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Sample records for attention fear increases

  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. 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. PMID:27173975

  3. Spatial attention effects of disgusted and fearful faces.

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    Dandan Zhang

    Full Text Available Effective processing of threat-related stimuli is of significant evolutionary advantage. Given the intricate relationship between attention and the neural processing of threat-related emotions, this study manipulated attention allocation and emotional categories of threat-related stimuli as independent factors and investigated the time course of spatial-attention-modulated processing of disgusting and fearful stimuli. The participants were instructed to direct their attention either to the two vertical or to the two horizontal locations, where two faces and two houses would be presented. The task was to respond regarding the physical identity of the two stimuli at cued locations. Event-related potentials (ERP evidences were found to support a two-stage model of attention-modulated processing of threat-related emotions. In the early processing stage, disgusted faces evoked larger P1 component at right occipital region despite the attention allocation while larger N170 component was elicited by fearful faces at right occipito-temporal region only when participants attended to houses. In the late processing stage, the amplitudes of the parietal P3 component enhanced for both disgusted and fearful facial expressions only when the attention was focused on faces. According to the results, we propose that the temporal dynamics of the emotion-by-attention interaction consist of two stages. The early stage is characterized by quick and specialized neural encoding of disgusting and fearful stimuli irrespective of voluntary attention allocation, indicating an automatic detection and perception of threat-related emotions. The late stage is represented by attention-gated separation between threat-related stimuli and neutral stimuli; the similar ERP pattern evoked by disgusted and fearful faces suggests a more generalized processing of threat-related emotions via top-down attentional modulation, based on which the defensive behavior in response to threat

  4. Attentional and behavioural responses of spider fearfuls to virtual spiders

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    Rinck, M.; Kwakkenbos, C.M.C.; Dotsch, R.; Wigboldus, D.H.J.; Becker, E.S.

    2009-01-01

    This study employed an immersed virtual environment (IVE) in the Nijmegen RIVERlab to study spider fearfuls' attentional and motor reactions to virtual spiders. The participants were exposed to virtual spiders while completing an unrelated task, walking freely through a virtual museum. Compared to n

  5. Role of Attention in the Regulation of Fear and Anxiety

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    White, Lauren K.; Helfinstein, Sarah M.; Reeb-Sutherland, Bethany C.; Degnan, Kathryn A.; Fox, Nathan A.

    2009-01-01

    Emotion regulation makes use of specific aspects of attention and executive functions that are critical for the development of adaptive social functioning, and perturbations in these processes can result in maladaptive behavior and psychopathology. Both involuntary and voluntary attention processes have been examined at both the behavioral and the neural levels and are implicated in the maintenance of fearful or anxious behaviors. However, relatively little is known about how these attention processes come to influence emotional behavior across development. The current review summarizes the extant literature on the links between voluntary and involuntary attention processes and the role that these attention processes have in the etiology, maintenance, and regulation of anxious behavior. PMID:19546568

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Voluntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency

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    Abrams, Jared; Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa

    2010-01-01

    Voluntary covert attention selects relevant sensory information for prioritized processing. The behavioral and neural consequences of such selection have been extensively documented, but its phenomenology has received little empirical investigation. Involuntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency (Gobell & Carrasco, 2005), but involuntary attention can differ from voluntary attention in its effects on performance in tasks mediated by spatial resolution (Yeshurun, Montagna, & Carra...

  9. Expectancy biases in fear and anxiety and their link to biases in attention.

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    Aue, Tatjana; Okon-Singer, Hadas

    2015-12-01

    Healthy individuals often exhibit prioritized processing of aversive information, as manifested in enhanced orientation of attention to threatening stimuli compared with neutral items. In contrast to this adaptive behavior, anxious, fearful, and phobic individuals show exaggerated attention biases to threat. In addition, they overestimate the likelihood of encountering their feared stimulus and the severity of the consequences; both are examples of expectancy biases. The co-occurrence of attention and expectancy biases in fear and anxiety raises the question about causal influences. Herein, we summarize findings related to expectancy biases in fear and anxiety, and their association with attention biases. We suggest that evidence calls for more comprehensive research strategies in the investigation of mutual influences between expectancy and attention biases, as well as their combined effects on fear and anxiety. Moreover, both types of bias need to be related to other types of distorted information processing commonly observed in fear and anxiety (e.g., memory and interpretation biases). Finally, we propose new research directions that may be worth considering in developing more effective treatments for anxiety disorders.

  10. Seeing fearful body language overcomes attentional deficits in patients with neglect.

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    Tamietto, Marco; Geminiani, Giuliano; Genero, Rosanna; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2007-03-01

    Survival depends to some extent on the ability to detect salient signals and prepare an appropriate response even when attention is engaged elsewhere. Fearful body language is a salient signal of imminent danger, easily observable from a distance and indicating to the observer which adaptive action to prepare for. Here we investigated for the first time whether fearful body language modulates the spatial distribution of attention and enhances visual awareness in neurological patients with severe attentional disorders. Patients with visual extinction and hemispatial neglect following right parietal injury have a rightward attentional bias accompanied by loss of awareness for contralesional left stimuli, especially when competing stimuli appear to the right. Three such patients were tested with pictures of fearful, happy, and neutral bodily expressions briefly presented either unilaterally in the left or right visual field, or to both fields simultaneously. On bilateral trials, unattended and task-irrelevant fearful bodily expressions modulated attentional selection and visual awareness. Fearful bodily expressions presented in the contralesional unattended visual field simultaneously with neutral bodies in the ipsilesional field were detected more often than left-side neutral or happy bodies. This demonstrates that despite pathological inattention and parietal damage, emotion and action-related information in fearful body language may be extracted automatically, biasing attentional selection and visual awareness. Our findings open new perspectives on the role of bodily expressions in attentional selection and suggest that a neural network in intact fronto-limbic and visual areas may still mediate reorienting of attention and preparation for action upon perceiving fear in others.

  11. Voluntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency.

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    Abrams, Jared; Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa

    2010-08-01

    Voluntary covert attention selects relevant sensory information for prioritized processing. The behavioral and neural consequences of such selection have been extensively documented, but its phenomenology has received little empirical investigation. Involuntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency (Gobell & Carrasco, 2005), but involuntary attention can differ from voluntary attention in its effects on performance in tasks mediated by spatial resolution (Yeshurun, Montagna, & Carrasco, 2008). Therefore, we ask whether voluntary attention affects the subjective appearance of spatial frequency--a fundamental dimension of visual perception underlying spatial resolution. We used a demanding rapid serial visual presentation task to direct voluntary attention and measured perceived spatial frequency at the attended and unattended locations. Attention increased the perceived spatial frequency of suprathreshold stimuli and also improved performance on a concurrent orientation discrimination task. In the control experiment, we ruled out response bias as an alternative account by using a lengthened interstimulus interval, which allows observers to disengage attention from the cued location. In contrast to the main experiment, the observers showed neither increased perceived spatial frequency nor improved orientation discrimination at the attended location. Thus, this study establishes that voluntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency. This phenomenological consequence links behavioral and neurophysiological studies on the effects of attention.

  12. The development of an attentional bias for angry faces following Pavlovian fear conditioning.

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    Pischek-Simpson, Leah K; Boschen, Mark J; Neumann, David L; Waters, Allison M

    2009-04-01

    Although it is well documented that fear responses develop following aversive Pavlovian conditioning, it is unclear whether fear learning also manifests in the form of attentional biases for fear-related stimuli. Boschen, Parker, and Neumann (Boschen, M. J., Parker, I., & Neumann, D. L. (2007). Changes in implicit associations do not occur simultaneously to Pavlovian conditioning of physiological anxiety responses. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 21, 788-803.) showed that despite the acquisition of differential skin conductance conditioned responses to angry faces paired (CS+) and unpaired (CS-) with an aversive shock, development of implicit associations was not subsequently observed on the Implicit Association Test. In the present study, participants (N=76) were assigned either to a Shock or NoShock group and completed a similar aversive Pavlovian conditioning procedure with angry face CS+ and CS- stimuli. Participants next completed a visual probe task in which the angry face CS+ and CS- stimuli were paired with angry face control stimuli and neutral faces. Results confirmed that differential fear conditioning was observed in the Shock group but not in the NoShock group, and that the Shock group subsequently showed a selective attentional bias for the angry face CS+ compared with the CS- and control stimuli during the visual probe task. The findings confirm the interplay between learning-based mechanisms and cognitive processes, such as attentional biases, in models of fear acquisition and have implications for treatment of the anxiety disorders.

  13. 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

    2014-01-01

    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...

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

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    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…

  15. A review of current evidence for the causal impact of attentional bias on fear and anxiety

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    B. van Bockstaele; B. Verschuere; H. Tibboel; J. de Houwer; G. Crombez; E.H.W. Koster

    2014-01-01

    Prominent cognitive theories postulate that an attentional bias toward threatening information contributes to the etiology, maintenance, or exacerbation of fear and anxiety. In this review, we investigate to what extent these causal claims are supported by sound empirical evidence. Although differen

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

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    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. Investigating the efficacy of attention bias modification in reducing high spider fear: The role of individual differences in initial bias

    OpenAIRE

    Fox, E; Zougkou, K; Ashwin, C; Cahill, S

    2015-01-01

    Background and objectives Attention Bias Modification (ABM) targets attention bias (AB) towards threat and is a potential therapeutic intervention for anxiety. The current study investigated whether initial AB (towards or away from spider images) influenced the effectiveness of ABM in spider fear. Methods AB was assessed with an attentional probe task consisting of spider and neutral images presented simultaneously followed by a probe in spider congruent or spider incongruent loca...

  18. Feature-based attention enhances performance by increasing response gain

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    Herrmann, Katrin; Heeger, David J.; Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    Covert spatial attention can increase contrast sensitivity either by changes in contrast gain or by changes in response gain, depending on the size of the attention field and the size of the stimulus (Herrmann, Montaser-Kouhsari, Carrasco, & Heeger, 2010), as predicted by the normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). For feature-based attention, unlike spatial attention, the model predicts only changes in response gain, regardless of whether the featural extent of the attent...

  19. 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 chro

  20. Amygdala kindling increases fear responses and decreases glucocorticoid receptor mRNA expression in hippocampal regions.

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    Kalynchuk, Lisa E; Meaney, Michael J

    2003-12-01

    Amygdala kindling dramatically increases fearful behavior in rats. Because kindling-induced fear increases in magnitude as rats receive more stimulations, kindling provides an excellent model for studying the nature and neural mechanisms of fear sensitization. In the present experiment, we studied whether the development of kindling-induced fear is related to changes in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression in various brain regions. Rats received 20, 60 or 100 amygdala kindling stimulations or 100 sham stimulations. One day after the final stimulation, their fearful behavior was assessed in an unfamiliar open field. Then, the rats were sacrificed and their brains were processed for in situ hybridization of GR mRNA expression. We found that compared with the sham-stimulated rats, the rats that received 60 or 100 kindling stimulations were significantly more fearful in the open field and also had significantly less GR mRNA expression in the dentate gyrus and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus. Importantly, the changes in fearful behavior were significantly correlated with the changes in GR mRNA expression. These results suggest that alterations in GR mRNA expression in hippocampal regions may play a role in the development of kindling-induced fear.

  1. Feature-based attention enhances performance by increasing response gain.

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    Herrmann, Katrin; Heeger, David J; Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-12-01

    Covert spatial attention can increase contrast sensitivity either by changes in contrast gain or by changes in response gain, depending on the size of the attention field and the size of the stimulus (Herrmann et al., 2010), as predicted by the normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). For feature-based attention, unlike spatial attention, the model predicts only changes in response gain, regardless of whether the featural extent of the attention field is small or large. To test this prediction, we measured the contrast dependence of feature-based attention. Observers performed an orientation-discrimination task on a spatial array of grating patches. The spatial locations of the gratings were varied randomly so that observers could not attend to specific locations. Feature-based attention was manipulated with a 75% valid and 25% invalid pre-cue, and the featural extent of the attention field was manipulated by introducing uncertainty about the upcoming grating orientation. Performance accuracy was better for valid than for invalid pre-cues, consistent with a change in response gain, when the featural extent of the attention field was small (low uncertainty) or when it was large (high uncertainty) relative to the featural extent of the stimulus. These results for feature-based attention clearly differ from results of analogous experiments with spatial attention, yet both support key predictions of the normalization model of attention. PMID:22580017

  2. Elevated levels of callous unemotional traits are associated with reduced attentional cueing, with no specificity for fear or eyes.

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    Dawel, Amy; McKone, Elinor; O'Kearney, Richard; Sellbom, Martin; Irons, Jessica; Palermo, Romina

    2015-07-01

    Three theoretical explanations for the affective facet of psychopathy were tested in individuals with high levels of callous unemotional (CU) traits. Theory 1 (Blair) proposes specific difficulties in processing others' distress (particularly fear). Theory 2 (Dadds) argues for lack of attention to the eyes of faces. Theory 3 (Newman) proposes enhanced selective attention. The theories make contrasting predictions about how CU traits would affect cueing of attention from eye-gaze direction in distressed (i.e., fearful) faces; eye-gaze direction in nondistressed (i.e., happy, neutral) faces; and nonsocial stimuli (arrows). High CU adults (n = 33) showed reduced attentional cueing compared with low CU adults (n = 75) equally across all conditions (eye-gaze in distressed and nondistressed faces, arrows). The high CU group's ability to suppress following of eye-gaze emerged with practice while the low CU group showed no such reduction in gaze-cueing with practice. Overall accuracy and RTs were not different for the low and high CU groups indicating equivalent task engagement. Results support an enhanced selective attention account-consistent with Newman and colleagues' Response Modulation Hypothesis--in which high CU individuals are able to suppress goal-irrelevant social and nonsocial information. The current study also provides novel evidence regarding the nature of gaze-following by tracking practice effects across blocks. While supporting the common assumption that following of gaze is typically mandatory, the results also imply this can be modified by individual differences in personality. PMID:25705978

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

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    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.

  4. Increased tone-offset response in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala underlies trace fear conditioning.

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    Kim, Namsoo; Kong, Mi-Seon; Jo, Kyeong Im; Kim, Eun Joo; Choi, June-Seek

    2015-12-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) stores associative memory in the form of enhanced neural response to the sensory input following classical fear conditioning in which the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US) are presented in a temporally continuous manner. However, little is known about the role of the LA in trace fear conditioning where the CS and the US are separated by a temporal gap. Single-unit recordings of LA neurons before and after trace fear conditioning revealed that the short-latency activity to the CS offset, but not that to the onset, increased significantly and accompanied the conditioned fear response. The increased short-latency activity was evident in two aspects: the number of offset-responsive neurons was increased and the latency of the neuronal response to the CS offset was shortened. On the contrary, changes in the firing rate to either the onset or the offset were negligible following unpaired presentations of the CS and US. In sum, our results suggest that increased synaptic efficacy in the CS offset pathway in the LA might underlie the association between temporally distant stimuli in trace fear conditioning.

  5. Flexible Attention Deployment in Threatening Contexts: An Instructed Fear Conditioning Study

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    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...

  6. Self-consciousness, self-focused attention, blushing propensity and fear of blushing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bogels, SM; Alberts, M; de Jong, Peter

    1996-01-01

    Although it is generally assumed that attentional focus is an important factor in blushing, thus far studies have presented conflicting results concerning the relationship between aspects of blushing and indices of attentional focus. This study investigated the connection between self-focused attent

  7. Extinction in human fear conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Hermans, Dirk; Craske, Michelle G.; Mineka, Susan; Lovibond, Peter F.

    2006-01-01

    Although most extinction research is conducted in animal laboratories, the study of extinction learning in human fear conditioning has gained increasing attention over the last decade. The most important findings from human fear extinction are reviewed in this article. Specifically, we review experimental investigations of the impact of conditioned inhibitors, conditioned exciters, context renewal, and reinstatement on fear extinction in human samples. We discuss data from laboratory studies ...

  8. Deficits in attentional processing of fearful facial expressions in schizophrenic patients.

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    Liu, Yunzhe; Zhang, Dandan; Zhao, Yanli; Tan, Shuping; Luo, Yuejia

    2016-01-01

    Impaired attentional processing of negative facial expressions is prominent in schizophrenia and has been shown to be associated with patients' social dysfunctions. However, little is known about when and which specific attention deficits influence social functions. Given the dynamic feature of attention, it is necessary to investigate the attention deficits in negative emotional processing unfolding in time. The current study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the temporal dynamics of attention deficits in emotion perception and their potential relationship with emotional/social impairments in neuroleptic naive schizophrenic patients. Two specific attention deficits were identified and were found to be associated with emotional/social impairments. More specifically, the deficit in orienting attention (evidenced with the reduced P1 amplitude) was correlated with expressive deficits, while the deficit in executive control of attention (evidenced with the reduced P3 amplitude) was correlated with avolition/asociality. Together, these findings may provide novel insights into the core pathophysiological processes and offer objective biomarkers for specific emotional/social impairments in schizophrenia. It is also hoped that this study helps to bridge the gap between basic cognitive deficits and relative high-level social dysfunctions in schizophrenic patients. PMID:27586404

  9. Enhancing product label effectiveness by increasing attention and choice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peschel, Anne; Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

    Fast moving consumer goods often carry product labels intended to guide and persuade consumers in their purchase decisions. However, past research indicates that these labels are rarely attended to during the consumer's decision process. In order to enhance the effectiveness of such labels...... are larger and more visually salient. The effect on attention also carries over into increased purchase likelihood. Both marketers and policy makers can benefit from the methodology and findings which provide directions for designing product labels that enhance attention capture and purchase decisions....

  10. Dynamic Fearful Gaze Does Not Enhance Attention Orienting in Individuals with Asperger's Disorder

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    Uono, Shota; Sato, Wataru; Toichi, Motomi

    2009-01-01

    Although impaired joint attention is one of the core clinical features of pervasive developmental disorder including autistic disorder and Asperger's disorder, experimental studies failed to report its impairment. This discrepancy might be the result of differences between real-life and experimental situations. The present study examined joint…

  11. Deep brain stimulation of the ventral striatum increases BDNF in the fear extinction circuit

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    Fabricio H Do-Monte

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Deep brain stimulation (DBS of the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS reduces the symptoms of treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD, and improves response to extinction-based therapies. We recently reported that DBS-like stimulation of a rat homologue of VC/VS, the dorsal-VS, reduced conditioned fear and enhanced extinction memory (Rodriguez-Romaguera et al, 2012. In contrast, DBS of the ventral-VS had the opposite effects. To examine possible mechanisms, we assessed the effects of VS DBS on the expression of the neural activity marker Fos and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, a key mediator of extinction plasticity in prefrontal-amygdala circuits. Consistent with decreased fear expression, DBS of dorsal-VS increased Fos expression in prelimbic and infralimbic prefrontal cortices and in the lateral division of the central nucleus of amygdala, an area that inhibits amygdala output. Consistent with improved extinction memory, we found that DBS of dorsal-VS, but not ventral-VS, increased neuronal BDNF expression in prelimbic and infralimbic prefrontal cortices. These rodent findings are consistent with the idea that clinical DBS of VC/VS may augment fear extinction through an increase in BDNF expression.

  12. Deep brain stimulation of the ventral striatum increases BDNF in the fear extinction circuit.

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    Do-Monte, Fabricio H; Rodriguez-Romaguera, Jose; Rosas-Vidal, Luis E; Quirk, Gregory J

    2013-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS) reduces the symptoms of treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and improves response to extinction-based therapies. We recently reported that DBS-like stimulation of a rat homologue of VC/VS, the dorsal-VS, reduced conditioned fear and enhanced extinction memory (Rodriguez-Romaguera et al., 2012). In contrast, DBS of the ventral-VS had the opposite effects. To examine possible mechanisms of these effects, we assessed the effects of VS DBS on the expression of the neural activity marker Fos and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key mediator of extinction plasticity in prefrontal-amygdala circuits. Consistent with decreased fear expression, DBS of dorsal-VS increased Fos expression in prelimbic and infralimbic prefrontal cortices and in the lateral division of the central nucleus of amygdala, an area that inhibits amygdala output. Consistent with improved extinction memory, we found that DBS of dorsal-VS, but not ventral-VS, increased neuronal BDNF expression in prelimbic and infralimbic prefrontal cortices. These rodent findings are consistent with the idea that clinical DBS of VC/VS may augment fear extinction through an increase in BDNF expression. PMID:23964215

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

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    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.

  14. Meditation training increases brain efficiency in an attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozasa, Elisa H; Sato, João R; Lacerda, Shirley S; Barreiros, Maria A M; Radvany, João; Russell, Tamara A; Sanches, Liana G; Mello, Luiz E A M; Amaro, Edson

    2012-01-01

    Meditation is a mental training, which involves attention and the ability to maintain focus on a particular object. In this study we have applied a specific attentional task to simply measure the performance of the participants with different levels of meditation experience, rather than evaluating meditation practice per se or task performance during meditation. Our objective was to evaluate the performance of regular meditators and non-meditators during an fMRI adapted Stroop Word-Colour Task (SWCT), which requires attention and impulse control, using a block design paradigm. We selected 20 right-handed regular meditators and 19 non-meditators matched for age, years of education and gender. Participants had to choose the colour (red, blue or green) of single words presented visually in three conditions: congruent, neutral and incongruent. Non-meditators showed greater activity than meditators in the right medial frontal, middle temporal, precentral and postcentral gyri and the lentiform nucleus during the incongruent conditions. No regions were more activated in meditators relative to non-meditators in the same comparison. Non-meditators showed an increased pattern of brain activation relative to regular meditators under the same behavioural performance level. This suggests that meditation training improves efficiency, possibly via improved sustained attention and impulse control.

  15. Long-lasting increase of corticosterone after fear memory reactivation: anxiolytic effects and network activity modulation in the ventral hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Anne; Çalışkan, Gürsel; Oitzl, Melly S; Heinemann, Uwe; Stork, Oliver

    2013-02-01

    Pathological fear and anxiety can be studied, in rodents, with fear conditioning and exposure to reminder cues. These paradigms are thought to critically involve the ventral hippocampus, which also serves as key site of glucocorticoid action in the brain. Here, we demonstrate a long-lasting reduction of kainate-induced gamma oscillations in slice preparations of the ventral hippocampal area CA3, 30 days after a single fear conditioning training. Reduction of gamma power was sensitive to corticosterone application and associated with a decrease in glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptor mRNA expression across strata of the ventral hippocampal CA3. A fear reactivation session 24 h after the initial conditioning normalized receptor expression levels and attenuated the corticosterone-mediated recovery of gamma oscillations. It moreover increased both baseline and stimulus-induced corticosterone plasma levels and evoked a generalization of fear memory to the background context. Reduced ventral hippocampal gamma oscillation in both fear reactivated and non-reactivated mice were associated with a decrease of anxiety-like behavior in an elevated plus maze. Taking advantage of the circadian fluctuation in corticosterone, we demonstrated the association of high endogenous basal corticosterone plasma concentrations during morning hours with reduced anxiety-like behavior in fear reactivated mice. The anxiolytic effect of the hormone was verified with local applications to the ventral hippocampus. Our data suggest that corticosterone acting on ventral hippocampal network activity has anxiolytic-like effects following fear exposure, highlighting its potential therapeutic value for anxiety disorders.

  16. 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.…

  17. Fearful faces selectively increase corticospinal motor tract excitability: A transcranial magnetic stimulation study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schutter, D.J.L.G.; Hofman, D.; Honk, E.J. van

    2008-01-01

    Fearful facial expressions are danger signals that rapidly trigger a cascade of neurobiological processes defensibly associated with action preparation. However, direct evidence for the activating effects of fearful facial expressions on the motor system is absent. The current transcranial magnetic

  18. Fear of nuclear war increases the risk of common mental disorders among young adults: a five-year follow-up study

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    Tuulio-Henriksson Annamari

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evidence on the relation between fear of war and mental health is insufficient. We carried out a prospective cohort study to find out whether fear of nuclear war is related to increased risk of common mental disorders. Methods Within two months preceding the outbreak of Persian Gulf War in January 1991, 1518 adolescents [mean age 16.8 years, SD 0.9] filled in a self-administered questionnaire. Of the 1493 respondents, 47% gave their written informed consent to participate in the follow-up study. There were no material differences between those who chose to respond anonymously and those who volunteered to give their name and address for the follow-up study. In 1995, the response to the follow-up questionnaire was 92%. Common mental disorders were assessed by 36-item version of the General Health Questionnaire [GHQ]. A score 5 or higher was considered to indicate caseness. We excluded 23 cases which had used mental health services in the year 1991 or earlier and two cases with deficient responses to GHQ. This left 626 subjects for analysis [400 women]. Results After adjusting for significant mental health risk factors in logistic regression analysis, the risk for common mental disorders was found to be significantly related to the increasing frequency of fear for nuclear war, high scores of trait anxiety and high scores of immature defense style. Elevated risk was confined to the group reporting fear of nuclear war once a week or more often [odds ratio 2.05; 95% confidence interval 1.29–3.27]. Conclusion Frequent fear of nuclear war in adolescents seems to be an indicator for an increased risk for common mental disorders and deserves serious attention.

  19. Extinction reverses olfactory fear-conditioned increases in neuron number and glomerular size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Filomene G; Dias, Brian G; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-10-13

    Although much work has investigated the contribution of brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex to the processing of fear learning and memory, fewer studies have examined the role of sensory systems, in particular the olfactory system, in the detection and perception of cues involved in learning and memory. The primary sensory receptive field maps of the olfactory system are exquisitely organized and respond dynamically to cues in the environment, remaining plastic from development through adulthood. We have previously demonstrated that olfactory fear conditioning leads to increased odorant-specific receptor representation in the main olfactory epithelium and in glomeruli within the olfactory bulb. We now demonstrate that olfactory extinction training specific to the conditioned odor stimulus reverses the conditioning-associated freezing behavior and odor learning-induced structural changes in the olfactory epithelium and olfactory bulb in an odorant ligand-specific manner. These data suggest that learning-induced freezing behavior, structural alterations, and enhanced neural sensory representation can be reversed in adult mice following extinction training.

  20. 疼痛恐惧相关的注意偏向及其矫正%The attention bias related to fear of pain and its modification

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨周; Todd Jackson; 陈红; 黄承志; 苏琳; 高婷

    2016-01-01

    Fear of pain plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of chronic pain. Fear of pain appears to have a key role in early stage of attention processing towards pain-related information across different types of stimuli and groups. Considerable evidence indicates associated attention biases reflect hypervigilance that may contribute to perpetuating the focus on pain and interfere with the capacity to attend to non-painful experiences. Modifying attention biases related to fear of pain has the potential to improve pain experience. Future research should use tasks with more ecological validity to investigate information- processing related to fear of pain and its neural substrates. In addition, more research is needed to explore how effective different attention modification strategies are in reducing distress and disability among chronic pain patients.%疼痛恐惧是影响和维持慢性痛的重要因素。不同材料和被试类型情况下,疼痛恐惧均主要作用于个体对疼痛相关信息的早期注意加工阶段,表现为注意警觉模式。该注意模式使个体将注意维持在疼痛上,从而干扰了对非疼信息的注意能力。矫正疼痛恐惧相关注意偏向可以改善疼痛体验。未来研究应采用更具生态效度的任务测量疼痛恐惧相关的注意偏向及其神经基础,进一步考察矫正疼痛恐惧相关注意偏向能否改善慢痛患者的忧郁和功能丧失等问题。

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

    OpenAIRE

    Otgaar, H.; Peters, M.; Howe, M. 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 DRM paradigm. Children (7- and 11-year-olds; n = 126) and adults (n = 52) received 5 neutral and 5 negative DRM word lists where half of each group received a divided attention task. The results showed that divided attention affected children’s and adults’ false memory levels differently, but did not alter true memory differently. Specifically, our re...

  2. Increased skin conductance responses and neural activity during fear conditioning are associated with a repressive coping style

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    Tim eKlucken

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The investigation of individual differences in coping styles in response to fear conditioning is an important issue for a better understanding of the etiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders. It has been assumed that an avoidant (repressive coping style is characterized by increased emotion regulation efforts in context of fearful stimuli as compared to a more vigilant coping style. However, no study so far has investigated the neural correlates of fear conditioning of repressors and sensitizers.In the present fMRI study, 76 participants were classified as repressors or as sensitizers and were exposed to a fear conditioning paradigm, in which the CS+ predicted electrical stimulation, while another neutral stimulus (CS- did not. In addition, skin conductance responses (SCRs were measured continuously.As the main findings, we found increased neural activations in repressors as compared to sensitizers in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex during fear conditioning. In addition, elevated activity to the CS+ in amygdala, insula, occipital, and orbitofrontal cortex as well as conditioned SCRs were found in repressors.The present results demonstrate increased neural activations in structures linked to emotion down-regulation mechanisms like the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which may reflect the increased coping effort in repressors. At the same time, repressors showed increased activations in arousal and evaluation-associated structures like the amygdala, the occipital cortex, and the orbitofrontal cortex, which is also mirrored in increased SCRs. The present results support recent assumptions about a two-process model of repression postulating a fast vigilant response to fearful stimuli, but also a second emotion down-regulating process.

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

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    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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Fear learning increases the number of polyribosomes associated with excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the barrel cortex.

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    Malgorzata Jasinska

    Full Text Available Associative fear learning, resulting from whisker stimulation paired with application of a mild electric shock to the tail in a classical conditioning paradigm, changes the motor behavior of mice and modifies the cortical functional representation of sensory receptors involved in the conditioning. It also induces the formation of new inhibitory synapses on double-synapse spines of the cognate barrel hollows. We studied density and distribution of polyribosomes, the putative structural markers of enhanced synaptic activation, following conditioning. By analyzing serial sections of the barrel cortex by electron microscopy and stereology, we found that the density of polyribosomes was significantly increased in dendrites of the barrel activated during conditioning. The results revealed fear learning-induced increase in the density of polyribosomes associated with both excitatory and inhibitory synapses located on dendritic spines (in both single- and double-synapse spines and only with the inhibitory synapses located on dendritic shafts. This effect was accompanied by a significant increase in the postsynaptic density area of the excitatory synapses on single-synapse spines and of the inhibitory synapses on double-synapse spines containing polyribosomes. The present results show that associative fear learning not only induces inhibitory synaptogenesis, as demonstrated in the previous studies, but also stimulates local protein synthesis and produces modifications of the synapses that indicate their potentiation.

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

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    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.

  9. Exposure to Increased Environmental Complexity during Rearing Reduces Fearfulness and Increases Use of Three-Dimensional Space in Laying Hens (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brantsæter, Margrethe; Nordgreen, Janicke; Rodenburg, T Bas; Tahamtani, Fernanda M; Popova, Anastasija; Janczak, Andrew M

    2016-01-01

    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 analysis of variance on individual scores for a fearfulness-related principal component generated using principal component analysis. The results indicate that aviary-reared birds have 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 toward a more active behavioral response in the aviary-reared birds 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 the 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. PMID:26973843

  10. Exposure to Increased Environmental Complexity during Rearing Reduces Fearfulness and Increases Use of Three-Dimensional Space in Laying Hens (Gallus gallus domesticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brantsæter, Margrethe; Nordgreen, Janicke; Rodenburg, T. Bas; Tahamtani, Fernanda M.; Popova, Anastasija; Janczak, Andrew M.

    2016-01-01

    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 analysis of variance on individual scores for a fearfulness-related principal component generated using principal component analysis. The results indicate that aviary-reared birds have 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 toward a more active behavioral response in the aviary-reared birds 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 the 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. PMID:26973843

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

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    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.

  12. Negative Emotions in Migraineurs Dreams: The Increased Prevalence of Oneiric Fear and Anguish, Unrelated to Mood Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. De Angeli

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Migraineurs brain has shown some functional peculiarities that reflect not only in phonophobia, and photophobia, but also in mood and sleep. Dreaming is a universal mental state characterized by hallucinatory features in which imagery, emotion, motor skills, and memory are created de novo. We evaluated dream contents and associated emotions in migraineurs. Materials and Methods. 412 subjects: 219 controls; and 148 migraineurs (66 with aura, MA; 82 without aura, MO, and 45 tension type headache patients (TTH. A semistructured retrospective self-reported questionnaire was used to evaluate dreams. The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-7, and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9 were administered to evaluate anxiety and depression. Results. Migraineurs showed increased levels of anxiety (P=0.0002 for MA versus controls, P=0.004 for MO versus controls. Fear and anguish during dreaming were more frequently reported by migraine patients compared to controls, independently by anxiety and depression scores. Discussion. The brain of migraineurs seems to dream with some peculiar features, all with a negative connotation, as fear and anguish. It may be due to the recorded negative sensations induced by recurrent migraine pain, but it may just reflect a peculiar attitude of the mesolimbic structures of migraineurs brain, activated in both dreaming and migraine attacks.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:26873452

  15. Mouse chronic social stress increases blood and brain kynurenine pathway activity and fear behaviour: Both effects are reversed by inhibition of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuertig, René; Azzinnari, Damiano; Bergamini, Giorgio; Cathomas, Flurin; Sigrist, Hannes; Seifritz, Erich; Vavassori, Stefano; Luippold, Andreas; Hengerer, Bastian; Ceci, Angelo; Pryce, Christopher R

    2016-05-01

    Psychosocial stress is a major risk factor for mood and anxiety disorders, in which excessive reactivity to aversive events/stimuli is a major psychopathology. In terms of pathophysiology, immune-inflammation is an important candidate, including high blood and brain levels of metabolites belonging to the kynurenine pathway. Animal models are needed to study causality between psychosocial stress, immune-inflammation and hyper-reactivity to aversive stimuli. The present mouse study investigated effects of psychosocial stress as chronic social defeat (CSD) versus control-handling (CON) on: Pavlovian tone-shock fear conditioning, activation of the kynurenine pathway, and efficacy of a specific inhibitor (IDOInh) of the tryptophan-kynurenine catabolising enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1), in reversing CSD effects on the kynurenine pathway and fear. CSD led to excessive fear learning and memory, whilst repeated oral escitalopram (antidepressant and anxiolytic) reversed excessive fear memory, indicating predictive validity of the model. CSD led to higher blood levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ, kynurenine (KYN), 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK) and kynurenic acid, and higher KYN and 3-HK in amygdala and hippocampus. CSD was without effect on IDO1 gene or protein expression in spleen, ileum and liver, whilst increasing liver TDO2 gene expression. Nonetheless, oral IDOInh reduced blood and brain levels of KYN and 3-HK in CSD mice to CON levels, and we therefore infer that CSD increases IDO1 activity by increasing its post-translational activation. Furthermore, repeated oral IDOInh reversed excessive fear memory in CSD mice to CON levels. IDOInh reversal of CSD-induced hyper-activity in the kynurenine pathway and fear system contributes significantly to the evidence for a causal pathway between psychosocial stress, immune-inflammation and the excessive fearfulness that is a major psychopathology in stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26724575

  16. Women, but not men, report increasingly more pain during repeated (un)predictable painful electrocutaneous stimulation: Evidence for mediation by fear of pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meulders, Ann; Vansteenwegen, Debora; Vlaeyen, Johan W S

    2012-05-01

    An abundance of animal research suggests that fear inhibits pain whereas anxiety increases it. Human studies on this topic are more scarce, and the existing evidence seems rather inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the divergent effects of both negative emotional states-that is, pain-related fear and anxiety on pain sensitivity and unpleasantness. Possible sex-related differences were also under investigation, as well as the potential mediational role of fear of movement-related pain on the differences in pain intensity and unpleasantness between both sexes. We employed a voluntary joystick movement paradigm using movements as conditioned stimuli (CSs) and a painful electrocutaneous stimulus as the unconditioned stimulus. Healthy participants received predictable shocks in one condition and unpredictable shocks in another condition. The former procedure is known to induce fear of movement-related pain to the CS+ movement (movement consistently followed by pain), whereas the latter procedure induces (contextual) pain-related anxiety. Results showed that fear of movement-related pain indeed resulted in decreased pain intensity/unpleasantness ratings, while pain-related anxiety led to increased pain intensity/unpleasantness reports. Further, the anticipated sex difference was modulated by time. That is, women gradually reported more pain/unpleasantness, whereas men do not show such a sensitization effect. Moreover, this sex-specific sensitization is partially mediated by (conditioned) fear of movement-related pain. Women also report increasingly more fear of pain over conditioning blocks, while men do not. These results might be interesting in the light of the overrepresentation of women in a number of clinical pain conditions as well as anxiety disorders.

  17. Spatial covert attention increases contrast sensitivity across the CSF: support for signal enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, M.; Penpeci-Talgar, C.; Eckstein, M.

    2000-01-01

    This study is the first to report the benefits of spatial covert attention on contrast sensitivity in a wide range of spatial frequencies when a target alone was presented in the absence of a local post-mask. We used a peripheral precue (a small circle indicating the target location) to explore the effects of covert spatial attention on contrast sensitivity as assessed by orientation discrimination (Experiments 1-4), detection (Experiments 2 and 3) and localization (Experiment 3) tasks. In all four experiments the target (a Gabor patch ranging in spatial frequency from 0.5 to 10 cpd) was presented alone in one of eight possible locations equidistant from fixation. Contrast sensitivity was consistently higher for peripherally- than for neutrally-cued trials, even though we eliminated variables (distracters, global masks, local masks, and location uncertainty) that are known to contribute to an external noise reduction explanation of attention. When observers were presented with vertical and horizontal Gabor patches an external noise reduction signal detection model accounted for the cueing benefit in a discrimination task (Experiment 1). However, such a model could not account for this benefit when location uncertainty was reduced, either by: (a) Increasing overall performance level (Experiment 2); (b) increasing stimulus contrast to enable fine discriminations of slightly tilted suprathreshold stimuli (Experiment 3); and (c) presenting a local post-mask (Experiment 4). Given that attentional benefits occurred under conditions that exclude all variables predicted by the external noise reduction model, these results support the signal enhancement model of attention.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 increase

  1. 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...

  2. 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.)

  3. Focussing Attention on Oneself Increases the Perception of Being Observed by Others

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canvin, Lauren K.; Janecka, Magdalena; Clark, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Patients with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) often report elevated levels of self-focussed evaluative attention (SFEA), and seem excessively concerned with being observed by others. This study tested whether SFEA increases the perception of being observed by others. A sample of 52 high and 52 low socially anxious participants estimated the percentage of people ‘looking at you’ in several matrices of faces. A control task used matrices of clocks. SFEA was manipulated. As predicted, increasing SFEA led to significantly higher estimates of people ‘looking at you’ in both groups. Estimates on the control task were not affected by SFEA, thus the effects appear specific to social stimuli. These findings suggest that the increased levels of SFEA that characterise patients with SAD could contribute to their enhanced perception of being observed by others. The findings have implications for the role of attention training in the treatment of SAD.

  4. Hyperactivity, perseveration and increased responding during attentional rule acquisition in the Fragile X mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramvis, Ioannis; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Loos, Maarten; Meredith, Rhiannon

    2013-01-01

    Attentional deficits and executive function impairments are common to many neurodevelopmental disorders of intellectual disability and autism, including Fragile X syndrome (FXS). In the knockout mouse model for FXS, significant changes in synaptic plasticity and connectivity are found in the prefrontal cortex (PFC)-a prominent region for attentional processing and executive control. Given these alterations in PFC synaptic function, we tested whether adult Fragile X knockout mice exhibited corresponding impairments in inhibitory control, perseveration, and sustained attention. Furthermore, we investigated individual performance during attentional rule acquisition. Using the 5-choice serial reaction time task, our results show no impairments in inhibitory control and sustained attention. Fragile X knockout mice exhibited enhanced levels of correct and incorrect responding, as well as perseveration of responding during initial phases of rule acquisition, that normalized with training. For both knockout and wild type mice, pharmacological attenuation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 signaling did not affect response accuracy but reduced impulsive responses and increased omission errors. Upon rule reversal, Fragile X knockout mice made more correct and incorrect responses, similar to the initial phases of rule acquisition. Analogous to heightened activity upon novel rule acquisition, Fragile X knockout mice were transiently hyperactive in both a novel open field (OF) arena and novel home cage. Hyperactivity ceased with familiarization to the environment. Our findings demonstrate normal inhibitory control and sustained attention but heightened perseveration, responding, and hyperactivity during novel rule acquisition and during exposure to novel environments in Fragile X knockout mice. We therefore provide evidence for subtle but significant differences in the processing of novel stimuli in the mouse model for the FXS. PMID:24312033

  5. Hyperactivity, perseveration and increased responding during attentional rule acquisition in the Fragile X mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramvis, Ioannis; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Loos, Maarten; Meredith, Rhiannon

    2013-01-01

    Attentional deficits and executive function impairments are common to many neurodevelopmental disorders of intellectual disability and autism, including Fragile X syndrome (FXS). In the knockout mouse model for FXS, significant changes in synaptic plasticity and connectivity are found in the prefrontal cortex (PFC)-a prominent region for attentional processing and executive control. Given these alterations in PFC synaptic function, we tested whether adult Fragile X knockout mice exhibited corresponding impairments in inhibitory control, perseveration, and sustained attention. Furthermore, we investigated individual performance during attentional rule acquisition. Using the 5-choice serial reaction time task, our results show no impairments in inhibitory control and sustained attention. Fragile X knockout mice exhibited enhanced levels of correct and incorrect responding, as well as perseveration of responding during initial phases of rule acquisition, that normalized with training. For both knockout and wild type mice, pharmacological attenuation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 signaling did not affect response accuracy but reduced impulsive responses and increased omission errors. Upon rule reversal, Fragile X knockout mice made more correct and incorrect responses, similar to the initial phases of rule acquisition. Analogous to heightened activity upon novel rule acquisition, Fragile X knockout mice were transiently hyperactive in both a novel open field (OF) arena and novel home cage. Hyperactivity ceased with familiarization to the environment. Our findings demonstrate normal inhibitory control and sustained attention but heightened perseveration, responding, and hyperactivity during novel rule acquisition and during exposure to novel environments in Fragile X knockout mice. We therefore provide evidence for subtle but significant differences in the processing of novel stimuli in the mouse model for the FXS.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:27033686

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svaldi, Jennifer; Bender, Caroline; Caffier, Detlef; Ivanova, Viliana; Mies, Nina; Fleischhaker, Christian; Tuschen-Caffier, Brunna

    2016-01-01

    Objective 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. Method 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. Results 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. Discussion 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. PMID:27123587

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Leeuwen, Sara; Singer, Wolf; Melloni, Lucia

    2012-01-01

    attention already after a 4-day meditation retreat. Together, these results suggest that practicing meditation enhances the speed with which attention can be allocated and relocated, thus increasing the depth of information processing and reducing response latency. PMID:22615691

  10. Attending at a Low Intensity Increases Impulsivity in an Auditory Sustained Attention to Response Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roebuck, Hettie; Guo, Kun; Bourke, Patrick

    2015-12-01

    Why attention lapses during prolonged tasks is debated, specifically whether errors are a consequence of under-arousal or exerted effort. To explore this, we investigated whether increased impulsivity is associated with effortful processing by modifying the demand of a task by presenting it at a quiet intensity. Here, we consider whether attending at low but detectable levels affects impulsivity in a population with intact hearing. A modification of the Sustained Attention to Response Task was used with auditory stimuli at two levels: the participants' personal "lowest detectable" level and a "normal speaking" level. At the quiet intensity, we found that more impulsive responses were made compared with listening at a normal speaking level. These errors were not due to a failure in discrimination. The findings suggest an increase in processing time for auditory stimuli at low levels that exceeds the time needed to interrupt a planned habitual motor response. This leads to a more impulsive and erroneous response style. These findings have important implications for understanding the nature of impulsivity in relation to effortful processing. They may explain why a high proportion of individuals with hearing loss are also diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

  11. Social stress increases cortisol and hampers attention in adolescents with excess weight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Verdejo-Garcia

    Full Text Available To experimentally examine if adolescents with excess weight are more sensitive to social stress and hence more sensitive to harmful effects of stress in cognition.We conducted an experimental study in 84 adolescents aged 12 to 18 years old classified in two groups based on age adjusted Body Mass Index percentile: Normal weight (n=42 and Excess weight (n=42. Both groups were exposed to social stress as induced by the virtual reality version of the Trier Social Stress Task--participants were requested to give a public speech about positive and negative aspects of their personalities in front of a virtual audience. The outcome measures were salivary cortisol levels and performance in cognitive tests before and after the social stressor. Cognitive tests included the CANTAB Rapid Visual Processing Test (measuring attention response latency and discriminability and the Iowa Gambling Task (measuring decision-making.Adolescents with excess weight compared to healthy weight controls displayed increased cortisol response and less improvement of attentional performance after the social stressor. Decision-making performance decreased after the social stressor in both groups.Adolescents who are overweight or obese have increased sensitivity to social stress, which detrimentally impacts attentional skills.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burge, Wesley K; Ross, Lesley A; Amthor, Franklin R; Mitchell, William G; Zotov, Alexander; Visscher, Kristina M

    2013-01-01

    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 PST in older adults. These data reveal that these training schemes may share a common underlying mechanism of increasing cognitive efficiency in younger adults. PMID:24151461

  15. 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

    OBJECTIVE: Schizophrenia is associated with aberrant event-related potentials (ERPs) such as reductions in P300, processing negativity and mismatch negativity amplitudes. These deficits may be related to the propensity of schizophrenia patients to experience auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH...... 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...

