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Sample records for attention fear increases

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van den Hout, MA; de Jong, Peter; Kindt, M

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  3. The effect of fear and anger on selective attention.

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    Finucane, Anne M

    2011-08-01

    This experiment examined the effects of two discrete negative emotions, fear and anger, on selective attention. A within-subjects design was used, and all participants (N = 98) experienced the control, anger, and fear conditions. During each condition, participants viewed a film clip eliciting the target emotion and subsequently completed a flanker task and emotion report. Selective attention costs were assessed by comparing reaction times (RTs) on congruent (baseline) trials with RTs on incongruent trials. There was a significant interaction between emotion condition (control, anger, fear) and flanker type (congruent, incongruent). Contrasts further revealed a significant interaction between emotion and flanker type when comparing RTs in the control and fear conditions, and a marginally significant interaction when comparing RTs in the control and anger conditions. This indicates that selective attention costs were significantly lower in the fear compared to the control condition and were marginally lower in the anger compared with the control condition. Further analysis of participants reporting heightened anger in the anger condition revealed significantly lower selective attention costs during anger compared to a control state. These findings support the general prediction that high arousal negative emotional states inhibit processing of nontarget information and enhance selective attention. This study is the first to show an enhancing effect of anger on selective attention. It also offers convergent evidence to studies that have previously shown an influence of fear on attentional focus using the global-local paradigm.

  4. 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

  5. Fear of negative evaluation moderates effects of social exclusion on selective attention to social signs.

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    Tanaka, Hiroaki; Ikegami, Tomoko

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies demonstrated that fear of negative evaluation (FNE) moderates responses to exclusion in late-stage social outcomes (e.g., social judgements and behaviours). People with low levels of FNE show affiliative responses, feeling compelled to recover their sense of belonging, whereas people with high levels of FNE do not. This study examined whether FNE also moderates responses to exclusion in early-stage interpersonal perception, manifested in selective attention. The experiment using a dot-probe task revealed that exclusion led participants with low levels of FNE to increase attention to signs of social acceptance (i.e., smiling faces). It also revealed that exclusion led those with high levels of FNE to pay more attention to signs of social threat (i.e., angry faces) relative to those of social acceptance. Thus, exclusion makes the motivation to protect oneself from social threats dominant over the motivation to reestablish social bonds among those who fear negative evaluation.

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

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    Van Bockstaele, Bram; Verschuere, Bruno; Tibboel, Helen; De Houwer, Jan; Crombez, Geert; Koster, Ernst H W

    2014-05-01

    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 differences in attentional bias are associated with differences in fear and anxiety, this association does not emerge consistently. Moreover, there is only limited evidence that individual differences in attentional bias are related to individual differences in fear or anxiety. In line with a causal relation, some studies show that attentional bias precedes fear or anxiety in time. However, other studies show that fear and anxiety can precede the onset of attentional bias, suggesting circular or reciprocal causality. Importantly, a recent line of experimental research shows that changes in attentional bias can lead to changes in anxiety. Yet changes in fear and anxiety also lead to changes in attentional bias, which confirms that the relation between attentional bias and fear and anxiety is unlikely to be unidirectional. Finally, a similar causal relation between interpretation bias and anxiety has been documented. In sum, there is evidence in favor of causality, yet a strict unidirectional cause-effect model is unlikely to hold. The relation between attentional bias and fear and anxiety is best described as a bidirectional, maintaining, or mutually reinforcing relation.

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

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    Sharpe, Melissa J.; Killcross, Simon

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Increased bias to report heat or pain following emotional priming of pain-related fear.

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    Kirwilliam, S S; Derbyshire, S W G

    2008-07-01

    Emotional and attentional factors have been identified to play a significant role in modulating pain perception with negative emotions increasing pain sensitivity. Recent studies suggest that fearful images may activate the attentional components of fear driven behaviours and facilitate an attentional bias or sensitivity toward noxious stimuli. The current investigation examines whether priming of pain-related fear will affect performance by increasing sensitivity to punctuate heat stimuli. A modified version of the visual dot probe task was employed to provide priming of pain-related fear and a heat detection task was used to measure the effects of priming on sensitivity. The results indicated a significant facilitation of heat and pain perception at varying temperatures following emotional priming. In particular, there was an increase in the bias toward reporting a heat stimulus following emotional priming. The findings emphasise the efficacy of the visual dot probe task as a method of priming and provide a possible method for probing hypervigilance in chronic pain patients.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheikhzade, Mostafa; Assemi, Arezoo

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Fear of evaluation in social anxiety: mediation of attentional bias to human faces.

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    Sluis, Rachel A; Boschen, Mark J

    2014-12-01

    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a debilitating psychological disorder characterised by excessive fears of one or more social or performance situations, where there is potential for evaluation by others. A recently expanded cognitive-behavioural model of SAD emphasizes that both the fear of negative evaluation (FNE) and the fear of positive evaluation (FPE) contribute to enduring symptoms of SAD. Research also suggests that socially anxious individuals may show biases toward threat relevant stimuli, such as angry faces. The current study utilised a modified version of the pictorial dot-probe task in order to examine whether FNE and FPE mediate the relationship between social anxiety and an attentional bias. A group of 38 participants with moderate to high levels of self-reported social anxiety were tested in groups of two to four people and were advised that they would be required to deliver an impromptu speech. All participants then completed an assessment of attentional bias using angry-neutral, happy-neutral, and angry-happy face pairs. Conditions were satisfied for only one mediation model, indicating that the relationship between social anxiety and attentional avoidance of angry faces was mediated by FPE. These findings have important clinical implications for types of treatment concerning cognitive symptoms of SAD, along with advancing models of social anxiety. Limitations and ideas for future research from the current study were also discussed.

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

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

    2017-03-06

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

  20. Functional and structural amygdala - anterior cingulate connectivity correlates with attentional bias to masked fearful faces.

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    Carlson, Joshua M; Cha, Jiook; Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R

    2013-10-01

    An attentional bias to threat has been causally related to anxiety. Recent research has linked nonconscious attentional bias to threat with variability in the integrity of the amygdala - anterior cingulate pathway, which sheds light on the neuroanatomical basis for a behavioral precursor to anxiety. However, the extent to which structural variability in amygdala - anterior cingulate integrity relates to the functional connectivity within this pathway and how such functional connectivity may relate to attention bias behavior, remain critical missing pieces of the puzzle. In 15 individuals we measured the structural integrity of the amygdala - prefrontal pathway with diffusion tensor-weighted MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), amygdala-seeded intrinsic functional connectivity to the anterior cingulate, and attentional bias toward backward masked fearful faces with a dot-probe task. We found that greater biases in attention to threat predicted greater levels of uncinate fasciculus integrity, greater positive amygdala - anterior cingulate functional connectivity, and greater amygdala coupling with a broader social perception network including the superior temporal sulcus, tempoparietal junction (TPJ), and somatosensory cortex. Additionally, greater levels of uncinate fasciculus integrity correlated with greater levels of amygdala - anterior cingulate intrinsic functional connectivity. Thus, high bias individuals displayed a heightened degree of amygdala - anterior cingulate connectivity during basal conditions, which we believe predisposes these individuals to focus their attention on signals of threat within their environment.

  1. Social fears during adolescence: is there an increase in distress and avoidance?

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    Sumter, S R; Bokhorst, C L; Westenberg, P M

    2009-10-01

    Mid-adolescence is considered as the time of onset for social phobia and is assumed to be related to a normative increase of social fears. People diagnosed with social phobia, however, do not only experience high levels of fear or distress, but also report avoidance behavior. Little attention has been paid to the development of avoidance behavior during adolescence. In the current study, a community sample with 9-17 year olds (n=260) completed a questionnaire derived from the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children (ADIS-C) [Silverman, W. K., & Albano, A. M. (1996). Anxiety disorders interview schedule for DSM-IV child version, child interview schedule. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation]. They rated their levels of distress and avoidance in a variety of social situations. The results showed an age related increase for formal speaking and interaction situations in both avoidance and distress, with a stronger increase in avoidance than in distress. The same pattern was found for girls for situations regarding observation by others. No effects were observed for informal speaking and interaction situations.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. The CRH1 antagonist GSK561679 increases human fear but not anxiety as assessed by startle.

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    Grillon, Christian; Hale, Elizabeth; Lieberman, Lynne; Davis, Andrew; Pine, Daniel S; Ernst, Monique

    2015-03-13

    Fear to predictable threat and anxiety to unpredictable threat reflect distinct processes mediated by different brain structures, the central nucleus of the amygdala and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), respectively. This study tested the hypothesis that the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF1) antagonist GSK561679 differentially reduces anxiety but increases fear in humans. A total of 31 healthy females received each of four treatments: placebo, 50 mg GSK561679 (low-GSK), 400 mg GSK561679 (high-GSK), and 1 mg alprazolam in a crossover design. Participants were exposed to three conditions during each of the four treatments. The three conditions included one in which predictable aversive shocks were signaled by a cue, a second during which shocks were administered unpredictably, and a third condition without shock. Fear and anxiety were assessed using the acoustic startle reflex. High-GSK had no effect on startle potentiation during unpredictable threat (anxiety) but increased startle potentiation during the predictable condition (fear). Low-GSK did not affect startle potentiation across conditions. Consistent with previous findings, alprazolam reduced startle potentiation during unpredictable threat but not during predictable threat. The increased fear by high-GSK replicates animal findings and suggests a lift of the inhibitory effect of the BNST on the amygdala by the CRF1 antagonist.

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

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    Antonio Aubry

    2016-10-01

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    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

  10. Increased Serotonin Transporter Expression Reduces Fear and Recruitment of Parvalbumin Interneurons of the Amygdala.

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    Bocchio, Marco; Fucsina, Giulia; Oikonomidis, Lydia; McHugh, Stephen B; Bannerman, David M; Sharp, Trevor; Capogna, Marco

    2015-12-01

    Genetic association studies suggest that variations in the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) transporter (5-HTT) gene are associated with susceptibility to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder. Individuals carrying high 5-HTT-expressing gene variants display low amygdala reactivity to fearful stimuli. Mice overexpressing the 5-HTT (5-HTTOE), an animal model of this human variation, show impaired fear, together with reduced fear-evoked theta oscillations in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). However, it is unclear how variation in 5-HTT gene expression impacts on the microcircuitry of the BLA to change behavior. We addressed this issue by investigating the activity of parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons (PVINs), the biggest IN population in the basal amygdala (BA). We found that increased 5-HTT expression impairs the recruitment of PVINs (measured by their c-Fos immunoreactivity) during fear. Ex vivo patch-clamp recordings demonstrated that the depolarizing effect of 5-HT on PVINs was mediated by 5-HT2A receptor. In 5-HTTOE mice, 5-HT-evoked depolarization of PVINs and synaptic inhibition of principal cells, which provide the major output of the BA, were impaired. This deficit was because of reduced 5-HT2A function and not because of increased 5-HT uptake. Collectively, these findings provide novel cellular mechanisms that are likely to contribute to differences in emotional behaviors linked with genetic variations of the 5-HTT.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Joshua M.; Reinke, Karen S.

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. 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.…

  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. 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。

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

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

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    Alice Mado eProverbio

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

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

    2009-10-01

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

  8. Agoraphobia: Fear of Fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musetto, Andrew P.

    1984-01-01

    Agoraphobia is a complex phobia in which individuals react with intense anxiety to certain stress situations. Basically, agoraphobics live in fear of becoming afraid. Describes the psychotherapeutic treatment that helps agoraphobics to become more self-sufficient and to face their fears by understanding themselves better. (CS)

  9. 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.

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

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    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Acute tryptophan depletion increases translational indices of anxiety but not fear: serotonergic modulation of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Oliver J; Overstreet, Cassie; Allen, Phillip S; Pine, Daniel S; Grillon, Christian

    2012-07-01

    Serotonin is strongly implicated in the mammalian stress response, but surprisingly little is known about its mode of action. Recent data suggest that serotonin can inhibit aversive responding in humans, but this remains underspecified. In particular, data in rodents suggest that global serotonin depletion may specifically increase long-duration bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST)-mediated aversive responses (ie, anxiety), but not short-duration BNST-independent responses (ie, fear). Here, we extend these findings to humans. In a balanced, placebo-controlled crossover design, healthy volunteers (n=20) received a controlled diet with and without the serotonin precursor tryptophan (acute tryptophan depletion; ATD). Aversive states were indexed by translational acoustic startle measures. Fear and anxiety were operationally defined as the increase in startle reactivity during short- and long-duration threat periods evoked by predictable shock (fear-potentiated startle) and by the context in which the shocks were administered (anxiety-potentiated startle), respectively. ATD significantly increased long-duration anxiety-potentiated startle but had no effect on short-duration fear-potentiated startle. These results suggest that serotonin depletion in humans selectively increases anxiety but not fear. Current translational frameworks support the proposition that ATD thus disinhibits dorsal raphé-originating serotonergic control of corticotropin-releasing hormone-mediated excitation of the BNST. This generates a candidate neuropharmacological mechanism by which depleted serotonin may increase response to sustained threats, alongside clear implications for our understanding of the manifestation and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

  13. Reward expectancy promotes generalized increases in attentional bias for rewarding stimuli.

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    Jones, Andrew; Hogarth, Lee; Christiansen, Paul; Rose, Abigail K; Martinovic, Jasna; Field, Matt

    2012-01-01

    Expectations of drug availability increase the magnitude of attentional biases for drug-related cues. However, it is unknown whether these effects are outcome specific, or whether expectation of a specific reinforcer produces a general enhancement of attentional bias for other types of rewarding cues. In the present study, 31 social drinkers completed an eye-tracking task in which attentional bias for alcohol- and chocolate-related cues was assessed while the expectation of receiving alcohol and chocolate was manipulated on a trial-by-trial basis. Participants showed attentional bias for alcohol and chocolate cues (relative to neutral cues) overall. Importantly, these attentional biases for reward cues were magnified when participants expected to receive alcohol and chocolate, but effects were not outcome specific: The expectation of receiving either alcohol or chocolate increased attentional bias for both alcohol and chocolate cues. Results suggest that anticipation of reward produces a general rather than an outcome-specific enhancement of attentional bias for reward-related stimuli.

  14. 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.

  15. Transcranial direct current stimulation of the prefrontal cortex increases attention to visual target stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vierheilig, Nina; Mühlberger, Andreas; Polak, Thomas; Herrmann, Martin J

    2016-10-01

    Both functional imaging or EEG studies and studies including neurological patients found the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dLPFC) to be an important brain area for the processing of emotion and attention. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether emotion and attention can be modulated through bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the dLPFC. Therefore, we measured electroencephalographic occipital (early posterior negativity, EPN) and parietal ERPs (late positive potential, LPP) during an emotional picture viewing paradigm with an additional attentional instruction while applying bilateral anodal and cathodal tDC-stimulation to the left and right dLPFC. Beyond the well-known emotion and attention effects for both EPN and LPP, we found that left cathodal/right anodal tDCS leads to increased LPP amplitudes to target stimuli. In contrast to our hypothesis bilateral tDCS over the dLPFC did not influence emotional processing.

  16. Serotonergic Modulation of Conditioned Fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith R. Homberg

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Intraperitoneal sertraline and fluvoxamine increase contextual fear conditioning but are without effect on overshadowing between cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassaday, H J; Thur, K E

    2015-02-01

    Treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can reduce contextual conditioning. Since contexts comprise a variety of potentially competing cues, impaired overshadowing may provide an account of such effects. The present study therefore compared the effects of two SSRIs on overshadowing and contextual conditioning, testing suppression of an ongoing behavioral response (licking) by cues previously paired with foot shock. Conditioning to a 5 s light stimulus was reduced when it was presented in compound with a 5 s noise, thus overshadowing was demonstrated. In two experiments, this overshadowing was unaffected by treatment with either sertraline or fluvoxamine. However, unconditioned suppression to the noise (tested in a control group previously conditioned to the light alone) was reduced after sertraline (10 mg/kg, i.p.). The successful demonstration of overshadowing required the use of a second conditioning session or an additional conditioning trial within the same conditioning session. Neither weak nor strong overshadowing (of the light by the tone) was affected by any drug treatment. Moreover, counter to prediction, conditioning to contextual cues was increased rather than impaired by treatment with sertraline (10 mg/kg, i.p.) and fluvoxamine (30 mg/kg, i.p.).

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. A higher inherent trait for fearfulness is associated with increased anxiety-like behaviours and diazepam sensitivity in Japanese quail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulay, J; Chaillou, E; Bertin, A; Constantin, P; Arnould, C; Leterrier, C; Calandreau, L

    2013-01-15

    This study tested whether lines of Japanese quails divergently selected for a fear response, the tonic immobility, might constitute a reliable bird model for studying anxiety. Previous studies demonstrated that the selection modifies the general underlying emotionality of the birds rather than exerting its effect only on tonic immobility. The behavioural effects of intraperitoneal injections of diazepam, an anxiolytic drug, were assessed in two lines of quail selected either for their short (STI) or long (LTI) duration of tonic immobility. Effects of diazepam were examined in two tests used for measuring emotionality in birds, the open field and the tonic immobility tests. After being placed in the centre of the open field, birds with a high emotionality (LTI quails) stayed longer in the centre of the apparatus than STI quail. Diazepam had anxiolytic effect in LTI birds as it increased the time spent in the outer area. This effect of diazepam appears to be selective because the drug has no effect on other behaviours such as distress calls or escape attempts. The drug has also no effect on the tonic immobility response in any of the two lines. These findings reveal an "anxiogenic" trait of LTI birds in the open field test that can be modulated by the administration of an anxiolytic drug. Therefore quails selected for LTI and STI represent a valuable model to study the mechanisms underlying anxiety in birds.

  1. Fear of pain potentiates nocebo hyperalgesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aslaksen PM

    2015-10-01

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

  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. The specter of discrimination: Fear of interpersonal racial discrimination among adolescents in Chicago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herda, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    This analysis examines fear of interpersonal racial discrimination among Black, Hispanic, and White adolescents. The extent and correlates of these concerns are examined using survey data from the Project for Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. Borrowing from the fear-of-crime literature, the contact hypothesis, and group threat theory, several hypotheses are developed linking discrimination fear to direct personal experience with discrimination, indirect or vicarious experience, and environmental signals of discrimination. Results show that about half of Blacks and Hispanics have feared discrimination in the past year. Multivariate results indicate that fear is most likely if one has experienced victimization first-hand and when one's parent is affected by discrimination. Further, a larger presence neighborhood outgroups produces greater fear. Overall, discrimination fear constitutes an additional obstacle for minority adolescents as they transition to adulthood. The phenomenon warrants increased scholarly attention and represents a fruitful avenue for future research.

  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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuipers, Jan Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume

    2015-10-01

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

  10. Fear of pain potentiates nocebo hyperalgesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aslaksen, Per M; Lyby, Peter S

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Working Memory Improvement Exercises on Increasing the Attention and School Performance in 9-12 Year Old Children with Attention Deficit

    OpenAIRE

    Atefeh Fakharinezhad; Farzaneh Niknezhadi; Yousef Gorji

    2014-01-01

    The Purpose of the present study is evaluation of the effectiveness of working memory improvement exercises on increasing the attention and school performance in 9-12 year old children with attention deficit. This is a quasi-experimental study which is of pretest-posttest type, with follow-up by a control group. The statistical population of this research includes the 9-12 year old students of Esfahan Province schools with 6 symptoms of attention deficit, who were chosen by multistage cluster...

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  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. Procedures for Increasing Sustained Attention in Adults with Mild Intellectual Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doughty, Adam H.; Williams, Dean C.

    2013-01-01

    This research compared the effects of several factors on sustained attention in four participants with mild or mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities. In each session, each participant received an extended number of conditional discriminations that required a differential response to infrequently occurring target stimuli. We assessed sustained…

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. Citizens in fear?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janneke Oppelaar; Karin Wittebrood

    2006-01-01

    Original title: Angstige burgers How afraid are citizens of crime, and has that fear increased or decreased in recent years? Which factors make people feel unsafe and how susceptible are they to influence? This publication looks extensively at these questions. As well as an overview of the scientif

  6. Immunization against social fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golkar, Armita; Olsson, Andreas

    2016-06-01

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

  7. The development of attention to dynamic facial emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, Alison; Hock, Alyson; White, Hannah; Jubran, Rachel; Bhatt, Ramesh S

    2016-07-01

    Appropriate processing of emotions is paramount for successful social functioning. Adults' enhanced attention to negative emotions such as fear is thought to be a critical aspect of this adaptive functioning. Prior studies indicate that increased attention to fear relative to positive or neutral emotions begins at around 7months of age, and it has been suggested that this negativity bias is related to self-locomotion. However, these studies mostly used static faces, potentially limiting information available to the infants. In the current study, 3.5-month-olds (n=24) and 5-month-olds (n=24) were exposed to dynamic faces expressing fear, happy, or neutral emotions and a distracting peripheral checkerboard. The 5-month-olds looked proportionally longer at the face compared with the checkerboard when the face was fearful than when it was happy or neutral. Conversely, the 3.5-month-olds did not differentiate their attention as a function of emotion. These results indicate that the onset of enhanced attention to fear occurs between 3.5 and 5months of age. This finding raises questions about the developmental mechanisms that drive attentional bias given that the idea of the onset of self-locomotion being a catalyst for the development of negativity bias might no longer hold.

  8. Impaired fear extinction retention and increased anxiety-like behaviours induced by limited daily access to a high-fat/high-sugar diet in male rats: Implications for diet-induced prefrontal cortex dysregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Kathryn D; Reichelt, Amy C

    2016-12-01

    Anxiety disorders and obesity are both common in youth and young adults. Despite increasing evidence that over-consumption of palatable high-fat/high-sugar "junk" foods leads to adverse neurocognitive outcomes, little is known about the effects of palatable diets on emotional memories and fear regulation. In the present experiments we examined the effects of daily 2h consumption of a high-fat/high-sugar (HFHS) food across adolescence on fear inhibition and anxiety-like behaviour in young adult rats. Rats exposed to the HFHS diet exhibited impaired retention of fear extinction and increased anxiety-like behaviour in an emergence test compared to rats fed a standard diet. The HFHS-fed rats displayed diet-induced changes in prefrontal cortex (PFC) function which were detected by altered expression of GABAergic parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory interneurons and the stable transcription factor ΔFosB which accumulates in the PFC in response to chronic stimuli. Immunohistochemical analyses of the medial PFC revealed that animals fed the HFHS diet had fewer parvalbumin-expressing cells and increased levels of FosB/ΔFosB expression in the infralimbic cortex, a region implicated in the consolidation of fear extinction. There was a trend towards increased IBA-1 immunoreactivity, a marker of microglial activation, in the infralimbic cortex after HFHS diet exposure but expression of the extracellular glycoprotein reelin was unaffected. These findings demonstrate that a HFHS diet during adolescence is associated with reductions of prefrontal parvalbumin neurons and impaired fear inhibition in adulthood. Adverse effects of HFHS diets on the mechanisms of fear regulation may precipitate a vulnerability in obese individuals to the development of anxiety disorders.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Background Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) frequently have motor problems. Previous studies have reported that the characteristic gait in children with ADHD is immature and that subjects demonstrate higher levels of variability in gait characteristics for the lower extremities than healthy controls. However, little is known about body movement during gait in children with ADHD. The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristic body movements associated with ADHD symptoms in children with ADHD. Methods Using a three-dimensional motion analysis system, we compared gait variables in boys with ADHD (n = 19; mean age, 9.58 years) and boys with typical development (TD) (n = 21; mean age, 10.71 years) to determine the specific gait characteristics related to ADHD symptoms. We assessed spatiotemporal gait variables (i.e. speed, stride length, and cadence), and kinematic gait variables (i.e. angle of pelvis, hip, knee, and ankle) to measure body movement when walking at a self-selected pace. Results In comparison with the TD group, the ADHD group demonstrated significantly higher values in cadence (t = 3.33, p = 0.002) and anterior pelvic angle (t = 3.08, p = 0.004). In multiple regression analysis, anterior pelvic angle was associated with the ADHD rating scale hyperactive/impulsive scores (β = 0.62, t = 2.58, p = 0.025), but not other psychiatric symptoms in the ADHD group. Conclusions Our results suggest that anterior pelvic angle represents a specific gait variable related to ADHD symptoms. Our kinematic findings could have potential implications for evaluating the body movement in boys with ADHD. PMID:28099484

  13. Fears and Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... A Week of Healthy Breakfasts Shyness Fears and Phobias KidsHealth > For Teens > Fears and Phobias Print A ... help and support to overcome them. previous continue Phobias A phobia is an intense fear reaction to ...

  14. 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…

  15. GLRB allelic variation associated with agoraphobic cognitions, increased startle response and fear network activation: a potential neurogenetic pathway to panic disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deckert, J; Weber, H; Villmann, C; Lonsdorf, T B; Richter, J; Andreatta, M; Arias-Vasquez, A; Hommers, L; Kent, L; Schartner, C; Cichon, S; Wolf, C; Schaefer, N; von Collenberg, C R; Wachter, B; Blum, R; Schümann, D; Scharfenort, R; Schumacher, J; Forstner, A J; Baumann, C; Schiele, M A; Notzon, S; Zwanzger, P; Janzing, J G E; Galesloot, T; Kiemeney, L A; Gajewska, A; Glotzbach-Schoon, E; Mühlberger, A; Alpers, G; Fydrich, T; Fehm, L; Gerlach, A L; Kircher, T; Lang, T; Ströhle, A; Arolt, V; Wittchen, H-U; Kalisch, R; Büchel, C; Hamm, A; Nöthen, M M; Romanos, M; Domschke, K; Pauli, P; Reif, A

    2017-02-07

    The molecular genetics of panic disorder (PD) with and without agoraphobia (AG) are still largely unknown and progress is hampered by small sample sizes. We therefore performed a genome-wide association study with a dimensional, PD/AG-related anxiety phenotype based on the Agoraphobia Cognition Questionnaire (ACQ) in a sample of 1370 healthy German volunteers of the CRC TRR58 MEGA study wave 1. A genome-wide significant association was found between ACQ and single non-coding nucleotide variants of the GLRB gene (rs78726293, P=3.3 × 10(-8); rs191260602, P=3.9 × 10(-8)). We followed up on this finding in a larger dimensional ACQ sample (N=2547) and in independent samples with a dichotomous AG phenotype based on the Symptoms Checklist (SCL-90; N=3845) and a case-control sample with the categorical phenotype PD/AG (Ncombined =1012) obtaining highly significant P-values also for GLRB single-nucleotide variants rs17035816 (P=3.8 × 10(-4)) and rs7688285 (P=7.6 × 10(-5)). GLRB gene expression was found to be modulated by rs7688285 in brain tissue, as well as cell culture. Analyses of intermediate PD/AG phenotypes demonstrated increased startle reflex and increased fear network, as well as general sensory activation by GLRB risk gene variants rs78726293, rs191260602, rs17035816 and rs7688285. Partial Glrb knockout mice demonstrated an agoraphobic phenotype. In conjunction with the clinical observation that rare coding GLRB gene mutations are associated with the neurological disorder hyperekplexia characterized by a generalized startle reaction and agoraphobic behavior, our data provide evidence that non-coding, although functional GLRB gene polymorphisms may predispose to PD by increasing startle response and agoraphobic cognitions.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 7 February 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.2.

