavioral skills' model of behavior change in increasing the rate of compliance. Methods and Materials: Thirty-two women with Stage I or II cervical or endometrial carcinoma who were being treated with radiotherapy were randomized and received either the experimental group program or the control intervention that consisted of written information and brief counseling. Outcome measures included global sexual health, knowledge about sexuality and cancer, fears about sexuality after cancer, and vaginal dilation compliance. Results: Younger women attending the experimental program (44.4%) were significantly more likely to follow recommendations for vaginal dilation than those who received the control intervention (5.6%). Women, regardless of age, who received the experimental intervention reported less fear about sex after cancer treatment. The older women who received the experimental intervention gained more sexual knowledge. There was no evidence that the experimental intervention improved global sexual health. Conclusions: This is the first controlled study to provide evidence of an intervention's effectiveness 1. in increasing women's vaginal dilation following radiotherapy for gynecological carcinoma and 2. in reducing their fears about sex after cancer. Most women, particularly younger women, are unlikely to follow the recommendation to dilate unless they are given assistance in overcoming their fears and taught behavioral skills

  19. Processing speed training increases the efficiency of attentional resource allocation in young adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley K Burge

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive training has been shown to improve performance on a range of tasks. However, the mechanisms underlying these improvements are still unclear. Given the wide range of transfer effects, it is likely that these effects are due to a factor common to a wide range of tasks. One such factor is a participant’s efficiency in allocating limited cognitive resources. The impact of a cognitive training program, Processing Speed Training (PST, on the allocation of resources to a set of visual tasks was measured using pupillometry in 10 young adults as compared to a control group of a 10 young adults (n = 20. PST is a well-studied computerized training program that involves identifying simultaneously presented central and peripheral stimuli. As training progresses, the task becomes increasingly more difficult, by including peripheral distracting stimuli and decreasing the duration of stimulus presentation. Analysis of baseline data confirmed that pupil diameter reflected cognitive effort. After training, participants randomized to PST used fewer attentional resources to perform complex visual tasks as compared to the control group. These pupil diameter data indicated that PST appears to increase the efficiency of attentional resource allocation. Increases in cognitive efficiency have been hypothesized to underlie improvements following experience with action video games, and improved cognitive efficiency has been hypothesized to underlie the benefits of processing speed training in older adults. These data reveal that these training schemes may share a common underlying mechanism of increasing cognitive efficiency in younger adults.

  20. Phasic alerting increases visual attention capacity in younger but not in older individuals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiegand, Iris Michaela; Petersen, Anders; Bundesen, Claus

    2017-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in younger and older adults. We modelled parameters of visual attention based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) in a partial report task, in w...... and attention, which governs the responsiveness to external cues and is critical for general cognitive functioning in aging.......In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in younger and older adults. We modelled parameters of visual attention based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) in a partial report task...

  1. Higher Physical Activity is Associated with Increased Attentional Network Connectivity in the Healthy Elderly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geon Ha Kim

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the potential alterations in structural network properties related to physical activity (PA in healthy elderly. We recruited 76 elderly individuals with normal cognition from Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea. All participants underwent the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery and 3.0T brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI. Participants were subdivided into quartiles according to the International Physical Activity Questionnaire scores, which represents the amount of PA. Through graph theory based analyses, we compared global and local network topologies according to PA quartile. The higher PA group demonstrated better performance in speed processing compared to the lower PA group. Regional nodal strength also significantly increased in the higher PA group, which involved the bilateral middle frontal, bilateral inferior parietal, right medial orbitofrontal, right superior and middle temporal gyri. These results were further replicated when the highest and the lowest quartile groups were compared in terms of regional nodal strengths and local efficiency. Our findings that the regional nodal strengths associated with the attentional network were increased in the higher PA group suggest the preventive effects of PA on age-related cognitive decline, especially in attention.

  2. Fear of movement, passive coping, manual handling, and severe or radiating pain increase the likelihood of sick leave due to low back pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Anna P; Schluter, Philip J; Hodges, Paul W; Stewart, Simon; Turner, Catherine

    2011-07-01

    Sick leave due to low back pain (LBP-SL) is costly and compromises workforce productivity. The fear-avoidance model asserts that maladaptive pain-related cognitions lead to avoidance and disuse, which can perpetuate ongoing pain. Staying home from work is an avoidant behavior, and hence pain-related psychological features may help explain LBP-SL. We examined the relative contribution of pain catastrophizing, fear of movement, and pain coping (active and passive) in LBP-SL in addition to pain characteristics and other psychosocial, occupational, general health, and demographic factors. Two-way interactions between age and gender and candidate exposures were also considered. Our sample comprised 2164 working nurses and midwives with low back pain in the preceding year. Binary logistic regression was performed on cross-sectional data by manual backward stepwise elimination of nonsignificant terms to generate a parsimonious multivariable model. From an extensive array of exposures assessed, fear of movement (women, odds ratio [OR]=1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.08; men, OR=1.17, 95% CI 1.05-1.29), passive coping (OR=1.07, 95% CI 1.04-1.11), pain severity (OR=1.61, 95% CI 1.50-1.72), pain radiation (women, OR=1.45, 95% CI 1.10-1.92; men, OR=4.13, 95% CI 2.15-7.95), and manual handling frequency (OR=1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.05) increased the likelihood of LBP-SL in the preceding 12 months. Administrators and managers were less likely to report LBP-SL (OR=0.44, 95% CI 0.27-0.71), and age had a protective effect in individuals in a married or de facto relationship (OR=0.97, 95% CI 0.95-0.98). In summary, fear of movement, passive coping, frequent manual handling, and severe or radiating pain increase the likelihood of LBP-SL. Gender-specific responses to pain radiation and fear of movement are evident. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Mouse social stress induces increased fear conditioning, helplessness and fatigue to physical challenge together with markers of altered immune and dopamine function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azzinnari, Damiano; Sigrist, Hannes; Staehli, Simon; Palme, Rupert; Hildebrandt, Tobias; Leparc, German; Hengerer, Bastian; Seifritz, Erich; Pryce, Christopher R

    2014-10-01

    In neuropsychiatry, animal studies demonstrating causal effects of environmental manipulations relevant to human aetiology on behaviours relevant to human psychopathologies are valuable. Such valid models can improve understanding of aetio-pathophysiology and preclinical discovery and development of new treatments. In depression, specific uncontrollable stressful life events are major aetiological factors, and subsequent generalized increases in fearfulness, helplessness and fatigue are core symptoms or features. Here we exposed adult male C57BL/6 mice to 15-day psychosocial stress with loss of social control but minimal physical wounding. One cohort was assessed in a 3-day test paradigm of motor activity, fear conditioning and 2-way avoid-escape behaviour on days 16-18, and a second cohort was assessed in a treadmill fatigue paradigm on days 19 and 29, followed by the 3-day paradigm on days 30-32. All tests used a physical aversive stimulus, namely mild, brief electroshocks. Socially stressed mice displayed decreased motor activity, increased fear acquisition, decreased 2-way avoid-escape responding (increased helplessness) and increased fatigue. They also displayed increased plasma TNF and spleen hypertrophy, and adrenal hypertrophy without hyper-corticoidism. In a third cohort, psychosocial stress effects on brain gene expression were assessed using next generation sequencing. Gene expression was altered in pathways of inflammation and G-protein coupled receptors in prefrontal cortex and amygdala; in the latter, expression of genes important in dopamine function were de-regulated including down-regulated Drd2, Adora2a and Darpp-32. This model can be applied to identify targets for treating psychopathologies such as helplessness or fatigue, and to screen compounds/biologics developed to act at these targets. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Adolescent social isolation increases anxiety-like behavior and ethanol intake and impairs fear extinction in adulthood: Possible role of disrupted noradrenergic signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skelly, M J; Chappell, A E; Carter, E; Weiner, J L

    2015-10-01

    Alcohol use disorder, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are highly comorbid, and exposure to chronic stress during adolescence may increase the incidence of these conditions in adulthood. Efforts to identify the common stress-related mechanisms driving these disorders have been hampered, in part, by a lack of reliable preclinical models that replicate their comorbid symptomatology. Prior work by us, and others, has shown that adolescent social isolation increases anxiety-like behaviors and voluntary ethanol consumption in adult male Long-Evans rats. Here we examined whether social isolation also produces deficiencies in extinction of conditioned fear, a hallmark symptom of PTSD. Additionally, as disrupted noradrenergic signaling may contribute to alcoholism, we examined the effect of anxiolytic medications that target noradrenergic signaling on ethanol intake following adolescent social isolation. Our results confirm and extend previous findings that adolescent social isolation increases anxiety-like behavior and enhances ethanol intake and preference in adulthood. Additionally, social isolation is associated with a significant deficit in the extinction of conditioned fear and a marked increase in the ability of noradrenergic therapeutics to decrease ethanol intake. These results suggest that adolescent social isolation not only leads to persistent increases in anxiety-like behaviors and ethanol consumption, but also disrupts fear extinction, and as such may be a useful preclinical model of stress-related psychopathology. Our data also suggest that disrupted noradrenergic signaling may contribute to escalated ethanol drinking following social isolation, thus further highlighting the potential utility of noradrenergic therapeutics in treating the deleterious behavioral sequelae associated with early life stress. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Moral concerns increase attention and response monitoring during IAT performance: ERP evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellemers, Naomi; Derks, Belle; Nieuwenhuis, Sander

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has revealed that people value morality as a more important person characteristic than competence. In this study, we tested whether people adjust their less explicit behavior more to moral than competence values. Participants performed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) that was either framed as a test of their morality or as a test of their competence. The behavioral results revealed a smaller IAT effect (i.e. a weaker negative implicit bias toward Muslims) in the morality condition than in the competence condition. Moreover, event-related potentials indicated increased social categorization of faces (as indexed by the N1 and P150) and enhanced conflict- and error monitoring (N450 and error-related negativity) in the morality condition compared to the competence condition. These findings indicate that an emphasis on morality can increase attentional and motivational processes that help to improve people’s task performance. PMID:23175679

  6. Inattention Predicts Increased Thickness of Left Occipital Cortex in Men with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sörös, Peter; Bachmann, Katharina; Lam, Alexandra P; Kanat, Manuela; Hoxhaj, Eliza; Matthies, Swantje; Feige, Bernd; Müller, Helge H O; Thiel, Christiane; Philipsen, Alexandra

    2017-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adulthood is a serious and frequent psychiatric disorder with the core symptoms inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The principal aim of this study was to investigate associations between brain morphology, i.e., cortical thickness and volumes of subcortical gray matter, and individual symptom severity in adult ADHD. Surface-based brain morphometry was performed in 35 women and 29 men with ADHD using FreeSurfer. Linear regressions were calculated between cortical thickness and the volumes of subcortical gray matter and the inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity subscales of the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales (CAARS). Two separate analyses were performed. For the first analysis, age was included as additional regressor. For the second analysis, both age and severity of depression were included as additional regressors. Study participants were recruited between June 2012 and January 2014. Linear regression identified an area in the left occipital cortex of men, covering parts of the middle occipital sulcus and gyrus, in which the score on the CAARS inattention subscale predicted increased mean cortical thickness [ F (1,27) = 26.27, p  attentional networks in male adult ADHD patients.

  7. Does attention speed up processing? Decreases and increases of processing rates in visual prior entry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tünnermann, Jan; Petersen, Anders; Scharlau, Ingrid

    2015-03-02

    Selective visual attention improves performance in many tasks. Among others, it leads to "prior entry"--earlier perception of an attended compared to an unattended stimulus. Whether this phenomenon is purely based on an increase of the processing rate of the attended stimulus or if a decrease in the processing rate of the unattended stimulus also contributes to the effect is, up to now, unanswered. Here we describe a novel approach to this question based on Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention, which we use to overcome the limitations of earlier prior-entry assessment with temporal order judgments (TOJs) that only allow relative statements regarding the processing speed of attended and unattended stimuli. Prevalent models of prior entry in TOJs either indirectly predict a pure acceleration or cannot model the difference between acceleration and deceleration. In a paradigm that combines a letter-identification task with TOJs, we show that indeed acceleration of the attended and deceleration of the unattended stimuli conjointly cause prior entry. © 2015 ARVO.

  8. What you fear will appear: detection of schematic spiders in spider fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peira, Nathalie; Golkar, Armita; Larsson, Maria; Wiens, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    Various experimental tasks suggest that fear guides attention. However, because these tasks often lack ecological validity, it is unclear to what extent results from these tasks can be generalized to real-life situations. In change detection tasks, a brief interruption of the visual input (i.e., a blank interval or a scene cut) often results in undetected changes in the scene. This setup resembles real-life viewing behavior and is used here to increase ecological validity of the attentional task without compromising control over the stimuli presented. Spider-fearful and nonfearful women detected schematic spiders and flowers that were added to one of two identical background pictures that alternated with a brief blank in between them (i.e., flicker paradigm). Results showed that spider-fearful women detected spiders (but not flowers) faster than did nonfearful women. Because spiders and flowers had similar low-level features, these findings suggest that fear guides attention on the basis of object features rather than simple low-level features.

  9. Inattention Predicts Increased Thickness of Left Occipital Cortex in Men with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Sörös

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundAttention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD in adulthood is a serious and frequent psychiatric disorder with the core symptoms inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The principal aim of this study was to investigate associations between brain morphology, i.e., cortical thickness and volumes of subcortical gray matter, and individual symptom severity in adult ADHD.MethodsSurface-based brain morphometry was performed in 35 women and 29 men with ADHD using FreeSurfer. Linear regressions were calculated between cortical thickness and the volumes of subcortical gray matter and the inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity subscales of the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales (CAARS. Two separate analyses were performed. For the first analysis, age was included as additional regressor. For the second analysis, both age and severity of depression were included as additional regressors. Study participants were recruited between June 2012 and January 2014.ResultsLinear regression identified an area in the left occipital cortex of men, covering parts of the middle occipital sulcus and gyrus, in which the score on the CAARS inattention subscale predicted increased mean cortical thickness [F(1,27 = 26.27, p < 0.001, adjusted R2 = 0.4744]. No significant associations were found between cortical thickness and the scores on CAARS subscales in women. No significant associations were found between the volumes of subcortical gray matter and the scores on CAARS subscales, neither in men nor in women. These results remained stable when severity of depression was included as additional regressor, together with age.ConclusionIncreased cortical thickness in the left occipital cortex may represent a mechanism to compensate for dysfunctional attentional networks in male adult ADHD patients.

  10. Learned Helplessness and "Fear of Success" in College Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ris, Martin D.; Woods, Donald J.

    1983-01-01

    Examines anagram performance of 90 high, medium, and low fear-of-success (FOS) women, after the subjects had experienced conditions within the traditional triadic learned helplessness design. Concluded that increased attention should be given to personality variables within the learned helplessness paradigm. (CMG)

  11. Increased levels of conditioned fear and avoidance behavior coincide with changes in phosphorylation of the protein kinase B (AKT) within the amygdala in a mouse model of extremes in trait anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, Yi-Chun; Mauch, Christoph P; Dahlhoff, Maik; Micale, Vincenzo; Bunck, Mirjam; Sartori, Simone B; Singewald, Nicolas; Landgraf, Rainer; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2012-07-01

    Patients diagnosed for anxiety disorders often display faster acquisition and slower extinction of learned fear. To gain further insights into the mechanisms underlying these phenomenona, we studied conditioned fear in mice originating form a bi-directional selective breeding approach, which is based on elevated plus-maze behavior and results in CD1-derived high (HAB), normal (NAB), and low (LAB) anxiety-related behavior mice. HAB mice displayed pronounced cued-conditioned fear compared to NAB/CD1 and LAB mice that coincided with increased phosphorylation of the protein kinase B (AKT) in the basolateral amygdala 45 min after conditioning. No similar changes were observed after non-associative immediate shock presentations. Fear extinction of recent but not older fear memories was preserved. However, HAB mice were more prone to relapse of conditioned fear with the passage of time. HAB mice also displayed higher levels of contextual fear compared to NAB and LAB mice and exaggerated avoidance following step-down avoidance training. Interestingly, HAB mice showed lower and LAB mice higher levels of acoustic startle responses compared to NAB controls. The increase in arousal observed in LAB mice coincided with the general absence of conditioned freezing. Taken together, our results suggest that the genetic predisposition to high anxiety-related behavior may increase the risk of forming traumatic memories, phobic-like fear and avoidance behavior following aversive encounters, with a clear bias towards passive coping styles. In contrast, genetic predisposition to low anxiety-related and high risk-taking behavior seems to be associated with an increase in active coping styles. Our data imply changes in AKT phosphorylation as a therapeutic target for the prevention of exaggerated fear memories. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Fear of Death in Gulliver’s Travels

    OpenAIRE

    Chunhong Yang

    2015-01-01

    Critics pay little attention to fear of death in Gulliver’s Travels. This paper aims to deal with the issue with Freud’s theory. According to Freud, fear of death results in death drive. In Gulliver’s Travels, the episodes of the Struldbruggs and the Houyhnhnms reveal fear of death. In the episode of Struldbruggs, fear of death is illustrated through fear of abandonment and fear of loss. Fear of abandonment and fear of loss cause the Struldbruggs to long for physical death to end emotional de...

  13. Increased deficit of visual attention span with development in Chinese children with developmental dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jing; Liu, Menglian; Liu, Hanlong; Huang, Chen

    2018-02-16

    It has been suggested that orthographic transparency and age changes may affect the relationship between visual attention span (VAS) deficit and reading difficulty. The present study explored the developmental trend of VAS in children with developmental dyslexia (DD) in Chinese, a logographic language with a deep orthography. Fifty-seven Chinese children with DD and fifty-four age-matched normal readers participated. The visual 1-back task was adopted to examine VAS. Phonological and morphological awareness tests, and reading tests in single-character and sentence levels were used for reading skill measurements. Results showed that only high graders with dyslexia exhibited lower accuracy than the controls in the VAS task, revealing an increased VAS deficit with development in the dyslexics. Moreover, the developmental trajectory analyses demonstrated that the dyslexics seemed to exhibit an atypical but not delayed pattern in their VAS development as compared to the controls. A correlation analysis indicated that VAS was only associated with morphological awareness for dyslexic readers in high grades. Further regression analysis showed that VAS skills and morphological awareness made separate and significant contributions to single-character reading for high grader with dyslexia. These findings suggested a developmental increasing trend in the relationship between VAS skills and reading (dis)ability in Chinese.

  14. Attempting to "Increase Intake from the Input": Attention and Word Learning in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenenbaum, Elena J.; Amso, Dima; Righi, Giulia; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.

    2017-01-01

    Previous work has demonstrated that social attention is related to early language abilities. We explored whether we can facilitate word learning among children with autism by directing attention to areas of the scene that have been demonstrated as relevant for successful word learning. We tracked eye movements to faces and objects while children…

  15. Executive and Attentional Functions in Chronic Pain: Does Performance Decrease with Increasing Task Load?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joukje M Oosterman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Diminished executive function and attentional control has been reported in chronic pain patients. However, the precise pattern of impairment in these aspects of cognition in chronic pain remains unclear. Moreover, a decline in psychomotor speed could potentially influence executive and attentional control performance in pain patients.

  16. Bilingualism increases neural response consistency and attentional control: evidence for sensory and cognitive coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krizman, Jennifer; Skoe, Erika; Marian, Viorica; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Auditory processing is presumed to be influenced by cognitive processes - including attentional control - in a top-down manner. In bilinguals, activation of both languages during daily communication hones inhibitory skills, which subsequently bolster attentional control. We hypothesize that the heightened attentional demands of bilingual communication strengthens connections between cognitive (i.e., attentional control) and auditory processing, leading to greater across-trial consistency in the auditory evoked response (i.e., neural consistency) in bilinguals. To assess this, we collected passively-elicited auditory evoked responses to the syllable [da] in adolescent Spanish-English bilinguals and English monolinguals and separately obtained measures of attentional control and language ability. Bilinguals demonstrated enhanced attentional control and more consistent brainstem and cortical responses. In bilinguals, but not monolinguals, brainstem consistency tracked with language proficiency and attentional control. We interpret these enhancements in neural consistency as the outcome of strengthened attentional control that emerged from experience communicating in two languages. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Air traffic control activity increases attention capacity in air traffic controllers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribas, Valdenilson Ribeiro; Martins, Hugo André de Lima; Amorim, Gutemberg Guerra; Ribas, Renata de Melo Guerra; de Almeida, Cláudia Ângela Vilela; Ribas, Valéria Ribeiro; de Vasconcelos, Carlos Augusto Carvalho; Lima, Murilo Duarte Costa; Sougey, Everton Botelho; de Castro, Raul Manhães

    2010-01-01

    Air traffic controllers simultaneously develop complex and multiple tasks in the course of their activities. In this context, concern is raised over the high level of attention needed by these professionals which can ultimately be affected by stress and fatigue. The objective of this study was to assess attention level in air traffic controllers (ATCo). 45 flight protection professionals were evaluated, comprising 30 ATCo, subdivided into ATCo with ten or more years in the profession (ATCo≥10, n=15) and ATCo with less than ten years in the profession (ATCo air traffic control activity after ten years may be associated with a high level of attention.

  18. PTSD symptom severity is associated with increased recruitment of top-down attentional control in a trauma-exposed sample

    OpenAIRE

    White, Stuart F.; Costanzo, Michelle E.; Blair, James R.; Roy, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Recent neuroimaging work suggests that increased amygdala responses to emotional stimuli and dysfunction within regions mediating top down attentional control (dorsomedial frontal, lateral frontal and parietal cortices) may be associated with the emergence of anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This report examines amygdala responsiveness to emotional stimuli and the recruitment of top down attention systems as a function of task demands in a populat...

  19. Activation of corticotropin-releasing factor receptors from the basolateral or central amygdala increases the tonic immobility response in guinea pigs: an innate fear behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donatti, Alberto Ferreira; Leite-Panissi, Christie Ramos Andrade

    2011-11-20

    The tonic immobility (TI) behavior is an innate response associated with extreme threat situations such as a predator attack. Several studies have provided evidence suggesting an important role for corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the regulation of the endocrine system, defensive behaviors and behavioral responses to stress. TI has been shown to be positively correlated with the basal plasma levels of corticosterone. CRF receptors and neurons that are immunoreactive to CRF are found in many cerebral regions, especially in the amygdaloid complex. Previous reports have demonstrated the involvement of the basolateral amygdaloid (BLA) and central amygdaloid (CeA) nuclei in the TI response. In this study, we evaluated the CRF system of the BLA and the CeA in the modulation of the TI response in guinea pigs. The activation of CRF receptors in the BLA and in the CeA promoted an increase in the TI response. In contrast, the inhibition of these receptors via alpha-helical-CRF(9-41) decreased the duration of the TI response. Moreover, neither the activation nor inhibition of CRF receptors in the BLA or the CeA altered spontaneous motor activity in the open-field test. These data suggest that the activation of the CRF receptors in the BLA or the CeA probably potentiates fear and anxiety, which may be one of the factors that promote an increase in the TI behavior. Therefore, these data support the role of the CRF system in the control of emotional responses, particularly in the modulation of innate fear. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Food fears

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rumney, R.

    1988-01-01

    Radurisation can give a new lease of shelf life to food and cut down contamination, but it is bound to cause problems - even among comparatively tame South African consumers. In this article the facts about radurization are discussed: the labelling of irradiated products, the problem of making a bad product good by using irradiation, consumer pressure, attitudes, fears and resistance. The economics of radurised foodstuffs are also discussed

  1. Testing models of the attentional blink : Does masking increase processing duration in RSVP?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wyble, Brad; Sense, Florian; Nieuwenstein, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Theories of the attentional blink (AB) – an impairment in perceiving the second of two targets shown within less than 500 ms of each other – generally assume that this effect reflects the time required to consolidate the first target in memory. In this view, the fact that the AB is strongly

  2. Meditation increases the depth of information processing and improves the allocation of attention in space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara evan Leeuwen

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available During meditation, practitioners are required to center their attention on a specific object for extended periods of time. When their thoughts get diverted, they learn to quickly disengage from the distracter. We hypothesized that learning to respond to the dual demand of engaging attention on specific objects and disengaging quickly from distracters enhances the efficiency by which meditation practitioners can allocate attention. We tested this hypothesis in a global-to-local task while measuring electroencephalographic activity from a group of eight highly trained Buddhist monks and nuns and a group of eight age and education matched controls with no previous meditation experience. Specifically, we investigated the effect of attentional training on the global precedence effect, i.e., faster detection of targets on a global than on a local level. We expected to find a reduced global precedence effect in meditation practitioners but not in controls, reflecting that meditators can more quickly disengage their attention from the dominant global level. Analysis of reaction times confirmed this prediction. To investigate the underlying changes in brain activity and their time course, we analyzed event-related potentials. Meditators showed an enhanced ability to select the respective target level, as reflected by enhanced processing of target level information. In contrast with control group, which showed a local target selection effect only in the P1 and a global target selection effect in the P3 component, meditators showed effects of local information processing in the P1, N2 and P3 and of global processing for the N1, N2 and P3. Thus, meditators seem to display enhanced depth of processing. In addition, meditation altered the uptake of information such that meditators selected target level information earlier in the processing sequence than controls. In a longitudinal experiment, we could replicate the behavioral effects, suggesting that

  3. Subjective fear, interference by threat, and fear associations independently predict fear-related behavior in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Anke M; Kleinherenbrink, Annelies V; Simons, Carlijn; de Gier, Erwin; Klein, Steven; Allart, Esther; Bögels, Susan M; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2012-09-01

    Several information-processing models highlight the independent roles of controlled and automatic processes in explaining fearful behavior. Therefore, we investigated whether direct measures of controlled processes and indirect measures of automatic processes predict unique variance components of children's spider fear-related behavior. Seventy-seven children between 8 and 13 years performed an Affective Priming Task (APT) measuring associative bias, a pictorial version of the Emotional Stroop Task (EST) measuring attentional bias, filled out the Spider Anxiety and Disgust Screening for Children (SADS-C) in order to assess self-perceived fear, and took part in a Behavioral Assessment Test (BAT) to measure avoidance of spiders. The SADS-C, EST, and APT did not correlate with each other. Spider fear-related behavior was best explained by SADS-C, APT, and EST together; they explained 51% of the variance in BAT behavior. No children with clinical levels of spider phobia were tested. The direct and the different indirect measures did no correlate with each other. These results indicate that both direct and indirect measures are useful for predicting unique variance components of fear-related behavior in children. The lack of relations between direct and indirect measures may explain why some earlier studies did not find stronger color-naming interference or stronger fear associations in children with high levels of self-reported fear. It also suggests that children with high levels of spider-fearful behavior have different fear-related associations and display higher interference by spider stimuli than children with non-fearful behavior. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Methylphenidate enhances extinction of contextual fear

    OpenAIRE

    Abraham, Antony D.; Cunningham, Christopher L.; Lattal, K. Matthew

    2012-01-01

    Methylphenidate (MPH, Ritalin) is a norepinephrine and dopamine transporter blocker that is widely used in humans for treatment of attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. Although there is some evidence that targeted microinjections of MPH may enhance fear acquisition, little is known about the effect of MPH on fear extinction. Here, we show that MPH, administered before or immediately following extinction of contextual fear, will enhance extinction retention in C57BL/6 mice. Animals that ...

  5. Fear and decision-making in narcissistic personality disorder-a link between psychoanalysis and neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronningstam, Elsa; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R

    2013-06-01

    Linking psychoanalytic studies with neuroscience has proven increasingly productive for identifying and understanding personality functioning. This article focuses on pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), with the aim of exploring two clinically relevant aspects of narcissistic functioning also recognized in psychoanalysis: fear and decision-making. Evidence from neuroscientific studies of related conditions, such as psychopathy, suggests links between affective and cognitive functioning that can influence the sense of self-agency and narcissistic self-regulation. Attention can play a crucial role in moderating fear and self-regulatory deficits, and the interaction between experience and emotion can be central for decision-making. In this review we will explore fear as a motivating factor in narcissistic personality functioning, and the impact fear may have on decision-making in people with pathological narcissism and NPD. Understanding the processes and neurological underpinnings of fear and decision-making can potentially influence both the diagnosis and treatment of NPD.

  6. Fear and decision-making in narcissistic personality disorder—a link between psychoanalysis and neuroscience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronningstam, Elsa; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.

    2013-01-01

    Linking psychoanalytic studies with neuroscience has proven increasingly productive for identifying and understanding personality functioning. This article focuses on pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), with the aim of exploring two clinically relevant aspects of narcissistic functioning also recognized in psychoanalysis: fear and decision-making. Evidence from neuroscientific studies of related conditions, such as psychopathy, suggests links between affective and cognitive functioning that can influence the sense of self-agency and narcissistic self-regulation. Attention can play a crucial role in moderating fear and self-regulatory deficits, and the interaction between experience and emotion can be central for decision-making. In this review we will explore fear as a motivating factor in narcissistic personality functioning, and the impact fear may have on decision-making in people with pathological narcissism and NPD. Understanding the processes and neurological underpinnings of fear and decision-making can potentially influence both the diagnosis and treatment of NPD. PMID:24174893

  7. Attempting to "Increase Intake from the Input": Attention and Word Learning in Children with Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenenbaum, Elena J; Amso, Dima; Righi, Giulia; Sheinkopf, Stephen J

    2017-06-01

    Previous work has demonstrated that social attention is related to early language abilities. We explored whether we can facilitate word learning among children with autism by directing attention to areas of the scene that have been demonstrated as relevant for successful word learning. We tracked eye movements to faces and objects while children watched videos of a woman teaching them new words. Test trials measured participants' recognition of these novel word-object pairings. Results indicate that for children with autism and typically developing children, pointing to the speaker's mouth while labeling a novel object impaired performance, likely because it distracted participants from the target object. In contrast, for children with autism, holding the object close to the speaker's mouth improved performance.

  8. Functional ADA polymorphism increases sleep depth and reduces vigilant attention in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, Valérie; Klaus, Federica; Bodenmann, Sereina; Schäfer, Nikolaus; Brugger, Peter; Huber, Susanne; Berger, Wolfgang; Landolt, Hans-Peter

    2012-04-01

    Homeostatically regulated slow-wave oscillations in non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep may reflect synaptic changes across the sleep-wake continuum and the restorative function of sleep. The nonsynonymous c.22G>A polymorphism (rs73598374) of adenosine deaminase (ADA) reduces the conversion of adenosine to inosine and predicts baseline differences in sleep slow-wave oscillations. We hypothesized that this polymorphism affects cognitive functions, and investigated whether it modulates electroencephalogram (EEG), behavioral, subjective, and biochemical responses to sleep deprivation. Attention, learning, memory, and executive functioning were quantified in healthy adults. Right-handed carriers of the variant allele (G/A genotype, n = 29) performed worse on the d2 attention task than G/G homozygotes (n = 191). To test whether this difference reflects elevated homeostatic sleep pressure, sleep and sleep EEG before and after sleep deprivation were studied in 2 prospectively matched groups of G/A and G/G genotype subjects. Deep sleep and EEG 0.75- to 1.5-Hz oscillations in non-REM sleep were significantly higher in G/A than in G/G genotype. Moreover, attention and vigor were reduced, whereas waking EEG alpha activity (8.5-12 Hz), sleepiness, fatigue, and α-amylase in saliva were enhanced. These convergent data demonstrate that genetic reduction of ADA activity elevates sleep pressure and plays a key role in sleep and waking quality in humans.

  9. Methylphenidate Enhances Extinction of Contextual Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Antony D.; Cunningham, Christopher L.; Lattal, K. Matthew

    2012-01-01

    Methylphenidate (MPH, Ritalin) is a norepinephrine and dopamine transporter blocker that is widely used in humans for treatment of attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. Although there is some evidence that targeted microinjections of MPH may enhance fear acquisition, little is known about the effect of MPH on fear extinction. Here, we show…

  10. Visual working memory capacity increases between ages 3 and 8 years, controlling for gains in attention, perception, and executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pailian, Hrag; Libertus, Melissa E; Feigenson, Lisa; Halberda, Justin

    2016-08-01

    Research in adults has aimed to characterize constraints on the capacity of Visual Working Memory (VWM), in part because of the system's broader impacts throughout cognition. However, less is known about how VWM develops in childhood. Existing work has reached conflicting conclusions as to whether VWM storage capacity increases after infancy, and if so, when and by how much. One challenge is that previous studies did not control for developmental changes in attention and executive processing, which also may undergo improvement. We investigated the development of VWM storage capacity in children from 3 to 8 years of age, and in adults, while controlling for developmental change in exogenous and endogenous attention and executive control. Our results reveal that, when controlling for improvements in these abilities, VWM storage capacity increases across development and approaches adult-like levels between ages 6 and 8 years. More generally, this work highlights the value of estimating working memory, attention, perception, and decision-making components together.

  11. Increase or Decrease of fMRI Activity in Adult Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder: Does It Depend on Task Difficulty?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biehl, Stefanie C; Merz, Christian J; Dresler, Thomas; Heupel, Julia; Reichert, Susanne; Jacob, Christian P; Deckert, Jürgen; Herrmann, Martin J

    2016-05-27

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder has been shown to affect working memory, and fMRI studies in children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder report hypoactivation in task-related attentional networks. However, studies with adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients addressing this issue as well as the effects of clinically valid methylphenidate treatment are scarce. This study contributes to closing this gap. Thirty-five adult patients were randomized to 6 weeks of double-blind placebo or methylphenidate treatment. Patients completed an fMRI n-back working memory task both before and after the assigned treatment, and matched healthy controls were tested and compared to the untreated patients. There were no whole-brain differences between any of the groups. However, when specified regions of interest were investigated, the patient group showed enhanced BOLD responses in dorsal and ventral areas before treatment. This increase was correlated with performance across all participants and with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in the patient group. Furthermore, we found an effect of treatment in the right superior frontal gyrus, with methylphenidate-treated patients exhibiting increased activation, which was absent in the placebo-treated patients. Our results indicate distinct activation differences between untreated adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients and matched healthy controls during a working memory task. These differences might reflect compensatory efforts by the patients, who are performing at the same level as the healthy controls. We furthermore found a positive effect of methylphenidate on the activation of a frontal region of interest. These observations contribute to a more thorough understanding of adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and provide impulses for the evaluation of therapy-related changes. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf

  12. Increased Contextual Fear Conditioning in iNOS Knockout Mice: Additional Evidence for the Involvement of Nitric Oxide in Stress-Related Disorders and Contribution of the Endocannabinoid System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, Felipe V.; Silva, Andréia L.; Uliana, Daniela L.; Camargo, Laura H. A.; Guimarães, Francisco S.; Cunha, Fernando Q.; Joca, Sâmia R. L.; Resstel, Leonardo B. M.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Inducible or neuronal nitric oxide synthase gene deletion increases or decreases anxiety-like behavior in mice, respectively. Since nitric oxide and endocannabinoids interact to modulate defensive behavior, the former effect could involve a compensatory increase in basal brain nitric oxide synthase activity and/or changes in the endocannabinoid system. Thus, we investigated the expression and extinction of contextual fear conditioning of inducible nitric oxide knockout mice and possible involvement of endocannabinoids in these responses. Methods: We evaluated the effects of a preferential neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, 7-nitroindazol, nitric oxide synthase activity, and mRNA changes of nitrergic and endocannabinoid systems components in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of wild-type and knockout mice. The effects of URB597, an inhibitor of the fatty acid amide hydrolase enzyme, which metabolizes the endocannabinoid anandamide, WIN55,212-2, a nonselective cannabinoid agonist, and AM281, a selective CB1 antagonist, on contextual fear conditioning were also evaluated. Results: Contextual fear conditioning expression was similar in wild-type and knockout mice, but the latter presented extinction deficits and increased basal nitric oxide synthase activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. 7-Nitroindazol decreased fear expression and facilitated extinction in wild-type and knockout mice. URB597 decreased fear expression in wild-type and facilitated extinction in knockout mice, whereas WIN55,212-2 and AM281 increased it in wild-type mice. Nonconditioned knockout mice showed changes in the mRNA expression of nitrergic and endocannabinoid system components in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus that were modified by fear conditioning. Conclusion: These data reinforce the involvement of the nitric oxide and endocannabinoids (anandamide) in stress-related disorders and point to a deregulation of the endocannabinoid system in

  13. Using Activity Schedules to Increase On-Task Behavior in Children at Risk for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirelli, Christe A.; Sidener, Tina M.; Reeve, Kenneth F.; Reeve, Sharon A.

    2016-01-01

    The effects of activity schedules on on-task and on-schedule behavior were assessed with two boys at risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and referred by their public school teachers as having difficulty during independent work time. On-task behavior increased for both participants after two training sessions. Teachers, peers,…

  14. Blocking miRNA Biogenesis in Adult Forebrain Neurons Enhances Seizure Susceptibility, Fear Memory, and Food Intake by Increasing Neuronal Responsiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorenza, Anna; Lopez-Atalaya, Jose P; Rovira, Victor; Scandaglia, Marilyn; Geijo-Barrientos, Emilio; Barco, Angel

    2016-04-01

    The RNase Dicer is essential for the maturation of most microRNAs, a molecular system that plays an essential role in fine-tuning gene expression. To gain molecular insight into the role of Dicer and the microRNA system in brain function, we conducted 2 complementary RNA-seq screens in the hippocampus of inducible forebrain-restricted Dicer1 mutants aimed at identifying the microRNAs primarily affected by Dicer loss and their targets, respectively. Functional genomics analyses predicted the main biological processes and phenotypes associated with impaired microRNA maturation, including categories related to microRNA biology, signal transduction, seizures, and synaptic transmission and plasticity. Consistent with these predictions, we found that, soon after recombination, Dicer-deficient mice exhibited an exaggerated seizure response, enhanced induction of immediate early genes in response to different stimuli, stronger and more stable fear memory, hyperphagia, and increased excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons. In the long term, we also observed slow and progressive excitotoxic neurodegeneration. Overall, our results indicate that interfering with microRNA biogenesis causes an increase in neuronal responsiveness and disrupts homeostatic mechanisms that protect the neuron against overactivation, which may explain both the initial and late phenotypes associated with the loss of Dicer in excitatory neurons. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Immunization against social fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golkar, Armita; Olsson, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Social fear learning offers an efficient way to transmit information about potential threats; little is known, however, about the learning processes that counteract the social transmission of fear. In three separate experiments, we found that safety information transmitted from another individual (i.e., demonstrator) during preexposure prevented subsequent observational fear learning (Experiments 1-3), and this effect was maintained in a new context involving direct threat confrontation (Experiment 3). This protection from observational fear learning was specific to conditions in which information about both safety and danger was transmitted from the same demonstrator (Experiments 2-3) and was unaffected by increasing the number of the safety demonstrators (Experiment 3). Collectively, these findings demonstrate that observational preexposure can limit social transmission of fear. Future research is needed to better understand the conditions under which such effects generalize across individual demonstrators. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Experimentally induced chocolate craving leads to an attentional bias in increased distraction but not in speeded detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smeets, Elke; Roefs, Anne; Jansen, Anita

    2009-12-01

    In the present study, the causal influence of chocolate craving on attentional bias for chocolate-related information was examined by experimentally inducing chocolate craving in a sample of high trait chocolate cravers vs. low trait chocolate cravers. A sample of 35 high trait chocoholics and 33 low trait chocolate cravers were randomly assigned to either the exposure condition in which craving was manipulated or the non-exposure condition. To measure attentional bias, a pictorial version of the visual search paradigm [Smeets, E., Roefs, A., van Furth, E., & Jansen, A. (2008). Attentional bias for body and food in eating disorders: increased distraction, speeded detection, or both? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 46, 229-238] was used, assessing two components: distraction and detection. It was found that experimentally induced chocolate craving led to increased distraction by chocolate pictures in the high trait chocolate cravers, in comparison to the low trait chocolate cravers. Moreover, this measure of distraction correlated strongly with self-reported craving, but only in the chocoholics and in the exposure condition. In the non-exposure condition, high trait chocolate cravers showed speeded detection of chocolate pictures relative to non-chocoholics, but this component did not correlate with self-reported craving. It is concluded that experimentally induced craving for chocolate causes a bias in, specifically the increased distraction component of attention in high trait chocolate cravers.

  17. Altered visual strategies and attention are related to increased force fluctuations during a pinch grip task in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keenan, Kevin G; Huddleston, Wendy E; Ernest, Bradley E

    2017-11-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine the visual strategies used by older adults during a pinch grip task and to assess the relations between visual strategy, deficits in attention, and increased force fluctuations in older adults. Eye movements of 23 older adults (>65 yr) were monitored during a low-force pinch grip task while subjects viewed three common visual feedback displays. Performance on the Grooved Pegboard test and an attention task (which required no concurrent hand movements) was also measured. Visual strategies varied across subjects and depended on the type of visual feedback provided to the subjects. First, while viewing a high-gain compensatory feedback display (horizontal bar moving up and down with force), 9 of 23 older subjects adopted a strategy of performing saccades during the task, which resulted in 2.5 times greater force fluctuations in those that exhibited saccades compared with those who maintained fixation near the target line. Second, during pursuit feedback displays (force trace moving left to right across screen and up and down with force), all subjects exhibited multiple saccades, and increased force fluctuations were associated ( r s = 0.6; P = 0.002) with fewer saccades during the pursuit task. Also, decreased low-frequency (attention z scores. Comparison of these results with our previously published results in young subjects indicates that saccadic eye movements and attention are related to force control in older adults. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The significant contributions of the study are the addition of eye movement data and an attention task to explain differences in hand motor control across different visual displays in older adults. Older participants used different visual strategies across varying feedback displays, and saccadic eye movements were related with motor performance. In addition, those older individuals with deficits in attention had impaired motor performance on two different hand motor control tasks, including

  18. Fear of death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penson, Richard T; Partridge, Rosamund A; Shah, Muhammad A; Giansiracusa, David; Chabner, Bruce A; Lynch, Thomas J

    2005-02-01

    Shortly before his death in 1995, Kenneth B. Schwartz, a cancer patient at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) founded The Kenneth B. Schwartz Center at MGH. The Schwartz Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing compassionate health care delivery, which provides hope to the patient and support to caregivers and encourages the healing process. The center sponsors the Schwartz Center Rounds, a monthly multidisciplinary forum where caregivers reflect on important psychosocial issues faced by patients, their families, and their caregivers, and gain insight and support from fellow staff members. For many, cancer is synonymous with death. Fearing death is a rational response. For too long, medicine has ignored this primeval fear. Increasingly, clinicians recognize and address end-of-life issues, facing patients' and our own emotional vulnerabilities in order to connect and explore problems and fears. Listening and learning from the patient guides us as we acknowledge much of the mystery that still surrounds the dying process. Rarely is there a simple or right answer. An empathetic response to suffering patients is the best support. Support is vital in fostering the adjustment of patients. A silent presence may prove more helpful than well-meant counsel for many patients. Through an examination of eight caregiver narratives of their patients' experiences, the role of the health care provider in the dying process, particularly in regard to challenging fear, is reviewed.