  16. Higher Physical Activity Is Associated with Increased Attentional Network Connectivity in the Healthy Elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Geon Ha; Im, Kiho; Kwon, Hunki; Seo, Sang Won; Ye, Byoung Seok; Cho, Hanna; Noh, Young; Lee, Jong Min; Kim, Sung Tae; Park, Sang Eon; Kim, Hojeong; Hwang, Jung Won; Kang, Sue J; Jeong, Jee Hyang; Na, Duk L

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27597826

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

    OpenAIRE

    Young, WR; A Mark Williams

    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...

  18. 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.

  19. The Tragedy of the Attentional Commons - In Search of Social Rules for an Increasingly Fragmented Space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wagner, Dirk Nicolas

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The majority of the workforce in the developed world consists of knowledge workers who are confronted with computers in between them. The problem of degradation of the knowledge worker is briefly reviewed, before focus is given to the attention economy as a relevant context for the issue of degradation. The notion ‘atten-tion space’ is introduced and as part of the attention space the ‘attentional commons’ is identified. Based on economic analysis, it is derived that the attentional commons shows properties which are typical for the rise of the so called ‘tragedy of the commons’. The degradation of the knowledge worker is identified as the actual tragedy of the attentional commons. Potential avenues leading to a solution of the tragedy in form of mar-ket-, norms- and organization-based approaches are discussed.

  20. Physical abuse amplifies attention to threat and increases anxiety in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackman, Jessica E; Shackman, Alexander J; Pollak, Seth D

    2007-11-01

    Two experiments using event-related potentials (ERPs) examined the extent to which early traumatic experiences affect children's ability to regulate voluntary and involuntary attention to threat. The authors presented physically abused and nonabused comparison children with conflicting auditory and visual emotion cues, posed by children's mothers or a stranger, to examine the effect of emotion, modality, and poser familiarity on attention regulation. Relative to controls, abused children overattended to task-relevant visual and auditory anger cues. They also attended more to task-irrelevant auditory anger cues. Furthermore, the degree of attention allocated to threat statistically mediated the relationship between physical abuse and child-reported anxiety. These findings indicate that extreme emotional experiences may promote vulnerability for anxiety by influencing the development of attention regulation abilities.

  1. Spatial covert attention increases contrast sensitivity across the CSF: support for signal enhancement☆

    OpenAIRE

    Carrasco, Marisa; Penpeci-Talgar, Cigdem; Eckstein, Miguel

    2000-01-01

    This study is the first to report the benefits of spatial covert attention on contrast sensitivity in a wide range of spatial frequencies when a target alone was presented in the absence of a local post-mask. We used a peripheral precue (a small circle indicating the target location) to explore the effects of covert spatial attention on contrast sensitivity as assessed by orientation discrimination (Experiments 1–4), detection (Experiments 2 and 3) and localization (Experiment 3) tasks. In al...

  2. HOW TO INCREASE ATTENTION TO ADVERTISEMENTS ACROSS BABY BOOMERS, X AND Y GENERATIONS

    OpenAIRE

    Tavsan, Ahmet Nihat

    2015-01-01

    The article includes examination of the general aspects of Baby Boomer, X and Y generations in terms of demographic and psychographic dimensions and focuses on adding a new cluster of dimensions to discriminate them regarding their attention level to the communication content and advertisements that they incur.  In this study it is found out that the cohorts can be discriminated through their attention level  on the shared platform of advertising appeals of ; Creativity, Celebrity Endorsement...

  3. 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

  4. Unconditioned responses and functional fear networks in human classical conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linnman, Clas; Rougemont-Bücking, Ansgar; Beucke, Jan Carl; Zeffiro, Thomas A; Milad, Mohammed R

    2011-08-01

    Human imaging studies examining fear conditioning have mainly focused on the neural responses to conditioned cues. In contrast, the neural basis of the unconditioned response and the mechanisms by which fear modulates inter-regional functional coupling have received limited attention. We examined the neural responses to an unconditioned stimulus using a partial-reinforcement fear conditioning paradigm and functional MRI. The analysis focused on: (1) the effects of an unconditioned stimulus (an electric shock) that was either expected and actually delivered, or expected but not delivered, and (2) on how related brain activity changed across conditioning trials, and (3) how shock expectation influenced inter-regional coupling within the fear network. We found that: (1) the delivery of the shock engaged the red nucleus, amygdale, dorsal striatum, insula, somatosensory and cingulate cortices, (2) when the shock was expected but not delivered, only the red nucleus, the anterior insular and dorsal anterior cingulate cortices showed activity increases that were sustained across trials, and (3) psycho-physiological interaction analysis demonstrated that fear led to increased red nucleus coupling to insula but decreased hippocampus coupling to the red nucleus, thalamus and cerebellum. The hippocampus and the anterior insula may serve as hubs facilitating the switch between engagement of a defensive immediate fear network and a resting network. PMID:21377494

  5. Increased levels of serum neopterin in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceylan, Mehmet Fatih; Uneri, Ozden Sukran; Guney, Esra; Ergin, Merve; Alisik, Murat; Goker, Zeynep; Senses Dinc, Gulser; Karaca Kara, Fatma; Erel, Ozcan

    2014-08-15

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most frequently occurring neuropsychiatric disorder in childhood with an etiology that is not fully understood. A number of reviews that have addressed the neurobiology of ADHD have focused on imaging and genetics. Relatively little attention has been given to factors/mechanisms involved in the brain dysfunction. We suggest that changes in cellular immunity may be involved. Neopterin is a good indicator of cellular immunity, and we evaluated serum levels of neopterin in patients with ADHD. The study group consisted of 49 patients with ADHD. An age- and gender-matched control group was composed of 31 healthy subjects. Venous blood samples were collected, and the levels of neopterin were measured. The levels of neopterin were significantly higher in ADHD than in the comparison subjects. Cellular immunity may have a role in the etiopathogenesis of ADHD.

  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

    2013-06-01

    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.

  7. Emotional modulation of the attentional blink is awareness-dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Wenli; Meng, Qianli; Chen, Lin; Zhou, Ke

    2012-01-01

    It is well known that emotion can modulate attentional processes. Previous studies have shown that even under restricted awareness, emotional facial expressions (especially threat-related) can guide the direction of spatial attention. However, it remains unclear whether emotional facial expressions under restricted awareness can affect temporal attention. To address this issue, we used a modified attentional blink (AB) paradigm in which masked (Experiment 1) or unmasked (Experiment 2) emotional faces (fearful or neutral) were presented before the AB sequence. We found that, in comparison with neutral faces, masked fearful faces significantly decreased the AB magnitude (Experiment 1), whereas unmasked fearful faces significantly increased the AB magnitude (Experiment 2). These results indicate that effects of emotional expression on the AB are modulated by the level of awareness. PMID:23029507

  8. Emotional modulation of the attentional blink is awareness-dependent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenli Qian

    Full Text Available It is well known that emotion can modulate attentional processes. Previous studies have shown that even under restricted awareness, emotional facial expressions (especially threat-related can guide the direction of spatial attention. However, it remains unclear whether emotional facial expressions under restricted awareness can affect temporal attention. To address this issue, we used a modified attentional blink (AB paradigm in which masked (Experiment 1 or unmasked (Experiment 2 emotional faces (fearful or neutral were presented before the AB sequence. We found that, in comparison with neutral faces, masked fearful faces significantly decreased the AB magnitude (Experiment 1, whereas unmasked fearful faces significantly increased the AB magnitude (Experiment 2. These results indicate that effects of emotional expression on the AB are modulated by the level of awareness.

  9. Attention to irrelevant contexts decreases as training increases: Evidence from eye-fixations in a human predictive learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    Participants were trained in a human predictive learning task in which they had to predict whether the ingestion of a given food (cue) by the imaginary customer of an imaginary restaurant (context) was followed by gastric malaise (outcome). One food was always followed by gastric malaise in one of the contexts, while other foods were not followed by gastric malaise in the same, or in an alternative context. Predictive responses and eye-fixations were recorded throughout the 48 training trials with each cue involved in the task. In agreement with the predictions of the Attentional Theory of Context Processing, attention to the contexts measured through eye-fixations decreased while attention to the cues increased as training progressed. The results of this study give support to the idea that contexts are actively processed at the beginning of acquisition, and that this processing decreases as training increases.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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…

  12. Worrying affects associative fear learning: a startle fear conditioning study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Femke J Gazendam

    Full Text Available A valuable experimental model for the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders is that they originate from a learned association between an intrinsically non-aversive event (Conditioned Stimulus, CS and an anticipated disaster (Unconditioned Stimulus, UCS. Most anxiety disorders, however, do not evolve from a traumatic experience. Insights from neuroscience show that memory can be modified post-learning, which may elucidate how pathological fear can develop after relatively mild aversive events. Worrying--a process frequently observed in anxiety disorders--is a potential candidate to strengthen the formation of fear memory after learning. Here we tested in a discriminative fear conditioning procedure whether worry strengthens associative fear memory. Participants were randomly assigned to either a Worry (n = 23 or Control condition (n = 25. After fear acquisition, the participants in the Worry condition processed six worrisome questions regarding the personal aversive consequences of an electric stimulus (UCS, whereas the Control condition received difficult but neutral questions. Subsequently, extinction, reinstatement and re-extinction of fear were tested. Conditioned responding was measured by fear-potentiated startle (FPS, skin conductance (SCR and UCS expectancy ratings. Our main results demonstrate that worrying resulted in increased fear responses (FPS to both the feared stimulus (CS(+ and the originally safe stimulus (CS(-, whereas FPS remained unchanged in the Control condition. In addition, worrying impaired both extinction and re-extinction learning of UCS expectancy. The implication of our findings is that they show how worry may contribute to the development of anxiety disorders by affecting associative fear learning.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:27225467

  16. 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. PMID:20804760

  17. 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…

  18. 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. PMID:27094851

  19. Fear of Falling: Taijiquan as a Form of Graded in Vivo Exposure Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shane Kachur

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Falls in the elderly can cause injuries that lead to loss of independence. Loss of postural sway, balance, and slower reaction times are strong predictors of falling (Lajoie & Gallagher, 2004. Traditional exercise programs focus on studying and treating these factors (Tideiksaar, 1997; however, fear of falling – another strong predictor of falls – has received relatively little attention in the treatment literature (Maki et al., 1991. There are indications of a direct link between fear of falling, and actual falls (Myers et al., 1996, and a relationship between fear-related avoidance of activities and falling (Delbaere et al., 2004. Taijiquan, an ancient Chinese martial art turned exercise regimen (Wolf et al., 2001, has been shown to be effective ameliorating fear of falling and traditional antecedents of falling (Tsang et al., 2004. Like graded exposure therapies, Taijiquan practitioners slowly and progressively achieve increasingly difficult postures that simulate potentially fearful situations in a calming environment. Relative to other exercise treatments, such as computerized balance training, education, and graded exercise, Taijiquan has produced significant reductions in fear of falling and in actual falls (McGibbon et al., 2005. Herein the available research on Taijiquan and falls is reviewed to advocate for Taijiquan as a form of graded exposure therapy to reduce fear of falling and falls in seniors. Implications and future research directions will be discussed.

  20. Increased Coupling in the Saliency Network is the main cause/effect of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    CERN Document Server

    Ji, Xiaoxi; Zhang, Jie; Ge, Tian; Sun, Li; Wang, Yufeng; Feng, Jianfeng

    2011-01-01

    To uncover the underlying mechanisms of mental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for improving both early diagnosis and therapy, it is increasingly recognized that we need a better understanding of how the brain's functional connections are altered. A new brain wide association study (BWAS) has been developed and used to investigate functional connectivity changes in the brains of patients suffering from ADHD using resting state fMRI data. To reliably find out the most significantly altered functional connectivity links and associate them with ADHD, a meta-analysis on a cohort of ever reported largest population comprising 249 patients and 253 healthy controls is carried out. The greatest change in ADHD patients was the increased coupling of the saliency network involving the anterior cingulate gyrus and anterior insula. A voxel-based morphometry analysis was also carried out but this revealed no evidence in the ADHD patients for altered grey matter volumes in the regions showi...

  1. Visually depicting cancer fears: Beyond biomedical concerns

    OpenAIRE

    Carolyn Brooks; Jennifer Poudrier; Roanne Thomas

    2014-01-01

    This manuscript is a reaction to the high prevalence of breast cancer amongst Aboriginal women. Our work calls for more attention to the effects of race, gender, and class on cancer fears and related experiences. The shock of a cancer diagnosis and fears of recurrence can leave patients feeling that their lives are out of control. Combining the visual method of photovoice with focus groups and in-depth interviews, we develop an understanding of cancer experiences that includes fea...

  2. 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.

  3. Fears and Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the situation calls for. Many people have a fear of public speaking . Whether it's giving a report in class, speaking ... cloudy. A guy with social phobia experiences intense fear of public speaking or interacting, and may be afraid to answer ...

  4. 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....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaroslaw M Michalowski

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND 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. OBJECTIVES 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. DESIGN 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. SETTING Multidisciplinary falls services. PARTICIPANTS 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. INTERVENTIONS 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. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES 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

  8. Drug Induced Arousal and Fear Appeals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deckner, C. William; Rogers, Ronald W.

    It is hypothesized that the drug, epinephrine, used in conjunction with a fear arousing film on the consquences of smoking would be more effective than either alone in increasing fear and negative attitudes toward smoking and, resultantly, in reducing cigarette consumption. The experimenters assigned 119 subjects to the four cells of a 2x2…

  9. Unconditioned responses and functional fear networks in human classical conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Linnman, Clas; Rougemont-Bücking, Ansgar; Beucke, Jan Carl; Zeffiro, Thomas A.; Milad, Mohammed R.

    2011-01-01

    Human imaging studies examining fear conditioning have mainly focused on the neural responses to conditioned cues. In contrast, the neural basis of the unconditioned response and the mechanisms by which fear modulates inter-regional functional coupling have received limited attention. We examined the neural responses to an unconditioned stimulus using a partial-reinforcement fear conditioning paradigm and functional MRI. The analysis focused on: (1) the effects of an unconditioned stimulus (a...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kashshapova, E. V.; Lopukhova, O. G.

    2015-01-01

    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....

  11. Fear of childbirth in pregnant women: external and internal factors

    OpenAIRE

    LOPUKHOVA OLGA G.; KASHSHAPOVA ELENA V.

    2015-01-01

    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....

  12. 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. PMID:26720411

  13. 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.

  14. Qualitative Analysis of Emotions: Fear and Thrill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, Ralf C

    2016-01-01

    People can speak, and this provides opportunities to analyze human emotions using perceived experiences communicated via language, as well as through measurement and imaging techniques that are also applicable to other higher animal species. Here I compare four qualitative methodological approaches to test if, and how, thrill depends on fear. I use eight high-risk, high-skill, real-life outdoor adventure recreation activities to provide the test circumstances. I present data from: >4000 person-days of participant observation; interviews with 40 expert practitioners; retrospective autoethnography of 50 critical incidents over 4 decades; and experimental autoethnography of 60 events. Results from different methods are congruent, but different approaches yield different insights. The principal findings are as follows. Individuals differ in their fear and thrill responses. The same individual may have different responses on different occasions. Fear boosts performance, but panic causes paralysis. Anxiety or apprehension prior to a risky action or event differs from fear experienced during the event itself. The intensity of pre-event fear generally increases with the immediacy of risk to life, and time to contemplate that risk. Fear must be faced, assessed and overcome in order to act. Thrill can occur either during or after a high-risk event. Thrill can occur without fear, and fear without thrill. Below a lower threshold of perceived risk, thrill can occur without fear. Between a lower and upper threshold, thrill increases with fear. Beyond the upper threshold, thrill vanishes but fear remains. This there is a sawtooth relation between fear and thrill. Perceived danger generates intense focus and awareness. Fear and other emotions can disappear during intense concentration and focus. Under high risk, the usual emotional sequence is fear before the action or event, then focus during the action or event, then thrill, relief, or triumph afterward. The emotionless state

  15. Qualitative Analysis of Emotions: Fear and Thrill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralf Christopher Buckley

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available People can speak, and this provides opportunities to analyse human emotions using perceived experiences communicated via language, as well as through measurement and imaging techniques that are also applicable to other higher animal species. Here I compare four qualitative methodological approaches to test if, and how, thrill depends on fear. I use 8 high-risk, high-skill, real-life outdoor adventure recreation activities to provide the test circumstances. I present data from: >4000 person-days of participant observation; interviews with 40 expert practitioners; retrospective autoethnography of 50 critical incidents over 4 decades; and experimental autoethnography of 60 events. Results from different methods are congruent, but different approaches yield different insights. The principal findings are as follows. Individuals differ in their fear and thrill responses. The same individual may have different responses on different occasions. Fear boosts performance, but panic causes paralysis. Anxiety or apprehension prior to a risky action or event differs from fear experienced during the event itself. The intensity of pre-event fear generally increases with the immediacy of risk to life, and time to contemplate that risk. Fear must be faced assessed and overcome in order to act. Thrill can occur either during after a high-risk event. Thrill can occur without fear, and fear without thrill. Below a lower threshold of perceived risk, thrill can occur without fear. Between a lower and upper threshold, thrill increases with fear. Beyond the upper threshold, thrill vanishes but fear remains. This there is a sawtooth relation between fear and thrill. Perceived danger generates intense focus and awareness. Fear and other emotions can disappear during intense concentration and focus. Under high risk, the usual emotional sequence is fear before the action or event, then focus during the action or event, then thrill, relief, or triumph afterwards. The

  16. Qualitative Analysis of Emotions: Fear and Thrill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, Ralf C

    2016-01-01

    People can speak, and this provides opportunities to analyze human emotions using perceived experiences communicated via language, as well as through measurement and imaging techniques that are also applicable to other higher animal species. Here I compare four qualitative methodological approaches to test if, and how, thrill depends on fear. I use eight high-risk, high-skill, real-life outdoor adventure recreation activities to provide the test circumstances. I present data from: >4000 person-days of participant observation; interviews with 40 expert practitioners; retrospective autoethnography of 50 critical incidents over 4 decades; and experimental autoethnography of 60 events. Results from different methods are congruent, but different approaches yield different insights. The principal findings are as follows. Individuals differ in their fear and thrill responses. The same individual may have different responses on different occasions. Fear boosts performance, but panic causes paralysis. Anxiety or apprehension prior to a risky action or event differs from fear experienced during the event itself. The intensity of pre-event fear generally increases with the immediacy of risk to life, and time to contemplate that risk. Fear must be faced, assessed and overcome in order to act. Thrill can occur either during or after a high-risk event. Thrill can occur without fear, and fear without thrill. Below a lower threshold of perceived risk, thrill can occur without fear. Between a lower and upper threshold, thrill increases with fear. Beyond the upper threshold, thrill vanishes but fear remains. This there is a sawtooth relation between fear and thrill. Perceived danger generates intense focus and awareness. Fear and other emotions can disappear during intense concentration and focus. Under high risk, the usual emotional sequence is fear before the action or event, then focus during the action or event, then thrill, relief, or triumph afterward. The emotionless state

  17. Stressor controllability modulates fear extinction in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    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.

  18. 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,…

  19. Joy, Distress, Hope, and Fear in Reinforcement Learning (Extended Abstract)

    OpenAIRE

    Jacobs, E. J.; Broekens, J.; Jonker, C.M.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we present a mapping between joy, distress, hope and fear, and Reinforcement Learning primitives. Joy / distress is a signal that is derived from the RL update signal, while hope/fear is derived from the utility of the current state. Agent-based simulation experiments replicate psychological and behavioral dynamics of emotion including: joy and distress reactions that develop prior to hope and fear; fear extinction; habituation of joy; and, task randomness that increases the int...

  20. Fear in horses

    OpenAIRE

    Christensen, Janne Winther

    2006-01-01

    Fear is generally considered to be an undesirable emotional state that may reduce welfare, growth and reproductive performance in animals. Fear in horses is additionally problematic, because fear reactions can cause serious injury to both horse and human. Horses are primarily used for sports and leisure for a large number of children and young women. Unfortunately, horse riding ranks as one of the most dangerous sports in terms of the number and seriousness of accidents, and the ability of a ...

  1. Attachment Without Fear

    OpenAIRE

    Bell, David C.

    2009-01-01

    John Bowlby hypothesized an attachment system that interacts with caregiving, exploration, and fear systems in the brain, with a particular emphasis on fear. Neurobiological research confirms many of his hypotheses and also raises some new questions. A psychological model based on this neurobiological research is presented here. The model extends conventional attachment theory by describing additional attachment processes independent of fear. In this model, the attachment elements of trust, o...

  2. 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.

  3. Cough and fear of sleep: early clinical signs of Bordetella pertussis in an adult

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas C. Jones

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Pertussis is increasing in frequency among adults, but early diagnosis requires special attention to details in the medical history. We describe a 64 year-old male with classic signs and symptoms of pertussis and documented Bordetella pertussis infection that were overlooked because he presented with a chief complaint of cough and fear of falling asleep. Coughing paroxysms and a feeling of suffocation (30-60 seconds only occurred at night after short periods of deep sleep (30-45 minutes. The physicians did not observe these episodes during daytime examinations, and the basis of the patient's fear of sleep was not explored. We recommend reassessment of how adults describe symptoms of pertussis, including fear of sleep, and we suggest the use of PCR technology to allow early diagnosis and prompt treatment.

  4. 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. PMID:26403842

  5. 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...

  6. Fear Extinction in Rodents

    OpenAIRE

    Chang, Chun-hui; Knapska, Ewelina; Orsini, Caitlin A.; Rabinak, Christine A.; Zimmerman, Joshua M; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Pavlovian conditioning paradigms have become important model systems for understanding the neuroscience of behavior. In particular, studies of the extinction of Pavlovian fear responses are yielding important information about the neural substrates of anxiety disorders in humans. These studies are germane to understanding the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral interventions that suppress fear, including exposure therapy. This chapter described detailed behavioral protocols for examining ...

  7. 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.…

  8. 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

  9. Increased Sleep Disturbances in Thai Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Compared With Typically Developing Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiraphadhanakul, Kobrat; Jaimchariyatam, Nattapong; Pruksananonda, Chandhita; Chonchaiya, Weerasak

    2016-01-01

    This study compares sleep disturbances in Thai children aged 5-12 years with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and typically developing children using the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ)-Thai version. Fifty-five children with ADHD and 110 typically developing children were enrolled. Their parents completed the CSHQ, the ADHD rating scales, and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Children with ADHD had significantly higher scores in all subscales of the CSHQ compared to controls. Among children with ADHD, children with higher SDQ scores (> 15) appeared to have more sleep disturbances than those with relatively lower SDQ scores. Moreover, fewer sleep-related behavioral problems were observed in the medication treated group, which is particularly new to the field and for some perhaps not unexpected clinically. PMID:26629892

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ARRINDELL, WA

    1993-01-01

    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 measu

  11. [Fear of childbirth].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouhe, Hanna; Saisto, Terhi

    2013-01-01

    Fear of childbirth casts a shadow in 10% of the pregnancies. It can cause fear, mental illnesses and previous experiences of violence or bad experiences in giving birth. It is treated at the phobia clinic with the support of a midwife and an obstetrician. Psychoeducative group therapy intended for primigravid women has proven to be the most effective form of therapy. In addition to obstetric assessment, its cornerstones include hearing and supporting of the phobic patient. For most women fearing childbirth, proper therapy will encourage them and abandon their wish for cesarean section. Nobody should, however, be forced into vaginal delivery. PMID:23520896

  12. The Biology of Fear

    OpenAIRE

    Adolphs, Ralph

    2013-01-01

    Each of us has felt afraid, and we can all recognize fear in many animal species. Yet there is no consensus in the scientific study of fear. Some argue that “fear” is a psychological construct rather than discoverable through scientific investigation. Others argue that the term “fear” cannot properly be applied to animals because we cannot know whether they feel afraid. Studies in rodents show that there are highly specific brain circuits for fear, whereas findings from human neuroimaging see...

  13. Addressing the threat of evidence-based practice to qualitative inquiry through increasing attention to quality: a discussion paper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Antonia M

    2008-02-01

    The current evidence-based practice (EBP) movement in healthcare emphasizes that clinical decision making should be based on the "best evidence" available, preferably the findings of randomized clinical trials. Within this context qualitative research findings are considered to have little value and the old debate in nursing has been re-ignited related to whether qualitative versus quantitative research findings provides the best empirical evidence for nursing practice. In response to this crisis qualitative scholars have been called upon by leaders in the field to clarify for outsiders what qualitative research is and to be more explicit in pointing out the utility of qualitative research findings. In addition, attention to "quality" in qualitative research has been identified as an area worthy of renewed focus. Within this paper two key problems related to addressing these issues are reviewed: disagreement not only among "outsiders" but also some nursing scholars related to the definition of "qualitative research", and a lack of consensus related how to best address "rigor" in this type of inquiry. Based on this review a set of standard requirements for qualitative research published in nursing journals is proposed that reflects a uniform definition of qualitative research and an enlarged yet clearly articulated conceptualization of quality. The approach suggested provides a framework for developing and evaluating qualitative research that would have both defensible scholarly merit and heuristic value. This will help solidify the argument in favor of incorporating qualitative research findings as part of the empirical "evidence" upon which evidence-based nursing is founded.

  14. Visually depicting cancer fears: Beyond biomedical concerns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyn Brooks

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This manuscript is a reaction to the high prevalence of breast cancer amongst Aboriginal women. Our work calls for more attention to the effects of race, gender, and class on cancer fears and related experiences. The shock of a cancer diagnosis and fears of recurrence can leave patients feeling that their lives are out of control. Combining the visual method of photovoice with focus groups and in-depth interviews, we develop an understanding of cancer experiences that includes fears related to: socio-economic realities; supporting families both emotionally and financially; environmental concerns, especially those that arise from living on reserve; race and racism; and cultural beliefs. Breast cancer experiences are shown to be significantly linked to history and the impact of colonization, neo-colonialism and point to the importance of a postcolonial feminist framework and cancer support policies informed by a lens of cultural safety.

  15. Stressor controllability modulates fear extinction in humans

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    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 ra...

  16. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in trace fear extinction

    OpenAIRE

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

    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...

  17. 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.

  18. The Fears of Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamber, James H.

    1974-01-01

    This study investigated the self-reported fears and some personality characteristics of a sample of 1112 adolescents ranging in age from 12 to 18 years (attending grammar and secondary schools in Northern Ireland). (CS)

  19. Fear of blushing : Effects of task concentration training versus exposure in vivo on fear and physiology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulkens, S; Bogels, SM; de Jong, Peter; Louwers, J

    2001-01-01

    Patients with fear of blushing as the predominant complaint (N = 31) were randomly assigned to (1) exposure in vivo (EXP), or (2) task concentration training (TCT), in order to test the effect of redirecting attention above exposure only. In addition, it was investigated whether treatment reduced ac

  20. Self-reported fears: a comparison study of youths with and without an intellectual disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gullone, E; Cummins, R A; King, N J

    1996-06-01

    Normal fear plays an essential role in human development and experience, and much research attention has been devoted to its study in the general population. In contrast, the normal fears of youths with intellectual disabilities have largely been ignored. The present paper reports the normative fears of 187 youths with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Data were also gathered from 372 youths of average intelligence for comparison purposes. All respondents were aged between 7 and 18 years. Fear was assessed using the Fear Survey Schedule for Children-II (FSSC-II), an instrument which has been psychometrically validated in samples with and without disabilities. The youths with disabilities reported significantly higher levels of fearfulness and a greater range of fears than youths without disabilities. The content of their fears was also more likely to resemble those of younger children without disabilities. The fears that best discriminated between the two samples were those related to supernatural phenomena or animals. Included were fears of bees, lizards, ghosts or similar eerie things, and cemeteries. Nevertheless, there was considerable similarity between the two samples. For both samples, females reported a higher level of fearfulness and a greater range of fear than males, and fears of death and danger were endorsed as arousing the strongest fear for all respondents. The theoretical and applied implications of these results are discussed.

  1. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

    , but new expanded possibilities for teaching and learning provided by the new media. Our core postulate is that the teachers and pupils have to develop social reflexion on ‘the practice of attention’ in the class, both on a social and individual level; use the new media to facilitate this reflexion...... and simultaneously (based on the on-going reflexion) learn to cope better with the new attention-demanding medium milieu, which means both to restrict oneself and behave more socially responsible and to develop better awareness skills (e.g. multiplexing skills). Only this (and not prohibition against Facebook......, online games etc. neither unconcern and ignorance of the new media and their consequences for attention) - we argue - can generate adequate social norms regulating psychic awareness in the new digital learning environment....

  2. An Assessment of the Possible Relationship of the Practice of Meditation to Increases in Attentiveness to Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmgren, Carl A.

    A group of 24 seventh-grade students was involved in a meditation (zen) experience as a means of assessing the relationship of meditation to learning. Using a simple rote memory task as both a pre-test and a post-test the experimental group (N=16) showed a significant increase (.01) in the number of objects recalled, whereas with the control group…

  3. Are impairments in visual-spatial attention a critical factor for increased falls risk in seniors? An event-related potential study

    OpenAIRE

    Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa Y L; Carolan, Patrick; Handy, Todd C

    2009-01-01

    Falls are experienced annually by approximately one third of community dwellers over the age of 65, and while neuro-cognitive deficits have been shown to increase falls risk, the specific nature of these deficits remain unspecified. Here we examined whether visual-spatial attention may be a core neuro-cognitive system showing abnormal function in fallers. Using a between-groups design, we recorded event-related potentials in a canonical spatial cuing task performed by two groups of senior (ag...

  4. Your attention please: increasing ambient noise levels elicits a change in communication behaviour in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    OpenAIRE

    Dunlop, Rebecca A.; Cato, Douglas H.; Noad, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    High background noise is an important obstacle in successful signal detection and perception of an intended acoustic signal. To overcome this problem, many animals modify their acoustic signal by increasing the repetition rate, duration, amplitude or frequency range of the signal. An alternative method to ensure successful signal reception, yet to be tested in animals, involves the use of two different types of signal, where one signal type may enhance the other in periods of high background ...

  5. Your attention please: increasing ambient noise levels elicits a change in communication behaviour in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlop, Rebecca A; Cato, Douglas H; Noad, Michael J

    2010-08-22

    High background noise is an important obstacle in successful signal detection and perception of an intended acoustic signal. To overcome this problem, many animals modify their acoustic signal by increasing the repetition rate, duration, amplitude or frequency range of the signal. An alternative method to ensure successful signal reception, yet to be tested in animals, involves the use of two different types of signal, where one signal type may enhance the other in periods of high background noise. Humpback whale communication signals comprise two different types: vocal signals, and surface-generated signals such as 'breaching' or 'pectoral slapping'. We found that humpback whales gradually switched from primarily vocal to primarily surface-generated communication in increasing wind speeds and background noise levels, though kept both signal types in their repertoire. Vocal signals have the advantage of having higher information content but may have the disadvantage of loosing this information in a noisy environment. Surface-generated sounds have energy distributed over a greater frequency range and may be less likely to become confused in periods of high wind-generated noise but have less information content when compared with vocal sounds. Therefore, surface-generated sounds may improve detection or enhance the perception of vocal signals in a noisy environment. PMID:20392731

  6. Mild to severe social fears: ranking types of feared social situations using item response theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crome, Erica; Baillie, Andrew

    2014-06-01

    Social anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental disorders, and is associated with long term impairment, distress and vulnerability to secondary disorders. Certain types of social fears are more common than others, with public speaking fears typically the most prevalent in epidemiological surveys. The distinction between performance- and interaction-based fears has been the focus of long-standing debate in the literature, with evidence performance-based fears may reflect more mild presentations of social anxiety. This study aims to explicitly test whether different types of social fears differ in underlying social anxiety severity using item response theory techniques. Different types of social fears were assessed using items from three different structured diagnostic interviews in four different epidemiological surveys in the United States (n=2261, n=5411) and Australia (n=1845, n=1497); and ranked using 2-parameter logistic item response theory models. Overall, patterns of underlying severity indicated by different fears were consistent across the four samples with items functioning across a range of social anxiety. Public performance fears and speaking at meetings/classes indicated the lowest levels of social anxiety, with increasing severity indicated by situations such as being assertive or attending parties. Fears of using public bathrooms or eating, drinking or writing in public reflected the highest levels of social anxiety. Understanding differences in the underlying severity of different types of social fears has important implications for the underlying structure of social anxiety, and may also enhance the delivery of social anxiety treatment at a population level. PMID:24873885

  7. 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?

  8. 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...

  9. Animal Models of Fear Relapse

    OpenAIRE

    Goode, Travis D.; Maren, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Whereas fear memories are rapidly acquired and enduring over time, extinction memories are slow to form and are susceptible to disruption. Consequently, behavioral therapies that involve extinction learning (e.g., exposure therapy) often produce only temporary suppression of fear and anxiety. This review focuses on the factors that are known to influence the relapse of extinguished fear. Several phenomena associated with the return of fear after extinction are discussed, including renewal, sp...

  10. 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. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26901590

  11. METUS REVEALED. HOBBES ON FEAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RAFFAELLA SANTI

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Fear is a universal emotion, experienced by everybody. When it becomes collective and social, it can enter into the processes of political imagination, being used for political purposes. This article is a brief examination of the meanings and functions of fear(s in Hobbes’s thought. Some of his views may be ‘historically’ related to his own time, the Seventeenth Century, and others may be linked and confined to his own theory. However, his reflections on the importance of the perturbatio animi of fear for human psychology, and its impact on human interactions and collective behaviour, are still interesting for us today. The various meanings of fear highlighted by Hobbes (especially in his political works: Elements of Law, De cive, and Leviathan are here synthetically reconstructed, with particular emphasis on fear as passion, expectation and will, and on fear in his various social aspects: mutual fear and fear of death, which give rise to the political community; fear of punishment and fear for the laws, which help to maintain the State and finally, fear of invisible power and timor Dei, from which religion originates, and the religious power that Hobbes wanted to be held by the State.

  12. 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. PMID:24927741

  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. 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. PMID:26366635

  15. Serotonin in fear conditioning processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Elizabeth P

    2015-01-15

    This review describes the latest developments in our understanding of how the serotonergic system modulates Pavlovian fear conditioning, fear expression and fear extinction. These different phases of classical fear conditioning involve coordinated interactions between the extended amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortices. Here, I first define the different stages of learning involved in cued and context fear conditioning and describe the neural circuits underlying these processes. The serotonergic system can be manipulated by administering serotonin receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and these can have significant effects on emotional learning and memory. Moreover, variations in serotonergic genes can influence fear conditioning and extinction processes, and can underlie differential responses to pharmacological manipulations. This research has considerable translational significance as imbalances in the serotonergic system have been linked to anxiety and depression, while abnormalities in the mechanisms of conditioned fear contribute to anxiety disorders.

  16. Hidden sources of joy, fear, and sadness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bogert, Brigitte; Numminen-Kontti, Taru; Gold, Benjamin;

    2016-01-01

    Music is often used to regulate emotions and mood. Typically, music conveys and induces emotions even when one does not attend to them. Studies on the neural substrates of musical emotions have, however, only examined brain activity when subjects have focused on the emotional content of the music....... Here we address with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) the neural processing of happy, sad, and fearful music with a paradigm in which 56 subjects were instructed to either classify the emotions (explicit condition) or pay attention to the number of instruments playing (implicit condition...... to be associated with the cognitive processing of music and emotion recognition and regulation. Moreover, happiness in music was associated with activity in the bilateral auditory cortex, left parahippocampal gyrus, and supplementary motor area, whereas the negative emotions of sadness and fear corresponded...

  17. Fear of holes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Geoff G; Wilkins, Arnold J

    2013-10-01

    Phobias are usually described as irrational and persistent fears of certain objects or situations, and causes of such fears are difficult to identify. We describe an unusual but common phobia (trypophobia), hitherto unreported in the scientific literature, in which sufferers are averse to images of holes. We performed a spectral analysis on a variety of images that induce trypophobia and found that the stimuli had a spectral composition typically associated with uncomfortable visual images, namely, high-contrast energy at midrange spatial frequencies. Critically, we found that a range of potentially dangerous animals also possess this spectral characteristic. We argue that although sufferers are not conscious of the association, the phobia arises in part because the inducing stimuli share basic visual characteristics with dangerous organisms, characteristics that are low level and easily computed, and therefore facilitate a rapid nonconscious response.

  18. Fear of holes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Geoff G; Wilkins, Arnold J

    2013-10-01

    Phobias are usually described as irrational and persistent fears of certain objects or situations, and causes of such fears are difficult to identify. We describe an unusual but common phobia (trypophobia), hitherto unreported in the scientific literature, in which sufferers are averse to images of holes. We performed a spectral analysis on a variety of images that induce trypophobia and found that the stimuli had a spectral composition typically associated with uncomfortable visual images, namely, high-contrast energy at midrange spatial frequencies. Critically, we found that a range of potentially dangerous animals also possess this spectral characteristic. We argue that although sufferers are not conscious of the association, the phobia arises in part because the inducing stimuli share basic visual characteristics with dangerous organisms, characteristics that are low level and easily computed, and therefore facilitate a rapid nonconscious response. PMID:23982244

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    1999-01-01

    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 locomo

  1. Wage bargaining, job loss fears and offshoring

    OpenAIRE

    Riedl, Maximilian

    2013-01-01

    In this paper I present a simple theoretical model where firms and trade unions negotiate over wages. Firms have the possibility to offshore parts of the ir production and trade union members have a disutility from individual job loss fears. I show that higher job loss fears result in lower wages. As a Nash bargaining result, firms can use potential but non realized offshoring as a threat to enforce lower wages. Using a large German household survey, I can show evidence that increasing potent...

  2. Attention Economies

    OpenAIRE

    Falkinger, Josef

    2003-01-01

    Attracting attention is a basic feature of economic life but no standard economic problem. A new theoretical model is developed which describes the general structure of competition for attention and characterizes equilibria. The exogenous fundamentals of an attention economy are the space of receiving subjects with their attention capacity, and the potential set of competing companies (senders) with their radiation technologies. The endogenous variables explained by the theory are equilibrium...

  3. Cognitive vulnerability and dental fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spencer A John

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Cognitive Vulnerability Model proposes that perceptions of certain characteristics of a situation are critical determinants of fear. Although the model is applicable to all animal, natural environment and situational fears, it has not yet been applied specifically to dental fear. This study therefore aimed to examine the association between dental fear and perceptions of dental visits as uncontrollable, unpredictable and dangerous. Methods The study used a clustered, stratified national sample of Australians aged 15 years and over. All participants were asked in a telephone interview survey to indicate their level of dental fear. Participants who received an oral examination were subsequently provided with a self-complete questionnaire in which they rated their perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness associated with dental visiting. Results 3937 participants were recruited. Each of the three vulnerability-related perceptions was strongly associated with the prevalence of high dental fear. In a logistic regression analysis, uncontrollability and dangerousness perceptions were significantly associated with high dental fear after controlling for age and sex. However, unpredictability perceptions did not have a statistically significant independent association with dental fear after controlling for all other variables. Conclusion Results are mostly consistent with the Cognitive Vulnerability Model of the etiology of fear, with perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness each showing a strong bivariate relationship with high dental fear prevalence. However, more extensive measures of vulnerability perceptions would be valuable in future investigations.

  4. Fear of Failure and Student Athletes' Interpersonal Antisocial Behaviour in Education and Sport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagar, Sam S.; Boardley, Ian D.; Kavussanu, Maria

    2011-01-01

    Background: The link between fear of failure and students' antisocial behaviour has received scant research attention despite associations between fear of failure, hostility, and aggression. Also, the effect of sport experience on antisocial behaviour has not been considered outside of the sport context in adult populations. Further, to date, sex…

  5. 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…

  6. Enhanced sensitization to animal, interpersonal, and intergroup fear-relevant stimuli (but no evidence for selective one-trial fear learning).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipp, Ottmar V; Cronin, Sophie L; Alhadad, Sakinah S J; Luck, Camilla C

    2015-11-01

    Selective sensitization has been proposed as an alternative explanation for enhanced responding to animal fear-relevant stimuli--snakes and spiders--during extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning. The current study sought to replicate the phenomenon using a shock workup procedure as the sensitizing manipulation and to extend it to interpersonal and intergroup fear-relevant stimuli--angry faces and other-race faces. Assessment of selective sensitization was followed by a one-trial fear learning procedure. Selective sensitization, larger electrodermal responses to fear-relevant than to control stimuli after sensitization, or a larger increase in electrodermal responding to fear-relevant than to control stimuli after sensitization was observed across stimulus domains. However, the one-trial fear learning procedure failed to provide evidence for enhanced fear conditioning to fear-relevant stimuli. One-trial fear learning was either absent or present for fear-relevant and nonfear-relevant stimuli. The current study confirms that electrodermal responses to fear-relevant stimuli across stimulus domains are subject to selective sensitization. PMID:26283264

  7. Are anxiety and fear separable emotions in driving? A laboratory study of behavioural and physiological responses to different driving environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnard, M P; Chapman, P

    2016-01-01

    Research into anxiety and driving has indicated that those higher in anxiety are potentially more dangerous on the roads. However, simulator findings suggest that conclusions are mixed at best. It is possible that anxiety is becoming confused with fear, which has a focus on more clearly defined sources of threat from the environment, as opposed to the internal, thought-related process associated with anxiety. This research aimed to measure feelings of fear, as well as physiological and attentional reactions to increasing levels of accident risk. Trait anxiety was also measured to see if it interacted with levels of risk or its associated reactions. Participants watched videos of driving scenarios with varying levels of accident risk and had to rate how much fear they would feel if they were the driver of the car, whilst skin conductance, heart rate, and eye movements were recorded. Analysis of the data suggested that perceptions of fear increased with increasing levels of accident risk, and skin conductance reflected this pattern. Eye movements, when considered alongside reaction times, indicated different patterns of performance according to different dangerous situations. These effects were independent of trait anxiety, which was only associated with higher rates of disliking driving and use of maladaptive coping mechanisms on questionnaires. It is concluded that these results could provide useful evidence in support for training-based programmes; it may also be beneficial to study trait anxiety within a more immersive driving environment and on a larger scale. PMID:26536073

  8. Are anxiety and fear separable emotions in driving? A laboratory study of behavioural and physiological responses to different driving environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnard, M P; Chapman, P

    2016-01-01

    Research into anxiety and driving has indicated that those higher in anxiety are potentially more dangerous on the roads. However, simulator findings suggest that conclusions are mixed at best. It is possible that anxiety is becoming confused with fear, which has a focus on more clearly defined sources of threat from the environment, as opposed to the internal, thought-related process associated with anxiety. This research aimed to measure feelings of fear, as well as physiological and attentional reactions to increasing levels of accident risk. Trait anxiety was also measured to see if it interacted with levels of risk or its associated reactions. Participants watched videos of driving scenarios with varying levels of accident risk and had to rate how much fear they would feel if they were the driver of the car, whilst skin conductance, heart rate, and eye movements were recorded. Analysis of the data suggested that perceptions of fear increased with increasing levels of accident risk, and skin conductance reflected this pattern. Eye movements, when considered alongside reaction times, indicated different patterns of performance according to different dangerous situations. These effects were independent of trait anxiety, which was only associated with higher rates of disliking driving and use of maladaptive coping mechanisms on questionnaires. It is concluded that these results could provide useful evidence in support for training-based programmes; it may also be beneficial to study trait anxiety within a more immersive driving environment and on a larger scale.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Animal models of fear relapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goode, Travis D; Maren, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Whereas fear memories are rapidly acquired and enduring over time, extinction memories are slow to form and are susceptible to disruption. Consequently, behavioral therapies that involve extinction learning (e.g., exposure therapy) often produce only temporary suppression of fear and anxiety. This review focuses on the factors that are known to influence the relapse of extinguished fear. Several phenomena associated with the return of fear after extinction are discussed, including renewal, spontaneous recovery, reacquisition, and reinstatement. Additionally, this review describes recent work, which has focused on the role of psychological stress in the relapse of extinguished fear. Recent developments in behavioral and pharmacological research are examined in light of treatment of pathological fear in humans. PMID:25225304

  12. 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

    2016-04-01

    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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mareike Bayer; Werner Sommer; Annekathrin Schacht

    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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.H.B. Schuurs; J. Hoogstraten

    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, th

  15. Early Preferential Responses to Fear Stimuli in Human Right Dorsal Visual Stream - A Meg Study

    OpenAIRE

    Meeren, Hanneke K. M.; Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Ahlfors, Seppo P.; Hamalainen, Matti S.; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    Emotional expressions of others are salient biological stimuli that automatically capture attention and prepare us for action. We investigated the early cortical dynamics of automatic visual discrimination of fearful body expressions by monitoring cortical activity using magnetoencephalography. We show that right parietal cortex distinguishes between fearful and neutral bodies as early as 80-ms after stimulus onset, providing the first evidence for a fast emotion-attention-action link through...