  16. Disgust and Fear-Related UCS-Expectancy Bias in Blood-Fearful Individuals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Overveld, Mark; de Jong, Peter J.; Peters, Madelon L.

    2010-01-01

    People with specific fears tend to overestimate the occurrence of unpleasant consequences in situations involving their feared objects. Such expectancy bias logically acts in a way to confirm phobic fear and avoidance. Increasing evidence suggests that blood phobia is qualitatively different from ot

  17. Conditioned Fear Acquisition and Generalization in Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinoco-González, Daniella; Fullana, Miquel Angel; Torrents-Rodas, David; Bonillo, Albert; Vervliet, Bram; Blasco, María Jesús; Farré, Magí; Torrubia, Rafael

    2015-09-01

    Abnormal fear conditioning processes (including fear acquisition and conditioned fear-generalization) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders. Previous research has shown that individuals with panic disorder present enhanced conditioned fear-generalization in comparison to healthy controls. Enhanced conditioned fear-generalization could also characterize generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but research so far is inconclusive. An important confounding factor in previous research is comorbidity. The present study examined conditioned fear-acquisition and fear-generalization in 28 patients with GAD and 30 healthy controls using a recently developed fear acquisition and generalization paradigm assessing fear-potentiated startle and online expectancies of the unconditioned stimulus. Analyses focused on GAD patients without comorbidity but included also patients with comorbid anxiety disorders. Patients and controls did not differ as regards fear acquisition. However, contrary to our hypothesis, both groups did not differ either in most indexes of conditioned fear-generalization. Moreover, dimensional measures of GAD symptoms were not correlated with conditioned fear-generalization indexes. Comorbidity did not have a significant impact on the results. Our data suggest that conditioned fear-generalization is not enhanced in GAD. Results are discussed with special attention to the possible effects of comorbidity on fear learning abnormalities.

  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

    2017-01-01

    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. Emotion drives attention: detecting the snake in the grass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohman, A; Flykt, A; Esteves, F

    2001-09-01

    Participants searched for discrepant fear-relevant pictures (snakes or spiders) in grid-pattern arrays of fear-irrelevant pictures belonging to the same category (flowers or mushrooms) and vice versa. Fear-relevant pictures were found more quickly than fear-irrelevant ones. Fear-relevant, but not fear-irrelevant, search was unaffected by the location of the target in the display and by the number of distractors, which suggests parallel search for fear-relevant targets and serial search for fear-irrelevant targets. Participants specifically fearful of snakes but not spiders (or vice versa) showed facilitated search for the feared objects but did not differ from controls in search for nonfeared fear-relevant or fear-irrelevant, targets. Thus, evolutionary relevant threatening stimuli were effective in capturing attention, and this effect was further facilitated if the stimulus was emotionally provocative.

  1. 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...

  2. Retention of perceptual generalization of fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappens, Meike; Schroijen, Mathias; Van den Bergh, Omer; Van Diest, Ilse

    2015-12-01

    Fear reduction obtained during a fear extinction procedure can generalize from the extinction stimulus to other perceptually similar stimuli. Perceptual generalization of fear extinction typically follows a perceptual gradient, with increasing levels of fear reduction the more a stimulus resembles the extinction stimulus. The current study aimed to investigate whether perceptual generalization of fear extinction can be observed also after a retention interval of 24h. Fear was acquired to three geometrical figures of different sizes (CS(+), CS1(+) and CS2(+)) by consistently pairing them with a short-lasting suffocation experience (US). Three other geometrical figures that were never followed by the US served as control stimuli (CS(-), CS1(-), CS2(-)). Next, only the CS(+) was extinguished by presenting it in the absence of the US. One day later, fear responses to all stimuli were assessed without any US-presentation. Outcome measures included startle blink EMG, skin conductance, US expectancy, respiratory rate and tidal volume. On day 2 spontaneous recovery of fear was observed in US expectancy and tidal volume, but not in the other outcomes. Evidence for the retention of fear extinction generalization was present in US expectancy and skin conductance, but a perceptual gradient in the retention of generalized fear extinction could not be observed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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....

  7. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Against the new enclosures: Communicational insurgencies as practices of anti-fear

    OpenAIRE

    2007-01-01

    This dissertation examines the communicational dimensions of fear in neoliberal globalization, focusing on the problem of democracy when fear becomes the major lexicon and practice of politics. This study seeks to demonstrate how socio-cultural fear not only produces both fearful people and terrifying forms of political repression but also vital practices of anti-fear. The refusal of top down political fear, I argue, became increasingly significant in oppositional cultural practices in the co...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Coping with Fear through Suppression and Avoidance of Threatening Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Jesper; Shapiro, Stewart

    2009-01-01

    Fear appeal communications are widely used by social marketers in their efforts to persuade individuals to refrain from engaging in risky behaviors. The present research shows that exposure to a fear appeal can lead to the suppression of concepts semantically related to the threat and bias attentional resources away from threat-relevant…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Attachment Without Fear

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  18. Attachment Without Fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, David C

    2009-12-01

    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, openness, and dependence interact with the caregiving elements of caring, empathy, and responsibility.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Wolfers, T.; Onnink, A.M.; Zwiers, M.P.; Arias Vasquez, A.; Hoogman, M.; Mostert, J.C.; Kan, C C; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.; Franke, B

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Response time variability (RTV) is consistently increased in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A right-hemispheric frontoparietal attention network model has been implicated in these patients. The 3 main connecting fibre tracts in this network, the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) and the cingulum bundle (CB), show microstructural abnormalities in patients with ADHD. We hypothesized that the microstructural...

  3. 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,…

  4. Versatility of Fear-potentiated Startle Paradigms for Assessing Human Conditioned Fear Extinction and Return of Fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth Davin Norrholm

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Fear conditioning methodologies have often been employed as testable models for assessing learned fear responses in individuals with anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD and specific phobia. One frequently used paradigm is measurement of the acoustic startle reflex under conditions that mimic anxiogenic and fear-related conditions. For example, fear-potentiated startle is the relative increase in the frequency or magnitude of the acoustic startle reflex in the presence of a previously neutral cue (e.g., colored shape; termed the conditioned stimulus or CS+ that has been repeatedly paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus (e.g., airblast to the larynx. Our group has recently used fear-potentiated startle paradigms to demonstrate impaired fear extinction in civilian and combat populations with PTSD. In the current study, we examined the use of either visual or auditory CSs in a fear extinction protocol that we have validated and applied to human clinical conditions. This represents an important translational bridge in that numerous animal studies of fear extinction, upon which much of the human work is based, have employed the use of auditory CSs as opposed to visual CSs. Participants in both the visual and auditory groups displayed robust fear-potentiated startle to the CS+, clear discrimination between the reinforced CS+ and non-reinforced CS-, significant extinction to the previously reinforced CS+, and marked spontaneous recovery. We discuss the current results as they relate to future investigations of PTSD-related impairments in fear processing in populations with diverse medical and psychiatric histories.

  5. Brief fear preexposure facilitates subsequent fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Satoshi; Sakaguchi, Tetsuya; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2015-06-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that occurs following an unexpected exposure to a severe psychological event. A history of a brief trauma is reported to affect a risk for future PTSD development; however, little is known about the mechanisms by which a previous trauma exposure drives the sensitivity to a late-coming trauma. Using a mouse PTSD model, we found that a prior foot shock enhances contextual fear conditioning. This shock-induced facilitation of fear conditioning (i.e., priming effect) persisted for 7 days and was prevented by MK801, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist. Other types of trauma, such as forced swimming or tail pinch, did not induce a priming effect on fear conditioning. Thus, a trauma is unlikely generalized to modify the sensitivity to other traumatic experiences. The behavioral procedure employed in this study may be a useful tool to elucidate the etiology of PTSD.

  6. Increased risk for age-related impairment in visual attention associated with mild traumatic brain injury: Evidence from saccadic response times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, David M.; Ettenhofer, Mark L.

    2017-01-01

    It was hypothesized that risk for age-related impairment in attention would be greater among those with remote history of mild TBI than individuals without history of head injury. Twenty-seven adults with remote history of mild TBI and a well-matched comparison group of 54 uninjured controls completed a computerized test of visual attention while saccadic and manual response times were recorded. Within the mild TBI group only, older age was associated with slower saccadic responses and poorer saccadic inhibition. Saccadic slowing was mitigated in situations where the timing and location of attention targets was fully predictable. Mild TBI was not associated with age-related increases in risk for neuropsychological impairment or neurobehavioral symptoms. These results provide preliminary evidence that risk for age-related impairment in visual attention may be higher among those with a history of mild TBI. Saccadic measures may provide enhanced sensitivity to this subtle form of cognitive impairment. PMID:28166259

  7. Fearing religious satire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brink, Dennis Meyhoff

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.…

  9. Progesterone-associated increase in ERP amplitude correlates with an improvement in performance in a spatial attention paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brötzner, Christina P; Klimesch, Wolfgang; Kerschbaum, Hubert H

    2015-01-21

    Ovarian sex hormones modulate neuronal circuits not directly involved in reproductive functions. In the present study, we investigated whether endogenous fluctuations of estradiol and progesterone during the menstrual cycle are associated with early cortical processing stages in a cued spatial attention paradigm. EEG was monitored while young women responded to acoustically cued visual stimuli. Women with large mean amplitude of the event-related potential (ERP) (80-120 ms following visual stimuli) responded faster to visual stimuli. In luteal women, mean amplitude of the ERP as well as alpha amplitude, an indicator of attentional modulation, correlated positively with progesterone. Further, cerebral asymmetry in ERP amplitude in the alpha frequency band following target presentation was restricted to luteal women. Critically, early follicular women responded slower to right hemifield compared to left hemifield targets. In late follicular or luteal women, we did not detect a right hemifield disadvantage. Progesterone correlated negatively with RTs in luteal women. Therefore, whereas our behavioral data indicate a functional cerebral asymmetry in early follicular women, EEG recording reveal a physiological cerebral hemisphere asymmetry in the alpha frequency band in luteal women. We assume that a progesterone-associated enhancement in synchronization of synaptic activity in the alpha frequency band in luteal women improves early categorization of visual targets in a cued spatial attention paradigm.

  10. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

    In these years digital media and wireless networks are introduced in upper secondary schools in Denmark. This implies new “attentional objects” like updates on Facebook or tweets on Twitter within instant reach of the pupils and teachers. Also it implies new kinds of attention (awareness) like wh...

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Sarah; Salkovskis, Paul M

    2006-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Fears and Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... to school if the weather forecast predicts a storm. She might feel terrible distress and fear when ... with a particular thing or situation. A tiny brain structure called the amygdala (pronounced: uh-MIG-duh- ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyns, Bradford W.; Englebrecht, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Cotinine enhances the extinction of contextual fear memory and reduces anxiety after fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, Ross; Patel, Sagar; Solomon, Rosalynn; Tran, John; Weeber, Edwin J; Echeverria, Valentina

    2012-03-17

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder triggered by traumatic events. Symptoms include anxiety, depression and deficits in fear memory extinction (FE). PTSD patients show a higher prevalence of cigarette smoking than the general population. The present study investigated the effects of cotinine, a tobacco-derived compound, over anxiety and contextual fear memory after fear conditioning (FC) in mice, a model for inducing PTSD-like symptoms. Two-month-old C57BL/6J mice were separated into three experimental groups. These groups were used to investigate the effect of pretreatment with cotinine on contextual fear memory and posttreatment on extinction and stability or retrievability of the fear memory. Also, changes induced by cotinine on the expression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 were assessed after extinction in the hippocampus. An increase in anxiety and corticosterone levels were found after fear conditioning. Cotinine did not affect corticosterone levels but enhanced the extinction of contextual fear, decreased anxiety and the stability and/or retrievability of contextual fear memory. Cotinine-treated mice showed higher levels of the active forms of ERK1/2 than vehicle-treated mice after FC. This evidence suggests that cotinine is a potential new pharmacological treatment to reduce symptoms in individuals with PTSD.

  20. Appealing to fear: A meta-analysis of fear appeal effectiveness and theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  1. 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.

  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. Fear of pain potentiates nocebo hyperalgesia

    OpenAIRE

    Aslaksen PM; Lyby PS

    2015-01-01

    Per M Aslaksen,1 Peter S Lyby2 1Department of Psychology, Research Group for Cognitive Neuroscience, The Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway; 2Catosenteret Rehabilitation Center, Son, Norway Abstract: Nocebo hyperalgesia has received sparse experimental attention compared to placebo analgesia. The aim of the present study was to investigate if personality traits and fear of pain could predict experimental noc...

  4. Emetophobia: A fear of vomiting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faye, Abhijeet D; Gawande, Sushil; Tadke, Rahul; Kirpekar, Vivek C; Bhave, Sudhir H

    2013-10-01

    Emetophobia is an intense, irrational fear of vomiting including fear of feeling nausea, seeing or hearing another person vomit, or seeing vomitus itself. It may occur at any age and we need to understand its symptomatology. We report a case of emetophobic child whose fear of vomiting started after an attack of acute appendicitis. In the initial stage, fear was limited to vomiting, later it became generalized to a fear of seeing the vomitus, worries that parents may suffer vomiting, fear of vomiting in public places followed by avoiding social activities. Patient improved on short course of anti-anxiety drugs and Graded Exposure Therapy.

  5. EMOTIONAL MODULATION OF ATTENTION ORIENTING BY GAZE VARIES WITH DYNAMIC CUE SEQUENCE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lassalle, Amandine; Itier, Roxane J.

    2017-01-01

    Recent gaze cueing studies using dynamic cue sequences have reported increased attention orienting by gaze with faces expressing fear, surprise or anger. Here, we investigated whether the type of dynamic cue sequence used impacted the magnitude of this effect. When the emotion was expressed before or concurrently with gaze shift, no modulation of gaze-oriented attention by emotion was seen. In contrast, when the face cue averted gaze before expressing an emotion (as if reacting to the object after first localizing it), the gaze orienting effect was clearly increased for fearful, surprised and angry faces compared to neutral faces. Thus, the type of dynamic sequence used, and in particular the order in which the gaze shift and the facial expression are presented, modulate gaze-oriented attention, with maximal modulation seen when the expression of emotion follows gaze shift.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Fearing religious satire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brink, Dennis Meyhoff

    2015-01-01

    The article examines the history of the fear of religious satire in modern Europe. The article argues that this fear primarily concerns the potential dissolution of 'the social bond of society' or 'the moral and social order'. From the 17th Century until today, censorship measures and blasphemy...... legislations are Thus primarily founded on arguments concerning moral, social or public order. The article furthermore argues that although anti-censorship satire gradually weakened the legitimacy of censorship, the notion of religion as 'the social bond of society' is still operative in contemporary blasphemy...

  8. Mandatory processing of irrelevant fearful face features in visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenker, Daniela B; Heipertz, Dorothee; Boehler, Carsten N; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Noesselt, Tömme; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Duezel, Emrah; Hopf, Jens-Max

    2010-12-01

    Faces expressing fear may attract attention in an automatic bottom-up fashion. Here we address this issue with magneto-encephalographic (MEG) recordings in subjects performing a demanding visual search combined with the presentation of irrelevant neutral or fearful faces. The impact of the faces' emotional expression on attentional selection was assessed by analyzing the N2pc component--a modulation of the event-related magnetic field response known to reflect attentional focusing in visual search. We observed that lateralized fearful faces elicited an N2pc approximately between 240 and 400 msec in ventral extrastriate cortex that was independent of the N2pc reflecting target selection in visual search. Despite their clear influence on neural processing, fearful faces did not significantly influence behavioral performance. To clarify this discrepancy, we further performed an MEG experiment in which the demands of the search task were reduced. Under those conditions, lateralized fearful faces elicited an N2pc response that was again independent of the N2pc response to the search target. Behavioral performance was, however, influenced in a significant manner, suggesting that for behavioral effects to appear, sufficient attentional resources need to be left unoccupied by the search task--a notion put forward by the perceptual load theory. Our observations are taken to indicate that irrelevant fearful faces influence attentional processing in extrastriate visual cortex in an automatic fashion and independent of other task-relevant attentional operations. However, this may not necessarily be echoed at the behavioral level as long as task-relevant selection operations exhaust attentional resources.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, R; Houran, J

    1999-03-01

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

  10. High-dose corticosterone after fear conditioning selectively suppresses fear renewal by reducing anxiety-like response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongbo; Xing, Xiaoli; Liang, Jing; Bai, Yunjing; Lui, Zhengkui; Zheng, Xigeng

    2014-09-01

    Exposure therapy is widely used to treat anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, preventing the return of fear is still a major challenge after this behavioral treatment. An increasing number of studies suggest that high-dose glucocorticoid treatment immediately after trauma can alleviate the symptoms of PTSD in humans. Unknown is whether high-dose glucocorticoid treatment following fear conditioning suppresses the return of fear. In the present study, a typical fear renewal paradigm (AAB) was used, in which the fear response to an auditory cue can be restored in a novel context (context B) when both training and extinction occur in the same context (context A). We trained rats for auditory fear conditioning and administered corticosterone (CORT; 5 and 25mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle with different delays (1 and 24h). Forty-eight hours after drug injection, extinction was conducted with no drug in the training context, followed by a test of tone-induced freezing behavior in the same (AAA) or a shifted (AAB) context. Both immediate and delayed administration of high-dose CORT after fear conditioning reduced fear renewal. To examine the anxiolytic effect of CORT, independent rats were trained for cued or contextual fear conditioning, followed by an injection of CORT (5 and 25mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle at a 1 or 24h delay. One week later, anxiety-like behavior was assessed in the elevated plus maze (EPM) before and after fear expression. We found that high-dose CORT decreased anxiety-like behavior without changing tone- or context-induced freezing. These findings indicate that a single high-dose CORT administration given after fear conditioning may selectively suppress fear renewal by reducing anxiety-like behavior and not by altering the consolidation, retrieval, or extinction of fear memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... have: Sudden and repeated panic attacks of overwhelming anxiety and fear A feeling of being out of control, or ... to react differently to the physical sensations of anxiety and fear that occur during panic attacks. For more information ...

  13. Auditory Cortex is Important in the Extinction of Two Different Tone-Based Conditioned Fear Memories in Rats

    OpenAIRE

    Eun Young Song; Boatman, Jeffrey A; Jung, Min W.; Kim, Jeansok J.

    2010-01-01

    Extensive fear extinction research is guided by the view that there are structures in the brain that develop inhibitory control over the expression of conditioned fear memories. While the medial prefrontal cortex has recently captured attention as the locus of plasticity essential for extinction of conditioned fear, the auditory cortex is another plausible cortical area involved in extinction learning since it is considered a sufficient conditioned stimulus (CS) pathway in tone fear conditio...

  14. Pursued by fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lonneke van Noije; Jurjen Iedema

    2017-01-01

    Original title: Achtervolgd door angst. This publication focuses on fear of victimisation as one of the most urgent aspects of subjective unsafety. Dutch research on subjective unsafety often uses a standard question drawn from the series of national Safety Monitors published by Statistics Netherla

  15. 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...

  16. 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?

  17. Fearful faces drive gaze-cueing and threat bias effects in children on the lookout for danger.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

    Most developmental studies of face emotion processing show faces in isolation, in the absence of any broader context. Here we investigate two types of interactions between expression and threat contexts. First, in adults, following of another person's direction of social attention is increased when that person shows fear and the context requires vigilance for danger. We investigate whether this also occurs in children. Using a Posner-style eye-gaze cueing paradigm, we tested whether children would show greater gaze-cueing from fearful than happy expressions when the task was to be vigilant for possible dangerous animals. Testing across the 8-12-year-old age range, we found this fear priority effect was absent in the youngest children but developed to reach adult levels in the oldest children. However, even the oldest children were unable to sustain fear-prioritization when the onset of the target was delayed. Second, we addressed the development of 'threat bias' - namely faster identification of dangerous animals than safe animals - in the social context provided by expressive faces. In our non-anxious samples (i.e. with typical-population levels of anxiety), adults showed a threat bias regardless of the expression or looking direction of the just-seen cue face whereas 8-12-year-olds only showed a threat bias when the just-seen cue face displayed fear. Overall, the results argue that some, but not all, aspects of expression-context interactions are mature by 12 years of age.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Adolescent traumatic stress experience results in less robust conditioned fear and post-extinction fear cue responses in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Nicole L T; Gauchan, Sangeeta; Genovese, Raymond F

    2014-05-01

    Early exposure to a traumatic event may produce lasting effects throughout the lifespan. Traumatic stress during adolescence may deliver a distinct developmental insult compared with more-often studied neonatal or juvenile traumatic stress paradigms. The present study describes the lasting effects of adolescent traumatic stress upon adulthood fear conditioning. Adolescent rats were exposed to a traumatic stressor (underwater trauma, UWT), then underwent fear conditioning during adulthood. Fear extinction was tested over five conditioned suppression extinction sessions three weeks later. The efficacies of two potential extinction-enhancing compounds, endocannabinoid reuptake inhibitor AM404 (10mg/kg) and M1 muscarinic positive allosteric modulator BQCA (10mg/kg), were also assessed. Finally, post-extinction fear responses were examined using a fear cue (light) as a prepulse stimulus. Rats traumatically stressed during adolescence showed blunted conditioned suppression on day 1 of extinction training, and AM404 reversed this effect. Post-extinction startle testing showed that fear conditioning eliminates prepulse inhibition to the light cue. Startle potentiation was observed only in rats without adolescent UWT exposure. AM404 and BQCA both ameliorated this startle potentiation, while BQCA increased startle in the UWT group. These results suggest that exposure to a traumatic stressor during adolescence alters developmental outcomes related to stress response and fear extinction compared to rats without adolescent traumatic stress exposure, blunting the adulthood fear response and reducing residual post-extinction fear expression. Efficacy of pharmacological interventions may also vary as a factor of developmental traumatic stress exposure.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Serotonin, amygdala and fear: assembling the puzzle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco eBocchio

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The fear circuitry orchestrates defense mechanisms in response to environmental threats. This circuitry is evolutionarily crucial for survival, but its dysregulation is thought to play a major role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric conditions in humans. The amygdala is a key player in the processing of fear. This brain area is prominently modulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT. The 5-HT input to the amygdala has drawn particular interest because genetic and pharmacological alterations of the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT affect amygdala activation in response to emotional stimuli. Nonetheless, the impact of 5-HT on fear processing remains poorly understood.The aim of this review is to elucidate the physiological role of 5-HT in fear learning via its action on the neuronal circuits of the amygdala. Since 5-HT release increases in the BLA during both fear memory acquisition and expression, we examine whether and how 5-HT neurons encode aversive stimuli and aversive cues. Next, we describe pharmacological and genetic alterations of 5-HT neurotransmission that, in both rodents and humans, lead to altered fear learning.To explore the mechanisms through which 5-HT could modulate conditioned fear, we focus on the rodent basolateral amygdala (BLA. We propose that a circuit-based approach taking into account the localization of specific 5-HT receptors on neurochemically-defined neurons in the BLA may be essential to decipher the role of 5-HT in emotional behavior. In keeping with a 5-HT control of fear learning, we review electrophysiological data suggesting that 5-HT regulates synaptic plasticity, spike synchrony and theta oscillations in the BLA via actions on different subcellular compartments of principal neurons and distinct GABAergic interneuron populations. Finally, we discuss how recently developed optogenetic tools combined with electrophysiological recordings and behavior could progress the knowledge of the

  7. 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.

  8. Is Fear Really Persuasive

    OpenAIRE

    2005-01-01

    Persuasive communication has been used for ages, from the great Ancient Greece to modern days, in order to modify people's ways of thinking and acting. It has a tremendous role to play when it comes to advertising, even more so if considering social advertising campaigns. One of the determinants that were scrutinized before through research in the field of persuasive communication is the appeal to fear, which is frequently used in public health campaigns, such as antismoking advertising. In s...

  9. Betray my trust, shame on me: Shame, dissociation, fear, and betrayal trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Melissa G; Freyd, Jennifer J

    2015-07-01

    Recent research suggests that betrayal is a fundamental dimension of trauma that may be a major factor contributing to posttraumatic distress (Freyd & Birrell, 2013). In the current study using a college student sample of female trauma survivors, (N = 124; 79% Caucasian; mean age = 20.40, SD = 3.60), we examined the contribution of high- and low-betrayal trauma history to shame, dissociation, and fear responses to threat. We hypothesized that (a) overall, shame and dissociation would be higher following interpersonal compared with noninterpersonal threat; (b) high- but not low-betrayal trauma history would predict increased shame and dissociation following interpersonal threat; and (c) low- but not high-betrayal trauma history would predict increased fear following noninterpersonal threat. Hypothesis 1 was not supported. There was no difference in overall shame and dissociation following interpersonal compared with noninterpersonal threat. Hypotheses 2 and 3 were supported. History of high- but not low-betrayal trauma predicted increases in shame (R² = .14) and dissociation (R² = .23) following interpersonal threat, whereas history of low- but not high-betrayal trauma predicted increases in fear (R² = .07) following noninterpersonal threat. These results contribute to growing evidence that perpetrator closeness matters when considering posttraumatic responses. Shame and dissociation warrant more clinical attention as possible barriers to effective exposure therapy among betrayal trauma survivors.

  10. Fear Appeals, Engagement, and Examination Performance: The Role of Challenge and Threat Appraisals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putwain, David W.; Symes, Wendy; Wilkinson, Hannah M.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Fear appeals are persuasive messages that draw attention to the negative consequences (e.g., academic failure) that follow a particular course of action (e.g., not engaging in lessons) and how negative consequences can be avoided with an alternate course of action. Previous studies have shown that when fear appeals are appraised as…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kashshapova, E. V.