  19. Neural correlates of fear: insights from neuroimaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garfinkel SN

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Sarah N Garfinkel,1,2 Hugo D Critchley1,2 1Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, 2Department of Psychiatry, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK Abstract: Fear anticipates a challenge to one's well-being and is a reaction to the risk of harm. The expression of fear in the individual is a constellation of physiological, behavioral, cognitive, and experiential responses. Fear indicates risk and will guide adaptive behavior, yet fear is also fundamental to the symptomatology of most psychiatric disorders. Neuroimaging studies of normal and abnormal fear in humans extend knowledge gained from animal experiments. Neuroimaging permits the empirical evaluation of theory (emotions as response tendencies, mental states, and valence and arousal dimensions, and improves our understanding of the mechanisms of how fear is controlled by both cognitive processes and bodily states. Within the human brain, fear engages a set of regions that include insula and anterior cingulate cortices, the amygdala, and dorsal brain-stem centers, such as periaqueductal gray matter. This same fear matrix is also implicated in attentional orienting, mental planning, interoceptive mapping, bodily feelings, novelty and motivational learning, behavioral prioritization, and the control of autonomic arousal. The stereotyped expression of fear can thus be viewed as a special construction from combinations of these processes. An important motivator for understanding neural fear mechanisms is the debilitating clinical expression of anxiety. Neuroimaging studies of anxiety patients highlight the role of learning and memory in pathological fear. Posttraumatic stress disorder is further distinguished by impairment in cognitive control and contextual memory. These processes ultimately need to be targeted for symptomatic recovery. Neuroscientific knowledge of fear has broader relevance to understanding human and societal behavior. As yet, only some of

  20. The strength of attentional biases reduces as visual short-term memory load increases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimi, A; Astle, D E

    2013-07-01

    Despite our visual system receiving irrelevant input that competes with task-relevant signals, we are able to pursue our perceptual goals. Attention enhances our visual processing by biasing the processing of the input that is relevant to the task at hand. The top-down signals enabling these biases are therefore important for regulating lower level sensory mechanisms. In three experiments, we examined whether we apply similar biases to successfully maintain information in visual short-term memory (VSTM). We presented participants with targets alongside distracters and we graded their perceptual similarity to vary the extent to which they competed. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that the more items held in VSTM before the onset of the distracters, the more perceptually distinct the distracters needed to be for participants to retain the target accurately. Experiment 3 extended these behavioral findings by demonstrating that the perceptual similarity between target and distracters exerted a significantly greater effect on occipital alpha amplitudes, depending on the number of items already held in VSTM. The trade-off between VSTM load and target-distracter competition suggests that VSTM and perceptual competition share a partially overlapping mechanism, namely top-down inputs into sensory areas.

  1. Enhanced discriminative fear learning of phobia-irrelevant stimuli in spider-fearful individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina eMosig

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Avoidance is considered as a central hallmark of all anxiety disorders. The acquisition and expression of avoidance which leads to the maintenance and exacerbation of pathological fear is closely linked to Pavlovian and operant conditioning processes. Changes in conditionability might represent a key feature of all anxiety disorders but the exact nature of these alterations might vary across different disorders. To date, no information is available on specific changes in conditionability for disorder-irrelevant stimuli in specific phobia (SP. The first aim of this study was to investigate changes in fear acquisition and extinction in spider-fearful individuals as compared to non-fearful participants by using the de novo fear conditioning paradigm. Secondly, we aimed to determine whether differences in the magnitude of context-dependent fear retrieval exist between spider-fearful and non-fearful individuals. Our findings point to an enhanced fear discrimination in spider-fearful individuals as compared to non-fearful individuals at both the physiological and subjective level. The enhanced fear discrimination in spider-fearful individuals was neither mediated by increased state anxiety, depression, nor stress tension. Spider-fearful individuals displayed no changes in extinction learning and/or fear retrieval. Surprisingly, we found no evidence for context-dependent modulation of fear retrieval in either group. Here we provide first evidence that spider-fearful individuals show an enhanced discriminative fear learning of phobia-irrelevant (de novo stimuli. Our findings provide novel insights into the role of fear acquisition and expression for the development and maintenance of maladaptive responses in the course of SP.

  2. Robot Faces that Follow Gaze Facilitate Attentional Engagement and Increase Their Likeability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willemse, Cesco; Marchesi, Serena; Wykowska, Agnieszka

    2018-01-01

    Gaze behavior of humanoid robots is an efficient mechanism for cueing our spatial orienting, but less is known about the cognitive–affective consequences of robots responding to human directional cues. Here, we examined how the extent to which a humanoid robot (iCub) avatar directed its gaze to the same objects as our participants affected engagement with the robot, subsequent gaze-cueing, and subjective ratings of the robot’s characteristic traits. In a gaze-contingent eyetracking task, participants were asked to indicate a preference for one of two objects with their gaze while an iCub avatar was presented between the object photographs. In one condition, the iCub then shifted its gaze toward the object chosen by a participant in 80% of the trials (joint condition) and in the other condition it looked at the opposite object 80% of the time (disjoint condition). Based on the literature in human–human social cognition, we took the speed with which the participants looked back at the robot as a measure of facilitated reorienting and robot-preference, and found these return saccade onset times to be quicker in the joint condition than in the disjoint condition. As indicated by results from a subsequent gaze-cueing tasks, the gaze-following behavior of the robot had little effect on how our participants responded to gaze cues. Nevertheless, subjective reports suggested that our participants preferred the iCub following participants’ gaze to the one with a disjoint attention behavior, rated it as more human-like and as more likeable. Taken together, our findings show a preference for robots who follow our gaze. Importantly, such subtle differences in gaze behavior are sufficient to influence our perception of humanoid agents, which clearly provides hints about the design of behavioral characteristics of humanoid robots in more naturalistic settings. PMID:29459842

  3. Robot Faces that Follow Gaze Facilitate Attentional Engagement and Increase Their Likeability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cesco Willemse

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Gaze behavior of humanoid robots is an efficient mechanism for cueing our spatial orienting, but less is known about the cognitive–affective consequences of robots responding to human directional cues. Here, we examined how the extent to which a humanoid robot (iCub avatar directed its gaze to the same objects as our participants affected engagement with the robot, subsequent gaze-cueing, and subjective ratings of the robot’s characteristic traits. In a gaze-contingent eyetracking task, participants were asked to indicate a preference for one of two objects with their gaze while an iCub avatar was presented between the object photographs. In one condition, the iCub then shifted its gaze toward the object chosen by a participant in 80% of the trials (joint condition and in the other condition it looked at the opposite object 80% of the time (disjoint condition. Based on the literature in human–human social cognition, we took the speed with which the participants looked back at the robot as a measure of facilitated reorienting and robot-preference, and found these return saccade onset times to be quicker in the joint condition than in the disjoint condition. As indicated by results from a subsequent gaze-cueing tasks, the gaze-following behavior of the robot had little effect on how our participants responded to gaze cues. Nevertheless, subjective reports suggested that our participants preferred the iCub following participants’ gaze to the one with a disjoint attention behavior, rated it as more human-like and as more likeable. Taken together, our findings show a preference for robots who follow our gaze. Importantly, such subtle differences in gaze behavior are sufficient to influence our perception of humanoid agents, which clearly provides hints about the design of behavioral characteristics of humanoid robots in more naturalistic settings.

  4. Increased gender variance in autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strang, John F; Kenworthy, Lauren; Dominska, Aleksandra; Sokoloff, Jennifer; Kenealy, Laura E; Berl, Madison; Walsh, Karin; Menvielle, Edgardo; Slesaransky-Poe, Graciela; Kim, Kyung-Eun; Luong-Tran, Caroline; Meagher, Haley; Wallace, Gregory L

    2014-11-01

    Evidence suggests over-representation of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and behavioral difficulties among people referred for gender issues, but rates of the wish to be the other gender (gender variance) among different neurodevelopmental disorders are unknown. This chart review study explored rates of gender variance as reported by parents on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) in children with different neurodevelopmental disorders: ASD (N = 147, 24 females and 123 males), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; N = 126, 38 females and 88 males), or a medical neurodevelopmental disorder (N = 116, 57 females and 59 males), were compared with two non-referred groups [control sample (N = 165, 61 females and 104 males) and non-referred participants in the CBCL standardization sample (N = 1,605, 754 females and 851 males)]. Significantly greater proportions of participants with ASD (5.4%) or ADHD (4.8%) had parent reported gender variance than in the combined medical group (1.7%) or non-referred comparison groups (0-0.7%). As compared to non-referred comparisons, participants with ASD were 7.59 times more likely to express gender variance; participants with ADHD were 6.64 times more likely to express gender variance. The medical neurodevelopmental disorder group did not differ from non-referred samples in likelihood to express gender variance. Gender variance was related to elevated emotional symptoms in ADHD, but not in ASD. After accounting for sex ratio differences between the neurodevelopmental disorder and non-referred comparison groups, gender variance occurred equally in females and males.

  5. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder increases the risk of having abnormal eating behaviours in obese adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Docet, M F; Larrañaga, A; Pérez Méndez, L F; García-Mayor, R V

    2012-06-01

    To determine the rate of abnormal eating behaviours in obese adult patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in comparison with obese adult patients without ADHD. This case-control study includes: obese adult patients defined by a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m², screening positive in the adult ADHD self-report scale-V1.1. (ASRS-V1.1), attending the Nutrition Section, as cases; and obese adult patients screening negative, as controls. Weight, height and BMI were determined in all the participants. The rate of abnormal eating behaviours was determined using an eating pattern questionnaire. Forty-five out of 51 (88.2%) cases vs 127 out of 179 (70.9%) controls had abnormal eating behaviours (p=0.01). Eating between-meal snacks was found in 39 (76.5%) cases vs 107 (59.8%) controls (p=0.03), going on binge eating episodes in 28 (54.9%) vs 42 (23.5%) (p=0.00), waking up at night to eat in 11 (21.6%) vs 16 (8.9%) (p=0.01), eating large amounts of food in 13 (25.5%) vs 38 (21.2%) (p=0.52), and eating in secret in 11 (21.6%) vs 16 (8.9%) (p=0.01), respectively. This is the first study that determines the rate of these abnormal eating behaviours in obese adult patients with ADHD in comparison with obese adult patients without ADHD. A high rate of abnormal eating behaviours was observed in obese patients with ADHD. Our results suggest that ADHD is a risk factor for the development of these abnormal eating behaviours, which may be contributing factors of obesity and the unsuccessful treatment of obese patients.

  6. Robot Faces that Follow Gaze Facilitate Attentional Engagement and Increase Their Likeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willemse, Cesco; Marchesi, Serena; Wykowska, Agnieszka

    2018-01-01

    Gaze behavior of humanoid robots is an efficient mechanism for cueing our spatial orienting, but less is known about the cognitive-affective consequences of robots responding to human directional cues. Here, we examined how the extent to which a humanoid robot (iCub) avatar directed its gaze to the same objects as our participants affected engagement with the robot, subsequent gaze-cueing, and subjective ratings of the robot's characteristic traits. In a gaze-contingent eyetracking task, participants were asked to indicate a preference for one of two objects with their gaze while an iCub avatar was presented between the object photographs. In one condition, the iCub then shifted its gaze toward the object chosen by a participant in 80% of the trials (joint condition) and in the other condition it looked at the opposite object 80% of the time (disjoint condition). Based on the literature in human-human social cognition, we took the speed with which the participants looked back at the robot as a measure of facilitated reorienting and robot-preference, and found these return saccade onset times to be quicker in the joint condition than in the disjoint condition. As indicated by results from a subsequent gaze-cueing tasks, the gaze-following behavior of the robot had little effect on how our participants responded to gaze cues. Nevertheless, subjective reports suggested that our participants preferred the iCub following participants' gaze to the one with a disjoint attention behavior, rated it as more human-like and as more likeable. Taken together, our findings show a preference for robots who follow our gaze. Importantly, such subtle differences in gaze behavior are sufficient to influence our perception of humanoid agents, which clearly provides hints about the design of behavioral characteristics of humanoid robots in more naturalistic settings.

  7. Increased Anterior Pelvic Angle Characterizes the Gait of Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naruse, Hiroaki; Fujisawa, Takashi X; Yatsuga, Chiho; Kubota, Masafumi; Matsuo, Hideaki; Takiguchi, Shinichiro; Shimada, Seiichiro; Imai, Yuto; Hiratani, Michio; Kosaka, Hirotaka; Tomoda, Akemi

    2017-01-01

    Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) frequently have motor problems. Previous studies have reported that the characteristic gait in children with ADHD is immature and that subjects demonstrate higher levels of variability in gait characteristics for the lower extremities than healthy controls. However, little is known about body movement during gait in children with ADHD. The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristic body movements associated with ADHD symptoms in children with ADHD. Using a three-dimensional motion analysis system, we compared gait variables in boys with ADHD (n = 19; mean age, 9.58 years) and boys with typical development (TD) (n = 21; mean age, 10.71 years) to determine the specific gait characteristics related to ADHD symptoms. We assessed spatiotemporal gait variables (i.e. speed, stride length, and cadence), and kinematic gait variables (i.e. angle of pelvis, hip, knee, and ankle) to measure body movement when walking at a self-selected pace. In comparison with the TD group, the ADHD group demonstrated significantly higher values in cadence (t = 3.33, p = 0.002) and anterior pelvic angle (t = 3.08, p = 0.004). In multiple regression analysis, anterior pelvic angle was associated with the ADHD rating scale hyperactive/impulsive scores (β = 0.62, t = 2.58, p = 0.025), but not other psychiatric symptoms in the ADHD group. Our results suggest that anterior pelvic angle represents a specific gait variable related to ADHD symptoms. Our kinematic findings could have potential implications for evaluating the body movement in boys with ADHD.

  8. Increased attentiveness is associated with hemispheric asymmetry measured with lateral tympanic membrane temperature in humans and dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helton, William S; Maginnity, Michelle

    2012-06-01

    In this study, we examined the relationship between a measure of cerebral lateralization--differences in tympanic temperature (T(Ty))--and questionnaire measures of inattentiveness and hyperactivity in both people and dogs. Theories of cerebral lateralization indicate that cerebral asymmetry may improve attentive behaviour. In people, greater left than right T(Ty) was related to increased self-reports of inattentiveness. There was no relationship between lateralized T(Ty) and hyperactivity. In dogs, there was quadratic relationship between lateralized T(Ty) and handler reports of inattentiveness. Increased T(Ty) asymmetry, regardless of direction, was related to more attentiveness. There was no discernable relationship between hyperactivity and lateralized T(Ty). Differences in T(Ty) may be an useful tool for investigating species comparisons of cerebral lateralization.

  9. Increased Executive Functioning, Attention, and Cortical Thickness in White-Collar Criminals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, Adrian; Laufer, William S.; Yang, Yaling; Narr, Katherine L.; Thompson, Paul; Toga, Arthur W.

    2011-01-01

    Very little is known on white collar crime and how it differs to other forms of offending. This study tests the hypothesis that white collar criminals have better executive functioning, enhanced information processing, and structural brain superiorities compared to offender controls. Using a case-control design, executive functioning, orienting, and cortical thickness was assessed in 21 white collar criminals matched with 21 controls on age, gender, ethnicity, and general level of criminal offending. White collar criminals had significantly better executive functioning, increased electrodermal orienting, increased arousal, and increased cortical gray matter thickness in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, somatosensory cortex, and the temporal-parietal junction compared to controls. Results, while initial, constitute the first findings on neurobiological characteristics of white-collar criminals It is hypothesized that white collar criminals have information-processing and brain superiorities that give them an advantage in perpetrating criminal offenses in occupational settings. PMID:22002326

  10. Contingency learning in human fear conditioning involves the ventral striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klucken, Tim; Tabbert, Katharina; Schweckendiek, Jan; Merz, Christian Josef; Kagerer, Sabine; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf

    2009-11-01

    The ability to detect and learn contingencies between fearful stimuli and their predictive cues is an important capacity to cope with the environment. Contingency awareness refers to the ability to verbalize the relationships between conditioned and unconditioned stimuli. Although there is a heated debate about the influence of contingency awareness on conditioned fear responses, neural correlates behind the formation process of contingency awareness have gained only little attention in human fear conditioning. Recent animal studies indicate that the ventral striatum (VS) could be involved in this process, but in human studies the VS is mostly associated with positive emotions. To examine this question, we reanalyzed four recently published classical fear conditioning studies (n = 117) with respect to the VS at three distinct levels of contingency awareness: subjects, who did not learn the contingencies (unaware), subjects, who learned the contingencies during the experiment (learned aware) and subjects, who were informed about the contingencies in advance (instructed aware). The results showed significantly increased activations in the left and right VS in learned aware compared to unaware subjects. Interestingly, this activation pattern was only found in learned but not in instructed aware subjects. We assume that the VS is not involved when contingency awareness does not develop during conditioning or when contingency awareness is unambiguously induced already prior to conditioning. VS involvement seems to be important for the transition from a contingency unaware to a contingency aware state. Implications for fear conditioning models as well as for the contingency awareness debate are discussed.

  11. Does Watching the News Affect Fear of Terrorism? The Importance of Media Exposure on Terrorism Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nellis, Ashley Marie; Savage, Joanne

    2012-01-01

    Several authors have proposed that media hype elevates perceptions of risk and fear of crime. Research suggests that fear of crime is related to the overall amount of media consumption, resonance of news reports, how much attention the individual pays to the news, and how credible he or she believes it to be. The present study examines whether the…

  12. The roles of superficial amygdala and auditory cortex in music-evoked fear and joy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koelsch, Stefan; Skouras, Stavros; Fritz, Thomas; Herrera, Perfecto; Bonhage, Corinna; Küssner, Mats B; Jacobs, Arthur M

    2013-11-01

    This study investigates neural correlates of music-evoked fear and joy with fMRI. Studies on neural correlates of music-evoked fear are scant, and there are only a few studies on neural correlates of joy in general. Eighteen individuals listened to excerpts of fear-evoking, joy-evoking, as well as neutral music and rated their own emotional state in terms of valence, arousal, fear, and joy. Results show that BOLD signal intensity increased during joy, and decreased during fear (compared to the neutral condition) in bilateral auditory cortex (AC) and bilateral superficial amygdala (SF). In the right primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b) BOLD signals increased during exposure to fear-evoking music. While emotion-specific activity in AC increased with increasing duration of each trial, SF responded phasically in the beginning of the stimulus, and then SF activity declined. Psychophysiological Interaction (PPI) analysis revealed extensive emotion-specific functional connectivity of AC with insula, cingulate cortex, as well as with visual, and parietal attentional structures. These findings show that the auditory cortex functions as a central hub of an affective-attentional network that is more extensive than previously believed. PPI analyses also showed functional connectivity of SF with AC during the joy condition, taken to reflect that SF is sensitive to social signals with positive valence. During fear music, SF showed functional connectivity with visual cortex and area 7 of the superior parietal lobule, taken to reflect increased visual alertness and an involuntary shift of attention during the perception of auditory signals of danger. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Repeated stressor exposure enhances contextual fear memory in a beta-adrenergic receptor-dependent process and increases impulsivity in a non-beta receptor-dependent fashion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Robert M; Johnson, John D

    2015-10-15

    Memory formation is promoted by stress via the release of norepinephrine and stimulation of beta-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs). Previous data demonstrate that repeated stressor exposure increases norepinephrine turnover and β-AR signaling within the amygdala, which led to the hypothesis that some stress-induced behavioral changes are likely due to facilitated associative learning. To test this, Fischer rats were exposed to chronic mild stress for four days. On day 5, subjects (including non-stressed controls) were injected with the beta-blocker propranolol or vehicle prior to conditioning in an operant box (animals receive two mild foot shocks) or passive avoidance apparatus (animals received a foot shock upon entry into the dark chamber). Twenty-four hours later, subjects were returned to the operant box for measurement of freezing or returned to the passive avoidance apparatus for measurement of latency to enter the dark chamber. Subjects were also tested in an open field to assess context-independent anxiety-like behavior. Animals exposed to chronic stress showed significantly more freezing behavior in the operant box than did controls, and this exaggerated freezing was blocked by propranolol during the conditioning trial. There was no effect of stress on behavior in the open field. Unexpectedly, retention latency was significantly reduced in subjects exposed to chronic stress. These results indicate that chronic exposure to stress results in complex behavioral changes. While repeated stress appears to enhance the formation of fearful memories, it also results in behavioral responses that resemble impulsive behaviors that result in poor decision-making. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The interplay of attention and emotion: top-down attention modulates amygdala activation in psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Christine L; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Stout, Daniel M; Balderston, Nicholas L; Curtin, John J; Schultz, Douglas H; Kiehl, Kent A; Newman, Joseph P

    2013-12-01

    Psychopathic behavior has long been attributed to a fundamental deficit in fear that arises from impaired amygdala function. Growing evidence has demonstrated that fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and other psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by focus of attention, but to date, no work on adult psychopathy has examined attentional modulation of the amygdala or concomitant recruitment of relevant attention-related circuitry. Consistent with previous FPS findings, here we report that psychopathy-related differences in amygdala activation appear and disappear as a function of goal-directed attention. Specifically, decreased amygdala activity was observed in psychopathic offenders only when attention was engaged in an alternative goal-relevant task prior to presenting threat-relevant information. Under this condition, psychopaths also exhibited greater activation in selective-attention regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) than did nonpsychopaths, and this increased LPFC activation mediated psychopathy's association with decreased amygdala activation. In contrast, when explicitly attending to threat, amygdala activation did not differ in psychopaths and nonpsychopaths. This pattern of amygdala activation highlights the potential role of LPFC in mediating the failure of psychopathic individuals to process fear and other important information when it is peripheral to the primary focus of goal-directed attention.

  15. A few of my favorite things: circumscribed interests in autism are not accompanied by increased attentional salience on a personalized selective attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Owen E; Bayliss, Andrew P; Remington, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Autistic individuals commonly show circumscribed or "special" interests: areas of obsessive interest in a specific category. The present study investigated what impact these interests have on attention, an aspect of autistic cognition often reported as altered. In neurotypical individuals, interest and expertise have been shown to result in an automatic attentional priority for related items. Here, we examine whether this change in salience is also seen in autism. Adolescents and young adults with and without autism performed a personalized selective attention task assessing the level of attentional priority afforded to images related to the participant's specific interests. In addition, participants performed a similar task with generic images in order to isolate any effects of interest and expertise. Crucially, all autistic and non-autistic individuals recruited for this study held a strong passion or interest. As such, any differences in attention could not be solely attributed to differing prevalence of interests in the two groups. In both tasks, participants were asked to perform a central target-detection task while ignoring irrelevant distractors (related or unrelated to their interests). The level of distractor interference under various task conditions was taken as an indication of attentional priority. Neurotypical individuals showed the predicted attentional priority for the circumscribed interest images but not generic items, reflecting the impact of their interest and expertise. Contrary to predictions, autistic individuals did not show this priority: processing the interest-related stimuli only when task demands were low. Attention to images unrelated to circumscribed interests was equivalent in the two groups. These results suggest that despite autistic individuals holding an intense interest in a particular class of stimuli, there may be a reduced impact of this prior experience and expertise on attentional processing. The implications of this

  16. Hippocampal Structural Plasticity Accompanies the Resulting Contextual Fear Memory Following Stress and Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giachero, Marcelo; Calfa, Gaston D.; Molina, Victor A.

    2013-01-01

    The present research investigated the resulting contextual fear memory and structural plasticity changes in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) following stress and fear conditioning. This combination enhanced fear retention and increased the number of total and mature dendritic spines in DH. Intra-basolateral amygdala (BLA) infusion of midazolam prior to…

  17. Testosterone may increase selective attention to threat in young male macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacreuse, Agnès; King, Hanna M; Kurdziel, Laura B; Partan, Sarah R; Caldwell, Kaelyn M; Chiavetta, Margaret R; Millette, Matthew M; Meyer, Jerrold S; Grow, Daniel R

    2010-11-01

    Animal studies indicate that sex hormones have widespread effects on the brain, cognition and emotion, but findings in humans are inconsistent. Well-controlled studies in nonhuman primates are crucial to resolve these discrepancies. In this study, we examined the effects of testosterone (T) on emotion in male rhesus monkeys. Six young adult males were tested on two emotional tasks during three hormonal conditions in a crossover design: when intact at baseline and when pharmacologically hypogonadal with add-back of T or placebo. The emotional tasks were the Approach-Avoidance task, which tested behavioral responses to three categories of objects (familiar, novel, and negative) and a Social Playback task which tested behavioral responses to scenes of unfamiliar conspecifics engaged in three types of social activities (neutral, positive, or negative). Following a 4-week baseline period, monkeys were treated with Depot Lupron, 200μg/kg before being randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: Depot Lupron+Testosterone Enanthate (TE, 20mg/kg) or Depot Lupron+oil vehicle. In each treatment group, monkeys received one injection of Lupron and one injection of TE or one injection of Lupron and one injection of oil at the onset of a 4-week testing period, before crossing over to the alternate treatment for an additional 4weeks of testing. TE treatment had no effect on behavioral measures in the Approach-Avoidance task. For the Social Playback task, however, TE significantly increased watching time of video clips which depicted fights between unfamiliar conspecifics. The enhancing effect of T on watching time for negative social scenes is consistent with human data suggesting that T decreases aversion or facilitates approach to threatening social stimuli. Further studies are needed to understand the mechanisms by which T may mediate responsiveness to social threat in male primates. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Falls, a fear of falling and related factors in older adults with complex chronic disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, JuHee; Choi, MoonKi; Kim, Chang Oh

    2017-12-01

    To identify factors influencing falls and the fear of falling among older adults with chronic diseases in Korea. The fear of falling and falls in older adults are significant health problems towards which healthcare providers should direct their attention. Further investigation is needed to improve nursing practice specifically decreasing risk of falls and the fear of falling in Korea. Descriptive, cross-sectional survey. A convenience sample of 108 patients was recruited at the geriatric outpatient department of a tertiary hospital in Seoul, Korea. Demographic characteristics, comorbidities, medication use, fall history, level of physical activity, activities of daily living, mobility, muscle strength, and a fear of falling were investigated. Student's t tests, chi-square tests and multiple linear regressions were used in statistical analysis. Thirty-six participants (33.3%) among 108 subjects reported experiencing ≥1 falls in the past year. Marital status and the use of antipsychotics were associated with falls, while other factors were not significantly related to falls. Only benign prostatic hypertrophy and polypharmacy were significantly related to the fear of falling in the analysis of the relationships between chronic disease, medication use and fear of falling. In the regression model, the number of comorbidities, level of physical activity, activities of daily living and mobility were predictors of a fear of falling. Medication use was marginally significant, in the model. Increasing physical activity, functional fitness and physical independence is important to decrease the fear of falling, and to encourage active and healthy lives in older adults. The findings from this study provide evidence for the development of nursing interventions for older adults. We recommend early screening for a fear of falling and nursing interventions to decrease the fear of falling through enhancing physical activity level and function. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Age-related deficits in selective attention during encoding increase demands on episodic reconstruction during context retrieval: An ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Taylor; Strunk, Jonathan; Arndt, Jason; Duarte, Audrey

    2016-06-01

    Previous event-related potential (ERP) and neuroimaging evidence suggests that directing attention toward single item-context associations compared to intra-item features at encoding improves context memory performance and reduces demands on strategic retrieval operations in young and older adults. In everyday situations, however, there are multiple event features competing for our attention. It is not currently known how selectively attending to one contextual feature while attempting to ignore another influences context memory performance and the processes that support successful retrieval in the young and old. We investigated this issue in the current ERP study. Young and older participants studied pictures of objects in the presence of two contextual features: a color and a scene, and their attention was directed to the object's relationship with one of those contexts. Participants made context memory decisions for both attended and unattended contexts and rated their confidence in those decisions. Behavioral results showed that while both groups were generally successful in applying selective attention during context encoding, older adults were less confident in their context memory decisions for attended features and showed greater dependence in context memory accuracy for attended and unattended contextual features (i.e., hyper-binding). ERP results were largely consistent between age groups but older adults showed a more pronounced late posterior negativity (LPN) implicated in episodic reconstruction processes. We conclude that age-related suppression deficits during encoding result in reduced selectivity in context memory, thereby increasing subsequent demands on episodic reconstruction processes when sought after details are not readily retrieved. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Testing a cue outside the training context increases attention to the contexts and impairs performance in human predictive learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aristizabal, José A; Ramos-Álvarez, Manuel M; Callejas-Aguilera, José E; Rosas, Juan M

    2017-12-01

    One experiment in human predictive learning explored the impact of a context change on attention to contexts and predictive ratings controlled by the cue. In Context A: cue X was paired with an outcome four times, while cue Y was presented without an outcome four times in Context B:. In both contexts filler cues were presented without the outcome. During the test, target cues X and Y were presented either in the context where they were trained, or in the alternative context. With the context change expectation of the outcome X, expressed as predictive ratings, decreased in the presence of X and increased in the presence of Y. Looking at the contexts, expressed as a percentage of the overall gaze dwell time on a trial, was high across the four training trials, and increased with the context change. Results suggest that the presentation of unexpected information leads to increases in attention to contextual cues. Implications for contextual control of behavior are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Fear-related pictures deteriorate the performance of university students with high fear of snakes or spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okon-Singer, Hadas; Alyagon, Uri; Kofman, Ora; Tzelgov, Joseph; Henik, Avishai

    2011-03-01

    Despite research regarding emotional processing, it is still unclear whether fear-evoking stimuli are processed when they are irrelevant and when attention is oriented elsewhere. In this study, 63 healthy university students with high fear from snakes or spiders participated in two different experiments. In an emotional modification of the spatial cueing task, 31 subjects (5 males) were asked to detect a target letter while ignoring a neutral or fear-related distracting picture. The distribution of attention was independently manipulated by a spatial cue that preceded the appearance of the picture and the target letter. In an emotional modification of the cognitive load paradigm, 32 subjects (4 males) were asked to discriminate between two target letters, while ignoring a central neutral or fear-related picture, and additional 1, 3, or 5 distracting letters that created a varied attentional load. Fear-related pictures interfered with the performance of highly fearful participants, even when the pictures were presented outside the focus of attention and when the task taxed attentional resources. We suggest that highly fearful individuals process fear-related information automatically, either inattentively or with prioritized attention capture over competing items, leading to deteriorated cognitive performance. Different results were shown in healthy individuals while processing negative--but not phobic--pictures, suggesting that emotional processing depends on the fear value of the stimulus for a specific observer.

  2. Hippocampal structural plasticity accompanies the resulting contextual fear memory following stress and fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giachero, Marcelo; Calfa, Gaston D; Molina, Victor A

    2013-10-15

    The present research investigated the resulting contextual fear memory and structural plasticity changes in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) following stress and fear conditioning. This combination enhanced fear retention and increased the number of total and mature dendritic spines in DH. Intra-basolateral amygdala (BLA) infusion of midazolam prior to stress prevented both the enhancement of fear retention and an increase in the density of total and mature dendritic spines in DH. These findings emphasize the role of the stress-induced attenuation of GABAergic neurotransmission in BLA in the promoting influence of stress on fear memory and on synaptic remodeling in DH. In conclusion, the structural remodeling in DH accompanied the facilitated fear memory following a combination of fear conditioning and stressful stimulation.

  3. Behavioral and neural evidence of increased attention to the bottom half of the face in deaf signers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Teresa V.; Letourneau, Susan M.; Maslin, Melissa T.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose This study examined the effects of deafness and sign language use on the distribution of attention across the top and bottom halves of faces. Methods In a composite face task, congenitally deaf signers and typically hearing controls made same/different judgments of the top or bottom halves of faces presented with the halves aligned or spatially misaligned, while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. Results Both groups were more accurate when judging misaligned than aligned faces, which indicates holistic face processing. Misalignment affected all ERP components examined, with effects on the N170 resembling those of face inversion. Hearing adults were similarly accurate when judging the top and bottom halves of the faces, but deaf signers were more accurate when attending to the bottom than the top. Attending to the top elicited faster P1 and N170 latencies for both groups; within the deaf group, this effect was greatest for individuals who produced the highest accuracies when attending to the top. Conclusions These findings dovetail with previous research by providing behavioral and neural evidence of increased attention to the bottom half of the face in deaf signers, and by documenting that these effects generalize to a speeded task, in the absence of gaze shifts, with neutral facial expressions. PMID:23142816

  4. Memory suppression trades prolonged fear and sleep-dependent fear plasticity for the avoidance of current fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuriyama, Kenichi; Honma, Motoyasu; Yoshiike, Takuya; Kim, Yoshiharu

    2013-07-01

    Sleep deprivation immediately following an aversive event reduces fear by preventing memory consolidation during homeostatic sleep. This suggests that acute insomnia might act prophylactically against the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even though it is also a possible risk factor for PTSD. We examined total sleep deprivation and memory suppression to evaluate the effects of these interventions on subsequent aversive memory formation and fear conditioning. Active suppression of aversive memory impaired retention of event memory. However, although the remembered fear was more reduced in sleep-deprived than sleep-control subjects, suppressed fear increased, and seemed to abandon the sleep-dependent plasticity of fear. Active memory suppression, which provides a psychological model for Freud's ego defense mechanism, enhances fear and casts doubt on the potential of acute insomnia as a prophylactic measure against PTSD. Our findings bring into question the role of sleep in aversive-memory consolidation in clinical PTSD pathophysiology.

  5. The cost of fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2011-01-01

    What should parents do when they detect indications of more predators nearby that might eat their babies? This scenario is commonly faced by parents in the wild, and the consequences are important. The number of offspring that organisms produce has a major influence on fitness and, when averaged across a population, affects whether this population will increase or decrease. Offspring production thus has critical implications for evolution via fitness, and ecology and conservation via demography. On page 1398 of this issue, Zanette et al. (1) show that the fear of predation can, by itself, strongly affect the number of offspring produced over an annual cycle by song sparrows (see the figure).

  6. PTSD symptom severity is associated with increased recruitment of top-down attentional control in a trauma-exposed sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Stuart F; Costanzo, Michelle E; Blair, James R; Roy, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging work suggests that increased amygdala responses to emotional stimuli and dysfunction within regions mediating top down attentional control (dorsomedial frontal, lateral frontal and parietal cortices) may be associated with the emergence of anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This report examines amygdala responsiveness to emotional stimuli and the recruitment of top down attention systems as a function of task demands in a population of U.S. military service members who had recently returned from combat deployment in Afghanistan/Iraq. Given current interest in dimensional aspects of pathophysiology, it is worthwhile examining patients who, while not meeting full PTSD criteria, show clinically significant functional impairment. Fifty-seven participants with sub-threshold levels of PTSD symptoms completed the affective Stroop task while undergoing fMRI. Participants with PTSD or depression at baseline were excluded. Greater PTSD symptom severity scores were associated with increased amygdala activation to emotional, particularly positive, stimuli relative to neutral stimuli. Furthermore, greater PTSD symptom severity was associated with increased superior/middle frontal cortex response during task conditions relative to passive viewing conditions. In addition, greater PTSD symptom severity scores were associated with: (i) increased activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal, lateral frontal, inferior parietal cortices and dorsomedial frontal cortex/dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dmFC/dACC) in response to emotional relative to neutral stimuli; and (ii) increased functional connectivity during emotional trials, particularly positive trials, relative to neutral trials between the right amygdala and dmFC/dACC, left caudate/anterior insula cortex, right lentiform nucleus/caudate, bilateral inferior parietal cortex and left middle temporal cortex. We suggest that these data may reflect two phenomena associated with

  7. The advances of fear

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farouki, N.

    2001-01-01

    This book treats of four sensible topics of the last decade - the nuclear industry, the cloning, Internet and the greenhouse effect - in order to analyze the irrational or organized fears among the public: what do we fear and why? How this fear is shown? Which questions need to be answered and how? (J.S.)

  8. A climate of fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garner, Tom Alexander; Grimshaw, Mark Nicholas

    2011-01-01

    This paper proposes a framework that incorporates fear, acoustics, thought processing and digital game sound theory; with the potential to not only improve understanding of our relationship with fear, but also generate a foundation for reliable and significant manipulation of the fear experience....

  9. Facilitated orienting underlies fearful face-enhanced gaze cueing of spatial location

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M. Carlson

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Faces provide a platform for non-verbal communication through emotional expression and eye gaze. Fearful facial expressions are salient indicators of potential threat within the environment, which automatically capture observers’ attention. However, the degree to which fearful facial expressions facilitate attention to others’ gaze is unresolved. Given that fearful gaze indicates the location of potential threat, it was hypothesized that fearful gaze facilitates location processing. To test this hypothesis, a gaze cueing study with fearful and neutral faces assessing target localization was conducted. The task consisted of leftward, rightward, and forward/straight gaze trials. The inclusion of forward gaze trials allowed for the isolation of orienting and disengagement components of gaze-directed attention. The results suggest that both neutral and fearful gaze modulates attention through orienting and disengagement components. Fearful gaze, however, resulted in quicker orienting than neutral gaze. Thus, fearful faces enhance gaze cueing of spatial location through facilitated orienting.

  10. Stimulus fear-relevance and the vicarious learning pathway to childhood fears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askew, Chris; Dunne, Güler; Özdil, Zehra; Reynolds, Gemma; Field, Andy P

    2013-10-01

    Enhanced fear learning for fear-relevant stimuli has been demonstrated in procedures with adults in the laboratory. Three experiments investigated the effect of stimulus fear-relevance on vicarious fear learning in children (aged 6-11 years). Pictures of stimuli with different levels of fear-relevance (flowers, caterpillars, snakes, worms, and Australian marsupials) were presented alone or together with scared faces. In line with previous studies, children's fear beliefs and avoidance preferences increased for stimuli they had seen with scared faces. However, in contrast to evidence with adults, learning was mostly similar for all stimulus types irrespective of fear-relevance. The results support a proposal that stimulus preparedness is bypassed when children observationally learn threat-related information from adults.

  11. PTSD symptom severity is associated with increased recruitment of top-down attentional control in a trauma-exposed sample

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart F. White

    2015-01-01

    Conclusions: We suggest that these data may reflect two phenomena associated with increased PTSD symptomatology in combat-exposed, but PTSD negative, armed services members. First, these data indicate increased emotional responsiveness by: (i the positive relationship between PTSD symptom severity and amygdala responsiveness to emotional relative to neutral stimuli; (ii greater BOLD response as a function of PTSD symptom severity in regions implicated in emotion (striatum and representation (occipital and temporal cortices during emotional relative to neutral conditions; and (iii increased connectivity between the amygdala and regions implicated in emotion (insula/caudate and representation (middle temporal cortex as a function of PTSD symptom severity during emotional relative to neutral trials. Second, these data indicate a greater need for the recruitment of regions implicated in top down attention as indicated by (i greater BOLD response in superior/middle frontal gyrus as a function of PTSD symptom severity in task relative to view conditions; (ii greater BOLD response in dmFC/dACC, lateral frontal and inferior parietal cortices as a function of PTSD symptom severity in emotional relative to neutral conditions and (iii greater functional connectivity between the amygdala and inferior parietal cortex as a function of PTSD symptom severity during emotional relative to neutral conditions.

  12. Cognitive-behavioural therapy-based intervention to reduce fear of falling in older people: therapy development and randomised controlled trial - the Strategies for Increasing Independence, Confidence and Energy (STRIDE) study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parry, Steve W; Bamford, Claire; Deary, Vincent; Finch, Tracy L; Gray, Jo; MacDonald, Claire; McMeekin, Peter; Sabin, Neil J; Steen, I Nick; Whitney, Sue L; McColl, Elaine M

    2016-07-01

    Falls cause fear, anxiety and loss of confidence, resulting in activity avoidance, social isolation and increasing frailty. The umbrella term for these problems is 'fear of falling', seen in up to 85% of older adults who fall. Evidence of effectiveness of physical and psychological interventions is limited, with no previous studies examining the role of an individually delivered cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) approach. Primary objective To develop and then determine the effectiveness of a new CBT intervention (CBTi) delivered by health-care assistants (HCAs) plus usual care compared with usual care alone in reducing fear of falling. Secondary objectives To measure the impact of the intervention on falls, injuries, functional abilities, anxiety/depression, quality of life, social participation and loneliness; investigate the acceptability of the intervention for patients, family members and professionals and factors that promote or inhibit its implementation; and measure the costs and benefits of the intervention. Phase I CBTi development. Phase II Parallel-group patient randomised controlled trial (RCT) of the new CBTi plus usual care compared with usual care alone. Multidisciplinary falls services. Consecutive community-dwelling older adults, both sexes, aged ≥ 60 years, with excessive or undue fear of falling per Falls Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I) score of > 23. Phase I Development of the CBTi. The CBTi was developed following patient interviews and taught to HCAs to maximise the potential for uptake and generalisability to a UK NHS setting. Phase II RCT. The CBTi was delivered by HCAs weekly for 8 weeks, with a 6-month booster session plus usual care. These were assessed at baseline, 8 weeks, 6 months and 12 months. Primary outcome measure Fear of falling measured by change in FES-I scores at 12 months. Secondary outcome measures These comprised falls, injuries, anxiety/depression [Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS

  13. Stimulus fear relevance and the speed, magnitude, and robustness of vicariously learned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Güler; Reynolds, Gemma; Askew, Chris

    2017-08-01

    Superior learning for fear-relevant stimuli is typically indicated in the laboratory by faster acquisition of fear responses, greater learned fear, and enhanced resistance to extinction. Three experiments investigated the speed, magnitude, and robustness of UK children's (6-10 years; N = 290; 122 boys, 168 girls) vicariously learned fear responses for three types of stimuli. In two experiments, children were presented with pictures of novel animals (Australian marsupials) and flowers (fear-irrelevant stimuli) alone (control) or together with faces expressing fear or happiness. To determine learning speed the number of stimulus-face pairings seen by children was varied (1, 10, or 30 trials). Robustness of learning was examined via repeated extinction procedures over 3 weeks. A third experiment compared the magnitude and robustness of vicarious fear learning for snakes and marsupials. Significant increases in fear responses were found for snakes, marsupials and flowers. There was no indication that vicarious learning for marsupials was faster than for flowers. Moreover, vicariously learned fear was neither greater nor more robust for snakes compared to marsupials, or for marsupials compared to flowers. These findings suggest that for this age group stimulus fear relevance may have little influence on vicarious fear learning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Remembering the object you fear: brain potentials during recognition of spiders in spider-fearful individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalowski, Jaroslaw M; Weymar, Mathias; Hamm, Alfons O

    2014-01-01

    In the present study we investigated long-term memory for unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures in 15 spider-fearful and 15 non-fearful control individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. During the initial (incidental) encoding, pictures were passively viewed in three separate blocks and were subsequently rated for valence and arousal. A recognition memory task was performed one week later in which old and new unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures were presented. Replicating previous results, we found enhanced memory performance and higher confidence ratings for unpleasant when compared to neutral materials in both animal fearful individuals and controls. When compared to controls high animal fearful individuals also showed a tendency towards better memory accuracy and significantly higher confidence during recognition of spider pictures, suggesting that memory of objects prompting specific fear is also facilitated in fearful individuals. In line, spider-fearful but not control participants responded with larger ERP positivity for correctly recognized old when compared to correctly rejected new spider pictures, thus showing the same effects in the neural signature of emotional memory for feared objects that were already discovered for other emotional materials. The increased fear memory for phobic materials observed in the present study in spider-fearful individuals might result in an enhanced fear response and reinforce negative beliefs aggravating anxiety symptomatology and hindering recovery.

