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Sample records for conditioned fear responses

  1. Fear conditioned responses and PTSD symptoms in children: Sex differences in fear-related symptoms.

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    Gamwell, Kaitlyn; Nylocks, Maria; Cross, Dorthie; Bradley, Bekh; Norrholm, Seth D; Jovanovic, Tanja

    2015-11-01

    Fear conditioning studies in adults have found that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with heightened fear responses and impaired discrimination. The objective of the current study was to examine the association between PTSD symptoms and fear conditioned responses in children from a highly traumatized urban population. Children between 8 and 13 years old participated in a fear conditioning study in addition to providing information about their trauma history and PTSD symptoms. Results showed that females showed less discrimination between danger and safety signals during conditioning compared to age-matched males. In boys, intrusive symptoms were predictive of fear responses, even after controlling for trauma exposure. However, in girls, conditioned fear to the danger cue was predictive of self-blame and fear of repeated trauma. This study suggests there are early sex differences in the patterns of fear conditioning and that these sex differences may translate to differential risk for trauma-related psychopathology. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

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    Michael Lukas Meier

    2014-07-01

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

  3. Reinstatement of an Extinguished Fear Conditioned Response in Infant Rats

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    Revillo, Damian A.; Trebucq, Gastón; Paglini, Maria G.; Arias, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Although it is currently accepted that the extinction effect reflects new context-dependent learning, this is not so clear during infancy, because some studies did not find recovery of the extinguished conditioned response (CR) in rodents during this ontogenetic stage. However, recent studies have shown the return of an extinguished CR in infant…

  4. Excitatory strength of expressive faces: effects of happy and fear expressions and context on the extinction of a conditioned fear response.

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    Lanzetta, J T; Orr, S P

    1986-01-01

    In a recent study, Orr and Lanzetta (1984) showed that the excitatory properties of fear facial expressions previously described (Lanzetta & Orr, 1981; Orr & Lanzetta, 1980) do not depend on associative mechanisms; even in the absence of reinforcement, fear faces intensify the emotional reaction to a previously conditioned stimulus and disrupt extinction of an acquired fear response. In conjunction with the findings on acquisition, the failure to obtain extinction suggests that fear faces have some of the functional properties of "prepared" (fear-relevant) stimuli. In the present study we compared the magnitude of conditioned fear responses to happy and fear faces when a potent danger signal, the shock electrodes, are attached or unattached. If fear faces are functionally analogous to prepared stimuli, then, even in the absence of veridical support for an expectation of shock, they should retain excitatory strength, whereas happy faces should not. The results are consistent with this view of fear expressions. In the absence of reinforcement, and with shock electrodes removed, conditioned fear responses and basal levels of arousal were of greater magnitude for the fear-face condition than for the happy-face condition.

  5. Heart rate response to fear conditioning and virtual reality in subthreshold PTSD.

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    Roy, Michael J; Costanzo, Michelle E; Jovanovic, Tanja; Leaman, Suzanne; Taylor, Patricia; Norrholm, Seth D; Rizzo, Albert A

    2013-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a significant health concern for U.S. military service members (SMs) returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Early intervention to prevent chronic disability requires greater understanding of subthreshold PTSD symptoms, which are associated with impaired physical health, mental health, and risk for delayed onset PTSD. We report a comparison of physiologic responses for recently deployed SMs with high and low subthreshold PTSD symptoms, respectively, to a fear conditioning task and novel virtual reality paradigm (Virtual Iraq). The high symptom group demonstrated elevated heart rate (HR) response during fear conditioning. Virtual reality sequences evoked significant HR responses which predicted variance of the PTSD Checklist-Military Version self-report. Our results support the value of physiologic assessment during fear conditioning and combat-related virtual reality exposure as complementary tools in detecting subthreshold PTSD symptoms in Veterans.

  6. Skin Conductance Responses and Neural Activations During Fear Conditioning and Extinction Recall Across Anxiety Disorders.

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    Marin, Marie-France; Zsido, Rachel G; Song, Huijin; Lasko, Natasha B; Killgore, William D S; Rauch, Scott L; Simon, Naomi M; Milad, Mohammed R

    2017-06-01

    The fear conditioning and extinction neurocircuitry has been extensively studied in healthy and clinical populations, with a particular focus on posttraumatic stress disorder. Despite significant overlap of symptoms between posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders, the latter has received less attention. Given that dysregulated fear levels characterize anxiety disorders, examining the neural correlates of fear and extinction learning may shed light on the pathogenesis of underlying anxiety disorders. To investigate the psychophysiological and neural correlates of fear conditioning and extinction recall in anxiety disorders and to document how these features differ as a function of multiple diagnoses or anxiety severity. This investigation was a cross-sectional, case-control, functional magnetic resonance imaging study at an academic medical center. Participants were healthy controls and individuals with at least 1 of the following anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, and panic disorder. The study dates were between March 2013 and May 2015. Two-day fear conditioning and extinction paradigm. Skin conductance responses, blood oxygenation level-dependent responses, trait anxiety scores from the State Trait Anxiety Inventory-Trait Form, and functional connectivity. This study included 21 healthy controls (10 women) and 61 individuals with anxiety disorders (36 women). P values reported for the neuroimaging results are all familywise error corrected. Skin conductance responses during extinction recall did not differ between individuals with anxiety disorders and healthy controls (ηp2 = 0.001, P = .79), where ηp2 is partial eta squared. The anxiety group had lower activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) during extinction recall (ηp2 = 0.178, P = .02). A similar hypoactive pattern was found during early conditioning (ηp2 = 0.106, P = .009). The vmPFC hypoactivation

  7. Sex differences in the behavioural and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response to contextual fear conditioning in rats.

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    Daviu, Núria; Andero, Raül; Armario, Antonio; Nadal, Roser

    2014-11-01

    In recent years, special attention is being paid to sex differences in susceptibility to disease. In this regard, there is evidence that male rats present higher levels of both cued and contextual fear conditioning than females. However, little is known about the concomitant hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to those situations which are critical in emotional memories. Here, we studied the behavioural and HPA responses of male and female Wistar rats to context fear conditioning using electric footshock as the aversive stimulus. Fear-conditioned rats showed a much greater ACTH and corticosterone response than those merely exposed to the fear conditioning chamber without receiving shocks. Moreover, males presented higher levels of freezing whereas HPA axis response was greater in females. Accordingly, during the fear extinction tests, female rats consistently showed less freezing and higher extinction rate, but greater HPA activation than males. Exposure to an open-field resulted in lower activity/exploration in fear-conditioned males, but not in females, suggesting greater conditioned cognitive generalization in males than females. It can be concluded that important sex differences in fear conditioning are observed in both freezing and HPA activation, but the two sets of variables are affected in the opposite direction: enhanced behavioural impact in males, but enhanced HPA responsiveness in females. Thus, the role of sex differences on fear-related stimuli may depend on the variables chosen to evaluate it, the greater responsiveness of the HPA axis in females perhaps being an important factor to be further explored. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Serotonergic Modulation of Conditioned Fear

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    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.

  9. Glycyrrhizin Treatment Facilitates Extinction of Conditioned Fear Responses After a Single Prolonged Stress Exposure in Rats.

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    Lai, Shuhua; Wu, Gangwei; Jiang, Zhixian

    2018-01-01

    Impaired fear memory extinction is widely considered a key mechanism of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent studies have suggested that neuroinflammation after a single prolonged stress (SPS) exposure may play a critical role in the impaired fear memory extinction. Studies have shown that high mobility group box chromosomal protein 1 (HMGB-1) is critically involved in neuroinflammation. However, the role of HMGB-1 underlying the development of impairment of fear memory extinction is still not known. Thus, we examined the levels of HMGB-1 in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) following SPS using Western blot and evaluated the levels of microglia and astrocytes activation in the BLA after SPS using immunohistochemical staining. We then examined the effects of pre-SPS intra-BLA administration of glycyrrhizin, an HMGB1 inhibitor, or LPS-RS, a competitive TLR4 antagonist, on subsequent post-SPS fear extinction. We found that SPS treatment prolonged the extinction of contextual fear memory after the SPS. The impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased HMGB1 and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) levels in the BLA. Additionally, the impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased activation of microglia and astrocyte in the BLA. Intra-BLA administrations of glycyrrhizin (HMGB-1 inhibitor) or LPS-RS (TLR4 antagonist) can prevent the development of SPS-induced fear extinction impairment. Taken together, these results suggested that SPS treatment may not only produce short term effects on the HMGB1/TLR4-mediated pro-inflammation, but alter the response of microglia and astrocytes to the exposure to fear associated contextual stimuli. © 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Glycyrrhizin Treatment Facilitates Extinction of Conditioned Fear Responses After a Single Prolonged Stress Exposure in Rats

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    Shuhua Lai

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Impaired fear memory extinction is widely considered a key mechanism of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Recent studies have suggested that neuroinflammation after a single prolonged stress (SPS exposure may play a critical role in the impaired fear memory extinction. Studies have shown that high mobility group box chromosomal protein 1 (HMGB-1 is critically involved in neuroinflammation. However, the role of HMGB-1 underlying the development of impairment of fear memory extinction is still not known. Methods: Thus, we examined the levels of HMGB-1 in the basolateral amygdala (BLA following SPS using Western blot and evaluated the levels of microglia and astrocytes activation in the BLA after SPS using immunohistochemical staining. We then examined the effects of pre-SPS intra-BLA administration of glycyrrhizin, an HMGB1 inhibitor, or LPS-RS, a competitive TLR4 antagonist, on subsequent post-SPS fear extinction. Results: We found that SPS treatment prolonged the extinction of contextual fear memory after the SPS. The impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased HMGB1 and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4 levels in the BLA. Additionally, the impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased activation of microglia and astrocyte in the BLA. Intra-BLA administrations of glycyrrhizin (HMGB-1 inhibitor or LPS-RS (TLR4 antagonist can prevent the development of SPS-induced fear extinction impairment. Conclusion: Taken together, these results suggested that SPS treatment may not only produce short term effects on the HMGB1/TLR4-mediated pro-inflammation, but alter the response of microglia and astrocytes to the exposure to fear associated contextual stimuli.

  11. Learning strategies during fear conditioning

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    Carpenter, Russ E.; Summers, Cliff H.

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes a model of fear learning, in which subjects have an option of behavioral responses to impending social defeat. The model generates two types of learning: social avoidance and classical conditioning, dependent upon 1) escape from or 2) social subordination to an aggressor. We hypothesized that social stress provides the impetus as well as the necessary information to stimulate dichotomous goal-oriented learning. Specialized tanks were constructed to subject rainbow trout t...

  12. A NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801 impairs consolidating extinction of auditory conditioned fear responses in a Pavlovian model.

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    Jun-Li Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In auditory fear conditioning, repeated presentation of the tone in the absence of shock leads to extinction of the acquired fear responses. The glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR is thought to be involved in the extinction of the conditioned fear responses, but its detailed role in initiating and consolidating or maintaining the fear extinction memory is unclear. Here we investigated this issue by using a NMDAR antagonist, MK-801. METHODS/MAIN FINDINGS: The effects of immediate (beginning at 10 min after the conditioning and delayed (beginning at 24 h after conditioning extinctions were first compared with the finding that delayed extinction caused a better and long-lasting (still significant on the 20(th day after extinction depression on the conditioned fear responses. In a second experiment, MK-801 was intraperitoneally (i.p. injected at 40 min before, 4 h or 12 h after the delayed extinction, corresponding to critical time points for initiating, consolidating or maintaining the fear extinction memory. i.p. injection of MK-801 at either 40 min before or 4 h after delayed extinction resulted in an impairment of initiating and consolidating fear extinction memory, which caused a long lasting increased freezing score that was still significant on the 7th day after extinction, compared with extinction group. However, MK-801 administered at 12 h after the delayed extinction, when robust consolidation has been occurred and stabilized, did not affect the established extinction memory. Furthermore, the changed freezing behaviors was not due to an alteration in general anxiety levels, since MK-801 treatment had no effect on the percentage of open-arm time or open-arm entries in an Elevated Plus Maze (EPM task. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data suggested that the activation of NMDARs plays important role in initiation and consolidation but not maintenance of fear extinction memory. Together with the fact that NMDA receptor is

  13. Systemic or Intra-Amygdala Injection of a Benzodiazepine (Midazolam) Impairs Extinction but Spares Re-Extinction of Conditioned Fear Responses

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    Hart, Genevra; Harris, Justin A.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2009-01-01

    Rats were subjected to one or two cycles of fear conditioning and extinction, injected with a benzodiazepine, midazolam, before the first or second extinction, and tested for long-term inhibition of fear responses (freezing). In Experiment 1, inhibition of context-conditioned fear was spared when midazolam was injected before the second…

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

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    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. Learning-dependent and -independent enhancement of mitral/tufted cell glomerular odor responses following olfactory fear conditioning in awake mice.

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    Ross, Jordan M; Fletcher, Max L

    2018-04-18

    Associative fear learning produces fear toward the conditioned stimulus (CS) and often generalization, the expansion of fear from the CS to similar, unlearned stimuli. However, how fear learning affects early sensory processing of learned and unlearned stimuli in relation to behavioral fear responses to these stimuli remains unclear. We subjected male and female mice expressing the fluorescent calcium indicator GCaMP3 in olfactory bulb mitral and tufted cells to a classical olfactory fear conditioning paradigm. We then used awake, in vivo calcium imaging to quantify learning-induced changes in glomerular odor responses, which constitute the first site of olfactory processing in the brain. The results demonstrate that odor-shock pairing non-specifically enhances glomerular odor representations in a learning-dependent manner and increases representational similarity between the CS and non-conditioned odors, potentially priming the system towards generalization of learned fear. Additionally, CS-specific glomerular enhancements remain even when associative learning is blocked, suggesting two separate mechanisms lead to enhanced glomerular responses following odor-shock pairings. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In the olfactory bulb (OB), odors are uniquely coded in a spatial map that represents odor identity, making the OB a unique model system for investigating how learned fear alters sensory processing. Classical fear conditioning causes fear of the conditioned stimulus (CS) and of neutral stimuli, known as generalization. Combining fear conditioning with fluorescent calcium imaging of OB glomeruli, we found enhanced glomerular responses of the CS as well as neutral stimuli in awake mice, which mirrors fear generalization. We report that CS and neutral stimuli enhancements are, respectively, learning- independent and learning-dependent. Together, these results reveal distinct mechanisms leading to enhanced OB processing of fear-inducing stimuli and provide important

  16. Dissociating response systems: erasing fear from memory.

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    Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel

    2010-07-01

    In addition to the extensive evidence in animals, we previously showed that disrupting reconsolidation by noradrenergic blockade produced amnesia for the original fear response in humans. Interestingly, the declarative memory for the fear association remained intact. These results asked for a solid replication. Moreover, given the constructive nature of memories, the intact recollection of the fear association could eventually 'rebuild' the fear memory, resulting in the spontaneous recovery of the fear response. Yet, perseverance of the amnesic effects would have substantial clinical implications, as even the most effective treatments for psychiatric disorders display high percentages of relapse. Using a differential fear conditioning procedure in humans, we replicated our previous findings by showing that administering propranolol (40mg) prior to memory reactivation eliminated the startle fear response 24h later. But most importantly, this effect persisted at one month follow-up. Notably, the propranolol manipulation not only left the declarative memory for the acquired contingency untouched, but also skin conductance discrimination. In addition, a close association between declarative knowledge and skin conductance responses was found. These findings are in line with the supposed double dissociation of fear conditioning and declarative knowledge relative to the amygdala and hippocampus in humans. They support the view that skin conductance conditioning primarily reflects contingency learning, whereas the startle response is a rather specific measure of fear. Furthermore, the results indicate the absence of a causal link between the actual knowledge of a fear association and its fear response, even though they often operate in parallel. Interventions targeting the amygdalar fear memory may be essential in specifically and persistently dampening the emotional impact of fear. From a clinical and ethical perspective, disrupting reconsolidation points to promising

  17. Dopamine D1 receptor-dependent regulation of extracellular citrulline level in the rat nucleus accumbens during conditioned fear response.

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    Saulskaya, Natalia B; Fofonova, Nellia V; Sudorghina, Polina V; Saveliev, Sergey A

    2008-08-01

    Nucleus accumbens (N.Acc) contains a subclass of nitric oxide (NO)-generating interneurons that are presumably regulated by the dopamine input. Receptor mechanisms underlying dopamine-NO interaction in the N.Acc are poorly understood. In the current study, we used in vivo microdialysis combined with high-performance liquid chromatography to examine participation of dopamine D1 receptors in regulation of extracellular levels of citrulline (an NO co-product) in the medial N.Acc of Sprague-Dawley rats during both pharmacological challenge and a conditioned fear response. The intraaccumbal infusion of the D1 receptor agonist SKF-38393 (100-500 microM) increased dose-dependently the local dialysate citrulline levels. The SKF-38393-induced increase in extracellular citrulline was prevented by intraaccumbal infusions of 500 microM 7-nitroindazole, a neuronal NO synthase inhibitor. In behavioral microdialysis experiment, the accumbal levels of extracellular citrulline markedly increased in rats given a mild footshock paired with tone. The presentation of the tone previously paired with footshock (the conditioned fear response) produced a "conditioned" rise of extracellular citrulline levels in the N.Acc which was attenuated by intraaccumbal infusion of 100 microM SCH-23390, a dopamine D1 receptor antagonist, and prevented by intraaccumbal infusion of 500 microM 7-nitroindazole. The results suggest that in the N.Acc, the dopamine D1 receptors might regulate the neuronal NO synthase activity; this dopamine-dependent mechanism seems to participate in activation of the neuronal NO synthase and probably NO formation in this brain area during the conditioned fear response.

  18. Contingency awareness shapes acquisition and extinction of emotional responses in a conditioning model of pain-related fear

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    Franziska eLabrenz

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available As a fundamental learning process, fear conditioning promotes the formation of associations between predictive cues and biologically-significant signals. In its application to pain, conditioning may provide important insight into mechanisms underlying pain-related fear, although knowledge especially in interoceptive pain paradigms remains scarce. Furthermore, while the influence of contingency awareness on excitatory learning is subject of ongoing debate, its role in pain-related acquisition is poorly understood and essentially unknown regarding extinction as inhibitory learning. Therefore, we addressed the impact of contingency awareness on learned emotional responses to pain- and safety-predictive cues in a combined dataset of two pain-related conditioning studies.In total, 75 healthy participants underwent differential fear acquisition, during which rectal distensions as interoceptive unconditioned stimuli (US were repeatedly paired with a predictive visual cue (conditioned stimulus; CS+ while another cue (CS- was presented unpaired. During extinction, both CS were presented without US. CS valence, indicating learned emotional responses, and CS-US contingencies were assessed on visual analogue scales. Based on an integrative measure of contingency accuracy, a median-split was performed to compare groups with low versus high contingency accuracy regarding learned emotional responses. To investigate predictive value of contingency accuracy, regression analyses were conducted. Highly accurate individuals revealed more pronounced negative emotional responses to CS+ and increased positive responses to CS- when compared to participants with low contingency accuracy. Following extinction, highly accurate individuals had fully extinguished pain-predictive cue properties, while exhibiting persistent positive emotional responses to safety signals. In contrast, individuals with low accuracy revealed equally positive emotional responses to both, CS+ and

  19. Contingency Awareness Shapes Acquisition and Extinction of Emotional Responses in a Conditioning Model of Pain-Related Fear.

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    Labrenz, Franziska; Icenhour, Adriane; Benson, Sven; Elsenbruch, Sigrid

    2015-01-01

    As a fundamental learning process, fear conditioning promotes the formation of associations between predictive cues and biologically significant signals. In its application to pain, conditioning may provide important insight into mechanisms underlying pain-related fear, although knowledge especially in interoceptive pain paradigms remains scarce. Furthermore, while the influence of contingency awareness on excitatory learning is subject of ongoing debate, its role in pain-related acquisition is poorly understood and essentially unknown regarding extinction as inhibitory learning. Therefore, we addressed the impact of contingency awareness on learned emotional responses to pain- and safety-predictive cues in a combined dataset of two pain-related conditioning studies. In total, 75 healthy participants underwent differential fear acquisition, during which rectal distensions as interoceptive unconditioned stimuli (US) were repeatedly paired with a predictive visual cue (conditioned stimulus; CS(+)) while another cue (CS(-)) was presented unpaired. During extinction, both CS were presented without US. CS valence, indicating learned emotional responses, and CS-US contingencies were assessed on visual analog scales (VAS). Based on an integrative measure of contingency accuracy, a median-split was performed to compare groups with low vs. high contingency accuracy regarding learned emotional responses. To investigate predictive value of contingency accuracy, regression analyses were conducted. Highly accurate individuals revealed more pronounced negative emotional responses to CS(+) and increased positive responses to CS(-) when compared to participants with low contingency accuracy. Following extinction, highly accurate individuals had fully extinguished pain-predictive cue properties, while exhibiting persistent positive emotional responses to safety signals. In contrast, individuals with low accuracy revealed equally positive emotional responses to both, CS(+) and CS

  20. What's wrong with fear conditioning?

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    Beckers, T.; Krypotos, A.M.; Boddez, Y.; Effting, M.; Kindt, M.

    2013-01-01

    Fear conditioning is one of the prime paradigms of behavioural neuroscience and a source of tremendous insight in the fundamentals of learning and memory and the psychology and neurobiology of emotion. It is also widely regarded as a model for the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders in a

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

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

    2016-05-01

    Most research on human fear conditioning and its generalization has focused on adults whereas only little is known about these processes in children. Direct comparisons between child and adult populations are needed to determine developmental risk markers of fear and anxiety. We compared 267 children and 285 adults in a differential fear conditioning paradigm and generalization test. Skin conductance responses (SCR) and ratings of valence and arousal were obtained to indicate fear learning. Both groups displayed robust and similar differential conditioning on subjective and physiological levels. However, children showed heightened fear generalization compared to adults as indexed by higher arousal ratings and SCR to the generalization stimuli. Results indicate overgeneralization of conditioned fear as a developmental correlate of fear learning. The developmental change from a shallow to a steeper generalization gradient is likely related to the maturation of brain structures that modulate efficient discrimination between danger and (ambiguous) safety cues. © 2016 The Authors. Developmental Psychobiology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Where There is Smoke There is Fear-Impaired Contextual Inhibition of Conditioned Fear in Smokers.

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    Haaker, Jan; Lonsdorf, Tina B; Schümann, Dirk; Bunzeck, Nico; Peters, Jan; Sommer, Tobias; Kalisch, Raffael

    2017-07-01

    The odds-ratio of smoking is elevated in populations with neuropsychiatric diseases, in particular in the highly prevalent diagnoses of post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders. Yet, the association between smoking and a key dimensional phenotype of these disorders-maladaptive deficits in fear learning and fear inhibition-is unclear. We therefore investigated acquisition and memory of fear and fear inhibition in healthy smoking and non-smoking participants (N=349, 22% smokers). We employed a well validated paradigm of context-dependent fear and safety learning (day 1) including a memory retrieval on day 2. During fear learning, a geometrical shape was associated with an aversive electrical stimulation (classical fear conditioning, in danger context) and fear responses were extinguished within another context (extinction learning, in safe context). On day 2, the conditioned stimuli were presented again in both contexts, without any aversive stimulation. Autonomic physiological measurements of skin conductance responses as well as subjective evaluations of fear and expectancy of the aversive stimulation were acquired. We found that impairment of fear inhibition (extinction) in the safe context during learning (day 1) was associated with the amount of pack-years in smokers. During retrieval of fear memories (day 2), smokers showed an impairment of contextual (safety context-related) fear inhibition as compared with non-smokers. These effects were found in physiological as well as subjective measures of fear. We provide initial evidence that smokers as compared with non-smokers show an impairment of fear inhibition. We propose that smokers have a deficit in integrating contextual signs of safety, which is a hallmark of post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders.

  3. Computational search for hypotheses concerning the endocannabinoid contribution to the extinction of fear conditioning

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    Anastasio, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    Fear conditioning, in which a cue is conditioned to elicit a fear response, and extinction, in which a previously conditioned cue no longer elicits a fear response, depend on neural plasticity occurring within the amygdala. Projection neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) learn to respond to the cue during fear conditioning, and they mediate fear responding by transferring cue signals to the output stage of the amygdala. Some BLA projection neurons retain their cue responses after extinct...

  4. Fear Conditioning Effects on Sensitivity to Drug Reward

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    2010-06-01

    motivational responses and self-administration behaviors (Robbins et al., 2008). Pavlovian conditioning mechanisms link unconditioned drug responses...model. Induction of fear conditioning is followed by measurement of sensitivity to drug reward using a conditioned place preference (CPP) model to...morphine. Conditioned drug reward is a relevant model in addiction because environmental cues (e.g. a barroom) induce craving and persistent

  5. Distinct Contributions of Median Raphe Nucleus to Contextual Fear Conditioning and Fear-Potentiated Startle

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    Silva, R. C. B.; Cruz, A. P. M.; Avanzi, V.; Landeira-Fernandez, J.; Brandão, M. L.

    2002-01-01

    Ascending 5-HT projections from the median raphe nucleus (MRN), probably to the hippocampus, are implicated in the acquisition of contextual fear (background stimuli), as assessed by freezing behavior. Foreground cues like light, used as a conditioned stimulus (CS) in classical fear conditioning, also cause freezing through thalamic transmission to the amygdala. As the MRN projects to the hippocampus and amygdala, the role of this raphe nucleus in fear conditioning to explicit cues remains to be explained. Here we analyzed the behavior of rats with MRN electrolytic lesions in a contextual conditioning situation and in a fear-potentiated startle procedure. The animals received MRN electrolytic lesions either before or on the day after two consecutive training sessions in which they were submitted to 10 conditioning trials, each in an experimental chamber (same context) where they. received foot-shocks (0.6 mA, 1 sec) paired to a 4-sec light CS. Seven to ten days later, the animals were submitted to testing sessions for assessing conditioned fear when they were placed for five shocks, and the duration of contextual freezing was recorded. The animals were then submitted to a fear-potentiated startle in response to a 4-sec light-CS, followed by white noise (100 dB, 50 ms). Control rats (sham) tested in the same context showed more freezing than did rats with pre- or post-training MRN lesions. Startle was clearly potentiated in the presence of light CS in the sham-lesioned animals. Whereas pretraining lesions reduced both freezing and fear-potentiated startle, the post-training lesions reduced only freezing to context, without changing the fear-potentiated startle. In a second experiment, neurotoxic lesions of the MRN with local injections of N-methyl-D-aspartate or the activation of 5-HT1A somatodendritic auto-receptors of the MRN by microinjections of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy- 2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) before the training sessions also

  6. BDNFval66met affects neural activation pattern during fear conditioning and 24 h delayed fear recall.

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    Lonsdorf, Tina B; Golkar, Armita; Lindström, Kara M; Haaker, Jan; Öhman, Arne; Schalling, Martin; Ingvar, Martin

    2015-05-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the most abundant neutrophin in the mammalian central nervous system, is critically involved in synaptic plasticity. In both rodents and humans, BDNF has been implicated in hippocampus- and amygdala-dependent learning and memory and has more recently been linked to fear extinction processes. Fifty-nine healthy participants, genotyped for the functional BDNFval66met polymorphism, underwent a fear conditioning and 24h-delayed extinction protocol while skin conductance and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses (functional magnetic resonance imaging) were acquired. We present the first report of neural activation pattern during fear acquisition 'and' extinction for the BDNFval66met polymorphism using a differential conditioned stimulus (CS)+ > CS- comparison. During conditioning, we observed heightened allele dose-dependent responses in the amygdala and reduced responses in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex in BDNFval66met met-carriers. During early extinction, 24h later, we again observed heightened responses in several regions ascribed to the fear network in met-carriers as opposed to val-carriers (insula, amygdala, hippocampus), which likely reflects fear memory recall. No differences were observed during late extinction, which likely reflects learned extinction. Our data thus support previous associations of the BDNFval66met polymorphism with neural activation in the fear and extinction network, but speak against a specific association with fear extinction processes. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  9. Fear conditioning induced by interpersonal conflicts in healthy individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tada, Mitsuhiro; Uchida, Hiroyuki; Maeda, Takaki; Konishi, Mika; Umeda, Satoshi; Terasawa, Yuri; Nakajima, Shinichiro; Mimura, Masaru; Miyazaki, Tomoyuki; Takahashi, Takuya

    2015-01-01

    Psychophysiological markers have been focused to investigate the psychopathology of psychiatric disorders and personality subtypes. In order to understand neurobiological mechanisms underlying these conditions, fear-conditioning model has been widely used. However, simple aversive stimuli are too simplistic to understand mechanisms because most patients with psychiatric disorders are affected by social stressors. The objective of this study was to test the feasibility of a newly-designed conditioning experiment using a stimulus to cause interpersonal conflicts and examine associations between personality traits and response to that stimulus. Twenty-nine healthy individuals underwent the fear conditioning and extinction experiments in response to three types of stimuli: a simple aversive sound, disgusting pictures, and pictures of an actors' face with unpleasant verbal messages that were designed to cause interpersonal conflicts. Conditioned response was quantified by the skin conductance response (SCR). Correlations between the SCR changes, and personality traits measured by the Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder (ZAN-BPD) and Revised NEO Personality Inventory were explored. The interpersonal conflict stimulus resulted in successful conditioning, which was subsequently extinguished, in a similar manner as the other two stimuli. Moreover, a greater degree of conditioned response to the interpersonal conflict stimulus correlated with a higher ZAN-BPD total score. Fear conditioning and extinction can be successfully achieved, using interpersonal conflicts as a stimulus. Given that conditioned fear caused by the interpersonal conflicts is likely associated with borderline personality traits, this paradigm could contribute to further understanding of underlying mechanisms of interpersonal fear implicated in borderline personality disorder.

  10. Fear Conditioning Induced by Interpersonal Conflicts in Healthy Individuals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tada, Mitsuhiro; Uchida, Hiroyuki; Maeda, Takaki; Konishi, Mika; Umeda, Satoshi; Terasawa, Yuri; Nakajima, Shinichiro; Mimura, Masaru; Miyazaki, Tomoyuki; Takahashi, Takuya

    2015-01-01

    Psychophysiological markers have been focused to investigate the psychopathology of psychiatric disorders and personality subtypes. In order to understand neurobiological mechanisms underlying these conditions, fear-conditioning model has been widely used. However, simple aversive stimuli are too simplistic to understand mechanisms because most patients with psychiatric disorders are affected by social stressors. The objective of this study was to test the feasibility of a newly-designed conditioning experiment using a stimulus to cause interpersonal conflicts and examine associations between personality traits and response to that stimulus. Twenty-nine healthy individuals underwent the fear conditioning and extinction experiments in response to three types of stimuli: a simple aversive sound, disgusting pictures, and pictures of an actors’ face with unpleasant verbal messages that were designed to cause interpersonal conflicts. Conditioned response was quantified by the skin conductance response (SCR). Correlations between the SCR changes, and personality traits measured by the Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder (ZAN-BPD) and Revised NEO Personality Inventory were explored. The interpersonal conflict stimulus resulted in successful conditioning, which was subsequently extinguished, in a similar manner as the other two stimuli. Moreover, a greater degree of conditioned response to the interpersonal conflict stimulus correlated with a higher ZAN-BPD total score. Fear conditioning and extinction can be successfully achieved, using interpersonal conflicts as a stimulus. Given that conditioned fear caused by the interpersonal conflicts is likely associated with borderline personality traits, this paradigm could contribute to further understanding of underlying mechanisms of interpersonal fear implicated in borderline personality disorder. PMID:25978817

  11. Human fear conditioning and extinction in neuroimaging: a systematic review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Sehlmeyer

    Full Text Available Fear conditioning and extinction are basic forms of associative learning that have gained considerable clinical relevance in enhancing our understanding of anxiety disorders and facilitating their treatment. Modern neuroimaging techniques have significantly aided the identification of anatomical structures and networks involved in fear conditioning. On closer inspection, there is considerable variation in methodology and results between studies. This systematic review provides an overview of the current neuroimaging literature on fear conditioning and extinction on healthy subjects, taking into account methodological issues such as the conditioning paradigm. A Pubmed search, as of December 2008, was performed and supplemented by manual searches of bibliographies of key articles. Two independent reviewers made the final study selection and data extraction. A total of 46 studies on cued fear conditioning and/or extinction on healthy volunteers using positron emission tomography or functional magnetic resonance imaging were reviewed. The influence of specific experimental factors, such as contingency and timing parameters, assessment of conditioned responses, and characteristics of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli, on cerebral activation patterns was examined. Results were summarized descriptively. A network consisting of fear-related brain areas, such as amygdala, insula, and anterior cingulate cortex, is activated independently of design parameters. However, some neuroimaging studies do not report these findings in the presence of methodological heterogeneities. Furthermore, other brain areas are differentially activated, depending on specific design parameters. These include stronger hippocampal activation in trace conditioning and tactile stimulation. Furthermore, tactile unconditioned stimuli enhance activation of pain related, motor, and somatosensory areas. Differences concerning experimental factors may partly explain the variance

  12. Medial prefrontal cortex stimulation modulates the processing of conditioned fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne eGuhn

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The extinction of conditioned fear is dependent on an efficient interplay between the amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. In rats, high-frequency electrical mPFC stimulation was shown to improve extinction by a reduction of amygdala activity. However, so far it is unclear whether stimulation of homologues regions in humans might have similar beneficial effects.Healthy volunteers received one-session of either active or sham repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS covering the mPFC while undergoing a two-day fear conditioning and extinction paradigm. rTMS was applied offline after fear acquisition in which one of two faces (CS+ but not CS- was associated with an aversive scream (UCS. Immediate extinction learning (day 1 and extinction recall (day 2 were conducted without UCS delivery. Conditioned responses were assessed in a multimodal approach using fear-potentiated startle (FPS, skin conductance responses (SCR, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS and self-report scales. Consistent with the hypothesis of a modulated processing of conditioned fear after high-frequency rTMS, the active group showed a reduced CS+/CS- discrimination during extinction learning as evident in FPS as well as in SCR and arousal ratings. FPS responses to CS+ further showed a linear decrement throughout both extinction sessions. This study describes the first experimental approach of influencing conditioned fear by using rTMS which can be a basis for future studies investigating a complementation of mPFC stimulation to cognitive behavioral therapy.

  13. 'The perception of fear conditioning urban space'

    OpenAIRE

    Fani Bakratsa

    2011-01-01

    The dominant metabolic system within urban environments often involves deep socio-economic inequalities, exploitative productive practices and a persistent sense of alienation among the vast majority of the population. The city itself spawns the conditions both for the development of actual criminality and, more perniciously, for the emergence of an acute perception of fear within the polis. Over the years, this perception has affected a whole array of societal elements including, quite signi...

  14. 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.

  15. Noradrenergic Modulation of Fear Conditioning and Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giustino, Thomas F; Maren, Stephen

    2018-01-01

    The locus coeruleus norepinephrine (LC-NE) system plays a broad role in learning and memory. Here we begin with an overview of the LC-NE system. We then consider how both direct and indirect manipulations of the LC-NE system affect cued and contextual aversive learning and memory. We propose that NE dynamically modulates Pavlovian conditioning and extinction, either promoting or impairing learning aversive processes under different levels of behavioral arousal. We suggest that under high levels of stress (e.g., during/soon after fear conditioning) the locus coeruleus (LC) promotes cued fear learning by enhancing amygdala function while simultaneously blunting prefrontal function. Under low levels of arousal, the LC promotes PFC function to promote downstream inhibition of the amygdala and foster the extinction of cued fear. Thus, LC-NE action on the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) might be described by an inverted-U function such that it can either enhance or hinder learning depending on arousal states. In addition, LC-NE seems to be particularly important for the acquisition, consolidation and extinction of contextual fear memories. This may be due to dense adrenoceptor expression in the hippocampus (HPC) which encodes contextual information, and the ability of NE to regulate long-term potentiation (LTP). Moreover, recent work reveals that the diversity of LC-NE functions in aversive learning and memory are mediated by functionally heterogeneous populations of LC neurons that are defined by their projection targets. Hence, LC-NE function in learning and memory is determined by projection-specific neuromodulation that accompanies various states of behavioral arousal.

  16. Noradrenergic Modulation of Fear Conditioning and Extinction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas F. Giustino

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The locus coeruleus norepinephrine (LC-NE system plays a broad role in learning and memory. Here we begin with an overview of the LC-NE system. We then consider how both direct and indirect manipulations of the LC-NE system affect cued and contextual aversive learning and memory. We propose that NE dynamically modulates Pavlovian conditioning and extinction, either promoting or impairing learning aversive processes under different levels of behavioral arousal. We suggest that under high levels of stress (e.g., during/soon after fear conditioning the locus coeruleus (LC promotes cued fear learning by enhancing amygdala function while simultaneously blunting prefrontal function. Under low levels of arousal, the LC promotes PFC function to promote downstream inhibition of the amygdala and foster the extinction of cued fear. Thus, LC-NE action on the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC might be described by an inverted-U function such that it can either enhance or hinder learning depending on arousal states. In addition, LC-NE seems to be particularly important for the acquisition, consolidation and extinction of contextual fear memories. This may be due to dense adrenoceptor expression in the hippocampus (HPC which encodes contextual information, and the ability of NE to regulate long-term potentiation (LTP. Moreover, recent work reveals that the diversity of LC-NE functions in aversive learning and memory are mediated by functionally heterogeneous populations of LC neurons that are defined by their projection targets. Hence, LC-NE function in learning and memory is determined by projection-specific neuromodulation that accompanies various states of behavioral arousal.

  17. Rethinking the fear circuit: the central nucleus of the amygdala is required for the acquisition, consolidation, and expression of Pavlovian fear conditioning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilensky, Ann E; Schafe, Glenn E; Kristensen, Morten Pilgaard

    2006-01-01

    of the amygdala (CE), which serves as the principal output nucleus for the expression of conditioned fear responses. In the present study, we reexamined the roles of LA and CE. Specifically, we asked whether CE, like LA, might also be involved in fear learning and memory consolidation. Using functional...... inactivation methods, we first show that CE is involved not only in the expression but also the acquisition of fear conditioning. Next, we show that inhibition of protein synthesis in CE after training impairs fear memory consolidation. These findings indicate that CE is not only involved in fear expression...... but, like LA, is also involved in the learning and consolidation of pavlovian fear conditioning....

  18. Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction: Implications for Treatment of PTSD

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-01

    and thus PTSD, is fear condition - ing. Fear conditioning is a Pavlovian response whereby a neutral stimulus is paired with an aversive stimulus until...for drug use, sleep disorders, and psychiatric and medical conditions via structured interview and laboratory tests. Inclu- sion criteria included the...Annual 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction: Implications for

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Susan Shi Yuan; McNally, Gavan P

    2014-02-01

    A key insight of associative learning theory is that learning depends on the actions of prediction error: a discrepancy between the actual and expected outcomes of a conditioning trial. When positive, such error causes increments in associative strength and, when negative, such error causes decrements in associative strength. Prediction error can act directly on fear learning by determining the effectiveness of the aversive unconditioned stimulus or indirectly by determining the effectiveness, or associability, of the conditioned stimulus. Evidence from a variety of experimental preparations in human and non-human animals suggest that discrete neural circuits code for these actions of prediction error during fear learning. Here we review the circuits and brain regions contributing to the neural coding of prediction error during fear learning and highlight areas of research (safety learning, extinction, and reconsolidation) that may profit from this approach to understanding learning. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Acute immobilization stress following contextual fear conditioning reduces fear memory: timing is essential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uwaya, Akemi; Lee, Hyunjin; Park, Jonghyuk; Lee, Hosung; Muto, Junko; Nakajima, Sanae; Ohta, Shigeo; Mikami, Toshio

    2016-02-24

    Histone acetylation is regulated in response to stress and plays an important role in learning and memory. Chronic stress is known to deteriorate cognition, whereas acute stress facilitates memory formation. However, whether acute stress facilitates memory formation when it is applied after fear stimulation is not yet known. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of acute stress applied after fear training on memory formation, mRNA expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), epigenetic regulation of BDNF expression, and corticosterone level in mice in vivo. Mice were subjected to acute immobilization stress for 30 min at 60 or 90 min after contextual fear conditioning training, and acetylation of histone 3 at lysine 14 (H3K14) and level of corticosterone were measured using western blot analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. A freezing behavior test was performed 24 h after training, and mRNA expression of BDNF was measured using real-time polymerase chain reactions. Different groups of mice were used for each test. Freezing behavior significantly decreased with the down-regulation of BDNF mRNA expression caused by acute immobilization stress at 60 min after fear conditioning training owing to the reduction of H3K14 acetylation. However, BDNF mRNA expression and H3K14 acetylation were not reduced in animals subjected to immobilization stress at 90 min after the training. Further, the corticosterone level was significantly high in mice subjected to immobilization stress at 60 min after the training. Acute immobilization stress for 30 min at 60 min after fear conditioning training impaired memory formation and reduced BDNF mRNA expression and H3K14 acetylation in the hippocampus of mice owing to the high level of corticosterone.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-15

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

  5. Effects of chromium and chromium + vitamin C combination on metabolic, oxidative, and fear responses of broilers transported under summer conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perai, A. H.; Kermanshahi, H.; Moghaddam, H. Nassiri; Zarban, A.

    2015-04-01

    A total of 240 female broilers (42 days old) were randomly assigned to four groups with six replicates and fed either a basal diet (two control groups) or a basal diet supplemented with either 1,200 μg Cr+3 from chromium (Cr) methionine/kg (Cr group) or 1,200 μg Cr+3 from Cr methionine plus 800 mg vitamin C (Vit C)/kg of diet (Cr + Vit C group). After 7 days on the dietary treatment, all groups except one of the controls were transported for 3 h under the summer conditions. Performance parameters were not influenced by dietary treatments. The plasma concentrations of insulin, triiodothyronine, triglyceride, and the ratio of triiodothyronine/thyroxin were decreased and the ratio of glucose/insulin was increased due to transport process. Road transportation also increased the plasma concentrations of protein, cholesterol, aspartate aminotransferase, and creatine kinase and decreased the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the Cr + Vit C group. The pretransport concentrations of insulin and triiodothyronine were highest in the Cr + Vit C group. The concentration of phosphorous was lower in the Cr group than that in the other groups after transport. No significant effects of dietary treatments were observed on the other biochemical parameters. Transport increased malondialdehyde concentration in the control group and did not change plasma total antioxidant capacity and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity. Either in combination or alone, Cr increased plasma total antioxidant capacity (before transport P ≤ 0.05, after transport P = 0.07) but did not affect the concentration of malondialdehyde and activity of glutathione peroxidase. The duration of tonic immobility (TI) was similar between nontransported control chicks and transported chicks without any supplements. Pretreatment with Cr + Vit C significantly reduced the duration of TI.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Failure to condition to a cue is associated with sustained contextual fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baas, J. M. P.; van Ooijen, L.; Goudriaan, A.; Kenemans, J. L.