    2015-07-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Fear Appeals in the Primary Classroom: Effects on Test Anxiety and Test Grade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putwain, David William; Best, Natalie

    2011-01-01

    The present study investigated whether fear appeals used prior to a test increased self-reported test anxiety and had a detrimental effect on test scores. Forty primary school pupils were instructed for one week under a low threat condition under which no fear appeals were made and another week under a high threat condition in which fear appeals…

  17. Effects of message framing and visual-fear appeals on smoker responses to antismoking ads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jungsuk; Lin, Carolyn A

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the effects of antismoking ads on Korean adult male smokers. An experiment was conducted to explore how message framing and visual-fear appeals embedded in antismoking ads may influence ad-evoked fear, threat appraisals, and intention to quit smoking. Results showed that (a) antismoking ad exposure increased ad-evoked fear and cessation intention; (b) optimistic bias was stronger when the visual-fear appeal was absent in antismoking ads; and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Kan, Cornelis C.; Goebel, Rainer; Buitelaar, Jan K.

    2017-01-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by poor cognitive control/attention and hypofunctioning of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). In the current study, we investigated for the first time whether real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rt-fMRI) training targeted at increasing activation levels within dACC in adults with ADHD leads to a reduction of clinical symptoms and improved cognitive functioning. An exploratory randomized controlled treatment study with blinding of the participants was conducted. Participants with ADHD (n = 7 in the neurofeedback group, and n = 6 in the control group) attended four weekly MRI training sessions (60-min training time/session), during which they performed a mental calculation task at varying levels of difficulty, in order to learn how to up-regulate dACC activation. Only neurofeedback participants received continuous feedback information on actual brain activation levels within dACC. Before and after the training, ADHD symptoms and relevant cognitive functioning was assessed. Results showed that both groups achieved a significant increase in dACC activation levels over sessions. While there was no significant difference between the neurofeedback and control group in clinical outcome, neurofeedback participants showed stronger improvement on cognitive functioning. The current study demonstrates the general feasibility of the suggested rt-fMRI neurofeedback training approach as a potential novel treatment option for ADHD patients. Due to the study’s small sample size, potential clinical benefits need to be further investigated in future studies. Trial Registration: ISRCTN12390961 PMID:28125735

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Fear-conditioning mechanisms associated with trait vulnerability to anxiety in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indovina, Iole; Robbins, Trevor W; Núñez-Elizalde, Anwar O; Dunn, Barnaby D; Bishop, Sonia J

    2011-02-10

    Investigations of fear conditioning in rodents and humans have illuminated the neural mechanisms underlying cued and contextual fear. A critical question is how personality dimensions such as trait anxiety act through these mechanisms to confer vulnerability to anxiety disorders, and whether humans' ability to overcome acquired fears depends on regulatory skills not characterized in animal models. In a neuroimaging study of fear conditioning in humans, we found evidence for two independent dimensions of neurocognitive function associated with trait vulnerability to anxiety. The first entailed increased amygdala responsivity to phasic fear cues. The second involved impoverished ventral prefrontal cortical (vPFC) recruitment to downregulate both cued and contextual fear prior to omission (extinction) of the aversive unconditioned stimulus. These two dimensions may contribute to symptomatology differences across anxiety disorders; the amygdala mechanism affecting the development of phobic fear and the frontal mechanism influencing the maintenance of both specific fears and generalized anxiety.

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Anna Van Ast

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merz, Christian Josef; Hermann, Andrea; Stark, Rudolf; Wolf, Oliver Tobias

    2014-09-01

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

  5. Neuronal circuits of fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herry, Cyril; Ferraguti, Francesco; Singewald, Nicolas; Letzkus, Johannes J; Ehrlich, Ingrid; Lüthi, Andreas

    2010-02-01

    Fear extinction is a form of inhibitory learning that allows for the adaptive control of conditioned fear responses. Although fear extinction is an active learning process that eventually leads to the formation of a consolidated extinction memory, it is a fragile behavioural state. Fear responses can recover spontaneously or subsequent to environmental influences, such as context changes or stress. Understanding the neuronal substrates of fear extinction is of tremendous clinical relevance, as extinction is the cornerstone of psychological therapy of several anxiety disorders and because the relapse of maladaptative fear and anxiety is a major clinical problem. Recent research has begun to shed light on the molecular and cellular processes underlying fear extinction. In particular, the acquisition, consolidation and expression of extinction memories are thought to be mediated by highly specific neuronal circuits embedded in a large-scale brain network including the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and brain stem. Moreover, recent findings indicate that the neuronal circuitry of extinction is developmentally regulated. Here, we review emerging concepts of the neuronal circuitry of fear extinction, and highlight novel findings suggesting that the fragile phenomenon of extinction can be converted into a permanent erasure of fear memories. Finally, we discuss how research on genetic animal models of impaired extinction can further our understanding of the molecular and genetic bases of human anxiety disorders.

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

    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.

  7. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sumter, Sindy Resita

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  10. Modelling the fear effect in predator-prey interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaoying; Zanette, Liana; Zou, Xingfu

    2016-11-01

    A recent field manipulation on a terrestrial vertebrate showed that the fear of predators alone altered anti-predator defences to such an extent that it greatly reduced the reproduction of prey. Because fear can evidently affect the populations of terrestrial vertebrates, we proposed a predator-prey model incorporating the cost of fear into prey reproduction. Our mathematical analyses show that high levels of fear (or equivalently strong anti-predator responses) can stabilize the predator-prey system by excluding the existence of periodic solutions. However, relatively low levels of fear can induce multiple limit cycles via subcritical Hopf bifurcations, leading to a bi-stability phenomenon. Compared to classic predator-prey models which ignore the cost of fear where Hopf bifurcations are typically supercritical, Hopf bifurcations in our model can be both supercritical and subcritical by choosing different sets of parameters. We conducted numerical simulations to explore the relationships between fear effects and other biologically related parameters (e.g. birth/death rate of adult prey), which further demonstrate the impact that fear can have in predator-prey interactions. For example, we found that under the conditions of a Hopf bifurcation, an increase in the level of fear may alter the direction of Hopf bifurcation from supercritical to subcritical when the birth rate of prey increases accordingly. Our simulations also show that the prey is less sensitive in perceiving predation risk with increasing birth rate of prey or increasing death rate of predators, but demonstrate that animals will mount stronger anti-predator defences as the attack rate of predators increases.

  11. 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.

  12. Tails, Fears and Risk Premia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bollerslev, Tim; Todorov, Victor

    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...... 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...... equilibrium based asset pricing model must be able to generate large and time-varying compensations for fears of disasters....

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Old Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias KidsHealth > For Parents > Anxiety, Fears, ... unsettling experiences and challenging situations of life. Many Anxieties and Fears Are Normal Anxiety is defined as " ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 1- to 2-Year-Old Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias KidsHealth > For Parents > Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias Print ... child move beyond it. previous continue What's a Phobia? When anxieties and fears persist, problems can arise. ...

  16. The learning of fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furini, Cristiane; Myskiw, Jociane; Izquierdo, Ivan

    2014-11-01

    Recent work on the extinction of fear-motivated learning places emphasis on its putative circuitry and on its modulation. Extinction is the learned inhibition of retrieval of previously acquired responses. Fear extinction is used as a major component of exposure therapy in the treatment of fear memories such as those of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is initiated and maintained by interactions between the hippocampus, basolateral amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which involve feedback regulation of the latter by the other two areas. Fear extinction depends on NMDA receptor activation. It is positively modulated by d-serine acting on the glycine site of NMDA receptors and blocked by AP5 (2-amino-5-phosphono propionate) in the three structures. In addition, histamine acting on H2 receptors and endocannabinoids acting on CB1 receptors in the three brain areas mentioned, and muscarinic cholinergic fibers from the medial septum to hippocampal CA1 positively modulate fear extinction. Importantly, fear extinction can be made state-dependent on circulating epinephrine, which may play a role in situations of stress. Exposure to a novel experience can strongly enhance the consolidation of fear extinction through a synaptic tagging and capture mechanism; this may be useful in the therapy of states caused by fear memory like PTSD.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Dysregulated fear predicts social wariness and social anxiety symptoms during kindergarten.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, Kristin A; Davis, Elizabeth L; Kiel, Elizabeth J; Brooker, Rebecca J; Beekman, Charles; Early, Martha C

    2013-01-01

    Fearful temperament is associated with risk for the development of social anxiety disorder in childhood; however, not all fearful children become anxious. Identifying maladaptive trajectories is thus important for clarifying which fearful children are at risk. In an unselected sample of 111 two-year-olds (55% male, 95% Caucasian), Buss ( 2011 ) identified a pattern of fearful behavior, dysregulated fear, characterized by high fear in low threat situations. This pattern of behavior predicted parent- and teacher-reported withdrawn/anxious behaviors in preschool and at kindergarten entry. The current study extended original findings and examined whether dysregulated fear predicted observed social wariness with adults and peers, and social anxiety symptoms at age 6. We also examined prosocial adjustment during kindergarten as a moderator of the link between dysregulated fear and social wariness. Consistent with predictions, children with greater dysregulated fear at age 2 were more socially wary of adults and unfamiliar peers in the laboratory, were reported as having more social anxiety symptoms, and were nearly 4 times more likely to manifest social anxiety symptoms than other children with elevated wariness in kindergarten. Results demonstrated stability in the dysregulated fear profile and increased risk for social anxiety symptom development. Dysregulated fear predicted more social wariness with unfamiliar peers only when children became less prosocial during kindergarten. Findings are discussed in relation to the utility of the dysregulated fear construct for specifying maladaptive trajectories of risk for anxiety disorder development.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. [Phenomenon of dental fear].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, R; Birn, H

    1990-01-01

    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. The phenomenon is facilitated by misunderstandings and myths generated by both patients and dentists. 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 other psychologic problems (in 20% of cases), such as serious phobias and/or neuroses. A strategy of researching and thus tackling the problem is presented which focuses on three essential targets that require studying and change: 1) the community at large and their image of the dentist, 2) the patient role and 3) the dentist role. Various model projects are presented along with their diagnostic systems. These are seen to focus in varying degrees on different elements of the target groups that effect the dentist-patient relationship but the need to come out into the community and make the social environment right for these patients is an important factor in all strategies.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  7. An ERP study of the interaction between verbal information and conditioning pathways to fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugland, Carina C O; Dyson, Benjamin J; Field, Andy P

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments are described that explore the effects of verbal information and direct conditioning in the acquisition and extinction of fear responses. Participants were given verbal threat information about novel animals before conditioning trials in which the animals were presented alongside an aversive outcome (Experiment 1), or positive information about the animals before extinction trials (Experiment 2). Fear was measured using self-reported fear beliefs, expectancy of the unconditioned stimulus (US) and event-related brain potential (ERP). The results showed a direct effect of verbal information on acquisition (Experiment 1) and extinction (Experiment 2). There was a P2 peak latency shift at acquisition (Experiment 1) and P1 mean amplitude response at extinction (Experiment 2) based on the interaction between verbal information and US-contingency. However, the P2 response showed little evidence for an enhanced conditioned response (CR) when verbal threat information and direct conditioning combined: earlier P2 responses were found for all animals that had been associated with either threat information or the aversive US. Additionally, increase in P1 mean amplitude response (Experiment 2) seemed to stem from the conflict between verbal information and contingency information, rather than the predicted decrease in response where positive information and extinction training were combined. Future studies are suggested that might explore whether attention/arousal modulate the P1 response as a result of such expectation violations.

  8. 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.

  9. Impact of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD on prescription dug spending for children and adolescents: increasing relevance of health economic evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schlander Michael

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During the last decade, pharmaceutical spending for patients with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD has been escalating internationally. Objectives First, to estimate future trends of ADHD-related drug expenditures from the perspectives of the statutory health insurance (SHI; Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, GKV in Germany and the National Health Service (NHS in England, respectively, for children and adolescents age 6 to 18 years. Second, to evaluate the budgetary impact on individual prescribers (child and adolescent psychiatrists and pediatricians treating patients with ADHD in Germany. Methods A model was developed to predict plausible scenarios of future pharmaceutical expenditures for treatment of ADHD. Model inputs were derived from demographic and epidemiological data, a literature review of past spending trends, and an analysis of new pharmaceutical products in development for ADHD. Only products in clinical development phase III or later were considered. Uncertainty was addressed by way of scenario analysis. For each jurisdiction, five scenarios used different assumptions of future diagnosis prevalence, treatment prevalence, rates of adoption and unit costs of novel drugs, and treatment intensity. Results Annual ADHD pharmacotherapy expenditures for children and adolescents will further increase and may exceed €310 m (D; E: ₤78 m in 2012 (2002: ~€21.8 m; ~₤7.0 m. During this period, overall drug spending by individual physicians may increase 2.3- to 9.5-fold, resulting from the multiplicative effects of four variables: increased number of diagnosed cases, growing acceptance and intensity of pharmacotherapy, and higher unit costs of novel medications. Discussion Even for an extreme low case scenario, a more than six-fold increase of pharmaceutical spending for children and adolescents is predicted over the decade from 2002 to 2012, from the perspectives of both the NHS in England and the GKV in

  10. 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…

  11. Self-focused Attention in Anorexia Nervosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucker, Nancy; Wagner, H. Ryan; Merwin, Rhonda; Bulik, Cynthia M.; Moskovich, Ashley; Keeling, Lori; Hoyle, Rick

    2015-01-01

    Objective The clinical presentation of anorexia nervosa (AN) is characterized by preoccupation with body experience, intrusive concerns regarding shape, and pathological fears of weight gain. These symptoms are suggestive of unrelenting self-focused attention. No research to date has characterized self-focused attention (SFA) in AN nor examined neurocognitive features that may facilitate an excessive, rigid, or sustained focus on one’s appearance. Method This study examined SFA, body image disturbance, and executive functioning in women with current anorexia nervosa (AN-C; n = 24), a history of AN who were weight-restored at the time of the study weight-restored (WR; n = 19), and healthy controls (n = 24). Results Private and public SFA were highest among WR and lowest among AN-C. Shape concerns were negatively correlated with SFA, especially among AN-C, after controlling for depression and social anxiety symptoms. Discussion Lower levels of SFA among AN-C were unexpected and suggest the acute state of AN may lessen pathological self-focus, negatively reinforcing symptoms. In addition, body image concerns may distract from general SFA. Deficits in executive attention may explain these findings, as each one unit increase in perseverative errors among AN-C participants was associated with an almost one-half unit decrease in public SFA. PMID:24899215

  12. Bidirectional Effects of Cannabidiol on Contextual Fear Memory Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Chenchen; Stevenson, Carl W.; Guimaraes, Francisco S.; Lee, Jonathan L. C.

    2016-01-01

    Cannabidiol (CBD) has been established to have both acute and long-lasting effects to reduce fear memory expression. The long-lasting impact might be mediated by an enhancement of memory extinction or an impairment of memory reconsolidation. Here, we directly compared the effects of i.p. injections of cannabidiol (10 mg/kg) with those of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg) and partial agonist D-cycloserine (DCS; 15 mg/kg) in order to determine the mnemonic basis of long-term fear reduction. We showed that under conditions of strong fear conditioning, CBD reduced contextual fear memory expression both acutely during the extinction session as well as later at a fear retention test. The latter test reduction was replicated by DCS, but MK-801 instead elevated test freezing. In contrast, when initial conditioning was weaker, CBD and MK-801 had similar effects to increase freezing at the fear retention test relative to vehicle controls, whereas DCS had no observable impact. This pattern of results is consistent with CBD enhancing contextual fear memory extinction when the initial conditioning is strong, but impairing extinction when conditioning is weak. This bidirectional effect of CBD may be related to stress levels induced by conditioning and evoked at retrieval during extinction, rather than the strength of the memory per se. PMID:28018227

  13. Bidirectional effects of cannabidiol on contextual fear memory extinction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chenchen Song

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Cannabidiol (CBD has been established to have both acute and long-lasting effects to reduce fear memory expression. The long-lasting impact might be mediated by an enhancement of memory extinction or an impairment of memory reconsolidation. Here, we directly compared the effects of i.p. injections of cannabidiol (10 mg/kg with those of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg and partial agonist D-cycloserine (DCS; 15 mg/kg in order to determine the mnemonic basis of long-term fear reduction. We showed that under conditions of strong fear conditioning, CBD reduced contextual fear memory expression both acutely during the extinction session as well as later at a fear retention test. The latter test reduction was replicated by DCS, but MK-801 instead elevated test freezing. In contrast, when initial conditioning was weaker, CBD and MK-801 had similar effects to increase freezing at the fear retention test relative to vehicle controls, whereas DCS had no observable impact. This pattern of results is consistent with CBD enhancing contextual fear memory extinction when the initial conditioning is strong, but impairing extinction when conditioning is weak. This bidirectional effect of CBD may be related to stress levels induced by conditioning and evoked at retrieval during extinction, rather than the strength of the memory per se.

  14. Extinction of Learned Fear Induces Hippocampal Place Cell Remapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Melissa E; Yuan, Robin K; Keinath, Alexander T; Ramos Álvarez, Manuel M; Muzzio, Isabel A

    2015-06-17

    The extinction of learned fear is a hippocampus-dependent process thought to embody new learning rather than erasure of the original fear memory, although it is unknown how these competing contextual memories are represented in the hippocampus. We previously demonstrated that contextual fear conditioning results in hippocampal place cell remapping and long-term stabilization of novel representations. Here we report that extinction learning also induces place cell remapping in C57BL/6 mice. Specifically, we observed cells that preferentially remapped during different stages of learning. While some cells remapped in both fear conditioning and extinction, others responded predominantly during extinction, which may serve to modify previous representations as well as encode new safe associations. Additionally, we found cells that remapped primarily during fear conditioning, which could facilitate reacquisition of the original fear association. Moreover, we also observed cells that were stable throughout learning, which may serve to encode the static aspects of the environment. The short-term remapping observed during extinction was not found in animals that did not undergo fear conditioning, or when extinction was conducted outside of the conditioning context. Finally, conditioning and extinction produced an increase in spike phase locking to the theta and gamma frequencies. However, the degree of remapping seen during conditioning and extinction only correlated with gamma synchronization. Our results suggest that the extinction learning is a complex process that involves both modification of pre-existing memories and formation of new ones, and these traces coexist within the same hippocampal representation.

  15. Fear and Loathing in the Air: Combat Fear and Stress in the Air Force

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-06-01

    such as phobic fear of flying and acquired fear of flying to describe fear and anxiety related to aviation in a non-combat environment, but, for...describe three terms that relate specifically to anxiety and flying: manifestations of apprehension (MOA), fear of flying (FOF), and phobic fear of...fear and stress. Background In addition to its more obvious physical destruction, combat has also produced casualties of the mind. Fear, anxiety

  16. METUS REVEALED. HOBBES ON FEAR

    OpenAIRE

    RAFFAELLA SANTI

    2011-01-01

    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 ani...

  17. Interferon and the fear of needles: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Maria; Moreno, Laura; Dosal, Angelina; Pujol, Marta Maria; Vergara, Mercedes; Gil, Montserrat

    2011-01-01

    The treatment of viral hepatitis C infection uses a combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Psychological preparation of the patient is vital to ensure adherence to the treatment. In our center, the nurse prepares this treatment according to an established educative protocol; however, some patients have special needs that require individualized attention. One such situation observed by the nurse is that the patients frequently admit to the fear of needle puncture (the peginterferon treatment is administered subcutaneously) and are unable to inject themselves. We describe a representative case and the care plan to manage the patient's fear so that the patient acquires confidence in his or her ability to self-inject. This facilitates autonomy and coresponsibility for the treatment, and the nurse can develop care approaches to combat the patient's fear of needles.

  18. 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.

  19. Prior fear conditioning and reward learning interact in fear and reward networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa eBulganin

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The ability to flexibly adapt responses to changes in the environment is important for survival. Previous research in humans separately examined the mechanisms underlying acquisition and extinction of aversive and appetitive conditioned responses. It is yet unclear how aversive and appetitive learning interact on a neural level during counterconditioning in humans. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study investigated the interaction of fear conditioning and subsequent reward learning. In the first phase (fear acquisition, images predicted aversive electric shocks or no aversive outcome. In the second phase (counterconditioning, half of the CS+ and CS- were associated with monetary reward in the absence of electric stimulation. The third phase initiated reinstatement of fear through presentation of electric shocks, followed by CS presentation in the absence of shock or reward. Results indicate that participants were impaired at learning the reward contingencies for stimuli previously associated with shock. In the counterconditioning phase, prior fear association interacted with reward representation in the amygdala, where activation was decreased for rewarded compared to unrewarded CS- trials, while there was no reward-related difference in CS+ trials. In the reinstatement phase, an interaction of previous fear association and previous reward status was observed in a reward network consisting of substantia nigra / ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA, striatum and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC, where activation was increased by previous reward association only for CS- but not for CS+ trials. These findings suggest that during counterconditioning, prior fear conditioning interferes with reward learning, subsequently leading to lower activation of the reward network.

  20. Using the threat probability task to assess anxiety and fear during uncertain and certain threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, Daniel E; Magruder, Katherine P; Korhumel, Rachel A; Curtin, John J

    2014-09-12

    Fear of certain threat and anxiety about uncertain threat are distinct emotions with unique behavioral, cognitive-attentional, and neuroanatomical components. Both anxiety and fear can be studied in the laboratory by measuring the potentiation of the startle reflex. The startle reflex is a defensive reflex that is potentiated when an organism is threatened and the need for defense is high. The startle reflex is assessed via electromyography (EMG) in the orbicularis oculi muscle elicited by brief, intense, bursts of acoustic white noise (i.e., "startle probes"). Startle potentiation is calculated as the increase in startle response magnitude during presentation of sets of visual threat cues that signal delivery of mild electric shock relative to sets of matched cues that signal the absence of shock (no-threat cues). In the Threat Probability Task, fear is measured via startle potentiation to high probability (100% cue-contingent shock; certain) threat cues whereas anxiety is measured via startle potentiation to low probability (20% cue-contingent shock; uncertain) threat cues. Measurement of startle potentiation during the Threat Probability Task provides an objective and easily implemented alternative to assessment of negative affect via self-report or other methods (e.g., neuroimaging) that may be inappropriate or impractical for some researchers. Startle potentiation has been studied rigorously in both animals (e.g., rodents, non-human primates) and humans which facilitates animal-to-human translational research. Startle potentiation during certain and uncertain threat provides an objective measure of negative affective and distinct emotional states (fear, anxiety) to use in research on psychopathology, substance use/abuse and broadly in affective science. As such, it has been used extensively by clinical scientists interested in psychopathology etiology and by affective scientists interested in individual differences in emotion.

  1. Generalization of contextual fear depends on associative rather than non-associative memory components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauerhöfer, Elisabeth; Pamplona, Fabricio A; Bedenk, Benedikt; Moll, Gunther H; Dawirs, Ralph R; von Hörsten, Stephan; Wotjak, Carsten T; Golub, Yulia

    2012-08-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by the presence of three major symptom clusters: persistent fear memories, hyperarousal, and avoidance. With a passage of time after the trauma, PTSD patients show an increase in unspecific fear and avoidance, a phenomenon termed "fear generalization". It is not clear whether fear generalization arises from the time-dependent growth of hyperarousal or changes in associative fear. The present study investigated behavioral and neuroanatomical correlates of non-associative and associative fear memory one week vs. one month after a trauma in a mouse model of PTSD with immediate vs. delayed foot shock application. The immediate shock procedure led to a lower contextual fear, but did not influence the hyperarousal (i.e. increased acoustic startle responses) assessed within the first week after the trauma. Only delayed shocked mice demonstrated generalization of contextual fear and an increase in generalized avoidance behavior, with no changes in hyperarousal one month after trauma. We observed the same increase in c-Fos expression following delayed and immediate shock presentation within the lateral, basolateral, central amygdala and CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus of hippocampus, suggesting that all of these structures contribute to the development of hyperarousal. Only basolateral amygdala and dentate gyrus appeared to be additionally involved in encoding of contextual information. In summary, our results demonstrate the independence of associative and non-associative trauma-related fear. They support the hypothesis that generalized fear emerges in consequence of forgetting specific stimulus attributes associated with the shock context.

  2. Unusual Fears in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayes, Susan Dickerson; Calhoun, Susan L.; Aggarwal, Richa; Baker, Courtney; Mathapati, Santosh; Molitoris, Sarah; Mayes, Rebecca D.

    2013-01-01

    Unusual fears have long been recognized as common in autism, but little research exists. In our sample of 1033 children with autism, unusual fears were reported by parents of 421 (41%) of the children, representing 92 different fears. Many additional children had common childhood fears (e.g., dogs, bugs, and the dark). More than half of children…

  3. Fear, Fiction, and the Adolescent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grixti, Joe

    1982-01-01

    The popularity of horror fiction among adolescents is discussed in terms of the use of grammar for social interaction, personal development, and emotional therapy during a developmental stage characterized by fear and emotional upheaval. (MSE)

  4. 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.

  5. Role of gonadal hormones in anxiety and fear memory formation and inhibition in male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Carmel M; Liu, Dana; Schrader, Laura A

    2012-03-20

    Recent research investigating Pavlovian fear conditioning and fear extinction has elucidated the neurocircuitry involved in acquisition and inhibition of fear responses. Modulatory factors that may underlie individual differences in fear acquisition and inhibition, however, are not well understood. Testosterone is known to affect anxiety-like behavior and cognitive processing. In this study, we hypothesized that castration would increase anxiety and reduce memory for contextual fear conditioning in an age-dependent manner. In addition, castration would reduce the rate of extinction to context, as high levels of testosterone correlate with reduced PTSD-like symptoms. We compared behaviors in male mice that were castrated at one of two different time points, either before puberty (at 4 weeks) or after puberty (at 10 weeks) to sham-operated control mice. The behaviors investigated included: anxiety, cued and contextual fear conditioning, and extinction of the fear memory. An interaction of hormone status and age and a significant effect of age were measured in the elevated plus maze, a measure of anxiety. Castration caused a significant reduction of contextual fear memory, but no effect on cued fear memory. There was no significant effect of castration on extinction. Interestingly, a significant effect of age of the mouse at the time of testing was observed on extinction. These results suggest that endogenous androgens during puberty are important for anxiety and fear memory formation. In addition, these results define a late post-adolescent developmental time point for changes in anxiety and fear extinction.