  16. 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.

  17. Absence of evidence for increase in risk for autism or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder following antidepressant exposure during pregnancy: a replication study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, V M; Kong, S W; Clements, C C; Brady, R; Kaimal, A J; Doyle, A E; Robinson, E B; Churchill, S E; Kohane, I S; Perlis, R H

    2016-01-05

    Multiple studies have examined the risk of prenatal antidepressant exposure and risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with inconsistent results. Precisely estimating such risk, if any, is of great importance in light of the need to balance such risk with the benefit of depression and anxiety treatment. We developed a method to integrate data from multiple New England health systems, matching offspring and maternal health data in electronic health records to characterize diagnoses and medication exposure. Children with ASD or ADHD were matched 1:3 with children without neurodevelopmental disorders. Association between maternal antidepressant exposure and ASD or ADHD liability was examined using logistic regression, adjusting for potential sociodemographic and psychiatric confounding variables. In new cohorts of 1245 ASD cases and 1701 ADHD cases, along with age-, sex- and socioeconomic status matched controls, neither disorder was significantly associated with prenatal antidepressant exposure in crude or adjusted models (adjusted odds ratio 0.90, 95% confidence interval 0.50-1.54 for ASD; 0.97, 95% confidence interval 0.53-1.69 for ADHD). Pre-pregnancy antidepressant exposure significantly increased risk for both disorders. These results suggest that prior reports of association between prenatal antidepressant exposure and neurodevelopmental disease are likely to represent a false-positive finding, which may arise in part through confounding by indication. They further demonstrate the potential to integrate data across electronic health records studies spanning multiple health systems to enable efficient pharmacovigilance investigation.

  18. Absence of evidence for increase in risk for autism or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder following antidepressant exposure during pregnancy: a replication study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, V M; Kong, S W; Clements, C C; Brady, R; Kaimal, A J; Doyle, A E; Robinson, E B; Churchill, S E; Kohane, I S; Perlis, R H

    2016-01-01

    Multiple studies have examined the risk of prenatal antidepressant exposure and risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with inconsistent results. Precisely estimating such risk, if any, is of great importance in light of the need to balance such risk with the benefit of depression and anxiety treatment. We developed a method to integrate data from multiple New England health systems, matching offspring and maternal health data in electronic health records to characterize diagnoses and medication exposure. Children with ASD or ADHD were matched 1:3 with children without neurodevelopmental disorders. Association between maternal antidepressant exposure and ASD or ADHD liability was examined using logistic regression, adjusting for potential sociodemographic and psychiatric confounding variables. In new cohorts of 1245 ASD cases and 1701 ADHD cases, along with age-, sex- and socioeconomic status matched controls, neither disorder was significantly associated with prenatal antidepressant exposure in crude or adjusted models (adjusted odds ratio 0.90, 95% confidence interval 0.50−1.54 for ASD; 0.97, 95% confidence interval 0.53−1.69 for ADHD). Pre-pregnancy antidepressant exposure significantly increased risk for both disorders. These results suggest that prior reports of association between prenatal antidepressant exposure and neurodevelopmental disease are likely to represent a false-positive finding, which may arise in part through confounding by indication. They further demonstrate the potential to integrate data across electronic health records studies spanning multiple health systems to enable efficient pharmacovigilance investigation. PMID:26731445

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. Mice selectively bred for High and Low fear behavior show differences in the number of pMAPK (p44/42 ERK) expressing neurons in lateral amygdala following Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coyner, Jennifer; McGuire, Jennifer L; Parker, Clarissa C; Ursano, Robert J; Palmer, Abraham A; Johnson, Luke R

    2014-07-01

    Individual variability in the acquisition, consolidation and extinction of conditioned fear potentially contributes to the development of fear pathology including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Pavlovian fear conditioning is a key tool for the study of fundamental aspects of fear learning. Here, we used a selected mouse line of High and Low Pavlovian conditioned fear created from an advanced intercrossed line (AIL) in order to begin to identify the cellular basis of phenotypic divergence in Pavlovian fear conditioning. We investigated whether phosphorylated MAPK (p44/42 ERK/MAPK), a protein kinase required in the amygdala for the acquisition and consolidation of Pavlovian fear memory, is differentially expressed following Pavlovian fear learning in the High and Low fear lines. We found that following Pavlovian auditory fear conditioning, High and Low line mice differ in the number of pMAPK-expressing neurons in the dorsal sub nucleus of the lateral amygdala (LAd). In contrast, this difference was not detected in the ventral medial (LAvm) or ventral lateral (LAvl) amygdala sub nuclei or in control animals. We propose that this apparent increase in plasticity at a known locus of fear memory acquisition and consolidation relates to intrinsic differences between the two fear phenotypes. These data provide important insights into the micronetwork mechanisms encoding phenotypic differences in fear. Understanding the circuit level cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie individual variability in fear learning is critical for the development of effective treatment of fear-related illnesses such as PTSD.

  2. 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.

  3. Sociological Predictors of Fear of Crime: Is It Social Capital or Social Control?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Önder KARAKUŞ

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Sociological predictors of fear of crime among a clustered sample of 1800 participants residing in 60 different neighborhoods in İstanbul have been examined in this study. Bivariate and multivariate analyses indicate that women, elderly and those who have been victimized in the last five years havehigher rates of fear than males, younger people and those who were not victimized in the last five years respectively. Among sociological factors, while social capital decreases individuals’ fear of crime; unexpectedly, social control increases fear of crime. Perceived physical and social disorder in the neighborhood, on the other hand, increases fear of crime. Based on a comparative investigation of the relationships among fear,social capital, and social control with Western countries, thisstudy also presents policy implications and suggestions for future studies aimed at decreasing fear of crime and increasing social organization and social control in Turkish society.

  4. 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. PMID:26377307

  5. Revealed Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Masatlioglu, Yusufcan; NAKAJIMA, Daisuke; Ozbay, Erkut Y

    2012-01-01

    The standard revealed preference argument relies on an implicit assumption that a decision maker considers all feasible alternatives. The marketing and psychology literatures, however, provide wellestablished evidence that consumers do not consider all brands in a given market before making a purchase (Limited Attention). In this paper, we illustrate how one can deduce both the decision maker's preference and the alternatives to which she pays attention and inattention from the observed behav...

  6. Revealed Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Yusufcan Masatlioglu; Daisuke Nakajima; Ozbay, Erkut Y

    2012-01-01

    The standard revealed preference argument relies on an implicit assumption that a decision maker considers all feasible alternatives. The marketing and psychology literatures, however, provide well-established evidence that consumers do not consider all brands in a given market before making a purchase (Limited Attention). In this paper, we illustrate how one can deduce both the decision maker's preference and the alternatives to which she pays attention and inattention from the observed beha...

  7. 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.

  8. Panic-like defensive behavior but not fear-induced antinociception is differently organized by dorsomedial and posterior hypothalamic nuclei of Rattus norvegicus (Rodentia, Muridae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biagioni, A.F.; Silva, J.A.; Coimbra, N.C.

    2012-01-01

    The hypothalamus is a forebrain structure critically involved in the organization of defensive responses to aversive stimuli. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic 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 GABAA 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 GABAA receptors. Fear-induced defensive behavior organized by the posterior hypothalamus was more intense than that organized by dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei. Escape behavior elicited by GABAA 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. PMID:22437484

  9. Shared Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shteynberg, Garriy

    2015-09-01

    Shared attention is extremely common. In stadiums, public squares, and private living rooms, people attend to the world with others. Humans do so across all sensory modalities-sharing the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and textures of everyday life with one another. The potential for attending with others has grown considerably with the emergence of mass media technologies, which allow for the sharing of attention in the absence of physical co-presence. In the last several years, studies have begun to outline the conditions under which attending together is consequential for human memory, motivation, judgment, emotion, and behavior. Here, I advance a psychological theory of shared attention, defining its properties as a mental state and outlining its cognitive, affective, and behavioral consequences. I review empirical findings that are uniquely predicted by shared-attention theory and discuss the possibility of integrating shared-attention, social-facilitation, and social-loafing perspectives. Finally, I reflect on what shared-attention theory implies for living in the digital world. PMID:26385997

  10. Lifelong disturbance of serotonin transporter functioning results in fear learning deficits: Reversal by blockade of CRF1 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bijlsma, Elisabeth Y; Hendriksen, Hendrikus; Baas, Johanna M P; Millan, Mark J; Groenink, Lucianne

    2015-10-01

    The inability to associate aversive events with relevant cues (i.e. fear learning) may lead to maladaptive anxiety. To further study the role of the serotonin transporter (SERT) in fear learning, classical fear conditioning was studied in SERT knockout rats (SERT(-/-)) using fear potentiation of the startle reflex. Next, fear acquisition and concomitant development of contextual conditioned fear were monitored during training. To differentiate between developmental and direct effects of reduced SERT functioning, effects of acute and chronic SSRI treatment were studied in adult rats. Considering the known interactions between serotonin and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), we studied the effect of the CRFR1 antagonist CP154,526 on behavioral changes observed and determined CRF1 receptor levels in SERT(-/-) rats. SERT(-/-) showed blunted fear potentiation and enhanced contextual fear, which resulted from a deficit in fear acquisition. Paroxetine treatment did not affect acquisition or expression of fear-potentiated startle, suggesting that disturbed fear learning in SERT(-/-) results from developmental changes and not from reduced SERT functioning. Although CRF1 receptor levels did not differ significantly between genotypes, CP154,526 treatment normalized both cue- and contextual fear in SERT(-/-) during acquisition, but not expression of fear-potentiated startle. The disrupted fear acquisition and concomitant increase in contextual conditioned fear-potentiated startle fear in SERT(-/-) resembles the associative learning deficit seen in patients with panic disorder and suggests that normal SERT functioning is crucial for the development of an adequate fear neuro-circuitry. Moreover, the normalization of fear acquisition by CP154,526 suggests a role for central CRF signaling in the generalization of fear.

  11. Victims' Responses to Stalking: An Examination of Fear Levels and Coping Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podaná, Zuzana; Imríšková, Romana

    2016-03-01

    Fear for the stalking victim's own safety or the safety of people close to them is of primary research interest due to the fact that fear is often required as a necessary condition for repetitive intrusive behavior to be defined as stalking. This study examines factors that increase levels of fear in stalking victims and analyzes their coping strategies, making use of data from a victimization survey among citizens of the Czech Republic (N = 2,503). Overall, 147 stalking victims were identified in the sample. Results show that female victims, those stalked by male offenders, and victims pursued over a long period of time, are most fearful. Higher levels of fear are elicited by strangers as opposed to partners or acquaintances. Among stalking practices, only direct aggression is significantly associated with fear, whereas monitoring the victim (comprising typical stalking behavior such as following the victim) increases the perception of the seriousness of stalking, but does not influence the victim's fear. In addition, three behavioral coping strategies have been identified: proactive behavior (47% of victims), avoidance (30%), and passivity (23%). The examination of the association between these coping strategies and victims' fear reveals that female victims, whose behavior is proactive, express higher levels of fear than male victims and than those choosing avoidance or passivity strategies. Overall, the study confirms gender differences in both the level of fear and coping strategies, and lends further support to appeals for eliminating the fear requirement from the stalking definition. PMID:25392391

  12. 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.…

  13. 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.

  14. Study to develop educational products about the fear of new energy technologies. Phase II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  15. 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.

  16. [Pain and fear in animals].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeffler, K

    1993-02-01

    Pain and fear are feelings of reluctance, which result in a behaviour of avoidance. They are protective mechanisms and are only partly approachable to the quantification with natural scientific methods. It will pointed to the central role of the diencephalon, limbic system and the cerebral cortex concerning the processing and valuation of mental state. The recognition of clinical symptoms and precise behavioural observations are an essential aid to assess the state of pain and fear in animals.

  17. Commentary about fear of movement

    OpenAIRE

    K. Meyer

    2010-01-01

    Chronic pain influences many aspects of a patient’s life and often results in physical disability. There are many concepts to explain this condition of disability. For example, several psychological variables like coping with pain, depression, hypervigilance, catastrophizing and fear avoidance are considered in literature to play an important role. In Vlaeyen’s model of fear avoidance, he proposes that in a first step negative affectivity and threatening illness information could trigger the ...

  18. 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 us

  19. Amygdala upregulation of NCAM polysialylation induced by auditory fear conditioning is not required for memory formation, but plays a role in fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markram, Kamila; Lopez Fernandez, Miguel Angel; Abrous, Djoher Nora; Sandi, Carmen

    2007-05-01

    There is much interest to understand the mechanisms leading to the establishment, maintenance, and extinction of fear memories. The amygdala has been critically involved in the processing of fear memories and a number of molecular changes have been implicated in this brain region in relation to fear learning. Although neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAMs) have been hypothesized to play a role, information available about their contribution to fear memories is scarce. We investigate here whether polysialylated NCAM (PSA-NCAM) contributes to auditory fear conditioning in the amygdala. First, PSA-NCAM expression was evaluated in different amygdala nuclei after auditory fear conditioning at two different shock intensities. Results showed that PSA-NCAM expression was increased 24 h post-training only in animals subjected to the highest shock intensity (1mA). Second, PSA-NCAM was cleaved in the basolateral amygdaloid complex through micro-infusions of the enzyme endoneuraminidase N, and the consequences of such treatment were investigated on the acquisition, consolidation, remote memory expression, and extinction of conditioned fear memories. Intra-amygdaloid cleavage of PSA-NCAM did not affect acquisition, consolidation or expression of remote fear memories. However, intra-amygdaloid PSA-NCAM cleavage enhanced fear extinction processes. These results suggest that upregulation of PSA-NCAM is a correlate of fear conditioning that is not necessary for the establishment of fear memory in the amygdala, but participates in mechanisms precluding fear extinction. These findings point out PSA-NCAM as a potential target for the treatment of psychopathologies that involve impairment in fear extinction.

  20. Teens’ Attention to Crime and Emergency Programs on Television as a Predictor and Mediator of Increased Risk Perceptions Regarding Alcohol-Related Injuries

    OpenAIRE

    Slater, Michael D.; Jain, Parul

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the hypotheses that media exposure and attention would predict, and partially mediate, the effects of various individual-difference variables on alcohol-related risk perceptions among teen viewers of crime and emergency (e.g. medical drama) shows on television. Risk perceptions including perceived severity, perceived alcohol-attributable fraction of incidents involving alcohol, controllability, and concern regarding alcohol-related crime, assaults, and other injuries were ...

  1. The relationship between fear of social and physical threat and its effect on social distress and physical pain perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riva, Paolo; Williams, Kipling D; Gallucci, Marcello

    2014-03-01

    Past research has found that measuring individuals' fear of pain predicts their physical pain perceptions: those reporting higher levels of fear of pain report higher levels of pain. We investigated links between fear of social threat and fear of physical pain, testing whether these fears predict responses to social distress and physical pain. In 3 studies, we found that fear of social and physical threat were related yet distinct psychological constructs (study 1), that fear of social (but not physical) threat predicted the perception of social distress (study 2), and that fear of physical (but not social) pain predicted the perception of physical pain (study 3). Thus, we found that, similar to the influence of fear of physical pain on physical pain perception, fear of social threat moderated the perception of social distress. However, we also found that these effects were specific, such that each type of fear uniquely predicted the experience of the same type of distress. We argue that timely identification of high levels of social threat-related fear is critical for identifying individuals who will benefit most from preventative interventions aimed to limit negative cycles of high avoidance and increased social threat perception. Furthermore, our work sets a boundary condition to pain overlap theory by showing that high levels of fear of one type of pain (e.g., social) are specifically linked to increased perception of that particular type of pain (e.g., social) but not the other (e.g., physical).

  2. Terrorism, suicide bombing, fear and mental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Ian

    2007-06-01

    This paper is based on the Bruce Burns Memorial Trust Lecture, Terrorism and Mental Health, presented in October 2005, in Birmingham. In addition to written sources, it is informed by the author's experience and contact with military and police experts in this arena over 28 years as a member of the British Army. The diagnosis and treatment of post traumatic mental disorders are not addressed in this paper. The author explores the general phenomenon of terrorism, in an endeavour to inform understanding of terrorist acts. He stresses the need for contextualisation of acts of terror, their perpetrators, their effects on populations and individuals, and attention to the psychology of groups. The author aims to invite and inform further thought and debate on the subject by raising a wide range of issues which do not sit comfortably within a strict psychiatric, research-based paradigm. The author covers a brief history of terrorism; organisational requirements of terror groups and the process of recruiting personnel to them; the means, motives and opportunities terrorists exploit in their work; the need for communication with terror groups; sacrificial death; governmental responses to terrorist acts and fear and mental health. The author proposes that terrorist organisations perform some of the functions of a family; that acts of terror are 'propaganda by deed'; that terrorism, or more precisely the media's treatment of it, breeds 'formless fears' which may directly lead to the development of fear-based symptoms and illness within societies. He notes that terrorism is an enterprise from which many players ('experts', media, politicians, etc.) benefit; that terrorism has its shadow in counter-terrorism, which may range from benign to malignant and that psychiatry could, in this context, acknowledge its bias towards individual psychologies and rectify its lack of understanding of groups and the behaviours of individuals within them.

  3. Updated meta-analysis of classical fear conditioning in the anxiety disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duits, Puck; Cath, Danielle C; Lissek, Shmuel; Hox, Joop J; Hamm, Alfons O; Engelhard, Iris M; van den Hout, Marcel A; Baas, Joke M P

    2015-04-01

    The aim of the current study was twofold: (1) to systematically examine differences in fear conditioning between anxiety patients and healthy controls using meta-analytic methods, and (2) to examine the extent to which study characteristics may account for the variability in findings across studies. Forty-four studies (published between 1920 and 2013) with data on 963 anxiety disordered patients and 1,222 control subjects were obtained through PubMed and PsycINFO, as well as from a previous meta-analysis on fear conditioning (Lissek et al.). Results demonstrated robustly increased fear responses to conditioned safety cues (CS-) in anxiety patients compared to controls during acquisition. This effect may represent an impaired ability to inhibit fear in the presence of safety cues (CS-) and/or may signify an increased tendency in anxiety disordered patients to generalize fear responses to safe stimuli resembling the conditioned danger cue (CS+). In contrast, during extinction, patients show stronger fear responses to the CS+ and a trend toward increased discrimination learning (differentiation between the CS+ and CS-) compared to controls, indicating delayed and/or reduced extinction of fear in anxiety patients. Finally, none of the included study characteristics, such as the type of fear measure (subjective vs. psychophysiological index of fear), could account significantly for the variance in effect sizes across studies. Further research is needed to investigate the predictive value of fear extinction on treatment outcome, as extinction processes are thought to underlie the beneficial effects of exposure treatment in anxiety disorders.

  4. Attention Sensor

    OpenAIRE

    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 using the Processing 1.5.1 development environment and the open source computer vision library OpenCV for Processing. Available under the GNU LGPL licence version 3 or higher.

  5. Psychosis and violence: stories, fears, and reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Pamela J

    2008-10-01

    Individuals with psychosis are often feared. In fact, they are themselves likely to be victims of violence; however, the main aim of this review is to provide an overview of the evidence on relations between psychosis and violence to others. The terms psychosis and violence were used in a literature search limited to the Cochrane Library and PubMed, a manual search of 8 journals, and a follow-up of additional references in the articles found. The overview draws on new empirical data and major reviews. Almost all sound epidemiologic data on psychosis and violence dates from 1990. There is consistency on a small but significant relation between schizophrenia and violent acts. Since then there has also been movement toward understanding the nature of associations and progress on strategies for managing individuals who have psychosis and are violent. Public fears about individuals with psychotic illnesses are largely unfounded, although there would be benefit in greater attention to the safety of those in their close social circle. The task for the next 10 years must be the development and application of knowledge to improve specific treatments-that is, interventions that go beyond holding and caring to bring about substantial change.

  6. Fear and its implications for stock markets

    CERN Document Server

    Simonsen, I; Jensen, M H; Donangelo, R; Sneppen, K; Simonsen, Ingve; Ahlgren, Peter Toke Heden; Jensen, Mogens H.; Donangelo, Raul; Sneppen, Kim

    2006-01-01

    The value of stocks indices, and other assets, are examples of stochastic processes that drop and raise in unpredictable ways. In this paper, we discuss certain asymmetries in short term price movements that can not be attributed to a long term increasing trend. These empirical asymmetries predict that price drops in stock indices on a relatively short time scale are more common than the corresponding price raises, and we present several empirical examples of such asymmetries. Furthermore, a simple model is introduced with the aim of explaining these facts. The prime idea is to introduce occasional, short periods of dropping stock prices that are synchronized for all stocks of the index. These collective negative price movements are imagined to be triggered by external factors in our society that create fear for the future among the investors. In the model this is parameterized by a ``fear factor'' defining how often such events take place. It is demonstrated that such a simple fear factor model can reproduce...

  7. Early adversity disrupts the adult use of aversive prediction errors to reduce fear in uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina M Wright

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Early life adversity increases anxiety in adult rodents and primates, and increases the risk for developing post-traumatic disorder (PTSD in humans. We hypothesized that early adversity impairs the use of learning signals – negative, aversive prediction errors – to reduce fear in uncertainty. To test this hypothesis, we gave adolescent rats a battery of adverse experiences then assessed adult performance in probabilistic Pavlovian fear conditioning and fear extinction. Rats were confronted with three cues associated with different probabilities of foot shock: one cue never predicted shock, another cue predicted shock with uncertainty, and a final cue always predicted shock. Control rats initially acquired fear to all cues, but rapidly reduced fear to the non-predictive and uncertain cues. Early adversity rats were slower to reduce fear to the non-predictive cue and never fully reduced fear to the uncertain cue. In extinction, all cues were presented in the absence of shock. Fear to the uncertain cue in discrimination, but not early adversity itself, predicted the reduction of fear in extinction. These results demonstrate early adversity impairs the use of negative, aversive prediction errors to reduce fear, especially in situations of uncertainty.

  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. Neural correlates of individual differences in fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamara, Annmarie; Rabinak, Christine A; Fitzgerald, Daniel A; Zhou, Xiaohong Joe; Shankman, Stewart A; Milad, Mohammed R; Phan, K Luan

    2015-01-01

    Variability in fear conditionability is common, and clarity regarding the neural regions responsible for individual differences in fear conditionability could uncover brain-based biomarkers of resilience or vulnerability to trauma-based psychopathologies (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder). In recent years, neuroimaging work has yielded a detailed understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying fear conditioning common across participants, however only a minority of studies have investigated the brain basis of inter-individual variation in fear learning. Moreover, the majority of these studies have employed small sample sizes (mean n=17; range n=5-27) and all have failed to meet the minimum recommended sample size for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of individual differences. Here, using fMRI, we analyzed blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response recorded simultaneously with skin conductance response (SCR) and ratings of unconditioned stimulus (US) expectancy in 49 participants undergoing Pavlovian fear conditioning. On average, participants became conditioned to the conditioned stimulus (CS+; higher US expectancy ratings and SCR for the CS+ compared to the unpaired conditioned stimulus, CS-); the CS+ also robustly increased activation in the bilateral insula. Amygdala activation was revealed from a regression analysis that incorporated individual differences in fear conditionability (i.e., a between-subjects regressor of mean CS+>CS- SCR). By replicating results observed using much smaller sample sizes, the results confirm that variation in amygdala reactivity covaries with individual differences in fear conditionability. The link between behavior (SCR) and brain (amygdala reactivity) may be a putative endophenotype for the acquisition of fear memories. PMID:25819422

  10. 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.

  11. Memory-emotional interactions as revealed by fear generalization in animal-fearful individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Bruno; Schlimm, Mike; Hermann, Christiane

    2005-06-01

    Discriminative fear learning and fear generalization were examined in animal-fearful individuals and in control participants. Electrical shocks were administered contingent upon discriminative pictures of spiders or snakes, respectively, in a generalization-after-discrimination paradigm. Neither discriminative fear learning nor extinction was affected by the individual fear status of the animal categories. Novel feared stimuli, which resembled discriminative stimuli, were treated as more shock predictive than novel non-feared stimuli during generalization testing. Neither preparedness theory nor selective sensitization theory was capable to account for these observations. The findings are commensurable with the hypothesis that phobic fear interferes with the retrieval of memory traces. PMID:15814082

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Acute and chronic effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment on fear conditioning: implications for underlying fear circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burghardt, N S; Bauer, E P

    2013-09-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used for the treatment of a spectrum of anxiety disorders, yet paradoxically they may increase symptoms of anxiety when treatment is first initiated. Despite extensive research over the past 30 years focused on SSRI treatment, the precise mechanisms by which SSRIs exert these opposing acute and chronic effects on anxiety remain unknown. By testing the behavioral effects of SSRI treatment on Pavlovian fear conditioning, a well characterized model of emotional learning, we have the opportunity to identify how SSRIs affect the functioning of specific brain regions, including the amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and hippocampus. In this review, we first define different stages of learning involved in cued and context fear conditioning and describe the neural circuits underlying these processes. We examine the results of numerous rodent studies investigating how acute SSRI treatment modulates fear learning and relate these effects to the known functions of serotonin in specific brain regions. With these findings, we propose a model by which acute SSRI administration, by altering neural activity in the extended amygdala and hippocampus, enhances both acquisition and expression of cued fear conditioning, but impairs the expression of contextual fear conditioning. Finally, we review the literature examining the effects of chronic SSRI treatment on fear conditioning in rodents and describe how downregulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the amygdala and hippocampus may mediate the impairments in fear learning and memory that are reported. While long-term SSRI treatment effectively reduces symptoms of anxiety, their disruptive effects on fear learning should be kept in mind when combining chronic SSRI treatment and learning-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

  15. 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.

  16. Fear of crime: Methodological considerations and results from a biannual survey in the city of Oporto

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celina Manita

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This article presents the main results of a biannual inquiry on fear of crime in the city of Oporto (Portugal. Given the ongoing controversy on fear of crime measurement, we developed an instrument that: (a differentiates between fear, risk and perceived seriousness of crime, (b includes multiple levels of measurement, both general and specific, and (c provides multiple measures of fear. Data were also collected on contextual clues that increase judgments of risk, defensive measures adopted by subjects and fear narratives. This instrument was first applied in 1997, to a sample of 467 subjects and again in 1999, to a sample of 500 subjects. Both studies evidence a high level of fear from crime in the population of Oporto, accompanied by a global perception of raising crime rates. Consistent with these high fear results, subjects resort to several defensive measures, mostly of an avoiding nature. Women and lower class subjects tend to report higher fear levels. Despite these global findings, fear levels (both general and between age groups vary substantially according to the different measures used, providing a more complex analysis of the pattern of results usually found in fear of crime research.

  17. Differential roles of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in predator odor contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Melissa E; Fraize, Nicolas P; Yin, Linda; Yuan, Robin K; Petsagourakis, Despina; Wann, Ellen G; Muzzio, Isabel A

    2013-06-01

    The study of fear memory is important for understanding various anxiety disorders in which patients experience persistent recollections of traumatic events. These memories often involve associations of contextual cues with aversive events; consequently, Pavlovian classical conditioning is commonly used to study contextual fear learning. The use of predator odor as a fearful stimulus in contextual fear conditioning has become increasingly important as an animal model of anxiety disorders. Innate fear responses to predator odors are well characterized and reliable; however, attempts to use these odors as unconditioned stimuli in fear conditioning paradigms have proven inconsistent. Here we characterize a contextual fear conditioning paradigm using coyote urine as the unconditioned stimulus. We found that contextual conditioning induced by exposure to coyote urine produces long-term freezing, a stereotypic response to fear observed in mice. This paradigm is context-specific and parallels shock-induced contextual conditioning in that it is responsive to extinction training and manipulations of predator odor intensity. Region-specific lesions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus indicate that both areas are independently required for the long-term expression of learned fear. These results in conjunction with c-fos immunostaining data suggest that while both the dorsal and ventral hippocampus are required for forming a contextual representation, the ventral region also modulates defensive behaviors associated with predators. This study provides information about the individual contributions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus to ethologically relevant fear learning.

  18. Is that fear? Domestic dogs' use of social referencing signals from an unfamiliar person.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, Min Hooi; Ruffman, Ted

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether dogs could successfully interpret a 'social referencing' cue (either happiness or fear) toward an object after viewing a human emotional expression. Fearful expressions are more likely to be unfamiliar to dogs, and thus they may not understand the meaning of such expressions. When confused, dogs could avoid contact with an object as in Merola et al. (2012, 2011). The present study compared an experimenter's fearful or happy response when an ambiguous object appeared with a control condition (experimenter was confusing). We examined 114 dogs in one of three conditions; happiness, fearful and the control. We found that dogs were more attentive to the experimenter when she displayed the fearful and control expressions compared to when happy, with no difference between the control and fear conditions. When left alone with the toy, they showed a similar pattern--more interest in the toy in both the fearful and control conditions. Our findings suggest that dogs may not understand the cues in the fearful and control conditions and instead respond with a possible attempt to gain more information from the experimenter.

  19. The functional activity and effective connectivity of pulvinar are modulated by individual differences in threat-related attentional bias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakamata, Yuko; Sato, Eisuke; Komi, Shotaro; Moriguchi, Yoshiya; Izawa, Shuhei; Murayama, Norio; Hanakawa, Takashi; Inoue, Yusuke; Tagaya, Hirokuni

    2016-01-01

    The pulvinar is important in selective attention, particularly to visual stimuli under the focus of attention. However, the pulvinar is assumed to process emotional stimuli even outside the focus of attention, because of its tight connection with the amygdala. We therefore investigated how unattended emotional stimuli affect the pulvinar and its effective connectivity (EC) while considering individual differences in selective attention. fMRI in 41 healthy human subjects revealed that the amygdala, but not the pulvinar, more strongly responded to unattended fearful faces than to unattended neutral faces (UF > UN), although we observed greater EC from the pulvinar to the amygdala. Interestingly, individuals with biased attention toward threat (i.e., attentional bias) showed significantly increased activity (UF > UN) and reduced grey matter volume in the pulvinar. These individuals also exhibited stronger EC from the pulvinar to the attention-related frontoparietal network (FPN), whereas individuals with greater attentional control showed more enhanced EC from the pulvinar to the amygdala, but not the FPN (UF > UN). The pulvinar may filter unattended emotional stimuli whose sensitivity depends on individual threat-related attentional bias. The connectivity patterns of the pulvinar may thus be determined based on individual differences in threat-related attentional bias and attentional control. PMID:27703252

  20. Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to Rosbacher drive® and increased attention pursuant to Article 13(5 of Regulation (EC No 1924/2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Following an application from Hassia Mineralquellen GmbH & Co KG, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5 of Regulation (EC No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Germany, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to Rosbacher drive® and increased attention. The Panel considers that Rosbacher drive®, which contains natural mineral water plus grape juice, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, elderberry juice, isomaltulose, sucrose, fructose syrup, caffeine, ascorbic acid and natural flavourings, is sufficiently characterised. The claimed effect, increased attention, is a beneficial physiological effect. The single study which was carried out with Rosbacher drive® was an open-label, non-randomised sequential study and the study did not report on any outcomes of attention. No conclusions can be drawn from this study for the scientific substantiation of the claim. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of Rosbacher drive® and increased attention.

  1. The Fear of Art and the Art of Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, Stephanie A.

    2012-01-01

    Prospective teachers often walk into my course, Arts in the Elementary Classroom, carrying a guarded consciousness that constrains unencumbered artistic exploration. My responsibility as their instructor is to question mantras that reflect insecurity in process and make pedagogical use of their fears. Through studying the nature of these fears…

  2. Fear Not: Neurobiological Mechanisms of Fear and Anxiety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klumpers, F.

    2012-01-01

    Fear is a common, core emotion. Moreover, anxiety disorders are among the most common form of psychiatric disease. In this thesis neuroimaging, genetic, pharmacological, brain stimulation and behavioral techniques were used in healthy subjects and specific patient populations to shed more light on t

  3. Fear of blushing : fearful preoccupation irrespective of facial coloration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulkens, S; de Jong, Peter; Dobbelaar, A; Bogels, SM

    1999-01-01

    Women, with high (n = 29) and low (n = 28) fear of blushing, were exposed to a mild social stressor (watching a television test card in the presence of two male confederates) and to an intense social stressor (watching their own prerecorded 'sing' video, in the presence of two male confederates). Fa

  4. Elites and Panic: More to Fear than Fear Itself

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Lee; Chess, Caron

    2008-01-01

    Attributions of panic are almost exclusively directed at members of the general public. Here, we inquire into the relationships between elites and panic. We review current research and theorizing about panic, including problems of identifying when it has occurred. We propose three relationships: elites fearing panic, elites causing panic and…

  5. 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.

  6. Blindness Biggest Fear for Many Americans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160254.html Blindness Biggest Fear for Many Americans Losing vision would ... 4, 2016 THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Blindness is what many Americans fear most, a new ...

  7. 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. PMID:17638468

  8. Fear at the Great Wall

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHARLOTTE; SPIRES

    2011-01-01

    "i’m not going on anything that takes me more than two feet off the ground," Grace was saying.This was classic Grace: She has a morbid fear of—well, everything actually,but in this particular case it was her phobia of heights, heights and cable cars combined specifically.

  9. Fear at the Great Wall

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHARLOTTE SPIRES

    2011-01-01

    “I’m not going on anything that takes me more than two feet off the ground," Grace was saying.This was classic Grace:She has a morbid fear of-well,everything actually,but in this particular case it was her phobia of heights,heights and cable cars combined specifically.

  10. When the mind forms fear: embodied fear knowledge potentiates bodily reactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Oosterwijk; M. Topper; M. Rotteveel; A.H. Fischer

    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 startl

  11. Placing prediction into the fear circuit

    OpenAIRE

    McNally, Gavan P.; Johansen, Joshua P.; Blair, Hugh T.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning depends on synaptic plasticity at amygdala neurons. Here we review recent electrophysiological, molecular, and behavioral evidence suggesting the existence of a distributed neural circuitry regulating amygdala synaptic plasticity during fear learning. This circuitry, which involves projections from the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) region, can be linked to prediction error and expectation modulation of fear learning as described by associative and computationa...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... fears that stem from childhood experiences. An adult's fear of public speaking may be the result of embarrassment in front of peers many years before. It's important for parents to recognize and identify the signs and symptoms of kids' anxieties so that fears don't get in the way of everyday ...

  13. Race Guides Attention in Visual Search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otten, Marte

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26900957

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    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......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...

  16. Gaze Behaviors of Preterm and Full-Term Infants in Nonsocial and Social Contexts of Increasing Dynamics: Visual Recognition, Attention Regulation, and Gaze Synchrony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harel, Hagar; Gordon, Ilanit; Geva, Ronny; Feldman, Ruth

    2011-01-01

    Although research has demonstrated poor visual skills in premature infants, few studies assessed infants' gaze behaviors across several domains of functioning in a single study. Thirty premature and 30 full-term 3-month-old infants were tested in three social and nonsocial tasks of increasing complexity and their gaze behavior was micro-coded. In…

  17. 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

    2016-05-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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,…

  20. Worrying Affects Associative Fear Learning: A Startle Fear Conditioning Study

    OpenAIRE

    Gazendam, F.J.; Kindt, M

    2012-01-01

    A valuable experimental model for the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders is that they originate from a learned association between an intrinsically non-aversive event (Conditioned Stimulus, CS) and an anticipated disaster (Unconditioned Stimulus, UCS). Most anxiety disorders, however, do not evolve from a traumatic experience. Insights from neuroscience show that memory can be modified post-learning, which may elucidate how pathological fear can develop after relatively mild aversive events. W...

  1. 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.

  2. Dental Fear among Medical and Dental Undergraduates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Hakim

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To assess the prevalence and level of dental fear among health related undergraduates and to identify factors causing such fear using Kleinknecht’s Dental Fear Survey (DFS questionnaire. Methods. Kleinknecht’s DFS questionnaire was used to assess dental fear and anxiety among the entire enrollment of the medical and dental undergraduates’ of the University of Malaya. Results. Overall response rate was 82.2%. Dental students reported higher prevalence of dental fear (96.0% versus 90.4%. However, most of the fear encountered among dental students was in the low fear category as compared to their medical counterpart (69.2 versus 51.2%. Significantly more medical students cancelled dental appointment due to fear compared to dental students (P=0.004. “Heart beats faster” and “muscle being tensed” were the top two physiological responses experienced by the respondents. “Drill” and “anesthetic needle” were the most fear provoking objects among respondents of both faculties. Conclusion. Dental fear and anxiety are a common problem encountered among medical and dental undergraduates who represent future health care professionals. Also, high level of dental fear and anxiety leads to the avoidance of the dental services.

  3. 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…

  4. Gut vagal afferents differentially modulate innate anxiety and learned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarer, Melanie; Arnold, Myrtha; Günther, Lydia; Winter, Christine; Langhans, Wolfgang; Meyer, Urs

    2014-05-21

    Vagal afferents are an important neuronal component of the gut-brain axis allowing bottom-up information flow from the viscera to the CNS. In addition to its role in ingestive behavior, vagal afferent signaling has been implicated modulating mood and affect, including distinct forms of anxiety and fear. Here, we used a rat model of subdiaphragmatic vagal deafferentation (SDA), the most complete and selective vagal deafferentation method existing to date, to study the consequences of complete disconnection of abdominal vagal afferents on innate anxiety, conditioned fear, and neurochemical parameters in the limbic system. We found that compared with Sham controls, SDA rats consistently displayed reduced innate anxiety-like behavior in three procedures commonly used in preclinical rodent models of anxiety, namely the elevated plus maze test, open field test, and food neophobia test. On the other hand, SDA rats exhibited increased expression of auditory-cued fear conditioning, which specifically emerged as attenuated extinction of conditioned fear during the tone re-exposure test. The behavioral manifestations in SDA rats were associated with region-dependent changes in noradrenaline and GABA levels in key areas of the limbic system, but not with functional alterations in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal grand stress. Our study demonstrates that innate anxiety and learned fear are both subjected to visceral modulation through abdominal vagal afferents, possibly via changing limbic neurotransmitter systems. These data add further weight to theories emphasizing an important role of afferent visceral signals in the regulation of emotional behavior.

  5. Appetitive-aversive interactions in Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasser, Helen M; McNally, Gavan P

    2012-06-01

    The existence of value coding and salience coding neurons in the mammalian brain, including in habenula and ventral tegmental area, has sparked considerable interest in the interactions that occur between Pavlovian appetitive and aversive conditioning. Here we studied these appetitive-aversive interactions at the behavioral level by assessing the learning that occurs when a Pavlovian appetitive conditioned stimulus (conditional stimulus, CS) serves as a CS for shock in Pavlovian fear conditioning. A Pavlovian appetitive CS was retarded in the rate at which it could be transformed into a fear CS (counterconditioning), but the presence of the appetitive CS augmented fear learning to a concurrently presented neutral CS (superconditioning). Retardation of fear learning was not alleviated by manipulations designed to restore the associability of the appetitive CS before fear conditioning but was alleviated by manipulations designed to increase the aversive quality of the shock unconditioned stimulus (US). These findings are consistent with opponent interactions between the appetitive and aversive motivational systems and provide a behavioral approach for assessing the neural correlates of these appetitive-aversive interactions.

  6. 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. PMID:27061248

  7. 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...

  8. Voluntary exercise during extinction of auditory fear conditioning reduces the relapse of fear associated with potentiated activity of striatal direct pathway neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mika, Agnieszka; Bouchet, Courtney A; Bunker, Preston; Hellwinkel, Justin E; Spence, Katie G; Day, Heidi E W; Campeau, Serge; Fleshner, Monika; Greenwood, Benjamin N

    2015-11-01

    Relapse of previously extinguished fear presents a significant, pervasive obstacle to the successful long-term treatment of anxiety and trauma-related disorders. Thus, identification of a novel means to enhance fear extinction to stand the passage of time and generalize across contexts is of the utmost importance. Acute bouts of exercise can be used as inexpensive, noninvasive treatment strategies to reduce anxiety, and have been shown to enhance memory for extinction when performed in close temporal proximity to the extinction session. However, it is unclear whether acute exercise can be used to prevent relapse of fear, and the neural mechanisms underlying this potential effect are unknown. The current study therefore examined whether acute exercise during extinction of auditory fear can protect against the later relapse of fear. Male F344 rats lacking an extended history of wheel running were conditioned to fear a tone CS and subsequently extinguished within either a freely mobile running wheel, a locked wheel, or a control context lacking a wheel. Rats exposed to fear extinction within a freely mobile wheel ran during fear extinction, and demonstrated reduced fear as well as attenuated corticosterone levels during re-exposure to the extinguished CS during the relapse test in a novel context 1week later. Examination of cfos mRNA patterns elicited by re-exposure to the extinguished CS during the relapse test revealed that acute exercise during extinction decreased activation of brain circuits classically involved in driving fear expression and interestingly, increased activity within neurons of the direct striatal pathway involved in reward signaling. These data suggest that exercise during extinction reduces relapse through a mechanism involving the direct pathway of the striatum. It is suggested that a positive affective state could become associated with the CS during exercise during extinction, thus resulting in a relapse-resistant extinction memory.