    2008-01-01

    The acquisition of a conditioned fear response is adaptive, as it enables the organism to appropriately respond to predictors of aversive events. Consequently, the absence of predictive cues can be used as a signal for safety. We aimed to study whether deficient fear conditioning might lead to

  8. Fear but not fright: re-evaluating traumatic experience attenuates anxiety-like behaviors after fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco eCostanzi

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Fear allows organisms to cope with dangerous situations and remembering these situations has an adaptive role preserving individuals from injury and death. However, recalling traumatic memories can induce re-experiencing the trauma, thus resulting in a maladaptive fear. A failure to properly regulate fear responses has been associated with anxiety disorders, like Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. Thus, re-establishing the capability to regulate fear has an important role for its adaptive and clinical relevance. Strategies aimed at erasing fear memories have been proposed, although there are limits about their efficiency in treating anxiety disorders. To re-establish fear regulation, here we propose a new approach, based on the re-evaluation of the aversive value of traumatic experience. Mice were submitted to a contextual-fear-conditioning paradigm in which a neutral context was paired with an intense electric footshock. Three weeks after acquisition, conditioned mice were treated with a less intense footshock (pain threshold. The effectiveness of this procedure in reducing fear expression was assessed in terms of behavioral outcomes related to PTSD (e.g. hyper-reactivity to a neutral tone, anxiety levels in a plus maze task, social avoidance, and learning deficits in a spatial water maze and of amygdala activity by evaluating c-fos expression. Furthermore, a possible role of lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC in mediating the behavioral effects induced by the re-evaluation procedure was investigated. We observed that this treatment (i significantly mitigates the abnormal behavioral outcomes induced by trauma, (ii persistently attenuates fear expression without erasing contextual memory, (iii prevents fear reinstatement, (iv reduces amygdala activity and (v requires an intact lOFC to be effective.The results suggest that an effective strategy to treat pathological anxiety should address cognitive re-evaluation of traumatic experiences

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duits, P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/412437694

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Association of poor childhood fear conditioning and adult crime.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    Amygdala dysfunction is theorized to give rise to poor fear conditioning, which in turn predisposes to crime, but it is not known whether poor conditioning precedes criminal offending. This study prospectively assessed whether poor fear conditioning early in life predisposes to adult crime in a large cohort. Electrodermal fear conditioning was assessed in a cohort of 1,795 children at age 3, and registration for criminal offending was ascertained at age 23. In a case-control design, 137 cohort members with a criminal record were matched on gender, ethnicity, and social adversity with 274 noncriminal comparison members. Statistical analyses compared childhood fear conditioning for the two groups. Criminal offenders showed significantly reduced electrodermal fear conditioning at age 3 compared to matched comparison subjects. Poor fear conditioning at age 3 predisposes to crime at age 23. Poor fear conditioning early in life implicates amygdala and ventral prefrontal cortex dysfunction and a lack of fear of socializing punishments in children who grow up to become criminals. These findings are consistent with a neurodevelopmental contribution to crime causation.

  11. Modulation of cannabinoid signaling by hippocampal 5-HT4 serotonergic system in fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Farrahizadeh, Maryam; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-09-01

    Behavioral studies have suggested a key role for the cannabinoid system in the modulation of conditioned fear memory. Likewise, much of the literature has revealed that the serotonergic system affects Pavlovian fear conditioning and extinction. A high level of functional overlap between the serotonin and cannabinoid systems has also been reported. To clarify the interaction between the hippocampal serotonin (5-HT4) receptor and the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in the acquisition of fear memory, the effects of 5-HT4 agents, arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA; CB1 receptor agonist), and the combined use of these drugs on fear learning were studied in a fear conditioning task in adult male NMRI mice. Pre-training intraperitoneal administration of ACPA (0.1 mg/kg) decreased the percentage of freezing time in both context- and tone-dependent fear conditions, suggesting impairment of the acquisition of fear memory. Pre-training, intra-hippocampal (CA1) microinjection of RS67333, a 5-HT4 receptor agonist, at doses of 0.1 and 0.2 or 0.2 µg/mouse impaired contextual and tone fear memory, respectively. A subthreshold dose of RS67333 (0.005 µg/mouse) did not alter the ACPA response in either condition. Moreover, intra-CA1 microinjection of RS23597 as a 5-HT4 receptor antagonist did not alter context-dependent fear memory acquisition, but it did impair tone-dependent fear memory acquisition. However, a subthreshold dose of the RS23597 (0.01 µg/mouse) potentiated ACPA-induced fear memory impairment in both conditions. Therefore, we suggest that the blockade of hippocampal 5-HT4 serotonergic system modulates cannabinoid signaling induced by the activation of CB1 receptors in conditioned fear. © The Author(s) 2016.

  12. Systemic propranolol acts centrally to reduce conditioned fear in rats without impairing extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Romaguera, Jose; Sotres-Bayon, Francisco; Mueller, Devin; Quirk, Gregory J

    2009-05-15

    Previous work has implicated noradrenergic beta-receptors in the consolidation and reconsolidation of conditioned fear. Less is known, however, about their role in fear expression and extinction. The beta-receptor blocker propranolol has been used clinically to reduce anxiety. With an auditory fear conditioning task in rats, we assessed the effects of systemic propranolol on the expression and extinction of two measures of conditioned fear: freezing and suppression of bar-pressing. One day after receiving auditory fear conditioning, rats were injected with saline, propranolol, or peripheral beta-receptor blocker sotalol (both 10 mg/kg, IP). Twenty minutes after injection, rats were given either 6 or 12 extinction trials and were tested for extinction retention the following day. The effect of propranolol on the firing rate of neurons in prelimbic (PL) prefrontal cortex was also assessed. Propranolol reduced freezing by more than 50%, an effect that was evident from the first extinction trial. Suppression was also significantly reduced. Despite this, propranolol had no effect on the acquisition or retention of extinction. Unlike propranolol, sotalol did not affect fear expression, although both drugs significantly reduced heart rate. This suggests that propranolol acts centrally to reduce fear. Consistent with this, propranolol reduced the firing rate of PL neurons. Propranolol reduced the expression of conditioned fear, without interfering with extinction learning. Reduced fear with intact extinction suggests a possible use for propranolol in reducing anxiety during extinction-based exposure therapies, without interfering with long-term clinical response.

  13. Fear conditioning following a unilateral anterior temporal lobectomy: reduced autonomic responding and stimulus contingency knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppens, Evelien; van Paesschen, Wim; Vandenbulcke, Mathieu; Vansteenwegen, Debora

    2010-03-01

    Animal research demonstrated that during fear conditioning the amygdala plays a central role in forming an association between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US). Lesion studies conducted in patients who underwent a unilateral anterior temporal lobe resection, however; yielded contradictory findings. To date, it remains unclear whether amygdala damage only affects fear-conditioned startle responding or impairs both the latter and fear-conditioned skin conductance responding (SCR). Moreover inconsistency exists regarding the preservation of contingency knowledge in amygdala-damaged patients. In the current study, a differential fear conditioning task was presented to a unilaterally amygdala-damaged patient group and a healthy control group, recording fear-potentiated startle responses along with SCRs. Retrospectively, the valence of the CSs and contingency awareness was assessed. Unlike the control group, unilaterally amygdala-damaged patients showed neither in their SCRs nor in their valence ratings an effect of fear conditioning. The startle data, however, yielded in none of the two test groups fear-conditioned responding. Finally, considerably fewer patients (37.5%) than controls (95%) acquired correct memory of the presented contingency. Based on these findings we concluded that the fear conditioning impairment in amygdala-damaged patients was not restricted to SCRs, but also affected valence ratings and memory of the presented contingency. A broader theory of the amygdala as relevance detector is proposed in order to account for the diverse neurological findings obtained so far.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Abigail A

    2016-06-01

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

  15. LMFAO! Humor as a Response to Fear: Decomposing Fear Control within the Extended Parallel Process Model

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    Abril, Eulàlia P.; Szczypka, Glen; Emery, Sherry L.

    2017-01-01

    This study seeks to analyze fear control responses to the 2012 Tips from Former Smokers campaign using the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM). The goal is to examine the occurrence of ancillary fear control responses, like humor. In order to explore individuals’ responses in an organic setting, we use Twitter data—tweets—collected via the Firehose. Content analysis of relevant fear control tweets (N = 14,281) validated the existence of boomerang responses within the EPPM: denial, defensive avoidance, and reactance. More importantly, results showed that humor tweets were not only a significant occurrence but constituted the majority of fear control responses. PMID:29527092

  16. Revealing context-specific conditioned fear memories with full immersion virtual reality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole eHuff

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The extinction of conditioned fear is known to be context specific, and often referred to as more robustly contextually bound than the fear memory itself (Bouton, 2004. Yet, recent findings in rodents have challenged the notion that contextual fear retention is initially generalized. The context specificity of a cued-fear memory to the learning context has not been addressed in the human literature largely due to limitations in methodology. Here we adapt a novel technology to test the context specificity of cued fear conditioning using full immersion 3-dimensional virtual reality (VR. During acquisition training, healthy participants navigated through virtual environments containing dynamic snake and spider conditioned stimuli (CSs, one of which was paired with electrical wrist stimulation. During a 24-hour delayed retention test, one group returned to the same context as acquisition training whereas another group experienced the CSs in a novel context. Unconditioned stimulus (US expectancy ratings were assayed on-line during fear acquisition as an index of contingency awareness. Skin conductance responses (SCR time-locked to CS onset were the dependent measure of cued fear, and skin conductance levels during the interstimulus interval were an index of context fear. Findings indicate that early in acquisition training, participants express contingency awareness as well as differential contextual fear, whereas differential cued fear emerged later in acquisition. During the retention test, differential cued fear retention was enhanced in the group who returned to the same context as acquisition training relative to the context shift group. The results extend recent rodent work to illustrate differences in cued and context fear acquisition and the contextual specificity of recent fear memories. Findings support the use of full immersion VR as a novel tool in cognitive neuroscience to bridge rodent models of contextual phenomena underlying human

  17. Resting heart rate variability predicts safety learning and fear extinction in an interoceptive fear conditioning paradigm.

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    Meike Pappens

    Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate whether interindividual differences in autonomic inhibitory control predict safety learning and fear extinction in an interoceptive fear conditioning paradigm. Data from a previously reported study (N = 40 were extended (N = 17 and re-analyzed to test whether healthy participants' resting heart rate variability (HRV - a proxy of cardiac vagal tone - predicts learning performance. The conditioned stimulus (CS was a slight sensation of breathlessness induced by a flow resistor, the unconditioned stimulus (US was an aversive short-lasting suffocation experience induced by a complete occlusion of the breathing circuitry. During acquisition, the paired group received 6 paired CS-US presentations; the control group received 6 explicitly unpaired CS-US presentations. In the extinction phase, both groups were exposed to 6 CS-only presentations. Measures included startle blink EMG, skin conductance responses (SCR and US-expectancy ratings. Resting HRV significantly predicted the startle blink EMG learning curves both during acquisition and extinction. In the unpaired group, higher levels of HRV at rest predicted safety learning to the CS during acquisition. In the paired group, higher levels of HRV were associated with better extinction. Our findings suggest that the strength or integrity of prefrontal inhibitory mechanisms involved in safety- and extinction learning can be indexed by HRV at rest.

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

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    Yoshida Masayuki

    2012-10-01

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

  19. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in the conditioning and extinction of fear

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    Thomas Francis Giustino

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Once acquired, a fearful memory can persist for a lifetime. Although learned fear can be extinguished, extinction memories are fragile. The resilience of fear memories to extinction may contribute to the maintenance of disorders of fear and anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. As such, considerable effort has been placed on understanding the neural circuitry underlying the acquisition, expression, and extinction of emotional memories in rodent models as well as in humans. A triad of brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala, form an essential brain circuit involved in fear conditioning and extinction. Within this circuit, the prefrontal cortex is thought to exert top-down control over subcortical structures to regulate appropriate behavioral responses. Importantly, a division of labor has been proposed in which the prelimbic (PL and infralimbic (IL subdivisions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC regulate the expression and suppression of fear in rodents, respectively. Here we critically review the anatomical and physiological evidence that has led to this proposed dichotomy of function within mPFC. We propose that under some conditions, the PL and IL act in concert, exhibiting similar patterns of neural activity in response to aversive conditioned stimuli and during the expression or inhibition of conditioned fear. This may stem from common synaptic inputs, parallel downstream outputs, or cortico-cortical interactions. Despite this functional covariation, these mPFC subdivisions may still be coding for largely opposing behavioral outcomes, with PL biased towards fear expression and IL towards suppression.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Psychopaths show enhanced amygdala activation during fear conditioning

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    Douglas eSchultz

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by emotional deficits and a failure to inhibit impulsive behavior and is often subdivided into primary and secondary psychopathic subtypes. The maladaptive behavior related to primary psychopathy is thought to reflect constitutional fearlessness, while the problematic behavior related to secondary psychopathy is motivated by other factors. The fearlessness observed in psychopathy has often been interpreted as reflecting a fundamental deficit in amygdala function, and previous studies have provided support for a low-fear model of psychopathy. However, many of these studies fail to use appropriate screening procedures, use liberal inclusion criteria, or have used unconventional approaches to assay amygdala function. We measured brain activity with BOLD imaging in primary and secondary psychopaths and non-psychopathic control subjects during Pavlovian fear conditioning. In contrast to the low-fear model, we observed normal fear expression in primary psychopaths. Psychopaths also displayed greater differential BOLD activity in the amygdala relative to matched controls. Inverse patterns of activity were observed in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC for primary versus secondary psychopaths. Primary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in the dorsal and ventral ACC consistent with enhanced fear expression, while secondary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in these regions consistent with fear inhibition. These results contradict the low-fear model of psychopathy and suggest that the low fear observed for psychopaths in previous studies may be specific to secondary psychopaths.

  2. Human fear conditioning conducted in full immersion 3-dimensional virtual reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huff, Nicole C; Zeilinski, David J; Fecteau, Matthew E; Brady, Rachael; LaBar, Kevin S

    2010-08-09

    conditioning and extinction parameters to yield empirical data that can suggest better treatment options and/or analyze mechanistic hypotheses. In order to test the hypothesis that fear conditioning may be richly encoded and context specific when conducted in a fully immersive environment, we developed distinct virtual reality 3-D contexts in which participants experienced fear conditioning to virtual snakes or spiders. Auditory cues co-occurred with the CS in order to further evoke orienting responses and a feeling of "presence" in subjects. Skin conductance response served as the dependent measure of fear acquisition, memory retention and extinction.

  3. Extinction of Conditioned Fear is Better Learned and Recalled in the Morning than in the Evening

    OpenAIRE

    Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Spencer, Rebecca M.C.; Vijayakumar, Shilpa; Ahmed, Nafis; Verga, Patrick W.; Orr, Scott P.; Pitman, Roger K.; Milad, Mohammed R.

    2013-01-01

    Sleep helps emotional memories consolidate and may promote generalization of fear extinction memory. We examined whether extinction learning and memory might differ in the morning and evening due, potentially, to circadian and/or sleep-homeostatic factors. Healthy men (N=109) in 6 groups completed a 2-session protocol. In Session 1, fear conditioning was followed by extinction learning. Partial reinforcement with mild electric shock produced conditioned skin conductance responses (SCR) to 2 d...

  4. 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.

  5. Segregated populations of hippocampal principal CA1 neurons mediating conditioning and extinction of contextual fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tronson, Natalie C; Schrick, Christina; Guzman, Yomayra F; Huh, Kyu Hwan; Srivastava, Deepak P; Penzes, Peter; Guedea, Anita L; Gao, Can; Radulovic, Jelena

    2009-03-18

    Learning processes mediating conditioning and extinction of contextual fear require activation of several key signaling pathways in the hippocampus. Principal hippocampal CA1 neurons respond to fear conditioning by a coordinated activation of multiple protein kinases and immediate early genes, such as cFos, enabling rapid and lasting consolidation of contextual fear memory. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) additionally acts as a central mediator of fear extinction. It is not known however, whether these molecular events take place in overlapping or nonoverlapping neuronal populations. By using mouse models of conditioning and extinction of fear, we set out to determine the time course of cFos and Erk activity, their cellular overlap, and regulation by afferent cholinergic input from the medial septum. Analyses of cFos(+) and pErk(+) cells by immunofluorescence revealed predominant nuclear activation of either protein during conditioning and extinction of fear, respectively. Transgenic cFos-LacZ mice were further used to label in vivo Fos(+) hippocampal cells during conditioning followed by pErk immunostaining after extinction. The results showed that these signaling molecules were activated in segregated populations of hippocampal principal neurons. Furthermore, immunotoxin-induced lesions of medial septal neurons, providing cholinergic input into the hippocampus, selectively abolished Erk activation and extinction of fear without affecting cFos responses and conditioning. These results demonstrate that extinction mechanisms based on Erk signaling involve a specific population of CA1 principal neurons distinctively regulated by afferent cholinergic input from the medial septum.

  6. An Appetitive Conditioned Stimulus Enhances Fear Acquisition and Impairs Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Four experiments used between- and within-subject designs to examine appetitive-aversive interactions in rats. Experiments 1 and 2 examined the effect of an excitatory appetitive conditioned stimulus (CS) on acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear. In Experiment 1, a CS shocked in a compound with an appetitive excitor (i.e., a stimulus…

  7. An organization of visual and auditory fear conditioning in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstrom, Hadley C; Johnson, Luke R

    2014-12-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is an evolutionary conserved and extensively studied form of associative learning and memory. In mammals, the lateral amygdala (LA) is an essential locus for Pavlovian fear learning and memory. Despite significant progress unraveling the cellular mechanisms responsible for fear conditioning, very little is known about the anatomical organization of neurons encoding fear conditioning in the LA. One key question is how fear conditioning to different sensory stimuli is organized in LA neuronal ensembles. Here we show that Pavlovian fear conditioning, formed through either the auditory or visual sensory modality, activates a similar density of LA neurons expressing a learning-induced phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK1/2). While the size of the neuron population specific to either memory was similar, the anatomical distribution differed. Several discrete sites in the LA contained a small but significant number of p-ERK1/2-expressing neurons specific to either sensory modality. The sites were anatomically localized to different levels of the longitudinal plane and were independent of both memory strength and the relative size of the activated neuronal population, suggesting some portion of the memory trace for auditory and visually cued fear conditioning is allocated differently in the LA. Presenting the visual stimulus by itself did not activate the same p-ERK1/2 neuron density or pattern, confirming the novelty of light alone cannot account for the specific pattern of activated neurons after visual fear conditioning. Together, these findings reveal an anatomical distribution of visual and auditory fear conditioning at the level of neuronal ensembles in the LA. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    Although fear conditioning is an important psychological construct implicated in behavioral and emotional problems, little is known about how it develops in early childhood. Using a differential, partial reinforcement conditioning paradigm, this longitudinal study assessed skin conductance conditioned responses in 200 children at ages 3, 4, 5, 6,…

  9. Effects of chemogenetic excitation or inhibition of the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray on the acquisition and extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arico, Carolyn; Bagley, Elena E; Carrive, Pascal; Assareh, Neda; McNally, Gavan P

    2017-10-01

    The midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) has been implicated in the generation and transmission of a prediction error signal that instructs amygdala-based fear and extinction learning. However, the PAG also plays a key role in the expression of conditioned fear responses. The evidence for a role of the PAG in fear learning and extinction learning has been obtained almost exclusively using PAG-dependent fear responses. It is less clear whether the PAG regulates fear learning when other measures of learned fear are used. Here we combined a chemogenetic approach, permitting excitation or inhibition of neurons in the ventrolateral PAG (VLPAG), with conditioned suppression as the measure of learned fear to assess the role of VLPAG in the acquisition and extinction of fear learning. We show that chemogenetic excitation of VLPAG (with some encroachment on lateral PAG [LPAG]) impairs acquisition of fear and, conversely, chemogenetic inhibition impairs extinction of fear. These effects on fear and extinction learning were specific to the combination of DREADD expression and injection of CNO because they were observed relative to both eYFP controls injected with CNO as well as DREADD expressing controls injected with vehicle. Taken together, these results show that activity of L/VLPAG neurons regulates both the acquisition and extinction of Pavlovian fear learning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

    Learning and memory for extinction of conditioned fear is a basic mammalian mechanism for regulating negative emotion. Sleep promotes both the consolidation of memory and the regulation of emotion. Sleep can influence consolidation and modification of memories associated with both fear and its extinction. After brief overviews of the behavior and neural circuitry associated with fear conditioning, extinction learning, and extinction memory in the rodent and human, interactions of sleep with these processes will be examined. Animal and human studies suggest that sleep can serve to consolidate both fear and extinction memory. In humans, sleep also promotes generalization of extinction memory. Time-of-day effects on extinction learning and generalization are also seen. Rapid eye movement (REM) may be a sleep stage of particular importance for the consolidation of both fear and extinction memory as evidenced by selective REM deprivation experiments. REM sleep is accompanied by selective activation of the same limbic structures implicated in the learning and memory of fear and extinction. Preliminary evidence also suggests extinction learning can take place during slow wave sleep. Study of low-level processes such as conditioning, extinction, and habituation may allow sleep effects on emotional memory to be identified and inform study of sleep's effects on more complex, emotionally salient declarative memories. Anxiety disorders are marked by impairments of both sleep and extinction memory. Improving sleep quality may ameliorate anxiety disorders by strengthening naturally acquired extinction. Strategically timed sleep may be used to enhance treatment of anxiety by strengthening therapeutic extinction learned via exposure therapy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Influence of stress on fear memory processes in an aversive differential conditioning paradigm in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentz, Dorothée; Michael, Tanja; Wilhelm, Frank H; Hartmann, Francina R; Kunz, Sabrina; von Rohr, Isabelle R Rudolf; de Quervain, Dominique J-F

    2013-07-01

    It is widely assumed that learning and memory processes play an important role in the pathogenesis, expression, maintenance and therapy of anxiety disorders, such as phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Memory retrieval is involved in symptom expression and maintenance of these disorders, while memory extinction is believed to be the underlying mechanism of behavioral exposure therapy of anxiety disorders. There is abundant evidence that stress and stress hormones can reduce memory retrieval of emotional information, whereas they enhance memory consolidation of extinction training. In this study we aimed at investigating if stress affects these memory processes in a fear conditioning paradigm in healthy human subjects. On day 1, fear memory was acquired through a standard differential fear conditioning procedure. On day 2 (24h after fear acquisition), participants either underwent a stressful cold pressor test (CPT) or a control condition, 20 min before memory retrieval testing and extinction training. Possible prolonged effects of the stress manipulation were investigated on day 3 (48 h after fear acquisition), when memory retrieval and extinction were tested again. On day 2, men in the stress group showed a robust cortisol response to stress and showed lower unconditioned stimulus (US) expectancy ratings than men in the control group. This reduction in fear memory retrieval was maintained on day 3. In women, who showed a significantly smaller cortisol response to stress than men, no stress effects on fear memory retrieval were observed. No group differences were observed with respect to extinction. In conclusion, the present study provides evidence that stress can reduce memory retrieval of conditioned fear in men. Our findings may contribute to the understanding of the effects of stress and glucocorticoids on fear symptoms in anxiety disorders and suggest that such effects may be sex-specific. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The Acquisition and Extinction of Fear of Painful Touch: a Novel Tactile Fear Conditioning Paradigm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biggs, Emma E; Meulders, Ann; Kaas, Amanda L; Goebel, R.; Vlaeyen, Johan W S

    2017-01-01

    Fear of touch, due to allodynia and spontaneous pain, is not well-understood. Experimental methods to advance this topic are lacking, and therefore we propose a novel tactile conditioning paradigm. Seventy-six pain-free participants underwent acquisition in both a predictable and unpredictable pain

  13. Maltreatment Exposure, Brain Structure, and Fear Conditioning in Children and Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, Katie A; Sheridan, Margaret A; Gold, Andrea L; Duys, Andrea; Lambert, Hilary K; Peverill, Matthew; Heleniak, Charlotte; Shechner, Tomer; Wojcieszak, Zuzanna; Pine, Daniel S

    2016-07-01

    Alterations in learning processes and the neural circuitry that supports fear conditioning and extinction represent mechanisms through which trauma exposure might influence risk for psychopathology. Few studies examine how trauma or neural structure relates to fear conditioning in children. Children (n=94) aged 6-18 years, 40.4% (n=38) with exposure to maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, or domestic violence), completed a fear conditioning paradigm utilizing blue and yellow bells as conditioned stimuli (CS+/CS-) and an aversive alarm noise as the unconditioned stimulus. Skin conductance responses (SCR) and self-reported fear were acquired. Magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 60 children. Children without maltreatment exposure exhibited strong differential conditioning to the CS+ vs CS-, based on SCR and self-reported fear. In contrast, maltreated children exhibited blunted SCR to the CS+ and failed to exhibit differential SCR to the CS+ vs CS- during early conditioning. Amygdala and hippocampal volume were reduced among children with maltreatment exposure and were negatively associated with SCR to the CS+ during early conditioning in the total sample, although these associations were negative only among non-maltreated children and were positive among maltreated children. The association of maltreatment with externalizing psychopathology was mediated by this perturbed pattern of fear conditioning. Child maltreatment is associated with failure to discriminate between threat and safety cues during fear conditioning in children. Poor threat-safety discrimination might reflect either enhanced fear generalization or a deficit in associative learning, which may in turn represent a central mechanism underlying the development of maltreatment-related externalizing psychopathology in children.

  14. 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.

  15. The influence of acute stress on the regulation of conditioned fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Candace M. Raio

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Fear learning and regulation is a prominent model for describing the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders and stress-related psychopathology. Fear expression can be modulated using a number of regulatory strategies, including extinction, cognitive emotion regulation, avoidance strategies and reconsolidation. In this review, we examine research investigating the effects of acute stress and stress hormones on these regulatory techniques. We focus on what is known about the impact of stress on the ability to flexibly regulate fear responses that are acquired through Pavlovian fear conditioning. Our primary aim is to explore the impact of stress on fear regulation in humans. Given this, we focus on techniques where stress has been linked to alterations of fear regulation in humans (extinction and emotion regulation, and briefly discuss other techniques (avoidance and reconsolidation where the impact of stress or stress hormones have been mainly explored in animal models. These investigations reveal that acute stress may impair the persistent inhibition of fear, presumably by altering prefrontal cortex function. Characterizing the effects of stress on fear regulation is critical for understanding the boundaries within which existing regulation strategies are viable in everyday life and can better inform treatment options for those who suffer from anxiety and stress-related psychopathology.

  16. Modulation of cannabinoid signaling by amygdala α2-adrenergic system in fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Zamanparvar, Majid; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-03-01

    The noradrenergic system plays a critical role in the modulation of emotional state, primarily related to anxiety, arousal, and stress. Growing evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system mediates stress responses and emotional homeostasis, in part, by targeting noradrenergic circuits. In addition, there is an interaction between the cannabinoid and noradrenergic system that has significant functional and behavioral implications. Considering the importance of these systems in forming memories for fearful events, we have investigated the involvement of basolateral amygdala (BLA) α2-adrenoceptors on ACPA (as selective cannabinoid CB1 agonist)-induced inhibition of the acquisition of contextual and auditory conditioned fear. A contextual and auditory fear conditioning apparatus for assess fear memory in adult male NMRI mice was used. Pre-training, intraperitoneal administration of ACPA decreased the percentage freezing time in contextual (at doses of 0.05 and 0.1mg/kg) and auditory (at dose of 0.1 mg/kg) in the fear conditioning task, indicating memory acquisition deficit. The same result was observed with intra-BLA microinjection of clonidine (0.001-0.5 μg/mouse, for both memories), as α2-adrenoceptor agonist and yohimbine (at doses of 0.005 and 0.05 for contextual and at dose of 0.05 μg/mouse for auditory fear memory), as α2-adrenoceptor antagonist. In addition, intra-BLA microinjection of clonidine (0.0005 μg/mouse) did not alter ACPA response in both conditions, while the same dose of yohimbine potentiated ACPA response at the lower dose on contextual fear memory. It is concluded that BLA α2-adrenergic receptors may be involved in context- but not tone-dependent fear memory impairment induced by activation of CB1 receptors. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. The impact of a context switch and context instructions on the return of verbally conditioned fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mertens, Gaëtan; De Houwer, Jan

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Repeated exposure to a conditioned stimulus can lead to a reduction of conditioned fear responses towards this stimulus (i.e., extinction). However, this reduction is often fragile and sensitive to contextual changes. In the current study, we investigated whether

  20. Prior fear conditioning does not impede enhanced active avoidance in serotonin transporter knockout rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schipper, Pieter; Henckens, Marloes J A G; Borghans, Bart; Hiemstra, Marlies; Kozicz, Tamas; Homberg, Judith R

    2017-05-30

    Stressors can be actively or passively coped with, and adequate adaption of the coping response to environmental conditions can reduce their potential deleterious effects. One major factor influencing stress coping behaviour is serotonin transporter (5-HTT) availability. Abolishment of 5-HTT is known to impair fear extinction but facilitates acquisition of signalled active avoidance (AA), a behavioural task in which an animal learns to avoid an aversive stimulus that is predicted by a cue. Flexibility in adapting coping behaviour to the nature of the stressor shapes resilience to stress-related disorders. Therefore, we investigated the relation between 5-HTT expression and ability to adapt a learned coping response to changing environmental conditions. To this end, we first established and consolidated a cue-conditioned passive fear response in 5-HTT -/- and wildtype rats. Next, we used the conditioned stimulus (CS) to signal oncoming shocks during signalled AA training in 5-HTT -/- and wildtype rats to study their capability to acquire an active coping response to the CS following fear conditioning. Finally, we investigated the behavioural response to the CS in a novel environment and measured freezing, exploration and self-grooming, behaviours reflective of stress coping strategy. We found that fear conditioned and sham conditioned 5-HTT -/- animals acquired the signalled AA response faster than wildtypes, while prior conditioning briefly delayed AA learning similarly in both genotypes. Subsequent exposure to the CS in the novel context reduced freezing and increased locomotion in 5-HTT -/- compared to wildtype rats. This indicates that improved AA performance in 5-HTT -/- rats resulted in a weaker residual passive fear response to the CS in a novel context. Fear conditioning prior to AA training did not affect freezing upon re-encountering the CS, although it did reduce locomotion in 5-HTT -/- rats. We conclude that independent of 5-HTT signalling, prior fear

  1. Contextual Change After Fear Acquisition Affects Conditioned Responding and the Time Course of Extinction Learning-Implications for Renewal Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjouwerman, Rachel; Niehaus, Johanna; Lonsdorf, Tina B

    2015-01-01

    Context plays a central role in retrieving (fear) memories. Accordingly, context manipulations are inherent to most return of fear (ROF) paradigms (in particular renewal), involving contextual changes after fear extinction. Context changes are, however, also often embedded during earlier stages of ROF experiments such as context changes between fear acquisition and extinction (e.g., in ABC and ABA renewal). Previous studies using these paradigms have however focused exclusively on the context switch after extinction (i.e., renewal). Thus, the possibility of a general effect of context switch on conditioned responding that may not be conditional to preceding extinction learning remains unstudied. Hence, the current study investigated the impact of a context switch between fear acquisition and extinction on immediate conditioned responding and on the time-course of extinction learning by using a multimodal approach. A group that underwent contextual change after fear conditioning (AB; n = 36) was compared with a group without a contextual change from acquisition to extinction (AA; n = 149), while measuring physiological (skin conductance and fear potentiated startle) measures and subjective fear ratings. Contextual change between fear acquisition and extinction had a pronounced effect on both immediate conditioned responding and on the time course of extinction learning in skin conductance responses and subjective fear ratings. This may have important implications for the mechanisms underlying and the interpretation of the renewal effect (i.e., contextual switch after extinction). Consequently, future studies should incorporate designs and statistical tests that disentangle general effects of contextual change from genuine ROF effects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

    The so-called 'replicability crisis' has sparked methodological discussions in many areas of science in general, and in psychology in particular. This has led to recent endeavours to promote the transparency, rigour, and ultimately, replicability of research. Originating from this zeitgeist, the challenge to discuss critical issues on terminology, design, methods, and analysis considerations in fear conditioning research is taken up by this work, which involved representatives from fourteen of the major human fear conditioning laboratories in Europe. This compendium is intended to provide a basis for the development of a common procedural and terminology framework for the field of human fear conditioning. Whenever possible, we give general recommendations. When this is not feasible, we provide evidence-based guidance for methodological decisions on study design, outcome measures, and analyses. Importantly, this work is also intended to raise awareness and initiate discussions on crucial questions with respect to data collection, processing, statistical analyses, the impact of subtle procedural changes, and data reporting specifically tailored to the research on fear conditioning. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Fear Conditioning Downregulates Rac1 Activity in the Basolateral Amygdala Astrocytes to Facilitate the Formation of Fear Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Zhaohui; Tao, Yezheng; Guo, Xiaomu; Cheng, Deqin; Wang, Feifei; Liu, Xing; Ma, Lan

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes are well known to scale synaptic structural and functional plasticity, while the role in learning and memory, such as conditioned fear memory, is poorly elucidated. Here, using pharmacological approach, we find that fluorocitrate (FC) significantly inhibits the acquisition of fear memory, suggesting that astrocyte activity is required for fear memory formation. We further demonstrate that fear conditioning downregulates astrocytic Rac1 activity in basolateral amygdala (BLA) in mice and promotes astrocyte structural plasticity. Ablation of astrocytic Rac1 in BLA promotes fear memory acquisition, while overexpression or constitutive activation of astrocytic Rac1 attenuates fear memory acquisition. Furthermore, temporal activation of Rac1 by photoactivatable Rac1 (Rac1-PA) induces structural alterations in astrocytes and in vivo activation of Rac1 in BLA astrocytes during fear conditioning attenuates the formation of fear memory. Taken together, our study demonstrates that fear conditioning-induced suppression of BLA astrocytic Rac1 activity, associated with astrocyte structural plasticity, is required for the formation of conditioned fear memory.

  4. Contribution of Hippocampal 5-HT3 Receptors in Hippocampal Autophagy and Extinction of Conditioned Fear Responses after a Single Prolonged Stress Exposure in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Zhong-Min; Yang, Li-Hua; Cui, Rong; Ni, Gui-Lian; Wu, Feng-Tian; Liang, Yong

    2017-05-01

    One of the hypotheses about the pathogenesis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the dysfunction of serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission. While certain 5-HT receptor subtypes are likely critical for the symptoms of PTSD, few studies have examined the role of 5-HT 3 receptor in the development of PTSD, even though 5-HT 3 receptor is critical for contextual fear extinction and anxiety-like behavior. Therefore, we hypothesized that stimulation of 5-HT 3 receptor in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) could prevent hippocampal autophagy and the development of PTSD-like behavior in animals. To this end, we infused SR57227, selective 5-HT 3 agonist, into the DH after a single prolonged stress (SPS) treatment in rats. Three weeks later, we evaluated the effects of this pharmacological treatment on anxiety-related behaviors and extinction of contextual fear memory. We also accessed hippocampal autophagy and the expression of 5-HT 3A subunit, Beclin-1, LC3-I, and LC3-II in the DH. We found that SPS treatment did not alter anxiety-related behaviors but prolonged the extinction of contextual fear memory, and such a behavioral phenomenon was correlated with increased hippocampal autophagy, decreased 5-HT 3A expression, and increased expression of Beclin-1 and LC3-II/LC3-I ratio in the DH. Furthermore, intraDH infusions of SR57227 dose-dependently promoted the extinction of contextual fear memory, prevented hippocampal autophagy, and decreased expression of Beclin-1 and LC3-II/LC3-I ratio in the DH. These results indicated that 5-HT 3 receptor in the hippocampus may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of hippocampal autophagy, and is likely involved in the pathophysiology of PTSD.

  5. Contribution of estradiol levels and hormonal contraceptives to sex differences within the fear network during fear conditioning and extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Moon Jung; Zsido, Rachel G; Song, Huijin; Pace-Schott, Edward F; Miller, Karen Klahr; Lebron-Milad, Kelimer; Marin, Marie-France; Milad, Mohammed R

    2015-11-18

    Findings about sex differences in the field of fear conditioning and fear extinction have been mixed. At the psychophysiological level, sex differences emerge only when taking estradiol levels of women into consideration. This suggests that this hormone may also influence sex differences with regards to activations of brain regions involved in fear conditioning and its extinction. Importantly, the neurobiological correlates associated with the use of hormonal oral contraceptives in women have not been fully contrasted against men and against naturally cycling women with different levels of estradiol. In this study, we begin to fill these scientific gaps. We recruited 37 healthy men and 48 healthy women. Of these women, 16 were using oral contraceptives (OC) and 32 were naturally cycling. For these naturally cycling women, a median split was performed on their serum estradiol levels to create a high estradiol (HE) group (n = 16) and a low estradiol (LE) group (n = 16). All participants underwent a 2-day fear conditioning and extinction paradigm in a 3 T MR scanner. Using the 4 groups (men, HE women, LE women, and OC users) and controlling for age and coil type, one-way ANCOVAs were performed to look at significant activations within the nodes of the fear circuit. Using post-hoc analyses, beta-weights were extracted in brain regions showing significant effects in order to unveil the differences based on hormonal status (men, HE, LE, OC). Significant main effect of hormonal status group was found across the different phases of the experiment and in different sub-regions of the insular and cingulate cortices, amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. During conditioning, extinction and recall, most of the observed differences suggested higher activations among HE women relative to men. During the unconditioned response, however, a different pattern was observed with men showing significantly higher brain activations. Our data further support the important contribution

  6. From Pavlov to PTSD: The extinction of conditioned fear in rodents, humans, and in anxiety disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanElzakker, Michael B.; Dahlgren, M. Kathryn; Davis, F. Caroline; Dubois, Stacey; Shin, Lisa M.

    2014-01-01

    Nearly 100 years ago, Ivan Pavlov demonstrated that dogs could learn to use a neutral cue to predict a biologically relevant event: after repeated predictive pairings, Pavlov's dogs were conditioned to anticipate food at the sound of a bell, which caused them to salivate. Like sustenance, danger is biologically relevant, and neutral cues can take on great salience when they predict a threat to survival. In anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this type of conditioned fear fails to extinguish, and reminders of traumatic events can cause pathological conditioned fear responses for decades after danger has passed. In this review, we use fear conditioning and extinction studies to draw a direct line from Pavlov to PTSD and other anxiety disorders. We explain how rodent studies have informed neuroimaging studies of healthy humans and humans with PTSD. We describe several genes that have been linked to both PTSD and fear conditioning and extinction and explain how abnormalities in fear conditioning or extinction may reflect a general biomarker of anxiety disorders. Finally, we explore drug and neuromodulation treatments that may enhance therapeutic extinction in anxiety disorders. PMID:24321650

  7. From Pavlov to PTSD: the extinction of conditioned fear in rodents, humans, and anxiety disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanElzakker, Michael B; Dahlgren, M Kathryn; Davis, F Caroline; Dubois, Stacey; Shin, Lisa M

    2014-09-01

    Nearly 100 years ago, Ivan Pavlov demonstrated that dogs could learn to use a neutral cue to predict a biologically relevant event: after repeated predictive pairings, Pavlov's dogs were conditioned to anticipate food at the sound of a bell, which caused them to salivate. Like sustenance, danger is biologically relevant, and neutral cues can take on great salience when they predict a threat to survival. In anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this type of conditioned fear fails to extinguish, and reminders of traumatic events can cause pathological conditioned fear responses for decades after danger has passed. In this review, we use fear conditioning and extinction studies to draw a direct line from Pavlov to PTSD and other anxiety disorders. We explain how rodent studies have informed neuroimaging studies of healthy humans and humans with PTSD. We describe several genes that have been linked to both PTSD and fear conditioning and extinction and explain how abnormalities in fear conditioning or extinction may reflect a general biomarker of anxiety disorders. Finally, we explore drug and neuromodulation treatments that may enhance therapeutic extinction in anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Contextual fear conditioning in virtual reality is affected by 5HTTLPR and NPSR1 polymorphisms: effects on fear-potentiated startle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyn eGlotzbach-Schoon

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The serotonin (5-HT and neuropeptide S (NPS systems are discussed as important genetic modulators of fear and sustained anxiety contributing to the etiology of anxiety disorders. Sustained anxiety is a crucial characteristic of most anxiety disorders which likely develops through context conditioning. This study investigated if and how genetic alterations of the 5-HT and the NPS systems as well as their interaction modulate contextual fear conditioning; specifically, function polymorphic variants in the genes coding for the 5-HT transporter (5HTT and the NPS receptor (NPSR1 were studied. A large group of healthy volunteers was therefore stratified for 5HTTLPR (S+ vs. LL carriers and NPSR1 rs324981 (T+ vs. AA carriers polymorphisms resulting in four genotype groups (S+/T+, S+/AA, LL/T+, LL/AA of 20 participants each. All participants underwent contextual fear conditioning and extinction using a virtual reality paradigm. During acquisition, one virtual office room (anxiety context, CXT+ was paired with an unpredictable electric stimulus (unconditioned stimulus, US, whereas another virtual office room was not paired with any US (safety context, CXT-. During extinction no US was administered. Anxiety responses were quantified by fear-potentiated startle and ratings. Most importantly, we found a gene × gene interaction on fear-potentiated startle. Only carriers of both risk alleles (S+/T+ exhibited higher startle responses in CXT+ compared to CXT-. In contrast, anxiety ratings were only influenced by the NPSR1 polymorphism with AA carriers showing higher anxiety ratings in CXT+ as compared to CXT-. Our results speak in favor of a two level account of fear conditioning with diverging effects on implicit vs. explicit fear responses. Contextual fear reflected in potentiated startle responses may be an endophenotype for anxiety disorders.