  6. 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.

  7. [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.

  8. Fear and aggression in dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uzunova Krasimira

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available In this review, the concepts of fear, phobia and aggression in dogs were precisely defined, as well as their underlying causes. The behavioural activities specific for these conditions were indicated. The accompanying symptoms were consistently explained. The causes that the development of pathological fear leads to aggression in dogs as well as the ex various therapy options depending on the clinical signs were presented.

  9. 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).

  10. 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.…

  11. Methylphenidate treatment beyond adolescence maintains increased cocaine self-administration in the spontaneously hypertensive rat model of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskin, Britahny M; Dwoskin, Linda P; Kantak, Kathleen M

    2015-04-01

    Past research with the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) model of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder showed that adolescent methylphenidate treatment enhanced cocaine abuse risk in SHR during adulthood. The acquisition of cocaine self-administration was faster, and cocaine dose-response functions were shifted upward under fixed-ratio and progressive ratio schedules compared to adult SHR that received adolescent vehicle treatment or to control strains that received adolescent methylphenidate treatment. The current study determined if extending treatment beyond adolescence would ameliorate long-term consequences of adolescent methylphenidate treatment on cocaine abuse risk in adult SHR. Treatments (vehicle or 1.5mg/kg/day oral methylphenidate) began on postnatal day 28. Groups of male SHR were treated with vehicle during adolescence and adulthood, with methylphenidate during adolescence and vehicle during adulthood, or with methylphenidate during adolescence and adulthood. The group receiving adolescent-only methylphenidate was switched to vehicle on P56. Cocaine self-administration began on postnatal day 77, and groups receiving methylphenidate during adolescence and adulthood were treated either 1-h before or 1-h after daily sessions. At baseline under a fixed-ratio 1 schedule, cocaine self-administration (2h sessions; 0.3mg/kg unit dose) did not differ among the four treatment groups. Under a progressive ratio schedule (4.5h maximum session length; 0.01-1.0mg/kg unit doses), breakpoints for self-administered cocaine in SHR receiving the adult methylphenidate treatment 1-h pre-session were not different from the vehicle control group. However, compared to the vehicle control group, breakpoints for self-administered cocaine at the 0.3 and 1.0mg/kg unit doses were greater in adult SHR that received adolescent-only methylphenidate or received methylphenidate that was continued into adulthood and administered 1-h post-session. These findings suggest that

  12. The Relationship of Attachment Variables to Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy and Fear of Commitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Jessica B.; Betz, Nancy E.

    2004-01-01

    The present study indicated that both attachment bonds and self-rated attachment style were significantly related to fear of commitment and, to a lesser extent, career decision-making self-efficacy. Given previous research showing that fear of commitment is related to career indecisiveness and "floundering," the possible importance of attention to…

  13. Effects of handling on fear reactions in young Icelandic horses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marsbøll, Anna Feldberg; Christensen, Janne Winther

    2015-01-01

    Reasons for performing the study Inclusion of objective temperament tests at practical horse breeding evaluations is of increased interest. It has been debated whether such tests may involve human handling, since there may be considerable differences in horses' handling experience. Objectives...... of fearfulness. Known handlers may ‘mask’ behavioural responses of horses in fear tests and thus handling by a known handler during testing may not be appropriate for objective evaluation of fearfulness in a practical situation....... To investigate the effect of a short-term standardised handling procedure on reactions of young horses in 2 types of fear tests (including and excluding human handling). Study design An experimental study with 3-year-old Icelandic horses (n = 24). Methods Handled horses (n = 12) were trained according...

  14. Skin conductance fear conditioning impairments and aggression: a longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yu; Tuvblad, Catherine; Schell, Anne; Baker, Laura; Raine, Adrian

    2015-02-01

    Autonomic fear conditioning deficits have been linked to child aggression and adult criminal behavior. However, it is unknown if fear conditioning deficits are specific to certain subtypes of aggression, and longitudinal research is rare. In the current study, reactive and proactive aggression were assessed in a sample of males and females when aged 10, 12, 15, and 18 years old. Skin conductance fear conditioning data were collected when they were 18 years old. Individuals who were persistently high on proactive aggression measures had significantly poorer conditioned responses at 18 years old when compared to others. This association was not found for reactive aggression. Consistent with prior literature, findings suggest that persistent antisocial individuals have unique neurobiological characteristics and that poor autonomic fear conditioning is associated with the presence of increased instrumental aggressive behavior.

  15. A window of vulnerability: impaired fear extinction in adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Kathryn D; Den, Miriam L; Graham, Bronwyn M; Richardson, Rick

    2014-09-01

    There have been significant advances made towards understanding the processes mediating extinction of learned fear. However, despite being of clear theoretical and clinical significance, very few studies have examined fear extinction in adolescence, which is often described as a developmental window of vulnerability to psychological disorders. This paper reviews the relatively small body of research examining fear extinction in adolescence. A prominent finding of this work is that adolescents, both humans and rodents, exhibit a marked impairment in extinction relative to both younger (e.g., juvenile) and older (e.g., adult) groups. We then review some potential mechanisms that could produce the striking extinction deficit observed in adolescence. For example, one neurobiological candidate mechanism for impaired extinction in adolescence involves changes in the functional connectivity within the fear extinction circuit, particularly between prefrontal cortical regions and the amygdala. In addition, we review research on emotion regulation and attention processes that suggests that developmental changes in attention bias to threatening cues may be a cognitive mechanism that mediates age-related differences in extinction learning. We also examine how a differential reaction to chronic stress in adolescence impacts upon extinction retention during adolescence as well as in later life. Finally, we consider the findings of several studies illustrating promising approaches that overcome the typically-observed extinction impairments in adolescent rodents and that could be translated to human adolescents.

  16. 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.

  17. Does heightened fear of crime lead to poorer mental health in new suburbs, or vice versa?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Sarah; Hooper, Paula; Knuiman, Matthew; Giles-Corti, Billie

    2016-11-01

    Fear of crime is implicated as a risk factor for poorer mental health, yet few studies have explored whether there is a causal relationship between fear of crime and health, or tested the direction of the relationship. Does, for example, heightened fear of crime lead to poorer mental health, or could poorer mental health exacerbate fear of crime? RESIDE participants in Perth, Australia, completed a questionnaire three years after moving to their neighbourhood (2007-2008, n = 1230), and again four years later (2011-2012, n = 531). The impact of fear of crime on psychological distress (Kessler-6) was examined in SAS using the Proc Mixed procedure (marginal repeated measures model with unrestricted variance pattern). Models controlled for demographics and time, and progressively adjusted for avoidance behaviours (i.e., walking, community participation, social cohesion). This approach was repeated with psychological distress as the independent variable and fear of crime as the outcome. For each increase in one standard deviation (SD) in fear of crime, psychological distress increased by 0.680 (p = 0.0001), however in the reversed models, for each one SD increase in psychological distress, fear of crime increased by 0.152 (p = 0.0001). To help explain these results, temporal order models examined whether baseline values predicted follow-up values. There was a significant association between psychological distress (at baseline) and fear of crime (at follow-up), but no association between fear of crime (at baseline) and psychological distress (at follow-up). The findings suggest a bi-directional relationship exists between fear of crime and mental health, however it appears that higher psychological distress over time leads to higher fear of crime, rather than the reverse. Furthermore, the pathway connecting fear of crime and mental health appears to be direct, rather than via constrained social and physical activities.

  18. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, A.M.; Kleinherenbrink, A.V.; Simons, C.; de Gier, E.; Klein, S.; Allart, E.; Bögels, S.M.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.

    2012-01-01

    Background and objectives: Several information-processing models highlight the independent roles of controlled and automatic processes in explaining fearful behavior. Therefore, we investigated whether direct measures of controlled processes and indirect measures of automatic processes predict uniqu

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maruthaveeran, Sreetheran

    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...... of studies have addressed this topic in a non-Western context. The present study revealed that theories and findings from Western studies on fear of crime can be generalised to a Malaysian context, in spite of cultural and other differences. This holds important implications for the understanding of fear...... 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Methylphenidate treatment beyond adolescence maintains increased cocaine self-administration in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat model of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Baskin, Britahny M.; Linda P. Dwoskin; Kantak, Kathleen M.

    2015-01-01

    Past research with the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR) model of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder showed that adolescent methylphenidate treatment enhanced cocaine abuse risk in SHR during adulthood. Acquisition of cocaine self-administration was faster, and cocaine dose-response functions were shifted upward under fixed-ratio and progressive ratio schedules compared to adult SHR that received adolescent vehicle treatment or to control strains that received adolescent methylphenid...

  3. 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.

  4. Bilingualism and the increased attentional blink effect: evidence that the difference between bilinguals and monolinguals generalizes to different levels of second language proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khare, Vatsala; Verma, Ark; Kar, Bhoomika; Srinivasan, Narayanan; Brysbaert, Marc

    2013-11-01

    The attentional blink task involves rapid serial presentation of visual stimuli, two of which the participants have to report. The usual finding is that participants are impaired at reporting the second target if it appears in close temporal proximity to the first target. Previous research has shown that the effect is stronger in bilinguals than monolinguals. We investigated whether the difference between monolinguals and proficient bilinguals can be extended to bilinguals of different proficiency levels. Therefore, we replicated the paradigm in a large sample of Hindi-English bilinguals with different proficiency levels of English, as measured with a validated vocabulary test. We additionally measured the participants' intelligence with the raven progressive matrices. We found that the size of the attentional blink effect correlates with the degree of second language proficiency and not with the degree of intelligence. This indicates that research on executive control functions can be done with bilinguals of different proficiency levels. Our results are also in line with recent findings showing that the attentional blink effect is not primarily due to limited processing resources.

  5. 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

  6. Hippocampal Processing of Ambiguity Enhances Fear Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amadi, Ugwechi; Lim, Seh Hong; Liu, Elizabeth; Baratta, Michael V; Goosens, Ki A

    2017-02-01

    Despite the ubiquitous use of Pavlovian fear conditioning as a model for fear learning, the highly predictable conditions used in the laboratory do not resemble real-world conditions, in which dangerous situations can lead to unpleasant outcomes in unpredictable ways. In the current experiments, we varied the timing of aversive events after predictive cues in rodents and discovered that temporal ambiguity of aversive events greatly enhances fear. During fear conditioning with unpredictably timed aversive events, pharmacological inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus or optogenetic silencing of cornu ammonis 1 cells during aversive negative prediction errors prevented this enhancement of fear without affecting fear learning for predictable events. Dorsal hippocampal inactivation also prevented ambiguity-related enhancement of fear during auditory fear conditioning under a partial-reinforcement schedule. These results reveal that information about the timing and occurrence of aversive events is rapidly acquired and that unexpectedly timed or omitted aversive events generate hippocampal signals to enhance fear learning.

  7. Stress differentially affects fear conditioning in men and women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merz, Christian Josef; Wolf, Oliver Tobias; Schweckendiek, Jan; Klucken, Tim; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf

    2013-11-01

    Stress and fear conditioning processes are both important vulnerability factors in the development of psychiatric disorders. In behavioral studies considerable sex differences in fear learning have been observed after increases of the stress hormone cortisol. But neuroimaging experiments, which give insights into the neurobiological correlates of stress × sex interactions in fear conditioning, are lacking so far. In the current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we tested whether a psychosocial stressor (Trier Social Stress Test) compared to a control condition influenced subsequent fear conditioning in 48 men and 48 women taking oral contraceptives (OCs). One of two pictures of a geometrical figure was always paired (conditioned stimulus, CS+) or never paired (CS-) with an electrical stimulation (unconditioned stimulus). BOLD responses as well as skin conductance responses were assessed. Sex-independently, stress enhanced the CS+/CS- differentiation in the hippocampus in early acquisition but attenuated conditioned responses in the medial frontal cortex in late acquisition. In early acquisition, stress reduced the CS+/CS- differentiation in the nucleus accumbens in men, but enhanced it in OC women. In late acquisition, the same pattern (reduction in men, enhancement in OC women) was found in the amygdala as well as in the anterior cingulate. Thus, psychosocial stress impaired the neuronal correlates of fear learning and expression in men, but facilitated them in OC women. A sex-specific modulation of fear conditioning after stress might contribute to the divergent prevalence of men and women in developing psychiatric disorders.

  8. Neural Correlates of Fear in the Periaqueductal Gray

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerminara, Nadia L.; Lumb, Bridget M.; Apps, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The dorsal and ventral periaqueductal gray (dPAG and vPAG, respectively) are embedded in distinct survival networks that coordinate, respectively, innate and conditioned fear-evoked freezing. However, the information encoded by the PAG during these survival behaviors is poorly understood. Recordings in the dPAG and vPAG in rats revealed differences in neuronal activity associated with the two behaviors. During innate fear, neuronal responses were significantly greater in the dPAG compared with the vPAG. After associative fear conditioning and during early extinction (EE), when freezing was maximal, a field potential was evoked in the PAG by the auditory fear conditioned stimulus (CS). With repeated presentations of the unreinforced CS, animals displayed progressively less freezing accompanied by a reduction in event-related field potential amplitude. During EE, the majority of dPAG and vPAG units increased their firing frequency, but spike-triggered averaging showed that only ventral activity during the presentation of the CS was significantly coupled to EMG-related freezing behavior. This PAG–EMG coupling was only present for the onset of freezing activity during the CS in EE. During late extinction, a subpopulation of units in the dPAG and vPAG continued to show CS-evoked responses; that is, they were extinction resistant. Overall, these findings support roles for the dPAG in innate and conditioned fear and for the vPAG in initiating but not maintaining the drive to muscles to generate conditioned freezing. The existence of extinction-susceptible and extinction-resistant cells also suggests that the PAG plays a role in encoding fear memories. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The periaqueductal gray (PAG) orchestrates survival behaviors, with the dorsal (dPAG) and ventral (vPAG) PAG concerned respectively with innate and learnt fear responses. We recorded neural activity from dPAG and vPAG in rats during the expression of innate fear and extinction of learned freezing

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Microglial production of TNF-alpha is a key element of sustained fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhiqian; Fukushima, Hotaka; Ono, Chiaki; Sakai, Mai; Kasahara, Yoshiyuki; Kikuchi, Yoshie; Gunawansa, Nicole; Takahashi, Yuta; Matsuoka, Hiroo; Kida, Satoshi; Tomita, Hiroaki

    2017-01-01

    The proinflammatory cytokine productions in the brain are altered in a process of fear memory formation, indicating a possibility that altered microglial function may contribute to fear memory formation. We aimed to investigate whether and how microglial function contributes to fear memory formation. Expression levels of M1- and M2-type microglial marker molecules in microglia isolated from each conditioned mice group were assessed by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. Levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, but not of other proinflammatory cytokines produced by M1-type microglia, increased in microglia from mice representing retention of fear memory, and returned to basal levels in microglia from mice representing extinction of fear memory. Administration of inhibitors of TNF-α production facilitated extinction of fear memory. On the other hand, expression levels of M2-type microglia-specific cell adhesion molecules, CD206 and CD209, were decreased in microglia from mice representing retention of fear memory, and returned to basal levels in microglia from mice representing extinction of fear memory. Our findings indicate that microglial TNF-α is a key element of sustained fear memory and suggest that TNF-α inhibitors can be candidate molecules for mitigating posttraumatic reactions caused by persistent fear memory.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. Pathological fear of cot death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weightman, H; Dalal, B M; Brockington, I F

    1998-01-01

    Cot death (sudden infant death syndrome) is one of the most common causes of death in the first year of life. Four cases with a pathological fear of cot death are presented. All the patients were depressed and in 2 cases the fear of cot death had an obsessional quality. In all cases there were complications during pregnancy (miscarriage, threatened abortion, recurrent vomiting in last trimester). In 1 case, the patient knew 3 mothers who had suffered cot deaths; in another, the infant was gravely ill in the neonatal period. Pathological fear of cot death can be recognised by the presence of two central features - overvigilance and excessive nocturnal checking of the baby's breathing. Therapeutic interventions are discussed.

  17. Behavioral Modification of Parents With the Barkley Method to Increase Resilience of Mothers of Children With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haji Seyed Javadi

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Background Mothers of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder are faced with more stress than mothers of healthy children and this extreme stress can affect their ability to train their children effectively. Psychologists believe that there is a moderating factor between stressful events and psychological disorders that cause stressful events to have different effects on individuals. A type of this moderating factor is resiliency. Objectives To determine the efficacy of behavioral modification with Barkley method on resilience of mothers of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Patients and Methods Twenty-four mothers of children diagnosed with ADHD were randomly enrolled in this study. The mothers were selected from the 22nd of Bahman hospital of Qazvin city. Mothers with a low score in resilience with children aged between four and twelve years were assigned to experimental and control groups. In this study, a questionnaire was used to measure resilience. The data were analyzed by covariance analysis. Results The behavioral modification of mothers with the Barkley method significantly enhanced their resiliency with children of ADHD in the experimental group compared to the control group. Conclusions The behavioral modification was found to be effective for the resilience of mothers of children with ADHD.

  18. Fear conditioning, safety learning, and sleep in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Anisa J; Acheson, Dean T; Risbrough, Victoria B; Straus, Laura D; Drummond, Sean P A

    2014-08-27

    Fear conditioning is considered an animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder. Such models have shown fear conditioning disrupts subsequent rapid eye movement sleep (REM). Here, we provide a translation of these models into humans. Using the fear potentiated startle (FPS) procedure, we examined the effects of fear conditioning and safety signal learning on subsequent REM sleep in healthy adults. We also examined the effects of changes in REM sleep on retention of fear and safety learning. Participants (n = 42 normal controls) spent 3 consecutive nights in the laboratory. The first was an adaptation night. Following the second night, we administered a FPS procedure that included pairing a wrist shock with a threat signal and a safety signal never paired with a shock. The next day, we administered the FPS procedure again, with no wrist shocks to any stimulus, to measure retention of fear and safety. Canonical correlations assessed the relationship between FPS response and REM sleep. Results demonstrated that increased safety signal learning during the initial acquisition phase was associated with increased REM sleep consolidation that night, with 28.4% of the variance in increased REM sleep consolidation from baseline accounted for by safety signal learning. Overnight REM sleep was, in turn, related to overnight retention of fear and safety learning, with 22.5% of the variance in startle retention accounted for by REM sleep. These data suggest that sleep difficulties, specifically REM sleep fragmentation, may play a mechanistic role in post-traumatic stress disorder via an influence on safety signal learning and/or threat-safety discrimination.

  19. Fear of Crime among the Elderly: The Role of Crime Prevention Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Lee; Courlander, Michael

    1982-01-01

    Examined the effect of police patrol and crime education on the fear of crime and security-conscious behavior of 152 senior citizens. Results indicated that, although those who were highly affected by the crime education component exhibited increased security-conscious behavior, they also showed increased fear. (Author)

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Women's Fear of Crime: A Rural Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Jo; Panelli, Ruth; Kraack, Anna

    2005-01-01

    This paper examines women's experience of fear of crime in rural areas. It argues that much existing research on issues of gender, fear and safety have focused on urban areas and that as a result we know relatively little about women's experience of fear in a rural context. As well as arguing that we need to redress the balance and respond to the…

  9. Gun Attitudes and Fear of Crime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Linda; Weeks, Kyle; Murphy, Marie Mackay

    1997-01-01

    Using three studies, examined the relationship between attitudes toward guns and fear of crime. Findings indicate a connection between fear of crime and attitudes toward guns: people higher in fear of crime favored gun control. Results also established a relationship between stereotypical beliefs about gun victims and support for gun control. (RJM)

  10. COVARIATION BIAS AND THE RETURN OF FEAR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Peter; VANDENHOUT, MA; MERCKELBACH, H

    1995-01-01

    Several studies have indicated that phobic fear is accompanied by a covariation bias, i.e. that phobic Ss tend to overassociate fear relevant stimuli and aversive outcomes. Such a covariation bias seems to be a fairly direct and powerful way to confirm danger expectations and enhance fear. Therefore

  11. Nicotine enhances contextual fear memory reconsolidation in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Shaowen; Huang, Fulian; Li, Peng; Li, Zhenbang; Zhou, Shouhong; Deng, Haifeng; Yang, Yufeng

    2011-01-10

    There is increasing evidence that nicotine is involved in learning and memory. However, there remains no study that has explored the relationship between nicotine and memory reconsolidation. At present study, we tested the effects of nicotine on the reconsolidation of contextual fear memory in rats. Behavior procedure involved four training phases: habituation (Day 0), fear conditioning (Day 1), reactivation (Day 2) and test (Day 3). Rats were injected saline or nicotine (0.25, 0.5 and 1.0mg/kg) immediately after reactivation. Percent of time spent freezing was used to measure conditioned fear response. Results showed that compared with saline rats, rats with nicotine at 1.0mg/kg presented a significant increase of freezing response on Day 3. Nicotine at 1.0mg/kg was ineffective when injected 6h after reactivation. Further results showed that the enhancement of freezing response induced by nicotine at 1.0mg/kg was dependent on fear memory reconsolidation, and was not attributed to an enhancement of the nonspecific freezing response 24h after nicotine administration. The results suggest that nicotine administration immediately after reactivation enhances contextual fear memory reconsolidation. Our present finding extends previous research on the nicotinic effects on learning and memory.

  12. The influence of stress on fear memory processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.D. Martijena

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available It is well recognized that stressful experiences promote robust emotional memories, which are well remembered. The amygdaloid complex, principally the basolateral complex (BLA, plays a pivotal role in fear memory and in the modulation of stress-induced emotional responses. A large number of reports have revealed that GABAergic interneurons provide a powerful inhibitory control of the activity of projecting glutamatergic neurons in the BLA. Indeed, a reduced GABAergic control in the BLA is essential for the stress-induced influence on the emergence of associative fear memory and on the generation of long-term potentiation (LTP in BLA neurons. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK subfamily of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK signaling pathway in the BLA plays a central role in the consolidation process and synaptic plasticity. In support of the view that stress facilitates long-term fear memory, stressed animals exhibited a phospho-ERK2 (pERK2 increase in the BLA, suggesting the involvement of this mechanism in the promoting influence of threatening stimuli on the consolidation fear memory. Moreover, the occurrence of reactivation-induced lability is prevented when fear memory is encoded under intense stressful conditions since the memory trace remains immune to disruption after recall in previously stressed animals. Thus, the underlying mechanism in retrieval-induced instability seems not to be functional in memories formed under stress. All these findings are indicative that stress influences both the consolidation and reconsolidation fear memory processes. Thus, it seems reasonable to propose that the emotional state generated by an environmental challenge critically modulates the formation and maintenance of long-term fear memory.

  13. 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,…

  14. 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.

  15. Traits, States, and Attentional Gates: Temperament and Threat Relevance as Predictors of Attentional Bias to Social Threat

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the influence of situational and dispositional factors on attentional biases toward social threat, and the impact of these attentional biases on distress in a sample of adolescents. Results suggest greater biases for personally-relevant threat cues, as individuals reporting high social stress were vigilant to subliminal social threat cues, but not physical threat cues, and those reporting low social stress showed no attentional biases. Individual differences in fearful...

  16. The Fear of Cockroaches Questionnaire (FCQ)

    OpenAIRE

    Scandola, Michele; Bastinelli, Alessia; Spoto, Andrea; Vidotto, Giulio

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to validate the Fear of Cockroaches Questionnaire (FCQ) in general Italian population. The FCQ is an 18-item self-report questionnaire assessing fear of cockroaches. It was translated in Italian and modified as a cockroach adaption of the Fear of Spiders Questionnaire. Data obtained from 329 (mean age 24.21 ± 4.08 years) undergraduates revealed that the FCQ allowed discrimination between high fear and low fear subjects. Exploratory Factor Analysis revealed a mono-fac...

  17. Enhanced fear expression in a psychopathological mouse model of trait anxiety: pharmacological interventions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone B Sartori

    Full Text Available The propensity to develop an anxiety disorder is thought to be determined by genetic and environmental factors. Here we investigated the relationship between a genetic predisposition to trait anxiety and experience-based learned fear in a psychopathological mouse model. Male CD-1 mice selectively bred for either high (HAB, or normal (NAB anxiety-related behaviour on the elevated plus maze were subjected to classical fear conditioning. During conditioning both mouse lines showed increased fear responses as assessed by freezing behaviour. However, 24 h later, HAB mice displayed more pronounced conditioned responses to both a contextual or cued stimulus when compared with NAB mice. Interestingly, 6 h and already 1 h after fear conditioning, freezing levels were high in HAB mice but not in NAB mice. These results suggest that trait anxiety determines stronger fear memory and/or a weaker ability to inhibit fear responses in the HAB line. The enhanced fear response of HAB mice was attenuated by treatment with either the α(2,3,5-subunit selective benzodiazepine partial agonist L-838,417, corticosterone or the selective neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist L-822,429. Overall, the HAB mouse line may represent an interesting model (i for identifying biological factors underlying misguided conditioned fear responses and (ii for studying novel anxiolytic pharmacotherapies for patients with fear-associated disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.

  18. Teachers' Use of Fear Appeals in the Mathematics Classroom: Worrying or Motivating Students?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putwain, David W.; Symes, Wendy

    2011-01-01

    Aim: This study examined whether teachers' use of fear appeals in the classroom, attempts to motivate students to perform well in high-stakes examinations by highlighting the educational, and/or occupational consequences of failure did indeed motivate students or whether it contributed to an increase in worry, anxiety, and fear of failure. Sample:…

  19. 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…

  20. Fear Appeal in Traffic Safety Advertising: The moderating role of medium context, trait anxiety, and differences between drivers and non-drivers

    OpenAIRE

    2007-01-01

    The impact was investigated of the intensity of a fear appeal, the valence of the medium context, and the individuals' trait anxiety and personal relevance on the responses of 197 individuals to anti-speeding advertisements. A high level of fear attracts more attention. A negative valence context leads to a more positive anti-speeding attitude. The most important moderating effect of trait anxiety is that the attitude is more positive when low-anxiety individuals are exposed to high fear appe...