  9. Voluntary exercise during extinction of auditory fear conditioning reduces the relapse of fear associated with potentiated activity of striatal direct pathway neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mika, Agnieszka; Bouchet, Courtney A; Bunker, Preston; Hellwinkel, Justin E; Spence, Katie G; Day, Heidi E W; Campeau, Serge; Fleshner, Monika; Greenwood, Benjamin N

    2015-11-01

    Relapse of previously extinguished fear presents a significant, pervasive obstacle to the successful long-term treatment of anxiety and trauma-related disorders. Thus, identification of a novel means to enhance fear extinction to stand the passage of time and generalize across contexts is of the utmost importance. Acute bouts of exercise can be used as inexpensive, noninvasive treatment strategies to reduce anxiety, and have been shown to enhance memory for extinction when performed in close temporal proximity to the extinction session. However, it is unclear whether acute exercise can be used to prevent relapse of fear, and the neural mechanisms underlying this potential effect are unknown. The current study therefore examined whether acute exercise during extinction of auditory fear can protect against the later relapse of fear. Male F344 rats lacking an extended history of wheel running were conditioned to fear a tone CS and subsequently extinguished within either a freely mobile running wheel, a locked wheel, or a control context lacking a wheel. Rats exposed to fear extinction within a freely mobile wheel ran during fear extinction, and demonstrated reduced fear as well as attenuated corticosterone levels during re-exposure to the extinguished CS during the relapse test in a novel context 1week later. Examination of cfos mRNA patterns elicited by re-exposure to the extinguished CS during the relapse test revealed that acute exercise during extinction decreased activation of brain circuits classically involved in driving fear expression and interestingly, increased activity within neurons of the direct striatal pathway involved in reward signaling. These data suggest that exercise during extinction reduces relapse through a mechanism involving the direct pathway of the striatum. It is suggested that a positive affective state could become associated with the CS during exercise during extinction, thus resulting in a relapse-resistant extinction memory. PMID

  10. Disgust domains in the prediction of contamination fear.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olatunji, BO; Sawchuk, CN; Lohr, JM; de Jong, PJ

    2004-01-01

    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, ther

  11. Assessment of attention in preschoolers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahone, E M; Schneider, H E

    2012-12-01

    In the past two decades, there has been an increased interest in the assessment and treatment of preschool children presenting with concerns about attention problems. This article reviews the research and clinical literature involving assessment of attention and related skills in the preschool years. While inattention among preschoolers is common, symptoms alone do not necessarily indicate a disorder, and most often represent a normal variation in typical preschool child development. Thus, accurate identification of "disordered" attention in preschoolers can be challenging, and development of appropriate, norm-referenced tests of attention for preschoolers is also difficult. The current review suggests that comprehensive assessment of attention and related functions in the preschool child should include thorough review of the child's history, planned observations, and formal psychometric testing. The three primary methods of psychometric assessment that have been used to characterize attentional functioning in preschool children include performance-based tests, structured caregiver interviews, and rating scales (parent, teacher, and clinician). Among performance-based methods for measurement of attention in the preschool years, tests have been developed to assess sustained attention, selective (focused) attention, span of attention (encoding/manipulation), and (top-down) controlled attention--including freedom from distractibility and set shifting. Many of these tests remain experimental in nature, and review of published methods yields relatively few commercially available, nationally normed tests of attention for preschoolers, and an overall dearth of reliability and validity studies on the available measures.

  12. Attention in Urban Foraging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malcolm McCullough

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This position paper argues how there has to be much more to smart city learning than just wayshowing, and something better as augmented reality than covering the world with instructions. Attention has become something for many people to know better in an age of information superabundance. Embodied cognition explains how the work-ings of attention are not solely a foreground task, as if attention is something to pay. As digital media appear in ever more formats and contexts, their hybrids with physical form increasing influence how habitual engagement with persistent situations creates learning. Ambient information can just add to the distraction by multitasking, or it can support more favorable processes of shifting among different kinds of information with a particular intent. As one word for this latter process, foraging deserves more consideration in smart city learning

  13. Attention, Joint Attention, and Social Cognition

    OpenAIRE

    Mundy, Peter; Newell, Lisa

    2007-01-01

    Before social cognition there is joint processing of information about the attention of self and others. This joint attention requires the integrated activation of a distributed cortical network involving the anterior and posterior attention systems. In infancy, practice with the integrated activation of this distributed attention network is a major contributor to the development of social cognition. Thus, the functional neuroanatomies of social cognition and the anterior–posterior attention ...

  14. 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.

  15. Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to Rosbacher drive® and increased attention pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

    OpenAIRE

    EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA)

    2014-01-01

    Following an application from Hassia Mineralquellen GmbH & Co KG, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Germany, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to Rosbacher drive® and increased attention. The Panel considers that Rosbacher drive®, which contains natural mineral water plus...

  16. Representation of patients’ hand modulates fear reactions of patients with spider phobia in virtual reality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrik Moriz Peperkorn

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Modeling fear-conditioned bradycardia in humans

    OpenAIRE

    Castegnetti, G.; Tzovara, A.; Staib, M.; Paulus, P. C.; Hofer, N.; Bach, D R

    2016-01-01

    Across species, cued fear conditioning is a common experimental paradigm to investigate aversive Pavlovian learning. While fear-conditioned stimuli (CS+) elicit overt behavior in many mammals, this is not the case in humans. Typically, autonomic nervous system activity is used to quantify fear memory in humans, measured by skin conductance responses (SCR). Here, we investigate whether heart period responses (HPR) evoked by the CS, often observed in humans and small mammals, are suitable to co...

  1. Fear Inhibition in High Trait Anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Merel Kindt; Marieke Soeter

    2014-01-01

    Trait anxiety is recognized as an individual risk factor for the development of anxiety disorders but the neurobiological mechanisms remain unknown. Here we test whether trait anxiety is associated with impaired fear inhibition utilizing the AX+/BX- conditional discrimination procedure that allows for the independent evaluation of startle fear potentiation and inhibition of fear [1]. Sixty undergraduate students participated in the study - High Trait Anxious: n = 28 and Low Trait Anxious: n =...

  2. ON PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS AND FEAR OF DENTISTRY

    OpenAIRE

    Magdalena IORGA; Tudor CIUHODARU

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety and fear are normal reactions in humans when situations are evaluating as being painful. In medical dentistry, anxiety and fear characterize in fact o problematic patient with special reactions during dental interventions and avoidance behavior, both behaviors having a great impact on patient’s dental health. The paper presents some aspects on the psychological profile of odontophobics, causes and consequences of dental fear on patient’s dental health, and some considerations on psych...

  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. 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...... generation of selection). We used 64 birds per line housed in 16 four-bird cages (cage was the experimental unit). At 25 weeks of age, birds were subjected to a tonic immobility (TI) test and a combined human approach (HA) and novel object (NO) test, and plumage condition was recorded. Line differences...

  5. [AMYGDALA: NEUROANATOMY AND NEUROPHYSIOLOGY OF FEAR].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsvetkov, E A; Krasnoshchekova, E I; Vesselkin, N P; Kharazova, A D

    2015-01-01

    This work describes neuroanatomical and neurophysiological mechanisms of Pavlovian fear conditioning, focusing on contributions of the amygdala, a subcortical nuclear group, to control of conditioned fear responses. The mechanisms of synaptic plasticity at projections to the amygdala and within amygdala were shown to mediate the formation and retention of fear memory. This work reviews current data on anatomical organization of the amygdala, as well as its afferent and efferent projections, in respect to the role of the amygdala in auditory fear conditioning during which acoustic signals serve as the conditioned stimulus. PMID:26983275

  6. 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. PMID:26995309

  7. ON PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS AND FEAR OF DENTISTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena IORGA

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Anxiety and fear are normal reactions in humans when situations are evaluating as being painful. In medical dentistry, anxiety and fear characterize in fact o problematic patient with special reactions during dental interventions and avoidance behavior, both behaviors having a great impact on patient’s dental health. The paper presents some aspects on the psychological profile of odontophobics, causes and consequences of dental fear on patient’s dental health, and some considerations on psychological interventions meant at reducing anxiety and fear during dental treatment.

  8. Stress-induced enhancement of fear conditioning and sensitization facilitates extinction-resistant and habituation-resistant fear behaviors in a novel animal model of posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corley, Michael J; Caruso, Michael J; Takahashi, Lorey K

    2012-01-18

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by stress-induced symptoms including exaggerated fear memories, hypervigilance and hyperarousal. However, we are unaware of an animal model that investigates these hallmarks of PTSD especially in relation to fear extinction and habituation. Therefore, to develop a valid animal model of PTSD, we exposed rats to different intensities of footshock stress to determine their effects on either auditory predator odor fear extinction or habituation of fear sensitization. In Experiment 1, rats were exposed to acute footshock stress (no shock control, 0.4 mA, or 0.8 mA) immediately prior to auditory fear conditioning training involving the pairing of auditory clicks with a cloth containing cat odor. When presented to the conditioned auditory clicks in the next 5 days of extinction testing conducted in a runway apparatus with a hide box, rats in the two shock groups engaged in higher levels of freezing and head out vigilance-like behavior from the hide box than the no shock control group. This increase in fear behavior during extinction testing was likely due to auditory activation of the conditioned fear state because Experiment 2 demonstrated that conditioned fear behavior was not broadly increased in the absence of the conditioned auditory stimulus. Experiment 3 was then conducted to determine whether acute exposure to stress induces a habituation resistant sensitized fear state. We found that rats exposed to 0.8 mA footshock stress and subsequently tested for 5 days in the runway hide box apparatus with presentations of nonassociative auditory clicks exhibited high initial levels of freezing, followed by head out behavior and culminating in the occurrence of locomotor hyperactivity. In addition, Experiment 4 indicated that without delivery of nonassociative auditory clicks, 0.8 mA footshock stressed rats did not exhibit robust increases in sensitized freezing and locomotor hyperactivity, albeit head out vigilance

  9. 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…

  10. Predicting Danger: The Nature, Consequences, and Neural Mechanisms of Predictive Fear Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNally, Gavan P.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2006-01-01

    The ability to detect and learn about the predictive relations existing between events in the world is essential for adaptive behavior. It allows us to use past events to predict the future and to adjust our behavior accordingly. Pavlovian fear conditioning allows anticipation of sources of danger in the environment. It guides attention away from…

  11. Averting the Unlikely: Fearing, Assessing, and Preventing Threats of Rampage Violence in American Public Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madfis, Eric

    2012-01-01

    Over the last decade, school rampage shootings have taken multiple lives and caused widespread fear throughout the United States. During this same period, there have also been dozens of averted incidents where student plots to kill multiple peers and faculty members came to the attention of authorities and thus were thwarted. This dissertation…

  12. 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 fear-avoidance constructs in pediatric chronic pain. Assessment and treatment options for children with chronic pain will also be described in the context of the proposed pediatric fear-avoidance model of chronic pain. Finally, avenues for future investigation will be proposed.

  13. Hippocampal hyperexcitability underlies enhanced fear memories in TgNTRK3, a panic disorder mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Mónica; D'Amico, Davide; Spadoni, Ornella; Amador-Arjona, Alejandro; Stork, Oliver; Dierssen, Mara

    2013-09-18

    Panic attacks are a hallmark in panic disorder (PAND). During the panic attack, a strong association with the surrounding context is established suggesting that the hippocampus may be critically involved in the pathophysiology of PAND, given its role in contextual processing. We previously showed that variation in the expression of the neurotrophin tyrosine kinase receptor type 3 (NTRK3) in both PAND patients and a transgenic mouse model (TgNTRK3) may have a role in PAND pathophysiology. Our study examines hippocampal function and activation of the brain fear network in TgNTRK3 mice. TgNTRK3 mice showed increased fear memories accompanied by impaired extinction, congruent with an altered activation pattern of the amygdala-hippocampus-medial prefrontal cortex fear circuit. Moreover, TgNTRK3 mice also showed an unbalanced excitation-to-inhibition ratio in the hippocampal cornu ammonis 3 (CA3)-CA1 subcircuit toward hyperexcitability. The resulting hippocampal hyperexcitability underlies the enhanced fear memories, as supported by the efficacy of tiagabine, a GABA reuptake inhibitor, to rescue fear response. The fearful phenotype appears to be the result of hippocampal hyperexcitability and aberrant fear circuit activation. We conclude that NTRK3 plays a role in PAND by regulating hippocampus-dependent fear memories. PMID:24048855

  14. Fear extinction, persistent disruptive behavior and psychopathic traits: fMRI in late adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohn, Moran D; van Lith, Koen; Kindt, Merel; Pape, Louise E; Doreleijers, Theo A H; van den Brink, Wim; Veltman, Dick J; Popma, Arne

    2016-07-01

    Children diagnosed with a Disruptive Behavior Disorder (DBD, i.e. Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder), especially those with psychopathic traits, are at risk of developing persistent and severe antisocial behavior. Reduced fear conditioning has been proposed to underlie persistent antisocial development. However, we have recently shown that both DBD persisters and desisters are characterized by increased fear conditioning compared with healthy controls (HCs). In this study, we investigated whether brain function during fear extinction is associated with DBD subgroup-membership and psychopathic traits. Adolescents from a childhood arrestee cohort (mean age 17.6 years, s.d. 1.4) who met criteria for a DBD diagnosis during previous assessments were re-assessed and categorized as persistent DBD (n = 25) or desistent DBD (n = 25). Functional MRI during the extinction phase of a classical fear-conditioning task was used to compare regional brain function between these subgroups and 25 matched controls. Both DBD persisters and desisters showed hyperreactivity during fear extinction, when compared with HCs. Impulsive-irresponsible psychopathic traits were positively associated with responses in the fear neurocircuitry and mediated the association between neural activation and group membership. These results suggest that fear acquisition and fear extinction deficits may provide an endophenotype for an emotionally hyperreactive subtype of antisocial development.

  15. Harsh parenting and fearfulness in toddlerhood interact to predict amplitudes of preschool error-related negativity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca J. Brooker

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Temperamentally fearful children are at increased risk for the development of anxiety problems relative to less-fearful children. This risk is even greater when early environments include high levels of harsh parenting behaviors. However, the mechanisms by which harsh parenting may impact fearful children's risk for anxiety problems are largely unknown. Recent neuroscience work has suggested that punishment is associated with exaggerated error-related negativity (ERN, an event-related potential linked to performance monitoring, even after the threat of punishment is removed. In the current study, we examined the possibility that harsh parenting interacts with fearfulness, impacting anxiety risk via neural processes of performance monitoring. We found that greater fearfulness and harsher parenting at 2 years of age predicted greater fearfulness and greater ERN amplitudes at age 4. Supporting the role of cognitive processes in this association, greater fearfulness and harsher parenting also predicted less efficient neural processing during preschool. This study provides initial evidence that performance monitoring may be a candidate process by which early parenting interacts with fearfulness to predict risk for anxiety problems.

  16. 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 de...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Askew, Chris; Cakır, Kubra; Poldsam, Liine; Reynolds, Gemma

    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 wi...

  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 h

  19. Women's Report of Unwanted Sexual Attention during Childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whealin, Julia M.

    2002-01-01

    Describes the occurrence of childhood Unwanted Sexual Attention (UWSA) and explores its relation to child sexual abuse (CSA). Findings suggest that UWSA is an almost universal experience for girls that causes significant anger and fear. Assessing UWSA will be important from a public health perspective in evaluating if such behaviors pose a risk…

  20. 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.…

  1. How fear appeals work : motivational biases in the processing of fear-arousing health communications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Das, E.H.H.J.

    2002-01-01

    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 con

  2. 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

  3. Assessing Emotion Sensitivity in Female Offenders With Borderline Personality Symptoms: Results From a Fear-Potentiated Startle Paradigm

    OpenAIRE

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.; Vitale, Jennifer E.; MacCoon, Donal; Newman, Joseph P.

    2012-01-01

    An instructed fear-conditioning paradigm was used to measure fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in a sample of 80 Caucasian, female offenders assessed using the Personality Assessment Inventory-Borderline Features Scale (Morey, 1991). As predicted, women with higher levels of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) symptoms showed significantly greater FPS than women with lower levels when required to focus attention on the threat-relevant dimension of the experimental stimuli. However, FPS was not...

  4. Fear of Pain Mediates the Association between MC1R Genotype and Dental Fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, C L; McNeil, D W; Shaffer, J R; Crout, R J; Weyant, R J; Marazita, M L

    2016-09-01

    Fear of pain is experienced in acute and chronic pain populations, as well as in the general population, and it affects numerous aspects of the orofacial pain experience, including pain intensity, pain-related disability, and pain behavior (e.g., avoidance). A related but separate construct-dental fear-is also experienced in the general population, and it influences dental treatment-seeking behavior and oral and systemic health. Minimal work has addressed the role of genetics in the etiologies of fear of pain and dental fear. Limited available data suggest that variants of the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene may predict greater levels of dental fear. The MC1R gene also may be etiologically important for fear of pain. This study aimed to replicate the finding that MC1R variant status predicts dental fear and to determine, for the first time, whether MC1R variant status predicts fear of pain. Participants were 817 Caucasian participants (62.5% female; mean ± SD age: 34.7 ± 8.7 y) taking part in a cross-sectional project that identified determinants of oral diseases at the community, family, and individual levels. Participants were genotyped for single-nucleotide polymorphisms on MC1R and completed self-report measures of fear of pain and dental fear. Presence of MC1R variant alleles predicted higher levels of dental fear and fear of pain. Importantly, fear of pain mediated the relation between MC1R variant status and dental fear (B = 1.60, 95% confidence interval: 0.281 to 3.056). MC1R variants may influence orofacial pain perception and, in turn, predispose individuals to develop fears about pain. Such fears influence the pain experience and associated pain behaviors, as well as fears about dental treatment. This study provides support for genetic contributions to the development/maintenance of fear of pain and dental fear, and it offers directions for future research to identify potential targets for intervention in the treatment of fear of pain and dental

  5. Pair exposure with conspecific during fear conditioning induces the link between freezing and passive avoidance behaviors in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyunchan; Noh, Jihyun

    2016-07-01

    Social factor plays an important role in dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder related to excessive physiological fear response and insufficient fear memory extinction of the brain. However, although social circumstances occurred not only during contextual retrieval but also during fear conditioning, most previous studies focused on the advantageous aspects of social buffering in fear retrieval period. To demonstrate the association between fear responses and fear memory from social stimuli during fear conditioning, pair exposed rats with conspecific as social buffering were subjected to a fear conditioning of passive avoidance test to evaluate memory function and freezing behavior. Whereas single exposed rats showed the significant increase of freezing behaviors and passive avoidance behaviors compared to control rats, pair exposed rats showed significant alleviation of the freezing behaviors and passive avoidance behaviors compared to single exposed rats. Furthermore, we determined a significant correlation between freezing and passive avoidance behavioral alteration in pair exposed rats. Taken together, we suggest that pair exposure with conspecific during fear conditioning helps to cope with both freezing response and fear memory systems and their reciprocal interaction has a crucial potential as a resource for the relief of unreasonable stress responses in posttraumatic stress disorder.

  6. Attention to Faces Expressing Negative Emotion at 7 Months Predicts Attachment Security at 14 Months.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltola, Mikko J; Forssman, Linda; Puura, Kaija; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H; Leppänen, Jukka M

    2015-01-01

    To investigate potential infant-related antecedents characterizing later attachment security, this study tested whether attention to facial expressions, assessed with an eye-tracking paradigm at 7 months of age (N = 73), predicted infant-mother attachment in the Strange Situation Procedure at 14 months. Attention to fearful faces at 7 months predicted attachment security, with a smaller attentional bias to fearful expressions associated with insecure attachment. Attachment disorganization in particular was linked to an absence of the age-typical attentional bias to fear. These data provide the first evidence linking infants' attentional bias to negative facial expressions with attachment formation and suggest reduced sensitivity to facial expressions of negative emotion as a testable trait that could link attachment disorganization with later behavioral outcomes. PMID:26011101

  7. Low-Cost Avoidance Behaviors Are Resistant To Fear Extinction In Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bram eVervliet

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Elevated levels of fear and avoidance are core symptoms across the anxiety disorders. It has long been known that fear serves to motivate avoidance. Consequently, fear extinction has been the primary focus in pre-clinical anxiety research for decades, under the implicit assumption that removing the motivator of avoidance (fear would automatically mitigate the avoidance behaviors as well. Although this assumption has intuitive appeal, it has received little scientific scrutiny. The scarce evidence from animal studies is mixed, while the assumption remains untested in humans. The current study applied an avoidance conditioning protocol in humans to investigate the effects of fear extinction on the persistence of low-cost avoidance. Online danger-safety ratings and skin conductance responses documented the dynamics of conditioned fear across avoidance and extinction phases. Anxiety- and avoidance-related questionnaires explored individual differences in rates of avoidance. Participants first learned to click a button during a predictive danger signal, in order to cancel an upcoming aversive electrical shock (avoidance conditioning. Next, fear extinction was induced by presenting the signal in the absence of shocks while button-clicks were prevented (by removing the button in Experiment 1, or by instructing not to click the button in Experiment 2. Most importantly, post-extinction availaibility of the button caused a significant return of avoidant button-clicks. In addition, trait-anxiety levels correlated positively with rates of avoidance during a predictive safety signal, and with the rate of pre- to post-extinction decrease during this signal. Fear measures gradually decreased during avoidance conditioning, as participants learned that button-clicks effectively canceled the shock. Preventing button-clicks elicited a sharp increase in fear, which subsequently extinguished. Fear remained low during avoidance testing, but danger-safety ratings

  8. Low-Cost Avoidance Behaviors are Resistant to Fear Extinction in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vervliet, Bram; Indekeu, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Elevated levels of fear and avoidance are core symptoms across the anxiety disorders. It has long been known that fear serves to motivate avoidance. Consequently, fear extinction has been the primary focus in pre-clinical anxiety research for decades, under the implicit assumption that removing the motivator of avoidance (fear) would automatically mitigate the avoidance behaviors as well. Although this assumption has intuitive appeal, it has received little scientific scrutiny. The scarce evidence from animal studies is mixed, while the assumption remains untested in humans. The current study applied an avoidance conditioning protocol in humans to investigate the effects of fear extinction on the persistence of low-cost avoidance. Online danger-safety ratings and skin conductance responses documented the dynamics of conditioned fear across avoidance and extinction phases. Anxiety- and avoidance-related questionnaires explored individual differences in rates of avoidance. Participants first learned to click a button during a predictive danger signal, in order to cancel an upcoming aversive electrical shock (avoidance conditioning). Next, fear extinction was induced by presenting the signal in the absence of shocks while button-clicks were prevented (by removing the button in Experiment 1, or by instructing not to click the button in Experiment 2). Most importantly, post-extinction availability of the button caused a significant return of avoidant button-clicks. In addition, trait-anxiety levels correlated positively with rates of avoidance during a predictive safety signal, and with the rate of pre- to post-extinction decrease during this signal. Fear measures gradually decreased during avoidance conditioning, as participants learned that button-clicks effectively canceled the shock. Preventing button-clicks elicited a sharp increase in fear, which subsequently extinguished. Fear remained low during avoidance testing, but danger-safety ratings increased again when

  9. Low-Cost Avoidance Behaviors are Resistant to Fear Extinction in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vervliet, Bram; Indekeu, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Elevated levels of fear and avoidance are core symptoms across the anxiety disorders. It has long been known that fear serves to motivate avoidance. Consequently, fear extinction has been the primary focus in pre-clinical anxiety research for decades, under the implicit assumption that removing the motivator of avoidance (fear) would automatically mitigate the avoidance behaviors as well. Although this assumption has intuitive appeal, it has received little scientific scrutiny. The scarce evidence from animal studies is mixed, while the assumption remains untested in humans. The current study applied an avoidance conditioning protocol in humans to investigate the effects of fear extinction on the persistence of low-cost avoidance. Online danger-safety ratings and skin conductance responses documented the dynamics of conditioned fear across avoidance and extinction phases. Anxiety- and avoidance-related questionnaires explored individual differences in rates of avoidance. Participants first learned to click a button during a predictive danger signal, in order to cancel an upcoming aversive electrical shock (avoidance conditioning). Next, fear extinction was induced by presenting the signal in the absence of shocks while button-clicks were prevented (by removing the button in Experiment 1, or by instructing not to click the button in Experiment 2). Most importantly, post-extinction availability of the button caused a significant return of avoidant button-clicks. In addition, trait-anxiety levels correlated positively with rates of avoidance during a predictive safety signal, and with the rate of pre- to post-extinction decrease during this signal. Fear measures gradually decreased during avoidance conditioning, as participants learned that button-clicks effectively canceled the shock. Preventing button-clicks elicited a sharp increase in fear, which subsequently extinguished. Fear remained low during avoidance testing, but danger-safety ratings increased again when

  10. Fearing Death and Caring for the Dying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momeyer, Richard W.

    1986-01-01

    Argues against the allegation that health care workers with higher than statistically normal fear of death are ill equipped to care for the terminally ill. Contends that such care is unlikely to be given by persons who do not acknowledge the reality of their own fear and struggle to avoid denial. (NRB)

  11. Disgust and fear lower olfactory threshold

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chan, K.Q.; Holland, R.W.; Loon, R. van; Arts, R.; Knippenberg, A.F.M. van

    2016-01-01

    Odors provide information regarding the chemical properties of potential environment hazards. Some of this information may be disgust-related (e.g., organic decay), whereas other information may be fear-related (e.g., smoke). Many studies have focused on how disgust and fear, as prototypical avoidan

  12. Dissociating response systems: erasing fear from memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.C. Soeter; M. Kindt

    2010-01-01

    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

  13. The Old English Language of Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Erik A.

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation examines the development of the Old English vocabulary for fear under the influence of the Latinate discourse of Christian doctrine. The first chapter arranges the Old English words for fear into etymologically organized families and describes their incidence and usage across attested corpus of Old English, using the Dictionary…

  14. The neural dynamics of fear memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.M. Visser

    2016-01-01

    While much of what we learn will be forgotten over time, fear memory appears to be particularly resilient to forgetting. Our understanding of how fearful events are transformed into durable memory, and how this memory subsequently influences the processing of (novel) stimuli, is limited. Studying fe

  15. Different brain networks underlying the acquisition and expression of contextual fear conditioning: a metabolic mapping study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Pardo, H; Conejo, N M; Lana, G; Arias, J L

    2012-01-27

    The specific brain regions and circuits involved in the acquisition and expression of contextual fear conditioning are still a matter of debate. To address this issue, regional changes in brain metabolic capacity were mapped during the acquisition and expression of contextual fear conditioning using cytochrome oxidase (CO) quantitative histochemistry. In comparison with a group briefly exposed to a conditioning chamber, rats that received a series of randomly presented footshocks in the same conditioning chamber (fear acquisition group) showed increased CO activity in anxiety-related brain regions like the ventral periaqueductal gray, the ventral hippocampus, the lateral habenula, the mammillary bodies, and the laterodorsal thalamic nucleus. Another group received randomly presented footshocks, and it was re-exposed to the same conditioning chamber one week later (fear expression group). The conditioned group had significantly higher CO activity as compared with the matched control group in the following brain regions: the ventral periaqueductal gray, the central and lateral nuclei of the amygdala, and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. In addition, analysis of functional brain networks using interregional CO activity correlations revealed different patterns of functional connectivity between fear acquisition and fear expression groups. In particular, a network comprising the ventral hippocampus and amygdala nuclei was found in the fear acquisition group, whereas a closed reciprocal dorsal hippocampal network was detected in the fear expression group. These results suggest that contextual fear acquisition and expression differ as regards to the brain networks involved, although they share common brain regions involved in fear, anxiety, and defensive behavior. PMID:22173014

  16. Expression of freezing and fear-potentiated startle during sustained fear in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daldrup, T; Remmes, J; Lesting, J; Gaburro, S; Fendt, M; Meuth, P; Kloke, V; Pape, H-C; Seidenbecher, T

    2015-03-01

    Fear-potentiated acoustic startle paradigms have been used to investigate phasic and sustained components of conditioned fear in rats and humans. This study describes a novel training protocol to assess phasic and sustained fear in freely behaving C57BL/6J mice, using freezing and/or fear-potentiated startle as measures of fear, thereby, if needed, allowing in vivo application of various techniques, such as optogenetics, electrophysiology and pharmacological intervention, in freely behaving animals. An auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm, with pseudo-randomized conditioned-unconditioned stimulus presentations at various durations, is combined with repetitive brief auditory white noise burst presentations during fear memory retrieval 24 h after fear conditioning. Major findings are that (1) a motion sensitive platform built on mechano-electrical transducers enables measurement of startle responses in freely behaving mice, (2) absence or presence of startle stimuli during retrieval as well as unpredictability of a given threat determine phasic and sustained fear response profiles and (3) both freezing and startle responses indicate phasic and sustained components of behavioral fear, with sustained freezing reflecting unpredictability of conditioned stimulus (CS)/unconditioned stimulus (US) pairings. This paradigm and available genetically modified mouse lines will pave the way for investigation of the molecular and neural mechanisms relating to the transition from phasic to sustained fear.

  17. Terror mismanagement: evidence that mortality salience exacerbates attentional bias in social anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch, Emma C; Iverach, Lisa; Menzies, Ross G; Jones, Mark

    2016-11-01

    Death anxiety is a basic fear underlying a range of psychological conditions, and has been found to increase avoidance in social anxiety. Given that attentional bias is a core feature of social anxiety, the aim of the present study was to examine the impact of mortality salience (MS) on attentional bias in social anxiety. Participants were 36 socially anxious and 37 non-socially anxious individuals, randomly allocated to a MS or control condition. An eye-tracking procedure assessed initial bias towards, and late-stage avoidance of, socially threatening facial expressions. As predicted, socially anxious participants in the MS condition demonstrated significantly more initial bias to social threat than non-socially anxious participants in the MS condition and socially anxious participants in the control condition. However, this effect was not found for late-stage avoidance of social threat. These findings suggest that reminders of death may heighten initial vigilance towards social threat.

  18. Font size matters--emotion and attention in cortical responses to written words.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mareike Bayer

    Full Text Available 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 amplitudes were not affected by emotion, the early posterior negativity started earlier and lasted longer for large relative to small words. These results suggest that emotion-driven facilitation of attention is not necessarily based on biological relevance, but might generalize to stimuli with arbitrary perceptual features. This finding points to the high relevance of written language in today's society as an important source of emotional meaning.

  19. Attentional Control Buffers the Effect of Public Speaking Anxiety on Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Christopher R; Fazio, Russell H; Vasey, Michael W

    2012-09-01

    We explored dispositional differences in the ability to self-regulate attentional processes in the domain of public speaking. Participants first completed measures of speech anxiety and attentional control. In a second session, participants prepared and performed a short speech. Fear of public speaking negatively impacted performance only for those low in attentional control. Thus, attentional control appears to act as a buffer that facilitates successful self-regulation despite performance anxiety. PMID:22924093

  20. Equal pain – Unequal fear response: Enhanced susceptibility of tooth pain to fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Lukas Meier

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Experimental fear conditioning in humans is widely used as a model to investigate the neural basis of fear learning and to unravel the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders. It has been observed that fear conditioning depends on stimulus salience and subject vulnerability to fear. It is further known that the prevalence of dental-related fear and phobia is exceedingly high in the population. Dental phobia is unique as no other body part is associated with a specific phobia. Therefore, we hypothesized that painful dental stimuli exhibit an enhanced susceptibility to fear conditioning when comparing to equal perceived stimuli applied to other body sites. Differential susceptibility to pain-related fear was investigated by analyzing responses to an unconditioned stimulus (UCS applied to the right maxillary canine (UCS-c versus the right tibia (UCS-t. For fear conditioning, UCS-c and USC-t consisted of painful electric stimuli, carefully matched at both application sites for equal intensity and quality perception. UCSs were paired to simple geometrical forms which served as conditioned stimuli (CS+. Unpaired CS+ were presented for eliciting and analyzing conditioned fear responses. Outcome parameter were 1 skin conductance changes and 2 time-dependent brain activity (BOLD responses in fear-related brain regions such as the amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, insula, thalamus, orbitofrontal cortex and medial prefrontal cortex.A preferential susceptibility of dental pain to fear conditioning was observed, reflected by heightened skin conductance responses and enhanced time-dependent brain activity (BOLD responses in the fear network. For the first time, this study demonstrates fear-related neurobiological mechanisms that point towards a superior conditionability of tooth pain. Beside traumatic dental experiences our results offer novel evidence that might explain the high prevalence of dental-related fears in the population.

  1. European Union: fears and hopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles ROUET

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This contribution analyses some data from Eurobarometer 83, spring 2015, especially to draw a map of Fears. The European Union is a divided space and one of the main consequences of the budget (financial crisis of Greece, followed by the crisis caused by the arrival of thousands of immigrants is an enhanced communication difficulty between the Western and Eastern parts of the EU But all citizens have some new rights with the European Citizenship, which are additional. One of the main issues for the future could be to change the fundamental basis of the Union, thus trying to organize a new articulation between local and supranational, with another role for States, for example to change the organisation of European elections, and to pursue the connection of public spaces with mobility.

  2. Costs of fear: Behavioral and life-history responses to risk and their demographic consequences vary across species

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaManna, Joseph A.; Martin, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Behavioural responses to reduce predation risk might cause demographic ‘costs of fear’. Costs differ among species, but a conceptual framework to understand this variation is lacking. We use a life-history framework to tie together diverse traits and life stages to better understand interspecific variation in responses and costs. We used natural and experimental variation in predation risk to test phenotypic responses and associated demographic costs for 10 songbird species. Responses such as increased parental attentiveness yielded reduced development time and created benefits such as reduced predation probability. Yet, responses to increased risk also created demographic costs by reducing offspring production in the absence of direct predation. This cost of fear varied widely across species, but predictably with the probability of repeat breeding. Use of a life-history framework can aid our understanding of potential demographic costs from predation, both from responses to perceived risk and from direct predation mortality.

  3. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Keller, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the relation between attention and consciousness is an important part of our understanding of consciousness. Attention, unlike consciousness, can be systematically manipulated in psychophysical experiments and a law-like relation between attention and consciousness is waiting to be discovered. Most attempts to discover the nature of this relation are focused on a special type of attention: spatial visual attention. In this review I want to introduce another type of attention to ...

  4. Fearful imagery induces hyperventilation and dyspnea in medically unexplained dyspnea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HAN Jiang-na; ZHU Yuan-jue; LUO Dong-mei; LI Shun-wei; Ilse Van Diest; Omer Van den Bergh; Karel P Van de Woestijne

    2008-01-01

    Background Medically unexplained dyspnea refers to a condition characterized by a Sensation of dyspnea and is typically applied to patients presenting with anxiety and hyperventilation without underlying cardiopulmonary pathology. We were interested to know how anxiety triggers hyperventilation and elicits subjective Symptoms in those patients. Using an imagery paradigm, we investigated the role of fearful imagery in provoking hyperventilation and in eliciting Symptoms, specifically dyspnea.Methods Forty patients with medically unexplained dyspnea and 40 normal subjects matched for age and gender were exposed to scripts and asked to imagine both fearful and restful scenarios, while end-tidal PCO2 (PetCO2) and breathing frequency were recorded and subjective Symptoms evaluated. The subject who had PetCO2 falling more than 5 mmHg from baseline and persisting at this low level for more than 15 seconds in the imagination was regarded as a hyperventilation responder.Results In patients with medically unexplained dyspnea, imagination of fearful scenarios, being blocked in an elevator in particular, induced anxious feelings, and provoked a significant fall in PetCO2 (P<0.05). Breathing frequency tended to increase. Eighteen out of 40 patients were identified as hyperventilation responders compared to 5 out of 40 normal subjects (P<0.01). The patients reported Symptoms of dyspnea, palpitation or fast heart beat in the same fearful script imagery. Additionally, PetCO2 fall was significantly correlated with the intensity of dyspnea and palpitation experienced during the mental imagery on one hand, and with anxiety Symptoms on the other.Conclusions Fearful imagery provokes hyperventilation and induces subjective Symptoms of dyspnea and palpitation in patients with medically unexplained dyspnea.

  5. Fear and reward circuit alterations in pediatric CRPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura E Simons

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In chronic pain, a number of brain regions involved in emotion (e.g., amygdala, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, insula, anterior cingulate, and prefrontal cortex show significant functional and morphometric changes. One phenotypic manifestation of these changes is pain-related fear (PRF. PRF is associated with profoundly altered behavioral adaptations to chronic pain. For example, patients with a neuropathic pain condition known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS often avoid use of and may even neglect the affected body area(s, thus maintaining and likely enhancing PRF. These changes form part of an overall maladaptation to chronic pain. To examine fear-related brain circuit alterations in humans, 20 pediatric patients with CRPS and 20 sex- and age-matched healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI in response to a well-established fearful faces paradigm. Despite no significant differences on self-reported emotional valence and arousal between the two groups, CRPS patients displayed a diminished response to fearful faces in regions associated with emotional processing compared to healthy controls. Additionally, increased PRF levels were associated with decreased activity in a number of brain regions including the right amygdala, insula, putamen, and caudate. Blunted activation in patients suggests that (a individuals with chronic pain may have deficits in cognitive-affective brain circuits that may represent an underlying vulnerability or consequence to the chronic pain state; and (b fear of pain may contribute and/or maintain these brain alterations. Our results shed new light on altered affective circuits in patients with chronic pain and identify PRF as a potentially important treatment target.

  6. Fear and Reward Circuit Alterations in Pediatric CRPS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Laura E; Erpelding, Nathalie; Hernandez, Jessica M; Serrano, Paul; Zhang, Kunyu; Lebel, Alyssa A; Sethna, Navil F; Berde, Charles B; Prabhu, Sanjay P; Becerra, Lino; Borsook, David

    2015-01-01

    In chronic pain, a number of brain regions involved in emotion (e.g., amygdala, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, insula, anterior cingulate, and prefrontal cortex) show significant functional and morphometric changes. One phenotypic manifestation of these changes is pain-related fear (PRF). PRF is associated with profoundly altered behavioral adaptations to chronic pain. For example, patients with a neuropathic pain condition known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) often avoid use of and may even neglect the affected body area(s), thus maintaining and likely enhancing PRF. These changes form part of an overall maladaptation to chronic pain. To examine fear-related brain circuit alterations in humans, 20 pediatric patients with CRPS and 20 sex- and age-matched healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in response to a well-established fearful faces paradigm. Despite no significant differences on self-reported emotional valence and arousal between the two groups, CRPS patients displayed a diminished response to fearful faces in regions associated with emotional processing compared to healthy controls. Additionally, increased PRF levels were associated with decreased activity in a number of brain regions including the right amygdala, insula, putamen, and caudate. Blunted activation in patients suggests that (a) individuals with chronic pain may have deficits in cognitive-affective brain circuits that may represent an underlying vulnerability or consequence to the chronic pain state; and (b) fear of pain may contribute and/or maintain these brain alterations. Our results shed new light on altered affective circuits in patients with chronic pain and identify PRF as a potentially important treatment target. PMID:26834606

  7. Representation of patients’ hand modulates fear reactions of patients with spider phobia in virtual reality

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  8. Capture of exogenous attention modulates the attentional blink

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Simon; Andersen, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    When two targets (T1 & T2) are presented in rapid succession, observers often fail to report T2 if they attend to T1. Bottleneck theories propose that this attentional blink (AB) is due to T1 occupying a slow processing stage when T2 is presented. Accordingly, if increasing T1 difficulty increases...... T1 processing time, this should cause a greater AB. Attention capture hypotheses suggest that T1 captures attention, which cannot be reallocated to T2 in time. Accordingly, if increasing T1 difficulty, decreases saliency, this should cause a smaller AB. Studies examining how T1 difficulty affects...... negatively with T1 contrast energy. Our results indicate that T1 capture modulates the AB. We suggest that this effect has confounded previous studies on the effect of T1 difficulty. In an electrophysiological version of the study we will further examine the implied relation between attention capture and the...

  9. Fear and physiological arousal during a virtual height challenge--effects in patients with acrophobia and healthy controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diemer, Julia; Lohkamp, Nora; Mühlberger, Andreas; Zwanzger, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Virtual reality (VR) exposure therapy is becoming increasingly established, but the mode of action is not well understood. One potential efficacy factor might be physiological arousal. To investigate arousal during VR exposure, we exposed 40 patients with acrophobia and 40 matched healthy controls to a VR height challenge and assessed subjective (fear ratings) and physiological (heart rate, skin conductance level, salivary cortisol) fear reactions. Patients experienced a significant increase of subjective fear, heart rate and skin conductance level. Unexpectedly, controls, who reported no subjective fear, also showed an increase in heart rate and skin conductance. There was no increase in salivary cortisol levels in either group. Physiological arousal in acrophobic patients, in contrast to subjective fear, might not be stronger than that of controls confronted with height cues in VR, indicating marked discordance across symptom domains. The lack of a cortisol response in a clearly stressful paradigm warrants further study.

  10. Visuospatial selective attention in chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sridharan, Devarajan; Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Schwarz, Jason S; Knudsen, Eric I

    2014-05-13

    Voluntary control of attention promotes intelligent, adaptive behaviors by enabling the selective processing of information that is most relevant for making decisions. Despite extensive research on attention in primates, the capacity for selective attention in nonprimate species has never been quantified. Here we demonstrate selective attention in chickens by applying protocols that have been used to characterize visual spatial attention in primates. Chickens were trained to localize and report the vertical position of a target in the presence of task-relevant distracters. A spatial cue, the location of which varied across individual trials, indicated the horizontal, but not vertical, position of the upcoming target. Spatial cueing improved localization performance: accuracy (d') increased and reaction times decreased in a space-specific manner. Distracters severely impaired perceptual performance, and this impairment was greatly reduced by spatial cueing. Signal detection analysis with an "indecision" model demonstrated that spatial cueing significantly increased choice certainty in localizing targets. By contrast, error-aversion certainty (certainty of not making an error) remained essentially constant across cueing protocols, target contrasts, and individuals. The results show that chickens shift spatial attention rapidly and dynamically, following principles of stimulus selection that closely parallel those documented in primates. The findings suggest that the mechanisms that control attention have been conserved through evolution, and establish chickens--a highly visual species that is easily trained and amenable to cutting-edge experimental technologies--as an attractive model for linking behavior to neural mechanisms of selective attention.

  11. Prefrontal NMDA receptors expressed in excitatory neurons control fear discrimination and fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Philip A; Corches, Alex; Lovelace, Jonathan W; Westbrook, Kevin B; Mendoza, Michael; Korzus, Edward

    2015-03-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are critically involved in various learning mechanisms including modulation of fear memory, brain development and brain disorders. While NMDARs mediate opposite effects on medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) interneurons and excitatory neurons, NMDAR antagonists trigger profound cortical activation. The objectives of the present study were to determine the involvement of NMDARs expressed specifically in excitatory neurons in mPFC-dependent adaptive behaviors, specifically fear discrimination and fear extinction. To achieve this, we tested mice with locally deleted Grin1 gene encoding the obligatory NR1 subunit of the NMDAR from prefrontal CamKIIα positive neurons for their ability to distinguish frequency modulated (FM) tones in fear discrimination test. We demonstrated that NMDAR-dependent signaling in the mPFC is critical for effective fear discrimination following initial generalization of conditioned fear. While mice with deficient NMDARs in prefrontal excitatory neurons maintain normal responses to a dangerous fear-conditioned stimulus, they exhibit abnormal generalization decrement. These studies provide evidence that NMDAR-dependent neural signaling in the mPFC is a component of a neural mechanism for disambiguating the meaning of fear signals and supports discriminative fear learning by retaining proper gating information, viz. both dangerous and harmless cues. We also found that selective deletion of NMDARs from excitatory neurons in the mPFC leads to a deficit in fear extinction of auditory conditioned stimuli. These studies suggest that prefrontal NMDARs expressed in excitatory neurons are involved in adaptive behavior.