  15. The effect of disgust and fear modeling on children's disgust and fear for animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askew, Chris; Cakır, Kübra; Põldsam, Liine; Reynolds, Gemma

    2014-08-01

    Disgust is a protective emotion associated with certain types of animal fears. Given that a primary function of disgust is to protect against harm, increasing children's disgust-related beliefs for animals may affect how threatening they think animals are and their avoidance of them. One way that children's disgust beliefs for animals might change is via vicarious learning: by observing others responding to the animal with disgust. In Experiment 1, children (ages 7-10 years) were presented with images of novel animals together with adult faces expressing disgust. Children's fear beliefs and avoidance preferences increased for these disgust-paired animals compared with unpaired control animals. Experiment 2 used the same procedure and compared disgust vicarious learning with vicarious learning with fear faces. Children's fear beliefs and avoidance preferences for animals again increased as a result of disgust vicarious learning, and animals seen with disgust or fear faces were also rated more disgusting than control animals. The relationship between increased fear beliefs and avoidance preferences for animals was mediated by disgust for the animals. The experiments demonstrate that children can learn to believe that animals are disgusting and threatening after observing an adult responding with disgust toward them. The findings also suggest a bidirectional relationship between fear and disgust with fear-related vicarious learning leading to increased disgust for animals and disgust-related vicarious learning leading to increased fear and avoidance. (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  16. The Effect of Disgust and Fear Modeling on Children’s Disgust and Fear for Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Disgust is a protective emotion associated with certain types of animal fears. Given that a primary function of disgust is to protect against harm, increasing children’s disgust-related beliefs for animals may affect how threatening they think animals are and their avoidance of them. One way that children’s disgust beliefs for animals might change is via vicarious learning: by observing others responding to the animal with disgust. In Experiment 1, children (ages 7–10 years) were presented with images of novel animals together with adult faces expressing disgust. Children’s fear beliefs and avoidance preferences increased for these disgust-paired animals compared with unpaired control animals. Experiment 2 used the same procedure and compared disgust vicarious learning with vicarious learning with fear faces. Children’s fear beliefs and avoidance preferences for animals again increased as a result of disgust vicarious learning, and animals seen with disgust or fear faces were also rated more disgusting than control animals. The relationship between increased fear beliefs and avoidance preferences for animals was mediated by disgust for the animals. The experiments demonstrate that children can learn to believe that animals are disgusting and threatening after observing an adult responding with disgust toward them. The findings also suggest a bidirectional relationship between fear and disgust with fear-related vicarious learning leading to increased disgust for animals and disgust-related vicarious learning leading to increased fear and avoidance. PMID:24955571

  17. The neural circuits of innate fear: detection, integration, action, and memorization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Bianca A.; Gross, Cornelius T.

    2016-01-01

    How fear is represented in the brain has generated a lot of research attention, not only because fear increases the chances for survival when appropriately expressed but also because it can lead to anxiety and stress-related disorders when inadequately processed. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the understanding of the neural circuits processing innate fear in rodents. We propose that these circuits are contained within three main functional units in the brain: a detection unit, responsible for gathering sensory information signaling the presence of a threat; an integration unit, responsible for incorporating the various sensory information and recruiting downstream effectors; and an output unit, in charge of initiating appropriate bodily and behavioral responses to the threatful stimulus. In parallel, the experience of innate fear also instructs a learning process leading to the memorization of the fearful event. Interestingly, while the detection, integration, and output units processing acute fear responses to different threats tend to be harbored in distinct brain circuits, memory encoding of these threats seems to rely on a shared learning system. PMID:27634145

  18. Increases in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and decreases the rostral prefrontal cortex activation after-8 weeks of focused attention based mindfulness meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasino, Barbara; Fabbro, Franco

    2016-02-01

    Mindfulness meditation is a form of attention control training. The training exercises the ability to repeatedly focus attention. We addressed the activation changes related to an 8-weeks mindfulness-oriented focused attention meditation training on an initially naïve subject cohort. Before and after training participants underwent an fMRI experiment, thus, although not strictly a cross over design, they served as their internal own control. During fMRI they exercised focused attention on breathing and body scan as compared to resting. We found increased and decreased activation in different parts of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) by comparing pre- vs. post-mindfulness training (MT) during breathing and body scan meditation exercises that were compared against their own resting state. In the post-MT (vs. pre-MT) meditation increased activation in the right dorsolateral PFC and in the left caudate/anterior insula and decreased activation in the rostral PFC and right parietal area 3b. Thus a brief mindfulness training caused increased activation in areas involved in sustaining and monitoring the focus of attention (dorsolateral PFC), consistent with the aim of mindfulness that is exercising focused attention mechanisms, and in the left caudate/anterior insula involved in attention and corporeal awareness and decreased activation in areas part of the "default mode" network and is involved in mentalizing (rostral PFC), consistent with the ability trained by mindfulness of reducing spontaneous mind wandering. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Increased Neural Responses to Reward in Adolescents and Young Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Their Unaffected Siblings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    von Rhein, Daniel; Cools, Roshan; Zwiers, Marcel P.; van der Schaaf, Marieke; Franke, Barbara; Luman, Marjolein; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk J.; Hoekstra, Pieter J.; Hartman, Catharina A.; Faraone, Stephen V.; van Rooij, Daan; van Dongen, Eelco V.; Lojowska, Maria; Mennes, Maarten; Buitelaar, Jan

    Objective: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a heritable neuropsychiatric disorder associated with abnormal reward processing. Limited and inconsistent data exist about the neural mechanisms underlying this abnormality. Furthermore, it is not known whether reward processing is

  20. Attentional Avoidance is Associated with Increased Pain Sensitivity in Patients with Chronic Posttraumatic Pain and Comorbid Posttraumatic Stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harvold, Mathea; MacLeod, Colin; Vaegter, Henrik Bjarke

    2018-01-01

    posttraumatic pain patients is unknown. This study investigated AB for linguistic pain- and trauma-related stimuli, and clinical and thermal sensitivity in patients with chronic posttraumatic pain with and without PTSD. METHODS: Thirty-four patients with chronic posttraumatic cervical pain performed the visual......OBJECTIVES: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common in chronic posttraumatic pain. Theoretical models suggest that attentional biases (AB) contribute to the development and maintenance of chronic pain and PTSD, however, the influence of AB on clinical and heat pain sensitivity in chronic...... attentional probe task assessing patterns of selective attentional responding to trauma cues and to pain cues. The task used short (500 ms) and long (1250 ms) stimulus exposure durations to ensure sensitivity to both the orienting and maintenance of attention. Heat pain threshold (HPT) was assessed at the non-painful...

  1. Stressor controllability modulates fear extinction in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Catherine A.; Gorun, Alyson; Reddan, Marianne C.; Ramirez, Franchesca; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Traumatic events are proposed to play a role in the development of anxiety disorders, however not all individuals exposed to extreme stress experience a pathological increase in fear. Recent studies in animal models suggest that the degree to which one is able to control an aversive experience is a critical factor determining its behavioral consequences. In this study, we examined whether stressor controllability modulates subsequent conditioned fear expression in humans. Participants were randomly assigned to an escapable stressor condition, a yoked inescapable stressor condition, or a control condition involving no stress exposure. One week later, all participants underwent fear conditioning, fear extinction, and a test of extinction retrieval the following day. Participants exposed to inescapable stress showed impaired fear extinction learning and increased fear expression the following day. In contrast, escapable stress improved fear extinction and prevented the spontaneous recovery of fear. Consistent with the bidirectional controllability effects previously reported in animal models, these results suggest that one's degree of control over aversive experiences may be an important factor influencing the development of psychological resilience or vulnerability in humans. PMID:24333646

  2. Increased sensorimotor gating in recreational and dependent cocaine users is modulated by craving and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preller, Katrin H; Ingold, Nina; Hulka, Lea M; Vonmoos, Matthias; Jenni, Daniela; Baumgartner, Markus R; Vollenweider, Franz X; Quednow, Boris B

    2013-02-01

    Cocaine dependence has been associated with blunted dopamine and norepinephrine signaling, but it is unknown if recreational cocaine use is also associated with alterations of catecholamine systems. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response-a measure of sensorimotor gating-is highly sensitive for manipulations of the catecholamine system. Therefore, we investigated whether relatively pure recreational users (RCU) and dependent cocaine users (DCU) display alterations of PPI, startle reactivity, and habituation. Moreover, the influences of methylenedioxymethamphetamine and cannabis co-use, craving, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on startle measures were examined. In 64 RCU, 29 DCU, and 66 stimulant-naïve control subjects, PPI of acoustic startle response, startle reactivity, habituation, ADHD symptoms, and cocaine craving were assessed. Drug use of all participants was controlled by hair and urine toxicologies. Both RCU and DCU showed increased PPI in comparison with control participants (Cohen's d=.38 and d=.67, respectively), while RCU and DCU did not differ in PPI measures (d=.12). No significant group differences were found in startle reactivity or habituation measures. In cocaine users, PPI was positively correlated with cumulative cocaine dose used, craving for cocaine, and ADHD symptoms. Users with a diagnosis of ADHD and strong craving symptoms displayed the highest PPI levels compared with control subjects (d=.78). The augmented PPI in RCU and DCU suggests that recreational use of cocaine is associated with altered catecholamine signaling, in particular if ADHD or craving symptoms are present. Finally, ADHD might be a critical risk factor for cocaine-induced changes of the catecholamine system. Copyright © 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Neuroticism modifies psychophysiological responses to fearful films.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuelle Reynaud

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Neuroticism is a personality component frequently found in anxious and depressive psychiatric disorders. The influence of neuroticism on negative emotions could be due to its action on stimuli related to fear and sadness, but this remains debated. Our goal was thus to better understand the impact of neuroticism through verbal and physiological assessment in response to stimuli inducing fear and sadness as compared to another negative emotion (disgust. METHODS: Fifteen low neurotic and 18 high neurotic subjects were assessed on an emotional attending task by using film excerpts inducing fear, disgust, and sadness. We recorded skin conductance response (SCR and corrugator muscle activity (frowning as indices of emotional expression. RESULTS: SCR was larger in high neurotic subjects than in low neurotics for fear relative to sadness and disgust. Moreover, corrugator activity and SCR were larger in high than in low neurotic subjects when fear was induced. CONCLUSION: After decades of evidence that individuals higher in neuroticism experience more intense emotional reactions to even minor stressors, our results indicate that they show greater SCR and expressive reactivity specifically to stimuli evoking fear rather than to those inducing sadness or disgust. Fear processing seems mainly under the influence of neuroticism. This modulation of autonomic activity by neurotics in response to threat/fear may explain their increased vulnerability to anxious psychopathologies such as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder.

  4. Infralimbic Neurotrophin-3 Infusion Rescues Fear Extinction Impairment in a Mouse Model of Pathological Fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amico, Davide; Gener, Thomas; de Lagrán, Maria Martínez; Sanchez-Vives, Maria V; Santos, Mónica; Dierssen, Mara

    2017-01-01

    The inability to properly extinguish fear memories constitutes the foundation of several anxiety disorders, including panic disorder. Recent findings show that boosting prefrontal cortex synaptic plasticity potentiates fear extinction, suggesting that therapies that augment synaptic plasticity could prove useful in rescue of fear extinction impairments in this group of disorders. Previously, we reported that mice with selective deregulation of neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor, type 3 expression (TgNTRK3) exhibit increased fear memories accompanied by impaired extinction, congruent with an altered activation pattern of the amygdala-hippocampus-medial prefrontal cortex fear circuit. Here we explore the specific role of neurotrophin 3 and its cognate receptor in the medial prefrontal cortex, and its involvement in fear extinction in a pathological context. In this study we combined molecular, behavioral, in vivo pharmacology and ex vivo electrophysiological recordings in TgNTRK3 animals during contextual fear extinction processes. We show that neurotrophin 3 protein levels are increased upon contextual fear extinction in wild-type animals but not in TgNTRK3 mice, which present deficits in infralimbic long-term potentiation. Importantly, infusion of neurotrophin 3 to the medial prefrontal cortex of TgNTRK3 mice rescues contextual fear extinction and ex vivo local application improves medial prefrontal cortex synaptic plasticity. This effect is blocked by inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation through peripheral administration of SL327, suggesting that rescue occurs via this pathway. Our results suggest that stimulating neurotrophin 3-dependent medial prefrontal cortex plasticity could restore contextual fear extinction deficit in pathological fear and could constitute an effective treatment for fear-related disorders.

  5. A Real Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffins, Paul

    2007-01-01

    For years, mainstream thinking about math anxiety assumed that people fear math because they are bad at it. However, a growing body of research shows a much more complicated relationship between math ability and anxiety. It is true that people who fear math have a tendency to avoid math-related classes, which decreases their math competence.…

  6. The Pleasure of Fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjøllund, Niels-Peder Osmundsen

    I plan to take departure in the Freudian concept of the uncanny and unfold how this also plays on aesthetics of pleasure. The way we cope with fear is often related to pleasure, for example how children often laugh when frightened. This will lead me to a discussion of how fear and pleasure...

  7. Fearing religious satire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brink, Dennis Meyhoff

    2015-01-01

    The article examines the history of the fear of religious satire in modern Europe. The article argues that this fear primarily concerns the potential dissolution of 'the social bond of society' or 'the moral and social order'. From the 17th Century until today, censorship measures and blasphemy l...

  8. The Extinction and Return of Fear of Public Speaking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laborda, Mario A; Schofield, Casey A; Johnson, Emily M; Schubert, Jessica R; George-Denn, Daniel; Coles, Meredith E; Miller, Ralph R

    2016-11-01

    Prior studies indicate extinguished fear often partially returns when participants are later tested outside the extinction context. Cues carried from the extinction context to the test context sometimes reduce return of fear, but it is unclear whether such extinction cues (ECs) reduce return of fear of public speaking. Here we assessed return of fear of public speaking, and whether either of two types of ECs can attenuate it. Participants gave speeches of increasing difficulty during an exposure practice session and were tested 2 days later in a different context. Testing occurred in the presence of physical ECs, after mentally rehearsing the exposure session, or without either reminder. Practice reduced fear of public speaking, but fear partially returned at test. Neither physical nor mental ECs reduced partial return of fear of public speaking. The return of extinguished fear of public speaking, although small, was reliable, but not appreciably sensitive to presence of ECs. © The Author(s) 2016.

  9. Mediating Potency and Fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Steen Ledet

    2018-01-01

    Action movies participate in the administration of fear [Virilio, P., 2012. The administration of fear. Translated by Ames Hodges. Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext(e)], and the networked affects of contemporary warfare [Anderson, B., 2013. Targeting affective life from above: morale and airpower. In: P......’ [Shaviro, S., 2010. Post-cinematic affect. Winchester: Zero Books]. These intensity effects mediate between the age of terror's ecology of fear [Massumi, Brian, 2002. Parables for the virtual: movement, affect, sensation. Durham: Duke University Press] and our bodies. Rather than producing fear, action...... movies work to dispel fear by producing potency and bolstering resolve. We can thus understand action movies as participating in the biopolitical effects of contemporary warfare. Affect is globalized and intensified through action movies’ aesthetics, with the aim of producing a kind of drone subject...

  10. Using Aromatherapy Massage to Increase Shared Attention Behaviours in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Severe Learning Difficulties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomons, Steve

    2005-01-01

    Children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) characteristically display a lack of shared attention behaviours and the lack of these behaviours impacts on their ability to develop social interactions and relationships with others. Steve Solomons, assistant headteacher at Rectory Paddock School and Research Unit in the London Borough of Bromley,…

  11. Coping with Fear of Recurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... What Comes Next After Finishing Treatment Coping With Fear of Recurrence Having a Baby After Cancer: Pregnancy ... treatment and preparing for the future. Coping With Fear of Recurrence Learn ways to manage the fear ...

  12. Increased Erythrocyte Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid Are Associated With Improved Attention and Behavior in Children With ADHD in a Randomized Controlled Three-Way Crossover Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milte, Catherine M; Parletta, Natalie; Buckley, Jonathan D; Coates, Alison M; Young, Ross M; Howe, Peter R C

    2015-11-01

    To investigate effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on attention, literacy, and behavior in children with ADHD. Ninety children were randomized to consume supplements high in EPA, DHA, or linoleic acid (control) for 4 months each in a crossover design. Erythrocyte fatty acids, attention, cognition, literacy, and Conners' Parent Rating Scales (CPRS) were measured at 0, 4, 8, 12 months. Fifty-three children completed the treatment. Outcome measures showed no significant differences between the three treatments. However, in children with blood samples (n = 76-46), increased erythrocyte EPA + DHA was associated with improved spelling (r = .365, p attention (r = -.540, p improve behavior, attention, and literacy in children with ADHD. © The Author(s) 2013.

  13. Implicit theories of online trolling: evidence that attention-seeking conceptions are associated with\\ud increased psychological resilience.

    OpenAIRE

    Maltby, John; Day, Liza; Hatcher, Ruth; Tazzyman, Sarah; Flowe, Heather D; Palmer, Emma J; Frosch, Caren A; O'Reilly, Michelle; Jones, Ceri; Buckley, Chloe; Knieps, Melanie; Cutts, Katie J

    2016-01-01

    Three studies were conducted to investigate people’s conceptions of online trolls, particularly conceptions associated with psychological resilience to trolling. In Study 1, factor analytic analysis of participants’ ratings of characteristics of online trolls found a replicable bifactor model of conceptions of online trolls, with both a general factor of general conceptions towards online trolls being identified, but five group factors (attention-conflict seeking, low selfconfidence,\\ud vicio...

  14. Implicit theories of online trolling: Evidence that attention-seeking conceptions are associated with increased psychological resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltby, John; Day, Liz; Hatcher, Ruth M; Tazzyman, Sarah; Flowe, Heather D; Palmer, Emma J; Frosch, Caren A; O'Reilly, Michelle; Jones, Ceri; Buckley, Chloe; Knieps, Melanie; Cutts, Katie

    2016-08-01

    Three studies were conducted to investigate people's conceptions of online trolls, particularly conceptions associated with psychological resilience to trolling. In Study 1, a factor analysis of participants' ratings of characteristics of online trolls found a replicable bifactor model of conceptions of online trolls, with a general factor of general conceptions towards online trolls being identified, but five group factors (attention-conflict seeking, low self-confidence, viciousness, uneducated, amusement) as most salient. In Study 2, participants evaluated hypothetical profiles of online trolling messages to establish the validity of the five factors. Three constructs (attention-conflict seeking, viciousness, and uneducated) were actively employed when people considered profiles of online trolling scenarios. Study 3 introduced a 20-item 'Conceptions of Online Trolls scale' to examine the extent to which the five group factors were associated with resilience to trolling. Results indicated that viewing online trolls as seeking conflict or attention was associated with a decrease in individuals' negative affect around previous trolling incidents. Overall, the findings suggest that adopting an implicit theories approach can further our understanding and measurement of conceptions towards trolling through the identification of five salient factors, of which at least one factor may act as a resilience strategy. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  15. Nuclear fear and children: the impact of parental nuclear activism, responsivity, and fear

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LaGuardia, M.R.

    1986-01-01

    This study examines the extent to which parental nuclear fear, parental activism, and parental responsivity is associated with children's (age 10) nuclear fear. Other associated variables investigated include: nuclear denial, general anxiety and fear, and the personal characteristics of sex, socio-economic status, and academic aptitude. Findings indicate that children attend to nuclear issues when their parents attend to a significant degree. Children's hopelessness about the arms race is increased as parents' worry about nuclear war increases. Children's fear about not surviving a nuclear war increases as parents' worry about survivability decreases. Children who have more general fears also indicated that they have a high level of hopelessness, pervasive worry, and much concern about being able to survive a nuclear war. Children with a high degree of general anxiety did not indicate high degrees of nuclear fears. Children with high academic aptitude were more knowledgeable about nuclear issues and expressed more fears about the nuclear threat. Boys demonstrated more knowledge about nuclear issues than girls, and girls expressed much more frequent fear and worry about the nuclear threat than boys. Parents of lower socio-economic statues (SES) expressed more denial about the nuclear threat and were more pro-military than the higher SES parents.

  16. Nicotine increases impulsivity and decreases willingness to exert cognitive effort despite improving attention in "slacker" rats: insights into cholinergic regulation of cost/benefit decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosking, Jay G; Lam, Fred C W; Winstanley, Catharine A

    2014-01-01

    Successful decision making in our daily lives requires weighing an option's costs against its associated benefits. The neuromodulator acetylcholine underlies both the etiology and treatment of a number of illnesses in which decision making is perturbed, including Alzheimer's disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia. Nicotine acts on the cholinergic system and has been touted as a cognitive enhancer by both smokers and some researchers for its attention-boosting effects; however, it is unclear whether treatments that have a beneficial effect on attention would also have a beneficial effect on decision making. Here we utilize the rodent Cognitive Effort Task (rCET), wherein animals can choose to allocate greater visuospatial attention for a greater reward, to examine cholinergic contributions to both attentional performance and choice based on attentional demand. Following the establishment of baseline behavior, four drug challenges were administered: nicotine, mecamylamine, scopolamine, and oxotremorine (saline plus three doses for each). As per previous rCET studies, animals were divided by their baseline preferences, with "worker" rats choosing high-effort/high-reward options more than their "slacker" counterparts. Nicotine caused slackers to choose even fewer high-effort trials than at baseline, but had no effect on workers' choice. Despite slackers' decreased willingness to expend effort, nicotine improved their attentional performance on the task. Nicotine also increased measures of motor impulsivity in all animals. In contrast, scopolamine decreased animals' choice of high-effort trials, especially for workers, while oxotremorine decreased motor impulsivity for all animals. In sum, the cholinergic system appears to contribute to decision making, and in part these contributions can be understood as a function of individual differences. While nicotine has been considered as a cognitive enhancer, these data suggest that its modest

  17. Nicotine increases impulsivity and decreases willingness to exert cognitive effort despite improving attention in "slacker" rats: insights into cholinergic regulation of cost/benefit decision making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay G Hosking

    Full Text Available Successful decision making in our daily lives requires weighing an option's costs against its associated benefits. The neuromodulator acetylcholine underlies both the etiology and treatment of a number of illnesses in which decision making is perturbed, including Alzheimer's disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia. Nicotine acts on the cholinergic system and has been touted as a cognitive enhancer by both smokers and some researchers for its attention-boosting effects; however, it is unclear whether treatments that have a beneficial effect on attention would also have a beneficial effect on decision making. Here we utilize the rodent Cognitive Effort Task (rCET, wherein animals can choose to allocate greater visuospatial attention for a greater reward, to examine cholinergic contributions to both attentional performance and choice based on attentional demand. Following the establishment of baseline behavior, four drug challenges were administered: nicotine, mecamylamine, scopolamine, and oxotremorine (saline plus three doses for each. As per previous rCET studies, animals were divided by their baseline preferences, with "worker" rats choosing high-effort/high-reward options more than their "slacker" counterparts. Nicotine caused slackers to choose even fewer high-effort trials than at baseline, but had no effect on workers' choice. Despite slackers' decreased willingness to expend effort, nicotine improved their attentional performance on the task. Nicotine also increased measures of motor impulsivity in all animals. In contrast, scopolamine decreased animals' choice of high-effort trials, especially for workers, while oxotremorine decreased motor impulsivity for all animals. In sum, the cholinergic system appears to contribute to decision making, and in part these contributions can be understood as a function of individual differences. While nicotine has been considered as a cognitive enhancer, these data suggest

  18. THE FEAR OF FEAR CONCEPT - EVIDENCE IN FAVOR OF MULTIDIMENSIONALITY

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ARRINDELL, WA

    In recent years, questions have been raised regarding the dimensionality of existing measures of fear of fear. This is an important issue that needs to be addressed if the dimensions(s) of any scale purporting to assess fear of fear are to guide theory and research. One of the most widely used

  19. An experimental demonstration that fear, but not disgust, is associated with return of fear in phobias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Sarah; Salkovskis, Paul M

    2006-01-01

    It has been suggested that disgust, rather than anxiety, may be important in some phobias. Correlational studies have been ambiguous, indicating either that disgust increases phobic anxiety or that phobic anxiety potentiates disgust. In the experimental study reported here, disgust and phobic anxiety were manipulated in the context of habituation to phobic stimuli. Spider fearful participants were randomly allocated to conditions in which neutral, disgusting, and phobic anxiety provoking stimuli were introduced into a video-based spider phobic habituation sequence. Exposure to the phobic stimulus resulted in a return of self-reported fear and disgust levels. However, exposure to disgusting stimulus increased disgust levels, but not anxiety levels. Results are most consistent with the hypothesis that fear enhances the disgust response in phobias, but that disgust alone does not enhance the fear response. Previously observed links between disgust and spider phobia may be a consequence of fear enhancing disgust.

  20. Inhibition of GABA synthesis in the prefrontal cortex increases locomotor activity but does not affect attention in the 5-choice serial reaction time task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asinof, Samuel K; Paine, Tracie A

    2013-02-01

    Attention deficits are a core cognitive symptom of schizophrenia; the neuropathology underlying these deficits is not known. Attention is regulated, at least in part, by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain area in which pathology of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons has been consistently observed in post-mortem analysis of the brains of people with schizophrenia. Specifically, expression of the 67-kD isoform of the GABA synthesis enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) is reduced in parvalbumin-containing fast-spiking GABA interneurons. Thus it is hypothesized that reduced cortical GABA synthesis and release may contribute to the attention deficits in schizophrenia. Here the effect of reducing cortical GABA synthesis with l-allylglycine (LAG) on attention was tested using three different versions of the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT). Because 5CSRTT performance can be affected by locomotor activity, we also measured this behavior in an open field. Finally, the expression of Fos protein was used as an indirect measure of reduced GABA synthesis. Intra-cortical LAG (10 μg/0.5 μl/side) infusions increased Fos expression and resulted in hyperactivity in the open field. Intra-cortical LAG infusions did not affect attention in any version of the 5CSRTT. These results suggest that a general decrease in GABA synthesis is not sufficient to cause attention deficits. It remains to be tested whether a selective decrease in GABA synthesis in parvalbumin-containing GABA neurons could cause attention deficits. Decreased cortical GABA synthesis did increase locomotor activity; this may reflect the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis, Fear Generalization, and Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besnard, Antoine; Sahay, Amar

    2016-01-01

    The generalization of fear is an adaptive, behavioral, and physiological response to the likelihood of threat in the environment. In contrast, the overgeneralization of fear, a cardinal feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), manifests as inappropriate, uncontrollable expression of fear in neutral and safe environments. Overgeneralization of fear stems from impaired discrimination of safe from aversive environments or discernment of unlikely threats from those that are highly probable. In addition, the time-dependent erosion of episodic details of traumatic memories might contribute to their generalization. Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying the overgeneralization of fear will guide development of novel therapeutic strategies to combat PTSD. Here, we conceptualize generalization of fear in terms of resolution of interference between similar memories. We propose a role for a fundamental encoding mechanism, pattern separation, in the dentate gyrus (DG)–CA3 circuit in resolving interference between ambiguous or uncertain threats and in preserving episodic content of remote aversive memories in hippocampal–cortical networks. We invoke cellular-, circuit-, and systems-based mechanisms by which adult-born dentate granule cells (DGCs) modulate pattern separation to influence resolution of interference and maintain precision of remote aversive memories. We discuss evidence for how these mechanisms are affected by stress, a risk factor for PTSD, to increase memory interference and decrease precision. Using this scaffold we ideate strategies to curb overgeneralization of fear in PTSD. PMID:26068726

  2. Fears and Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... may be more sensitive to fears because of personality traits they are born with, certain genes they' ... May 2013 More on this topic for: Teens Culture Shock Social Phobia About Serious Stress 5 Ways ...

  3. Fear, anger, and risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, J S; Keltner, D

    2001-07-01

    Drawing on an appraisal-tendency framework (J. S. Lerner & D. Keltner, 2000), the authors predicted and found that fear and anger have opposite effects on risk perception. Whereas fearful people expressed pessimistic risk estimates and risk-averse choices, angry people expressed optimistic risk estimates and risk-seeking choices. These opposing patterns emerged for naturally occurring and experimentally induced fear and anger. Moreover, estimates of angry people more closely resembled those of happy people than those of fearful people. Consistent with predictions, appraisal tendencies accounted for these effects: Appraisals of certainty and control moderated and (in the case of control) mediated the emotion effects. As a complement to studies that link affective valence to judgment outcomes, the present studies highlight multiple benefits of studying specific emotions.

  4. Nuclear fear revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crease, Robert P.

    2010-10-01

    In 1988 the science historian Spencer Weart published a groundbreaking book called Nuclear Fear: A History of Images, which examined visions of radiation damage and nuclear disaster in newspapers, television, film, literature, advertisements and popular culture.

  5. The Fear Factor: Exploring Predictors of Fear among Stalking Victims throughout the Stalking Encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyns, Bradford W.; Englebrecht, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    The crime of stalking has received much research attention, yet there are still important questions to be explored surrounding this behavior. One such question relates to definitions of stalking, including the requirement that victims must express fear to qualify as victims of stalking. The current study addresses this issue by exploring the…

  6. Childhood Sexual Abuse and Fear of Abandonment Moderate the Relation of Intimate Partner Violence to Severity of Dissociation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerubavel, Noga; Messman-Moore, Terri L; DiLillo, David; Gratz, Kim L

    2018-01-01

    Betrayal trauma theory proposes a relation between intimate partner violence (IPV) and dissociation, suggesting that dissociation among victims of IPV may function to restrict awareness of abuse in order to preserve attachments perceived as vital. We investigated two factors that may moderate the relation between IPV and dissociation-childhood sexual abuse (CSA) severity and fear of abandonment-among 348 women currently in a relationship. The relation between frequency of IPV (sexual and physical) and dissociation (amnesia and depersonalization) was moderated by CSA severity and fear of abandonment. Specifically, among women with clinically relevant fear of abandonment, the strength of the relation between IPV and dissociation became stronger as CSA severity increased. This study is the first to demonstrate the moderating roles of fear of abandonment and CSA history in the relation between IPV and dissociation among women. Findings suggest that it may be important to target fear of abandonment in interventions with IPV victims who have a CSA history. Results suggest that fear of abandonment warrants greater attention in research on IPV revictimization.

  7. Fear of rape from behind prison walls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shermer, Lauren O'Neill; Sudo, Heather

    2017-06-12

    Purpose The Prison Rape Elimination Act has brought significant attention to the issue of sexual victimization within correctional institutions. While the actual risk of sexual victimization remains low, the perception of rape among inmates is high. Given how one's fear can translate into behavior, understanding how institutions impact the culture surrounding prison rape highlights areas for reducing violence within prisons. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach This study includes secondary analysis of a quantitative database created from semi-structured interviews with 564 high security, general population inmates. Using fear of rape as the outcome of interest, bivariate and logistic regression analyses are used to comment on the impact of individual and facility level characteristics on this outcome. Findings In general, the results from this study suggest that the greatest risk factors for fearing rape while in prison are being male, having a mental health issue, and hearing about rape within the institution. From these specific findings a few general lessons can be learned with the hope that practitioners can translate these lessons into policy initiatives in order to combat fear of rape among our inmate population. Originality/value This paper aims to fill a gap in the research on how the facility contributes to the fear of rape within prison. The end goal is to inform policy makers so that suggestions can be made to combat this problem and prevent further misconduct within these facilities.

  8. Appealing to fear: A Meta-Analysis of Fear Appeal Effectiveness and Theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tannenbaum, Melanie B.; Hepler, Justin; Zimmerman, Rick S.; Saul, Lindsey; Jacobs, Samantha; Wilson, Kristina; Albarracin, Dolores

    2018-01-01

    Fear appeals are a polarizing issue, with proponents confident in their efficacy and opponents confident that they backfire. We present the results of a comprehensive meta-analysis investigating fear appeals’ effectiveness for influencing attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. We tested predictions from a large number of theories, the majority of which have never been tested meta-analytically until now. Studies were included if they contained a treatment group exposed to a fear appeal, a valid comparison group, a manipulation of depicted fear, a measure of attitudes, intentions, or behaviors concerning the targeted risk or recommended solution, and adequate statistics to calculate effect sizes. The meta-analysis included 127 papers (9% unpublished) yielding 248 independent samples (NTotal = 27,372) collected from diverse populations. Results showed a positive effect of fear appeals on attitudes, intentions, and behaviors, with the average effect on a composite index being random-effects d¯ = 0.29. Moderation analyses based on prominent fear appeal theories showed that the effectiveness of fear appeals increased when the message included efficacy statements, depicted high susceptibility and severity, recommended one-time only (vs. repeated) behaviors, and targeted audiences that included a larger percentage of female message recipients. Overall, we conclude that (a) fear appeals are effective at positively influencing attitude, intentions, and behaviors, (b) there are very few circumstances under which they are not effective, and (c) there are no identified circumstances under which they backfire and lead to undesirable outcomes. PMID:26501228

  9. Increased reaction time variability in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as a response-related phenomenon: evidence from single-trial event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saville, Christopher W N; Feige, Bernd; Kluckert, Christian; Bender, Stephan; Biscaldi, Monica; Berger, Andrea; Fleischhaker, Christian; Henighausen, Klaus; Klein, Christoph

    2015-07-01

    Increased intra-subject variability (ISV) in reaction times (RTs) is a promising endophenotype for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and among the most robust hallmarks of the disorder. ISV has been assumed to represent an attentional deficit, either reflecting lapses in attention or increased neural noise. Here, we use an innovative single-trial event-related potential approach to assess whether the increased ISV associated with ADHD is indeed attributable to attention, or whether it is related to response-related processing. We measured electroencephalographic responses to working memory oddball tasks in patients with ADHD (N = 20, aged 11.3 ± 1.1) and healthy controls (N = 25, aged 11.7 ± 1.1), and analysed these data with a recently developed method of single-trial event-related potential analysis. Estimates of component latency variability were computed for the stimulus-locked and response-locked forms of the P3b and the lateralised readiness potential (LRP). ADHD patients showed significantly increased ISV in behavioural ISV. This increased ISV was paralleled by an increase in variability in response-locked event-related potential latencies, while variability in stimulus-locked latencies was equivalent between groups. This result held across the P3b and LRP. Latency of all components predicted RTs on a single-trial basis, confirming that all were relevant for speed of processing. These data suggest that the increased ISV found in ADHD could be associated with response-end, rather than stimulus-end processes, in contrast to prevailing conceptions about the endophenotype. This mental chronometric approach may also be useful for exploring whether the existing lack of specificity of ISV to particular psychiatric conditions can be improved upon. © 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  10. The Interplay of Attention and Emotion: Top-down Attention Modulates Amygdala Activation in Psychopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Larson, Christine L.; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.; Stout, Daniel M.; Balderston, Nicholas L.; Curtin, John J.; Schultz, Douglas H.; Kiehl, Kent A.; Newman, Joseph P.

    2013-01-01

    Psychopathic behavior has long been attributed to a fundamental deficit in fear that arises from impaired amygdala function. Growing evidence demonstrates that fear potentiated startle (FPS) and other psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by focus of attention but, to date, no work on adult psychopathy has examined attentional modulation of the amygdala, or concomitant recruitment of relevant attention-related circuitry. Consistent with previous FPS findings, here we report that psychopa...

  11. Fear of what, fear for what reason

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Otway, H.J.; Schaefer, R.E.

    1979-01-01

    Two plebiscites on nuclear power were held with very small majorities: In Austria, the opponents of nuclear power had a slight majority - in Switzerland its advocates. In both countries, attendance at the polls was very low - lack of interest, insecurity. In West Germany, The number of opponents and proponents of nuclear power vary with every public opinion poll - insecurity. In any case, it has become manifest that modern technologies involve problems as well as advantages. Apart from possible environmental and individual risks, social and political consequences are feared most. (orig.) [de

  12. Lower white matter microstructure in the superior longitudinal fasciculus is associated with increased response time variability in adults with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfers, Thomas; Onnink, A Marten H; Zwiers, Marcel P; Arias-Vasquez, Alejandro; Hoogman, Martine; Mostert, Jeanette C; Kan, Cornelis C; Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Buitelaar, Jan K; Franke, Barbara

    2015-09-01

    Response time variability (RTV) is consistently increased in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A right-hemispheric frontoparietal attention network model has been implicated in these patients. The 3 main connecting fibre tracts in this network, the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) and the cingulum bundle (CB), show microstructural abnormalities in patients with ADHD. We hypothesized that the microstructural integrity of the 3 white matter tracts of this network are associated with ADHD and RTV. We examined RTV in adults with ADHD by modelling the reaction time distribution as an exponentially modified Gaussian (ex-Gaussian) function with the parameters μ, σ and τ, the latter of which has been attributed to lapses of attention. We assessed adults with ADHD and healthy controls using a sustained attention task. Diffusion tensor imaging-derived fractional anisotropy (FA) values were determined to quantify bilateral microstructural integrity of the tracts of interest. We included 100 adults with ADHD and 96 controls in our study. Increased τ was associated with ADHD diagnosis and was linked to symptoms of inattention. An inverse correlation of τ with mean FA was seen in the right SLF of patients with ADHD, but no direct association between the mean FA of the 6 regions of interest with ADHD could be observed. Regions of interest were defined a priori based on the attentional network model for ADHD and thus we might have missed effects in other networks. This study suggests that reduced microstructural integrity of the right SLF is associated with elevated τ in patients with ADHD.

  13. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

    In these years digital media and wireless networks are introduced in upper secondary schools in Denmark. This implies new “attentional objects” like updates on Facebook or tweets on Twitter within instant reach of the pupils and teachers. Also it implies new kinds of attention (awareness) like when...... pupils try to listen to the teacher and simultaneously participate in online games. To this new social setting the teachers has reacted with either prohibition or unconcern. What has not been realised is that the introduction of new media profoundly challenges the way attention hitherto has functioned...... as a psychic prerequisite for the social interaction between pupils and teachers. New kinds of “split attention” arise and new kinds of social mediation (regulation and “use”) of psychic attention become necessary if teaching in the new digital medium milieu shall be beneficial. In this paper we qualify...

  14. Fear of clowns in hospitalized children: prospective experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiri, Noam; Schnapp, Zeev; Ankri, Amichi; Nahmias, Itay; Raviv, Amnon; Sagi, Omer; Hamad Saied, Mohamad; Konopnicki, Muriel; Pillar, Giora

    2017-02-01

    : • Fear of clowns is a phenomenon known for more than several decades and related to the increased use of clowns as negative characters in horror movies and TV shows. • The increased use of medical clowns in hospital wards and corridors increases the significance of defining and characterizing this phenomenon in hospital wards. What is New: • The study is novel by giving new data related to the extent of fear of clowns in pediatrics wards and giving demographic characteristic of children experiencing fear of clowns.

  15. Fear of nuclear war

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radil, T.

    1987-01-01

    Problem of psychological consequences of nuclear war threat is considered. Two categories of persons are distinguished: persons who are not decision-making but whose life is threatened, and persons who make decisions but are not responsible for them. An active approach to problems, related to a possible nuclear disaster, appears to be a powerfull socio-political means against nuclear danger and also has both psychotherapeutic and preventive meaning from the viewpoint of at least a partial liberation and protecion of people against the fear of nuclear death. By their effective activity among people, physicians and psychologists can effectively struggle against the fear of nuclear death

  16. Increased Frequency of Encopresis in a Child Diagnosed With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Encopresis After Atomoxetine Use: A Case Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yektaş, Çiğdem; Cansiz, Mehmet Akif; Tufan, Ali Evren

    2016-01-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most frequently reported coexisting psychiatric conditions in children with encopresis. Some case reports state that atomoxetine-a selective presynaptic norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor-approved for treatment of ADHD is also effective in the treatment of coexisting encopresis. Contrasting those reports, here we present a case diagnosed with ADHD and secondary encopresis without constipation whose encopretic symptoms increased after atomoxetine treatment and discuss possible mechanisms.

  17. Development of a laboratory model to assess fear and anxiety in cats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Rivera, Christina; Ley, Jacqui; Milgram, Bill; Landsberg, Gary

    2017-06-01

    Objectives The objectives of this study were: (1) to develop a laboratory-based model to assess fear and anxiety in cats using the feline open-field test (OFT) and the feline human interaction test (HIT); and (2) to validate the model using diazepam, a known anxiolytic. Methods Laboratory-housed cats (n = 41) were first classified as fearful, mildly fearful or non-fearful by a technician familiar with the cats and also by veterinary behaviorists (GL, JL), by assessing the cats' behavior in their home rooms. In experiment 1, each cat's behavior was assessed in an OFT and an HIT. In experiment 2, after administration of the anxiolytic diazepam, a subset of the cats was re-tested. Results In experiment 1, the OFT revealed significant group effects on two measures: duration of inactivity, and vocalization. Fearful animals had significantly longer periods of inactivity than non-fearful animals. Non-fearful and mildly fearful cats vocalized more frequently than fearful cats. In the HIT, fearful cats travelled less than non-fearful and mildly fearful cats. Fearful and mildly fearful animals had significantly longer durations of inactivity, and non-fearful and mildly fearful cats had a significantly higher frequency of vocalization compared with fearful cats. In experiment 2, in the OFT, treatment with diazepam caused an increase in distance travelled, shorter durations of inactivity, and more frequent inactivity and vocalization. In the HIT, diazepam increased distance travelled and decreased duration of inactivity. Fearful cats spent significantly less time near the human compared with non-fearful cats, and this persisted under diazepam. Conclusions and relevance The feline OFT and feline HIT can be used jointly to assess the effects of medications or other therapies on fear and anxiety in the domestic cat.

  18. FEAR AND PREJUDICE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    HIRSH, SELMA

    AN ANALYSIS OF FEAR AND PREJUDICE WAS MADE THROUGH A SERIES OF ATTITUDE QUESTIONNAIRES, PRIVATE INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED BY TRAINED PSYCHOLOGISTS, AND A SERIES OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS. RESULTS SHOWED THAT PREJUDICE STARTED IN THE FIRST FEW YEARS OF A CHILD'S LIFE THROUGH HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS PARENTS. THE ADULTS LOW IN PREJUDICE HAD STABLE OUTLOOKS…

  19. Dorky Poll Scientific Fears

    CERN Multimedia

    2008-01-01

    The questions posed in yesterday's posts about hopes for 2008 were half of what we were asked by the Powers That Be. The other half: What scientific development do you fear you'll be blogging or reading about in 2008?

  20. Fear of the Formal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    du Gay, Paul; Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    term this ‘fear of the formal’, outlining key elements of its genealogy and exploring its contemporary manifestation in relation to recent and ongoing reforms of organisational life in a range of contexts. At the same time, we seek to indicate the continuing constitutive significance of formality...

  1. Fear of Falling in Older Adults: Comprehensive Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dukyoo Jung, PhD, RN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Fear of falling has been reported in a high percentage of community-dwelling elderly who both do and don't have a history of falling. The aims of this review are to: (a elucidate the definition of fear of falling; (b clarify measurements of fear of falling based on its definition; and (c describe the risk factors for fear of falling. Despite the importance of the percentage and the consequences of fear of falling, its definition is still vague and warrants clarification. Based on a literature review, major fear of falling measurements involve the evaluation of fear of falling and use of a fall efficacy scale. Using a correct definition of fear of falling, nurses working close with older adults need to identify the different definitions of fear of falling and fall efficacy scale. In addition, nurses who work closely with older adults should encourage them to increase or maintain modifiable factors by maximizing their basic health status and enhancing their physical activity to decrease fear of falling.