  1. The Divergent Effects of Fear and Disgust on Inhibitory Control: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Mengsi; Li, Zhiai; Ding, Cody; Zhang, Junhua; Fan, Lingxia; Diao, Liuting; Yang, Dong

    2015-01-01

    Negative emotional stimuli have been shown to attract attention and impair executive control. However, two different types of unpleasant stimuli, fearful and disgusting, are often inappropriately treated as a single category in the literature on inhibitory control. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the divergent effects of fearful and disgusting distracters on inhibitory control (both conscious and unconscious inhibition). Specifically, participants were engaged in a masked Go/No-Go task superimposed on fearful, disgusting, or neutral emotional contexts, while event-related potentials were measured concurrently. The results showed that for both conscious and unconscious conditions, disgusting stimuli elicited a larger P2 than fearful ones, and the difference waves of P3 amplitude under disgusting contexts were smaller than that under fearful contexts. These results suggest that disgusting distracters consume more attentional resources and therefore impair subsequent inhibitory control to a greater extent. This study is the first to provide electrophysiological evidence that fear and disgust differently affect inhibitory control. These results expand our understanding of the relationship between emotions and inhibitory control. PMID:26030871

  2. Fear extinction memory consolidation requires potentiation of pontine-wave activity during REM sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, Subimal; O'Malley, Matthew W

    2013-03-06

    Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation within multiple memory systems including contextual fear extinction memory, but little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this process. Here, we show that fear extinction training in rats, which extinguished conditioned fear, increased both slow-wave sleep and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Surprisingly, 24 h later, during memory testing, only 57% of the fear-extinguished animals retained fear extinction memory. We found that these animals exhibited an increase in phasic pontine-wave (P-wave) activity during post-training REM sleep, which was absent in the 43% of animals that failed to retain fear extinction memory. The results of this study provide evidence that brainstem activation, specifically potentiation of phasic P-wave activity, during post-training REM sleep is critical for consolidation of fear extinction memory. The results of this study also suggest that, contrary to the popular hypothesis of sleep and memory, increased sleep after training alone does not guarantee consolidation and/or retention of fear extinction memory. Rather, the potentiation of specific sleep-dependent physiological events may be a more accurate predictor for successful consolidation of fear extinction memory. Identification of this unique mechanism will significantly improve our present understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the sleep-dependent regulation of emotional memory. Additionally, this discovery may also initiate development of a new, more targeted treatment method for clinical disorders of fear and anxiety in humans that is more efficacious than existing methods such as exposure therapy that incorporate only fear extinction.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Fear of the Formal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    du Gay, Paul; Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas

    Over recent decades, institutions exhibiting high degrees of formality have come in for severe criticism. From the private to the public sector, and across a whole spectrum of actors spanning from practitioners to academics, formal organization is viewed with increasing doubt and skepticism. In a...

  6. Validation of Fear of Partner Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Leary, K Daniel; Foran, Heather; Cohen, Shiri

    2013-10-01

    Therapists have a responsibility to ascertain if psychological aggression, physical aggression, sexual aggression exist, and if there is fear of the partner. A fear of partner measure was evaluated in 100 couples who sought relationship feedback. Fear of partner's psychological, physical, and sexual aggression was related to actual reports of such behavior. For both men and women, fear of speaking in front of partner and fear of being in therapy with partner were related to reports of psychological aggression perpetrated by the partner, dominance, and isolation by the partner, and one's own marital dissatisfaction. Among respondents who were aggressed against, more men than women reported fear of participating in therapy with their partner. The measure herein can be used to determine the extent of fear of aggression by partners and to assist in the decision-making about the appropriateness of marital therapy and divorce mediation.

  7. Fear of childbirth and risk for birth complications in nulliparous women in the Danish National Birth Cohort

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laursen, M; Johansen, C; Hedegaard, M

    2009-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To examine the associations between fear of childbirth and emergency caesarean section and between fear of childbirth and dystocia or protracted labour and fetal distress. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Danish National Birth Cohort. POPULATION: A total of 25 297 healthy...... for emergency caesarean section of women who feared childbirth; risk for dystocia/protracted labour or fetal distress of women who feared childbirth. RESULTS: Fear of childbirth in early (16 weeks, 6 +/- 29 days) and late (31 weeks, 4 +/- 21 days) pregnancy was associated with emergency caesarean section: OR, 1.......23 (1.05-1.47) and 1.32 (1.13-1.55), respectively. When fear of childbirth was expressed at both interviews, the OR was 1.43 (1.13-1.80). Women who feared childbirth had an increased risk for dystocia or protracted labour (OR, 1.33; 1.15-1.54), but not for fetal distress (OR, 0.94; 0...

  8. 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…

  9. Oral Health, Nutritional Choices, and Dental Fear and Anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer R. Beaudette

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Oral health is an integral part of overall health. Poor oral health can lead to an increased risk of chronic diseases including diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer. The etiology of these diseases could be linked to the individual’s inability to eat a healthy diet when their dentition is compromised. While periodontal or implant surgery may be necessary to reconstruct tissue around natural teeth or replace missing teeth, respectively, some individuals avoid such interventions because of their associated fear and anxiety. Thus, while the relationship between poor oral health, compromised nutritional choices and fear and anxiety regarding periodontal procedures is not entirely new, this review provides an up-to-date summary of literature addressing aspects of this complex relationship. This review also identifies potential strategies for clinicians to help their patients overcome their fear and anxiety associated with dental treatment, and allow them to seek the care they need.

  10. Enhancement of acoustic prepulse inhibition by contextual fear conditioning in mice is maintained even after contextual fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, Daisuke; Matsuzawa, Daisuke; Fujita, Yuko; Sutoh, Chihiro; Ohtsuka, Hiroyuki; Matsuda, Shingo; Kanahara, Nobuhisa; Hashimoto, Kenji; Iyo, Masaomi; Shimizu, Eiji

    2010-02-01

    Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response is one of the few and major paradigms for investigating sensorimotor gating systems in humans and rodents in a similar fashion. PPI deficits are observed not only in patients with schizophrenia, but also in patients with anxiety disorders. Previous studies have shown that PPI in rats can be enhanced by auditory fear conditioning. In this study, we evaluated the effects of contextual fear conditioning (FC) for six times a day and fear extinction (FE) for seven days on PPI in mice. C57BL/6J mice (male, 8-12 weeks) were divided into three groups; no-FC (control), FC and FC + FE. We measured PPI at the following three time points, (1) baseline before FC, (2) after FC, and (3) after FE. The results showed that PPI was increased after FC. Moreover, the enhanced PPI following FC was observed even after FE with decreased freezing behaviors. These results suggested contextual fear conditioning could enhance acoustic PPI, and that contextual fear extinction could decrease freezing behaviors, but not acoustic PPI.

  11. 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.

  12. Fear patterns: a new approach to designing road safety advertisements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algie, Jennifer; Rossiter, John R

    2010-01-01

    This research studies fear patterns within fear appeal anti-speeding television commercials. A pattern of fear is the sequence of fear arousal and fear reduction, if any, that is felt by the viewing audience when exposed to a fear appeal advertisement. Many road safety advertisers use fear appeals, such as "shock" advertising, that result in fear arousal, leaving the viewer feeling extremely tense. The moment-to-moment reactions of young drivers to 12 road safety commercials are gauged using a dynamic, temporal measure of fear. The fear patterns generated from each ad are analyzed and a new perspective on creating fear appeal road safety advertisements, with an emphasis on fear-relief, fear-partial relief, and fear-only patterns, is discussed.

  13. Sustained attention, attentional selectivity, and attentional capacity across the lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvinue, Laura P; Habekost, Thomas; Johnson, Katherine A; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Vangkilde, Signe; Bundesen, Claus; Robertson, Ian H

    2012-11-01

    Changes in sustained attention, attentional selectivity, and attentional capacity were examined in a sample of 113 participants between the ages of 12 and 75. To measure sustained attention, we employed the sustained-attention-to-response task (Robertson, Manly, Andrade, Baddeley, & Yiend, Neuropsychologia 35:747-58, 1997), a short continuous-performance test designed to capture fluctuations in sustained attention. To measure attentional selectivity and capacity, we employed a paradigm based on the theory of visual attention (Bundesen, Psychological Review 97:523-547, 1990), which enabled the estimation of parameters related to attentional selection, perceptual threshold, visual short-term memory capacity, and processing capacity. We found evidence of age-related decline in each of the measured variables, but the declines varied markedly in terms of magnitude and lifespan trajectory. Variables relating to attentional capacity showed declines of very large effect sizes, while variables relating to attentional selectivity and sustained attention showed declines of medium to large effect sizes, suggesting that attentional control is relatively preserved in older adults. The variables relating to sustained attention followed a U-shaped, curvilinear trend, and the variables relating to attentional selectivity and capacity showed linear decline from early adulthood, providing further support for the differentiation of attentional functions.

  14. The Shadow of Physical Harm? Examining the Unique and Gendered Relationship Between Fear of Murder Versus Fear of Sexual Assault on Fear of Violent Crime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, Samantha; Cook, Carrie L

    2015-09-01

    The shadow hypothesis regarding the impact of fear of sexual assault on fear of violent crime suggests that female fear of crime is characterized by concern about sexual assault as a contemporaneous victimization event during a violent crime event. Recent research has found that other types of crime, namely physical assault, may also be feared as a contemporaneous offense. We know of no research that has examined the unique impact of fear of murder versus fear of sexual assault on fear of violent crime. There is also a lack of research that explores how these two types of fear uniquely affect men and women. In addition to gender, we examine factors that have been suggested in previous research to correlate with fear of crime: race, victimization, vicarious victimization, and perceived risk. Through survey methodology, this research examines the unique relationship between both fear of murder and fear of sexual assault and fear of three types of violent crime for men and women. Results suggest differences in how fear of murder and fear of sexual assault are related to fear of other types of violence for men and women. Specifically, fear of murder is important in estimating male fear of robbery and aggravated assault. However, fear of sexual assault is almost as important as fear of murder for men in estimating fear of home invasion. Similarly, for women, fear of sexual assault and fear of murder both are significant factors associated with fear of violent crime, and differences between the levels of significance are marginal. This study is a first to examine whether murder may also be feared as a contemporaneous offense. The results are informative in identifying what drives fear of crime, particularly violent crime, for both men and women. Avenues for future research are discussed.

  15. 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

  16. Glucocorticoids reduce phobic fear in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soravia, Leila M; Heinrichs, Markus; Aerni, Amanda; Maroni, Caroline; Schelling, Gustav; Ehlert, Ulrike; Roozendaal, Benno; de Quervain, Dominique J-F

    2006-04-04

    Phobias are characterized by excessive fear, cued by the presence or anticipation of a fearful situation. Whereas it is well established that glucocorticoids are released in fearful situations, it is not known whether these hormones, in turn, modulate perceived fear. As extensive evidence indicates that elevated glucocorticoid levels impair the retrieval of emotionally arousing information, they might also inhibit retrieval of fear memory associated with phobia and, thereby, reduce phobic fear. Here, we investigated whether acutely administrated glucocorticoids reduced phobic fear in two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in 40 subjects with social phobia and 20 subjects with spider phobia. In the social phobia study, cortisone (25 mg) administered orally 1 h before a socio-evaluative stressor significantly reduced self-reported fear during the anticipation, exposure, and recovery phase of the stressor. Moreover, the stress-induced release of cortisol in placebo-treated subjects correlated negatively with fear ratings, suggesting that endogenously released cortisol in the context of a phobic situation buffers fear symptoms. In the spider phobia study, repeated oral administration of cortisol (10 mg), but not placebo, 1 h before exposure to a spider photograph induced a progressive reduction of stimulus-induced fear. This effect was maintained when subjects were exposed to the stimulus again 2 days after the last cortisol administration, suggesting that cortisol may also have facilitated the extinction of phobic fear. Cortisol treatment did not reduce general, phobia-unrelated anxiety. In conclusion, the present findings in two distinct types of phobias indicate that glucocorticoid administration reduces phobic fear.

  17. The Effect of Fear Appeal HIV-AIDS Social Marketing on Behaviour: Evaluating the Importance of Market Segmentation

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    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 efficac...

  18. The scare tactic: do fear appeals predict motivation and exam scores?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putwain, David; Remedios, Richard

    2014-12-01

    Prior to high-stakes exams, teachers use persuasive messages that highlight to students the possible consequences of failure. Such messages are known as fear appeals. This study examined whether fear appeals relate to self- and non-self-determined motivation and academic performance. Data were collected in 3 waves. Self-report data pertaining to perceived fear appeals were collected in the first wave, self-report data pertaining to self-determined motivation were collected in the second wave, and exam scores were collected in the third wave. An increased frequency of fear appeals and the appraisal of fear appeals as threatening predicted lower self-determined motivation but were largely unrelated to non-self-determined motivation. An increased frequency of fear appeals and the appraisal of fear appeals as threatening predicted lower examination performance that was partly mediated by lower self-determined motivation. These findings support a position derived from self-worth theory that the negative consequences of fear appeals arise from their focus on avoiding failure rather than their focus on extrinsic consequences. We suggest that teachers and instructors need to be aware how seemingly motivational statements can unwittingly promote lower self-determined motivation.

  19. BDNF-dependent consolidation of fear memories in the perirhinal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigitte eSchulz-Klaus

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In the recent years the perirhinal cortex (PRh has been identified as a crucial brain area in fear learning. Since the neurotrophin BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor is an important mediator of synaptic plasticity and also crucially involved in memory consolidation of several learning paradigms, we analyzed now whether fear conditioning influences the expression of BDNF protein in the PRh. Here we observed a specific increase of BDNF protein 120 minutes after fear conditioning training. In order to test whether this increase of BDNF protein level is also required for the consolidation of the fear memory, we locally applied the Trk receptor inhibitor k252a into the PRh during this time window in a second series of experiments. By interfering with BDNF-TrkB-signaling during this critical time window, the formation of a long-term fear memory was completely blocked, indicated by a complete lack of fear potentiated startle one day later. In conclusion the present study further emphasizes the important role of the PRh in cued fear learning and identified BDNF as an important mediator for fear memory consolidation in the PRh.

  20. The role of fear-avoidance cognitions and behaviors in patients with chronic tinnitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinstäuber, Maria; Jasper, Kristine; Schweda, Isabell; Hiller, Wolfgang; Andersson, Gerhard; Weise, Cornelia

    2013-01-01

    The current study investigated the role of fear-avoidance-a concept from chronic pain research-in chronic tinnitus. A self-report measure the "Tinnitus Fear-Avoidance Cognitions and Behaviors Scale (T-FAS)" was developed and validated. Furthermore, the role of fear-avoidance behavior as mediator of the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and tinnitus handicap was investigated. From a clinical setting, N = 373 patients with chronic tinnitus completed questionnaires assessing tinnitus handicap (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory), anxiety, depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), anxiety sensitivity (Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3), personality factors (Big Five Inventory-10), and fear-avoidance. To analyze the psychometric properties, principal component analysis with parallel component extraction and correlational analyses were used. To examine a possible mediating effect, hierarchical regression analysis was applied. The principal component analysis resulted in a three-factor solution: Fear-avoidance Cognitions, Tinnitus-related Fear-Avoidance Behavior, and Ear-related Fear-Avoidance Behavior. Internal consistency was satisfactory for the total scale and all subscales. High correlations between tinnitus-related handicap scales, depressive and anxiety symptoms, and the T-FAS were found, whereas associations with personality factors were low. Moreover, results indicate a significant partial mediation of fear-avoidance behaviors in the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and the cognitive dimension of tinnitus handicap. Results show that fear-avoidance behavior plays an important role in tinnitus handicap. More attention should be paid to this concept in research and clinical practice of psychotherapy for chronic tinnitus.

  1. Living in fear of your child's pain: the Parent Fear of Pain Questionnaire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Laura E; Smith, Allison; Kaczynski, Karen; Basch, Molly

    2015-04-01

    Fear and avoidance have been consistently associated with poor pain-related outcomes in children. In the context of the pediatric pain experience, parent distress and behaviors can be highly influential. This study validated the Parent Fear of Pain Questionnaire (PFOPQ) to assess a parent's fears and avoidance behaviors associated with their child's pain. Using the PFOPQ in conjunction with measures of parent and child pain-related variables, we tested the interpersonal fear-avoidance model (IFAM). The sample comprised 321 parents and their child with chronic or new-onset pain who presented to a multidisciplinary outpatient pain clinic. An exploratory factor analysis yielded a 4-factor structure for the PFOPQ consisting of Fear of Pain, Fear of Movement, Fear of School, and Avoidance. As hypothesized, Fear of Pain was most closely related to parent pain catastrophizing and child fear of pain, whereas Avoidance was most closely related to parent protective behaviors and child avoidance of activities. In testing the IFAM, parent behavior contributed directly and indirectly to child avoidance, whereas parent fear and catastrophizing contributed indirectly to child avoidance through parent behavior and child fear and catastrophizing, in turn, influencing child functional disability levels. This study provides the first measure of parent pain-related fears and avoidance behaviors and evaluates the theorized IFAM. These results underscore the important influence of parents on child pain-related outcomes and put forth a psychometrically sound measure to assess parent fear and avoidance in the context of their child's pain.

  2. Women's fear of crime: the role of fear for the well-being of significant others.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesch, G S

    2000-01-01

    A number of explanations have been suggested in the literature for the finding that women consistently report higher levels of fear of crime than males. The "shadow" hypothesis argues that fear of crime among females reflects fear of sexual assault. The "intimate" hypothesis argues that women's fear of crime is the result of exposure to intimate violence. Females' fear of crime is expected to be explained by their fear of partners' violence. The main argument of this article is that women's fear of crime might be the result of traditional family gender roles. When asked, women might express fear not only for their own well-being but for that of their children. A survey of a representative sample of women in the third largest city of Israel was used to test this assumption. Women's fear of crime was found to be affected by fear of sexual assault and fear of violent partners. In addition, consistent with the argument of this study, women's fear of violent and sexual victimization of their children had a significant effect on their perception of fear. Future directions for research are suggested.

  3. Retrieving fear memories, as time goes by…

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do Monte, Fabricio H.; Quirk, Gregory J.; Li, Bo; Penzo, Mario A.

    2016-01-01

    Fear conditioning researches have led to a comprehensive picture of the neuronal circuit underlying the formation of fear memories. In contrast, knowledge about the retrieval of fear memories is much more limited. This disparity may stem from the fact that fear memories are not rigid, but reorganize over time. To bring clarity and raise awareness on the time-dependent dynamics of retrieval circuits, we review current evidence on the neuronal circuitry participating in fear memory retrieval at both early and late time points after conditioning. We focus on the temporal recruitment of the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, and its BDNFergic efferents to the central nucleus of the amygdala, for the retrieval and maintenance of fear memories. Finally, we speculate as to why retrieval circuits change across time, and the functional benefits of recruiting structures such as the paraventricular nucleus into the retrieval circuit. PMID:27217148

  4. The Effect of Fearful Expressions on Multiple Face Tracking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongjun Jin

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available How does the visual system realize dynamic tracking? This topic has become popular within cognitive science in recent years. The classical theory argues that multiple object tracking is accomplished via pre-attention visual indexes as part of a cognitively impenetrable low-level visual system. The present research aimed to investigate whether and how tracking processes are influenced by facial expressions that convey abundant social information about one’s mental state and situated environment. The results showed that participants tracked fearful faces more effectively than neutral faces. However, this advantage was only present under the low-attentional load condition, and distractor face emotion did not impact tracking performance. These findings imply that visual tracking is not driven entirely by low-level vision and encapsulated by high-level representations; rather, that facial expressions, a kind of social information, are able to influence dynamic tracking. Furthermore, the effect of fearful expressions on multiple face tracking is mediated by the availability of attentional resources.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Attentional Lapses of Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Tasks of Sustained Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gmehlin, Dennis; Fuermaier, Anselm B M; Walther, Stephan; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; Lange, Klaus W; Tucha, Oliver; Weisbrod, Matthias; Aschenbrenner, Steffen

    2016-06-01

    Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show attentional dysfunction such as distractibility and mind-wandering, especially in lengthy tasks. However, fundamentals of dysfunction are ambiguous and relationships of neuropsychological test parameters with self-report measures of ADHD symptoms are marginal. We hypothesize that basic deficits in sustaining attention explain more complex attentional dysfunction in persons with ADHD and relate to ADHD symptoms. Attentional function was analyzed by computing ex-Gaussian parameters for 3 time Blocks in a 20 min test of sustained alertness. Changes in performance across these blocks were analyzed by comparing adult persons with ADHD (n = 24) with healthy matched controls (n = 24) and correlated with neuropsychological measures of selective and divided attention as well as self-report measures of ADHD symptoms. We found a significantly steeper increase in the number of slow responses (ex-Gaussian parameter τ) in persons with ADHD with time on task in basic sustained alertness. They also performed significantly worse in tasks of sustained selective and divided attention. However, after controlling for an increase in τ during the alertness task, significant differences between groups disappeared for divided and partly selective attention. Increases in τ in the sustained alertness task correlated significantly with self-report measures of ADHD symptoms. Our results provide evidence that very basic deficits in sustaining attention in adults with ADHD are related to infrequent slow responses (=attentional lapses), with changes over time being relevant for more complex attentional function and experienced ADHD symptoms in everyday life.

  9. 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.

  10. Early-life object exposure with a habituated mother reduces fear reactions in foals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Janne Winther

    2016-01-01

    influence on her offspring’s behaviour. This study investigated whether fearfulness in foals can be reduced through weekly exposure to usually frightening objects with a habituated mother during the first 8 weeks of life. Prior to foaling, mares (N = 22) were habituated to five initially fear......-partum. Control mares were inside the empty test arena with their foals for the same amount of time. The foals were tested at 8 weeks and 5 months of age in four standardised fear tests. Demonstration foals showed significantly reduced fear responses (behaviour and heart rate) and increased exploratory behaviour...... at both 8 weeks and 5 months of age. The effect was likely achieved through a combination of maternal transmission and individual learning. It is concluded that fearfulness in foals may be reduced through exposure to frightening objects together with their habituated mother during the first 8 weeks...

  11. 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.

  12. Police governmentality of fear on social movements around 15M in Catalonia (2011-2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén Amor Benedicto Salmerón

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The financial crisis of 2008 began a period of major global structural changes that are significantly affecting the lives of many countries and social protest increases. To implement these changes, it is resorting to forms of governmentality of exception related to military logic. In these logics, fear is often used as a tool for driving the behavior of the population. In this article, we asked about the use of fear as a tool of governmentality; we analyzed how is fear management in policing on the social movements and their possible consistent with those warlike logic of exception in the situation in Catalonia, in times of social mobilization around 15M, also known as the indignados (2011 -2012. We conducted a field research in everyday life through which we locate numerous government and policing activity relatable to the management of fear. Key words: 15M; Political Repression; Governmentality of Exception; Fear

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Development and Validation of Acupuncture Fear Scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho-Sun Kim

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. Strong aversions to acupuncture have been an obstacle to understanding its intrinsic action of acupuncture. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate the nature and extent of fear of acupuncture treatment. Our study aims to develop and validate an instrument that evaluates a patient’s fear of acupuncture treatment. Methods. We have developed an acupuncture fear scale, a 16-item instrument which assesses the acupuncture fear score and uses it to survey 275 participants in South Korea, thus testing the reliability and validity of the instrument. Results. Internal consistency was high (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.935. Test-retest reliability (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient among 33 participants out of 275 ranged from 0.565 to 0.797 (P<0.001. Principal component analysis revealed two factors accounting for 68% of the variance, which are painful sensation and possible adverse events, respectively. The acupuncture fear scale was positively correlated with the total of fear of pain questionnaire-III (r=0.423, P<0.001. Conclusions. The acupuncture fear scale can be a valid and reliable instrument that can measure fear of acupuncture treatment. These results strongly suggest that it would be a clinically useful tool to assess fear of acupuncture in the acupuncture clinic setting and an important instrument to understand the complex social-behavioral component of acupuncture modality.

  20. Fear learning circuitry is biased toward generalization of fear associations in posttraumatic stress disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Morey, R.A.; Dunsmoor, J E; Haswell, C C; Brown, V M; Vora, A; Weiner, J.; Stjepanovic, D; Wagner, H R; ,; Brancu, Mira; Marx, Christine E.; Naylor, Jennifer C.; Van Voorhees, Elizabeth; Taber, Katherine H.; Beckham, Jean C.

    2015-01-01

    Fear conditioning is an established model for investigating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, symptom triggers may vaguely resemble the initial traumatic event, differing on a variety of sensory and affective dimensions. We extended the fear-conditioning model to assess generalization of conditioned fear on fear processing neurocircuitry in PTSD. Military veterans (n=67) consisting of PTSD (n=32) and trauma-exposed comparison (n=35) groups underwent functional magnetic resonance ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Fear generalization in humans: impact of prior non-fearful experiences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vervliet, B.; Kindt, M.; Vansteenwegen, D.; Hermans, D.

    2010-01-01

    Fear generalization lies at the heart of many anxiety problems, and is therefore an important target for prevention and/or treatment. Here, we investigated whether fear generalization towards a specific stimulus can be weakened by prior non-fearful experiences with that stimulus. Using the standard

  7. 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.…

  8. A population-based study on phobic fears and DSM-IV specific phobia in 70-year olds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigström, Robert; Östling, Svante; Karlsson, Björn; Waern, Margda; Gustafson, Deborah; Skoog, Ingmar

    2011-01-01

    This population-based study reports on the prevalence and characteristics of specific phobia (SP) and phobic fears in an elderly population. A representative population sample of Swedish 70-year-olds without dementia (N = 558) was examined using semi-structured interviews. Phobic fears included fear of animals, natural environment, specific situations, blood-injection-injury and 'other'. Mental disorders, including SP, were diagnosed according to DSM-IV. Phobic fears (71.0% vs. 37.9%) and SP (13.8% vs. 4.5%) were more common in women than in men. Among those with phobic fears, more than 80% reported onset before age 21. Of those with SP, 35.7% had another DSM-IV diagnosis compared to 8.5% of those reporting no fear. Fear of specific situations and 'other' fears were related to SP and other anxiety disorders. SP was related to lower global functioning. We conclude that specific phobia in the elderly should receive attention from health professionals as it is common and associated with a decrease in global functioning.

