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

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    Nicolas Vermeulen

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

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

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

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    Eduard Forcadell

    2017-09-01

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

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

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    Forcadell, Eduard; Torrents-Rodas, David; Treen, Devi; Fullana, Miquel A.; Tortella-Feliu, Miquel

    2017-01-01

    Attentional control (AC) and fear extinction learning are known to be involved in pathological anxiety. In this study we explored whether individual differences in non-emotional AC were associated with individual differences in the magnitude and gradient of fear extinction (learning and recall). In 50 individuals with fear of spiders, we collected measures of non-emotional AC by means of self-report and by assessing the functioning of the major attention networks (executive control, orienting, and alerting). The participants then underwent a paradigm assessing fear extinction learning and extinction recall. The two components of the orienting network functioning (costs and benefits) were significantly associated with fear extinction gradient over and above the effects of trait anxiety. Specifically, participants with enhanced orienting costs (i.e., difficulties in disengaging attention from cues not relevant for the task) showed faster extinction learning, while those with enhanced orienting benefits (i.e., attention facilitated by valid cues) exhibited faster extinction recall as measured by fear-potentiated startle and Unconditioned Stimulus expectancies, respectively. Our findings suggest that, in non-emotional conditions, the orienting component of attention may be predictive of fear extinction. They also show that the use of fear extinction gradients and the exploration of individual differences in non-emotional AC (using performance-based measures of attentional network functioning) can provide a better understanding of individual differences in fear learning. Our findings also may help to understand differences in exposure therapy outcomes. PMID:29018384

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

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Selective attention and fear of cancer recurrence in breast cancer survivors.

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

    2015-02-01

    Anxious people show an attentional bias towards threatening information. It was investigated whether an attentional bias exists for cancer-related stimuli in breast cancer survivors and if different levels of fear of cancer recurrence would lead to different patterns of selective attention. Breast cancer survivors with high (n = 35) and low (n = 32) fear of cancer recurrence were compared to 40 healthy female hospital employees. Specificity of attentional biases was investigated using a modified Emotional Stroop Task. Self-report measures were used to assess depression and anxiety, feelings of fatigue, and experienced traumas. Compared to control participants, breast cancer survivors with both high and low levels of fear of cancer recurrence showed increased interference for cancer-related words, but not for other word types. The findings suggest a specific attentional bias for cancer-related words in breast cancer survivors that is independent of level of fear of cancer recurrence.

  9. Spatial attention effects of disgusted and fearful faces.

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    Dandan Zhang

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

  10. Selective attentional processing to fall-relevant stimuli among older adults who fear falling.

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    Brown, Lesley A; White, Patti; Doan, Jonathan B; de Bruin, Natalie

    2011-05-01

    Fear of falling is known to affect more than half of community-dwelling older adults over 60 years of age. This fear is associated with physical and psychological effects that increase the risk of falling. The authors' theory is that attentional processing biases may exist in this population that serve to perpetuate fear of falling and subsequently increase fall risk. As a starting point in testing this proposition, the authors examined selective attentional processing bias to fall-relevant stimuli among older adults. Thirty older adult participants (M(age) = 70.8 ± 5.8), self-categorized to be Fearful of Falling (FF, n = 15) or Non-Fearful of Falling (NF, n = 15) completed a visual dot-probe paradigm to determine detection latencies to fall-threatening and general-threat stimuli. Attentional processing was defined using three index scores: attentional bias, congruency index, and incongruency index. Bias indicates capture of attention, whereas congruency and incongruency imply vigilance and disengagement difficulty, respectively. Both groups showed an attentional bias to fall-threat words but those who were fearful of falling also showed an incongruency effect for fall-threat words. These findings confirm that selective attentional processing profiles for fall-relevant stimuli differ between older adults who exhibit fear of falling and those who do not have this fear. Moreover, in accordance with current interpretations of selective attentional processing, the incongruency effect noted among fall-fearful older adults presents a possibility for a difficulty disengaging from fall-threatening stimuli.

  11. We prefer what we fear: A response preference bias mimics attentional capture in spider fear.

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    Haberkamp, Anke; Biafora, Melanie; Schmidt, Thomas; Weiß, Katharina

    2018-01-01

    The extent to which emotionally significant stimuli capture visual attention remains elusive because a preference for reporting or choosing emotionally significant stimuli could mimic attentional capture by these stimuli. We conducted two prior-entry experiments to disentangle whether phobic and fear-relevant stimuli capture attention or merely produce a response bias in spider-fearful participants. Prior entry denotes the effect that attended stimuli are perceived earlier than unattended stimuli as indicated by temporal order judgments. We presented phobic (spiders), fear-relevant (snakes) and neutral stimuli in pairs with varying temporal onset. The participants' task was to indicate which stimulus was presented first (Experiment 1) or second (Experiment 2). In the first experiment, spider-fearful but not control participants indicated that they had perceived spiders as occurring earlier in time, suggesting a prior-entry effect for spiders in this group. But surprisingly, in the second experiment, spider-fearful participants indicated more frequently that they had seen spiders as being presented second. This finding rules out a genuine prior-entry effect and instead suggests a strong preference for the response option associated with the feared animal. This response bias may result from a hypervigilance toward the feared stimulus and contribute to maintaining avoidance behavior in individuals with specific phobias. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Automatic attention does not equal automatic fear: preferential attention without implicit valence.

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    Purkis, Helena M; Lipp, Ottmar V

    2007-05-01

    Theories of nonassociative fear acquisition hold that humans have an innate predisposition for some fears, such as fear of snakes and spiders. This predisposition may be mediated by an evolved fear module (Ohman & Mineka, 2001) that responds to basic perceptual features of threat stimuli by directing attention preferentially and generating an automatic fear response. Visual search and affective priming tasks were used to examine attentional processing and implicit evaluation of snake and spider pictures in participants with different explicit attitudes; controls (n = 25) and snake and spider experts (n = 23). Attentional processing and explicit evaluation were found to diverge; snakes and spiders were preferentially attended to by all participants; however, they were negative only for controls. Implicit evaluations of dangerous and nondangerous snakes and spiders, which have similar perceptual features, differed for expert participants, but not for controls. The authors suggest that although snakes and spiders are preferentially attended to, negative evaluations are not automatically elicited during this processing.

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

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

    2015-07-01

    Regulation of negative affect is critical to healthy development in childhood and adolescence. We conducted a longitudinal study examining the moderating role of attention control in the effects of anger and fear on changes in risk-taking behaviors from early to middle adolescence. The sample involved participants from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), assessed at 9, 11, and 15 years of age. Composite scores for anger, fear, and attention control were computed using indicators from multiple informants, and risk-taking behaviors were assessed based on adolescents' self-reports. Latent difference score analysis indicated significant moderating effects of attention control showing that increased anger between 9 and 11 years was related to increases in risk-taking behaviors between 11 and 15 years only for adolescents with low attention control but not for adolescents with high attention control. In contrast, significant moderating effects of attention control for the link between fear and risk-taking behaviors suggested increased fear between 9 and 11 years tended to be associated with decreases in risk-taking behaviors between 11 and 15 years only for adolescents with high attention control, but not for adolescents with low attention control. Attention control regulates the connections between negative affect such as anger and fear with changes in adolescent risk-taking behaviors. Our data suggest the protective role of strong attention control against the development of risk-taking behaviors in adolescence as it demotes the effects of anger and promotes the effects of fear. © 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  14. Posttraumatic stress disorder and fear of emotions: the role of attentional control.

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    Sippel, Lauren M; Marshall, Amy D

    2013-06-01

    Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience elevated concerns about their capacity to control, and the consequences of, strong emotions that occur in response to trauma reminders. Anxiety is theorized to compromise attentional control (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007). In turn, diminished attentional control may increase vulnerability to threat cues and emotional reactivity (Ehlers & Clark, 2001). Consequently, attentional control may play a role in the fear of emotions frequently experienced by individuals with PTSD. Study participants included 64 men and 64 women with a mean age of 37 years, 86% of whom were White, non-Hispanic. Participants experienced an average of 7.68 types of traumatic events, most commonly including motor vehicle accidents and intimate partner violence. PTSD symptoms positively correlated with fear of emotions (r = .53) and negatively correlated with attentional control (r = -.38). Attentional control was negatively correlated with fear emotions (r = -.77) and partially mediated the link between PTSD and fear of emotions (R(2) = .22). Given the findings regarding top-down attentional control, these results have implications for cognitive and emotional processing theories of PTSD and emphasize the importance of clinical consideration of fear of emotions and attentional control in the treatment of PTSD. Copyright © 2013 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

  15. Dividing Attention Increases Operational Momentum

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    Koleen McCrink

    2017-12-01

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

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

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

    2017-06-13

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

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

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    Stephan Koenig

    2017-05-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Direction of stimulus movement alters fear-linked individual differences in attentional vigilance to spider stimuli.

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    Basanovic, Julian; Dean, Laurence; Riskind, John H; MacLeod, Colin

    2017-12-01

    Researchers have proposed that high spider-fearful individuals are characterised by heightened attentional vigilance to spider stimuli, as compared to low spider-fearful individuals. However, these findings have arisen from methodologies that have uniformly employed only static stimuli. Such findings do not inform upon the patterns of fear-linked attentional selectivity that occur in the face of moving feared stimuli. Hence, the present study developed a novel methodology designed to examine the influence of stimulus movement on attentional vigilance to spider and non-spider stimuli. Eighty participants who varied in level of spider-fear completed an attentional-probe task that presented stimuli under two conditions. One condition presented stimuli that displayed an approaching movement, while the other condition presented stimuli that displayed a receding movement. Fear-linked heightened attentional vigilance was observed exclusively under the latter condition. These findings suggest that fear-linked attentional vigilance to spider stimuli does not represent a uniform characteristic of heightened spider-fear, but rather is influenced by stimulus context. The means by which these findings inform understanding of attentional mechanisms that characterise heightened spider-fear, and avenues for future research, are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Spatial Attention Effects of Disgusted and Fearful Faces: e101608

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dandan Zhang; Yunzhe Liu; Chenglin Zhou; Yuming Chen; Yuejia Luo

    2014-01-01

    .... Given the intricate relationship between attention and the neural processing of threat-related emotions, this study manipulated attention allocation and emotional categories of threat-related stimuli...

  3. Spatial attention effects of disgusted and fearful faces

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zhang, Dandan; Liu, Yunzhe; Zhou, Chenglin; Chen, Yuming; Luo, Yuejia

    2014-01-01

    .... Given the intricate relationship between attention and the neural processing of threat-related emotions, this study manipulated attention allocation and emotional categories of threat-related stimuli...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Attentional accounting: Voluntary spatial attention increases budget category prioritization.

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    Mrkva, Kellen; Van Boven, Leaf

    2017-09-01

    Too often, people fail to prioritize the most important activities, life domains, and budget categories. One reason for misplaced priorities, we argue, is that activities and categories people have frequently or recently attended to seem higher priority than other activities and categories. In Experiment 1, participants were cued to direct voluntary spatial attention toward 1 side of a screen while images depicting different budget categories were presented: 1 category on the cued side and 1 on the noncued side of the screen. Participants rated cued budget categories as higher priority than noncued budget categories. Cued attention also increased perceived distinctiveness, and a mediation model was consistent with the hypothesis that distinctiveness mediates the effect of cued attention on prioritization. Experiment 2 orthogonally manipulated 2 components of a spatial cuing manipulation-heightened visual attention and heightened mental attention-to examine how each influences prioritization. Visual attention and mental attention additively increased prioritization. In Experiment 3, attention increased prioritization even when prioritization decisions were incentivized, and even when heightened attention was isolated from primacy and recency. Across experiments, cued categories were prioritized more than noncued categories even though measures were taken to disguise the purpose of the experiments and manipulate attention incidentally (i.e., as a by-product of an unrelated task). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

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

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Selective attention and fear of cancer recurrence in breast cancer survivors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  11. [Influence of balance exercises during an attention task on fear of falling among frail elderly fallen].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takai, Itsushi

    2010-01-01

    Recent research suggests that the fear of falling may be a more serious problem than actual falling among frail elderly people. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not it is possible to influence the fear of falling among frail elderly people who previously had fallen, by balance exercises under attention tasks. The subjects were 22 frail elderly people in nursing homes (3 men and 19 women, mean age 83.1+/-5.2 SD) who had fallen. Written informed consent was given for participation in the study. Subjects were divided into two groups at random: the balance exercise group (the control group) and the balance exercise during an attention task (the attention group). Balance exercise continued for 10 weeks, consisting of one 5 minute session, 3 times weekly. The control and intervention subjects were evaluated using the Fall Efficacy Scale (FES), Functional Reach Test (FRT), Timed Up & Go Test (TUGT) and walking speed, before the program, at the end of the trial, and 10 weeks after the program. There was no change in walking speed in either group, and difference in TUGT of the control group was observed. We found improvement in FRT and TUGT of the attention group. The FES decreased in the attention group. These findings indicate that balance exercise during an attention task can improve standing posture balance in frail elderly people who have fallen. These results also suggest that it is important to intervene in both motor function and attention function to decrease the fear of falling.

  12. Attentional bias and metacognitions in cancer survivors with high fear of cancer recurrence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Butow, P.; Kelly, S.; Thewes, B.; Hruby, G.; Sharpe, L.; Beith, J.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is a common and severe problem amongst cancer survivors, but mechanisms to explain its development and maintenance are still lacking. The self-regulatory executive function (S-REF) model suggests that metacognitions and attentional bias to cancer-related

  13. FEAR

    OpenAIRE

    Redazione Camerablu

    2012-01-01

    Fear – an emotion that we all experience in our life – may assume a variety of expressions. It occupies the intimate part of our being and may produce symptoms in our bodies; it may be manipulated for purposes of repression and social control. A frequent kind of this emotion is connected to the fear of losing or being abandoned by a loved one, a fear that we experience from the beginning of our life, when we are separated from our mother’s body. Fear is often connected with violence: there is...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. The persistence of distraction: a study of attentional biases by fear, faces, and context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Emily L; Kim, So-Yeon; Hopfinger, Joseph B

    2014-12-01

    Efficient processing of the visual world requires that distracting items be avoided, or at least rapidly disengaged from. The mechanisms by which highly salient, yet irrelevant, stimuli lead to distraction, however, are not well understood. Here, we utilized a particularly strong type of distractor--images of human faces--to investigate the mechanisms of distraction and the involuntarily biasing of attention. Across three experiments using a novel discrimination task, we provided new evidence that the robust distraction triggered by faces may not reflect enhanced attraction but, instead, may reflect an extended holding of attention. Specifically, the onset of a task-irrelevant distractor initially impaired target performance regardless of the identity of that distractor (fearful faces, neutral faces, or places). In contrast, an extended period of distraction was observed only when the distractor was a face. Our results thus demonstrate two distinct mechanisms contributing to distraction: an initial involuntary capture to any sudden event and a subsequent holding of attention to a potentially meaningful, yet task-irrelevant stimulus-in this case, a human face. Critically, the latter holding of attention by faces was not unique to fearful faces but also occurred for neutral faces. The present results dissociate attentional capture from hold in another way as well, since the capture occurred regardless of the nature of the distractors, but the extended holding of attention was dependent upon the ongoing distractor context.

  16. Fearful faces influence attentional control processes in anxious youth and adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladouceur, Cecile D; Silk, Jennifer S; Dahl, Ronald E; Ostapenko, Laura; Kronhaus, Dina M; Phillips, Mary L

    2009-12-01

    This study examined the effects of trait anxiety and age on performance of an emotional working memory task designed to investigate attentional control processes in the context of emotion. Participants included children, adolescents, and adults (8-30 years old). They performed the Emotional Face N-Back (EFNBACK) task, a modified n-back working memory task with four emotional distracter types (no picture, neutral, fearful, and happy) and two memory-load conditions (0-back and 2-back), and completed self-report trait anxiety measures. Results indicated that participants high in trait anxiety had slower reaction times on the fearful 2-back memory-load condition. A significant interaction with age indicated that this effect was greater in the younger participants. These findings suggest that anxious individuals, particularly younger ones, exhibit difficulty resisting interference from threat-related stimuli when greater attentional resources are being recruited.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. FEAR

    OpenAIRE

    Sherriff, Daryl

    2007-01-01

    This article examines the subject of fear. It's purpose is to get clearer about what it is, to find out what grounds it and to see if there is a way of living which is free of it. As a necessary preliminary to understanding, the paper points out the importance of staying with the feeling of fear as it arises. By direct and careful observation of one's own case-which is different from introspection-it is possible to see fear arise in relation to a variety of objects, and from that to perceive ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  20. Distinction between fear and surprise: an interpretation-independent test of the perceptual-attentional limitation hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberland, Justin; Roy-Charland, Annie; Perron, Melanie; Dickinson, Joël

    2017-12-01

    The perceptual-attentional limitation hypothesis posits that the confusion between emotional facial expressions of fear and surprise may be due to their visual similarity, with shared muscle movements. In Experiment 1 full face images of fear and surprise varying as a function of distinctiveness (mouth index, brow index, or both indices) were displayed in a gender oddball task. Experiment 2, in a similar task, directed attention toward the eye or mouth region with a blurring technique. The current two studies used response time and event-related potentials (ERP) to test the perceptual-attentional limitation hypothesis. While ERP results for Experiment 1 suggested that individuals may not have perceived a difference between the emotional expressions in any of the conditions, response time results suggested that individuals processed a difference between fear and surprise when a distinctive cue was in the mouth. With directed attention in Experiment 2, ERP results indicated that individuals were capable of detecting a difference in all the conditions. In effect, the current two experiments suggest that participants display difficulty in distinguishing the prototypes of fear and surprise with the eye region, which may be due to a lack of attention to that region, providing support for the attentional limitation hypothesis.

  1. Attentional bias and metacognitions in cancer survivors with high fear of cancer recurrence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butow, P; Kelly, S; Thewes, B; Hruby, G; Sharpe, L; Beith, J

    2015-04-01

    Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is a common and severe problem amongst cancer survivors, but mechanisms to explain its development and maintenance are still lacking. The self-regulatory executive function (S-REF) model suggests that metacognitions and attentional bias to cancer-related words may explain high FCR. Thus, this study aimed to explore relationships between FCR, metacognitions and attentional bias in a mixed group of cancer survivors. Sixty-three early-stage breast or prostate cancer survivors, diagnosed within 6 months to 5 years prior to participation and who had completed all hospital-based treatment with no evidence of cancer recurrence were recruited through two metropolitan oncology clinics. Participants completed a questionnaire battery and the dot-probe task. Survivors with clinical FCR had significantly greater positive beliefs about worry (10.1 vs 7.4, p = 0.002) and beliefs about the uncontrollability and danger of worry (12.0 vs 7.7, p = 0.000) than those with non-clinical FCR, whereas the total metacognition score significantly predicted FCR in multiple regression analysis (β = 0.371, p = 0.001). No significant differences were detected between participants scoring above and below clinical FCR levels in attention bias indices. This study found partial support for the S-REF model of FCR, with metacognitions but not attentional bias found to be related to FCR. Further research is needed to explore attentional biases in more detail. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  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

  3. Is high fear of pain associated with attentional biases for pain-related or general threat? A categorical reanalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asmundson, Gordon J G; Hadjistavropoulos, Heather D

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to clarify mixed findings reported in selective attention investigations. To accomplish this, recently published dot-probe data from 36 patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain and 29 healthy control participants were reanalyzed with consideration of fear of pain (FOP) as a categorical variable. FOP groups were identified by using a variety of strategies and represented differing conceptualizations of the FOP construct. Selective attention for sensory pain, affect pain, and health catastrophe words was assessed by using raw dot-probe detection latencies and the bias, congruency, and incongruency indices. Analysis of the raw detection latencies revealed no significant interactions that permit inferences regarding attentional shifts to or away from specific word types. Analyses of the attention indices revealed no evidence of pain-related selective attention as a function of FOP or the interaction between clinical status and FOP, regardless of the FOP categorization method used; however, for FOP groups derived by using the cluster method, participants with high FOP--all patients--exhibited hypervigilance for all word types on the dot-probe task when compared with those with low FOP. Implications for various categorical conceptualizations of FOP and future research directions are discussed. Fear of pain can be used to categorize people into groups more or less vulnerable to disabling effects of pain. When fear of pain groups are derived by using measures of general and pain-specific fearfulness, people with high fear of pain are likely to selectively attend all potentially threatening stimuli in their environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  5. CROSSWORD PUZZLE INCREASE ATTENTION OF CHILDREN WITH ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ah. Yusuf

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  7. Enhancing product label effectiveness by increasing attention and choice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    and to increase purchase likelihood of labeled products, attention must be guided to the label. We conducted a combined eye tracking and choice experiment manipulating the surface size and visual saliency of product labels. Results show a strong and significant increase in attention towards product labels which...... 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....

  8. The neural processing of fearful faces without attention and consciousness: an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lili; Fu, Shimin; Feng, Chunliang; Luo, Wenbo; Zhu, Xiangru; Luo, Yue-jia

    2012-01-11

    To investigate whether the non-conscious processing of fearful faces exist in unattended condition, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded in a facial expression detection task. Participants were asked to discriminate the facial expressions (fearful or neutral) at the attended location. Unattended faces were associated with a response that was either congruent or in conflict with the response to the attended face. ERP results showed that the trials with response conflict between attended and unattended faces enhanced the amplitude of the P3 component when the neutral face was presented at attended location and the fearful face was presented at the unattended location. Our findings imply that the non-conscious fearful faces can be processed in the unattended condition. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony eSinghal

    2012-12-01

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

  11. Measuring the emotion-specificity of rapid stimulus-driven attraction of attention to fearful faces: evidence from emotion categorization and a comparison with disgusted faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalid, Shah; Horstmann, Gernot; Ditye, Thomas; Ansorge, Ulrich

    2017-03-01

    In the current study, we tested whether a fear advantage-rapid attraction of attention to fearful faces that is more stimulus-driven than to neutral faces-is emotion specific. We used a cueing task with face cues preceding targets. Cues were non-predictive of the target locations. In two experiments, we found enhanced cueing of saccades towards the targets with fearful face cues than with neutral face cues: Saccades towards targets were more efficient with cues and targets at the same position (under valid conditions) than at opposite positions (under invalid conditions), and this cueing effect was stronger with fearful than with neutral face cues. In addition, this cueing effect difference between fearful and neutral faces was absent with inverted faces as cues, indicating that the fear advantage is face-specific. We also show that emotion categorization of the face cues mirrored these effects: Participants were better at categorizing face cues as fearful or neutral with upright than with inverted faces (Experiment 1). Finally, in alternative blocks including disgusted faces instead of fearful faces, we found more similar cueing effects with disgusted faces and neutral faces, and with upright and inverted faces (Experiment 2). Jointly, these results demonstrate that the fear advantage is emotion-specific. Results are discussed in light of evolutionary explanations of the fear advantage.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  14. Cellular prion protein modulates defensive attention and innate fear-induced behaviour evoked in transgenic mice submitted to an agonistic encounter with the tropical coral snake Oxyrhopus guibei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobão-Soares, Bruno; Walz, Roger; Prediger, Rui Daniel Schröder; Freitas, Renato Leonardo; Calvo, Fabrício; Bianchin, Marino Muxfeldt; Leite, João Pereira; Landemberger, Michele Christine; Coimbra, Norberto Cysne

    2008-12-12

    The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is a neuronal anchored glycoprotein that has been associated with distinct functions in the CNS, such as cellular adhesion and differentiation, synaptic plasticity and cognition. Here we investigated the putative involvement of the PrP(C) in the innate fear-induced behavioural reactions in wild-type (WT), PrP(C) knockout (Prnp(0/0)) and the PrP(C) overexpressing Tg-20 mice evoked in a prey versus predator paradigm. The behavioural performance of these mouse strains in olfactory discrimination tasks was also investigated. When confronted with coral snakes, mice from both Prnp(0/0) and Tg-20 strains presented a significant decrease in frequency and duration of defensive attention and risk assessment, compared to WT mice. Tg-20 mice presented decreased frequency of escape responses, increased exploratory behaviour, and enhancement of interaction with the snake, suggesting a robust fearlessness caused by PrP(C) overexpression. Interestingly, there was also a discrete decrease in the attentional defensive response (decreased frequency of defensive alertness) in Prnp(0/0) mice in the presence of coral snakes. Moreover, Tg-20 mice presented an increased exploration of novel environment and odors. The present findings indicate that the PrP(C) overexpression causes hyperactivity, fearlessness, and increased preference for visual, tactile and olfactory stimuli-associated novelty, and that the PrP(c) deficiency might lead to attention deficits. These results suggest that PrP(c) exerts an important role in the modulation of innate fear and novelty-induced exploration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  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

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

  18. 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…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabricio H Do-Monte

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funamizu, Akihiro; Kanzaki, Ryohei; Takahashi, Hirokazu

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihiro Funamizu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. 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.…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Conditioning- and time-dependent increases in context fear and generalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Nehali; Lu, Bryan; Amir, Dorsa; Livingston, Briana; Santarelli, Anthony; Zhuravka, Irina

    2016-01-01

    A prominent feature of fear memories and anxiety disorders is that they endure across extended periods of time. Here, we examine how the severity of the initial fear experience influences incubation, generalization, and sensitization of contextual fear memories across time. Adult rats were presented with either five, two, one, or zero shocks (1.2 mA, 2 sec) during contextual fear conditioning. Following a recent (1 d) or remote (28 d) retention interval all subjects were returned to the original training context to measure fear memory and/or to a novel context to measure the specificity of fear conditioning. Our results indicate rats that received two or five shocks show an “incubation”-like enhancement of fear between recent and remote retention intervals, while single-shocked animals show stable levels of context fear memory. Moreover, when fear was tested in a novel context, 1 and 2 shocked groups failed to freeze, whereas five shocked rats showed a time-dependent generalization of context memory. Stress enhancement of fear learning to a second round of conditioning was evident in all previously shocked animals. Based on these results, we conclude that the severity or number of foot shocks determines not only the level of fear memory, but also the time-dependent incubation of fear and its generalization across distinct contexts. PMID:27317198

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Clarke, P.J.F.; Branson, S.; Chen, N.T.M.; Van Bockstaele, B.; Salemink, E.; MacLeod, C.; Notebaert, L.

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Attention bias modification (ABM) procedures have shown promise as a therapeutic intervention, however current ABM procedures have proven inconsistent in their ability to reliably achieve the requisite change in attentional bias needed to produce emotional benefits. This

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, William R; Mark Williams, A

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Childhood maltreatment is associated with altered fear circuitry and increased internalizing symptoms by late adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herringa, Ryan J; Birn, Rasmus M; Ruttle, Paula L; Burghy, Cory A; Stodola, Diane E; Davidson, Richard J; Essex, Marilyn J

    2013-11-19

    Maltreatment during childhood is a major risk factor for anxiety and depression, which are major public health problems. However, the underlying brain mechanism linking maltreatment and internalizing disorders remains poorly understood. Maltreatment may alter the activation of fear circuitry, but little is known about its impact on the connectivity of this circuitry in adolescence and whether such brain changes actually lead to internalizing symptoms. We examined the associations between experiences of maltreatment during childhood, resting-state functional brain connectivity (rs-FC) of the amygdala and hippocampus, and internalizing symptoms in 64 adolescents participating in a longitudinal community study. Childhood experiences of maltreatment were associated with lower hippocampus-subgenual cingulate rs-FC in both adolescent females and males and lower amygdala-subgenual cingulate rs-FC in females only. Furthermore, rs-FC mediated the association of maltreatment during childhood with adolescent internalizing symptoms. Thus, maltreatment in childhood, even at the lower severity levels found in a community sample, may alter the regulatory capacity of the brain's fear circuit, leading to increased internalizing symptoms by late adolescence. These findings highlight the importance of fronto-hippocampal connectivity for both sexes in internalizing symptoms following maltreatment in childhood. Furthermore, the impact of maltreatment during childhood on both fronto-amygdala and -hippocampal connectivity in females may help explain their higher risk for internalizing disorders such as anxiety and depression.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Carl; And Others

    1990-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  12. Reduced amygdala response in youths with disruptive behavior disorders and psychopathic traits: decreased emotional response versus increased top-down attention to nonemotional features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Stuart F; Marsh, Abigail A; Fowler, Katherine A; Schechter, Julia C; Adalio, Christopher; Pope, Kayla; Sinclair, Stephen; Pine, Daniel S; Blair, R James R

    2012-07-01

    Amygdala dysfunction has been reported to exist in youths and adults with psychopathic traits. However, there has been disagreement as to whether this dysfunction reflects a primary emotional deficit or is secondary to atypical attentional control. The authors examined the validity of the contrasting predictions. Participants were 15 children and adolescents (ages 10–17 years) with both disruptive behavior disorders and psychopathic traits and 17 healthy comparison youths. Functional MRI was used to assess the response of the amygdala and regions implicated in top-down attentional control (the dorsomedial and lateral frontal cortices) to emotional expression under conditions of high and low attentional load. Relative to youths with disruptive behavior disorders and psychopathic traits, healthy comparison subjects showed a significantly greater increase in the typical amygdala response to fearful expressions under low relative to high attentional load conditions. There was also a selective inverse relationship between the response to fearful expressions under low attentional load and the callous-unemotional component (but not the narcissism or impulsivity component) of psychopathic traits. In contrast, the two groups did not differ in the significant recruitment of the dorsomedial and lateral frontal cortices as a function of attentional load. Youths with disruptive behavior disorders and psychopathic traits showed reduced amygdala responses to fearful expressions under low attentional load but no indications of increased recruitment of regions implicated in top-down attentional control. These findings suggest that the emotional deficit observed in youths with disruptive behavior disorders and psychopathic traits is primary and not secondary to increased top-down attention to nonemotional stimulus features.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  14. 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…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin N Greenwood

    2014-10-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice Mado eProverbio

    2015-10-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Maloney, Kathy J

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. ERP and behavioral evidence of increased sensory attenuation for fear-related action outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Gethin

    2015-10-01

    Voluntary action selection entails the representation of the expected consequences of the action. Previous evidence suggests that accurate action-effect prediction modulates both ERP and behavioral markers of sensory processing-a phenomenon know as sensory attenuation. This may play an important role in monitoring the success or failure of our actions, or attributing agency. Nonetheless, the vast majority of studies in this domain focus on simplistic visual and auditory stimuli. Given that we rarely perform voluntary actions with the aim of generating such stimuli in social contexts, this provides little indication of the extent to which sensory attenuation operates in everyday behavior. The present study investigated ERP and behavioral measures of sensory attenuation for fearful and neutral facial expressions. Participants were trained to associate one voluntary action with the presentation of a fearful face, and another action with a neutral face. We measured both ERP responses and behavioral ratings following presentation of faces whose emotional content was either consistent or inconsistent with the action prediction. We observed significant modulation for fearful outcomes only, suggesting that sensory attenuation is heightened to stimuli of high social relevance. The N170 response was significantly attenuated for congruent fearful faces, but not for congruent neutral faces (in comparison to incongruent faces). Similarly, behavioral ratings were modulated only for fearful faces but not neutral faces. This provides new insight into how social and affective outcomes modulate sensory attenuation and may have implications for implicit sense of agency for socially relevant stimuli. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Drinking to Distraction: Does Alcohol Increase Attentional Bias in Adults with ADHD?

    OpenAIRE

    Roberts, Walter; Fillmore, Mark T.; Milich, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Previous research has shown that social drinkers continue to show attentional bias towards alcohol-related stimuli even after consuming a moderate dose of alcohol. In contrast, little is known about how alcohol acutely affects attentional bias in groups at risk to develop alcohol-related problems, such as adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Such individuals may show increased attentional bias following alcohol relative to nonclinical controls. The present study tested...