  2. Reward Contingencies Improve Goal-Directed Behavior by Enhancing Posterior Brain Attentional Regions and Increasing Corticostriatal Connectivity in Cocaine Addicts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Costumero, Víctor; Llopis-Llacer, Juan-José; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    The dopaminergic system provides the basis for the interaction between motivation and cognition. It is triggered by the possibility of obtaining rewards to initiate the neurobehavioral adaptations necessary to achieve them by directing the information from motivational circuits to cognitive and action circuits. In drug addiction, the altered dopamine (DA) modulation of the meso-cortico-limbic reward circuitry, such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC), underlies the disproportionate motivational value of drug use at the expense of other non-drug reinforcers and the user's loss of control over his/her drug intake. We examine how the magnitude of the reward affects goal-directed processes in healthy control (HC) subjects and abstinent cocaine dependent (ACD) patients by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a counting Stroop task with blocked levels of monetary incentives of different magnitudes (€0, €0.01, €0.5, €1 or €1.5). Our results showed that increasing reward magnitude enhances (1) performance facilitation in both groups; (2) left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity in HC and left superior occipital cortex activity in ACD; and (3) left DLPFC and left putamen connectivity in ACD compared to HC. Moreover, we observed that (4) dorsal striatal and pallidum activity was associated with craving and addiction severity during the parametric increases in the monetary reward. In conclusion, the brain response to gradients in monetary value was different in HC and ACD, but both groups showed improved task performance due to the possibility of obtaining greater monetary rewards.

  3. Reward Contingencies Improve Goal-Directed Behavior by Enhancing Posterior Brain Attentional Regions and Increasing Corticostriatal Connectivity in Cocaine Addicts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Costumero, Víctor; Llopis-Llacer, Juan-José; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    The dopaminergic system provides the basis for the interaction between motivation and cognition. It is triggered by the possibility of obtaining rewards to initiate the neurobehavioral adaptations necessary to achieve them by directing the information from motivational circuits to cognitive and action circuits. In drug addiction, the altered dopamine (DA) modulation of the meso-cortico-limbic reward circuitry, such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC), underlies the disproportionate motivational value of drug use at the expense of other non-drug reinforcers and the user’s loss of control over his/her drug intake. We examine how the magnitude of the reward affects goal-directed processes in healthy control (HC) subjects and abstinent cocaine dependent (ACD) patients by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a counting Stroop task with blocked levels of monetary incentives of different magnitudes (€0, €0.01, €0.5, €1 or €1.5). Our results showed that increasing reward magnitude enhances (1) performance facilitation in both groups; (2) left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity in HC and left superior occipital cortex activity in ACD; and (3) left DLPFC and left putamen connectivity in ACD compared to HC. Moreover, we observed that (4) dorsal striatal and pallidum activity was associated with craving and addiction severity during the parametric increases in the monetary reward. In conclusion, the brain response to gradients in monetary value was different in HC and ACD, but both groups showed improved task performance due to the possibility of obtaining greater monetary rewards. PMID:27907134

  4. Reward Contingencies Improve Goal-Directed Behavior by Enhancing Posterior Brain Attentional Regions and Increasing Corticostriatal Connectivity in Cocaine Addicts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Rosell-Negre

    Full Text Available The dopaminergic system provides the basis for the interaction between motivation and cognition. It is triggered by the possibility of obtaining rewards to initiate the neurobehavioral adaptations necessary to achieve them by directing the information from motivational circuits to cognitive and action circuits. In drug addiction, the altered dopamine (DA modulation of the meso-cortico-limbic reward circuitry, such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC, underlies the disproportionate motivational value of drug use at the expense of other non-drug reinforcers and the user's loss of control over his/her drug intake. We examine how the magnitude of the reward affects goal-directed processes in healthy control (HC subjects and abstinent cocaine dependent (ACD patients by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI during a counting Stroop task with blocked levels of monetary incentives of different magnitudes (€0, €0.01, €0.5, €1 or €1.5. Our results showed that increasing reward magnitude enhances (1 performance facilitation in both groups; (2 left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC activity in HC and left superior occipital cortex activity in ACD; and (3 left DLPFC and left putamen connectivity in ACD compared to HC. Moreover, we observed that (4 dorsal striatal and pallidum activity was associated with craving and addiction severity during the parametric increases in the monetary reward. In conclusion, the brain response to gradients in monetary value was different in HC and ACD, but both groups showed improved task performance due to the possibility of obtaining greater monetary rewards.

  5. Heritability of fear: Ukrainian experience

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    O.V. Filiptsova

    2014-08-04

    Aug 4, 2014 ... Results: As a result of the research, correlation coefficients of fears q ... Conclusions: The conducted research demonstrated genetic ... of fear – psychic disorder development, complications in personal life ... Nonetheless, in spite of many studies done on fear, many ..... aspects of quality) in women and men.

  6. Standardised (plain) cigarette packaging increases attention to both text-based and graphical health warnings: experimental evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankleman, M; Sykes, C; Mandeville, K L; Di Costa, S; Yarrow, K

    2015-01-01

    To investigate whether standardised cigarette packaging increases the time spent looking at health warnings, regardless of the format of those warnings. A factorial (two pack styles x three warning types) within-subject experiment, with participants randomised to different orders of conditions, completed at a university in London, UK. Mock-ups of cigarette packets were presented to participants with their branded portion in either standardised (plain) or manufacturer-designed (branded) format. Health warnings were present on all packets, representing all three types currently in use in the UK: black & white text, colour text, or colour images with accompanying text. Gaze position was recorded using a specialised eye tracker, providing the main outcome measure, which was the mean proportion of a five-second viewing period spent gazing at the warning-label region of the packet. An opportunity sample of 30 (six male, mean age = 23) young adults met the following inclusion criteria: 1) not currently a smoker; 2) 50% viewing time. These participants spent a greater proportion of the available time gazing at the warning-label region when the branded section of the pack was standardised (following current Australian guidelines) rather than containing the manufacturer's preferred design (mean difference in proportions = 0.078, 95% confidence interval 0.049 to 0.106, p interaction p = 0.295). During incidental viewing of cigarette packets, young adult never-smokers are likely to spend more time looking at health warnings if manufacturers are compelled to use standardised packaging, regardless of the warning design. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Genetic mapping of canine fear and aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata, Isain; Serpell, James A; Alvarez, Carlos E

    2016-08-08

    aggression traits to single haplotypes at the GNAT3-CD36 and IGSF1 loci. CD36 is widely expressed, but areas of the amygdala and hypothalamus are among the brain regions with highest enrichment; and CD36-knockout mice are known to have significantly increased anxiety and aggression. Both of the other genes have very high tissue-specificity and are very abundantly expressed in brain regions that comprise the core anatomy of fear and aggression - the amygdala to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We propose that reduced-fear variants at these loci may have been involved in the domestication process.

  8. The role of fear in delusions of the paranormal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, R; Houran, J

    1999-03-01

    Based on an extended process model derived from attribution theory, we hypothesized that pervasive and persistent delusions of the paranormal are characterized by the existence of a positive (self-reinforcing), rather than a negative (self-correcting), feedback loop involving paranormal beliefs, fears, and experiences, as moderated by gender and tolerance of ambiguity. A cross-cultural sample of "international" students who reported poltergeist-like experiences showing high fear of the paranormal was identified. As in earlier research, path analysis showed statistically significant and positive effects of belief on experience and/or fear on belief. However, paranormal experience now had a positive effect on fear as well. Thus, as predicted, increased fear removes the option of neutralizing ambiguous events by labeling them as "paranormal." Although female subjects showed significantly greater fear of the paranormal than male subjects, there is no evidence that the nature of the delusional process is gender specific.

  9. The Role of Fear Appeals in Improving Driver Safety: A Review of the Effectiveness of Fear-Arousing (Threat) Appeals in Road Safety Advertising

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, I.; Watson, B.; Tay, R.; White, K. M.

    2007-01-01

    This paper reviews theoretical and empirical evidence relating to the effectiveness of fear (threat) appeals in improving driver safety. The results of the review highlight the mixed and inconsistent findings that have been reported in the literature. While fear arousal appears important for attracting attention, its contribution to behaviour…

  10. Running from fear: Exercise modulation of fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanner, Margaret K; Hake, Holly S; Bouchet, Courtney A; Greenwood, Benjamin N

    2018-03-31

    Extinction-based exposure therapy is the most common behavioral therapy for anxiety and trauma-related disorders, but fear tends to resurface even after successful extinction. Identification of novel strategies to enhance fear extinction and reduce fear relapse is of paramount importance to mental health. Exercise can enhance cognitive function, but it is not yet well understood whether exercise can be an effective augmentation strategy for fear extinction. In the current review, we present the current state of knowledge on the effects of exercise on fear extinction. Effects of exercise duration, explanations for conflicting results, and potential mechanisms, focusing on a hypothesized role for dopamine, are all discussed. We also provide new data suggesting that the timing in which acute exercise occurs relative to fear extinction, is a crucial variable in determining whether exercise can enhance fear extinction. Clinical implications and ideas to guide future research endeavors in this area are provided. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Fear of water in children and adults: etiology and familial effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, J; Gaffan, E A

    1997-02-01

    Water-fearful children (non-swimmers. 5-8 yrs and adults (non-swimmers or late learners, 23-73 yr) were compared with non-fearful controls of similar swimming ability. Parallel assessments were carried out with children and adults to investigate water-related experiences, water fear and competence in parents and siblings, and the relationship of water fear to other fear dimensions. Children were assessed behaviorally and by self and mother's report, adults by self-report. In neither children nor adults was there clear evidence that fearful and non-fearful groups differed in incidence of aversive water-related experience before fear onset. Parents usually believed that children's fear was present at first contact. In both samples, we found parent-offspring and sibling resemblances in fear. Analysis of details of children's contact with parents suggested that social learning within the family decreased water fear rather than increasing it; when both child and parent showed fear, that was as likely to reflect genetic influences as modeling. Young children's water fear forms part of a generic cluster, fear of the Unknown or Danger, while in adults it becomes independent of generic fears.

  12. Hypobaric hypoxia impairs cued and contextual fear memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumari, Punita; Kauser, Hina; Wadhwa, Meetu; Roy, Koustav; Alam, Shahnawaz; Sahu, Surajit; Kishore, Krishna; Ray, Koushik; Panjwani, Usha

    2018-04-26

    Fear memory is essential for survival, and its dysregulation leads to disorders. High altitude hypobaric hypoxia (HH) is known to induce cognitive decline. However, its effect on fear memory is still an enigma. We aimed to investigate the temporal effect of HH on fear conditioning and the underlying mechanism. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained for fear conditioning and exposed to simulated HH equivalent to 25,000 ft for different durations (1, 3, 7, 14 and 21 days). Subsequently, rats were tested for cued and contextual fear conditioning. Neuronal morphology, apoptosis and DNA fragmentation were studied in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), hippocampus and basolateral amygdala (BLA). We observed significant deficit in cued and contextual fear acquisition (at 1, 3 and 7 days) and consolidation (cued at 1 and 3 days and contextual fear at 1, 3 and 7 days) under HH. HH exposure with retraining showed the earlier restoration of contextual fear memory. Further, we found a gradual increase in the number of pyknotic and apoptotic neurons together with the increase in DNA fragmentation in mPFC, hippocampus, and BLA up to 7 days of HH exposure. The present study concludes that HH exposure equivalent to 25000 ft induced cued and contextual fear memory deficit (acquisition and consolidation) which is found to be correlated with the neurodegenerative changes in the limbic brain regions. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Deficient fear conditioning in psychopathy as a function of interpersonal and affective disturbances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralf eVeit

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The diminished fear reactivity is one of the most valid physiological findings in psychopathy research. In a fear conditioning paradigm, with faces as conditioned stimulus (CS and electric shock as unconditioned stimulus (US, we investigated a sample of 14 high psychopathic violent offenders. Event related potentials, skin conductance responses (SCR as well as subjective ratings of the CSs were collected. This study assessed to which extent the different facets of the psychopathy construct contribute to the fear conditioning deficits observed in psychopaths. Participants with high scores on the affective facet subscale of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R showed weaker conditioned fear responses and lower N100 amplitudes compared to low scorers. In contrast, high scorers on the affective facet rated the CS+ (paired more negatively than low scorers regarding the CS- (unpaired. Regarding the P300, high scores on the interpersonal facet were associated with increased amplitudes to the CS+ compared to the CS-, while the opposed pattern was found with the antisocial facet. Both, the initial and terminal contingent negative variation indicated a divergent pattern: participants with pronounced interpersonal deficits, showed increased cortical negativity to the CS+ compared to the CS-, whereas a reversed CS+/CS- differentiation was found in offenders scoring high on the antisocial facet. The present study revealed that deficient fear conditioning in psychopathy was most pronounced in offenders with high scores on the affective facet. Event related potentials suggest that participants with distinct interpersonal deficits showed increased information processing, whereas the antisocial facet was linked to decreased attention and interest to the CS+. These data indicate that an approach to the facets of psychopathy can help to resolve ambiguous findings in psychopathy research and enables a more precise and useful description of this disorder.

  14. Examining the Direct and Indirect Effects of Fear and Anger on Criminal Decision Making Among Known Offenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouffard, Jeff A

    2015-12-01

    Deterrence represents the central theoretical core of the American criminal justice system, yet relatively little attention has been paid to how emotions like fear and anger may relate to deterrence. Psychological research has debated whether negative emotions each have similar impacts on decision making (valence approaches) or if distinct emotions have unique impacts (appraisal tendency approaches). This study explores the direct and indirect influences of fear and anger on hypothetical drunk driving likelihood, including their impact on cost perceptions. Surveys were administered to 1,013 male and female incarcerated felony offenders in the Southwestern United States. Using a multivariate path model and controlling for a number of other individual factors, current fear related to increased cost perceptions and anger to decreased costs. Anger also maintained a direct influence on drunk driving, whereas fear did not. Despite their shared negative valence, fear and anger appear to have dissimilar influences on cost perceptions and criminal decision making. A better understanding of these processes may lead to improved crime prevention approaches. © The Author(s) 2014.

  15. The Politics of Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    In the aftermath of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut this past December, people experienced the world around them as less safe--understandably so. In response to such a tragic event, there is a degree of fear instilled in all people that for many was at its peak in the New Year as they prepared to send their children back to school.…

  16. Stress and Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maren, Stephen; Holmes, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Stress has a critical role in the development and expression of many psychiatric disorders, and is a defining feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Stress also limits the efficacy of behavioral therapies aimed at limiting pathological fear, such as exposure therapy. Here we examine emerging evidence that stress impairs recovery from trauma by impairing fear extinction, a form of learning thought to underlie the suppression of trauma-related fear memories. We describe the major structural and functional abnormalities in brain regions that are particularly vulnerable to stress, including the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus, which may underlie stress-induced impairments in extinction. We also discuss some of the stress-induced neurochemical and molecular alterations in these brain regions that are associated with extinction deficits, and the potential for targeting these changes to prevent or reverse impaired extinction. A better understanding of the neurobiological basis of stress effects on extinction promises to yield novel approaches to improving therapeutic outcomes for PTSD and other anxiety and trauma-related disorders. PMID:26105142

  17. Understanding amygdala responsiveness to fearful expressions through the lens of psychopathy and altruism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Abigail A

    2016-06-01

    Because the face is the central focus of human social interactions, emotional facial expressions provide a unique window into the emotional lives of others. They play a particularly important role in fostering empathy, which entails understanding and responding to others' emotions, especially distress-related emotions such as fear. This Review considers how fearful facial as well as vocal and postural expressions are interpreted, with an emphasis on the role of the amygdala. The amygdala may be best known for its role in the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear, but it also supports the perception and recognition of others' fear. Various explanations have been supplied for the amygdala's role in interpreting and responding to fearful expressions. They include theories that amygdala responses to fearful expressions 1) reflect heightened vigilance in response to uncertain danger, 2) promote heightened attention to the eye region of faces, 3) represent a response to an unconditioned aversive stimulus, or 4) reflect the generation of an empathic fear response. Among these, only empathic fear explains why amygdala lesions would impair fear recognition across modalities. Supporting the possibility of a link between fundamental empathic processes and amygdala responses to fear is evidence that impaired fear recognition in psychopathic individuals results from amygdala dysfunction, whereas enhanced fear recognition in altruistic individuals results from enhanced amygdala function. Empathic concern and caring behaviors may be fostered by sensitivity to signs of acute distress in others, which relies on intact functioning of the amygdala. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Gradients of fear: How perception influences fear generalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Struyf, Dieter; Zaman, Jonas; Hermans, Dirk; Vervliet, Bram

    2017-06-01

    The current experiment investigated whether overgeneralization of fear could be due to an inability to perceptually discriminate the initial fear-evoking stimulus from similar stimuli, as fear learning-induced perceptual impairments have been reported but their influence on generalization gradients remain to be elucidated. Three hundred and sixty-eight healthy volunteers participated in a differential fear conditioning paradigm with circles of different sizes as conditioned stimuli (CS), of which one was paired to an aversive IAPS picture. During generalization, each subject was presented with one of 10 different sized circles including the CSs, and were asked to categorize the stimulus as either a CS or as novel after fear responses were recorded. Linear mixed models were used to investigate differences in fear generalization gradients depending on the participant's perception of the test stimulus. We found that the incorrect perception of a novel stimulus as the initial fear-evoking stimulus strongly boosted fear responses. The current findings demonstrate that a significant number of novel stimuli used to assess generalization are incorrectly identified as the initial fear-evoking stimulus, providing a perceptual account for the observed overgeneralization in panic and anxiety disorders. Accordingly, enhancing perceptual processing may be a promising treatment for targeting excessive fear generalization. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. The effect of caffeine to increase reaction time in the rat during a test of attention is mediated through antagonism of adenosine A2A receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Guy A; Grzelak, Michael E; Pond, Annamarie J; Cohen-Williams, Mary E; Hodgson, Robert A; Varty, Geoffrey B

    2007-12-11

    Caffeine produces effects on cognitive function particularly relating to aspects of attention such as reaction time. Considering the plasma exposure levels following regular caffeine intake, and the affinity of caffeine for known protein targets, these effects are likely mediated by either the adenosine A(1) or A(2A) receptor. In the present studies, two rat strains [Long-Evans (LE) and CD] were trained to asymptote performance in a test of selective attention, the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT). Next, the effects of caffeine were compared to the selective A(2A) antagonists, SCH 412348 and KW-6002 (Istradefylline), and the A(1) antagonist, DPCPX. Further studies compared the psychostimulant effects of each drug. Finally, we tested the A(2A) agonist, CGS-21680, on 5-CSRTT performance and given the antipsychotic potential of this drug class, studied the interaction between CGS-21680 and amphetamine in this task. Caffeine (3-10mg/kg IP) increased reaction time in both LE and CD rats, with no effect on accuracy, an effect replicated by SCH 412348 (0.1-1mg/kg PO) and KW-6002 (1-3mg/kg PO), but not DPCPX (3-30 mg/kg PO). At least with SCH 412348, these effects were at doses that were not overtly psychostimulant. In contrast, CGS-21680 (0.03-0. 3mg/kg IP) slowed reaction speed and increased omissions. Interestingly, at a comparatively low dose of 0.03 mg/kg, CGS-21680 attenuated the increased premature responding produced by amphetamine (1mg/kg IP). The present results suggest that the attention-enhancing effects of caffeine are mediated through A(2A) receptor blockade, and selective A(2A) receptor antagonists may have potential as therapies for attention-related disorders. Furthermore, the improvement in response control in amphetamine-treated rats following CGS-21680 pretreatment supports the view that A(2A) agonists have potential as novel antipsychotics.

  20. Stress-related increases in risk taking and attentional failures predict earlier relapse to smoking in young adults: A pilot investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schepis, Ty S; Tapscott, Brian E; Krishnan-Sarin, Suchitra

    2016-04-01

    Substantial evidence links greater impulsivity and stress exposure to poorer smoking cessation outcomes. Results from adolescents also indicate that stress-related change in risk taking can impede cessation attempts. We investigated the effects of stress-related change in impulsivity, risk taking, attention and nicotine withdrawal, and craving in young adult smokers on time to smoking relapse in a relapse analogue paradigm. Twenty-six young adult smokers (50% women; mean age: 20.9 ± 1.8) were exposed to a stress imagery session followed by a contingency management-based relapse analogue paradigm. Participants smoked at least 5 cigarettes daily, with a mean baseline carbon monoxide (CO) level of 13.7 (± 5.1) ppm. Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and paired t tests examined stress induction validity and Cox regressions of proportional hazards examined the effects of stress-related changes in nicotine withdrawal, nicotine craving, attention, impulsivity, and risk taking on time to relapse. While stress-related change in impulsivity, nicotine craving and withdrawal did not predict time to relapse (all ps > .10), greater stress-related increases in reaction time (RT) variability (p = .02) were predictive of shorter time to relapse, with trend-level findings for inattention and risk taking. Furthermore, changes in stress-related risk taking affected outcome in women more than in men, with a significant relationship between stress-related change in risk taking only in women (p = .026). Smoking cessation attempts in young adults may be adversely impacted by stress-related increases in risk taking and attentional disruption. Clinicians working with young adults attempting cessation may need to target these stress-related impairments by fostering more adaptive coping and resilience. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Cellular and oscillatory substrates of fear extinction learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Patrick; Zaki, Yosif; Maguire, Jamie; Reijmers, Leon G

    2017-11-01

    The mammalian brain contains dedicated circuits for both the learned expression and suppression of fear. These circuits require precise coordination to facilitate the appropriate expression of fear behavior, but the mechanisms underlying this coordination remain unclear. Using a combination of chemogenetics, activity-based neuronal-ensemble labeling and in vivo electrophysiology, we found that fear extinction learning confers on parvalbumin-expressing (PV) interneurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) a dedicated role in the selective suppression of a previously encoded fear memory and BLA fear-encoding neurons. In addition, following extinction learning, PV interneurons enable a competing interaction between a 6-12 Hz oscillation and a fear-associated 3-6 Hz oscillation within the BLA. Loss of this competition increases a 3-6 Hz oscillatory signature, with BLA→medial prefrontal cortex directionality signaling the recurrence of fear expression. The discovery of cellular and oscillatory substrates of fear extinction learning that critically depend on BLA PV interneurons could inform therapies aimed at preventing the pathological recurrence of fear following extinction learning.

  2. fMRI Neurofeedback Training for Increasing Anterior Cingulate Cortex Activation in Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. An Exploratory Randomized, Single-Blinded Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zilverstand, Anna; Sorger, Bettina; Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Kan, Cornelis C; Goebel, Rainer; Buitelaar, Jan K

    2017-01-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by poor cognitive control/attention and hypofunctioning of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). In the current study, we investigated for the first time whether real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rt-fMRI) training targeted at increasing activation levels within dACC in adults with ADHD leads to a reduction of clinical symptoms and improved cognitive functioning. An exploratory randomized controlled treatment study with blinding of the participants was conducted. Participants with ADHD (n = 7 in the neurofeedback group, and n = 6 in the control group) attended four weekly MRI training sessions (60-min training time/session), during which they performed a mental calculation task at varying levels of difficulty, in order to learn how to up-regulate dACC activation. Only neurofeedback participants received continuous feedback information on actual brain activation levels within dACC. Before and after the training, ADHD symptoms and relevant cognitive functioning was assessed. Results showed that both groups achieved a significant increase in dACC activation levels over sessions. While there was no significant difference between the neurofeedback and control group in clinical outcome, neurofeedback participants showed stronger improvement on cognitive functioning. The current study demonstrates the general feasibility of the suggested rt-fMRI neurofeedback training approach as a potential novel treatment option for ADHD patients. Due to the study's small sample size, potential clinical benefits need to be further investigated in future studies. ISRCTN12390961.

  3. Who fears and who welcomes population decline?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik P. Van Dalen

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available European countries are experiencing population decline and the tacit assumption in most analyses is that the decline may have detrimental welfare effects. In this paper we use a survey among the population in the Netherlands to discover whether population decline is always met with fear. A number of results stand out: population size preferences differ by geographic proximity: at a global level the majority of respondents favors a (global population decline, but closer to home one supports a stationary population. Population decline is clearly not always met with fear: 31 percent would like the population to decline at the national level and they generally perceive decline to be accompanied by immaterial welfare gains (improvement environment as well as material welfare losses (tax increases, economic stagnation. In addition to these driving forces it appears that the attitude towards immigrants is a very strong determinant at all geographical levels: immigrants seem to be a stronger fear factor than population decline.

  4. The vicious cycle of dental fear: exploring the interplay between oral health, service utilization and dental fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spencer A John

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Based on the hypothesis that a vicious cycle of dental fear exists, whereby the consequences of fear tend to maintain that fear, the relationship between dental fear, self-reported oral health status and the use of dental services was explored. Methods The study used a telephone interview survey with interviews predominantly conducted in 2002. A random sample of 6,112 Australian residents aged 16 years and over was selected from 13 strata across all States and Territories. Data were weighted across strata and by age and sex to obtain unbiased population estimates. Results People with higher dental fear visited the dentist less often and indicated a longer expected time before visiting a dentist in the future. Higher dental fear was associated with greater perceived need for dental treatment, increased social impact of oral ill-health and worse self-rated oral health. Visiting patterns associated with higher dental fear were more likely to be symptom driven with dental visits more likely to be for a problem or for the relief of pain. All the relationships assumed by a vicious cycle of dental fear were significant. In all, 29.2% of people who were very afraid of going to the dentist had delayed dental visiting, poor oral health and symptom-driven treatment seeking compared to 11.6% of people with no dental fear. Conclusion Results are consistent with a hypothesised vicious cycle of dental fear whereby people with high dental fear are more likely to delay treatment, leading to more extensive dental problems and symptomatic visiting patterns which feed back into the maintenance or exacerbation of existing dental fear.

  5. Fear-potentiation in the elevated plus-maze test depends on stressor controllability and fear conditioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Korte, S M; Bohus, B; de Boer, Sietse

    The purpose of the study was to determine which stressor qualities (escapable vs. inescapable stress and unconditioned vs. conditioned stress) can potentiate fear in the elevated plus-maze. While inescapable stress potentiated fear, escapable stress did not, but escapable stress increased the

  6. D-cycloserine enhances generalization of fear extinction in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Simon P; Rapee, Ronald M; Richardson, Rick; Malhi, Gin S; Jones, Michael; Hudson, Jennifer L

    2015-06-01

    For exposure therapy to be successful, it is essential that fear extinction learning extends beyond the treatment setting. D-cycloserine (DCS) may facilitate treatment gains by increasing generalization of extinction learning, however, its effects have not been tested in children. We examined whether DCS enhanced generalization of fear extinction learning across different stimuli and contexts among children with specific phobias. The study was a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized controlled trial among dog or spider phobic children aged 6-14. Participants ingested either 50 mg of DCS (n = 18) or placebo (n = 17) before receiving a single prolonged exposure session to their feared stimulus. Return of fear was examined 1 week later to a different stimulus (a different dog or spider), presented in both the original treatment context and an alternate context. Avoidance and fear were measured with Behavior Approach Tests (BATs), where the child was asked to increase proximity to the stimulus while reporting their fear level. There were no differences in BAT performance between groups during the exposure session or when a new stimulus was later presented in the treatment context. However, when the new stimulus was presented in a different context, relative to placebo, the DCS group showed less avoidance (P = .03) and less increase in fear (P = .04) with moderate effect sizes. DCS enabled children to better retain their fear extinction learning. This new learning generalized to different stimuli and contexts. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Biotechnology: An Era of Hopes and Fears

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Strategic Studies Quarterly ♦ Fall 2016 23 Biotechnology An Era of Hopes and Fears LTC Douglas R. Lewis, PhD, US Army Abstract Biotechnology ......ignored. The idea of advances in biotechnology increasing the biological weapons threat is not new. In 2003 an analysis of gene sequencing and

  8. Comparison of attention training and cognitive therapy in the treatment of social phobia: a preliminary investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald, Juliet; Abbott, Maree J; Smith, Evelyn

    2014-01-01

    Prominent models of social phobia highlight the role played by attentional factors, such as self-focused attention, in the development and maintenance of social phobia. Elevated self-focused attention is associated with increases in self-rated anxiety. Treatments that aim to modify and change attentional processes, specifically self-focused attention, will have a direct effect on social phobia symptoms. Thus, Attention Training targets attentional focus. The present study aimed to investigate the efficacy of Attention Training in comparison to an established treatment for social phobia, Cognitive Therapy. Participants (Intention-to-treat = 45; completers = 30) were allocated to either 6 weeks of Attention Training or Cognitive Therapy. It was hypothesized that both treatments would be effective in reducing social phobia symptoms, but that Attention Training would work primarily by reducing levels of self-focused attention. The results found an overall effectiveness of both treatment conditions in reducing social phobia symptoms. However, Attention Training significantly improved scores on the Self-Focused Attention questionnaire and the Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation questionnaire compared to Cognitive Therapy. Attention Training seems to be a promising treatment for social phobia.

  9. The role of Homer 1a in increasing locomotor activity and non-selective attention, and impairing learning and memory abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lei; Hong, Qin; Zhang, Min; Liu, Xiao; Pan, Xiao-Qin; Guo, Mei; Fei, Li; Guo, Xi-Rong; Tong, Mei-Ling; Chi, Xia

    2013-06-17

    The current study aimed to investigate the possible role of Homer 1a in the etiology and pathogenesis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We divided 32 rats into four groups. The rats in the RNAi-MPH group were given the lentiviral vector containing Homer 1a-specific miRNA (Homer 1a-RNAi-LV) by intracerebroventricular injection, and 7 days later they were given three daily doses of methylphenidate (MPH) by intragastric gavage. The RNAi-SAL group was given Homer 1a-RNAi-LV and saline later. The NC-MPH group was given the negative control lentiviral vector (NC-LV) and MPH later. The NC-SAL group was given NC-LV and saline later. Rats that were given Homer 1a RNAi exhibited increased locomotor activity and non-selective attention, and impaired learning and memory abilities, which is in line with the behavioral findings of animal models of ADHD. However, MPH ameliorated these abnormal behaviors. All findings indicated that Homer 1a may play an important role in the etiology and pathogenesis of ADHD. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Fear of childbirth in pregnant women: External and internal factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kashshapova, E. V.

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Fear of childbirth (FOC is an important psychological problem that is studied worldwide because it affects the well-being of pregnant women. However, in Russia, this problem does not receive adequate attention among researchers. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the conditionality of fear of childbirth (FOC in pregnant women by external and internal factors, which we assumed were the reasons for this fear. As external factors, we considered socio-demographic indicators (e.g., age, marital status, level of education, housing, and the attitude of relatives towards pregnancy as well as indicators of gynecological history (e.g., the term of pregnancy, the outcome of previous pregnancies, and pregnancy complications. As internal (psychological factors of the fear of childbirth, we considered personal anxiety as well as general inclination towards and negative consequences of different fears (20 types of fears and phobias were examined. The study was conducted with a Russian sample of 76 women at different stages of pregnancy and with different socio-demographic indicators and gynecological histories. The analysis of the results showed the absence of significant differences between women who were pregnant with FOC and those without this fear in terms of the external factors considered in this study. According to the study’s data, a general inclination of women to fear is associated with fear of childbirth. However, the findings for the women with FOC did not indicate significant positive correlations between the level of this fear and exposure to any of the 20 types of fear and phobias measured in the study. Furthermore, the results did not detect relationships between the FOC level and women’s personal anxiety. The results allow us to conclude that FOC is a separate phenomenon that is not dependent on other phobias and fears. Fear of childbirth has a subjective and highly individual genesis. It is not a direct consequence of

  11. Coming to terms with fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2014-01-01

    The brain mechanisms of fear have been studied extensively using Pavlovian fear conditioning, a procedure that allows exploration of how the brain learns about and later detects and responds to threats. However, mechanisms that detect and respond to threats are not the same as those that give rise to conscious fear. This is an important distinction because symptoms based on conscious and nonconscious processes may be vulnerable to different predisposing factors and may also be treatable with different approaches in people who suffer from uncontrolled fear or anxiety. A conception of so-called fear conditioning in terms of circuits that operate nonconsciously, but that indirectly contribute to conscious fear, is proposed as way forward. PMID:24501122

  12. Antagonism of Lateral Amygdala Alpha1-Adrenergic Receptors Facilitates Fear Conditioning and Long-Term Potentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaro, Stephanie C.; Hou, Mian; Cunha, Catarina; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Cain, Christopher K.

    2010-01-01

    Norepinephrine receptors have been studied in emotion, memory, and attention. However, the role of alpha1-adrenergic receptors in fear conditioning, a major model of emotional learning, is poorly understood. We examined the effect of terazosin, an alpha1-adrenergic receptor antagonist, on cued fear conditioning. Systemic or intra-lateral amygdala…

  13. The Role of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Trace Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwapis, Janine L.; Jarome, Timothy J.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2015-01-01

    The extinction of delay fear conditioning relies on a neural circuit that has received much attention and is relatively well defined. Whether this established circuit also supports the extinction of more complex associations, however, is unclear. Trace fear conditioning is a better model of complex relational learning, yet the circuit that…

  14. The anatomy of fear learning in the cerebellum : A systematic meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lange, Iris; Kasanova, Zuzana; Goossens, Liesbet; Leibold, Nicole; De Zeeuw, Chris I; van Amelsvoort, Therese; Schruers, Koen

    2015-01-01

    Recent neuro-imaging studies have implicated the cerebellum in several higher-order functions. Its role in human fear conditioning has, however, received limited attention. The current meta-analysis examines the loci of cerebellar contributions to fear conditioning in healthy subjects, thus mapping,

  15. Are fear memories erasable? –reconsolidation of learned fear with fear relevant and fear-irrelevant stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Armita eGolkar; Martin eBellander; Andreas eOlsson; Arne eÖhman

    2012-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of fear learning have demonstrated that a single reminder exposure prior to extinction training can prevent the return of extinguished fear by disrupting the process of reconsolidation. These findings have however proven hard to replicate in humans. Given the significant implications of preventing the return of fear, the purpose of the present study was to further study the prerequisites for the putative effects of disrupting reconsolidation. In two experiments, w...

  16. Personality and fear of childbirth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryding, Elsa Lena; Wirfelt, Eva; Wängborg, Ing-Britt; Sjögren, Berit; Edman, Gunnar

    2007-01-01

    Socioeconomic factors and previous experiences of delivery are known to influence pregnant women's fear of childbirth. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between stable personality traits, fear of childbirth during late pregnancy, and experience of the delivery. Self-report questionnaires were completed twice, during gestation week 34-37, and at 1-week postpartum. Comparisons were made between 85 women who had sought help from a fear-of-childbirth team, and a group (n=177) from routine antenatal care. Correlations between fear of childbirth, personality variables and experience of childbirth were calculated. The women who had sought help tended to be more anxiety-prone, more short-tempered, and lower in socialisation, although within the normal range. In spite of counselling, they reported more intense fear of delivery and fear of pain compared with the comparison group. Women with intense fear of childbirth, who were low in socialisation and high in psychasthenia, had a more negative experience of their current childbirth. Women with intense fear of childbirth differ from other pregnant women also in personality. Methods for treating fear of childbirth should be further developed in order to diminish the risk of a negative birth experience.

  17. Appraisal of dental anxiety and fear questionnaires: a review.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuurs, A.H.B.; Hoogstraten, J.

    1993-01-01

    This article reviews and assesses six dental anxiety and fear questionnaires. The construct aimed at by the questionnaires, the data collected, their reliability, validity and normative scores are considered. Some attention is given to the correlations between the questionnaires, their ambiguity,

  18. Growing up to be fearful? Social evaluative fears during adolescence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sumter, Sindy Resita

    2010-01-01

    This thesis studies the normal developmental pattern of social evaluative fears from childhood to adolescence. We have investigated age differences in self-reported social fears and physical responses during a public speaking task. In addition, youth's perceptions of speaking in public were studied

  19. Pre-exposure and retrieval effects on generalization of contextual fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sevenster, D.; de Oliveira Alvares, L.; D'Hooge, R.

    2018-01-01

    The degree of generalization from a fearful context to other contexts is determined by precision of the original fear memory. Experiences before and after fear learning affect memory precision. Pre-exposure to a similar context before context conditioning results in increased generalization to the

  20. Should we fear "flu fear" itself? Effects of H1N1 influenza fear on ED use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonnell, William M; Nelson, Douglas S; Schunk, Jeff E

    2012-02-01

    Surges in patient volumes compromise emergency departments' (EDs') ability to deliver care, as shown by the recent H1N1 influenza (flu) epidemic. Media reports are important in informing the public about health threats, but the effects of media-induced anxiety on ED volumes are unclear. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of widespread public concern about flu on ED use. We reviewed ED data from an integrated health system operating 18 hospital EDs. We compared ED visits during three 1-week periods: (a) a period of heightened public concern regarding flu before the disease was present ("Fear Week"), (b) a subsequent period of active disease ("Flu Week"), and (c) a week before widespread concern ("Control Week"). Fear Week was identified from an analysis of statewide Google electronic searches for "swine flu" and from media announcements about flu. Flu Week was identified from statewide epidemiological data. Data were reviewed from 22 608 visits during the study periods. Fear Week (n = 7712) and Flu Week (n = 7687) were compared to Control Week (n = 7209). Fear Week showed a 7.0% increase in visits (95% confidence interval, 6-8). Pediatric visits increased by 19.7%, whereas adult visits increased by 1%. Flu Week showed an increase over Control Week of 6.6% (95% confidence interval, 6-7). Pediatric visits increased by 10.6%, whereas adult visits increased by 4.8%. At a time of heightened public concern regarding flu but little disease prevalence, EDs experienced substantial increases in patient volumes. These increases were significant and comparable to the increases experienced during the subsequent epidemic of actual disease. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Contextual control over expression of fear is affected by cortisol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Anna Van Ast

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available At the core of anxiety disorders is the inability to use contextual information to modulate behavioral responses to potentially threatening events. Models of the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders incorporate stress and concomitant stress hormones as important vulnerability factors, while others emphasize sex as an important factor. However, translational basic research has not yet investigated the effects of stress hormones and sex on the ability to use contextual information to modulate responses to threat. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was threefold: first, we aimed at developing an experimental paradigm specifically capable of capturing contextual modulation of the expression of fear. Second, we tested whether cortisol would alter the contextualization of fear expression. Third, we aimed at assessing whether alterations in contextualization due to cortisol were different for men and women. Healthy participants (n = 42 received placebo or hydrocortisone (20 mg prior to undergoing a newly developed differential contextual fear conditioning paradigm. The results indicated that people rapidly acquire differential contextual modulation of the expression of fear, as measured by fear potentiated startle and skin conductance responses. In addition, cortisol impaired the contextualization of fear expression leading to increased fear generalization on fear potentiated startle data in women. The opposite pattern was found in men. Finally, as assessed by skin conductance responses, cortisol impaired differential conditioning in men. The results are in line with models suggesting heightened vulnerability in women for developing anxiety disorders after stressful events.

  2. Cortisol modifies extinction learning of recently acquired fear in men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermann, Andrea; Stark, Rudolf; Wolf, Oliver Tobias

    2014-01-01

    Exposure therapy builds on the mechanism of fear extinction leading to decreased fear responses. How the stress hormone cortisol affects brain regions involved in fear extinction in humans is unknown. For this reason, we tested 32 men randomly assigned to receive either 30 mg hydrocortisone or placebo 45 min before fear extinction. In fear acquisition, a picture of a geometrical figure was either partially paired (conditioned stimulus; CS+) or not paired (CS−) with an electrical stimulation (unconditioned stimulus; UCS). In fear extinction, each CS was presented again, but no UCS occurred. Cortisol increased conditioned skin conductance responses in early and late extinction. In early extinction, higher activation towards the CS− than to the CS+ was found in the amygdala, hippocampus and posterior parahippocampal gyrus. This pattern might be associated with the establishment of a new memory trace. In late extinction, the placebo compared with the cortisol group displayed enhanced CS+/CS− differentiation in the amygdala, medial frontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. A change from early deactivation to late activation of the extinction circuit as seen in the placebo group seems to be needed to enhance extinction and to reduce fear. Cortisol appears to interfere with this process thereby impairing extinction of recently acquired conditioned fear. PMID:23945999

  3. Learning to fear a second-order stimulus following vicarious learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Gemma; Field, Andy P; Askew, Chris

    2017-04-01

    Vicarious fear learning refers to the acquisition of fear via observation of the fearful responses of others. The present study aims to extend current knowledge by exploring whether second-order vicarious fear learning can be demonstrated in children. That is, whether vicariously learnt fear responses for one stimulus can be elicited in a second stimulus associated with that initial stimulus. Results demonstrated that children's (5-11 years) fear responses for marsupials and caterpillars increased when they were seen with fearful faces compared to no faces. Additionally, the results indicated a second-order effect in which fear-related learning occurred for other animals seen together with the fear-paired animal, even though the animals were never observed with fearful faces themselves. Overall, the findings indicate that for children in this age group vicariously learnt fear-related responses for one stimulus can subsequently be observed for a second stimulus without it being experienced in a fear-related vicarious learning event. These findings may help to explain why some individuals do not recall involvement of a traumatic learning episode in the development of their fear of a specific stimulus.

  4. Implications of newborn amygdala connectivity for fear and cognitive development at 6-months-of-age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Alice M.; Buss, Claudia; Rasmussen, Jerod M.; Rudolph, Marc D.; Demeter, Damion V.; Gilmore, John H.; Styner, Martin; Entringer, Sonja; Wadhwa, Pathik D.; Fair, Damien A.

    2015-01-01

    The first year of life is an important period for emergence of fear in humans. While animal models have revealed developmental changes in amygdala circuitry accompanying emerging fear, human neural systems involved in early fear development remain poorly understood. To increase understanding of the neural foundations of human fear, it is important to consider parallel cognitive development, which may modulate associations between typical development of early fear and subsequent risk for fear-related psychopathology. We, therefore, examined amygdala functional connectivity with rs-fcMRI in 48 neonates (M=3.65 weeks, SD=1.72), and measured fear and cognitive development at 6-months-of-age. Stronger, positive neonatal amygdala connectivity to several regions, including bilateral anterior insula and ventral striatum, was prospectively associated with higher fear at 6-months. Stronger amygdala connectivity to ventral anterior cingulate/anterior medial prefrontal cortex predicted a specific phenotype of higher fear combined with more advanced cognitive development. Overall, findings demonstrate unique profiles of neonatal amygdala functional connectivity related to emerging fear and cognitive development, which may have implications for normative and pathological fear in later years. Consideration of infant fear in the context of cognitive development will likely contribute to a more nuanced understanding of fear, its neural bases, and its implications for future mental health. PMID:26499255

  5. The increased risk of road crashes in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD adult drivers: driven by distraction? Results from a responsibility case-control study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal El Farouki

    Full Text Available Both distractions (external and internal and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD are serious risk factors for traffic crashes and injuries. However, it is still unknown if ADHD (a chronic condition modifies the effect of distractions (irregular hazards on traffic crashes. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of distractions and ADHD on traffic crash responsibility.A responsibility case-control study was conducted in the adult emergency department of Bordeaux University Hospital, France. Subjects were recruited among drivers injured in a motor vehicle crash between April 2010 and August 2011. Responsibility levels were estimated using a standardized method. Frequencies of exposures were compared between drivers responsible and drivers not responsible for the crash. Independent risk factors were identified using a multivariate logistic regression including test interactions between distractions and ADHD.A total of 777 subjects were included in the analysis. Factors associated with responsibility were distraction induced by an external event (adjusted OR (aOR = 1.47; 95% confidence interval (CI [1.06-2.05], distraction induced by an internal thought (aOR = 2.38; CI: [1.50-3.77] and ADHD (aOR = 2.18 CI: [1.22-3.88]. The combined effect of ADHD and external distractions was strongly associated with responsibility for the crash (aOR = 5.79 CI: [2.06-16.32]. Interaction assessment showed that the attributable proportion due to the interaction among participants with both exposures was 68%.Adults with ADHD are a population at higher risk of being responsible for a road traffic crash when exposed to external distractions. This result reinforces the need to diagnose adult ADHD and to include road safety awareness messages delivered by the physician. Developing advanced driver assistance systems devoted to the management of attention lapses is also increasingly relevant for these drivers.