  9. Teachers' use of fear appeals in the mathematics classroom: worrying or motivating students?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putwain, David W; Symes, Wendy

    2011-09-01

    AIM. This study examined whether teachers' use of fear appeals in the classroom, attempts to motivate students to perform well in high-stakes examinations by highlighting the educational, and/or occupational consequences of failure did indeed motivate students or whether it contributed to an increase in worry, anxiety, and fear of failure. SAMPLE. A total of 132 secondary school students. METHOD. Self-report data were collected for teachers' use of fear appeals, test anxiety, and achievement goals in the context of Mathematics at the end of Years 10 and 11, the final 2 years of compulsory schooling. RESULTS. The frequency with which teachers were reported to make fear appeals was unrelated to future test anxiety and achievement goals. When fear appeals were perceived to be threatening, however, they were related to an increase in the worry and tension components of test anxiety and increases in performance-avoidance and mastery-approach goals. CONCLUSION. Fear appeals appear to have competing positive and negative outcomes, resulting in both anxiety and a fear of failure, and a mastery-approach goal.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Fear of Crime in Rapidly Changing Rural Communities: A Longitudinal Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krannich, Richard S.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Finds that, among inhabitants of four small towns in Wyoming and Utah, increased fear of crime was related to rapid community growth, greater criminal victimization experience, and lesser perception of own social integration. Contains 38 references. (SV)

  13. Interaction between the cholecystokinin and endogenous cannabinoid systems in cued fear expression and extinction retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Mallory E; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-02-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is thought to develop, in part, from improper inhibition of fear. Accordingly, one of the most effective treatment strategies for PTSD is exposure-based psychotherapy. Ideally, neuroscience would inform adjunct therapies that target the neurotransmitter systems involved in extinction processes. Separate studies have implicated the cholecystokinin (CCK) and endocannabinoid systems in fear; however, there is a high degree of anatomical colocalization between the cannabinoid 1 receptor (Cnr1) and CCK in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a brain region critical for emotion regulation. Although most research has focused on GABA and GABAergic plasticity as the mechanism by which Cnr1 mediates fear inhibition, we hypothesize that a functional interaction between Cnr1 and CCKB receptor (CCKBR) is critical for fear extinction processes. In this study, systemic pharmacological manipulation of the cannabinoid system modulated cued fear expression in C57BL/6J mice after consolidation of auditory fear conditioning. Knockout of the CCKBR, however, had no effect on fear- or anxiety-like behaviors. Nonetheless, administration of a Cnr1 antagonist increased freezing behavior during a cued fear expression test in wild-type subjects, but had no effect on freezing behavior in CCKBR knockout littermates. In addition, we found that Cnr1-positive fibers form perisomatic clusters around CCKBR-positive cell bodies in the BLA. These CCKBR-positive cells comprise a molecularly heterogenous population of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. These findings provide novel evidence that Cnr1 contributes to cued fear expression via an interaction with the CCK system. Dysfunctional Cnr1-CCKBR interactions might contribute to the etiology of, or result from, fear-related psychiatric disease.

  14. Fear of Public Speaking: How Can I Overcome It?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fear of public speaking: How can I overcome it? How can I overcome my fear of public speaking? Answers from Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. Fear of public speaking is a common phobia. It can range from ...

  15. 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

  16. State anxiety modulates the return of fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuhn, Manuel; Mertens, Gaetan; Lonsdorf, Tina B

    2016-01-01

    Current treatments for anxiety disorders are effective but limited by the high frequency of clinical relapse. Processes underlying relapse are thought to be experimentally modeled in fear conditioning experiments with return fear (ROF) inductions. Thereby reinstatement-induced ROF might be considere

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. Fear of Crime Among the Aged

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemente, Frank; Kleiman, Michael B.

    1976-01-01

    Compares the patterns of fear of crime among the aged and the non-aged. Four key specifying variables were used in the analysis--sex, race, socioeconomic status, and size of community. Findings indicated that elderly respondents who were either female, black, or metropolitan residents possessed extremely high fear rates. (Author)

  20. Fear of Crime and Residential Location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belyea, Michael J.; Zingraff, Matthew T.

    1988-01-01

    Explores relationship between fear of crime and residential location. Studies sample of more than 3,000 North Carolina residents. Results indicate that rural residents have significantly lower fear of crime than urban counterparts when known correlates are controlled. Discusses implications for future research. (Author/TES)

  1. Capture of exogenous attention modulates the attentional blink

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Simon; Andersen, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    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...

  2. 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.

  3. Fear of Crime: The Influence of General Fear, Risk, and Time Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadee, Derek; Ng Ying, Nikita K; Chadee, Mary; Heath, Linda

    2016-05-24

    Prior research on fear of crime has focused less on psychological causes than on sociological and demographic factors. This study, however, introduces time perspective (TP) as an important psychological variable in the understanding of fear of crime. Specifically, the article assesses the relationship between TP as a stable personality factor and the mediation of risk and general fear on fear of crime levels. Data were collected using the survey method from a sample of 375 respondents utilizing the following scales: Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) consisting of five TP subscales, Ferraro's perceived risk of victimization and fear of crime scales, and a general (non-crime) fear scale measuring pragmatic and abstract fear. Path analysis shows no significant direct relationships between the five TP subscales and fear of crime. However, indirect effects are observed for Past Negative TP and Present Fatalistic TP, with general fear (pragmatic and abstract) and risk of victimization mediating the relationship, and pragmatic fear having the greatest significant effect size. Results are discussed in the context of risk and general fear sensitivity and construal level theory. We conclude with recommendations for future research.

  4. Developmental aspects of fear: Comparing the acquisition and generalization of conditioned fear in children and adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiele, Miriam A; Reinhard, Julia; Reif, Andreas; Domschke, Katharina; Romanos, Marcel; Deckert, Jürgen; Pauli, Paul

    2016-05-01

    Most research on human fear conditioning and its generalization has focused on adults whereas only little is known about these processes in children. Direct comparisons between child and adult populations are needed to determine developmental risk markers of fear and anxiety. We compared 267 children and 285 adults in a differential fear conditioning paradigm and generalization test. Skin conductance responses (SCR) and ratings of valence and arousal were obtained to indicate fear learning. Both groups displayed robust and similar differential conditioning on subjective and physiological levels. However, children showed heightened fear generalization compared to adults as indexed by higher arousal ratings and SCR to the generalization stimuli. Results indicate overgeneralization of conditioned fear as a developmental correlate of fear learning. The developmental change from a shallow to a steeper generalization gradient is likely related to the maturation of brain structures that modulate efficient discrimination between danger and (ambiguous) safety cues.

  5. Joint hypermobility, fears, and chocolate consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pailhez, Guillem; Rosado, Silvia; Bulbena Cabré, Andrea; Bulbena, Antonio

    2011-11-01

    Our purpose was to evaluate joint hypermobility, an inherited disorder of the connective tissue significantly associated with anxiety disorders, in a sample of nonclinical students in relation to the frequency of severe fears and consumption of chocolate, coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol. One hundred fifty students completed the Hakim and Grahame Simple Questionnaire to detect hypermobility and the self-administered modified Wolpe Fear Scale (100 items). Severe fears and daily consumption of cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, and chocolate were compared with the hypermobility scores. We found significant differences when comparing severe fears between the groups with and without hypermobility (7.6 vs. 11; p = 0.001), reinforcing the hypothesis that the intensity of fears is greater in subjects with hypermobility. Only the frequency of chocolate intake was significantly higher among subjects with hypermobility (31.2% vs. 51.2%; p = 0.038) and may correspond to attempts of self-treatment of the collagen condition.

  6. Introducing fear of crime to risk research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jonathan

    2006-02-01

    This article introduces the fear of crime to risk research, noting a number of areas for future interdisciplinary study. First, the article analyzes both the career of the concept of fear of crime and the politics of fear. Second, it considers research and theory on the psychology of risk, particularly the interplay between emotion and cognition, and what might be called the risk as image perspective. Third, the article speculates how people learn about risk and suggests how to customize a social amplification of risk framework to fear of crime. Finally, the article advances the argument that fear of crime may be an individual response to community social order and a generalized attitude toward the moral trajectory of society. Each of these areas of discussion has implications for future theoretical developments within risk research; each highlights how risk research can contribute to the social scientific understanding of an important issue of the day.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    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 a...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Social isolation induces deficit of latent learning performance in mice: a putative animal model of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouchi, Hirofumi; Ono, Kazuya; Murakami, Yukihisa; Matsumoto, Kinzo

    2013-02-01

    Social isolation of rodents (SI) elicits a variety of stress responses such as increased aggressiveness, hyper-locomotion, and reduced susceptibility to pentobarbital. To obtain a better understanding of the relevance of SI-induced behavioral abnormalities to psychiatric disorders, we examined the effect of SI on latent learning as an index of spatial attention, and discussed the availability of SI as an epigenetic model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Except in specially stated cases, 4-week-old male mice were housed in a group or socially isolated for 3-70 days before experiments. The animals socially isolated for 1 week or more exhibited spatial attention deficit in the water-finding test. Re-socialized rearing for 5 weeks after 1-week SI failed to attenuate the spatial attention deficit. The effect of SI on spatial attention showed no gender difference or correlation with increased aggressive behavior. Moreover, SI had no effect on cognitive performance elucidated in a modified Y-maze or an object recognition test, but it significantly impaired contextual and conditional fear memory elucidated in the fear-conditioning test. Drugs used for ADHD therapy, methylphenidate (1-10 mg/kg, i.p.) and caffeine (0.5-1 mg/kg, i.p.), improved SI-induced latent learning deficit in a manner reversible with cholinergic but not dopaminergic antagonists. Considering the behavioral features of SI mice together with their susceptibility to ADHD drugs, the present findings suggest that SI provides an epigenetic animal model of ADHD and that central cholinergic systems play a role in the effect of methylphenidate on SI-induced spatial attention deficit.

  16. 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.

  17. Comparing electric shock and a fearful screaming face as unconditioned stimuli for fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, Catherine R; Lieberman, Lynne; Hajcak, Greg

    2012-12-01

    The potency of an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) can impact the degree of fear learning. One of the most common and effective UCSs is an electric shock, which is inappropriate for certain populations (e.g., children). To address this need, a novel fear learning paradigm was recently developed that uses a fearful female face and scream as the UCS. The present study directly compared the efficacy of the screaming female UCS and a traditional shock UCS in two fear learning paradigms. Thirty-six young adults completed two fear learning tasks and a measure of trait anxiety; fear learning was indexed with fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and self-reported fear ratings. Results indicated comparable FPS across the two tasks. However, larger overall startle responses were exhibited in the shock task, and participants rated the shock UCS and overall task as more aversive than the screaming female. In addition, trait anxiety was only related to FPS in the fear learning task that employed a shock as the UCS. Taken together, results indicate that, although both UCS paradigms can be used for fear conditioning (i.e., to produce differences between CS+ and CS-), the shock UCS paradigm is more aversive and potentially more sensitive to individual differences in anxiety.

  18. Fear inhibition in high trait anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindt, Merel; Soeter, Marieke

    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. Sixty undergraduate students participated in the study--High Trait Anxious: n = 28 and Low Trait Anxious: n = 32. We replicated earlier findings that a transfer of conditioned inhibition for startle responses requires contingency awareness. However, contrary to the fear inhibition hypothesis, our data suggest that high trait anxious individuals show a normal fear inhibition of conditioned startle responding. Only at the cognitive level the high trait anxious individuals showed evidence for impaired inhibitory learning of the threat cue. Together with other findings where impaired fear inhibition was only observed in those PTSD patients who were either high on hyperarousal symptoms or with current anxiety symptoms, we question whether impaired fear inhibition is a biomarker for the development of anxiety disorders.

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

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    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.

  20. The hypocretin/orexin system mediates the extinction of fear memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, África; Valls-Comamala, Victòria; Costa, Giulia; Saravia, Rocío; Maldonado, Rafael; Berrendero, Fernando

    2014-11-01

    Anxiety disorders are often associated with an inability to extinguish learned fear responses. The hypocretin/orexin system is involved in the regulation of emotional states and could also participate in the consolidation and extinction of aversive memories. Using hypocretin receptor-1 and hypocretin receptor-2 antagonists, hypocretin-1 and hypocretin-2 peptides, and hypocretin receptor-1 knockout mice, we investigated the role of the hypocretin system in cue- and context-dependent fear conditioning and extinction. Hypocretins were crucial for the consolidation of fear conditioning, and this effect was mainly observed in memories with a high emotional component. Notably, after the acquisition of fear memory, hypocretin receptor-1 blockade facilitated fear extinction, whereas hypocretin-1 administration impaired this extinction process. The extinction-facilitating effects of the hypocretin receptor-1 antagonist SB334867 were associated with increased expression of cFos in the basolateral amygdala and the infralimbic cortex. Intra-amygdala, but neither intra-infralimbic prefrontal cortex nor intra-dorsohippocampal infusion of SB334867 enhanced fear extinction. These results reveal a key role for hypocretins in the extinction of aversive memories and suggest that hypocretin receptor-1 blockade could represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of diseases associated with inappropriate retention of fear, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.

  1. 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.

  2. Socio-demographic correlates of fear of crime and the social context of contemporary urban China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jianhong; Messner, Steven F; Zhang, Lening; Zhuo, Yue

    2009-09-01

    Previous research in the West has established major socio-demographic correlates of fear of crime. The interpretation of these correlates is typically based on the concept of physical or social vulnerability of individuals. These correlates are implicitly regarded as invariant to social or community contexts, reflecting universal human behavioral patterns. The present study argues that social change may alter patterns of perceptions associated with fear among socio-demographic groups, thus affecting socio-demographic correlates of fear of crime. We explore how social changes in China have created a generational gap that influences the effects of age and education on fear of crime. The study finds that, in contrast with the well-established patterns in Western communities, the young and educated exhibit a higher level of fear of crime in urban China than their counterparts. The study also finds that consistent with Western literature, females are fearful and that personal victimization experience increases the level of fear. We discuss the social and community processes that produce these interesting patterns.

  3. EXPATRIATES’ MULTIPLE FEARS, FROM TERRORISM TO WORKING CONDITIONS – DEVELOPMENT OF A MODEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Giorgi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. 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

  5. Frequency, stability and differentiation of self-reported school fear and truancy in a community sample

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Metzke Christa

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Surprisingly little is known about the frequency, stability, and correlates of school fear and truancy based on self-reported data of adolescents. Methods Self-reported school fear and truancy were studied in a total of N = 834 subjects of the community-based Zurich Adolescent Psychology and Psychopathology Study (ZAPPS at two times with an average age of thirteen and sixteen years. Group definitions were based on two behavioural items of the Youth Self-Report (YSR. Comparisons included a control group without indicators of school fear or truancy. The three groups were compared across questionnaires measuring emotional and behavioural problems, life-events, self-related cognitions, perceived parental behaviour, and perceived school environment. Results The frequency of self-reported school fear decreased over time (6.9 vs. 3.6% whereas there was an increase in truancy (5.0 vs. 18.4%. Subjects with school fear displayed a pattern of associated internalizing problems and truants were characterized by associated delinquent behaviour. Among other associated psychosocial features, the distress coming from the perceived school environment in students with school fear is most noteworthy. Conclusion These findings from a community study show that school fear and truancy are frequent and display different developmental trajectories. Furthermore, previous results are corroborated which are based on smaller and selected clinical samples indicating that the two groups display distinct types of school-related behaviour.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Attachment anxiety is associated with a fear of becoming fat, which is mediated by binge eating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine E. Alexander

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Background Previous work demonstrated that individuals with higher levels of attachment anxiety are prone to increased binge eating (Alexander & Siegel, 2013. Given that our society rejects obese individuals and individuals with higher levels of attachment anxiety tend to be highly sensitive to rejection (Downey & Feldman, 1996, it follows that those with increased attachment anxiety may be especially fearful of becoming fat. Methods Undergraduate psychology students (n = 148 completed surveys measuring attachment, binge eating, and fear of becoming fat. Results The data demonstrate that attachment anxiety is positively associated with a fear of becoming fat (β = .30, p < .001 and binge eating mediates this relationship. In other words, binge eating underlies the fear of becoming fat. Discussion These findings contribute to a more refined understanding of binge eating which may create pathways for professionals to develop targeted interventions.

  9. Attachment anxiety is associated with a fear of becoming fat, which is mediated by binge eating

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Background Previous work demonstrated that individuals with higher levels of attachment anxiety are prone to increased binge eating (Alexander & Siegel, 2013). Given that our society rejects obese individuals and individuals with higher levels of attachment anxiety tend to be highly sensitive to rejection (Downey & Feldman, 1996), it follows that those with increased attachment anxiety may be especially fearful of becoming fat. Methods Undergraduate psychology students (n = 148) completed surveys measuring attachment, binge eating, and fear of becoming fat. Results The data demonstrate that attachment anxiety is positively associated with a fear of becoming fat (β = .30, p < .001) and binge eating mediates this relationship. In other words, binge eating underlies the fear of becoming fat. Discussion These findings contribute to a more refined understanding of binge eating which may create pathways for professionals to develop targeted interventions. PMID:28286709

  10. Does major depressive disorder in parents predict specific fears and phobias in offspring?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biel, Matthew G; Klein, Rachel G; Mannuzza, Salvatore; Roizen, Erica R; Truong, Nhan L; Roberson-Nay, Roxann; Pine, Daniel S

    2008-01-01

    Evidence suggests a relationship between parental depression and phobias in offspring as well as links between childhood fears and risk for major depression. This study examines the relationship between major depressive disorder (MDD) and anxiety disorders in parents and specific fears and phobias in offspring. Three hundred and eighteen children of parents with lifetime MDD, anxiety disorder, MDD+anxiety disorder, or neither were psychiatrically assessed via parent interview. Rates of specific phobias in offspring did not differ significantly across parental groups. Specific fears were significantly elevated in offspring of parents with MDD+anxiety disorder relative to the other groups (MDD, anxiety disorder, and controls, which did not differ). We failed to find increased phobias in offspring of parents with MDD without anxiety disorder. Elevated rates of specific fears in offspring of parents with MDD+anxiety disorder may be a function of more severe parental psychopathology, increased genetic loading, or unmeasured environmental influences.

  11. TO FEAR OR NOT TO FEAR ON CYBERCRIME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Bernik

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available To understand cybercrime and its various forms, one must be familiar with criminality in general. How individuals perceive crime, and how much they fear it is further influenced by news media (Crawford, 2007. Van Duyne (2009, who monitored criminality, wrote about changes which started to be noticed twenty years ago and have shaped a new Europe, a territory without inner borders, and so with more mobility and opportunities for the Europeans. But these novelties and changes in the way we work have also caused certain new problems. It can be said that perpetrators of crimes, who are no longer hindered by state borders, now know no geographical limitations. Vander Baken and Van Daele (2009, for example, have researched mobility in connection to transnational criminality. Von Lampe (2007 has established that perpetrators no longer act individually, but frequently work in cooperation with one another. Crime and mobility are being “greased” by money, and have become a part of everyday life (Van Duyne, 2009. An individual’s perception and understanding of criminality is also biased on certain cultural myths in regard to crime (Meško and Eman, 2009.

  12. Promoting public health messages: Should we move beyond fear-evoking appeals in road safety?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Ioni M; Watson, Barry; White, Katherine M; Tay, Richard

    2007-01-01

    Road traffic injury is one of the most significant global public health issues of the 21st century. The extent to which negative, fear-evoking messages represent effective persuasive strategies remains a contentious public and empirical issue. Nevertheless, negative, fear-based appeals represent a frequently used approach in Australasian road safety advertising. The authors conducted a series of focus groups with 16 licensed drivers to explore the potential utility of appeals to emotions other than fear. More specifically, they sought to explore the utility of positive emotional appeals, such as those incorporating humor. The themes emerging from the qualitative analysis suggested that both emotion and the provision of strategies are key components contributing to the overall persuasiveness of a road safety advertisement. Overall, it appears there is support for researchers and health advertising practitioners to provide further attention to the role that positive emotional appeals might play in future campaigns.

  13. Isolated sleep paralysis and fearful isolated sleep paralysis in outpatients with panic attacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpless, Brian A; McCarthy, Kevin S; Chambless, Dianne L; Milrod, Barbara L; Khalsa, Shabad-Ratan; Barber, Jacques P

    2010-12-01

    Isolated sleep paralysis (ISP) has received scant attention in clinical populations, and there has been little empirical consideration of the role of fear in ISP episodes. To facilitate research and clinical work in this area, the authors developed a reliable semistructured interview (the Fearful Isolated Sleep Paralysis Interview) to assess ISP and their proposed fearful ISP (FISP) episode criteria in 133 patients presenting for panic disorder treatment. Of these, 29.3% met lifetime ISP episode criteria, 20.3% met the authors' lifetime FISP episode criteria, and 12.8% met their recurrent FISP criteria. Both ISP and FISP were associated with minority status and comorbidity. However, only FISP was significantly associated with posttraumatic stress disorder, body mass, anxiety sensitivity, and mood and anxiety disorder symptomatology.

  14. 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.

  15. Acute serotonin 2A receptor blocking alters the processing of fearful faces in the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hornboll, Bettina; Macoveanu, Julian; Rowe, James;

    2013-01-01

    blockade reduced the neural response to fearful faces in the medial orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), independently of 5-HT2A receptor occupancy or neocortical 5-HT2A receptor BPp . The medial OFC also showed increased functional coupling with the left amygdala during processing of fearful faces depending...

  16. There's that scary picture: attention bias to threatening scenes in Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Helen F; Porter, Melanie A

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that Williams syndrome (WS) is associated with elevated anxiety that is non-social in nature, including generalised anxiety and fears. To date very little research has examined the cognitive processes associated with this anxiety. In the present research, attentional bias for non-social threatening images in WS was examined using a dot-probe paradigm. Participants were 16 individuals with WS aged between 13 and 34 years and two groups of typically developing controls matched to the WS group on chronological age and attentional control ability, respectively. The WS group exhibited a significant attention bias towards threatening images. In contrast, no bias was found for group matched on attentional control and a slight bias away from threat was found in the chronological age matched group. The results are contrasted with recent findings suggesting that individuals with WS do not show an attention bias for threatening faces and discussed in relation to neuroimaging research showing elevated amygdala activation in response to threatening non-social scenes in WS.

  17. Attentional processing in C57BL/6J mice exposed to developmental vitamin D deficiency.

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    Lauren R Harms

    Full Text Available Epidemiological evidence suggests that Developmental Vitamin D (DVD deficiency is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia. DVD deficiency in mice is associated with altered behaviour, however there has been no detailed investigation of cognitive behaviours in DVD-deficient mice. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of DVD deficiency on a range of cognitive tasks assessing attentional processing in C57BL/6J mice. DVD deficiency was established by feeding female C57BL/6J mice a vitamin D-deficient diet from four weeks of age. After six weeks on the diet, vitamin D-deficient and control females were mated with vitamin D-normal males and upon birth of the pups, all dams were returned to a diet containing vitamin D. The adult offspring were tested on a range of cognitive behavioural tests, including the five-choice serial reaction task (5C-SRT and five-choice continuous performance test (5C-CPT, as well as latent inhibition using a fear conditioning paradigm. DVD deficiency was not associated with altered attentional performance on the 5C-SRT. In the 5C-CPT DVD-deficient male mice exhibited an impairment in inhibiting repetitive responses by making more perseverative responses, with no changes in premature or false alarm responding. DVD deficiency did not affect the acquisition or retention of cued fear conditioning, nor did it affect the expression of latent inhibition using a fear conditioning paradigm. DVD-deficient mice exhibited no major impairments in any of the cognitive domains tested. However, impairments in perseverative responding in DVD-deficient mice may indicate that these animals have specific alterations in systems governing compulsive or reward-seeking behaviour.

  18. A reflection on selected fear of crime factors in Ljubljana, Slovenia

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    Gorazd Meško

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective to analysis the fear of crime factors according to the research carried out in 2009 in Ljubljana Slovenia. nbsp Methods dialectic systemic comparison observation. Results the analysis shows that the level of fear of crime has not changed significantly over the last two decades. The latest survey from 2009 implies that the influence of perceived probability of victimization in an emotional reaction is strongest among those who believe that consequences of victimization can be severe and their own ability to defend from an assailant is low. Analyses have shown that the fear of crime is strongest in women and the elderly. Personal experiences with crime do not result in an increase in perceived probability of victimization or influence fear of crime nor do they affect the anticipation of seriousness of the potential consequences of victimization. The article contributes to reflections on fear of crime based on a literature and research review as well as utilization of new models of testing fear of crime factors. nbsp Scientific novelty the research shows that the used model of fear of crime explains more variance R2 .54 than other models used prior to this study Slovenia 2001 Rsup2 .43 Croatia 2002 Rsup2 .43 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2002 Rsup2 .45 and imply some new findings and confirm findings from the previous surveys. The findings imply that the respondents in Ljubljana relate fear of crime to the impacts of different crimes on their lives. However research did not confirm that the level of fear of individual crimes is proportional to their severity. It was found out that respondents feel the most threatened by robbery followed by assault. Practical significance the article provides insight for crime control and prevention and will be useful for scientific and educational staff policy makers graduate and postgraduate students and all those interested in crime control and prevention.

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

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    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.

  20. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Andreas eKeller

    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 ...

  1. No effect of trait anxiety on differential fear conditioning or fear generalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrents-Rodas, David; Fullana, Miquel A; Bonillo, Albert; Caseras, Xavier; Andión, Oscar; Torrubia, Rafael

    2013-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that individuals with anxiety disorders exhibit deficits in fear inhibition and excessive generalization of fear, but little data exist on individuals at risk from these disorders. The present study examined the role of trait anxiety in the acquisition and generalization of fear in 126 healthy participants selected on the basis of their trait-anxiety scores. Measures of conditioning included fear-potentiated startle, skin conductance response and online risk ratings for the unconditioned stimulus. Contrary to our hypotheses, trait anxiety did not have any effect either on the acquisition or the generalization of fear. Our results suggest that these fear conditioning processes are not impaired in individuals at risk from anxiety.

  2. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Christian Gaden; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Frokjaer, Vibe

    2012-01-01

    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 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......, 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Forming competing fear learning and extinction memories in adolescence makes fear difficult to inhibit

    OpenAIRE

    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. We examined neural correlates of impaired extinction retention by detection of phosphorylated mitogen-activated protein kinase immunoreactivity (pMA...