  12. Gagging and Associations with Dental Care-Related Fear, Fear of Pain, and Beliefs about Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, Cameron L.; Shulman, Grant P.; Crout, Richard J.; McNeil, Daniel W.

    2014-01-01

    Background Gagging is a behavioral response that interferes with oral health care and has been suggested to relate to dental care-related fear. Little is known, however, about the epidemiology of gagging during dental treatment. Methods To explore this phenomenon, 478 participants were recruited from the waiting area of an oral diagnosis clinic. Participants completed the Dental Fear Survey, the Short Form-Fear of Pain Questionnaire, Dental Beliefs Scale, and a demographics questionnaire that included items about problems with gagging. Results Over half of the participants reported gagging on at least one occasion during dental visits, with 7.5% almost always, or always gagging. With higher frequency of problems with gagging, patients were more likely to have greater levels of dental care-related fear, fear of pain, and more negative beliefs of dental professionals and dental treatment. Further, participants who gagged more readily had greater dental care-related fear than other gaggers. Conclusion Gagging in the dental clinic is a prevalent problem, and dental care-related fear and fear of pain are associated with more frequent gagging. Clinical Implications Given the prevalence of patients reporting problem gagging, it may be helpful for providers to assess for this barrier to treatment. By targeting dental care-related fear, fear of pain, and negative beliefs about dental care in patients who often gag in the clinic, gagging may be reduced in frequency or intensity, potentially making treatment more comfortable for patients and easier for dental care providers. PMID:24789238

  13. Risk perception, safety fears and health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    There is significant evidence from a range of studies that fears of nuclear exposure or radiological threat may become associated with health preoccupations and potentially psychiatric disorders. These include somatisation, anxiety and depressive syndromes. There are findings from our own and others research that knowledge may lessen fear. Nevertheless, concerns exist despite recognition that radiotherapy and other use of radiation technology for investigation have significant benefits for health. These background vulnerabilities in terms of health fears, especially concerning cancer and potential genetic impacts will be reviewed. In current studies we have examined fears related to radiation and nuclear issues and a range of health variables and social capital. This paper will examine health issues in these non-exposed populations, and whether fear levels correlate with mental health, or other health related variables. The degree to which such fears may have been exacerbated by the nuclear incident in Japan, or other adverse disaster circumstances will be reviewed. The influence of fear per se, without exposure, may indicate pre-existing vulnerabilities and the degree to which resilience indicators may be protective. Findings relevant to prevention and management will be reviewed.

  14. Modeling fear-conditioned bradycardia in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castegnetti, Giuseppe; Tzovara, Athina; Staib, Matthias; Paulus, Philipp C; Hofer, Nicolas; Bach, Dominik R

    2016-06-01

    Across species, cued fear conditioning is a common experimental paradigm to investigate aversive Pavlovian learning. While fear-conditioned stimuli (CS+) elicit overt behavior in many mammals, this is not the case in humans. Typically, autonomic nervous system activity is used to quantify fear memory in humans, measured by skin conductance responses (SCR). Here, we investigate whether heart period responses (HPR) evoked by the CS, often observed in humans and small mammals, are suitable to complement SCR as an index of fear memory in humans. We analyze four datasets involving delay and trace conditioning, in which heart beats are identified via electrocardiogram or pulse oximetry, to show that fear-conditioned heart rate deceleration (bradycardia) is elicited and robustly distinguishes CS+ from CS-. We then develop a psychophysiological model (PsPM) of fear-conditioned HPR. This PsPM is inverted to yield estimates of autonomic input into the heart. We show that the sensitivity to distinguish CS+ and CS- (predictive validity) is higher for model-based estimates than peak-scoring analysis, and compare this with SCR. Our work provides a novel tool to investigate fear memory in humans that allows direct comparison between species. PMID:26950648

  15. Fluoxetine pretreatment promotes neuronal survival and maturation after auditory fear conditioning in the rat amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lizhu Jiang

    Full Text Available The amygdala is a critical brain region for auditory fear conditioning, which is a stressful condition for experimental rats. Adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampus, known to be sensitive to behavioral stress and treatment of the antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX, is involved in the formation of hippocampus-dependent memories. Here, we investigated whether neurogenesis also occurs in the amygdala and contributes to auditory fear memory. In rats showing persistent auditory fear memory following fear conditioning, we found that the survival of new-born cells and the number of new-born cells that differentiated into mature neurons labeled by BrdU and NeuN decreased in the amygdala, but the number of cells that developed into astrocytes labeled by BrdU and GFAP increased. Chronic pretreatment with FLX partially rescued the reduction in neurogenesis in the amygdala and slightly suppressed the maintenance of the long-lasting auditory fear memory 30 days after the fear conditioning. The present results suggest that adult neurogenesis in the amygdala is sensitive to antidepressant treatment and may weaken long-lasting auditory fear memory.

  16. Fluoxetine treatment reverses the intergenerational impact of maternal separation on fear and anxiety behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Gui-Jing; Yang, Yuan; Cao, Jun; Mao, Rong-Rong; Xu, Lin

    2015-05-01

    Early life stress increases risks of fear and anxiety related disorders in adulthood, which may be alleviated by fluoxetine treatment. However, the intergenerational impacts of maternal separation (MS) on fear and anxiety behaviors from father to their offspring are little known. And the potential effects of fluoxetine treatment on the intergenerational transmission have not been well tested. Here, we investigated whether fluoxetine can reverse the intergenerational effects of MS on fear and anxiety behaviors. The first generation (F1) male rats were exposed to MS 3 h daily from postnatal day 2-14 and then treated with fluoxetine for four weeks during adulthood before fear conditioning. We found that maternal separation significantly impaired contextual fear extinction in F1 adult male rats but not in their second generation (F2). Although no obvious effects of MS on anxiety were observed in F1 male rats, the F2 offspring displayed a phenotype of low anxiety-like behaviors despite they were reared in normal condition. Fluoxetine treatment in F1 males not only reversed the impairment of fear extinction in F1 males but also the low anxiety-like behaviors in their F2 offspring. These findings highlight the intergenerational impacts of early life stress on fear and anxiety behaviors, and provide a new sight of the intergenerational effect of fluoxetine therapy for early life stress related mental problems.

  17. Associations among Context-Specific Maternal Protective Behavior, Toddler Fearful Temperament, and Maternal Accuracy and Goals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Elizabeth J; Buss, Kristin A

    2012-11-01

    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 under which an association between fearful temperament and protective maternal behavior occurs. Participants included 117 toddlers and their mothers, who were observed in a variety of laboratory tasks. Mothers predicted their toddlers' fear reactions in these tasks and reported the importance of parent-centered goals for their children's shyness. Protective behavior displayed in low-threat, but not high-threat, contexts related to concurrently observed fearful temperament and to mother-reported shy/inhibited behavior one year later. The relation between fearful temperament and protective behavior in low-threat, but not high-threat, contexts was strengthened by maternal accuracy in anticipating children's fear and maternal parent-centered goals for children's shyness. PMID:23226924

  18. Development of fear acquisition and extinction in children: effects of age and anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jovanovic, Tanja; Nylocks, Karin Maria; Gamwell, Kaitlyn L; Smith, Ami; Davis, Telsie A; Norrholm, Seth Davin; Bradley, Bekh

    2014-09-01

    Development of anxiety disorders is associated with neurobiological changes in areas that are a critical part of the fear neurocircuitry. Fear conditioning paradigms can offer insight into the mechanisms underlying the neurobiological ontogeny of anxiety. A small number of studies have focused on the effects of age and anxiety separately in school age children. The present study aimed to investigate these effects in 8-13 year old children with higher and lower trait anxiety. We examined differential fear conditioning and extinction using skin conductance responses and fear-potentiated startle in 60 children recruited from a low-income urban population. The results indicated that children under 10 years of age show poor discrimination of conditioned stimuli, and that anxiety increases fear responses during fear acquisition. After controlling for age and trauma exposure, fear-potentiated startle to the safety cue predicted child anxiety levels suggesting that impaired safety signal learning may be a risk factor for anxiety disorders in adulthood. Identifying risk phenotypes in children may provide opportunities for early intervention and prevention of illness.

  19. Expatriates’ Multiple Fears, from Terrorism to Working Conditions: Development of a Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giorgi, Gabriele; Montani, Francesco; Fiz-Perez, Javier; Arcangeli, Giulio; Mucci, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    Companies’ internationalization appears to be fundamental in the current globalized and competitive environment and seems important not only for organizational success, but also for societal development and sustainability. On one hand, global business increases the demand for managers for international assignment. On the other hand, emergent fears, such as terrorism, seem to be developing around the world, enhancing the risk of expatriates’ potential health problems. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between the emergent concept of fear of expatriation with further workplace fears (economic crisis and dangerous working conditions) and with mental health problems. The study uses a quantitative design. Self-reported data were collected from 265 Italian expatriate workers assigned to both Italian and worldwide projects. Structural equation model analyses showed that fear of expatriation mediates the relationship of mental health with fear of economic crisis and with perceived dangerous working conditions. As expected, in addition to fear, worries of expatriation are also related to further fears. Although, the study is based on self-reports and the cross-sectional study design limits the possibility of making causal inferences, the new constructs introduced add to previous research. PMID:27790173

  20. The role of the lateral amygdala in the retrieval and maintenance of fear-memories formed by probabilistic reinforcement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey C. Erlich

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA is a key element in the neural circuit subserving Pavlovian fear conditioning, an animal model of fear and anxiety. Most studies have focused on the role of the LA in fear acquisition and extinction, i.e. how neural plasticity results from changing contingencies between a neutral conditioned stimulus (e.g. a tone and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (e.g. a shock. However, outside of the lab, fear memories are often the result of repeated and unpredictable experiences. Examples include domestic violence, child abuse or combat. To better understand the role of the LA in the expression of fear resulting from repeated and uncertain reinforcement, rats experienced a 30% partial reinforcement fear-conditioning schedule four days a week for four weeks. Rats reached asymptotic levels of conditioned fear expression after the first week. We then manipulated LA activity with drug (or vehicle infusions once a week, for the next three weeks, before the training session. LA infusions of muscimol, a GABA-A agonist that inhibits neural activity, reduced conditioned stimulus (CS evoked fear behavior to pre-conditioning levels. LA infusions of pentagastrin, a cholecystokinin-2 (CCK agonist that increases neural excitability, resulted in CS-evoked fear behavior that continued past the offset of the CS. This suggests that neural activity in the LA is required for the retrieval of fear memories that stem from repeated and uncertain reinforcement, and that CCK signaling in the LA plays a role in the recovery from fear after the removal of the fear-evoking stimulus.

  1. Individual Differences in Fear Potentiated Startle in Behaviorally Inhibited Children

    OpenAIRE

    Barker, Tyson V.; Reeb-Sutherland, Bethany; Fox, Nathan A.

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral inhibition (BI) is a temperament characterized during early childhood by increased fearfulness to novelty, social reticence to unfamiliar peers, and heightened risk for the development of anxiety. Heightened startle responses to safety cues have been found among behaviorally inhibited adolescents who have an anxiety disorder suggesting that this measure may serve as a biomarker for the development of anxiety amongst this risk population. However, it is unknown if these aberrant sta...

  2. The Causal Impact of Fear of Unemployment on Psychological Health

    OpenAIRE

    Reichert, Arndt; Tauchmann, Harald

    2011-01-01

    We analyze the effect of job insecurity on psychological health. We extend the group of people being affected to employees who have insecure jobs to account for a broader measure of the mental health consequences of potential unemployment. Using panel data with staff reductions in the company as an exogenous source of job insecurity, we find that an increase in fear of unemployment substantially decreases the mental health status of employees. Quantile regression results yield particularly st...

  3. Amygdala kindling disrupts trace and delay fear conditioning with parallel changes in Fos protein expression throughout the limbic brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botterill, J J; Fournier, N M; Guskjolen, A J; Lussier, A L; Marks, W N; Kalynchuk, L E

    2014-04-18

    Amygdala kindling is well known to increase unconditioned fear and anxiety. However, relatively little is known about whether this form of kindling causes functional changes within the neural circuitry that mediates fear learning and the retrieval of fear memories. To address this issue, we examined the effect of short- (i.e., 30 stimulations) and long-term (i.e., 99 stimulations) amygdala kindling in rats on trace and delay fear conditioning, which are aversive learning tasks that rely predominantly on the hippocampus and amygdala, respectively. After memory retrieval, we analyzed the pattern of neural activity with Fos, the protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos. We found that kindling had no effect on acquisition of the trace fear conditioning task but it did selectively impair retrieval of this fear memory. In contrast, kindling disrupted both acquisition and retrieval of fear memory in the delay fear conditioning task. We also found that kindling-induced impairments in memory retrieval were accompanied by decreased Fos expression in several subregions of the hippocampus, parahippocampus, and amygdala. Interestingly, decreased freezing in the trace conditioning task was significantly correlated with dampened Fos expression in hippocampal and parahippocampal regions whereas decreased freezing in the delay conditioning task was significantly correlated with dampened Fos expression in hippocampal, parahippocampal, and amygdaloid circuits. Overall, these results suggest that amygdala kindling promotes functional changes in brain regions involved in specific types of fear learning and memory.

  4. A Socio-Ecological Exploration of Fear of Crime in Urban Green Spaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maruthaveeran, Sreetheran

    of crime in Malaysia and possibly also other countries. It is pertinent to further investigate the interactions of the attributes (e.g., dense vegetation, graffiti, presence of drug addicts) which evoke fear of crime in urban green spaces. Although it is important to investigate how physical......This PhD thesis studies the topic of perceived fear of crime in urban green spaces in a Malaysian context. The research was conducted between 2011 and 2014 in Denmark and Malaysia. Although fear of crime in urban green spaces has gained considerable attention in the West, only a limited number...... in Malaysia, in spite of new national policies that focus on overall crime reduction in the country. The present study highlights the need for initiatives related to urban parks management that promote a better sense of security among users....

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kenichi Kuriyama; Motoyasu Honma; Takuya Yoshiike; Yoshiharu Kim

    2013-01-01

    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 suppress...

  6. Fear-avoidance beliefs, disability, and participation in workers and non-workers with acute low back pain.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swinkels-Meewisse, I.E.; Roelofs, J.; Verbeek, A.L.M.; Oostendorp, R.A.B.; Vlaeyen, J.W.S.

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Fear-avoidance beliefs have been shown to be associated with disability and work status in patients with low back pain. Especially in acute low back pain, much research is needed to increase the knowledge concerning the role of fear-avoidance beliefs and its associated avoidance behavior

  7. Delayed Attentional Engagement in the Attentional Blink

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwenstein, Mark R.; Chun, Marvin M.; Lubbe, van der Rob H.J.; Hooge, Ignace T.C.

    2005-01-01

    Observers often miss the 2nd of 2 visual targets (first target [T1] and second target [T2]) when these targets are presented closely in time; the attentional blink (AB). The authors hypothesized that the AB occurs because the attentional response to T2 is delayed by T1 processing, causing T2 to lose

  8. Fear-induced suppression of nociceptive behaviour and activation of Akt signalling in the rat periaqueductal grey: role of fatty acid amide hydrolase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Ryan K; Ford, Gemma K; Hogan, Michelle; Roche, Michelle; Doyle, Karen M; Kelly, John P; Kendall, David A; Chapman, Victoria; Finn, David P

    2012-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system regulates nociception and aversion and mediates fear-conditioned analgesia (FCA). We investigated the effects of the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597, which inhibits the catabolism of the endocannabinoid anandamide and related N-acylethanolamines, on expression of FCA and fear and pain related behaviour per se in rats. We also examined associated alterations in the expression of the signal transduction molecule phospho-Akt in the periaqueductal grey (PAG) by immunoblotting. FCA was modelled by assessing formalin-evoked nociceptive behaviour in an arena previously paired with footshock. URB597 (0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) enhanced FCA and increased fear-related behaviour in formalin-treated rats. Conditioned fear per se in non-formalin-treated rats was associated with increased expression of phospho-Akt in the PAG. URB597 reduced the expression of fear-related behaviour in the early part of the trial, an effect that was accompanied by attenuation of the fear-induced increase in phospho-Akt expression in the PAG. Intra-plantar injection of formalin also reduced the fear-induced increase in phospho-Akt expression. These data provide evidence for a role of FAAH in FCA, fear responding in the presence or absence of nociceptive tone, and fear-evoked increases in PAG phospho-Akt expression. In addition, the results suggest that fear-evoked activation of Akt signalling in the PAG is abolished in the presence of nociceptive tone.

  9. Inhibition of spontaneous recovery of fear by mGluR5 after prolonged extinction training.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng-Chun Mao

    Full Text Available Fear behavior is vital for survival and involves learning contingent associations of non-threatening cues with aversive stimuli. In contrast, excessive levels of fear can be maladaptive and lead to anxiety disorders. Generally, extensive sessions of extinction training correlates with reduced spontaneous recovery. The molecular mechanisms underlying the long-term inhibition of fear recovery following repeated extinction training are not fully understood. Here we show that in rats, prolonged extinction training causes greater reduction in both fear-potentiated startle and spontaneous recovery. This effect was specifically blocked by metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5, but not by mGluR1 antagonists and by a protein synthesis inhibitor. Similar inhibition of memory recovery following prolonged extinction training was also observed in mice. In agreement with the instrumental role of mGluR5 in the prolonged inhibition of fear recovery, we found that FMR1-/- mice which exhibit enhanced mGluR5-mediated signaling exhibit lower spontaneous recovery of fear after extinction training than wild-type littermates. At the molecular level, we discovered that prolonged extinction training reversed the fear conditioning-induced increase in surface expression of GluR1, AMPA/NMDA ratio, postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95 and synapse-associated protein-97 (SAP97. Accordingly, delivery of Tat-GluR2(3Y, a synthetic peptide that blocks AMPA receptor endocytosis, inhibited prolonged extinction training-induced inhibition of fear recovery. Together, our results demonstrate that prolonged extinction training results in the mGluR5-dependent long-term inhibition of fear recovery. This effect may involve the degradation of original memory and may explain the beneficial effects of prolonged exposure therapy for the treatment of phobias.

  10. Inhibition of spontaneous recovery of fear by mGluR5 after prolonged extinction training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Sheng-Chun; Chang, Chih-Hua; Wu, Chia-Chen; Orejarena, M Juliana; Orejanera, Maria Juliana; Manzoni, Olivier J; Gean, Po-Wu

    2013-01-01

    Fear behavior is vital for survival and involves learning contingent associations of non-threatening cues with aversive stimuli. In contrast, excessive levels of fear can be maladaptive and lead to anxiety disorders. Generally, extensive sessions of extinction training correlates with reduced spontaneous recovery. The molecular mechanisms underlying the long-term inhibition of fear recovery following repeated extinction training are not fully understood. Here we show that in rats, prolonged extinction training causes greater reduction in both fear-potentiated startle and spontaneous recovery. This effect was specifically blocked by metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5), but not by mGluR1 antagonists and by a protein synthesis inhibitor. Similar inhibition of memory recovery following prolonged extinction training was also observed in mice. In agreement with the instrumental role of mGluR5 in the prolonged inhibition of fear recovery, we found that FMR1-/- mice which exhibit enhanced mGluR5-mediated signaling exhibit lower spontaneous recovery of fear after extinction training than wild-type littermates. At the molecular level, we discovered that prolonged extinction training reversed the fear conditioning-induced increase in surface expression of GluR1, AMPA/NMDA ratio, postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95) and synapse-associated protein-97 (SAP97). Accordingly, delivery of Tat-GluR2(3Y), a synthetic peptide that blocks AMPA receptor endocytosis, inhibited prolonged extinction training-induced inhibition of fear recovery. Together, our results demonstrate that prolonged extinction training results in the mGluR5-dependent long-term inhibition of fear recovery. This effect may involve the degradation of original memory and may explain the beneficial effects of prolonged exposure therapy for the treatment of phobias. PMID:23555716

  11. Generalization of Conditioned Fear-Potentiated Startle in Humans: Experimental Validation and Clinical Relevance

    OpenAIRE

    Lissek, Shmuel; Biggs, Arter L.; Rabin, Stephanie J.; Cornwell, Brian R.; Ruben P Alvarez; Pine, Daniel S.; Grillon, Christian

    2008-01-01

    Though generalization of conditioned fear has been implicated as a central feature of pathological anxiety, surprisingly little is known about the psychobiology of this learning phenomenon in humans. Whereas animal work has frequently applied methods to examine generalization gradients to study the gradual weakening of the conditioned-fear response as the test stimulus increasingly differs from the conditioned stimulus (CS), to our knowledge no psychobiological studies of such gradients have ...

  12. The Development of Skin Conductance Fear Conditioning in Children from Ages 3 to 8 Years

    OpenAIRE

    Gao, Yu; Raine, Adrian; Venables, Peter H.; Dawson, Michael E.; Mednick, Sarnoff A.

    2010-01-01

    Although fear conditioning is an important psychological construct implicated in behavioral and emotional problems little is known about how it develops in early childhood. Using a differential, partial reinforcement conditioning paradigm, this longitudinal study assessed skin conductance conditioned responses in 200 children at ages 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 years. Results demonstrated that in both boys and girls: (1) fear conditioning increased across age, particularly from ages 5 to 6 years, (2) t...

  13. Effects of sleep on memory for conditioned fear and fear extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R

    2015-01-01

    Learning and memory for extinction of conditioned fear is a basic mammalian mechanism for regulating negative emotion. Sleep promotes both the consolidation of memory and the regulation of emotion. Sleep can influence consolidation and modification of memories associated with both fear and its extinction. After brief overviews of the behavior and neural circuitry associated with fear conditioning, extinction learning and extinction memory in the rodent and human, interactions of sleep with th...

  14. Fear Assessment: Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Pricing of Fear and Anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Adler, Matthew D.

    2003-01-01

    "Risk assessment" is now a common feature of regulatory practice, but "fear assessment" is not.In particular, environmental, health and safety agencies such as EPA, FDA, OSHA, NHTSA, and CPSC, commonly count death, illness and injury as "costs" for purposes of cost-benefit analysis, but almost never incorporate fear, anxiety or other welfare-reducing mental states into the analysis.This is puzzling, since fear and anxiety are welfare setbacks, and since the very hazards regulated by these age...

  15. Psychology: Fear and hope in climate messages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Paul C.

    2012-08-01

    Scientists often expect fear of climate change and its impacts to motivate public support of climate policies. A study suggests that climate change deniers don't respond to this, but that positive appeals can change their views.

  16. The influence of serotonin on fear learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Hindi Attar

    Full Text Available Learning of associations between aversive stimuli and predictive cues is the basis of Pavlovian fear conditioning and is driven by a mismatch between expectation and outcome. To investigate whether serotonin modulates the formation of such aversive cue-outcome associations, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI and dietary tryptophan depletion to reduce brain serotonin (5-HT levels in healthy human subjects. In a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm, 5-HT depleted subjects compared to a non-depleted control group exhibited attenuated autonomic responses to cues indicating the upcoming of an aversive event. These results were closely paralleled by reduced aversive learning signals in the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex, two prominent structures of the neural fear circuit. In agreement with current theories of serotonin as a motivational opponent system to dopamine in fear learning, our data provide first empirical evidence for a role of serotonin in representing formally derived learning signals for aversive events.

  17. Fear of Success Theory and Librarians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Rosann Webb; Eggleton, Richard

    1980-01-01

    Reports on a study to determine the relationships of such variables as age, race, sex, marital status, and work experience to the fear of the effects of success, focusing primarily on female librarians. (FM)

  18. Social Factors That Predict Fear of Academic Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gore, Jonathan S.; Thomas, Jessica; Jones, Stevy; Mahoney, Lauren; Dukes, Kristina; Treadway, Jodi

    2016-01-01

    Fear of academic success is ultimately a fear of social exclusion. Therefore, various forms of social inclusion may alleviate this fear. Three studies tested the hypothesis that social inclusion variables negatively predict fear of success. In Study 1, middle and high school students (n = 129) completed surveys of parental involvement, parental…

  19. Part 2: Fear of contagion, fear of intimacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botnick, M R

    2000-01-01

    In this second part of the trilogy, I review the concepts of panic, the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, and how internally inconsistent opinions and attitudes can be made consistent (or consonant). The theory explains, in some measure, how AIDS has been socialized into our thinking about identity, and goes beyond a medical condition. The pervasive identification of gay men with HIV and AIDS has resulted for many in an over-identification with fears of contagion and on a societal level in a fear of all gays as pools of contagion. The conversion of dissonance to consonance has taken many forms; within the gay community it has resulted in the rejection of the "100% safe-100% of the time" safe-sex message, and the adoption (for many) of a new form of deviant label-someone who is not in conformity with the social norm of gay community sexual behavior. However, we shall see that this so-called norm is a sham-that many gay men do not, as a rule, practice safe(r) sex on a consistent basis. This information indicates that the educational efforts of the last decade have at best lost their potency, and at worst were less than efficacious to begin with. The dissonant messages have also informed both the construction of the gay community and its interpretation of what it means to be gay. The result has been a tri-lateral perception of HIV and AIDS as either a medical, political or a social phenomenon. This fragmented understanding has exacerbated the already polarized ASOs and GSOs in that each has determined its ideology based on a particular interpretation of HIV and AIDS. This polarization has been operationalized by the GSOs and ASOs primarily in the manner by which they define their target markets, and more importantly, in the manner by which they exclude certain gays from participation. At the extreme, some gay men feel entirely left out of the community, and are consequently unable to convert their dissonance regarding being gay into consonance, if only by developing

  20. Fear of Floating and Social Welfare

    OpenAIRE

    Demosthenes N. Tambakis

    2007-01-01

    This paper studies the welfare implications of financial stability and inflation stabilization as distinct monetary policy objectives. Introducing asymmetric aversion to exchange rate depreciation in the Barro-Gordon model mitigates inflation bias due to credibility problems. The net welfare impact of fear of floating depends on the economy's recent track record, the credibility of monetary policy, and the central bank's discount factor. It is shown that fear of floating is more appropriate f...

  1. Recent fear is resistant to extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Maren, Stephen; Chang, Chun-hui

    2006-01-01

    In some individuals, fearful experiences (e.g., combat) yield persistent and debilitating psychological disturbances, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Early intervention (e.g., debriefing) after psychological trauma is widely practiced and argued to be an effective strategy for limiting subsequent psychopathology, although there has been considerable debate on this point. Here we show in an animal model of traumatic fear that early intervention shortly after an aversive experie...

  2. Individual differences in recovery from traumatic fear

    OpenAIRE

    Holmes, Andrew; Singewald, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    Although exposure to major psychological trauma is unfortunately common, risk for related neuropsychiatric conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), varies greatly among individuals. Fear extinction offers a tractable and translatable behavioral readout of individual differences in learned recovery from trauma. Studies in rodent substrains and subpopulations are providing new insights into neural system dysfunctions associated with impaired fear extinction. Rapid progress is ...

  3. Multimodal assessment of long-term memory recall and reinstatement in a combined cue and context fear conditioning and extinction paradigm in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Haaker

    Full Text Available Learning to predict danger via associative learning processes is critical for adaptive behaviour. After successful extinction, persisting fear memories often emerge as returning fear. Investigation of return of fear phenomena, e.g. reinstatement, have only recently began and to date, many critical questions with respect to reinstatement in human populations remain unresolved. Few studies have separated experimental phases in time even though increasing evidence shows that allowing for passage of time (and consolidation between experimental phases has a major impact on the results. In addition, studies have relied on a single psychophysiological dimension only (SCRs/SCL or FPS which hampers comparability between different studies that showed both differential or generalized return of fear following a reinstatement manipulation. In 93 participants, we used a multimodal approach (fear-potentiated startle, skin conductance responses, fear ratings to asses fear conditioning (day 1, extinction (day 2 as well as delayed memory recall and reinstatement (day 8 in a paradigm that probed contextual and cued fear intra-individually. Our findings show persistence of conditioning and extinction memory over time and demonstrate that reinstated fear responses were qualitatively different between dependent variables (subjective fear ratings, FPS, SCRs as well as between cued and contextual CSs. While only the arousal-related measurement (SCRs showed increasing reactions following reinstatement to the cued CSs, no evidence of reinstatement was observed for the subjective ratings and fear-related measurement (FPS. In contrast, for contextual CSs, reinstatement was evident as differential and generalized reinstatement in fear ratings as well as generally elevated physiological fear (FPS and arousal (SCRs related measurements to all contextual CSs (generalized non-differential reinstatement. Returning fear after reinstatement likely depends on a variety of variables

  4. Attention decay in science

    CERN Document Server

    Parolo, Pietro Della Briotta; Ghosh, Rumi; Huberman, Bernardo A; Kaski, Kimmo; Fortunato, Santo

    2015-01-01

    The exponential growth in the number of scientific papers makes it increasingly difficult for researchers to keep track of all the publications relevant to their work. Consequently, the attention that can be devoted to individual papers, measured by their citation counts, is bound to decay rapidly. In this work we make a thorough study of the life-cycle of papers in different disciplines. Typically, the citation rate of a paper increases up to a few years after its publication, reaches a peak and then decreases rapidly. This decay can be described by an exponential or a power law behavior, as in ultradiffusive processes, with exponential fitting better than power law for the majority of cases. The decay is also becoming faster over the years, signaling that nowadays papers are forgotten more quickly. However, when time is counted in terms of the number of published papers, the rate of decay of citations is fairly independent of the period considered. This indicates that the attention of scholars depends on th...

  5. Olfactory instruction for fear: neural system analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Newton Sabino Canteras

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Studies using cat odor have led to detailed mapping of neural sites engaged in innate and contextual fear responses. Here, we reviewed three lines of work examining the dynamics of the neural systems that organize innate and learned fear responses to cat odor. In the first, we explored the neural systems involved in innate fear responses and in the different stages of fear conditioning to cat odor (i.e., acquisition and expression, with a particular emphasis on the role of the dorsal premammillary nucleus (PMd and the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (PAGdl as key sites that influence innate and contextual conditioning. In the second line of studies, we reviewed how chemical stimulation of these sites (i.e., the PMd and PAGdl may serve as a useful unconditioned stimulus in an olfactory fear conditioning paradigm; these experiments provide an interesting perspective for the understanding of learned fear to predator odor. Finally, in the third line of studies, we explored the fact that neutral odors that acquire an aversive valence in a shock-paired conditioning paradigm may mimic predator odor and mobilize elements of the hypothalamic predator-responsive circuit.

  6. Energy, Ecology and Psychology of Fear

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The fear of highly industrialized societies from industrial and technological systems, from power plants is partially founded on rational reasons and partially on irrational which can be characterized as antitechnological and antiindustrial paranoia. The fear from nuclear accidents, disease and death, which are impossible to run away from, could be characterised as a fear and stress of living and working in complex and highly technological system the man is alienated from. The fear from air pollution and intoxicated environment, nuclear power plants, coal, that can cause biological dying and extinction must and can become subject of rational and objective analysis. The prediction of the near future climate and anxiety about our planet in the near future have to be separated from predicting the far future climate. The human technique and the anthropogenic sources are major factors of the near future climate (next few hundred years), but the far future climate (0000 years) of our planet is determined by long-term variations in the earth's orbital parameters; eccentricity of ellipse, precession and tilt, and the long term process on the Sun. The irrational fear from power plants and industry beside the rational and logical fear could be sublimated and directed toward the full control of technique dealing with the nature and environment, creating acceptable international laws for sustainable development. (author)

  7. The early-onset fearful panic attack as a predictor of severe psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Renee D; Hamilton, Steven P

    2002-01-31

    The objective of this study was to replicate previous findings indicating that early-onset panic attack (< or =20 years) with fear represents a possible prodrome of early-onset severe psychopathology. Data were drawn from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Survey (ECA) (n=20 291), a household sample of adults aged 18 and older drawn from five cities in the United States. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to differentiate those with early-onset panic attacks with fear from those with other panic attacks (early-onset without fear, late-onset without fear, late-onset with fear) with regard to psychiatric comorbidity, age at onset of comorbid mental disorders, and suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Results of statistical analyses revealed that early-onset fearful panic attack (n=368) was associated with increased likelihood of major affective and substance use disorders, significantly earlier onset of comorbid mental disorders, higher rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt, and higher rates of antisocial personality disorder compared with those with other subtypes of panic attacks. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that early-onset fearful panic was independently associated with increased odds of major depression [OR=3.0 (2.6, 3.5)], bipolar disorder [OR=7.9 (5.7, 10.8)], antisocial personality disorder [OR=1.5 (1.3, 1.7)], agoraphobia [OR=1.2 (1.1, 1.4)], simple phobia [OR=1.6 (1.4, 1.8)], and alcohol dependence [OR=1.3 (1.2, 1.5)], compared with those with all other panic attacks. These findings are consistent with previous epidemiologic data and provide new evidence to suggest that early-onset fearful panic attack may be a marker of increased vulnerability to severe and persistent psychopathology and associated with high rates of suicidality. PMID:11850053

  8. The role of negative and positive memories in fear of dental treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Staugaard, Søren Risløv; Jøssing, Marit; Krohn, Christina

    2016-01-01

    is influenced by memories of positive and negative childhood experiences with dental care. More specifically, we predicted that the emotional impact, sense of reliving, rehearsal, and belief in the accuracy of a negative treatment memory would be associated with increased dental fear, while positive treatment...... memories would show the opposite relation. Methods One hundred thirty-six young adults leaving childhood dental care responded to a online measures of dental fear, the most negative and most positive memory of dental treatment, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. Results Negative memories...... of events that involved pain and dentist behaviors such as impatience or scolding were frequently described and significantly associated with dental fear and symptoms of posttraumatic stress. Positive memories were more frequent, but did not show a consistent relationship with dental fear. Conclusions...

  9. Fear of memories: the nature of panic in posttraumatic stress disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Joscelyne

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Although there is increasing evidence that panic attacks are common in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD, little is known if posttraumatic panic is comparable to panic attacks observed in panic disorder (PD. Objective: This study examined the cognitive responses to panic attacks in participants with PD and PTSD. Method: Participants with PD (n=22 and PTSD (n=18 were assessed on the Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule for DSM-IV and subsequently administered the Agoraphobic Cognitions Questionnaire and a measure of fears related to trauma memories. Results: Although participants did not differ in terms of catastrophic appraisals about somatic sensations, PTSD participants were more likely to experience fears about trauma memories and being harmed by trauma again during their panic attacks than PD participants. Conclusions: These findings suggest that although PTSD participants fear somatic outcomes during panic attacks, their panic attacks are distinguished by a marked fear of trauma memories.

  10. Fear erasure in mice requires synergy between antidepressant drugs and extinction training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpova, Nina N; Pickenhagen, Anouchka; Lindholm, Jesse; Tiraboschi, Ettore; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Agústsdóttir, Arna; Antila, Hanna; Popova, Dina; Akamine, Yumiko; Bahi, Amine; Sullivan, Regina; Hen, René; Drew, Liam J; Castrén, Eero

    2011-12-23

    Antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy combined are more effective in treating mood disorders than either treatment alone, but the neurobiological basis of this interaction is unknown. To investigate how antidepressants influence the response of mood-related systems to behavioral experience, we used a fear-conditioning and extinction paradigm in mice. Combining extinction training with chronic fluoxetine, but neither treatment alone, induced an enduring loss of conditioned fear memory in adult animals. Fluoxetine treatment increased synaptic plasticity, converted the fear memory circuitry to a more immature state, and acted through local brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Fluoxetine-induced plasticity may allow fear erasure by extinction-guided remodeling of the memory circuitry. Thus, the pharmacological effects of antidepressants need to be combined with psychological rehabilitation to reorganize networks rendered more plastic by the drug treatment.

  11. Reversible plasticity of fear memory-encoding amygdala synaptic circuits even after fear memory consolidation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingie Hong

    Full Text Available It is generally believed that after memory consolidation, memory-encoding synaptic circuits are persistently modified and become less plastic. This, however, may hinder the remaining capacity of information storage in a given neural circuit. Here we consider the hypothesis that memory-encoding synaptic circuits still retain reversible plasticity even after memory consolidation. To test this, we employed a protocol of auditory fear conditioning which recruited the vast majority of the thalamic input synaptic circuit to the lateral amygdala (T-LA synaptic circuit; a storage site for fear memory with fear conditioning-induced synaptic plasticity. Subsequently the fear memory-encoding synaptic circuits were challenged with fear extinction and re-conditioning to determine whether these circuits exhibit reversible plasticity. We found that fear memory-encoding T-LA synaptic circuit exhibited dynamic efficacy changes in tight correlation with fear memory strength even after fear memory consolidation. Initial conditioning or re-conditioning brought T-LA synaptic circuit near the ceiling of their modification range (occluding LTP and enhancing depotentiation in brain slices prepared from conditioned or re-conditioned rats, while extinction reversed this change (reinstating LTP and occluding depotentiation in brain slices prepared from extinguished rats. Consistently, fear conditioning-induced synaptic potentiation at T-LA synapses was functionally reversed by extinction and reinstated by subsequent re-conditioning. These results suggest reversible plasticity of fear memory-encoding circuits even after fear memory consolidation. This reversible plasticity of memory-encoding synapses may be involved in updating the contents of original memory even after memory consolidation.

  12. Attention Mosaics: Studies of Organizational Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Carvalho de Mesquita Ferreira, Luciana

    2010-01-01

    textabstractOrganizational studies emphasizing the role of attention in organizational behavior depart from the idea that organizations, like individuals, have limited capacity to attend to environmental stimuli. The bounded capacity of the organizations to respond to stimuli is conditioned by the limited cognitions of individuals and by the limited capability of organizations to distribute, coordinate and integrate those cognitions. The cross-level nature of organizational attention, its dua...

  13. Visual attention capacity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi

    2009-01-01

    Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity...

  14. Attention Breaks in Lectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnstone, A. H.; Percival, F.

    1976-01-01

    Describes research into student attention patterns during lectures that suggests that student attention declines steadily during a lecture, and that the rate of decrease is dependent upon several variables including subject difficulty. (MLH)

  15. Colonoscopy, pain and fears: Is it an indissoluble trinomial?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevisani, Lucio; Zelante, Angelo; Sartori, Sergio

    2014-06-16

    Colonoscopy is the reference method in the secondary prevention, diagnosis and, in some cases, treatment of colorectal cancer. It can often cause pain associated with embarrassment, anxiety, and physical and emotional discomfort. Pain intensity is influenced by a lot of factors, and there is a strict relationship among pain, pain perception, and mind. Several methods can be used to break the trinomial colonoscopy, pain and fear. Sedoanalgesia is recommended by several guidelines. If no sedation is offered, the patient must accept a higher chance of unacceptable discomfort and the endoscopist a lower chance of completing the procedure because of patient discomfort. Other non-pharmacologic methods such as acupuncture, music, and hydrocolonoscopy can be used as alternatives to pharmacologic sedoanalgesia. Furthermore, new endoscopic technologies such as variable-stiffness colonoscopes and ultrathin colonoscopes, or the use of carbon dioxide instead of air for colon insufflation, can reduce the pain caused by colonoscopy. In the future, technical improvements such as wireless capsules or robotic probes, will probably enable to overcome the present concept of colonoscopy, avoiding the use of traditional endoscopes. However, at present the poor attention paid by endoscopists to the pain and discomfort caused by colonoscopy can not be justified. There are several methods to reduce pain and anxiety and to break the trinomial colonoscopy, pain and fear. We must use them. PMID:24932374

  16. Attention Competition with Advertisement

    OpenAIRE

    Cetin, Uzay; Bingol, Haluk O.

    2012-01-01

    In the new digital age, information is available in large quantities. Since information consumes primarily the attention of its recipients, the scarcity of attention is becoming the main limiting factor. In this study, we investigate the impact of advertisement pressure on a cultural market where consumers have a limited attention capacity. A model of competition for attention is developed and investigated analytically and by simulation. Advertisement is found to be much more effective when a...

  17. Prefrontal neuronal assemblies temporally control fear behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Cyril; Courtin, Julien; Karalis, Nikolaos; Chaudun, Fabrice; Wurtz, Hélène; Bienvenu, Thomas C M; Herry, Cyril

    2016-07-21

    Precise spike timing through the coordination and synchronization of neuronal assemblies is an efficient and flexible coding mechanism for sensory and cognitive processing. In cortical and subcortical areas, the formation of cell assemblies critically depends on neuronal oscillations, which can precisely control the timing of spiking activity. Whereas this form of coding has been described for sensory processing and spatial learning, its role in encoding emotional behaviour remains unknown. Fear behaviour relies on the activation of distributed structures, among which the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) is known to be critical for fear memory expression. In the dmPFC, the phasic activation of neurons to threat-predicting cues, a spike-rate coding mechanism, correlates with conditioned fear responses and supports the discrimination between aversive and neutral stimuli. However, this mechanism does not account for freezing observed outside stimuli presentations, and the contribution of a general spike-time coding mechanism for freezing in the dmPFC remains to be established. Here we use a combination of single-unit and local field potential recordings along with optogenetic manipulations to show that, in the dmPFC, expression of conditioned fear is causally related to the organization of neurons into functional assemblies. During fear behaviour, the development of 4 Hz oscillations coincides with the activation of assemblies nested in the ascending phase of the oscillation. The selective optogenetic inhibition of dmPFC neurons during the ascending or descending phases of this oscillation blocks and promotes conditioned fear responses, respectively. These results identify a novel phase-specific coding mechanism, which dynamically regulates the development of dmPFC assemblies to control the precise timing of fear responses. PMID:27409809

  18. THE FEAR OF FEAR CONCEPT - STABILITY, RETEST ARTIFACT AND PREDICTIVE POWER

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ARRINDELL, WA

    1993-01-01

    Three related issues concerning the theory, measurement and clinical utility of the fear of fear construct as operationalized by the Agoraphobic Cognitions and Bodily Sensations Questionnaires (Chambless, Caputo, Bright & Gallagher, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 52, 1090-1097, 1984)

  19. Zinc Transporter 3 Is Involved in Learned Fear and Extinction, but Not in Innate Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, Guillaume; Hevi, Charles; Friebely, Olivia; Baybutt, Trevor; Shumyatsky, Gleb P.

    2010-01-01

    Synaptically released Zn[superscript 2+] is a potential modulator of neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in fear-conditioning pathways. Zinc transporter 3 (ZnT3) knock-out (KO) mice are well suited to test the role of zinc in learned fear, because ZnT3 is colocalized with synaptic zinc, responsible for its transport to synaptic vesicles,…

  20. Fear less : Individual differences in fear conditioning and their relation to treatment outcome in anxiety disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duits, P.

    2016-01-01

    Findings from animal and human experimental studies highlight the importance of fear conditioning processes in the development and treatment of anxiety disorders. The work reported in this thesis was focused on potential abnormalities in the acquisition and extinction of fear in patients with anxiet

  1. An Operant Analysis of Joint Attention Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holth, Per

    2005-01-01

    Joint attention, a synchronizing of the attention of two or more persons, has been an increasing focus of research in cognitive developmental psychology. Research in this area has progressed mainly outside of behavior analysis, and behavior-analytic research and theory has tended to ignore the work on joint attention. It is argued here, on the one…

  2. Methylphenidate alters selective attention by amplifying salience

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huurne, N.; Fallon, S.J.; Schouwenburg, M. van; Schaaf, M.; Buitelaar, J.; Jensen, O.; Cools, R.

    2015-01-01

    RATIONALE: Methylphenidate, the most common treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is increasingly used by healthy individuals as a "smart drug" to enhance cognitive abilities like attention. A key feature of (selective) attention is the ability to ignore irrelevant but salien

  3. Fears of Children in the United States: An Examination of the American Fear Survey Schedule with 20 New Contemporary Fear Items

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnham, Joy J.