  9. Fear of violence during armed conflict: Social roles and responsibilities as determinants of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Nathalie E; Ghimire, Dirgha; Snedker, Karen A

    2018-03-01

    This article investigates the prevalence and determinants of fear as a consequence of living through armed conflict. We use survey data from Nepal during the armed conflict (1996-2006) to examine how trauma, sex and gender, age, marriage, and household size affect fear of violence. We also disaggregate types of worry, and find substantial variance on whether respondents were more concerned about livelihood consequences of conflict than physical danger. We supplement quantitative analyses with discussion of in-depth interviews from the study area on these same topics. Overall, our results highlight the enduring impact of gender roles in Nepal and that conflict might disproportionately affect those who are already vulnerable and have greater social responsibilities. This article provides a unique comparison between fear of violence during armed conflict in a low-income country to the fear of crime literature based in high-income countries. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Involvement of the prelimbic cortex in contextual fear conditioning with temporal and spatial discontinuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Thays Brenner; Kramer-Soares, Juliana Carlota; Favaro, Vanessa Manchim; Oliveira, Maria Gabriela Menezes

    2017-10-01

    Time plays an important role in conditioning, it is not only possible to associate stimuli with events that overlap, as in delay fear conditioning, but it is also possible to associate stimuli that are discontinuous in time, as shown in trace conditioning for a discrete stimuli. The environment itself can be a powerful conditioned stimulus (CS) and be associated to unconditioned stimulus (US). Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine the parameters in which contextual fear conditioning occurs by the maintenance of a contextual representation over short and long time intervals. The results showed that a contextual representation can be maintained and associated after 5s, even in the absence of a 15s re-exposure to the training context before US delivery. The same effect was not observed with a 24h interval of discontinuity. Furthermore, optimal conditioned response with a 5s interval is produced only when the contexts (of pre-exposure and shock) match. As the pre-limbic cortex (PL) is necessary for the maintenance of a continuous representation of a stimulus, the involvement of the PL in this temporal and contextual processing was investigated. The reversible inactivation of the PL by muscimol infusion impaired the acquisition of contextual fear conditioning with a 5s interval, but not with a 24h interval, and did not impair delay fear conditioning. The data provided evidence that short and long intervals of discontinuity have different mechanisms, thus contributing to a better understanding of PL involvement in contextual fear conditioning and providing a model that considers both temporal and contextual factors in fear conditioning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Noradrenergic enhancement of amygdala responses to fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Onur, Oezguer A; Walter, Henrik; Schlaepfer, Thomas E; Rehme, Anne K; Schmidt, Christoph; Keysers, Christian; Maier, Wolfgang; Hurlemann, René

    Multiple lines of evidence implicate the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the noradrenergic (norepinephrine, NE) system in responding to stressful stimuli such as fear signals, suggesting hyperfunction of both in the development of stress-related pathologies including anxiety disorders. However, no

  12. Blockade of Dopamine Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Impairs Learning Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holtzman-Assif, Orit; Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments used rats to investigate the role of dopamine activity in learning to inhibit conditioned fear responses (freezing) in extinction. In Experiment 1, rats systemically injected with the D2 dopamine antagonist, haloperidol, froze more across multiple extinction sessions and on a drug-free retention test than control rats. In…

  13. Evaluation of treatment related fear using a newly developed fear scale for children: "Fear assessment picture scale" and its association with physiological response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwari, Nishidha; Tiwari, Shilpi; Thakur, Ruchi; Agrawal, Nikita; Shashikiran, N D; Singla, Shilpy

    2015-01-01

    Dental treatment is usually a poignant phenomenon for children. Projective scales are preferred over psychometric scales to recognize it, and to obtain the self-report from children. The aims were to evaluate treatment related fear using a newly developed fear scale for children, fear assessment picture scale (FAPS), and anxiety with colored version of modified facial affective scale (MFAS) - three faces along with physiologic responses (pulse rate and oxygen saturation) obtained by pulse oximeter before and during pulpectomy procedure. Total, 60 children of age 6-8 years who were visiting the dental hospital for the first time and needed pulpectomy treatment were selected. Children selected were of sound physical, physiological, and mental condition. Two projective scales were used; one to assess fear - FAPS and to assess anxiety - colored version of MFAS - three faces. These were co-related with the physiological responses (oxygen saturation and pulse rate) of children obtained by pulse oximeter before and during the pulpectomy procedure. Shapiro-Wilk test, McNemar's test, Wilcoxon signed ranks test, Kruskal-Wallis test, Mann-Whitney test were applied in the study. The physiological responses showed association with FAPS and MFAS though not significant. However, oxygen saturation with MFAS showed a significant change between "no anxiety" and "some anxiety" as quantified by Kruskal-Wallis test value 6.287, P = 0.043 (test is easy and fast to apply on children and reduces the chair-side time.

  14. Muscarinic receptors in amygdala control trace fear conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amber N Baysinger

    Full Text Available Intelligent behavior requires transient memory, which entails the ability to retain information over short time periods. A newly-emerging hypothesis posits that endogenous persistent firing (EPF is the neurophysiological foundation for aspects or types of transient memory. EPF is enabled by the activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs and is triggered by suprathreshold stimulation. EPF occurs in several brain regions, including the lateral amygdala (LA. The present study examined the role of amygdalar mAChRs in trace fear conditioning, a paradigm that requires transient memory. If mAChR-dependent EPF selectively supports transient memory, then blocking amygdalar mAChRs should impair trace conditioning, while sparing delay and context conditioning, which presumably do not rely upon transient memory. To test the EPF hypothesis, LA was bilaterally infused, prior to trace or delay conditioning, with either a mAChR antagonist (scopolamine or saline. Computerized video analysis quantified the amount of freezing elicited by the cue and by the training context. Scopolamine infusion profoundly reduced freezing in the trace conditioning group but had no significant effect on delay or context conditioning. This pattern of results was uniquely anticipated by the EPF hypothesis. The present findings are discussed in terms of a systems-level theory of how EPF in LA and several other brain regions might help support trace fear conditioning.

  15. Muscarinic receptors in amygdala control trace fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baysinger, Amber N; Kent, Brianne A; Brown, Thomas H

    2012-01-01

    Intelligent behavior requires transient memory, which entails the ability to retain information over short time periods. A newly-emerging hypothesis posits that endogenous persistent firing (EPF) is the neurophysiological foundation for aspects or types of transient memory. EPF is enabled by the activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) and is triggered by suprathreshold stimulation. EPF occurs in several brain regions, including the lateral amygdala (LA). The present study examined the role of amygdalar mAChRs in trace fear conditioning, a paradigm that requires transient memory. If mAChR-dependent EPF selectively supports transient memory, then blocking amygdalar mAChRs should impair trace conditioning, while sparing delay and context conditioning, which presumably do not rely upon transient memory. To test the EPF hypothesis, LA was bilaterally infused, prior to trace or delay conditioning, with either a mAChR antagonist (scopolamine) or saline. Computerized video analysis quantified the amount of freezing elicited by the cue and by the training context. Scopolamine infusion profoundly reduced freezing in the trace conditioning group but had no significant effect on delay or context conditioning. This pattern of results was uniquely anticipated by the EPF hypothesis. The present findings are discussed in terms of a systems-level theory of how EPF in LA and several other brain regions might help support trace fear conditioning.

  16. Cocaine and Pavlovian fear conditioning: dose-effect analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Suzanne C; Fay, Jonathan; Sage, Jennifer R; Anagnostaras, Stephan G

    2007-01-25

    Emerging evidence suggests that cocaine and other drugs of abuse can interfere with many aspects of cognitive functioning. The authors examined the effects of 0.1-15mg/kg of cocaine on Pavlovian contextual and cued fear conditioning in mice. As expected, pre-training cocaine dose-dependently produced hyperactivity and disrupted freezing. Surprisingly, when the mice were tested off-drug later, the group pre-treated with a moderate dose of cocaine (15mg/kg) displayed significantly less contextual and cued memory, compared to saline control animals. Conversely, mice pre-treated with a very low dose of cocaine (0.1mg/kg) showed significantly enhanced fear memory for both context and tone, compared to controls. These results were not due to cocaine's anesthetic effects, as shock reactivity was unaffected by cocaine. The data suggest that despite cocaine's reputation as a performance-enhancing and anxiogenic drug, this effect is seen only at very low doses, whereas a moderate dose disrupts hippocampus and amygdala-dependent fear conditioning.

  17. Time-dependent involvement of the dorsal hippocampus in trace fear conditioning in mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Misane, I.; Tovote, P.; Meyer, M.; Spiess, J.; Ögren, S.O.; Stiedl, O.

    2005-01-01

    Hippocampal and amygdaloid neuroplasticity are important substrates for Pavlovian fear conditioning. The hippocampus has been implicated in trace fear conditioning. However, a systematic investigation of the significance of the trace interval has not yet been performed. Therefore, this study

  18. 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

  19. Extinction of conditioned fear is better learned and recalled in the morning than in the evening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pace-Schott, Edward F; Spencer, Rebecca M C; Vijayakumar, Shilpa; Ahmed, Nafis A K; Verga, Patrick W; Orr, Scott P; Pitman, Roger K; Milad, Mohammed R

    2013-11-01

    Sleep helps emotional memories consolidate and may promote generalization of fear extinction memory. We examined whether extinction learning and memory might differ in the morning and evening due, potentially, to circadian and/or sleep-homeostatic factors. Healthy men (N = 109) in 6 groups completed a 2-session protocol. In Session 1, fear conditioning was followed by extinction learning. Partial reinforcement with mild electric shock produced conditioned skin conductance responses (SCRs) to 2 differently colored lamps (CS+), but not a third color (CS-), within the computer image of a room (conditioning context). One CS+ (CS + E) but not the other (CS + U) was immediately extinguished by un-reinforced presentations in a different room (extinction context). Delay durations of 3 h (within AM or PM), 12 h (morning-to-evening or evening-to-morning) or 24 h (morning-to-morning or evening-to-evening) followed. In Session 2, extinction recall and contextual fear renewal were tested. We observed no significant effects of the delay interval on extinction memory but did observe an effect of time-of-day. Fear extinction was significantly better if learned in the morning (p = .002). Collapsing across CS + type, there was smaller morning differential SCR at both extinction recall (p = .003) and fear renewal (p = .005). Morning extinction recall showed better generalization from the CS + E to CS + U with the response to the CS + U significantly larger than to the CS + E only in the evening (p = .028). Thus, extinction is learned faster and its memory is better generalized in the morning. Cortisol and testosterone showed the expected greater salivary levels in the morning when higher testosterone/cortisol ratio also predicted better extinction learning. Circadian factors may promote morning extinction. Alternatively, evening homeostatic sleep pressure may impede extinction and favor recall of conditioned fear. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Evaluation of treatment related fear using a newly developed fear scale for children: "Fear assessment picture scale" and its association with physiological response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishidha Tiwari

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Dental treatment is usually a poignant phenomenon for children. Projective scales are preferred over psychometric scales to recognize it, and to obtain the self-report from children. Aims: The aims were to evaluate treatment related fear using a newly developed fear scale for children, fear assessment picture scale (FAPS, and anxiety with colored version of modified facial affective scale (MFAS - three faces along with physiologic responses (pulse rate and oxygen saturation obtained by pulse oximeter before and during pulpectomy procedure. Settings and Design: Total, 60 children of age 6-8 years who were visiting the dental hospital for the first time and needed pulpectomy treatment were selected. Children selected were of sound physical, physiological, and mental condition. Two projective scales were used; one to assess fear - FAPS and to assess anxiety - colored version of MFAS - three faces. These were co-related with the physiological responses (oxygen saturation and pulse rate of children obtained by pulse oximeter before and during the pulpectomy procedure. Statistical Analysis Used: Shapiro-Wilk test, McNemar′s test, Wilcoxon signed ranks test, Kruskal-Wallis test, Mann-Whitney test were applied in the study. Results: The physiological responses showed association with FAPS and MFAS though not significant. However, oxygen saturation with MFAS showed a significant change between "no anxiety" and "some anxiety" as quantified by Kruskal-Wallis test value 6.287, P = 0.043 (<0.05 before pulpectomy procedure. Conclusions: The FAPS can prove to be a pragmatic tool in spotting the fear among young children. This test is easy and fast to apply on children and reduces the chair-side time.

  1. A model of amygdala-hippocampal-prefrontal interaction in fear conditioning and extinction in animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard. J.; Myers, Catherine E.

    2012-01-01

    Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus in classical conditioning to include interactions with the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. We apply the model to fear conditioning, in which animals learn physiological (e.g. heart rate) and behavioral (e.g. freezing) responses to stimuli that have been paired with a highly aversive event (e.g. electrical shock). The key feature of our model is that learning of these conditioned responses in the central nucleus of the amygdala is modulated by two separate processes, one from basolateral amygdala and signaling a positive prediction error, and one from the vmPFC, via the intercalated cells of the amygdala, and signaling a negative prediction error. In addition, we propose that hippocampal input to both vmPFC and basolateral amygdala is essential for contextual modulation of fear acquisition and extinction. The model is sufficient to account for a body of data from various animal fear conditioning paradigms, including acquisition, extinction, reacquisition, and context specificity effects. Consistent with studies on lesioned animals, our model shows that damage to the vmPFC impairs extinction, while damage to the hippocampus impairs extinction in a different context (e.g., a different conditioning chamber from that used in initial training in animal experiments). We also discuss model limitations and predictions, including the effects of number of training trials on fear conditioning. PMID:23164732

  2. Low Endogenous Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 Levels Are Associated With Heightened Conditioned Fear Expression in Rats and Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Bronwyn M; Zagic, Dino; Richardson, Rick

    2017-10-15

    Hippocampal concentrations of the neurotrophic factor fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) are negatively associated with the expression of fear following conditioning in rats. Heightened conditioned fear expression may be a prospective risk factor for the development of human anxiety and trauma disorders. However, the relationship between conditioned fear expression and FGF2 is yet to be established in humans. Using a cross-species approach, we first investigated the relationship between serum concentrations of FGF2 and individual differences in conditioned fear expression in rats (n = 19). We then subjected 88 human participants, who were recruited from university and community advertisements, to a differential fear conditioning procedure and assessed the relationship between salivary concentrations of FGF2 and fear expression to a conditioned stimulus (CS) (a stimulus paired with a shock) and a CS that was never paired with shock. Rats with low serum levels of FGF2 exhibited significantly more freezing than rats with high serum levels of FGF2. Similarly, relative to those with high salivary FGF2, human participants with low salivary FGF2 exhibited significantly heightened skin conductance responses to the CS without shock during fear conditioning and to both the CS with shock and CS without shock during fear recall. These studies establish that peripheral markers of FGF2 concentrations are negatively associated with fear expression in both rats and humans. To the extent that conditioned fear expression predicts anxiety and trauma disorder vulnerability, FGF2 may be a clinically useful biomarker in the prediction and eventual prevention of these disorders. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. COCAINE AND PAVLOVIAN FEAR CONDITIONING: DOSE-EFFECT ANALYSIS

    OpenAIRE

    Wood, Suzanne C.; Fay, Jonathon; Sage, Jennifer R.; Anagnostaras, Stephan G.

    2006-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that cocaine and other drugs of abuse can interfere with many aspects of cognitive functioning. The authors examined the effects of 0.1 – 15 mg/kg of cocaine on Pavlovian contextual and cued fear conditioning in mice. As expected, pre-training cocaine dose-dependently produced hyperactivity and disrupted freezing. Surprisingly, when the mice were tested off-drug later, the group pre-treated with a moderate dose of cocaine (15 mg/kg) displayed significantly less cont...

  4. 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.

  5. Early Extinction after Fear Conditioning Yields a Context-Independent and Short-Term Suppression of Conditional Freezing in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chun-hui; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats is a useful model for therapeutic interventions in humans with anxiety disorders. Recently, we found that delivering extinction trials soon (15 min) after fear conditioning yields a short-term suppression of fear, but little long-term extinction. Here, we explored the possible mechanisms underlying…

  6. Alpha1-adrenergic receptor blockade in the VTA modulates fear memories and stress responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solecki, Wojciech B; Szklarczyk, Klaudia; Klasa, Adam; Pradel, Kamil; Dobrzański, Grzegorz; Przewłocki, Ryszard

    2017-08-01

    Activity of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and its terminals has been implicated in the Pavlovian associative learning of both stressful and rewarding stimuli. However, the role of the VTA noradrenergic signaling in fear responses remains unclear. We aimed to examine how alpha 1 -adrenergic receptor (α 1 -AR) signaling in the VTA affects conditioned fear. The role of α 1 -AR was assessed using the micro-infusions into the VTA of the selective antagonists (0.1-1µg/0.5µl prazosin and 1µg/0.5µl terazosin) in acquisition and expression of fear memory. In addition, we performed control experiments with α 1 -AR blockade in the mammillary bodies (MB) - a brain region with α 1 -AR expression adjacent to the VTA. Intra-VTA but not intra-MB α 1 -AR blockade prevented formation and retrieval of fear memories. Importantly, local administration of α 1 -AR antagonists did not influence footshock sensitivity, locomotion or anxiety-like behaviors. Similarly, α 1 -AR blockade in the VTA had no effects on negative affect measured as number of 22kHz ultrasonic vocalizations during fear conditioning training. We propose that noradrenergic signaling in the VTA via α 1 -AR regulates formation and retrieval of fear memories but not other behavioral responses to stressful environmental stimuli. It enhances the encoding of environmental stimuli by the VTA to form and retrieve conditioned fear memories and to predict future behavioral outcomes. Our results provide novel insight into the role of the VTA α 1 -AR signaling in the regulation of stress responsiveness and fear memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  7. Response-Specific Sex Difference in the Retention of Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voulo, Meagan E.; Parsons, Ryan G.

    2017-01-01

    Fear conditioning studies in rodents allow us to assess vulnerability factors which might underlie fear-based psychopathology such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite PTSD being more prevalent in females than males, very few fear conditioning studies in rodents have tested females. Our study assessed fear conditioning and extinction…

  8. Reward devaluation disrupts latent inhibition in fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De la Casa, Luís Gonzalo; Mena, Auxiliadora; Ruiz-Salas, Juán Carlos; Quintero, Esperanza; Papini, Mauricio R

    2018-03-01

    Three experiments explored the link between reward shifts and latent inhibition (LI). Using consummatory procedures, rewards were either downshifted from 32% to 4% sucrose (Experiments 1-2), or upshifted from 4% to 32% sucrose (Experiment 3). In both cases, appropriate unshifted controls were also included. LI was implemented in terms of fear conditioning involving a single tone-shock pairing after extensive tone-only preexposure. Nonpreexposed controls were also included. Experiment 1 demonstrated a typical LI effect (i.e., disruption of fear conditioning after preexposure to the tone) in animals previously exposed only to 4% sucrose. However, the LI effect was eliminated by preexposure to a 32%-to-4% sucrose devaluation. Experiment 2 replicated this effect when the LI protocol was administered immediately after the reward devaluation event. However, LI was restored when preexposure was administered after a 60-min retention interval. Finally, Experiment 3 showed that a reward upshift did not affect LI. These results point to a significant role of negative emotion related to reward devaluation in the enhancement of stimulus processing despite extensive nonreinforced preexposure experience.

  9. Contextual change after fear acquisition affects conditioned responding and the time course of extinction learning – Implications for renewal research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel eSjouwerman

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Context plays a central role in retrieving (fear memories. Accordingly, context manipulations are inherent to most return of fear (ROF paradigms (in particular renewal, involving contextual changes after fear extinction. Context changes are, however, also often embedded during earlier stages of ROF experiments such as context changes between fear acquisition and extinction (e.g. in ABC and ABA renewal. Previous studies using these paradigms have however focused exclusively on the context switch after extinction (i.e. renewal. Thus, the possibility of a general effect of a context switch on conditioned responding that may not be conditional to preceding extinction learning remains unstudied.Hence, the current study investigated the impact of a context switch between fear acquisition and extinction on immediate conditioned responding and on the time-course of extinction learning by using a multimodal approach. A group that underwent contextual change after fear conditioning (AB; n = 36 was compared with a group without a contextual change from acquisition to extinction (AA; n = 149, while measuring autonomic (skin conductance and fear potentiated startle measures and subjective fear ratings. Contextual change between fear acquisition and extinction had a pronounced effect on both immediate conditioned responding and on the time course of extinction learning in skin conductance responses and subjective fear ratings. This may have important implications for the mechanisms underlying and the interpretation of the renewal effect (i.e. contextual switch after extinction. Consequently, future studies should incorporate designs and statistical tests that disentangle general effects of contextual change from genuine ROF effects.

  10. Duration of inhibition of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons encodes a level of conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mileykovskiy, Boris; Morales, Marisela

    2011-05-18

    It is widely accepted that midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons encode actual and expected reward values by phasic alterations in firing rate. However, how DA neurons encode negative events in the environment is still unclear because some DA neurons appear to be depressed and others excited by aversive stimuli. Here, we show that exposing fear-conditioned rats to stimuli predicting electrical shock elicited three types of biphasic responses, each of which contained an inhibitory pause, in neurochemically identified ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons. The duration of the inhibitory pause in these responses of VTA DA neurons was in direct proportion to the increase in respiratory rate reflecting the level of conditioned fear. Our results suggest that the duration of inhibition of VTA DA neurons encodes negative emotional values of signals predicting aversive events in the environment.

  11. Immediate Extinction Causes a Less Durable Loss of Performance than Delayed Extinction following Either Fear or Appetitive Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, Amanda M.; Bouton, Mark E.

    2008-01-01

    Five experiments with rat subjects compared the effects of immediate and delayed extinction on the durability of extinction learning. Three experiments examined extinction of fear conditioning (using the conditioned emotional response method), and two experiments examined extinction of appetitive conditioning (using the food-cup entry method). In…

  12. Stress and fear responses in the teleost pallium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Silva, Patricia Isabel da Mota E.; Martins, C.I.M.; Khan, Uniza Wahid

    2015-01-01

    Evolution has resulted in behavioural responses to threat which show extensive similarities between different animal species. The reaction to predator cues is one example of such prevailing responses, and functional homologies to mammalian limbic regions involved in threat-sensitive behaviour hav...... to chemical alarm cues, but this effect did not reach the level of statistical significance. Hence, limbic responses to stress and fear, akin to those seen in extant mammals, are also present in the teleost lineage...

  13. Self-Report and Psychophysiological Responses to Fear Appeals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordonana, Juan R.; Gonzalez-Javier, Francisca; Espin-Lopez, Laura; Gomez-Amor, Jesus

    2009-01-01

    This study was designed to assess the relationship between self-report and psychophysiological responses to fear appeals and behavioral changes elicited by these. Ninety-two subjects watched one of four messages that varied in level of threat (high vs. low) and efficacy (high vs. low). Concomitantly, psychophysiological measures (heart rate and…

  14. The effects of verbal information and approach-avoidance training on children's fear-related responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Kathryn J; Lisk, Stephen C; Mikita, Nina; Mitchell, Sophie; Huijding, Jorg; Rinck, Mike; Field, Andy P

    2015-09-01

    This study examined the effects of verbal information and approach-avoidance training on fear-related cognitive and behavioural responses about novel animals. One hundred and sixty children (7-11 years) were randomly allocated to receive: a) positive verbal information about one novel animal and threat information about a second novel animal (verbal information condition); b) approach-avoidance training in which they repeatedly pushed away (avoid) or pulled closer (approach) pictures of the animals (approach-avoidance training), c) a combined condition in which verbal information was given prior to approach-avoidance training (verbal information + approach-avoidance training) and d) a combined condition in which approach-avoidance training was given prior to verbal information (approach-avoidance training + verbal information). Threat and positive information significantly increased and decreased fear beliefs and avoidance behaviour respectively. Approach-avoidance training was successful in training the desired behavioural responses but had limited effects on fear-related responses. Verbal information and both combined conditions resulted in significantly larger effects than approach-avoidance training. We found no evidence for an additive effect of these pathways. This study used a non-clinical sample and focused on novel animals rather than animals about which children already had experience or established fears. The study also compared positive information/approach with threat information/avoid training, limiting specific conclusions regarding the independent effects of these conditions. The present study finds little evidence in support of a possible causal role for behavioural response training in the aetiology of childhood fear. However, the provision of verbal information appears to be an important pathway involved in the aetiology of childhood fear. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. Reduced Consolidation, Reinstatement, and Renewal of Conditioned Fear Memory by Repetitive Treatment of Radix Polygalae in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung-Won Shin

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The therapeutic goal for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD is to promote extinction and to prevent the relapse of fearful memories. Research has identified pharmacological treatments that may regulate the formation and extinction of fear memories, but not many reagents that block the relapse of extinguished fear are known. Radix Polygalae (RP is an Asian herb used for sedation, and its ingredients have anxiolytic and antidepressant properties. As various neurological effects have been identified, we tested whether RP affects the relapse of fear. Freezing in response to a conditioned context and cues was used to measure the effects of RP in mice. In cohort 1 (n = 30, consolidation, extinction, and reinstatement were tested during the course of 18 days of treatment. In cohort 2 (n = 30, consolidation, extinction, and renewal were tested during 10 days of treatment. The consolidation, extinction, reinstatement, and possibly the renewal of context-induced freezing were inhibited due to the administration of RP in animal subjects. However, the effects of RP on the freezing responses of subjects elicited by conditioned auditory cues were less obvious. Because it effectively suppresses the consolidation of fear memories, RP may be used for primary and secondary prevention of symptoms in PTSD patients. Additionally, because it effectively suppresses the reinstatement and renewal of fear memories, RP may be applied for the prevention of fear relapse in PTSD patients who have undergone exposure therapy.

  16. Dispositional fear, negative affectivity, and neuroimaging response to visually suppressed emotional faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizueta, Nathalie; Patrick, Christopher J; Jiang, Yi; Thomas, Kathleen M; He, Sheng

    2012-01-02

    "Invisible" stimulus paradigms provide a method for investigating basic affective processing in clinical and non-clinical populations. Neuroimaging studies utilizing continuous flash suppression (CFS) have shown increased amygdala response to invisible fearful versus neutral faces. The current study used CFS in conjunction with functional MRI to test for differences in brain reactivity to visible and invisible emotional faces in relation to two distinct trait dimensions relevant to psychopathology: negative affectivity (NA) and fearfulness. Subjects consisted of college students (N=31) assessed for fear/fearlessness along with dispositional NA. The main brain regions of interest included the fusiform face area (FFA), superior temporal sulcus (STS), and amygdala. Higher NA, but not trait fear, was associated with enhanced response to fearful versus neutral faces in STS and right amygdala (but not FFA), within the invisible condition specifically. The finding that NA rather than fearfulness predicted degree of amygdala reactivity to suppressed faces implicates the input subdivision of the amygdala in the observed effects. Given the central role of NA in anxiety and mood disorders, the current data also support use of the CFS methodology for investigating the neurobiology of these disorders. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Within-session analysis of the extinction of pavlovian fear-conditioning using robust regression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vargas-Irwin, Cristina

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditionally , the analysis of extinction data in fear conditioning experiments has involved the use of standard linear models, mostly ANOVA of between-group differences of subjects that have undergone different extinction protocols, pharmacological manipulations or some other treatment. Although some studies report individual differences in quantities such as suppression rates or freezing percentages, these differences are not included in the statistical modeling. Withinsubject response patterns are then averaged using coarse-grain time windows which can overlook these individual performance dynamics. Here we illustrate an alternative analytical procedure consisting of 2 steps: the estimation of a trend for within-session data and analysis of group differences in trend as main outcome. This procedure is tested on real fear-conditioning extinction data, comparing trend estimates via Ordinary Least Squares (OLS and robust Least Median of Squares (LMS regression estimates, as well as comparing between-group differences and analyzing mean freezing percentage versus LMS slopes as outcomes

  18. Eye Movements Index Implicit Memory Expression in Fear Conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren S Hopkins

    Full Text Available The role of contingency awareness in simple associative learning experiments with human participants is currently debated. Since prior work suggests that eye movements can index mnemonic processes that occur without awareness, we used eye tracking to better understand the role of awareness in learning aversive Pavlovian conditioning. A complex real-world scene containing four embedded household items was presented to participants while skin conductance, eye movements, and pupil size were recorded. One item embedded in the scene served as the conditional stimulus (CS. One exemplar of that item (e.g. a white pot was paired with shock 100 percent of the time (CS+ while a second exemplar (e.g. a gray pot was never paired with shock (CS-. The remaining items were paired with shock on half of the trials. Participants rated their expectation of receiving a shock during each trial, and these expectancy ratings were used to identify when (i.e. on what trial each participant became aware of the programmed contingencies. Disproportionate viewing of the CS was found both before and after explicit contingency awareness, and patterns of viewing distinguished the CS+ from the CS-. These observations are consistent with "dual process" models of fear conditioning, as they indicate that learning can be expressed in patterns of viewing prior to explicit contingency awareness.

  19. Endogenous salivary α-amylase does not interact with skin conductance response during fear extinction in posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuj, Daniel V; Palmer, Matthew A; Malhi, Gin S; Bryant, Richard A; Felmingham, Kim L

    2018-04-01

    Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is associated with elevated noradrenergic signaling, which has an impact on emotional learning and memory. Fear extinction is thought to underlie the processes of exposure therapy, however the relationship between noradrenaline and extinction in PTSD is unclear. Participants with PTSD (n = 21), trauma-exposure without PTSD (TC; n = 36), and non-trauma-exposed controls (NTC; n = 27) completed a fear conditioning and extinction paradigm, and conditioned fear was indexed by skin conductance response (SCR). Salivary α-amylase (sAA) collected at baseline and immediately post-fear acquisition was used as an index of noradrenaline, and we examined whether sAA in response to fear acquisition was a moderator between fear extinction and PTSD symptoms. While there was a significant increase in sAA from baseline to post-fear acquisition, this was not modulated by group. Compared to TC and NTC, the PTSD group displayed a slower decline in SCRs during early extinction, which generalized across stimulus type, and was not moderated by sAA. These findings suggest that the relationship between fear extinction and PTSD symptoms does not change as a function of sAA levels; however previous research suggests other processes of fear learning may be associated with noradrenergic activity in PTSD. Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Beta-adrenergic receptors in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala contribute to the acquisition but not the consolidation of auditory fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, David E A; Caparosa, Ellen M; Gekker, Anna; Ledoux, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    Beta-adrenergic receptors (βARs) have long been associated with fear disorders and with learning and memory. However, the contribution of these receptors to Pavlovian fear conditioning, a leading behavioral model for studying fear learning and memory, is still poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of βAR activation in the acquisition, consolidation and expression of fear conditioning. We focused on manipulations of βARs in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) because of the well-established contribution of this area to fear conditioning. Specifically, we tested the effects of intra-LA microinfusions of the βAR antagonist, propranolol, on learning and memory for auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats. Pre-training propranolol infusions disrupted the initial acquisition, short-term memory (STM), and long-term memory (LTM) for fear conditioning, but infusions immediately after training had no effect. Further, infusion of propranolol prior to testing fear responses did not affect fear memory expression. These findings indicate that amygdala βARs are important for the acquisition but not the consolidation of fear conditioning.

  1. Olfactory Fear Conditioning Induces Field Potential Potentiation in Rat Olfactory Cortex and Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messaoudi, Belkacem; Granjon, Lionel; Mouly, Anne-Marie; Sevelinges, Yannick; Gervais, Remi

    2004-01-01

    The widely used Pavlovian fear-conditioning paradigms used for studying the neurobiology of learning and memory have mainly used auditory cues as conditioned stimuli (CS). The present work assessed the neural network involved in olfactory fear conditioning, using olfactory bulb stimulation-induced field potential signal (EFP) as a marker of…

  2. Behavioural, neurochemical and neuroendocrine effects of the endogenous β-carboline harmane in fear-conditioned rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Karen L; Ford, Gemma K; Jessop, David S; Finn, David P

    2013-02-01

    The putative endogenous imidazoline binding site ligand harmane enhances neuronal activation in response to psychological stress and alters behaviour in animal models of anxiety and antidepressant efficacy. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying harmane's psychotropic effects are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of intraperitoneal injection of harmane (2.5 and 10 mg/kg) on fear-conditioned behaviour, hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, and monoaminergic activity within specific fear-associated areas of the rat brain. Harmane had no significant effect on the duration of contextually induced freezing or 22 kHz ultrasonic vocalisations and did not alter the contextually induced suppression of motor activity, including rearing. Harmane reduced the duration of rearing and tended to increase freezing in non-fear-conditioned controls, suggesting potential sedative effects. Harmane increased plasma ACTH and corticosterone concentrations, and serotonin (in hypothalamus, amygdaloid cortex, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus) and noradrenaline (prefrontal cortex) content, irrespective of fear-conditioning. Furthermore, harmane reduced dopamine and serotonin turnover in the PFC and hypothalamus, and serotonin turnover in the amygdaloid cortex in both fear-conditioned and non-fear-conditioned rats. In contrast, harmane increased dopamine and noradrenaline content and reduced dopamine turnover in the amygdala of fear-conditioned rats only, suggesting differential effects on catecholaminergic transmission in the presence and absence of fear. The precise mechanism(s) mediating these effects of harmane remain to be determined but may involve its inhibitory action on monoamine oxidases. These findings support a role for harmane as a neuromodulator, altering behaviour, brain neurochemistry and neuroendocrine function.

  3. Pre-Training Reversible Inactivation of the Basal Amygdala (BA Disrupts Contextual, but Not Auditory, Fear Conditioning, in Rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Mari Akagi Jordão

    Full Text Available The basolateral amygdala complex (BLA, including the lateral (LA, basal (BA and accessory basal (AB nuclei, is involved in acquisition of contextual and auditory fear conditioning. The BA is one of the main targets for hippocampal information, a brain structure critical for contextual learning, which integrates several discrete stimuli into a single configural representation. Congruent with the hodology, selective neurotoxic damage to the BA results in impairments in contextual, but not auditory, fear conditioning, similarly to the behavioral impairments found after hippocampal damage. This study evaluated the effects of muscimol-induced reversible inactivation of the BA during a simultaneous contextual and auditory fear conditioning training on later fear responses to both the context and the tone, tested separately, without muscimol administration. As compared to control rats micro-infused with vehicle, subjects micro-infused with muscimol before training exhibited, during testing without muscimol, significant reduction of freezing responses to the conditioned context, but not to the conditioned tone. Therefore, reversible inactivation of the BA during training impaired contextual, but not auditory fear conditioning, thus confirming and extending similar behavioral observations following selective neurotoxic damage to the BA and, in addition, revealing that this effect is not related to the lack of a functional BA during testing.

  4. Effects of vagus nerve stimulation on extinction of conditioned fear and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, L J; Gonzalez, I J; Meruva, V B; Callahan, K A; Belfort, B D; Ramanathan, K R; Meyers, E; Kilgard, M P; Rennaker, R L; McIntyre, C K

    2017-08-22

    Exposure-based therapies help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to extinguish conditioned fear of trauma reminders. However, controlled laboratory studies indicate that PTSD patients do not extinguish conditioned fear as well as healthy controls, and exposure therapy has high failure and dropout rates. The present study examined whether vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) augments extinction of conditioned fear and attenuates PTSD-like symptoms in an animal model of PTSD. To model PTSD, rats were subjected to a single prolonged stress (SPS) protocol, which consisted of restraint, forced swim, loss of consciousness, and 1 week of social isolation. Like PTSD patients, rats subjected to SPS show impaired extinction of conditioned fear. The SPS procedure was followed, 1 week later, by auditory fear conditioning (AFC) and extinction. VNS or sham stimulation was administered during half of the extinction days, and was paired with presentations of the conditioned stimulus. One week after completion of extinction training, rats were given a battery of behavioral tests to assess anxiety, arousal and avoidance. Results indicated that rats given SPS 1 week prior to AFC (PTSD model) failed to extinguish the freezing response after eleven consecutive days of extinction. Administration of VNS reversed the extinction impairment and attenuated reinstatement of the conditioned fear response. Delivery of VNS during extinction also eliminated the PTSD-like symptoms, such as anxiety, hyperarousal and social avoidance for more than 1 week after VNS treatment. These results provide evidence that extinction paired with VNS treatment can lead to remission of fear and improvements in PTSD-like symptoms. Taken together, these findings suggest that VNS may be an effective adjunct to exposure therapy for the treatment of PTSD.

  5. Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction: Implications for Treatment of PTSD

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    1 Award Number: W81XWH-11-2-0001 TITLE: Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction: Implications for Treatment of PTSD...REPORT TYPE Final 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 1 Oct 2010 – 30 Sep 2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and...especially adequate REM during exposure therapy may enhance efficacy and reduce remission after treatment. 15. SUBJECT TERMS PTSD, sleep deprivation , fear

  6. Oxytocin and Social Support as Synergistic Inhibitors of Aversive Fear Conditioning and Fear-Potentiated Startle in Male Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-01

    benzodiazepine drug midazolam (Uvnas-Moberg et al, 1994). A high-stress strain of Sprague-Dawley rats that typically perform poorly on conditioned avoidance...2010). The accurate measurement of fear memory in Pavlovian conditioning : resolving the baseline issue. f Neurosci Methods 190: 235-239. Joordens RJ...stress disorder. Psychiatry Res 48: 107-117. Rescorla RA, Wagner AR (1972). A theory of Pavlovian conditioning : variations in the effectiveness of

  7. The Writer’s Condition and the Concept of Fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Beatrice Chesca

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper approaches Otto Rank’s theory according to which the main cause of anxiety is the individual’s separation from the loved beings and objects. Along one’s life, anxiety takes two forms: the fear of life and the fear of death. The fear of life is the anxiety which appears when the person becomes aware of his creative abilities which could separate him from the existing relationships. Writers like Emil Cioran, Mihail Sebastian, Octavian Paler, Yukio Mishima, Ernest Hemingway suffered from the fear of life, they were haunted by a tragic that brought about theloneliness of death. It is what Kierkegaard called: ”the fatal disease”, the sin of the artist’s existence. The artistic process implies an oscillation between acceptance and rejection, satisfaction and negation, life and death, loneliness and happiness.

  8. 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…

  9. Effects of Stress and Sex on Acquisition and Consolidation of Human Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Cynthia M.; LaBar, Kevin S.; Zorawski, Michael; Blanding, Nineequa Q.

    2006-01-01

    We examined the relationship between stress hormone (cortisol) release and acquisition and consolidation of conditioned fear learning in healthy adults. Participants underwent acquisition of differential fear conditioning, and consolidation was assessed in a 24-h delayed extinction test. The acquisition phase was immediately followed by an 11-min…

  10. The Amygdala Is Critical for Trace, Delay, and Contextual Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochli, Daniel E.; Thompson, Elaine C.; Fricke, Elizabeth A.; Postle, Abagail F.; Quinn, Jennifer J.

    2015-01-01

    Numerous investigations have definitively shown amygdalar involvement in delay and contextual fear conditioning. However, much less is known about amygdala contributions to trace fear conditioning, and what little evidence exists is conflicting as noted in previous studies. This discrepancy may result from selective targeting of individual nuclei…

  11. A Discrete Population of Neurons in the Lateral Amygdala Is Specifically Activated by Contextual Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Yvette M.; Murphy, Mark

    2009-01-01

    There is no clear identification of the neurons involved in fear conditioning in the amygdala. To search for these neurons, we have used a genetic approach, the "fos-tau-lacZ" (FTL) mouse, to map functionally activated expression in neurons following contextual fear conditioning. We have identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral…

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Haaker

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

  14. Immediate extinction causes a less durable loss of performance than delayed extinction following either fear or appetitive conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Woods, Amanda M.; Bouton, Mark E.

    2008-01-01

    Five experiments with rat subjects compared the effects of immediate and delayed extinction on the durability of extinction learning. Three experiments examined extinction of fear conditioning (using the conditioned emotional response method), and two experiments examined extinction of appetitive conditioning (using the food-cup entry method). In all experiments, conditioning and extinction were accomplished in single sessions, and retention testing took place 24 h after extinction. In both f...

  15. Systemic blockade of D2-like dopamine receptors facilitates extinction of conditioned fear in mice

    OpenAIRE

    Ponnusamy, Ravikumar; Nissim, Helen A.; Barad, Mark

    2005-01-01

    Extinction of conditioned fear in animals is the explicit model of behavior therapy for human anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Based on previous data indicating that fear extinction in rats is blocked by quinpirole, an agonist of dopamine D2 receptors, we hypothesized that blockade of D2 receptors might facilitate extinction in mice, while agonists should block extinction, as they do in rats. One day after fear con...

  16. Impaired Auditory and Contextual Fear Conditioning in Soman-Exposed Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Hymowitz et al., 1985, 1990; Modrow and Jaax, 1989). Pavlovian fear conditioning is a useful procedure often used to elucidate the neural substrates...Stitcher DL, Lennox WJ. Protection against both lethal and behavioral effects of soman. Drug Chem Toxicol 1984;7:605–24. Hasselmo ME. The role of...Rethinking the fear circuit: the central nucleus of the amygdala is required for the acquisition, consolidation, and expression of Pavlovian fear

  17. Inhaled Lavandula angustifolia essential oil inhibits consolidation of contextual- but not tone-fear conditioning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Laura Segismundo; Correa-Netto, Nelson Francisco; Masukawa, Marcia Yuriko; Lima, Ariadiny Caetano; Maluf, Samia; Linardi, Alessandra; Santos-Junior, Jair Guilherme

    2018-04-06

    Although the current treatment for anxiety is effective, it promotes a number of adverse reactions and medical interactions. Inhaled essential oils have a prominent action on the central nervous system, with minimal systemic effects, primarily because of reduced systemic bioavailability. The effects of drugs on the consolidation of fear conditioning reflects its clinical efficacy in preventing a vicious cycle of anticipatory anxiety leading to fearful cognition and anxiety symptoms. In this study, we investigated the effects of inhaled Lavandula angustifolia essential oil on the consolidation of aversive memories and its influence on c-Fos expression. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to a fear conditioning protocol. Immediately after the training session, the rats were exposed to vaporized water or essential oil (1%, 2.5% and 5% solutions) for 4h. The next day, the rats underwent contextual- or tone-fear tests and 90min after the test they were euthanized and their brains processed for c-Fos immunohistochemistry. In the contextual-fear test, essential oil at 2.5% and 5% (but not 1%) reduced the freezing response and its respective c-Fos expression in the ventral hippocampus and amygdala. In the tone-fear test, essential oil did not reduce the freezing response during tone presentation. However, rats that inhaled essential oil at 2.5% and 5% (but not 1%) showed decreased freezing in the three minutes after tone presentation, as well as reduced c-Fos expression in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. These results show that the inhalation of L. angustifolia essential oil inhibited the consolidation of contextual- but not tone-fear conditioning and had an anxiolytic effect in a conditioned animal model of anxiety. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Preventing the Development of Observationally Learnt Fears in Children by Devaluing the Model's Negative Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    Vicarious learning has become an established indirect pathway to fear acquisition. It is generally accepted that associative learning processes underlie vicarious learning; however, whether this association is a form of conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus (CS-US) learning or stimulus-response (CS-CR) learning remains unclear. Traditionally, these types of learning can be dissociated in a US revaluation procedure. The current study explored the effects of post-vicarious learning US revaluation on acquired fear responses. Ninety-four children (46 males and 48 females) aged 6 to 10 years first viewed either a fear vicarious learning video or a neutral vicarious learning video followed by random allocation to one of three US revaluation conditions: inflation; deflation; or control. Inflation group children were presented with still images of the adults in the video and told that the accompanying sound and image of a very fast heart rate monitor belonged to the adult. The deflation group were shown the same images but with the sound and image of a normal heart rate. The control group received no US revaluation. Results indicated that inflating how scared the models appeared to be did not result in significant increases in children's fear beliefs, avoidance preferences, avoidance behavior or heart rate for animals above increases caused by vicarious learning. In contrast, US devaluation resulted in significant decreases in fear beliefs and avoidance preferences. Thus, the findings provide evidence that CS-US associations underpin vicarious learning and suggest that US devaluation may be a successful method for preventing children from developing fear beliefs following a traumatic vicarious learning episode with a stimulus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-14

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

  20. Learning and memory in conditioned fear extinction: effects of d-cycloserine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vervliet, B.

    2008-01-01

    This review addresses the effects of the cognitive enhancer D-cycloserine (DCS) on the memory processes that occur in conditioned fear extinction, which is the experimental model for exposure techniques to reduce clinical anxiety. All reported rat studies show an enhanced fear extinction effect when

  1. Electrolytic Lesions of the Dorsal Hippocampus Disrupt Renewal of Conditional Fear after Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Jinzhao; Maren, Stephen

    2005-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence that the hippocampus is critical for context-dependent memory retrieval. In the present study, we used Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats to examine the role of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) in the context-specific expression of fear memory after extinction (i.e., renewal). Pre-training electrolytic lesions of…

  2. Individual differences in discriminatory fear learning under conditions of ambiguity: a vulnerability factor for anxiety disorders?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arnaudova, I.; Krypotos, A.M.; Effting, M.; Boddez, Y.; Kindt, M.; Beckers, T.