  6. The increased risk of road crashes in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) adult drivers: driven by distraction? Results from a responsibility case-control study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Farouki, Kamal; Lagarde, Emmanuel; Orriols, Ludivine; Bouvard, Manuel-Pierre; Contrand, Benjamin; Galéra, Cédric

    2014-01-01

    Both distractions (external and internal) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are serious risk factors for traffic crashes and injuries. However, it is still unknown if ADHD (a chronic condition) modifies the effect of distractions (irregular hazards) on traffic crashes. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of distractions and ADHD on traffic crash responsibility. A responsibility case-control study was conducted in the adult emergency department of Bordeaux University Hospital, France. Subjects were recruited among drivers injured in a motor vehicle crash between April 2010 and August 2011. Responsibility levels were estimated using a standardized method. Frequencies of exposures were compared between drivers responsible and drivers not responsible for the crash. Independent risk factors were identified using a multivariate logistic regression including test interactions between distractions and ADHD. A total of 777 subjects were included in the analysis. Factors associated with responsibility were distraction induced by an external event (adjusted OR (aOR) = 1.47; 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.06-2.05]), distraction induced by an internal thought (aOR = 2.38; CI: [1.50-3.77]) and ADHD (aOR = 2.18 CI: [1.22-3.88]). The combined effect of ADHD and external distractions was strongly associated with responsibility for the crash (aOR = 5.79 CI: [2.06-16.32]). Interaction assessment showed that the attributable proportion due to the interaction among participants with both exposures was 68%. Adults with ADHD are a population at higher risk of being responsible for a road traffic crash when exposed to external distractions. This result reinforces the need to diagnose adult ADHD and to include road safety awareness messages delivered by the physician. Developing advanced driver assistance systems devoted to the management of attention lapses is also increasingly relevant for these drivers.

  7. Methylphenidate-Elicited Dopamine Increases in Ventral Striatum Are Associated with Long-Term Symptom Improvement in Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.; Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.-J.; Tomasi, D.; Kollins, S.H.; Wigal, T.L.; Newcorn, J.H.; Telang, F.W.; Fowler, J.S.; Logan, J.; Wong, C.T.; Swanson, J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate, which are effective treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), enhance brain dopamine signaling. However, the relationship between regional brain dopamine enhancement and treatment response has not been evaluated. Here, we assessed whether the dopamine increases elicited by methylphenidate are associated with long-term clinical response. We used a prospective design to study 20 treatment-naive adults with ADHD who were evaluated before treatment initiation and after 12 months of clinical treatment with a titrated regimen of oral methylphenidate. Methylphenidate-induced dopamine changes were evaluated with positron emission tomography and ( 11 C)raclopride (D 2 /D 3 receptor radioligand sensitive to competition with endogenous dopamine). Clinical responses were assessed using the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scale and revealed a significant reduction in symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity with long-term methylphenidate treatment. A challenge dose of 0.5 mg/kg intravenous methylphenidate significantly increased dopamine in striatum (assessed as decreases in D 2 /D 3 receptor availability). In the ventral striatum, these dopamine increases were associated with the reductions in ratings of symptoms of inattention with clinical treatment. Statistical parametric mapping additionally showed dopamine increases in prefrontal and temporal cortices with intravenous methylphenidate that were also associated with decreases in symptoms of inattention. Our findings indicate that dopamine enhancement in ventral striatum (the brain region involved with reward and motivation) was associated with therapeutic response to methylphenidate, further corroborating the relevance of the dopamine reward/motivation circuitry in ADHD. It also provides preliminary evidence that methylphenidate-elicited dopamine increases in prefrontal and temporal cortices may also contribute to the clinical response.

  8. Methylphenidate-Elicited Dopamine Increases in Ventral Striatum Are Associated with Long-Term Symptom Improvement in Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Volkow N. D.; Wang G.; Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.-J.; Tomasi, D.; Kollins, S.H.; Wigal, T.L.; Newcorn, J.H.; Telang, F.W.; Fowler, J.S.; Logan, J.; Wong, C.T.; Swanson, J.M.

    2012-01-18

    Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate, which are effective treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), enhance brain dopamine signaling. However, the relationship between regional brain dopamine enhancement and treatment response has not been evaluated. Here, we assessed whether the dopamine increases elicited by methylphenidate are associated with long-term clinical response. We used a prospective design to study 20 treatment-naive adults with ADHD who were evaluated before treatment initiation and after 12 months of clinical treatment with a titrated regimen of oral methylphenidate. Methylphenidate-induced dopamine changes were evaluated with positron emission tomography and [{sup 11}C]raclopride (D{sub 2}/D{sub 3} receptor radioligand sensitive to competition with endogenous dopamine). Clinical responses were assessed using the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scale and revealed a significant reduction in symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity with long-term methylphenidate treatment. A challenge dose of 0.5 mg/kg intravenous methylphenidate significantly increased dopamine in striatum (assessed as decreases in D{sub 2}/D{sub 3} receptor availability). In the ventral striatum, these dopamine increases were associated with the reductions in ratings of symptoms of inattention with clinical treatment. Statistical parametric mapping additionally showed dopamine increases in prefrontal and temporal cortices with intravenous methylphenidate that were also associated with decreases in symptoms of inattention. Our findings indicate that dopamine enhancement in ventral striatum (the brain region involved with reward and motivation) was associated with therapeutic response to methylphenidate, further corroborating the relevance of the dopamine reward/motivation circuitry in ADHD. It also provides preliminary evidence that methylphenidate-elicited dopamine increases in prefrontal and temporal cortices may also contribute to the clinical response.

  9. Social transmission of Pavlovian fear: fear-conditioning by-proxy in related female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Carolyn E; Riha, Penny D; Gore, Andrea C; Monfils, Marie-H

    2014-05-01

    Pairing a previously neutral conditioned stimulus (CS; e.g., a tone) to an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US; e.g., a foot-shock) leads to associative learning such that the tone alone will elicit a conditioned response (e.g., freezing). Individuals can also acquire fear from a social context, such as through observing the fear expression of a conspecific. In the current study, we examined the influence of kinship/familiarity on social transmission of fear in female rats. Rats were housed in triads with either sisters or non-related females. One rat from each cage was fear conditioned to a tone CS+ shock US. On day two, the conditioned rat was returned to the chamber accompanied by one of her cage mates. Both rats were allowed to behave freely, while the tone was played in the absence of the foot-shock. The previously untrained rat is referred to as the fear-conditioned by-proxy (FCbP) animal, as she would freeze based on observations of her cage-mate's response rather than due to direct personal experience with the foot-shock. The third rat served as a cage-mate control. The third day, long-term memory tests to the CS were performed. Consistent with our previous application of this paradigm in male rats (Bruchey et al. in Behav Brain Res 214(1):80-84, 2010), our results revealed that social interactions between the fear conditioned and FCbP rats on day two contribute to freezing displayed by the FCbP rats on day three. In this experiment, prosocial behavior occurring at the termination of the cue on day two was significantly greater between sisters than their non-sister counterparts, and this behavior resulted in increased freezing on day three. Our results suggest that familiarity and/or kinship influences the social transmission of fear in female rats.

  10. Heritability of fear: Ukrainian experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O.V. Filiptsova

    2014-10-01

    Conclusions: The conducted research demonstrated genetic component presence for nine types of fear – psychic disorder development, complications in personal life, making responsible decisions, senility, closed spaces, sexual dysfunction, suicide commission, speaking in public, and aggressive behavior possibility to relatives. It helps to consider these fear perspectives for further molecular-genetic analysis in Ukraine.

  11. [Reducing fear in preschool children receiving intravenous injections].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Yi-Chuan; Liu, Hui-Tzu; Cho, Yen-Hua

    2012-06-01

    Our pediatric medical ward administers an average of 80 intravenous injections to preschool children. We found that 91.1% exhibit behavior indicative of fear and anxiety. Over three-quarters (77.8%) of this number suffer severe fear and actively resist receiving injections. Such behavior places a greater than normal burden on human and material resources and often gives family members negative impressions that lower their trust in the healthcare service while raising nurse-patient tensions. Using observation and interviews, we found primary factors in injection fear to be: Past negative experiences, lack of adequate prior communication, measures taken to preemptively control child resistance, and default cognitive behavioral strategies from nursing staff. This project worked to develop a strategy to reduce cases of severe injection fear in preschool children from 77.8% to 38.9% and achieve a capacity improvement target for members of 50%. Our team identified several potential strategy solutions from research papers and books between August 1st, 2009 and April 30th, 2010. Our proposed method included therapeutic games, self-selection of injection position, and cognitive behavioral strategies to divert attention. Other measures were also specified as standard operating procedures for administering pediatric intravenous injections. We applied the strategy on 45 preschool children and identified a post-injection "severe fear" level of 37.8%. This project was designed to reduce fear in children to make them more accepting of vaccinations and to enhance children's positive treatment experience in order to raise nursing care quality.

  12. Psychophysiological and self-reported reactivity associated with social anxiety and public speaking fear symptoms: Effects of fear versus distress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panayiotou, Georgia; Karekla, Maria; Georgiou, Dora; Constantinou, Elena; Paraskeva-Siamata, Michaela

    2017-09-01

    This study examines psychophysiological and subjective reactivity to anxiety-provoking situations in relation to social anxiety and public speaking fear. We hypothesized that social anxiety symptoms would be associated with similar reactivity across types of imaginary anxiety scenes and not specifically to social anxiety-related scenes. This would be attributed to co-existing depression symptoms. Public speaking fear was expected to be associated with more circumscribed reactivity to survival-threat scenes, due to its association with fearfulness. Community participants imagined standardized anxiety situations, including social anxiety and animal fear scenes, while their physiological reactivity and self-reported emotions were assessed. Findings supported that social anxiety was associated with undifferentiated physiological reactivity across anxiety-provoking situations, except with regards to skin conductance level, which was higher during social anxiety imagery. Public speaking fear was associated with increased reactivity to animal phobia and panic scenes. Covariance analyses indicated that the lack of response specificity associated with social anxiety could be attributed to depression levels, while the specificity associated with public speaking fear could be explained by fearfulness. Findings highlight the need to assess not only primary anxiety symptoms but also depression and fearfulness, which likely predict discrepant reactions of individuals to anxiogenic situations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Birth asphyxia measured by the pH value of the umbilical cord blood may predict an increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikkelsen, Susanne Hvolgaard; Olsen, Jørn; Bech, Bodil Hammer; Wu, Chunsen; Liew, Zeyan; Gissler, Mika; Obel, Carsten; Arah, Onyebuchi

    2017-06-01

    Although birth asphyxia is a major risk factor for neonatal and childhood morbidity and mortality, it has not been investigated much in relation to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We examined whether birth asphyxia measured by the pH of the blood in the umbilical artery cord was associated with childhood ADHD. A population-based cohort of 295 687 children born in Finland between 1991 and 2002 was followed until December 31, 2007. ADHD was identified by the International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, as a diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder. We examined the risk of ADHD with varying pH values using Cox regression, taking time trends into consideration. When compared to the reference group, a pH value below 7.10 was significantly associated with an increased risk of ADHD. The strongest risks were observed among children with a pH value value did not contribute much to the risk among children with an Apgar score of 0-3. Birth asphyxia, defined by low pH value, may predict an increased risk of ADHD in childhood. The association between the pH value and ADHD was homogenous when stratified by gestational age and the Apgar score. ©2017 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Attention and Representational Momentum

    OpenAIRE

    Hayes, Amy; Freyd, Jennifer J

    1995-01-01

    Representational momentum, the tendency for memory to be distorted in the direction of an implied transformation, suggests that dynamics are an intrinsic part of perceptual representations. We examined the effect of attention on dynamic representation by testing for representational momentum under conditions of distraction. Forward memory shifts increase when attention is divided. Attention may be involved in halting but not in maintaining dynamic representations.

  15. Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias (For Parents)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Staying Safe Videos for Educators Search English Español Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias KidsHealth / For Parents / Anxiety, Fears, ... unsettling experiences and challenging situations of life. Many Anxieties and Fears Are Normal Anxiety is defined as " ...

  16. Opposite effects of fear conditioning and extinction on dendritic spine remodelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Cora Sau Wan; Franke, Thomas F; Gan, Wen-Biao

    2012-02-19

    It is generally believed that fear extinction is a form of new learning that inhibits rather than erases previously acquired fear memories. Although this view has gained much support from behavioural and electrophysiological studies, the hypothesis that extinction causes the partial erasure of fear memories remains viable. Using transcranial two-photon microscopy, we investigated how neural circuits are modified by fear learning and extinction by examining the formation and elimination of postsynaptic dendritic spines of layer-V pyramidal neurons in the mouse frontal association cortex. Here we show that fear conditioning by pairing an auditory cue with a footshock increases the rate of spine elimination. By contrast, fear extinction by repeated presentation of the same auditory cue without a footshock increases the rate of spine formation. The degrees of spine remodelling induced by fear conditioning and extinction strongly correlate with the expression and extinction of conditioned fear responses, respectively. Notably, spine elimination and formation induced by fear conditioning and extinction occur on the same dendritic branches in a cue- and location-specific manner: cue-specific extinction causes formation of dendritic spines within a distance of two micrometres from spines that were eliminated after fear conditioning. Furthermore, reconditioning preferentially induces elimination of dendritic spines that were formed after extinction. Thus, within vastly complex neuronal networks, fear conditioning, extinction and reconditioning lead to opposing changes at the level of individual synapses. These findings also suggest that fear memory traces are partially erased after extinction.

  17. The sum of all fears: conceptual challenges with measuring fear of cancer recurrence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Daniel S J; Smith, Allan Ben; Fardell, Joanna E

    2016-01-01

    Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is increasingly recognised as a major concern for people with cancer once active treatment is completed. Several instruments have been designed to assess FCR; however, no gold standard has emerged. Many instruments conceptualise FCR as a multidimensional construct. However, this potentially conflates FCR as an outcome with its antecedents and consequences. This is problematic when an aggregate of distinct dimensions is calculated, as is commonly recommended. For example, the total score on the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory is an aggregate of items from seven sub-scales: triggers, severity, psychological distress, coping strategies, functioning impairments, insight and reassurance. Similarly, the total score on the Fear of Progression Questionnaire is an aggregate of affective reaction, partnership/family, work and loss of autonomy. Arguably, the severity and affective reaction domains represent fear, and the other sub-scales represent related concepts, rather than "dimensions" of FCR. The total score represents a combination of concepts whose meaning is unclear. The same total score could be produced by patients with very different experiences, and patients with the same level of fear could have very different total scores. Therefore, we argue that although the level of FCR may be determined by a complex network of antecedents and modifiers and have variable consequences, FCR itself may be a simple concept, which can be assessed using a smaller number of items. Conceptual clarity in its research infancy should prevent FCR becoming a construct that is vaguely operationalised and interpreted.

  18. Do Learners Fear More than Fear Itself: The Role of Fear in Law Students Educational Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, Jeffrey; O'Neil, Jennifer; Grimes, Ashley; Bryson, Laura

    2014-01-01

    While previous research has examined the various relationships between fear and learning in K-12 academic settings, the relationship is surprisingly unexplored amongst law students. Using a descriptive qualitative approach, we examine the role fear plays in law students' learning experiences. Through a series of semi-structured interviews a few…

  19. Central Ghrelin Resistance Permits the Overconsolidation of Fear Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmatz, Elia S; Stone, Lauren; Lim, Seh Hong; Lee, Graham; McGrath, Anna; Gisabella, Barbara; Peng, Xiaoyu; Kosoy, Eliza; Yao, Junmei; Liu, Elizabeth; Machado, Nuno J; Weiner, Veronica S; Slocum, Warren; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Goosens, Ki A

    2017-06-15

    There are many contradictory findings about the role of the hormone ghrelin in aversive processing, with studies suggesting that ghrelin signaling can both inhibit and enhance aversion. Here, we characterize and reconcile the paradoxical role of ghrelin in the acquisition of fearful memories. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure endogenous acyl-ghrelin and corticosterone at time points surrounding auditory fear learning. We used pharmacological (systemic and intra-amygdala) manipulations of ghrelin signaling and examined several aversive and appetitive behaviors. We also used biotin-labeled ghrelin to visualize ghrelin binding sites in coronal brain sections of amygdala. All work was performed in rats. In unstressed rodents, endogenous peripheral acyl-ghrelin robustly inhibits fear memory consolidation through actions in the amygdala and accounts for virtually all interindividual variability in long-term fear memory strength. Higher levels of endogenous ghrelin after fear learning were associated with weaker long-term fear memories, and pharmacological agonism of the ghrelin receptor during the memory consolidation period reduced fear memory strength. These fear-inhibitory effects cannot be explained by changes in appetitive behavior. In contrast, we show that chronic stress, which increases both circulating endogenous acyl-ghrelin and fear memory formation, promotes profound loss of ghrelin binding sites in the amygdala and behavioral insensitivity to ghrelin receptor agonism. These studies provide a new link between stress, a novel type of metabolic resistance, and vulnerability to excessive fear memory formation and reveal that ghrelin can regulate negative emotionality in unstressed animals without altering appetite. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Individual variation in working memory is associated with fear extinction performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Daniel M; Acheson, Dean T; Moore, Tyler M; Gur, Ruben C; Baker, Dewleen G; Geyer, Mark A; Risbrough, Victoria B

    2018-03-01

    PTSD has been associated consistently with abnormalities in fear acquisition and extinction learning and retention. Fear acquisition refers to learning to discriminate between threat and safety cues. Extinction learning reflects the formation of a new inhibitory-memory that competes with a previously learned threat-related memory. Adjudicating the competition between threat memory and the new inhibitory memory during extinction may rely, in part, on cognitive processes such as working memory (WM). Despite significant shared neural circuits and signaling pathways the relationship between WM, fear acquisition, and extinction is poorly understood. Here, we analyzed data from a large sample of healthy Marines who underwent an assessment battery including tests of fear acquisition, extinction learning, and WM (N-back). Fear potentiated startle (FPS), fear expectancy ratings, and self-reported anxiety served as the primary dependent variables. High WM ability (N = 192) was associated with greater CS + fear inhibition during the late block of extinction and greater US expectancy change during extinction learning compared to individuals with low WM ability (N = 204). WM ability was not associated with magnitude of fear conditioning/expression. Attention ability was unrelated to fear acquisition or extinction supporting specificity of WM associations with extinction. These results support the conclusion that individual differences in WM may contribute to regulating fear responses. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. A Neglected Population: Media Consumption, Perceived Risk, and Fear of Crime Among International Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Luzi

    2018-03-01

    The 4.5 million international students worldwide bring in multifold benefits to the advancement of culture, economy, and national security in education host countries. Surprisingly, few prior studies have explored international students' fear of crime, which may harm their mental and physical health and undermine their educational achievements. The current study aims to fill in this research void by investigating international students' fear of crime in line with the cultivation theoretical framework, which postulates that media consumption cultivates fear of crime. The analyses draw on a sample of 398 international students attending nine different public and private universities across the United States. Using structural equation modeling (SEM), I investigate the extent and correlates of students' fear of crime. The findings reveal that international students are more fearful in the United States than in their home countries. SEM results show that controlling for students' fear in their home countries, attention paid to crime news is positively related to fear in the United States, through perceived victimization risk. The SEM results also suggest that exposure to non-U.S. social media (e.g., WeChat and Weibo) is positively related to respondents' fear of crime, whereas exposure to U.S. social media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) is not related to fear of crime. The current study highlights the importance of studying the impact of fear of crime and social media use on international students.

  2. Font Size Matters—Emotion and Attention in Cortical Responses to Written Words

    OpenAIRE

    Bayer, Mareike; Sommer, Werner; Schacht, Annekathrin

    2012-01-01

    For emotional pictures with fear-, disgust-, or sex-related contents, stimulus size has been shown to increase emotion effects in attention-related event-related potentials (ERPs), presumably reflecting the enhanced biological impact of larger emotion-inducing pictures. If this is true, size should not enhance emotion effects for written words with symbolic and acquired meaning. Here, we investigated ERP effects of font size for emotional and neutral words. While P1 and N1 amplitu...

  3. Fear and disgust in women: Differentiation of cardiovascular regulation patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comtesse, Hannah; Stemmler, Gerhard

    2017-02-01

    Both fear and disgust facilitate avoidance of threat. From a functional view, however, cardiovascular responses to fear and disgust should differ as they prepare for appropriate behavior to protect from injury and infection, respectively. Therefore, we examined the cardiovascular responses to fear and contamination-related disgust in comparison to an emotionally neutral state induced with auditory scripts and film clips in female participants. Ten emotion and motivation self-reports and ninecardiovascular response factors derived from 23 cardiovascular variables served as dependent variables. Self-reports confirmed the specific induction of fear and disgust. In addition, fear and disgust differed in their cardiovascular response patterning. For fear, we observed specific increases in factors indicating vasoconstriction and cardiac pump function. For disgust, we found specific increases in vagal cardiac control and decreases in myocardial contractility. These findings provide support for the cardiovascular specificity of fear and disgust and are discussed in terms of a basic emotions approach. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Impaired performance on advanced Theory of Mind tasks in children with epilepsy is related to poor communication and increased attention problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunn, Judith; Lewis, Charlie; Sherlock, Christopher

    2015-02-01

    Children with epilepsy (CWE) have social difficulties that can persist into adulthood, and this could be related to problems with understanding others' thoughts, feelings, and intentions. This study assessed children's ability to interpret and reason on mental and emotional states (Theory of Mind) and examined the relationships between task scores and reports of communication and behavior. Performance of 56 CWE (8-16years of age) with below average IQ (n=17) or an average IQ (n=39) was compared with that of 62 healthy controls with an average IQ (6-16years of age) on cognition, language, and two advanced Theory of Mind (ToM) tasks that required children to attribute mental or emotional states to eye regions and to reason on internal mental states in order to explain behavior. The CWE-below average group were significantly poorer in both ToM tasks compared with controls. The CWE - average group showed a significantly poorer ability to reason on mental states in order to explain behavior, a difference that remained after accounting for lower IQ and language deficits. Poor ToM skills were related to increased communication and attention problems in both CWE groups. There is a risk for atypical social understanding in CWE, even for children with average cognitive function. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Neural response patterns in spider, blood-injection-injury and social fearful individuals: new insights from a simultaneous EEG/ECG-fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michałowski, Jarosław M; Matuszewski, Jacek; Droździel, Dawid; Koziejowski, Wojciech; Rynkiewicz, Andrzej; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Marchewka, Artur

    2017-06-01

    In the present simultaneous EEG/ECG-fMRI study we compared the temporal and spatial characteristics of the brain responses and the cardiac activity during fear picture processing between spider, blood-injection-injury (BII) and social fearful as well as healthy (non-fearful) volunteers. All participants were presented with two neutral and six fear-related blocks of pictures: two social, two spider and two blood/injection fear blocks. In a social fear block neutral images were occasionally interspersed with photographs of angry faces and social exposure scenes. In spider and blood/injection fear blocks neutral pictures were interspersed with spider fear-relevant and blood/injection pictures, respectively. When compared to healthy controls the social fear group responded with increased activations in the anterior orbital, middle/anterior cingulate and middle/superior temporal areas for pictures depicting angry faces and with a few elevated superior frontal activations for social exposure scenes. In the blood/injection fear group, heart rate was decreased and the activity in the middle/inferior frontal and visual processing regions was increased for blood/injection pictures. The HR decrease for blood/injection pictures correlated with increased frontal responses. In the spider fear group, spider fear-relevant pictures triggered increased activations within a broad subcortical and cortical neural fear network. The HR response for spider fear-relevant stimuli was increased and correlated with an increased insula and hippocampus activity. When compared to healthy controls, all fear groups showed higher LPP amplitudes for their feared cues and an overall greater P1 hypervigilance effect. Contrasts against the fear control groups showed that the increased responses for fear-specific stimuli are mostly related to specific fears and not to general anxiety proneness. The results suggest different engagement of cognitive evaluation and down-regulation strategies and an overall

  6. Cholinergic enhancement modulates neural correlates of selective attention and emotional processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, Paul; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Thiel, Christiane M; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Raymond J

    2003-09-01

    Neocortical cholinergic afferents are proposed to influence both selective attention and emotional processing. In a study of healthy adults we used event-related fMRI while orthogonally manipulating attention and emotionality to examine regions showing effects of cholinergic modulation by the anticholinesterase physostigmine. Either face or house pictures appeared at task-relevant locations, with the alternative picture type at irrelevant locations. Faces had either neutral or fearful expressions. Physostigmine increased relative activity within the anterior fusiform gyrus for faces at attended, versus unattended, locations, but decreased relative activity within the posterolateral occipital cortex for houses in attended, versus unattended, locations. A similar pattern of regional differences in the effect of physostigmine on cue-evoked responses was also present in the absence of stimuli. Cholinergic enhancement augmented the relative neuronal response within the middle fusiform gyrus to fearful faces, whether at attended or unattended locations. By contrast, physostigmine influenced responses in the orbitofrontal, intraparietal and cingulate cortices to fearful faces when faces occupied task-irrelevant locations. These findings suggest that acetylcholine may modulate both selective attention and emotional processes through independent, region-specific effects within the extrastriate cortex. Furthermore, cholinergic inputs to the frontoparietal cortex may influence the allocation of attention to emotional information.

  7. Neuroimaging the neural correlates of increased risk for substance use disorders in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder-A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adisetiyo, Vitria; Gray, Kevin M

    2017-03-01

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are nearly three times more likely to develop substance use disorders (SUD) than their typically developing peers. Our objective was to review the existing neuroimaging research on high-risk ADHD (ie, ADHD with disruptive behavior disorders, familial SUD and/or early substance use), focusing on impulsivity as one possible mechanism underlying SUD risk. A PubMed literature search was conducted using combinations of the keywords "ADHD," "substance use," "substance use disorder," "SUD," "addiction," "dependence," "abuse," "risk," "brain" "MRI," "imaging" and "neuroimaging." Studies had to include cohorts that met diagnostic criteria for ADHD; studies of individuals with ADHD who all met criteria for SUD were excluded. Eight studies met the search criteria. Individuals with high-risk ADHD have hyperactivation in the motivation-reward processing brain network during tasks of impulsive choice, emotion processing, and risky decision-making. During response inhibition tasks, they have hypoactivation in the inhibitory control brain network. However, studies focusing on this latter circuit found hypoactivation during inhibitory control tasks, decreased white matter microstructure coherence and reduced cortical thickness in ADHD independent of substance use history. An exaggerated imbalance between the inhibitory control network and the motivation-reward processing network is theorized to distinguish individuals with high-risk ADHD. Preliminary findings suggest that an exaggerated aberrant reward processing network may be the driving neural correlate of increased SUD risk in ADHD. Neural biomarkers of increased SUD risk in ADHD could help clinicians identify which patients may benefit most from SUD prevention. Thus, more neuroimaging research on this vulnerable population is needed. (Am J Addict 2017;26:99-111). © 2017 American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

  8. Public fear of nuclear technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nealey, S.M.; Radford, L.R.

    1987-01-01

    Excessive fear of nuclear technology (EFONT) is estimated to affect from 35-50 percent of the U.S. public, EFONT is defined as an unpleasant state of fear with components of stress and anxiety, threat to security, and anger. The cognitive aspect of EFONT involves perception of risks, benefits, and values which reinforce and perpetuate the fear. EFONT can be reduced through communications and outreach programs by providing basic information, encouraging participation, and targeting misinformation. Risks need to be put in perspective and benefits made explicit. Safety messages should be combined with other information. Understanding and patience are indispensable in dealing with those who are afraid

  9. Presence and process of fear of birth during pregnancy-Findings from a longitudinal cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildingsson, Ingegerd; Haines, Helen; Karlström, Annika; Nystedt, Astrid

    2017-10-01

    The prevalence of fear of birth has been estimated between 8-30%, but there is considerable heterogeneity in research design, definitions, measurement tools used and populations. There are some inconclusive findings about the stability of childbirth fear. to assess the prevalence and characteristics of women presenting with scores ≥60 on FOBS-The Fear of Birth Scale, in mid and late pregnancy, and to study change in fear of birth and associated factors. A prospective longitudinal cohort study of a one-year cohort of 1212 pregnant women from a northern part of Sweden, recruited in mid pregnancy and followed up in late pregnancy. Fear of birth was assessed using FOBS-The fear of birth scale, with the cut off at ≥60. The prevalence of fear of birth was 22% in mid pregnancy and 19% in late pregnancy, a statistically significant decrease. Different patterns were found where some women presented with increased fear and some with decreased fear. The women who experienced more fear or less fear later in pregnancy could not be differentiated by background factors. More research is needed to explore factors important to reduce fear of childbirth and the optimal time to measure it. Copyright © 2017 Australian College of Midwives. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Individual changes in dental fear among children and parents: a longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luoto, Anni; Tolvanen, Mimmi; Rantavuori, Kari; Pohjola, Vesa; Karlsson, Linnea; Lahti, Satu

    2014-11-01

    The aim was to study longitudinal changes in dental fear among children and one of their parents separately for girls, boys, mothers and fathers over a 3.5-year period. 11-12-year-old children in Pori, Finland (n = 1691) and one of their parents were invited to participate in this longitudinal study. Dental fear was measured in 2001, 2003 and 2005 when the children were 11-12, 13-14 and 15-16-years-old, respectively. The participants were asked if they were afraid of dental care (1 = 'not afraid', 2 = 'slightly afraid', 3 = 'afraid to some degree', 4 = 'quite afraid', 5 = 'very afraid' and 6 = 'I don't know'). The participants' gender was also registered. Mean values of the change scores were studied. Prevalence and incidence of dental fear and changes in dichotomized dental fear (responses 4-5 = high dental fear and responses 1-3 = low dental fear) were studied using cross-tabulations and Cochran's Q test. Overall, the prevalence of dental fear slightly increased and female preponderance in dental fear became more evident during the follow-up. Of the mothers and children with high dental fear at the baseline, 24% and 56%, respectively, reported not to be fearful at the end of the follow-up. Dental fear seems to be more stable in adulthood than in childhood. Thus, it might be better to intervene in dental fear during childhood rather than during adulthood.

  11. Triggers of fear: perceptual cues versus conceptual information in spider phobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peperkorn, Henrik M; Alpers, Georg W; Mühlberger, Andreas

    2014-07-01

    Fear reactions in spider-phobic patients can be activated by specific perceptual cues or by conceptual fear-related information. Matching perceptual fear cues and fear-related information were expected to result in maximal fear responses, perceptual fear cues alone in less fear, and information alone in the weakest responses. We used virtual reality to manipulate the available cues and information. Forty-eight phobic patients and 48 healthy participants were repeatedly exposed to either a perceptual cue, information, or a combination of both. In conditions with a fear-relevant perceptual cue, phobic patients reported increased fear compared to the condition with information only. Across exposures trials, these reactions diminished. Skin conductance in phobic patients was significantly higher in the combined than in the cue or the information condition. Perceptual cues are essential for phobic fear reactions in spider phobia. In combination with fear-relevant information, perceptual cues activate an intense and persistent fear reaction. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Inhibition of GABA synthesis in the prefrontal cortex increases locomotor activity but does not affect attention in the 5-choice serial reaction time task

    OpenAIRE

    Asinof, Samuel K.; Paine, Tracie A.

    2012-01-01

    Attention deficits are a core cognitive symptom of schizophrenia; the neuropathology underlying these deficits is not known. Attention is regulated, at least in part, by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain area in which pathology of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons has been consistently observed in post-mortem analysis of the brains of people with schizophrenia. Specifically, expression of the 67-kD isoform of the GABA synthesis enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) is reduced in parv...

  13. Cognitive bias in action: evidence for a reciprocal relation between confirmation bias and fear in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remmerswaal, Danielle; Huijding, Jorg; Bouwmeester, Samantha; Brouwer, Marlies; Muris, Peter

    2014-03-01

    Some cognitive models propose that information processing biases and fear are reciprocally related. This idea has never been formally tested. Therefore, this study investigated the existence of a vicious circle by which confirmation bias and fear exacerbate each other. One-hundred-and-seventy-one school children (8-13 years) were first provided with threatening, ambiguous, or positive information about an unknown animal. Then they completed a computerized information search task during which they could collect additional (negative, positive, or neutral) information about the novel animal. Because fear levels were repeatedly assessed during the task, it was possible to examine the reciprocal relationship between confirmation bias and fear. A reciprocal relation of mutual reinforcement was found between confirmation bias and fear over the course of the experiment: increases in fear predicted subsequent increases in the search for negative information, and increases in the search for negative information further enhanced fear on a later point-in-time. In addition, the initial information given about the animals successfully induced diverging fear levels in the children, and determined their first inclination to search for additional information. As this study employed a community sample of primary school children, future research should test whether these results can be generalized to clinically anxious youth. These findings provide first support for the notion that fearful individuals may become trapped in a vicious circle in which fear and a fear-related confirmation bias mutually strengthen each other, thereby maintaining the anxiety pathology. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Sixty years of fear appeal research: current state of the evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiter, Robert A C; Kessels, Loes T E; Peters, Gjalt-Jorn Y; Kok, Gerjo

    2014-04-01

    Fear arousal is widely used in persuasive campaigns and behavioral change interventions. Yet, experimental evidence argues against the use of threatening health information. The authors reviewed the current state of empirical evidence on the effectiveness of fear appeals. Following a brief overview of the use of fear arousal in health education practice and the structure of effective fear appeals according to two main theoretical frameworks-protection motivation theory and the extended parallel process model-the findings of six meta-analytic studies in the effectiveness of fear appeals are summarized. It is concluded that coping information aimed at increasing perceptions of response effectiveness and especially self-efficacy is more important in promoting protective action than presenting threatening health information aimed at increasing risk perceptions and fear arousal. Alternative behavior change methods than fear appeals should be considered. © 2014 The Authors. International Journal of Psychology published by John Wiley © Sons Ltd on behalf of International Union of Psychological Science.

  15. Panic-like defensive behavior but not fear-induced antinociception is differently organized by dorsomedial and posterior hypothalamic nuclei of Rattus norvegicus (Rodentia, Muridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.F. Biagioni

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The hypothalamus is a forebrain structure critically involved in the organization of defensive responses to aversive stimuli. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic dysfunction in dorsomedial and posterior hypothalamic nuclei is implicated in the origin of panic-like defensive behavior, as well as in pain modulation. The present study was conducted to test the difference between these two hypothalamic nuclei regarding defensive and antinociceptive mechanisms. Thus, the GABA A antagonist bicuculline (40 ng/0.2 µL or saline (0.9% NaCl was microinjected into the dorsomedial or posterior hypothalamus in independent groups. Innate fear-induced responses characterized by defensive attention, defensive immobility and elaborate escape behavior were evoked by hypothalamic blockade of GABA A receptors. Fear-induced defensive behavior organized by the posterior hypothalamus was more intense than that organized by dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei. Escape behavior elicited by GABA A receptor blockade in both the dorsomedial and posterior hypothalamus was followed by an increase in nociceptive threshold. Interestingly, there was no difference in the intensity or in the duration of fear-induced antinociception shown by each hypothalamic division presently investigated. The present study showed that GABAergic dysfunction in nuclei of both the dorsomedial and posterior hypothalamus elicit panic attack-like defensive responses followed by fear-induced antinociception, although the innate fear-induced behavior originates differently in the posterior hypothalamus in comparison to the activity of medial hypothalamic subdivisions.

  16. Extinction of Learned Fear Induces Hippocampal Place Cell Remapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Melissa E.; Yuan, Robin K.; Keinath, Alexander T.; Ramos Álvarez, Manuel M.

    2015-01-01

    The extinction of learned fear is a hippocampus-dependent process thought to embody new learning rather than erasure of the original fear memory, although it is unknown how these competing contextual memories are represented in the hippocampus. We previously demonstrated that contextual fear conditioning results in hippocampal place cell remapping and long-term stabilization of novel representations. Here we report that extinction learning also induces place cell remapping in C57BL/6 mice. Specifically, we observed cells that preferentially remapped during different stages of learning. While some cells remapped in both fear conditioning and extinction, others responded predominantly during extinction, which may serve to modify previous representations as well as encode new safe associations. Additionally, we found cells that remapped primarily during fear conditioning, which could facilitate reacquisition of the original fear association. Moreover, we also observed cells that were stable throughout learning, which may serve to encode the static aspects of the environment. The short-term remapping observed during extinction was not found in animals that did not undergo fear conditioning, or when extinction was conducted outside of the conditioning context. Finally, conditioning and extinction produced an increase in spike phase locking to the theta and gamma frequencies. However, the degree of remapping seen during conditioning and extinction only correlated with gamma synchronization. Our results suggest that the extinction learning is a complex process that involves both modification of pre-existing memories and formation of new ones, and these traces coexist within the same hippocampal representation. PMID:26085635

  17. Interferon and the fear of needles: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Maria; Moreno, Laura; Dosal, Angelina; Pujol, Marta Maria; Vergara, Mercedes; Gil, Montserrat

    2011-01-01

    The treatment of viral hepatitis C infection uses a combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Psychological preparation of the patient is vital to ensure adherence to the treatment. In our center, the nurse prepares this treatment according to an established educative protocol; however, some patients have special needs that require individualized attention. One such situation observed by the nurse is that the patients frequently admit to the fear of needle puncture (the peginterferon treatment is administered subcutaneously) and are unable to inject themselves. We describe a representative case and the care plan to manage the patient's fear so that the patient acquires confidence in his or her ability to self-inject. This facilitates autonomy and coresponsibility for the treatment, and the nurse can develop care approaches to combat the patient's fear of needles.

  18. AMYGDALA MICROCIRCUITS CONTROLLING LEARNED FEAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duvarci, Sevil; Pare, Denis

    2014-01-01

    We review recent work on the role of intrinsic amygdala networks in the regulation of classically conditioned defensive behaviors, commonly known as conditioned fear. These new developments highlight how conditioned fear depends on far more complex networks than initially envisioned. Indeed, multiple parallel inhibitory and excitatory circuits are differentially recruited during the expression versus extinction of conditioned fear. Moreover, shifts between expression and extinction circuits involve coordinated interactions with different regions of the medial prefrontal cortex. However, key areas of uncertainty remain, particularly with respect to the connectivity of the different cell types. Filling these gaps in our knowledge is important because much evidence indicates that human anxiety disorders results from an abnormal regulation of the networks supporting fear learning. PMID:24908482

  19. MODERN IDEOLOGIES OF MANAGING FEAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oksana Konstantinovna Vasilchenko

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The subject of the article is a studying of modern ideologies of managing fear. The purpose of the article is to examine the managing fear practice and explain how it is used in the policy of homeland security. The research methodology is based on the general scientific methods such as analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction and special kind of theoretical me-thods such as studying literature about the problem. The study can be used in courses on social philosophy and political science. The author concludes that social fears are very effective instrument of influence with mass consciousness. The authorities need to legitimize their political decisions through public opinion. But before that they should form it. The author shows how policy of homeland security helps to produce fears in society and how politicians intentionally exaggerate them. In this regard the author considers a concept of homeland security which can eliminate the negative sides of homeland security in future.

  20. The interactions among organophosphate pesticide exposure, oxidative stress, and genetic polymorphisms of dopamine receptor D4 increase the risk of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chia-Huang; Yu, Ching-Jung; Du, Jung-Chieh; Chiou, Hsien-Chih; Chen, Hsin-Chang; Yang, Winnie; Chung, Ming-Yi; Chen, Ying-Sheue; Hwang, Betau; Mao, I-Fang; Chen, Mei-Lien

    2018-01-01

    The aim of this study was to clarify the association between organophosphate pesticides (OPs) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) related to oxidative stress and genetic polymorphisms. This case-control study enrolled 93 children with ADHD and 112 control children in north Taiwan. Six dialkyl phosphate (DAP) metabolites of OPs and oxidative stress biomarkers were analyzed. Polymorphisms of the dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) were identified. Children with ADHD had significantly higher dimethylphosphate (DMP, 236.69nmol/g cre. vs. 186.84nmol/g cre., p value = 0.01) and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-mercapturic acid (HNE-MA, 28.95µg/g cre. vs. 16.55µg/g cre., p valueADHD (odds ratio [OR]: 0.45, 95% CI: 0.24-0.84). The estimated value of the AP (attributable proportion due to interaction) was 0.59 (95% CI: 0.13-1.05), indicating that 59% of ADHD cases in DMP-exposed children with the DRD4 GG genotype were due to the gene-environment interaction. After adjustment for other covariates, children who carried the DRD4 GG genotype, had been exposed to high DMP levels (more than the median), and had high HNE-MA levels had a significantly increased risk for developing ADHD (OR = 11.74, 95% CI: 2.12-65.04). This study indicated a gene-environment interaction in the risk of ADHD in children. The association between DMP and ADHD in children might relate to the mechanism of lipid peroxidation. Dose-response relationships and the combined effects of OPs, oxidative stress, and genetic polymorphism on ADHD should not be neglected. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Increased prefrontal hemodynamic change after atomoxetine administration in pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ota, Toyosaku; Iida, Junzo; Nakanishi, Yoko; Sawada, Satomi; Matsuura, Hiroki; Yamamuro, Kazuhiko; Ueda, Shotaro; Uratani, Mitsuhiro; Kishimoto, Naoko; Negoro, Hideki; Kishimoto, Toshifumi

    2015-03-01

    Atomoxetine, approved in Japan for the treatment of pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in April 2009, is a nonstimulant that is thought to act presynaptically via the inhibition of norepinephrine reuptake. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a non-invasive optical tool that can be used to study oxygenation and hemodynamic changes in the cerebral cortex. The present study examined the effects of a clinical dose of atomoxetine on changes in prefrontal hemodynamic activity in children with ADHD, as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy using the Stroop Color-Word Task. Ten children with ADHD participated in the present study. We used 24-channel near-infrared spectroscopy to measure the relative concentrations of oxyhemoglobin in the frontal lobes of participants in the drug-naïve condition and those who had received atomoxetine for 8 weeks. Measurements were conducted every 0.1 s during the Stroop Color-Word Task. We used the ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Japanese version (Home Version) to evaluate ADHD symptoms. We found a significant decrease in ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Japanese version scores, from 30.7 to 22.6 (P=0.003). During the Stroop Color-Word Task, we found significantly higher levels of oxyhemoglobin changes in the prefrontal cortex of participants in the atomoxetine condition compared with those in the drug-naïve condition. This increase in oxyhemoglobin changes might indicate an intensified prefrontal hemodynamic response induced by atomoxetine. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a sensitive tool for measuring the pharmacological effects of atomoxetine in children with ADHD. © 2014 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2014 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.

  2. Differential effects of psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder symptoms on cognitive and fear processing in female offenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton, Marja E; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Vitale, Jennifer E; Curtin, John J; Newman, Joseph P

    2012-12-01

    Psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder (APD) have long been considered important risk factors for criminal behavior and incarceration. However, little is known about the psychobiological underpinnings that give rise to the disinhibited behavior of female offenders. Using an instructed fear-conditioning paradigm and a sample of incarcerated female offenders, we manipulated attentional focus and cognitive load to characterize and differentiate between the dysfunctional cognitive and affective processes associated with these syndromes. We used fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and event-related potentials as measures of affective and cognitive processing, respectively. After controlling for APD symptoms, psychopathic women displayed greater FPS while attending directly to threat-relevant stimuli and displayed less FPS while performing a demanding task that directed attention to threat-irrelevant information. Conversely, controlling for psychopathy, women with high APD symptoms displayed less overall FPS, especially when instructed to focus on threat-relevant stimuli. However, as the demands on cognitive resources increased, they displayed greater FPS. For both psychopathy and APD, analysis of the event-related potentials qualified these findings and further specified the abnormal cognitive processes associated with these two syndromes. Overall, simultaneous analysis of psychopathy and APD revealed distinct patterns of cognitive processing and fear reactivity.