    2005-01-01

    Twenty contemporary fears (e.g., terrorist attacks, drive-by shootings, having to fight in a war) were added to E. Gullone and N. J. King's (1992) Australian Fear Survey Schedule for Children-II for use in the United States. The revised survey, the American Fear Survey Schedule for Children (J. J. Burnham, 1995), was investigated. The component…

  4. Psychopathic traits are associated with reduced attention to the eyes of emotional faces among adult male non-offenders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Mark Gillespie

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Psychopathic traits are linked with impairments in emotional facial expression recognition. These impairments may, in part, reflect reduced attention to the eyes of emotional faces. Although reduced attention to the eyes has been noted among children with conduct problems and callous-unemotional traits, similar findings are yet to be found in relation to psychopathic traits among adult male participants. Here we investigated the relationship of primary (selfish, uncaring and secondary (impulsive, antisocial psychopathic traits with attention to the eyes among adult male non-offenders during an emotion recognition task. We measured the number of fixations, and overall dwell time, on the eyes and the mouth of male and female faces showing the six basic emotions at varying levels of intensity. We found no relationship of primary or secondary psychopathic traits with recognition accuracy. However, primary psychopathic traits were associated with a reduced number of fixations, and lower overall dwell time, on the eyes relative to the mouth across expressions, intensity, and sex. Furthermore, the relationship of primary psychopathic traits with attention to the eyes of angry and fearful faces was influenced by the sex and intensity of the expression. We also showed that a greater number of fixations on the eyes, relative to the mouth, was associated with increased accuracy for angry and fearful expression recognition. These results are the first to show effects of psychopathic traits on attention to the eyes of emotional faces in an adult male sample, and may support amygdala based accounts of psychopathy. These findings may also have methodological implications for clinical studies of emotion recognition.

  5. An Overview of Translationally Informed Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Animal Models of Pavlovian Fear Conditioning to Human Clinical Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Mallory E; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-09-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder manifests after exposure to a traumatic event and is characterized by avoidance/numbing, intrusive symptoms and flashbacks, mood and cognitive disruptions, and hyperarousal/reactivity symptoms. These symptoms reflect dysregulation of the fear system likely caused by poor fear inhibition/extinction, increased generalization, and/or enhanced consolidation or acquisition of fear. These phenotypes can be modeled in animal subjects using Pavlovian fear conditioning, allowing investigation of the underlying neurobiology of normative and pathological fear. Preclinical studies reveal a number of neurotransmitter systems and circuits critical for aversive learning and memory that have informed the development of therapies used in human clinical trials. In this review, we discuss the evidence for a number of established and emerging pharmacotherapies and device-based treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder that have been developed via a bench to bedside translational model.

  6. An Overview of Translationally Informed Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Animal Models of Pavlovian Fear Conditioning to Human Clinical Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Mallory E; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-09-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder manifests after exposure to a traumatic event and is characterized by avoidance/numbing, intrusive symptoms and flashbacks, mood and cognitive disruptions, and hyperarousal/reactivity symptoms. These symptoms reflect dysregulation of the fear system likely caused by poor fear inhibition/extinction, increased generalization, and/or enhanced consolidation or acquisition of fear. These phenotypes can be modeled in animal subjects using Pavlovian fear conditioning, allowing investigation of the underlying neurobiology of normative and pathological fear. Preclinical studies reveal a number of neurotransmitter systems and circuits critical for aversive learning and memory that have informed the development of therapies used in human clinical trials. In this review, we discuss the evidence for a number of established and emerging pharmacotherapies and device-based treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder that have been developed via a bench to bedside translational model. PMID:26238379

  7. The relationship of adult attachment dimensions to pain-related fear, hypervigilance, and catastrophizing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWilliams, Lachlan A; Asmundson, Gordon J G

    2007-01-01

    Despite the prominence of fear-avoidance models of chronic pain, there is a paucity of research regarding the origins of pain-related fear. Based on the premise that insecure attachment could be a developmentally based origin of elevated fear of pain, associations between adult attachment dimensions and constructs included in fear-avoidance models of chronic pain were investigated. Consistent with Bartholomew and Horowitz's [Bartholomew K, Horowitz LM. Attachment styles among young adults: a test of a four-category model. J Pers Soc Psychol 1991;61:226-44.] model, attachment was conceptualized as being comprised of a model of self dimension (i.e., degree of anxiety regarding rejection based on beliefs of personal unworthiness) and a model of others dimension (i.e., degree of interpersonal mistrust and discomfort with interpersonal closeness). A large university student sample free of chronic pain (N=278) completed a measure of adult romantic attachment (i.e., Experiences in Close Relationships Questionnaire; [Brennan KA, Clark CL, Shaver PR. Self-report measurement of adult attachment: an integrative overview. In: Simpson JA, Rholes WS, editors. Attachment theory and close relationships. New York: The Guilford Press, 1998. p. 46-76.]), the Fear of Pain Questionnaire-III [McNeil DW, Rainwater AJ. Development of the fear of pain questionnaire - III. J Behav Med 1998;21:389-410.], the Pain Vigilance and Awareness Questionnaire [McCracken LM. Attention to pain in persons with chronic pain: a behavioural approach. Behav Ther 1997;28:271-84.], and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale [Sullivan MJ, Bishop SR, Pivik J. The pain catastrophizing scale: development and validation. Psychol Assess 1995;7:24-532.]. It was hypothesized that insecure attachment would be positively associated with reports of pain-related fear, hypervigilance, and catastrophizing and that the model of self dimension would be the attachment variable most strongly associated with these variables

  8. Attention competition with advertisement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cetin, Uzay; Bingol, Haluk O.

    2014-09-01

    In the new digital age, information is available in large quantities. Since information consumes primarily the attention of its recipients, the scarcity of attention is becoming the main limiting factor. In this study, we investigate the impact of advertisement pressure on a cultural market where consumers have a limited attention capacity. A model of competition for attention is developed and investigated analytically and by simulation. Advertisement is found to be much more effective when the attention capacity of agents is extremely scarce. We have observed that the market share of the advertised item improves if dummy items are introduced to the market while the strength of the advertisement is kept constant.

  9. [Mechanisms for regulation of fear conditioning and memory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kida, Satoshi

    2014-11-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a model of fear learning and memory. The mechanisms regulating fear conditioning and memory have been investigated in humans and rodents. In this paradigm, animals learn and memorize an association between a conditioned stimulus (CS), such as context, and an unconditioned stimulus (US), such as an electrical footshock that induces fear. Fear memory generated though fear conditioning is stabilized via a memory consolidation process. Moreover, recent studies have shown the existence of memory processes that control fear memory following the retrieval of consolidated memory. Indeed, when fear memory is retrieved by re-exposure to the CS, the retrieved memory is re-stabilized via the reconsolidation process. On the other hand, the retrieval of fear memory by prolonged re-exposure to the CS also leads to fear memory extinction, new inhibitory learning against the fear memory, in which animals learn that they do not need to respond to the CS. Importantly, the reinforcement of fear memory after retrieval (i.e., re-experience such as flashbacks or nightmares) has been thought to be associated with the development of emotional disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this review, I summarize recent progress in studies on the mechanism of fear conditioning and memory consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction, and furthermore, introduce our recent establishment of a mouse PTSD model that shows enhancement of fear memory after retrieval.

  10. [Mechanisms for regulation of fear conditioning and memory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kida, Satoshi

    2014-11-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a model of fear learning and memory. The mechanisms regulating fear conditioning and memory have been investigated in humans and rodents. In this paradigm, animals learn and memorize an association between a conditioned stimulus (CS), such as context, and an unconditioned stimulus (US), such as an electrical footshock that induces fear. Fear memory generated though fear conditioning is stabilized via a memory consolidation process. Moreover, recent studies have shown the existence of memory processes that control fear memory following the retrieval of consolidated memory. Indeed, when fear memory is retrieved by re-exposure to the CS, the retrieved memory is re-stabilized via the reconsolidation process. On the other hand, the retrieval of fear memory by prolonged re-exposure to the CS also leads to fear memory extinction, new inhibitory learning against the fear memory, in which animals learn that they do not need to respond to the CS. Importantly, the reinforcement of fear memory after retrieval (i.e., re-experience such as flashbacks or nightmares) has been thought to be associated with the development of emotional disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this review, I summarize recent progress in studies on the mechanism of fear conditioning and memory consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction, and furthermore, introduce our recent establishment of a mouse PTSD model that shows enhancement of fear memory after retrieval. PMID:25536762

  11. Genetics of PTSD: Fear Conditioning as a Model for Future Research

    OpenAIRE

    Amstadter, Ananda B.; Nugent, Nicole R.; Koenen, Karestan C.

    2009-01-01

    In the last decade, the number of publications in psychiatric genetics has nearly tripled but little attention has been paid to the role of genetic factors in the etiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present review summarizes the current state of genetic research on PTSD. First, we outline information regarding genetic influences provided by family investigations and by twin studies. Second, we propose the fear-conditioning model of PTSD as a framework for the nomination of c...

  12. "Proper Masculinities" and the Fear of Feminisation in Modern Cyprus: University Students Talk about Homosexuality and Gendered Subjectivities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onoufriou, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    The present article attempts to pay attention to the ways in which a group of young Cypriot students engage in the construction of conventional notions of masculinities through the negation and the fear of homosexual desire. Drawing on interviews with 12 male and female university students, I argue that many young men go through complicated…

  13. The therapist user interface of a virtual reality exposure therapy system in the treatment of fear of flying

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.P. Brinkman; C. van der Mast; G. Sandino; L.T. Gunawan; P.M.G. Emmelkamp

    2010-01-01

    The use of virtual reality (VR) technology to support the treatment of patients with phobia, such as the fear of flying, is getting considerable research attention. Research mainly focuses on the patient experience and the effect of the treatment. In this paper, however, the focus is on the interact

  14. Improvement in γ-hydroxybutyrate-induced contextual fear memory deficit by systemic administration of NCS-382.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiwari, Keita; Sircar, Ratna

    2016-06-15

    Low, nonsedative doses of γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) produce short-term anterograde amnesia in humans and memory impairments in experimental animals. We have previously shown that acute systemic treatment of GHB in adolescent female rats impairs the acquisition, but not the expression, of contextual fear memory while sparing both the acquisition and the expression of auditory cued fear memory. In the brain, GHB binds to specific GHB-binding sites as well as to γ-aminobutyric acid type B (GABAB) receptors. Although many of the behavioral effects of GHB at high doses have been attributed to its effects on the GABAB receptor, it is unclear which receptor mediates its relatively low-dose memory-impairing effects. The present study examined the ability of the putative GHB receptor antagonist NCS-382 to block the disrupting effects of GHB on fear memory in adolescent rat. Groups of rats received either a single dose of NCS-382 (3-10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or vehicle, followed by an injection of either GHB (100 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or saline. All rats were trained in the fear paradigm, and tested for contextual fear memory and auditory cued fear memory. NCS-382 dose-dependently reversed deficits in the acquisition of contextual fear memory induced by GHB in adolescent rats, with 5 mg/kg of NCS-382 maximally increasing freezing to the context compared with the group administered GHB alone. When animals were tested for cued fear memory, treatment groups did not differ in freezing responses to the tone. These results suggest that low-dose amnesic effects of GHB are mediated by GHB receptors. PMID:27105320

  15. Improvement in γ-hydroxybutyrate-induced contextual fear memory deficit by systemic administration of NCS-382

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiwari, Keita

    2016-01-01

    Low, nonsedative doses of γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) produce short-term anterograde amnesia in humans and memory impairments in experimental animals. We have previously shown that acute systemic treatment of GHB in adolescent female rats impairs the acquisition, but not the expression, of contextual fear memory while sparing both the acquisition and the expression of auditory cued fear memory. In the brain, GHB binds to specific GHB-binding sites as well as to γ-aminobutyric acid type B (GABAB) receptors. Although many of the behavioral effects of GHB at high doses have been attributed to its effects on the GABAB receptor, it is unclear which receptor mediates its relatively low-dose memory-impairing effects. The present study examined the ability of the putative GHB receptor antagonist NCS-382 to block the disrupting effects of GHB on fear memory in adolescent rat. Groups of rats received either a single dose of NCS-382 (3–10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or vehicle, followed by an injection of either GHB (100 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or saline. All rats were trained in the fear paradigm, and tested for contextual fear memory and auditory cued fear memory. NCS-382 dose-dependently reversed deficits in the acquisition of contextual fear memory induced by GHB in adolescent rats, with 5 mg/kg of NCS-382 maximally increasing freezing to the context compared with the group administered GHB alone. When animals were tested for cued fear memory, treatment groups did not differ in freezing responses to the tone. These results suggest that low-dose amnesic effects of GHB are mediated by GHB receptors. PMID:27105320

  16. Lesions of the posterior paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus attenuate fear expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonghui eLi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT has generated interest because of its strong projections to areas of the brain associated with the regulation of emotional behaviors. The posterior aspect of the PVT (pPVT is notable for its projection to the central nucleus of the amygdala which is essential for the expression of a conditioned fear response. The present study was done to determine if the pPVT is involved in the expression of fear by examining the effect of post-conditioning lesions of the pPVT. Male rats were trained to bar press for food pellets on a variable ratio schedule. Fear conditioning was done using auditory tones (30 s that co-terminate with footschocks (0.65 mA, 1.0 s. Rats were anesthetized 24 hours later and small bilateral electrolytic lesions of the pPVT were made. Fear expression to the tone was assessed using suppression of bar-pressing and freezing after one week of recovery from the surgical procedure. Small bilateral lesions of the pPVT increased bar-pressing for food and decreased freezing during the presentation of the conditioned tone. Lesions of the pPVT had no effect on fear extinction, fear conditioning to a novel tone, or the motivation for food as assessed using a progressive ratio schedule. The results of the experiment support a role for the pPVT in fear expression. In contrast, the pPVT does not appear to be involved in fear learning or extinction nor does it appear to play a role in the motivation of rats to bar press for food.

  17. A mouse model of posttraumatic stress disorder that distinguishes between conditioned and sensitised fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegmund, Anja; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2007-11-01

    The pathomechanisms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are still unknown, but both fear conditioning and stress sensitisation are supposed to play a crucial role. Hence, valid animal models that model both associative and non-associative components of fear will facilitate elucidation of the biological substrates of the illness, and to develop novel and specific approaches for its prevention and therapy. Here we applied a single electric footshock to C57BL/6N (B6N) and C57BL/6JOla (B6JOla) mice and recorded the conditioned response to contextual trauma reminders (associative fear), the sensitised reaction to a neutral tone in a novel environment (non-associative fear, hyperarousal), social interaction and various emotional behaviours using Modified Holeboard, Test for Novelty-Induced Suppression of Feeding and Forced Swimming Test, after different incubation times (1, 14, 28 days). Freezing generally increased as a function of shock intensity. In B6N mice, sensitised fear was maximal 28 days after trauma and was accompanied by signs of emotional blunting and social withdrawal. B6JOla mice, in contrast, were less susceptible to develop PTSD-like symptoms. The phenotype of B6N exhibited high behavioural variance, allowing distinction between vulnerable and resilient individuals. Only in vulnerable B6N mice, chronic fluoxetine treatment - initiated after an incubation period of 28 days - ameliorated sensitised fear. This new mouse model fulfils common criteria for face and predictive validity and can be used to investigate the biological correlates of individual fear susceptibility, as well as the impact and interrelationship of associative and non-associative fear components in the development and maintenance of PTSD. PMID:17027033

  18. Uncertainty-Dependent Extinction of Fear Memory in an Amygdala-mPFC Neural Circuit Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuzhe; Nakae, Ken; Ishii, Shin; Naoki, Honda

    2016-09-01

    Uncertainty of fear conditioning is crucial for the acquisition and extinction of fear memory. Fear memory acquired through partial pairings of a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) is more resistant to extinction than that acquired through full pairings; this effect is known as the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE). Although the PREE has been explained by psychological theories, the neural mechanisms underlying the PREE remain largely unclear. Here, we developed a neural circuit model based on three distinct types of neurons (fear, persistent and extinction neurons) in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In the model, the fear, persistent and extinction neurons encode predictions of net severity, of unconditioned stimulus (US) intensity, and of net safety, respectively. Our simulation successfully reproduces the PREE. We revealed that unpredictability of the US during extinction was represented by the combined responses of the three types of neurons, which are critical for the PREE. In addition, we extended the model to include amygdala subregions and the mPFC to address a recent finding that the ventral mPFC (vmPFC) is required for consolidating extinction memory but not for memory retrieval. Furthermore, model simulations led us to propose a novel procedure to enhance extinction learning through re-conditioning with a stronger US; strengthened fear memory up-regulates the extinction neuron, which, in turn, further inhibits the fear neuron during re-extinction. Thus, our models increased the understanding of the functional roles of the amygdala and vmPFC in the processing of uncertainty in fear conditioning and extinction. PMID:27617747

  19. Uncertainty-Dependent Extinction of Fear Memory in an Amygdala-mPFC Neural Circuit Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuzhe; Nakae, Ken; Ishii, Shin; Naoki, Honda

    2016-01-01

    Uncertainty of fear conditioning is crucial for the acquisition and extinction of fear memory. Fear memory acquired through partial pairings of a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) is more resistant to extinction than that acquired through full pairings; this effect is known as the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE). Although the PREE has been explained by psychological theories, the neural mechanisms underlying the PREE remain largely unclear. Here, we developed a neural circuit model based on three distinct types of neurons (fear, persistent and extinction neurons) in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In the model, the fear, persistent and extinction neurons encode predictions of net severity, of unconditioned stimulus (US) intensity, and of net safety, respectively. Our simulation successfully reproduces the PREE. We revealed that unpredictability of the US during extinction was represented by the combined responses of the three types of neurons, which are critical for the PREE. In addition, we extended the model to include amygdala subregions and the mPFC to address a recent finding that the ventral mPFC (vmPFC) is required for consolidating extinction memory but not for memory retrieval. Furthermore, model simulations led us to propose a novel procedure to enhance extinction learning through re-conditioning with a stronger US; strengthened fear memory up-regulates the extinction neuron, which, in turn, further inhibits the fear neuron during re-extinction. Thus, our models increased the understanding of the functional roles of the amygdala and vmPFC in the processing of uncertainty in fear conditioning and extinction. PMID:27617747

  20. Oxytocin Facilitates Pavlovian Fear Learning in Males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckstein, Monika; Scheele, Dirk; Patin, Alexandra; Preckel, Katrin; Becker, Benjamin; Walter, Annika; Domschke, Katharina; Grinevich, Valery; Maier, Wolfgang; Hurlemann, René

    2016-03-01

    In human evolution, social group living and Pavlovian fear conditioning have evolved as adaptive mechanisms promoting survival and reproductive success. The evolutionarily conserved hypothalamic peptide oxytocin is a key modulator of human sociality, but its effects on fear conditioning are still elusive. In the present randomized controlled study involving 97 healthy male subjects, we therefore employed functional magnetic resonance imaging and simultaneous skin conductance response (SCR) measures to characterize the modulatory influence of intranasal oxytocin (24 IU) on Pavlovian fear conditioning. We found that the peptide strengthened conditioning on both the behavioral and neural levels. Specifically, subjects exhibited faster task-related responses and enhanced SCRs to fear-associated stimuli in the late phase of conditioning, which was paralleled by heightened activity in cingulate cortex subregions in the absence of changes in amygdala function. This speaks against amygdalocentric views of oxytocin having pure anxiolytic-like effects. Instead, it suggests that the peptide enables extremely rapid and flexible adaptation to fear signals in social contexts, which may confer clear evolutionary advantages but could also elevate vulnerability for the pathological sequelae of interpersonal trauma.

  1. Demographic factors predict magnitude of conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Blake L; Bui, Eric; Marin, Marie-France; Holt, Daphne J; Lasko, Natasha B; Pitman, Roger K; Orr, Scott P; Milad, Mohammed R

    2015-10-01

    There is substantial variability across individuals in the magnitudes of their skin conductance (SC) responses during the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear. To manage this variability, subjects may be matched for demographic variables, such as age, gender and education. However, limited data exist addressing how much variability in conditioned SC responses is actually explained by these variables. The present study assessed the influence of age, gender and education on the SC responses of 222 subjects who underwent the same differential conditioning paradigm. The demographic variables were found to predict a small but significant amount of variability in conditioned responding during fear acquisition, but not fear extinction learning or extinction recall. A larger differential change in SC during acquisition was associated with more education. Older participants and women showed smaller differential SC during acquisition. Our findings support the need to consider age, gender and education when studying fear acquisition but not necessarily when examining fear extinction learning and recall. Variability in demographic factors across studies may partially explain the difficulty in reproducing some SC findings. PMID:26151498

  2. Differential effects of CB1 receptor agonism in behavioural tests of unconditioned and conditioned fear in adult male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone, Jonathan J; Green, Matthew R; Hodges, Travis E; McCormick, Cheryl M

    2015-02-15

    We investigated the effects of the highly selective CB1 receptor agonist ACEA and the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 on two behavioural tests of unconditioned fear, the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field test (OFT), as well as on the recall and extinction of a conditioned auditory fear. Both ACEA and AM251 increased anxiety-like behaviour in the EPM and OFT. There was no effect of either drug on recall of the conditioned fear, and ACEA enhanced and AM251 impaired fear extinction. Further, though both the low (0.1 mg/kg) and high (0.5 mg/kg) dose of ACEA facilitated fear extinction, the low dose attenuated, and the high dose potentiated, fear induced corticosterone release suggesting independent effects of the drug on fear and stress responses. Although the extent to which cannabinoids are anxiogenic or anxiolytic has been proposed to be dose-dependent, these results indicate that the same dose has differential effects across tasks, likely based in differences in sensitivities of CB1 receptors to the agonist in the neural regions subserving unconditioned and conditioned fear.

  3. Effects of facial color on the subliminal processing of fearful faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, K; Minami, T; Nakauchi, S

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies have suggested that both configural information, such as face shape, and surface information is important for face perception. In particular, facial color is sufficiently suggestive of emotional states, as in the phrases: "flushed with anger" and "pale with fear." However, few studies have examined the relationship between facial color and emotional expression. On the other hand, event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown that emotional expressions, such as fear, are processed unconsciously. In this study, we examined how facial color modulated the supraliminal and subliminal processing of fearful faces. We recorded electroencephalograms while participants performed a facial emotion identification task involving masked target faces exhibiting facial expressions (fearful or neutral) and colors (natural or bluish). The results indicated that there was a significant interaction between facial expression and color for the latency of the N170 component. Subsequent analyses revealed that the bluish-colored faces increased the latency effect of facial expressions compared to the natural-colored faces, indicating that the bluish color modulated the processing of fearful expressions. We conclude that the unconscious processing of fearful faces is affected by facial color. PMID:26424379

  4. Correlations between psychological tests and physiological responses during fear conditioning and renewal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martínez Karen G

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anxiety disorders are characterized by specific emotions, thoughts and physiological responses. Little is known, however, about the relationship between psychological/personality indices of anxiety responses to fear stimuli. Methods We studied this relationship in healthy subjects by comparing scores on psychological and personality questionnaires with results of an experimental fear conditioning paradigm using a visual conditioned stimulus (CS. We measured skin conductance response (SCR during habituation, conditioning, and extinction; subsequently testing for recall and renewal of fear 24 hours later. Results We found that multiple regression models explained 45% of the variance during conditioning to the CS+, and 24% of the variance during renewal of fear to the CS+. Factors that explained conditioning included lower levels of conscientiousness, increased baseline reactivity (SCL, and response to the shock (UCR. Low levels of extraversion correlated with greater renewal. No model could be found to explain extinction learning or extinction recall to the CS+. Conclusions The lack of correlation of fear extinction with personality and neuropsychological indices suggests that extinction may be less determined by trait variables and cognitive state, and may depend more on the subject’s current emotional state. The negative correlation between fear renewal and extraversion suggests that this personality characteristic may protect against post-treatment relapse of symptoms of anxiety disorders.

  5. Attention Alters Perceived Attractiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A

    2016-04-01

    Can attention alter the impression of a face? Previous studies showed that attention modulates the appearance of lower-level visual features. For instance, attention can make a simple stimulus appear to have higher contrast than it actually does. We tested whether attention can also alter the perception of a higher-order property-namely, facial attractiveness. We asked participants to judge the relative attractiveness of two faces after summoning their attention to one of the faces using a briefly presented visual cue. Across trials, participants judged the attended face to be more attractive than the same face when it was unattended. This effect was not due to decision or response biases, but rather was due to changes in perceptual processing of the faces. These results show that attention alters perceived facial attractiveness, and broadly demonstrate that attention can influence higher-level perception and may affect people's initial impressions of one another. PMID:26966228

  6. Behavioral and central correlates of contextual fear learning and contextual modulation of cued fear in posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiger, Frauke; Nees, Frauke; Wicking, Manon; Lang, Simone; Flor, Herta

    2015-12-01

    Patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show persistent fear responses to trauma cues in contexts in which these cues no longer predict danger. This might be related to deficient context and enhanced cue conditioning. To test this hypothesis, we examined context conditioning directly followed by a cue conditioning phase against the background of the previously conditioned context in 12 patients with PTSD, 14 traumatized control subjects without PTSD and 11 matched never-traumatized controls. We used differential context and cue conditioning paradigms, with rooms as contexts and geometric figures as cues, and assessed valence, arousal and contingency ratings as well as brain responses using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The PTSD patients showed more hippocampal activation and differentiated the threat and safe contexts less in their contingency ratings than the healthy controls during context acquisition. In the subsequent cue acquisition against the background of the conditioned context, they displayed similar threat versus safe cue differentiation in contingency ratings as the two control groups. Moreover, PTSD patients failed to extinguish the differential conditioned context and cued fear responses and showed increased fear to both the dangerous and the safe conditioned contexts and cues in some ratings. This study provides evidence for a dissociation of brain responses and contingency awareness in PTSD which represents impaired context learning and a deficient contextual modulation of cue-related associations. In addition, extinction and extinction recall were impaired in PTSD. These changes were related to PTSD symptoms and suggest that contextual learning deficits may contribute to PTSD. PMID:26149734

  7. Fear of crime in urban parks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maruthaveeran, Sreetheran; Konijnendijk, Cecil Cornelis

    2015-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine the attributes which evoke ‘fear of crime’ and to determine the defensive behaviour among the urban park users. Findings are based on qualitative studies undertaken in the city of Kuala Lumpur among the park and non-park users (N = 19) by means of semi......-structured in-depth interviews. The interview consists of respondents from various age, gender and race. The results revealed universal similarities to other cultures on fear of crime in urban green spaces. This study has highlighted eight themes on the attributes which evoke fear among the residents of Kuala...... Lumpur in their urban parks; concealment (vegetation), being alone, signs of physical disorder, presence of social incivilities, familiarity, prior information about crime and previous crime experience. This study also found that among the residents of Kuala Lumpur there is some form of defensive...

  8. Attention Mosaics: Studies of Organizational Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Carvalho de Mesquita Ferreira (Luciana)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractOrganizational studies emphasizing the role of attention in organizational behavior depart from the idea that organizations, like individuals, have limited capacity to attend to environmental stimuli. The bounded capacity of the organizations to respond to stimuli is conditioned by the l

  9. Principles of visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas

    The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention res....... The book explains the TVA model and shows how it accounts for attentional effects observed across all the research areas described. Principles of Visual Attention offers a uniquely integrated view on a central topic in cognitive neuroscience.......The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention...... research as a field that is fundamentally fragmented. This book takes a different perspective and presents a unified theory of visual attention: the TVA model. The TVA model explains the many aspects of visual attention by just two mechanisms for selection of information: filtering and pigeonholing...

  10. The child and the fear of death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, N L; Schulman, K R

    1981-10-01

    The central hypothesis of this paper is that the innate fear of death in the human being is universal and that the child, least of all, is immune to death fear and its symbolic representation. This cuts across all ages and developmental levels. This paper is not concerned with the empirical knowledge of death, an area that has been extensively explored by others such as Nagy (1948), Piaget (1929), and Anthony (1940).Examination of the child and his relationship to death is important in order to reach the truth and understand the human meaning of the fear of death.The child's conception of himself and his relationship to the world is an ironic paradox. On one hand, he feels endowed with magical feelings of omnipotence. This feeling is the main defense against the fear of death. On the other hand, his wishes, both benevolent and malevolent, have power independent of him to influence events. The concept of chance is alien, and the differentiation between objective and wishful causation is obscured. Thus, the way in which the child perceives his world makes the terror of death more formidable.SEVERAL CONCLUSIONS ARE REACHED IN THIS PAPER: (1) that even in childhood, loss, endings, separations, and death are core concerns of the individual; (2) that fear of death in children is intensified by the absence of the intellectual equipment and the absence of the necessary defense mechanisms essential for comprehending the experience of loss; and (3) that repression of the fear of death is an evolutionary process which has its origin in childhood. PMID:7310912

  11. Beyond the Medial Regions of Prefrontal Cortex in the Regulation of Fear and Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiba, Yoshiro; Santangelo, Andrea M; Roberts, Angela C

    2016-01-01

    Fear and anxiety are adaptive responses but if left unregulated, or inappropriately regulated, they become biologically and socially maladaptive. Dysregulated emotions are manifest in a wide variety of psychiatric and neurological conditions but the external expression gives little indication of the underlying causes, which are inevitably multi-determined. To go beyond the overt phenotype and begin to understand the causal mechanisms leading to conditions characterized by anxiety and disorders of mood, it is necessary to identify the base psychological processes that have become dysregulated, and map them on to their associated neural substrates. So far, attention has been focused primarily on the medial regions of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and in particular their contribution to the expression and extinction of conditioned fear. However, functional neuroimaging studies have shown that the sphere of influence within the PFC is not restricted to its medial regions, but extends into dorsal, ventrolateral (vlPFC) and orbitofrontal (OFC) regions too; although the causal role of these other areas in the regulation of fear and anxiety remains to be determined and in the case of the OFC, existing findings are conflicting. Here, we review the evidence for the contribution of these other regions in negative emotion regulation in rodents and old world and new world monkeys. We consider a variety of different contexts, including conditioned and innate fear, learned and unlearned anxiety and cost-benefit decision-making, and a range of physiological and behavioral measures of emotion. It is proposed that both the OFC and vlPFC contribute to emotion regulation via their involvement, respectively, in the prediction of future outcomes and higher-order attentional control. The fractionation of these neurocognitive and neurobehavioral systems that regulate fear and anxiety opens up new opportunities for diagnostic stratification and personalized treatment strategies. PMID:26941618

  12. Unconscious fearful priming followed by a psychosocial stress test results in higher cortisol levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hänsel, Alexander; von Känel, Roland

    2013-10-01

    Human perception of stress includes an automatic pathway that processes subliminal presented stimuli below the threshold of conscious awareness. Subliminal stimuli can therefore activate the physiologic stress system. Unconscious emotional signals were shown to significantly moderate reactions and responses to subsequent stimuli, an effect called 'priming'. We hypothesized that subliminal presentation of a fearful signal during the Stroop task compared with an emotionally neutral one will prime stress reactivity in a subsequently applied psychosocial stress task, thereby yielding a significant increase in salivary cortisol. Half of 36 participants were repeatedly presented either a fearful face or a neutral one. After this, all underwent a psychosocial stress task. The fearful group showed a significant increase in cortisol levels (p = 0.022). This change was not affected by sex, age and body mass index, and it also did not change when taking resting cortisol levels into account. Post-hoc analyses showed that the increase in cortisol in the fearful group started immediately after the psychosocial stress test. Hence, subliminal exposure to a fearful signal in combination with the Stroop and followed by a psychosocial stress test leads to an increase in stress reactivity.

  13. News Media, Crime and Fear of Violence

    OpenAIRE

    Mirka Smolej

    2011-01-01

    Finland witnessed a surge in crime news reporting during the 1990s. At the same time, there was a significant rise in the levels of fear of crime reported by surveys. This research examines whether and how the two phenomena: news media and fear of violence were associated with each other. The dissertation consists of five sub-studies and a summary article. The first sub-study is a review of crime reporting trends in Finland, in which I have reviewed prior research and used existing Finni...

  14. Aging, exercise, and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, H L; Kramer, A F; Capaldi, D

    1992-12-01

    The authors investigated the relationship among aging, attentional processes, and exercise in 2 experiments. First they examined age differences on 2 attentional tasks, a time-sharing task and an attentional flexibility task. Young adults alternated attention between 2 sequenced tasks more rapidly and time-shared the processing of 2 tasks more efficiently than older adults. They then investigated the effects of aerobic exercise on the same 2 attentional tasks in older adults. Following the 10-week exercise program, older exercisers showed substantially more improvement in alternation speed and time-sharing efficiency than older controls. Interestingly, this exercise effect was specific to dual-task processing. Both groups of subjects showed equivalent effects on single-task performance. These results indicate that aerobic exercise can exert a beneficial influence on the efficiency of at least 2 different attentional processes in older adults. PMID:1466833

  15. Mindfulness training affects attention--or is it attentional effort?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Christian Gaden; Vangkilde, Signe; Frokjaer, Vibe; Hasselbalch, Steen G

    2012-02-01

    Improvements in attentional performance are at the core of proposed mechanisms for stress reduction in mindfulness meditation practices. However, this claim can be questioned because no previous studies have actively manipulated test effort in control groups and controlled for effects of stress reduction per se. In a blinded design, 48 young, healthy meditation novices were randomly assigned to a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), nonmindfulness stress reduction (NMSR), or inactive control group. At posttest, inactive controls were randomly split into nonincentive and incentive controls, the latter receiving a financial reward to improve attentional performance. Pre- and postintervention, 5 validated attention paradigms were employed along with self-report scales on mindfulness and perceived stress and saliva cortisol samples to measure physiological stress. Attentional effects of MBSR, NMSR, and the financial incentive were comparable or significantly larger in the incentive group on all reaction-time-based measures. However, selective attention in the MBSR group improved significantly more than in any other group. Similarly, only the MBSR intervention improved the threshold for conscious perception and visual working memory capacity. Furthermore, stress-reducing effects of MBSR were supported because those in the MBSR group showed significantly less perceived and physiological stress while increasing their mindfulness levels significantly. We argue that MBSR may contribute uniquely to attentional improvements but that further research focusing on non-reaction-time-based measures and outcomes less confounded by test effort is needed. Critically, our data demonstrate that previously observed improvements of attention after MBSR may be seriously confounded by test effort and nonmindfulness stress reduction.

  16. Media and children's aggression, fear, and altruism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Barbara J

    2008-01-01

    Noting that the social and emotional experiences of American children today often heavily involve electronic media, Barbara Wilson takes a close look at how exposure to screen media affects children's well-being and development. She concludes that media influence on children depends more on the type of content that children find attractive than on the sheer amount of time they spend in front of the screen. Wilson begins by reviewing evidence on the link between media and children's emotions. She points out that children can learn about the nature and causes of different emotions from watching the emotional experiences of media characters and that they often experience empathy with those characters. Although research on the long-term effects of media exposure on children's emotional skill development is limited, a good deal of evidence shows that media exposure can contribute to children's fears and anxieties. Both fictional and news programming can cause lasting emotional upset, though the themes that upset children differ according to a child's age. Wilson also explores how media exposure affects children's social development. Strong evidence shows that violent television programming contributes to children's aggressive behavior. And a growing body of work indicates that playing violent video games can have the same harmful effect. Yet if children spend time with educational programs and situation comedies targeted to youth, media exposure can have more prosocial effects by increasing children's altruism, cooperation, and even tolerance for others. Wilson also shows that children's susceptibility to media influence can vary according to their gender, their age, how realistic they perceive the media to be, and how much they identify with characters and people on the screen. She concludes with guidelines to help parents enhance the positive effects of the media while minimizing the risks associated with certain types of content. PMID:21338007

  17. Genetic influences on the acquisition and inhibition of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendt, Julia; Neubert, Jörg; Lindner, Katja; Ernst, Florian D; Homuth, Georg; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O

    2015-12-01

    As a variant of the Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm the conditional discrimination design allows for a detailed investigation of fear acquisition and fear inhibition. Measuring fear-potentiated startle responses, we investigated the influence of two genetic polymorphisms (5-HTTLPR and COMT Val(158)Met) on fear acquisition and fear inhibition which are considered to be critical mechanisms for the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. 5-HTTLPR s-allele carriers showed a more stable potentiation of the startle response during fear acquisition. Homozygous COMT Met-allele carriers, which had demonstrated delayed extinction in previous investigations, show deficient fear inhibition in presence of a learned safety signal. Thus, our results provide further evidence that 5-HTTLPR and COMT Val(158)Met genotypes influence the vulnerability for the development of anxiety disorders via different mechanisms.

  18. Treatment of Children's Fears: A Strategic Utilization Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protinsky, Howard

    1985-01-01

    Describes briefly Milton Erickson's strategic utilization approach to therapy. Discusses the usefulness of this approach in treating children's fears. Presents two case histories in which the approach successfully eliminated the fear of the child. (BH)

  19. [Cautious gait and fear of falling in the elderly].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aizen, E

    2001-11-01

    Falls are common in the elderly, and fear of falling is widely prevalent. This review emphasizes some of the defensive adaptations that occur in relation to concern about balance, and the phenomenon of cautious gait and fear of falling. Fear of falling affects those who never fall as well as those who do. Anxiety and fear can profoundly influence motor performance, resulting in a timid gait. However, fear of falling can take a more pathological turn and negate its survival value. Comorbid conditions associated with fear of falling appear to be similar to those responsible for falls. A fall evaluation should always include an assessment of fear of falling. All these conditions should be viewed as reversible causes of gait failure in the elderly. A number of interventions can help alleviate fear of falling and improve confidence. PMID:11759389

  20. Attention and multisensory integration of emotions in schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikhail eZvyagintsev

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The impairment of multisensory integration in schizophrenia is often explained by deficits of attentional selection. Emotion perception, however, does not always depend on attention because affective stimuli can capture attention automatically. In our study, we specify the role of attention in the multisensory perception of emotional stimuli in schizophrenia. We evaluated attention by interference between conflicting auditory and visual information in two multisensory paradigms in patients with schizophrenia and healthy participants. In the first paradigm, interference occurred between physical features of the dynamic auditory and visual stimuli. In the second paradigm, interference occurred between the emotional content of the auditory and visual stimuli, namely fearful and sad emotions. In patients with schizophrenia, the interference effect was observed in both paradigms. In contrast, in healthy participants, the interference occurred in the emotional paradigm only. These findings indicate that the information leakage between different modalities in patients with schizophrenia occurs at the perceptual level, which is intact in healthy participants. However, healthy participants can have problems with the separation of fearful and sad emotions similar to those of patients with schizophrenia.

  1. Does mindfulness meditation improve attention in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modesto-Lowe, Vania; Farahmand, Pantea; Chaplin, Margaret; Sarro, Lauren

    2015-12-22

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) manifests by high levels of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. ADHD starts in childhood and results in impairments that continue into adulthood. While hyperactivity declines over time, inattention and executive function difficulties persist, leading to functional deficits. Adolescents and adults with ADHD have pervasive impairment in interpersonal and family relationships. They may develop addiction, delinquent behavior and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, persistent residual symptoms are common, highlighting the need for novel treatment strategies. Mindfulness training, derived from Eastern meditation practices, may improve self-regulation of attention. It may also be a useful strategy to augment standard ADHD treatments and may be used as a potential tool to reduce impairments in patients with residual symptoms of ADHD. Clinically, this would manifest by an increased ability to suppress task-unrelated thoughts and distractions resulting in improved attention, completion of tasks and potential improvement in occupational and social function. PMID:26740931

  2. Race, Education, and the Politics of Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Barbara Loomis

    2008-01-01

    This article explores the legacies of the 1954 "Brown v. Board of Education" Supreme Court decision within the historical context of race relations in the United States. The pursuit by African Americans to exercise their rights of citizenship is described as influenced by the changing face of fear. The Supreme Court decisions that determined the…

  3. Mass Media and the Fear of Crime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Linda; Gilbert, Kevin

    1996-01-01

    Provides an overview of the research on mass media effects on perceptions of crime danger, personal fear of crime, and reactions to crime risk. Discovers that mass media effects involve a number of variables and moderators. These include audience characteristics, degree and type of coverage, and location. (MJP)

  4. Anxiety and Fear in Children's Films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senturk, Ridvan

    2011-01-01

    Children's movies bear so many significant features that it should be studied from many aspects. In fact, one of the issues very often encountered in researches and analyses done so far, is the element of terror exposed in children's movies. Nevertheless, first how the basic feelings such as fear and anxiety are produced and formed in children's…

  5. Fears in Czech Adolescents: A Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalcáková, Radka; Lacinová, Lenka; Kyjonková, Hana; Bouša, Ondrej; Jelínek, Martin

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigates developmental patterns of fear in adolescence. It is based on longitudinal data collected as a part of the European Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ELSPAC) project. A total of 186 Czech adolescents (43% girls) were assessed repeatedly at the age of 11, 13, and 15 years. The free-response method was…

  6. Erasing fear for an imagined threat event

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Soeter; M. Kindt

    2012-01-01

    Although memory for emotionally arousing and stressful experiences is strong and resistant to change, recent years have witnessed rapidly emerging evidence for the plasticity of fear memories. Upon retrieval a memory may be rendered labile and vulnerable to the disruptive effects of amnestic agents.

  7. Fear of radiation in U.S. military medical personnel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastel, R H; Mulvaney, J

    2001-12-01

    The fear of radiation, even low-level radiation, could significantly impair military operations. To measure knowledge of and attitudes toward radiation, the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute developed a questionnaire that military medical personnel completed both before and after the 3-day Medical Effects of Ionizing Radiation (MEIR) course. Findings included a positive correlation between the resulting increased knowledge and more positive attitudes. No gender effects were observed for knowledge or attitude, but both education level and military rank were related to knowledge and attitude.

  8. Emotion and affect in mental imagery: Do fear and anxiety manipulate mental rotation performance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra eKaltner

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the effects of fear as a basic emotion on mental rotation performance. We expected that the emotional arousal evoked by fearful stimuli presented prior to each mental rotation trial would enhance mental rotation performance. Regarding the influence of anxiety, high anxious participants are supposed to show slower responses and higher error rates in this specific visuo-spatial ability. Furthermore, with respect to the embodied cognition viewpoint we wanted to investigate if the influence of fear on mental rotation performance is the same for egocentric and object-based transformations. Results show that fear enhances mental rotation performance, expressed by a higher mental rotation speed. Interestingly, this influence is stimulus-specific: it is restricted to egocentric transformations. Both observation of emotional stimuli and egocentric strategies are associated with left hemisphere activation which could explain a stronger influence on this type of transformation during observation. Another possible notion is the conceptual link between visuo-spatial perspective taking and empathy based on the co-activation of parietal areas. Stronger responses in egocentric transformations could result from this specific link. Regarding the influence of anxiety, participants with high scores on the trait-anxiety scale showed poor results in both reaction time and mental rotation speed. Findings of impoverished recruitment of prefrontal attentional control in patients with high scores in trait anxiety could be the explanation for this reduced performance.