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margrethe eBrantsæter

    2016-02-01

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

  7. Drinking to distraction: does alcohol increase attentional bias in adults with ADHD?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Walter; Fillmore, Mark T; Milich, Richard

    2012-04-01

    Previous research has shown that social drinkers continue to show attentional bias toward alcohol-related stimuli even after consuming a moderate dose of alcohol. In contrast, little is known about how alcohol acutely affects attentional bias in groups at risk to develop alcohol-related problems, such as adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Such individuals may show increased attentional bias following alcohol relative to nonclinical controls. The present study tested this hypothesis by examining acute alcohol effects on attentional bias in 20 social drinkers with ADHD and 20 social drinkers with no history of ADHD. Participants performed a visual-probe task after receiving the following doses of alcohol: 0.64 g/kg, 0.32 g/kg, and 0.0 g/kg (placebo). Those in the ADHD group showed increased attentional bias under active alcohol doses, whereas attentional bias was similar across doses in the control group. Attentional bias predicted ad libitum alcohol consumption during a taste-rating session. This relation was observed only in the ADHD group. These findings indicate that an acute alcohol dose increases attentional bias in adults with ADHD. Further, attentional bias appears to be a predictor of ad libitum consumption in this group.

  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. The duration of disgusted and fearful faces is judged longer and shorter than that of neutral faces: the attention-related time distortions as revealed by behavioral and electrophysiological measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan eZhang

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Time perception has been shown to be altered by emotions. This study employed event-related potentials (ERPs to examine the effects of two threat-related emotions on the judgment of time intervals in the range of 490-910 ms. We demonstrated that disgust and fear have distinct influences on time perception. At the behavioral level, disgusted faces were estimated longer and fearful faces were estimated shorter (i.e., the generalization gradient for the disgusted faces was shifted left while the generalization gradient for the fearful faces was shifted right when compared with neutral faces. Accordingly, the contingent negative variation, an online ERP index of timing, displayed larger area in disgust and smaller area in fear conditions when compared with neutral condition (disgust = 1.94 ± 2.35 μV•s, neutral = 1.40 ± 2.5 μV•s, and fear = 1.00 ± 2.26 μV•s. These findings indicated that specific neural mechanisms may underlie the attention effects of different subtypes of threat-related emotions on timing; compared with neutral faces, fearful faces are likely to attract more attentional resources while disgusted faces may attract less attentional resources for emotional processing. The major contribution of the current study is to provide neural correlates of fear vs. disgust divergence in the aspect of time perception and to demonstrate beyond the behavioral level that the categorization of threat-related emotions should be refined so to highlight the adaptability of the human defense system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The complexity of the rearing environment is important for behavioral development and fearfulness. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that laying hens reared in a complex aviary system with exposure to mild intermittent stressors would be less fearful, less sensitive to stress, and would use elevated areas of the pen more often as adults than hens reared in a barren cage environment. Laying hens (N = 160) were housed in the same rearing house; half of the birds (n = 80) in an aviary and the other half (n = 80) in cages. At 16 weeks of age, the birds were transported to the experimental facilities. Their behavior was recorded at 19 and 23 weeks of age and analyzed by analysis of variance on individual scores for a fearfulness-related principal component generated using principal component analysis. The results indicate that aviary-reared birds have lower levels of fearfulness compared with cage-reared birds both at 19 weeks and at 23 weeks of age. When comparing the response induced by initial exposure to a novel object at 19 and 23 weeks of age, more aviary-reared birds tended to fly up at 19 weeks compared to the cage-reared birds, indicating a tendency toward a more active behavioral response in the aviary-reared birds than in cage-reared birds. There was no difference between treatments in the flight response at 23 weeks. The groups did not differ in defecation frequency or the concentration of fecal corticosterone metabolites at either age. At 19 weeks, observation of the spatial distribution in the home pens indicated that more aviary-reared birds spent time on the low perch, the elevated platform, and the upper perch, compared to the cage-reared birds. However, at 23 weeks of age, these differences were no longer detected. The results of this study support the hypothesis that increased environmental complexity during rearing reduces fearfulness of adult laying hens. PMID:26973843

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Siucinska

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Angeli, F.; Lovati, C.; Giani, L.; Mariotti D'Alessandro, C.; Raimondi, E.; Scaglione, V.; Castoldi, D.; Capiluppi, E.; Mariani, C.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25049452

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. De Angeli

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Negative emotions in migraineurs dreams: the increased prevalence of oneiric fear and anguish, unrelated to mood disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Angeli, F; Lovati, C; Giani, L; Mariotti D'Alessandro, C; Raimondi, E; Scaglione, V; Castoldi, D; Capiluppi, E; Mariani, C

    2014-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Schizophrenia is associated with aberrant event-related potentials (ERPs) such as reductions in P300, processing negativity and mismatch negativity amplitudes. These deficits may be related to the propensity of schizophrenia patients to experience auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH). ...... found for mismatch negativity. CONCLUSION: Contrary to our expectations, non-psychotic individuals with AVH show increased rather than decreased psychophysiological measures of effortful attention compared to healthy controls, refuting a pivotal role of decreased effortful attention...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  17. The Duality of Visibility: Does Visibility Increase or Decrease the Fear of Crime in Schools′ Exterior Environments?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lee, Soyeon; Ha, Mikyoung

    2015-01-01

    .... Spots where children felt fear in exterior areas of elementary schools were aggregated, and their characteristics were analyzed with two visibility dimensions of visual connectivity with no visible...

  18. Negative mood increases selective attention to food cues and subjective appetite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepworth, Rebecca; Mogg, Karin; Brignell, Catherine; Bradley, Brendan P

    2010-02-01

    Following negative reinforcement and affect-regulation models of dysfunctional appetitive motivation, this study examined the effect of negative mood on objective and subjective cognitive indices of motivation for food; i.e., attentional bias for food cues and self-reported hunger/urge to eat, respectively. The study extended previous research on the effect of mood on food motivation by using (i) an experimental mood manipulation, (ii) an established index of attentional bias from the visual-probe task and (iii) pictorial food cues, which have greater ecological validity than word stimuli. Young female adults (n=80) were randomly allocated to a neutral or negative mood induction procedure. Attentional biases were assessed at two cue exposure durations (500 and 2000ms). Results showed that negative mood increased both attentional bias for food cues and subjective appetite. Attentional bias and subjective appetite were positively inter-correlated, suggesting a common mechanism, i.e. activation of the food-reward system. Attentional bias was also associated with trait eating style, such as external and restrained eating. Thus, current mood and trait eating style each influenced motivation for food (as reflected by subjective appetite and attentional bias). Findings relate to models of cognitive mechanisms underlying normal and dysfunctional appetitive motivation and eating behaviour. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Increasing Attendance at Early Morning Religious Education Classes by Increased Personal Attention, Recognition, and Teacher Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlborn, Ernest S.

    Designed to provide volunteer, religious education teachers with several tools to increase attendance at early morning religious classes and counteract student absenteeism, the study developed a computerized roll and record keeping system, taught new teaching skills and methods, instructed the teachers to make personal contact with absentees…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srivas Chennu

    2009-11-01

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

  1. Distinct electrocortical and behavioral evidence for increased attention to threat in generalized anxiety disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamara, Annmarie; Hajcak, Greg

    2010-03-01

    Neural activity is increasingly used in addition to behavioral measures to study anxiety and attentional biases toward threatening stimuli. Event-related potentials (ERPs) might be particularly useful because of their excellent temporal resolution. In particular, the late positive potential (LPP) reflects increased attention to emotional stimuli-and was recently found to be larger with increasing state anxiety. This study sought to examine the LPP among individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Fifteen individuals with GAD and 15 healthy controls (HCs) viewed briefly presented pairs of aversive and neutral pictures that were presented to the left and right of, as well as above and below, fixation on each trial; ERP and behavioral measures were recorded as participants indicated whether the horizontal or vertical image pairs were the same or different. Aversive pictures presented in unattended locations were associated with more errors overall, and this effect was larger in GAD than HC participants. Moreover, aversive targets elicited larger LPPs across all participants; this difference was larger in GAD than HC participants when distracters were neutral. Threatening stimuli presented in both target and distracting spatial locations have a greater impact on GAD than HC participants. Behavioral and ERP measures provide complimentary indices of attention toward threat in GAD. In terms of attentional control theory, behavioral interference indexes impaired processing effectiveness, whereas the LPP might index reduced processing efficiency in GAD. Both measures may provide unique windows onto how increased stimulus-driven attention to threat impacts and characterizes GAD. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  3. Selective attention increases both gain and feature selectivity of the human auditory cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaakko Kauramäki

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available An experienced car mechanic can often deduce what's wrong with a car by carefully listening to the sound of the ailing engine, despite the presence of multiple sources of noise. Indeed, the ability to select task-relevant sounds for awareness, whilst ignoring irrelevant ones, constitutes one of the most fundamental of human faculties, but the underlying neural mechanisms have remained elusive. While most of the literature explains the neural basis of selective attention by means of an increase in neural gain, a number of papers propose enhancement in neural selectivity as an alternative or a complementary mechanism.Here, to address the question whether pure gain increase alone can explain auditory selective attention in humans, we quantified the auditory cortex frequency selectivity in 20 healthy subjects by masking 1000-Hz tones by continuous noise masker with parametrically varying frequency notches around the tone frequency (i.e., a notched-noise masker. The task of the subjects was, in different conditions, to selectively attend to either occasionally occurring slight increments in tone frequency (1020 Hz, tones of slightly longer duration, or ignore the sounds. In line with previous studies, in the ignore condition, the global field power (GFP of event-related brain responses at 100 ms from the stimulus onset to the 1000-Hz tones was suppressed as a function of the narrowing of the notch width. During the selective attention conditions, the suppressant effect of the noise notch width on GFP was decreased, but as a function significantly different from a multiplicative one expected on the basis of simple gain model of selective attention.Our results suggest that auditory selective attention in humans cannot be explained by a gain model, where only the neural activity level is increased, but rather that selective attention additionally enhances auditory cortex frequency selectivity.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-10-15

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

  5. 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.)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    The complexity of the rearing environment is important for behavioral development and fearfulness. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that laying hens reared in a complex aviary system with exposure to mild intermittent stressors would be less fearful, less sensitive to stress, and

  7. Cue-elicited increases in incentive salience for marijuana: Craving, demand, and attentional bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  8. Increasing motorcycles attention and search conspicuity by using Alternating-Blinking Lights System (ABLS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gershon, Pnina; Shinar, David

    2013-01-01

    Poor conspicuity of Powered Two-Wheelers (PTW) is one of the main factors contributing to their involvement in accidents. The current study examined the influence of different rider's outfits on PTWs' detectability, and evaluated the potential of a unique Alternating-Blinking Lights System (ABLS) to increase the rider's conspicuity. This study included two experiments that examined the visual search involved in the process of scanning video clips of dynamic traffic scenes. The first experiment examined PTWs' attention conspicuity, while the second evaluated PTWs' search conspicuity. In the attention conspicuity experiment participants were not alerted to the possible presence of a PTW and were asked to report the types of vehicles that were present in each video clip. In the search conspicuity experiment the participants were asked to actively search for a PTW and report its presence or absence in each video clip. Every participant was presented with a series of 96 video clips, 48 with a PTW and 48 without (controls). The independent variables were: (i) level of ambient illumination, (ii) road type, (iii) PTW's initial distance from the viewer, and (iv) rider's outfit. The results of the attention conspicuity experiment indicated that the environmental context has a strong effect on the probability of detecting the PTW. The ABLS increased the PTWs' attention conspicuity by moderating the effects of environmental context, and was most effective at dusk and in urban environments. The results of the search experiment indicated that detection rates decreased and reaction time (RT) increased as the level of luminance decreased. RT was shortest with the ABLS across all driving environments. The ABLS increased PTWs detection rates in both experiments and mitigated the difference in detection rates between the attention and search conspicuity experiments. The results indicated that the ABLS was the most potent conspicuity treatment of the ones evaluated in this study. In

  9. 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.

  10. Graphic imagery is not sufficient for increased attention to cigarette warnings: the role of text captions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Kyle G; Reidy, John G; Weighall, Anna R; Arden, Madelynne A

    2013-04-01

    The present study aims to assess the extent to which attention to UK cigarette warnings is attributable to the graphic nature of the content. A visual dot probe task was utilised, with the warnings serving as critical stimuli that were manipulated for the presence of graphic versus neutral image content, and the accompanying text caption. This mixed design yielded image content (graphic versus neutrally-matched images) and presence (versus absence) of text caption as within subjects variables and smoking status as a between-participants variable. The experiment took place within the laboratories of a UK university. Eighty-six psychology undergraduates (51% smokers, 69% female), predominantly of Caucasian ethnicity took part. Reaction times towards probes replacing graphic images relative to probes replacing neutral images were utilised to create an index of attentional bias. Bias scores (M = 10.20 ± 2.56) highlighted that the graphic image content of the warnings elicited attentional biases (relative to neutral images) for smokers. This only occurred in the presence of an accompanying text caption [t (43) = 3.950, P Graphic imagery on cigarette packets increases attentional capture, but only when accompanied by a text message about health risks. © 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Increased visual task difficulty enhances attentional capture by both visual and auditory distractor stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugimoto, Fumie; Katayama, Jun'ichi

    2017-06-01

    Previous studies using a three-stimulus oddball task have shown the amplitude of P3a elicited by distractor stimuli increases when perceptual discrimination between standard and target stimuli becomes difficult. This means that the attentional capture by the distractor stimuli is enhanced along with an increase in task difficulty. So far, the increase of P3a has been reported when standard, target, and distractor stimuli were presented within one sensory modality (i.e., visual or auditory). In the present study, we further investigated whether or not the increase of P3a can also be observed when the distractor stimuli are presented in a different modality from the standard and target stimuli. Twelve participants performed a three-stimulus oddball task in which they were required to discriminate between visual standard and target stimuli. As the distractor stimuli, either another visual stimulus or an auditory stimulus was presented in separate blocks. Visual distractor stimuli elicited P3a, and its amplitude increased when visual standard/target discrimination was difficult, replicating previous findings. Auditory distractor stimuli elicited P3a, and importantly, its amplitude also increased when visual standard/target discrimination was difficult. This result means that attentional capture by distractor stimuli can be enhanced even when the distractor stimuli are presented in a different modality from the standard and target stimuli. Possible mechanisms and implications are discussed in terms of the relative saliency of distractor stimuli, influences of temporal/spatial attention, and the load involved in a task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Verdejo-Garcia

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuipers, Jan Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume

    2015-10-01

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

  17. Divergent effects of increased serotonergic activity on psychophysiological parameters of human attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oranje, Bob; Frederiksen, Kristian Steen; Wienberg, Malene

    2008-01-01

    is investigated. In a balanced, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over experiment 18 healthy male volunteers received an oral dose of either placebo or of 10 mg escitalopram (a highly specific SSRI) on two separate test days, after which they were tested in an auditory selective attention paradigm and a MMN...... paradigm. Escitalopram significantly increased PN and MMN compared to placebo, without affecting the P300 amplitude. Furthermore, administration of escitalopram resulted in a small, yet significant, reduction of task performance in the selective attention paradigm compared to placebo, while it did...... not affect reaction time. Contrary to what was expected, escitalopram enhanced PN and MMN, without affecting the P300 amplitude. The results are discussed in the light of dosage issues and subtypes of serotonergic receptors....

  18. Fear-avoidance beliefs increase perception of pain and disability in mexicans with chronic low back pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nava-Bringas, Tania Inés; Macías-Hernández, Salvador Israel; Vásquez-Ríos, Jorge Rodrigo; Coronado-Zarco, Roberto; Miranda-Duarte, Antonio; Cruz-Medina, Eva; Arellano-Hernández, Aurelia

    2016-10-28

    Fear-avoidance beliefs are related to the prognosis of chronicity in low back pain in subacute stages, however in chronic pain, is no clear the influence of these factors; it has been suggested that the study population can determine the magnitude of influence on disability and pain of those suffering from back pain. Currently, information does not exist in the Mexican population. To analyze the relationship between fear-avoidance beliefs with pain and disability in Mexicans with chronic low back pain; analyze potentials differences between subgroups according to the time of evolution. Cross-sectional study in Mexicans with chronic LBP aged between 18 and 45. Data were collected on general socio demographic characteristics, time of evolution, body mass index, pain, disability and fear-avoidance beliefs. 33 men and 47 women, with an average age of 34.19±7.65 years. Higher scores of fear-avoidance beliefs were obtained in women (47.2±20.99 versus 38.5±9.7; p=0.05) and single participants (p=0.04). A positive correlation was found between disability (r=0.603, p<0.001) and pain (r=0.234, p=0.03) with high scores of fear-avoidance beliefs. Through generalized linear models for disability, total score of the fear avoidance beliefs questionnaire showed a standardized beta coefficient of 0.603, p<0.001 (R 2 of 0.656); for pain showed a standardized beta coefficient of 0.29, p=0.01 (R 2 of 0.721) CONCLUSION: The present study suggests that there is a strong relationship between pain severity, FABQ scores, and functional disability in Mexicans with chronic LBP. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda.

  19. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geon Ha Kim

    2016-08-01

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

  4. Effects of increased homeostatic sleep pressure on postural control and their modulation by attentional resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robillard, Rébecca; Prince, François; Boissonneault, Michèle; Filipini, Daniel; Carrier, Julie

    2011-09-01

    This study aimed to determine how increased sleep pressure interferes with postural control according to the availability of attentional resources and visual input. Thirteen healthy young adults performed a psychomotor vigilance task and postural tasks after a night of sleep and after 25 h of sleep deprivation. Primary outcome variables were calculated from the center of pressure (CoP) displacement measured by two force plates in various cognitive load and visual state conditions. Sleep deprivation increased CoP anterior-posterior range in the no cognitive load condition and decreased CoP mediolateral range and velocity in the high cognitive load conditions. Sleep deprivation effects on the mediolateral range in the eyes open high cognitive load condition were significantly correlated with its effects on the psychomotor vigilance task. Sleep deprivation destabilizes postural control when attentional and sensory resources are not challenged. In high cognitive load condition, sleep loss induces a general freezing effect that seems to be modulated by the degree of impairment in psychomotor speed. This study demonstrates that sleep pressure has a destabilizing effect on postural control independently of circadian factors, therefore suggesting that sleep debt may be a significant risk factor for falls. Copyright © 2011 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adulthood is a serious and frequent psychiatric disorder with the core symptoms inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The principal aim of this study was to investigate associations between brain morphology, i.e., cortical thickness and volumes of subcortical gray matter, and individual symptom severity in adult ADHD. Surface-based brain morphometry was performed in 35 women and 29 men with ADHD using FreeSurfer. Linear regressions were calculated between cortical thickness and the volumes of subcortical gray matter and the inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity subscales of the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales (CAARS). Two separate analyses were performed. For the first analysis, age was included as additional regressor. For the second analysis, both age and severity of depression were included as additional regressors. Study participants were recruited between June 2012 and January 2014. Linear regression identified an area in the left occipital cortex of men, covering parts of the middle occipital sulcus and gyrus, in which the score on the CAARS inattention subscale predicted increased mean cortical thickness [ F (1,27) = 26.27, p  gray matter and the scores on CAARS subscales, neither in men nor in women. These results remained stable when severity of depression was included as additional regressor, together with age. Increased cortical thickness in the left occipital cortex may represent a mechanism to compensate for dysfunctional attentional networks in male adult ADHD patients.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junjiao Li

    2017-11-01

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

  7. 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] and separately obtained measures of attentional control and language ability in adolescent Spanish-English bilinguals and English monolinguals. 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. PMID:24413593

  8. The pupil response reveals increased listening effort when it is difficult to focus attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koelewijn, Thomas; de Kluiver, Hilde; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G; Zekveld, Adriana A; Kramer, Sophia E

    2015-05-01

    Recent studies have shown that prior knowledge about where, when, and who is going to talk improves speech intelligibility. How related attentional processes affect cognitive processing load has not been investigated yet. In the current study, three experiments investigated how the pupil dilation response is affected by prior knowledge of target speech location, target speech onset, and who is going to talk. A total of 56 young adults with normal hearing participated. They had to reproduce a target sentence presented to one ear while ignoring a distracting sentence simultaneously presented to the other ear. The two sentences were independently masked by fluctuating noise. Target location (left or right ear), speech onset, and talker variability were manipulated in separate experiments by keeping these features either fixed during an entire block or randomized over trials. Pupil responses were recorded during listening and performance was scored after recall. The results showed an improvement in performance when the location of the target speech was fixed instead of randomized. Additionally, location uncertainty increased the pupil dilation response, which suggests that prior knowledge of location reduces cognitive load. Interestingly, the observed pupil responses for each condition were consistent with subjective reports of listening effort. We conclude that communicating in a dynamic environment like a cocktail party (where participants in competing conversations move unpredictably) requires substantial listening effort because of the demands placed on attentional processes. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Do patients with chronic pain show autonomic arousal when confronted with feared movements? An experimental investigation of the fear-avoidance model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glombiewski, Julia Anna; Riecke, Jenny; Holzapfel, Sebastian; Rief, Winfried; König, Stephan; Lachnit, Harald; Seifart, Ulf

    2015-03-01

    The relevance of a phobia-based conceptualization of fear for individuals with chronic pain has been much debated in the literature. This study investigated whether patients with highly fearful chronic low back pain show distinct physiological reaction patterns compared with less fearful patients when anticipating aversive back pain-related movements. We used an idiosyncratic fear induction paradigm and collected 2 different measures of autonomic nervous system activation and muscle tension in the lower back. We identified 2 distinct psychophysiological response patterns. One pattern was characterized by a moderate increase in skin conductance, interbeat interval (IBI) increase, and muscle tension increase in the lower back. This response was interpreted as an attention reaction to a moderately stressful event. The other pattern, found in 58% of the participants, was characterized by a higher skin conductance response, IBI decrease, and muscle tension increase in the lower back. According to Bradley and Lang defense cascade model, this response is typical of a fear reaction. Participants showing the psychophysiological pattern typical of fear also had elevated scores on some self-report measures of components of the fear-avoidance model, relative to participants showing the reaction pattern characteristic of attention. This study is the first to provide psychophysiological evidence for the fear-avoidance model of chronic pain.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Sörös

    2017-09-01

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

  11. Exogenous cortisol shifts a motivated bias from fear to anger in spatial working memory for facial expressions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Putman, P.L.J.; Hermans, E.J.; Honk, E.J. van

    2007-01-01

    Studies assessing processing of facial expressions have established that cortisol levels, emotional traits, and affective disorders predict selective responding to these motivationally relevant stimuli in expression specific manners. For instance, increased attentional processing of fearful faces

  12. Evidence for increased behavioral control by punishment in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furukawa, Emi; Alsop, Brent; Sowerby, Paula; Jensen, Stephanie; Tripp, Gail

    2017-03-01

    The behavioral sensitivity of children with ADHD to punishment has received limited theoretical and experimental attention. This study evaluated the effects of punishment on the response allocation of children with ADHD and typically developing children. Two hundred and ten children, 145 diagnosed with ADHD, completed an operant task in which they chose between playing two simultaneously available games. Reward was arranged symmetrically across the games under concurrent variable interval schedules. Asymmetric punishment schedules were superimposed; responses on one game were punished four times as often as responses on the other. Both groups allocated more of their responses to the less frequently punished alternative. Response bias increased significantly in the ADHD group during later trials, resulting in missed reward trials and reduced earnings. Punishment exerted greater control over the response allocation of children with ADHD with increased time on task. Children with ADHD appear more sensitive to the cumulative effects of punishment than typically developing children. © 2016 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joukje M Oosterman

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  18. Fear of Death in Gulliver’s Travels

    OpenAIRE

    Chunhong Yang

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Avoidance-Avoidance Competition Increases Pain-Related Fear and Slows Decision-Making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claes, Nathalie; Crombez, Geert; Meulders, Ann; Vlaeyen, Johan W S

    2016-04-01

    Successful adjustment to dynamic environments requires the simultaneous pursuit of multiple goals. However, the pursuit of multiple goals may bring about goal conflict. Despite evidence indicating that goal conflict can have a detrimental effect on subjective well-being, little is known about the effects of goal competition in the context of pain. This experiment investigated whether different types of goal competition increase pain-related fear and slow pain-related decision-making. Forty-six participants completed a cross-directional movement task in which they learned to associate movements in 1 direction (eg, left) with pain, and movements in the opposite direction (eg, right) with safety; and that movements in other directions (eg, up and down) were associated with reward and loss of reward, respectively. In the test phase, both phases were combined, creating different types of goal competition. The results showed that participants were most afraid of movements associated with 2 concurrent avoidance goals, and the least afraid of movements associated with approach-approach competition. Additionally, participants were slower in making a choice when presented with an avoidance-avoidance competition compared with approach-approach and avoidance-approach competition. These findings suggest that avoidance-avoidance competition increased fear and slowed decision-making compared with other types of competition. This study provides experimental evidence for the differential effects of various goal conflicts on pain-related fear and decision-making. This knowledge may improve our understanding of patients' behavior when experiencing goal conflict and may contribute to improving treatments by addressing multiple goals patients are pursuing, and not just pain avoidance/reduction. Copyright © 2016 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valdenilson Ribeiro Ribas

    Full Text Available Abstract Air traffic controllers simultaneously develop complex and multiple tasks in the course of their activities. In this context, concern is raised over the high level of attention needed by these professionals which can ultimately be affected by stress and fatigue. Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess attention level in air traffic controllers (ATCo. Methods: 45 flight protection professionals were evaluated, comprising 30 ATCo, subdivided into ATCo with ten or more years in the profession (ATCo³10, n=15 and ATCo with less than ten years in the profession (ATCo <10, n=15 and 15 aeronautical information services operators (AIS, subdivided into AIS with ten years or more in the profession (AIS³10, n=8 and AIS with less than ten years in the profession (AIS <10, n=7, who were included as the control group. The digit symbol, d2 (the individual marks the letter d on a specific form containing 14 lines with 47 letters in each, maintaining focus on letter d followed by two dashes, forward digit span, backward digit span and PASAT (paced auditory serial addition test attention tests were used. Kruskal-Wallis was used and data expressed as Median (Minimum and Maximum with p<0.05. Results: The ATCo³10 presented greater focus of attention, sustained attention, mental manipulation and resistance to interference capacity compared to the AIS³10. Comparison of ATCo³10 to the AIS<10 showed they presented only greater resistance to interference, and when compared to the ATCo<10 presented lower focus. Conclusions: The air traffic control activity after ten years may be associated with a high level of attention.

  1. Enhanced long-term fear memory and increased anxiety and depression-like behavior after exposure to an aversive event in mice lacking TIP39 signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutellier, Laurence; Usdin, Ted B.

    2011-01-01

    Exaggerated recall for fear-provoking events leads to abnormal behaviors. We hypothesized that tuberoinfundibular-peptide-of-39-residues (TIP39) modulates fear memory by limiting long-term consequences of aversive experiences. We now show that mice lacking TIP39 signaling display enhanced fear-recall, anxiety and depression-like behavior two weeks after a traumatic event. We suggest that TIP39 modulates long-term fear recall and that mice lacking TIP39 or its receptor are tools for investigating fear-related psychopathologies. PMID:21382418

  2. Mindful attention increases and mediates psychological outcomes following mantram repetition practice in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bormann, Jill E; Oman, Doug; Walter, Kristen H; Johnson, Brian D

    2014-12-01

    Several evidence-based treatments are available to veterans diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, not all veterans benefit from these treatments or prefer to engage in them. The current study explored whether (1) a mantram repetition program (MRP) increased mindful attention among veterans with PTSD, (2) mindful attention mediated reduced PTSD symptom severity and enhanced psychological well-being, and (3) improvement in mindful attention was due to the frequency of mantram repetition practice. Data from a randomized controlled trial comparing MRP plus treatment as usual (MRP+TAU) or TAU were analyzed using hierarchical linear models. A total of 146 veterans with PTSD from military-related trauma were recruited from a Veterans Affairs outpatient PTSD clinic (71 MRP+TAU; 75 TAU). The Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), PTSD Checklist (PCL), the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 depression subscale, Health Survey SF-12v2, and Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) were used. Frequency of mantram repetition practice was measured using wrist-worn counters and daily logs. Intent-to-treat analyses indicated greater increases in mindful attention, as measured by the MAAS, for MRP+TAU as compared with TAU participants (PMindful attention gains mediated previously reported treatment effects on reduced PTSD symptoms (using both CAPS and PCL), reduced depression, and improved psychological well-being. Frequency of mantram repetition practice in turn mediated increased mindful attention. The MRP intervention and specifically, mantram practice, improved mindful attention in veterans with PTSD, yielding improved overall psychological well-being. MRP may be a beneficial adjunct to usual care in veterans with PTSD.

  3. Executive and attentional functions in chronic pain: does performance decrease with increasing task load?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterman, J.; Derksen, L.C.; Wijck, A.J. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Veldhuijzen, D.S.

    2012-01-01

    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

  4. Executive and attentional functions in chronic pain: Does performance decrease with increasing task load?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterman, J.M.; Derksen, L.C.; Wijck, A.J.M. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Veldhuijzen, D.S.

    2012-01-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. Generalization of Extinguished Fear to Untreated Fear Stimuli after Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preusser, Friederike; Margraf, Jürgen; Zlomuzica, Armin

    2017-12-01

    Exposure therapy is highly effective in treating excessive fear related to specific objects and/or situations. However, patients with anxiety disorders often display a generalization of fear responses toward conceptually and perceptually related stimuli and situations. It is unclear whether the beneficial effects of exposure on fear reduction toward treated fear stimuli can extend to untreated fear stimuli. Here, we investigated whether basic principles of extinction generalization apply to exposure. Spider-phobic participants were randomly assigned to either two sessions of exposure treatment (n=23) with spiders or no-treatment (n=24). Prior to and after treatment, behavioral approach tests (BATs) were conducted to examine avoidance, fear and disgust responses toward the treated phobic stimulus (spider as the extinction stimulus). Likewise, BATs with the untreated fear stimulus (cockroach) were conducted to dissect the generalization of treatment effects. Treatment was highly effective in increasing approach behavior toward both treated and untreated fear stimuli. Generalization of treatment effects were evident on the behavioral (approach distance during the BAT), subjective (fear levels during the BAT) and psychophysiological level (heart rate during the BAT). However, a stronger decline in disgust was only evident for the treated fear stimulus. Notably, the herein attained generalization effects were not context-dependent. Hence, exposure therapy for spider phobia was effective in reducing fear of untreated stimuli which share common fear-evoking characteristics with spiders but were never presented during the respective exposure treatment. These findings provide clinical evidence for extinction generalization across different fear-evoking stimuli mediated via exposure.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    BackgroundAttention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adulthood is a serious and frequent psychiatric disorder with the core symptoms inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The principal aim of this study was to investigate associations between brain morphology, i.e., cortical thickness and volumes of subcortical gray matter, and individual symptom severity in adult ADHD.MethodsSurface-based brain morphometry was performed in 35 women and 29 men with ADHD using FreeSurfer. Linear...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adulthood is a serious and frequent psychiatric disorder with the core symptoms inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The principal aim of this study was to investigate associations between brain morphology, i.e., cortical thickness and volumes of subcortical gray matter, and individual symptom severity in adult ADHD. Methods Surface-based brain morphometry was performed in 35 women and 29 men with ADHD using Free...