    2013-01-01

    Complex fear learning procedures might be better suited than the common differential fear-conditioning paradigm for detecting individual differences related to vulnerability for anxiety disorders. Two such procedures are the blocking procedure and the protection-from-overshadowing procedure. Their

  3. Individual Differences in the Expression of Conditioned Fear Are Associated with Endogenous Fibroblast Growth Factor 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Bronwyn M.; Richardson, Rick

    2016-01-01

    These experiments examined the relationship between the neurotrophic factor fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) and individual differences in the expression of conditioned fear. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated that rats naturally expressing low levels of contextual or cued fear have higher levels of hippocampal FGF2 relative to rats that express…

  4. Brain Region-Specific Activity Patterns after Recent or Remote Memory Retrieval of Auditory Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Jhang, Jinho; Kim, Hyung-Su; Lee, Sujin; Han, Jin-Hee

    2012-01-01

    Memory is thought to be sparsely encoded throughout multiple brain regions forming unique memory trace. Although evidence has established that the amygdala is a key brain site for memory storage and retrieval of auditory conditioned fear memory, it remains elusive whether the auditory brain regions may be involved in fear memory storage or…

  5. Functional imaging of stimulus convergence in amygdalar neurons during Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabiha K Barot

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Associative conditioning is a ubiquitous form of learning throughout the animal kingdom and fear conditioning is one of the most widely researched models for studying its neurobiological basis. Fear conditioning is also considered a model system for understanding phobias and anxiety disorders. A fundamental issue in fear conditioning regards the existence and location of neurons in the brain that receive convergent information about the conditioned stimulus (CS and unconditioned stimulus (US during the acquisition of conditioned fear memory. Convergent activation of neurons is generally viewed as a key event for fear learning, yet there has been almost no direct evidence of this critical event in the mammalian brain.Here, we used Arc cellular compartmental analysis of temporal gene transcription by fluorescence in situ hybridization (catFISH to identify neurons activated during single trial contextual fear conditioning in rats. To conform to temporal requirements of catFISH analysis we used a novel delayed contextual fear conditioning protocol which yields significant single- trial fear conditioning with temporal parameters amenable to catFISH analysis. Analysis yielded clear evidence that a population of BLA neurons receives convergent CS and US information at the time of the learning, that this only occurs when the CS-US arrangement is supportive of the learning, and that this process requires N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation. In contrast, CS-US convergence was not observed in dorsal hippocampus.Based on the pattern of Arc activation seen in conditioning and control groups, we propose that a key requirement for CS-US convergence onto BLA neurons is the potentiation of US responding by prior exposure to a novel CS. Our results also support the view that contextual fear memories are encoded in the amygdala and that the role of dorsal hippocampus is to process and transmit contextual CS information.

  6. The roles of Eph receptors in contextual fear conditioning memory formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dines, Monica; Grinberg, Svetlana; Vassiliev, Maria; Ram, Alon; Tamir, Tal; Lamprecht, Raphael

    2015-10-01

    Eph receptors regulate glutamate receptors functions, neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, cellular events believed to be involved in memory formation. In this study we aim to explore the roles of Eph receptors in learning and memory. Toward that end, we examined the roles of EphB2 and EphA4 receptors, key regulators of synaptic functions, in fear conditioning memory formation. We show that mice lacking EphB2 (EphB2(-/-)) are impaired in short- and long-term contextual fear conditioning memory. Mice that express a carboxy-terminally truncated form of EphB2 that lacks forward signaling, instead of the full EphB2, are impaired in long-term, but not short-term, contextual fear conditioning memory. Long-term contextual fear conditioning memory is attenuated in CaMKII-cre;EphA4(lx/-) mice where EphA4 is removed from all pyramidal neurons of the forebrain. Mutant mice with targeted kinase-dead EphA4 (EphA4(KD)) exhibit intact long-term contextual fear conditioning memory showing that EphA4 kinase-mediated forward signaling is not needed for contextual fear memory formation. The ability to form long-term conditioned taste aversion (CTA) memory is not impaired in the EphB2(-/-) and CaMKII-cre;EphA4(lx/-) mice. We conclude that EphB2 forward signaling is required for long-term contextual fear conditioning memory formation. In contrast, EphB2 mediates short-term contextual fear conditioning memory formation in a forward signaling-independent manner. EphA4 mediates long-term contextual fear conditioning memory formation in a kinase-independent manner. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Rapid changes in the light/dark cycle disrupt memory of conditioned fear in mice.

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    Dawn H Loh

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Circadian rhythms govern many aspects of physiology and behavior including cognitive processes. Components of neural circuits involved in learning and memory, e.g., the amygdala and the hippocampus, exhibit circadian rhythms in gene expression and signaling pathways. The functional significance of these rhythms is still not understood. In the present study, we sought to determine the impact of transiently disrupting the circadian system by shifting the light/dark (LD cycle. Such "jet lag" treatments alter daily rhythms of gene expression that underlie circadian oscillations as well as disrupt the synchrony between the multiple oscillators found within the body. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We subjected adult male C57Bl/6 mice to a contextual fear conditioning protocol either before or after acute phase shifts of the LD cycle. As part of this study, we examined the impact of phase advances and phase delays, and the effects of different magnitudes of phase shifts. Under all conditions tested, we found that recall of fear conditioned behavior was specifically affected by the jet lag. We found that phase shifts potentiated the stress-evoked corticosterone response without altering baseline levels of this hormone. The jet lag treatment did not result in overall sleep deprivation, but altered the temporal distribution of sleep. Finally, we found that prior experience of jet lag helps to compensate for the reduced recall due to acute phase shifts. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Acute changes to the LD cycle affect the recall of fear-conditioned behavior. This suggests that a synchronized circadian system may be broadly important for normal cognition and that the consolidation of memories may be particularly sensitive to disruptions of circadian timing.

  8. Influence of cued-fear conditioning and its impairment on NREM sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Tankesh; Jha, Sushil K

    2017-10-01

    Many studies suggest that fear conditioning influences sleep. It is, however, not known if the changes in sleep architecture after fear conditioning are essentially associated with the consolidation of fearful memory or with fear itself. Here, we have observed that within sleep, NREM sleep consistently remained augmented after the consolidation of cued fear-conditioned memory. But a similar change did not occur after impairing memory consolidation by blocking new protein synthesis and glutamate transmission between glial-neuronal loop in the lateral amygdala (LA). Anisomycin (a protein synthesis inhibitor) and DL-α-amino-adipic acid (DL- α -AA) (a glial glutamine synthetase enzyme inhibitor) were microinjected into the LA soon after cued fear-conditioning to induce memory impairment. On the post-conditioning day, animals in both the groups exhibited significantly less freezing. In memory-consolidated groups (vehicle groups), NREM sleep significantly increased during 2nd to 5th hours after training compared to their baseline days. However, in memory impaired groups (anisomycin and DL- α -AA microinjected groups), similar changes were not observed. Our results thus suggest that changes in sleep architecture after cued fear-conditioning are indeed a consolidation dependent event. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Beyond extinction: erasing human fear responses and preventing the return of fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kindt, M.; Soeter, M.; Vervliet, B.

    2009-01-01

    Animal studies have shown that fear memories can change when recalled, a process referred to as reconsolidation. We found that oral administration of the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol before memory reactivation in humans erased the behavioral expression of the fear memory 24 h

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lizhu Jiang

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

  11. 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.

  12. Object-Location Training Elicits an Overlapping but Temporally Distinct Transcriptional Profile from Contextual Fear Conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Poplawski, Shane G.; Schoch, Hannah; Wimmer, Mathieu; Hawk, Joshua D.; Walsh, Jennifer L.; Giese, Karl P.; Abel, Ted

    2014-01-01

    Hippocampus-dependent learning is known to induce changes in gene expression, but information on gene expression differences between different learning paradigms that require the hippocampus is limited. The bulk of studies investigating RNA expression after learning use the contextual fear conditioning task, which couples a novel environment with a footshock. Although contextual fear conditioning has been useful in discovering gene targets, gene expression after spatial memory tasks has recei...

  13. Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction: Implications for Treatment of PTSD

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    mechanism underlying the most successful treatment for PTSD, Prolonged Exposure. In animal models, sleep deprivation has been shown to impair extinction ...2. 3. 9 +Sleep and Extinction Learning  Animal models show fear conditioning:  Disrupts sleep  Disrupted sleep, in turn  Impairs extinction ...Award Number: W81XWH-11-2-0001 TITLE: “Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction : Implications for Treatment of PTSD

  14. Vagus nerve stimulation enhances extinction of conditioned fear and modulates plasticity in the pathway from the infralimbic prefrontal cortex to the amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Frausto Peña

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Fearful experiences can produce long-lasting and debilitating memories. Extinction of the fear response requires consolidation of new memories that compete with fearful associations. Subjects with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD show impaired extinction of conditioned fear, which is associated with decreased ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC control over amygdala activity. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS enhances memory consolidation in both rats and humans, and pairing VNS with exposure to conditioned cues enhances the consolidation of extinction learning in rats. Here we investigated whether pairing VNS with extinction learning facilitates plasticity between the infralimbic (IL medial prefrontal cortex and the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA. Rats were trained on an auditory fear conditioning task, which was followed by a retention test and one day of extinction training. Vagus nerve stimulation or sham-stimulation was administered concurrently with exposure to the fear-conditioned stimulus and retention of fear conditioning was tested again 24 hours later. VNS-treated rats demonstrated a significant reduction in freezing after a single extinction training session similar to animals that received 5x the number of extinction pairings. To study plasticity in the IL-BLA pathway, we recorded evoked field potentials in the BLA in anesthetized animals 24 h after retention testing. Brief burst stimulation in the IL produced LTD in the BLA field response in fear-conditioned and sham-treated animals. In contrast, the same stimulation resulted in potentiation of the IL-BLA pathway in the VNS-treated group. The present findings suggest that VNS promotes plasticity in the IL-BLA pathway to facilitate extinction of conditioned fear responses.

  15. Sex differences in the relationship between maternal fear of pain and children's conditioned pain modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evans S

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Subhadra Evans, Laura C Seidman, Kirsten C Lung, Lonnie K Zeltzer, Jennie C TsaoPediatric Pain Program, Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USABackground: Parental behaviors, emotions, and cognitions are known to influence children's response to pain. However, prior work has not tested the association between maternal psychological factors and children's responses to a conditioned pain modulation (CPM task. CPM refers to the reduction in perceived pain intensity for a test stimulus following application of a conditioning stimulus to a remote area of the body, and is thought to reflect the descending inhibition of nociceptive signals.Methods: The present study examined sex differences in the association between maternal anxiety about pain and children's CPM responses in 133 healthy children aged 8–17 years. Maternal pain anxiety was assessed using the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale-20. In addition to the magnitude of CPM, children's anticipatory anxiety and pain-related fear of the CPM task were measured.Results: Sequential multiple linear regression revealed that even after controlling for child age and general maternal psychological distress, greater maternal pain anxiety was significantly related to greater CPM anticipatory anxiety and pain-related fear in girls, and to less CPM (ie, less pain inhibition in boys.Conclusion: The findings indicate sex-specific relationships between maternal pain anxiety and children's responses to a CPM task over and above that accounted for by the age of the child and the mother's general psychological distress.Keywords: diffuse noxious inhibitory controls, pediatric pain, mother-child relationship, cold pressor, pressure pain, laboratory pain

  16. The Role of Nucleus Accumbens Shell in Learning about Neutral versus Excitatory Stimuli during Pavlovian Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradfield, Laura A.; McNally, Gavan P.

    2010-01-01

    We studied the role of nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) in Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats were trained to fear conditioned stimulus A (CSA) in Stage I, which was then presented in compound with a neutral stimulus and paired with shock in Stage II. AcbSh lesions had no effect on fear-learning to CSA in Stage I, but selectively prevented learning…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Expatriates' Multiple Fears, from Terrorism to Working Conditions: Development of a Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Giorgi

    2016-10-01

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

  20. Individual differences in discriminatory fear learning under conditions of ambiguity: A vulnerability factor for anxiety disorders?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inna eArnaudova

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Complex fear learning procedures might be better suited than the common differential fear conditioning paradigm for detecting individual differences related to vulnerability for anxiety disorders. Two such procedures are the blocking procedure and the protection-from-overshadowing procedure. Their comparison allows for the examination of discriminatory fear learning under conditions of ambiguity. The present study examined the role of individual differences in such discriminatory fear learning. We hypothesized that heightened trait anxiety would be related to a deficit in discriminatory fear learning. Participants gave US-expectancy ratings as an index for the threat value of individual CSs following blocking and protection-from-overshadowing training. The difference in threat value at test between the protected-from-overshadowing CS and the blocked CS was negatively correlated with scores on a self-report tension-stress scale that approximates facets of generalized anxiety disorder (DASS-S, but not with other individual difference variables. In addition, a behavioral test showed that only participants scoring high on the DASS-S avoided the protected-from-overshadowing CS. This observed deficit in discriminatory fear learning for participants with high levels of tension-stress might be an underlying mechanism for fear overgeneralization in diffuse anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder.

  1. Testing the effects of Delta 9-THC and D-cycloserine on extinction of conditioned fear in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klumpers, Floris; Denys, Damiaan; Kenemans, J. Leon; Grillon, Christian; van der Aart, Jasper; Baas, Johanna M. P.

    2012-01-01

    Preclinical evidence implicates several neurotransmitter systems in the extinction of conditioned fear. These results are of great interest, because the reduction of acquired fear associations is critical in therapies for anxiety disorders. We tested whether findings with respect to the

  2. Testing the effects of Delta9-THC and D-cycloserine on extinction of conditioned fear in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klumpers, F.; Denys, D.; Kenemans, J.L.; Grillon, C.; van der Aart, J.; Baas, J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Preclinical evidence implicates several neurotransmitter systems in the extinction of conditioned fear. These results are of great interest, because the reduction of acquired fear associations is critical in therapies for anxiety disorders. We tested whether findings with respect to the

  3. Benzodiazepine-induced anxiolysis and reduction of conditioned fear are mediated by distinct GABAA receptor subtypes in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kiersten S.; Engin, Elif; Meloni, Edward G.; Rudolph, Uwe

    2012-01-01

    GABAA receptor modulating drugs such as benzodiazepines (BZs) have been used to treat anxiety disorders for over five decades. In order to determine whether the same or different GABAA receptor subtypes are necessary for the anxiolytic-like action of BZs in unconditioned anxiety and conditioned fear models, we investigated the role of different GABAA receptor subtypes by challenging wild type, α1(H101R), α2(H101R) and α3(H126R) mice bred on the C57BL/6J background with diazepam or chlordiazepoxide in the elevated plus maze and the fear-potentiated startle paradigms. Both drugs significantly increased open arm exploration in the elevated plus maze in wild type, α1(H101R) and α3(H126R), but this effect was abolished in α2(H101R) mice; these were expected results based on previous published results. In contrast, while administration of diazepam and chlordiazepoxide significantly attenuated fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in wild type mice and α3(H126R) mice, the fear-reducing effects of these drugs were absent in both α1(H101R) and α2(H101R) point mutants, indicating that both α1- and α2-containing GABAA receptors are necessary for BZs to exert their effects on conditioned fear responses.. Our findings illustrate both an overlap and a divergence between the GABAA receptor subtype requirements for the impact of BZs, specifically that both α1- and α2-containing GABAA receptors are necessary for BZs to reduce conditioned fear whereas only α2-containing GABAA receptors are needed for BZ-induced anxiolysis in unconditioned tests of anxiety. This raises the possibility that GABAergic pharmacological interventions for specific anxiety disorders can be differentially tailored. PMID:22465203

  4. The relative effectiveness of extinction and counter-conditioning in diminishing children's fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newall, Carol; Watson, Tiffany; Grant, Kerry-Ann; Richardson, Rick

    2017-08-01

    Two behavioural strategies for reducing learned fear are extinction and counter-conditioning, and in this study we compared the relative effectiveness of the two procedures at diminishing fear in children. Seventy-three children aged 7-12 years old (M = 9.30, SD = 1.62) were exposed to pictures of two novel animals on a computer screen during the fear acquisition phase. One of these animals was paired with a picture of a scared human face (CS+) while the other was not (CS-). The children were then randomly assigned to one of three conditions: counter-conditioning (animal paired with a happy face), extinction (animal without scared face), or control (no fear reduction procedure). Changes in fear beliefs and behavioural avoidance of the animal were measured. Counter-conditioning was more effective at reducing fear to the CS + than extinction. The findings are discussed in terms of implications for behavioural treatments of childhood anxiety disorders. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. When psychopathy impairs moral judgments: neural responses during judgments about causing fear

    OpenAIRE

    Marsh, Abigail A.; Cardinale, Elise M.

    2012-01-01

    Psychopathy is a disorder characterized by reduced empathy, shallow affect and behaviors that cause victims distress, like threats, bullying and violence. Neuroimaging research in both institutionalized and community samples implicates amygdala dysfunction in the etiology of psychopathic traits. Reduced amygdala responsiveness may disrupt processing of fear-relevant stimuli like fearful facial expressions. The present study links amygdala dysfunction in response to fear-relevant stimuli to th...

  6. Monetary incentive moderates the effect of implicit fear on effort-related cardiovascular response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatelain, Mathieu; Gendolla, Guido H E

    2016-05-01

    Integrating the implicit-affect-primes-effort model (Gendolla, 2012, 2015) with the principles of motivational intensity theory (Brehm & Self, 1989) we investigated if the effort mobilization deficit observed in people exposed to fear primes (vs. anger primes) in a difficult short-term memory task could be compensated by high monetary incentive. Effort was operationalized as cardiac response. We expected that fear primes should lead to the strongest cardiac pre-ejection period (PEP) reactivity when incentive was high (high subjective demand and high justified effort) and to the weakest response when incentive was low (high subjective demand but only low justified effort). PEP reactivity in the anger-prime conditions should fall in between (high but feasible demand). We obtained the predicted pattern on responses of PEP and systolic blood pressure. The present findings show for the first time that the effort mobilization deficit of participants exposed to fear primes in a difficult cognitive task could be compensated by a high incentive. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Opposing Subjective Temporal Experiences in Response to Unpredictable and Predictable Fear-Relevant Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Cui

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have found that the durations of fear-relevant stimuli were overestimated compared to those of neutral stimuli, even when the fear-relevant stimuli were only anticipated. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of the predictability of fear-relevant stimuli on sub-second temporal estimations. In Experiments 1a and 1b, a randomized design was employed to render the emotional valence of each trial unpredictable. In Experiments 2a and 2b, we incorporated a block design and a cueing paradigm, respectively, to render the emotional stimuli predictable. Compared with the neutral condition, the estimated blank interval was judged as being shorter under the unpredictable fear-relevant condition, while it was judged as being longer under the predictable fear-relevant condition. In other words, the unpredictable and predictable fear-relevant stimuli led to opposing temporal distortions. These results demonstrated that emotions modulate interval perception during different time processing stages.

  8. Hyperresponsiveness of the Neural Fear Network During Fear Conditioning and Extinction Learning in Male Cocaine Users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaag, A.M.; Levar, N.; Woutersen, K.; Homberg, J.R.; Brink, W. van den; Reneman, L.; Wingen, G. van

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: 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. METHOD: Forty male regular

  9. The effects of verbal information and approach-avoidance training on children's fear-related responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Kathryn J.; Lisk, Stephen C.; Mikita, Nina; Mitchell, Sophie; Huijding, Jorg; Rinck, Mike; Field, Andy P.

    2015-01-01

    Background and objectives This study examined the effects of verbal information and approach-avoidance training on fear-related cognitive and behavioural responses about novel animals. Methods One hundred and sixty children (7–11 years) were randomly allocated to receive: a) positive verbal information about one novel animal and threat information about a second novel animal (verbal information condition); b) approach-avoidance training in which they repeatedly pushed away (avoid) or pulled closer (approach) pictures of the animals (approach-avoidance training), c) a combined condition in which verbal information was given prior to approach-avoidance training (verbal information + approach-avoidance training) and d) a combined condition in which approach-avoidance training was given prior to verbal information (approach-avoidance training + verbal information). Results Threat and positive information significantly increased and decreased fear beliefs and avoidance behaviour respectively. Approach-avoidance training was successful in training the desired behavioural responses but had limited effects on fear-related responses. Verbal information and both combined conditions resulted in significantly larger effects than approach-avoidance training. We found no evidence for an additive effect of these pathways. Limitations This study used a non-clinical sample and focused on novel animals rather than animals about which children already had experience or established fears. The study also compared positive information/approach with threat information/avoid training, limiting specific conclusions regarding the independent effects of these conditions. Conclusions The present study finds little evidence in support of a possible causal role for behavioural response training in the aetiology of childhood fear. However, the provision of verbal information appears to be an important pathway involved in the aetiology of childhood fear. PMID:25698069

  10. Short-Term Total Sleep-Deprivation Impairs Contextual Fear Memory, and Contextual Fear-Conditioning Reduces REM Sleep in Moderately Anxious Swiss Mice

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    Munazah F. Qureshi

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The conditioning tasks have been widely used to model fear and anxiety and to study their association with sleep. Many reports suggest that sleep plays a vital role in the consolidation of fear memory. Studies have also demonstrated that fear-conditioning influences sleep differently in mice strains having a low or high anxiety level. It is, therefore, necessary to know, how sleep influences fear-conditioning and how fear-conditioning induces changes in sleep architecture in moderate anxious strains. We have used Swiss mice, a moderate anxious strain, to study the effects of: (i sleep deprivation on contextual fear conditioned memory, and also (ii contextual fear conditioning on sleep architecture. Animals were divided into three groups: (a non-sleep deprived (NSD; (b stress control (SC; and (c sleep-deprived (SD groups. The SD animals were SD for 5 h soon after training. We found that the NSD and SC animals showed 60.57% and 58.12% freezing on the testing day, while SD animals showed significantly less freezing (17.13% only; p < 0.001 on the testing day. Further, we observed that contextual fear-conditioning did not alter the total amount of wakefulness and non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep. REM sleep, however, significantly decreased in NSD and SC animals on the training and testing days. Interestingly, REM sleep did not decrease in the SD animals on the testing day. Our results suggest that short-term sleep deprivation impairs fear memory in moderate anxious mice. It also suggests that NREM sleep, but not REM sleep, may have an obligatory role in memory consolidation.

  11. Withdrawal from Chronic Nicotine Administration Impairs Contextual Fear Conditioning in C57BL/6 Mice

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Jennifer A.; James, John R.; Siegel, Steven J.; Gould, Thomas J.

    2005-01-01

    The effects of acute nicotine administration (0.09 mg/kg nicotine), chronic nicotine administration (6.3 mg/kg/d nicotine for 14 d), and withdrawal from chronic nicotine administration on fear conditioning in C57BL/6 mice were examined. Mice were trained using two coterminating conditioned stimulus (30 s; 85 dB white noise)– unconditioned stimulus (2 s; 0.57 mA foot shock) pairings and tested 24 h later for contextual and cued fear conditioning. Acute nicotine administration enhanced contextu...

  12. Chronic treatment with fluoxetine prevents the return of extinguished auditory-cued conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deschaux, Olivier; Spennato, Guillaume; Moreau, Jean-Luc; Garcia, René

    2011-05-01

    We have recently shown that post-extinction exposure of rats to a sub-threshold reminder shock can reactivate extinguished context-related freezing and found that chronic treatment with fluoxetine before fear extinction prevents this phenomenon. In the present study, we examined whether these findings would be confirmed with auditory fear conditioning. Rats were initially submitted to a session of five tone-shock pairings with either a 0.7- or 0.1-mA shock and underwent, 3 days later, a session of 20 tone-alone trials. At the beginning of this latter session, we observed cue-conditioned freezing in rats that received the strong, but not the weak, shock. At the end, both groups (strong and weak shocks) displayed similar low levels of freezing, indicating fear extinction in rats exposed to the strong shock. These rats exhibited again high levels of cue-evoked freezing when exposed to three tone-shock pairings with 0.1-mA shock. This reemergence of cue-conditioned fear was completely abolished by chronic (over a 21-day period) fluoxetine treatment which spared, when administered before the initial fear conditioning, the original tone-shock association. These data extend our previous findings and suggest that chronic fluoxetine treatment favor extinction memory by dampening the reactivation of the original tone-shock association.

  13. Prefrontal cortical GABA transmission modulates discrimination and latent inhibition of conditioned fear: relevance for schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piantadosi, Patrick T; Floresco, Stan B

    2014-09-01

    Inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transmission within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) regulates numerous functions, and perturbations in GABAergic transmission within this region have been proposed to contribute to some of the cognitive and behavioral abnormalities associated with disorders such as schizophrenia. These abnormalities include deficits in emotional regulation and aberrant attributions of affective salience. Yet, how PFC GABA regulates these types of emotional processes are unclear. To address this issue, we investigated the contribution of PFC GABA transmission to different aspects of Pavlovian emotional learning in rats using translational discriminative fear conditioning and latent inhibition (LI) assays. Reducing prelimbic PFC GABAA transmission via infusions of the antagonist bicuculline before the acquisition or expression of fear conditioning eliminated the ability to discriminate between an aversive conditioned stimulus (CS+) paired with footshock vs a neutral CS-, resembling similar deficits observed in schizophrenic patients. In a separate experiment, blockade of PFC GABAA receptors before CS preexposure (PE) and conditioning did not affect subsequent expression of LI, but did enhance fear in rats that were not preexposed to the CS. In contrast, PFC GABA-blockade before a fear expression test disrupted the recall of learned irrelevance and abolished LI. These data suggest that normal PFC GABA transmission is critical for regulating and mitigating multiple aspects of aversive learning, including discrimination between fear vs safety signals and recall of information about the irrelevance of stimuli. Furthermore, they suggest that similar deficits in emotional regulation observed in schizophrenia may be driven in part by deficient PFC GABA activity.

  14. Extensive Extinction in Multiple Contexts Eliminates the Renewal of Conditioned Fear in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Brian L.; Vurbic, Drina; Novak, Cheryl

    2009-01-01

    Two studies examined whether nonreinforcement of a stimulus in multiple contexts, instead of a single context, would decrease renewal of conditioned fear in rats (as assessed by conditioned suppression of lever pressing). In Experiment 1, renewal was measured after 36 nonreinforced CS trials delivered during six extinction sessions in a single…

  15. Isoflurane causes anterograde but not retrograde amnesia for pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, Robert C; Maurer, Anya J; Sonner, James M; Fanselow, Michael S; Laster, Michael J; Eger, Edmond I

    2002-05-01

    Production of retrograde amnesia by anesthetics would indicate that these drugs can disrupt mechanisms that stabilize memory. Such disruption would allow suppression of memory of previous untoward events. The authors examined whether isoflurane provides retrograde amnesia for classic (Pavlovian) fear conditioning. Rats were trained to fear tone by applying three (three-trial) or one (one-trial) tone-shock pairs while breathing various constant concentrations of isoflurane. Immediately after training, isoflurane administration was either discontinued, maintained unchanged, or rapidly increased to 1.0 minimum alveolar concentration for 1 h longer. Groups of rats were similarly trained to fear context while breathing isoflurane by applying shocks (without tones) in a distinctive environment. The next day, memory for the conditioned stimuli was determined by presenting the tone or context (without shock) and measuring the proportion of time each rat froze (appeared immobile). For each conditioning procedure, the effects of the three posttraining isoflurane treatments were compared. Rapid increases in posttraining isoflurane administration did not suppress conditioned fear for any of the training procedures. In contrast, isoflurane administration during conditioning dose-dependently suppressed conditioning (P conditioning. Isoflurane appears to disrupt memory processes that occur at or within a few minutes of the conditioning procedure.

  16. Sources, responses and moderators of childbirth fear in Australian women: a qualitative investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenwick, J; Toohill, J; Creedy, D K; Smith, J; Gamble, J

    2015-01-01

    around 20% of women suffer childbirth fear causing them significant distress and often leading to requests for caesarean section. In Sweden, fearful pregnant women are offered counselling; however, in Australia, no dedicated service caters for the specific needs of these women. Indeed scant research has been conducted in Australia and little is known about women's concerns and if these align to those reported in the international literature. to describe the sources, responses and moderators of childbirth fear in a group of pregnant women assessed as having high levels of childbirth fear. comparative analysis was used to identify common concepts and generate themes that represented women's perspectives of childbirth fear. Data consisted of 43 tape recorded telephone conversations with highly fearful pregnant women who were participating in a large randomised controlled trial known as BELIEF (Birth Emotions, Looking to Improve Expectant Fear). women's fears were conceptualised into three themes: fear stimuli; fear responses; and fear moderators. Lack of confidence to birth, fear of the unknown, internalising other women's negative stories, perineal tearing and labour pain were common concerns for first time mothers. For multiparous women, not having had personal feelings resolved following their previous birth and negative experiences of last birth influenced current expectations for their upcoming birth. Themes common to both groups were: unmet information and support needs, feelings of loss of control and lack of input in to decision-making. Some women however, chose to avoid birth planning in order to cope during pregnancy. Australian women had similar childbirth concerns to those reported in the international literature. However unique to this study was finding two opposing discourses; one of preoccupation with negative events and the other; avoidance of planning for labour and birth. Provision of woman centred maternity models that minimise obstetric

  17. Early life stress in rats sex-dependently affects remote endocrine rather than behavioral consequences of adult exposure to contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Sílvia; Daviu, Núria; Gagliano, Humberto; Belda, Xavier; Armario, Antonio; Nadal, Roser

    2018-05-30

    Exposure to electric foot-shocks can induce in rodents contextual fear conditioning, generalization of fear to other contexts and sensitization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to further stressors. All these aspects are relevant for the study of post-traumatic stress disorder. In the present work we evaluated in rats the sex differences and the role of early life stress (ELS) in fear memories, generalization and sensitization. During the first postnatal days subjects were exposed to restriction of nesting material along with exposure to a "substitute" mother. In the adulthood they were exposed to (i) a contextual fear conditioning to evaluate long-term memory and extinction and (ii) to a novel environment to study cognitive fear generalization and HPA axis heterotypic sensitization. ELS did not alter acquisition, expression or extinction of context fear conditioned behavior (freezing) in either sex, but reduced activity in novel environments only in males. Fear conditioning associated hypoactivity in novel environments (cognitive generalization) was greater in males than females but was not specifically affected by ELS. Although overall females showed greater basal and stress-induced levels of ACTH and corticosterone, an interaction between ELS, shock exposure and sex was found regarding HPA hormones. In males, ELS did not affect ACTH response in any situation, whereas in females, ELS reduced both shock-induced sensitization of ACTH and its conditioned response to the shock context. Also, shock-induced sensitization of corticosterone was only observed in males and ELS specifically reduced corticosterone response to stressors in males but not females. In conclusion, ELS seems to have only a minor impact on shock-induced behavioral conditioning, while affecting the unconditioned and conditioned responses of HPA hormones in a sex-dependent manner. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. (+)-Borneol suppresses conditioned fear recall and anxiety-like behaviors in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Bo; Ni, Huan-Yu; Li, Jun; Zhou, Ying; Bian, Xin-Lan; Tao, Yan; Cai, Cheng-Yun; Qin, Cheng; Wu, Hai-Yin; Chang, Lei; Luo, Chun-Xia; Zhu, Dong-Ya

    2018-01-08

    Fear- and anxiety-related psychiatric disorders have been one of the major chronic diseases afflicting patients for decades, and new compounds for treating such disorders remain to be developed. (+)-Borneol, a bicyclic monoterpene found in several species of Artemisia and Dipterocarpaceae, is widely used for anxiety, pain and anesthesia in Chinese medicine. Meanwhile, it can potentiate GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) activity directly in recombinant GABAA receptors. The present study was to investigate the effects of (+)-Borneol on both contextual and cued fear recall. Interestingly, microinjection of (+)-Borneol into the dorsal hippocampus inhibited 24 h and 7 d contextual fear, whereas its infusion into ventral hippocampus only reduced 24 h cued fear responses. Moreover, microinjection of (+)-Borneol into dorsal but not ventral hippocampus suppressed anxiety-like behaviors in the open field test, light/dark exploration and the elevated plus maze test. As selective GABA A receptor antagonist bicuculline reversed the effect of (+)-Borneol on contextual fear paradigm and the drug potentiated GABA-evoked currents in acute hippocampus slices, modulation of the GABAergic neurotransmission may explain the effects of (+)-Borneol. Our findings suggest that (+)-Borneol can serve as a new therapeutic in fear- and anxiety-related disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Role of dopamine receptors in the ventral tegmental area in conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Amanda Ribeiro; Reimer, Adriano Edgar; Brandão, Marcus Lira

    2009-05-16

    The increased startle reflex in the presence of a stimulus that has been previously paired with footshock has been termed fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and is considered a reliable index of anxiety. Some studies have suggested an association between stressful situations and alterations in dopaminergic (DA) transmission. Many studies converge on the hypothesis that the mesocorticolimbic pathway, originating from DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), is particularly sensitive to fear-arousing stimuli. The present study explored the involvement of VTA DA receptors in the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear to a light conditioned stimulus (CS). We evaluated the effects of intra-VTA administration of SKF 38393 (D(1) agonist), SCH 23390 (D(1) antagonist), quinpirole (D(2) agonist), and sulpiride (D(2) antagonist) on FPS. All drugs were administered bilaterally into the VTA (1.0 microg/0.2 microl/site). Locomotor activity/exploration and motor coordination were evaluated in the open-field and rotarod tests. None of the drugs produced significant effects on FPS when injected before conditioning, indicating that VTA DA receptors are not involved in the acquisition of conditioned fear to a light-CS. In contrast, when injected before the test session, quinpirole significantly reduced FPS, whereas the other drugs had no effect. Quinpirole's ability to decrease FPS may be the result of an action on VTA D(2) presynaptic autoreceptors that decrease dopamine levels in terminal fields of the mesocorticolimbic pathway. Altogether, the present results suggest the importance of VTA DA neurons in the fear-activating effects of Pavlovian conditioning. In addition to demonstrating the importance of dopaminergic mechanisms in the motivational consequences of footshock, the present findings also indicate that these neural circuits are mainly involved in the expression, rather than acquisition, of conditioned fear.

  20. Repeated Recall and PKM? Maintain Fear Memories in Juvenile Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Chicora F.; Kabitzke, Patricia; Serrano, Peter; Egan, Laura J.; Barr, Gordon A.; Shair, Harry N.; Wiedenmayer, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    We examined the neural substrates of fear memory formation and maintenance when repeated recall was used to prevent forgetting in young animals. In contrast to adult rats, juveniles failed to show contextual fear responses at 4 d post-fear conditioning. Reconsolidation sessions 3 and 6 d after conditioning restored contextual fear responses in…

  1. Tracking the fear memory engram: discrete populations of neurons within amygdala, hypothalamus, and lateral septum are specifically activated by auditory fear conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Yvette M.; Gunnersen, Jenny M.; Murphy, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Memory formation is thought to occur via enhanced synaptic connectivity between populations of neurons in the brain. However, it has been difficult to localize and identify the neurons that are directly involved in the formation of any specific memory. We have previously used fos-tau-lacZ (FTL) transgenic mice to identify discrete populations of neurons in amygdala and hypothalamus, which were specifically activated by fear conditioning to a context. Here we have examined neuronal activation due to fear conditioning to a more specific auditory cue. Discrete populations of learning-specific neurons were identified in only a small number of locations in the brain, including those previously found to be activated in amygdala and hypothalamus by context fear conditioning. These populations, each containing only a relatively small number of neurons, may be directly involved in fear learning and memory. PMID:26179231

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

  3. Prefrontocortical dopamine loss in rats delays long-term extinction of contextual conditioned fear, and reduces social interaction without affecting short-term social interaction memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez Espejo, Emilio

    2003-03-01

    Prefrontal dopamine loss delays extinction of cued fear conditioning responses, but its role in contextual fear conditioning has not been explored. Medial prefrontal lesions also enhance social interaction in rats, but the role of prefrontal dopamine loss on social interaction memory is not known. Besides, a role for subcortical accumbal dopamine on mnesic changes after prefrontal dopamine manipulation has been proposed but not explored. The objective was to study the involvement of dopaminergic neurotransmission in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens in two mnesic tasks: contextual fear conditioning and social interaction memory. For contextual fear conditioning, short- and long-term freezing responses after an electric shock were studied, as well as extinction retention. Regarding social interaction memory, the recognition of a juvenile, a very sensitive short-term memory test, was used. Dopamine loss was carried out by injection of 6-hydroxydopamine, and postmortem catecholamine levels were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Prefrontocortical dopamine loss (>76%) led to a reactive enhancement of accumbal dopamine content (ploss. In lesioned rats, long-term extinction of contextual fear conditioning was significantly delayed and extinction retention was impaired without changes in acquisition and short-term contextual fear conditioning and, on the other hand, acquisition and short-term social interaction memory were not affected, although time spent on social interaction was significantly reduced. Added dopamine loss in the nucleus accumbens (>76%) did not alter these behavioral changes. In summary, the results of the present study indicate that the dopaminergic network in the mPFC (but not in the nucleus accumbens) coordinates the normal long-term extinction of contextual fear conditioning responses without affecting their acquisition, and it is involved in time spent on social interaction, but not acquisition and short

  4. Fear of Success: A Personality Trait or a Response to Occupational Deviance and Role Overload?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bremer, Teresa Hargrave; Wittig, Michele Andrisin

    1980-01-01

    Clarifies the extent to which an individual's fear of success scores may vary with the presence or absence of occupational deviance and/or role overload in stimulus materials describing situations of female competitive success. Results suggest that fear of success is a misnomer for responses to women's role descriptions. (Author/JLF)

  5. When psychopathy impairs moral judgments: neural responses during judgments about causing fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Abigail A; Cardinale, Elise M

    2014-01-01

    Psychopathy is a disorder characterized by reduced empathy, shallow affect and behaviors that cause victims distress, like threats, bullying and violence. Neuroimaging research in both institutionalized and community samples implicates amygdala dysfunction in the etiology of psychopathic traits. Reduced amygdala responsiveness may disrupt processing of fear-relevant stimuli like fearful facial expressions. The present study links amygdala dysfunction in response to fear-relevant stimuli to the willingness of individuals with psychopathic traits to cause fear in other people. Thirty-three healthy adult participants varying in psychopathic traits underwent whole-brain fMRI scanning while they viewed statements that selectively evoke anger, disgust, fear, happiness or sadness. During scanning, participants judged whether it is morally acceptable to make each statement to another person. Psychopathy was associated with reduced activity in right amygdala during judgments of fear-evoking statements and with more lenient moral judgments about causing fear. No group differences in amygdala function or moral judgments emerged for other emotion categories. Psychopathy was also associated with increased activity in middle frontal gyrus (BA 10) during the task. These results implicate amygdala dysfunction in impaired judgments about causing distress in psychopathy and suggest that atypical amygdala responses to fear in psychopathy extend across multiple classes of stimuli.

  6. Neurotoxic lesions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus impair acquisition and expression of trace-conditioned fear-potentiated startle in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trivedi, Mehul A; Coover, Gary D

    2006-04-03

    Pavlovian delay conditioning, in which a conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) co-terminate, is thought to reflect non-declarative memory. In contrast, trace conditioning, in which the CS and US are temporally separate, is thought to reflect declarative memory. Hippocampal lesions impair acquisition and expression of trace conditioning measured by the conditioned freezing and eyeblink responses, while having little effect on the acquisition of delay conditioning. Recent evidence suggests that lesions of the ventral hippocampus (VH) impair conditioned fear under conditions in which dorsal hippocampal (DH) lesions have little effect. In the present study, we examined the time-course of fear expression after delay and trace conditioning using the fear-potentiated startle (FPS) reflex, and the effects of pre- and post-training lesions to the VH and DH on trace-conditioned FPS. We found that both delay- and trace-conditioned rats displayed significant FPS near the end of the CS relative to the unpaired control group. In contrast, trace-conditioned rats displayed significant FPS throughout the duration of the trace interval, whereas FPS decayed rapidly to baseline after CS offset in delay-conditioned rats. In experiment 2, both DH and VH lesions were found to significantly reduce the overall magnitude of FPS compared to the control group, however, no differences were found between the DH and VH groups. These findings support a role for both the DH and VH in trace fear conditioning, and suggest that the greater effect of VH lesions on conditioned fear might be specific to certain measures of fear.

  7. A Model of Amygdala-Hippocampal-Prefrontal Interaction in Fear Conditioning and Extinction in Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard J.; Myers, Catherine E.

    2013-01-01

    Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus…

  8. Effects of Post-Training Hippocampal Injections of Midazolam on Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gafford, Georgette M.; Parsons, Ryan G.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2005-01-01

    Benzodiazepines have been useful tools for investigating mechanisms underlying learning and memory. The present set of experiments investigates the role of hippocampal GABA[subscript A]/benzodiazepine receptors in memory consolidation using Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats were prepared with cannulae aimed at the dorsal hippocampus and trained…

  9. Two roles of the context in Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urcelay, Gonzalo P; Miller, Ralph R

    2010-04-01

    At both empirical and theoretical levels, multiple functional roles of contextual information upon memory performance have been proposed without a clear dissociation of these roles. Some theories have assumed that contexts are functionally similar to cues, whereas other views emphasize the retrieval facilitating properties of contextual information. In Experiment 1, we observed that one critical parameter, the spacing of trials, could determine whether the context would function as a conditioned stimulus or as a retrieval cue for memories trained in different phases. Experiments 2 and 3 doubly dissociated these functions by selectively disrupting one role but not the other, and vice versa. Overall, these observations identify one determinant of different functions of contextual information and pose a major challenge to theories of learning that assume exclusively one or the other function of the context. Moreover, these data emphasize the importance of parametric variations on behavioral control, which has critical implications for studies designed to understand the role of the hippocampus in processing of contextual attributes.

  10. Role of L-type Ca2+ channel isoforms in the extinction of conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busquet, Perrine; Hetzenauer, Alfred; Sinnegger-Brauns, Martina J; Striessnig, Jörg; Singewald, Nicolas

    2008-05-01

    Dihydropyridine (DHP) L-type Ca(2+) channel (LTCC) antagonists, such as nifedipine, have been reported to impair the extinction of conditioned fear without interfering with its acquisition. Identification of the LTCC isoforms mediating this DHP effect is an essential basis to reveal their role as potential drug targets for the treatment of specific anxiety disorders. Ca(V)1.2 and Ca(V)1.3 are the predominant LTCCs in the mammalian brain. However, since no isoform-selective DHP blockers are available, their individual contribution to fear memory extinction is unknown. We used a novel mouse model expressing DHP-insensitive Ca(V)1.2 LTCCs (Ca(V)1.2DHP(-/-) mice) to address this question. In line with previous studies, wild-type (WT) mice treated with systemic nifedipine displayed markedly impaired fear extinction. This DHP effect was completely abolished in Ca(V)1.2DHP(-/-) mice, indicating that it is mediated by Ca(V)1.2, but not by Ca(V)1.3 LTCCs. Supporting this conclusion, Ca(V)1.3-deficient mice (Ca(V)1.3(-/-)) showed extinction identical to the respective WT mice. The inhibition of fear extinction was not observed after intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) application of different doses of nifedipine, suggesting that this effect is secondary to inhibition of peripheral Ca(V)1.2 channels. The LTCC activator BayK, which lacks neurotoxic effects in Ca(V)1.2DHP(-/-) mice, did not influence the extinction time course. In summary, we demonstrate that LTCC signaling through the Ca(V)1.2 isoform of LTCCs interferes with fear memory extinction, presumably via a peripherally mediated mechanism. Activation of other LTCC isoforms (predominantly Ca(V)1.3) is not sufficient to accelerate extinction of conditioned fear in mice.