  9. Behavioral and pharmacological validation of an integrated fear-potentiated startle and prepulse inhibition paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Mengjiao; Li, Ming

    2016-07-01

    Fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and prepulse inhibition (PPI) of acoustic startle are two widely used paradigms specifically designed to capture the impact of negative emotion (e.g. fear) and preattentive function on startle response. Currently, there is no single paradigm that incorporates both FPS and PPI, making it impossible to examine the potential interactions between fear and attention in the regulation of startle response. In this study, we developed an integrated FPS and PPI test protocol and validated it with psychoactive drugs. In Experiment 1, male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to one of five groups, receiving either Light -Shock conditioning trials, non-overlapping Lights and Shocks, Light alone, Shock alone, or no Light and Shock. They were then tested for startle response and PPI concurrently, under the Light or No Light. FPS was observed only in rats subjected to fear conditioning, whereas all rats showed PPI and startle habituation. Experiment 2 used this paradigm and demonstrated a dissociative effect between diazepam (an anxiolytic drug) and phencyclidine (a nonselective NMDA receptor antagonist) on FPS and PPI. Diazepam suppressed both FPS and PPI, while PCP selectively disrupted PPI but not FPS. The diazepam's anxiolytic effect on FPS was further confirmed in the elevated plus maze test. Together, our findings indicate that our paradigm combines FPS and PPI into a single paradigm, and that is useful to examine potential interactions between multiple psychological processes, to identify the common neural substrates and to screen new drugs with multiple psychoactive effects. PMID:27059335

  10. Fear memory formation can affect a different memory: fear conditioning affects the extinction, but not retrieval, of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) memory

    OpenAIRE

    Joels, Gil; Lamprecht, Raphael

    2014-01-01

    The formation of fear memory to a specific stimulus leads to subsequent fearful response to that stimulus. However, it is not apparent whether the formation of fear memory can affect other memories. We study whether specific fearful experience leading to fear memory affects different memories formation and extinction. We revealed that cued fear conditioning, but not unpaired or naïve training, inhibited the extinction of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) memory that was formed after fear condi...

  11. Tropes of Fear: the Impact of Globalization on Batek Religious Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Tacey

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The Batek are a forest and forest-fringe dwelling population numbering around 1,500 located in Peninsular Malaysia. Most Batek groups were mobile forest-dwelling foragers and collectors until the recent past. The Batek imbue the forest with religious significance that they inscribe onto the landscape through movement, everyday activities, storytelling, trancing and shamanic journeying. However, as processes of globalization transform Malaysian landscapes, many Batek groups have been deterritorialized and relocated to the forest fringes where they are often pressured into converting to world religions, particularly Islam. Batek religious beliefs and practices have been re-shaped by their increasing encounters with global flows of ideologies, technologies, objects, capital and people, as landscapes are opened up to development. This article analyzes the ways these encounters are incorporated into the fabric of the Batek’s religious world and how new objects and ideas have been figuratively and literally assimilated into their taboo systems and cosmology. Particular attention is paid to the impacts of globalization as expressed through tropes of fear.

  12. Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) quickly detect snakes but not spiders: Evolutionary origins of fear-relevant animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawai, Nobuyuki; Koda, Hiroki

    2016-08-01

    Humans quickly detect the presence of evolutionary threats through visual perception. Many theorists have considered humans to be predisposed to respond to both snakes and spiders as evolutionarily fear-relevant stimuli. Evidence supports that human adults, children, and snake-naive monkeys all detect pictures of snakes among pictures of flowers more quickly than vice versa, but recent neurophysiological and behavioral studies suggest that spiders may, in fact, be processed similarly to nonthreat animals. The evidence of quick detection and rapid fear learning by primates is limited to snakes, and no such evidence exists for spiders, suggesting qualitative differences between fear of snakes and fear of spiders. Here, we show that snake-naive Japanese monkeys detect a single snake picture among 8 nonthreat animal pictures (koala) more quickly than vice versa; however, no such difference in detection was observed between spiders and pleasant animals. These robust differences between snakes and spiders are the most convincing evidence that the primate visual system is predisposed to pay attention to snakes but not spiders. These findings suggest that attentional bias toward snakes has an evolutionary basis but that bias toward spiders is more due to top-down, conceptually driven effects of emotion on attention capture. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27078076

  13. Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) quickly detect snakes but not spiders: Evolutionary origins of fear-relevant animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawai, Nobuyuki; Koda, Hiroki

    2016-08-01

    Humans quickly detect the presence of evolutionary threats through visual perception. Many theorists have considered humans to be predisposed to respond to both snakes and spiders as evolutionarily fear-relevant stimuli. Evidence supports that human adults, children, and snake-naive monkeys all detect pictures of snakes among pictures of flowers more quickly than vice versa, but recent neurophysiological and behavioral studies suggest that spiders may, in fact, be processed similarly to nonthreat animals. The evidence of quick detection and rapid fear learning by primates is limited to snakes, and no such evidence exists for spiders, suggesting qualitative differences between fear of snakes and fear of spiders. Here, we show that snake-naive Japanese monkeys detect a single snake picture among 8 nonthreat animal pictures (koala) more quickly than vice versa; however, no such difference in detection was observed between spiders and pleasant animals. These robust differences between snakes and spiders are the most convincing evidence that the primate visual system is predisposed to pay attention to snakes but not spiders. These findings suggest that attentional bias toward snakes has an evolutionary basis but that bias toward spiders is more due to top-down, conceptually driven effects of emotion on attention capture. (PsycINFO Database Record

  14. Dynamics of Media Attention

    CERN Document Server

    Traag, V A; Hicks, J; van Klinken, G

    2014-01-01

    Studies of human attention dynamics analyses how attention is focused on specific topics, issues or people. In online social media, there are clear signs of exogenous shocks, bursty dynamics, and an exponential or powerlaw lifetime distribution. We here analyse the attention dynamics of traditional media, focussing on co-occurrence of people in newspaper articles. The results are quite different from online social networks and attention. Different regimes seem to be operating at two different time scales. At short time scales we see evidence of bursty dynamics and fast decaying edge lifetimes and attention. This behaviour disappears for longer time scales, and in that regime we find Poissonian dynamics and slower decaying lifetimes. We propose that a cascading Poisson process may take place, with issues arising at a constant rate over a long time scale, and faster dynamics at a shorter time scale.

  15. Special Attention Network

    CERN Document Server

    Indekeu, J O

    2003-01-01

    In this Note a social network model for opinion formation is proposed in which a person connected to $q$ partners pays an {\\em attention} $1/q$ to each partner. The mutual attention between two connected persons $i$ and $j$ is taken equal to the geometric mean $1/\\sqrt{q_iq_j}$. Opinion is represented as usual by an Ising spin $s=\\pm 1$ and mutual attention is given through a two-spin coupling $J_{ij} = J Q/\\sqrt{q_iq_j}$, $Q$ being the average connectivity in the network. Connectivity diminishes attention and only persons with low connectivity can pay special attention to each other leading to a durable common (or opposing) opinion. The model is solved in "mean-field" approximation and a critical "temperature" $T_c$ proportional to $JQ$ is found, which is independent of the number of persons $N$, for large $N$.

  16. Attention and choice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

    2013-01-01

    This paper reviews studies on eye movements in decision making, and compares their observations to theoretical predictions concerning the role of attention in decision making. Four decision theories are examined: rational models, bounded rationality, evidence accumulation, and parallel constraint...... satisfaction models. Although most theories were confirmed with regard to certain predictions, none of the theories adequately accounted for the role of attention during decision making. Several observations emerged concerning the drivers and down-stream effects of attention on choice, suggesting...... that these assumptions are implausible, and that more accurate assumptions could have been made based on prior attention and eye movement research. Future decision making research would benefit from greater integration with attention research....

  17. Attentional processes and meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgins, Holley S; Adair, Kathryn C

    2010-12-01

    Visual attentional processing was examined in adult meditators and non-meditators on behavioral measures of change blindness, concentration, perspective-shifting, selective attention, and sustained inattentional blindness. Results showed that meditators (1) noticed more changes in flickering scenes and noticed them more quickly, (2) counted more accurately in a challenging concentration task, (3) identified a greater number of alternative perspectives in multiple perspectives images, and (4) showed less interference from invalid cues in a visual selective attention task, but (5) did not differ on a measure of sustained inattentional blindness. Together, results show that regular meditation is associated with more accurate, efficient, and flexible visual attentional processing across diverse tasks that have high face validity outside of the laboratory. Furthermore, effects were assessed in a context separate from actual meditation practice, suggesting that meditators' better visual attention is not just immediate, but extends to contexts separate from meditation practice.

  18. Managing Fear in the Outdoor Experiential Education Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewert, Alan

    1989-01-01

    Outlines components of fear in outdoor adventure activities. Reports ratings by 311 Outward Bound students of 23 common fears in the outdoors. Discusses techniques of fear reduction therapy: systematic desensitization, flooding, modeling of coping methods by instructors, and rehearsal of adaptive behaviors. Contains 16 references. (SV)

  19. Fear conditioning with film clips: a complex associative learning paradigm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.E. Kunze; A. Arntz; M. Kindt

    2014-01-01

    Background and objectives: We argue that the stimuli used in traditional fear conditioning paradigms are too simple to model the learning and unlearning of complex fear memories. We therefore developed and tested an adapted fear conditioning paradigm, specifically designed for the study of complex a

  20. Changes in children's dental fear: a longitudinal study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.A. Klaassen; J.S.J. Veerkamp; J. Hoogstraten

    2008-01-01

    Aim: The study aimed to evaluate the development of dental fear in a low fear group and a fearful group of children aged between 8 and 13 years of age and to assess the diff e rences between these groups over time taking into account general variables, such as gender, and treatment variables, such a

  1. Posterior insular cortex is necessary for conditioned inhibition of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foilb, Allison R; Flyer-Adams, Johanna G; Maier, Steven F; Christianson, John P

    2016-10-01

    Veridical detection of safety versus danger is critical to survival. Learned signals for safety inhibit fear, and so when presented, reduce fear responses produced by danger signals. This phenomenon is termed conditioned inhibition of fear. Here, we report that CS+/CS- fear discrimination conditioning over 5 days in rats leads the CS- to become a conditioned inhibitor of fear, as measured by the classic tests of conditioned inhibition: summation and retardation of subsequent fear acquisition. We then show that NMDA-receptor antagonist AP5 injected to posterior insular cortex (IC) before training completely prevented the acquisition of a conditioned fear inhibitor, while intra-AP5 to anterior and medial IC had no effect. To determine if the IC contributes to the recall of learned fear inhibition, injections of the GABAA agonist muscimol were made to posterior IC before a summation test. This resulted in fear inhibition per se, which obscured inference to the effect of IC inactivation with recall of the safety cue. Control experiments sought to determine if the role of the IC in conditioned inhibition learning could be reduced to simpler fear discrimination function, but fear discrimination and recall were unaffected by AP5 or muscimol, respectively, in the posterior IC. These data implicate a role of posterior IC in the learning of conditioned fear inhibitors.

  2. Does antenatal fear of childbirth predict postnatal fear of childbirth? - A study of Japanese women

    OpenAIRE

    Takegata, Mizuki; Haruna, Megumi; Matsuzaki, Masayo; Shiraishi, Mie; Okano, Tadaharu; Severinsson, Ingeborg Elisabeth

    2015-01-01

    The study aimed to determine whether antenatal fear of childbirth (expectation) could predict postnatal fear of childbirth (experience) by taking account of other antenatal psychological variables(anxiety and depression) as well as birth outcomes in Japanese women. A longitudinal observational study was conducted at a clinic in Tokyo, Japan, in 2011. Self-report questionnaires were distributed to 240 Japanese women at 37 gestational weeks (Time 1) and on the second day after delivery (Time 2)...

  3. Amygdala regulates risk of predation in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, June-Seek; Kim, Jeansok J

    2010-12-14

    In a natural environment, foragers constantly face the risk of encountering predators. Fear is a defensive mechanism evolved to protect animals from danger by balancing the animals' needs for primary resources with the risk of predation, and the amygdala is implicated in mediating fear responses. However, the functions of fear and amygdala in foraging behavior are not well characterized because of the technical difficulty in quantifying prey-predator interaction with real (unpredictable) predators. Thus, the present study investigated the rat's foraging behavior in a seminaturalistic environment when confronted with a predator-like robot programmed to surge toward the animal seeking food. Rats initially fled into the nest and froze (demonstrating fear) and then cautiously approached and seized the food as a function of decreasing nest-food and increasing food-robot distances. The likelihood of procuring food increased and decreased via lesioning/inactivating and disinhibiting the amygdala, respectively. These results indicate that the amygdala bidirectionally regulates risk behavior in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment.

  4. Human perception of fear in dogs varies according to experience with dogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Wan

    Full Text Available To investigate the role of experience in humans' perception of emotion using canine visual signals, we asked adults with various levels of dog experience to interpret the emotions of dogs displayed in videos. The video stimuli had been pre-categorized by an expert panel of dog behavior professionals as showing examples of happy or fearful dog behavior. In a sample of 2,163 participants, the level of dog experience strongly predicted identification of fearful, but not of happy, emotional examples. The probability of selecting the "fearful" category to describe fearful examples increased with experience and ranged from.30 among those who had never lived with a dog to greater than.70 among dog professionals. In contrast, the probability of selecting the "happy" category to describe happy emotional examples varied little by experience, ranging from.90 to.93. In addition, the number of physical features of the dog that participants reported using for emotional interpretations increased with experience, and in particular, more-experienced respondents were more likely to attend to the ears. Lastly, more-experienced respondents provided lower difficulty and higher accuracy self-ratings than less-experienced respondents when interpreting both happy and fearful emotional examples. The human perception of emotion in other humans has previously been shown to be sensitive to individual differences in social experience, and the results of the current study extend the notion of experience-dependent processes from the intraspecific to the interspecific domain.

  5. Parsing fear: A reassessment of the evidence for fear deficits in psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoppenbrouwers, Sylco S; Bulten, Berend H; Brazil, Inti A

    2016-06-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by interpersonal manipulation and callousness, and reckless and impulsive antisocial behavior. It is often seen as a disorder in which profound emotional disturbances lead to antisocial behavior. A lack of fear in particular has been proposed as an etiologically salient factor. In this review, we employ a conceptual model in which fear is parsed into separate subcomponents. Important historical conceptualizations of psychopathy, the neuroscientific and empirical evidence for fear deficits in psychopathy are compared against this model. The empirical evidence is also subjected to a meta-analysis. We conclude that most studies have used the term "fear" generically, amassing different methods and levels of measurement under the umbrella term "fear." Unlike earlier claims that psychopathy is related to general fearlessness, we show there is evidence that psychopathic individuals have deficits in threat detection and responsivity, but that the evidence for reduced subjective experience of fear in psychopathy is far less compelling. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26854867

  6. Pain pathways involved in fear conditioning measured with fear-potentiated startle: lesion studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, C; Davis, M

    1999-01-01

    It is well established that the basolateral amygdala is critically involved in the association between an unconditioned stimulus (US), such as a foot shock, and a conditioned stimulus (CS), such as a light, during classic fear conditioning. However, little is known about how the US (pain) inputs are relayed to the basolateral amygdala. The present studies were designed to define potential US pathways to the amygdala using lesion methods. Electrolytic lesions before or after training were placed in caudal granular/dysgranular insular cortex (IC) alone or in conjunction with the posterior intralaminar nuclei of the thalamus (PoT/PIL), and the effects on fear conditioning were examined. Pretraining lesions of both IC and PoT/PIL, but not lesions of IC alone, blocked the acquisition of fear-potentiated startle. However, post-training combined lesions of IC and PoT/PIL did not prevent expression of conditioned fear. Given that previous studies have shown that lesions of PoT/PIL alone had no effect on acquisition of conditioned fear, these results suggest that two parallel cortical (insula-amygdala) and subcortical (PoT/PIL-amygdala) pathways are involved in relaying shock information to the basolateral amygdala during fear conditioning.

  7. Fear conditioning-related changes in cerebellar Purkinje cell activities in goldfish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshida Masayuki

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fear conditioning-induced changes in cerebellar Purkinje cell responses to a conditioned stimulus have been reported in rabbits. It has been suggested that synaptic long-term potentiation and the resulting increases in firing rates of Purkinje cells are related to the acquisition of conditioned fear in mammals. However, Purkinje cell activities during acquisition of conditioned fear have not been analysed, and changes in Purkinje cell activities throughout the development of conditioned fear have not yet been investigated. In the present study, we tracked Purkinje cell activities throughout a fear conditioning procedure and aimed to elucidate further how cerebellar circuits function during the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear. Methods Activities of single Purkinje cells in the corpus cerebelli were tracked throughout a classical fear conditioning procedure in goldfish. A delayed conditioning paradigm was used with cardiac deceleration as the conditioned response. Conditioning-related changes of Purkinje cell responses to a conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus were examined. Results The majority of Purkinje cells sampled responded to the conditioned stimulus by either increasing or decreasing their firing rates before training. Although there were various types of conditioning-related changes in Purkinje cells, more than half of the cells showed suppressed activities in response to the conditioned stimulus after acquisition of conditioned fear. Purkinje cells that showed unconditioned stimulus-coupled complex-spike firings also exhibited conditioning-related suppression of simple-spike responses to the conditioned stimulus. A small number of Purkinje cells showed increased excitatory responses in the acquisition sessions. We found that the magnitudes of changes in the firing frequencies of some Purkinje cells in response to the conditioned stimulus correlated with the magnitudes of the conditioned

  8. The effects of oxytocin on fear recognition in patients with schizophrenia and in healthy controls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meytal eFischer-Shofty

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Individuals who suffer from schizophrenia often show a marked deficit in recognition of emotional facial expressions, as part of broader impairment of social cognition. Research has shown that recognition of negative emotions, specifically fear recognition, is particularly impaired among patients with schizophrenia. Recently we reported that intranasal administration of OT (IN OT increased the ability to correctly recognize fear in a group of healthy men. The aim of the current study was to examine the effects of IN OT administration on fear recognition among patients with schizophrenia. Based on previous research, we also sought to examine a possible selective effect of OT dependent on baseline performance, hypothesizing that IN OT would have a greater enhancement effect on less proficient individuals. It was thus hypothesized that patients will show more improvement in fear recognition following the administration of IN OT as compared to controls. Sixty six participants (31 schizophrenia patients, 35 healthy controls were enrolled in the current study. All participants received treatment of a single dose of 24 IU IN OT and an equivalent amount of placebo, one week apart. The participants’ ability to accurately recognize fear and happiness was evaluated using a face morphing task. Overall, as a group, both patients and healthy control participants were more accurate in recognizing fearful facial expressions, but not happy faces, following IN OT administration, as compared to their performance following placebo. IN OT did not differentially affect emotion recognition in patients and healthy controls. Yet, the results indicated a selective effect for IN OT, in which the hormone improves fear recognition only among individuals whose baseline performance was below the median, regardless of their psychiatric status.

  9. Effects of psilocybin on hippocampal neurogenesis and extinction of trace fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catlow, Briony J; Song, Shijie; Paredes, Daniel A; Kirstein, Cheryl L; Sanchez-Ramos, Juan

    2013-08-01

    Drugs that modulate serotonin (5-HT) synaptic concentrations impact neurogenesis and hippocampal (HPC)-dependent learning. The primary objective is to determine the extent to which psilocybin (PSOP) modulates neurogenesis and thereby affects acquisition and extinction of HPC-dependent trace fear conditioning. PSOP, the 5-HT2A agonist 25I-NBMeO and the 5-HT2A/C antagonist ketanserin were administered via an acute intraperitoneal injection to mice. Trace fear conditioning was measured as the amount of time spent immobile in the presence of the conditioned stimulus (CS, auditory tone), trace (silent interval) and post-trace interval over 10 trials. Extinction was determined by the number of trials required to resume mobility during CS, trace and post-trace when the shock was not delivered. Neurogenesis was determined by unbiased counts of cells in the dentate gyrus of the HPC birth-dated with BrdU co-expressing a neuronal marker. Mice treated with a range of doses of PSOP acquired a robust conditioned fear response. Mice injected with low doses of PSOP extinguished cued fear conditioning significantly more rapidly than high-dose PSOP or saline-treated mice. Injection of PSOP, 25I-NBMeO or ketanserin resulted in significant dose-dependent decreases in number of newborn neurons in hippocampus. At the low doses of PSOP that enhanced extinction, neurogenesis was not decreased, but rather tended toward an increase. Extinction of "fear conditioning" may be mediated by actions of the drugs at sites other than hippocampus such as the amygdala, which is known to mediate the perception of fear. Another caveat is that PSOP is not purely selective for 5-HT2A receptors. PSOP facilitates extinction of the classically conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.

  10. Social defeat: impact on fear extinction and amygdala-prefrontal cortical theta synchrony in 5-HTT deficient mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanan, Venu; Heiming, Rebecca S; Jansen, Friederike; Lesting, Jörg; Sachser, Norbert; Pape, Hans-Christian; Seidenbecher, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Emotions, such as fear and anxiety, can be modulated by both environmental and genetic factors. One genetic factor is for example the genetically encoded variation of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) expression. In this context, the 5-HTT plays a key role in the regulation of central 5-HT neurotransmission, which is critically involved in the physiological regulation of emotions including fear and anxiety. However, a systematic study which examines the combined influence of environmental and genetic factors on fear-related behavior and the underlying neurophysiological basis is missing. Therefore, in this study we used the 5-HTT-deficient mouse model for studying emotional dysregulation to evaluate consequences of genotype specific disruption of 5-HTT function and repeated social defeat for fear-related behaviors and corresponding neurophysiological activities in the lateral amygdala (LA) and infralimbic region of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in male 5-HTT wild-type (+/+), homo- (-/-) and heterozygous (+/-) mice. Naive males and experienced losers (generated in a resident-intruder paradigm) of all three genotypes, unilaterally equipped with recording electrodes in LA and mPFC, underwent a Pavlovian fear conditioning. Fear memory and extinction of conditioned fear was examined while recording neuronal activity simultaneously with fear-related behavior. Compared to naive 5-HTT+/+ and +/- mice, 5-HTT-/- mice showed impaired recall of extinction. In addition, 5-HTT-/- and +/- experienced losers showed delayed extinction learning and impaired recall of extinction. Impaired behavioral responses were accompanied by increased theta synchronization between the LA and mPFC during extinction learning in 5-HTT-/- and +/- losers. Furthermore, impaired extinction recall was accompanied with increased theta synchronization in 5-HTT-/- naive and in 5-HTT-/- and +/- loser mice. In conclusion, extinction learning and memory of conditioned fear can be modulated by both the 5

  11. Social defeat: impact on fear extinction and amygdala-prefrontal cortical theta synchrony in 5-HTT deficient mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venu Narayanan

    Full Text Available Emotions, such as fear and anxiety, can be modulated by both environmental and genetic factors. One genetic factor is for example the genetically encoded variation of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT expression. In this context, the 5-HTT plays a key role in the regulation of central 5-HT neurotransmission, which is critically involved in the physiological regulation of emotions including fear and anxiety. However, a systematic study which examines the combined influence of environmental and genetic factors on fear-related behavior and the underlying neurophysiological basis is missing. Therefore, in this study we used the 5-HTT-deficient mouse model for studying emotional dysregulation to evaluate consequences of genotype specific disruption of 5-HTT function and repeated social defeat for fear-related behaviors and corresponding neurophysiological activities in the lateral amygdala (LA and infralimbic region of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC in male 5-HTT wild-type (+/+, homo- (-/- and heterozygous (+/- mice. Naive males and experienced losers (generated in a resident-intruder paradigm of all three genotypes, unilaterally equipped with recording electrodes in LA and mPFC, underwent a Pavlovian fear conditioning. Fear memory and extinction of conditioned fear was examined while recording neuronal activity simultaneously with fear-related behavior. Compared to naive 5-HTT+/+ and +/- mice, 5-HTT-/- mice showed impaired recall of extinction. In addition, 5-HTT-/- and +/- experienced losers showed delayed extinction learning and impaired recall of extinction. Impaired behavioral responses were accompanied by increased theta synchronization between the LA and mPFC during extinction learning in 5-HTT-/- and +/- losers. Furthermore, impaired extinction recall was accompanied with increased theta synchronization in 5-HTT-/- naive and in 5-HTT-/- and +/- loser mice. In conclusion, extinction learning and memory of conditioned fear can be modulated

  12. New York City HIV superbug: fear or fear not?

    OpenAIRE

    Smith Stephen M

    2005-01-01

    Abstract On February 11, 2005, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that a city resident had recently been infected with a multi-drug resistant form of HIV and rapidly progressed to AIDS. The Health Commissioner, Thomas R. Frieden, called for increased vigilance against this new strain. Is this situation an emerging crisis or simply an unusual case report of rapid HIV progression?

  13. New York City HIV superbug: fear or fear not?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smith Stephen M

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract On February 11, 2005, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that a city resident had recently been infected with a multi-drug resistant form of HIV and rapidly progressed to AIDS. The Health Commissioner, Thomas R. Frieden, called for increased vigilance against this new strain. Is this situation an emerging crisis or simply an unusual case report of rapid HIV progression?

  14. Attentional modulation of motion-induced blindness

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GENG HaiYan; SONG QianLan; LI YunFeng; XU Shan; ZHU Ying

    2007-01-01

    When a global moving pattern is superimposed on high-contrast stationary or slowly moving stimuli,the stimuli can be perceived as disappearing and reappearing alternately for periods of several seconds. This visual illusory phenomenon was named "motion-induced blindness" (MIB) in recent literature. So far there is no consensus on the mechanism of MIB, especially on the role of attention in this phenomenon. To examine the effect of spatial attention on MIB, the present study manipulated the participants' spatial attention by asking them to respond to two targets simultaneously presented in bilateral visual fields (the divided-attention condition) or only respond to one of them (the focused-attention condition). A central arrow was presented as an endogenous cue to index the target visual field in the focused-attention condition, while a point was presented instead in the divided-attention condition. The results show that the percentage of accumulated invisibility period was larger for the targets in the focused-attention condition than for those in the divided-attention condition.This effect of attentionis significant in upper visual field (UVF) and left lower visual field (left LVF); that is, this effect shows a hemispheric asymmetry in LVF but not in UVF. Furthermore, the percentage of accumulated invisibility period was larger for targets in left LVF than for those in right LVF in the focused-attention condition, but no hemispheric asymmetry was found in the divided-attention condition.In addition, the increased percentage of accumulated invisibility period in the focused-attention condition originated merely in the enhancement of the mean phase duration of disappearance in LVF, while the disappearance occurred more frequently and lasted longer for each occurrence, which led to an increase in the total invisibility period, in the focused- than divided-attention condition in UVF. These results suggest that the modulation of spatial attention on MIB has different

  15. Does fear of movement mediate the relationship between pain intensity and disability in patients following whiplash injury? A prospective longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamper, Steven J; Maher, Christopher G; Menezes Costa, Luciola da C; McAuley, James H; Hush, Julia M; Sterling, Michele

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to test the capacity of the Fear Avoidance Model to explain the relationship between pain and disability in patients with whiplash-associated disorders. Using the method of Baron and Kenny, we assessed the mediating effect of fear of movement on the cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between pain and disability. Two hundred and five subjects with neck pain due to a motor vehicle accident provided pain intensity (0 to 10 numerical rating scale), fear of movement (Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia and Pictorial Fear of Activity Scale) and disability (Neck Disability Index) scores within 4 weeks of their accident, after 3 months, and after 6 months. The analyses were consistent with the Fear Avoidance Model mediating approximately 20% to 40% of the relationship between pain and disability. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the proportion of the total effect of pain on disability that was mediated by fear of movement did not substantially change as increasing time elapsed after the accident. The proportion mediated was slightly higher when fear of movement was measured by Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia as compared with Pictorial Fear of Activity Scale. The findings of this study suggest that the Fear Avoidance Model plays a role in explaining a moderate proportion of the relationship between pain and disability after whiplash injury.

  16. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... finish things? If so, your child may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nearly everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, but ADHD lasts more than 6 months and causes problems ...

  17. Attention enhances feature integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Liza; Schyns, Philippe G

    2003-08-01

    Perceptual processing delays between attribute dimensions (e.g. color, form and motion) [Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 264 (1997) 1407] have been attributed to temporal processing asynchronies resulting from functional segregation of visual information [Science 240 (1988) 740]. In addition, several lines of evidence converge to suggest that attention plays an important role in the integration of functionally processed information. However, exactly how attention modulates the temporal integration of information remains unclear. Here, we examined how attention modulates the integration of color and form into a unitary perception. Results suggest that attending to the location of an object enhances the integration of its defining attributes by speeding up the perceptual processing of each attribute dimension. Moreover, the perceptual asynchrony between attributes remains constant across attended and unattended conditions because attention seems to offer each processing dimension an equal processing advantage. PMID:12826102

  18. Fear load: The psychophysiological over-expression of fear as an intermediate phenotype associated with trauma reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norrholm, Seth Davin; Glover, Ebony M; Stevens, Jennifer S; Fani, Negar; Galatzer-Levy, Isaac R; Bradley, Bekh; Ressler, Kerry J; Jovanovic, Tanja

    2015-11-01

    Psychophysiological measures of fear expression provide observable intermediate phenotypes of fear-related symptoms. Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) advocate using neurobiological intermediate phenotypes that provide dimensional correlates of psychopathology. Negative Valence Systems in the RDoC matrix include the construct of acute threat, which can be measured on a physiological level using potentiation of the acoustic startle reflex assessed via electromyography recordings of the orbicularis oculi muscle. Impairments in extinction of fear-potentiated startle due to high levels of fear (termed fear load) during the early phases of extinction have been observed in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goals of the current work were to examine dimensional associations between fear-related symptoms of PTSD and fear load variables to test their validity as an intermediate phenotype. We examined extinction of fear-potentiated startle in a cohort (n=269) of individuals with a broad range of civilian trauma exposure (range 0-13 traumatic events per person, mean=3.5). Based on previously reported findings, we hypothesized that fear load would be significantly associated with intrusion and fear memories of an index traumatic event. The results indicated that early extinction was correlated with intrusive thoughts (p=0.0007) and intense physiological reactions to trauma reminders (p=0.036). Degree of adult or childhood trauma exposure, and depression severity were not associated with fear load. After controlling for age, sex, race, income, level of prior trauma, and level of fear conditioning, fear load during extinction was still significantly predictive of intrusive thoughts (p=0.004). The significance of these findings is that they support dimensional associations with symptom severity rather than diagnostic category and, as such, fear load may emerge as a transdiagnostic intermediate phenotype expressed across fear-related disorders (e.g., specific phobia, social

  19. The Impact of fear on the stock exchange gamblers’ behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Titus SUCIU

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper creates a link between the five basic fears in humans and their occurrence when we invest in the stock exchange. The author identifies five basic fears in humans: fear of being rejected, abandoned, humiliated, betrayed and the victim of an injustice. The stock market investor is confronted with the following fears: the disposition effect, the hedonistic approach, the effect of the committed expenditure, the snake bite effect, the dismissal of any regret (or the no regret approach, the status quo prejudice and the endowment effect. The author shows that the stock investor’s seven fears are specific cases of the five basic fears. The first step in confronting these fears is to become aware of the mask worn.

  20. Encoding of fear learning and memory in distributed neuronal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herry, Cyril; Johansen, Joshua P

    2014-12-01

    How sensory information is transformed by learning into adaptive behaviors is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Studies of auditory fear conditioning have revealed much about the formation and expression of emotional memories and have provided important insights into this question. Classical work focused on the amygdala as a central structure for fear conditioning. Recent advances, however, have identified new circuits and neural coding strategies mediating fear learning and the expression of fear behaviors. One area of research has identified key brain regions and neuronal coding mechanisms that regulate the formation, specificity and strength of fear memories. Other work has discovered critical circuits and neuronal dynamics by which fear memories are expressed through a medial prefrontal cortex pathway and coordinated activity across interconnected brain regions. Here we review these recent advances alongside prior work to provide a working model of the extended circuits and neuronal coding mechanisms mediating fear learning and memory.

  1. Encoding of fear learning and memory in distributed neuronal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herry, Cyril; Johansen, Joshua P

    2014-12-01

    How sensory information is transformed by learning into adaptive behaviors is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Studies of auditory fear conditioning have revealed much about the formation and expression of emotional memories and have provided important insights into this question. Classical work focused on the amygdala as a central structure for fear conditioning. Recent advances, however, have identified new circuits and neural coding strategies mediating fear learning and the expression of fear behaviors. One area of research has identified key brain regions and neuronal coding mechanisms that regulate the formation, specificity and strength of fear memories. Other work has discovered critical circuits and neuronal dynamics by which fear memories are expressed through a medial prefrontal cortex pathway and coordinated activity across interconnected brain regions. Here we review these recent advances alongside prior work to provide a working model of the extended circuits and neuronal coding mechanisms mediating fear learning and memory. PMID:25413091

  2. Iconic memory requires attention

    OpenAIRE

    Persuh, Marjan; Genzer, Boris; Melara, Robert D.

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments investigated whether attention plays a role in iconic memory, employing either a change detection paradigm (Experiment 1) or a partial-report paradigm (Experiment 2). In each experiment, attention was taxed during initial display presentation, focusing the manipulation on consolidation of information into iconic memory, prior to transfer into working memory. Observers were able to maintain high levels of performance (accuracy of change detection or categorization) even when co...

  3. Switch Attention to Listen

    OpenAIRE

    Dhamani, Imran; Leung, Johahn; Carlile, Simon; Sharma, Mridula

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this research was to evaluate the ability to switch attention and selectively attend to relevant information in children (10–15 years) with persistent listening difficulties in noisy environments. A wide battery of clinical tests indicated that children with complaints of listening difficulties had otherwise normal hearing sensitivity and auditory processing skills. Here we show that these children are markedly slower to switch their attention compared to their age-matched peers. T...

  4. Adaptive visual attention model

    OpenAIRE

    Hügli, Heinz; Bur, Alexandre

    2009-01-01

    Visual attention, defined as the ability of a biological or artificial vision system to rapidly detect potentially relevant parts of a visual scene, provides a general purpose solution for low level feature detection in a vision architecture. Well considered for its universal detection behaviour, the general model of visual attention is suited for any environment but inferior to dedicated feature detectors in more specific environments. The goal of the development presented in this paper is t...

  5. Neural Activation during Anticipation of Near Pain-Threshold Stimulation among the Pain-Fearful.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhou; Jackson, Todd; Huang, Chengzhi

    2016-01-01

    Fear of pain (FOP) can increase risk for chronic pain and disability but little is known about corresponding neural responses in anticipation of potential pain. In this study, more (10 women, 6 men) and less (7 women, 6 men) pain-fearful groups underwent whole-brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during anticipation of near pain-threshold stimulation. Groups did not differ in the proportion of stimuli judged to be painful but pain-fearful participants reported significantly more state fear prior to stimulus exposure. Within the entire sample, stronger activation was found in several pain perception regions (e.g., bilateral insula, midcingulate cortex (MCC), thalamus, superior frontal gyrus) and visual areas linked to decoding stimulus valences (inferior orbital cortex) during anticipation of "painful" stimuli. Between groups and correlation analyses indicated pain-fearful participants experienced comparatively more activity in regions implicated in evaluating potential threats and processing negative emotions during anticipation (i.e., MCC, mid occipital cortex, superior temporal pole), though group differences were not apparent in most so-called "pain matrix" regions. In sum, trait- and task-based FOP is associated with enhanced responsiveness in regions involved in threat processing and negative affect during anticipation of potentially painful stimulation. PMID:27489536

  6. Adolescents' fear of social consequences of academic success as a function of age and sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiyama, F I; Chabassol, D J

    1985-02-01

    The Fear of Success Consequence Scale (FOSC) was used to assess adolescents' fears of potential social consequences of academic success in three dimensions, i.e., negative social reaction, positive peer reaction, and increased pressure and responsibility for continuous success. Subjects were 360 students in early adolescence (grades 7-9) and mid-adolescence (grades 10-12) in three urban British Columbia areas. Two hypotheses were supported: (1) that fear of academic success is higher among early adolescents than among mid-adolescents; (2) that girls generally have higher fear of academic success than do boys. Significant sex differences were found among early adolescents but not among mid-adolescents. While general sex differences were consistent with Horner's prediction, the findings of lower fear of success consequences among older adolescents than among younger ones, and the absence of significant sex difference among mid-adolescents, were contrary to Horner's prediction. Possible explanations for these findings are considered. Suggestions for further research are mentioned. PMID:24301042

  7. Attentional modulation of emotional conflict processing with flanker tasks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingyan Zhou

    Full Text Available Emotion processing has been shown to acquire priority by biasing allocation of attentional resources. Aversive images or fearful expressions are processed quickly and automatically. Many existing findings suggested that processing of emotional information was pre-attentive, largely immune from attentional control. Other studies argued that attention gated the processing of emotion. To tackle this controversy, the current study examined whether and to what degrees attention modulated processing of emotion using a stimulus-response-compatibility (SRC paradigm. We conducted two flanker experiments using color scale faces in neutral expressions or gray scale faces in emotional expressions. We found SRC effects for all three dimensions (color, gender, and emotion and SRC effects were larger when the conflicts were task relevant than when they were task irrelevant, suggesting that conflict processing of emotion was modulated by attention, similar to those of color and face identity (gender. However, task modulation on color SRC effect was significantly greater than that on gender or emotion SRC effect, indicating that processing of salient information was modulated by attention to a lesser degree than processing of non-emotional stimuli. We proposed that emotion processing can be influenced by attentional control, but at the same time salience of emotional information may bias toward bottom-up processing, rendering less top-down modulation than that on non-emotional stimuli.

  8. Cognition, emotion, and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Oehring, Eva M; Schulte, Tilman

    2014-01-01

    Deficits of attention, emotion, and cognition occur in individuals with alcohol abuse and addiction. This review elucidates the concepts of attention, emotion, and cognition and references research on the underlying neural networks and their compromise in alcohol use disorder. Neuroimaging research on adolescents with family history of alcoholism contributes to the understanding of pre-existing brain structural conditions and characterization of cognition and attention processes in high-risk individuals. Attention and cognition interact with other brain functions, including perceptual selection, salience, emotion, reward, and memory, through interconnected neural networks. Recent research reports compromised microstructural and functional network connectivity in alcoholism, which can have an effect on the dynamic tuning between brain systems, e.g., the frontally based executive control system, the limbic emotion system, and the midbrain-striatal reward system, thereby impeding cognitive flexibility and behavioral adaptation to changing environments. Finally, we introduce concepts of functional compensation, the capacity to generate attentional resources for performance enhancement, and brain structure recovery with abstinence. An understanding of the neural mechanisms of attention, emotion, and cognition will likely provide the basis for better treatment strategies for developing skills that enhance alcoholism therapy adherence and quality of life, and reduce the propensity for relapse. PMID:25307584

  9. Interocular conflict attracts attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paffen, Chris L E; Hessels, Roy S; Van der Stigchel, Stefan

    2012-02-01

    During binocular rivalry, perception alternates.between dissimilar images presented dichoptically. Since.its discovery, researchers have debated whether the phenomenon is subject to attentional control. While it is now clear that attentional control over binocular rivalry is possible, the opposite is less evident: Is interocular conflict (i.e., the situation leading to binocular rivalry) able to attract attention?In order to answer this question, we used a change blindness paradigm in which observers looked for salient changes in two alternating frames depicting natural scenes. Each frame contained two images: one for the left and one for the right eye. Changes occurring in a single image (monocular) were detected faster than those occurring in both images (binocular). In addition,monocular change detection was also faster than detection in fused versions of the changed and unchanged regions. These results show that interocular conflict is capable of attracting attention, since it guides visual attention toward salient changes that otherwise would remain unnoticed for longer. The results of a second experiment indicated that interocular conflict attracts attention during the first phase of presentation, a phase during which the stimulus is abnormally fused [added]. PMID:22167536

  10. Human fear acquisition deficits in relation to genetic variants of the corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 and the serotonin transporter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivo Heitland

    Full Text Available The ability to identify predictors of aversive events allows organisms to appropriately respond to these events, and failure to acquire these fear contingencies can lead to maladaptive contextual anxiety. Recently, preclinical studies demonstrated that the corticotropin-releasing factor and serotonin systems are interactively involved in adaptive fear acquisition. Here, 150 healthy medication-free human subjects completed a cue and context fear conditioning procedure in a virtual reality environment. Fear potentiation of the eyeblink startle reflex (FPS was measured to assess both uninstructed fear acquisition and instructed fear expression. All participants were genotyped for polymorphisms located within regulatory regions of the corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1 - rs878886 and the serotonin transporter (5HTTLPR. These polymorphisms have previously been linked to panic disorder and anxious symptomology and personality, respectively. G-allele carriers of CRHR1 (rs878886 showed no acquisition of fear conditioned responses (FPS to the threat cue in the uninstructed phase, whereas fear acquisition was present in C/C homozygotes. Moreover, carrying the risk alleles of both rs878886 (G-allele and 5HTTLPR (short allele was associated with increased FPS to the threat context during this phase. After explicit instructions regarding the threat contingency were given, the cue FPS and context FPS normalized in all genotype groups. The present results indicate that genetic variability in the corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1, especially in interaction with the 5HTTLPR, is involved in the acquisition of fear in humans. This translates prior animal findings to the human realm.

  11. Abnormal left-sided orbitomedial prefrontal cortical-amygdala connectivity during happy and fear face processing: a potential neural mechanism of female MDD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge eAlmeida

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Pathophysiologic processes supporting abnormal emotion regulation in major depressive disorder (MDD are poorly understood. We previously found abnormal inverse left-sided ventromedial prefrontal cortical- amygdala effective connectivity to happy faces in females with MDD. We aimed to replicate and expand this previous finding in an independent participant sample, using a more inclusive neural model, and a novel emotion-processing paradigm.Methods: Nineteen individuals with MDD in depressed episode (12 females, and nineteen healthy individuals, age and gender matched, performed an implicit emotion processing and automatic attentional control paradigm to examine abnormalities in prefrontal cortical-amygdala neural circuitry during happy, angry, fearful and sad face processing measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging in a 3Tesla scanner. Effective connectivity was estimated with Dynamic Causal Modelling in a trinodal neural model including two anatomically defined prefrontal cortical regions, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and subgenual cingulate cortex(sgACC, and the amygdala. Results: We replicated our previous finding of abnormal inverse left-sided inverse top-down ventromedial prefrontal cortical-amygdala connectivity to happy faces in females with MDD (p=.04, and also showed a similar pattern of abnormal inverse left-sided sgACC-amygdala connectivity to these stimuli (p=0.03. These findings were paralleled by abnormally reduced positive left-sided ventromedial prefrontal cortical-sgACC connectivity to happy faces in females with MDD (p=0.008, and abnormally increased positive left-sided sgACC-amygdala connectivity to fearful faces in females, and all individuals, with MDD (p=0.008;p=0.003.Conclusions: Different patterns of abnormal prefrontal cortical-amygdala connectivity to happy and fearful stimuli might represent neural mechanisms for the excessive self-reproach and comorbid anxiety that characterize female MDD.

  12. Fearful contextual expression impairs the encoding and recognition of target faces: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Huiyan; Schulz, Claudia; Straube, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Previous event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown that the N170 to faces is modulated by the emotion of the face and its context. However, it is unclear how the encoding of emotional target faces as reflected in the N170 is modulated by the preceding contextual facial expression when temporal onset and identity of target faces are unpredictable. In addition, no study as yet has investigated whether contextual facial expression modulates later recognition of target faces. To address these issues, participants in the present study were asked to identify target faces (fearful or neutral) that were presented after a sequence of fearful or neutral contextual faces. The number of sequential contextual faces was random and contextual and target faces were of different identities so that temporal onset and identity of target faces were unpredictable. Electroencephalography (EEG) data was recorded during the encoding phase. Subsequently, participants had to perform an unexpected old/new recognition task in which target face identities were presented in either the encoded or the non-encoded expression. ERP data showed a reduced N170 to target faces in fearful as compared to neutral context regardless of target facial expression. In the later recognition phase, recognition rates were reduced for target faces in the encoded expression when they had been encountered in fearful as compared to neutral context. The present findings suggest that fearful compared to neutral contextual faces reduce the allocation of attentional resources towards target faces, which results in limited encoding and recognition of target faces. PMID:26388751

  13. Fearful contextual expression impairs the encoding and recognition of target faces: an ERP study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huiyan eLin

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous event-related potential (ERP studies have shown that the N170 to faces is modulated by the emotion of the face and its context. However, it is unclear how the encoding of emotional target faces as reflected in the N170 is modulated by the preceding contextual facial expression when temporal onset and identity of target faces are unpredictable. In addition, no study as yet has investigated whether contextual facial expression modulates later recognition of target faces. To address these issues, participants in the present study were asked to identify target faces (fearful or neutral that were presented after a sequence of fearful or neutral contextual faces. The number of sequential contextual faces was random and contextual and target faces were of different identities so that temporal onset and identity of target faces were unpredictable. Electroencephalography (EEG data was recorded during the encoding phase. Subsequently, participants had to perform an unexpected old/new recognition task in which target face identities were presented in either the encoded or the non-encoded expression. ERP data showed a reduced N170 to target faces in fearful as compared to neutral context regardless of target facial expression. In the later recognition phase, recognition rates were reduced for target faces in the encoded expression when they had been encountered in fearful as compared to neutral context. The present findings suggest that fearful compared to neutral contextual faces reduce the allocation of attentional resources towards target faces, which results in limited encoding and recognition of target faces.