  3. Differential effects of psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder symptoms on cognitive and fear processing in female offenders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton, Marja E.; Vitale, Jennifer E.; Curtin, John J.; Newman, Joseph P.

    2012-01-01

    Psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder (APD) have long been considered important risk factors for criminal behavior and incarceration. However, little is known about the psychobiological underpinnings that give rise to the disinhibited behavior of female offenders. Using an instructed fear-conditioning paradigm and a sample of incarcerated female offenders, we manipulated attentional focus and cognitive load to characterize and differentiate between the dysfunctional cognitive and affective processes associated with these syndromes. We used fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and event-related potentials as measures of affective and cognitive processing, respectively. After controlling for APD symptoms, psychopathic women displayed greater FPS while attending directly to threat-relevant stimuli and displayed less FPS while performing a demanding task that directed attention to threat-irrelevant information. Conversely, controlling for psychopathy, women with high APD symptoms displayed less overall FPS, especially when instructed to focus on threat-relevant stimuli. However, as the demands on cognitive resources increased, they displayed greater FPS. For both psychopathy and APD, analysis of the event-related potentials qualified these findings and further specified the abnormal cognitive processes associated with these two syndromes. Overall, simultaneous analysis of psychopathy and APD revealed distinct patterns of cognitive processing and fear reactivity. PMID:22886692

  4. Unusual Fears in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayes, Susan Dickerson; Calhoun, Susan L.; Aggarwal, Richa; Baker, Courtney; Mathapati, Santosh; Molitoris, Sarah; Mayes, Rebecca D.

    2013-01-01

    Unusual fears have long been recognized as common in autism, but little research exists. In our sample of 1033 children with autism, unusual fears were reported by parents of 421 (41%) of the children, representing 92 different fears. Many additional children had common childhood fears (e.g., dogs, bugs, and the dark). More than half of children…

  5. Examining the Fears of Gifted Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tippey, Jacalyn G.; Burnham, Joy J.

    2009-01-01

    Few studies have considered the fears of gifted children. Using the American Fear Survey Schedule for Children (FSSC-AM; Burnham, 1995), a modified version of the Australian Fear Survey Schedule for Children-II (Gullone & King, 1992, 1993), this study focused on the fears of 287 gifted children ages 7-10. This study is a first step in…

  6. Vicarious learning and unlearning of fear in childhood via mother and stranger models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Güler; Askew, Chris

    2013-10-01

    Evidence shows that anxiety runs in families. One reason may be that children are particularly susceptible to learning fear from their parents. The current study compared children's fear beliefs and avoidance preferences for animals following positive or fearful modeling by mothers and strangers in vicarious learning and unlearning procedures. Children aged 6 to 10 years (N = 60) were exposed to pictures of novel animals either alone (control) or together with pictures of their mother or a stranger expressing fear or happiness. During unlearning (counterconditioning), children saw each animal again with their mother or a stranger expressing the opposite facial expression. Following vicarious learning, children's fear beliefs increased for animals seen with scared faces and this effect was the same whether fear was modeled by mothers or strangers. Fear beliefs and avoidance preferences decreased following positive counterconditioning and increased following fear counterconditioning. Again, learning was the same whether the model was the child's mother or a stranger. These findings indicate that children in this age group can vicariously learn and unlearn fear-related cognitions from both strangers and mothers. This has implications for our understanding of fear acquisition and the development of early interventions to prevent and reverse childhood fears and phobias.

  7. Where attention falls: Increased risk of falls from the converging impact of cortical cholinergic and midbrain dopamine loss on striatal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarter, Martin; Albin, Roger L; Kucinski, Aaron; Lustig, Cindy

    2014-07-01

    Falls are a major source of hospitalization, long-term institutionalization, and death in older adults and patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Limited attentional resources are a major risk factor for falls. In this review, we specify cognitive-behavioral mechanisms that produce falls and map these mechanisms onto a model of multi-system degeneration. Results from PET studies in PD fallers and findings from a recently developed animal model support the hypothesis that falls result from interactions between loss of basal forebrain cholinergic projections to the cortex and striatal dopamine loss. Striatal dopamine loss produces inefficient, low-vigor gait, posture control, and movement. Cortical cholinergic deafferentation impairs a wide range of attentional processes, including monitoring of gait, posture and complex movements. Cholinergic cell loss reveals the full impact of striatal dopamine loss on motor performance, reflecting loss of compensatory attentional supervision of movement. Dysregulation of dorsomedial striatal circuitry is an essential, albeit not exclusive, mediator of falls in this dual-system model. Because cholinergic neuromodulatory activity influences cortical circuitry primarily via stimulation of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and because agonists at these receptors are known to benefit attentional processes in animals and humans, treating PD fallers with such agonists, as an adjunct to dopaminergic treatment, is predicted to reduce falls. Falls are an informative behavioral endpoint to study attentional-motor integration by striatal circuitry. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Comparing Fear of Death of the Elderly Settled in Elderly’s Home and Inhabited in City Houses of Isfahan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esmat Nouhi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: On the one hand, increased growth of the elderly population and on the other hand, social– economic changes, personal and family lifestyles have caused an increased number of the elderly protecting centres. The aim of the present survey is to compare the fear of death among the elderly settled in elderly home and inhabited in city houses of Isfahan. Methods & Materials: This study is an analysis – cross sectional study and statistical population are all of the elderly over 60 years inhabited in 14 – fold zones of Isfahan and the ones settled in Sadeghieh elderly home. Participants in this survey were 300 elderly people that 102 people settled in the elderly home (31 males and 71 females and 198 people inhabited in the community (97 males and 101 females. The elderly inhabited in the community were selected through a cluster sampling method and the ones settled in the elderly home through available sampling method and evaluated through a questionnaire of Collett-Lester Fear of Death. In order to analyse collected data, parametric statistical methods of K–Square test and independent–T have been used . Results: The finding of this survey showed that fear of death total score mean was 70.5±15.5 in the elderly group inhabited in houses that significantly was more than that the elderly group settled in the elderly home (P=0.001. Conclusion: The results of this survey showed that fear of death in the elderly group settled in city houses is higher than elderly settled in the elderly’s home. It is necessary that the authorities pay more attention to the sanitary systems in all levels, evaluate the causes and, try to get the aids of the relevant organizations in order to Reduced fear of death of elderly people.

  9. Subjective fear, interference by threat, and fear associations independently predict fear-related behavior in children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, A.M.; Kleinherenbrink, A.V.; Simons, C.; de Gier, E.; Klein, S.; Allart, E.; Bögels, S.M.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.

    2012-01-01

    Background and objectives: Several information-processing models highlight the independent roles of controlled and automatic processes in explaining fearful behavior. Therefore, we investigated whether direct measures of controlled processes and indirect measures of automatic processes predict

  10. The effects of distraction and reappraisal on children's parasympathetic regulation of sadness and fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Elizabeth L; Quiñones-Camacho, Laura E; Buss, Kristin A

    2016-02-01

    Children commonly experience negative emotions like sadness and fear, and much recent empirical attention has been devoted to understanding the factors supporting and predicting effective emotion regulation. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a cardiac index of parasympathetic function, has emerged as a key physiological correlate of children's self-regulation. But little is known about how children's use of specific cognitive emotion regulation strategies corresponds to concurrent parasympathetic regulation (i.e., RSA reactivity while watching an emotion-eliciting video). The current study describes an experimental paradigm in which 101 5- and 6-year-olds were randomly assigned to one of three different emotion regulation conditions: Control, Distraction, or Reappraisal. All children watched a sad film and a scary film (order counterbalanced), and children in the Distraction and Reappraisal conditions received instructions to deploy the target strategy to manage sadness/fear while they watched. Consistent with predictions, children assigned to use either emotion regulation strategy showed greater RSA augmentation from baseline than children in the Control condition (all children showed an overall increase in RSA levels from baseline), suggesting enhanced parasympathetic calming when children used distraction or reappraisal to regulate sadness and fear. But this pattern was found only among children who viewed the sad film before the scary film. Among children who viewed the scary film first, reappraisal promoted marginally better parasympathetic regulation of fear (no condition differences emerged for parasympathetic regulation of sadness when the sad film was viewed second). Results are discussed in terms of their implications for our understanding of children's emotion regulation and affective physiology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Study to develop educational products about the fear of new energy technologies. Phase II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DuPont, R.L.

    1985-01-01

    Fear of nuclear power was found in the study sample to be widespread and far more intense than fear of any other energy source. Fears were greatest of waste disposal and accidents, with fear of what is not known being especially common. Many fears appeared to be based on lack of information. Both general and specific fears of nuclear power were significantly reduced by reading an educational booklet. After reading this booklet study subjects reported less extreme views of nuclear power, seeing it to be more similar to other energy sources. This decline in fear of nuclear power did not produce a proportionate increase in support for nuclear power as a source of electricity

  12. A window of vulnerability: impaired fear extinction in adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Kathryn D; Den, Miriam L; Graham, Bronwyn M; Richardson, Rick

    2014-09-01

    There have been significant advances made towards understanding the processes mediating extinction of learned fear. However, despite being of clear theoretical and clinical significance, very few studies have examined fear extinction in adolescence, which is often described as a developmental window of vulnerability to psychological disorders. This paper reviews the relatively small body of research examining fear extinction in adolescence. A prominent finding of this work is that adolescents, both humans and rodents, exhibit a marked impairment in extinction relative to both younger (e.g., juvenile) and older (e.g., adult) groups. We then review some potential mechanisms that could produce the striking extinction deficit observed in adolescence. For example, one neurobiological candidate mechanism for impaired extinction in adolescence involves changes in the functional connectivity within the fear extinction circuit, particularly between prefrontal cortical regions and the amygdala. In addition, we review research on emotion regulation and attention processes that suggests that developmental changes in attention bias to threatening cues may be a cognitive mechanism that mediates age-related differences in extinction learning. We also examine how a differential reaction to chronic stress in adolescence impacts upon extinction retention during adolescence as well as in later life. Finally, we consider the findings of several studies illustrating promising approaches that overcome the typically-observed extinction impairments in adolescent rodents and that could be translated to human adolescents. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Anger, fear and games

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Torill

    2016-01-01

    The event known as #GamerGate (GG) emphasized the need to take the study of game culture seriously and pursue it across several platforms. It demonstrated how seemingly ephemeral media created echo chambers of anger, and how the outbursts of hypermasculine aggression exemplified by hooligans also...... can connect to games and play. Starting from how GG gained popular attention, this article outlines and discusses the nature of GG, the relation to the victims, the sense of victimization among the participants, and how it may have been provoked by the long-standing, general disregard of games...... the image of game culture as mainly a culture of isolated consumption...

  14. Shifting Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Jenni

    2014-01-01

    This article examines the shifts in attention and focus as one teacher introduces and explains an image that represents the processes involved in a numeric problem that his students have been working on. This paper takes a micro-analytic approach to examine how the focus of attention shifts through what the teacher and students do and say in the…

  15. Facing My Fears (Editorial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay Glynn

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available I’m scared. I’m nervous. In a few short weeks the contractors and electricians will take over my library for several months. They will drill huge gouges in the concrete floor, hammer, saw, scrape,move, wire, etc. No doubt they may have to be asked to keep their voices down once or twice. Half of the print journal collection will be relocated to accommodate a new teaching lab that will also double as an information commons. The planning has been going on for many months. We have consulted with other libraries, reviewed the literature, identified the needs of our various user groups, measured space,tested technical possibilities, and met with architects and engineers. Up until now the new lab was an organic idea on paper, discussed over coffee and in meetings. That’s fairly easy to deal with. But just around the corner it becomes a reality and I’m a bag of nerves. Have we made the right decisions? Will it address all our needs? Is there anything I forgot to consider? What if our users don’t like it? What if it is a complete failure?!Theoretically, it should be ok. I’ve followed the right steps and worked with a creative, talented and dedicated team. This is different from trying out a new instructional technique or reorganizing the information desk. This is big. I talk the evidence based talk regularly, but now I am walking the walk in a bigger way than I had ever imagined. Change can be frightening. Moving out of comfort zones is not easy. Having said that, the challenge can be invigorating and the change, refreshing. I find myself welcoming the change as much as I dread it. I’ll face my fears and see it through to the implementation and evaluations and beyond. And hey, no matter what the outcome, it should make for a good paper. If anyone else out there is going through a similar process, I’d be interested in comparing notes. I invite you to try something new this year in your work environment or in your professional activities

  16. Understanding Fear of Zika: Personal, Interpersonal, and Media Influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chun; Dillard, James Price; Li, Ruobing

    2018-02-02

    Fear of infectious disease often motivates people to protect themselves. But, it can also produce negative bio-social-psychological effects whose severity is on par with those of the disease. The WHO declaration of Zika as a world health crisis presented an opportunity to study factors that bring about fear. Beginning nine days after the WHO announcement, data were gathered from women aged 18-35 living in the southern United States (N = 719). Respondents reported experiencing fear of Zika at levels akin to those reported following other significant crises/disasters (e.g., the terrorist attacks of 9/11). Fear increased as a function of (1) personal, but not other-relevance, (2) frequency of media exposure, but not media content, and (3) frequency of interpersonal exposure and interpersonal content. It is argued that media and interpersonal message sources may be innately predisposed to amplify, rather than attenuate, risk. © 2018 Society for Risk Analysis.

  17. An Evaluation of a Self-Management Intervention to Increase On-Task Behavior with Individuals Diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Lindsey; Crosland, Kimberly; Iovannone, Rose

    2016-01-01

    "Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder" (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent disorders in school-age children. Children with ADHD often have difficulty at school and at home. Medication is a common treatment for children with ADHD; however, it has been shown to be more effective when combined with behavioral interventions.…

  18. Where attention falls: Increased risk of falls from the converging impact of cortical cholinergic and midbrain dopamine loss on striatal function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarter, Martin; Albin, Roger L.; Kucinski, Aaron; Lustig, Cindy

    2015-01-01

    Falls are a major source of hospitalization, long-term institutionalization, and death in older adults and patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Limited attentional resources are a major risk factor for falls. In this review, we specify cognitive–behavioral mechanisms that produce falls and map these mechanisms onto a model of multi-system degeneration. Results from PET studies in PD fallers and findings from a recently developed animal model support the hypothesis that falls result from interactions between loss of basal forebrain cholinergic projections to the cortex and striatal dopamine loss. Striatal dopamine loss produces inefficient, low-vigor gait, posture control, and movement. Cortical cholinergic deafferentation impairs a wide range of attentional processes, including monitoring of gait, posture and complex movements. Cholinergic cell loss reveals the full impact of striatal dopamine loss on motor performance, reflecting loss of compensatory attentional supervision of movement. Dysregulation of dorsomedial striatal circuitry is an essential, albeit not exclusive, mediator of falls in this dual-system model. Because cholinergic neuromodulatory activity influences cortical circuitry primarily via stimulation of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and because agonists at these receptors are known to benefit attentional processes in animals and humans, treating PD fallers with such agonists, as an adjunct to dopaminergic treatment, is predicted to reduce falls. Falls are an informative behavioral endpoint to study attentional–motor integration by striatal circuitry. PMID:24805070

  19. Increasing Awareness and Understanding of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Education to Promote Better Academic Outcomes for Students with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinussen, Rhonda L.; Tannock, Rosemary; Chaban, Peter; McInnes, Alison; Ferguson, Bruce

    2006-01-01

    In this paper we briefly review three areas of research on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that have implications for the educational context. These areas are: (a) gender differences in ADHD, (b) inattention symptoms and academic risk, and (c) working memory and ADHD. We highlight the critical role that the school context plays in…

  20. Methylphenidate treatment beyond adolescence maintains increased cocaine self-administration in the spontaneously hypertensive rat model of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskin, Britahny M; Dwoskin, Linda P; Kantak, Kathleen M

    2015-04-01

    Past research with the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) model of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder showed that adolescent methylphenidate treatment enhanced cocaine abuse risk in SHR during adulthood. The acquisition of cocaine self-administration was faster, and cocaine dose-response functions were shifted upward under fixed-ratio and progressive ratio schedules compared to adult SHR that received adolescent vehicle treatment or to control strains that received adolescent methylphenidate treatment. The current study determined if extending treatment beyond adolescence would ameliorate long-term consequences of adolescent methylphenidate treatment on cocaine abuse risk in adult SHR. Treatments (vehicle or 1.5mg/kg/day oral methylphenidate) began on postnatal day 28. Groups of male SHR were treated with vehicle during adolescence and adulthood, with methylphenidate during adolescence and vehicle during adulthood, or with methylphenidate during adolescence and adulthood. The group receiving adolescent-only methylphenidate was switched to vehicle on P56. Cocaine self-administration began on postnatal day 77, and groups receiving methylphenidate during adolescence and adulthood were treated either 1-h before or 1-h after daily sessions. At baseline under a fixed-ratio 1 schedule, cocaine self-administration (2h sessions; 0.3mg/kg unit dose) did not differ among the four treatment groups. Under a progressive ratio schedule (4.5h maximum session length; 0.01-1.0mg/kg unit doses), breakpoints for self-administered cocaine in SHR receiving the adult methylphenidate treatment 1-h pre-session were not different from the vehicle control group. However, compared to the vehicle control group, breakpoints for self-administered cocaine at the 0.3 and 1.0mg/kg unit doses were greater in adult SHR that received adolescent-only methylphenidate or received methylphenidate that was continued into adulthood and administered 1-h post-session. These findings suggest that

  1. Dental Fear and Avoidance in Treatment Seekers at a Large, Urban Dental Clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyman, Richard E; Slep, Amy M Smith; White-Ajmani, Mandi; Bulling, Lisanne; Zickgraf, Hana F; Franklin, Martin E; Wolff, Mark S

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence and correlates of dental fear have been studied in representative population studies, but not in patients presenting for dental treatment. We hypothesized that dental fear among patients presenting at a large, urban college of dentistry would be similar to that of the population (e.g. 11% high dental fear, 17% to 35% moderate or higher fear) and that fear would be associated with avoidance of routine dental care, increased use of urgent dental care and poor oral health. Participants were 1070 consecutive patients at a large, urban dental care center. All patients completed a clinical interview, including demographics, medical history, dental history and presenting concerns, and behavioral health history. Patients were also asked to rate their dental anxiety/fear on a 1 (none) to 10 (high) scale. Over 20% of patients reported elevated anxiety/fear, of which 12.30% reported moderate and 8.75% high fear. Severity of dental anxiety/fear was strongly related to the likelihood of avoiding dental services in the past and related to myriad presenting problems. As hypothesized, the prevalence of moderate or higher fear in dental patients was considerable and closely matched that found in general population surveys. Thus, the 'dental home' is an ideal location to treat clinically significant dental anxiety/fear.

  2. Randomized Trial of ConquerFear: A Novel, Theoretically Based Psychosocial Intervention for Fear of Cancer Recurrence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butow, Phyllis N; Turner, Jane; Gilchrist, Jemma; Sharpe, Louise; Smith, Allan Ben; Fardell, Joanna E; Tesson, Stephanie; O'Connell, Rachel; Girgis, Afaf; Gebski, Val J; Asher, Rebecca; Mihalopoulos, Cathrine; Bell, Melanie L; Zola, Karina Grunewald; Beith, Jane; Thewes, Belinda

    2017-12-20

    Purpose Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is prevalent, distressing, and long lasting. This study evaluated the impact of a theoretically/empirically based intervention (ConquerFear) on FCR. Methods Eligible survivors had curable breast or colorectal cancer or melanoma, had completed treatment (not including endocrine therapy) 2 months to 5 years previously, were age > 18 years, and had scores above the clinical cutoff on the FCR Inventory (FCRI) severity subscale at screening. Participants were randomly assigned at a one-to-one ratio to either five face-to-face sessions of ConquerFear (attention training, metacognitions, acceptance/mindfulness, screening behavior, and values-based goal setting) or an attention control (Taking-it-Easy relaxation therapy). Participants completed questionnaires at baseline (T0), immediately post-therapy (T1), and 3 (T2) and 6 months (T3) later. The primary outcome was FCRI total score. Results Of 704 potentially eligible survivors from 17 sites and two online databases, 533 were contactable, of whom 222 (42%) consented; 121 were randomly assigned to intervention and 101 to control. Study arms were equivalent at baseline on all measured characteristics. ConquerFear participants had clinically and statistically greater improvements than control participants from T0 to T1 on FCRI total ( P psychological distress, and triggers) as well as in general anxiety, cancer-specific distress (total), and mental quality of life and metacognitions (total). Differences in FCRI psychological distress and cancer-specific distress (total) remained significantly different at T3. Conclusion This randomized trial demonstrated efficacy of ConquerFear compared with attention control (Taking-it-Easy) in reduction of FCRI total scores immediately post-therapy and 3 and 6 months later and in many secondary outcomes immediately post-therapy. Cancer-specific distress (total) remained more improved at 3- and 6-month follow-up.

  3. Brain oxytocin in social fear conditioning and its extinction: involvement of the lateral septum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoicas, Iulia; Slattery, David A; Neumann, Inga D

    2014-12-01

    Central oxytocin (OXT) has anxiolytic and pro-social properties both in humans and rodents, and has been proposed as a therapeutic option for anxiety and social dysfunctions. Here, we utilized a mouse model of social fear conditioning (SFC) to study the effects of OXT on social fear, and to determine whether SFC causes alterations in central OXT receptor (OXTR) binding and local OXT release. Central infusion of OXT, but not arginine vasopressin, prior to social fear extinction training completely abolished social fear expression in an OXTR-mediated fashion without affecting general anxiety or locomotion. SFC caused increased OXTR binding in the dorso-lateral septum (DLS), central amygdala, dentate gyrus, and cornu ammunis 1, which normalized after social fear extinction, suggesting that these areas form part of a brain network involved in the development and neural support of social fear. Microdialysis revealed that the increase in OXT release observed in unconditioned mice within the DLS during social fear extinction training was attenuated in conditioned mice. Consequently, increasing the availability of local OXT by infusion of OXT into the DLS reversed social fear. Thus, alterations in the brain OXT system, including altered OXTR binding and OXT release within the DLS, play an important role in SFC and social fear extinction. Thus, we suggest that the OXT system is adversely affected in disorders associated with social fear, such as social anxiety disorder and reinstalling an appropriate balance of the OXT system may alleviate some of the symptoms.

  4. Visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Karla K; Horowitz, Todd S; Howe, Piers; Pedersini, Roccardo; Reijnen, Ester; Pinto, Yair; Kuzmova, Yoana; Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2011-09-01

    A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, 'visual attention' describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act upon. They allow for concurrent selection of some (preferably, relevant) information and inhibition of other information. This selection permits the reduction of complexity and informational overload. Selection can be determined both by the 'bottom-up' saliency of information from the environment and by the 'top-down' state and goals of the perceiver. Attentional effects can take the form of modulating or enhancing the selected information. A central role for selective attention is to enable the 'binding' of selected information into unified and coherent representations of objects in the outside world. In the overview on visual attention presented here we review the mechanisms and consequences of selection and inhibition over space and time. We examine theoretical, behavioral and neurophysiologic work done on visual attention. We also discuss the relations between attention and other cognitive processes such as automaticity and awareness. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 503-514 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.127 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Magnesium supplementation in children with attention deficit ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Farida El Baza

    2015-07-07

    Jul 7, 2015 ... compared to normal children, in both serum and hair. Then, the effects of .... regards attention, memory loss, fear, restlessness, insomnia, tics, cramps and ..... the effectiveness and safety of magnesium and vitamin B6. Trials ... 143–8. [17] Mousain-Bosc M, Roche M, Polge A, Pradal-Prat D, Rapin J, · Bali JP.

  6. Capturing Attention When Attention "Blinks"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wee, Serena; Chua, Fook K.

    2004-01-01

    Four experiments addressed the question of whether attention may be captured when the visual system is in the midst of an attentional blink (AB). Participants identified 2 target letters embedded among distractor letters in a rapid serial visual presentation sequence. In some trials, a square frame was inserted between the targets; as the only…

  7. The Fear of Contact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumas, S.

    The search for intelligent alien civilisation is one of the great challenges for mankind. The project to explore the thousand of nearby stars has just begun and may take a long time to be completed. It is not certain that a civilisation at a communication distance exists but the search has to be done. Another similar activity is concerned by the transmission of messages to alien civilisation. It is not an answer to a detected message by SETI but a transmission of messages to potential candidates. Over the past years, questions have been raised to the potential danger for Earth of such activity. It is not a secret that METI goal is to attract attention and invite an answer from a nearby civilisation. It is not a physical answer such as a visiting star ship but a simple radio signal. This paper will present arguments to support METI and refute the idea of danger.

  8. Stimulus fear-relevance and the vicarious learning pathway to childhood fears

    OpenAIRE

    Askew, C.; Dunne, G.; Ozdil, A.; Reynolds, G.; Field, A.P.

    2013-01-01

    Enhanced fear learning for fear-relevant stimuli has been demonstrated in procedures with adults in the laboratory. Three experiments investigated the effect of stimulus fear-relevance on vicarious fear learning in children (aged 6-11 years). Pictures of stimuli with different levels of fear-relevance (flowers, caterpillars, snakes, worms, and Australian marsupials) were presented alone or together with scared faces. In line with previous studies, children's fear beliefs and avoidance prefere...

  9. Hippocampal Processing of Ambiguity Enhances Fear Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amadi, Ugwechi; Lim, Seh Hong; Liu, Elizabeth; Baratta, Michael V; Goosens, Ki A

    2017-02-01

    Despite the ubiquitous use of Pavlovian fear conditioning as a model for fear learning, the highly predictable conditions used in the laboratory do not resemble real-world conditions, in which dangerous situations can lead to unpleasant outcomes in unpredictable ways. In the current experiments, we varied the timing of aversive events after predictive cues in rodents and discovered that temporal ambiguity of aversive events greatly enhances fear. During fear conditioning with unpredictably timed aversive events, pharmacological inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus or optogenetic silencing of cornu ammonis 1 cells during aversive negative prediction errors prevented this enhancement of fear without affecting fear learning for predictable events. Dorsal hippocampal inactivation also prevented ambiguity-related enhancement of fear during auditory fear conditioning under a partial-reinforcement schedule. These results reveal that information about the timing and occurrence of aversive events is rapidly acquired and that unexpectedly timed or omitted aversive events generate hippocampal signals to enhance fear learning.

  10. Where attention falls: Increased risk of falls from the converging impact of cortical cholinergic and midbrain dopamine loss on striatal function

    OpenAIRE

    Sarter, Martin; Albin, Roger L.; Kucinski, Aaron; Lustig, Cindy

    2014-01-01

    Falls are a major source of hospitalization, long-term institutionalization, and death in older adults and patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Limited attentional resources are a major risk factor for falls. In this review, we specify cognitive–behavioral mechanisms that produce falls and map these mechanisms onto a model of multi-system degeneration. Results from PET studies in PD fallers and findings from a recently developed animal model support the hypothesis that falls result from in...

  11. Fear experience reading: women reading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia VALDIVIESO GÁMEZ

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Starting from the assumptions the patriarchal paradigm has used in the construction of male and female identity, the changes experienced by women in the last century and the statements about fear undergone by more than twenty-five women from different ages and nationalities through their own life cycle, the author gives us an account on what women fear and how they live and overcome it. These ideas are based on the hypothesis that if patriarchy as a social organization is a cultural constant, the fears experienced by women in the process of constructing themselves as such are also constant. She concludes that the only course to follow is necessarily a way where feminine consciousness must be integrated, both in men and women, as a previous step in the construction of a reality based on equals, though, at the same time, different. This would allow us to discover the masculine and feminine dimension in all of us.

  12. Optogenetic stimulation of a hippocampal engram activates fear memory recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xu; Ramirez, Steve; Pang, Petti T; Puryear, Corey B; Govindarajan, Arvind; Deisseroth, Karl; Tonegawa, Susumu

    2012-03-22

    A specific memory is thought to be encoded by a sparse population of neurons. These neurons can be tagged during learning for subsequent identification and manipulation. Moreover, their ablation or inactivation results in reduced memory expression, suggesting their necessity in mnemonic processes. However, the question of sufficiency remains: it is unclear whether it is possible to elicit the behavioural output of a specific memory by directly activating a population of neurons that was active during learning. Here we show in mice that optogenetic reactivation of hippocampal neurons activated during fear conditioning is sufficient to induce freezing behaviour. We labelled a population of hippocampal dentate gyrus neurons activated during fear learning with channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and later optically reactivated these neurons in a different context. The mice showed increased freezing only upon light stimulation, indicating light-induced fear memory recall. This freezing was not detected in non-fear-conditioned mice expressing ChR2 in a similar proportion of cells, nor in fear-conditioned mice with cells labelled by enhanced yellow fluorescent protein instead of ChR2. Finally, activation of cells labelled in a context not associated with fear did not evoke freezing in mice that were previously fear conditioned in a different context, suggesting that light-induced fear memory recall is context specific. Together, our findings indicate that activating a sparse but specific ensemble of hippocampal neurons that contribute to a memory engram is sufficient for the recall of that memory. Moreover, our experimental approach offers a general method of mapping cellular populations bearing memory engrams.

  13. Oxytocin differentially modulates pavlovian cue and context fear acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalli, Juliana; Ruttorf, Michaela; Pahi, Mario Rosero; Zidda, Francesca; Flor, Herta; Nees, Frauke

    2017-06-01

    Fear acquisition and extinction have been demonstrated as core mechanisms for the development and maintenance of mental disorders, with different contributions of processing cues vs contexts. The hypothalamic peptide oxytocin (OXT) may have a prominent role in this context, as it has been shown to affect fear learning. However, investigations have focused on cue conditioning, and fear extinction. Its differential role for cue and context fear acquisition is still not known. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo (PLC)-controlled design, we administered an intranasal dose of OXT or PLC before the acquisition of cue and context fear conditioning in healthy individuals (n = 52), and assessed brain responses, skin conductance responses and self-reports (valence/arousal/contingency). OXT compared with PLC significantly induced decreased responses in the nucleus accumbens during early cue and context acquisition, and decreased responses of the anterior cingulate cortex and insula during early as well as increased hippocampal response during late context, but not cue acquisition. The OXT group additionally showed significantly higher arousal in late cue and context acquisition. OXT modulates various aspects of cue and context conditioning, which is relevant from a mechanism-based perspective and might have implications for the treatment of fear and anxiety. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  14. Mechanisms of Sex Differences in Fear and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramikie, Teniel Sonya; Ressler, Kerry J

    2018-05-15

    Following sexual maturity, females disproportionately have higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and experience greater symptom severity and chronicity as compared with males. This observation has led many to examine sex differences in PTSD risk factors. Though relatively few, these studies reveal that the root causes of PTSD sex differences are complex, and partly represent interactions between sex-specific nonbiological and biological risk factors, which differentially shape PTSD vulnerability. Moreover, these studies suggest that sex-specific PTSD vulnerability is partly regulated by sex differences in fear systems. Fear, which represents a highly conserved adaptive response to threatening environmental stimuli, becomes pathological in trauma- and stress-based psychiatric syndromes, such as PTSD. Over the last 30 years, considerable progress has been made in understanding normal and pathological molecular and behavioral fear processes in humans and animal models. Thus, fear mechanisms represent a tractable PTSD biomarker in the study of sex differences in fear. In this review, we discuss studies that examine nonbiological and biological sex differences that contribute to normal and pathological fear behaviors in humans and animal models. This, we hope, will shed greater light on the potential mechanisms that contribute to increased PTSD vulnerability in females. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Neural mechanisms of impaired fear inhibition in posttraumatic stress disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja eJovanovic

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD can develop in some individuals who are exposed to an event that causes extreme fear, horror, or helplessness (APA, 1994. PTSD is a complex and heterogeneous disorder, which is often co-morbid with depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders such as panic or social phobia. Given this complexity, progress in the field can be greatly enhanced by focusing on phenotypes that are more proximal to the neurobiology of the disorder. Such neurobiological intermediate phenotypes can provide investigative tools to increase our understanding of the roots of the disorder and develop better prevention or intervention programs. In the present paper, we argue that the inhibition of fear responses is an intermediate phenotype that is related to both the neurocircuitry associated with the disorder, and is linked to its clinical symptoms. An advantage of focusing on fear inhibition is that the neurobiology of fear has been well investigated in animal models providing the necessary groundwork in understanding alterations. Furthermore, because many paradigms can be tested across species, fear inhibition is an ideal translational tool. Here we review both the behavioral tests and measures of fear inhibition and the related neurocircuitry in neuroimaging studies with both healthy and clinical samples.

  16. Encoding of Fear Memory in High and Low Fear Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-18

    contextual fear conditioning and retrieval. Brain structure & function   15.  Black AH, Young GA. 1972.  Electrical  activity of the hippocampus and cortex...0 Cara Olsen Statistician 0.12 0 SUBTOTALS 0

  17. Counterconditioned Fear Responses Exhibit Greater Renewal than Extinguished Fear Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Nathan M.; Leung, Hiu T.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2016-01-01

    This series of experiments used rats to compare counterconditioning and extinction of conditioned fear responses (freezing) with respect to the effects of a context shift. In each experiment, a stimulus was paired with shock in context A, extinguished or counterconditioned through pairings with sucrose in context B, and then tested for renewal…

  18. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in trace fear extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwapis, Janine L.; Jarome, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    The extinction of delay fear conditioning relies on a neural circuit that has received much attention and is relatively well defined. Whether this established circuit also supports the extinction of more complex associations, however, is unclear. Trace fear conditioning is a better model of complex relational learning, yet the circuit that supports extinction of this memory has received very little attention. Recent research has indicated that trace fear extinction requires a different neural circuit than delay extinction; trace extinction requires the participation of the retrosplenial cortex, but not the amygdala, as noted in a previous study. Here, we tested the roles of the prelimbic and infralimbic regions of the medial prefrontal cortex in trace and delay fear extinction by blocking NMDA receptors during extinction learning. We found that the prelimbic cortex is necessary for trace, but not for delay fear extinction, whereas the infralimbic cortex is involved in both types of extinction. These results are consistent with the idea that trace fear associations require plasticity in multiple cortical areas for successful extinction. Further, the infralimbic cortex appears to play a role in extinction regardless of whether the animal was initially trained in trace or delay conditioning. Together, our results provide new information about how the neural circuits supporting trace and delay fear extinction differ. PMID:25512576

  19. Do infants find snakes aversive? Infants' physiological responses to "fear-relevant" stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrasher, Cat; LoBue, Vanessa

    2016-02-01

    In the current research, we sought to measure infants' physiological responses to snakes-one of the world's most widely feared stimuli-to examine whether they find snakes aversive or merely attention grabbing. Using a similar method to DeLoache and LoBue (Developmental Science, 2009, Vol. 12, pp. 201-207), 6- to 9-month-olds watched a series of multimodal (both auditory and visual) stimuli: a video of a snake (fear-relevant) or an elephant (non-fear-relevant) paired with either a fearful or happy auditory track. We measured physiological responses to the pairs of stimuli, including startle magnitude, latency to startle, and heart rate. Results suggest that snakes capture infants' attention; infants showed the fastest startle responses and lowest average heart rate to the snakes, especially when paired with a fearful voice. Unexpectedly, they also showed significantly reduced startle magnitude during this same snake video plus fearful voice combination. The results are discussed with respect to theoretical perspectives on fear acquisition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Heightened fear in response to a safety cue and extinguished fear cue in a rat model of maternal immune activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan eSangha

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Maternal immune activation during pregnancy is an environmental risk factor for psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and autism in the offspring. Hence, changes in an array of behaviors, including behavioral flexibility, consistent with altered functioning of cortico-limbic circuits have been reported in rodent models of maternal immune activation. Surprisingly, previous studies have not examined the effect of maternal immune activation on the extinction of fear conditioning which depends on cortico-limbic circuits. Thus, we tested the effects of treating pregnant Long Evans rats with the viral mimetic polyI:C (gestational day 15; 4 mg/kg; i.v. on fear conditioning and extinction in the male offspring using two different tasks. In the first experiment, we observed no effect of polyI:C treatment on the acquisition or extinction of a classically conditioned fear memory in a non-discriminative auditory cue paradigm. However, polyI:C-treated offspring did increase contextual freezing during the recall of fear extinction in this non-discriminative paradigm. The second experiment utilized a recently developed task to explicitly test the ability of rats to discriminate among cues signifying fear, reward, and safety; a task that requires behavioral flexibility. To our surprise, polyI:C-treated rats acquired the task in a manner similar to saline-treated rats. However, upon subsequent extinction training, they showed significantly faster extinction of the freezing response to the fear cue. In contrast, during the extinction recall test, polyI:C-treated offspring showed enhanced freezing behavior before and after presentation of the fear cue, suggesting an impairment in their ability to regulate fear behavior. These behavioral results are integrated into the literature suggesting impairments in cortico-limbic brain function in the offspring of rats treated with polyI:C during pregnancy.

  1. Birth asphyxia measured by the pH value of the umbilical cord blood may predict an increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Susanne Hvolgaard; Olsen, Jørn; Bech, Bodil Hammer

    2017-01-01

    AIM: Although birth asphyxia is a major risk factor for neonatal and childhood morbidity and mortality, it has not been investigated much in relation to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We examined whether birth asphyxia measured by the pH of the blood in the umbilical artery cord...... was associated with childhood ADHD. METHOD: A population-based cohort of 295 687 children born in Finland between 1991 and 2002 was followed until December 31, 2007. ADHD was identified by the International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, as a diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder. We examined the risk...

  2. Deep brain stimulation of the amygdala alleviates fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Li; Huang, SiJia; Peng, BinBin; Ren, Jie; Tian, FuYing; Wang, Yan

    2014-07-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the amygdala has been demonstrated to modulate hyperactivity of the amygdala, which is responsible for the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and thus might be used for the treatment of PTSD. However, the underlying mechanism of DBS of the amygdala in the modulation of the amygdala is unclear. The present study investigated the effects of DBS of the amygdala on synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to the amygdala, which is critical for the formation and storage of auditory fear memories, and fear memories. The results demonstrated that auditory fear conditioning increased single-pulse-evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the cortical-amygdala pathway. Furthermore, auditory fear conditioning decreased the induction of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, two neurophysiological models for studying short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity, respectively, in the cortical-amygdala pathway. In addition, all these auditory fear conditioning-induced changes could be reversed by DBS of the amygdala. DBS of the amygdala also rescued auditory fear conditioning-induced enhancement of long-term retention of fear memory. These findings suggested that DBS of the amygdala alleviating fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory may underlie the neuromodulatory role of DBS of the amygdala in activities of the amygdala.

  3. What's wrong with fear conditioning?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beckers, T.; Krypotos, A.M.; Boddez, Y.; Effting, M.; Kindt, M.

    2013-01-01

    Fear conditioning is one of the prime paradigms of behavioural neuroscience and a source of tremendous insight in the fundamentals of learning and memory and the psychology and neurobiology of emotion. It is also widely regarded as a model for the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders in a

  4. Heritability of fear: Ukrainian experience | Filiptsova | Egyptian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the former Soviet Union, research on human behavior traits was mostly tabooed. ... Results: As a result of the research, correlation coefficients of fears q between ... one was recorded for fear of aggressive behavior possibility to the relatives.

  5. The fragrant power of collective fear.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roa Harb

    Full Text Available Fear is a well-characterized biological response to threatening or stressful situations in humans and other social animals. Importantly, fearful stimuli in the natural environment are likely to be encountered concurrently by a group of animals. The modulation of fear acquisition and fear memory by a group as opposed to an individual experience, however, remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate a robust reduction in fear memory to an aversive event undertaken in a group despite similar fear learning between individually- and group-conditioned rats. This reduction persists outside the group confines, appears to be a direct outcome of group cognizance and is counteracted by loss of olfactory signaling among the group members. These results show that a group experience of fear can be protective and suggest that distinct neural pathways from those classically studied in individuals modulate collective fear memories.

  6. Fear and Leadership in Union Organizing Campaigns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Murphy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This article adopts a mobilization framework to examine the crucial actions of workplace activists in overcoming fear of employer reprisal during union organizing campaigns in hostile environments. The article explores fear as part of the organizing process in two ways; first, we examine how fear can act as a stimulus for workplace activists to take action in an attempt to overcome the source of that fear. Second, we examine fear as an inhibiting factor in organizing, whereby the presence of fear hinders individuals from taking action. Using qualitative data from interviews conducted with workplace activists across a variety of campaigns in Ireland, this article examines the process through which workplace activists conquer their own sense of fear and undertake the task of mobilizing colleagues toward collective action in pursuit of union representation amid fear of employer reprisal.

  7. The Effect of Fear Appeal HIV-AIDS Social Marketing on Behaviour: Evaluating the Importance of Market Segmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlize TERBLANCHE-SMIT

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The increase in various social problems has caused practitioners to review fear appeals in order to influence behaviour. The Aids pandemic is a major concern and some advertising campaigns do not seem to be producing the expected results. This study used structural equation modelling to investigate whether the use of fear increases the likelihood of adopting appropriate behaviour pertaining to HIV/Aids prevention. Fear, attitude towards the advertisements, severity, susceptibility and efficacy were examined to ascertain the influence of fear appeals on a specific market segment. The findings of this paper indicate a relationship among susceptibility, fear, attitude and behavioural intent.

  8. Disgust and fear: common emotions between eating and phobic disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bou Khalil, Rami; Bou-Orm, Ibrahim R; Tabet, Yara; Souaiby, Lama; Azouri, Hayat

    2018-05-15

    Eating disorders (ED) are prevalent mental illnesses composed mainly of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders. Anxiety disorders are another set of mental illnesses, with phobic disorder (PD) being the most prevalent disorder. ED and PD are highly comorbid. The aim of this study is to assess, in 131 individuals attending an outpatient clinic for different health issues, the level of fear related to situations generating avoidance such as in social anxiety and specific phobias according to the fear questionnaire (FQ), the level of disgust according to the disgust scale (DS-R) and the vulnerability towards ED according to the SCOFF scale to demonstrate that high levels of both fear and disgust increase the vulnerability towards ED. The study demonstrated that the level of disgust increased when fear increases (r = 0.377, p phobia) as well as to social anxiety (p = 0.01), independently from having a depressive or another anxiety disorder. In the multivariate analysis, a history of psychiatric consultation has been the only significantly different parameter between individuals with or without vulnerability towards ED (p = 0.0439). Accordingly, fear and disgust are negative emotions that seem to be clinically associated which better explains the comorbidity of ED with PD. Level III. Evidence obtained from well-designed cohort or case-control analytic studies, preferably from more than one center or research group.

  9. When the mind forms fear: embodied fear knowledge potentiates bodily reactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterwijk, S.; Topper, M.; Rotteveel, M.; Fischer, A.H.

    2010-01-01

    In the present study, the authors tested whether conceptual fear knowledge can (a) evoke bodily reactions and (b) enhance subsequent bodily reactions to fearful stimuli. Participants unscrambled neutral or fear sentences and subsequently viewed fearful and neutral pictures in combination with

  10. 33 CFR 165.530 - Safety Zone: Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear Rivers, NC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Safety Zone: Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear Rivers, NC. 165.530 Section 165.530 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD... § 165.530 Safety Zone: Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear Rivers, NC. (a) Location. The following area is...