  9. Trait impulsivity and increased pre-attentional sensitivity to intense stimuli in bipolar disorder and controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lijffijt, Marijn; Lane, Scott D; Moeller, F Gerard; Steinberg, Joel L; Swann, Alan C

    2015-01-01

    Impulsivity and sensation seeking are stimulus-oriented traits. Because they differ in degree of intention and planning, they may have distinct neurophysiological mechanisms. Impulsivity is prominent in bipolar disorder, and may be related to pre-attentional information filtering and stimulus-orientation. We investigated specificity of relationships between impulsivity and sensitivity to stimulus intensity in bipolar disorder and controls, using intensity-sensitivity of auditory evoked potentials. Seventy-six subjects (37 healthy controls, 39 with bipolar disorder) were administered an intensity-sensitivity paradigm. Additional measures included Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) and Eysenck Impulsivity and Venturesomeness scores. State-dependent rapid-response impulsivity was measured using the Immediate Memory Task. Intensity-sensitivities of the auditory evoked P1N1, N1P2, P1, N1, and P2 potentials were assessed as the slope of amplitude relative to loudness. Analyses used general linear models (GLM) with impulsivity-related measures as dependent variables and age, gender, education, and diagnosis as dependent variables. BIS-11 total, motor, and attentional impulsivity scores correlated positively with pre-attentional N1 and P1N1 intensity-sensitivity slopes in bipolar disorder, but not in controls. BIS-11 nonplanning and Eysenck Venturesomeness scores did not correlate with intensity-sensitivity. Intensity-sensitivity slopes did not correlate with rapid-response impulsivity. Correlations between N1 or P1N1 slopes and BIS-11 scores in bipolar disorder were not affected by age, education, WAIS, treatment, symptoms, or gender. Trait impulsivity in bipolar disorder may be related to poorly modulated stimulus-driven late pre-attentional responses to stimuli, potentially resulting in exaggerated responses to intense stimuli even before conscious awareness. Components of trait impulsivity are physiologically heterogenous relative to intensity-sensitivity. Copyright

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Rumination induces a pattern of attention characterized by increased vigilance followed by avoidance of affective pain words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookes, M L; Sharpe, L; Dear, B F

    2017-08-01

    This study examined the effects of rumination on attentional processes in relation to an acute experimental pain task. In keeping with recent theory and research, it was hypothesized that we would identify a pattern of attentional bias characterized by enhanced initial vigilance followed by avoidance of pain-related stimuli. Undergraduate students were randomized to a rumination condition, which received threat-inducing information about the cold pressor task, or a distraction condition. Using the dot probe task, attentional biases to sensory and affective pain words were assessed at two presentation intervals (500 and 1250 ms). Those in the rumination condition did not show differences in attentional biases compared to the control group, however, they did respond more quickly to pain congruent trials compared to neutral/neutral trials when affective pain words were presented for 500 ms. In addition, those in the rumination group responded more slowly in congruent trials to neutral/neutral trials than affective/neutral trials indicating avoidance at 1250 ms. Although those in the rumination condition exhibited higher levels of distress and reported higher levels of pain when they withdrew their hands from the cold pressor task, the congruency biases did not predict these results. These results suggest that experimentally manipulating rumination changes attentional processes consistent with the vigilance-avoidance hypothesis. The rumination manipulation led to increased worry about pain and induced to an attentional pattern of vigilance-avoidance for affective pain words. The induction also led to more distress and pain. Rumination and worry appear to increase unhelpful patterns of attention and could be an appropriate focus of intervention. © 2017 European Pain Federation - EFIC®.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronningstam, Elsa; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common in chronic posttraumatic pain. Theoretical models suggest that attentional biases (AB) contribute to the development and maintenance of chronic pain and PTSD, however, the influence of AB on clinical and heat pain sensitivity in chronic...... posttraumatic pain patients is unknown. This study investigated AB for linguistic pain- and trauma-related stimuli, and clinical and thermal sensitivity in patients with chronic posttraumatic pain with and without PTSD. METHODS: Thirty-four patients with chronic posttraumatic cervical pain performed the visual...... (vigilance). Attentional avoidance of pain cues was associated with increased pain intensity and heat pain sensitivity (Pchronic posttraumatic pain. The causal contribution of attentional avoidance to pain...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. Increased white matter connectivity in traumatized children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Subin; Lee, Jong-Min; Kim, Jae-Won; Kwon, Hunki; Cho, Soo-Chul; Han, Doug Hyun; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Kim, Bung-Nyun

    2016-01-30

    To distinguish between the consequences of trauma exposure and those of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), we compared brain diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of children according to the diagnosis and the presence of a potentially traumatic event (PTE). The Early Trauma Inventory Self Report-Short Form (ETISR-SF) was used for the assessment of PTEs. Subjects who experienced any traumatic event were placed in the PTE group, and subjects who did not experience such a traumatic event were placed in the non-PTE group. We examined the interactions between ADHD and PTEs in brain [fractional anisotropy (FA) values and mean diffusivity (MD) values] in 54 children with ADHD (29 with PTEs and 25 without PTEs) and 41 controls (18 with PTEs and 23 without PTEs). Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed main effects of ADHD for FA and MD values in several white matter tracts in the absence of main effects for PTEs. In addition, there was a significant ADHD-PTEs interaction in relation to FA and MD values in several white matter tracts. Further longitudinal studies in a larger sample are warranted to evaluate the neurobiological sequelae related to childhood trauma, ADHD, and interaction between the two. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  19. Reforms to Limit Increases in Health Care Expenditures, With Special Attention to the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gradus, R.H.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    In Europe, an ageing population and technological innovation are the most significant drivers behind public health care expenditure increases. Several reforms are needed in order to limit these increases. International research has shown that market mechanisms and better public management have the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willemse, Cesco; Marchesi, Serena; Wykowska, Agnieszka

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Patterns of increased intrinsic functional connectivity in patients with restless legs syndrome are associated with attentional control of sensory inputs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorges, Martin; Rosskopf, Johannes; Müller, Hans-Peter; Lindemann, Klaas; Hornyak, Magdolna; Kassubek, Jan

    2016-03-23

    Potential alterations of intrinsic functional connectivity in idiopathic restless legs syndrome (RLS) are to be assumed since RLS is considered a network disorder. Whole-brain-based investigation of intrinsic functional connectivity networks including the sensorimotor systems in patients with RLS was compared with matched healthy controls. 'Resting-state' functional MRI (1.5 T) from 26 patients with RLS and 26 matched controls were analyzed using standardized seed-based analysis procedures. The motor/sensorimotor, sensory thalamic, ventral and dorsal attention, basal ganglia-thalamic, cingulate, and brainstem networks were used for voxel-based group comparisons between RLS patients and controls. Significantly increased connectivities were observed in the sensory thalamic, ventral and dorsal attention, basal ganglia-thalamic, and cingulate networks in RLS patients, whereas no differences could be demonstrated for the motor/sensorimotor and the brainstem system. The pattern of functional connectivity alterations was positively correlated with increasing symptom severity. Abnormally increased regional BOLD synchronization appears to be a key feature of intrinsic brain architecture in RLS. Alterations in cortical and sub-cortical functional networks support the notion that the underlying pathophysiology of RLS is beyond the sensorimotor and the brainstem system and may be also associated with altered attentional control of sensory inputs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. The Meaning of Fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Michael

    Theories and descriptions of various infant fear behaviors are presented in this paper. Five examples of fear are given: (1) learned fear, in which the infant associates some unpleasant action with an agent, (2) unlearned fear, in which the infant experiences an intense sensory phenomena such as a loud noise, (3) stranger anxiety, (4) fear caused…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Multisensory Attention in Motion: Uninformative Sounds Increase the Detectability of Direction Changes of Moving Visual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Durk Talsma

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available It has recently been shown that spatially uninformative sounds can cause a visual stimulus to pop-out from an array of similar distractor stimuli when that sound is presented near simultaneously with a feature change in the visual stimulus. Until now, this effect has only been shown for stimuli that remain at a fixed position. Here we extend these results by showing that auditory stimuli can also improve the detectability of visual stimulus features related to motion. To accomplish this we presented moving visual stimuli (small dots on a computer screen. At a random moment during a trial, one of these stimuli could abruptly start moving in an orthogonal direction. Participants' task was to indicate whether such a change in direction had occurred or not by making a corresponding button press. When a sound (a short 1000Hz tone pip was presented simultaneously with a motion change, participants were able to detect this motion direction change among a significantly higher number of distractor stimuli, compared to when the sound was absent. When the number of distractor stimuli was kept constant, detection accuracy was significantly higher when the tone was present, compared to when it was absent. Using signal detection theory, we determined that this change in accuracy was reflected in an increase in d“, while we found no evidence to suggest that participants' response bias (as reflected nearly equal beta parameters, changed due to the presence of the sounds.

  10. Fears and Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Videos for Educators Search English Español Fears and Phobias KidsHealth / For Teens / Fears and Phobias What's in ... might need help and support to overcome them. Phobias A phobia is an intense fear reaction to ...

  11. Propane fear

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Begley, R.

    1992-02-12

    A minor feature of a Congressional energy bill is causing consternation for a number of propane-consuming chemical companies. The firms are fighting the bill`s inclusion of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on a list of alternative fuels that can be used to meet its urban fleet vehicles requirements. The firms fear that this added use would drive up the price of propane-an LPG-for homeowners, farmers, and themselves. Speaking for the Propane Consumers Coalition, a Dow Chemical spokesman says 7.7 million households use propane, as does agriculture, and current demand is such that December saw a 23-year low in US inventories. The US depends on imports of propane, he says, and about half the propane sold in the US is derived from the refining of oil, much of which is also imported. Adding demand for vehicle fuel would drive up imports and process, the spokesman says, thereby damaging all users, including the petrochemical industry.

  12. Higher burnout scores in paediatric residents are associated with increased brain activity during attentional functional magnetic resonance imaging task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Andrade, Anarella Penha Meirelles; Amaro, Edson; Farhat, Sylvia Costa Lima; Schvartsman, Claudio

    2016-06-01

    Burnout syndrome is common in healthcare workers. We evaluated its prevalence in paediatric residents and investigated its influence on cerebral function correlations, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), when they carried out an attentional paradigm. This cross-sectional descriptive study involved 28 residents from the Department of Paediatrics at the University of São Paulo. The functional MRI was carried out while the residents completed the Stroop colour word task paradigm to investigate their attentional task performance. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was applied, and stress was assessed using the Lipp Inventory of Stress Symptoms for Adults and by a visual analogue mood scale. The MBI subscales of depersonalisation and emotional exhaustion indicated that 53.1% of the residents had moderate or high burnout syndrome. The whole-brain multivariate analysis showed positive correlations between the blood oxygenation level dependent effect and the MBI depersonalisation and emotional exhaustion indices in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which controls for anxiety. Increased brain activation during an attention task, measured using functional MRI, was associated with higher burnout scores in paediatric residents. This study provides a biological basis for the implementation of measures to reduce burnout syndrome at the start of residency training programmes. ©2016 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Increase of posterior connectivity in aging within the Ventral Attention Network: A functional connectivity analysis using independent component analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deslauriers, Johnathan; Ansado, Jennyfer; Marrelec, Guillaume; Provost, Jean-Sébastien; Joanette, Yves

    2017-02-15

    Multiple studies have found neurofunctional changes in normal aging in a context of selective attention. Furthermore, many articles report intrahemispheric alteration in functional networks. However, little is known about age-related changes within the Ventral Attention Network (VAN), which underlies selective attention. The aim of this study is to examine age-related changes within the VAN, focusing on connectivity between its regions. Here we report our findings on the analysis of 27 participants' (13 younger and 14 older healthy adults) BOLD signals as well as their performance on a letter-matching task. We identified the VAN independently for both groups using spatial independent component analysis. Three main findings emerged: First, younger adults were faster and more accurate on the task. Second, older adults had greater connectivity among posterior regions (right temporoparietal junction, right superior parietal lobule, right middle temporal gyrus and left cerebellum crus I) than younger adults but lower connectivity among anterior regions (right anterior insula, right medial superior frontal gyrus and right middle frontal gyrus). Older adults also had more connectivity between anterior and posterior regions than younger adults. Finally, correlations between connectivity and response time on the task showed a trend toward connectivity in posterior regions for the older group and in anterior regions for the younger group. Thus, this study shows that intrahemispheric neurofunctional changes in aging also affect the VAN. The results suggest that, in contexts of selective attention, posterior regions increased in importance for older adults, while anterior regions had reduced centrality. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  16. 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

    2017-10-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nellis, Ashley Marie; Savage, Joanne

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Pulling us apart? The association between fear of crime and social ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fear of crime, like crime itself, is thought to be a factor that constrains efforts by government and non-state actors to promote socially cohesive communities and a caring society. As concerns have mounted over various aspects of the social fabric in South Africa, increasing policy attention has been directed at perceptions of ...

  19. 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...

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Amplification of attentional blink by distress-related facial expressions: relationships with alexithymia and affectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grynberg, Delphine; Vermeulen, Nicolas; Luminet, Olivier

    2014-10-01

    The present studies aimed to analyse the modulatory effect of distressing facial expressions on attention processing. The attentional blink (AB) paradigm is one of the most widely used paradigms for studying temporal attention, and is increasingly applied to study the temporal dynamics of emotion processing. The aims of this study were to investigate how identifying fear and pain facial expressions (Study 1) and fear and anger facial expressions (Study 2) would influence the detection of subsequent stimuli presented within short time intervals, and to assess the moderating influence of alexithymia and affectivity on this effect. It has been suggested that high alexithymia scorers need more attentional resources to process distressing facial expressions and that negative affectivity increases the AB. We showed that fear, anger and pain produced an AB and that alexithymia moderated it such that difficulty in describing feelings (Study 1) and externally oriented thinking (Study 2) were associated with higher interference after the processing of fear and anger at short time presentations. These studies provide evidence that distressing facial expressions modulate the attentional processing at short time intervals and that alexithymia influences the early attentional processing of fear and anger expressions. Controlling for state affect did not change these conclusions. © 2013 International Union of Psychological Science.

  3. DRD4 VNTRs, observed stranger fear in preschoolers and later ADHD symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappa, Irene; Mileva-Seitz, Viara R; Szekely, Eszter; Verhulst, Frank C; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Hofman, Albert; Tiemeier, Henning; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H

    2014-12-30

    Fear of strangers is a developmental milestone in childhood that encompasses behavioral inhibition and decreased novelty seeking. Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often exhibit fearless and impulsive behaviors, similar to those observed in children with atypically low levels of stranger fear. It is currently unknown whether these behaviors share common underlying biological mechanisms. Polymorphisms in the dopamine receptor 4 gene (DRD4) have been implicated in the risk for developing ADHD symptoms in childhood. Here we investigate whether (1) DRD4 variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) are associated with both stranger fear and ADHD symptoms, and (2) stranger fear in preschoolers mediates the link between DRD4 VNTRs and ADHD in later childhood. Stranger fear was observed in a large sample (N=589) of 3-year-old Caucasian children and ADHD symptoms were assessed by a validated, mother-rated questionnaire at 6 years. We found evidence that longer DRD4 variants were associated with increased ADHD symptoms at 6 years, and that this relationship was partially mediated by lower levels of observed stranger fear at 3 years. Our results suggest a common underlying neurobiological mechanism in the association between low stranger fear and ADHD symptoms; variation in DRD4 may be an important contributor to this mechanism. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  5. The cost of fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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....... A brief literature review provides the context for a discussion of fear and sound in virtual worlds before the framework is described; concluding remarks point to future empirical work testing and refining the framework....

  7. Relationships among Fear of Success, Fear of Failure, and Androgyny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulig, Joanne C.; And Others

    Research has reported relationships between fear of success and fear of failure and between fear of success and various sex-role identity factors. These relationships were examined for undergraduates (N=154) using the Fear of Success Scale (FOSS) to measure fear of success, the Debilitating Anxiety Scale (DAS) to measure fear of failure, and the…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasino, Barbara; Fabbro, Franco

    2016-02-01

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

  10. 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. PMID:25296032

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Fear of progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herschbach, Peter; Dinkel, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Fear of progression (or fear of recurrence) is an appropriate, rational response to the real threat of cancer and cancer treatments. However, elevated levels of fear of progression can become dysfunctional, affecting well-being, quality of life, and social functioning. Research has shown that fear of progression is one of the most frequent distress symptoms of patients with cancer and with other chronic diseases. As a clear consensus concerning clinically relevant states of fear of progression is currently lacking, it is difficult to provide a valid estimate of the rate of cancer patients who clearly suffer from fear of progression. However, recent systematic reviews suggest that probably 50 % of cancer patients experience moderate to severe fear of progression. Furthermore, many patients express unmet needs in dealing with the fear of cancer spreading. These results underline the necessity to provide effective psychological treatments for clinical levels of fear of progression. A few psychosocial interventions for treating fear of progression have been developed so far. Our own, targeted intervention study showed that dysfunctional fear of progression can be effectively treated with a brief group therapy.

  14. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Introduction of a retention interval in a sustained attention task in rats: effects of a visual distracter and increasing the inter-trial interval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burk, Joshua A

    2004-11-30

    The impact of manipulating explicit attentional demands on working memory has not been well studied in rodents. The present experiment was designed to test the effects of incorporating a retention interval in a two-lever sustained attention task that requires discrimination of visual signals and non-signals and that has previously been shown to yield valid measures of attention in the rat. Upon establishing baseline performance, additional manipulations, including presentation of a visual distracter and increasing the length and variability of the inter-trial interval were conducted. During baseline conditions, accurate detection of signals, but not non-signals, decreased as the retention interval was increased. Presentation of a flashing houselight throughout the session eliminated delay-dependent detection of signals. Increasing the inter-trial interval improved detection of signals and decreased detection of non-signals at the longest retention interval. Finally, increasing the variability of the inter-trial interval did not have significant effects on performance above and beyond the effects of increasing the inter-trial interval. The present experiment demonstrates that manipulation of explicit attentional demands can alter working memory performance in the rat. This task may be employed to understand the neuropharmacological and neuroanatomical substrates mediating memory while attentional load is systematically varied.

  17. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomons, Steve

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Diminished Infant P50 Sensory Gating Predicts Increased 40-Month-Old Attention, Anxiety/Depression, and Externalizing Symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, Amanda K; Hunter, Sharon K; Wagner, Brandie D; Calvin, Elizabeth A; Zerbe, Gary O; Ross, Randal G

    2017-02-01

    When behavioral problems resulting from attentional difficulties present, often in preschool, it is unknown whether these problems represent preexisting altered brain development or new brain changes. This study examines whether infant sensory gating of auditory evoked potentials predicts parent-reported behavior at 40 months. P50 sensory gating, an auditory evoked potential measure reflective of inhibitory processes in the brain, was measured in 50 infants around 70 days old. Parents, using the Child Behavior Checklist, reported on the child's behavior at 40 months. Controlling for gender, infants with diminished sensory gating had more problems later with externalizing behavior ( F = 4.17, ndf = 1, ddf = 46, p = .047), attentional problems ( F = 5.23, ndf = 1, ddf = 46, p = .027), and anxious/depressed symptoms ( F = 5.36, ndf = 1, ddf = 46, p = .025). Diminished infant P50 sensory gating predicts attention symptoms 3 years later. These results support the hypothesis that preschool attentional dysfunction may relate to altered brain development that is detectable years prior to symptom onset.

  20. A Randomized Trial of a Classroom Intervention to Increase Peers' Social Inclusion of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikami, Amori Yee; Griggs, Marissa Swaim; Lerner, Matthew D.; Emeh, Christina C.; Reuland, Meg M.; Jack, Allison; Anthony, Maria R.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: Interventions for peer problems among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) typically focus on improving these children's behaviors. This study tested the proposition that an adjunctive component encouraging the peer group to be socially inclusive of children with ADHD would augment the efficacy of traditional…

  1. A short physical activity break from cognitive tasks increases selective attention in primary school children aged 10-11

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, M.; Chin A Paw, M.J.M.; Rauh, S.P.; Toussaint, H.M.; van Mechelen, W.; Verhagen, E.A.L.M.

    2014-01-01

    Importance Evidence for an acute effect of physical activity on cognitive performance within the school setting is limited. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into acute effects of a short physical activity bout on selective attention in primary school children, specifically in the school

  2. Backward Masked Snakes and Guns Modulate Spatial Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Joshua M. Carlson; Andrea L. Fee; Reinke, Karen S.

    2009-01-01

    Fearful faces are important social cues that alert others of potential threat. Even backward masked fearful faces facilitate spatial attention. However, visual stimuli other than fearful faces can signal potential threat. Indeed, unmasked snakes and spiders modulate spatial attention. Yet, it is unclear if the rapid threat-related facilitation of spatial attention to backward masked stimuli is elicited by non-face threat cues. Evolutionary theories claim that phylogenetic threats (i.e. snakes...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Desynchrony of fear in phobic exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Duinen, M A; Schruers, K R J; Griez, E J L

    2010-05-01

    Intuitively, phobic exposure would seem to be a very stressful experience. However, it is not clear whether the characteristic feature of a classic stress response, activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, is present in phobic fear. Some instances of phobic fear have been found to be accompanied by robust increases in cortisol, whereas in other instances a dissociation between subjective-behavioural arousal and the HPA-axis has been found. The latter is referred to as desynchrony of fear. The aim of the current study was to test the hypothesis that phobic fear is similar to normal fear and, as such, is accompanied by a robust increase in cortisol values. In all, 16 spider phobic subjects and 16 healthy controls participated in the study. During and following a standardised stepwise exposure paradigm, saliva samples were collected for cortisol determination. In contrast to the controls, the spider phobics reacted with a strong fear reaction to the spiders. However, cortisol levels remained unaffected. The phobic response did not resemble the classic 'fight or flight' response. Some suggest that the HPA-axis response has become extinguished in modern man. Yet, it is possible that phobic fear is not a derivative of an ancient fear but rather a separate entity that relies on other neuroendocrinological systems.

  6. Sustained engagement of attention is associated with increased negative self-referent processing in major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dainer-Best, Justin; Trujillo, Logan T; Schnyer, David M; Beevers, Christopher G

    2017-10-01

    This study investigated the link between self-reference and attentional engagement in adults with (n=22) and without (HC; n=24) Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants completed the Self-Referent Encoding Task (SRET). MDD participants endorsed significantly fewer positive words and more negative words as self-descriptive than HC participants. A whole-scalp data analysis technique revealed that the MDD participants had larger difference wave (negative words minus positive words) ERP amplitudes from 380 to 1000ms across posterior sites, which positively correlated with number of negative words endorsed. No group differences were observed for earlier attentional components (P1, P2). The results suggest that among adults with MDD, negative stimuli capture attention during later information processing; this engagement is associated with greater self-referent endorsement of negative adjectives. Sustained cognitive engagement for self-referent negative stimuli may be an important target for neurocognitive depression interventions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Nicotine Increases Impulsivity and Decreases Willingness to Exert Cognitive Effort despite Improving Attention in “Slacker” Rats: Insights into Cholinergic Regulation of Cost/Benefit Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. [Fear of falling in older people].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkodo Mekongo, Y P; De Breucker, S; Delvaux, N; Pepersack, T

    2007-01-01

    Fear of falling and poor physical performance are prominent symptoms in many older people. The prevalence of fear of falling in community-living elderly ranges between 12 % and 65 %, and is higher in women than men. It commonly occurs after falls, but it also occurs without a previous fall history. One of the major consequences of fear of falling is the restriction and avoidance of activities. However, not all elderly with fear of falling avoid activities in daily life. Some elderly only become cautious, which may be functional in preventing falls. Only a small percentage of elderly show a pattern of excessive fear and restriction of activities. The consequences of this pattern may, however, be debilitating and devastating. Excessive fear and avoidance may compromise the quality of life, and may result in a decline of physical capabilities and, ultimately, in an increased risk of falls, which may further fuel fear and avoidance. Future research should investigate whether individualised intervention strategies are efficient in preventing falls and activity-related fear of falling within this population in order to improve her quality of life.

  12. Neuroticism modifies psychophysiological responses to fearful films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynaud, Emmanuelle; El Khoury-Malhame, Myriam; Rossier, Jérôme; Blin, Olivier; Khalfa, Stéphanie

    2012-01-01

    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). 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. 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. 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).

  13. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

    In these years digital media and wireless networks are introduced in upper secondary schools in Denmark. This implies new “attentional objects” like updates on Facebook or tweets on Twitter within instant reach of the pupils and teachers. Also it implies new kinds of attention (awareness) like when...... this interpretation theoretically through systems theory and medium theory. Further we present initial results from the action research project Socio Media Education (SME) in which we work with how teachers and pupils can handle the new attention-demanding situation, so the new media do not mean spoiled teaching...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. The increase in theta/beta ratio on resting-state EEG in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is mediated by slow alpha peak frequency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lansbergen, M.M.; Arns, M.; Dongen-Boomsma, M. van; Spronk, D.B.; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2011-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was found to be characterized by a deviant pattern of electrocortical activity during resting state, particularly increased theta and decreased beta activity. The first objective of the present study is to confirm whether individuals with slow alpha

  17. Fear of Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petty, Steve

    Fear of success in a group of high school students (N=127) was studied, with research findings supporting the following generalizations: (1) high school students with an intermediate level of self-esteem have greater fear of success than those with high and low levels of self-esteem; (2) high school students with BSRI (Bem Sex Role Inventory)…

  18. The Pleasure of Fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjøllund, Niels-Peder Osmundsen

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

  19. 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...

  20. Coping with Fear of Recurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. The Biology of Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adolphs, Ralph

    2013-01-01

    Each of us has felt afraid, and we can all recognize fear in many animal species. Yet there is no consensus in the scientific study of fear. Some argue that “fear” is a psychological construct rather than discoverable through scientific investigation. Others argue that the term “fear” cannot properly be applied to animals because we cannot know whether they feel afraid. Studies in rodents show that there are highly specific brain circuits for fear, whereas findings from human neuroimaging seem to make the opposite claim. Here I review the field and urge three approaches that could reconcile the debates. For one, we need a broadly comparative approach that would identify core components of fear conserved across phylogeny. This also pushes us towards the second point of emphasis: an ecological theory of fear that is essentially functional. Finally, we should aim even to incorporate the conscious experience of being afraid, reinvigorating the study of feelings across species. PMID:23347946

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  3. Trait self-focused attention increases sensitivity to nonconscious primes: evidence from effort-related cardiovascular reactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvia, Paul J; Kelly, Casey S; Zibaie, Alireza; Nardello, Joseph L; Moore, Lance C

    2013-05-01

    A broad range of primes presented outside of awareness - ranging from emotional faces to people's first names - can influence the physiological mobilization of effort during active coping tasks. Who responds more strongly to implicit cues? Based on models of self-awareness, the present research examined how individual differences in self-focused attention influence sensitivity to nonconscious primes. Adults completed a challenging cognitive task in which two kinds of primes were presented (people's first names and words related to the task's difficulty). Trait self-focus significantly interacted with both primes to predict effort, measured as systolic blood pressure (SBP) reactivity. People high in trait self-focus had significantly higher SBP reactivity when primed with words that made the task seem more important (their first names) and harder (high difficulty words). These findings thus expand the evidence for motivational intensity theory's analysis of implicit processes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Backward Masked Snakes and Guns Modulate Spatial Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M. Carlson

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Fearful faces are important social cues that alert others of potential threat. Even backward masked fearful faces facilitate spatial attention. However, visual stimuli other than fearful faces can signal potential threat. Indeed, unmasked snakes and spiders modulate spatial attention. Yet, it is unclear if the rapid threat-related facilitation of spatial attention to backward masked stimuli is elicited by non-face threat cues. Evolutionary theories claim that phylogenetic threats (i.e. snakes and spiders should preferentially elicit an automatic fear response, but it is untested as to whether this response extends to enhancements in spatial attention under restricted processing conditions. Thirty individuals completed a backward masking dot-probe task with both evolutionary relevant and irrelevant threat cues. The results suggest that backward masked visual fear stimuli modulate spatial attention. Both evolutionary relevant (snake and irrelevant (gun threat cues facilitated spatial attention.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LaGuardia, M.R.

    1986-01-01

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

  6. Children with comorbid speech sound disorder and specific language impairment are at increased risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrath, Lauren M; Hutaff-Lee, Christa; Scott, Ashley; Boada, Richard; Shriberg, Lawrence D; Pennington, Bruce F

    2008-02-01

    This study focuses on the comorbidity between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and speech sound disorder (SSD). SSD is a developmental disorder characterized by speech production errors that impact intelligibility. Previous research addressing this comorbidity has typically used heterogeneous groups of speech-language disordered children. This study employed more precise speech-language diagnostic criteria and examined ADHD symptomatology in 108 SSD children between the ages of 4 and 7 years old with specific language impairment (SLI) (n = 23, 14 males, 9 females) and without SLI (n = 85, 49 males, 36 females). We also examined whether a subcategory of SSD, persistent (n = 39, 25 males, 14 females) versus normalized SSD (n = 67, 38 males, 29 females), was associated with ADHD and/or interacted with SLI to predict ADHD symptomatology. Results indicated that participants in the SSD + SLI group had higher rates of inattentive ADHD symptoms than those in the SSD-only and control groups. In addition, an unexpected interaction emerged such that children with SLI and normalized-SSD had significantly higher ADHD inattentive ratings than the other subgroups. A proposed explanation for this interaction is discussed.

  7. 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.

  8. Visually depicting cancer fears: Beyond biomedical concerns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyn Brooks

    2014-07-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ARRINDELL, WA

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

  10. Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis, Fear Generalization, and Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besnard, Antoine; Sahay, Amar

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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…

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

    OpenAIRE

    Volkow, Nora D.; Wang, Gene-Jack; Tomasi, Dardo; Kollins, Scott H.; Wigal, Tim L.; Newcorn, Jeffrey H.; Telang, Frank W.; Fowler, Joanna S.; Logan, Jean; Wong, Christopher T.; Swanson, James M.

    2012-01-01

    Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate, which are effective treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), enhance brain dopamine signaling. However, the relationship between regional brain dopamine enhancement and treatment response has not been evaluated. Here, we assessed whether the dopamine increases elicited by methylphenidate are associated with long-term clinical response. We used a prospective design to study 20 treatment-naive adults with ADHD who were evalu...

  13. 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.

  14. Fear of crime: Research of students' attitudes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ljubičić Milana

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we have researched the students' perception of fear of crime. To begin with, our attention was at emotional, cognitive and behavioral dimension of this manifestation. Since this subject is rarely researched in our country, it was our ambition to establish the extent of fear of crime and potential differences in regard to gender, and what we are conditionally referring to as cohesiveness variables. The subjects were 59 second year sociology students. The findings pointed out that emotional and cognitive dimension of fear of crime is present only in regard to certain crimes: sexual assault, knife stabbing, home burglary regardless if home is empty, and homicide. It is indicative that dimension of emotional fear is higher with female subjects as opposed to their male counterparts, particularly in the case of sexual assault. Also, it has been noted that female subjects adopt certain behavioral patterns (avoiding particular part of town, at specific hours generated by the possible casualty assessment. On our sample fear of crime can be explained by some micro model variables, like personal or victim experience of someone dear. That is to say that such experience goes hand in hand with lower fear of crime. On the other hand, perception of crime threat is connected to models of social disorder and social care variables, such as: feeling of cohesiveness in the area of living and trusting the police force. Finally, it should be pointed out that some of the findings of this research, primarily those relating between fear(lessness and: gender, experience as victim and community cohesiveness, do not differ from the results of foreign studies.

  15. Anticipatory attentional suppression of visual features indexed by oscillatory alpha-band power increases: a high-density electrical mapping study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Adam C; Foxe, John J

    2010-03-17

    Retinotopically specific increases in alpha-band ( approximately 10 Hz) oscillatory power have been strongly implicated in the suppression of processing for irrelevant parts of the visual field during the deployment of visuospatial attention. Here, we asked whether this alpha suppression mechanism also plays a role in the nonspatial anticipatory biasing of feature-based attention. Visual word cues informed subjects what the task-relevant feature of an upcoming visual stimulus (S2) was, while high-density electroencephalographic recordings were acquired. We examined anticipatory oscillatory activity in the Cue-to-S2 interval ( approximately 2 s). Subjects were cued on a trial-by-trial basis to attend to either the color or direction of motion of an upcoming dot field array, and to respond when they detected that a subset of the dots differed from the majority along the target feature dimension. We used the features of color and motion, expressly because they have well known, spatially separated cortical processing areas, to distinguish shifts in alpha power over areas processing each feature. Alpha power from dorsal regions increased when motion was the irrelevant feature (i.e., color was cued), and alpha power from ventral regions increased when color was irrelevant. Thus, alpha-suppression mechanisms appear to operate during feature-based selection in much the same manner as has been shown for space-based attention.

  16. What do midwives fear?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlen, Hannah Grace; Caplice, Shea

    2014-12-01

    There is evidence that a significant number of women are fearful about birth but less is known about the fears of maternity health providers and how their fear may impact on the women they care for. The aim of this study was to determine the top fears midwives in Australia and New Zealand hold when it comes to caring for childbearing women. From 2009 to 2011, 17 workshops were held in Australia and New Zealand supporting over 700 midwives develop skills to keep birth normal. During the workshop midwives were asked to write their top fear on a piece of paper and return it to the presenters. Similar concepts were grouped together to form 8 major categories. In total 739 fears were reported and these were death of a baby (n=177), missing something that causes harm (n=176), obstetric emergencies (n=114), maternal death (n=83), being watched (n=68), being the cause of a negative birth experience (n=52), dealing with the unknown (n=36) and losing passion and confidence around normal birth (n=32). Student midwives were more concerned about knowing what to do, while homebirth midwives were mostly concerned with being blamed if something went wrong. There was consistency between the 17 groups of midwives regarding top fears held. Supporting midwives with workshops such as dealing with grief and loss and managing fear could help reduce their anxiety. Obstetric emergency skills workshops may help midwives feel more confident, especially those dealing with shoulder dystocia and PPH as they were most commonly recorded. Copyright © 2014 Australian College of Midwives. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Fears of Visually Impaired Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiemer, S. A.; Kratochwill, T. R.