  6. Reducing Fear of the Laboratory Rat: A Participant Modeling Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Nigel

    1994-01-01

    Reports on the use of participant modeling in a study of 56 college-level students to reduce fear of laboratory rats. Discovers that even mild exposure reduced fear significantly. Finds that women were more fearful initially but that their fear reduction was equal to that of men. (CFR)

  7. Can prepared fear conditioning result from verbal instructions?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mertens, Gaëtan; Raes, An K.; De Houwer, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary fear-relevant stimuli such as snakes or spiders are thought to be prepared to elicit fear reactions. This implies that the acquisition of conditioned fear responses is facilitated when these stimuli serve as conditioned stimuli (CSs). Moreover, extinction of conditioned fear responses i

  8. A Longitudinal Examination of Fear Reactions in Victims of Rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calhoun, Karen S.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Investigated fear reactions in rape victims for one year following their assaults. Following the assault, victims were significantly more fearful than nonvictim controls. Although their overall fearfulness declined somewhat and stabilized by two months postassault, victims remained significantly more fearful than nonvictim controls at 12 months…

  9. Social Modulation of Associative Fear Learning by Pheromone Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredy, Timothy W.; Barad, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Mice communicate through visual, vocal, and olfactory cues that influence innate, nonassociative behavior. We here report that exposure to a recently fear-conditioned familiar mouse impairs acquisition of conditioned fear and facilitates fear extinction, effects mimicked by both an olfactory chemosignal emitted by a recently fear-conditioned…

  10. Latina Teenagers: Victimization, Identity, and Fear of Crime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madriz, Esther

    1997-01-01

    Studied the impact of victimization and fear of crime on 56 Latina teenagers in urban and suburban areas. Fear of crime was associated not only with the variables traditionally correlated with fear of crime, but also with feelings of identity. Also examined were coping mechanisms Latina teenagers used to deal with those fears. (SLD)

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. Fear of Crime in South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Brown

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This study provides analyses of data on crime-associated trepidation obtained from surveys administered to college students in South Korea. The survey contained questions about, and the analyses distinguished between, offense-specific fears (fear of burglary and fear of home invasion, perceived risk of victimization (day and night, and crime avoidance behaviors (avoidance of nocturnal activity and avoidance of particular areas. Regression analyses of the data show that victimization was not consistently associated with crime-associated trepidation, while gender significantly impacted all measures of concern about crime. Women were more likely than men to report being fearful, perceiving risk, and crime avoidance behaviors. Building upon prior scholarship (for example, Madriz 1997; Stanko 1989 and considering the social context in which the data were gathered, it is herein suggested that the gendered variation in crime-associated anxiety may reflect patriarchal power relations. The methodological and policy implications of the study are also discussed.

  14. 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.

  15. The influence of serotonin on fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindi Attar, Catherine; Finckh, Barbara; Büchel, Christian

    2012-01-01

    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.

  16. 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)

  17. Linking fearfulness and coping styles in fish

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martins, C.I.; Silva, P.I.M.; Conceição, L.E.C.; Costas, B.; Höglund, E.; Overli, O.; Schrama, J.W.

    2011-01-01

    Consistent individual differences in cognitive appraisal and emotional reactivity, including fearfulness, are important personality traits in humans, non-human mammals, and birds. Comparative studies on teleost fishes support the existence of coping styles and behavioral syndromes also in poikilothe

  18. Altered attentional and perceptual processes as indexed by N170 during gaze perception in schizophrenia: Relationship with perceived threat and paranoid delusions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tso, Ivy F; Calwas, Anita M; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A; Taylor, Stephan F; Deldin, Patricia J

    2015-08-01

    Using gaze information to orient attention and guide behavior is critical to social adaptation. Previous studies have suggested that abnormal gaze perception in schizophrenia (SCZ) may originate in abnormal early attentional and perceptual processes and may be related to paranoid symptoms. Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), this study investigated altered early attentional and perceptual processes during gaze perception and their relationship to paranoid delusions in SCZ. Twenty-eight individuals with SCZ or schizoaffective disorder and 32 demographically matched healthy controls (HCs) completed a gaze-discrimination task with face stimuli varying in gaze direction (direct, averted), head orientation (forward, deviated), and emotion (neutral, fearful). ERPs were recorded during the task. Participants rated experienced threat from each face after the task. Participants with SCZ were as accurate as, though slower than, HCs on the task. Participants with SCZ displayed enlarged N170 responses over the left hemisphere to averted gaze presented in fearful relative to neutral faces, indicating a heightened encoding sensitivity to faces signaling external threat. This abnormality was correlated with increased perceived threat and paranoid delusions. Participants with SCZ also showed a reduction of N170 modulation by head orientation (normally increased amplitude to deviated faces relative to forward faces), suggesting less integration of contextual cues of head orientation in gaze perception. The psychophysiological deviations observed during gaze discrimination in SCZ underscore the role of early attentional and perceptual abnormalities in social information processing and paranoid symptoms of SCZ.

  19. Augmenting one-session treatment of children's specific phobias with attention training to positive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, Allison M; Farrell, Lara J; Zimmer-Gembeck, Melanie J; Milliner, Ella; Tiralongo, Evelin; Donovan, Caroline L; McConnell, Harry; Bradley, Brendan P; Mogg, Karin; Ollendick, Thomas H

    2014-11-01

    This study examined the efficacy of combining two promising approaches to treating children's specific phobias, namely attention training and one 3-h session of exposure therapy ('one-session treatment', OST). Attention training towards positive stimuli (ATP) and OST (ATP+OST) was expected to have more positive effects on implicit and explicit cognitive mechanisms and clinical outcome measures than an attention training control (ATC) condition plus OST (ATC+OST). Thirty-seven children (6-17 years) with a specific phobia were randomly assigned to ATP+OST or ATC+OST. In ATP+OST, children completed 160 trials of attention training responding to a probe that always followed the happy face in happy-angry face pairs. In ATC+OST, the probe appeared equally often after angry and happy faces. In the same session, children completed OST targeting their phobic situation/object. Clinical outcomes included clinician, parent and child report measures. Cognitive outcomes were assessed in terms of change in attention bias to happy and angry faces and in danger and coping expectancies. Assessments were completed before and after treatment and three-months later. Compared to ATC+OST, the ATP+OST condition produced (a) significantly greater reductions in children's danger expectancies about their feared situations/object during the OST and at three-month follow-up, and (b) significantly improved attention bias towards positive stimuli at post-treatment, which in turn, predicted a lower level of clinician-rated phobia diagnostic severity three-months after treatment. There were no significant differences between ATP+OST and ATC+OST conditions in clinician, parent, or child-rated clinical outcomes. Training children with phobias to focus on positive stimuli is effective in increasing attention towards positive stimuli and reducing danger expectancy biases. Studies with larger sample sizes and a stronger 'dose' of ATP prior to the OST may reveal promising outcomes on clinical measures

  20. Child fear reactivity and sex as moderators of links between parenting and preschool behavior problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Melissa A; Scaramella, Laura V

    2015-11-01

    Reduced supportive parenting and elevated negative parenting behaviors increase risks for maladaptive social adjustment during early childhood (e.g., Campbell, Shaw, & Gilliom, 2000). However, the magnitude of these risks may vary according to children's individual characteristics, such as sex and temperament. The current study examines whether children's sex and fear reactivity moderate the associations between mothers' observed parenting and children's behavior problems 1 year later. The sample consists of 151 predominantly African American, low-income families with one sibling who is approximately 2 years old and the closest aged older sibling who is approximately 4 years old. Results from fixed-effects within-family models indicate that fear distress (i.e., fearfulness) moderated associations between mothers' observed negative parenting and children's increased behavior problems, such that only those children with mean or higher observed fear distress scores showed increased behavior problems when exposed to mother's negative parenting. Child sex moderated associations between fear approach reactivity (i.e., fearlessness) and mothers' observed supportive parenting. Specifically, low fear approach combined with supportive parenting was associated with fewer behavior problems for boys only. Implications of these findings for preventive intervention are discussed.

  1. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eKeller

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 the discussion: attention to the olfactory modality. I will first clarify the position of attention to smells in a general taxonomy of attention. I will then review the mechanisms and neuroanatomy of attention and consciousness in the olfactory system before using the newly introduced system to provide evidence that attention is necessary for consciousness.

  2. The Other Side of Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeloni, Barbara; Hoogstraten, Rachel

    2013-01-01

    In the spring of 2012 students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Education received national attention when they refused to participate in the field test of a teacher performance assessment being run by Pearson Incorporated and Stanford University. Students, led by their professor, demanded they be given informed consent about…

  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. 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

  5. Serotonin, Amygdala and Fear: Assembling the Puzzle

    OpenAIRE

    Bocchio, Marco; McHugh, Stephen B.; Bannerman, David M; Sharp, Trevor; Capogna, Marco

    2016-01-01

    The fear circuitry orchestrates defense mechanisms in response to environmental threats. This circuitry is evolutionarily crucial for survival, but its dysregulation is thought to play a major role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric conditions in humans. The amygdala is a key player in the processing of fear. This brain area is prominently modulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT). The 5-HT input to the amygdala has drawn particular interest because genetic an...

  6. Comparison of work-related fear-avoidance beliefs across different anatomical locations with musculoskeletal pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon CB

    2011-09-01

    and function for certain anatomical locations.Conclusion: These findings suggest that work-related fear-avoidance is similar for patients experiencing musculoskeletal pain. However, associations between work-related fear-avoidance and clinical outcomes may differ based on the anatomical location of that pain. Further, increased work-related fear-avoidance may not be indicative of poor clinical outcomes for this type of patient population.Keywords: gender, fear, avoidance, spine pain, pain intensity, function, musculoskeletal

  7. Neuroimaging of Fear-Associated Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greco, John A; Liberzon, Israel

    2016-01-01

    Fear conditioning has been commonly used as a model of emotional learning in animals and, with the introduction of functional neuroimaging techniques, has proven useful in establishing the neurocircuitry of emotional learning in humans. Studies of fear acquisition suggest that regions such as amygdala, insula, anterior cingulate cortex, and hippocampus play an important role in acquisition of fear, whereas studies of fear extinction suggest that the amygdala is also crucial for safety learning. Extinction retention testing points to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex as an essential region in the recall of the safety trace, and explicit learning of fear and safety associations recruits additional cortical and subcortical regions. Importantly, many of these findings have implications in our understanding of the pathophysiology of psychiatric disease. Recent studies using clinical populations have lent insight into the changes in regional activity in specific disorders, and treatment studies have shown how pharmaceutical and other therapeutic interventions modulate brain activation during emotional learning. Finally, research investigating individual differences in neurotransmitter receptor genotypes has highlighted the contribution of these systems in fear-associated learning.

  8. Faking attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sansone, Randy A; Sansone, Lori A

    2011-08-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is a common malady in the general population, with up to 8.1 percent of adults meeting criteria for this syndrome. In the college setting, the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may offer specific academic advantages. Once the diagnosis is assigned, the prescription of stimulant medication may provide additional secondary gains through misuse and/or diversion. For example, these drugs may be used by college consumers to increase alertness, energy, academic performance, and athletic performance. Stimulants may also decrease psychological distress, alleviate restlessness and weight concerns, and be used for recreational purposes. According to the findings of five studies, the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be believably faked, particularly when assessed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptom checklists. Thus, the faking of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a realistic concern in both psychiatric and primary care settings.

  9. The interactions between pain, pain-related fear of movement and productivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sell, L; Lund, H L; Holtermann, A

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Employees with physically heavy work have an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders leading to reduced work ability. AIMS: To investigate if a high level of musculoskeletal pain or pain-related fear of movement was associated with low productivity among employees with physically...... heavy work and differing work ability levels. METHODS: The study was conducted at a Danish production site and employees with physically heavy work in the production line were included in the study. Work ability was assessed with the Work Ability Index (WAI), pain-related fear of movement with the Tampa...... work ability, there was neither an association between pain and productivity nor between pain-related fear of movement and productivity. For employees with good work ability, higher levels of pain and higher levels of pain-related fear of movement both raised the odds of low productivity significantly...

  10. 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

    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...... 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...... 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine facilitates fear extinction learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, M B; Andero, R; Ressler, K J; Howell, L L

    2015-09-15

    Acutely administered 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') has been proposed to have long-term positive effects on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms when combined with psychotherapy. No preclinical data support a mechanistic basis for these claims. Given the persistent nature of psychotherapeutic gains facilitated by MDMA, we hypothesized that MDMA improves fear extinction learning, a key process in exposure-based therapies for PTSD. In these experiments, mice were first exposed to cued fear conditioning and treated with drug vehicle or MDMA before extinction training 2 days later. MDMA was administered systemically and also directly targeted to brain structures known to contribute to extinction. In addition to behavioral measures of extinction, changes in mRNA levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) and Fos were measured after MDMA treatment and extinction. MDMA (7.8 mg kg(-1)) persistently and robustly enhanced long-term extinction when administered before extinction training. MDMA increased the expression of Fos in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), whereas increases in Bdnf expression were observed only in the amygdala after extinction training. Extinction enhancements were recapitulated when MDMA (1 μg) was infused directly into the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), and enhancement was abolished when BDNF signaling was inhibited before extinction. These findings suggest that MDMA enhances fear memory extinction through a BDNF-dependent mechanism, and that MDMA may be a useful adjunct to exposure-based therapies for PTSD and other anxiety disorders characterized by altered fear learning.

  14. Does Fear of Terrorism Differ From Fear of Crime and Sexual Assault: A Question of Geographical Location and Residential Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shechory-Bitton, Mally; Cohen-Louck, Keren

    2016-07-05

    The study describes an examination of three types of fear: crime, sexual assault, and terrorism. The sample consisted of 507 adults from three different geographical locations in Israel with different levels of crime and terror attacks. With regard to fear of crime and fear of sexual assault, the results were compatible with the findings of many studies that indicate the effect of residential area features on levels of fear. Fear of terrorism was found to be more complex. The theoretical framework used to assess fear of crime is not fully suitable for assessing and examining fear of terrorism. Other variables should be taken into consideration, such as religion and ideology.

  15. Ever-present threats from information technology: the Cyber-Paranoia and Fear Scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver John Mason

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Delusions involving technology, and specifically the internet, are increasingly common, and fear-reality statistics suggest computer-related fears are very widespread. These fears form a continuum from the widely understandable and realistic to the unrealistic, and frankly paranoid. The present study investigated the validity of this construct in a non-clinical population by constructing a novel self-report measure. The new Cyber-Paranoia and Fear Scale aims to measure the perception of information technology-related threats originating from or enabled by computers, smartphones, social networks and digital surveillance. Psychometric properties of the new Cyber-Paranoia and Fear Scale are reported alongside an established measure of suspiciousness and paranoia in 181 participants including a sub-group of fifty information technology professionals. Exploratory factor analysis suggested the presence of two, related, dimensions that we term Cyber-Fear and Cyber-Paranoia. Both sub-scales were internally consistent and produced a normal distribution of scores. The relationships of the sub-scales with age, gender, trait paranoia, digital literacy and digital inclusion are supportive of construct validity. The distinctiveness of ‘cyber-paranoia’ from general trait paranoia appears to mirror the clinical distinctiveness of ‘internet’ and other technology fuelled delusions. Knowledge provision to increase technological proficiency and awareness may bring about a reduction in cyber-paranoia.

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

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The formation of fear memory to a specific stimulus leads to subsequent fearful response to that stimulus. However, it is not known 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 CTA memory that was formed after fear conditioning training in rats. Fear ...

  17. Genetics of fear and anxiety disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marks, I M

    1986-10-01

    From protozoa to mammals, organisms have been selectively bred for genetic differences in defensive behaviour which are accompanied by differences in brain and other biological functions. Studies of twins indicate some genetic control of normal human fear from infancy onwards, of anxiety as a symptom and as a syndrome, and of phobic and obsessive-compulsive phenomena. Anxiety disorders are more common among the relatives of affected probands than of controls, especially among female and first-degree relatives; alcoholism and secondary depression may also be over-represented. Familial influences have been found for panic disorder, agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive problems. Panic disorder in depressed probands increases the risk to their relatives of phobia as well as of panic disorder, major depression, and alcoholism. The strongest family history of all anxiety disorders is seen in blood-injury phobia; even though it can be successfully treated by exposure, its roots may lie in a genetically determined specific autonomic susceptibility. Some genetic effects can be modified by environmental means.

  18. 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,…

  19. 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)

  20. Prevalence of dental fear and phobia relative to other fear and phobia subtypes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterink, F.M.D.; de Jongh, A.; Hoogstraten, J.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to estimate the point prevalence of dental fear and dental phobia relative to 10 other common fears and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV-TR subtypes of specific phobia. Data were also analysed to examine differences with regard to se

  1. 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

  2. Impairment of fear memory consolidation and expression by antihistamines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonaka, Ayako; Masuda, Fumitaka; Nomura, Hiroshi; Matsuki, Norio

    2013-02-01

    Antihistamines are widely used to treat allergy symptoms. First-generation antihistamines have adverse effects on the central nervous system (CNS), such as hypnotic and amnesic effects, whereas second-generation antihistamines have poor brain penetration, and therefore, have fewer CNS-related adverse effects. Memory consists of several phases, including acquisition, consolidation, expression, and extinction. It remains unclear whether these phases are affected by antihistamines. We investigated the effects of diphenhydramine, a first-generation antihistamine, and levocetirizine and olopatadine, second-generation antihistamines, on memory phases. Mice were subjected to fear conditioning on day 1 and tested on day 2. Antihistamines were administered before conditioning, immediately after conditioning, or before the test session. Diphenhydramine (30mg/kg) decreased freezing time when administered immediately after conditioning or before the test session. These effects were not attributable to a change in locomotor activity. Levocetirizine (0.1, 1, 10mg/kg) and olopatadine (1, 10, 20mg/kg) had no effects on conditioned fear. We also examined the effect of diphenhydramine and levocetirizine on the expression of an activity-dependent gene associated with the test session. Diphenhydramine, but not levocetirizine, increased Arc transcription in the central nucleus of the amygdala. These data indicate that diphenhydramine, but not levocetirizine or olopatadine, impairs the consolidation and expression of conditioned fear.

  3. Requirement for BDNF in the reconsolidation of fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radiske, Andressa; Rossato, Janine I; Köhler, Cristiano A; Gonzalez, Maria Carolina; Medina, Jorge H; Cammarota, Martín

    2015-04-22

    Therapies based on the impairment of reconsolidation or the enhancement of extinction offer the possibility of decreasing the persistent recollection of distressing memories. However, the direct interplay between reconsolidation and extinction has rarely been considered. Previously, we reported that reactivation induces reconsolidation of fear extinction memory. Here, using a step-down inhibitory avoidance learning paradigm in rats, we show that intrahippocampus infusion of function-blocking anti-BDNF antibody immediately or 6 h after extinction memory reactivation impairs the reconsolidation of extinction. Extinction memory reactivation increases proBDNF, BDNF, and tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) phosphorylation levels in dorsal CA1, while blocking BDNF maturation in the hippocampus with plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 hinders the persistence of extinction and induces the recurrence of fear. Moreover, coinfusion of recombinant BDNF (0.25 μg/side) after extinction memory reactivation impedes the recovery of the avoidance response induced by inhibiting gene expression and protein synthesis in the dorsal hippocampus. Our findings unravel a new role for BDNF, suggesting that this neurotrophin is necessary and sufficient to maintain the reactivated fear extinction engram.

  4. Faking Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is a common malady in the general population, with up to 8.1 percent of adults meeting criteria for this syndrome. In the college setting, the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may offer specific academic advantages. Once the diagnosis is assigned, the prescription of stimulant medication may provide additional secondary gains through misuse and/or diversion. For example, these drugs may be used by college consumers to increase aler...

  5. Fear Appeal in Traffic Safety Advertising: The moderating role of medium context, trait anxiety, and differences between drivers and non-drivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wim Janssens

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The impact was investigated of the intensity of a fear appeal, the valence of the medium context, and the individuals' trait anxiety and personal relevance on the responses of 197 individuals to anti-speeding advertisements. A high level of fear attracts more attention. A negative valence context leads to a more positive anti-speeding attitude. The most important moderating effect of trait anxiety is that the attitude is more positive when low-anxiety individuals are exposed to high fear appeals in a context with negative valence than in a positive context. These results were largely replicated for drivers, but not for non-drivers for whom there was only an attention-getting effect of high fear appeal. Theoretical and practical implications for anti-speeding campaigning are discussed.

  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.

  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. "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…

  9. Fear and Anger Reactivity Trajectories from 4 to 16 Months: The Roles of Temperament, Regulation, and Maternal Sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braungart-Rieker, Julia M.; Hill-Soderlund, Ashley L.; Karrass, Jan

    2010-01-01

    Two goals guided this study: (a) describe changes in infant fear and anger reactivity from 4 to 16 months and (b) examine the degree to which infant temperament, attentional regulation, and maternal sensitivity predict reactivity trajectories. Participants included 143 mothers and infants (57% male) who visited the laboratory at 4, 8, 12, and 16…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. [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.

  16. Screening for social fears and social anxiety disorder in psychiatric outpatients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalrymple, Kristy L; Zimmerman, Mark

    2008-01-01

    The ability of a diagnostic interview to identify all individuals with a particular psychiatric disorder depends, in part, on the performance of the interview's initial screening questions. The Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition (SCID) is the most widely used research diagnostic interview, yet little research has examined the performance of the SCID screening questions. Because social anxiety disorder (SAD) is one of the most frequent psychiatric disorders, we examined the performance of the SCID screening question in the SAD module to detect social fears and SAD. The incremental validity of a more comprehensive list of social fears was examined by determining how many patients were diagnosed with SAD in those who were originally missed by the SCID screening question. Five percent of those originally missed by the SCID screening question subsequently received a lifetime diagnosis of SAD, and there was a significant increase in the prevalence of social fears after patients were cued by the social fears list. The most commonly reported fears missed by the SCID screening question included speaking in a group, with sexually attractive others, and with authority figures. Results suggest that perhaps these fears could be added to the SCID screening question to capture individuals missed by the SCID screening question and to provide more comprehensive information for treatment purposes.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Social Anxiety in İstanbul Heavy Metal Bar Patrons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Özalp Ekinci

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective: We aimed to examine the heavy metal bar patrons in Istanbul by means of self-reported questionnaires for psychiatric disorder symptoms.Material and Methods: Seventy-one volunteers from 4 popular heavy metal bars were included to the study. The Beck Depression Inventory, the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS, the Adult Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD Scale and the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST were administered to the participants. Results: One fourth of the participants (25.4% were under high risk for a depressive episode (BDI>17, 22 (32.3% reported significant social anxiety (LSAS>30, and 41 (57.7% showed moderate ADHD symptoms (Adult ADD/ADHD scale: 20-59. According to BDI score participants who were under the risk for depression showed higher scores in Adult ADD/ADHD scale scores than that of participants who were not under a risk for depression (p=0.001 for attention deficit; p=0.003 for hyperactivity; p=0.002 for impulsivity; p=0.001 for total score. In the study group, ADD/ADHD scale attention deficit score was positively correlated with the total fear, total avoidence and the total scores of LSAS (r=.359 p<0.01; r=.332 p<0.01; r=.358 p<0.01, respectively. Conclusion: Heavy metal bar patrons appear to be a particular social group with an increased risk of psychopathology.

  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. Breast cancer fear in African American breast cancer survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Lynette M; Thomas, Sheila; Parker, Veronica; Mayo, Rachel; Wetsel, Margaret Ann

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe breast cancer fear according to phase of survivorship, determine whether breast cancer fear levels differed among survivorship phases, and determine the relationship between fear and age in African-American breast cancer survivors. The study utilized secondary data analysis from the study, Inner Resources as Predictors of Psychological Well-Being in AABCS. A new subscale entitled, "Breast Cancer Fear" was adapted from the Psychological Well Being Subscale by Ferrell and Grant. There was no significant difference between fear and phase of survivorship. There was a significant positive relationship between age and fear.

  4. 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)

  5. Understanding Attention Deficit Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villegas, Orlando; And Others

    This booklet provides basic information regarding attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), in their separate modalities, with hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. Explanations are offered concerning short attention span, impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and beginning new activities before completing the previous one. Theories…

  6. Inhibiting corticosterone synthesis during fear memory formation exacerbates cued fear extinction memory deficits within the single prolonged stress model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Samantha M; Schreiber, William B; Stanfield, Briana R; Knox, Dayan

    2015-01-01

    Using the single prolonged stress (SPS) animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), previous studies suggest that enhanced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression leads to cued fear extinction retention deficits. However, it is unknown how the endogenous ligand of GRs, corticosterone (CORT), may contribute to extinction retention deficits in the SPS model. Given that CORT synthesis during fear learning is critical for fear memory consolidation and SPS enhances GR expression, CORT synthesis during fear memory formation could strengthen fear memory in SPS rats by enhancing GR activation during fear learning. In turn, this could lead to cued fear extinction retention deficits. We tested the hypothesis that CORT synthesis during fear learning leads to cued fear extinction retention deficits in SPS rats by administering the CORT synthesis inhibitor metyrapone to SPS and control rats prior to fear conditioning, and observed the effect this had on extinction memory. Inhibiting CORT synthesis during fear memory formation in control rats tended to decrease cued freezing, though this effect never reached statistical significance. Contrary to our hypothesis, inhibiting CORT synthesis during fear memory formation disrupted extinction retention in SPS rats. This finding suggests that even though SPS exposure leads to cued fear extinction memory deficits, CORT synthesis during fear memory formation enhances extinction retention in SPS rats. This suggests that stress-induced CORT synthesis in previously stressed rats can be beneficial.

  7. Auditory Cortex is Important in the Extinction of Two Different Tone-Based Conditioned Fear Memories in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Eun Young; Boatman, Jeffrey A; Jung, Min Whan; Kim, Jeansok J

    2010-01-01

    Extensive fear extinction research is guided by the view that there are structures in the brain that develop inhibitory control over the expression of conditioned fear memories. While the medial prefrontal cortex has recently captured attention as the locus of plasticity essential for extinction of conditioned fear, the auditory cortex is another plausible cortical area involved in extinction learning since it is considered a sufficient conditioned stimulus (CS) pathway in tone fear conditioning. We examined the role of auditory cortex in extinction of auditory-based fear memories with a standard tone-on conditioning, wherein a tone CS predicted a footshock unconditioned stimulus (US), or a novel tone-off conditioning, in which the tone was continually present and the offset of the tone was the CS predicting the US. Rats with bilateral auditory cortex lesions were trained in either paradigm and subsequently trained in extinction to the CS. Auditory cortex lesions had no effect on acquisition but impaired extinction to both CSs. These findings indicate that the auditory cortex contributes to extinction of wide-ranging auditory fear memories, as evidenced by deficits in both tone-on CS and tone-off CS extinction training.

  8. Fifty million Frenchmen have few nuclear fears

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DuPont, R.L.