  11. Neurobiology of Fear and Specific Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, René

    2017-01-01

    Fear, which can be expressed innately or after conditioning, is triggered when a danger or a stimulus predicting immediate danger is perceived. Its role is to prepare the body to face this danger. However, dysfunction in fear processing can lead to psychiatric disorders in which fear outweighs the danger or possibility of harm. Although recognized…

  12. Fears of American Children Following Terrorism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnham, Joy J.; Hooper, Lisa M.

    2008-01-01

    Two months after 9/11, the fears of children and adolescents in Grades 2-12 were examined utilizing the American Fear Survey Schedule for Children and Adolescents (FSSC-AM). Fear intensity scores and age and gender differences are reported. Terrorist-related content on the FSSC-AM (e.g., terrorist attacks, our country being invading by enemies)…

  13. Responding to Children's Fears: A Partnership Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorin, Reesa

    2002-01-01

    Describes a study into children's fears and suggests that forging partnerships between parents, children, and teachers is one positive step toward addressing fear in young children. Defines partnerships and asserts that they can help in better recognizing fear displays in young children and in sharing ideas about best practice in responding to…

  14. What Makes Children Fearful and Anxious

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honig, Alice Sterling; Miller, Susan A.; Church, Ellen Booth

    2007-01-01

    This article explains the causes of children's fears and anxieties in the following age brackets: (1) 0-2 years old; (2) 3-4 years old; and (3) 5-6 years old. It presents situations wherein children develop fears and anxious feelings. It also discusses how to deal and manage these fears and anxieties and enumerates what can be done to make…

  15. Visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Evans, K.K.; Horowitz, T.S.; Howe, P.; Pedersini, R.; Reijnen, E.; Pinto, Y.; Wolfe, J.M.

    2011-01-01

    A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, ‘visual attention’ describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act

  16. Attention Sensor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Börner, Dirk; Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2014-01-01

    This software sketch was used in the context of an experiment for the PhD project “Ambient Learning Displays”. The sketch comprises a custom-built attention sensor. The sensor measured (during the experiment) whether a participant looked at and thus attended a public display. The sensor was built

  17. Making the invisible visible: fear and disclosure of sexual orientation at work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragins, Belle Rose; Singh, Romila; Cornwell, John M

    2007-07-01

    Stigma theory was used to examine the fears underlying the disclosure of a gay identity at work. Using a national sample of 534 gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees, this study examined the antecedents that affect the degree of disclosure of a gay identity at work and, for those who had not disclosed, the factors that influence their fears about full disclosure. Employees reported less fear and more disclosure when they worked in a group that was perceived as supportive and sharing their stigma. Perceptions of past experience with sexual orientation discrimination were related to increased fears but to greater disclosure. For those who had not fully disclosed their stigma, the fears associated with disclosure predicted job attitudes, psychological strain, work environment, and career outcomes. However, actual disclosure was unrelated to these variables. The utility of fear of disclosure for understanding processes underlying the disclosure of gay and other invisible stigmatized identities in the workplace is discussed.

  18. Correlation Between Pain, Fear of Falling and Disability in Low Back Pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Bharat Prakash

    2015-01-01

    Objective To ascertain if there is a correlation between low back pain (LBP), fear of falling, and disability so that the patients with LBP are aware of the fact that other problems may occur with LBP. Hence, steps can be taken for decreasing the fear of falling and disability in order to improve the condition of patients. Methods A sample size of 100 patients with low back pain, with a range of ages from 40 to 73 years, participated in the study. The Falls Efficacy Scale was used to assess the fear of falling and the Oswestry Disability Index was used to assess the disability and pain in LBP individuals. Results The Pearson correlation analysis signifies the relationship between pain, fear of falling, and disability in LBP. Conclusion First, LBP increases the fear of falling. Second, LBP can result in a person becoming disabled. Third, the fear of falling and disability are correlated with each other. PMID:26605180

  19. Fearfulness and feather damage in laying hens divergently selected for high and low feather pecking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodenburg, T Bas; de Haas, Elske N; Nielsen, Birte Lindstrøm

    2010-01-01

    Feather pecking (FP) remains a major welfare and economic problem in laying hens. FP has been found to be related to other behavioural characteristics, such as fearfulness. There are indications that fearful birds are more likely to develop FP. Furthermore, FP can lead to increased fearfulness...... in the victims. To investigate further the relationship between FP and fearfulness, feather damage and behavioural fear responses were recorded in three White Leghorn lines of laying hens: a line selected for high FP (HFP line), a line selected for low FP (LFP line) and an unselected control line (10th...... in fear responses between the HFP and LFP lines were not found, neither in the TI-test, nor in the HA or NO test. As expected, birds from the HFP line had considerably more feather damage than birds from the LFP line and birds from the unselected control line were intermediate. Cages that withdrew from...

  20. Fluoxetine Facilitates Fear Extinction Through Amygdala Endocannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunduz-Cinar, Ozge; Flynn, Shaun; Brockway, Emma; Kaugars, Katherine; Baldi, Rita; Ramikie, Teniel S; Cinar, Resat; Kunos, George; Patel, Sachin; Holmes, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Pharmacologically elevating brain endocannabinoids (eCBs) share anxiolytic and fear extinction-facilitating properties with classical therapeutics, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine. There are also known functional interactions between the eCB and serotonin systems and preliminary evidence that antidepressants cause alterations in brain eCBs. However, the potential role of eCBs in mediating the facilitatory effects of fluoxetine on fear extinction has not been established. Here, to test for a possible mechanistic contribution of eCBs to fluoxetine's proextinction effects, we integrated biochemical, electrophysiological, pharmacological, and behavioral techniques, using the extinction-impaired 129S1/Sv1mJ mouse strain. Chronic fluoxetine treatment produced a significant and selective increase in levels of anandamide in the BLA, and an associated decrease in activity of the anandamide-catabolizing enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase. Slice electrophysiological recordings showed that fluoxetine-induced increases in anandamide were associated with the amplification of eCB-mediated tonic constraint of inhibitory, but not excitatory, transmission in the BLA. Behaviorally, chronic fluoxetine facilitated extinction retrieval in a manner that was prevented by systemic or BLA-specific blockade of CB1 receptors. In contrast to fluoxetine, citalopram treatment did not increase BLA eCBs or facilitate extinction. Taken together, these findings reveal a novel, obligatory role for amygdala eCBs in the proextinction effects of a major pharmacotherapy for trauma- and stressor-related disorders and anxiety disorders. PMID:26514583

  1. False physiological feedback and persuasion: effect of fear arousal vs. fear reduction on attitude change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrick, C; Giesen, M; Borden, R

    1975-06-01

    Two experiments tested the hypothesis that increases in false physiological feedback of fear arousal will enhance persuasion and that reduction in the arousal feedback is unnecessary for increased persuasion to occur. Prior research has usually found a positive relation between level of arousal and persuasion, but support for the drive reduction hypothesis is tenuous. However, Harris and Jellison (1971) claimed support for such a hypothesis. They manipulated subjects' fear arousal cognitively via false physiological feedback while the subjects listened to a persuasive communication. The present experiments used a similar procedure in an attempt to test an "arousal only" against an "arousal reduction" hypothesis. Subjects listened to a persuasive speech while receiving false feedback via a meter concerning their fear arousal. In Experiment I half of the subjects received high arousal and half received moderate arousal information. Within each of these conditions half of the subjects had their arousal reduced, and the other half did not. In Experiment II subjects received either low arousal, high arousal, or high then low arousal feedback while listening. The results of the two studies generally provided support for the "arousal only" hypothesis. An interpretation in terms of Bem's attribution theory was tentatively suggested.

  2. Fear appeals in HIV prevention: the role of anticipated regret.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smerecnik, Chris M R; Ruiter, Robert A C

    2010-10-01

    The present study examined the role of a number of cognitive beliefs (i.e. attitude, subjective norm, anticipated regret, and self-efficacy) in explaining the effects of fear appeal information on behavioral motivation. A randomized experiment with a 2 (threat: low versus high) × 2 (coping: low versus high) between-subjects design was used in the study. Undergraduates were exposed to one of four scenario messages that presented high or low threat information about HIV/AIDS combined with high or low coping information with regard to condom use in HIV prevention. Explorative analyses revealed that only anticipated regret qualified as a mediator of the effect of the fear appeal message on intention. High coping information was observed to increase anticipated regret, which increased the intention to use condoms. Anticipated regret mediated the coping-intention relationship. This finding furthers our understanding of the working mechanisms of fear appeals in HIV prevention.

  3. Orexin modulates behavioral fear expression through the locus coeruleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soya, Shingo; Takahashi, Tohru M; McHugh, Thomas J; Maejima, Takashi; Herlitze, Stefan; Abe, Manabu; Sakimura, Kenji; Sakurai, Takeshi

    2017-11-20

    Emotionally salient information activates orexin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, leading to increase in sympathetic outflow and vigilance level. How this circuit alters animals' behavior remains unknown. Here we report that noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (NA LC neurons) projecting to the lateral amygdala (LA) receive synaptic input from orexin neurons. Pharmacogenetic/optogenetic silencing of this circuit as well as acute blockade of the orexin receptor-1 (OX1R) decreases conditioned fear responses. In contrast, optogenetic stimulation of this circuit potentiates freezing behavior against a similar but distinct context or cue. Increase of orexinergic tone by fasting also potentiates freezing behavior and LA activity, which are blocked by pharmacological blockade of OX1R in the LC. These findings demonstrate the circuit involving orexin, NA LC and LA neurons mediates fear-related behavior and suggests inappropriate excitation of this pathway may cause fear generalization sometimes seen in psychiatric disorders, such as PTSD.

  4. Public reaction to radiation: fear, anxiety, or phobia?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drottz-Sjoeberg, B.-M.; Persson, L.

    1993-01-01

    Public fear reactions to ionizing radiation are discussed in a social psychological context. The common use of the terms fear, anxiety, panic, and phobia is related to their clinical meanings, and the authors stress the importance of caution when using certain psychiatric terms for interpreting public reactions to radiation. Differences related to existing knowledge and belief structures, trust, and preferences, create obstacles to effective communication; however, the study of such differences also offers explanations to different reactions and different viewpoints. More information and communication of radiation, clear behavioral guidelines in situations of increased radiation levels, and respect for citizens' concerns about radiation protection would counterbalance lay people's fears and feelings of vulnerability. Such measures may enhance familiarity with radiation, increase perceived personal control in anxiety-creating situations, and develop trust in authorities and their expertise. (author)

  5. The influence of stress on fear memory processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.D. Martijena

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available It is well recognized that stressful experiences promote robust emotional memories, which are well remembered. The amygdaloid complex, principally the basolateral complex (BLA, plays a pivotal role in fear memory and in the modulation of stress-induced emotional responses. A large number of reports have revealed that GABAergic interneurons provide a powerful inhibitory control of the activity of projecting glutamatergic neurons in the BLA. Indeed, a reduced GABAergic control in the BLA is essential for the stress-induced influence on the emergence of associative fear memory and on the generation of long-term potentiation (LTP in BLA neurons. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK subfamily of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK signaling pathway in the BLA plays a central role in the consolidation process and synaptic plasticity. In support of the view that stress facilitates long-term fear memory, stressed animals exhibited a phospho-ERK2 (pERK2 increase in the BLA, suggesting the involvement of this mechanism in the promoting influence of threatening stimuli on the consolidation fear memory. Moreover, the occurrence of reactivation-induced lability is prevented when fear memory is encoded under intense stressful conditions since the memory trace remains immune to disruption after recall in previously stressed animals. Thus, the underlying mechanism in retrieval-induced instability seems not to be functional in memories formed under stress. All these findings are indicative that stress influences both the consolidation and reconsolidation fear memory processes. Thus, it seems reasonable to propose that the emotional state generated by an environmental challenge critically modulates the formation and maintenance of long-term fear memory.

  6. Do fears of malpractice litigation influence teaching behaviors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Darcy A; Windish, Donna M; Levine, Rachel B; Kravet, Steven J; Wolfe, Leah; Wright, Scott M

    2008-01-01

    Medical malpractice is prominently positioned in the consciousness of American physicians, and the perceived threat of malpractice litigation may push physicians to practice defensively and alter their teaching behaviors. The purposes of this study were to characterize the attitudes of academic medical faculty toward malpractice litigation and to identify teaching behaviors associated with fear of malpractice litigation. We surveyed 270 full-time clinically active physicians in the Department of Medicine at a large academic medical center. The survey assessed physicians' attitudes toward malpractice issues, fear of malpractice litigation, and self-reported teaching behaviors associated with concerns about litigation. Two hundred and fifteen physicians responded (80%). Faculty scored an average of 25.5 +/- 6.9 (range = 6-42, higher scores indicate greater fear) on a reliable malpractice fear scale. Younger age (Spearman's rho = 0.19, p = .02) and greater time spent in clinical activities (rho = 0.26, p Fear Scale. Faculty reported that because of the perceived prevalence of lawsuits and claims made against physicians, they spend more time writing clinical notes for patients seen by learners (74%), give learners less autonomy in patient care (44%), and limit opportunities for learners to perform clinical procedures (32%) and deliver bad news to patients (33%). Faculty with higher levels of fear on the Malpractice Fear Scale were more likely to report changing their teaching behaviors because of this perceived threat (rho = 0.38, p < .001). Physicians report changes in teaching behaviors because of concerns about malpractice litigation. Although concerns about malpractice may promote increased supervision and positive role modeling, they may also limit important educational opportunities for learners. These results may serve to heighten awareness to the fact that teaching behaviors and decisions may be influenced by the malpractice climate.

  7. Recognizing Student Fear: The Elephant in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bledsoe, T. Scott; Baskin, Janice J.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding fear, its causes, and its impact on students can be important for educators who seek ways to help students manage their fears. This paper explores common types of student fears such as performance-based anxiety, fear of failure, fear of being laughed at, and cultural components of fear that impact learning. The cognitive, emotional,…

  8. Fear of the Formal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    du Gay, Paul; Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas

    Over recent decades, institutions exhibiting high degrees of formality have come in for severe criticism. From the private to the public sector, and across a whole spectrum of actors spanning from practitioners to academics, formal organization is viewed with increasing doubt and skepticism....... In a “Schumpetarian world” (Teece et al., 1997: 509) of dynamic competition and incessant reform, formal organization appears as well suited to survival as a fish out of water. Indeed, formal organization, and its closely overlapping semantic twin bureaucracy, are not only represented as ill suited to the realities...... is that formal organization is an obstacle to be overcome. For that very reason, critics, intellectuals and reformers alike have urged public and private organizations to break out of the stifling straightjacket of formality, to dispense with bureaucracy, and to tear down hierarchies. This could either be done...

  9. The Phenomenon of Dental Fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moore, Rod

    Odontophobia is a rather unique phobia with special psychosomatic components that impact on the dental health of odontophobic persons. It also has psychosocial components largely as a result of destruction of the teeth and subsequent embarrassment that can affect a person and cause a vicious cycle...... of dental fear (see fig. 1). The phenomenon is facilitated by misunderstandings and myths generated by both patients and dentists (see table 1 for examples). The most common reasons given in the literature for such strong fears of dental treatment are: 1) bad experiences in childhood for 85% of cases, 2......) feeling of powerlessness and lack of control over personal emotional reactions and over the social situation in the dental chair, 3) social learning processes in which the image of the dentist is cast in a negative light by the mass media or by the person's relatives or friends and 4) that the person has...

  10. Learning strategies during fear conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Carpenter, Russ E.; Summers, Cliff H.

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes a model of fear learning, in which subjects have an option of behavioral responses to impending social defeat. The model generates two types of learning: social avoidance and classical conditioning, dependent upon 1) escape from or 2) social subordination to an aggressor. We hypothesized that social stress provides the impetus as well as the necessary information to stimulate dichotomous goal-oriented learning. Specialized tanks were constructed to subject rainbow trout t...

  11. Should Latin America Fear China?

    OpenAIRE

    Eduardo Lora

    2005-01-01

    This paper compares growth conditions in China and Latin America to assess fears that China will displace Latin America in the coming decades. China`s strengths include the size of the economy, macroeconomic stability, abundant low-cost labor, the rapid expansion of physical infrastructure, and the ability to innovate. China`s weaknesses, stemming from insufficient separation between market and state, include poor corporate governance, a fragile financial system and misallocation of savings. ...

  12. The fears of a clown

    OpenAIRE

    Mackley, J S

    2016-01-01

    Clowns are often seen as a source of terror, and this fear may be traced back to the film "Poltergeist" or Stephen King's novel "It". This paper traces the roots of clown performance, from their ability to speak to both commoners and royalty in Shakespeares plays, to the characters of Harlequin, Pierrot and Clown in the Harlequinade plays, and the violence of Mr Punch. This paper also considers more recent creations, particularly the "Northampton Clown" and the effect that this pranks had on ...

  13. Unemployment (Fears) and Deflationary Spirals

    OpenAIRE

    Den Haan, WJ; Riegler, M; Karner Rendahl, Robert Pontus

    2017-01-01

    The interaction of incomplete markets and sticky nominal wages is shown to magnify business cycles even though these two features—in isolation—dampen them. During recessions, fears of unemployment stir up precautionary sentiments that induce agents to save more. The additional savings may be used as investments in both a productive asset (equity) and an unproductive nominal liquid asset. The desire to hold the nominal liquid asset puts deflationary pressure on the economy which, provided that...

  14. The central amygdala circuits in fear regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo

    The amygdala is essential for fear learning and expression. The central amygdala (CeA), once viewed as a passive relay between the amygdala complex and downstream fear effectors, has emerged as an active participant in fear conditioning. However, how the CeA contributes to the learning and expression of fear remains unclear. Our recent studies in mice indicate that fear conditioning induces robust plasticity of excitatory synapses onto inhibitory neurons in the lateral subdivision of CeA (CeL). In particular, this plasticity is cell-type specific and is required for the formation of fear memory. In addition, sensory cues that predict threat can cause activation of the somatostatin-positive CeL neurons, which is sufficient to drive freezing behavior. Here I will report our recent findings regarding the circuit and cellular mechanisms underlying CeL function in fear processing.

  15. Fear learning alterations after traumatic brain injury and their role in development of posttraumatic stress symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, Daniel E; Acheson, Dean T; Geyer, Mark A; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Baker, Dewleen G; Risbrough, Victoria B

    2017-08-01

    It is unknown how traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One potential mechanism is via alteration of fear-learning processes that could affect responses to trauma memories and cues. We utilized a prospective, longitudinal design to determine if TBI is associated with altered fear learning and extinction, and if fear processing mediates effects of TBI on PTSD symptom change. Eight hundred fifty two active-duty Marines and Navy Corpsmen were assessed before and after deployment. Assessments included TBI history, PTSD symptoms, combat trauma and deployment stress, and a fear-potentiated startle task of fear acquisition and extinction. Startle response and self-reported expectancy and anxiety served as measures of fear conditioning, and PTSD symptoms were measured with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. Individuals endorsing "multiple hit" exposure (both deployment TBI and a prior TBI) showed the strongest fear acquisition and highest fear expression compared to groups without multiple hits. Extinction did not differ across groups. Endorsing a deployment TBI was associated with higher anxiety to the fear cue compared to those without deployment TBI. The association of deployment TBI with increased postdeployment PTSD symptoms was mediated by postdeployment fear expression when recent prior-TBI exposure was included as a moderator. TBI associations with increased response to threat cues and PTSD symptoms remained when controlling for deployment trauma and postdeployment PTSD diagnosis. Deployment TBI, and multiple-hit TBI in particular, are associated with increases in conditioned fear learning and expression that may contribute to risk for developing PTSD symptoms. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Dissociating response systems: erasing fear from memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel

    2010-07-01

    In addition to the extensive evidence in animals, we previously showed that disrupting reconsolidation by noradrenergic blockade produced amnesia for the original fear response in humans. Interestingly, the declarative memory for the fear association remained intact. These results asked for a solid replication. Moreover, given the constructive nature of memories, the intact recollection of the fear association could eventually 'rebuild' the fear memory, resulting in the spontaneous recovery of the fear response. Yet, perseverance of the amnesic effects would have substantial clinical implications, as even the most effective treatments for psychiatric disorders display high percentages of relapse. Using a differential fear conditioning procedure in humans, we replicated our previous findings by showing that administering propranolol (40mg) prior to memory reactivation eliminated the startle fear response 24h later. But most importantly, this effect persisted at one month follow-up. Notably, the propranolol manipulation not only left the declarative memory for the acquired contingency untouched, but also skin conductance discrimination. In addition, a close association between declarative knowledge and skin conductance responses was found. These findings are in line with the supposed double dissociation of fear conditioning and declarative knowledge relative to the amygdala and hippocampus in humans. They support the view that skin conductance conditioning primarily reflects contingency learning, whereas the startle response is a rather specific measure of fear. Furthermore, the results indicate the absence of a causal link between the actual knowledge of a fear association and its fear response, even though they often operate in parallel. Interventions targeting the amygdalar fear memory may be essential in specifically and persistently dampening the emotional impact of fear. From a clinical and ethical perspective, disrupting reconsolidation points to promising

  17. Enhanced fear expression in a psychopathological mouse model of trait anxiety: pharmacological interventions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone B Sartori

    Full Text Available The propensity to develop an anxiety disorder is thought to be determined by genetic and environmental factors. Here we investigated the relationship between a genetic predisposition to trait anxiety and experience-based learned fear in a psychopathological mouse model. Male CD-1 mice selectively bred for either high (HAB, or normal (NAB anxiety-related behaviour on the elevated plus maze were subjected to classical fear conditioning. During conditioning both mouse lines showed increased fear responses as assessed by freezing behaviour. However, 24 h later, HAB mice displayed more pronounced conditioned responses to both a contextual or cued stimulus when compared with NAB mice. Interestingly, 6 h and already 1 h after fear conditioning, freezing levels were high in HAB mice but not in NAB mice. These results suggest that trait anxiety determines stronger fear memory and/or a weaker ability to inhibit fear responses in the HAB line. The enhanced fear response of HAB mice was attenuated by treatment with either the α(2,3,5-subunit selective benzodiazepine partial agonist L-838,417, corticosterone or the selective neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist L-822,429. Overall, the HAB mouse line may represent an interesting model (i for identifying biological factors underlying misguided conditioned fear responses and (ii for studying novel anxiolytic pharmacotherapies for patients with fear-associated disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.

  18. Hippocampal Administration of Levothyroxine Impairs Contextual Fear Memory Consolidation in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Dafu; Zhou, Heng; Zou, Lin; Jiang, Yong; Wu, Xiaoqun; Jiang, Lizhu; Zhou, Qixin; Yang, Yuexiong; Xu, Lin; Mao, Rongrong

    2017-01-01

    Thyroid hormone (TH) receptors are highly distributed in the hippocampus, which plays a vital role in memory processes. However, how THs are involved in the different stages of memory process is little known. Herein, we used hippocampus dependent contextual fear conditioning to address the effects of hippocampal THs on the different stages of fear memory. First, we found that a single systemic levothyroxine (LT 4 ) administration increased the level of free triiodothyronine (FT 3 ) and free tetraiodothyroxine (FT 4 ) not only in serum but also in hippocampus. In addition, a single systemic LT 4 administration immediately after fear conditioning significantly impaired fear memory. These results indicated the important role of hippocampal THs in fear memory process. To further confirm the effects of hippocampal THs on the different stages of fear memory, LT 4 (0.4 μg/μl, 1 μl/side) was injected bilaterally into hippocampus. Rats given LT 4 into hippocampus before training or tests had no effect on the acquisition or retrieval of fear memory, however rats given LT 4 into hippocampus either immediately or 2 h after training showed being significantly impaired fear memory, which demonstrated LT 4 administration into hippocampus impairs the consolidation but has no effect on the acquisition and retrieval of fear memory. Furthermore, hippocampal injection of LT 4 did not affect rats' locomotor activity, thigmotaxis and THs level in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and serum. These findings may have important implications for understanding mechanisms underlying contribution of THs to memory disorders.

  19. Vicarious Learning and Reduction of Fear in Children via Adult and Child Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Güler; Askew, Chris

    2017-06-01

    Children can learn to fear stimuli vicariously, by observing adults' or peers' responses to them. Given that much of school-age children's time is typically spent with their peers, it is important to establish whether fear learning from peers is as effective or robust as learning from adults, and also whether peers can be successful positive models for reducing fear. During a vicarious fear learning procedure, children (6 to 10 years; N = 60) were shown images of novel animals together with images of adult or peer faces expressing fear. Later they saw their fear-paired animal again together with positive emotional adult or peer faces. Children's fear beliefs and avoidance for the animals increased following vicarious fear learning and decreased following positive vicarious counterconditioning. There was little evidence of differences in learning from adults and peers, demonstrating that for this age group peer models are effective models for both fear acquisition and reduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Associations among Context-Specific Maternal Protective Behavior, Toddlers' Fearful Temperament, and Maternal Accuracy and Goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Buss, Kristin A.

    2012-01-01

    Maternal protective responses to temperamentally fearful toddlers have previously been found to relate to increased risk for children's development of anxiety-spectrum problems. Not all protective behavior is "overprotective", and not all mothers respond to toddlers' fear with protection. Therefore, the current study aimed to identify conditions…

  1. Uplifting Fear Appeals: Considering the Role of Hope in Fear-Based Persuasive Messages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabi, Robin L; Myrick, Jessica Gall

    2018-01-09

    Fear appeal research has focused, understandably, on fear as the primary emotion motivating attitude and behavior change. However, while the threat component of fear appeals associates with fear responses, a fear appeals' efficacy component likely associates with a different emotional experience: hope. Drawing from appraisal theories of emotion in particular, this article theorizes about the role of hope in fear appeals, testing hypotheses with two existing data sets collected within the context of sun safety messages. In both studies, significant interactions between hope and self-efficacy emerged to predict behavioral intentions. Notable main effects for hope also emerged, though with less consistency. Further, these effects persisted despite controlling for the four cognitions typically considered central to fear appeal effectiveness. These results, consistent across two samples, support the claim that feelings of hope in response to fear appeals contribute to their persuasive success. Implications for developing a recursive model of fear appeal processing are discussed.

  2. Fear Extinction Memory Consolidation Requires Potentiation of Pontine-Wave Activity during REM Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, Subimal; O'Malley, Matthew W .

    2013-01-01

    Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation within multiple memory systems including contextual fear extinction memory, but little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this process. Here, we show that fear extinction training in rats, which extinguished conditioned fear, increased both slow-wave sleep and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Surprisingly, 24 h later, during memory testing, only 57% of the fear-extinguished animals retained fear extinction memory. We found that these animals exhibited an increase in phasic pontine-wave (P-wave) activity during post-training REM sleep, which was absent in the 43% of animals that failed to retain fear extinction memory. The results of this study provide evidence that brainstem activation, specifically potentiation of phasic P-wave activity, during post-training REM sleep is critical for consolidation of fear extinction memory. The results of this study also suggest that, contrary to the popular hypothesis of sleep and memory, increased sleep after training alone does not guarantee consolidation and/or retention of fear extinction memory. Rather, the potentiation of specific sleep-dependent physiological events may be a more accurate predictor for successful consolidation of fear extinction memory. Identification of this unique mechanism will significantly improve our present understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the sleep-dependent regulation of emotional memory. Additionally, this discovery may also initiate development of a new, more targeted treatment method for clinical disorders of fear and anxiety in humans that is more efficacious than existing methods such as exposure therapy that incorporate only fear extinction. PMID:23467372

  3. Relationships of stroke patients' gait parameters with fear of falling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jin; Yoo, Ingyu

    2014-12-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to assess the correlation of gait parameters with fear of falling in stroke survivors. [Subjects] In total, 12 patients with stroke participated. [Methods] The subjects performed on a Biodex Gait Trainer 2 for 5 min to evaluate characteristic gait parameters. The kinematic gait parameters measured were gait speed, step cycle, step length, and time on each foot (step symmetry). All the subjects also completed a fall anxiety survey. [Results] Correlations between gait parameters and fear of falling scores were calculated. There was a moderate degree of correlation between fear of falling scores and the step cycle item of gait parameters. [Conclusions] According to our results, the step cycle gait parameter may be related to increased fall anxiety.

  4. Fear Appeal in Traffic Safety Advertising: The moderating role of medium context, trait anxiety, and differences between drivers and non-drivers

    OpenAIRE

    Janssens, Wim; De Pelsmacker, Patrick

    2007-01-01

    The impact was investigated of the intensity of a fear appeal, the valence of the medium context, and the individuals' trait anxiety and personal relevance on the responses of 197 individuals to anti-speeding advertisements. A high level of fear attracts more attention. A negative valence context leads to a more positive anti-speeding attitude. The most important moderating effect of trait anxiety is that the attitude is more positive when low-anxiety individuals are exposed to high fear appe...

  5. Updating Procedures Can Reorganize the Neural Circuit Supporting a Fear Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwapis, Janine L; Jarome, Timothy J; Ferrara, Nicole C; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2017-07-01

    Established memories undergo a period of vulnerability following retrieval, a process termed 'reconsolidation.' Recent work has shown that the hypothetical process of reconsolidation is only triggered when new information is presented during retrieval, suggesting that this process may allow existing memories to be modified. Reconsolidation has received increasing attention as a possible therapeutic target for treating disorders that stem from traumatic memories, yet little is known about how this process changes the original memory. In particular, it is unknown whether reconsolidation can reorganize the neural circuit supporting an existing memory after that memory is modified with new information. Here, we show that trace fear memory undergoes a protein synthesis-dependent reconsolidation process following exposure to a single updating trial of delay conditioning. Further, this reconsolidation-dependent updating process appears to reorganize the neural circuit supporting the trace-trained memory, so that it better reflects the circuit supporting delay fear. Specifically, after a trace-to-delay update session, the amygdala is now required for extinction of the updated memory but the retrosplenial cortex is no longer required for retrieval. These results suggest that updating procedures could be used to force a complex, poorly defined memory circuit to rely on a better-defined neural circuit that may be more amenable to behavioral or pharmacological manipulation. This is the first evidence that exposure to new information can fundamentally reorganize the neural circuit supporting an existing memory.

  6. Interference effects of transcranial direct current stimulation over the right frontal cortex and adrenergic system on conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Soltanpour, Reyhaneh; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrabian, Shahram; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2017-11-01

    The effects of pharmacological interventions on fear memory have widely been studied, but there are very few studies about the effects of brain electrical stimulation on fear memory function. Therefore, our aim was to determine whether anodal/cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the right frontal cortex would modify propranolol-induced contextual and auditory fear memory deficits, before or after training. The adult NMRI male mice were randomly assigned into three groups: the sham group, the anodal tDCS group, and the cathodal tDCS group. Fear memories were evaluated using a classical fear conditioning apparatus. While the anodal stimulation did not affect fear retrieval, post-training cathodal stimulation improved fear memory retrieval. Regardless of when propranolol (0.1 mg/kg) was administered, it impaired fear memory retrieval. However, when anodal stimulation and propranolol were applied prior to the training, contextual fear memory retrieval was increased and auditory fear memory was reversed. An enhanced contextual retrieval was also observed when propranolol was administered prior to the training and stimulation occurred after the training. Only when the stimulation occurred prior to the training and propranolol was administered after the training was there a selective improvement in contextual fear memory retrieval, leaving the auditory fear memory retrieval impaired. Interestingly, cathodal stimulation improved the effects of propranolol on auditory fear memory only when it occurred prior to the training. The results highlight possible improving effects for anodal/cathodal tDCS on propranolol-induced deficits on fear memories. The timing of the interventions related to the specific phases of memory formation is important in modulating fear behaviors.

  7. Erythropoietin reduces neural and cognitive processing of fear in human models of antidepressant drug action

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miskowiak, Kamilla; O'Sullivan, Ursula; Harmer, Catherine J

    2007-01-01

    with reduced attention to fear. Erythropoietin additionally reduced recognition of fearful facial expressions without affecting recognition of other emotional expressions. These actions occurred in the absence of changes in hematological parameters. CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that Epo directly......) versus saline on the neural processing of happy and fearful faces in 23 healthy volunteers. Facial expression recognition was assessed outside the scanner. RESULTS: One week after administration, Epo reduced neural response to fearful versus neutral faces in the occipito-parietal cortex consistent...... study aimed to explore the effects of Epo on neural and behavioral measures of emotional processing relevant for depression and the effects of conventional antidepressant medication. METHODS: In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore the effects of Epo (40,000 IU...

  8. Fears of institutionalized mentally retarded adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternlicht, M

    1979-01-01

    The patterns of fears of institutionalized mentally retarded adults were studied in a sample of i2 moderately retarded men and women between the ages of 21-49. The direct questioning method was employed. Two interviews were held, two weeks apart; the first interview elicited the Ss' fears, while the second concerned the fears of their friends. A total of 146 responses were obtained, and these were categorized according to the types of fears: supernatural-natural events, animals, physical injury, psychological stress, egocentric responses, and no fears. The Ss displayed a higher percentage of fears in the preoperational stage than in the concrete operational stage. In a comparison of male to female fears, only one category, that of fears of animals, reached significance. The study suggested that the same developmental trend of fears that appears in normal children appears in the retarded as well, and these fears follow Piaget's level of cognitive development, proceeding from egocentric perceptions of causality to realistic cause and effect thinking.

  9. Disgust domains in the prediction of contamination fear.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olatunji, BO; Sawchuk, CN; Lohr, JM; de Jong, PJ

    Previous research has shown a relationship between the emotion of disgust and the fear of contamination. Heightened sensitivity to disgust and increased concerns over contamination has been observed in various disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and specific phobias. However,

  10. Social Networks Users: Fear of Missing out in Preservice Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gezgin, Deniz Mertkan; Hamutoglu, Nazire Burcin; Gemikonakli, Orhan; Raman, Ilhan

    2017-01-01

    As mobile computing and smartphones become an integrated part of our lives, the time individuals spend on social networks has significantly increased. Moreover, a link has been established between the uncontrolled use of social networks to the development of undesirable habits and behaviors including addictions. One such behavior, namely, fear of…

  11. Antenatal blood donation: Pregnant mothers' attitude, fears and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Up to 150,000 pregnancy-related deaths could be avoided each year through access to safe blood. Antenatal blood donation, which will increase access to safe blood, is one of the ways to reduce maternal mortality in this environment. This study assessed the knowledge, attitude, fears and preferences of pregnant mothers ...

  12. The Shadow of Physical Harm? Examining the Unique and Gendered Relationship Between Fear of Murder Versus Fear of Sexual Assault on Fear of Violent Crime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, Samantha; Cook, Carrie L

    2015-09-01

    The shadow hypothesis regarding the impact of fear of sexual assault on fear of violent crime suggests that female fear of crime is characterized by concern about sexual assault as a contemporaneous victimization event during a violent crime event. Recent research has found that other types of crime, namely physical assault, may also be feared as a contemporaneous offense. We know of no research that has examined the unique impact of fear of murder versus fear of sexual assault on fear of violent crime. There is also a lack of research that explores how these two types of fear uniquely affect men and women. In addition to gender, we examine factors that have been suggested in previous research to correlate with fear of crime: race, victimization, vicarious victimization, and perceived risk. Through survey methodology, this research examines the unique relationship between both fear of murder and fear of sexual assault and fear of three types of violent crime for men and women. Results suggest differences in how fear of murder and fear of sexual assault are related to fear of other types of violence for men and women. Specifically, fear of murder is important in estimating male fear of robbery and aggravated assault. However, fear of sexual assault is almost as important as fear of murder for men in estimating fear of home invasion. Similarly, for women, fear of sexual assault and fear of murder both are significant factors associated with fear of violent crime, and differences between the levels of significance are marginal. This study is a first to examine whether murder may also be feared as a contemporaneous offense. The results are informative in identifying what drives fear of crime, particularly violent crime, for both men and women. Avenues for future research are discussed. © The Author(s) 2014.

  13. Fear patterns: a new approach to designing road safety advertisements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algie, Jennifer; Rossiter, John R

    2010-01-01

    This research studies fear patterns within fear appeal anti-speeding television commercials. A pattern of fear is the sequence of fear arousal and fear reduction, if any, that is felt by the viewing audience when exposed to a fear appeal advertisement. Many road safety advertisers use fear appeals, such as "shock" advertising, that result in fear arousal, leaving the viewer feeling extremely tense. The moment-to-moment reactions of young drivers to 12 road safety commercials are gauged using a dynamic, temporal measure of fear. The fear patterns generated from each ad are analyzed and a new perspective on creating fear appeal road safety advertisements, with an emphasis on fear-relief, fear-partial relief, and fear-only patterns, is discussed.

  14. The role of fear and threat in communicating risk scenarios and the need for actions. Effect of fear on information processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meijnders, A.L.; Midden, C.J.H. [Eindhoven University of Technology, Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology and Linguistics, Eindhoven (Netherlands); Wilke, H.A.M. [Leiden University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Organizational Psychology, Leiden (Netherlands)

    1995-12-31

    The results of a first experiment regarding the title subject, in which we examined whether fear of environmental risks increases the tendency to carefully process information on environmentally sound behaviour, are discussed. 2 figs., 10 refs.

  15. Sleep deprivation affects fear memory consolidation: bi-stable amygdala connectivity with insula and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Pan; Becker, Benjamin; Zheng, Yong; Feng, Tingyong

    2018-02-01

    Sleep plays an important role for successful fear memory consolidation. Growing evidence suggests that sleep disturbances might contribute to the development and the maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorders characterized by dysregulations in fear learning mechanisms, as well as exaggerated arousal and salience processing. Against this background, the present study examined the effects of sleep deprivation (SD) on the acquisition of fear and the subsequent neural consolidation. To this end, the present study assessed fear acquisition and associated changes in fMRI-based amygdala-functional connectivity following 24 h of SD. Relative to non-sleep deprived controls, SD subjects demonstrated increased fear ratings and skin conductance responses (SCR) during fear acquisition. During fear consolidation SD inhibited increased amygdala-ventromendial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) connectivity and concomitantly increased changes in amygdala-insula connectivity. Importantly, whereas in controls fear indices during acquisition were negatively associated with amygdala-vmPFC connectivity during consolidation, fear indices were positively associated with amygdala-insula coupling following SD. Together the findings suggest that SD may interfere with vmPFC control of the amygdala and increase bottom-up arousal signaling in the amygdala-insula pathway during fear consolidation, which might mediate the negative impact of sleep disturbances on PSTD symptomatology.

  16. Modification of Fear Memory by Pharmacological and Behavioural Interventions during Reconsolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response. We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol) and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation) interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS). Two of these (CS+) were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response. Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus. Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of psychotherapeutic interventions. This

  17. Modification of Fear Memory by Pharmacological and Behavioural Interventions during Reconsolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Background Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response. Methods We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol) and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation) interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS). Two of these (CS+) were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response. Results Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus. Conclusions Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of

  18. Race Guides Attention in Visual Search.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marte Otten

    Full Text Available It is known that faces are rapidly and even unconsciously categorized into social groups (black vs. white, male vs. female. Here, I test whether preferences for specific social groups guide attention, using a visual search paradigm. In Experiment 1 participants searched displays of neutral faces for an angry or frightened target face. Black target faces were detected more efficiently than white targets, indicating that black faces attracted more attention. Experiment 2 showed that attention differences between black and white faces were correlated with individual differences in automatic race preference. In Experiment 3, using happy target faces, the attentional preference for black over white faces was eliminated. Taken together, these results suggest that automatic preferences for social groups guide attention to individuals from negatively valenced groups, when people are searching for a negative emotion such as anger or fear.

  19. [Attentional bias and emotional suppression in borderline personality disorder].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernando, Silvia Carvalho; Griepenstroh, Julia; Urban, Sabine; Driessen, Martin; Beblo, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Emotion regulation dysfunctions marked by negative affectivity are a core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD). In addition, patients with BPD show disturbed attentional processes which become particularly apparent in the domain of selective attention when emotional stimuli are presented (negative attentional bias). Assuming that emotion regulation is linked to attentional deployment processes, this study aimed (1) to determine whether a negative attentional bias is established by using film clips of fearful faces and (2) to investigate the association between dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies (emotional suppression) and negative attention bias in BPD. We investigated 18 inpatients with BPD and 18 healthy control participants using the modified version of the fearful face-paradigm to assess the inhibition of emotional stimuli. We also administered self-report emotion regulation questionnaires. Compared to the healthy controls, patients with BPD showed significant longer reaction times during the emotional versus the neutral film stimuli in the modified fearful face-paradigm. With regard to the second hypothesis, we failed to find an association between the negative attentional bias and the habitual use of emotional suppression in BPD. In this study, we could confirm an attentional bias for negative stimuli, using complex, dynamic material. Future studies need to address the impact of confounding variables (e. g. comorbid disorders) on the relationship between maladaptive emotion regulation and selective attentional bias.

  20. Corticosterone facilitates extinction of fear memory in BALB/c mice but strengthens cue related fear in C57BL/6 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinks, V; de Kloet, E R; Oitzl, M S

    2009-04-01

    Corticosterone, the naturally occurring glucocorticoid of rodents is secreted in response to stressors and is known for its facilitating and detrimental effects on emotional learning and memory. The large variability in the action of corticosterone on processing of emotional memories is postulated to depend on genetic background and the spatio-temporal domain in which the hormone operates. To address this hypothesis, mice of two strains with distinct corticosterone secretory patterns and behavioural phenotype (BALB/c and C57BL/6J) were treated with corticosterone (250 microg/kg, i.p.), either 5 min before or directly after acquisition in a fear conditioning task. As the paradigm allowed assessing in one experimental procedure both context- and cue-related fear behaviour, we were able to detect generalization and specificity of fear. BALB/c showed generalized strong fear memory, while C57BL/6J mice discriminated between freezing during context- and cue episodes. Corticosterone had opposite effects on fear memory depending on the strain and time of injection. Corticosterone after acquisition did not affect C57BL/6J mice, but destabilized consolidation and facilitated extinction in BALB/c. Corticosterone 5 min before acquisition strengthened stress-associated signals: BALB/c no longer showed lower fear memory, while C57BL/6J mice displayed increased fear memory and impaired extinction in cue episodes. We propose that corticosterone-induced facilitation of fear memory in C57BL/6J mice can be used to study the development of fear memories, corticosterone administration in BALB/c mice presents a model to examine treatment. We conclude that genetic background and time of corticosterone action are modifiers of fear memory with interesting translational implications for anxiety-related diseases.

  1. Toddlers’ Duration of Attention towards Putative Threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Buss, Kristin A.

    2010-01-01

    Although individual differences in reactions to novelty in the toddler years have been consistently linked to risk for developing anxious behavior, toddlers’ attention towards a novel, putatively threatening stimulus while in the presence of other enjoyable activities has rarely been examined as a precursor to such risk. The current study examined how attention towards an angry-looking gorilla mask in a room with alternative opportunities for play in 24-month-old toddlers predicted social inhibition when children entered kindergarten. Analyses examined attention to threat above and beyond and in interaction with both proximity to the mask and fear of novelty observed in other situations. Attention to threat interacted with proximity to the mask to predict social inhibition, such that attention to threat most strongly predicted social inhibition when toddlers stayed furthest from the mask. This relation occurred above and beyond the predictive relation between fear of novelty and social inhibition. Results are discussed within the broader literature of anxiety development and attentional processes in young children. PMID:21373365

  2. Specific and social fears in children and adolescents: separating normative fears from problem indicators and phobias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laporte, Paola P; Pan, Pedro M; Hoffmann, Mauricio S; Wakschlag, Lauren S; Rohde, Luis A; Miguel, Euripedes C; Pine, Daniel S; Manfro, Gisele G; Salum, Giovanni A

    2017-01-01

    To distinguish normative fears from problematic fears and phobias. We investigated 2,512 children and adolescents from a large community school-based study, the High Risk Study for Psychiatric Disorders. Parent reports of 18 fears and psychiatric diagnosis were investigated. We used two analytical approaches: confirmatory factor analysis (CFA)/item response theory (IRT) and nonparametric receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. According to IRT and ROC analyses, social fears are more likely to indicate problems and phobias than specific fears. Most specific fears were normative when mild; all specific fears indicate problems when pervasive. In addition, the situational fear of toilets and people who look unusual were highly indicative of specific phobia. Among social fears, those not restricted to performance and fear of writing in front of others indicate problems when mild. All social fears indicate problems and are highly indicative of social phobia when pervasive. These preliminary findings provide guidance for clinicians and researchers to determine the boundaries that separate normative fears from problem indicators in children and adolescents, and indicate a differential severity threshold for specific and social fears.