    1991-01-01

    Examination of the number, content, and intensity of fears of 42 visually impaired children, aged 5-18, found more fears of potentially physically dangerous situations than of psychologically harmful ones and little difference between the number of mild and severe fears. Counselors' estimations of children's fears generally disagreed with the…

  18. Fear of rape from behind prison walls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shermer, Lauren O'Neill; Sudo, Heather

    2017-06-12

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

  19. Neuronal encoding of the switch from specific to generalized fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Supriya; Chattarji, Sumantra

    2015-01-01

    Fear memories are crucial for survival. However, excessive generalization of such memories, characterized by a failure to discriminate dangerous from safe stimuli, is common in anxiety disorders. Neuronal encoding of the transition from cue-specific to generalized fear is poorly understood. We identified distinct neuronal populations in the lateral amygdala (LA) of rats that signaled generalized versus cue-specific associations and determined how their distributions switched during fear generalization. Notably, the same LA neurons that were cue specific before the behavioral shift to generalized fear lost their specificity afterwards, thereby tilting the balance of activity toward a greater proportion of generalizing neurons. Neuronal activity in the LA, but not the auditory cortex, was necessary for fear generalization. Furthermore, targeted activation of cAMP-PKA signaling in the LA increased neuronal excitability of LA neurons and led to generalized fear. These results provide a cellular basis in the amygdala for the alteration of emotional states from normal to pathological fear.

  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. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. Reduced Eye Gaze Explains "Fear Blindness" in Childhood Psychopathic Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadds, Mark R.; El Masry, Yasmeen; Wimalaweera, Subodha; Guastella, Adam J.

    2008-01-01

    A study to test whether psychopathic traits are associated with reduced attention to the eye region of other people's faces is conducted. It is seen that attention to other people's eyes is reduced in young people with high psychopathic traits, which accounts for their problems with fear recognition.

  3. Study protocol for Young & Strong: a cluster randomized design to increase attention to unique issues faced by young women with newly diagnosed breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greaney, Mary L; Sprunck-Harrild, Kim; Ruddy, Kathryn J; Ligibel, Jennifer; Barry, William T; Baker, Emily; Meyer, Meghan; Emmons, Karen M; Partridge, Ann H

    2015-01-31

    Each year, approximately 11% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States are 45 years of age or younger. These women have concerns specific to or accentuated by their age, including fertility-related concerns, and have higher rates of psychosocial distress than women diagnosed at older ages. Current guidelines recommend that fertility risks be considered early in all treatment plans; however, the extant research indicates that attention to fertility by the healthcare team is limited. Importantly, attention to fertility may be a proxy for whether or not other important issues warranting attention in younger women with breast cancer are addressed, including genetic risks, psychosocial distress, sexual functioning, and body image concerns. The Young & Strong study tests the efficacy of an intervention designed for young women recently diagnosed with breast cancer and their oncologists with the intention to: 1) increase attention to fertility as an important surrogate for other issues facing young women, 2) educate and support young women and their providers, and 3) reduce psychosocial distress among young women with breast cancer. The study employs a cluster randomized design including 14 academic institutions and 40 community sites across the U.S. assigned to either the study intervention arm or contact-time comparison intervention arm. Academic institutions enroll up to 15 patients per site while community sites enroll up to 10 patients. Patient eligibility requirements include: an initial diagnosis of stage I-III invasive breast cancer within three months prior, without a known recurrence or metastatic breast cancer; 18-45 years of age at diagnosis; ability to read and write in English. The primary outcome is oncologists' attention to fertility concerns as determined by medical record review. Secondary outcomes include differences in patient satisfaction with care and psychosocial distress between the two study arms. Study findings will provide

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Rosell-Negre

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

  5. 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

  6. Neural correlates of trait anxiety in fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sehlmeyer, C; Dannlowski, U; Schöning, S; Kugel, H; Pyka, M; Pfleiderer, B; Zwitserlood, P; Schiffbauer, H; Heindel, W; Arolt, V; Konrad, C

    2011-04-01

    Fear conditioning involves the amygdala as the main neural structure for learning fear responses whereas fear extinction mainly activates the inhibitory prefrontal cortex (PFC). In this study we investigated whether individual differences in trait anxiety affect amygdala and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) activation during fear conditioning and extinction. Thirty-two healthy subjects were investigated by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3 T while performing a cued fear-conditioning task. All participants completed the trait version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T). Activations of the amygdala and the dACC were examined with respect to the effects of trait anxiety. Analysis of the fMRI data demonstrated enhanced activation in fear-related brain areas, such as the insula and the ACC, during both fear conditioning and extinction. Activation of the amygdala appeared only during the late acquisition phase whereas deactivation was observed during extinction. Regression analyses revealed that highly trait-anxious subjects exhibited sustained amygdala activation and reduced dACC involvement during the extinction of conditioned responses. This study reveals that high levels of trait anxiety are associated with both increased amygdala activation and reduced dACC recruitment during the extinction of conditioned fear. This hyper-responsivity of the amygdala and the deficient cognitive control during the extinction of conditioned fear in anxious subjects reflect an increased resistance to extinct fear responses and may thereby enhance the vulnerability to developing anxiety disorders.

  7. Exposure to heights in a theme park: fear, dizziness, and body sway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, Georg W; Adolph, Dirk

    2008-05-01

    Fear of heights results in the experience of dizziness and measurable body sway. We investigated the relationship between fear, dizziness, and body sway during height exposure 16 m above ground. Thirty five healthy participants stood on a force-plate to measure sway before, during, and after exposure and an ECG was recorded. Self-report measures were anticipated fear and dizziness before exposure, as well as actual fear and dizziness during the three situations. For all participants, fear, dizziness, and body sway were increased during exposure. Anticipated fear most reliably predicted body sway during exposure. In addition, persons scoring high on trait fear of heights anticipated and experienced more fear during exposure, but this relationship was not found for any objective measure. There was no evidence that vestibular function moderates the relationship between sub-clinical fear and body sway. The results underline the importance of cognitive factors, like anticipatory anxiety and overestimation of bodily symptoms, in fear of heights.

  8. Does the trait anxiety affect the dental fear?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doganer, Yusuf Cetin; Aydogan, Umit; Yesil, Hande Ucler; Rohrer, James Edwin; Williams, Mark Douglas; Agerter, David Charles

    2017-05-04

    The aims of the present study were to evaluate possible associations between trait anxiety, dental fear and the predictors of these interactions including demographic characteristics and dental history of patients applied to the dental care center in Ankara, Turkey. A sample of 607 participants (mean age: 21.02 ± 2.32) responded to a Turkish version of the Modified Dental Fear Survey (MDFS), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T) and a questionnaire regarding previous negative dental experience. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify the association between dental fear and the independent variables including trait anxiety, age groups, education level, dental visit frequency, experience and the source of dental knowledge. There was a trend for increasing in trait anxiety scores with greater levels of dental fear in a medium level of the dental fear group (OR = 1.055, 95%CI [1.025-1.086]; p dental fear group (OR = 1.090 [1.057-1.124]; p dental fear group; participants of medium dental fear level intended more likely to go to the dentist when they have a complaint instead of regularly going (odds ratio; OR = 3.177, 95%CI [1.304-7.741]; p = 0.011). Participants of high dental fear level tended to be less likely to have experienced no problem (OR = 0.476, 95%CI [0.284-0.795]; p = 0.005) than the low level of the dental fear group. We strongly indicate that higher dental fear scores have a predisposition of having high trait anxiety scores. Unpleasant dental experiences increased the risk for high dental fear levels. Patients with dental fear tended only to visit a dentist when necessary, avoiding regular visits.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  10. Traits, states, and attentional gates: temperament and threat relevance as predictors of attentional bias to social threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helzer, Erik G; Connor-Smith, Jennifer K; Reed, Marjorie A

    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. The 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 temperament and attentional control interacted to influence attentional biases, with fearful temperament predicting biases to supraliminal social threat only for individuals with poor attentional control. Multivariate analyses exploring relations between attentional biases for social threat and symptoms of anxiety and depression revealed that attentional biases alone were rarely related to symptoms. However, biases did interact with social stress, fearful temperament, and attentional control to predict distress. The results are discussed in terms of automatic and effortful cognitive mechanisms underlying threat cue processing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. 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…

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Golkar, Armita; Bellander, Martin; Olsson, Andreas; Ohman, Arne

    2012-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of fear learning have demonstrated that a single reminder exposure prior to extinction training can prevent the return of extinguished fear by disrupting the process of reconsolidation...

  15. 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?

  16. 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...

  17. The materialization of fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Martin Trandberg

    Perhaps more than ever before Western societies are shaped by powerful imaginaries of terror, security treats and the politics of fear. Copenhagen, while often perceived as a liberal and ‘walkable city’, is no exception. With little public involvement or democratic participation, recent political...

  18. Increased cortical neuronal responses to NMDA and improved attentional set-shifting performance in rats following prebiotic (B-GOS®) ingestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronier, Benjamin; Savignac, Helene M; Di Miceli, Mathieu; Idriss, Sherif M; Tzortzis, George; Anthony, Daniel; Burnet, Philip W J

    2018-01-01

    We have previously shown that prebiotics (dietary fibres that augment the growth of indigenous beneficial gut bacteria) such as Bimuno™ galacto-oligosaccharides (B-GOS®), increased N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor levels in the rat brain. The current investigation examined the functional correlates of these changes in B-GOS®-fed rats by measuring cortical neuronal responses to NMDA using in vivo NMDA micro-iontophoresis electrophysiology, and performance in the attentional set-shifting task. Adult male rats were supplemented with B-GOS® in the drinking water 3 weeks prior to in vivo iontophoresis or behavioural testing. Cortical neuronal responses to NMDA iontophoresis, were greater (+30%) in B-GOS® administered rats compared to non-supplemented controls. The intake of B-GOS® also partially hindered the reduction of NMDA responses by the glycine site antagonist, HA-966. In the attentional set-shifting task, B-GOS® -fed rats shifted from an intra-dimensional to an extra-dimensional set in fewer trials than controls, thereby indicating greater cognitive flexibility. An initial exploration into the mechanisms revealed that rats ingesting B-GOS® had increased levels of plasma acetate, and cortical GluN2B subunits and Acetyl Co-A Carboxylase mRNA. These changes were also observed in rats fed daily for 3 weeks with glyceryl triacetate, though unlike B-GOS®, cortical histone deacetylase (HDAC1, HDAC2) mRNAs were also increased which suggested an additional epigenetic action of direct acetate supplementation. Our data demonstrate that a pro-cognitive effect of B-GOS® intake in rats is associated with an increase in cortical NMDA receptor function, but the role of circulating acetate derived from gut bacterial fermentation of this prebiotic requires further investigation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  19. Genetic mapping of canine fear and aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-08

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

  20. Fear of Reinjury in Athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chao-Jung; Meierbachtol, Adam; George, Steven Z; Chmielewski, Terese L

    A sports injury has both physical and psychological consequences for the athlete. A common postinjury psychological response is elevated fear of reinjury. To provide an overview of the implications of fear of reinjury on the rehabilitation of athletes, including clinical methods to measure fear of reinjury; the impact of fear of reinjury on rehabilitation outcomes, including physical impairments, function, and return to sports rate; and potential interventions to address fear of reinjury during rehabilitation. PubMed was searched for articles published in the past 16 years (1990-2016) relating to fear of reinjury in athletes. The reference lists of the retrieved articles were searched for additionally relevant articles. Clinical review. Level 3. Fear of reinjury after a sports injury can negatively affect the recovery of physical impairments, reduce self-report function, and prevent a successful return to sport. Athletes with high fear of reinjury might benefit from a psychologically informed practice approach to improve rehabilitation outcomes. The application of psychologically informed practice would be to measure fear of reinjury in the injured athletes and provide interventions to reduce fear of reinjury to optimize rehabilitation outcomes. Fear of reinjury after a sports injury can lead to poor rehabilitation outcomes. Incorporating principles of psychologically informed practice into sports injury rehabilitation could improve rehabilitation outcomes for athletes with high fear of reinjury.

  1. Self-Conscious Shyness: Growth during Toddlerhood, Strong Role of Genetics, and No Prediction from Fearful Shyness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggum-Wilkens, Natalie D; Lemery-Chalfant, Kathryn; Aksan, Nazan; Goldsmith, H Hill

    2015-01-01

    Fearful and self-conscious subtypes of shyness have received little attention in the empirical literature. Study aims included: 1) determining if fearful shyness predicted self-conscious shyness, 2) describing development of self-conscious shyness, and 3) examining genetic and environmental contributions to fearful and self-conscious shyness. Observed self-conscious shyness was examined at 19, 22, 25, and 28 months in same-sex twins (MZ = 102, DZ = 111, missing zygosity = 3 pairs). Self-conscious shyness increased across toddlerhood, but onset was earlier than predicted by theory. Fearful shyness (observed [6 and 12 months] and parents' reports [12 and 22 months]) was not predictive of self-conscious shyness. Independent genetic factors made strong contributions to parent-reported (but not observed) fearful shyness (additive genetic influence = .69 and .72 at 12 and 22 months, respectively) and self-conscious shyness (additive genetic influence = .90 for the growth model intercept). Results encourage future investigation of patterns of change and interrelations in shyness subtypes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouffard, Jeff A

    2015-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Fear conditioning to subliminal fear relevant and non fear relevant stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ottmar V Lipp

    Full Text Available A growing body of evidence suggests that conscious visual awareness is not a prerequisite for human fear learning. For instance, humans can learn to be fearful of subliminal fear relevant images--images depicting stimuli thought to have been fear relevant in our evolutionary context, such as snakes, spiders, and angry human faces. Such stimuli could have a privileged status in relation to manipulations used to suppress usually salient images from awareness, possibly due to the existence of a designated sub-cortical 'fear module'. Here we assess this proposition, and find it wanting. We use binocular masking to suppress awareness of images of snakes and wallabies (particularly cute, non-threatening marsupials. We find that subliminal presentations of both classes of image can induce differential fear conditioning. These data show that learning, as indexed by fear conditioning, is neither contingent on conscious visual awareness nor on subliminal conditional stimuli being fear relevant.

  5. Fears about antiretroviral therapy among users of the internet forum for people living with HIV/AIDS in Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudina, Victoria I; Judina, Darja I; King, Elizabeth J

    2017-02-01

    The purpose of this research was to identify different types of fear related to starting and adhering to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Russia. Data were collected from the Russian-language internet forum for PLHIV (hivlife.info). Qualitative data analysis focused on the sections of the forum where users discussed health-related issues in order to identify fears related to HIV treatment. The following types of fear were revealed: fear of the illness, fear to learn negative information about one's health, fear of side effects, fear of therapy to be ineffective, fear that the appropriate medications will become unavailable, fear of lifestyle changes, and fear for the well-being of significant others. Efforts to increase the uptake of and adherence to ART should take into account the fears of PLHIV.

  6. Pathogenic Policy: Immigrant Policing, Fear, and Parallel Medical Systems in the US South.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Nolan

    2017-01-01

    Medical anthropology has a vital role in identifying health-related impacts of policy. In the United States, increasingly harsh immigration policies have formed a multilayered immigrant policing regime comprising state and federal laws and local police practices, the effects of which demand ethnographic attention. In this article, I draw from ethnographic fieldwork in Atlanta, Georgia, to examine the biopolitics of immigrant policing. I underscore how immigrant policing directly impacts undocumented immigrants' health by producing a type of fear based governance that alters immigrants' health behaviors and sites for seeking health services. Ethnographic data further point to how immigrant policing sustains a need for an unequal, parallel medical system, reflecting broader social inequalities impacting vulnerable populations. Moreover, by focusing on immigrant policing, I demonstrate the analytical utility in examining the biopolitics of fear, which can reveal individual experiences and structural influents of health-related vulnerability.

  7. Visual working memory and threat monitoring: Spider fearfuls show disorder-specific change detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinecke, Andrea; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2010-08-01

    Previous studies of biased information processing in anxiety addressed biases of attention and memory, but little is known about the processes taking place between them: visual working memory (VWM) and monitoring of threat. We investigated these processes with a change detection paradigm. In Experiment 1, spider fearfuls (SF) and non-anxious controls (NAC) judged two subsequently presented displays as same or different. The displays consisted of several pictures, one of which could depict a spider. In Experiment 2, SF and NAC, both without snake fear, were tested with displays including either a spider or a snake image to determine the material-specificity of biased VWM. Both groups showed increased change detection for threat images. This effect was significantly stronger in SF, for spider images only, indicating a threat-specific VWM bias. Thus, contrary to the assumptions made by most cognitive models of anxiety, an explicit memory bias was found. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. An egr-1 (zif268) antisense oligodeoxynucleotide infused into the amygdala disrupts fear conditioning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Malkani, Seema; Wallace, Karin J; Donley, Melanie P; Rosen, Jeffrey B

    2004-01-01

    Studies of gene expression following fear conditioning have demonstrated that the inducible transcription factor, egr-1, is increased in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala shortly following fear conditioning...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Zilverstand

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

  10. 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

  11. The Detection of Fear-Relevant Stimuli: Are Guns Noticed as Quickly as Snakes?

    OpenAIRE

    Fox, Elaine; Griggs, Laura; Mouchlianitis, Elias

    2007-01-01

    Potentially dangerous stimuli are important contenders for the capture of visual–spatial attention, and it has been suggested that an evolved fear module is preferentially activated by stimuli that are fear relevant in a phylogenetic sense (e.g., snakes, spiders, angry faces). In this study, a visual search task was used to test this hypothesis by directly contrasting phylogenetically (snakes) and ontogenetically (guns) fear-relevant stimuli. Results showed that the modern threat was detected...

  12. 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. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Cellular and oscillatory substrates of fear extinction learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  14. Stress and Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maren, Stephen; Holmes, Andrew

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Fear during alcohol detoxification: views from the clients' perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Joanne; Copello, Alex; Orford, Jim

    2005-07-01

    Little is known about fears experienced during alcohol detoxification. Using qualitative research this preliminary study analysed descriptions of fears during one-to-one interviews about the experience of undertaking alcohol detoxification. Fears about detoxification centred around four main areas: the setting in which the process takes place, the physical consequences of withdrawal, the medication given to manage detoxification and the experience of future daily living without alcohol. The findings suggest that particular attention needs to be paid to the environmental setting of detoxification and the personal meaning of receiving medical care for withdrawal. In addition, more integration of relapse prevention work into the earliest stages of alcohol-related treatment and the provision of accurate information about detoxification may prove effective in reducing fears about the process.

  16. Serotonin, Amygdala and Fear: Assembling the Puzzle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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 basolateral amygdala (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 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 mechanisms underlying 5

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armfield, Jason M; Stewart, Judy F; Spencer, A John

    2007-01-14

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spencer A John

    2007-01-01

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

  19. 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. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. 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.

  1. X-linked ichthyosis (steroid sulfatase deficiency) is associated with increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and social communication deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, L; Emerton, J; Bhadravathi, V; Weisblatt, E; Pasco, G; Willatt, L R; McMahon, R; Yates, J R W

    2008-08-01

    X-linked ichthyosis (XLI) (steroid sulfatase deficiency) is caused by deletions or point mutations of the steroid sulfatase (STS) gene on chromosome Xp22.32. Deletions of this region can be associated with cognitive behavioural difficulties including autism. Animal work suggests the STS gene may be involved in attentional processes. We have therefore undertaken a systematic study of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in boys with XLI. Cases of XLI were recruited from families originally ascertained when pregnancies with STS deficiency were identified through a routine maternal screening programme. Boys with XLI were assessed for ADHD and autism using standardised questionnaires and interviews. Deletions of the STS gene were identified and characterised by analysis of genomic DNA and/or fluorescent in situ hybridisation. 25 boys with XLI were assessed for autism and ADHD. 40% fulfilled DSM-IV criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD, 80% of which were inattentive subtype. ADHD diagnoses were present in those with both deletions and presumed point mutations of STS. Additionally, five boys, from three unrelated families, fulfilled criteria for an autistic spectrum disorder or related language/communication difficulty, and all had an unusually large deletion of the STS gene with loss of the neuroligin 4 (NLGN4) gene. None of the boys with the typical deletion or presumed point mutations of STS demonstrated autistic difficulties. STS deficiency may be a risk factor for ADHD with predominantly inattentive symptoms. Boys with XLI and large deletions encompassing STS and NLGN4 are at increased risk of developing autism and related disorders.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  3. 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.

  4. Methylphenidate-elicited dopamine increases in ventral striatum are associated with long-term symptom improvement in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volkow, Nora D; Wang, Gene-Jack; Tomasi, Dardo; Kollins, Scott H; Wigal, Tim L; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Telang, Frank W; Fowler, Joanna S; Logan, Jean; Wong, Christopher T; Swanson, James 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 [(11)C]raclopride (D(2)/D(3) receptor radioligand sensitive to competition with endogenous dopamine). Clinical responses were assessed using the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale and revealed a significant reduction in symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity with long-term methylphenidate treatment. A challenge dose of 0.5 mg/kg intravenous methylphenidate significantly increased dopamine in striatum (assessed as decreases in D(2)/D(3) receptor availability). In the ventral striatum, these dopamine increases were associated with the reductions in ratings of symptoms of inattention with clinical treatment. Statistical parametric mapping additionally showed dopamine increases in prefrontal and temporal cortices with intravenous methylphenidate that were also associated with decreases in symptoms of inattention. Our findings indicate that dopamine enhancement in ventral striatum (the brain region involved with reward and motivation) was associated with therapeutic response to methylphenidate, further corroborating the relevance of the dopamine reward/motivation circuitry in ADHD. It also provides preliminary evidence that methylphenidate-elicited dopamine increases in prefrontal and temporal cortices may also contribute to the clinical response.

  5. Fear of spiders: The effect of real threat on the interference caused by symbolic threat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kwakkenbos, C.M.C.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.

    2010-01-01

    The effect of the presence of a real spider on attentional biases for symbolic spider stimuli was examined in 42 low-fearful and 26 high-spider-fearful participants. They completed a word colour-naming task as well as a picture orientation-judgement task, both with versus without a spider present in

  6. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zilverstand, A.; Sorger, B.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Kan, C.C.; Goebel, R.; Buitelaar, J.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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  16. Does antenatal education reduce fear of childbirth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karabulut, Ö; Coşkuner Potur, D; Doğan Merih, Y; Cebeci Mutlu, S; Demirci, N

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of antenatal education on fear of childbirth, acceptance of pregnancy and identification with motherhood role. There is insufficient evidence pertaining to the effect of antenatal education on fear of childbirth, acceptance of pregnancy and identification with motherhood role. The purpose of antenatal education is to help couples make the right decisions during delivery. Through antenatal education, couples prepare themselves for delivery. This is a quasi-experimental and prospective study that employs a pre- and post-education model. In total, 192 pregnant women (education group, n = 69 and control group, n = 123) participated in the study. Data were collected using the pregnancy identification form: the Prenatal Self-Evaluation Questionnaire and a version of the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire. Prior to participating in the study, the education group and control group had similar levels of acceptance of pregnancy and identification with motherhood role, whereas a significant difference was found in their fear of childbirth levels. When surveyed again after receiving education, the two groups' levels of acceptance of pregnancy and fear of childbirth were found to be significantly different. However, they had similar levels of identification with the motherhood role. Antenatal education appears to increase the acceptance of pregnancy, does not affect the identification with motherhood role and reduces the fear of childbirth. A systematic antenatal education programme, as part of routine antenatal care services, would help reduce the rate of interventional labour and facilitate pregnant women's conscious participation in the act of labour by reducing their fear of childbirth. © 2015 International Council of Nurses.

  17. Fear of feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackman, Jay M; Strober, Myra H

    2003-04-01

    Nobody likes performance reviews. Subordinates are terrified they'll hear nothing but criticism. Bosses think their direct reports will respond to even the mildest criticism with anger or tears. The result? Everyone keeps quiet. That's unfortunate, because most people need help figuring out how to improve their performance and advance their careers. This fear of feedback doesn't come into play just during annual reviews. At least half the executives with whom the authors have worked never ask for feedback. Many expect the worst: heated arguments, even threats of dismissal. So rather than seek feedback, people try to guess what their bosses are thinking. Fears and assumptions about feedback often manifest themselves in psychologically maladaptive behaviors such as procrastination, denial, brooding, jealousy, and self-sabotage. But there's hope, say the authors. Those who learn adaptive techniques can free themselves from destructive responses. They'll be able to deal with feedback better if they acknowledge negative emotions, reframe fear and criticism constructively, develop realistic goals, create support systems, and reward themselves for achievements along the way. Once you've begun to alter your maladaptive behaviors, you can begin seeking regular feedback from your boss. The authors take you through four steps for doing just that: self-assessment, external assessment, absorbing the feedback, and taking action toward change. Organizations profit when employees ask for feedback and deal well with criticism. Once people begin to know how they are doing relative to management's priorities, their work becomes better aligned with organizational goals. What's more, they begin to transform a feedback-averse environment into a more honest and open one, in turn improving performance throughout the organization.

  18. Long-lasting incubation of conditioned fear in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickens, Charles L; Golden, Sam A; Adams-Deutsch, Tristan; Nair, Sunila G; Shaham, Yavin

    2009-05-15

    In 1937, Diven reported that human fear responses to cues previously paired with shock progressively increase or incubate over 24 hours. Since then, fear incubation has been demonstrated in both humans and nonhumans. However, the difficulty of demonstrating long-lasting fear incubation in rodents has hampered the study of the underlying mechanisms of this incubation. Here, we describe a rat procedure where fear reliably incubates over time. We trained food-restricted rats to lever-press for food pellets in daily 90-min sessions. We then gave each rat 100 30-sec tones co-terminating with a .5-sec .5-mA footshock over 10 days (10 pairings/day). Groups of rats (n = 10-15) were then given four presentations of the tone (the fear cue) 2, 15, 31, or 61 days after fear conditioning training and were assessed for conditioned suppression of lever-pressing. We found that conditioned fear responses were significantly higher 31 and 61 days after fear training than after 2 or 15 days. In control experiments, we showed that extensive tone-shock pairing is necessary for the emergence of fear incubation and that it is unlikely that non-associative factors contribute to this incubation. We describe a procedure for generating reliable and long-lasting conditioned fear incubation. Our procedure can be used to study mechanisms of fear incubation and might provide a model for studying the mechanisms of delayed-onset posttraumatic stress disorder that occur in a sub-population of people previously exposed to chronic stressors.

  19. Long-lasting incubation of conditioned fear in rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickens, Charles L.; Golden, Sam A.; Adams-Deutsch, Tristan; Nair, Sunila G.; Shaham, Yavin

    2009-01-01

    Background In 1937, Diven (1) reported that human fear responses to cues previously paired with shock progressively increase or incubate over 24 hours. Since then, fear incubation has been demonstrated in both humans and nonhumans. However, the difficulty of demonstrating long-lasting fear incubation in rodents has hampered the study of the underlying mechanisms of this incubation. Here, we describe a rat procedure where fear reliably incubates over time. Methods We trained food-restricted rats to lever-press for food pellets in daily 90-min sessions. We then gave each rat one-hundred 30-s tones co-terminating with a 0.5-s, 0.5 mA footshock over 10 days (10 pairings per day). Groups of rats (n=10-15) were then given 4 presentations of the tone (the fear cue) 2, 15, 31 or 61 days after fear conditioning training and were assessed for conditioned suppression of lever-pressing. Results We found that conditioned fear responses were significantly higher 31 and 61 days after fear training than after 2 or 15 days. In control experiments, we showed that extensive tone-shock pairing is necessary for the emergence of fear incubation, and that it is unlikely that non-associative factors contribute to this incubation. Conclusions We describe a procedure for generating reliable and long-lasting conditioned fear incubation. Our procedure can be used to study mechanisms of fear incubation, and may provide a model for studying the mechanisms of delayed-onset posttraumatic stress disorder that occur in a sub-population of people previously exposed to chronic stressors. PMID:19167702

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunze, Anna E; Arntz, Arnoud; Kindt, Merel

    2015-06-01

    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 associative memories. Second, we explored whether manipulating the meaning and complexity of the CS-UCS association strengthened the learned fear association. In a two-day differential fear conditioning study, participants were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions. All participants were subjected to the same CSs (i.e., pictures) and UCS (i.e., 3 s film clip) during fear conditioning. However, in one of the conditions (negative-relevant context), the reinforced CS and UCS were meaningfully connected to each other by a 12 min aversive film clip presented prior to fear acquisition. Participants in the other condition (neutral context) were not able to make such meaningful connection between these stimuli, as they viewed a neutral film clip. Fear learning and unlearning were observed on fear-potentiated startle data and distress ratings within the adapted paradigm. Moreover, several group differences on these measures indicated increased UCS valence and enhanced associative memory strength in the negative-relevant context condition compared to the neutral context condition. Due to technical equipment failure, skin conductance data could not be interpreted. The fear conditioning paradigm as presented in the negative-relevant context condition holds considerable promise for the study of complex associative fear memories and therapeutic interventions for such memories. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Golkar, Armita; Bellander, Martin; Olsson, Andreas; Öhman, Arne

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Anthropology of fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fina Antón Hurtado

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The topic related to emotions has been approached by the studies of Social Anthropology. However the cultural input resulting from the emotions and their effect on the meaning of life is undeniable. This article starts with an analysis on the influence that positivist, evolutionist and rationalist criteria have had on the study of emotions. Then it continues with an approach to the anthropological studies of emotions analyzing its contribution and conclusions to this topic. The investigation ends up with an anthropological analysis of the feeling of fear as a cultural universal.

  3. Personality and fear of childbirth.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. Fear of future terrorism: Associated psychiatric burden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abiola, T; Udofia, O; Sheikh, T L; Yusuf, D A

    2017-02-04

    The mental health burden from fear of future terrorism has not been given much research attention compared to the immediate mental distress such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Such neglected ongoing mental health morbidity associated with threats of terrorism had been described as pre-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS). The study highlighted this phenomenon (PTSS) in Nigeria by examining the catastrophic burden of the fear of future terrorism and associated psychiatric burden among adult population in Kaduna city. Participants were students and staff of Kaduna State University (KASU), Kaduna Polytechnic, and students awaiting admission into Kaduna State University. They responded to the following instruments after obtaining their informed consents: a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Terrorism Catastrophising Scale (TCS), and the depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) portion of Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). The TCS showed that 78.8% of the participants had from moderate to severe clinical distress on fear of terrorism. The TCS has a Cronbach's alpha of 0.721 and also had significant moderate correlation with depression (r=0.278; pterrorism was high and this was relatively related to depression and GAD. This highlighted the need for ongoing monitoring and called for their effective prevention from the identified underlying cognitive mechanisms. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. 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.