  11. 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.

  12. Fearfulness moderates the link between childhood social withdrawal and adolescent reward response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Judith K; Shaw, Daniel S; Forbes, Erika E

    2015-06-01

    Withdrawal from peers during childhood may reflect disruptions in reward functioning that heighten vulnerability to affective disorders during adolescence. The association between socially withdrawn behavior and reward functioning may depend on traits that influence this withdrawal, such as fearfulness or unsociability. In a study of 129 boys, we evaluated how boys' fearfulness and sociability at age 5 and social withdrawal at school at ages 6 to 10 and during a summer camp at age 9/10 were associated with their neural response to reward at age 20. Greater social withdrawal during childhood was associated with heightened striatal and mPFC activation when anticipating rewards at age 20. Fearfulness moderated this effect to indicate that social withdrawal was associated with heightened reward-related response in the striatum for boys high on fearfulness. Altered striatal response associated with social withdrawal and fearfulness predicted greater likelihood to have a lifetime history of depression and social phobia at age 20. These findings add greater specificity to previous findings that children high in traits related to fear of novelty show altered reward responses, by identifying fearfulness (but not low levels of sociability) as a potential underlying mechanism that contributes to reward alterations in withdrawn children. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Absence of verbal recall or memory for symptom acquisition in fear and trauma exposure: a conceptual case for fear conditioning and learned nonuse in assessment and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifert, A Ronald

    2012-01-01

    Absence of memory or verbal recall for symptom acquisition in fear and trauma exposure, as well as absence of successful coping behavior for life events, is associated with a number of diagnoses, including traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, and anxiety. The difficulty with diagnosis and treatment planning based on the absence of recall, memory, and successful coping behavior is threefold: (1) these assessments do not distinguish between disruption of behavior and lack of capacity, (2) the absence of verbal recall and memory complicates cognitive-based treatment, and (3) a confounding issue is the same absent behavior can be observed at different times and contexts. While memory of the specific details of the initial traumatic event(s) may not be available to verbal report, the existence of time- and context-dependent relationships for the initial as well as subsequent experiences is arguable. The absence of memory or lack of verbal recall does not rule out measurable physiological bodily responses for the initial trauma(s), nor does it help to establish the effects of subsequent experiences for symptom expression. Also, the absence of memory must include the prospect of fear-based learning that does not require or involve the cortex. It is posited that the literatures of fear conditioning and learned nonuse provide complementary illustrations of how the time and context of the initial trauma(s) and subsequent experiences affect behavior, which is not dependent on the effected individual being able to provide a memory-based verbal report. The replicated clinical application demonstrates that, without scientific demonstration, neither neuroanatomy nor verbal report can be assumed sufficient to predict overt behavior or physiologic responses. For example, while commonly assumed to be predictively so, autonomic nervous system innervation is insufficient to define the unique stimulus- and context-dependent physiological responses of an

  14. Effects of Postnatal Serotonin Agonism on Fear Response and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) also acts as a neurogenic compound in the developing brain. Early administration of a 5-HT agonist could alter the development of the serotonergic circuitry, altering behaviors mediated by 5-HT signaling, such as memory, fear and aggression. White leghorn chicks...

  15. 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.

  16. Anterograde effects of a single electroconvulsive shock on inhibitory avoidance and on cued fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliveira M.G.M.

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available A single electroconvulsive shock (ECS or a sham ECS was administered to male 3-4-month-old Wistar rats 1, 2, and 4 h before training in an inhibitory avoidance test and in cued classical fear conditioning (measured by means of freezing time in a new environment. ECS impaired inhibitory avoidance at all times and, at 1 or 2 h before training, reduced freezing time before and after re-presentation of the ECS. These results are interpreted as a transient conditioned stimulus (CS-induced anxiolytic or analgesic effect lasting about 2 h after a single treatment, in addition to the known amnesic effect of the stimulus. This suggests that the effect of anterograde learning impairment is demonstrated unequivocally only when the analgesic/anxiolytic effect is over (about 4 h after ECS administration and that this impairment of learning is selective, affecting inhibitory avoidance but not classical fear conditioning to a discrete stimulus.

  17. The basolateral amygdala can mediate the effects of fear memory on sleep independently of fear behavior and the peripheral stress response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellman, Laurie L; Fitzpatrick, Mairen E; Hallum, Olga Y; Sutton, Amy M; Williams, Brook L; Sanford, Larry D

    2017-01-01

    Fear conditioning associated with inescapable shock training (ST) and fearful context re-exposure (CR) alone can produce significant behavioral fear, a stress response and alterations in subsequent REM sleep. These alterations may vary among animals and are mediated by the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA). Here, we used the GABA A agonist, muscimol (Mus), to inactivate BLA prior to CR and examined the effects on sleep, freezing and stress-induced hyperthermia (SIH). Wistar rats (n=28) were implanted with electrodes for recording sleep, data loggers for recording core body temperature, and with cannulae aimed bilaterally into BLA. After recovery, the animals were habituated to the injection procedure and baseline sleep was recorded. On experimental day 1, rats received ST (20 footshocks, 0.8mA, 0.5s duration, 60s interstimulus interval). On experimental day 7, the rats received microinjections (0.5μl) into BLA of either Mus (1.0μM; n=13) or vehicle (Veh; n=15) prior to CR (CR1). On experimental day 21, the animals experienced a second CR (CR2) without Mus. For analysis, the rats were separated into 4 groups: (Veh-vulnerable (Veh-Vul; n=8), Veh-resilient (Veh-Res; n=7), Mus-vulnerable (Mus-Vul; n=7), and Mus-resilient (Mus-Res; n=6)) based on whether or not REM was decreased, compared to baseline, during the first 4h following ST. Pre-CR1 inactivation of BLA did not alter freezing or SIH, but did block the reduction in REM in the Mus-Vul group compared to the Veh-Vul group. These data indicate that BLA is an important region for mediating the effects of fearful memories on sleep. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Lack of predictive power of trait fear and anxiety for conditioned pain modulation (CPM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn-Hofmann, Claudia; Priebe, Janosch A; Schaller, Jörg; Görlitz, Rüdiger; Lautenbacher, Stefan

    2016-12-01

    In recent years the association of conditioned pain modulation (CPM) with trait fear and anxiety has become a hot topic in pain research due to the assumption that such variables may explain the low CPM efficiency in some individuals. However, empirical evidence concerning this association is still equivocal. Our study is the first to investigate the predictive power of fear and anxiety for CPM by using a well-established psycho-physiological measure of trait fear, i.e. startle potentiation, in addition to two self-report measures of pain-related trait anxiety. Forty healthy, pain-free participants (female: N = 20; age: M = 23.62 years) underwent two experimental blocks in counter-balanced order: (1) a startle paradigm with affective picture presentation and (2) a CPM procedure with hot water as conditioning stimulus (CS) and contact heat as test stimulus (TS). At the end of the experimental session, pain catastrophizing (PCS) and pain anxiety (PASS) were assessed. PCS score, PASS score and startle potentiation to threatening pictures were entered as predictors in a linear regression model with CPM magnitude as criterion. We were able to show an inhibitory CPM effect in our sample: pain ratings of the heat stimuli were significantly reduced during hot water immersion. However, CPM was neither predicted by self-report of pain-related anxiety nor by startle potentiation as psycho-physiological measure of trait fear. These results corroborate previous negative findings concerning the association between trait fear/anxiety and CPM efficiency and suggest that shifting the focus from trait to state measures might be promising.

  19. Posttraining handling facilitates memory for auditory-cue fear conditioning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Isabel R; Hui, Gabriel K; Roozendaal, Benno; McGaugh, James L; Weinberger, Norman M

    2006-09-01

    A large number of studies have indicated that stress exposure or the administration of stress hormones and other neuroactive drugs immediately after a learning experience modulates the consolidation of long-term memory. However, there has been little investigation into how arousal induced by handling of the animals in order to administer these drugs affects memory. Therefore, the present study examined whether the posttraining injection or handling procedure per se affects memory of auditory-cue classical fear conditioning. Male Sprague-Dawley rats, which had been pre-handled on three days for 1 min each prior to conditioning, received three pairings of a single-frequency auditory stimulus and footshock, followed immediately by either a subcutaneous injection of a vehicle solution or brief handling without injection. A control group was placed back into their home cages without receiving any posttraining treatment. Retention was tested 24 h later in a novel chamber and suppression of ongoing motor behavior during a 10-s presentation of the auditory-cue served as the measure of conditioned fear. Animals that received posttraining injection or handling did not differ from each other but showed significantly less stimulus-induced movement compared to the non-handled control group. These findings thus indicate that the posttraining injection or handling procedure is sufficiently arousing or stressful to facilitate memory consolidation of auditory-cue classical fear conditioning.

  20. Inhibition of the mesoamygdala dopaminergic pathway impairs the retrieval of conditioned fear associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nader, K; LeDoux, J E

    1999-10-01

    Previous findings have demonstrated that systemic dopaminergic manipulations impair the retrieval of Pavlovian conditioned fear. A second-order fear-conditioning paradigm was used to test whether the dopaminergic projection from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the lateral and basal amygdala (LBA) can affect conditioned fear. Phase 1 entailed conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus (CS1-US) pairings. In Phase 2, drugs were infused in either the LBA or VTA prior to pairings of CS2 (a second cue) with CS1. In Phase 3, freezing behavior elicited by CS2 was tested without drugs. Infusions of the D2 agonist quinpirole into the VTA or of the D1 antagonist SCH 23390 into the LBA caused a decrease in freezing to CS2. Both manipulations decrease D1 receptor activation in the LBA. Infusions of the D1 agonist SKF 38393 into the LBA had no effect. This pattern of results is consistent with the hypothesis that the VTA-LBA dopaminergic projection modulates the retrieval of an association between a CS and footshock US.

  1. Subconscious responses to fear-appeal health warnings: An exploratory study of cigarette packaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christo Boshoff

    2017-04-01

    Aim: In this exploratory study, the ability of fear-based pictures and text messages on cigarette packaging to create emotional arousal among consumers is explored. Methods: Galvanic skin response and eye-tracking methodologies were used. Results: The results indicate that both fear-based pictures and fear-based text messages activated arousal among consumers. Conclusion: The extent of arousal is influenced (at least to some extent by both gender and whether or not the viewer is a smoker.

  2. Prefrontal-limbic Functional Connectivity during Acquisition and Extinction of Conditioned Fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Douglas W; Gonzalez-Lima, F

    2018-04-15

    This study is a new analysis to obtain novel metabolic data on the functional connectivity of prefrontal-limbic regions in Pavlovian fear acquisition and extinction of tone-footshock conditioning. Mice were analyzed with the fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) autoradiographic method to metabolically map regional brain activity. New FDG data were sampled from the nuclei of the habenula and other regions implicated in aversive conditioning, such as infralimbic cortex, amygdala and periaqueductal gray regions. The activity patterns among these regions were inter-correlated during acquisition, extinction or pseudorandom training to develop a functional connectivity model. Two subdivisions of the habenular complex showed increased activity after acquisition relative to extinction, with the pseudorandom group intermediate between the other two groups. Significant acquisition activation effects were also found in centromedial amygdala, dorsomedial and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray. FDG uptake increases during extinction were found only in dorsal and ventral infralimbic cortex. The overall pattern of activity correlations between these regions revealed extensive but differential functional connectivity during acquisition and extinction training, with less functional connectivity found after pseudorandom training. Interestingly, habenula nuclei showed a distinct pattern of inter-correlations with amygdala nuclei during extinction. The functional connectivity model revealed changing interactions among infralimbic cortex, amygdala, habenula and periaqueductal gray regions through the stages of Pavlovian fear acquisition and extinction. This study provided new data on the contributions of the habenula to fear conditioning, and revealed previously unreported infralimbic-amygdala-habenula-periaqueductal gray interactions implicated in acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear. Copyright © 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The role of calsenilin/DREAM/KChIP3 in contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jon C; McDermott, Carmel M; Tunur, Tumay; Rands, Vicky; Stelly, Claire; Karhson, Debra; Bowlby, Mark R; An, W Frank; Sweatt, J David; Schrader, Laura A

    2009-03-01

    Potassium channel interacting proteins (KChIPs) are members of a family of calcium binding proteins that interact with Kv4 potassium (K(+)) channel primary subunits and also act as transcription factors. The Kv4 subunit is a primary K(+) channel pore-forming subunit, which contributes to the somatic and dendritic A-type currents throughout the nervous system. These A-type currents play a key role in the regulation of neuronal excitability and dendritic processing of incoming synaptic information. KChIP3 is also known as calsenilin and as the transcription factor, downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM), which regulates a number of genes including prodynorphin. KChIP3 and Kv4 primary channel subunits are highly expressed in hippocampus, an area of the brain important for learning and memory. Through its various functions, KChIP3 may play a role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. We evaluated the role of KChIP3 in a hippocampus-dependent memory task, contextual fear conditioning. Male KChIP3 knockout (KO) mice showed significantly enhanced memory 24 hours after training as measured by percent freezing. In addition, we found that membrane association and interaction with Kv4.2 of KChIP3 protein was significantly decreased and nuclear KChIP3 expression was increased six hours after the fear conditioning training paradigm with no significant change in KChIP3 mRNA. In addition, prodynorphin mRNA expression was significantly decreased six hours after fear conditioning training in wild-type (WT) but not in KO animals. These data suggest a role for regulation of gene expression by KChIP3/DREAM/calsenilin in consolidation of contextual fear conditioning memories.

  4. Object-Location Training Elicits an Overlapping but Temporally Distinct Transcriptional Profile from Contextual Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimmer, Mathieu; Hawk, Joshua D.; Walsh, Jennifer L.; Giese, Karl P.; Abel, Ted

    2014-01-01

    Hippocampus-dependent learning is known to induce changes in gene expression, but information on gene expression differences between different learning paradigms that require the hippocampus is limited. The bulk of studies investigating RNA expression after learning use the contextual fear conditioning task, which couples a novel environment with a footshock. Although contextual fear conditioning has been useful in discovering gene targets, gene expression after spatial memory tasks has received less attention. In this study, we used the object-location memory task and studied gene expression at two time points after learning in a high-throughput manner using a microfluidic qPCR approach. We found that expression of the classic immediate-early genes changes after object-location training in a fashion similar to that observed after contextual fear conditioning. However, the temporal dynamics of gene expression are different between the two tasks, with object-location memory producing gene expression changes that last at least 2 hours. Our findings indicate that different training paradigms may give rise to distinct temporal dynamics of gene expression after learning. PMID:25242102

  5. Object-location training elicits an overlapping but temporally distinct transcriptional profile from contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poplawski, Shane G; Schoch, Hannah; Wimmer, Mathieu; Hawk, Joshua D; Walsh, Jennifer L; Giese, Karl P; Abel, Ted

    2014-12-01

    Hippocampus-dependent learning is known to induce changes in gene expression, but information on gene expression differences between different learning paradigms that require the hippocampus is limited. The bulk of studies investigating RNA expression after learning use the contextual fear conditioning task, which couples a novel environment with a footshock. Although contextual fear conditioning has been useful in discovering gene targets, gene expression after spatial memory tasks has received less attention. In this study, we used the object-location memory task and studied gene expression at two time points after learning in a high-throughput manner using a microfluidic qPCR approach. We found that expression of the classic immediate-early genes changes after object-location training in a fashion similar to that observed after contextual fear conditioning. However, the temporal dynamics of gene expression are different between the two tasks, with object-location memory producing gene expression changes that last at least 2 hours. Our findings indicate that different training paradigms may give rise to distinct temporal dynamics of gene expression after learning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Neural correlates of fear-induced sympathetic response associated with the peripheral temperature change rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshihara, Kazufumi; Tanabe, Hiroki C; Kawamichi, Hiroaki; Koike, Takahiko; Yamazaki, Mika; Sudo, Nobuyuki; Sadato, Norihiro

    2016-07-01

    Activation of the sympathetic nervous system is essential for coping with environmental stressors such as fearful stimuli. Recent human imaging studies demonstrated that activity in some cortical regions, such as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and anterior insula cortex (aIC), is related to sympathetic activity. However, little is known about the functional brain connectivity related to sympathetic response to fearful stimuli. The participants were 32 healthy, right-handed volunteers. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine brain activity when watching horror and control movies. Fingertip temperature was taken during the scanning as a measure of sympathetic response. The movies were watched a second time, and the degree of fear (9-point Likert-type scale) was evaluated every three seconds. The brain activity of the ACC, bilateral aIC, and bilateral anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) was correlated with the change rate of fingertip temperature, with or without fearful stimuli. Functional connectivity analysis revealed significantly greater positive functional connectivity between the amygdala and the ACC and between the amygdala and the aIC when watching the horror movie than when watching the control movie. Whole-brain psycho-physiological interaction (PPI) analysis revealed that the functional connectivity between the left amygdala and the ACC was modulated according to the fear rating. Our results indicate that the increased functional connectivity between the left amygdala and the ACC represents a sympathetic response to fearful stimuli. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  8. Time-Dependent Expression of Arc and Zif268 after Acquisition of Fear Conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary E. Lonergan

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Memory consolidation requires transcription and translation of new protein. Arc, an effector immediate early gene, and zif268, a regulatory transcription factor, have been implicated in synaptic plasticity underlying learning and memory. This study explored the temporal expression profiles of these proteins in the rat hippocampus following fear conditioning. We observed a time-dependent increase of Arc protein in the dorsal hippocampus 30-to-90-minute post training, returning to basal levels at 4 h. Zif268 protein levels, however, gradually increased at 30-minute post training before peaking in expression at 60 minute. The timing of hippocampal Arc and zif268 expression coincides with the critical period for protein synthesis-dependent memory consolidation following fear conditioning. However, the expression of Arc protein appears to be driven by context exploration, whereas, zif268 expression may be more specifically related to associative learning. These findings suggest that altered Arc and zif268 expression are related to neural plasticity during the formation of fear memory.

  9. Declarative virtual water maze learning and emotional fear conditioning in primary insomnia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Marion; Hertenstein, Elisabeth; Feige, Bernd; Landmann, Nina; Spiegelhalder, Kai; Baglioni, Chiara; Hemmerling, Johanna; Durand, Diana; Frase, Lukas; Klöppel, Stefan; Riemann, Dieter; Nissen, Christoph

    2018-05-02

    Healthy sleep restores the brain's ability to adapt to novel input through memory formation based on activity-dependent refinements of the strength of neural transmission across synapses (synaptic plasticity). In line with this framework, patients with primary insomnia often report subjective memory impairment. However, investigations of memory performance did not produce conclusive results. The aim of this study was to further investigate memory performance in patients with primary insomnia in comparison to healthy controls, using two well-characterized learning tasks, a declarative virtual water maze task and emotional fear conditioning. Twenty patients with primary insomnia according to DSM-IV criteria (17 females, three males, 43.5 ± 13.0 years) and 20 good sleeper controls (17 females, three males, 41.7 ± 12.8 years) were investigated in a parallel-group study. All participants completed a hippocampus-dependent virtual Morris water maze task and amygdala-dependent classical fear conditioning. Patients with insomnia showed significantly delayed memory acquisition in the virtual water maze task, but no significant difference in fear acquisition compared with controls. These findings are consistent with the notion that memory processes that emerge from synaptic refinements in a hippocampal-neocortical network are particularly sensitive to chronic disruptions of sleep, while those in a basic emotional amygdala-dependent network may be more resilient. © 2018 European Sleep Research Society.

  10. Role of NPY Y1 receptor on acquisition, consolidation and extinction on contextual fear conditioning: dissociation between anxiety, locomotion and non-emotional memory behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lach, Gilliard; de Lima, Thereza Christina Monteiro

    2013-07-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is the most abundant peptide in the central nervous system (CNS) and is densely localized in the brain regions involved in stress, memory, fear and anxiety. Although previous research supports a role for NPY in the mediation of rodent and human emotional behavior, there is currently a lack of information on the effects of low doses of NPY that could have a potential therapeutic advantage, minimizing side-effects such as cognition impairment or sedation. Herein, we assessed the effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of low doses of NPY, and of the Y1-agonist Leu31Pro34-NPY (LP-NPY) on contextual fear conditioning (CFC), as they have no effect on unconditioned anxiety-like, locomotor activity and non-emotional memory. NPY (3 pmol) and LP-NPY (1 pmol) inhibited freezing behavior when administered in the acquisition or consolidation stages, indicating a reduction of fear. When injected in the extinction phase, only NPY inhibited freezing behavior on CFC. Pre-treatment with the Y1-antagonist BIBO3304 before NPY and LP-NPY was able to prevent the inhibition of fear responses induced by both NPY agonists. Taken together, our results demonstrate robust fear-inhibiting effects of i.c.v. injection of NPY on contextual fear conditioning in rats, a response that is mediated, at least in part, by the Y1 receptor. Moreover, these treatments were unable to change locomotor activity or to show an anxiolytic-like effect, as evaluated in an open-field and an elevated plus-maze. This specific fear reduction effect may underlie resilience systems in the CNS and has potential therapeutic relevance in PTSD. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Pilot study: is the fear response the same in anorexia nervosa as in controls?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birmingham, C Laird; Sidhu, Shelley; Anderson, John

    2018-03-14

    To determine whether the fear response is the same in AN as in controls. We recorded the EEG in 10 participants with a history of AN and in 10 controls during a fear stimulus. The response of the brain was recorded using EEG LORETA. The recording was analyzed for a marked increase in activity in the amygdala, uncus, insula, and anterior cingulate from 300 to 500 ms following the stimulus. The order or response of the amygdala, uncus, insula, and anterior cingulate was not significantly different in AN and controls. These results suggest that the brain's response to a fear stimulus is not significantly different in AN and controls. Level 3, case-control study.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Stephan; Uengoer, Metin; Lachnit, Harald

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Psychosocial job conditions, fear avoidance beliefs and expected return to work following acute coronary syndrome: a cross-sectional study of fear-avoidance as a potential mediator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Söderberg, Mia; Rosengren, Annika; Gustavsson, Sara; Schiöler, Linus; Härenstam, Annika; Torén, Kjell

    2015-12-21

    Despite improvements in treatment, acute coronary syndrome remains a substantial cause for prolonged sick absences and premature retirement. Knowledge regarding what benefits return to work is limited, especially the effect of psychological processes and psychosocial work factors. The purposes of this cross-sectional study were two-fold: to examine associations between adverse psychosocial job conditions and fear-avoidance beliefs towards work, and to determine whether such beliefs mediated the relationship between work conditions and expected return to work in acute coronary syndrome survivors. Study inclusion criteria: acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina diagnosis, below 65 years of age, being a resident in the West county of Sweden and currently working. In all, 509 individuals (21.8 % women) accepted study participation and for whom all data of study interest were available for analysis. Psychosocial work variables; job demand-control and effort-reward imbalance, were assessed with standard questionnaire batteries. Linear regression models were used to investigate relationships between psychosocial factors and fear-avoidance, and to evaluate mediator effects for fear-avoidance. Both total sample and gender stratified analyses were calculated. Fear-avoidance beliefs about work were associated to psychosocial job environments characterized by high strain (β 1.4; CI 1.2-1.6), active and passive work and high effort-reward imbalance (β 0.6; CI 0.5-0.7). Further, such beliefs also mediated the relationship between adverse work conditions and expected time for return to work. However, these results were only observed in total sample analyses or among or male participants. For women only high strain was linked to fear-avoidance, and these relationships became non-significant when entering chosen confounders. This cross-sectional study showed that acute coronary syndrome survivors, who laboured under adverse psychosocial work conditions, held fear

  15. Circadian Rhythms in Fear Conditioning: An Overview of Behavioral, Brain System, and Molecular Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Albrecht

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The formation of fear memories is a powerful and highly evolutionary conserved mechanism that serves the behavioral adaptation to environmental threats. Accordingly, classical fear conditioning paradigms have been employed to investigate fundamental molecular processes of memory formation. Evidence suggests that a circadian regulation mechanism allows for a timestamping of such fear memories and controlling memory salience during both their acquisition and their modification after retrieval. These mechanisms include an expression of molecular clocks in neurons of the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex and their tight interaction with the intracellular signaling pathways that mediate neural plasticity and information storage. The cellular activities are coordinated across different brain regions and neural circuits through the release of glucocorticoids and neuromodulators such as acetylcholine, which integrate circadian and memory-related activation. Disturbance of this interplay by circadian phase shifts or traumatic experience appears to be an important factor in the development of stress-related psychopathology, considering these circadian components are of critical importance for optimizing therapeutic approaches to these disorders.

  16. Systemic or Intra-Amygdala Infusion of the Benzodiazepine, Midazolam, Impairs Learning, but Facilitates Re-Learning to Inhibit Fear Responses in Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Genevra; Harris, Justin A.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2010-01-01

    A series of experiments used rats to study the effect of a systemic or intra-amygdala infusion of the benzodiazepine, midazolam, on learning and re-learning to inhibit context conditioned fear (freezing) responses. Rats were subjected to two context-conditioning episodes followed by extinction under drug or vehicle, or to two cycles of context…

  17. Dentate Gyrus Contributes to Retrieval as well as Encoding: Evidence from Context Fear Conditioning, Recall, and Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernier, Brian E; Lacagnina, Anthony F; Ayoub, Adam; Shue, Francis; Zemelman, Boris V; Krasne, Franklin B; Drew, Michael R

    2017-06-28

    Dentate gyrus (DG) is widely thought to provide a teaching signal that enables hippocampal encoding of memories, but its role during retrieval is poorly understood. Some data and models suggest that DG plays no role in retrieval; others encourage the opposite conclusion. To resolve this controversy, we evaluated the effects of optogenetic inhibition of dorsal DG during context fear conditioning, recall, generalization, and extinction in male mice. We found that (1) inhibition during training impaired context fear acquisition; (2) inhibition during recall did not impair fear expression in the training context, unless mice had to distinguish between similar feared and neutral contexts; (3) inhibition increased generalization of fear to an unfamiliar context that was similar to a feared one and impaired fear expression in the conditioned context when it was similar to a neutral one; and (4) inhibition impaired fear extinction. These effects, as well as several seemingly contradictory published findings, could be reproduced by BACON (Bayesian Context Fear Algorithm), a physiologically realistic hippocampal model positing that acquisition and retrieval both involve coordinated activity in DG and CA3. Our findings thus suggest that DG contributes to retrieval and extinction, as well as to the initial establishment of context fear. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Despite abundant evidence that the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) plays a critical role in memory, it remains unclear whether the role of DG relates to memory acquisition or retrieval. Using contextual fear conditioning and optogenetic inhibition, we show that DG contributes to both of these processes. Using computational simulations, we identify specific mechanisms through which the suppression of DG affects memory performance. Finally, we show that DG contributes to fear extinction learning, a process in which learned fear is attenuated through exposures to a fearful context in the absence of threat. Our data resolve a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  19. Activation of NF-κB in basolateral amygdala is required for memory reconsolidation in auditory fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Jijian; Yang, Jianli; Xue, Lifen; Yang, Chenhao; Luo, Yixiao; Shi, Haishui; Lu, Lin

    2012-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by acute and chronic changes in the stress response, manifested as conditioned fear memory. Previously formed memories that are susceptible to disruption immediately after retrieval undergo a protein synthesis-dependent process to become persistent, termed reconsolidation, a process that is regulated by many distinct molecular mechanisms that control gene expression. Increasing evidence supports the participation of the transcription factor NF-κB in the different phases of memory. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of NF-κB in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), but not central nucleus of the amygdala, after memory reactivation impairs the retention of amygdala-dependent auditory fear conditioning (AFC). We used two independent pharmacological strategies to disrupt the reconsolidation of AFC. Bilateral intra-BLA infusion of sulfasalazine, an inhibitor of IκB kinase that activates NF-κB, and bilateral intra-BLA infusion of SN50, a direct inhibitor of the NF-κB DNA-binding complex, immediately after retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of AFC. We also found that systemic pretreatment with sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that enhances histone acetylation, in the amygdala rescued the disruption of reconsolidation induced by NF-κB inhibition in the BLA. These findings indicate that NF-κB activity in the BLA is required for memory reconsolidation in AFC, suggesting that NF-κB might be a potential pharmacotherapy target for posttraumatic stress disorder.

  20. Activation of NF-κB in basolateral amygdala is required for memory reconsolidation in auditory fear conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jijian Si

    Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD is characterized by acute and chronic changes in the stress response, manifested as conditioned fear memory. Previously formed memories that are susceptible to disruption immediately after retrieval undergo a protein synthesis-dependent process to become persistent, termed reconsolidation, a process that is regulated by many distinct molecular mechanisms that control gene expression. Increasing evidence supports the participation of the transcription factor NF-κB in the different phases of memory. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of NF-κB in the basolateral amygdala (BLA, but not central nucleus of the amygdala, after memory reactivation impairs the retention of amygdala-dependent auditory fear conditioning (AFC. We used two independent pharmacological strategies to disrupt the reconsolidation of AFC. Bilateral intra-BLA infusion of sulfasalazine, an inhibitor of IκB kinase that activates NF-κB, and bilateral intra-BLA infusion of SN50, a direct inhibitor of the NF-κB DNA-binding complex, immediately after retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of AFC. We also found that systemic pretreatment with sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that enhances histone acetylation, in the amygdala rescued the disruption of reconsolidation induced by NF-κB inhibition in the BLA. These findings indicate that NF-κB activity in the BLA is required for memory reconsolidation in AFC, suggesting that NF-κB might be a potential pharmacotherapy target for posttraumatic stress disorder.

  1. Instructed fear learning, extinction, and recall: additive effects of cognitive information on emotional learning of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javanbakht, Arash; Duval, Elizabeth R; Cisneros, Maria E; Taylor, Stephan F; Kessler, Daniel; Liberzon, Israel

    2017-08-01

    The effects of instruction on learning of fear and safety are rarely studied. We aimed to examine the effects of cognitive information and experience on fear learning. Fourty healthy participants, randomly assigned to three groups, went through fear conditioning, extinction learning, and extinction recall with two conditioned stimuli (CS+). Information was presented about the presence or absence of conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus (CS-US) contingency at different stages of the experiment. Information about the CS-US contingency prior to fear conditioning enhanced fear response and reduced extinction recall. Information about the absence of CS-US contingency promoted extinction learning and recall, while omission of this information prior to recall resulted in fear renewal. These findings indicate that contingency information can facilitate fear expression during fear learning, and can facilitate extinction learning and recall. Information seems to function as an element of the larger context in which conditioning occurs.

  2. Fears, Uncertainties, and Hopes: Patient-Initiated Actions and Doctors’ Responses During Oncology Interviews*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beach, Wayne A.; Dozier, David M.

    2015-01-01

    New cancer patients frequently raise concerns about fears, uncertainties, and hopes during oncology interviews. This study sought to understand when and how patients raise their concerns, how doctors responded to these patient-initiated actions, and implications for communication satisfaction. A sub-sampling of video recorded and transcribed encounters was investigated involving 44 new patients and 14 oncologists. Patients completed pre-post self-report measures about fears, uncertainties, and hopes as well as post-evaluations of interview satisfaction. Conversation Analysis (CA) was employed to initially identify pairs of patient-initiated and doctor-responsive actions. A coding scheme was subsequently developed, and two independent coding teams, comprised of two coders each, reliably identified patient-initiated and doctor-responsive social actions. Interactional findings reveal that new cancer patients initiate actions much more frequently than previous research had identified, concerns are usually raised indirectly, and with minimal emotion. Doctors tend to respond to these concerns immediately, but with even less affect, and rarely partner with patients. From pre-post results it was determined that the higher patients’ reported fears, the higher their post-visit fears and lower their satisfaction. Patients with high uncertainty were highly proactive (e.g., asked more questions), yet reported even greater uncertainties following encounters. Hopeful patients also exited interviews with high hopes. Overall, new patients were very satisfied: Oncology interviews significantly decreased patients’ fears and uncertainties, while increasing hopes. Discussion raises key issues for improving communication and managing quality cancer care. PMID:26134261

  3. Reciprocal Patterns of c-Fos Expression in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Amygdala after Extinction and Renewal of Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapska, Ewelina; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    After extinction of conditioned fear, memory for the conditioning and extinction experiences becomes context dependent. Fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in other contexts. This study characterizes the neural circuitry underlying the context-dependent retrieval of extinguished fear memories using c-Fos immunohistochemistry.…

  4. Effect of the coadministration of citalopram with mirtazapine or atipamezole on rat contextual conditioned fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masuda T

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Takahiro Masuda,1,2 Takeshi Inoue,1 Yan An,1 Naoki Takamura,1,3 Shin Nakagawa,1 Yuji Kitaichi,1 Tsukasa Koyama,1 Ichiro Kusumi1 1Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo Japan; 2Medical Affairs, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Co, Ltd, Tokyo, Japan; 3Regenerative and Cellular Medicine Office, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Co, Ltd, Osaka, Japan Background: Mirtazapine, a noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant, which blocks the α2-adrenergic autoreceptors and heteroreceptors, has shown anxiolytic properties in clinical trials and preclinical animal experiments. The addition of mirtazapine to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs is clinically suggested to be more effective for anxiety disorders. In this study, we examined the combined effects of mirtazapine and citalopram, an SSRI, on the freezing behavior of rats, which was induced by contextual conditioned fear as an index of anxiety or fear. Methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats individually received footshocks in a shock chamber, and 24 hours later, they were given citalopram and/or mirtazapine injections. One hour after citalopram and 30 minutes after mirtazapine administration, freezing behavior was analyzed in the same shock chamber without shocks. Results: Mirtazapine decreased freezing in a dose-dependent manner, which is consistent with a previous report; it also enhanced an anxiolytic-like effect at a high dose (30 mg/kg of citalopram. Because mirtazapine blocks α2-adrenoreceptors, the combined effect of atipamezole, a selective α2 receptor antagonist, with citalopram was also examined. Similar to mirtazapine, atipamezole reduced freezing dose-dependently, but the enhancement of citalopram's effects by atipamezole was not clear when compared with mirtazapine. Conclusion: The present findings suggest that mirtazapine has an anxiolytic-like effect and may enhance the anxiolytic-like effect of SSRIs, but this enhancement may not be

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

    OpenAIRE

    Reynolds, G; Field, AP; Askew, C

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Dissociation of learned helplessness and fear conditioning in mice: a mouse model of depression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominic Landgraf

    Full Text Available The state of being helpless is regarded as a central aspect of depression, and therefore the learned helplessness paradigm in rodents is commonly used as an animal model of depression. The term 'learned helplessness' refers to a deficit in escaping from an aversive situation after an animal is exposed to uncontrollable stress specifically, with a control/comparison group having been exposed to an equivalent amount of controllable stress. A key feature of learned helplessness is the transferability of helplessness to different situations, a phenomenon called 'trans-situationality'. However, most studies in mice use learned helplessness protocols in which training and testing occur in the same environment and with the same type of stressor. Consequently, failures to escape may reflect conditioned fear of a particular environment, not a general change of the helpless state of an animal. For mice, there is no established learned helplessness protocol that includes the trans-situationality feature. Here we describe a simple and reliable learned helplessness protocol for mice, in which training and testing are carried out in different environments and with different types of stressors. We show that with our protocol approximately 50% of mice develop learned helplessness that is not attributable to fear conditioning.

  7. Dissociation of learned helplessness and fear conditioning in mice: a mouse model of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landgraf, Dominic; Long, Jaimie; Der-Avakian, Andre; Streets, Margo; Welsh, David K

    2015-01-01

    The state of being helpless is regarded as a central aspect of depression, and therefore the learned helplessness paradigm in rodents is commonly used as an animal model of depression. The term 'learned helplessness' refers to a deficit in escaping from an aversive situation after an animal is exposed to uncontrollable stress specifically, with a control/comparison group having been exposed to an equivalent amount of controllable stress. A key feature of learned helplessness is the transferability of helplessness to different situations, a phenomenon called 'trans-situationality'. However, most studies in mice use learned helplessness protocols in which training and testing occur in the same environment and with the same type of stressor. Consequently, failures to escape may reflect conditioned fear of a particular environment, not a general change of the helpless state of an animal. For mice, there is no established learned helplessness protocol that includes the trans-situationality feature. Here we describe a simple and reliable learned helplessness protocol for mice, in which training and testing are carried out in different environments and with different types of stressors. We show that with our protocol approximately 50% of mice develop learned helplessness that is not attributable to fear conditioning.

  8. Distributed Dynamic Condition Response Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hildebrandt, Thomas; Mukkamala, Raghava Rao

    We present distributed dynamic condition response structures as a declarative process model inspired by the workflow language employed by our industrial partner and conservatively generalizing labelled event structures. The model adds to event structures the possibility to 1) finitely specify...... as a labelled transition system. Exploration of the relationship between dynamic condition response structures and traditional models for concurrency, application to more complex scenarios, and further extensions of the model is left to future work....

  9. Involvement of TRPV1 channels in the periaqueductal grey on the modulation of innate fear responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguiar, Daniele C; Almeida-Santos, Ana F; Moreira, Fabricio A; Guimarães, Francisco S

    2015-04-01

    The transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 channel (TRPV1) is expressed in the midbrain periaqueductal grey (PAG), a region of the brain related to aversive responses. TRPV1 antagonism in the dorsolateral PAG (dlPAG) induces anxiolytic-like effects in models based on conflict situations. No study, however, has investigated whether these receptors could contribute to fear responses to proximal threat. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that TRPV1 in the PAG could mediate fear response in rats exposed to a predator. We verified whether exposure to a live cat (a natural predator) would activate TRPV1-expressing neurons in the PAG. Double-staining immunohistochemistry was used as a technique to detect c-Fos, a marker of neuronal activation, and TRPV1 expression. We also investigated whether intra-dlPAG injections of the TRPV1 antagonist, capsazepine (CPZ), would attenuate the behavioural consequences of predator exposure. Exposure to a cat increased c-Fos expression in TRPV1-positive neurons, mainly in the dorsal columns of the PAG, suggesting that TRPV1-expressing neurons are activated by threatening stimuli. Accordingly, local injection of CPZ inhibited the fear responses. These data support the hypothesis that TRPV1 channels mediate fear reactions in the dlPAG. This may have an implication for the development of TRPV1-antagonists as potential drugs for the treatment of certain psychiatric disorders.

  10. Fear of Failure, Self-Handicapping, and Negative Emotions in Response to Failure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartels, Jared M.; Herman, William E.

    2011-01-01

    Research suggests that students who fear failure are likely to utilize cognitive strategies such as self-handicapping that serve to perpetuate failure. Such devastating motivational dispositions clearly limit academic success. The present study examined negative emotional responses to scenarios involving academic failure among a sample of…

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Role of the orexin (hypocretin) system in contextual fear conditioning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Huiying; Li, Sa; Kirouac, Gilbert J

    2017-01-01

    Orexin (hypocretin) neurons located in the posterior hypothalamus send projections to multiple areas of the brain involved in arousal and experimental evidence indicates that these neurons play a role in the physiological and behavioral responses to stress. This study was done to determine if the orexin system was involved in mediating the fear associated with shock context (5×2s of 1.5mA). First, real-time RT-PCR was used to examine changes in the mRNA levels for prepro-orexin (ppOX), the orexin-1 receptor (OX1R) and the orexin-2 receptor (OX2R) at two weeks post-shock. We found that the mRNA levels for ppOX and OX1R were increased in the posterior hypothalamus of shocked rats. In contrast, no significant difference was found in the midline thalamus or the locus coeruleus/parabrachial region. Second, the study examined if systemic injections of antagonists for orexin receptors attenuated the freezing related to contextual fear. The OX1R antagonist SB334867 (20 or 30mg/kg; i.p.) decreased freezing while the same doses of the OX2R antagonist TCSOX229 had no effect. The dual orexin antagonist TCS1102 (20mg/kg; i.p.) also decreased the freezing to the shock context. The results of the present study show upregulation of orexin activity and of the OX1R in the hypothalamus following exposure of rats to footshocks and highlight a specific role of OX1R in contextual fear. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Enhancement of striatum-dependent memory by conditioned fear is mediated by beta-adrenergic receptors in the basolateral amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Travis D. Goode

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Emotional arousal can have a profound impact on various learning and memory processes. For example, unconditioned emotional stimuli (e.g., predator odor or anxiogenic drugs enhance dorsolateral striatum (DLS-dependent habit memory. These effects critically depend on a modulatory role of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA. Recent work indicates that, like unconditioned emotional stimuli, exposure to an aversive conditioned stimulus (CS (i.e., a tone previously paired with shock can also enhance consolidation of DLS-dependent habit memory. The present experiments examined whether noradrenergic activity, particularly within the BLA, is required for a fear CS to enhance habit memory consolidation. First, rats underwent a fear conditioning procedure in which a tone CS was paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus. Over the course of the next five days, rats received training in a DLS-dependent water plus-maze task, in which rats were reinforced to make a consistent body-turn response to reach a hidden escape platform. Immediately after training on days 1–3, rats received post-training systemic (Experiment 1 or intra-BLA (Experiment 2 administration of the β-adrenoreceptor antagonist, propranolol. Immediately after drug administration, half of the rats were re-exposed to the tone CS in the conditioning context (without shock. Post-training CS exposure enhanced consolidation of habit memory in vehicle-treated rats, and this effect was blocked by peripheral (Experiment 1 or intra-BLA (Experiment 2 propranolol administration. The present findings reveal that noradrenergic activity within the BLA is critical for the enhancement of DLS-dependent habit memory as a result of exposure to conditioned emotional stimuli.