  3. Specific and social fears in children and adolescents: separating normative fears from problem indicators and phobias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola P. Laporte

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To distinguish normative fears from problematic fears and phobias. Methods: We investigated 2,512 children and adolescents from a large community school-based study, the High Risk Study for Psychiatric Disorders. Parent reports of 18 fears and psychiatric diagnosis were investigated. We used two analytical approaches: confirmatory factor analysis (CFA/item response theory (IRT and nonparametric receiver operating characteristic (ROC curve. Results: According to IRT and ROC analyses, social fears are more likely to indicate problems and phobias than specific fears. Most specific fears were normative when mild; all specific fears indicate problems when pervasive. In addition, the situational fear of toilets and people who look unusual were highly indicative of specific phobia. Among social fears, those not restricted to performance and fear of writing in front of others indicate problems when mild. All social fears indicate problems and are highly indicative of social phobia when pervasive. Conclusion: These preliminary findings provide guidance for clinicians and researchers to determine the boundaries that separate normative fears from problem indicators in children and adolescents, and indicate a differential severity threshold for specific and social fears.

  4. The Effect of Fearful Expressions on Multiple Face Tracking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongjun Jin

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available How does the visual system realize dynamic tracking? This topic has become popular within cognitive science in recent years. The classical theory argues that multiple object tracking is accomplished via pre-attention visual indexes as part of a cognitively impenetrable low-level visual system. The present research aimed to investigate whether and how tracking processes are influenced by facial expressions that convey abundant social information about one’s mental state and situated environment. The results showed that participants tracked fearful faces more effectively than neutral faces. However, this advantage was only present under the low-attentional load condition, and distractor face emotion did not impact tracking performance. These findings imply that visual tracking is not driven entirely by low-level vision and encapsulated by high-level representations; rather, that facial expressions, a kind of social information, are able to influence dynamic tracking. Furthermore, the effect of fearful expressions on multiple face tracking is mediated by the availability of attentional resources.

  5. Retrieving fear memories, as time goes by…

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do Monte, Fabricio H.; Quirk, Gregory J.; Li, Bo; Penzo, Mario A.

    2016-01-01

    Fear conditioning researches have led to a comprehensive picture of the neuronal circuit underlying the formation of fear memories. In contrast, knowledge about the retrieval of fear memories is much more limited. This disparity may stem from the fact that fear memories are not rigid, but reorganize over time. To bring clarity and raise awareness on the time-dependent dynamics of retrieval circuits, we review current evidence on the neuronal circuitry participating in fear memory retrieval at both early and late time points after conditioning. We focus on the temporal recruitment of the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, and its BDNFergic efferents to the central nucleus of the amygdala, for the retrieval and maintenance of fear memories. Finally, we speculate as to why retrieval circuits change across time, and the functional benefits of recruiting structures such as the paraventricular nucleus into the retrieval circuit. PMID:27217148

  6. Fear of nuclear power generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Higson, D.J. [Paddington, NSW (Australia)

    2014-07-01

    Communicating the benefits of nuclear power generation, although essential, is unlikely to be sufficient by itself to counter the misconceptions which hinder the adoption of this technology, viz: that it is unsafe, generates intractable waste, facilitates the proliferation of nuclear weapons, etc. Underlying most of these objections is the fear of radiation, engendered by misunderstandings of the effects of exposure - not the actual risks of radiation exposure themselves. Unfortunately, some aspects of current radiation protection practices promote the misconception that there is no safe dose. A prime purpose of communications from the nuclear industry should be to dispel these misconceptions. (author)

  7. Neural correlates of attention biases, behavioral inhibition, and social anxiety in children: An ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thai, Nhi; Taber-Thomas, Bradley C; Pérez-Edgar, Koraly E

    2016-06-01

    Behavioral inhibition (BI) is a biologically-based temperament characterized by vigilance toward threat. Over time, many children with BI increasingly fear social circumstances and display maladaptive social behavior. BI is also one of the strongest individual risk factors for developing social anxiety disorder. Although research has established a link between BI and anxiety, its causal mechanism remains unclear. Attention biases may underlie this relation. The current study examined neural markers of the BI-attention-anxiety link in children ages 9-12 years (N=99, Mean=9.97, SD=0.97). ERP measures were collected as children completed an attention-bias (dot-probe) task with neutral and angry faces. P2 and N2 amplitudes were associated with social anxiety and attention bias, respectively. Specifically, augmented P2 was related to decreased symptoms of social anxiety and moderated the relation between BI and social anxiety, suggesting that increasing attention mobilization may serve as a compensatory mechanism that attenuates social anxiety in individuals with high BI. The BI by N2 interaction found that larger N2 related to threat avoidance with increasing levels of BI, consistent with over-controlled socio-emotional functioning. Lastly, children without BI (BN) showed an augmented P1 to probes replacing angry faces, suggesting maintenance of attentional resources in threat-related contexts. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Fear of Public Speaking: Perception of College Students and Correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira Marinho, Anna Carolina; Mesquita de Medeiros, Adriane; Côrtes Gama, Ana Cristina; Caldas Teixeira, Letícia

    2017-01-01

    The aims of the study were to determine the prevalence of fear of public speaking among college students and to assess its association with sociodemographic variables and those related to the voice and oral communication. A cross-sectional descriptive and analytic study was conducted with 1135 undergraduates aged 17-58 years. The assessment instruments were (1) a questionnaire addressing the variables sex, age, field of undergraduate study, voice, and frequency of exposure to public speaking, and (2) the Self-statements During Public Speaking Scale (SSPS), which includes variables implicated in specific domains of public speaking. A descriptive analysis was performed of the variables as well as uni- and multivariate logistic regressions to examine their association with fear of public speaking. The level of significance was set at 5%. In all, 63.9% of the college students reported fear of public speaking. As many as 89.3% of the students would like their undergraduate program to include classes to improve public speaking. Being female, having infrequent participation as speakers in groups, and perceiving their voice as high-pitched or too soft increase the odds of exhibiting fear of public speaking compared with students without those features. A great number of undergraduates report fear of public speaking. This fear is more prevalent among women, students who participate in few activities involving speaking to groups of people, and those who have a self-perception of their voice as high-pitched or too soft. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Fear extinction requires infralimbic cortex projections to the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloodgood, Daniel W; Sugam, Jonathan A; Holmes, Andrew; Kash, Thomas L

    2018-03-06

    Fear extinction involves the formation of a new memory trace that attenuates fear responses to a conditioned aversive memory, and extinction impairments are implicated in trauma- and stress-related disorders. Previous studies in rodents have found that the infralimbic prefrontal cortex (IL) and its glutamatergic projections to the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and basomedial amygdala (BMA) instruct the formation of fear extinction memories. However, it is unclear whether these pathways are exclusively involved in extinction, or whether other major targets of the IL, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) also play a role. To address this outstanding issue, the current study employed a combination of electrophysiological and chemogenetic approaches in mice to interrogate the role of IL-BLA and IL-NAc pathways in extinction. Specifically, we used patch-clamp electrophysiology coupled with retrograde tracing to examine changes in neuronal activity of the IL and prelimbic cortex (PL) projections to both the BLA and NAc following fear extinction. We found that extinction produced a significant increase in the intrinsic excitability of IL-BLA projection neurons, while extinction appeared to reverse fear-induced changes in IL-NAc projection neurons. To establish a causal counterpart to these observations, we then used a pathway-specific Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADD) strategy to selectively inhibit PFC-BLA projection neurons during extinction acquisition. Using this approach, we found that DREADD-mediated inhibition of PFC-BLA neurons during extinction acquisition impaired subsequent extinction retrieval. Taken together, our findings provide further evidence for a critical contribution of the IL-BLA neural circuit to fear extinction.

  10. Stress Enables Reinforcement-Elicited Serotonergic Consolidation of Fear Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baratta, Michael V; Kodandaramaiah, Suhasa B; Monahan, Patrick E; Yao, Junmei; Weber, Michael D; Lin, Pei-Ann; Gisabella, Barbara; Petrossian, Natalie; Amat, Jose; Kim, Kyungman; Yang, Aimei; Forest, Craig R; Boyden, Edward S; Goosens, Ki A

    2016-05-15

    Prior exposure to stress is a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in response to trauma, yet the mechanisms by which this occurs are unclear. Using a rodent model of stress-based susceptibility to PTSD, we investigated the role of serotonin in this phenomenon. Adult mice were exposed to repeated immobilization stress or handling, and the role of serotonin in subsequent fear learning was assessed using pharmacologic manipulation and western blot detection of serotonin receptors, measurements of serotonin, high-speed optogenetic silencing, and behavior. Both dorsal raphe serotonergic activity during aversive reinforcement and amygdala serotonin 2C receptor (5-HT2CR) activity during memory consolidation were necessary for stress enhancement of fear memory, but neither process affected fear memory in unstressed mice. Additionally, prior stress increased amygdala sensitivity to serotonin by promoting surface expression of 5-HT2CR without affecting tissue levels of serotonin in the amygdala. We also showed that the serotonin that drives stress enhancement of associative cued fear memory can arise from paired or unpaired footshock, an effect not predicted by theoretical models of associative learning. Stress bolsters the consequences of aversive reinforcement, not by simply enhancing the neurobiological signals used to encode fear in unstressed animals, but rather by engaging distinct mechanistic pathways. These results reveal that predictions from classical associative learning models do not always hold for stressed animals and suggest that 5-HT2CR blockade may represent a promising therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders characterized by excessive fear responses such as that observed in PTSD. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Candesartan ameliorates impaired fear extinction induced by innate immune activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiñones, María M; Maldonado, Lizette; Velazquez, Bethzaly; Porter, James T

    2016-02-01

    Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to show signs of a relatively increased inflammatory state suggesting that activation of the immune system may contribute to the development of PTSD. In the present study, we tested whether activation of the innate immune system can disrupt acquisition or recall of auditory fear extinction using an animal model of PTSD. Male adolescent rats received auditory fear conditioning in context A. The next day, an intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 100 μg/kg) prior to auditory fear extinction in context B impaired acquisition and recall of extinction. LPS (100 μg/kg) given after extinction training did not impair extinction recall suggesting that LPS did not affect consolidation of extinction. In contrast to cued fear extinction, contextual fear extinction was not affected by prior injection of LPS (100 μg/kg). Although LPS also reduced locomotion, we could dissociate the effects of LPS on extinction and locomotion by using a lower dose of LPS (50 μg/kg) which impaired locomotion without affecting extinction. In addition, 15 h after an injection of 250 μg/kg LPS in adult rats, extinction learning and recall were impaired without affecting locomotion. A sub-chronic treatment with candesartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker, prevented the LPS-induced impairment of extinction in adult rats. Our results demonstrate that activation of the innate immune system can disrupt auditory fear extinction in adolescent and adult animals. These findings also provide direction for clinical studies of novel treatments that modulate the innate immune system for stress-related disorders like PTSD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Adult-onset hypothyroidism enhances fear memory and upregulates mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Fernández-Lamo, Iván; Alieva, María; Pereda-Pérez, Inmaculada; Venero, César; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana

    2011-01-01

    Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment.

  13. The scare tactic: do fear appeals predict motivation and exam scores?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putwain, David; Remedios, Richard

    2014-12-01

    Prior to high-stakes exams, teachers use persuasive messages that highlight to students the possible consequences of failure. Such messages are known as fear appeals. This study examined whether fear appeals relate to self- and non-self-determined motivation and academic performance. Data were collected in 3 waves. Self-report data pertaining to perceived fear appeals were collected in the first wave, self-report data pertaining to self-determined motivation were collected in the second wave, and exam scores were collected in the third wave. An increased frequency of fear appeals and the appraisal of fear appeals as threatening predicted lower self-determined motivation but were largely unrelated to non-self-determined motivation. An increased frequency of fear appeals and the appraisal of fear appeals as threatening predicted lower examination performance that was partly mediated by lower self-determined motivation. These findings support a position derived from self-worth theory that the negative consequences of fear appeals arise from their focus on avoiding failure rather than their focus on extrinsic consequences. We suggest that teachers and instructors need to be aware how seemingly motivational statements can unwittingly promote lower self-determined motivation. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  14. Adult-onset hypothyroidism enhances fear memory and upregulates mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors in the amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Montero-Pedrazuela

    Full Text Available Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment.

  15. Adult-Onset Hypothyroidism Enhances Fear Memory and Upregulates Mineralocorticoid and Glucocorticoid Receptors in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Fernández-Lamo, Iván; Alieva, María; Pereda-Pérez, Inmaculada; Venero, César; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana

    2011-01-01

    Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment. PMID:22039511

  16. Instructed fear learning, extinction, and recall: additive effects of cognitive information on emotional learning of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javanbakht, Arash; Duval, Elizabeth R; Cisneros, Maria E; Taylor, Stephan F; Kessler, Daniel; Liberzon, Israel

    2017-08-01

    The effects of instruction on learning of fear and safety are rarely studied. We aimed to examine the effects of cognitive information and experience on fear learning. Fourty healthy participants, randomly assigned to three groups, went through fear conditioning, extinction learning, and extinction recall with two conditioned stimuli (CS+). Information was presented about the presence or absence of conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus (CS-US) contingency at different stages of the experiment. Information about the CS-US contingency prior to fear conditioning enhanced fear response and reduced extinction recall. Information about the absence of CS-US contingency promoted extinction learning and recall, while omission of this information prior to recall resulted in fear renewal. These findings indicate that contingency information can facilitate fear expression during fear learning, and can facilitate extinction learning and recall. Information seems to function as an element of the larger context in which conditioning occurs.

  17. Fear conditioned responses and PTSD symptoms in children: Sex differences in fear-related symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamwell, Kaitlyn; Nylocks, Maria; Cross, Dorthie; Bradley, Bekh; Norrholm, Seth D; Jovanovic, Tanja

    2015-11-01

    Fear conditioning studies in adults have found that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with heightened fear responses and impaired discrimination. The objective of the current study was to examine the association between PTSD symptoms and fear conditioned responses in children from a highly traumatized urban population. Children between 8 and 13 years old participated in a fear conditioning study in addition to providing information about their trauma history and PTSD symptoms. Results showed that females showed less discrimination between danger and safety signals during conditioning compared to age-matched males. In boys, intrusive symptoms were predictive of fear responses, even after controlling for trauma exposure. However, in girls, conditioned fear to the danger cue was predictive of self-blame and fear of repeated trauma. This study suggests there are early sex differences in the patterns of fear conditioning and that these sex differences may translate to differential risk for trauma-related psychopathology. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Fear of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and fear of other illness in suicide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aro, A R; Jallinoja, P T; Henriksson, M M

    1994-01-01

    Suicide victims with fear of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or other somatic illness were compared for psychosocial and health-related characteristics, triggers and content of fear. Fear of AIDS cases (n = 28), 2% of the 1-year Finnish suicide population (n = 1397), were younger...... and fewer had serious somatic disease (32% vs 64%) compared with cases of fear of other somatic illness. Both groups had more depression, especially major depression (54% and 61% vs 26%), more psychotic disorders (50% and 32% vs 24%) and health care contacts during their final week (61% and 64% vs 36%) than...... other suicides. Suicidal fear of AIDS calls for evaluation of sexual and other risk behaviour, but fear of AIDS was largely generated by the extensive media coverage. Fear of other somatic illness was more diverse in origin and related to illness experiences. Suicidal fear of illness calls...

  19. A rating instrument for fear of hospitalisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jankovic, Slobodan M; Antonijevic, Gordana V; Vasic, Ivana R; Zivkovic-Radojevic, Marija N; Mirkovic, Snjezana N; Nikolic, Bosko V; Opancina, Valentina D; Putnik, Srdjan S; Radoicic, Ljiljana R; Raspopovic, Katarina M; Stanojevic, Dragan R; Teofilov, Sladjana D; Tomasevic, Katarina V; Radonjic, Vesela

    2018-04-01

    To develop and validate a reliable instrument that can measure fear of hospitalisation experienced by outpatients. After having a diagnosis established, some patients experience sense of fear, unpleasantness and embarrassment due to the possibility to be admitted to a hospital. Currently, there is no available instrument for measuring fear of hospitalisation. Cross-sectional study for assessing reliability and validity of a questionnaire. The questionnaire with 17 items and answers according to the Likert scale was developed during two brainstorming sessions of the research team. Its reliability, validity and temporal stability were tested on the sample of 330 outpatients. The study was multicentric, involving patients from seven cities and three countries. Fear of hospitalisation scale showed satisfactory reliability, when rated both by the investigators (Cronbach's alpha .799) and by the patients themselves (Cronbach's alpha .760). It is temporally stable, and both divergent and convergent validity tests had good results. Factorial analysis revealed three domains: fear of being injured, trust to medical staff and fear of losing privacy or autonomy. This study developed new reliable and valid instrument for measuring fear of hospitalisation. Identification of patients with high level of fear of hospitalisation by this instrument should help clinicians to administer measures which may decrease fear and prevent avoidance of healthcare utilisation. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Immediate extinction promotes the return of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merz, Christian J; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Wolf, Oliver T

    2016-05-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that immediate extinction is less effective than delayed extinction in attenuating the return of fear. This line of fear conditioning research impacts the proposed onset of psychological interventions after threatening situations. In the present study, forty healthy men were investigated in a differential fear conditioning paradigm with fear acquisition in context A, extinction in context B, followed by retrieval testing in both contexts 24h later to test fear renewal. Differently coloured lights served as conditioned stimuli (CS): two CS (CS+) were paired with an electrical stimulation that served as unconditioned stimulus, the third CS was never paired (CS-). Extinction took place immediately after fear acquisition or 24h later. One CS+ was extinguished whereas the second CS+ remained unextinguished to control for different time intervals between fear acquisition and retrieval testing. Immediate extinction led to larger skin conductance responses during fear retrieval to both the extinguished and unextinguished CS relative to the CS-, indicating a stronger return of fear compared to delayed extinction. Taken together, immediate extinction is less potent than delayed extinction and is associated with a stronger renewal effect. Thus, the time-point of psychological interventions relative to the offset of threatening situations needs to be carefully considered to prevent relapses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. How fear-relevant illusory correlations might develop and persist in anxiety disorders: A model of contributing factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiemer, Julian; Pauli, Paul

    2016-12-01

    Fear-relevant illusory correlations (ICs) are defined as the overestimation of the relationship between a fear-relevant stimulus and aversive consequences. ICs reflect biased cognitions affecting the learning and unlearning of fear in anxiety disorders, and a deeper understanding might help to improve treatment. A model for the maintenance of ICs is proposed that highlights the importance of amplified aversiveness and salience of fear-relevant outcomes, impaired executive contingency monitoring and an availability heuristic. The model explains why ICs are enhanced in high fearful individuals and allows for some implications that might be applied to augment the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy, such as emotion regulation and the direction of attention to non-aversive experiences. Finally, we suggest possible future research directions and an alternative measure of ICs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Distinct roles of prelimbic and infralimbic proBDNF in extinction of conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wei; Li, Xiaoliang; An, Lei

    2018-03-15

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been investigated for its positive role in regulation of fear acquisition and memory. The precursor of BDNF, proBDNF, has been identified as different protein from its mature form. The prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) sub-regions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are functionally distinct in fear behavior. However, the role of PL and IL proBDNF in fear memory is unclear. Here, through the infusion of cleavage-resistant proBDNF and its antibody, we identified the dissociable roles of PL and IL proBDNF in fear expression and extinction memory as well as explored proBDNF's potential mechanism of action. The results suggest that the infusion of proBDNF in the IL facilitates induction of fear extinction, while infusion in the PL depresses fear expression. Blocking proBDNF by using its antibody disrupted the acquisition of fear extinction in the IL, but not the PL. Furthermore, proBDNF-induced extinction was sufficient for extinguishing new and older memories, and required NR2B, but not NR2A, -containing NMDA receptors. We also observed extinction-related proBDNF expression increased in the PL and IL during successful fear expression and extinction, respectively. Importantly, enhanced proBDNF was required for maintaining an extinguished behavior. The extinction effects of proBDNF did not involve degrading the original fear memory. Therefore, proBDNF in the IL and PL differentially contribute to the inhibitory control of fear extinction behavior. Our findings provide a strong link between proBDNF activity and deficits in fear extinction, a hallmark of several psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Inhibition of vicariously learned fear in children using positive modeling and prior exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askew, Chris; Reynolds, Gemma; Fielding-Smith, Sarah; Field, Andy P

    2016-02-01

    One of the challenges to conditioning models of fear acquisition is to explain how different individuals can experience similar learning events and only some of them subsequently develop fear. Understanding factors moderating the impact of learning events on fear acquisition is key to understanding the etiology and prevention of fear in childhood. This study investigates these moderators in the context of vicarious (observational) learning. Two experiments tested predictions that the acquisition or inhibition of fear via vicarious learning is driven by associative learning mechanisms similar to direct conditioning. In Experiment 1, 3 groups of children aged 7 to 9 years received 1 of 3 inhibitive information interventions-psychoeducation, factual information, or no information (control)-prior to taking part in a vicarious fear learning procedure. In Experiment 2, 3 groups of children aged 7 to 10 years received 1 of 3 observational learning interventions-positive modeling (immunization), observational familiarity (latent inhibition), or no prevention (control)-before vicarious fear learning. Results indicated that observationally delivered manipulations inhibited vicarious fear learning, while preventions presented via written information did not. These findings confirm that vicarious learning shares some of the characteristics of direct conditioning and can explain why not all individuals will develop fear following a vicarious learning event. They also suggest that the modality of inhibitive learning is important and should match the fear learning pathway for increased chances of inhibition. Finally, the results demonstrate that positive modeling is likely to be a particularly effective method for preventing fear-related observational learning in children. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. Mixed-amphetamine salts increase abstinence from marijuana in patients with co-occurring attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and cocaine dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notzon, Daniel P; Mariani, John J; Pavlicova, Martina; Glass, Andrew; Mahony, Amy L; Brooks, Daniel J; Grabowski, John; Levin, Frances R

    2016-12-01

    The prevalence of ADHD is greater in substance use disorders than the general population, and ADHD and substance use disorders share neurobiological features such as dysregulation of reward circuitry. We tested the hypothesis that stimulants would decrease marijuana use in a randomized controlled trial of extended release mixed amphetamine salts (MAS-XR) for treatment of co-occurring ADHD and cocaine use disorders. Marijuana users were defined as participants reporting use in the 30 days before study initiation, collected with timeline follow-back. The original 14-week trial utilized a 3-arm randomized design, comparing placebo, MAS-XR 60 mg, and MAS-XR 80 mg. For this analysis, both MAS-XR groups were combined, leaving n = 20 in the placebo group and n = 37 in the MAS-XR group. The primary outcome was proportion of subjects reporting any marijuana use per study week. Comparisons between groups were made using a logistic mixed effects model incorporating multiple predictors and modeling time-by-treatment interactions. There were no significant baseline differences in marijuana use frequency and quantity. There was a significant decrease in the proportion of participants using marijuana over time in the MAS-XR group, but no difference in the proportion of marijuana-use days over time. Treatment of ADHD and comorbid cocaine use disorders with MAS-XR is associated with increased weekly abstinence from marijuana but not with a decrease in the proportion of marijuana using days per week. Stimulant treatment of ADHD and cocaine use disorders may diminish co-occurring cannabis use. (Am J Addict 2016;25:666-672). © 2016 American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

  5. Factors of Child Dental Fear : A Literature Review of Dental Fear in Children

    OpenAIRE

    Nakata, Ayumi; Sato, Yoko

    2011-01-01

    Objectives. To provide an overview of the literature investigating dental fear in children during the past ten years and to review factors of child dental fear. Methods. The literature was systematically retrieved from an electronic database. The thirty four literatures which were written about the fear of dentistry, psychology and behavior during dental treatment were chosen. Results. The terms of fear being used were “Shika-kyoufu”, “Dental fear”, etc. However, the terms were not defined in...

  6. How fear appeals work: Motivational biases in the processing of fear-arousing health communications.

    OpenAIRE

    Das, E.H.H.J.

    2001-01-01

    This dissertation deals with the study of fear appeals, i.e. messages in which people are presented with fear-arousing health information, in order to convince them they should alter unhealthy habits and adopt healthy lifestyles. Fear appeals typically start with the presentation of the negative consequences of a certain behavior, followed by a recommendation in which a solution to the health risk is offered. The majority of empirical studies examining the effects of fear appeals on persuasio...

  7. Anger, Fear, Uncertainty, and Attitudes: A Test of the Cognitive-Functional Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabi, Robin L.

    2002-01-01

    Explains that the cognitive-functional model of discrete negative emotions and attitude change attempts to bridge the theoretical gap between "emotional" and "rational" approaches to persuasion by focusing on how emotions motivate attention to and processing of persuasive messages. Explores the effects two emotions, anger and fear, and two levels…

  8. K-12 Teachers' Perceptions of School Policy and Fear of School Violence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricketts, Melissa L.

    2007-01-01

    Since the 1990s, schools have focused their attention on policies designed to improve school safety. Most researches on school violence policies have concentrated on the needs of students and administrators. This study investigated the impact of school violence policies on K-12 teachers' fear. Using self-report data from 447 K-12 teachers from a…

  9. [Pathological nighttime fears in children: Clinical specificities and effective therapeutics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducasse, D; Denis, H

    2015-09-01

    Pathological nighttime fears in children have been little studied. However, this disorder is commonly encountered in medical consultations and is discomforting and dysfunctional for both the child and the family. Most nighttime fears are part and parcel of normal development, and emanate from increasingly sophisticated cognitive development in the growing child. Thus, most children report a variety of coping strategies generally helpful in reducing their anxiety, which resolves spontaneously in the growing child. Nevertheless, in about 10% of children, nighttime fears are related to one or more anxiety disorders according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria. Then, it is estimated that severe nighttime fears and sleep problems occur in 20-30% of children. This problem is not transient and has to be treated. This study aims to review clinical features of nighttime fears and possible treatments for these patients and their families. This systematic review follows the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) statement guidelines. Two databases (Medline and Web of Science) were searched combining the search terms: nighttime fears AND children. English and French languages were imposed. There were no publication date or publication status limitations. Pathological nighttime fears are responsible for emotional (crying, panic, tantrums at bedtime, loss of confidence, self-disparaging negative statements, and feeling of social embarrassment) and behavioral (wandering alone in the house at night, calls for parental or sibling comfort, bed sharing with parents or siblings, light source at night, refusal to go to the toilet alone at night) disturbances. This leads to a poor quality of sleep interfering with school learning, and also affects social development and family functioning. A full assessment has to be made to eliminate organic causes, have a baseline functioning, and search for comorbid anxiety diseases

  10. Representation of Patients' Hand Modulates Fear Reactions of Patients with Spider Phobia in Virtual Reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peperkorn, Henrik M; Diemer, Julia E; Alpers, Georg W; Mühlberger, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Embodiment (i.e., the involvement of a bodily representation) is thought to be relevant in emotional experiences. Virtual reality (VR) is a capable means of activating phobic fear in patients. The representation of the patient's body (e.g., the right hand) in VR enhances immersion and increases presence, but its effect on phobic fear is still unknown. We analyzed the influence of the presentation of the participant's hand in VR on presence and fear responses in 32 women with spider phobia and 32 matched controls. Participants sat in front of a table with an acrylic glass container within reaching distance. During the experiment this setup was concealed by a head-mounted display (HMD). The VR scenario presented via HMD showed the same setup, i.e., a table with an acrylic glass container. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups. In one group, fear responses were triggered by fear-relevant visual input in VR (virtual spider in the virtual acrylic glass container), while information about a real but unseen neutral control animal (living snake in the acrylic glass container) was given. The second group received fear-relevant information of the real but unseen situation (living spider in the acrylic glass container), but visual input was kept neutral VR (virtual snake in the virtual acrylic glass container). Participants were instructed to touch the acrylic glass container with their right hand in 20 consecutive trials. Visibility of the hand was varied randomly in a within-subjects design. We found for all participants that visibility of the participant's hand increased presence independently of the fear trigger. However, in patients, the influence of the virtual hand on fear depended on the fear trigger. When fear was triggered perceptually, i.e., by a virtual spider, the virtual hand increased fear. When fear was triggered by information about a real spider, the virtual hand had no effect on fear. Our results shed light on the

  11. Fear of hypoglycemia in parents of children with type 1 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkes, Colin Patrick; McDarby, Vincent; Cody, Declan

    2014-08-01

    The aim of this study is to determine if parental hypoglycaemia fear is associated with worse glycaemic control and increased resource utilisation and to identify risk factors for increased hypoglycaemia fear. Parents of children with diabetes completed a modified Hypoglycaemia Fear Survey. Demographic data, phone contacts and mean glycosylated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) were also recorded over a 1 year study period. A total of 106 parents participated. Mean patient age was 11.1 years, and duration of diabetes was 4.8 years. Fifty-two per cent were male, and 48% were on insulin pump therapy. Fear of hypoglycaemia was highest among parents of 6- to 11-year-olds. Parents of children with HbA1c less than 7.5% had less hypoglycaemia fear. Previous seizures and increased frequency of phone calls to the diabetes team were not associated with increased fear. Fear of hypoglycaemia is associated with worse glycaemic control. It is highest among parents of 6- to 11-year-olds but is not affected by previous severe hypoglycaemia or associated with increased contact with the diabetes team. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2014 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

  12. Enhancing effects of contingency instructions on fear acquisition and extinction in anxiety disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duits, Puck; Richter, Jan; Baas, Johanna M P; Engelhard, Iris M; Limberg-Thiesen, Anke; Heitland, Ivo; Hamm, Alfons O; Cath, Danielle C

    2017-05-01

    Explicit instructions regarding stimulus-threat associations increase acquisition and extinction of fear in healthy participants. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of contingency instructions on fear acquisition and extinction in patients with anxiety disorders. Patients with various anxiety disorders (N = 104) and healthy comparison participants (N = 93) participated in a differential fear conditioning task (within-subjects design). Approximately halfway through the acquisition phase, participants were instructed about the stimulus-threat association, and approximately halfway through the extinction phase, participants were informed that the unconditioned stimulus (US) would no longer be administered. Outcome measures were: fear-potentiated startle, skin conductance, fearfulness ratings, and US expectancy ratings. Patients demonstrated overall increased physiological and subjective fear responses during acquisition and extinction phases, relative to the comparison group. There were no major differences in fear acquisition and extinction between patients with different anxiety disorders. During acquisition, instructions led to increased discrimination of fear responses between a danger cue (conditioned stimulus [CS]+) and safety cue (CS-) in both patients and comparison participants. Moreover, instructions strengthened extinction of fear responses in the patient and comparison group. Patients and healthy comparison participants are better able to discriminate between danger and safety cues when they have been explicitly informed about cues that announce a threat situation. Considering the analogies between fear extinction procedures and exposure therapy, this suggests that specific instructions on stimulus-threat associations during exposure therapy might improve short-term treatment efficacy. The question remains for future studies whether instructions have a positive effect on extinction learning in the longer term. (PsycINFO Database Record (c

  13. I can see, hear, and smell your fear : Comparing olfactory and audiovisual media in fear communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Groot, Jasper H B; Semin, Gün R.; Smeets, Monique A M

    2014-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that humans can become fearful after exposure to olfactory fear signals, yet these studies have reported the effects of fear chemosignals without examining emotion-relevant input from traditional communication modalities (i.e., vision, audition). The question that we pursued

  14. Dreaming Your Fear Away: A Computational Model for Fear Extinction Learning During Dreaming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Treur, J.; Lu et al., B.L.

    2011-01-01

    In this paper a computational model is presented that models how dreaming is used to learn fear extinction. The approach addresses dreaming as internal simulation incorporating memory elements in the form of sensory representations and their associated fear. During dream episodes regulation of fear

  15. How fear appeals work : motivational biases in the processing of fear-arousing health communications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Das, E.H.H.J.

    2001-01-01

    This dissertation deals with the study of fear appeals, i.e. messages in which people are presented with fear-arousing health information, in order to convince them they should alter unhealthy habits and adopt healthy lifestyles. Fear appeals typically start with the presentation of the negative

  16. Forming Competing Fear Learning and Extinction Memories in Adolescence Makes Fear Difficult to Inhibit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Kathryn D.; Richardson, Rick

    2015-01-01

    Fear inhibition is markedly impaired in adolescent rodents and humans. The present experiments investigated whether this impairment is critically determined by the animal's age at the time of fear learning or their age at fear extinction. Male rats (n = 170) were tested for extinction retention after conditioning and extinction at different ages.…

  17. Growth hormone biases amygdala network activation after fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisabella, B; Farah, S; Peng, X; Burgos-Robles, A; Lim, S H; Goosens, K A

    2016-11-29

    Prolonged stress exposure is a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder characterized by the 'over-encoding' of a traumatic experience. A potential mechanism by which this occurs is through upregulation of growth hormone (GH) in the amygdala. Here we test the hypotheses that GH promotes the over-encoding of fearful memories by increasing the number of neurons activated during memory encoding and biasing the allocation of neuronal activation, one aspect of the process by which neurons compete to encode memories, to favor neurons that have stronger inputs. Viral overexpression of GH in the amygdala increased the number of amygdala cells activated by fear memory formation. GH-overexpressing cells were especially biased to express the immediate early gene c-Fos after fear conditioning, revealing strong autocrine actions of GH in the amygdala. In addition, we observed dramatically enhanced dendritic spine density in GH-overexpressing neurons. These data elucidate a previously unrecognized autocrine role for GH in the regulation of amygdala neuron function and identify specific mechanisms by which chronic stress, by enhancing GH in the amygdala, may predispose an individual to excessive fear memory formation.

  18. Blurring Aversive Memory: Exploring a Novel Route to Fear Reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leer, A.

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of pathological fear typically involves exposure to the feared stimulus. This procedure is effective in reducing fear in the short term. However, many patients relapse, i.e. show a return of fear. The present thesis explored a novel route to counter the renewal of fear. Previous research

  19. Blurring Aversive Memory : Exploring a Novel Route to Fear Reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leer, Arne

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of pathological fear typically involves exposure to the feared stimulus. This procedure is effective in reducing fear in the short term. However, many patients relapse, i.e. show a return of fear. The present thesis explored a novel route to counter the renewal of fear. Previous research

  20. Childhood dental fear in the Netherlands: prevalence and normative data.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ten Berge, M.; Hoogstraten, J.; Prins, P.J.M.; Veerkamp, J.S.

    2002-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to present normative data on dental fear for the Dutch child population, by identifying not only highly fearful children but also children at risk for developing this high dental fear. METHODS: Fear distribution of samples of high and low fearful children was studied,

  1. Durable fear memories require PSD-95

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Paul J.; Pinard, Courtney R.; Camp, Marguerite C.; Feyder, Michael; Sah, Anupam; Bergstrom, Hadley; Graybeal, Carolyn; Liu, Yan; Schlüter, Oliver; Grant, Seth G.N.; Singewald, Nicolas; Xu, Weifeng; Holmes, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Traumatic fear memories are highly durable but also dynamic, undergoing repeated reactivation and rehearsal over time. While overly persistent fear memories underlie anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder, the key neural and molecular mechanisms underlying fear memory durability remain unclear. Post-synaptic density 95 (PSD-95) is a synaptic protein regulating glutamate receptor anchoring, synaptic stability and certain types of memory. Employing a loss-of-function mutant mouse lacking the guanylate kinase domain of PSD-95 (PSD-95GK), we analyzed the contribution of PSD-95 to fear memory formation and retrieval, and sought to identify the neural basis of PSD-95-mediated memory maintenance using ex vivo immediate-early gene mapping, in vivo neuronal recordings and viral-mediated knockdown approaches. We show that PSD-95 is dispensable for the formation and expression of recent fear memories, but essential for the formation of precise and flexible fear memories and for the maintenance of memories at remote time points. The failure of PSD-95GK mice to retrieve remote cued fear memories was associated with hypoactivation of the infralimbic cortex (IL) (not anterior cingulate (ACC) or prelimbic cortex), reduced IL single-unit firing and bursting, and attenuated IL gamma and theta oscillations. Adeno-associated PSD-95 virus-mediated knockdown in the IL, not ACC, was sufficient to impair recent fear extinction and remote fear memory, and remodel IL dendritic spines. Collectively, these data identify PSD-95 in the IL as a critical mechanism supporting the durability of fear memories over time. These preclinical findings have implications for developing novel approaches to treating trauma-based anxiety disorders that target the weakening of overly persistent fear memories. PMID:25510511

  2. Police governmentality of fear on social movements around 15M in Catalonia (2011-2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén Amor Benedicto Salmerón

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The financial crisis of 2008 began a period of major global structural changes that are significantly affecting the lives of many countries and social protest increases. To implement these changes, it is resorting to forms of governmentality of exception related to military logic. In these logics, fear is often used as a tool for driving the behavior of the population. In this article, we asked about the use of fear as a tool of governmentality; we analyzed how is fear management in policing on the social movements and their possible consistent with those warlike logic of exception in the situation in Catalonia, in times of social mobilization around 15M, also known as the indignados (2011 -2012. We conducted a field research in everyday life through which we locate numerous government and policing activity relatable to the management of fear. Key words: 15M; Political Repression; Governmentality of Exception; Fear

  3. The impact of incidental fear and anger on in- and outgroup attitudes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bukowski Marcin

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research was to examine the impact of two specific negative emotions of anger and fear on intergroup attitudes. In Study 1 we measured emotions of anger and fear and in Study 2 we evoked these emotions incidentally, that is independently of any intergroup context. In both studies we measured attitudes towards the ingroup (Polish and the outgroup (Gypsies.We expected that fear would lead to more positive ingroup attitudes and anger to more negative outgroup attitudes. The results of the correlational study (Study 1 confirmed the predictions regarding anger and decreased outgroup evaluations, and the experimental study (Study 2 revealed that fear enhanced positivity towards the ingroup, but anger increased negativity towards the outgroup. The impact of fear and anger on social attitudes in the specific context of a negatively self-stereotyped ingroup is discussed.

  4. Traumatic stress causes distinctive effects on fear circuit catecholamines and the fear extinction profile in a rodent model of posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chen-Cheng; Tung, Che-Se; Lin, Pin-Hsuan; Huang, Chuen-Lin; Liu, Yia-Ping

    2016-09-01

    Central catecholamines regulate fear memory across the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), amygdala (AMYG), and hippocampus (HPC). However, inadequate evidence exists to address the relationships among these fear circuit areas in terms of the fear symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By examining the behavioral profile in a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm together with tissue/efflux levels of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) and their reuptake abilities across the fear circuit areas in rats that experienced single prolonged stress (SPS, a rodent model of PTSD), we demonstrated that SPS-impaired extinction retrieval was concomitant with the changes of central DA/NE in a dissociable manner. For tissue levels, diminished DA and increased NE were both observed in the mPFC and AMYG. DA efflux and synaptosomal DA transporter were consistently reduced in the AMYG/vHPC, whereas SPS reduced NE efflux in the infralimbic cortex and synaptosomal NE transporter in the mPFC. Furthermore, a lower expression of synaptosomal VMAT2 was observed in the mPFC, AMYG, and vHPC after SPS. Finally, negative correlations were observed between retrieval freezing and DA in the mPFC/AMYG; nevertheless, the phenomena became invalid after SPS. Our results suggest that central catecholamines are crucially involved in the retrieval of fear extinction in which DA and NE play distinctive roles across the fear circuit areas. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  5. When psychopathy impairs moral judgments: neural responses during judgments about causing fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Abigail A; Cardinale, Elise M

    2014-01-01

    Psychopathy is a disorder characterized by reduced empathy, shallow affect and behaviors that cause victims distress, like threats, bullying and violence. Neuroimaging research in both institutionalized and community samples implicates amygdala dysfunction in the etiology of psychopathic traits. Reduced amygdala responsiveness may disrupt processing of fear-relevant stimuli like fearful facial expressions. The present study links amygdala dysfunction in response to fear-relevant stimuli to the willingness of individuals with psychopathic traits to cause fear in other people. Thirty-three healthy adult participants varying in psychopathic traits underwent whole-brain fMRI scanning while they viewed statements that selectively evoke anger, disgust, fear, happiness or sadness. During scanning, participants judged whether it is morally acceptable to make each statement to another person. Psychopathy was associated with reduced activity in right amygdala during judgments of fear-evoking statements and with more lenient moral judgments about causing fear. No group differences in amygdala function or moral judgments emerged for other emotion categories. Psychopathy was also associated with increased activity in middle frontal gyrus (BA 10) during the task. These results implicate amygdala dysfunction in impaired judgments about causing distress in psychopathy and suggest that atypical amygdala responses to fear in psychopathy extend across multiple classes of stimuli.

  6. Reciprocal relationship between fear of falling and depression in elderly Chinese primary care patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Kee-Lee; Chi, Iris

    2008-09-01

    The objective of the current study is to investigate the link between depression and fear of falling in Hong Kong Chinese older adults in primary are settings. Using longitudinal data collected on 321 Chinese primary care patients 65 years of age and older, the authors investigated the reciprocal relationship between fear of falling and depression and examined whether functional disability and social functioning mediated the link between fear of falling and depression. Participants were recruited from three primary care units in Hong Kong. Subjects were assessed in Cantonese by two trained assessors with Minimum Data Set-Home Care twice over a period of one year. Findings revealed that fear of falling at baseline significantly predicted depression at 12 month follow-up assessment after age, gender, marital status, education and depression at baseline were adjusted, but depression at baseline did not predict fear of falling at 12 months after fear of falling at baseline was adjusted. Moreover, social functioning mediated the impact of fear of falling on depression. The findings presented here indicate that fear of falling potentially increases the risk of depression in Chinese older adults in primary care settings.

  7. Pediatric Fear-Avoidance Model of Chronic Pain: Foundation, Application and Future Directions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon JG Asmundson

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The fear-avoidance model of chronic musculoskeletal pain has become an increasingly popular conceptualization of the processes and mechanisms through which acute pain can become chronic. Despite rapidly growing interest and research regarding the influence of fear-avoidance constructs on pain-related disability in children and adolescents, there have been no amendments to the model to account for unique aspects of pediatric chronic pain. A comprehensive understanding of the role of fear-avoidance in pediatric chronic pain necessitates understanding of both child/adolescent and parent factors implicated in its development and maintenance. The primary purpose of the present article is to propose an empirically-based pediatric fear-avoidance model of chronic pain that accounts for both child/adolescent and parent factors as well as their potential interactive effects. To accomplish this goal, the present article will define important fear-avoidance constructs, provide a summary of the general fear-avoidance model and review the growing empirical literature regarding the role of