  6. Hair Zinc and Severity of Symptoms Are Increased in Children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder: a Hair Multi-Element Profile Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tippairote, Torsak; Temviriyanukul, Piya; Benjapong, Wenika; Trachootham, Dunyaporn

    2017-03-01

    Determination of bioelement levels in hair is an emerging non-invasive approach for screening bioelement deposition. However, the role of essential bioelement levels in hair and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) risk or severity is largely unknown. In this study, we have compared multi-element hair profiles between healthy and ADHD Thai children. In addition, the correlations between bioelements and ADHD symptoms according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, diagnostic criteria were identified. A case-control study was conducted in 111 Thai children (45 newly diagnosed ADHD and 66 matched healthy), aged 3-7 years, living in Bangkok and suburban areas. Levels of 39 bioelements in hair were measured by ICP-MS. Among the analyzed bioelements, Cu/Zn and P/Zn ratios in ADHD children were significantly lower than those in healthy children. Indeed, increased hair Zn level was correlated with more symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and total ADHD symptoms. Higher Zn content was also associated with being female and older age. Furthermore, Zn in hair was positively correlated with levels of Ca, Mg, and P; however, it showed a negative correlation with Al, As, Fe, and Mo. These findings warrant further confirmation in a large-scale study. Thai Clinical Trials Registry (TCTR) study ID: 20151113001.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunn, Judith; Lewis, Charlie; Sherlock, Christopher

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. A longitudinal study of changes and associations in dental fear in parent/adolescent dyads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luoto, Anni; Tolvanen, Mimmi; Pohjola, Vesa; Rantavuori, Kari; Karlsson, Linnea; Lahti, Satu

    2017-11-01

    Dental fear seems to fluctuate, but concordance of changes in dental fears between parent/adolescent dyads has not been reported. To study longitudinally the associations between adolescent and parental dental fears and their changes. Adolescents and parents reported their dental fear independently of each other when adolescents were between 11-12 and 15-16-year-olds. Eight hundred and seventeen eligible parent/adolescent dyads were included in the analyses. Dental fear was measured with a single question using five response alternatives. Associations between adolescent and parental dental fears and their changes were analysed using χ(2) tests and correlation coefficients. Prevalence of dental fear remained rather similar during the study. There was a positive association between adolescent and parental dental fears in early adolescence (P < 0.001) but at middle adolescence only among parent/girl dyads (P = 0.007 for girls, P = 0.341 for boys). Changes in dental fear among parent/adolescent dyads did not correlate statistically significantly. Difference between girls' and boys' change in dental fear was statistically significant (P = 0.001). Dental fear increased more often among girls than among boys. Boys had stable low/no dental fear more often than girls did. Adolescents' and parents' dental fears seemingly change independently of each other. © 2017 BSPD, IAPD and John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  12. Unimpaired discrimination of fearful prosody after amygdala lesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bach, Dominik R; Hurlemann, René; Dolan, Raymond J

    2013-09-01

    Prosody (i.e. speech melody) is an important cue to infer an interlocutor's emotional state, complementing information from face expression and body posture. Inferring fear from face expression is reported as impaired after amygdala lesions. It remains unclear whether this deficit is specific to face expression, or is a more global fear recognition deficit. Here, we report data from two twins with bilateral amygdala lesions due to Urbach-Wiethe syndrome and show they are unimpaired in a multinomial emotional prosody classification task. In a two-alternative forced choice task, they demonstrate increased ability to discriminate fearful and neutral prosody, the opposite of what would be expected under an hypothesis of a global role for the amygdala in fear recognition. Hence, we provide evidence that the amygdala is not required for recognition of fearful prosody. © 2013 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Neurotic Fear of Success, Fear of Failure and Need Achievement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boardman, Susan K.; And Others

    Neurotic fear of success is conceptually connected to achievement motivation and achievement related conflicts. To investigate the relationship between individuals identified as success-fearers, or failure-fearers, and those high in achievement motivation, 426 college students completed Cohen's Fear of Success Scale, Mandler-Sarason's Test Anxiety…

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Fear of progression in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST): Is extended lifetime related to the Sword of Damocles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custers, José A E; Tielen, Ronald; Prins, Judith B; de Wilt, Johannes H W; Gielissen, Marieke F M; van der Graaf, Winette T A

    2015-01-01

    Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are rare and before 2000, patients had a dismal prognosis with a median survival of less than a year after tumor metastasis. However, the median overall survival has increased to more than five years following the introduction of imatinib and other tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). Little is known about the psychosocial consequences of treatment of GIST, but this is important because patients now are treated and live for longer. This cross-sectional study assessed quality of life, distress, and fear of cancer recurrence or progression in patients with GIST. Eighty-six patients with localized or metastatic GIST were asked to participate. Patients completed self-report questionnaires including the EORTC-Quality of Life Questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Impact of Event Scale, Cancer Worry Scale, and Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory. Fifty-four patients (median age 63.3 years) completed the questionnaires, 33 (61%) of whom were receiving TKI treatment at the time of the study. Overall, the GIST patients had a good global quality of life, but 28 patients had high levels of fear of cancer recurrence/progression. This high level of fear was not related to patient- or treatment-related variables. These patients experienced significantly higher levels of psychological distress, functional impairments, and difficulty making plans for the future than did patients with lower levels of fear. More attention should be paid to specific cancer-related problems, such as fear of cancer recurrence/progression, in addition to general quality of life issues in patients with GIST.

  17. The effect of Midazolam and Propranolol on fear memory reconsolidation in ethanol-withdrawn rats: influence of d-cycloserine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Vanesa; Giachero, Marcelo; Espejo, Pablo Javier; Molina, Víctor Alejandro; Martijena, Irene Delia

    2015-01-23

    Withdrawal from chronic ethanol facilitates the formation of contextual fear memory and delays the onset to extinction, with its retrieval promoting an increase in ethanol consumption. Consequently, manipulations aimed to reduce these aversive memories, may be beneficial in the treatment of alcohol discontinuation symptoms. Related to this, pharmacological memory reconsolidation blockade has received greater attention due to its therapeutic potential. Here, we examined the effect of post-reactivation amnestic treatments such as Midazolam (MDZ, 3 mg/kg i.p) and Propranolol (PROP, 5 mg/kg i.p) on contextual fear memory reconsolidation in ethanol- withdrawn (ETOH) rats. Next, we examined whether the activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors induced by d-cycloserine (DCS, 5 mg/kg i.p., a NMDA partial agonist) before memory reactivation can facilitate the disruptive effect of PROP and MDZ on fear memory in ETOH rats. We observed a resistance to the disruptive effect of both MDZ and PROP following memory reactivation. Although intra-basolateral amygdala (BLA; 1.25 ug/side) and systemic PROP administration attenuated fear memory in DCS pre-treated ETOH rats, DCS/MDZ treatment did not affect memory in these animals. Finally, a decrease of both total and surface protein expression of the α1 GABAA receptor (GABAA-R) subunit in BLA was found in the ETOH rats. Ethanol withdrawal facilitated the formation of fear memory resistant to labilization post-reactivation. DCS administration promoted the disruptive effect of PROP on memory reconsolidation in ETOH rats. The resistance to MDZ's disruptive effect on fear memory reconsolidation may be, at least in part, associated with changes in the GABAA-R composition induced by chronic ethanol administration/withdrawal. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  18. The functional neuro-anatomy of the human response to fear: A brief review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Del Casale

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The perception of fear and subsequent appropriate behavioral responding are crucial for the adaptation of species to their living environment. Functional neuroimaging studies of the neural basis of fear during the last few decades in humans contributed to significant advancement in the understanding of its mechanisms. Imaging studies help us delineating the role of amygdala-based neurocircuitry in fear activation and attention capture. The aim of this paper was to briefly review the most recent functional neuroimaging studies of fear perception, modulation and learning. Important knowledge was acquired about the factors that set fear in motion, including the role of nonconscious processes and the character of fear in guiding attention. A subcortical network interacts with the prefrontal cortex to modulate emotional response that allows better coping with environmental and social circumstances. Fear learning reduces the need to relearn about danger, and flexibility processes readjust fear behavior when external circumstances change. Future improvement of functional and other neuroimaging techniques may promote better clarification of the neurocircuitry involved in fear perception, learning and modulation.

  19. 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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Successful decision making in our daily lives requires weighing an option's costs against its associated benefits. The neuromodulator acetylcholine underlies both the etiology and treatment of a number of illnesses in which decision making is perturbed, including Alzheimer's disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia. Nicotine acts on the cholinergic system and has been touted as a cognitive enhancer by both smokers and some researchers for its attention-boosting eff...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  1. 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 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...... / environmental aspects such as vegetation character, density and maintenance may evoke fear of crime in urban green spaces, it is fundamental to be aware that these attribute do not as such cause fear. Rather, fear is evoked by a complex interaction of the environment with other attributes (e.g., prior...

  2. Identity and Fear of Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larkin, Linda

    1987-01-01

    Investigated the relation between ego identity and fear of success using the Rasmussen Ego Identity Scale (EIS), the Marcia interview for identity status, the Cohen People Knowing Questionnaire (PKO) to measure fear of success, and an occupational behavior and attitude questionnaire. EIS and PKO scores correlated significantly with each other and…

  3. 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.

  4. Fear responses to media entertainment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valkenburg, P.M.; Buijzen, M.A.; Calvert, S.L.; Wilson, B.J>

    2008-01-01

    Most experts on childhood fears agree that some fears are necessary for the healthy cognitive and emotional development of children (e.g., Fraiberg, 1959; Sarafino, 1986). But they also agree that being confronted with shocking events that go beyond a child’s processing ability can have a negative

  5. Perspectives on fear generalization and its implications for emotional disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasnow, Aaron M; Lynch, Joseph F; Gilman, T Lee; Riccio, David C

    2017-03-01

    Although generalization to conditioned stimuli is not a new phenomenon, renewed interest in understanding its biological underpinning has stemmed from its association with a number of anxiety disorders. Generalization as it relates to fear processing is a temporally dynamic process in which animals, including humans, display fear in response to similar yet distinct cues or contexts as the time between training and testing increases. This Review surveys the literature on contextual fear generalization and its relation to several views of memory, including systems consolidation, forgetting, and transformation hypothesis, which differentially implicate roles of the hippocampus and neocortex in memory consolidation and retrieval. We discuss recent evidence on the neurobiological mechanisms contributing to the increase in fear generalization over time and how generalized responding may be modulated by acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval mechanisms. Whereas clinical perspectives of generalization emphasize a lack of fear inhibition to CS - cues or fear toward intermediate CS cues, the time-dependent nature of generalization and its relation to traditional views on memory consolidation and retrieval are often overlooked. Understanding the time-dependent increase in fear generalization has important implications not only for understanding how generalization contributes to anxiety disorders but also for understanding basic long-term memory function. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... for Educators Search English Español Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias KidsHealth / For Parents / Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias What's ... help a child move beyond it. What's a Phobia? When anxieties and fears persist, problems can arise. ...

  7. Mediating Potency and Fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Steen Ledet

    2018-01-01

    movies work to dispel fear by producing potency and bolstering resolve. We can thus understand action movies as participating in the biopolitical effects of contemporary warfare. Affect is globalized and intensified through action movies’ aesthetics, with the aim of producing a kind of drone subject....... Robin James significantly posits a drone atmosphere where our perceptual limit reconfigures through ‘droning’ – the creation of an affective timbre [James, R., 2013. Drones, sound, and super-panoptic surveillance. Cyborgology]. As James argues, ‘[d]roning rivets you to material conditions, affects......, and sensations that compel you to behave in specific ways, and not in others’ (n.p.). So while drones currently work overseas to target morale, action movies work on the home front to target our potency and resolve and so engender a mode of sensation that also functions as action. Affect works as a translator...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-15

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

  9. Generalization of Pain-Related Fear Based on Conceptual Knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meulders, Ann; Vandael, Kristof; Vlaeyen, Johan W S

    2017-05-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that pain-related fear is key to the transition from acute to chronic pain. Previous research has shown that perceptual similarity with a pain-associated movement fosters the generalization of fear to novel movements. Perceptual generalization of pain-related fear is adaptive as it enables individuals to extrapolate the threat value of one movement to another without the necessity to learn anew. However, excessive spreading of fear to safe movements may become maladaptive and may lead to sustained anxiety, dysfunctional avoidance behaviors, and severe disability. A hallmark of human cognition is the ability to extract conceptual knowledge from a learning episode as well. Although this conceptual pathway may be important to understand fear generalization in chronic pain, research on this topic is lacking. We investigated acquisition and generalization of concept-based pain-related fear. During acquisition, unique exemplars of one action category (CS+; e.g., opening boxes) were followed by pain, whereas exemplars of another action category (CS-; e.g., closing boxes) were not. Subsequently, spreading of pain-related fear to novel exemplars of both action categories was tested. Participants learned to expect the pain to occur and reported more pain-related fear to the exemplars of the CS+ category compared with those of the CS- category. During generalization, fear and expectancy generalized to novel exemplars of the CS+ category, but not to the CS- category. This pattern was not corroborated in the eyeblink startle measures. This is the first study that demonstrates that pain-related fear can be acquired and generalized based on conceptual knowledge. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Magnesium supplementation in children with attention deficit ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Farida El Baza

    2015-07-07

    Jul 7, 2015 ... children. Then, to detect the effect of magnesium supplementation as an add on therapy, on magnesium deficient patients. Methods: The study was conducted on 25 patients ... This study is a case-control prospective interventional compar- .... regards attention, memory loss, fear, restlessness, insomnia,.

  13. 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 four 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. PMID:23458273

  14. A touch screen-automated cognitive test battery reveals impaired attention, memory abnormalities, and increased response inhibition in the TgCRND8 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romberg, Carola; Horner, Alexa E; Bussey, Timothy J; Saksida, Lisa M

    2013-03-01

    Transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with abundant β-amyloid develop memory impairments. However, multiple nonmnemonic cognitive domains such as attention and executive control are also compromised early in AD individuals, but have not been routinely assessed in animal models. Here, we assessed the cognitive abilities of TgCRND8 mice-a widely used model of β-amyloid pathology-with a touch screen-based automated test battery. The test battery comprises highly translatable tests of multiple cognitive constructs impaired in human AD, such as memory, attention, and response control, as well as appropriate control tasks. We found that familial AD mutations affect not only memory, but also cause significant alterations of sustained attention and behavioral flexibility. Because changes in attention and response inhibition may affect performance on tests of other cognitive abilities including memory, our findings have important consequences for the assessment of disease mechanisms and therapeutics in animal models of AD. A more comprehensive phenotyping with specialized, multicomponent cognitive test batteries for mice might significantly advance translation from preclinical mouse studies to the clinic. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.…

  16. 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

  17. The Power of Visualizing Fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elman, Julie M

    2017-11-01

    Throughout the Fear Project, the author visualizes other people's fears, many of which revolve around health-related issues. Through her illustrations, which accompany the words of her subjects, fears become a tangible representation of what people are most afraid of. The collaboration between the illustrator and the subjects shapes a health narrative that allows the subjects themselves to become more involved in their journey of self-discovery, by telling their own stories in ways that are outside the strict conventions of academia.

  18. Food and water deprivation disrupts latent inhibition with an auditory fear conditioning procedure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De la Casa, Luis G

    2013-11-01

    Latent inhibition (LI), operationally defined as the reduced conditioned response to a stimulus that has been preexposed before conditioning, seems to be determined by the interaction of different processes that includes attentional, associative, memory, motivational, and emotional factors. In this paper we focused on the role of deprivation level on LI intensity using an auditory fear conditioning procedure with rats. LI was observed when the animals were non-deprived, but it was disrupted when the rats were water- or food-deprived. We propose that deprivation induced an increase in attention to the to-be-CS, and, as a result, LI was disrupted in deprived animals. The implications of the results for the current interpretations of LI are also discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Differential effects of psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder symptoms on cognitive and fear processing in female offenders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton, Marja E.; Vitale, Jennifer E.; Curtin, John J.; Newman, Joseph P.

    2012-01-01

    Psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder (APD) have long been considered important risk factors for criminal behavior and incarceration. However, little is known about the psychobiological underpinnings that give rise to the disinhibited behavior of female offenders. Using an instructed fear-conditioning paradigm and a sample of incarcerated female offenders, we manipulated attentional focus and cognitive load to characterize and differentiate between the dysfunctional cognitive and affective processes associated with these syndromes. We used fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and event-related potentials as measures of affective and cognitive processing, respectively. After controlling for APD symptoms, psychopathic women displayed greater FPS while attending directly to threat-relevant stimuli and displayed less FPS while performing a demanding task that directed attention to threat-irrelevant information. Conversely, controlling for psychopathy, women with high APD symptoms displayed less overall FPS, especially when instructed to focus on threat-relevant stimuli. However, as the demands on cognitive resources increased, they displayed greater FPS. For both psychopathy and APD, analysis of the event-related potentials qualified these findings and further specified the abnormal cognitive processes associated with these two syndromes. Overall, simultaneous analysis of psychopathy and APD revealed distinct patterns of cognitive processing and fear reactivity. PMID:22886692

  20. 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.

  1. Attention visuelle

    OpenAIRE

    Rousserie, Marie

    2015-01-01

    William James, philosophe et psychologue américain, est le premier à parler de l’attention en 1890 dans son livre The Principles of Psychology : il dit que c’est un concept connu mais dont personne ne saurait en donner une définition précise. Il la définit alors ainsi : « L'attention est la prise de possession par l'esprit, sous une forme claire et vive, d'un objet ou d'une suite de pensées parmi plusieurs qui semblent possibles […] Elle implique le retrait de certains objets afin de traiter ...

  2. 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.

  3. Extinction of Learned Fear Induces Hippocampal Place Cell Remapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Melissa E.; Yuan, Robin K.; Keinath, Alexander T.; Ramos Álvarez, Manuel M.

    2015-01-01

    The extinction of learned fear is a hippocampus-dependent process thought to embody new learning rather than erasure of the original fear memory, although it is unknown how these competing contextual memories are represented in the hippocampus. We previously demonstrated that contextual fear conditioning results in hippocampal place cell remapping and long-term stabilization of novel representations. Here we report that extinction learning also induces place cell remapping in C57BL/6 mice. Specifically, we observed cells that preferentially remapped during different stages of learning. While some cells remapped in both fear conditioning and extinction, others responded predominantly during extinction, which may serve to modify previous representations as well as encode new safe associations. Additionally, we found cells that remapped primarily during fear conditioning, which could facilitate reacquisition of the original fear association. Moreover, we also observed cells that were stable throughout learning, which may serve to encode the static aspects of the environment. The short-term remapping observed during extinction was not found in animals that did not undergo fear conditioning, or when extinction was conducted outside of the conditioning context. Finally, conditioning and extinction produced an increase in spike phase locking to the theta and gamma frequencies. However, the degree of remapping seen during conditioning and extinction only correlated with gamma synchronization. Our results suggest that the extinction learning is a complex process that involves both modification of pre-existing memories and formation of new ones, and these traces coexist within the same hippocampal representation. PMID:26085635

  4. Self-Conscious Shyness: Growth during Toddlerhood, Strong Role of Genetics, and No Prediction from Fearful Shyness

    OpenAIRE

    Eggum-Wilkens, Natalie D.; Lemery-Chalfant, Kathryn; Aksan, Nazan; Goldsmith, H. Hill

    2014-01-01

    Fearful and self-conscious subtypes of shyness have received little attention in the empirical literature. Study aims included: 1) determining if fearful shyness predicted self-conscious shyness, 2) describing development of self-conscious shyness, and 3) examining genetic and environmental contributions to fearful and self-conscious shyness. Observed self-conscious shyness was examined at 19, 22, 25, and 28 months in same-sex twins (MZ = 102, DZ = 111, missing zygosity = 3 pairs). Self-consc...

  5. Comparing Fear of Death of the Elderly Settled in Elderly’s Home and Inhabited in City Houses of Isfahan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esmat Nouhi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: On the one hand, increased growth of the elderly population and on the other hand, social– economic changes, personal and family lifestyles have caused an increased number of the elderly protecting centres. The aim of the present survey is to compare the fear of death among the elderly settled in elderly home and inhabited in city houses of Isfahan. Methods & Materials: This study is an analysis – cross sectional study and statistical population are all of the elderly over 60 years inhabited in 14 – fold zones of Isfahan and the ones settled in Sadeghieh elderly home. Participants in this survey were 300 elderly people that 102 people settled in the elderly home (31 males and 71 females and 198 people inhabited in the community (97 males and 101 females. The elderly inhabited in the community were selected through a cluster sampling method and the ones settled in the elderly home through available sampling method and evaluated through a questionnaire of Collett-Lester Fear of Death. In order to analyse collected data, parametric statistical methods of K–Square test and independent–T have been used . Results: The finding of this survey showed that fear of death total score mean was 70.5±15.5 in the elderly group inhabited in houses that significantly was more than that the elderly group settled in the elderly home (P=0.001. Conclusion: The results of this survey showed that fear of death in the elderly group settled in city houses is higher than elderly settled in the elderly’s home. It is necessary that the authorities pay more attention to the sanitary systems in all levels, evaluate the causes and, try to get the aids of the relevant organizations in order to Reduced fear of death of elderly people.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Vicarious learning and unlearning of fear in childhood via mother and stranger models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Güler; Askew, Chris

    2013-10-01

    Evidence shows that anxiety runs in families. One reason may be that children are particularly susceptible to learning fear from their parents. The current study compared children's fear beliefs and avoidance preferences for animals following positive or fearful modeling by mothers and strangers in vicarious learning and unlearning procedures. Children aged 6 to 10 years (N = 60) were exposed to pictures of novel animals either alone (control) or together with pictures of their mother or a stranger expressing fear or happiness. During unlearning (counterconditioning), children saw each animal again with their mother or a stranger expressing the opposite facial expression. Following vicarious learning, children's fear beliefs increased for animals seen with scared faces and this effect was the same whether fear was modeled by mothers or strangers. Fear beliefs and avoidance preferences decreased following positive counterconditioning and increased following fear counterconditioning. Again, learning was the same whether the model was the child's mother or a stranger. These findings indicate that children in this age group can vicariously learn and unlearn fear-related cognitions from both strangers and mothers. This has implications for our understanding of fear acquisition and the development of early interventions to prevent and reverse childhood fears and phobias.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podaná, Zuzana; Imríšková, Romana

    2016-03-01

    Fear for the stalking victim's own safety or the safety of people close to them is of primary research interest due to the fact that fear is often required as a necessary condition for repetitive intrusive behavior to be defined as stalking. This study examines factors that increase levels of fear in stalking victims and analyzes their coping strategies, making use of data from a victimization survey among citizens of the Czech Republic (N = 2,503). Overall, 147 stalking victims were identified in the sample. Results show that female victims, those stalked by male offenders, and victims pursued over a long period of time, are most fearful. Higher levels of fear are elicited by strangers as opposed to partners or acquaintances. Among stalking practices, only direct aggression is significantly associated with fear, whereas monitoring the victim (comprising typical stalking behavior such as following the victim) increases the perception of the seriousness of stalking, but does not influence the victim's fear. In addition, three behavioral coping strategies have been identified: proactive behavior (47% of victims), avoidance (30%), and passivity (23%). The examination of the association between these coping strategies and victims' fear reveals that female victims, whose behavior is proactive, express higher levels of fear than male victims and than those choosing avoidance or passivity strategies. Overall, the study confirms gender differences in both the level of fear and coping strategies, and lends further support to appeals for eliminating the fear requirement from the stalking definition. © The Author(s) 2014.

  10. 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.

  11. AMYGDALA MICROCIRCUITS CONTROLLING LEARNED FEAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duvarci, Sevil; Pare, Denis

    2014-01-01

    We review recent work on the role of intrinsic amygdala networks in the regulation of classically conditioned defensive behaviors, commonly known as conditioned fear. These new developments highlight how conditioned fear depends on far more complex networks than initially envisioned. Indeed, multiple parallel inhibitory and excitatory circuits are differentially recruited during the expression versus extinction of conditioned fear. Moreover, shifts between expression and extinction circuits involve coordinated interactions with different regions of the medial prefrontal cortex. However, key areas of uncertainty remain, particularly with respect to the connectivity of the different cell types. Filling these gaps in our knowledge is important because much evidence indicates that human anxiety disorders results from an abnormal regulation of the networks supporting fear learning. PMID:24908482

  12. Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... treated? Finding Help Reprints For More Information Share Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms Download PDF Download ePub ... social isolation. What is it like to have panic disorder? “One day, without any warning or reason, ...

  13. Palliative care - fear and anxiety

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000470.htm Palliative care - fear and anxiety To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Palliative care is a holistic approach to care that focuses ...

  14. Heritability of fear: Ukrainian experience

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    O.V. Filiptsova

    2014-08-04

    compulsive syndrome. The prevalence of such disor- ders in the world population is relatively high [13], weakening people's health and quality of life [14]. Nonetheless, in spite of many studies done on fear, many questions are not yet ...

  15. Characterization of Fear Memory Reconsolidation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Duvarci, Sevil; Nader, Karim

    2004-01-01

    .... We show that the reconsolidation deficit does not show renewal after a contextual shift, whereas an extinguished auditory fear memory does under the same conditions and the deficit occurs regardless...

  16. Fear rises among Iranian physicists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dacey, James

    2011-01-01

    Academics in Iran have been left in a state of fear following the murder in Tehran last November of nuclear physicist Majid Shahriari and the attempted assassination of another nuclear researcher, Fereydoon Abbasi.

  17. 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.

  18. Candesartan Ameliorates Impaired Fear Extinction Induced by Innate Immune Activation

    OpenAIRE

    Quiñones, María M.; Maldonado, Lizette; Velazquez, Bethzaly; Porter, James T.

    2015-01-01

    Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to show signs of a relatively increased inflammatory state suggesting that activation of the immune system may contribute to the development of PTSD. In the present study, we tested whether activation of the innate immune system can disrupt acquisition or recall of auditory fear extinction using an animal model of PTSD. Male adolescent rats received auditory fear conditioning in context A. The next day, an intraperitoneal injection of l...

  19. 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.

  20. Emotional attention in acquired prosopagnosia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Nadia; Mayer, Eugene; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated whether emotionally expressive faces guide attention and modulate fMRI activity in fusiform gyrus in acquired prosopagnosia. Patient PS, a pure case of acquired prosopagnosia with intact right middle fusiform gyrus, performed two behavioral experiments and a functional imaging experiment to address these questions. In a visual search task involving face stimuli, PS was faster to select the target face when it was expressing fear or happiness as compared to when it was emotionally neutral. In a change detection task, PS detected significantly more changes when the changed face was fearful as compared to when it was neutral. Finally, an fMRI experiment showed enhanced activation to emotionally expressive faces and bodies in right fusiform gyrus. In addition, PS showed normal body-selective activation in right fusiform gyrus, partially overlapping the fusiform face area. Together these behavioral and neuroimaging results show that attention was preferentially allocated to emotional faces in patient PS, as observed in healthy subjects. We conclude that systems involved in the emotional guidance of attention by facial expression can function normally in acquired prosopagnosia, and can thus be dissociated from systems involved in face identification. PMID:19401380

  1. 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…

  2. A Construct Validation of Fear of Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellers, Elizabeth Bull; Keenan, Verne C.

    Fear of success, as traditionally measured by Horner's projective medical school cue and as measured by Pappo's Fear of Success Questionnaire, was examined in an exploratory attempt at validating the fear of success construct. Sixty-eight male and 119 female undergraduates were administered a battery of tests designed to measure fear of success,…

  3. Wisdom, Sophia, and the Fear of Knowing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Mary Elizabeth Mullino

    1997-01-01

    Argues that the quest to know God evokes fear. Explores the fear of knowing God (which includes the fear of questioning dominant metaphors of God) and the fear of knowing ourselves. Proposes an approach to education that inspires and encourages people to seek to know and respond to God. (MJP)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    There have been significant advances made towards understanding the processes mediating extinction of learned fear. However, despite being of clear theoretical and clinical significance, very few studies have examined fear extinction in adolescence, which is often described as a developmental window of vulnerability to psychological disorders. This paper reviews the relatively small body of research examining fear extinction in adolescence. A prominent finding of this work is that adolescents, both humans and rodents, exhibit a marked impairment in extinction relative to both younger (e.g., juvenile) and older (e.g., adult) groups. We then review some potential mechanisms that could produce the striking extinction deficit observed in adolescence. For example, one neurobiological candidate mechanism for impaired extinction in adolescence involves changes in the functional connectivity within the fear extinction circuit, particularly between prefrontal cortical regions and the amygdala. In addition, we review research on emotion regulation and attention processes that suggests that developmental changes in attention bias to threatening cues may be a cognitive mechanism that mediates age-related differences in extinction learning. We also examine how a differential reaction to chronic stress in adolescence impacts upon extinction retention during adolescence as well as in later life. Finally, we consider the findings of several studies illustrating promising approaches that overcome the typically-observed extinction impairments in adolescent rodents and that could be translated to human adolescents. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Objective Measurement of Fear of Success and Fear of Failure: A Factor Analytic Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadd, Susan; And Others

    1978-01-01

    Fear of success and failure scales were administered. Scores were intercorrelated. Results indicated fear of success is not unidimensional. Measures of fear of success and fear of failure were highly related. Stable orthogonal factors were obtained: fear of success, test anxiety, sex-role-related attitudes, neurotic insecurity, and the value of…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

    2011-09-01

    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 differences have not been considered in fear of failure research. AIMS. To examine whether (a) fear of failure and sport experience predict antisocial behaviour in the university and sport contexts in student athletes, and whether this prediction is the same in males and females; and (b) sex differences exist in antisocial behaviour and fear of failure. SAMPLE. British university student athletes (n= 176 male; n= 155 female; M(age) = 20.11 years). METHOD. Participants completed questionnaires assessing fear of failure, sport experience, and antisocial behaviour in both contexts. RESULTS. (a) Fear of failure and sport experience positively predicted antisocial behaviour in university and sport and the strength of these predictions did not differ between males and females; (b) females reported higher levels of fear of devaluing one's self-estimate than males whereas males reported higher levels of fear of important others losing interest than females. Males engaged more frequently than females in antisocial behaviour in both contexts. CONCLUSIONS. Fear of failure and sport experience may be important considerations when trying to understand antisocial behaviour in student athletes in education and sport; moreover, the potential effect of overall fear of failure and of sport experience on this frequency does not differ by sex. The findings make an important contribution to the fear of failure and morality literatures. ©2010 The British Psychological Society.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Susanne Hvolgaard; Olsen, Jørn; Bech, Bodil Hammer

    2017-01-01

    AIM: Although birth asphyxia is a major risk factor for neonatal and childhood morbidity and mortality, it has not been investigated much in relation to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We examined whether birth asphyxia measured by the pH of the blood in the umbilical artery cord...... was associated with childhood ADHD. METHOD: A population-based cohort of 295 687 children born in Finland between 1991 and 2002 was followed until December 31, 2007. ADHD was identified by the International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, as a diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder. We examined the risk...

  9. Fear during labor: the impact of sexual abuse in adult life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberhard-Gran, Malin; Slinning, Kari; Eskild, Anne

    2008-12-01

    Our aim was to study the occurrence of extreme fear during labor and its association with previous sexual abuse in adult life. All postpartum women (n = 414) in two municipalities in Norway participated in a questionnaire study. Self-reported fear during labor was categorized as "no fear/some fear/extreme fear". Sexual abuse was measured by the Abuse Assessment Screen (AAS). Three percent of the women reported extreme fear during labor, 13% some fear and 84% no fear. In total, 12% had been sexually abused as an adult. Among the women with extreme fear during labor, however, one third had a history of sexual abuse in adult life (crude odds ratio 3.7; 95% CI: 1.0-3.7). When controlling for depression in pregnancy, duration of labor and mode of delivery, the adjusted odds ratio for extreme fear during labor was 4.9 (95% CI: 1.2-19.1). The results suggest that women with a history of sexual abuse in adult life have an increased risk of extreme fear during labor.

  10. Dental Fear and Avoidance in Treatment Seekers at a Large, Urban Dental Clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyman, Richard E; Slep, Amy M Smith; White-Ajmani, Mandi; Bulling, Lisanne; Zickgraf, Hana F; Franklin, Martin E; Wolff, Mark S

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence and correlates of dental fear have been studied in representative population studies, but not in patients presenting for dental treatment. We hypothesized that dental fear among patients presenting at a large, urban college of dentistry would be similar to that of the population (e.g. 11% high dental fear, 17% to 35% moderate or higher fear) and that fear would be associated with avoidance of routine dental care, increased use of urgent dental care and poor oral health. Participants were 1070 consecutive patients at a large, urban dental care center. All patients completed a clinical interview, including demographics, medical history, dental history and presenting concerns, and behavioral health history. Patients were also asked to rate their dental anxiety/fear on a 1 (none) to 10 (high) scale. Over 20% of patients reported elevated anxiety/fear, of which 12.30% reported moderate and 8.75% high fear. Severity of dental anxiety/fear was strongly related to the likelihood of avoiding dental services in the past and related to myriad presenting problems. As hypothesized, the prevalence of moderate or higher fear in dental patients was considerable and closely matched that found in general population surveys. Thus, the 'dental home' is an ideal location to treat clinically significant dental anxiety/fear.