    A psychiatrist examines why France chose the nuclear power option in 1974 and expects for it to generate 75% of its power by 1990 in contrast to the US rejection and fear of nuclear power. The fear dominating US media coverage since 1968 is classic phobic thinking. A comparison of US and French attitudes reveals that French nuclear plants are tourist attractions, accepted by residents as both safe and of economic benefit. Accidents are examined realistically in France without the what if drama given to US incidents. Some political problems have developed and recent anti-nuclear activities are taken seriously, but the opposition was not based on fear. Public acceptance in France is partly due to a lack of energy alternatives and a pragmatism that works against phobias. (DCK)

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Beyond the medial regions of prefrontal cortex in the regulation of fear and anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiro eShiba

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Rewards teach visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelazzi, Leonardo; Perlato, Andrea; Santandrea, Elisa; Della Libera, Chiara

    2013-06-07

    Visual selective attention is the brain function that modulates ongoing processing of retinal input in order for selected representations to gain privileged access to perceptual awareness and guide behavior. Enhanced analysis of currently relevant or otherwise salient information is often accompanied by suppressed processing of the less relevant or salient input. Recent findings indicate that rewards exert a powerful influence on the deployment of visual selective attention. Such influence takes different forms depending on the specific protocol adopted in the given study. In some cases, the prospect of earning a larger reward in relation to a specific stimulus or location biases attention accordingly in order to maximize overall gain. This is mediated by an effect of reward acting as a type of incentive motivation for the strategic control of attention. In contrast, reward delivery can directly alter the processing of specific stimuli by increasing their attentional priority, and this can be measured even when rewards are no longer involved, reflecting a form of reward-mediated attentional learning. As a further development, recent work demonstrates that rewards can affect attentional learning in dissociable ways depending on whether rewards are perceived as feedback on performance or instead are registered as random-like events occurring during task performance. Specifically, it appears that visual selective attention is shaped by two distinct reward-related learning mechanisms: one requiring active monitoring of performance and outcome, and a second one detecting the sheer association between objects in the environment (whether attended or ignored) and the more-or-less rewarding events that accompany them. Overall this emerging literature demonstrates unequivocally that rewards "teach" visual selective attention so that processing resources will be allocated to objects, features and locations which are likely to optimize the organism's interaction with the

  14. 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.

  15. Impaired contextual fear extinction and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult rats induced by prenatal morphine exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ji-Wei; Duan, Ting-Ting; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Ding, Ze-Yang; Jing, Liang; Cao, Jun; Wang, Li-Ping; Mao, Rong-Rong; Xu, Lin

    2015-07-01

    Prenatal opiate exposure causes a series of neurobehavioral disturbances by affecting brain development. However, the question of whether prenatal opiate exposure increases vulnerability to memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adult offspring remains largely unknown. Here, we found that rats prenatally exposed to morphine (PM) showed impaired acquisition but enhanced maintenance of contextual fear memory compared with control animals that were prenatally exposed to saline (PS). The impairment of acquisition was rescued by increasing the intensity of footshocks (1.2 mA rather than 0.8 mA). Meanwhile, we also found that PM rats exhibited impaired extinction of contextual fear, which is associated with enhanced maintenance of fear memory. The impaired extinction lasted for 1 week following extinction training. Furthermore, PM rats exhibited reduced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus-maze and light/dark box test without differences in locomotor activity. These alterations in PM rats were mirrored by abnormalities in synaptic plasticity in the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus in vivo. PS rats showed blocked long-term potentiation and enabled long-term depression in CA1 synapses following contextual fear conditioning, while prenatal morphine exposure restricted synaptic plasticity in CA1 synapses. The smaller long-term potentiation in PM rats was not further blocked by contextual fear conditioning, and the long-term depression enabled by contextual fear conditioning was abolished. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence suggesting that prenatal morphine exposure may increase vulnerability to fear memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adulthood.

  16. Attentional Processes in Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Gerald; Johnson, Cynthia R.; Minshew, Nancy J.

    2001-01-01

    Attention processes in 103 children and adults with high functioning autism were compared with a matched control group using a battery of attention measures. Differences were found only on tasks which placed demands on cognitive flexibility or psychomotor speed, suggesting that purported attention deficits in autism may actually be primary…

  17. Prefrontal control of attention to threat

    OpenAIRE

    Polly V Peers; Simons, Jon S; Andrew David Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    Attentional control refers to the regulatory processes that ensure that our actions are in accordance with our goals. Dual-system accounts view temperament as consisting of both individual variation in emotionality (e.g. trait anxiety) and variation in regulatory attentional mechanisms that act to modulate emotionality. Increasing evidence links trait variation in attentional control to clinical mood and anxiety disorder symptoms, independent of trait emotionality. Attentional biases to threa...

  18. Periodontal Status and Quality of Life: Impact of Fear of Pain and Dental Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crout, Richard J.

    2017-01-01

    Background. Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) is impacted by periodontal disease and orofacial pain. There is a limited research examining the impact of avoidance of care or physiological arousal related to the fear of pain response on periodontal-related OHRQoL. Methods. Data are from the Center for Oral Health Research in Appalachia family-based study focusing on 1,339 adults. Measures included a modified Periodontal Screening and Recording Index across sextants of dentition, dental fear survey, Fear of Pain Questionnaire-9, and Oral Health Impact Profile-14. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate the effects of periodontal disease screening indicators on OHRQoL including the mediating role of dental fear while accounting for fear of pain. Results. A significant total effect was found for the mandibular anterior sextant, components of dental anxiety/fear, and indicators of OHRQoL (pain and discomfort, β = .165, p = .001; psychosocial impact, β = .199, p periodontal disease indicators and OHRQoL. Dental avoidance/anticipatory fear and physiological arousal mediate OHRQoL in individuals who have indicators of periodontal disease in sextants that may be visible and susceptible to higher pain and psychosocial impact. PMID:28377670

  19. [Emetophobia: morbid fear of vomiting and nausea].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snaebjarnardottir, Kolfinna; Sigurdsson, Engilbert

    2014-05-01

    Emetophobia is an intense, irrational fear or anxiety of or pertaining to vomiting. It is classified among specific phobias in ICD-10 and DSM-IV. This disorder is often hidden because of the shame associated with it among sufferers. As a result emetophobia has been studied less than most other anxiety disorders. Not much is known about the epidemiology, treatment and outcome of this disorder. We describe a woman in her thirties who has been living with emetophobia since she experienced emesis two successive Christmas Eves as a child. Subsequently her fear of vomiting has influenced many aspects of her daily life.

  20. Impaired contextual modulation of memories in PTSD: an fMRI and psychophysiological study of extinction retention and fear renewal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garfinkel, Sarah N; Abelson, James L; King, Anthony P; Sripada, Rebecca K; Wang, Xin; Gaines, Laura M; Liberzon, Israel

    2014-10-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients display pervasive fear memories, expressed indiscriminately. Proposed mechanisms include enhanced fear learning and impaired extinction or extinction recall. Documented extinction recall deficits and failure to use safety signals could result from general failure to use contextual information, a hippocampus-dependent process. This can be probed by adding a renewal phase to standard conditioning and extinction paradigms. Human subjects with PTSD and combat controls were conditioned (skin conductance response), extinguished, and tested for extinction retention and renewal in a scanner (fMRI). Fear conditioning (light paired with shock) occurred in one context, followed by extinction in another, to create danger and safety contexts. The next day, the extinguished conditioned stimulus (CS+E) was re-presented to assess extinction recall (safety context) and fear renewal (danger context). PTSD patients showed impaired extinction recall, with increased skin conductance and heightened amygdala activity to the extinguished CS+ in the safety context. However, they also showed impaired fear renewal; in the danger context, they had less skin conductance response to CS+E and lower activity in amygdala and ventral-medial prefrontal cortex compared with combat controls. Control subjects displayed appropriate contextual modulation of memory recall, with extinction (safety) memory prevailing in the safety context, and fear memory prevailing in the danger context. PTSD patients could not use safety context to sustain suppression of extinguished fear memory, but they also less effectively used danger context to enhance fear. They did not display globally enhanced fear expression, but rather showed a globally diminished capacity to use contextual information to modulate fear expression.

  1. Plant intelligence and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marder, Michael

    2013-05-01

    This article applies the phenomenological model of attention to plant monitoring of environmental stimuli and signal perception. Three complementary definitions of attention as selectivity, modulation and perdurance are explained with reference to plant signaling and behaviors, including foraging, ramet placement and abiotic stress communication. Elements of animal and human attentive attitudes are compared with plant attention at the levels of cognitive focus, context and margin. It is argued that the concept of attention holds the potential of becoming a cornerstone of plant intelligence studies.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...... 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....... These mechanisms are described in a set of simple equations, which allow TVA to mathematically model a large number of classical results in the attention literature. The theory explains psychological and neuroscientific findings by the same equations; TVA is a complete theory of visual attention, linking mind...

  6. Pharmacological depletion of serotonin in the basolateral amygdala complex reduces anxiety and disrupts fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Philip L; Molosh, Andrei; Fitz, Stephanie D; Arendt, Dave; Deehan, Gerald A; Federici, Lauren M; Bernabe, Cristian; Engleman, Eric A; Rodd, Zachary A; Lowry, Christopher A; Shekhar, Anantha

    2015-11-01

    The basolateral and lateral amygdala nuclei complex (BLC) is implicated in a number of emotional responses including conditioned fear and social anxiety. Based on previous studies demonstrating that enhanced serotonin release in the BLC leads to increased anxiety and fear responses, we hypothesized that pharmacologically depleting serotonin in the BLC using 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) injections would lead to diminished anxiety and disrupted fear conditioning. To test this hypothesis, 5,7-DHT(a serotonin-depleting agent) was bilaterally injected into the BLC. Desipramine (a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) was systemically administered to prevent non-selective effects on norepinephrine. After 5days, 5-7-DHT-treated rats showed increases in the duration of social interaction (SI) time, suggestive of reduced anxiety-like behavior. We then used a cue-induced fear conditioning protocol with shock as the unconditioned stimulus and tone as the conditioned stimulus for rats pretreated with bilateral 5,7-DHT, or vehicle, injections into the BLC. Compared to vehicle-treated rats, 5,7-DHT rats had reduced acquisition of fear during conditioning (measured by freezing time during tone), also had reduced fear retrieval/recall on subsequent testing days. Ex vivo analyses revealed that 5,7-DHT reduced local 5-HT concentrations in the BLC by ~40% without altering local norepinephrine or dopamine concentrations. These data provide additional support for 5-HT playing a critical role in modulating anxiety-like behavior and fear-associated memories through its actions within the BLC.

  7. 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.

  8. Erasing fear memories- key receptor and essential timeframe discovered

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shigenori KAWAHARA

    2011-01-01

    @@ It is clinically important to suppress or inhibit traumatic memories, which are formed after fearful experiences.In animal models, fear memory is formed by repetitive presentation of a tone paired with an electrical foot-shock[1].

  9. Lobster on the Sidewalk: Understanding and Helping Children with Fears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Roberta I.; And Others

    1979-01-01

    Discusses the cognitive processes and emotional needs that influence developmental changes related to fears and suggests some techniques which adults may use to help children cope with their fears. (Author/MP)

  10. 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)

  11. Co-activation of NR2A and NR2B subunits induces resistance to fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leaderbrand, Katherine; Corcoran, Kevin A; Radulovic, Jelena

    2014-09-01

    Unpredictable stress is known to profoundly enhance susceptibility to fear and anxiety while reducing the ability to extinguish fear when threat is no longer present. Accordingly, partial aversive reinforcement, via random exposure to footshocks, induces fear that is resistant to extinction. Here we sought to determine the hippocampal mechanisms underlying susceptibility versus resistance to context fear extinction as a result of continuous (CR) and partial (PR) reinforcement, respectively. We focused on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunits 2A and B (NR2A and NR2B) as well as their downstream signaling effector, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), based on their critical role in the acquisition and extinction of fear. Pharmacological inactivation of NR2A, but not NR2B, blocked extinction after CR, whereas inactivation of NR2A, NR2B, or both subunits facilitated extinction after PR. The latter finding suggests that co-activation of NR2A and NR2B contributes to persistent fear following PR. In contrast to CR, PR increased membrane levels of ERK and NR2 subunits after the conditioning and extinction sessions, respectively. In parallel, nuclear activation of ERK was significantly reduced after the extinction session. Thus, co-activation and increased surface expression of NR2A and NR2B, possibly mediated by ERK, may cause persistent fear. These findings suggest that patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may benefit from antagonism of specific NR2 subunits.

  12. Hemispheric asymmetry and visuo-olfactory integration in perceiving subthreshold (micro) fearful expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forscher, Emily C; Li, Wen

    2012-02-08

    Multisensory integration is ubiquitous, facilitating perception beyond the limit of individual senses. This mechanism is especially salient when individual sensory input is weak (i.e., the principle of inverse effectiveness), fusing subthreshold cues into tangible percepts. Nevertheless, it is unclear how this rule applies to threat perception, synthesizing elusive, discrete traces of a threat into a discernible danger signal. In light of hemispheric asymmetry in threat processing, we combined parafoveal stimulus presentation and the contralateral P1 visual event-related potential to investigate how aversive olfactory inputs enhance visual perception of highly degraded, subthreshold fearful expressions. The dominant right hemisphere exhibited early visual discrimination between subtle fear and neutral expressions, independently of accompanying odors. In the left hemisphere, differential visual processing occurred only at the convergence of negative odors and minute facial fear, highlighting the success and necessity of visuo-olfactory threat integration in this disadvantaged hemisphere. Reaction time data from a subsequent dot-detection task complemented these neural findings, revealing odor-dependent and hemisphere-specific modulation of spatial attention to facial expressions. Our evidence thus indicates cross-modal threat integration in basic visual perception in humans that captures minimal threat information, especially in the blind right hemifield. Critically, this interaction between multisensory synergy and hemispheric asymmetry in threat perception may underlie the multifaceted fear experiences of everyday life.

  13. Pathological anxiety and function/dysfunction in the brain's fear/defense circuitry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Peter J; McTeague, Lisa M; Bradley, Margaret M

    2014-01-01

    Research from the University of Florida Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention aims to develop neurobiological measures that objectively discriminate among symptom patterns in patients with anxiety disorders. From this perspective, anxiety and mood pathologies are considered to be brain disorders, resulting from dysfunction and maladaptive plasticity in the neural circuits that determine fearful/defensive and appetitive/reward behavior (Insel et al., 2010). We review recent studies indicating that an enhanced probe startle reflex during the processing of fear memory cues (mediated by cortico-limbic circuitry and thus indicative of plastic brain changes), varies systematically in strength over a spectrum-wide dimension of anxiety pathology-across and within diagnoses-extending from strong focal fear reactions to a consistently blunted reaction in patients with more generalized anxiety and comorbid mood disorders. Preliminary studies with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) encourage the hypothesis that fear/defense circuit dysfunction covaries with this same dimension of psychopathology. Plans are described for an extended study of the brain's motivation circuitry in anxiety spectrum patients, with the aim of defining the specifics of circuit dysfunction in severe disorders. A sub-project explores the use of real-time fMRI feedback in circuit analysis and as a modality to up-regulate circuit function in the context of blunted affect.

  14. 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.

  15. A lifetime of fear of being laughed at: an aged perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, T; Ruch, W; Proyer, R T

    2010-02-01

    This paper reviews recent literature on gelotophobia (i.e., the fear of being laughed at) with an emphasis on age-specific aspects. Research with two instruments, the GELOPH and PhoPhiKat questionnaires, is presented with special attention being given to sociodemographic correlates and differences in intelligence, character strengths, personality, emotion, and humor. Quite consistently gelotophobes tend to misread positively motivated smiling and laughter (e.g. in social interactions, photographs or auditorily presented) and have lower values in many, but not all, components of humor. They have a low propensity to joy and a disposition to experience shame and fear. More generally they tend to describe themselves as being introverted and neurotic, and they underestimate their own potential while not actually being less capable. Furthermore, new data are presented suggesting that age-related vulnerabilities may be additional sources of ridicule making gelotophobia more of a problem for the elderly. Finally, the prevalence of this fear over the lifespan and potential cohort effects are discussed. It is concluded that more research into this fear and its adverse impact on social interactions, even humorous ones, of the elderly is needed.

  16. Enhanced visuomotor processing of phobic images in blood-injury-injection fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Thomas

    2014-04-01

    Numerous studies have identified attentional biases and processing enhancements for fear-relevant stimuli in individuals with specific phobias. However, this has not been conclusively shown in blood-injury-injection (BII) phobia, which has rarely been investigated even though it has features distinct from all other specific phobias. The present study aims to fill that gap and compares the time-course of visuomotor processing of phobic stimuli (i.e., pictures of small injuries) in BII-fearful (n=19) and non-anxious control participants (n=23) by using a response priming paradigm. In BII-fearful participants, phobic stimuli produced larger priming effects and lower response times compared to neutral stimuli, whereas non-anxious control participants showed no such differences. Because these effects are fully present in the fastest responses, they indicate an enhancement in early visuomotor processing of injury pictures in BII-fearful participants. These results are comparable to the enhanced processing of phobic stimuli in other specific phobias (i.e., spider phobia).

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  18. High trait anxiety: a challenge for disrupting fear memory reconsolidation

    OpenAIRE

    Marieke Soeter; Merel Kindt

    2013-01-01

    Disrupting reconsolidation may be promising in the treatment of anxiety disorders but the fear-reducing effects are thus far solely demonstrated in the average organism. A relevant question is whether disrupting fear memory reconsolidation is less effective in individuals who are vulnerable to develop an anxiety disorder. By collapsing data from six previous human fear conditioning studies we tested whether trait anxiety was related to the fear-reducing effects of a pharmacological agent targ...

  19. An experimental study on fear of public speaking using a virtual environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Mel; Pertaub, David-Paul; Barker, Chris; Clark, David M

    2006-10-01

    This paper examines a necessary condition for successful exploitation of a virtual environment (VE) in therapeutic intervention for fear of public speaking. The condition is that clients experience a degree of anxiety in the VE that is similar to what they would have been expected to experience in a similar real world setting. We refer to this as a "presence" response. The experimental study involved 20 people who were confident public speakers and 16 who were phobic, assessed on a standard psychological scale. Half of each group spoke within a VE depicting an empty seminar room, and the other half within the same room but populated by a neutrally behaving virtual audience of five people. Three responses were measured--a questionnaire-based measure of anxiety, a measure of self-focused attention on somatic responses, and actual heart rate. On all responses, the people with phobia showed a significant increase in signs of anxiety when speaking to the virtual audience compared to the empty room, whereas the confident people did not. The result was strong in spite of the relatively low representational and behavioral fidelity of the virtual characters.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Fear inhibition in high trait anxiety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kindt, M.; Soeter, M.

    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 f

  3. 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…

  4. Libraries, Librarians, and the Discourse of Fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radford, Gary P.; Radford, Marie L.

    2001-01-01

    Presents examples of representations of libraries and librarians taken from modern popular culture, including popular film, television, and novels, and using Foucault's approach to discourse, asserts that such representations are made possible by, and decoded within, the structures of a discourse of fear, a practice of speech and symbols that…

  5. 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)

  6. Linking fearfulness and coping styles in fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catarina I M Martins

    Full Text Available Consistent individual differences in cognitive appraisal and emotional reactivity, including fearfulness, are important personality traits in humans, non-human mammals, and birds. Comparative studies on teleost fishes support the existence of coping styles and behavioral syndromes also in poikilothermic animals. The functionalist approach to emotions hold that emotions have evolved to ensure appropriate behavioral responses to dangerous or rewarding stimuli. Little information is however available on how evolutionary widespread these putative links between personality and the expression of emotional or affective states such as fear are. Here we disclose that individual variation in coping style predicts fear responses in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, using the principle of avoidance learning. Fish previously screened for coping style were given the possibility to escape a signalled aversive stimulus. Fearful individuals showed a range of typically reactive traits such as slow recovery of feed intake in a novel environment, neophobia, and high post-stress cortisol levels. Hence, emotional reactivity and appraisal would appear to be an essential component of animal personality in species distributed throughout the vertebrate subphylum.

  7. School Safety: Real or Imagined Fear?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindle, Jane Clark

    2008-01-01

    The image of schooling tends to be benign, lulling parents and guardians into an assumption of safety for at least 6 hours each weekday. The complement to safety as an imagined state of schooling contains incidents of school violence and tragedy that feed communities' and parents' primeval fears about the well being of their children. The…

  8. 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.

  9. Don't fear 'fear conditioning': Methodological considerations for the design and analysis of studies on human fear acquisition, extinction, and return of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lonsdorf, Tina B; Menz, Mareike M; Andreatta, Marta; Fullana, Miguel A; Golkar, Armita; Haaker, Jan; Heitland, Ivo; Hermann, Andrea; Kuhn, Manuel; Kruse, Onno; Drexler, Shira Meir; Meulders, Ann; Nees, Frauke; Pittig, Andre; Richter, Jan; Römer, Sonja; Shiban, Youssef; Schmitz, Anja; Straube, Benjamin; Vervliet, Bram; Wendt, Julia; Baas, Johanna M P; Merz, Christian J

    2017-03-03

    The so-called 'replicability crisis' has sparked methodological discussions in many areas of science in general, and in psychology in particular. This has led to recent endeavours to promote the transparency, rigour, and ultimately, replicability of research. Originating from this zeitgeist, the challenge to discuss critical issues on terminology, design, methods, and analysis considerations in fear conditioning research is taken up by this work, which involved representatives from fourteen of the major human fear conditioning laboratories in Europe. This compendium is intended to provide a basis for the development of a common procedural and terminology framework for the field of human fear conditioning. Whenever possible, we give general recommendations. When this is not feasible, we provide evidence-based guidance for methodological decisions on study design, outcome measures, and analyses. Importantly, this work is also intended to raise awareness and initiate discussions on crucial questions with respect to data collection, processing, statistical analyses, the impact of subtle procedural changes, and data reporting specifically tailored to the research on fear conditioning.

  10. Effects of fear factors in disease propagation

    CERN Document Server

    Wang, Yubo; Wong, Limsoon; Fu, Xiuju; Ma, Stefan; Cheng, Tee Hiang; 10.1088/1751-8113/44/35/355101

    2011-01-01

    Upon an outbreak of a dangerous infectious disease, people generally tend to reduce their contacts with others in fear of getting infected. Such typical actions apparently help slow down the spreading of infection. Thanks to today's broad public media coverage, the fear factor may even contribute to prevent an outbreak from happening. We are motivated to study such effects by adopting a complex network approach. Firstly we evaluate the simple case where connections between individuals are randomly removed due to fear factor. Then we consider a different case where each individual keeps at least a few connections after contact reduction. Such a case is arguably more realistic since people may choose to keep a few social contacts, e.g., with their family members and closest friends, at any cost. Finally a study is conducted on the case where connection removals are carried out dynamically while the infection is spreading out. Analytical and simulation results show that the fear factor may not easily prevent an ...

  11. 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

  12. Brain dynamics of visual attention during anticipation and encoding of threat- and safe-cues in spider-phobic individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalowski, Jaroslaw M; Pané-Farré, Christiane A; Löw, Andreas; Hamm, Alfons O

    2015-09-01

    This study systematically investigated the sensitivity of the phobic attention system by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) in spider-phobic and non-phobic volunteers in a context where spider and neutral pictures were presented (phobic threat condition) and in contexts where no phobic but unpleasant and neutral or only neutral pictures were displayed (phobia-irrelevant conditions). In a between-group study, participants were assigned to phobia-irrelevant conditions either before or after the exposure to spider pictures (pre-exposure vs post-exposure participants). Additionally, each picture was preceded by a fixation cross presented in one of three different colors that were informative about the category of an upcoming picture. In the phobic threat condition, spider-phobic participants showed a larger P1 than controls for all pictures and signal cues. Moreover, individuals with spider phobia who were sensitized by the exposure to phobic stimuli (i.e. post-exposure participants) responded with an increased P1 also in phobia-irrelevant conditions. In contrast, no group differences between spider-phobic and non-phobic individuals were observed in the P1-amplitudes during viewing of phobia-irrelevant stimuli in the pre-exposure group. In addition, cues signaling neutral pictures elicited decreased stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) compared with cues signaling emotional pictures. Moreover, emotional pictures and cues signaling emotional pictures evoked larger early posterior negativity (EPN) and late positive potential (LPP) than neutral stimuli. Spider phobics showed greater selective attention effects than controls for phobia-relevant pictures (increased EPN and LPP) and cues (increased LPP and SPN). Increased sensitization of the attention system observed in spider-phobic individuals might facilitate fear conditioning and promote generalization of fear playing an important role in the maintenance of anxiety disorders.

  13. 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

  14. Use of the ABA Fear Renewal Paradigm to Assess the Effects of Extinction with Co-Present Fear Inhibitors or Excitors: Implications for Theories of Extinction and for Treating Human Fears and Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Brian L.; Ayres, John J. B.

    2004-01-01

    In four experiments using albino rats in an ABA fear renewal paradigm, we studied conditioned fear in the A test context following extinction in Context B. Conditioned suppression of operant responding was the index of fear. In Experiments 1-3, we found that extinguishing a feared cue in compound with a putative conditioned inhibitor of fear led…

  15. Passive Avoidance Is Linked to Impaired Fear Extinction in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornwell, Brian R.; Overstreet, Cassie; Krimsky, Marissa; Grillon, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Conventional wisdom dictates we must face our fears to conquer them. This idea is embodied in exposure-based treatments for anxiety disorders, where the intent of exposure is to reverse a history of avoidant behavior that is thought to fuel a patient's irrational fears. We tested in humans the relationship between fear and avoidance by combining…

  16. 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)

  17. The Situational Relationship Between Age and the Fear of Crime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffords, Charles R.

    1983-01-01

    Examines one's fear of crime while walking in the neighborhood, and in one's home. Results showed age was positively associated with fear of crime in the former situation, but slightly negatively associated in the latter. Suggested that the aged may only be more fearful of crime in particularly dangerous situations. (JAC)

  18. Significant Others and Fear of Crime among the Elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Leslie W.; Silverman, Robert A.

    1985-01-01

    Examined demographic, environmental, behavioral, and social psychological factors that affect fear of crime among the elderly (N=1,439). Results showed elderly women were more fearful than other groups. Social isolation, type of housing, length of residence, and area of the city were all related to fear of crime. (JAC)

  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. 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.