  14. Fear across the senses: brain responses to music, vocalizations and facial expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubé, William; Angulo-Perkins, Arafat; Peretz, Isabelle; Concha, Luis; Armony, Jorge L

    2015-03-01

    Intrinsic emotional expressions such as those communicated by faces and vocalizations have been shown to engage specific brain regions, such as the amygdala. Although music constitutes another powerful means to express emotions, the neural substrates involved in its processing remain poorly understood. In particular, it is unknown whether brain regions typically associated with processing 'biologically relevant' emotional expressions are also recruited by emotional music. To address this question, we conducted an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study in 47 healthy volunteers in which we directly compared responses to basic emotions (fear, sadness and happiness, as well as neutral) expressed through faces, non-linguistic vocalizations and short novel musical excerpts. Our results confirmed the importance of fear in emotional communication, as revealed by significant blood oxygen level-dependent signal increased in a cluster within the posterior amygdala and anterior hippocampus, as well as in the posterior insula across all three domains. Moreover, subject-specific amygdala responses to fearful music and vocalizations were correlated, consistent with the proposal that the brain circuitry involved in the processing of musical emotions might be shared with the one that have evolved for vocalizations. Overall, our results show that processing of fear expressed through music, engages some of the same brain areas known to be crucial for detecting and evaluating threat-related information. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Effect size and statistical power in the rodent fear conditioning literature - A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carneiro, Clarissa F D; Moulin, Thiago C; Macleod, Malcolm R; Amaral, Olavo B

    2018-01-01

    Proposals to increase research reproducibility frequently call for focusing on effect sizes instead of p values, as well as for increasing the statistical power of experiments. However, it is unclear to what extent these two concepts are indeed taken into account in basic biomedical science. To study this in a real-case scenario, we performed a systematic review of effect sizes and statistical power in studies on learning of rodent fear conditioning, a widely used behavioral task to evaluate memory. Our search criteria yielded 410 experiments comparing control and treated groups in 122 articles. Interventions had a mean effect size of 29.5%, and amnesia caused by memory-impairing interventions was nearly always partial. Mean statistical power to detect the average effect size observed in well-powered experiments with significant differences (37.2%) was 65%, and was lower among studies with non-significant results. Only one article reported a sample size calculation, and our estimated sample size to achieve 80% power considering typical effect sizes and variances (15 animals per group) was reached in only 12.2% of experiments. Actual effect sizes correlated with effect size inferences made by readers on the basis of textual descriptions of results only when findings were non-significant, and neither effect size nor power correlated with study quality indicators, number of citations or impact factor of the publishing journal. In summary, effect sizes and statistical power have a wide distribution in the rodent fear conditioning literature, but do not seem to have a large influence on how results are described or cited. Failure to take these concepts into consideration might limit attempts to improve reproducibility in this field of science.

  16. Effect size and statistical power in the rodent fear conditioning literature – A systematic review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macleod, Malcolm R.

    2018-01-01

    Proposals to increase research reproducibility frequently call for focusing on effect sizes instead of p values, as well as for increasing the statistical power of experiments. However, it is unclear to what extent these two concepts are indeed taken into account in basic biomedical science. To study this in a real-case scenario, we performed a systematic review of effect sizes and statistical power in studies on learning of rodent fear conditioning, a widely used behavioral task to evaluate memory. Our search criteria yielded 410 experiments comparing control and treated groups in 122 articles. Interventions had a mean effect size of 29.5%, and amnesia caused by memory-impairing interventions was nearly always partial. Mean statistical power to detect the average effect size observed in well-powered experiments with significant differences (37.2%) was 65%, and was lower among studies with non-significant results. Only one article reported a sample size calculation, and our estimated sample size to achieve 80% power considering typical effect sizes and variances (15 animals per group) was reached in only 12.2% of experiments. Actual effect sizes correlated with effect size inferences made by readers on the basis of textual descriptions of results only when findings were non-significant, and neither effect size nor power correlated with study quality indicators, number of citations or impact factor of the publishing journal. In summary, effect sizes and statistical power have a wide distribution in the rodent fear conditioning literature, but do not seem to have a large influence on how results are described or cited. Failure to take these concepts into consideration might limit attempts to improve reproducibility in this field of science. PMID:29698451

  17. Consequences of adolescent ethanol exposure in male Sprague-Dawley rats on fear conditioning and extinction in adulthood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broadwater, Margaret A.

    Some evidence suggests that adolescents are more vulnerable than adults to alcohol-induced cognitive deficits and that these deficits may persist into adulthood. Five experiments were conducted to assess long-term consequences of ethanol exposure on tone and context Pavlovian fear conditioning in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Experiment 1 examined age-related differences in sensitivity to ethanol-induced disruptions of fear conditioning to a pre-conditioning ethanol challenge. Experiments 2 examined fear conditioning 22 days after early-mid adolescent (P28-48) or adult (P70-90) exposure to 4 g/kg i.g. ethanol or water given every other day (total of 11 exposures). In Experiment 3, mid-late adolescents (P35-55) were exposed in the same manner to assess whether timing of ethanol exposure within the adolescent period would differentially affect later fear conditioning. Experiment 4 assessed the influence of prior adolescent or adult ethanol exposure on the disrupting effects of a pre-conditioning ethanol challenge. In Experiment 5, neurogenesis (doublecortin---DCX) and cholinergic (choline acetyltransferase---ChAT) markers were measured to assess potential long-term ethanol-induced changes in neural mechanisms important for learning and memory. Results indicated that the long-lasting behavioral effects of ethanol exposure varied depending on exposure age, with early-mid adolescent exposed animals showing attenuated context fear retention (a relatively hippocampal-dependent task), whereas mid-late adolescent and adult exposed animals showed slower context extinction (thought to be reliant on the mPFC). Early-mid adolescent ethanol-exposed animals also had significantly less DCX and ChAT expression than their water-exposed counterparts, possibly contributing to deficits in context fear. Tone fear was not influenced by prior ethanol exposure at any age. In terms of age differences in ethanol sensitivity, adolescents were less sensitive than adults to ethanol

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  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. Nested Dynamic Condition Response Graphs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hildebrandt, Thomas; Mukkamala, Raghava Rao; Slaats, Tijs

    2012-01-01

    We present an extension of the recently introduced declarative process model Dynamic Condition Response Graphs ( DCR Graphs) to allow nested subgraphs and a new milestone relation between events. The extension was developed during a case study carried out jointly with our industrial partner...

  1. 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.

  2. Specific predictive power of automatic spider-related affective associations for controllable and uncontrollable fear responses toward spiders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huijdlng, J; de Jong, PJ; Huijding, J.

    This study examined the predictive power of automatically activated spider-related affective associations for automatic and controllable fear responses. The Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST; De Houwer, 2003) was used to indirectly assess automatic spider fear-related associations. The EAST and

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina eMosig

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  5. Right mesial temporal lobe epilepsy impairs empathy-related brain responses to dynamic fearful faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toller, Gianina; Adhimoolam, Babu; Grunwald, Thomas; Huppertz, Hans-Jürgen; Kurthen, Martin; Rankin, Katherine P; Jokeit, Hennric

    2015-03-01

    Unilateral mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) has been associated with reduced amygdala responsiveness to fearful faces. However, the effect of unilateral MTLE on empathy-related brain responses in extra-amygdalar regions has not been investigated. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we measured empathy-related brain responses to dynamic fearful faces in 34 patients with unilateral MTLE (18 right sided), in an epilepsy (extra-MTLE; n = 16) and in a healthy control group (n = 30). The primary finding was that right MTLE (RMTLE) was associated with decreased activity predominantly in the right amygdala and also in bilateral periaqueductal gray (PAG) but normal activity in the right anterior insula. The results of the extra-MTLE group demonstrate that these reduced amygdala and PAG responses go beyond the attenuation caused by antiepileptic and antidepressant medication. These findings clearly indicate that RMTLE affects the function of mesial temporal and midbrain structures that mediate basic interoceptive input necessary for the emotional awareness of empathic experiences of fear. Together with the decreased empathic concern found in the RMTLE group, this study provides neurobehavioral evidence that patients with RMTLE are at increased risk for reduced empathy towards others' internal states and sheds new light on the nature of social-cognitive impairments frequently accompanying MTLE.

  6. Infant rats can learn time intervals before the maturation of the striatum: evidence from odor fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie eBoulanger Bertolus

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Interval timing refers to the ability to perceive, estimate and discriminate durations in the range of seconds to minutes. Very little is currently known about the ontogeny of interval timing throughout development. On the other hand, even though the neural circuit sustaining interval timing is a matter of debate, the striatum has been suggested to be an important component of the system and its maturation occurs around the third post-natal week in rats. The global aim of the present study was to investigate interval timing abilities at an age for which striatum is not yet mature. We used odor fear conditioning, as it can be applied to very young animals. In odor fear conditioning, an odor is presented to the animal and a mild footshock is delivered after a fixed interval. Adult rats have been shown to learn the temporal relationships between the odor and the shock after a few associations. The first aim of the present study was to assess the activity of the striatum during odor fear conditioning using 2-Deoxyglucose autoradiography during development in rats. The data showed that although fear learning was displayed at all tested ages, activation of the striatum was observed in adults but not in juvenile animals. Next, we assessed the presence of evidence of interval timing in ages before and after the inclusion of the striatum into the fear conditioning circuit. We used an experimental setup allowing the simultaneous recording of freezing and respiration that have been demonstrated to be sensitive to interval timing in adult rats. This enabled the detection of duration-related temporal patterns for freezing and/or respiration curves in infants as young as 12 days post-natal during odor-fear conditioning. This suggests that infants are able to encode time durations as well as and as quickly as adults while their striatum is not yet functional. Alternative networks possibly sustaining interval timing in infant rats are discussed.

  7. Fear conditioning leads to alteration in specific genes expression in cortical and thalamic neurons that project to the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Ira K; Lamprecht, Raphael

    2015-02-01

    RNA transcription is needed for memory formation. However, the ability to identify genes whose expression is altered by learning is greatly impaired because of methodological difficulties in profiling gene expression in specific neurons involved in memory formation. Here, we report a novel approach to monitor the expression of genes after learning in neurons in specific brain pathways needed for memory formation. In this study, we aimed to monitor gene expression after fear learning. We retrogradely labeled discrete thalamic neurons that project to the lateral amygdala (LA) of rats. The labeled neurons were dissected, using laser microdissection microscopy, after fear conditioning learning or unpaired training. The RNAs from the dissected neurons were subjected to microarray analysis. The levels of selected RNAs detected by the microarray analysis to be altered by fear conditioning were also assessed by nanostring analysis. We observed that the expression of genes involved in the regulation of translation, maturation and degradation of proteins was increased 6 h after fear conditioning compared to unpaired or naïve trained rats. These genes were not expressed 24 h after training or in cortical neurons that project to the LA. The expression of genes involved in transcription regulation and neuronal development was altered after fear conditioning learning in the cortical-LA pathway. The present study provides key information on the identity of genes expressed in discrete thalamic and cortical neurons that project to the LA after fear conditioning. Such an approach could also serve to identify gene products as targets for the development of a new generation of therapeutic agents that could be aimed to functionally identified brain circuits to treat memory-related disorders. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  8. AIDS prevention and college students: male and female responses to "fear-provoking" messages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, K; LaTour, M S

    1991-01-01

    This study was designed to examine the effects of fear appeals in AIDS prevention messages and to determine whether or not males and females differ in their response to these appeals. MANOVA results from a sample of 179 junior and senior business students at a mid-Atlantic urban university indicate that significant differences in message effects were associated with type of appeal, gender of the respondent, and the interaction between appeal and gender.

  9. Distinct roles of prelimbic and infralimbic proBDNF in extinction of conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wei; Li, Xiaoliang; An, Lei

    2018-03-15

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been investigated for its positive role in regulation of fear acquisition and memory. The precursor of BDNF, proBDNF, has been identified as different protein from its mature form. The prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) sub-regions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are functionally distinct in fear behavior. However, the role of PL and IL proBDNF in fear memory is unclear. Here, through the infusion of cleavage-resistant proBDNF and its antibody, we identified the dissociable roles of PL and IL proBDNF in fear expression and extinction memory as well as explored proBDNF's potential mechanism of action. The results suggest that the infusion of proBDNF in the IL facilitates induction of fear extinction, while infusion in the PL depresses fear expression. Blocking proBDNF by using its antibody disrupted the acquisition of fear extinction in the IL, but not the PL. Furthermore, proBDNF-induced extinction was sufficient for extinguishing new and older memories, and required NR2B, but not NR2A, -containing NMDA receptors. We also observed extinction-related proBDNF expression increased in the PL and IL during successful fear expression and extinction, respectively. Importantly, enhanced proBDNF was required for maintaining an extinguished behavior. The extinction effects of proBDNF did not involve degrading the original fear memory. Therefore, proBDNF in the IL and PL differentially contribute to the inhibitory control of fear extinction behavior. Our findings provide a strong link between proBDNF activity and deficits in fear extinction, a hallmark of several psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Memory formation for trace fear conditioning requires ubiquitin-proteasome mediated protein degradation in the prefrontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S Reis

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The cellular mechanisms supporting plasticity during memory consolidation have been a subject of considerable interest. De novo protein and mRNA synthesis in several brain areas are critical, and more recently protein degradation, mediated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS, has been shown to be important. Previous work clearly establishes a relationship between protein synthesis and protein degradation in the amygdala, but it is unclear whether cortical mechanisms of memory consolidation are similar to those in the amygdala. Recent work demonstrating a critical role for prefrontal cortex (PFC in the acquisition and consolidation of fear memory allows us to address this question. Here we use a PFC-dependent fear conditioning protocol to determine whether UPS mediated protein degradation is necessary for memory consolidation in PFC. Groups of rats were trained with auditory delay or trace fear conditioning and sacrificed 60 min after training. PFC tissue was then analyzed to quantify the amount of polyubiquinated protein. Other animals were trained with similar procedures but were infused with either a proteasome inhibitor (clasto-lactacystin β-lactone or a translation inhibitor (anisomycin in the PFC immediately after training. Our results show increased UPS-mediated protein degradation in the PFC following trace but not delay fear conditioning. Additionally, post-training proteasome or translation inhibition significantly impaired trace but not delay fear memory when tested the next day. Our results further support the idea that the PFC is critical for trace but not delay fear conditioning highlight the role of UPS-mediated degradation as critical for synaptic plasticity.

  11. The etiology of childhood dental fear: The role of dental and conditioning experiences.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ten Berge, M.; Veerkamp, J.S.J.; Hoogstraten, J.

    2002-01-01

    This study aimed to examine the relative importance of invasive treatment experiences in the acquisition of dental fear in children. For this purpose, the complete dental history of 401 children (aged 5-10 years) was studied. The level of dental fear in these children was assessed using the Dental

  12. Cholinergic Modulation during Acquisition of Olfactory Fear Conditioning Alters Learning and Stimulus Generalization in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavesi, Eloisa; Gooch, Allison; Lee, Elizabeth; Fletcher, Max L.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the role of cholinergic neurotransmission in olfactory fear learning. Mice receiving pairings of odor and foot shock displayed fear to the trained odor the following day. Pretraining injections of the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine had no effect on subsequent freezing, while the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine significantly…

  13. D-Cycloserine Does Not Facilitate Fear Extinction by Reducing Conditioned Stimulus Processing or Promoting Conditioned Inhibition to Contextual Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Kathryn D.; McNally, Gavan P.; Richardson, Rick

    2012-01-01

    The NMDA receptor partial agonist d-cycloserine (DCS) enhances the extinction of learned fear in rats and exposure therapy in humans with anxiety disorders. Despite these benefits, little is known about the mechanisms by which DCS promotes the loss of fear. The present study examined whether DCS augments extinction retention (1) through reductions…

  14. Histone Modifications around Individual BDNF Gene Promoters in Prefrontal Cortex Are Associated with Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredy, Timothy W.; Wu, Hao; Crego, Cortney; Zellhoefer, Jessica; Sun, Yi E.; Barad, Mark

    2007-01-01

    Extinction of conditioned fear is an important model both of inhibitory learning and of behavior therapy for human anxiety disorders. Like other forms of learning, extinction learning is long-lasting and depends on regulated gene expression. Epigenetic mechanisms make an important contribution to persistent changes in gene expression; therefore,…

  15. Role of L-Type Ca[superscript 2+] Channel Isoforms in the Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busquet, Perrine; Hetzenauer, Alfred; Sinnegger-Brauns, Martina J.; Striessnig, Jorg; Singewald, Nicolas

    2008-01-01

    Dihydropyridine (DHP) L-type Ca[superscript 2+] channel (LTCC) antagonists, such as nifedipine, have been reported to impair the extinction of conditioned fear without interfering with its acquisition. Identification of the LTCC isoforms mediating this DHP effect is an essential basis to reveal their role as potential drug targets for the…

  16. Fear conditioning and shock intensity: the choice between minimizing the stress induced and reducing the number of animals used

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pietersen, C.Y.; Bosker, F.J; Posterna, F.; Den Boer, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    Many fear conditioning studies use electric shock as the aversive stimulus. The intensity of shocks varies throughout the literature. In this study, shock intensities ranging from 0 to 1.5 mA were used, and the effects on the rats assessed by both behavioural and biochemical stress parameters.

  17. Fear conditioning and shock intensity : the choice between minimizing the stress induced and reducing the number of animals used

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pietersen, CY; Bosker, FJ; Posterna, F; den Boer, JA

    Many fear conditioning studies use electric shock as the aversive stimulus. The intensity of shocks varies throughout the literature. In this study, shock intensities ranging from 0 to 1.5 mA were used, and the effects on the rats assessed by both behavioural and biochemical stress parameters.

  18. Frozen with fear: Conditioned suppression in a virtual reality model of human anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allcoat, Devon; Greville, W James; Newton, Philip M; Dymond, Simon

    2015-09-01

    Freezing-like topographies of behavior are elicited in conditioned suppression tasks whereby appetitive behavior is reduced by presentations of an aversively conditioned threat cue relative to a safety cue. Conditioned suppression of operant behavior by a Pavlovian threat cue is an established laboratory model of quantifying the response impairment seen in anxiety disorders. Little is known however about how different response topographies indicative of conditioned suppression are elicited in humans. Here, we refined a novel virtual reality (VR) paradigm in which presentations of a threat cue of unpredictable duration occurred while participants performed an operant response of shooting and destroying boxes searching for hidden gold. The VR paradigm detected significant suppression of response topographies (shots, hits and breaks) for a Pavlovian threat cue relative to a safety cue and novel cue presentations. Implications of the present findings for translational research on appetitive and aversive conflict in anxiety disorders are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  20. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors in distinct circuits of the extended amygdala determine fear responsiveness to unpredictable threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, M D; Daldrup, T; Remmers, F; Szkudlarek, H J; Lesting, J; Guggenhuber, S; Ruehle, S; Jüngling, K; Seidenbecher, T; Lutz, B; Pape, H C

    2017-10-01

    The brain circuits underlying behavioral fear have been extensively studied over the last decades. Although the vast majority of experimental studies assess fear as a transient state of apprehension in response to a discrete threat, such phasic states of fear can shift to a sustained anxious apprehension, particularly in face of diffuse cues with unpredictable environmental contingencies. Unpredictability, in turn, is considered an important variable contributing to anxiety disorders. The networks of the extended amygdala have been suggested keys to the control of phasic and sustained states of fear, although the underlying synaptic pathways and mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the endocannabinoid system acting in synaptic circuits of the extended amygdala can explain the fear response profile during exposure to unpredictable threat. Using fear training with predictable or unpredictable cues in mice, combined with local and cell-type-specific deficiency and rescue of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors, we found that presynaptic CB1 receptors on distinct amygdala projections to bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) are both necessary and sufficient for the shift from phasic to sustained fear in response to an unpredictable threat. These results thereby identify the causal role of a defined protein in a distinct brain pathway for the temporal development of a sustained state of anxious apprehension during unpredictability of environmental influences, reminiscent of anxiety symptoms in humans.

  1. Evidence of Pavlovian conditioned fear following electrical stimulation of the periaqueductal grey in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Scala, G; Mana, M J; Jacobs, W J; Phillips, A G

    1987-01-01

    Stimulation of the periaqueductal grey (PAG) has been used to support aversive conditioning in a variety of species with several experimental paradigms. However, it has not been clearly demonstrated whether the behavioral changes produced by PAG stimulation in these paradigms are mediated by associative or nonassociative mechanisms. The present studies demonstrate that electrical stimulation of the PAG in the rat may be used to support associative learning in a Pavlovian paradigm. In each experiment, a fully controlled conditional emotional response (CER) procedure was used to examine the unconditional aversive properties of PAG stimulation. In Experiment 1a, weak associative conditioning was observed when a light CS was paired with PAG stimulation over 6 conditioning trials. In Experiment 1b, robust associative conditioning was obtained with a light CS when 18 conditioning trials were used. In Experiment 2, robust associative conditioning was demonstrated with a tone CS when 6 conditioning trials were used. The results parallel those found when other aversive stimuli are used as a UCS (e.g., footshock or intraorbital air puff), and because the present experiments included the proper control procedures the results clearly indicate that the behavioral changes produced by PAG stimulation are mediated by associative Pavlovian learning mechanisms rather than nonassociative mechanisms such as sensitization or pseudoconditioning. The present technique may be useful for assessing the neuroanatomical and neurochemical substrates underlying the aversive effects of brain-stimulation, and for screening the effects of drugs on the conditional and unconditional responses produced by such stimulation.

  2. Fear versus humor: the impact of sensation seeking on physiological, cognitive, and emotional responses to antialcohol abuse messages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Moon J; Shin, Mija

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates the differences in physiological, cognitive, and emotional responses to existing emotional antialcohol abuse advertisements (fear vs. humor appeal) between high and low sensation seekers. A 2 (Message Type) x 2 (Sensation-Seeking Tendency) x 4 (Message Repetition) mixed-model experiment with repeated measures was conducted with 71 college students. The results, based on self-reports, indicated that fear messages generated more interest and perceived danger of excessive drinking regardless of sensation-seeking tendency, whereas humorous messages were rated as more likeable than fear messages, and the difference was bigger among low sensation seekers than among high sensation seekers. One interesting finding was that for both fear and humor appeals, low sensation seekers showed greater emotional responses (greater corrugators activities and greater zygomatic activities) than high sensation seekers overall. The implications of the current study as well as suggestions for future study were discussed.

  3. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist MK-801 impairs learning but not memory fixation or expression of classical fear conditioning in goldfish (Carassius auratus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, X; Davis, R E

    1992-04-01

    The amnestic effects of the noncompetitive antagonist MK-801 on visually mediated, classic fear conditioning in goldfish (Carassius auratus) was examined in 5 experiments. MK-801 was administered 30 min before the training session on Day 1 to look for anterograde amnestic effects, immediately after training to look for retrograde amnestic effects, and before the training or test session, or both, to look for state-dependence effects. The results showed that MK-801 produced anterograde amnesia at doses that did not produce retrograde amnesia or state dependency and did not impair the expression of conditioned or unconditioned branchial suppression responses (BSRs) to the conditioned stimulus. The results indicate that MK-801 disrupts the mechanism of learning of the conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus relation. Evidence is also presented that the learning processes that are disrupted by MK-801 occur during the initial stage of BSR conditioning.

  4. Repeated elicitation of the acoustic startle reflex leads to sensitisation in subsequent avoidance behaviour and induces fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janik Vincent M

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Autonomous reflexes enable animals to respond quickly to potential threats, prevent injury and mediate fight or flight responses. Intense acoustic stimuli with sudden onsets elicit a startle reflex while stimuli of similar intensity but with longer rise times only cause a cardiac defence response. In laboratory settings, habituation appears to affect all of these reflexes so that the response amplitude generally decreases with repeated exposure to the stimulus. The startle reflex has become a model system for the study of the neural basis of simple learning processes and emotional processing and is often used as a diagnostic tool in medical applications. However, previous studies did not allow animals to avoid the stimulus and the evolutionary function and long-term behavioural consequences of repeated startling remain speculative. In this study we investigate the follow-up behaviour associated with the startle reflex in wild-captured animals using an experimental setup that allows individuals to exhibit avoidance behaviour. Results We present evidence that repeated elicitation of the acoustic startle reflex leads to rapid and pronounced sensitisation of sustained spatial avoidance behaviour in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus. Animals developed rapid flight responses, left the exposure pool and showed clear signs of fear conditioning. Once sensitised, seals even avoided a known food source that was close to the sound source. In contrast, animals exposed to non-startling (long rise time stimuli of the same maximum sound pressure habituated and flight responses waned or were absent from the beginning. The startle threshold of grey seals expressed in units of sensation levels was comparable to thresholds reported for other mammals (93 dB. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that the acoustic startle reflex plays a crucial role in mediating flight responses and strongly influences the motivational state of an animal beyond a short

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Abnormal fear conditioning and amygdala processing in an animal model of autism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Markram, Kamila; Rinaldi, Tania; La Mendola, Deborah

    2008-01-01

    A core feature of autism spectrum disorders is the impairment in social interactions. Among other brain regions, a deficit in amygdala processing has been suggested to underlie this impairment, but whether the amygdala is processing fear abnormally in autism, is yet not clear. We used the valproic......-treated animals displayed several symptoms common to autism, among them impaired social interactions and increased repetitive behaviors. Furthermore, VPA-treated rats were more anxious and exhibited abnormally high and longer lasting fear memories, which were overgeneralized and harder to extinguish...

  7. The relation between fearfulness in young and stress-response in adult laying hens, on individual and group level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Haas, Elske N; Kops, Marjolein S; Bolhuis, J Elizabeth; Groothuis, Ton G G; Ellen, Esther D; Rodenburg, T Bas

    2012-10-10

    Fearfulness of an individual can affect its sensitivity to stress, while at the same time the social situation in which an animal lives can affect its fear level. It is however unknown what the long-term effects of high fearfulness on sensitivity to stress are, on individual or group level in laying hens. We hypothesize that increased fearfulness at a young age results in increased sensitivity to stress at an adult age, and that this relation can differ between groups, due to differences in group composition. Therefore, we studied the relation between fearfulness in an Open Field (OF) test at six weeks of age and plasma-corticosterone (CORT) levels after a 5-min Manual Restraint test (MR) at 33 weeks of age, and assessed behavior in the home pen. We used birds from a low mortality line, selected for four generations on low mortality due to feather pecking and cannibalism and a control line (n=153 in total, eight pens/line). These lines are known to differ in fearfulness and stress physiology. Chicks from the low mortality line were more active in the OF compared to chicks from the control line. Chicks that showed a fearful response (no walking, no vocalizing) in the OF test had higher CORT at 33 weeks of age than chicks that walked and/or vocalized in the OF test and had higher activity in the home pen as adults. On group level, a passive response in the OF was related to high CORT levels after MR. Presence of at least one fearful bird in a group led to higher CORT in the other group mates compared to birds from groups with no fearful birds present. Birds from groups in which more than 50% of birds had severe comb lesions had higher CORT levels compared to birds from groups with less than 50% of birds affected. High fearfulness of laying hen chicks can on individual level have a long-term effect on stress sensitivity. The presence of fearful birds in a group as well as signs of social instability in a group, indicated by comb lesions, can affect sensitivity to

  8. An investigation into the role of noradrenergic receptors in conditioned fear : relevance for posttraumatic stress disorder / Erasmus M.M.

    OpenAIRE

    Erasmus, Madeleine Monique

    2011-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder is a debilitating anxiety disorder that can develop in the aftermath of a traumatic or life–threatening event involving extreme horror, intense fear or bodily harm. The disorder is typified by a symptom triad consisting of re–experiencing, hyperarousal and avoidance symptoms. Approximately 15–25% of trauma–exposed individuals go on to develop PTSD, depending on the nature and severity of the trauma. Although dysfunctional adaptive responses exist i...

  9. The usefulness of olfactory fear conditioning for the study of early emotional and cognitive impairment in reserpine model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Rimenez R; França, Sanmara L; Bessa, Marília M; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2013-11-01

    Due to the ability for depleting neuronal storages of monoamines, the reserpine model is a suitable approach for the investigation of the neurobiology of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the behavioral effects of low doses of reserpine are not always detected by classic animal tests of cognition, emotion, and sensory ability. In this study, the effects of reserpine (0.5-1.0mg/kg) were evaluated in olfactory fear conditioning, inhibitory avoidance, open-field, elevated plus-maze, and olfactory discrimination. Possible protective effects were also investigated. We found that single administration of reserpine impaired the acquisition of olfactory fear conditioning (in both doses) as well as olfactory discrimination (in the higher dose), while no effects were seen in all other tests. Additionally, we demonstrated that prior exposure to environmental enrichment prevented effects of reserpine in animals tested in olfactory fear conditioning. Altogether, these findings suggest that a combined cognitive, emotional and sensory-dependent task would be more sensitive to the effects of the reserpine model. In addition, the present data support the environmental enrichment as an useful approach for the study of resilience mechanisms in neurodegenerative processes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Effects of medial prefrontal cortex lesions in rats on the what-where-when memory of a fear conditioning event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jay-Shake; Hsiao, Kun-Yuan; Chen, Wei-Min

    2011-03-17

    Previous animal studies have defined the ability to remember the details of what, where, and when of an event as an episodic-like memory to be used to model episodic memory in humans. Numerous findings indicate that the hippocampal-frontal cortical circuitry plays a major part in its neural mechanism. Researchers have intensively studied roles of diverse hippocampus sub-regions using animal models. By contrast, the impact of prefrontal cortex lesions on episodic-like memory in animals is still unknown. Here we show that Wistar rats with bilateral medial prefrontal cortex lesions failed to use the temporal-contextual information to retrieve memory of a fear-conditioning event, indicating impairments in their episodic-like memory. Subsequent experiments excluded alternative interpretations that the manipulation impaired the fear-conditioning per se, or interfered with the sensory preconditioning process. We concluded that damages in this area might impair temporal information processing, or interfere with integrating temporal and contextual elements of fear-conditioning events to form a conjunctive entity. These findings can help understand how the medial prefrontal cortex contributes to episodic-like memory. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Sex differences in conditioned stimulus discrimination during context-dependent fear learning and its retrieval in humans: the role of biological sex, contraceptives and menstrual cycle phases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lonsdorf, Tina B; Haaker, Jan; Schümann, Dirk; Sommer, Tobias; Bayer, Janine; Brassen, Stefanie; Bunzeck, Nico; Gamer, Matthias; Kalisch, Raffael

    2015-11-01

    Anxiety disorders are more prevalent in women than in men. Despite this sexual dimorphism, most experimental studies are conducted in male participants and studies focusing on sex differences are sparse. In addition, the role of hormonal contraceptives and menstrual cycle phase in fear conditioning and extinction processes remain largely unknown. We investigated sex differences in context-dependent fear acquisition and extinction (day 1) and their retrieval/expression (day 2). Skin conductance responses (SCRs), fear and unconditioned stimulus expectancy ratings were obtained. We included 377 individuals (261 women) in our study. Robust sex differences were observed in all dependent measures. Women generally displayed higher subjective ratings but smaller SCRs than men and showed reduced excitatory/inhibitory conditioned stimulus (CS+/CS-) discrimination in all dependent measures. Furthermore, women using hormonal contraceptives showed reduced SCR CS discrimination on day 2 than men and free-cycling women, while menstrual cycle phase had no effect. Possible limitations include the simultaneous testing of up to 4 participants in cubicles, which might have introduced a social component, and not assessing postexperimental contingency awareness. The response pattern in women shows striking similarity to previously reported sex differences in patients with anxiety. Our results suggest that pronounced deficits in associative discrimination learning and subjective expression of safety information (CS- responses) might underlie higher prevalence and higher symptom rates seen in women with anxiety disorders. The data call for consideration of biological sex and hormonal contraceptive use in future studies and may suggest that targeting inhibitory learning during therapy might aid precision medicine.

  12. Sex Differences in Fear Discrimination Do Not Manifest as Differences in Conditioned Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foilb, Allison R.; Bals, Julia; Sarlitto, Mary C.; Christianson, John P.

    2018-01-01

    Distinguishing safety from danger is necessary for survival, but is aberrant in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While PTSD is more prevalent in women than men, research on sex differences in safety learning is limited. Here, female rats demonstrated greater fear discrimination than males in a CS+/CS- paradigm. To determine…

  13. Neuronal Correlates of Fear Conditioning in the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haufler, Darrell; Nagy, Frank Z.; Pare, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Lesion and inactivation studies indicate that the central amygdala (CeA) participates in the expression of cued and contextual fear, whereas the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is only involved in the latter. The basis for this functional dissociation is unclear because CeA and BNST form similar connections with the amygdala and…

  14. Oxytocin Signaling in Basolateral and Central Amygdala Nuclei Differentially Regulates the Acquisition, Expression, and Extinction of Context-Conditioned Fear in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell-Smith, Emma J.; Holmes, Nathan M.; Lingawi, Nura W.; Panayi, Marios C.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated how oxytocin (OT) signaling in the central (CeA) and basolateral (BLA) amygdala affects acquisition, expression, and extinction of context-conditioned fear (freezing) in rats. In the first set of experiments, acquisition of fear to a shocked context was impaired by a preconditioning infusion of synthetic OT into the…

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. A preregistered, direct replication attempt of the retrieval-extinction effect in cued fear conditioning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luyten, Laura; Beckers, Tom

    2017-10-01

    In 2009, Monfils and colleagues proposed a behavioral procedure that was said to result in a permanent attenuation of a previously established fear memory, thereby precluding a possible return of fear after extinction (Monfils, Cowansage, Klann, & LeDoux, 2009). By presenting a single retrieval trial one hour before standard extinction training, they found an enduring reduction of fear. The retrieval-extinction procedure holds great clinical potential, particularly for anxiety patients, but the findings are not undisputed, and several conceptual replications have failed to reproduce the effect. These failures have largely been attributed to small procedural differences. This preregistered study is the first endeavor to exactly replicate three key experiments of the original report by Monfils et al. (2009), thereby gauging the robustness of their seminal findings. Despite adhering to the original procedures as closely as possible, we did not find any evidence for reduced return of fear with the retrieval-extinction procedure relative to regular extinction training, as assessed through spontaneous recovery, reinstatement and renewal. Behavior of animals in the control condition (extinction only) was comparable to that in the original studies and provided an adequate baseline to reveal differences with the retrieval-extinction condition. Our null findings indicate that the effect sizes in the original paper may have been inflated and question the legitimacy of previously proposed moderators of the retrieval-extinction effect. We argue that direct experimental evaluation of purported moderators of the retrieval-extinction effect will be key to shed more light on its nature and prerequisites. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Juvenile female rats, but not male rats, show renewal, reinstatement, and spontaneous recovery following extinction of conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Chun Hui J; Ganella, Despina E; Kim, Jee Hyun

    2017-12-01

    Anxiety disorders emerge early, and girls are significantly more likely to develop anxiety compared to boys. However, sex differences in fear during development are poorly understood. Therefore, we investigated juvenile male and female rats in the relapse behaviors following extinction of conditioned fear. In all experiments, 18-d-old rats first received three white-noise-footshock pairings on day 1. On day 2, extinction involved 60 white-noise alone trials. In experiment 1, we examined renewal by testing the rats in either the same or different context as extinction on day 3. Male rats did not show renewal, however, female rats showed renewal. Experiment 2 investigated reinstatement by giving rats either a mild reminder footshock or context exposure on day 3. When tested the next day, male rats did not show reinstatement, whereas female rats showed reinstatement. Experiment 3 investigated spontaneous recovery by testing the rats either 1 or 5 d following extinction. Male rats did not show any spontaneous recovery whereas female rats did. Taken together, fear regulation appear to be different in males versus females from early in development, which may explain why girls are more prone to suffer from anxiety disorders compared to boys. © 2017 Park et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  20. Behavioral analysis of NR2C knockout mouse reveals deficit in acquisition of conditioned fear and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillman, Brandon G; Gupta, Subhash C; Stairs, Dustin J; Buonanno, Andres; Dravid, Shashank M

    2011-05-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play an important role in excitatory neurotransmission and mediate synaptic plasticity associated with learning and memory. NMDA receptors are composed of two NR1 and two NR2 subunits and the identity of the NR2 subunit confers unique electrophysiologic and pharmacologic properties to the receptor. The precise role of NR2C-containing receptors in vivo is poorly understood. We have performed a battery of behavioral tests on NR2C knockout/nβ-galactosidase knock-in mice and found no difference in spontaneous activity, basal anxiety, forced-swim immobility, novel object recognition, pain sensitivity and reference memory in comparison to wildtype counterparts. However, NR2C knockout mice were found to exhibit deficits in fear acquisition and working memory compared to wildtype mice. Deficit in fear acquisition correlated with lack of fear conditioning-induced plasticity at the thalamo-amygdala synapse. These findings suggest a unique role of NR2C-containing receptors in associative and executive learning representing a novel therapeutic target for deficits in cognition. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Immediate extinction promotes the return of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merz, Christian J; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Wolf, Oliver T

    2016-05-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that immediate extinction is less effective than delayed extinction in attenuating the return of fear. This line of fear conditioning research impacts the proposed onset of psychological interventions after threatening situations. In the present study, forty healthy men were investigated in a differential fear conditioning paradigm with fear acquisition in context A, extinction in context B, followed by retrieval testing in both contexts 24h later to test fear renewal. Differently coloured lights served as conditioned stimuli (CS): two CS (CS+) were paired with an electrical stimulation that served as unconditioned stimulus, the third CS was never paired (CS-). Extinction took place immediately after fear acquisition or 24h later. One CS+ was extinguished whereas the second CS+ remained unextinguished to control for different time intervals between fear acquisition and retrieval testing. Immediate extinction led to larger skin conductance responses during fear retrieval to both the extinguished and unextinguished CS relative to the CS-, indicating a stronger return of fear compared to delayed extinction. Taken together, immediate extinction is less potent than delayed extinction and is associated with a stronger renewal effect. Thus, the time-point of psychological interventions relative to the offset of threatening situations needs to be carefully considered to prevent relapses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Inactivation of the Infralimbic but Not the Prelimbic Cortex Impairs Consolidation and Retrieval of Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2009-01-01

    Rats were subjected to one or two cycles of context fear conditioning and extinction to study the roles of the prelimbic cortex (PL) and infralimbic cortex (IL) in learning and relearning to inhibit fear responses. Inactivation of the PL depressed fear responses across the first or second extinction but did not impair learning or relearning fear…

  4. Young and Old Pavlovian Fear Memories Can Be Modified with Extinction Training during Reconsolidation in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinfurth, Elisa C. K.; Kanen, Jonathan W.; Raio, Candace M.; Clem, Roger L.; Huganir, Richard L.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Extinction training during reconsolidation has been shown to persistently diminish conditioned fear responses across species. We investigated in humans if older fear memories can benefit similarly. Using a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm we compared standard extinction and extinction after memory reactivation 1 d or 7 d following acquisition.…

  5. Discrimination of Fearful and Angry Emotional Voices in Sleeping Human Neonates: a Study of the Mismatch Brain Responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan eZhang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Appropriate processing of human voices with different threat-related emotions is of evolutionarily adaptive value for the survival of individuals. Nevertheless, it is still not clear whether the sensitivity to threat-related information is present at birth. Using an oddball paradigm, the current study investigated the neural correlates underlying automatic processing of emotional voices of fear and anger in sleeping neonates. Event-related potential data showed that the frontocentral scalp distribution of the neonatal brain could discriminate fearful voices from angry voices; the mismatch response (MMR was larger in response to the deviant stimuli of anger, compared with the standard stimuli of fear. Furthermore, this fear-anger MMR discrimination was observed only when neonates were in active sleep state. Although the neonates’ sensitivity to threat-related voices is not likely associated with a conceptual understanding of fearful and angry emotions, this special discrimination in early life may provide a foundation for later emotion and social cognition development.

  6. Sex- and dose-dependent effects of calcium ion irradiation on behavioral performance of B6D2F1 mice during contextual fear conditioning training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raber, Jacob; Weber, Sydney J.; Kronenberg, Amy; Turker, Mitchell S.

    2016-06-01

    The space radiation environment includes energetic charged particles that may impact behavioral and cognitive performance. The relationship between the dose and the ionization density of the various types of charged particles (expressed as linear energy transfer or LET), and cognitive performance is complex. In our earlier work, whole body exposure to 28Si ions (263 MeV/n, LET = 78keV / μ m ; 1.6 Gy) affected contextual fear memory in C57BL/6J × DBA2/J F1 (B6D2F1) mice three months following irradiation but this was not the case following exposure to 48Ti ions (1 GeV/n, LET = 107keV / μ m ; 0.2 or 0.4 Gy). As an increased understanding of the impact of charged particle exposures is critical for assessment of risk to the CNS of astronauts during and following missions, in this study we used 40Ca ion beams (942 MeV/n, LET = 90keV / μm) to determine the behavioral and cognitive effects for the LET region between that of Si ions and Ti ions. 40Ca ion exposure reduced baseline activity in a novel environment in a dose-dependent manner, which suggests reduced motivation to explore and/or a diminished level of curiosity in a novel environment. In addition, exposure to 40Ca ions had sex-dependent effects on response to shock. 40Ca ion irradiation reduced the response to shock in female, but not male, mice. In contrast, 40Ca ion irradiation did not affect fear learning, memory, or extinction of fear memory for either gender at the doses employed in this study. Thus 40Ca ion irradiation affected behavioral, but not cognitive, performance. The effects of 40Ca ion irradiation on behavioral performance are relevant, as a combination of novelty and aversive environmental stimuli is pertinent to conditions experienced by astronauts during and following space missions.

  7. A single footshock causes long-lasting hypoactivity in unknown environments that is dependent on the development of contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daviu, Núria; Fuentes, Silvia; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio

    2010-09-01

    Exposure to a single session of footshocks induces long-lasting inhibition of activity in unknown environments that markedly differ from the shock context. Interestingly, these effects are not necessarily associated to an enhanced anxiety and interpretation of this hypoactivity remains unclear. In the present experiment we further studied this phenomenon in male Sprague-Dawley rats. In a first experiment, a session of three shocks resulted in hypoactivity during exposure, 6-12days later, to three different unknown environments. This altered behaviour was not accompanied by a greater hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation, although greater HPA activation paralleling higher levels of freezing was observed in the shock context. In a second experiment we used a single shock and two procedures, one with pre-exposure to the context before the shock and another with immediate shock that did not induce contextual fear conditioning. Hypoactivity and a certain level of generalization of fear (freezing) to the unknown environments only appeared in the group that developed fear conditioning, but no evidence for enhanced anxiety in the elevated plus-maze was found in any group. The results suggest that if animals are able to associate an aversive experience with a distinct unknown environment, they would display more cautious behaviour in any unknown environment and such strategy persists despite repeated experience with different environments. This long-lasting cautious behaviour was not associated to greater HPA response to the unknown environment that was however observed in the shock context. The present findings raised some concerns about interpretation of long-lasting behavioural changes caused by brief stressors. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Fear of Ebola: The Influence of Collectivism on Xenophobic Threat Responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Heejung S; Sherman, David K; Updegraff, John A

    2016-07-01

    In response to the Ebola scare in 2014, many people evinced strong fear and xenophobia. The present study, informed by the pathogen-prevalence hypothesis, tested the influence of individualism and collectivism on xenophobic response to the threat of Ebola. A nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans completed a survey, indicating their perceptions of their vulnerability to Ebola, ability to protect themselves from Ebola (protection efficacy), and xenophobic tendencies. Overall, the more vulnerable people felt, the more they exhibited xenophobic responses, but this relationship was moderated by individualism and collectivism. The increase in xenophobia associated with increased vulnerability was especially pronounced among people with high individualism scores and those with low collectivism scores. These relationships were mediated by protection efficacy. State-level collectivism had the same moderating effect on the association between perceived vulnerability and xenophobia that individual-level value orientation did. Collectivism-and the set of practices and rituals associated with collectivistic cultures-may serve as psychological protection against the threat of disease. © The Author(s) 2016.