  11. Infant stranger fear trajectories predict anxious behaviors and diurnal cortisol rhythm during childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hulle, Carol A; Moore, Mollie N; Lemery-Chalfant, Kathryn; Goldsmith, H Hill; Brooker, Rebecca J

    2017-08-01

    Although a robust literature has linked stable, high levels of fear across childhood to increased risk for anxiety problems, less is known about alternative pathways to anxiety. We tested two putatively normative developmental pathways of early fearfulness for their distinct associations with behavioral (anxiety-related behaviors and symptoms) and biological (diurnal cortisol) markers of anxiety risk in middle childhood in a community-based sample (n = 107). Steeper increases in fear from 6 to 36 months predicted more parent-reported anxiety symptoms at age 8 years. In addition, children who exhibited steep increases in fear during infancy were overrepresented among children with diagnoses of separation anxiety disorder at age 8 years. Finally, we showed that steeper increases in fearfulness in infancy predicted flatter slopes of diurnal cortisol at age 8 years for girls. Thus, differences in stranger fear across infancy may indicate varying degrees of risk for anxious behaviors in later childhood.

  12. Understanding Fear of Zika: Personal, Interpersonal, and Media Influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chun; Dillard, James Price; Li, Ruobing

    2018-02-02

    Fear of infectious disease often motivates people to protect themselves. But, it can also produce negative bio-social-psychological effects whose severity is on par with those of the disease. The WHO declaration of Zika as a world health crisis presented an opportunity to study factors that bring about fear. Beginning nine days after the WHO announcement, data were gathered from women aged 18-35 living in the southern United States (N = 719). Respondents reported experiencing fear of Zika at levels akin to those reported following other significant crises/disasters (e.g., the terrorist attacks of 9/11). Fear increased as a function of (1) personal, but not other-relevance, (2) frequency of media exposure, but not media content, and (3) frequency of interpersonal exposure and interpersonal content. It is argued that media and interpersonal message sources may be innately predisposed to amplify, rather than attenuate, risk. © 2018 Society for Risk Analysis.

  13. Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pignatelli, Marco; Umanah, George Kwabena Essien; Ribeiro, Sissi Palma; Chen, Rong; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar Senthil; Yau, Hau-Jie; Eacker, Stephen; Dawson, Valina Lynn; Dawson, Ted Murray; Bonci, Antonello

    2017-01-18

    Fear learning is a fundamental behavioral process that requires dopamine (DA) release. Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity occurs on DA neurons while an organism is engaged in aversive experiences. However, whether synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons is causally involved in aversion learning is unknown. Here, we show that a stress priming procedure enhances fear learning by engaging VTA synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we took advantage of the ability of the ATPase Thorase to regulate the internalization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in order to selectively manipulate glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on DA neurons. Genetic ablation of Thorase in DAT + neurons produced increased AMPAR surface expression and function that lead to impaired induction of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Strikingly, animals lacking Thorase in DAT + neurons expressed greater associative learning in a fear conditioning paradigm. In conclusion, our data provide a novel, causal link between synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons and fear learning. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Early-adult correlates of maltreatment in girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Increased risk for internalizing symptoms and suicidality

    Science.gov (United States)

    GUENDELMAN, MAYA D.; OWENS, ELIZABETH B.; GALÁN, CHARDEE; GARD, ARIANNA; HINSHAW, STEPHEN P.

    2016-01-01

    We examined whether maltreatment experienced in childhood and/or adolescence prospectively predicts young adult functioning in a diverse and well-characterized sample of females with childhood-diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (N = 140). Participants were part of a longitudinal study and carefully evaluated in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood (Mage = 9.6, 14.3, and 19.7 years, respectively), with high retention rates across time. A thorough review of multisource data reliably established maltreatment status for each participant (Mκ = 0.78). Thirty-two (22.9%) participants experienced at least one maltreatment type (physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect). Criterion variables included a broad array of young adult measures of functioning gleaned from multiple-source, multiple-informant instruments. With stringent statistical control of demographic, prenatal, and family status characteristics as well as baseline levels of the criterion variable in question, maltreated participants were significantly more impaired than nonmaltreated participants with respect to self-harm (suicide attempts), internalizing symptomatology (anxiety and depression), eating disorder symptomatology, and well-being (lower overall self-worth). Effect sizes were medium. Comprising the first longitudinal evidence linking maltreatment with key young adult life impairments among a carefully diagnosed and followed sample of females with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, these findings underscore the clinical importance of trauma experiences within this population. PMID:25723055

  15. Anger, fear and games

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Torill

    2016-01-01

    The event known as #GamerGate (GG) emphasized the need to take the study of game culture seriously and pursue it across several platforms. It demonstrated how seemingly ephemeral media created echo chambers of anger, and how the outbursts of hypermasculine aggression exemplified by hooligans also...... can connect to games and play. Starting from how GG gained popular attention, this article outlines and discusses the nature of GG, the relation to the victims, the sense of victimization among the participants, and how it may have been provoked by the long-standing, general disregard of games...... the image of game culture as mainly a culture of isolated consumption...

  16. Brain oxytocin in social fear conditioning and its extinction: involvement of the lateral septum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoicas, Iulia; Slattery, David A; Neumann, Inga D

    2014-12-01

    Central oxytocin (OXT) has anxiolytic and pro-social properties both in humans and rodents, and has been proposed as a therapeutic option for anxiety and social dysfunctions. Here, we utilized a mouse model of social fear conditioning (SFC) to study the effects of OXT on social fear, and to determine whether SFC causes alterations in central OXT receptor (OXTR) binding and local OXT release. Central infusion of OXT, but not arginine vasopressin, prior to social fear extinction training completely abolished social fear expression in an OXTR-mediated fashion without affecting general anxiety or locomotion. SFC caused increased OXTR binding in the dorso-lateral septum (DLS), central amygdala, dentate gyrus, and cornu ammunis 1, which normalized after social fear extinction, suggesting that these areas form part of a brain network involved in the development and neural support of social fear. Microdialysis revealed that the increase in OXT release observed in unconditioned mice within the DLS during social fear extinction training was attenuated in conditioned mice. Consequently, increasing the availability of local OXT by infusion of OXT into the DLS reversed social fear. Thus, alterations in the brain OXT system, including altered OXTR binding and OXT release within the DLS, play an important role in SFC and social fear extinction. Thus, we suggest that the OXT system is adversely affected in disorders associated with social fear, such as social anxiety disorder and reinstalling an appropriate balance of the OXT system may alleviate some of the symptoms.

  17. Affective learning modulates spatial competition during low-load attentional conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Seung-Lark; Padmala, Srikanth; Pessoa, Luiz

    2008-04-01

    It has been hypothesized that the amygdala mediates the processing advantage of emotional items. In the present study, we employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate how fear conditioning affected the visual processing of task-irrelevant faces. We hypothesized that faces previously paired with shock (threat faces) would more effectively vie for processing resources during conditions involving spatial competition. To investigate this question, following conditioning, participants performed a letter-detection task on an array of letters that was superimposed on task-irrelevant faces. Attentional resources were manipulated by having participants perform an easy or a difficult search task. Our findings revealed that threat fearful faces evoked stronger responses in the amygdala and fusiform gyrus relative to safe fearful faces during low-load attentional conditions, but not during high-load conditions. Consistent with the increased processing of shock-paired stimuli during the low-load condition, such stimuli exhibited increased behavioral priming and fMRI repetition effects relative to unpaired faces during a subsequent implicit-memory task. Overall, our results suggest a competition model in which affective significance signals from the amygdala may constitute a key modulatory factor determining the neural fate of visual stimuli. In addition, it appears that such competitive advantage is only evident when sufficient processing resources are available to process the affective stimulus.

  18. Fear of evaluation unpacked: day-to-day correlates of fear of negative and positive evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichenberger, Julia; Smyth, Joshua M; Blechert, Jens

    2017-11-09

    Social interactions inevitably go along with repeated evaluations. Some individuals are particularly sensitive to social evaluations: Psychometric studies suggest stable and distinct individual differences on fear of negative evaluations (FNE) and fear of positive evaluation (FPE). However, little is known about day-to-day correlates of FNE and FPE, particularly their respective contribution to positive/negative affect level and affect reactivity to different stressor types. Two studies naturalistically assessed the level of negative/positive affect and its reactivity to different stressor types (from distant or close social network, work and daily hassles, assessed daily) as a function of FNE/FPE. Ecological Momentary Assessment employed five daily prompts during 12/10 days in convenience samples of 50/59 participants. FNE predicted lower positive affect level only in Study 2. Consistent across studies negative affect reactivity to stressors emanating from the distant social network was increased in individuals high in FNE or FPE. Results document the relevance of both types of evaluation fears (FNE/FPE) for day-to-day affect and stress reactivity. They further specify whose evaluations are well tolerated (close network) or feared (distant network), thereby refining current psycho-evolutionary accounts of FNE/FPE.

  19. The Basolateral Amygdala Determines the Effects of Fear Memory on Sleep in an Animal Model of PTSD

    OpenAIRE

    Wellman, Laurie L.; Fitzpatrick, Mairen E.; Machida, Mayumi; Sanford, Larry D.

    2014-01-01

    Fear conditioning (inescapable shock training (ST)) and fearful context re-exposure (CR) alone can produce significant fear indicated by increased freezing and reductions in subsequent REM sleep. Damage to or inactivation of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) prior to or after ST or prior to CR generally has been found to attenuate freezing in the shock training context. However, no one has examined the impact of BLA inactivation on fear-induced changes in sleep. Here, we used the ...

  20. Conquer fear: protocol of a randomised controlled trial of a psychological intervention to reduce fear of cancer recurrence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butow, Phyllis N; Bell, Melanie L; Smith, Allan B; Fardell, Joanna E; Thewes, Belinda; Turner, Jane; Gilchrist, Jemma; Beith, Jane; Girgis, Afaf; Sharpe, Louise; Shih, Sophy; Mihalopoulos, Cathrine

    2013-04-23

    Up to 70% of cancer survivors report clinically significant levels of fear of cancer recurrence (FCR). Despite the known negative impact of FCR on psychological wellbeing and quality of life, little research has investigated interventions for high FCR. Our team has developed and piloted a novel intervention (Conquer Fear) based on the Self-Regulatory Executive Function Model and Relational Frame Theory and is evaluating Conquer Fear in a randomised controlled trial (RCT). We aim to compare the efficacy and cost-efficacy of the Conquer Fear Intervention and relaxation training in reducing the impact of FCR. This study is a multi-centre RCT with 260 participants randomised either to the Conquer Fear Intervention or relaxation training. Both interventions will be delivered in five sessions over 10 weeks by trained psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers with five or more years experience in oncology. Conquer Fear sessions use attentional training, detached mindfulness, meta-cognitive therapy, values clarification and psycho-education to help patients change the way they regulate and respond to thoughts about cancer recurrence. Relaxation training includes training in progressive and passive muscle relaxation, meditative relaxation, visualisation and "quick relaxation" techniques. Relaxation was chosen to control for therapist time and attention and has good face-validity as an intervention. The primary outcome is fear of cancer recurrence. Secondary outcomes include distress, quality of life, unmet needs, and health care utilisation. Participants complete questionnaires prior to starting the intervention, immediately after completing the intervention, 3 and 6 months later. Eligible participants are early-stage breast or colorectal cancer survivors who have completed hospital-based treatment between 2 months and 5 years prior to study entry and report a score in the clinical range on the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory. The biostatistician is blinded to

  1. Do infants find snakes aversive? Infants' physiological responses to "fear-relevant" stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrasher, Cat; LoBue, Vanessa

    2016-02-01

    In the current research, we sought to measure infants' physiological responses to snakes-one of the world's most widely feared stimuli-to examine whether they find snakes aversive or merely attention grabbing. Using a similar method to DeLoache and LoBue (Developmental Science, 2009, Vol. 12, pp. 201-207), 6- to 9-month-olds watched a series of multimodal (both auditory and visual) stimuli: a video of a snake (fear-relevant) or an elephant (non-fear-relevant) paired with either a fearful or happy auditory track. We measured physiological responses to the pairs of stimuli, including startle magnitude, latency to startle, and heart rate. Results suggest that snakes capture infants' attention; infants showed the fastest startle responses and lowest average heart rate to the snakes, especially when paired with a fearful voice. Unexpectedly, they also showed significantly reduced startle magnitude during this same snake video plus fearful voice combination. The results are discussed with respect to theoretical perspectives on fear acquisition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The Fear of Contact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumas, S.

    The search for intelligent alien civilisation is one of the great challenges for mankind. The project to explore the thousand of nearby stars has just begun and may take a long time to be completed. It is not certain that a civilisation at a communication distance exists but the search has to be done. Another similar activity is concerned by the transmission of messages to alien civilisation. It is not an answer to a detected message by SETI but a transmission of messages to potential candidates. Over the past years, questions have been raised to the potential danger for Earth of such activity. It is not a secret that METI goal is to attract attention and invite an answer from a nearby civilisation. It is not a physical answer such as a visiting star ship but a simple radio signal. This paper will present arguments to support METI and refute the idea of danger.

  3. Optogenetic stimulation of a hippocampal engram activates fear memory recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xu; Ramirez, Steve; Pang, Petti T; Puryear, Corey B; Govindarajan, Arvind; Deisseroth, Karl; Tonegawa, Susumu

    2012-03-22

    A specific memory is thought to be encoded by a sparse population of neurons. These neurons can be tagged during learning for subsequent identification and manipulation. Moreover, their ablation or inactivation results in reduced memory expression, suggesting their necessity in mnemonic processes. However, the question of sufficiency remains: it is unclear whether it is possible to elicit the behavioural output of a specific memory by directly activating a population of neurons that was active during learning. Here we show in mice that optogenetic reactivation of hippocampal neurons activated during fear conditioning is sufficient to induce freezing behaviour. We labelled a population of hippocampal dentate gyrus neurons activated during fear learning with channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and later optically reactivated these neurons in a different context. The mice showed increased freezing only upon light stimulation, indicating light-induced fear memory recall. This freezing was not detected in non-fear-conditioned mice expressing ChR2 in a similar proportion of cells, nor in fear-conditioned mice with cells labelled by enhanced yellow fluorescent protein instead of ChR2. Finally, activation of cells labelled in a context not associated with fear did not evoke freezing in mice that were previously fear conditioned in a different context, suggesting that light-induced fear memory recall is context specific. Together, our findings indicate that activating a sparse but specific ensemble of hippocampal neurons that contribute to a memory engram is sufficient for the recall of that memory. Moreover, our experimental approach offers a general method of mapping cellular populations bearing memory engrams.

  4. Neural correlates of individual differences in fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Variability in fear conditionability is common, and clarity regarding the neural regions responsible for individual differences in fear conditionability could uncover brain-based biomarkers of resilience or vulnerability to trauma-based psychopathologies (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder). In recent years, neuroimaging work has yielded a detailed understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying fear conditioning common across participants, however only a minority of studies have investigated the brain basis of inter-individual variation in fear learning. Moreover, the majority of these studies have employed small sample sizes (mean n=17; range n=5-27) and all have failed to meet the minimum recommended sample size for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of individual differences. Here, using fMRI, we analyzed blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response recorded simultaneously with skin conductance response (SCR) and ratings of unconditioned stimulus (US) expectancy in 49 participants undergoing Pavlovian fear conditioning. On average, participants became conditioned to the conditioned stimulus (CS+; higher US expectancy ratings and SCR for the CS+ compared to the unpaired conditioned stimulus, CS-); the CS+ also robustly increased activation in the bilateral insula. Amygdala activation was revealed from a regression analysis that incorporated individual differences in fear conditionability (i.e., a between-subjects regressor of mean CS+>CS- SCR). By replicating results observed using much smaller sample sizes, the results confirm that variation in amygdala reactivity covaries with individual differences in fear conditionability. The link between behavior (SCR) and brain (amygdala reactivity) may be a putative endophenotype for the acquisition of fear memories. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Neural mechanisms of impaired fear inhibition in posttraumatic stress disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja eJovanovic

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD can develop in some individuals who are exposed to an event that causes extreme fear, horror, or helplessness (APA, 1994. PTSD is a complex and heterogeneous disorder, which is often co-morbid with depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders such as panic or social phobia. Given this complexity, progress in the field can be greatly enhanced by focusing on phenotypes that are more proximal to the neurobiology of the disorder. Such neurobiological intermediate phenotypes can provide investigative tools to increase our understanding of the roots of the disorder and develop better prevention or intervention programs. In the present paper, we argue that the inhibition of fear responses is an intermediate phenotype that is related to both the neurocircuitry associated with the disorder, and is linked to its clinical symptoms. An advantage of focusing on fear inhibition is that the neurobiology of fear has been well investigated in animal models providing the necessary groundwork in understanding alterations. Furthermore, because many paradigms can be tested across species, fear inhibition is an ideal translational tool. Here we review both the behavioral tests and measures of fear inhibition and the related neurocircuitry in neuroimaging studies with both healthy and clinical samples.

  6. Fear experience reading: women reading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia VALDIVIESO GÁMEZ

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Starting from the assumptions the patriarchal paradigm has used in the construction of male and female identity, the changes experienced by women in the last century and the statements about fear undergone by more than twenty-five women from different ages and nationalities through their own life cycle, the author gives us an account on what women fear and how they live and overcome it. These ideas are based on the hypothesis that if patriarchy as a social organization is a cultural constant, the fears experienced by women in the process of constructing themselves as such are also constant. She concludes that the only course to follow is necessarily a way where feminine consciousness must be integrated, both in men and women, as a previous step in the construction of a reality based on equals, though, at the same time, different. This would allow us to discover the masculine and feminine dimension in all of us.

  7. Fear effects by the media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custers, Kathleen; Van den Bulck, Jan

    2012-04-01

    Both news media and entertainment fiction may lead to short-term and enduring fright reactions. Even TV programs, movies and news made for children may trigger fear. Preoperational children (3 to 7 years of age) are most afraid of fantasy characters, transformations and interpersonal violence. Operational children (8 to 11 years) are more afraid of abstract ideas and imagined implications regarding their own risk. Pediatricians must include media in their history taking and beware of ensuing fear, phobias, sleep and behavior problems. Parents can play a vital role in preventing exposure to or mediating the effects of frightening media. Hospitals must have a pediatric media exposure policy. Media use can have immediate and enduring fear effects that affect many children and that are far from trivial.

  8. Does persisting fear sustain catatonia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, M; Shorter, E

    2017-11-01

    To examine the psychological substrate of catatonia. Reviewing the historical descriptions and explanations of catatonic behaviours by clinicians from its delineation in the 19th century to the present. Patients with catatonia are often haunted by fears and terrors; this has not been widely appreciated, and certainly was lost from view in the days when catatonia was considered a subtype of schizophrenia. The report contributes to resolving a major question in catatonia: is the mind in stupor inactive, as the blank state that we picture in anesthetized patients, or is the mind active, so preoccupied as to exclude all other influences. Persistent fear occupies the mind of catatonic patients. The signs of catatonia are adaptations to persistent fear, akin to tonic immobilization. The relief afforded by sedation supports this interpretation. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Attention to Threat as a Predictor of Shyness in the Context of Internalizing and Externalizing Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, Alexandra C; Premo, Julie E; Kiel, Elizabeth J

    2017-01-01

    The duration of children's attention to putative threat has been documented as a consistent predictor of later anxiety in inhibited children across childhood (Fox, 2010; Perez-Edgar & Fox, 2005). However, attention to threat has not been broadly examined within existing behavioral contexts, and has seldom been studied in very early childhood. Whereas toddlers with high levels of internalizing behavior may view fear-inducing stimuli as a threat, toddlers with high levels of externalizing behavior may demonstrate attention out of interest or sensation seeking. Thus, attention to threat was expected to predict increased toddler shyness in the context of either high internalizing problems or low externalizing behavior. We examined 117 24-month-old toddlers to determine whether attention to threat interacted with internalizing and externalizing behavior at 24 months of age to predict toddler shyness one year later. Results indicated that attention to threat predicted toddlers' lower shyness at 36 months when toddlers' externalizing behavior at age 24 months were high, but there was no significant interaction between toddlers' internalizing behavior and their attention to threat in predicting later shyness. These results expand our understanding of the contexts in which attention to threat in early childhood is a viable predictor of later shyness.

  10. Fearful but not happy expressions boost face detection in human infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayet, Laurie; Quinn, Paul C; Laboissière, Rafael; Caldara, Roberto; Lee, Kang; Pascalis, Olivier

    2017-09-13

    Human adults show an attentional bias towards fearful faces, an adaptive behaviour that relies on amygdala function. This attentional bias emerges in infancy between 5 and 7 months, but the underlying developmental mechanism is unknown. To examine possible precursors, we investigated whether 3.5-, 6- and 12-month-old infants show facilitated detection of fearful faces in noise, compared to happy faces. Happy or fearful faces, mixed with noise, were presented to infants (N = 192), paired with pure noise. We applied multivariate pattern analyses to several measures of infant looking behaviour to derive a criterion-free, continuous measure of face detection evidence in each trial. Analyses of the resulting psychometric curves supported the hypothesis of a detection advantage for fearful faces compared to happy faces, from 3.5 months of age and across all age groups. Overall, our data show a readiness to detect fearful faces (compared to happy faces) in younger infants that developmentally precedes the previously documented attentional bias to fearful faces in older infants and adults. © 2017 The Author(s).

  11. Rats tested after a washout period from sub-chronic PCP administration exhibited impaired performance in the 5-Choice Continuous Performance Test (5C-CPT) when the attentional load was increased.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Sam A; Young, Jared W; Neill, Jo C

    2012-03-01

    It is well documented that schizophrenia patients exhibit dysfunction in various cognitive domains, including attention/vigilance, as demonstrated by impaired performance in the myriad of Continuous Performance Tests (CPTs). NMDA receptor antagonists provide a pharmacological model in animals of the cognitive disruption presented in the disorder. We therefore examined the effects of a sub-chronic PCP treatment regimen (5.0mg/kg 7-days bi-daily) in the recently developed rodent test of vigilance, the 5-Choice Continuous Performance Test (5C-CPT). We assessed the effects of this regimen after at least a 7-day washout period on both baseline performance and when the attentional load was increased. Sub-chronic PCP treatment impaired 5C-CPT performance in a manner consistent with impaired vigilance in patients with schizophrenia, with reduced hit rate and impaired signal sensitivity. These effects were only evident when performance was challenged following parameter manipulations. These data demonstrate that attention/vigilance is sensitive to disruption following sub-chronic PCP treatment in a pre-clinical task that may demonstrate increased analogy to human vigilance tasks. Although the PCP-induced attentional deficits are not as large as those deficits observed in other domains, these data provide evidence that this pharmacological model can affect multiple cognitive domains and may be useful for assessing putative pro-cognitive therapeutics for schizophrenia. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Deep brain stimulation of the amygdala alleviates fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Li; Huang, SiJia; Peng, BinBin; Ren, Jie; Tian, FuYing; Wang, Yan

    2014-07-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the amygdala has been demonstrated to modulate hyperactivity of the amygdala, which is responsible for the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and thus might be used for the treatment of PTSD. However, the underlying mechanism of DBS of the amygdala in the modulation of the amygdala is unclear. The present study investigated the effects of DBS of the amygdala on synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to the amygdala, which is critical for the formation and storage of auditory fear memories, and fear memories. The results demonstrated that auditory fear conditioning increased single-pulse-evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the cortical-amygdala pathway. Furthermore, auditory fear conditioning decreased the induction of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, two neurophysiological models for studying short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity, respectively, in the cortical-amygdala pathway. In addition, all these auditory fear conditioning-induced changes could be reversed by DBS of the amygdala. DBS of the amygdala also rescued auditory fear conditioning-induced enhancement of long-term retention of fear memory. These findings suggested that DBS of the amygdala alleviating fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory may underlie the neuromodulatory role of DBS of the amygdala in activities of the amygdala.

  13. Heightened fear in response to a safety cue and extinguished fear cue in a rat model of maternal immune activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan eSangha

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Maternal immune activation during pregnancy is an environmental risk factor for psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and autism in the offspring. Hence, changes in an array of behaviors, including behavioral flexibility, consistent with altered functioning of cortico-limbic circuits have been reported in rodent models of maternal immune activation. Surprisingly, previous studies have not examined the effect of maternal immune activation on the extinction of fear conditioning which depends on cortico-limbic circuits. Thus, we tested the effects of treating pregnant Long Evans rats with the viral mimetic polyI:C (gestational day 15; 4 mg/kg; i.v. on fear conditioning and extinction in the male offspring using two different tasks. In the first experiment, we observed no effect of polyI:C treatment on the acquisition or extinction of a classically conditioned fear memory in a non-discriminative auditory cue paradigm. However, polyI:C-treated offspring did increase contextual freezing during the recall of fear extinction in this non-discriminative paradigm. The second experiment utilized a recently developed task to explicitly test the ability of rats to discriminate among cues signifying fear, reward, and safety; a task that requires behavioral flexibility. To our surprise, polyI:C-treated rats acquired the task in a manner similar to saline-treated rats. However, upon subsequent extinction training, they showed significantly faster extinction of the freezing response to the fear cue. In contrast, during the extinction recall test, polyI:C-treated offspring showed enhanced freezing behavior before and after presentation of the fear cue, suggesting an impairment in their ability to regulate fear behavior. These behavioral results are integrated into the literature suggesting impairments in cortico-limbic brain function in the offspring of rats treated with polyI:C during pregnancy.

  14. Counterconditioned Fear Responses Exhibit Greater Renewal than Extinguished Fear Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Nathan M.; Leung, Hiu T.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2016-01-01

    This series of experiments used rats to compare counterconditioning and extinction of conditioned fear responses (freezing) with respect to the effects of a context shift. In each experiment, a stimulus was paired with shock in context A, extinguished or counterconditioned through pairings with sucrose in context B, and then tested for renewal…

  15. Emotional distress impacts fear of the future among breast cancer survivors not the reverse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebel, Sophie; Rosberger, Zeev; Edgar, Linda; Devins, Gerald M

    2009-06-01

    Fear of the future is one of the most stressful aspects of having cancer. Research to date has conceptualized fear of the future as a precursor of distress or stress-response symptoms. Yet it is equally plausible that distress would predict increased fear of the future or that they would have a reciprocal influence on each other. The purpose of the present study was to examine the bidirectional relations between fear of the future and distress as well as intrusion and avoidance among breast cancer survivors at 3, 7, 11, and 15 months after diagnosis. We used a bivariate latent difference score model for dynamic change to examine these bidirectional relationships among 146 early-stage breast cancer survivors. Using Lisrel version 8.80, we examined four models testing different hypothesized relationships between fear of the future and distress and intrusion and avoidance. Based on model fit evaluation, our data shows that decreases in distress over time lead to a reduction of fear of the future but that changes in fear do not lead to changes in distress. On the other hand, there is no relationship between changes in fear of the future and intrusion and avoidance over time. Ongoing fear of the future does not appear to be a necessary condition for the development of stress-response symptoms. Future studies need to explore the role of distressing emotions in the development and exacerbation of fear of the future among cancer survivors.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celina Manita

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Altered resting-state brain activity at functional MRI during automatic memory consolidation of fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Tingyong; Feng, Pan; Chen, Zhencai

    2013-07-26

    Investigations of fear conditioning in rodents and humans have illuminated the neural mechanisms of fear acquisition and extinction. However, the neural mechanism of automatic memory consolidation of fear conditioning is still unclear. To address this question, we measured brain activity following fear acquisition using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). In the current study, we used a marker of fMRI, amplitude of low-frequency (0.01-0.08Hz) fluctuation (ALFF) to quantify the spontaneous brain activity. Brain activity correlated to fear memory consolidation was observed in parahippocampus, insula, and thalamus in resting-state. Furthermore, after acquired fear conditioning, compared with control group some brain areas showed ALFF increased in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in the experimental group, whereas some brain areas showed decreased ALFF in striatal regions (caudate, putamen). Moreover, the change of ALFF in vmPFC was positively correlated with the subjective fear ratings. These findings suggest that the parahippocampus, insula, and thalamus are the neural substrates of fear memory consolidation. The difference in activity could be attributed to a homeostatic process in which the vmPFC and ACC were involved in the fear recovery process, and change of ALFF in vmPFC predicts subjective fear ratings. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Schulz-Klaus, Brigitte; Lessmann, Volkmar; Endres, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    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 trainin...

  1. Impact of Coeducation on "Fear of Success" Imagery Expressed by Male and Female High School Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winchel, Ronald; And Others

    1974-01-01

    Results indicate that increased cross-sex competition increases fear of success in females. It appears, however, that the motive is largely formed before a girl reaches high school and that females who have not learned to avoid success in the presence of male classmates in elementary school do not fear success. (Author/BJG)

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

    OpenAIRE

    Helzer, Erik G.; Connor-Smith, Jennifer K.; Reed, Marjorie A.

    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...

  3. Reviewing the parental standpoint about origin of the dental fear in children referred to dentistry centers of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jafarzadeh, Mehdi; Keshani, Fatemeh; Ghazavi, Zahra; Keshani, Foruz

    2011-01-01

    Dental fear leads to lack of child cooperation. In general, without the patient's cooperation, success in remedy is impossible. This study aimed to evaluate parental view about the origins of the dental fear in children as well as their view about factors contributing to the prevention of child dental fear. This was a cross sectional descriptive and analytical study which was carried out on 200 parents of children aged 6-12 years referred to dentistry center of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. The level of dental fear in these children was screened using Children's Fear Survey Schedule - Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS). This questionnaire consisted of 15 questions and each question had a 5-point Likert-type Scale. Total scores ranged from 15 to 75. Based on the scores, children were divided into two groups: Group with low fear (score of 25 or less) and group with high fear (score of 37 or more). The parents were asked about the causes of their child's dental fear. There was an inverse significant correlation between the average score of fear and the age of the children. In the group with high fear, most of the parents (31%) had chosen previous dental experiences as the cause of their child's fear. There was no significant relationship between parental belief and their gender, the level of education, the level of their own dental fear and the child's age and fear score. According to the parent's standpoint, previous dental experience was a major factor in the development of childhood dental fear. Temperamental factors also played a major role in some of the fearful children. Most of the parents in group with high fear attributed their child's fear to the external factors and seemed they were unable to control and prevent it. Therefore, more attention should be given to the behavior and attitude of the parents as well as dentists in the future researches.