  14. Better fear conditioning is associated with reduced symptom severity in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    South, Mikle; Larson, Michael J; White, Sarah E; Dana, Julianne; Crowley, Michael J

    2011-12-01

    Evidence from behavioral and neuroimaging studies suggest that atypical amygdala function plays a critical role in the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The handful of psychophysiological studies examining amygdala function in ASD using classical fear conditioning paradigms have yielded discordant results. We recorded skin conductance response (SCR) during a simple discrimination conditioning task in 30 children and adolescents (ages 8-18) diagnosed with high-functioning ASD and 30 age- and IQ-matched, typically developing controls. SCR response in the ASD group was uniquely and positively associated with social anxiety; and negatively correlated with autism symptom severity, in particular with social functioning. Fear conditioning studies have tremendous potential to aid understanding regarding the amygdale's role in the varied symptom profile of ASD. Our data demonstrate that such studies require careful attention to task-specific factors, including task complexity; and also to contributions of dimensional, within-group factors that contribute to ASD heterogeneity.

  15. Genetics of PTSD: Fear Conditioning as a Model for Future Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstadter, Ananda B; Nugent, Nicole R; Koenen, Karestan C

    2009-06-01

    In the last decade, the number of publications in psychiatric genetics has nearly tripled but little attention has been paid to the role of genetic factors in the etiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present review summarizes the current state of genetic research on PTSD. First, we outline information regarding genetic influences provided by family investigations and by twin studies. Second, we propose the fear-conditioning model of PTSD as a framework for the nomination of candidate genes that may be related to the disorder. Third, we review lines of evidence from three neurobiological systems involved in fear conditioning, and we summarize published investigations of genetic variants studied in association with PTSD in these three systems. Finally, we review gene-by-environment interaction research, a promising novel approach to genetic research in PTSD. PMID:19779593

  16. Book Review of "The Climate of Fear: The Quest for Dignity in a Dehumaized World" by Wole Soyinka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano E. Korstanje

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The Climate of Fear contains the five Reith Lectures given by the Nobel Prize in literature laureate, Wole Soyinka in 2004 in the UK. 9/11 may have happened in the United States, but the event has been used all over the world to use fear to reduce freedom and to increase the power of governments in the name of protecting the public from terrorism.

  17. The amygdala, top-down effects, and selective attention to features

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, Richard H. A. H.; Renken, Remco; Aleman, Andre; Cornelissen, Frans W.

    2012-01-01

    While the amygdalar role in fear conditioning is well established, it also appears to be involved in a wide spectrum of other functions concerning emotional information. For example, the amygdala is thought to be involved in guiding spatial attention to emotionally relevant information such as the e

  18. False Context Fear Memory in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Sarah; Holmes, Nathan M.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2015-01-01

    Four experiments used rats to study false context fear memories. In Experiment 1, rats were pre-exposed to a distinctive chamber (context A) or to a control environment (context C), shocked after a delay in a second chamber (context B) and tested either in B or A. Rats pre-exposed to A froze just as much as control rats in B but more than control…

  19. Rollers smell the fear of nestlings

    OpenAIRE

    Parejo, D.; Amo, L.; Rodríguez, J.; Avilés, J. M.

    2012-01-01

    Many animals react to danger by producing chemical cues that can be smelled by others, which is called the smell of fear. Some bird species produce chemical compounds when threatened, such as nestlings of the Eurasian roller Coracias garrulus that vomit an odorous orange liquid when scared in their nests. Here, we experimentally explore the possibility that parents were informed about recent predation attempts at their nests through the olfaction of this vomit. Parents of nests treated with n...

  20. Changing Fear: The Neurocircuitry of Emotion Regulation

    OpenAIRE

    Hartley, Catherine A.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2009-01-01

    The ability to alter emotional responses as circumstances change is a critical component of normal adaptive behavior and is often impaired in psychological disorders. In this review, we discuss four emotional regulation techniques that have been investigated as means to control fear: extinction, cognitive regulation, active coping, and reconsolidation. For each technique, we review what is known about the underlying neural systems, combining findings from animal models and human neuroscience....

  1. Gaze cuing of attention in snake phobic women: the influence of facial expression

    OpenAIRE

    Pletti, Carolina; Dalmaso, Mario; Sarlo, Michela; Galfano, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    Only a few studies investigated whether animal phobics exhibit attentional biases in contexts where no phobic stimuli are present. Among these, recent studies provided evidence for a bias toward facial expressions of fear and disgust in animal phobics. Such findings may be due to the fact that these expressions could signal the presence of a phobic object in the surroundings. To test this hypothesis and further investigate attentional biases for emotional faces in animal phobics, we conducted...

  2. The relationship between health risk behaviors and fear in one urban seventh grade class.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowdell, Elizabeth Burgess; Santucci, Mary Ellen

    2003-06-01

    A descriptive, correlational study was undertaken with 54 urban, 7th graders (age, 11-13 y) from one class. By using the Youth Risk Behaviors Surveillance System Questionnaire (YRBSS), information was collected about health risk behaviors as well as unintentional and intentional injury. Findings indicate that these adolescent students have significant fears related to their environment; they are fearful of being hurt. These students also reported increased incidence of health risk behaviors including alcohol use, carrying weapons, and staying up late at night. The findings suggest a need to understand how adolescents channel fear of harm to self into other unhealthy behaviors. Nurses are often in an ideal position to assess the health and behaviors of adolescents and to offer education, health promotion, and support to this at-risk population. PMID:12796861

  3. Brain c-Fos immunocytochemistry and cytochrome oxidase histochemistry after a fear conditioning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conejo, Nélida M; González Pardo, Héctor; López, Matías; Cantora, Raúl; Arias, Jorge L

    2007-05-01

    The involvement of the basolateral and the medial amygdala in fear conditioning was evaluated using different markers of neuronal activation. The method described here is a combination of cytochrome oxidase (CO) histochemistry and c-Fos immunocytochemistry on fresh frozen brain sections. Freezing behavior was used as an index of auditory and contextual fear conditioning. As expected, freezing scores were significantly higher in rats exposed to tone-shock pairings in a distinctive environment (conditioned; COND), as compared to rats that did not receive any shocks (UNCD). CO labeling was increased in the basolateral and medial amygdala of the COND group. Conversely, c-Fos expression in the basolateral and medial amygdala was lower in the COND group as compared to the UNCD group. Furthermore, c-Fos expression was particularly high in the medial amygdala of the UNCD group. The data provided by both techniques indicate that these amygdalar nuclei could play different roles on auditory and contextual fear conditioning. PMID:17425902

  4. Protocol for studying extinction of conditioned fear in naturally cycling female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeng, Lisa Y; Cover, Kara K; Landau, Aaron J; Milad, Mohammed R; Lebron-Milad, Kelimer

    2015-01-01

    Extinction of conditioned fear has been extensively studied in male rodents. Recently, there have been an increasing number of studies indicating that neural mechanisms for certain behavioral tasks and response behaviors are different in females and males. Using females in research studies can represent a challenge because of the variation of gonadal hormones during their estrous cycle. This protocol describes well-established procedures that are useful in investigating the role of estrogen in fear extinction memory consolidation in female rats. Phase of the estrous cycle and exogenous estrogen administration prior to extinction training can influence extinction recall 24 hr later. The vaginal swabbing technique for estrous phase identification described here aids the examination and manipulation of naturally cycling gonadal hormones. The use of this basic rodent model may further delineate the mechanisms by which estrogen can modulate fear extinction memory in females. PMID:25741747

  5. Fear of childbirth and emergency caesarean section in low-risk nulliparous women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Cecilie; Hegaard, Hanne Kristine; Schroll, Anne-Mette;

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between fear of childbirth (FOC) and emergency caesarean section. DESIGN: A prospective cohort study of low-risk nulliparous women at term. SETTING: Nine obstetric departments in Denmark, May 2004-July 2005. POPULATION: A total of 2598 nulliparous women in...... recorded by the attending staff. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (OR). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Risk of emergency caesarean section in women who feared childbirth. RESULTS: FOC (W-DEQ sum score ≥ 85 and DFS sum score ≥ 70) was not associated with...... emergency caesarean section: adjusted OR = 0.81 (95% CI: 0.48-1.36) and OR = 0.97 (95% CI: 0.55-1.71), respectively. CONCLUSION: In this prospective observational study, women with FOC did not have an increased risk of emergency caesarean section compared to women with no such fear....

  6. Policies of fear and local resistances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar Calveiro

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this text, I begin with maintaining that the use of fear as an instrument of population control is a constitutive element of Neoliberal governance. Also, I suggest that current violence, because of its characteristics, is more easily observable and understandable in local environments, which would explain that the most important resistances also come from these spaces. For this purpose, I analyse the case of the state of Guerrero, in México, focusing on the surge and path of the Regional Organizer of Community Authorities (Coordinadora Regional de Autoridades Comunitarias, CRAC and, more recently, in the same territory, the forceful disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa and the forms of mobilization and organization that followed this tragedy. I attempt to point out the consistency in the policies of fear by public-private networks, which connect legal and illegal circuits, as well as the strategies used to overcome fear, display resistance and, mainly, build power and politics from the margins.

  7. Controlled cortical impact before or after fear conditioning does not affect fear extinction in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierra-Mercado, Demetrio; McAllister, Lauren M; Lee, Christopher C H; Milad, Mohammed R; Eskandar, Emad N; Whalen, Michael J

    2015-05-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized in part by impaired extinction of conditioned fear. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is thought to be a risk factor for development of PTSD. We tested the hypothesis that controlled cortical impact (CCI) would impair extinction of fear learned by Pavlovian conditioning, in mice. To mimic the scenarios in which TBI occurs prior to or after exposure to an aversive event, severe CCI was delivered to the left parietal cortex at one of two time points: (1) Prior to fear conditioning, or (2) after conditioning. Delay auditory conditioning was achieved by pairing a tone with a foot shock in "context A". Extinction training involved the presentation of tones in a different context (context B) in the absence of foot shock. Test for extinction memory was achieved by presentation of additional tones alone in context B over the following two days. In pre- or post-injury paradigms, CCI did not influence fear learning and extinction. Furthermore, CCI did not affect locomotor activity or elevated plus maze testing. Our results demonstrate that, within the time frame studied, CCI does not impair the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear or extinction memory. PMID:25721797

  8. Characterization of fear conditioning and fear extinction by analysis of electrodermal activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faghih, Rose T; Stokes, Patrick A; Marin, Marie-France; Zsido, Rachel G; Zorowitz, Sam; Rosenbaum, Blake L; Huijin Song; Milad, Mohammed R; Dougherty, Darin D; Eskandar, Emad N; Widge, Alik S; Brown, Emery N; Barbieri, Riccardo

    2015-08-01

    Electrodermal activity (EDA) is a measure of physical arousal, which is frequently measured during psychophysical tasks relevant for anxiety disorders. Recently, specific protocols and procedures have been devised in order to examine the neural mechanisms of fear conditioning and extinction. EDA reflects important responses associated with stimuli specifically administrated during these procedures. Although several previous studies have demonstrated the reproducibility of measures estimated from EDA, a mathematical framework associated with the stimulus-response experiments in question and, at the same time, including the underlying emotional state of the subject during fear conditioning and/or extinction experiments is not well studied. We here propose an ordinary differential equation model based on sudomotor nerve activity, and estimate the fear eliciting stimulus using a compressed sensing algorithm. Our results show that we are able to recover the underlying stimulus (visual cue or mild electrical shock). Moreover, relating the time-delay in the estimated stimulation to the visual cue during extinction period shows that fear level decreases as visual cues are presented without shock, suggesting that this feature might be used to estimate the fear state. These findings indicate that a mathematical model based on electrodermal responses might be critical in defining a low-dimensional representation of essential cognitive features in order to describe dynamic behavioral states. PMID:26738104

  9. Controlled cortical impact before or after fear conditioning does not affect fear extinction in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierra-Mercado, Demetrio; McAllister, Lauren M; Lee, Christopher C H; Milad, Mohammed R; Eskandar, Emad N; Whalen, Michael J

    2015-05-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized in part by impaired extinction of conditioned fear. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is thought to be a risk factor for development of PTSD. We tested the hypothesis that controlled cortical impact (CCI) would impair extinction of fear learned by Pavlovian conditioning, in mice. To mimic the scenarios in which TBI occurs prior to or after exposure to an aversive event, severe CCI was delivered to the left parietal cortex at one of two time points: (1) Prior to fear conditioning, or (2) after conditioning. Delay auditory conditioning was achieved by pairing a tone with a foot shock in "context A". Extinction training involved the presentation of tones in a different context (context B) in the absence of foot shock. Test for extinction memory was achieved by presentation of additional tones alone in context B over the following two days. In pre- or post-injury paradigms, CCI did not influence fear learning and extinction. Furthermore, CCI did not affect locomotor activity or elevated plus maze testing. Our results demonstrate that, within the time frame studied, CCI does not impair the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear or extinction memory.

  10. Tails, Fears and Risk Premia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bollerslev, Tim; Todorov, Victor

    for the corresponding jump tail density. Our estimates for the risk-neutral expectations are based on short maturity out-of-the money options and new model-free option implied variation measures explicitly designed to separate the tail probabilities. At a general level, our results suggest that any satisfactory......We show that the compensation for rare events accounts for a large fraction of the equity and variance risk premia in the S&P 500 market index. The probability of rare events vary significantly over time, increasing in periods of high market volatility, but the risk premium for tail events cannot...... solely be explained by the level of the volatil- ity. Our empirical investigations are essentially model-free. We estimate the expected values of the tails under the statistical probability measure from "medium" size jumps in high-frequency intraday prices and an extreme value theory approximation...

  11. EFSA NDA Panel (EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies) , 2014 . Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to Rosbacher drive® and increased attention pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tetens, Inge

    an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to Rosbacher drive® and increased attention. The Panel considers that Rosbacher drive®, which contains natural mineral water plus grape juice, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, elderberry juice, isomaltulose, sucrose, fructose syrup...

  12. Estradiol replacement enhances fear memory formation, impairs extinction and reduces COMT expression levels in the hippocampus of ovariectomized female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Carmel M; Liu, Dan; Ade, Catherine; Schrader, Laura A

    2015-02-01

    Females experience depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety disorders at approximately twice the rate of males, but the mechanisms underlying this difference remain undefined. The effect of sex hormones on neural substrates presents a possible mechanism. We investigated the effect of ovariectomy at two ages, before puberty and in adulthood, and 17β-estradiol (E2) replacement administered chronically in drinking water on anxiety level, fear memory formation, and extinction. Based on previous studies, we hypothesized that estradiol replacement would impair fear memory formation and enhance extinction rate. Females, age 4 weeks and 10 weeks, were divided randomly into 4 groups; sham surgery, OVX, OVX+low E2 (200nM), and OVX+high E2 (1000nM). Chronic treatment with high levels of E2 significantly increased anxiety levels measured in the elevated plus maze. In both age groups, high levels of E2 significantly increased contextual fear memory but had no effect on cued fear memory. In addition, high E2 decreased the rate of extinction in both ages. Finally, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is important for regulation of catecholamine levels, which play a role in fear memory formation and extinction. COMT expression in the hippocampus was significantly reduced by high E2 replacement, implying increased catecholamine levels in the hippocampus of high E2 mice. These results suggest that estradiol enhanced fear memory formation, and inhibited fear memory extinction, possibly stabilizing the fear memory in female mice. This study has implications for a neurobiological mechanism for PTSD and anxiety disorders.

  13. Effects of rapid eye movement sleep deprivation on fear extinction recall and prediction error signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spoormaker, Victor I; Schröter, Manuel S; Andrade, Kátia C; Dresler, Martin; Kiem, Sara A; Goya-Maldonado, Roberto; Wetter, Thomas C; Holsboer, Florian; Sämann, Philipp G; Czisch, Michael

    2012-10-01

    In a temporal difference learning approach of classical conditioning, a theoretical error signal shifts from outcome deliverance to the onset of the conditioned stimulus. Omission of an expected outcome results in a negative prediction error signal, which is the initial step towards successful extinction and may therefore be relevant for fear extinction recall. As studies in rodents have observed a bidirectional relationship between fear extinction and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, we aimed to test the hypothesis that REM sleep deprivation impairs recall of fear extinction through prediction error signaling in humans. In a three-day design with polysomnographically controlled REM sleep deprivation, 18 young, healthy subjects performed a fear conditioning, extinction and recall of extinction task with visual stimuli, and mild electrical shocks during combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and skin conductance response (SCR) measurements. Compared to the control group, the REM sleep deprivation group had increased SCR scores to a previously extinguished stimulus at early recall of extinction trials, which was associated with an altered fMRI time-course in the left middle temporal gyrus. Post-hoc contrasts corrected for measures of NREM sleep variability also revealed between-group differences primarily in the temporal lobe. Our results demonstrate altered prediction error signaling during recall of fear extinction after REM sleep deprivation, which may further our understanding of anxiety disorders in which disturbed sleep and impaired fear extinction learning coincide. Moreover, our findings are indicative of REM sleep related plasticity in regions that also show an increase in activity during REM sleep.

  14. Selective Attention and Attention Switching: Towards a Unified Developmental Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.

    2010-01-01

    We review and relate two literatures on the development of attention in children: one concerning flexible attention switching and the other concerning selective attention. The first is a growing literature on preschool children's performances in an attention-switching task indicating that children become more flexible in their attentional control…

  15. Scared chaste? Fear-based educational curricula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantor, L M

    1993-01-01

    The Far Right has exerted influence on sexuality education programs in public schools to use curriculum that is fear based and promotes only an abstinence technique for expression of premarital adolescent sexuality. Other abstinence programs do exist such as the Grady Memorial Hospital's Postponing Sexual Involvement that do not rely on scare tactics. A listing of programs and addresses are provided for those programs that have a goal of abstinence but do not rely on fear to teach. The account of a North Carolina school board which effectively prevented fear-based education from replacing responsible education is presented. The thrust of this article is to provide a detailed critical examination of fear-based curriculum in the following published documents: Sex Respect by Coleen Mast, Facing Reality by James Coughlin, Me and My World and My Future by LeAnna Benn, Sexuality and Commitment and Family by Steve Potter, Family Accountability in Communicating Teen Sexuality by Rose Fuller, Learning About Myself and Others by Anne Nesbit, An Alternative National Curriculum on Responsibility by Terrance Olson and Christopher Wallace, Families and Decision Making and Human Development by Terrance Olson et al., Responsible Sexual Values Program by April Thoms, The Art of Loving Well by Ronald Goldman et al., and Free Teens by Richard Panzer. The common features of the fear-based curriculum reviewed are as follows: 1) scare tactics, 2) contraceptive method information omissions, 3) exclusively negative consequences of sexual behavior images, 4) misinformation on medical issues, 5) sexual orientation omissions or distortions, 6) distortions of people with disabilities, 7) insensitivity to race or class, 8) religious bias, and 9) omissions in diversity of family structures. This review is part of a Ford Foundation grant to establish a Community Advocacy Project which documents community battles on sexuality education nationally, creating a Community Action Kit to teach citizens

  16. High individual consistency in fear of humans throughout the adult lifespan of rural and urban burrowing owls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrete, Martina; Tella, José L.

    2013-12-01

    Human-induced rapid environmental changes challenge individuals by creating evolutionarily novel scenarios, where species encounter novel enemies, the new species sometimes being humans themselves. However, little is known about how individuals react to human presence, specifically whether they are able to habituate to human presence, as frequently assumed, or are selected based on their fear of humans. We tested whether fear of humans (measured as flight initiation distance in a diurnal owl) is reduced through habituation to human presence (plasticity) or whether it remains unchanged throughout the individuals' life. Results show an unusually high level of individual consistency in fear of humans throughout the adult lifespan of both rural (r = 0.96) and urban (r = 0.90) birds, lending no support to habituation. Further research should assess the role of inter-individual variability in fear of humans in shaping the distribution of individuals and species in an increasingly humanized world.

  17. Effects of signals of disorder on fear of crime in real and virtual environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toet, A.; Schaik, M.G. van

    2012-01-01

    Despite the fact that virtual environments are increasingly deployed to study the relation between urban planning, physical and social disorder, and fear of crime, their ecological validity for this type of research has not been established. This study compares the effects of similar signs of public

  18. Adolescents with Psychopathic Traits Report Reductions in Physiological Responses to Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Abigail A.; Finger, Elizabeth C.; Schechter, Julia C.; Jurkowitz, Ilana T. N.; Reid, Marguerite E.; Blair, R. J. R.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Psychopathy is characterized by profound affective deficits, including shallow affect and reduced empathy. Recent research suggests that these deficits may apply particularly to negative emotions, or to certain negative emotions such as fear. Despite increased focus on the cognitive and neural underpinnings of psychopathy, little is…

  19. "FearNot!": A Computer-Based Anti-Bullying-Programme Designed to Foster Peer Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vannini, Natalie; Enz, Sibylle; Sapouna, Maria; Wolke, Dieter; Watson, Scott; Woods, Sarah; Dautenhahn, Kerstin; Hall, Lynne; Paiva, Ana; Andre, Elizabeth; Aylett, Ruth; Schneider, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Bullying is widespread in European schools, despite multiple intervention strategies having been proposed over the years. The present study investigates the effects of a novel virtual learning strategy ("FearNot!") to tackle bullying in both UK and German samples. The approach is intended primarily for victims to increase their coping skills and…

  20. Physiological Consequences of Repeated Exposures to Conditioned Fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S. Thompson

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Activation of the stress response evokes a cascade of physiological reactions that may be detrimental when repeated or chronic, and when triggered after exposure to psychological/emotional stressors. Investigation of the physiological mechanisms responsible for the health damaging effects requires animal paradigms that repeatedly evoke a response to psychological/emotional stressors. To this end, adult male Sprague Dawley rats were repeatedly exposed (2X per day for 20 days to a context that they were conditioned to fear (conditioned fear test, CFT. Repeated exposure to CFT produced body weight loss, adrenal hypertrophy, thymic involution, and basal corticosterone elevation. In vivo biotelemetry measures revealed that CFT evokes sympathetic nervous system driven increases in heart rate (HR, mean arterial pressure (MAP, and core body temperature. Extinction of behavioral (freezing and physiological responses to CFT was prevented using minimal reinstatement footshock. MAP responses to the CFT did not diminish across 20 days of exposure. In contrast, HR and cardiac contractility responses declined by day 15, suggesting a shift toward vascular-dominated MAP (a pre-clinical marker of CV dysfunction. Flattened diurnal rhythms, common to stress-related mood/anxiety disorders, were found for most physiological measures. Thus, repeated CFT produces adaptations indicative of the health damaging effects of psychological/emotional stress.

  1. Oxytocin in General Anxiety and Social Fear: A Translational Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Inga D; Slattery, David A

    2016-02-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) has been revealed as a profound anxiolytic and antistress factor of the brain, besides its many prosocial and reproductive effects. Therefore, there is substantial scientific and medical interest in its potential therapeutic use for the treatment of psychopathologies associated with anxiety, fear, and social dysfunctions, such as generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder, as well as autism and schizophrenia, among others. Focusing on preclinical studies, we review the existing evidence for the regulatory capacity of OXT to fine-tune general and social anxiety-related behaviors, as well as cued and social fear conditioning from a translational perspective. The available evidence from animal and human studies substantiates the hypothesis of an imbalance of the endogenous brain OXT system in the etiology of anxiety disorders, particularly those with a social component such as social anxiety disorder. In addition, such an imbalance of the OXT system is also likely to be the consequence of chronic OXT treatment resulting in a dose-dependent reduction in OXT receptor availability and increased anxiety.

  2. The conditions that promote fear learning: prediction error and Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Susan Shi Yuan; McNally, Gavan P

    2014-02-01

    A key insight of associative learning theory is that learning depends on the actions of prediction error: a discrepancy between the actual and expected outcomes of a conditioning trial. When positive, such error causes increments in associative strength and, when negative, such error causes decrements in associative strength. Prediction error can act directly on fear learning by determining the effectiveness of the aversive unconditioned stimulus or indirectly by determining the effectiveness, or associability, of the conditioned stimulus. Evidence from a variety of experimental preparations in human and non-human animals suggest that discrete neural circuits code for these actions of prediction error during fear learning. Here we review the circuits and brain regions contributing to the neural coding of prediction error during fear learning and highlight areas of research (safety learning, extinction, and reconsolidation) that may profit from this approach to understanding learning.

  3. Attention alters the appearance of motion coherence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Taosheng; Fuller, Stuart; Carrasco, Marisa

    2006-12-01

    Selective attention enhances visual information processing, as measured by behavioral performance and neural activity. However, little is known about its effects on subjective experience. Here, we investigated the effect of transient (exogenous) attention on the appearance of visual motion, using a psychophysical procedure that directly measures appearance and controls for response bias. Observers viewed pairs of moving dot patterns and reported the motion direction of the more coherent pattern. Directing attention (via a peripheral precue) to a stimulus location increased its perceived coherence level and improved performance on a direction discrimination task. In a control experiment, we ruled out response bias by lengthening the time interval between the cue and the stimuli, so that the effect of transient attention could no longer be exerted. Our results are consistent with those of neurophysiological studies showing that attention modulates motion processing and provide evidence of a subjective perceptual correlate of attention, with a concomitant effect on performance.

  4. Effects of sleep on memory for conditioned fear and fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pace-Schott, Edward F; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R

    2015-07-01

    Learning and memory for extinction of conditioned fear is a basic mammalian mechanism for regulating negative emotion. Sleep promotes both the consolidation of memory and the regulation of emotion. Sleep can influence consolidation and modification of memories associated with both fear and its extinction. After brief overviews of the behavior and neural circuitry associated with fear conditioning, extinction learning, and extinction memory in the rodent and human, interactions of sleep with these processes will be examined. Animal and human studies suggest that sleep can serve to consolidate both fear and extinction memory. In humans, sleep also promotes generalization of extinction memory. Time-of-day effects on extinction learning and generalization are also seen. Rapid eye movement (REM) may be a sleep stage of particular importance for the consolidation of both fear and extinction memory as evidenced by selective REM deprivation experiments. REM sleep is accompanied by selective activation of the same limbic structures implicated in the learning and memory of fear and extinction. Preliminary evidence also suggests extinction learning can take place during slow wave sleep. Study of low-level processes such as conditioning, extinction, and habituation may allow sleep effects on emotional memory to be identified and inform study of sleep's effects on more complex, emotionally salient declarative memories. Anxiety disorders are marked by impairments of both sleep and extinction memory. Improving sleep quality may ameliorate anxiety disorders by strengthening naturally acquired extinction. Strategically timed sleep may be used to enhance treatment of anxiety by strengthening therapeutic extinction learned via exposure therapy. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:25894546

  5. Measuring Evaluation Fears in Adolescence: Psychometric Validation of the Portuguese Versions of the Fear of Positive Evaluation Scale and the Specific Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vagos, Paula; Salvador, Maria do Céu; Rijo, Daniel; Santos, Isabel M.; Weeks, Justin W.; Heimberg, Richard G.

    2016-01-01

    Modified measures of Fear of Negative Evaluation and Fear of Positive Evaluation were examined among Portuguese adolescents. These measures demonstrated replicable factor structure, internal consistency, and positive relationships with social anxiety and avoidance. Gender differences were found. Implications for evaluation and intervention are…

  6. Feared food in dieting and non-dieting young women: a preliminary validation of the Food Phobia Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Vivian M M; Vitousek, Kelly M

    2004-10-01

    The Food Phobia Survey (FPS) is a recently developed clinical instrument designed to identify foods that are avoided out of fear or guilt by eating disordered individuals. The measure has potential utility in clinical settings for several purposes: the assessment of current food selection and food-related concerns; the construction of individual hierarchies for graded exposure; and the evaluation of treatment outcomes with reference to fear and avoidance of food items. It is comprised of 180 commonly eaten foods rated on three dimensions: fear/guilt, appeal in the absence of weight concern, and frequency of consumption. Dieting and non-dieting college women were compared to provide preliminary data on the FPS from a non-clinical population. The FPS yielded findings convergent with other data on forbidden foods and discriminated between dieters and non-dieters. For both groups, the perception that foods were fattening was correlated with increased fear/guilt, with dieters showing significantly greater increases in ratings of fear/guilt and number of feared foods with increments in the perceived 'fatteningness' of food items.

  7. Fear-potentiated startle processing in humans: Parallel fMRI and orbicularis EMG assessment during cue conditioning and extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindner, Katja; Neubert, Jörg; Pfannmöller, Jörg; Lotze, Martin; Hamm, Alfons O; Wendt, Julia

    2015-12-01

    Studying neural networks and behavioral indices such as potentiated startle responses during fear conditioning has a long tradition in both animal and human research. However, most of the studies in humans do not link startle potentiation and neural activity during fear acquisition and extinction. Therefore, we examined startle blink responses measured with electromyography (EMG) and brain activity measured with functional MRI simultaneously during differential conditioning. Furthermore, we combined these behavioral fear indices with brain network activity by analyzing the brain activity evoked by the startle probe stimulus presented during conditioned visual threat and safety cues as well as in the absence of visual stimulation. In line with previous research, we found a fear-induced potentiation of the startle blink responses when elicited during a conditioned threat stimulus and a rapid decline of amygdala activity after an initial differentiation of threat and safety cues in early acquisition trials. Increased activation during processing of threat cues was also found in the anterior insula, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and the periaqueductal gray (PAG). More importantly, our results depict an increase of brain activity to probes presented during threatening in comparison to safety cues indicating an involvement of the anterior insula, the ACC, the thalamus, and the PAG in fear-potentiated startle processing during early extinction trials. Our study underlines that parallel assessment of fear-potentiated startle in fMRI paradigms can provide a helpful method to investigate common and distinct processing pathways in humans and animals and, thus, contributes to translational research.

  8. The relationship between cognitive avoidance and attentional bias for snake-related thoughts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fawzy, Tamer I; Hecker, Jeffrey E; Clark, James

    2006-01-01

    Building on the work of Lavy and van den Hout (Lavy, E. H., & van den Hout, M. A. (1994a). Cognitive avoidance and attentional bias: Causal relationships. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 18 (2) 179-191; Lavy, E. H., & van den Hout, M. A. (1994b). Cognitive avoidance and attentional bias: Causal relationships. Behavior Therapy, 24, 645-657), the purpose of the present study was to examine a functional relationship between thought suppression and attentional bias for snake-related thoughts. It was hypothesized that thought suppression is causally involved in the emergence of attentional bias. An experiment was conducted with 71 snake-fearful and non-snake-fearful participants to investigate whether instructions for suppression were sufficient to induce an attentional bias toward snake-related words. Thirty-five participants were instructed to suppress all snake-related thoughts, while 36 participants received control instructions. Both groups then completed a 5-min stream of consciousness exercise followed by a dot-probe attention task including snake words, general emotion words, and neutral words. Results indicated that participants instructed to suppress snake-related thoughts exhibited a more pronounced attentional bias toward snake-related word pairs. The same participants did not exhibit an attentional bias toward general emotion or neutral words. Moreover, there was a significant negative correlation between snake-related thoughts and probe detection latency. Results are interpreted as providing support for a causal relationship between thought suppression and attentional bias for snake-related thoughts. PMID:16522364

  9. An automatic recording system for the study of escape from fear in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ming; He, Wei

    2013-11-01

    Escape from fear (EFF) is an active response to a conditioned stimulus (CS) previously paired with an unconditioned fearful stimulus (US), which typically leads to the termination of the CS. In this paradigm, animals acquire two distinct associations: S-S [CS-US] and R-O [response-outcome] through Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning, respectively. The present study describes a computer controlled automatic recording system that captures the development of EFF and allows the determination of the respective roles of S-S and R-O associations in this process. We validated this system by showing that only rats subjected to a simultaneous CS-US conditioning (i.e., CS and US occur together at the beginning of each trial) acquired EFF, not those subjected to an unpaired CS-US conditioning. Paired rats had a progressively increased number of EFF and significantly shorter escape latencies than unpaired rats across the 5-trial blocks on the test day. However, during the conditioning phase, the unpaired rats emitted more 22kHz ultrasonic vocalizations, a validated measure of conditioned reactive fear responses. Our results demonstrate that the acquisition of EFF is contingent upon pairing of the CS with the US, not simply the consequence of a high level of generalized fear. Because this commercially available system is capable of examining both conditioned active and reactive fear responses in a single setup, it could be used to determine the relative roles of S-S and R-O associations in EFF, the neurobiology of conditioned active fear response and neuropharmacology of psychotherapeutic drugs.

  10. A dendritic organization of lateral amygdala neurons in fear susceptible and resistant mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Gomes, Vitor; Bergstrom, Hadley C; McGuire, Jennifer L; Parker, Clarissa C; Coyner, Jennifer; Landeira-Fernandez, J; Ursano, Robert J; Palmer, Abraham A; Johnson, Luke R

    2016-01-01

    Subtle differences in neuronal microanatomy may be coded in individuals with genetic susceptibility for neuropsychiatric disorders. Genetic susceptibility is a significant risk factor in the development of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Pavlovian fear conditioning has been proposed to model key aspects of PTSD. According to this theory, PTSD begins with the formation of a traumatic memory which connects relevant environmental stimuli to significant threats to life. The lateral amygdala (LA) is considered to be a key network hub for the establishment of Pavlovian fear conditioning. Substantial research has also linked the LA to PTSD. Here we used a genetic mouse model of fear susceptibility (F-S) and resistance (F-R) to investigate the dendritic and spine structure of principal neurons located in the LA. F-S and F-R lines were bi-directionally selected based on divergent levels of contextual and cued conditioned freezing in response to fear-evoking footshocks. We examined LA principal neuron dendritic and spine morphology in the offspring of experimentally naive F-S and F-R mice. We found differences in the spatial distribution of dendritic branch points across the length of the dendrite tree, with a significant increase in branch points at more distal locations in the F-S compared with F-R line. These results suggest a genetic predisposition toward differences in fear memory strength associated with a dendritic branch point organization of principal neurons in the LA. These micro-anatomical differences in neuron structure in a genetic mouse model of fear susceptibility and resistance provide important insights into the cellular mechanisms of pathophysiology underlying genetic predispositions to anxiety and PTSD.

  11. Modulation of fear extinction by stress, stress hormones and estradiol: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ursula eStockhorst

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Fear acquisition and extinction are valid models for the etiology and treatment of anxiety, trauma- and stressor-related disorders. These disorders are assumed to involve aversive learning under acute and/or chronic stress. Importantly, fear conditioning and stress share common neuronal circuits. The stress response involves multiple changes interacting in a time-dependent manner: (a the fast first-wave stress response (with central actions of noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, corticotropin-releasing hormone, plus increased sympathetic tone and peripheral catecholamine release and (b the second-wave stress response (with peripheral release of glucocorticoids after activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. Control of fear during extinction is also sensitive to these stress-response mediators. In the present review, we will thus examine current animal and human data, addressing the role of stress and single stress-response mediators for successful acquisition, consolidation and recall of fear extinction. We report studies using pharmacological manipulations targeting a number of stress-related neurotransmitters and neuromodulators (monoamines, opioids, endocannabinoids, neuropeptide Y, oxytocin, glucocorticoids and behavioral stress induction. As anxiety, trauma- and stressor-related disorders are more common in women, recent research focuses on female sex hormones and identifies a potential role for estradiol in fear extinction. We will thus summarize animal and human data on the role of estradiol and explore possible interactions with stress or stress-response mediators in extinction. This also aims at identifying time-windows of enhanced (or reduced sensitivity for fear extinction, and thus also for successful exposure therapy.

  12. Modulation of Fear Extinction by Stress, Stress Hormones and Estradiol: A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockhorst, Ursula; Antov, Martin I.

    2016-01-01

    Fear acquisition and extinction are valid models for the etiology and treatment of anxiety, trauma- and stressor-related disorders. These disorders are assumed to involve aversive learning under acute and/or chronic stress. Importantly, fear conditioning and stress share common neuronal circuits. The stress response involves multiple changes interacting in a time-dependent manner: (a) the fast first-wave stress response [with central actions of noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), plus increased sympathetic tone and peripheral catecholamine release] and (b) the second-wave stress response [with peripheral release of glucocorticoids (GCs) after activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis]. Control of fear during extinction is also sensitive to these stress-response mediators. In the present review, we will thus examine current animal and human data, addressing the role of stress and single stress-response mediators for successful acquisition, consolidation and recall of fear extinction. We report studies using pharmacological manipulations targeting a number of stress-related neurotransmitters and neuromodulators [monoamines, opioids, endocannabinoids (eCBs), neuropeptide Y, oxytocin, GCs] and behavioral stress induction. As anxiety, trauma- and stressor-related disorders are more common in women, recent research focuses on female sex hormones and identifies a potential role for estradiol in fear extinction. We will thus summarize animal and human data on the role of estradiol and explore possible interactions with stress or stress-response mediators in extinction. This also aims at identifying time-windows of enhanced (or reduced) sensitivity for fear extinction, and thus also for successful exposure therapy. PMID:26858616

  13. Attention and Distraction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anne Ring

    2010-01-01

    This article aims to examine the interrelationship between attention and distraction in the reception of video installation art, a genre which is commonly associated with "immersion" and an intensified feeling of presence in the discourses on new media art and installation art. This tends to veil...

  14. Role of the hippocampus in contextual modulation of fear extinction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lingzhi Kong; Xihong Wu; Liang Li

    2008-01-01

    Fear extinction is an important form of emotional learning, and affects neural plasticity. Cue fear extinction is a classical form of inhibitory learning that can be used as an exposure-based treatment for phobia, because the long-term extinction memory produced during cue fear extinction can limit the over-expression of fear. The expression of this inhibitory memory partly depends on the context in which the extinction learning occurs. Studies such as transient inhibition, electrophysiology and brain imaging have proved that the hippocampus - an important structure in the limbic system - facilitates memory retrieval by contextual cues.Mediation of the hippocampus-medial prefrontal lobe circuit may be the neurobiological basis of this process.This article has reviewed the role of the hippocampus in the learning and retrieval of fear extinction.Contextual modulation of fear extinction may rely on a neural network consisting of the hippocampus, the medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala.

  15. Fear of rape among college women: a social psychological analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pryor, Douglas W; Hughes, Marion R

    2013-01-01

    This article examines social psychological underpinnings of fear of rape among college women. We analyze data from a survey of 1,905 female undergraduates to test the influence of 5 subjective perceptions about vulnerability and harm: unique invulnerability, gender risk, defensibility, anticipatory shame, and attribution of injury. We include 3 sources of crime exposure in our models: past sexual victimization, past noncontact violent victimization, and structural risk measured by age, parent's income, and race. Separate measures of fear of stranger and acquaintance rape are modeled, including variables tapping current versus anticipatory fear, fear on campus versus everywhere, and fear anytime versus at night. The data show that fear of rape among college women appears more grounded in constructed perceptions of harm and danger than in past violent experiences. PMID:23862309

  16. Perceptual discrimination in fear generalization: Mechanistic and clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Struyf, Dieter; Zaman, Jonas; Vervliet, Bram; Van Diest, Ilse

    2015-12-01

    For almost a century, Pavlovian conditioning is the imperative experimental paradigm to investigate the development and generalization of fear. However, despite the rich research tradition, the conceptualization of fear generalization has remained somewhat ambiguous. In this selective review, we focus explicitly on some challenges with the current operationalization of fear generalization and their impact on the ability to make inferences on its clinical potential and underlying processes. The main conclusion is that, despite the strong evidence that learning influences perception, current research has largely neglected the role of perceptual discriminability and its plasticity in fear generalization. We propose an alternative operationalization of generalization, where the essence is that Pavlovian conditioning itself influences the breadth of fear generalization via learning-related changes in perceptual discriminability. Hence a conceptualization of fear generalization is incomplete without an in-depth analysis of processes of perceptual discriminability. Furthermore, this highlights perceptual learning and discriminability as important future targets for pre-clinical and clinical research.

  17. Selecting danger signals: dissociable roles of nucleus accumbens shell and core glutamate in predictive fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Susan S Y; McNally, Gavan P

    2015-06-01

    Conditioned stimuli (CSs) vary in their reliability as predictors of danger. Animals must therefore select among CSs those that are appropriate to enter into an association with the aversive unconditioned stimulus (US). The actions of prediction error instruct this stimulus selection so that when prediction error is large, attention to the CS is maintained and learning occurs but when prediction is small attention to the CS is withdrawn and learning is prevented. Here we studied the role of glutamate acting at rat nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) and core (AcbC) α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors in this selection of danger signals. Using associative blocking and unblocking designs in rats, we show that antagonizing AcbSh AMPA receptors via infusions of 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulphamoyl-benzo[f]quinoxaline-2,3-dione (NBQX; 0.5 μg) prevents the unblocking of fear learning, whereas antagonizing AcbC AMPA receptors via infusions of NBQX (0.5 μg) prevents both the blocking and unblocking of fear learning. These results identify dissociable but complementary roles for AcbSh and AcbC glutamate acting at AMPA receptors in selecting danger signals: AcbSh AMPA receptors upregulate attention and learning to CSs that signal surprising USs, whereas AcbC AMPA receptors encode the predicted outcome of each trial.

  18. Regional Crime Rates and Fear of Crime: WISIND Findings

    OpenAIRE

    Bug, Mathias; Kroh, Martin; Meier, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    Many people are afraid of falling prey to crime. The present report investigates the extent to which this fear is in line with the actual regional crime rates. This analysis is based on data from a comprehensive database on the fear of crime, combined with police crime statistics (specifically, adjusted crime statistics which factor in the "dark figure" of unreported crime). No evidence was found to support the (occasionally voiced) contention that the fear of falling prey to crime is irratio...

  19. Does Religious Involvement Generate or Inhibit Fear of Crime?

    OpenAIRE

    Matthews, Todd; Johnson, Lee Michael; Jenks, Catherine

    2011-01-01

    In victimology, fear of crime is understood as an emotional response to the perceived threat of crime. Fear of crime has been found to be affected by several variables besides local crime rates and personal experiences with victimization. This study examines the relationship between religion and fear of crime, an underexplored topic in the criminological literature. This gap is rather surprising given the central role religion has been found to play in shaping the attitudes and perceptions of...

  20. Conceptual similarity promotes generalization of higher order fear learning

    OpenAIRE

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; White, Allison J.; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2011-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that conceptual similarity promotes generalization of conditioned fear. Using a sensory preconditioning procedure, three groups of subjects learned an association between two cues that were conceptually similar, unrelated, or mismatched. Next, one of the cues was paired with a shock. The other cue was then reintroduced to test for fear generalization, as measured by the skin conductance response. Results showed enhanced fear generalization that correlated with trait a...