  10. Microbial Response to Spaceflight Conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Moeller, R.

    2017-01-01

    Space radiation, including Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and Solar Particle Events (SPE), represents a major hazard for biological systems beyond Earth. Spores of Bacillus subtilis have been shown to be suitable dosimeters for probing extreme terrestrial and extraterrestrial environmental conditions in astrobiological and environmental studies. During dormancy spores are metabolically inactive; thus substantial DNA, protein, tRNA and ribosome damage can accumulate while the spo...

  11. Differential predictive power of self report and implicit measures on behavioural and physiological fear responses to spiders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we investigated to what extent indirect measures predict behavioural and physiological fear responses towards spiders. Implicit attitudes towards spiders were assessed using an implicit association test and attentional bias towards spiders was assessed using a dot probe task and a

  12. Bilateral Alternating Auditory Stimulations Facilitate Fear Extinction and Retrieval

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Boukezzi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Disruption of fear conditioning, its extinction and its retrieval are at the core of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Such deficits, especially fear extinction delay, disappear after alternating bilateral stimulations (BLS during eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR therapy. An animal model of fear recovery, based on auditory cued fear conditioning and extinction learning, recently showed that BLS facilitate fear extinction and fear extinction retrieval. Our goal was to determine if these previous results found in animals can be reproduced in humans. Twenty-two healthy participants took part in a classical fear conditioning, extinction, and extinction recall paradigm. Behavioral responses (fear expectations as well as psychophysiological measures (skin conductance responses, SCRs were recorded. The results showed a significant fear expectation decrease during fear extinction with BLS. Additionally, SCR for fear extinction retrieval were significantly lower with BLS. Our results demonstrate the importance of BLS to reduce negative emotions, and provide a successful model to further explore the neural mechanisms underlying the sole BLS effect in the EMDR.

  13. Fear of pain in the context of intensive pain rehabilitation among children and adolescents with neuropathic pain: associations with treatment response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Laura E; Kaczynski, Karen J; Conroy, Caitlin; Logan, Deirdre E

    2012-12-01

    Recent research has implicated pain-related fear in relation to functional outcomes in children with chronic pain. The current study examined fear of pain, disability, and depression within the context of an intensive pain rehabilitation program. One hundred forty-five children and adolescents who participated in an intensive interdisciplinary pediatric pain rehabilitation day program were assessed in this study. Patients completed measures of pain intensity, pain-related fears, functional disability, and depressive symptoms at admission, discharge, and on average, 2 months postdischarge. After controlling for pain intensity, pain-related fear was significantly related to disability and depressive symptoms at all time points. As predicted, a decline in pain-related fear was significantly associated with a decrease in disability and depressive symptoms. Interestingly, high levels of pain-related fears at admission predicted less reduction in functional disability and depression at discharge, suggesting that high levels of pain-related fear may be a risk factor in relation to treatment outcomes. Overall, results indicate that the relationship between fear of pain and changes in disability and depressive symptoms are closely linked, with fear of pain playing an important role in treatment. This paper presents results underscoring the importance of pain-related fear in relation to treatment response for children and adolescents with chronic pain. These findings support the need to develop and implement interventions that target reductions in pain-related fear. Copyright © 2012 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Serotonin transporter genotype modulates subgenual response to fearful faces using an incidental task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Nions, Elizabeth J P; Dolan, Raymond J; Roiser, Jonathan P

    2011-11-01

    This study assessed the impact of serotonin transporter genotype (5-HTTLPR) on regional responses to emotional faces in the amygdala and subgenual cingulate cortex (sgACC), while subjects performed a gender discrimination task. Although we found no evidence for greater amygdala reactivity or reduced amygdala-sgACC coupling in short variant 5-HTTLPR homozygotes (s/s), we observed an interaction between genotype and emotion in sgACC. Only long variant homozygotes (la/la) exhibited subgenual deactivation to fearful versus neutral faces, whereas the effect in s/s subjects was in the other direction. This absence of subgenual deactivation in s/s subjects parallels a recent finding in depressed subjects [Grimm, S., Boesiger, P., Beck, J., Schuepbach, D., Bermpohl, F., Walter, M., et al. Altered negative BOLD responses in the default-mode network during emotion processing in depressed subjects. Neuropsychopharmacology, 34, 932-943, 2009]. Taken together, the findings suggest that subgenual cingulate activity may play an important role in regulating the impact of aversive stimuli, potentially conferring greater resilience to the effects of aversive stimuli in la/la subjects. Using dynamic causal modeling of functional magnetic resonance imaging data, we explored the effects of genotype on effective connectivity and emotion-specific changes in coupling across a network of regions implicated in social processing. Viewing fearful faces enhanced bidirectional excitatory coupling between the amygdala and the fusiform gyrus, and increased the inhibitory influence of the amygdala over the sgACC, although this modulation of coupling did not differ between the genotype groups. The findings are discussed in relation to the role of sgACC and serotonin in moderating responses to aversive stimuli [Dayan, P., & Huys, Q. J., Serotonin, inhibition, and negative mood. PLoS Comput Biol, 4, e4, 2008; Mayberg, H. S., Liotti, M., Brannan, S. K., McGinnis, S., Mahurin, R. K., Jerabek, P. A., et

  15. Data-driven criteria to assess fear remission and phenotypic variability of extinction in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shumake, Jason; Jones, Carolyn; Auchter, Allison; Monfils, Marie-Hélène

    2018-03-19

    Fear conditioning is widely employed to examine the mechanisms that underlie dysregulations of the fear system. Various manipulations are often used following fear acquisition to attenuate fear memories. In rodent studies, freezing is often the main output measure to quantify 'fear'. Here, we developed data-driven criteria for defining a standard benchmark that indicates remission from conditioned fear and for identifying subgroups with differential treatment responses. These analyses will enable a better understanding of individual differences in treatment responding.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Of mice and mental health: facilitating dialogue between basic and clinical neuroscientists'. © 2018 The Author(s).

  16. Not all stressors are equal: behavioral and endocrine evidence for development of contextual fear conditioning after a single session of footshocks but not of immobilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daviu, Núria; Delgado-Morales, Raúl; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Exposure of animals to footshocks (FS) in absence of any specific cue results in the development of fear to the compartment where shocks were given (contextual fear conditioning), and this is usually evaluated by time spent freezing. However, the extent to which contextual fear conditioning always develops when animals are exposed to other stressors is not known. In the present work we firstly demonstrated, using freezing, that exposure of adult rats to a single session of FS resulted in short-term and long-term contextual fear conditioning (freezing) that was paralleled by increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation. In contrast, using a similar design, no HPA or behavioral evidence for such conditioning was found after exposure to immobilization on boards (IMO), despite this stressor being of similar severity as FS on the basis of standard physiological measures of stress, including HPA activation. In a final experiment we directly compared the exposure to the two stressors in the same type of context and tested for the development of conditioning to the context and to a specific cue for IMO (the board). We observed the expected high levels of freezing and the conditioned HPA activation after FS, but not after IMO, regardless of the presence of the board during testing. Therefore, it can be concluded that development of fear conditioning to context or particular cues, as evaluated by either behavioral or endocrine measures, appears to be dependent on the nature of the aversive stimuli, likely to be related to biologically preparedness to establish specific associations.

  17. MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF FEAR LEARNING AND MEMORY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P.; Cain, Christopher K.; Ostroff, Linnaea E.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Together, this research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals, and potentially for understanding fear related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. PMID:22036561

  18. Molecular mechanisms of fear learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P; Cain, Christopher K; Ostroff, Linnaea E; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2011-10-28

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a particularly useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here, we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Collectively, this body of research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals and potentially for understanding fear-related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. The Amygdala Is Not Necessary for Unconditioned Stimulus Inflation after Pavlovian Fear Conditioning in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinak, Christine A.; Orsini, Caitlin A.; Zimmerman, Joshua M.; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    The basolateral complex (BLA) and central nucleus (CEA) of the amygdala play critical roles in associative learning, including Pavlovian conditioning. However, the precise role for these structures in Pavlovian conditioning is not clear. Recent work in appetitive conditioning paradigms suggests that the amygdala, particularly the BLA, has an…

  20. Post-acquisition repetitive thought in fear conditioning: an experimental investigation of the effect of CS-US-rehearsal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joos, Els; Vansteenwegen, Debora; Hermans, Dirk

    2012-06-01

    Although repetitive thought (e.g., worry) is generally assumed to be a risk factor for psychopathological disorders such as anxiety disorders, the repetitive thought processes occurring after a conditioning event have not yet received much theoretical attention. However, as repetitive thought can be mimicked by (mental) rehearsal, which is well-known to enhance memory performance, it seems worthwhile to explore the role of rehearsal in conditioning. Therefore, the current study investigates the impact of rehearsing an acquired CS-US-contingency on subsequent conditioned fear responding. After acquiring two CS-US-contingencies with either a human scream or a white noise as US, participants were instructed to rehearse one of these CS-US-pairings during an experimental session as well as during the following week. Fear responding to the CS which was previously paired with the scream persisted in the participants who rehearsed the CS-US(scream)-contingency, but decreased in those participants who rehearsed the CS-US(noise)-contingency. The same pattern emerged in the US-expectancy ratings, but the effect failed to reach significance. For the CS which was paired with the noise-US, no rehearsal effect emerged. As acquisition to the noise-US was less pronounced and less robust as compared to the scream-US, claims regarding the rehearsal effect might be hampered for the CS-US(noise)-contingency. Repetitive post-acquisition activation of a CS-US-contingency impacts CR retention. As the USs were not rated as more intense, aversive or startling after rehearsal compared to post-acquisition, US-inflation is discarded as a possible explanation of this effect. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Fearing shades of grey: individual differences in fear responding towards generalisation stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnaudova, Inna; Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis; Effting, Marieke; Kindt, Merel; Beckers, Tom

    2017-09-01

    Individual differences in fear generalisation have been proposed to play a role in the aetiology and/or maintenance of anxiety disorders, but few data are available to directly support that claim. The research that is available has focused mostly on generalisation of peripheral and central physiological fear responses. Far less is known about the generalisation of avoidance, the behavioural component of fear. In two experiments, we evaluated how neuroticism, a known vulnerability factor for anxiety, modulates an array of fear responses, including avoidance tendencies, towards generalisation stimuli (GS). Participants underwent differential fear conditioning, in which one conditioned stimulus (CS+) was repeatedly paired with an aversive outcome (shock; unconditioned stimulus, US), whereas another was not (CS-). Fear generalisation was observed across measures in Experiment 1 (US expectancy and evaluative ratings) and Experiment 2 (US expectancy, evaluative ratings, skin conductance, startle responses, safety behaviours), with overall highest responding to the CS+, lowest to the CS- and intermediate responding to the GSs. Neuroticism had very little impact on fear generalisation (but did affect GS recognition rates in Experiment 1), in line with the idea that fear generalisation is largely an adaptive process.

  2. Insights on the host stress, fear and growth responses to the deoxynivalenol feed contaminant in broiler chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghareeb, Khaled; Awad, Wageha A; Sid-Ahmed, Omer E; Böhm, Josef

    2014-01-01

    Mycotoxins pose an important danger to human and animal health. Poultry feeds are frequently contaminated with deoxynivalenol (DON) mycotoxin. It is thus of great importance to evaluate the effects of DON on the welfare related parameters in poultry industry. In the present study, the effects of contamination of broiler diet with 10 mg DON/kg feed on plasma corticosterone and heterophil to lymphocyte (H/L) ratio as indicators of stress, tonic immobility duration as an index for fear response and growth performance of broiler chickens were studied. In addition, the effect of a microbial feed additive either alone or in combination with DON contamination on these different aspects was also evaluated. The results showed that DON feeding significantly affected the welfare related parameters of broiler chickens. The feeding of DON contaminated diet resulted in an elevation of plasma corticosterone, higher H/L ratio and increased the fear levels as indicated by longer duration of tonic immobility reaction. Furthermore, DON reduced the body weight and body weight gain during the starter phase definitely at the second and third week. However, during grower phase, feeding of DON decreased the body weight at the fourth week and reduced the body gain at the fifth week. Addition of the microbial feed additive, a commercial antidote for DON mycotoxin, was able to overcome DON effects on stress index (H/L ratio), fearfulness and growth parameters of broilers. In conclusion, we showed for the first time that the DON feeding increased the underlying fearfulness and physiological stress responses of broilers and resulted in a reduction in the welfare status as indicated by higher plasma corticosterone, higher H/L ratio and higher fearfulness. Additionally, feeding the microbial feed additive was effective in reducing the adverse effects of DON on the bird's welfare and can improve the performance of broiler chickens.

  3. Insights on the host stress, fear and growth responses to the deoxynivalenol feed contaminant in broiler chickens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaled Ghareeb

    Full Text Available Mycotoxins pose an important danger to human and animal health. Poultry feeds are frequently contaminated with deoxynivalenol (DON mycotoxin. It is thus of great importance to evaluate the effects of DON on the welfare related parameters in poultry industry. In the present study, the effects of contamination of broiler diet with 10 mg DON/kg feed on plasma corticosterone and heterophil to lymphocyte (H/L ratio as indicators of stress, tonic immobility duration as an index for fear response and growth performance of broiler chickens were studied. In addition, the effect of a microbial feed additive either alone or in combination with DON contamination on these different aspects was also evaluated. The results showed that DON feeding significantly affected the welfare related parameters of broiler chickens. The feeding of DON contaminated diet resulted in an elevation of plasma corticosterone, higher H/L ratio and increased the fear levels as indicated by longer duration of tonic immobility reaction. Furthermore, DON reduced the body weight and body weight gain during the starter phase definitely at the second and third week. However, during grower phase, feeding of DON decreased the body weight at the fourth week and reduced the body gain at the fifth week. Addition of the microbial feed additive, a commercial antidote for DON mycotoxin, was able to overcome DON effects on stress index (H/L ratio, fearfulness and growth parameters of broilers. In conclusion, we showed for the first time that the DON feeding increased the underlying fearfulness and physiological stress responses of broilers and resulted in a reduction in the welfare status as indicated by higher plasma corticosterone, higher H/L ratio and higher fearfulness. Additionally, feeding the microbial feed additive was effective in reducing the adverse effects of DON on the bird's welfare and can improve the performance of broiler chickens.

  4. Trace Fear Conditioning Differentially Modulates Intrinsic Excitability of Medial Prefrontal Cortex-Basolateral Complex of Amygdala Projection Neurons in Infralimbic and Prelimbic Cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Chenghui; Ehlers, Vanessa L; Moyer, James R

    2015-09-30

    Neuronal activity in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is critical for the formation of trace fear memory, yet the cellular mechanisms underlying these memories remain unclear. One possibility involves the modulation of intrinsic excitability within mPFC neurons that project to the basolateral complex of amygdala (BLA). The current study used a combination of retrograde labeling and in vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to examine the effect of trace fear conditioning on the intrinsic excitability of layer 5 mPFC-BLA projection neurons in adult rats. Trace fear conditioning significantly enhanced the intrinsic excitability of regular spiking infralimbic (IL) projection neurons, as evidenced by an increase in the number of action potentials after current injection. These changes were also associated with a reduction in spike threshold and an increase in h current. In contrast, trace fear conditioning reduced the excitability of regular spiking prelimbic (PL) projection neurons, through a learning-related decrease of input resistance. Interestingly, the amount of conditioned freezing was (1) positively correlated with excitability of IL-BLA projection neurons after conditioning and (2) negatively correlated with excitability of PL-BLA projection neurons after extinction. Trace fear conditioning also significantly enhanced the excitability of burst spiking PL-BLA projection neurons. In both regions, conditioning-induced plasticity was learning specific (observed in conditioned but not in pseudoconditioned rats), flexible (reversed by extinction), and transient (lasted extinction of trace fear conditioning. Significance statement: Frontal lobe-related function is vital for a variety of important behaviors, some of which decline during aging. This study involves a novel combination of electrophysiological recordings from fluorescently labeled mPFC-to-amygdala projection neurons in rats with acquisition and extinction of trace fear conditioning to determine how

  5. Concentration- and age-dependent effects of chronic caffeine on contextual fear conditioning in C57BL/6J mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole, Rachel L.; Braak, David; Gould, Thomas J.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic caffeine exerts negligible effects on learning and memory in normal adults, but it is unknown whether this is also true for children and adolescents. The hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory, undergoes extensive structural and functional modifications during pre-adolescence and adolescence. As a result, chronic caffeine may have differential effects on hippocampus-dependent learning in pre-adolescents and adolescents compared with adults. Here, we characterized the effects of chronic caffeine and withdrawal from chronic caffeine on hippocampus-dependent (contextual) and hippocampus-independent (cued) fear conditioning in pre-adolescent, adolescent, and adult mice. The results indicate that chronic exposure to caffeine during pre-adolescence and adolescence enhances or impairs contextual conditioning depending on concentration, yet has no effect on cued conditioning. In contrast, withdrawal from chronic caffeine impairs contextual conditioning in pre-adolescent mice only. No changes in learning were seen for adult mice for either the chronic caffeine or withdrawal conditions. These findings support the hypothesis that chronic exposure to caffeine during pre-adolescence and adolescence can alter learning and memory and as changes were only seen in hippocampus-dependent learning, this suggests that the developing hippocampus may be sensitive to the effects of caffeine. PMID:25827925

  6. Concentration- and age-dependent effects of chronic caffeine on contextual fear conditioning in C57BL/6J mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole, Rachel L; Braak, David; Gould, Thomas J

    2016-02-01

    Chronic caffeine exerts negligible effects on learning and memory in normal adults, but it is unknown whether this is also true for children and adolescents. The hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory, undergoes extensive structural and functional modifications during pre-adolescence and adolescence. As a result, chronic caffeine may have differential effects on hippocampus-dependent learning in pre-adolescents and adolescents compared with adults. Here, we characterized the effects of chronic caffeine and withdrawal from chronic caffeine on hippocampus-dependent (contextual) and hippocampus-independent (cued) fear conditioning in pre-adolescent, adolescent, and adult mice. The results indicate that chronic exposure to caffeine during pre-adolescence and adolescence enhances or impairs contextual conditioning depending on concentration, yet has no effect on cued conditioning. In contrast, withdrawal from chronic caffeine impairs contextual conditioning in pre-adolescent mice only. No changes in learning were seen for adult mice for either the chronic caffeine or withdrawal conditions. These findings support the hypothesis that chronic exposure to caffeine during pre-adolescence and adolescence can alter learning and memory and as changes were only seen in hippocampus-dependent learning, which suggests that the developing hippocampus may be sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Regulation of presynaptic Ca2+, synaptic plasticity and contextual fear conditioning by a N-terminal β-amyloid fragment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, James L M; Tong, Mei; Alfulaij, Naghum; Sherrin, Tessi; Contarino, Mark; White, Michael M; Bellinger, Frederick P; Todorovic, Cedomir; Nichols, Robert A

    2014-10-22

    Soluble β-amyloid has been shown to regulate presynaptic Ca(2+) and synaptic plasticity. In particular, picomolar β-amyloid was found to have an agonist-like action on presynaptic nicotinic receptors and to augment long-term potentiation (LTP) in a manner dependent upon nicotinic receptors. Here, we report that a functional N-terminal domain exists within β-amyloid for its agonist-like activity. This sequence corresponds to a N-terminal fragment generated by the combined action of α- and β-secretases, and resident carboxypeptidase. The N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is present in the brains and CSF of healthy adults as well as in Alzheimer's patients. Unlike full-length β-amyloid, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is monomeric and nontoxic. In Ca(2+) imaging studies using a model reconstituted rodent neuroblastoma cell line and isolated mouse nerve terminals, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment proved to be highly potent and more effective than full-length β-amyloid in its agonist-like action on nicotinic receptors. In addition, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment augmented theta burst-induced post-tetanic potentiation and LTP in mouse hippocampal slices. The N-terminal fragment also rescued LTP inhibited by elevated levels of full-length β-amyloid. Contextual fear conditioning was also strongly augmented following bilateral injection of N-terminal β-amyloid fragment into the dorsal hippocampi of intact mice. The fragment-induced augmentation of fear conditioning was attenuated by coadministration of nicotinic antagonist. The activity of the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment appears to reside largely in a sequence surrounding a putative metal binding site, YEVHHQ. These findings suggest that the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment may serve as a potent and effective endogenous neuromodulator. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3414210-09$15.00/0.

  8. 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.

  9. Fear of negative evaluation modulates electrocortical and behavioral responses when anticipating social evaluative feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melle J.W. Van Der Molen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive models posit that the fear of negative evaluation (FNE is a hallmark feature of social anxiety. As such, individuals with high FNE may show biased information processing when faced with social evaluation. The aim of the current study was to examine the neural underpinnings of anticipating and processing of social-evaluative feedback, and its correlates with FNE. We used a social judgment paradigm in which female participants (N=31 were asked to indicate whether they believed to be socially accepted or rejected by their peers. Anticipatory attention was indexed by the stimulus preceding negativity (SPN, while the feedback-related negativity and P3 were used to index the processing of social-evaluative feedback. Results provided evidence of an optimism bias in social peer evaluation, as participants more often predicted to be socially accepted than rejected. Participants with high levels of FNE needed more time to provide their judgments about the social-evaluative outcome. While anticipating social-evaluative feedback, SPN amplitudes were larger for anticipated social acceptance than for social rejection feedback. Interestingly, the SPN during anticipated social acceptance was larger in participants with high levels of FNE. None of the feedback-related brain potentials correlated with the FNE. Together, the results provide evidence of biased information processing in individuals with high levels of FNE when anticipating (rather than processing social-evaluative feedback. The delayed response times in high FNE individuals were interpreted to reflect augmented vigilance imposed by the upcoming social evaluative threat. Allegedly, the SPN constitutes a neural marker of this vigilance in females with higher FNE levels, particularly when anticipating social acceptance feedback.

  10. Fear of negative evaluation modulates electrocortical and behavioral responses when anticipating social evaluative feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Molen, Melle J. W.; Poppelaars, Eefje S.; Van Hartingsveldt, Caroline T. A.; Harrewijn, Anita; Gunther Moor, Bregtje; Westenberg, P. Michiel

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive models posit that the fear of negative evaluation (FNE) is a hallmark feature of social anxiety. As such, individuals with high FNE may show biased information processing when faced with social evaluation. The aim of the current study was to examine the neural underpinnings of anticipating and processing social-evaluative feedback, and its correlates with FNE. We used a social judgment paradigm in which female participants (N = 31) were asked to indicate whether they believed to be socially accepted or rejected by their peers. Anticipatory attention was indexed by the stimulus preceding negativity (SPN), while the feedback-related negativity and P3 were used to index the processing of social-evaluative feedback. Results provided evidence of an optimism bias in social peer evaluation, as participants more often predicted to be socially accepted than rejected. Participants with high levels of FNE needed more time to provide their judgments about the social-evaluative outcome. While anticipating social-evaluative feedback, SPN amplitudes were larger for anticipated social acceptance than for social rejection feedback. Interestingly, the SPN during anticipated social acceptance was larger in participants with high levels of FNE. None of the feedback-related brain potentials correlated with the FNE. Together, the results provided evidence of biased information processing in individuals with high levels of FNE when anticipating (rather than processing) social-evaluative feedback. The delayed response times in high FNE individuals were interpreted to reflect augmented vigilance imposed by the upcoming social-evaluative threat. Possibly, the SPN constitutes a neural marker of this vigilance in females with higher FNE levels, particularly when anticipating social acceptance feedback. PMID:24478667

  11. Modulation of Long-term Potentiation of Cortico-amygdala Synaptic Responses and Auditory Fear Memory by Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Yamada

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Converging evidence suggests that an imbalance of ω3 to ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA in the brain is involved in mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown. We previously reported that the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA alters this ratio in the brain, and influences contextual fear memory. In addition to behavioral change, enhancement of cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated short-term synaptic plasticity and facilitation of the agonist sensitivity of CB1 receptors have been observed in excitatory synaptic responses in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. However, it is not known whether long-term synaptic plasticity in the amygdala is influenced by the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA. In the present study, we examined long-term potentiation (LTP of optogenetically–evoked excitatory synaptic responses in synapses between the terminal of the projection from the auditory cortex and the pyramidal cells in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We found that LTP in this pathway was attenuated in mice fed a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio (0.97, compared with mice fed a diet with a low ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio (0.14. Furthermore, mice in the former condition showed reduced fear responses in an auditory fear conditioning test, compared with mice in the latter condition. In both electrophysiological and behavioral experiments, the effect of a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio was completely blocked by treatment with a CB1 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, a significant reduction was observed in cholesterol content, but not in the level of an endogenous CB1 receptor agonist, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, in brain samples containing the amygdala. These results suggest that the balance of ω3 to ω6 PUFA has an impact on fear memory and cortico-amygdala synaptic plasticity, both in a CB1 receptor–dependent manner.

  12. The effect of the mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator MTEP and NMDA receptor partial agonist D-cycloserine on Pavlovian conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handford, Charlotte E; Tan, Shawn; Lawrence, Andrew J; Kim, Jee Hyun

    2014-09-01

    The metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor are critical for processes underlying synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation. mGlu5 signaling increases neuronal excitability and potentiates NMDA receptor currents in the amygdala and the hippocampus. The present study examined the involvement of mGlu5 in the acquisition and consolidation of conditioned fear to a tone and context in mice, and explored the functional relationship between mGlu5 and NMDA receptors in this regard. Experiment 1 showed that systemic administration of the mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator 3-[(2-methyl-1,3-thiazol-4-yl)ethynyl]pyridine (MTEP) prior to conditioning significantly attenuated cue-elicited freezing during fear conditioning, which suggests that mGlu5 is necessary for the formation of a tone-shock association. This effect was dose-related (Experiment 2) and not due to any effects of MTEP on shock sensitivity or state-dependency (Experiment 3). Post-conditioning injection of MTEP had no effects (Experiment 4). Although post-conditioning injection of the NMDA receptor partial agonist D-cycloserine (DCS) alone facilitated consolidation of conditioned fear (Experiment 6), it was not able to rescue the acquisition deficit caused by MTEP (Experiment 5). Taken together, these findings indicate a crucial role for mGlu5 signaling in acquisition and NMDA receptor signaling in consolidation of conditioned fear.

  13. Fear inhibition in high trait anxiety.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merel Kindt

    Full Text Available Trait anxiety is recognized as an individual risk factor for the development of anxiety disorders but the neurobiological mechanisms remain unknown. Here we test whether trait anxiety is associated with impaired fear inhibition utilizing the AX+/BX- conditional discrimination procedure that allows for the independent evaluation of startle fear potentiation and inhibition of fear. Sixty undergraduate students participated in the study--High Trait Anxious: n = 28 and Low Trait Anxious: n = 32. We replicated earlier findings that a transfer of conditioned inhibition for startle responses requires contingency awareness. However, contrary to the fear inhibition hypothesis, our data suggest that high trait anxious individuals show a normal fear inhibition of conditioned startle responding. Only at the cognitive level the high trait anxious individuals showed evidence for impaired inhibitory learning of the threat cue. Together with other findings where impaired fear inhibition was only observed in those PTSD patients who were either high on hyperarousal symptoms or with current anxiety symptoms, we question whether impaired fear inhibition is a biomarker for the development of anxiety disorders.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Effects of Early Serotonin Programming on Fear Response, Memory and Aggression

    Science.gov (United States)

    The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) also acts as a neurogenic compound in the developing brain. Early administration of a 5-HT agonist could alter development of serotonergic circuitry, altering behaviors mediated by 5-HT signaling, including memory, fear and aggression. The present study was desi...

  17. From normal response to clinical problem: definition and clinical features of fear of cancer recurrence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lebel, S.; Ozakinci, G.; Humphris, G.; Mutsaers, B.; Thewes, B.; Prins, J.B.; Dinkel, A.; Butow, P.

    2016-01-01

    PURPOSE: Research to date on fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) shows that moderate to high FCR affects 22-87 % of cancer survivors and is associated with higher psychological morbidity (Simard et al J Cancer Surviv 7:300-322, 2013). Despite growing research interest in FCR, the lack of consensus on

  18. The effects of prenatal stocking densities on the fear responses and sociality of goat (Capra hircus kids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel M Chojnacki

    Full Text Available Prenatal stress (stress experienced by a pregnant mother and its effects on offspring have been comprehensively studied but relatively little research has been done on how prenatal social stress affects farm animals such as goats. Here, we use the operational description of 'stress' as "physical or perceived threats to homeostasis." The aim of this study was to investigate the prenatal effects of different herd densities on the fear responses and sociality of goat kids. Pregnant Norwegian dairy goats were exposed to high, medium or low prenatal animal density treatments throughout gestation (1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 m2 per animal, respectively. One kid per litter was subjected to two behavioral tests at 5 weeks of age. The 'social test' was applied to assess the fear responses, sociality and social recognition skills when presented with a familiar and unfamiliar kid and the 'separation test' assessed the behavioral coping skills when isolated. The results indicate goat kids from the highest prenatal density of 1.0 m2 were more fearful than the kids from the lower prenatal densities (i.e. made more escape attempts (separation test: P < 0.001 and vocalizations (social test: P < 0.001; separation test: P < 0.001. This effect was more pronounced in females than males in the high density (vocalizations; social test: P < 0.001; separation test: P  =  0.001 and females were generally more social than males. However, goat kids did not differentiate between a familiar and an unfamiliar kid at 5 weeks of age and sociality was not affected by the prenatal density treatment. We conclude that high animal densities during pregnancy in goats produce offspring that have a higher level of fear, particularly in females. Behavioral changes in offspring that occur as an effect of prenatal stress are of high importance as many of the females are recruited to the breeding stock of dairy goats.

  19. The Effects of Prenatal Stocking Densities on the Fear Responses and Sociality of Goat (Capra hircus) Kids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Rachel M.; Vas, Judit; Andersen, Inger Lise

    2014-01-01

    Prenatal stress (stress experienced by a pregnant mother) and its effects on offspring have been comprehensively studied but relatively little research has been done on how prenatal social stress affects farm animals such as goats. Here, we use the operational description of ‘stress’ as “physical or perceived threats to homeostasis.” The aim of this study was to investigate the prenatal effects of different herd densities on the fear responses and sociality of goat kids. Pregnant Norwegian dairy goats were exposed to high, medium or low prenatal animal density treatments throughout gestation (1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 m2 per animal, respectively). One kid per litter was subjected to two behavioral tests at 5 weeks of age. The ‘social test’ was applied to assess the fear responses, sociality and social recognition skills when presented with a familiar and unfamiliar kid and the ‘separation test’ assessed the behavioral coping skills when isolated. The results indicate goat kids from the highest prenatal density of 1.0 m2 were more fearful than the kids from the lower prenatal densities (i.e. made more escape attempts (separation test: P kids did not differentiate between a familiar and an unfamiliar kid at 5 weeks of age and sociality was not affected by the prenatal density treatment. We conclude that high animal densities during pregnancy in goats produce offspring that have a higher level of fear, particularly in females. Behavioral changes in offspring that occur as an effect of prenatal stress are of high importance as many of the females are recruited to the breeding stock of dairy goats. PMID:24710177

  20. Validation of the German fear of pain questionnaire in a sample of children with mixed chronic pain conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flack, F; Gerlach, A L; Simons, L E; Zernikow, B; Hechler, T

    2017-08-01

    To date, no German instrument exists to measure pain-related fear in paediatric pain populations. The objective of the current study was to determine the construct validity of the translated German fear of pain questionnaire for children (GFOPQ-C) in a sample of children with mixed chronic pain disorders by testing the underlying factor structure, and its psychometric properties. N = 241 children with mixed chronic pain disorders (aged 8-19 years) presenting to a specialized pain clinic completed the GFOPQ-C and several other pain, fear and disability measures. The two-factor structure of the FOPQ-C (fear, avoidance) was replicated. Internal consistency for the shortened German version was good for both subscales (Fear subscale: α = 0.89; avoidance subscale: α = 0.76). As expected, the fear subscale correlated highly with anxiety sensitivity (r = 0.63), pain catastrophizing (r = 0.62) and general anxiety (r = 0.54), while the avoidance subscale was more closely related to disability (r = 0.24) and school functioning (r = 0.28). Pain-related fear differed in children with chronic pain depending on their pain location with higher fear ratings in children with abdominal pain and musculoskeletal pain. The GFOPQ-C is a valid instrument that assesses two distinct dimensions of pain-related fear in children: fear and avoidance. Future research is needed to evaluate the impact of increased pain-related fear on outcomes over time as well as to examine pain-related fear among healthy children. This will enhance our knowledge of who might be particularly vulnerable to potentially dysfunctional trajectories, such as ongoing pain or anxiety symptoms. The current study validates the first tool to assess pain-related fear in German-speaking children with chronic pain. Findings support two distinct domains: fear and activity avoidance. © 2017 European Pain Federation - EFIC®.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaManna, Joseph A.; Martin, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Maternal Accuracy and Behavior in Anticipating Children’s Responses to Novelty: Relations to Fearful Temperament and Implications for Anxiety Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Buss, Kristin A.

    2009-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that mothers’ behaviors may serve as a mechanism in the development from toddler fearful temperament to childhood anxiety. The current study examined the maternal characteristic of accuracy in predicting toddlers’ distress reactions to novelty in relation to temperament, parenting, and anxiety development. Ninety-three two-year-old toddlers and their mothers participated in the study. Maternal accuracy moderated the relation between fearful temperament and protective behavior, suggesting this bidirectional link may be more likely to occur when mothers are particularly attuned to their children’s fear responses. An exploratory moderated mediation analysis supported the mechanistic role of protective parenting in the relation between early fearful temperament and later anxiety. Mediation only occurred, however, when mothers displayed high accuracy. Results are discussed within the broader literature of parental influence on fearful children’s development. PMID:20436795

  3. Beyond Extinction: Prolonged Conditioning and Repeated Threat Exposure Abolish Contextual Renewal of Fear-Potentiated Startle Discrimination but Leave Expectancy Ratings Intact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leer, Arne; Haesen, Kim; Vervliet, Bram

    2018-01-01

    Extinction treatments decrease fear via repeated exposures to the conditioned stimulus (CS) and are associated with a return of fear. Alternatively, fear can be reduced via reductions in the perceived intensity of the unconditioned stimulus (US), e.g., through repeated exposures to the US. Promisingly, the few available studies show that repeated US exposures outperform standard extinction. US exposure treatments can decrease fear via two routes: (1) by weakening the CS-US association (extinction-like mechanism), and/or (2) by weakening the subjective US aversiveness (habituation-like mechanism). The current study further investigated the conditions under which US exposure treatment may reduce renewal, by adding a group in which CS-US pairings continued following fear acquisition. During acquisition, participants learned that one of two visual stimuli (CS+/CS-) predicted the occurrence of an aversive electrocutaneous stimulus (US). Next, the background context changed and participants received one of three interventions: repeated CS exposures, (2) repeated US exposures, or (3) continued CS-US pairings. Following repeated CS exposures, test presentations of the CSs in the original conditioning context revealed intact CS+/CS- differentiation in the fear-potentiated startle reflex, while the differentiation was abolished in the other two groups. Differential US expectancy ratings, on the other hand, were intact in all groups. Skin conductance data were inconclusive because standard context renewal following CS exposures did not occur. Unexpectedly, there was no evidence for a habituation-like process having taken place during US exposures or continued CS-US pairings. The results provide further evidence that US exposures outperform the standard extinction treatment and show that effects are similar when US exposures are part of CS-US pairings.

  4. The influence of serotonin on fear learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Hindi Attar

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  6. Triggers of fear: perceptual cues versus conceptual information in spider phobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peperkorn, Henrik M; Alpers, Georg W; Mühlberger, Andreas

    2014-07-01

    Fear reactions in spider-phobic patients can be activated by specific perceptual cues or by conceptual fear-related information. Matching perceptual fear cues and fear-related information were expected to result in maximal fear responses, perceptual fear cues alone in less fear, and information alone in the weakest responses. We used virtual reality to manipulate the available cues and information. Forty-eight phobic patients and 48 healthy participants were repeatedly exposed to either a perceptual cue, information, or a combination of both. In conditions with a fear-relevant perceptual cue, phobic patients reported increased fear compared to the condition with information only. Across exposures trials, these reactions diminished. Skin conductance in phobic patients was significantly higher in the combined than in the cue or the information condition. Perceptual cues are essential for phobic fear reactions in spider phobia. In combination with fear-relevant information, perceptual cues activate an intense and persistent fear reaction. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Improvement of memory recall by quercetin in rodent contextual fear conditioning and human early-stage Alzheimer's disease patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, Toshiyuki; Itoh, Masanori; Ohta, Kazunori; Hayashi, Yuichi; Hayakawa, Miki; Yamada, Yasushi; Akanabe, Hiroshi; Chikaishi, Tokio; Nakagawa, Kiyomi; Itoh, Yoshinori; Muro, Takato; Yanagida, Daisuke; Nakabayashi, Ryo; Mori, Tetsuya; Saito, Kazuki; Ohzawa, Kaori; Suzuki, Chihiro; Li, Shimo; Ueda, Masashi; Wang, Miao-Xing; Nishida, Emika; Islam, Saiful; Tana; Kobori, Masuko; Inuzuka, Takashi

    2016-06-15

    Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) experience a wide array of cognitive deficits, which typically include the impairment of explicit memory. In previous studies, the authors reported that a flavonoid, quercetin, reduces the expression of ATF4 and delays memory deterioration in an early-stage AD mouse model. In the present study, the effects of long-term quercetin intake on memory recall were assessed using contextual fear conditioning in aged wild-type mice. In addition, the present study examined whether memory recall was affected by the intake of quercetin-rich onion (a new cultivar of hybrid onion 'Quergold') powder in early-stage AD patients. In-vivo analysis indicated that memory recall was enhanced in aged mice fed a quercetin-containing diet. Memory recall in early-stage AD patients, determined using the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale, was significantly improved by the intake of quercetin-rich onion (Quergold) powder for 4 weeks compared with the intake of control onion ('Mashiro' white onion) powder. These results indicate that quercetin might influence memory recall.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Anna Van Ast

    2012-10-01

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

  9. How does consumers' knowledge about the persuasion tactics used in advertising (e.g. fear appeals) influence their psychological and behavioural responses?

    OpenAIRE

    Livermore, Rebecca S

    2009-01-01

    The rate of binge drinking in the United Kingdom still remains high, despite government efforts to warn against the short and long-term dangers. Most governmental advertising uses fear appeals to highlight these dangers but research has shown that consumer knowledge of such persuasion tactics can reduce their effectiveness. This research evaluates the effects of the persuasion knowledge model on consumersʼ responses to governmental fear appeals, specifically across the constructs of the ex...

  10. Neonatal lesions of orbital frontal areas 11/13 in monkeys alter goal-directed behavior but spare fear conditioning and safety signal learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andy M Kazama

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies in monkeys have demonstrated that damage to the lateral subfields of orbital frontal cortex (OFC areas 11/13 yields profound changes in flexible modulation of goal-directed behaviors and a lack in fear regulation. Yet, little consideration has been placed on its role in emotional and social development throughout life. The current study investigated the effects of neonatal lesions of the OFC on the flexible modulation of goal-directed behaviors and fear responses in monkeys. Infant monkeys received neonatal lesions of OFC areas 11/13 or sham-lesions during the first post-natal week. Modulation of goal-directed behaviors was measured with a devaluation task at 3-4 years and 6-7 years. Modulation of fear reactivity by safety signals was assessed with the AX+/BX- potentiated-startle paradigm at 6-7 years. Similar to adult-onset OFC lesions, selective neonatal lesions of OFC areas 11/13 yielded a failure to modulate behavioral responses guided by changes in reward value, but spared the ability to modulate fear responses in the presence of safety signals. These results suggest that these areas play a critical role in the development of behavioral adaptation during goal-directed behaviors, but not, or less so, in the development of the ability to process emotionally salient stimuli and to modulate emotional reactivity using environmental contexts, which could be supported by other OFC subfields, such as the most ventromedial subfields (i.e. areas 14/25. Given similar impaired decision-making abilities and spared modulation of fear followed both neonatal lesions of either OFC areas 11 and 13 or amygdala (Kazama et al., 2012; Kazama & Bachevalier, 2013, the present results suggest that interactions between these two neural structures play a critical role in the development of behavioral adaptation; an ability essential for the self-regulation of emotion and behavior that assures the maintenance of successful social relationships.

  11. Trib3 is developmentally and nutritionally regulated in the brain but is dispensable for spatial memory, fear conditioning and sensing of amino acid-imbalanced diet.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiit Örd

    Full Text Available Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3 is a mammalian pseudokinase that is induced in neuronal cell cultures in response to cell death-inducing stresses, including neurotrophic factor deprivation. TRIB3 is an inhibitor of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4, the central transcriptional regulator in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α phosphorylation pathway that is involved in the cellular stress response and behavioral processes. In this article, we study the expression of Trib3 in the mouse brain, characterize the brain morphology of mice with a genetic ablation of Trib3 and investigate whether Trib3 deficiency alters eIF2α-dependent cognitive abilities. Our data show that the consumption of a leucine-deficient diet induces Trib3 expression in the anterior piriform cortex, the brain region responsible for detecting essential amino acid intake imbalance. However, the aversive response to leucine-devoid diet does not differ in Trib3 knockout and wild type mice. Trib3 deletion also does not affect long-term spatial memory and reversal learning in the Morris water maze and auditory or contextual fear conditioning. During embryonic development, Trib3 expression increases in the brain and persists in the early postnatal stadium. Neuroanatomical characterization of mice lacking Trib3 revealed enlarged lateral ventricles. Thus, although the absence of Trib3 does not alter the eIF2α pathway-dependent cognitive functions of several areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, amygdala and anterior piriform cortex, Trib3 may serve a role in other central nervous system processes and molecular pathways.

  12. Trib3 is developmentally and nutritionally regulated in the brain but is dispensable for spatial memory, fear conditioning and sensing of amino acid-imbalanced diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Örd, Tiit; Innos, Jürgen; Lilleväli, Kersti; Tekko, Triin; Sütt, Silva; Örd, Daima; Kõks, Sulev; Vasar, Eero; Örd, Tõnis

    2014-01-01

    Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3) is a mammalian pseudokinase that is induced in neuronal cell cultures in response to cell death-inducing stresses, including neurotrophic factor deprivation. TRIB3 is an inhibitor of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), the central transcriptional regulator in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) phosphorylation pathway that is involved in the cellular stress response and behavioral processes. In this article, we study the expression of Trib3 in the mouse brain, characterize the brain morphology of mice with a genetic ablation of Trib3 and investigate whether Trib3 deficiency alters eIF2α-dependent cognitive abilities. Our data show that the consumption of a leucine-deficient diet induces Trib3 expression in the anterior piriform cortex, the brain region responsible for detecting essential amino acid intake imbalance. However, the aversive response to leucine-devoid diet does not differ in Trib3 knockout and wild type mice. Trib3 deletion also does not affect long-term spatial memory and reversal learning in the Morris water maze and auditory or contextual fear conditioning. During embryonic development, Trib3 expression increases in the brain and persists in the early postnatal stadium. Neuroanatomical characterization of mice lacking Trib3 revealed enlarged lateral ventricles. Thus, although the absence of Trib3 does not alter the eIF2α pathway-dependent cognitive functions of several areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, amygdala and anterior piriform cortex, Trib3 may serve a role in other central nervous system processes and molecular pathways.