  4. Reviewing the parental standpoint about origin of the dental fear in children referred to dentistry centers of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jafarzadeh, Mehdi; Keshani, Fatemeh; Ghazavi, Zahra; Keshani, Foruz

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Dental fear leads to lack of child cooperation. In general, without the patient's cooperation, success in remedy is impossible. This study aimed to evaluate parental view about the origins of the dental fear in children as well as their view about factors contributing to the prevention of child dental fear. METHODS: This was a cross sectional descriptive and analytical study which was carried out on 200 parents of children aged 6-12 years referred to dentistry center of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. The level of dental fear in these children was screened using Children's Fear Survey Schedule - Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS). This questionnaire consisted of 15 questions and each question had a 5-point Likert-type Scale. Total scores ranged from 15 to 75. Based on the scores, children were divided into two groups: Group with low fear (score of 25 or less) and group with high fear (score of 37 or more). The parents were asked about the causes of their child's dental fear. RESULTS: There was an inverse significant correlation between the average score of fear and the age of the children. In the group with high fear, most of the parents (31%) had chosen previous dental experiences as the cause of their child's fear. There was no significant relationship between parental belief and their gender, the level of education, the level of their own dental fear and the child's age and fear score. CONCLUSIONS: According to the parent's standpoint, previous dental experience was a major factor in the development of childhood dental fear. Temperamental factors also played a major role in some of the fearful children. Most of the parents in group with high fear attributed their child's fear to the external factors and seemed they were unable to control and prevent it. Therefore, more attention should be given to the behavior and attitude of the parents as well as dentists in the future researches. PMID:22039391

  5. More attention must be paid: the neurobiology of attentional effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarter, Martin; Gehring, William J; Kozak, Rouba

    2006-08-01

    Increases in attentional effort are defined as the motivated activation of attentional systems in response to detrimental challenges on attentional performance, such as the presentation of distractors, prolonged time-on-task, changing target stimulus characteristics and stimulus presentation parameters, circadian phase shifts, stress or sickness. Increases in attentional effort are motivated by the expected performance outcome; in the absence of such motivation, attentional performance continues to decline or may cease altogether. The beneficial effects of increased attentional effort are due in part to the activation of top-down mechanisms that act to optimize input detection and processing, thereby stabilizing or recovering attentional performance in response to challenges. Following a description of the psychological construct "attentional effort", evidence is reviewed indicating that increases in the activity of cortical cholinergic inputs represent a major component of the neuronal circuitry mediating increases in attentional effort. A neuronal model describes how error detection and reward loss, indicating declining performance, are integrated with motivational mechanisms on the basis of neuronal circuits between prefrontal/anterior cingulate and mesolimbic regions. The cortical cholinergic input system is activated by projections of mesolimbic structures to the basal forebrain cholinergic system. In prefrontal regions, increases in cholinergic activity are hypothesized to contribute to the activation of the anterior attention system and associated executive functions, particularly the top-down optimization of input processing in sensory regions. Moreover, and influenced in part by prefrontal projections to the basal forebrain, increases in cholinergic activity in sensory and other posterior cortical regions contribute directly to the modification of receptive field properties or the suppression of contextual information and, therefore, to the mediation of

  6. The fragrant power of collective fear.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roa Harb

    Full Text Available Fear is a well-characterized biological response to threatening or stressful situations in humans and other social animals. Importantly, fearful stimuli in the natural environment are likely to be encountered concurrently by a group of animals. The modulation of fear acquisition and fear memory by a group as opposed to an individual experience, however, remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate a robust reduction in fear memory to an aversive event undertaken in a group despite similar fear learning between individually- and group-conditioned rats. This reduction persists outside the group confines, appears to be a direct outcome of group cognizance and is counteracted by loss of olfactory signaling among the group members. These results show that a group experience of fear can be protective and suggest that distinct neural pathways from those classically studied in individuals modulate collective fear memories.

  7. Amnesia, anesthesia, and warranted fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonell, Vanessa

    2014-06-01

    Is a painful experience less bad for you if you will not remember it? Do you have less reason to fear it? These questions bear on how we think about medical procedures and surgeries that use an anesthesia regimen that leaves patients conscious - and potentially in pain - but results in complete 'drug-induced amnesia' after the fact. I argue that drug-induced amnesia does not render a painful medical procedure a less fitting object of fear, and thus the prospect of amnesia does not give patients a reason not to fear it. I expose three mistakes in reasoning that might explain our tendency to view pain or discomfort as less fearful in virtue of expected amnesia: a mistaken view of personal identity; a mistaken view of the target of anticipation; and a mistaken method of incorporating past evidence into calculations about future experiences. Ultimately my argument has implications for whether particular procedures are justified and how medical professionals should speak with anxious patients about the prospect of drug-induced amnesia. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Managing Fear in the Workplace

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

    be in business for many, many direction of the organization. years, which in itself helps to reduce fear. According to Bennis and Nanus (1985), a In...Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Deming route to quality and productivity: Roadmaps and Bennis , W., & Nanus , B. (1985). roadblocks. Rockville, MD: Leaders

  9. The effect of repeated exposure to ethanol on pre-existing fear memories in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiñones-Laracuente, Kelvin; Hernández-Rodríguez, Marán Y; Bravo-Rivera, Christian; Melendez, Roberto I; Quirk, Gregory J

    2015-10-01

    There is a high degree of comorbidity between alcohol use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but little is known about the interactions of ethanol with traumatic memories. Using auditory fear conditioning in rats, we asked if repeated exposure to ethanol could modify the retrieval of fear memories acquired prior to ethanol exposure. Following auditory fear conditioning, Sprague-Dawley rats were given daily injections of ethanol (1.5 g/kg) or saline over 5 days. Two days later, they were given 20 trials of extinction training and then tested for extinction memory the following day. In a separate experiment, conditioned rats were given repeated ethanol injections and processed for c-Fos immunohistochemistry following a fear retrieval session. Two days following the cessation of ethanol, the magnitude of conditioned fear responses (freezing and suppression of bar pressing) was significantly increased. This increase persisted the following day. Waiting 10 days following cessation of ethanol eliminated the effect on fear retrieval. In rats conditioned with low shock levels, repeated exposure to ethanol converted a sub-threshold fear memory into a supra-threshold fear memory. It also increased c-Fos expression in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex, paraventricular thalamus, and the central and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, areas implicated in the retrieval of fear memories. These results suggest that repeated exposure to ethanol may exacerbate pre-existing traumatic memories.

  10. Ethology of fear : Responses, actions, universes

    OpenAIRE

    Riba, Carles, 1949-

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we describe the motivational-behavioural system of fear from an ethological point of view. Fear behaviour is primarily considered reactive, that is, dependent upon past events, so its manifestations should be classified as responses rather than actions. The behavioural outcomes of fear which are closer to actions are those involved in defensive aggression and in deceit targeted at predators or rivals. We also analyse the perceptual worlds around fear and relate...

  11. Fearfulness and feather damage in laying hens divergently selected for high and low feather pecking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodenburg, T Bas; de Haas, Elske N; Nielsen, Birte Lindstrøm

    2010-01-01

    Feather pecking (FP) remains a major welfare and economic problem in laying hens. FP has been found to be related to other behavioural characteristics, such as fearfulness. There are indications that fearful birds are more likely to develop FP. Furthermore, FP can lead to increased fearfulness...... in the victims. To investigate further the relationship between FP and fearfulness, feather damage and behavioural fear responses were recorded in three White Leghorn lines of laying hens: a line selected for high FP (HFP line), a line selected for low FP (LFP line) and an unselected control line (10th...... in fear responses between the HFP and LFP lines were not found, neither in the TI-test, nor in the HA or NO test. As expected, birds from the HFP line had considerably more feather damage than birds from the LFP line and birds from the unselected control line were intermediate. Cages that withdrew from...

  12. The conditioning and extinction of fear in youths: what's sex got to do with it?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauret, Mélissa; La Buissonnière-Ariza, Valérie; Lamoureux Tremblay, Vickie; Suffren, Sabrina; Servonnet, Alice; Pine, Daniel S; Maheu, Françoise S

    2014-07-01

    Adult work shows differences in emotional processing influenced by sexes of both the viewer and expresser of facial expressions. We investigated this in 120 healthy youths (57 boys; 10-17 years old) randomly assigned to fear conditioning and extinction tasks using either neutral male or female faces as the conditioned threat and safety cues, and a fearful face paired with a shrieking scream as the unconditioned stimulus. Fear ratings and skin conductance responses (SCRs) were assessed. Male faces triggered increased fear ratings in all participants during conditioning and extinction. Greater differential SCRs were observed in boys viewing male faces and in girls viewing female faces during conditioning. During extinction, differential SCR findings remained significant in boys viewing male faces. Our findings demonstrate how sex of participant and sex of target interact to shape fear responses in youths, and how the type of measure may lead to distinct profiles of fear responses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Extinction during reconsolidation eliminates recovery of fear conditioned to fear-irrelevant and fear-relevant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Alina; Lipp, Ottmar V

    2017-05-01

    Extant literature suggests that extinction training delivered during the memory reconsolidation period is superior to traditional extinction training in the reduction of fear recovery, as it targets the original fear memory trace. At present it is debated whether different types of fear memories are differentially sensitive to behavioral manipulations of reconsolidation. Here, we examined post-reconsolidation recovery of fear as a function of conditioned stimulus (CS) fear-relevance, using the unconditioned stimulus (US) to reactivate and destabilize conditioned fear memories. Participants (N = 56; 25 male; M = 24.39 years, SD = 7.71) in the US-reactivation and control group underwent differential fear conditioning to fear-relevant (spiders/snakes) and fear-irrelevant (geometric shapes) CSs on Day 1. On Day 2, participants received either reminded (US-reactivation) or non-reminded extinction training. Tests of fear recovery, conducted 24 h later, revealed recovery of differential electrodermal responding to both classes of CSs in the control group, but not in the US-reactivation group. These findings indicate that the US reactivation-extinction procedure eliminated recovery of extinguished responding not only to fear-irrelevant, but also to fear-relevant CSs. Contrasting previous reports, our findings show that post-reconsolidation recovery of conditioned responding is not a function of CS fear-relevance and that persistent reduction of fear, conditioned to fear-relevant CSs, can be achieved through behavioral manipulations of reconsolidation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

    In the present study, the authors tested whether conceptual fear knowledge can (a) evoke bodily reactions and (b) enhance subsequent bodily reactions to fearful stimuli. Participants unscrambled neutral or fear sentences and subsequently viewed fearful and neutral pictures in combination with

  15. 33 CFR 165.530 - Safety Zone: Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear Rivers, NC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Safety Zone: Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear Rivers, NC. 165.530 Section 165.530 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD... § 165.530 Safety Zone: Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear Rivers, NC. (a) Location. The following area is...

  16. What Makes Children Fearful and Anxious

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honig, Alice Sterling; Miller, Susan A.; Church, Ellen Booth

    2007-01-01

    This article explains the causes of children's fears and anxieties in the following age brackets: (1) 0-2 years old; (2) 3-4 years old; and (3) 5-6 years old. It presents situations wherein children develop fears and anxious feelings. It also discusses how to deal and manage these fears and anxieties and enumerates what can be done to make…

  17. Neurobiology of Fear and Specific Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, René

    2017-01-01

    Fear, which can be expressed innately or after conditioning, is triggered when a danger or a stimulus predicting immediate danger is perceived. Its role is to prepare the body to face this danger. However, dysfunction in fear processing can lead to psychiatric disorders in which fear outweighs the danger or possibility of harm. Although recognized…

  18. 76 FR 25665 - No Fear Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-05

    ... COMMISSION No Fear Act AGENCY: American Battle Monuments Commission. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The American... FEAR Act), as implemented by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations at 5 CFR part 724... Retaliation Act of 2002,'' which is now known as the No FEAR Act. See Public Law 107-174, codified at 5 U.S.C...

  19. 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…

  20. Neural correlates of attention biases, behavioral inhibition, and social anxiety in children: An ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thai, Nhi; Taber-Thomas, Bradley C; Pérez-Edgar, Koraly E

    2016-06-01

    Behavioral inhibition (BI) is a biologically-based temperament characterized by vigilance toward threat. Over time, many children with BI increasingly fear social circumstances and display maladaptive social behavior. BI is also one of the strongest individual risk factors for developing social anxiety disorder. Although research has established a link between BI and anxiety, its causal mechanism remains unclear. Attention biases may underlie this relation. The current study examined neural markers of the BI-attention-anxiety link in children ages 9-12 years (N=99, Mean=9.97, SD=0.97). ERP measures were collected as children completed an attention-bias (dot-probe) task with neutral and angry faces. P2 and N2 amplitudes were associated with social anxiety and attention bias, respectively. Specifically, augmented P2 was related to decreased symptoms of social anxiety and moderated the relation between BI and social anxiety, suggesting that increasing attention mobilization may serve as a compensatory mechanism that attenuates social anxiety in individuals with high BI. The BI by N2 interaction found that larger N2 related to threat avoidance with increasing levels of BI, consistent with over-controlled socio-emotional functioning. Lastly, children without BI (BN) showed an augmented P1 to probes replacing angry faces, suggesting maintenance of attentional resources in threat-related contexts. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Fear conditioning selectively disrupts noradrenergic facilitation of GABAergic inhibition in the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skelly, M J; Ariwodola, O J; Weiner, J L

    2017-02-01

    Inappropriate fear memory formation is symptomatic of many psychopathologies, and delineating the neurobiology of non-pathological fear learning may provide critical insight into treating these disorders. Fear memory formation is associated with decreased inhibitory signaling in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), and disrupted noradrenergic signaling may contribute to this decrease. BLA noradrenergic neurotransmission has been implicated in fear memory formation, and distinct adrenoreceptor (AR) subtypes modulate excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in this region. For example, α1-ARs promote GABA release from local inhibitory interneurons, while β3-ARs potentiate neurotransmission at lateral paracapsular (LPC) GABAergic synapses. Conversely, β1/2-ARs amplify excitatory signaling at glutamatergic synapses in the BLA. As increased BLA excitability promotes fear memory formation, we hypothesized that fear learning shifts the balanced regional effects of noradrenergic signaling toward excitation. To test this hypothesis, we used the fear-potentiated startle paradigm in combination with whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology to examine the effects of AR activation on BLA synaptic transmission following fear conditioning in male Long-Evans rats. We first demonstrated that inhibitory neurotransmission is decreased at both local and LPC synapses following fear conditioning. We next measured noradrenergic facilitation of BLA inhibitory signaling at local and LPC synapses using α1-and β3-AR agonists (1 μM A61603 and 10 μM BRL37344), and found that the ability of these agents to facilitate inhibitory neurotransmission is disrupted following fear conditioning. Conversely, we found that fear learning does not disrupt noradrenergic modulation of glutamatergic signaling via a β1/2-AR agonist (1 μM isoproterenol). Taken together, these studies suggest that fear learning increases BLA excitability by selectively disrupting the inhibitory effects of noradrenaline

  2. Fear of flying treatment programs for passengers: an international update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Gerwen, Lucas J; Diekstra, René F W; Arondeus, Josine M; Wolfger, Robert

    2004-02-01

    This article is an update of an earlier international review of fear of flying treatment programs. METHOD. One hundred and sixty two airlines and treatment facilities around the world were approached for information on treatment programs for flying phobia. In comparison to the earlier review, the number of treatment facilities able to provide relevant and valid information increased from 15 to 36. Information was obtained both with a written questionnaire and by obtaining oral information from treatment facility representatives. This information was obtained at the second international fear of flying conference in Vienna on December 2000. The increase in the number of participating facilities can presumably be attributed both to a world wide increase in the demand for treatment for fear of flying and professionals becoming more interested in entering the field of fear of flying treatment. However, the increase may also be due to the fact that some clinics or programs have only recently discovered the international network of treatment facilities. RESULTS. In comparison to the previous review, the number of facilities that provide treatment programs that meet high professional standards has increased considerably over the past few years. Although there is still substantial variety in the quality and components of treatment programs, there is also a significant number of facilities that provide more or less similar qualified treatment programs and carry out treatment evaluation on a regular basis. Furthermore, experts from the participating centers reached consensus on 'golden rules' for fear of flying patients and flying-phobia therapists. CONCLUSIONS. There is a growing consensus among fear of flying treatment facilities on methods and protocols.

  3. Contributing factors to fear of HIV contagion in registered nurses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meisenhelder, J B

    1994-01-01

    This study tested the relationships of homophobia, fear of the unknown, fear of death, and fear of punishment as predictors of fear of HIV contagion. Knowledge of transmission and emotional involvement with a person at risk for HIV were hypothesized as decreasing fear among 114 randomly-selected RNs. Results supported significant relationships for all predictors except fear of death. Homophobia, lack of knowledge, lack of emotional involvement, and fear of the unknown predicted 57 percent of the variance in fear of contagion.

  4. The smell of danger: a behavioral and neural analysis of predator odor-induced fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Lorey K; Nakashima, Brandy R; Hong, Hyechong; Watanabe, Kendra

    2005-01-01

    The odors of predators used in animal models provide, in addition to electric footshock, an important means to investigate the neurobiology of fear. Studies indicate that cat odor and trimethylthiazoline (TMT), a synthetic compound isolated from fox feces, are often presented to rodents to induce fear-related responses including freezing, avoidance, stress hormone and, in some tests, risk assessment behavior. Furthermore, we report that different amounts of cat odor impregnated on small-, medium-, or large-sized cloths impact the display of fear-related behavior when presented to rats. That is, rats exposed to a large cat odor containing cloth exhibit an increase in fear behavior, particularly freezing, which remains at high levels in habituation tests administered over a period of 7 days. The large cloth also induces a long-lasting increase in avoidance behavior during repeated habituation and extinction tests. A review of the brain regions involved in predator odor-induced fear behavior indicates a modulatory role of the medial amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and dorsal premammillary nucleus. In addition, the basolateral amygdala is involved in fear behavior induced by cat odor but not TMT, and the central amygdala does not appear to play a major behavioral role in predator odor-induced fear. Future research involving the use of predator odor is likely to rapidly expand knowledge on the neurobiology of fear, which has implications for understanding fear-related psychopathology.

  5. 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.

  6. Fearless versus fearful speculative financial bubbles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, J. V.; Sornette, D.

    2004-06-01

    Using a recently introduced rational expectation model of bubbles, based on the interplay between stochasticity and positive feedbacks of prices on returns and volatility, we develop a new methodology to test how this model classifies nine time series that have been previously considered as bubbles ending in crashes. The model predicts the existence of two anomalous behaviors occurring simultaneously: (i) super-exponential price growth and (ii) volatility growth, that we refer to as the “fearful singular bubble” regime. Out of the nine time series, we find that five pass our tests and can be characterized as “fearful singular bubbles”. The four other cases are the information technology Nasdaq bubble and three bubbles of the Hang Seng index ending in crashes in 1987, 1994 and 1997. According to our analysis, these four bubbles have developed with essentially no significant increase of their volatility. This paper thus proposes that speculative bubbles ending in crashes form two groups hitherto unrecognized, namely those accompanied by increasing volatility (reflecting increasing risk perception) and those without change of volatility (reflecting an absence of risk perception).

  7. The Fear Factor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Richard E.

    2007-01-01

    Today's major problems all share the same outsized modifier: the global economy; global warming; global terror. As the Internet and the marketplace continue to commingle peoples, desires, conflicts, and opportunities, the frenetic pace of change accelerates, dragging in its wake an ever-increasing sense of impending doom. The markets will…

  8. Fear of the Formal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    du Gay, Paul; Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas

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

  9. Fear appeals in HIV prevention: the role of anticipated regret.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smerecnik, Chris M R; Ruiter, Robert A C

    2010-10-01

    The present study examined the role of a number of cognitive beliefs (i.e. attitude, subjective norm, anticipated regret, and self-efficacy) in explaining the effects of fear appeal information on behavioral motivation. A randomized experiment with a 2 (threat: low versus high) × 2 (coping: low versus high) between-subjects design was used in the study. Undergraduates were exposed to one of four scenario messages that presented high or low threat information about HIV/AIDS combined with high or low coping information with regard to condom use in HIV prevention. Explorative analyses revealed that only anticipated regret qualified as a mediator of the effect of the fear appeal message on intention. High coping information was observed to increase anticipated regret, which increased the intention to use condoms. Anticipated regret mediated the coping-intention relationship. This finding furthers our understanding of the working mechanisms of fear appeals in HIV prevention.

  10. Illnesses that Australians most feared in 1986 and 1993.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borland, R; Donaghue, N; Hill, D

    1994-12-01

    This study identified illnesses Australians most feared getting, and determined whether there had been any changes between 1986 and 1993. An open-ended question about illnesses was embedded in an omnibus face-to-face survey of representative samples of Australians (1986, n = 1213; 1993, n = 1268). Cancer was by far the most feared illness, with over 60 per cent of first mentions and around 80 per cent of first or second mentions. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and heart disease were the only other illnesses mentioned by more than 10 per cent of the sample as the first or second most feared illness. There were no differences across time in first mentions of these illnesses, but cancer had more mentions overall in 1993. Concern about cancer may have increased over the seven years. Mentions of dementia and blindness also increased across the two surveys.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/359122-15$15.00/0.

  13. Pre-internship Fears of Music Therapists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen; Kaiser

    1999-01-01

    This study examined pre-internship fears of music therapy majors. Additional analysis included comparison of pre-internship fears of music therapy majors with pre-internship fears of music education majors. Subjects for this study were music therapy/music education majors at a large southeastern university (N = 61; N = 32) who were surveyed during the year prior to their internship. Utilizing identical procedures, each subject was asked to list the 3 greatest fears that they had concerning their internship. Two independent evaluators then classified the perceived fears based on a taxonomic structure developed during the initial study on pre-internship fears of music education majors. Reliability for the classification of pre-internship music therapy fears was.97. Ranking reported fears revealed a hierarchy of pre-internship fears and provided comparisons between the two populations. Analysis of data indicated that the music therapy interns listed "general preparation/being prepared" as their primary fear followed by issues relating to "failure/not cut out for therapy." The next most frequently noted fears related to concerns about "internship placement" and concerns about the "physical environment" (money, moving, housing, etc.). Music therapy subject responses were also examined in relationship to the responses of music education subjects. Subject responses revealed a very low fear concerning "discipline" for the music therapy majors, yet this category was the highest listed by the music education seniors. "Failure/not being cut out for teaching/therapy" was expressed as a concern with the next highest frequency by the education majors and was rated quite high by the therapy majors. Fears about the "physical environment including money, moving, etc." were quite high for the music therapy majors, yet these fears received very low ratings by the music education students. In addition, fears related to the "supervising teacher/placement" and "students not learning

  14. The neurobiological basis of fear: a concise review

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2006-01-11

    Jan 11, 2006 ... the fear circuits, d) fear memory, and e) fear extinction, the new learning that the harmless stimulus no longer forecasts a threat. We conclude with a few points regarding selected anxiety disorders and different therapeutic modalities. The neuroanatomy of fear and fear conditioning. The fear pathways have ...

  15. 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,…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mengsi Xu

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. The structural and functional correlates of the efficiency in fearful face detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yongchao; Guo, Nana; Zhao, Li; Huang, Hui; Yao, Xiaonan; Sang, Na; Hou, Xin; Mao, Yu; Bi, Taiyong; Qiu, Jiang

    2017-06-01

    Human visual system is found to be much efficient in searching for a fearful face. Some individuals are more sensitive to this threat-related stimulus. However, we still know little about the neural correlates of such variability. In the current study, we exploited a visual search paradigm, and asked the subjects to search for a fearful face or a target gender. Every subject showed a shallower search function for fearful face search than face gender search, indicating a stable fearful face advantage. We then used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis and correlated this advantage to the gray matter volume (GMV) of some presumably face related cortical areas. The result revealed that only the left fusiform gyrus showed a significant positive correlation. Next, we defined the left fusiform gyrus as the seed region and calculated its resting state functional connectivity to the whole brain. Correlations were also calculated between fearful face advantage and these connectivities. In this analysis, we found positive correlations in the inferior parietal lobe and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex. These results suggested that the anatomical structure of the left fusiform gyrus might determine the search efficiency of fearful face, and frontoparietal attention network involved in this process through top-down attentional modulation. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Excessive fear of PCBs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abelson, P.H.

    1991-07-26

    When mentioned by the media, the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are described as cancer-causing chemicals. A more precise statement would be that huge daily lifelong doses of some of the PCBs are cancer-causing in rats. Many industrial workers were exposed to substantial amounts of PCBs during the 1950s, '60s, and early '70s. Some of the workers respired a total of 15 grams or more. But the industrial exposure led to no known cases of cancer. Nevertheless, as much as $100 billion could ultimately be spent trying to remove PCBs from the environment. Various experiments on the carcinogenicity of PCBs have been conducted at different laboratories using different strains of rats and different criteria in the pathologic examinations. The Institute for Evaluating Health Risks (IEHR) has just completed a project in which the pathological diagnoses in five key rat PCB studies were reassessed by a panel of expert pathologists. They reaffirmed the carcinogenicity of the 60% chlorinated PCBs, and that chronic exposure to a PCB formulation that was 54% chlorinated did not yield a statistically significant increase of either benign or malignant tumors. Their examination of the relevant pathologic slides revealed that rats chronically exposed to a PCB formulation that was 42% chlorinated did not develop any increase in malignant tumors or a statistically significant increase in benign tumors. These reassessment results indicate that the following two traditional EPA policy positions be reconsidered: an assumption that all PCB formulations are probable human carcinogens; and the assumption that all PCB formulations have the same quantitative potency to cause cancer.

  19. Dental Fear among Medical and Dental Undergraduates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Hakim

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Dental fear among medical and dental undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakim, H; Razak, I A

    2014-01-01

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

  1. The central amygdala circuits in fear regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo

    The amygdala is essential for fear learning and expression. The central amygdala (CeA), once viewed as a passive relay between the amygdala complex and downstream fear effectors, has emerged as an active participant in fear conditioning. However, how the CeA contributes to the learning and expression of fear remains unclear. Our recent studies in mice indicate that fear conditioning induces robust plasticity of excitatory synapses onto inhibitory neurons in the lateral subdivision of CeA (CeL). In particular, this plasticity is cell-type specific and is required for the formation of fear memory. In addition, sensory cues that predict threat can cause activation of the somatostatin-positive CeL neurons, which is sufficient to drive freezing behavior. Here I will report our recent findings regarding the circuit and cellular mechanisms underlying CeL function in fear processing.

  2. 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. © 2013 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

  3. The influence of personality on neural mechanisms of observational fear and reward learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooker, Christine I; Verosky, Sara C; Miyakawa, Asako; Knight, Robert T; D'Esposito, Mark

    2008-09-01

    Fear and reward learning can occur through direct experience or observation. Both channels can enhance survival or create maladaptive behavior. We used fMRI to isolate neural mechanisms of observational fear and reward learning and investigate whether neural response varied according to individual differences in neuroticism and extraversion. Participants learned object-emotion associations by observing a woman respond with fearful (or neutral) and happy (or neutral) facial expressions to novel objects. The amygdala-hippocampal complex was active when learning the object-fear association, and the hippocampus was active when learning the object-happy association. After learning, objects were presented alone; amygdala activity was greater for the fear (vs. neutral) and happy (vs. neutral) associated object. Importantly, greater amygdala-hippocampal activity during fear (vs. neutral) learning predicted better recognition of learned objects on a subsequent memory test. Furthermore, personality modulated neural mechanisms of learning. Neuroticism positively correlated with neural activity in the amygdala and hippocampus during fear (vs. neutral) learning. Low extraversion/high introversion was related to faster behavioral predictions of the fearful and neutral expressions during fear learning. In addition, low extraversion/high introversion was related to greater amygdala activity during happy (vs. neutral) learning, happy (vs. neutral) object recognition, and faster reaction times for predicting happy and neutral expressions during reward learning. These findings suggest that neuroticism is associated with an increased sensitivity in the neural mechanism for fear learning which leads to enhanced encoding of fear associations, and that low extraversion/high introversion is related to enhanced conditionability for both fear and reward learning.

  4. Exploring the associations between somatization and dental fear and dental visiting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armfield, Jason M; Pohjola, Vesa; Joukamaa, Matti; Mattila, Aino K; Suominen, Anna L; Lahti, Satu M

    2011-08-01

    While somatization has been investigated as an important variable in relation to excessive health-service utilization, its role in relation to dental visiting and dental fear has received limited attention. It was hypothesized that an excessive focus on physical symptoms might lead somatizers to experience dental treatment as more traumatic, resulting in greater dental fear. The aims of this study were to determine whether somatization was associated with dental fear, reduced dental visiting, and symptomatic visiting. Questionnaire data were collected from 5,806 dentate Finnish adults, with somatization measured using 12 items from the Symptom Check List (SCL-90). Dental fear was measured using a single-item question and dental visiting was assessed by questions relating to time since last dental visit and the usual reason for dental visiting. Multinomial logistic regression analyses indicated that somatization has a statistically significant positive association with both dental fear and symptomatic dental visiting after controlling for age, gender, and education. However, the association between dental-visiting frequency and somatization was not statistically significant. The results were consistent with the hypothesized role of somatization in the development of dental fear. Further investigation of how somatization is related to dental fear and dental-service utilization appears warranted. © 2011 Eur J Oral Sci.

  5. Enhanced theta synchronization correlates with the successful retrieval of trace fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yujin; An, Bobae; Choi, Sukwoo

    2016-11-25

    Mechanisms underlying delay fear conditioning in which conditioned stimuli (CS) are paired and co-terminated with unconditioned stimuli (US), have been extensively characterized, thus expanding knowledge concerning learning and memory. However, trace fear conditioning in which CS and US are separated by trace interval periods, has received much less attention though it involves cognitive processes including timing and working memories. Various brain regions including the hippocampus are known to play an important role in memory acquisition and/or retrieval of trace fear conditioning. However, neural correlates, which are specific for the discrete steps in trace fear conditioning, have not been characterized thoroughly. Here, we investigated the network activities between the dorsal and ventral hippocampi at different stages of memory processing after trace fear conditioning. When fear memory was retrieved successfully, theta synchronization between the two regions was enhanced relative to preconditioning levels. The enhancement in theta synchronization was observed only during the trace interval period but not during CS presentation or after the trace interval period. Thus, the enhanced theta synchronization between the dorsal and ventral hippocampi may underlie a cognitive process associated with the trace interval period when fear memory is retrieved successfully. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Animal phobia: fear or disgust?

    OpenAIRE

    Peléšková, Šárka

    2013-01-01

    Animal phobias are among the most common specific phobias. It is traditionally assumed that two basic emotions are involved - fear and anxiety, although recent studies suggest that disgust may also be important. Phobias and involved emotions are defined mostly by psychologists and psychiatrists. Their manifestations could be identified mainly on physiological level and are being researched using advanced medical methods (e.g. functional neuroimaging). The eliciting stimuli of arachnophobia, o...

  7. 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.

  8. Vicarious Learning and Reduction of Fear in Children via Adult and Child Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Güler; Askew, Chris

    2017-06-01

    Children can learn to fear stimuli vicariously, by observing adults' or peers' responses to them. Given that much of school-age children's time is typically spent with their peers, it is important to establish whether fear learning from peers is as effective or robust as learning from adults, and also whether peers can be successful positive models for reducing fear. During a vicarious fear learning procedure, children (6 to 10 years; N = 60) were shown images of novel animals together with images of adult or peer faces expressing fear. Later they saw their fear-paired animal again together with positive emotional adult or peer faces. Children's fear beliefs and avoidance for the animals increased following vicarious fear learning and decreased following positive vicarious counterconditioning. There was little evidence of differences in learning from adults and peers, demonstrating that for this age group peer models are effective models for both fear acquisition and reduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Hyperresponsiveness of the Neural Fear Network During Fear Conditioning and Extinction Learning in Male Cocaine Users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaag, Anne Marije; Levar, Nina; Woutersen, Karlijn; Homberg, Judith; van den Brink, Wim; Reneman, Liesbeth; van Wingen, Guido

    2016-10-01

    The authors investigated whether cocaine use disorder is associated with abnormalities in the neural underpinnings of aversive conditioning and extinction learning, as these processes may play an important role in the development and persistence of drug abuse. Forty male regular cocaine users and 51 male control subjects underwent a fear conditioning and extinction protocol during functional MRI. Skin conductance response was measured throughout the experiment as an index of conditioned responses. Cocaine users showed hyperresponsiveness of the amygdala and insula during fear conditioning, as well as hyporesponsiveness of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex during extinction learning. In cocaine users, but not in control subjects, skin conductance responses were positively correlated with responsiveness of the insula, amygdala, and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex during fear conditioning but negatively correlated with responsiveness of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex during extinction learning. Increased sensitivity to aversive conditioned cues in cocaine users might be a risk factor for stress-relief craving in cocaine use disorder. These results support the postulated role of altered aversive conditioning in cocaine use disorder and may be an important step in understanding the role of aversive learning in the pathology of cocaine use disorder.

  10. Dissociating response systems: erasing fear from memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel

    2010-07-01

    In addition to the extensive evidence in animals, we previously showed that disrupting reconsolidation by noradrenergic blockade produced amnesia for the original fear response in humans. Interestingly, the declarative memory for the fear association remained intact. These results asked for a solid replication. Moreover, given the constructive nature of memories, the intact recollection of the fear association could eventually 'rebuild' the fear memory, resulting in the spontaneous recovery of the fear response. Yet, perseverance of the amnesic effects would have substantial clinical implications, as even the most effective treatments for psychiatric disorders display high percentages of relapse. Using a differential fear conditioning procedure in humans, we replicated our previous findings by showing that administering propranolol (40mg) prior to memory reactivation eliminated the startle fear response 24h later. But most importantly, this effect persisted at one month follow-up. Notably, the propranolol manipulation not only left the declarative memory for the acquired contingency untouched, but also skin conductance discrimination. In addition, a close association between declarative knowledge and skin conductance responses was found. These findings are in line with the supposed double dissociation of fear conditioning and declarative knowledge relative to the amygdala and hippocampus in humans. They support the view that skin conductance conditioning primarily reflects contingency learning, whereas the startle response is a rather specific measure of fear. Furthermore, the results indicate the absence of a causal link between the actual knowledge of a fear association and its fear response, even though they often operate in parallel. Interventions targeting the amygdalar fear memory may be essential in specifically and persistently dampening the emotional impact of fear. From a clinical and ethical perspective, disrupting reconsolidation points to promising

  11. 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

  12. Fear Extinction Memory Consolidation Requires Potentiation of Pontine-Wave Activity during REM Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, Subimal; O'Malley, Matthew W .

    2013-01-01

    Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation within multiple memory systems including contextual fear extinction memory, but little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this process. Here, we show that fear extinction training in rats, which extinguished conditioned fear, increased both slow-wave sleep and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Surprisingly, 24 h later, during memory testing, only 57% of the fear-extinguished animals retained fear extinction memory. We found that these animals exhibited an increase in phasic pontine-wave (P-wave) activity during post-training REM sleep, which was absent in the 43% of animals that failed to retain fear extinction memory. The results of this study provide evidence that brainstem activation, specifically potentiation of phasic P-wave activity, during post-training REM sleep is critical for consolidation of fear extinction memory. The results of this study also suggest that, contrary to the popular hypothesis of sleep and memory, increased sleep after training alone does not guarantee consolidation and/or retention of fear extinction memory. Rather, the potentiation of specific sleep-dependent physiological events may be a more accurate predictor for successful consolidation of fear extinction memory. Identification of this unique mechanism will significantly improve our present understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the sleep-dependent regulation of emotional memory. Additionally, this discovery may also initiate development of a new, more targeted treatment method for clinical disorders of fear and anxiety in humans that is more efficacious than existing methods such as exposure therapy that incorporate only fear extinction. PMID:23467372

  13. Interference effects of transcranial direct current stimulation over the right frontal cortex and adrenergic system on conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Soltanpour, Reyhaneh; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrabian, Shahram; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2017-11-01

    The effects of pharmacological interventions on fear memory have widely been studied, but there are very few studies about the effects of brain electrical stimulation on fear memory function. Therefore, our aim was to determine whether anodal/cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the right frontal cortex would modify propranolol-induced contextual and auditory fear memory deficits, before or after training. The adult NMRI male mice were randomly assigned into three groups: the sham group, the anodal tDCS group, and the cathodal tDCS group. Fear memories were evaluated using a classical fear conditioning apparatus. While the anodal stimulation did not affect fear retrieval, post-training cathodal stimulation improved fear memory retrieval. Regardless of when propranolol (0.1 mg/kg) was administered, it impaired fear memory retrieval. However, when anodal stimulation and propranolol were applied prior to the training, contextual fear memory retrieval was increased and auditory fear memory was reversed. An enhanced contextual retrieval was also observed when propranolol was administered prior to the training and stimulation occurred after the training. Only when the stimulation occurred prior to the training and propranolol was administered after the training was there a selective improvement in contextual fear memory retrieval, leaving the auditory fear memory retrieval impaired. Interestingly, cathodal stimulation improved the effects of propranolol on auditory fear memory only when it occurred prior to the training. The results highlight possible improving effects for anodal/cathodal tDCS on propranolol-induced deficits on fear memories. The timing of the interventions related to the specific phases of memory formation is important in modulating fear behaviors.

  14. Uplifting Fear Appeals: Considering the Role of Hope in Fear-Based Persuasive Messages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabi, Robin L; Myrick, Jessica Gall

    2018-01-09

    Fear appeal research has focused, understandably, on fear as the primary emotion motivating attitude and behavior change. However, while the threat component of fear appeals associates with fear responses, a fear appeals' efficacy component likely associates with a different emotional experience: hope. Drawing from appraisal theories of emotion in particular, this article theorizes about the role of hope in fear appeals, testing hypotheses with two existing data sets collected within the context of sun safety messages. In both studies, significant interactions between hope and self-efficacy emerged to predict behavioral intentions. Notable main effects for hope also emerged, though with less consistency. Further, these effects persisted despite controlling for the four cognitions typically considered central to fear appeal effectiveness. These results, consistent across two samples, support the claim that feelings of hope in response to fear appeals contribute to their persuasive success. Implications for developing a recursive model of fear appeal processing are discussed.

  15. Putting the Fear Back Again (and Within Individuals): Revisiting the Role of Fear in Persuasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Lijiang

    2017-11-01

    The overwhelming majority of fear appeal research came from the between-individuals approach and yielded consistent evidence for a linear fear-persuasion relationship. A recent review suggested that the within-individuals approach might be more appropriate. Studies that measured fear at multiple time points have consistently revealed a curvilinear association between fear and persuasion predicted by the drive model. A Web-based experiment (N = 454) using tobacco warning labels was conducted to replicate the inverted-U shape curvilinear relationship between fear and persuasion, and to revisit the role of fear in fear appeal theories. Results showed that the inverted-U fear curve positively predicted persuasion and reduced maladaptive responses, and that the linear trajectory of fear positively predicted maladaptive responses and failure of persuasion.

  16. Dendritic inhibition in the hippocampus supports fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovett-Barron, Matthew; Kaifosh, Patrick; Kheirbek, Mazen A; Danielson, Nathan; Zaremba, Jeffrey D; Reardon, Thomas R; Turi, Gergely F; Hen, René; Zemelman, Boris V; Losonczy, Attila

    2014-02-21

    Fear memories guide adaptive behavior in contexts associated with aversive events. The hippocampus forms a neural representation of the context that predicts aversive events. Representations of context incorporate multisensory features of the environment, but must somehow exclude sensory features of the aversive event itself. We investigated this selectivity using cell type-specific imaging and inactivation in hippocampal area CA1 of behaving mice. Aversive stimuli activated CA1 dendrite-targeting interneurons via cholinergic input, leading to inhibition of pyramidal cell distal dendrites receiving aversive sensory excitation from the entorhinal cortex. Inactivating dendrite-targeting interneurons during aversive stimuli increased CA1 pyramidal cell population responses and prevented fear learning. We propose subcortical activation of dendritic inhibition as a mechanism for exclusion of aversive stimuli from hippocampal contextual representations during fear learning.

  17. Imaging conditioned fear circuitry using awake rodent fMRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nichola M Brydges

    Full Text Available Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI is a powerful method for exploring emotional and cognitive brain responses in humans. However rodent fMRI has not previously been applied to the analysis of learned behaviour in awake animals, limiting its use as a translational tool. Here we have developed a novel paradigm for studying brain activation in awake rats responding to conditioned stimuli using fMRI. Using this method we show activation of the amygdala and related fear circuitry in response to a fear-conditioned stimulus and demonstrate that the magnitude of fear circuitry activation is increased following early life stress, a rodent model of affective disorders. This technique provides a new translatable method for testing environmental, genetic and pharmacological manipulations on emotional and cognitive processes in awake rodent models.

  18. 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.

  19. Social partnering alters sleep in fear-conditioned Wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DaSilva, Jamie K; Husain, Eram; Lei, Yanlin; Mann, Graziella L; Morrison, Adrian R; Tejani-Butt, Shanaz

    2017-01-01

    Social support, when provided following a traumatic experience, is associated with a lower incidence of stress-related psychiatric disorders. Our hypothesis was that providing a social interaction period with a naive conspecific would improve sleep architecture in response to cued fear conditioning in Wistar rats. Rats were randomly assigned to either the socially isolated or socially partnered groups. Rats assigned to the socially isolated group were individually housed following electrode implantation and fear conditioning. Rats assigned to the socially partnered group were initially paired-housed, and then one rat from each pair was randomly chosen for sleep electrode implantation and fear conditioning. Rats from both groups were habituated to a recording chamber, and baseline sleep was recorded over 22 hours. One day later (Training Day), they were fear-conditioned to 10 presentations of a tone (800 Hz, 90 dB, 5 sec) co-terminating with a mild electric foot shock (1.0 mA, 0.5 sec), at 30-sec intervals. While rats in the socially isolated group were left undisturbed in their home cage for 30-min, socially partnered rats interacted for 30 minutes with their non-stressed rat partner immediately after fear conditioning and while the auditory tones were presented on Days 1 and 14. The results indicated that social interaction increased sleep efficiency in partnered rats compared to isolated rats following the fear conditioning procedure. This was due to an increase in the amount of rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) during the light phase. Evaluation of REMS microarchitecture revealed that the increase in REMS was due to an increase in the number of single REMS episodes (siREMS), which represented a more consolidated REMS pattern. A surprising finding was that partnered rats had a greater number of sequential REMS episodes (seqREMS) at Baseline, on the Training Day and on Day 1 when compared to isolated rats. The greater number of seqREMS episodes in partnered rats may

  20. Effects of memory age and interval of fear extinction sessions on contextual fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuda, Shingo; Matsuzawa, Daisuke; Ishii, Daisuke; Tomizawa, Haruna; Shimizu, Eiji

    2014-08-22

    Fear extinction is a major task in our understanding of the biological mechanisms of exposure therapy, one of the most used treatments for stress-related disorders. It was recently reported that an extinction of 5 consecutive days prevents spontaneous recovery of fear memory. Memory age and the timing of fear extinction influence the effect of fear extinction. In this study, we used contextual fear extinction in adult male mice to examine whether memory age influences an extinction of 5 consecutive days and whether consecutiveness is necessary to prevent spontaneous recovery. Our results showed that, although fear memory was not affected by the passage of time, the old fear memory (28 days after fear conditioning) was more sensitive to fear extinction than the young fear memory (7 days after fear conditioning). Additionally, we demonstrated that consecutiveness of extinction sessions is not necessary to prevent spontaneous recovery. Instead, fear extinction sessions at spaced intervals were found to be more effective than consecutive extinction sessions for young fear memory. Our results suggest that taking memory age and the interval of fear extinction sessions into consideration would help to optimize exposure therapy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Assessment of Attention in Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahone, E.M.; Schneider, H.E.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23090646

  2. Modification of Fear Memory by Pharmacological and Behavioural Interventions during Reconsolidation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janine Thome

    Full Text Available Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response.We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS. Two of these (CS+ were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response.Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus.Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of psychotherapeutic

  3. The role of fear and threat in communicating risk scenarios and the need for actions. Effect of fear on information processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meijnders, A.L.; Midden, C.J.H. [Eindhoven University of Technology, Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology and Linguistics, Eindhoven (Netherlands); Wilke, H.A.M. [Leiden University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Organizational Psychology, Leiden (Netherlands)

    1995-12-31

    The results of a first experiment regarding the title subject, in which we examined whether fear of environmental risks increases the tendency to carefully process information on environmentally sound behaviour, are discussed. 2 figs., 10 refs.

  4. Antenatal blood donation: Pregnant mothers' attitude, fears and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Up to 150,000 pregnancy-related deaths could be avoided each year through access to safe blood. Antenatal blood donation, which will increase access to safe blood, is one of the ways to reduce maternal mortality in this environment. This study assessed the knowledge, attitude, fears and preferences of pregnant mothers ...

  5. Disgust domains in the prediction of contamination fear.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    Previous research has shown a relationship between the emotion of disgust and the fear of contamination. Heightened sensitivity to disgust and increased concerns over contamination has been observed in various disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and specific phobias. However,

  6. Social Networks Users: Fear of Missing out in Preservice Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gezgin, Deniz Mertkan; Hamutoglu, Nazire Burcin; Gemikonakli, Orhan; Raman, Ilhan

    2017-01-01

    As mobile computing and smartphones become an integrated part of our lives, the time individuals spend on social networks has significantly increased. Moreover, a link has been established between the uncontrolled use of social networks to the development of undesirable habits and behaviors including addictions. One such behavior, namely, fear of…

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, Samantha; Cook, Carrie L

    2015-09-01

    The shadow hypothesis regarding the impact of fear of sexual assault on fear of violent crime suggests that female fear of crime is characterized by concern about sexual assault as a contemporaneous victimization event during a violent crime event. Recent research has found that other types of crime, namely physical assault, may also be feared as a contemporaneous offense. We know of no research that has examined the unique impact of fear of murder versus fear of sexual assault on fear of violent crime. There is also a lack of research that explores how these two types of fear uniquely affect men and women. In addition to gender, we examine factors that have been suggested in previous research to correlate with fear of crime: race, victimization, vicarious victimization, and perceived risk. Through survey methodology, this research examines the unique relationship between both fear of murder and fear of sexual assault and fear of three types of violent crime for men and women. Results suggest differences in how fear of murder and fear of sexual assault are related to fear of other types of violence for men and women. Specifically, fear of murder is important in estimating male fear of robbery and aggravated assault. However, fear of sexual assault is almost as important as fear of murder for men in estimating fear of home invasion. Similarly, for women, fear of sexual assault and fear of murder both are significant factors associated with fear of violent crime, and differences between the levels of significance are marginal. This study is a first to examine whether murder may also be feared as a contemporaneous offense. The results are informative in identifying what drives fear of crime, particularly violent crime, for both men and women. Avenues for future research are discussed. © The Author(s) 2014.

  9. Dexamethasone facilitates fear extinction and safety discrimination in PTSD: A placebo-controlled, double-blind study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michopoulos, Vasiliki; Norrholm, Seth D; Stevens, Jennifer S; Glover, Ebony M; Rothbaum, Barbara O; Gillespie, Charles F; Schwartz, Ann C; Ressler, Kerry J; Jovanovic, Tanja

    2017-09-01

    Psychophysiological hallmarks of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include exaggerated fear responses, impaired inhibition and extinction of conditioned fear, and decreased discrimination between safety and fear cues. This increased fear load associated with PTSD can be a barrier to effective therapy thus indicating the need for new treatments to reduce fear expression in people with PTSD. One potential biological target for reducing fear expression in PTSD is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is dysregulated in PTSD. Recent translational rodent studies and cross-sectional clinical studies have shown that dexamethasone administration and the resulting suppression of cortisol in individuals with PTSD leads to a decrease in the fear responses characteristic of PTSD. These data, taken together, suggest that dexamethasone may serve as a novel pharmacologic intervention for heightened fear responses in PTSD. We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to test our hypothesis that dexamethasone administration and the concomitant suppression of HPA axis hyperactivity would attenuate fear expression and enhance fear extinction in individuals with PTSD. Study participants (n=62) were recruited from Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA. Participants were randomized to receive dexamethasone or placebo prior to fear conditioning and extinction, in a counterbalanced design (treatments separated by a week). Both PTSD- (n=37) and PTSD+ (n=25) participants showed significant startle increases in the presence of the danger signal during placebo and dexamethasone treatments (all p<0.05). However, only PTSD- control participants showed decreases in fear-potentiated startle across extinction blocks during both conditions (p's≤0.001), with PTSD+ participants showing deficits in fear extinction and safety discrimination in the placebo condition. Notably, extinction and discrimination deficits in PTSD+ subjects were markedly reversed with dexamethasone

  10. The detection of fear-relevant stimuli: are guns noticed as quickly as snakes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Elaine; Griggs, Laura; Mouchlianitis, Elias

    2007-11-01

    Potentially dangerous stimuli are important contenders for the capture of visual-spatial attention, and it has been suggested that an evolved fear module is preferentially activated by stimuli that are fear relevant in a phylogenetic sense (e.g., snakes, spiders, angry faces). In this study, a visual search task was used to test this hypothesis by directly contrasting phylogenetically (snakes) and ontogenetically (guns) fear-relevant stimuli. Results showed that the modern threat was detected as efficiently as the more ancient threat. Thus, both guns and snakes attracted attention more effectively than neutral stimuli (flowers, mushrooms, and toasters). These results support a threat superiority effect but not one that is preferentially accessed by threat-related stimuli of phylogenetic origin. The results are consistent with the view that faster detection of threat in visual search tasks may be more accurately characterized as relevance superiority effects rather than as threat superiority effects.

  11. Randomized Trial of ConquerFear: A Novel, Theoretically Based Psychosocial Intervention for Fear of Cancer Recurrence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butow, Phyllis N; Turner, Jane; Gilchrist, Jemma; Sharpe, Louise; Smith, Allan Ben; Fardell, Joanna E; Tesson, Stephanie; O'Connell, Rachel; Girgis, Afaf; Gebski, Val J; Asher, Rebecca; Mihalopoulos, Cathrine; Bell, Melanie L; Zola, Karina Grunewald; Beith, Jane; Thewes, Belinda

    2017-12-20

    Purpose Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is prevalent, distressing, and long lasting. This study evaluated the impact of a theoretically/empirically based intervention (ConquerFear) on FCR. Methods Eligible survivors had curable breast or colorectal cancer or melanoma, had completed treatment (not including endocrine therapy) 2 months to 5 years previously, were age > 18 years, and had scores above the clinical cutoff on the FCR Inventory (FCRI) severity subscale at screening. Participants were randomly assigned at a one-to-one ratio to either five face-to-face sessions of ConquerFear (attention training, metacognitions, acceptance/mindfulness, screening behavior, and values-based goal setting) or an attention control (Taking-it-Easy relaxation therapy). Participants completed questionnaires at baseline (T0), immediately post-therapy (T1), and 3 (T2) and 6 months (T3) later. The primary outcome was FCRI total score. Results Of 704 potentially eligible survivors from 17 sites and two online databases, 533 were contactable, of whom 222 (42%) consented; 121 were randomly assigned to intervention and 101 to control. Study arms were equivalent at baseline on all measured characteristics. ConquerFear participants had clinically and statistically greater improvements than control participants from T0 to T1 on FCRI total ( P < .001) and severity subscale scores ( P = .001), which were maintained at T2 ( P = .017 and P = .023, respectively) and, for FCRI total only, at T3 ( P = .018), and from T0 to T1 on three FCRI subscales (coping, psychological distress, and triggers) as well as in general anxiety, cancer-specific distress (total), and mental quality of life and metacognitions (total). Differences in FCRI psychological distress and cancer-specific distress (total) remained significantly different at T3. Conclusion This randomized trial demonstrated efficacy of ConquerFear compared with attention control (Taking-it-Easy) in reduction of FCRI total scores immediately post

  12. 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.

  13. Specific and social fears in children and adolescents: separating normative fears from problem indicators and phobias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola P. Laporte

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To distinguish normative fears from problematic fears and phobias. Methods: We investigated 2,512 children and adolescents from a large community school-based study, the High Risk Study for Psychiatric Disorders. Parent reports of 18 fears and psychiatric diagnosis were investigated. We used two analytical approaches: confirmatory factor analysis (CFA/item response theory (IRT and nonparametric receiver operating characteristic (ROC curve. Results: According to IRT and ROC analyses, social fears are more likely to indicate problems and phobias than specific fears. Most specific fears were normative when mild; all specific fears indicate problems when pervasive. In addition, the situational fear of toilets and people who look unusual were highly indicative of specific phobia. Among social fears, those not restricted to performance and fear of writing in front of others indicate problems when mild. All social fears indicate problems and are highly indicative of social phobia when pervasive. Conclusion: These preliminary findings provide guidance for clinicians and researchers to determine the boundaries that separate normative fears from problem indicators in children and adolescents, and indicate a differential severity threshold for specific and social fears.

  14. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. The current 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 of 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, while 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 while parent fear and catastrophizing contributed indirectly to child avoidance through parent behavior and child fear and catastrophizing, in turn, influencing child functional disability levels. The current 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 puts forth a psychometrically sound measure to assess parent fear and avoidance in the context of their child's pain. PMID:25630026

  15. Specific and social fears in children and adolescents: separating normative fears from problem indicators and phobias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laporte, Paola P; Pan, Pedro M; Hoffmann, Mauricio S; Wakschlag, Lauren S; Rohde, Luis A; Miguel, Euripedes C; Pine, Daniel S; Manfro, Gisele G; Salum, Giovanni A

    2017-01-01

    To distinguish normative fears from problematic fears and phobias. We investigated 2,512 children and adolescents from a large community school-based study, the High Risk Study for Psychiatric Disorders. Parent reports of 18 fears and psychiatric diagnosis were investigated. We used two analytical approaches: confirmatory factor analysis (CFA)/item response theory (IRT) and nonparametric receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. According to IRT and ROC analyses, social fears are more likely to indicate problems and phobias than specific fears. Most specific fears were normative when mild; all specific fears indicate problems when pervasive. In addition, the situational fear of toilets and people who look unusual were highly indicative of specific phobia. Among social fears, those not restricted to performance and fear of writing in front of others indicate problems when mild. All social fears indicate problems and are highly indicative of social phobia when pervasive. These preliminary findings provide guidance for clinicians and researchers to determine the boundaries that separate normative fears from problem indicators in children and adolescents, and indicate a differential severity threshold for specific and social fears.

  16. 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.

  17. Adult-Onset Hypothyroidism Enhances Fear Memory and Upregulates Mineralocorticoid and Glucocorticoid Receptors in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Fernández-Lamo, Iván; Alieva, María; Pereda-Pérez, Inmaculada; Venero, César; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana

    2011-01-01

    Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment. PMID:22039511

  18. Adult-onset hypothyroidism enhances fear memory and upregulates mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors in the amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Montero-Pedrazuela

    Full Text Available Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putwain, David; Remedios, Richard

    2014-12-01

    Prior to high-stakes exams, teachers use persuasive messages that highlight to students the possible consequences of failure. Such messages are known as fear appeals. This study examined whether fear appeals relate to self- and non-self-determined motivation and academic performance. Data were collected in 3 waves. Self-report data pertaining to perceived fear appeals were collected in the first wave, self-report data pertaining to self-determined motivation were collected in the second wave, and exam scores were collected in the third wave. An increased frequency of fear appeals and the appraisal of fear appeals as threatening predicted lower self-determined motivation but were largely unrelated to non-self-determined motivation. An increased frequency of fear appeals and the appraisal of fear appeals as threatening predicted lower examination performance that was partly mediated by lower self-determined motivation. These findings support a position derived from self-worth theory that the negative consequences of fear appeals arise from their focus on avoiding failure rather than their focus on extrinsic consequences. We suggest that teachers and instructors need to be aware how seemingly motivational statements can unwittingly promote lower self-determined motivation. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  20. Repeated corticosterone enhances the acquisition and recall of trace fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marks, Wendie N; Kalynchuk, Lisa E

    2017-12-01

    Repeated exposure to high levels of stress hormones can enhance contextual and discrete fear conditioning in rats. A common belief is that this enhanced fear memory is largely mediated by the amygdala because both contextual and discrete fear conditioning are dependent on an intact amygdala. However, trace fear conditioning is thought to be amygdala independent, and therefore, it is not clear what impact stress would have on this form of fear learning. Here, we examined whether the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) would enhance memory in a hippocampal-dependent trace fear conditioning test. Male Long-Evans rats received either 40mg/kg of CORT or vehicle injections for 21 consecutive days. On day 22, rats received either 1, 2, or 5 tone-trace-shock pairings. On day 23, the rats were tested for behavior to the conditioned tone cues in a novel context. We found that CORT significantly increased the acquisition of trace conditioned fear. We also found that CORT significantly increased recall of trace conditioned cues, but only when a 2 trace-pairing protocol was used during training. These results suggest that CORT can enhance non-amygdala forms of fear learning and memory and that high levels of stress hormones modify the physiological substrates that mediate emotionally driven behavior in tasks that are less dependent on amygdala functioning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Histone acetylation rescues contextual fear conditioning in nNOS KO mice and accelerates extinction of cued fear conditioning in wild type mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itzhak, Yossef; Anderson, Karen L; Kelley, Jonathan B; Petkov, Martin

    2012-05-01

    Epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure is an essential molecular mechanism that contributes to the formation of synaptic plasticity and long-term memory (LTM). An important regulatory process of chromatin structure is acetylation and deacetylation of histone proteins. Inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC) increases acetylation of histone proteins and facilitate learning and memory. Nitric oxide (NO) signaling pathway has a role in synaptic plasticity, LTM and regulation of histone acetylation. We have previously shown that NO signaling pathway is required for contextual fear conditioning. The present study investigated the effects of systemic administration of the HDAC inhibitor sodium butyrate (NaB) on fear conditioning in neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) knockout (KO) and wild type (WT) mice. The effect of single administration of NaB on total H3 and H4 histone acetylation in hippocampus and amygdala was also investigated. A single administration of NaB prior to fear conditioning (a) rescued contextual fear conditioning of nNOS KO mice and (b) had long-term (weeks) facilitatory effect on the extinction of cued fear memory of WT mice. The facilitatory effect of NaB on extinction of cued fear memory of WT mice was confirmed in a study whereupon NaB was administered during extinction. Results suggest that (a) the rescue of contextual fear conditioning in nNOS KO mice is associated with NaB-induced increase in H3 histone acetylation and (b) the accelerated extinction of cued fear memory in WT mice is associated with NaB-induced increase in H4 histone acetylation. Hence, a single administration of HDAC inhibitor may rescue NO-dependent cognitive deficits and afford a long-term accelerating effect on extinction of fear memory of WT mice. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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

  3. A critical appraisal of the use of tools for assessing dental fear in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: The aim of this article is to review and evaluate the uses of the various tools for assessing dental fear in the child. Method: A search and review of publications related to the various identified tools used for assessing dental anxiety in children was done. Attention was paid to the empirical findings with the main ...

  4. Students' Social Media Engagement and Fear of Missing out (FoMO) in a Diverse Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alt, Dorit

    2017-01-01

    With the growing attention paid to fear of missing out (FoMO) psychological phenomenon in explaining social media engagement (SME), this mixed-method research measured the relative impact of FoMO on students' SME for personal reasons during lectures. The moderating effect of culture (minority vs. non-minority students) on the connection between…

  5. Candesartan ameliorates impaired fear extinction induced by innate immune activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiñones, María M; Maldonado, Lizette; Velazquez, Bethzaly; Porter, James T

    2016-02-01

    Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to show signs of a relatively increased inflammatory state suggesting that activation of the immune system may contribute to the development of PTSD. In the present study, we tested whether activation of the innate immune system can disrupt acquisition or recall of auditory fear extinction using an animal model of PTSD. Male adolescent rats received auditory fear conditioning in context A. The next day, an intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 100 μg/kg) prior to auditory fear extinction in context B impaired acquisition and recall of extinction. LPS (100 μg/kg) given after extinction training did not impair extinction recall suggesting that LPS did not affect consolidation of extinction. In contrast to cued fear extinction, contextual fear extinction was not affected by prior injection of LPS (100 μg/kg). Although LPS also reduced locomotion, we could dissociate the effects of LPS on extinction and locomotion by using a lower dose of LPS (50 μg/kg) which impaired locomotion without affecting extinction. In addition, 15 h after an injection of 250 μg/kg LPS in adult rats, extinction learning and recall were impaired without affecting locomotion. A sub-chronic treatment with candesartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker, prevented the LPS-induced impairment of extinction in adult rats. Our results demonstrate that activation of the innate immune system can disrupt auditory fear extinction in adolescent and adult animals. These findings also provide direction for clinical studies of novel treatments that modulate the innate immune system for stress-related disorders like PTSD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsbøll, A F; Christensen, J W

    2015-09-01

    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. 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). An experimental study with 3-year-old Icelandic horses (n = 24). Handled horses (n = 12) were trained according to a standardised handling procedure whereas controls (n = 12) remained untrained. Behavioural and heart rate responses in a novel object test and 2 handling fear tests (HFTs) were measured. The HFTs were conducted with both an unknown (HFT-unknown) and a known handler (HFT-known). There was no effect of the handling procedure on the horses' behavioural and heart rate responses in the novel object test, nor in the HFT-unknown. In the HFT-known, however, handled horses showed a significantly shorter duration of reluctance behaviour compared with controls, whereas heart rates did not differ. Heart rates correlated significantly between tests. Previous handling may affect the behavioural fear response of horses when handled by their usual handler, whereas this effect did not apply to an unknown handler. Heart rates appeared unaffected by handling and may be a more reliable indicator 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. © 2014 EVJ Ltd.

  7. Fear of Public Speaking: Perception of College Students and Correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira Marinho, Anna Carolina; Mesquita de Medeiros, Adriane; Côrtes Gama, Ana Cristina; Caldas Teixeira, Letícia

    2017-01-01

    The aims of the study were to determine the prevalence of fear of public speaking among college students and to assess its association with sociodemographic variables and those related to the voice and oral communication. A cross-sectional descriptive and analytic study was conducted with 1135 undergraduates aged 17-58 years. The assessment instruments were (1) a questionnaire addressing the variables sex, age, field of undergraduate study, voice, and frequency of exposure to public speaking, and (2) the Self-statements During Public Speaking Scale (SSPS), which includes variables implicated in specific domains of public speaking. A descriptive analysis was performed of the variables as well as uni- and multivariate logistic regressions to examine their association with fear of public speaking. The level of significance was set at 5%. In all, 63.9% of the college students reported fear of public speaking. As many as 89.3% of the students would like their undergraduate program to include classes to improve public speaking. Being female, having infrequent participation as speakers in groups, and perceiving their voice as high-pitched or too soft increase the odds of exhibiting fear of public speaking compared with students without those features. A great number of undergraduates report fear of public speaking. This fear is more prevalent among women, students who participate in few activities involving speaking to groups of people, and those who have a self-perception of their voice as high-pitched or too soft. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Stress enables reinforcement-elicited serotonergic consolidation of fear memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baratta, Michael V.; Kodandaramaiah, Suhasa B.; Monahan, Patrick E.; Yao, Junmei; Weber, Michael D.; Lin, Pei-Ann; Gisabella, Barbara; Petrossian, Natalie; Amat, Jose; Kim, Kyungman; Yang, Aimei; Forest, Craig R.; Boyden, Edward S.; Goosens, Ki A.

    2015-01-01

    Background Prior exposure to stress is a risk factor for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in response to trauma, yet the mechanisms by which this occurs are unclear. Using a rodent model of stress-based susceptibility to PTSD, we investigated the role of serotonin in this phenomenon. Methods Adult mice were exposed to repeated immobilization stress or handling, and the role of serotonin in subsequent fear learning was assessed using pharmacological manipulation and western blot detection of serotonin receptors, measurements of serotonin, high-speed optogenetic silencing, and behavior. Results Both dorsal raphe serotonergic activity during aversive reinforcement and amygdala serotonin 2c receptor (5-HT2CR) activity during memory consolidation are necessary for stress enhancement of fear memory, but neither process affects fear memory in unstressed mice. Additionally, prior stress increases amygdala sensitivity to serotonin by promoting surface expression of 5-HT2CR without affecting tissue levels of serotonin in the amygdala. We also show that the serotonin that drives stress enhancement of associative cued fear memory can arise from paired or unpaired footshock, an effect not predicted by theoretical models of associative learning. Conclusion Stress bolsters the consequences of aversive reinforcement, not by simply enhancing the neurobiological signals used to encode fear in unstressed animals, but rather by engaging distinct mechanistic pathways. These results reveal that predictions from classical associative learning models do not always hold for stressed animals, and suggest that 5-HT2CR blockade may represent a promising therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders characterized by excessive fear responses such as that observed in PTSD. PMID:26248536

  9. Inhibition of vicariously learned fear in children using positive modeling and prior exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askew, Chris; Reynolds, Gemma; Fielding-Smith, Sarah; Field, Andy P

    2016-02-01

    One of the challenges to conditioning models of fear acquisition is to explain how different individuals can experience similar learning events and only some of them subsequently develop fear. Understanding factors moderating the impact of learning events on fear acquisition is key to understanding the etiology and prevention of fear in childhood. This study investigates these moderators in the context of vicarious (observational) learning. Two experiments tested predictions that the acquisition or inhibition of fear via vicarious learning is driven by associative learning mechanisms similar to direct conditioning. In Experiment 1, 3 groups of children aged 7 to 9 years received 1 of 3 inhibitive information interventions-psychoeducation, factual information, or no information (control)-prior to taking part in a vicarious fear learning procedure. In Experiment 2, 3 groups of children aged 7 to 10 years received 1 of 3 observational learning interventions-positive modeling (immunization), observational familiarity (latent inhibition), or no prevention (control)-before vicarious fear learning. Results indicated that observationally delivered manipulations inhibited vicarious fear learning, while preventions presented via written information did not. These findings confirm that vicarious learning shares some of the characteristics of direct conditioning and can explain