  13. Análise crítica dos sistemas neurais envolvidos nas respostas de medo inato Critical analysis of the neural systems organizing innate fear responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Newton Sabino Canteras

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available O nosso entendimento das bases neurofisiológicas da reação emocional do medo baseia-se em grande parte nos estudos que envolvem respostas condicionadas a estímulos fisicamente aversivos, como, por exemplo, o choque elétrico nas patas. Enquanto este paradigma parece ser útil para avaliarmos os sistemas neurais envolvidos na resposta do, assim chamado, medo condicionado (que tipicamente tem se limitado à observação da resposta de congelamento, este paradigma parece ter sérias limitações para investigarmos as bases neurais das respostas de medo em circunstancias naturais. Trabalhos recentes utilizando técnicas de lesões neurais bem como de mapeamento funcional em animais expostos a predadores naturais, ou somente ao odor destes predadores, revelam uma série de estruturas neurais como responsáveis pelas respostas de medo inato, bastante distintas daquelas previamente implicadas nas respostas de condicionamento aversivo. Como revisto no presente trabalho, entre estas estruturas temos distritos diferenciados da zona medial do hipotálamo; setores específicos da amídala e do sistema septo-hipocampal, envolvidos, respectivamente no processamento de pistas relacionadas à presença do predador e na análise contextual do ambiente; e setores da matéria cinzenta periaquedutal, já classicamente envolvidos na expressão de respostas de defesa. Estas informações podem ser potencialmente importantes para a análise e terapêutica de psicopatologias relacionadas aos distúrbios da reação emocional de medo.Unconditioned emotional responses elicited by exposure to a predator have served as the prototypical exemplar for analyses of the behavioral biology of fear-related emotionality. However, the primary research model for the study of fear has involved shock-based cue and context conditioning. While these shock-based models have provided a good understanding of neural systems regulating specific conditioned fear-related behaviors

  14. Step response and frequency response of an air conditioning system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crommelin, R.D.; Jackman, P.J.

    1978-01-01

    A system of induction units of an existing air conditioning system has been analyzed with respect to its dynamic properties. Time constants were calculated and measured by analogue models. Comparison with measurements at the installation itself showed a reasonable agreement. Frequency responses were

  15. Extinction training during the reconsolidation window prevents recovery of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiller, Daniela; Raio, Candace M; Phelps, Elizabeth A

    2012-08-24

    Fear is maladaptive when it persists long after circumstances have become safe. It is therefore crucial to develop an approach that persistently prevents the return of fear. Pavlovian fear-conditioning paradigms are commonly employed to create a controlled, novel fear association in the laboratory. After pairing an innocuous stimulus (conditioned stimulus, CS) with an aversive outcome (unconditioned stimulus, US) we can elicit a fear response (conditioned response, or CR) by presenting just the stimulus alone. Once fear is acquired, it can be diminished using extinction training, whereby the conditioned stimulus is repeatedly presented without the aversive outcome until fear is no longer expressed. This inhibitory learning creates a new, safe representation for the CS, which competes for expression with the original fear memory. Although extinction is effective at inhibiting fear, it is not permanent. Fear can spontaneously recover with the passage of time. Exposure to stress or returning to the context of initial learning can also cause fear to resurface. Our protocol addresses the transient nature of extinction by targeting the reconsolidation window to modify emotional memory in a more permanent manner. Ample evidence suggests that reactivating a consolidated memory returns it to a labile state, during which the memory is again susceptible to interference. This window of opportunity appears to open shortly after reactivation and close approximately 6 hrs later, although this may vary depending on the strength and age of the memory. By allowing new information to incorporate into the original memory trace, this memory may be updated as it reconsolidates. Studies involving non-human animals have successfully blocked the expression of fear memory by introducing pharmacological manipulations within the reconsolidation window, however, most agents used are either toxic to humans or show equivocal effects when used in human studies. Our protocol addresses these

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Oxytocin receptor neurotransmission in the dorsolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis facilitates the acquisition of cued fear in the fear-potentiated startle paradigm in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moaddab, Mahsa; Dabrowska, Joanna

    2017-07-15

    Oxytocin (OT) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that modulates fear and anxiety-like behaviors. Dorsolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST dl ) plays a critical role in the regulation of fear and anxiety, and expresses high levels of OT receptor (OTR). However, the role of OTR neurotransmission within the BNST dl in mediating these behaviors is unknown. Here, we used adult male Sprague-Dawley rats to investigate the role of OTR neurotransmission in the BNST dl in the modulation of the acoustic startle response, as well as in the acquisition and consolidation of conditioned fear using fear potentiated startle (FPS) paradigm. Bilateral intra-BNST dl administration of OT (100 ng) did not affect the acquisition of conditioned fear response. However, intra-BNST dl administration of specific OTR antagonist (OTA), (d(CH 2 ) 5 1 , Tyr(Me) 2 , Thr 4 , Orn 8 , des-Gly-NH 2 9 )-vasotocin, (200 ng), prior to the fear conditioning session, impaired the acquisition of cued fear, without affecting a non-cued fear component of FPS. Neither OTA, nor OT affected baseline startle or shock reactivity during fear conditioning. Therefore, the observed impairment of cued fear after OTA infusion resulted from the specific effect on the formation of cued fear. In contrast to the acquisition, neither OTA nor OT affected the consolidation of FPS, when administered after the completion of fear conditioning session. Taken together, these results reveal the important role of OTR neurotransmission in the BNST dl in the formation of conditioned fear to a discrete cue. This study also highlights the role of the BNST dl in learning to discriminate between threatening and safe stimuli. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Sliding-window analysis tracks fluctuations in amygdala functional connectivity associated with physiological arousal and vigilance during fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baczkowski, Blazej M; Johnstone, Tom; Walter, Henrik; Erk, Susanne; Veer, Ilya M

    2017-06-01

    We evaluated whether sliding-window analysis can reveal functionally relevant brain network dynamics during a well-established fear conditioning paradigm. To this end, we tested if fMRI fluctuations in amygdala functional connectivity (FC) can be related to task-induced changes in physiological arousal and vigilance, as reflected in the skin conductance level (SCL). Thirty-two healthy individuals participated in the study. For the sliding-window analysis we used windows that were shifted by one volume at a time. Amygdala FC was calculated for each of these windows. Simultaneously acquired SCL time series were averaged over time frames that corresponded to the sliding-window FC analysis, which were subsequently regressed against the whole-brain seed-based amygdala sliding-window FC using the GLM. Surrogate time series were generated to test whether connectivity dynamics could have occurred by chance. In addition, results were contrasted against static amygdala FC and sliding-window FC of the primary visual cortex, which was chosen as a control seed, while a physio-physiological interaction (PPI) was performed as cross-validation. During periods of increased SCL, the left amygdala became more strongly coupled with the bilateral insula and anterior cingulate cortex, core areas of the salience network. The sliding-window analysis yielded a connectivity pattern that was unlikely to have occurred by chance, was spatially distinct from static amygdala FC and from sliding-window FC of the primary visual cortex, but was highly comparable to that of the PPI analysis. We conclude that sliding-window analysis can reveal functionally relevant fluctuations in connectivity in the context of an externally cued task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Fears and Misperceptions of the Ebola Response System during the 2014-2015 Outbreak in Sierra Leone.

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    Thespina Yamanis

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Future infectious disease epidemics are likely to disproportionately affect countries with weak health systems, exacerbating global vulnerability. To decrease the severity of epidemics in these settings, lessons can be drawn from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. There is a dearth of literature on public perceptions of the public health response system that required citizens to report and treat Ebola cases. Epidemiological reports suggested that there were delays in diagnosis and treatment. The purpose of our study was to explore the barriers preventing Sierra Leoneans from trusting and using the Ebola response system during the height of the outbreak.Using an experienced ethnographer, we conducted 30 semi-structured in-depth interviews in public spaces in Ebola-affected areas. Participants were at least age 18, spoke Krio, and reported no contact in the recent 21 days with an Ebola-infected person. We used inductive coding and noted emergent themes.Most participants feared that calling the national hotline for someone they believed had Ebola would result in that person's death. Many stated that if they developed a fever they would assume it was not Ebola and self-medicate. Some thought the chlorine sprayed by ambulance workers was toxic. Although most knew there was a laboratory test for Ebola, some erroneously assumed the ubiquitous thermometers were the test and most did not understand the need to re-test in the presence of Ebola symptoms.Fears and misperceptions, related to lack of trust in the response system, may have delayed care-seeking during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Protocols for future outbreak responses should incorporate dynamic, qualitative research to understand and address people's perceptions. Strategies that enhance trust in the response system, such as community mobilization, may be particularly effective.

  1. Acute ethanol has biphasic effects on short- and long-term memory in both foreground and background contextual fear conditioning in C57BL/6 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulick, Danielle; Gould, Thomas J

    2007-09-01

    Ethanol is a frequently abused, addictive drug that impairs cognitive function. Ethanol may disrupt cognitive processes by altering attention, short-term memory, and/or long-term memory. Interestingly, some research suggests that ethanol may enhance cognitive processes at lower doses. The current research examined the dose-dependent effects of ethanol on contextual and cued fear conditioning. In addition, the present studies assessed the importance of stimulus salience in the effects of ethanol and directly compared the effects of ethanol on short-term and long-term memory. This study employed both foreground and background fear conditioning, which differ in the salience of contextual stimuli, and tested conditioning at 4 hours, 24 hours, and 1 week in order to assess the effects of ethanol on short-term and long-term memory. Foreground conditioning consisted of 2 presentations of a foot shock unconditioned stimulus (US) (2 seconds, 0.57 mA). Background conditioning consisted of 2 auditory conditioned stimulus (30 seconds, 85 dB white noise)-foot shock (US; 2 seconds, 0.57 mA) pairings. For both foreground and background conditioning, ethanol enhanced short-term and long-term memory for contextual and cued conditioning at a low dose (0.25 g/kg) and impaired short-term and long-term memory for contextual and cued conditioning at a high dose (1.0 g/kg). These results suggest that ethanol has long-lasting, biphasic effects on short-term and long-term memory for contextual and cued conditioning. Furthermore, the effects of ethanol on contextual fear conditioning are independent of the salience of the context.

  2. Effects of postretrieval-extinction learning on return of contextually controlled cued fear.

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    Meir Drexler, Shira; Merz, Christian J; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Marquardt, Veronica; Fritsch, Nathalie; Otto, Tobias; Wolf, Oliver T

    2014-08-01

    Reactivation of an already consolidated memory makes it labile for a period of several hrs, which are required for its reconsolidation. Evidence suggests that the return of conditioned fear through spontaneous recovery, reinstatement, or renewal can be prevented by blockading this reconsolidation process using pharmacological or behavioral interventions. Postretrieval-extinction learning has been shown to prevent the return of cued fear in humans using fear-irrelevant stimuli, as well as cued and contextual fear in rodents. The effects of postretrieval extinction on human contextually controlled cued fear to fear-relevant stimuli remain unknown, and are the focus of the present study. The experimental design was based on 3 consecutive days: acquisition, reactivation and extinction, and re-extinction. For the fear conditioning, 2 zoo frames served as different contexts, 5 fear-relevant stimuli (aversive animal pictures) served as conditioned stimuli (CS), electric shocks served as unconditioned stimuli (UCS). Expectancy ratings and skin-conductance response (SCR) were used as measures of fear responses; spontaneous recovery and renewal were used as indicators of the return of fear. The expectancy ratings and SCR results indicated spontaneous recovery on the third day, regardless of retrieval prior to extinction. No robust renewal effect was seen. It is suggested that the use of fear-relevant stimuli, the context salience, or reactivation context may explain the lack of reconsolidation effect. Our study indicates that the beneficial effects of postretrieval-extinction learning are sensitive to subtle methodological changes.

  3. The relation between fearfulness in young and stress-response in adult laying hens, on individual and group level

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haas, Elske N.; Kops, Marjolein S.; Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth; Groothuis, Ton G. G.; Ellen, Esther D.; Rodenburg, T. Bas

    2012-01-01

    Fearfulness of an individual can affect its sensitivity to stress, while at the same time the social situation in which an animal lives can affect its fear level. It is however unknown what the long-term effects of high fearfulness on sensitivity to stress are, on individual or group level in laying

  4. Outcome expectancy as a predictor of treatment response in cognitive behavioral therapy for public speaking fears within social anxiety disorder.

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    Price, Matthew; Anderson, Page L

    2012-06-01

    Outcome expectancy, the extent that clients anticipate benefiting from therapy, is theorized to be an important predictor of treatment response for cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, there is a relatively small body of empirical research on outcome expectancy and the treatment of social anxiety disorder. This literature, which has examined the association mostly in group-based interventions, has yielded mixed findings. The current study sought to further evaluate the effect of outcome expectancy as a predictor of treatment response for public-speaking fears across both individual virtual reality and group-based cognitive-behavioral therapies. The findings supported outcome expectancy as a predictor of the rate of change in public-speaking anxiety during both individual virtual reality exposure therapy and group cognitive-behavioral therapy. Furthermore, there was no evidence to suggest that the impact of outcome expectancy differed across virtual reality or group treatments. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

  5. Pharmacological interference with metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 7 but not subtype 5 differentially affects within- and between-session extinction of Pavlovian conditioned fear.

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    Toth, Iulia; Dietz, Monika; Peterlik, Daniel; Huber, Sabine E; Fendt, Markus; Neumann, Inga D; Flor, Peter J; Slattery, David A

    2012-03-01

    Fear extinction is defined as the attenuation of a conditioned-fear memory by re-exposing animals to the conditioned stimulus without the aversive stimulus. This process is known to be effectively enhanced via administration of D-cycloserine (DCS), a partial NMDA-receptor agonist. However, other glutamatergic mechanisms, such as interference with metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) subtypes 5 and 7 in the extinction of aversive memories are insufficiently understood. Using the allosteric mGluR5 receptor antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine (MPEP), the mGluR7 allosteric agonist N,N'-dibenzyhydryl-ethane-1,2-diamine dihydrochloride (AMN082), and DCS for comparison, we aimed to study how pharmacological blockade of mGluR5 and activation of mGluR7 influenced within- and between-session conditioned-fear extinction training and extinction retention in rats. We show that when injected before extinction training, mGluR7 activation with AMN082 enhanced freezing and thereby attenuated within-session fear extinction, whereas both DCS and the mGluR5 receptor antagonist MPEP had no effect on this process. However, these differential drug effects were not long lasting, as no difference in extinction retention were observed 24 h later. Therefore, we assessed whether the compounds affect 24 h consolidation of extinction training following incomplete extinction training (between-session extinction). Similar to DCS, AMN082- but not MPEP-treated rats showed facilitated extinction retention, as exhibited by decreased freezing. Finally, using fluoxetine, we provide evidence that the effect of AMN082 on between-session extinction retention is most likely not via increasing 5-HT transmission. These findings demonstrate that mGluR7 activation differentially modulates conditioned-fear extinction, in dependence on the protocol employed, and suggests drugs with AMN082-like mechanisms as potential add-on drugs following exposure-based psychotherapy for fear-related human

  6. Factors influencing responsiveness to feedback: on the interplay between fear, confidence, and reasoning processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eva, Kevin W; Armson, Heather; Holmboe, Eric; Lockyer, Jocelyn; Loney, Elaine; Mann, Karen; Sargeant, Joan

    2012-03-01

    Self-appraisal has repeatedly been shown to be inadequate as a mechanism for performance improvement. This has placed greater emphasis on understanding the processes through which self-perception and external feedback interact to influence professional development. As feedback is inevitably interpreted through the lens of one's self-perceptions it is important to understand how learners interpret, accept, and use feedback (or not) and the factors that influence those interpretations. 134 participants from 8 health professional training/continuing competence programs were recruited to participate in focus groups. Analyses were designed to (a) elicit understandings of the processes used by learners and physicians to interpret, accept and use (or not) data to inform their perceptions of their clinical performance, and (b) further understand the factors (internal and external) believed to influence interpretation of feedback. Multiple influences appear to impact upon the interpretation and uptake of feedback. These include confidence, experience, and fear of not appearing knowledgeable. Importantly, however, each could have a paradoxical effect of both increasing and decreasing receptivity. Less prevalent but nonetheless important themes suggested mechanisms through which cognitive reasoning processes might impede growth from formative feedback. Many studies have examined the effectiveness of feedback through variable interventions focused on feedback delivery. This study suggests that it is equally important to consider feedback from the perspective of how it is received. The interplay observed between fear, confidence, and reasoning processes reinforces the notion that there is no simple recipe for the delivery of effective feedback. These factors should be taken into account when trying to understand (a) why self-appraisal can be flawed, (b) why appropriate external feedback is vital (yet can be ineffective), and (c) why we may need to disentangle the goals of

  7. Moderation of prior exposure to trauma on the inverse relationship between callous-unemotional traits and amygdala responses to fearful expressions: an exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meffert, Harma; Thornton, Laura C; Tyler, Patrick M; Botkin, Mary L; Erway, Anna K; Kolli, Venkata; Pope, Kayla; White, Stuart F; Blair, R James R

    2018-02-12

    Previous work has shown that amygdala responsiveness to fearful expressions is inversely related to level of callous-unemotional (CU) traits (i.e. reduced guilt and empathy) in youth with conduct problems. However, some research has suggested that the relationship between pathophysiology and CU traits may be different in those youth with significant prior trauma exposure. In experiment 1, 72 youth with varying levels of disruptive behavior and trauma exposure performed a gender discrimination task while viewing morphed fear expressions (0, 50, 100, 150 fear) and Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent responses were recorded. In experiment 2, 66 of these youth performed the Social Goals Task, which measures self-reports of the importance of specific social goals to the participant in provoking social situations. In experiment 1, a significant CU traits-by-trauma exposure interaction was observed within right amygdala; fear intensity-modulated amygdala responses negatively predicted CU traits for those youth with low levels of trauma but positively predicted CU traits for those with high levels of trauma. In experiment 2, a bootstrapped model revealed that the indirect effect of fear intensity amygdala response on social goal importance through CU traits is moderated by prior trauma exposure. This study, while exploratory, indicates that the pathophysiology associated with CU traits differs in youth as a function of prior trauma exposure. These data suggest that prior trauma exposure should be considered when evaluating potential interventions for youth with high CU traits.

  8. Fearful gaze cueing: gaze direction and facial expression independently influence overt orienting responses in 12-month-olds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reiko Matsunaka

    Full Text Available Gaze direction cues and facial expressions have been shown to influence object processing in infants. For example, infants around 12 months of age utilize others' gaze directions and facial expressions to regulate their own behaviour toward an ambiguous target (i.e., social referencing. However, the mechanism by which social signals influence overt orienting in infants is unclear. The present study examined the effects of static gaze direction cues and facial expressions (neutral vs. fearful on overt orienting using a gaze-cueing paradigm in 6- and 12-month-old infants. Two experiments were conducted: in Experiment 1, a face with a leftward or rightward gaze direction was used as a cue, and a face with a forward gaze direction was added in Experiment 2. In both experiments, an effect of facial expression was found in 12-month-olds; no effect was found in 6-month-olds. Twelve-month-old infants exhibited more rapid overt orienting in response to fearful expressions than neutral expressions, irrespective of gaze direction. These findings suggest that gaze direction information and facial expressions independently influence overt orienting in infants, and the effect of facial expression emerges earlier than that of static gaze direction. Implications for the development of gaze direction and facial expression processing systems are discussed.

  9. Encoding of Discriminative Fear Memory by Input-Specific LTP in the Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Woong Bin; Cho, Jun-Hyeong

    2017-08-30

    In auditory fear conditioning, experimental subjects learn to associate an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) with an aversive unconditioned stimulus. With sufficient training, animals fear conditioned to an auditory CS show fear response to the CS, but not to irrelevant auditory stimuli. Although long-term potentiation (LTP) in the lateral amygdala (LA) plays an essential role in auditory fear conditioning, it is unknown whether LTP is induced selectively in the neural pathways conveying specific CS information to the LA in discriminative fear learning. Here, we show that postsynaptically expressed LTP is induced selectively in the CS-specific auditory pathways to the LA in a mouse model of auditory discriminative fear conditioning. Moreover, optogenetically induced depotentiation of the CS-specific auditory pathways to the LA suppressed conditioned fear responses to the CS. Our results suggest that input-specific LTP in the LA contributes to fear memory specificity, enabling adaptive fear responses only to the relevant sensory cue. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Can bread processing conditions alter glycaemic response?

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    Lau, Evelyn; Soong, Yean Yean; Zhou, Weibiao; Henry, Jeyakumar

    2015-04-15

    Bread is a staple food that is traditionally made from wheat flour. This study aimed to compare the starch digestibility of western baked bread and oriental steamed bread. Four types of bread were prepared: western baked bread (WBB) and oriental steamed bread (OSB), modified baked bread (MBB) made with the OSB recipe and WBB processing, and modified steamed bread (MSB) made with the WBB recipe and OSB processing. MBB showed the highest starch digestibility in vitro, followed by WBB, OSB and MSB. A similar trend was observed for glycaemic response in vivo. MBB, WBB, OSB and MSB had a glycaemic index of 75±4, 71±5, 68±5 and 65±4, respectively. Processing differences had a more pronounced effect on starch digestibility in bread, and steamed bread was healthier in terms of glycaemic response. The manipulation of processing conditions could be an innovative route to alter the glycaemic response of carbohydrate-rich foods. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The Topological Properties of Stimuli Influence Fear Generalization and Extinction in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Liang; Su, Hongyu; Xie, Xiaoyuan; Yan, Pei; Li, Junjiao; Zheng, Xifu

    2018-01-01

    Fear generalization is an etiologically significant indicator of anxiety disorders, and understanding how to inhibit it is important in their treatment. Prior studies have found that reducing fear generalization using a generalization stimulus (GS) is ineffective in removing a conditioned fear that incorporates local features, and that topological properties appear to play a comparatively more significant role in the processes of perception and categorization. Our study utilized a conditioned-fear generalization design to examine whether the topological properties of stimuli influence the generalization and return of fear. Fear was indexed using online expectancy ratings and skin conductance responses (SCRs). The study's 52 participants were divided into three groups: Group 1, conditioned danger cue (CS+) extinction; Group 2, extinction of one GS; Group 3, extinction of three GSs. We found that the three groups acquired conditioned fear at the same level. In the generalization and extinction phase, fear was transferred to the GS with the same topological properties as CS+, and gradual decreases in both shock expectancy and SCRs over non-reinforced extinction trials were observed. In the test phase, participants' online expectancy ratings indicated that fear did not return in Group 1, but did return in Groups 2 and 3. All three groups demonstrated successful GS fear extinction, but only Group 1 did not show a return of fear for CS+. Regarding SCRs results, none of the groups demonstrated a return of fear, suggesting that utilization of topological properties successfully reduced the return of conditioned fear. Our results indicate that, in clinical settings, using GS with topological equivalence to CS+ might offer a potential method with which to extinct conditioned fear.

  12. The Topological Properties of Stimuli Influence Fear Generalization and Extinction in Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Xu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Fear generalization is an etiologically significant indicator of anxiety disorders, and understanding how to inhibit it is important in their treatment. Prior studies have found that reducing fear generalization using a generalization stimulus (GS is ineffective in removing a conditioned fear that incorporates local features, and that topological properties appear to play a comparatively more significant role in the processes of perception and categorization. Our study utilized a conditioned-fear generalization design to examine whether the topological properties of stimuli influence the generalization and return of fear. Fear was indexed using online expectancy ratings and skin conductance responses (SCRs. The study’s 52 participants were divided into three groups: Group 1, conditioned danger cue (CS+ extinction; Group 2, extinction of one GS; Group 3, extinction of three GSs. We found that the three groups acquired conditioned fear at the same level. In the generalization and extinction phase, fear was transferred to the GS with the same topological properties as CS+, and gradual decreases in both shock expectancy and SCRs over non-reinforced extinction trials were observed. In the test phase, participants’ online expectancy ratings indicated that fear did not return in Group 1, but did return in Groups 2 and 3. All three groups demonstrated successful GS fear extinction, but only Group 1 did not show a return of fear for CS+. Regarding SCRs results, none of the groups demonstrated a return of fear, suggesting that utilization of topological properties successfully reduced the return of conditioned fear. Our results indicate that, in clinical settings, using GS with topological equivalence to CS+ might offer a potential method with which to extinct conditioned fear.

  13. Hippocampal Processing of Ambiguity Enhances Fear Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  14. Oxytocin differentially modulates pavlovian cue and context fear acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalli, Juliana; Ruttorf, Michaela; Pahi, Mario Rosero; Zidda, Francesca; Flor, Herta; Nees, Frauke

    2017-06-01

    Fear acquisition and extinction have been demonstrated as core mechanisms for the development and maintenance of mental disorders, with different contributions of processing cues vs contexts. The hypothalamic peptide oxytocin (OXT) may have a prominent role in this context, as it has been shown to affect fear learning. However, investigations have focused on cue conditioning, and fear extinction. Its differential role for cue and context fear acquisition is still not known. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo (PLC)-controlled design, we administered an intranasal dose of OXT or PLC before the acquisition of cue and context fear conditioning in healthy individuals (n = 52), and assessed brain responses, skin conductance responses and self-reports (valence/arousal/contingency). OXT compared with PLC significantly induced decreased responses in the nucleus accumbens during early cue and context acquisition, and decreased responses of the anterior cingulate cortex and insula during early as well as increased hippocampal response during late context, but not cue acquisition. The OXT group additionally showed significantly higher arousal in late cue and context acquisition. OXT modulates various aspects of cue and context conditioning, which is relevant from a mechanism-based perspective and might have implications for the treatment of fear and anxiety. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  15. Conditioned Subjective Responses to Socially Relevant Stimuli in Social Anxiety Disorder and Subclinical Social Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinoco-González, Daniella; Fullana, Miquel Angel; Torrents-Rodas, David; Bonillo, Albert; Vervliet, Bram; Pailhez, Guillem; Farré, Magí; Andión, Oscar; Perez, Víctor; Torrubia, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    Although enhanced fear conditioning has been implicated in the origins of social anxiety disorder (SAD), laboratory evidence in support of this association is limited. Using a paradigm employing socially relevant unconditioned stimuli, we conducted two separate studies to asses fear conditioning in individuals with SAD and non-clinical individuals with high social anxiety (subclinical social anxiety [SSA]). They were compared with age-matched and gender-matched individuals with another anxiety disorder (panic disorder with agoraphobia) and healthy controls (Study 1) and with individuals with low social anxiety (Study 2). Contrary to our expectations, in both studies, self-report measures (ratings of anxiety, unpleasantness and arousal to the conditioned stimuli) of fear conditioning failed to discriminate between SAD or SSA and the other participant groups. Our results suggest that enhanced fear conditioning does not play a major role in pathological social anxiety. We used a social conditioning paradigm to study fear conditioning in clinical and subclinical social anxiety. We found no evidence of enhanced fear conditioning in social anxiety individuals. Enhanced fear conditioning may not be a hallmark of pathological social anxiety. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Age-dependent changes in autophosphorylation of alpha calcium/calmodulin dependent kinase II in hippocampus and amygdala after contextual fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Ton; Kasbi, Kamillia; Rothe, Stephanie; Aziz, Wajeeha; Giese, K Peter

    2017-09-01

    The hippocampus and amygdala are essential brain regions responsible for contextual fear conditioning (CFC). The autophosphorylation of alpha calcium-calmodulin kinase II (αCaMKII) at threonine-286 (T286) is a critical step implicated in long-term potentiation (LTP), learning and memory. However, the changes in αCaMKII levels with aging and training in associated brain regions are not fully understood. Here, we studied how aging and training affect the levels of phosphorylated (T286) and proportion of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII in the hippocampus and amygdala. Young and aged mice, naïve (untrained) and trained in CFC, were analysed by immunohistochemistry for the levels of total and phosphorylated αCaMKII in the hippocampus and amygdala. We found that two hours after CFC training, young mice exhibited a higher level of phosphorylated and increased ratio of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII in hippocampal CA3 stratum radiatum. Furthermore, aged untrained mice showed a higher ratio of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII in the CA3 region of the hippocampus when compared to the young untrained group. No effect of training or aging were seen in the central, lateral and basolateral amygdala regions, for both phosphorylated and ratio of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII. These results show that aging impairs the training-induced upregulation of autophosphorylated (T286) αCaMKII in the CA3 stratum radiatum of the hippocampus. This indicates that distinct age-related mechanisms underlie CFC that may rely more heavily on NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity in young age. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Region-specific roles of the prelimbic cortex, the dorsal CA1, the ventral DG and ventral CA1 of the hippocampus in the fear return evoked by a sub-conditioning procedure in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Juan; Xing, Xiaoli; Han, Mengfi; Xu, Na; Piao, Chengji; Zhang, Yue; Zheng, Xigeng

    2016-02-01

    The return of learned fear is an important issue in anxiety disorder research since an analogous process may contribute to long-term fear maintenance or clinical relapse. A number of studies demonstrate that mPFC and hippocampus are important in the modulation of post-extinction re-expression of fear memory. However, the region-specific role of these structures in the fear return evoked by a sub-threshold conditioning (SC) is not known. In the present experiments, we first examined specific roles of the prelimbic cortex (PL), the dorsal hippocampus (DH, the dorsal CA1 area in particular), the ventral hippocampus (the ventral dentate gyrus (vDG) and the ventral CA1 area in particular) in this fear return process. Then we examined the role of connections between PL and vCA1 with this behavioral approach. Rats were subjected to five tone-shock pairings (1.0-mA shock) to induce conditioned fear (freezing), followed by three fear extinction sessions (25 tone-alone trials each session). After a post-test for extinction memory, some rats were retrained with the SC procedure to reinstate tone-evoked freezing. Rat groups were injected with low doses of the GABAA agonist muscimol to selectively inactivate PL, DH, vDG, or vCA1 120 min before the fear return test. A disconnection paradigm with ipsilateral or contralateral muscimol injection of the PL and the vCA1 was used to examine the role of this pathway in the fear return. We found that transient inactivation of these areas significantly impaired fear return (freezing): inactivation of the prelimbic cortex blocked SC-evoked fear return in particular but did not influence fear expression in general; inactivation of the DH area impaired fear return, but had no effect on the extinction retrieval process; both ventral DG and ventral CA1 are required for the return of extinguished fear whereas only ventral DG is required for the extinction retrieval. These findings suggest that PL, DH, vDG, and vCA1 all contribute to the fear

  18. A novel perceptual discrimination training task: Reducing fear overgeneralization in the context of fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginat-Frolich, Rivkah; Klein, Zohar; Katz, Omer; Shechner, Tomer

    2017-06-01

    Generalization is an adaptive learning mechanism, but it can be maladaptive when it occurs in excess. A novel perceptual discrimination training task was therefore designed to moderate fear overgeneralization. We hypothesized that improvement in basic perceptual discrimination would translate into lower fear overgeneralization in affective cues. Seventy adults completed a fear-conditioning task prior to being allocated into training or placebo groups. Predesignated geometric shape pairs were constructed for the training task. A target shape from each pair was presented. Thereafter, participants in the training group were shown both shapes and asked to identify the image that differed from the target. Placebo task participants only indicated the location of each shape on the screen. All participants then viewed new geometric pairs and indicated whether they were identical or different. Finally, participants completed a fear generalization test consisting of perceptual morphs ranging from the CS + to the CS-. Fear-conditioning was observed through physiological and behavioural measures. Furthermore, the training group performed better than the placebo group on the assessment task and exhibited decreased fear generalization in response to threat/safety cues. The findings offer evidence for the effectiveness of the novel discrimination training task, setting the stage for future research with clinical populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Modification of Fear Memory by Pharmacological and Behavioural Interventions during Reconsolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response. We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol) and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation) interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS). Two of these (CS+) were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response. Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus. Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of psychotherapeutic interventions. This

  20. Modification of Fear Memory by Pharmacological and Behavioural Interventions during Reconsolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Background Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response. Methods We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol) and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation) interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS). Two of these (CS+) were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response. Results Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus. Conclusions Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of

  1. Flexibility in the face of fear: Hippocampal-prefrontal regulation of fear and avoidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moscarello, Justin M; Maren, Stephen

    2018-02-01

    Generating appropriate defensive behaviors in the face of threat is essential to survival. Although many of these behaviors are 'hard-wired', they are also flexible. For example, Pavlovian fear conditioning generates learned defensive responses, such as conditioned freezing, that can be suppressed through extinction. The expression of extinguished responses is highly context-dependent, allowing animals to engage behavioral responses appropriate to the contexts in which threats are encountered. Likewise, animals and humans will avoid noxious outcomes if given the opportunity. In instrumental avoidance learning, for example, animals overcome conditioned defensive responses, including freezing, in order to actively avoid aversive stimuli. Recent work has greatly advanced understanding of the neural basis of these phenomena and has revealed common circuits involved in the regulation of fear. Specifically, the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex play pivotal roles in gating fear reactions and instrumental actions, mediated by the amygdala and nucleus accumbens, respectively. Because an inability to adaptively regulate fear and defensive behavior is a central component of many anxiety disorders, the brain circuits that promote flexible responses to threat are of great clinical significance.

  2. Coming to terms with fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2014-01-01

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

  3. The concentration of fear: mice's behavioural and physiological stress responses to different degrees of predation risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-González, Beatriz; Planillo, Aimara; Navarro-Castilla, Álvaro; Barja, Isabel

    2018-02-01

    Predation is an unavoidable and dangerous fact in the lifetime of prey animals and some sign of the proximity of a predator may be enough to trigger a response in the prey. We investigated whether different degrees of predation risk by red foxes ( Vulpes vulpes) evoke behavioural and physiological stress responses in wood mice ( Apodemus sylvaticus) . We examined the variation in mice responses due to individual factors (sex and reproductive status) and related them to the concentration of the volatile compounds from fox faeces over time. In our experiment, we introduced predation cues into four plots, each subjected to a different concentration treatment (0, 10, 50 and 100% concentration of fresh faeces of red fox), based on the following outline: initial odourless phase 0, phase1 in which predation treatment was renewed daily, and phase 2 in which we renewed the treatment only on the first day. Wood mice were live trapped during all three phases and the physiological response was measured non-invasively by analysing faecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) in freshly collected faeces. Data were analysed by Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Overall, males were trapped less often than females, and reproductively active individuals from both sexes avoided traps more than non-reproductively active individuals, especially in medium- and high- concentration plots. Variations in FCM concentrations were explained by plot, the interaction between plot and treatment phase, and the interaction between the treatment phase and the reproductive status. During phase 1, we detected a significant rise in FCM levels that increased with predator faecal odour concentration. Additionally, reproductively active individuals showed a strong physiological response during both phases 1 and 2 in all plots, except the control plot. Our results indicated that wood mice are able to discriminate different degrees of predation risk, which allows them to trigger gradual changes in their

  4. Stress Response Recruits the Hippocampal Endocannabinoid System for the Modulation of Fear Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvares, Lucas de Oliveira; Engelke, Douglas Senna; Diehl, Felipe; Scheffer-Teixeira, Robson; Haubrich, Josue; Cassini, Lindsey de Freitas; Molina, Victor Alejandro; Quillfeldt, Jorge Alberto

    2010-01-01

    The modulation of memory processes is one of the several functions of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the brain, with CB1 receptors highly expressed in areas such as the dorsal hippocampus. Experimental evidence suggested an important role of the ECS in aversively motivated memories. Similarly, glucocorticoids released in response to stress…

  5. Vicarious extinction learning during reconsolidation neutralizes fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golkar, Armita; Tjaden, Cathelijn; Kindt, Merel

    2017-05-01

    Previous studies have suggested that fear memories can be updated when recalled, a process referred to as reconsolidation. Given the beneficial effects of model-based safety learning (i.e. vicarious extinction) in preventing the recovery of short-term fear memory, we examined whether consolidated long-term fear memories could be updated with safety learning accomplished through vicarious extinction learning initiated within the reconsolidation time-window. We assessed this in a final sample of 19 participants that underwent a three-day within-subject fear-conditioning design, using fear-potentiated startle as our primary index of fear learning. On day 1, two fear-relevant stimuli (reinforced CSs) were paired with shock (US) and a third stimulus served as a control (CS). On day 2, one of the two previously reinforced stimuli (the reminded CS) was presented once in order to reactivate the fear memory 10 min before vicarious extinction training was initiated for all CSs. The recovery of the fear memory was tested 24 h later. Vicarious extinction training conducted within the reconsolidation time window specifically prevented the recovery of the reactivated fear memory (p = 0.03), while leaving fear-potentiated startle responses to the non-reactivated cue intact (p = 0.62). These findings are relevant to both basic and clinical research, suggesting that a safe, non-invasive model-based exposure technique has the potential to enhance the efficiency and durability of anxiolytic therapies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Individual Differences in Animal Stress Models: Considering Resilience, Vulnerability, and the Amygdala in Mediating the Effects of Stress and Conditioned Fear on Sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellman, Laurie L; Fitzpatrick, Mairen E; Hallum, Olga Y; Sutton, Amy M; Williams, Brook L; Sanford, Larry D

    2016-06-01

    To examine the REM sleep response to stress and fearful memories as a potential marker of stress resilience and vulnerability and to assess the role of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in mediating the effects of fear memory on sleep. Outbred Wistar rats were surgically implanted with electrodes for recording EEG and EMG and with bilateral guide cannulae directed at the BLA. Data loggers were placed intraperitoneally to record core body temperature. After recovery from surgery, the rats received shock training (ST: 20 footshocks, 0.8 mA, 0.5-s duration, 60-s interstimulus interval) and afterwards received microinjections of the GABAA agonist muscimol (MUS; 1.0 μM) to inactivate BLA or microinjections of vehicle (VEH) alone. Subsequently, the rats were separated into 4 groups (VEH-vulnerable (VEH-Vul; n = 14), VEH-resilient (VEH-Res; n = 13), MUS-vulnerable (MUS-Vul; n = 8), and MUS-resilient (MUS-Res; n = 11) based on whether or not REM was decreased, compared to baseline, during the first 4 h following ST. We then compared sleep, freezing, and the stress response (stress-induced hyperthermia, SIH) across groups to determine the effects of ST and fearful context re-exposure alone (CTX). REM was significantly reduced on the ST day in both VEH-Vul and MUS-Vul rats; however, post-ST MUS blocked the reduction in REM on the CTX day in the MUS-Vul group. The VEH-Res and MUS-Res rats showed similar levels of REM on both ST and CTX days. The effects of post-ST inactivation of BLA on freezing and SIH were minimal. Outbred Wistar rats can show significant individual differences in the effects of stress on REM that are mediated by BLA. These differences in REM can be independent of behavioral fear and the peripheral stress response, and may be an important biomarker of stress resilience and vulnerability. © 2016 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  7. Psychophysiological Assessment Of Fear Experience In Response To Sound During Computer Video Gameplay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garner, Tom Alexander; Grimshaw, Mark

    2013-01-01

    The potential value of a looping biometric feedback system as a key component of adaptive computer video games is significant. Psychophysiological measures are essential to the development of an automated emotion recognition program, capable of interpreting physiological data into models of affect...... and systematically altering the game environment in response. This article presents empirical data the analysis of which advocates electrodermal activity and electromyography as suitable physiological measures to work effectively within a computer video game-based biometric feedback loop, within which sound...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sumter, Sindy Resita

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Fear appeals and attitude change: effects of a threat's noxiousness, probability of occurrence, and the efficacy of coping responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, R W; Mewborn, C R

    1976-07-01

    Three factorial experiments examined the persuasive effects of the noxiousness of threatened event, its probability of occurrence, and the efficacy of recommended protective measures. A total of 176 students participated in separate studies on the topics of cigarette smoking, driving safety, and venereal disease. The results disclosed that increments in the efficacy variable increased intentions to adopt the efficacy variable increased intentions to adopt the recommended practices. Interaction effects revealed that when the preventive practices were effective, increments in the noxiousness and probability variables facilitated attitude change; however, when the coping responses were the preventive practices were effective, increments in the noxiousness and probability either had no effect or a deleterious effect, respectively. These interaction effects were discussed in terms of a defensive avoidance hypothesis, the crucial component of which was an inability to ward off the danger. Furthermore, the effect of the emotion of fear upon intentions was found to be mediated by the cognitive appraisal of severity of the threat. Finally, similarities with and extensions of previous studies were reviewed.

  10. Hippocampal Arc (Arg3.1) expression is induced by memory recall and required for memory reconsolidation in trace fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chia, Chester; Otto, Tim

    2013-11-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that long-lasting, protein synthesis-dependent changes in synaptic strength accompany both the initial acquisition and subsequent recall of specific memories. Within brain areas thought to be important for learning and memory, including the hippocampus, learning-related plasticity is likely mediated in part by NMDA receptor activation and experience-dependent changes in gene expression. In the present study, we examined the role of activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) expression in the acquisition, recall, and reconsolidation of memory in a trace fear conditioning paradigm. First, we show that the expression of Arc protein in ventral hippocampus (VH) is dramatically enhanced by memory recall 24h after the acquisition of trace fear conditioning, and that both memory recall and the associated recall-induced enhancement of Arc expression are blocked by pre-training administration of 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV). Next, we show that while infusion of Arc antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) into VH prior to testing had little effect on memory recall, it significantly reduced both Arc protein expression and freezing behavior during subsequent testing sessions. Collectively, these results suggest that Arc/Arg3.1 protein plays an important functional role in both the initial acquisition of hippocampal-dependent memory and the reconsolidation of these memories after recall. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Response moderation models for conditional dependence between response time and response accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolsinova, Maria; Tijmstra, Jesper; Molenaar, Dylan

    2017-05-01

    It is becoming more feasible and common to register response times in the application of psychometric tests. Researchers thus have the opportunity to jointly model response accuracy and response time, which provides users with more relevant information. The most common choice is to use the hierarchical model (van der Linden, 2007, Psychometrika, 72, 287), which assumes conditional independence between response time and accuracy, given a person's speed and ability. However, this assumption may be violated in practice if, for example, persons vary their speed or differ in their response strategies, leading to conditional dependence between response time and accuracy and confounding measurement. We propose six nested hierarchical models for response time and accuracy that allow for conditional dependence, and discuss their relationship to existing models. Unlike existing approaches, the proposed hierarchical models allow for various forms of conditional dependence in the model and allow the effect of continuous residual response time on response accuracy to be item-specific, person-specific, or both. Estimation procedures for the models are proposed, as well as two information criteria that can be used for model selection. Parameter recovery and usefulness of the information criteria are investigated using simulation, indicating that the procedure works well and is likely to select the appropriate model. Two empirical applications are discussed to illustrate the different types of conditional dependence that may occur in practice and how these can be captured using the proposed hierarchical models. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  12. Generalization of fear inhibition by disrupting hippocampal protein synthesis-dependent reconsolidation process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chih-Hao; Huang, Chiung-Chun; Hsu, Kuei-Sen

    2011-09-01

    Repetitive replay of fear memories may precipitate the occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders. Hence, the suppression of fear memory retrieval may help prevent and treat these disorders. The formation of fear memories is often linked to multiple environmental cues and these interconnected cues may act as reminders for the recall of traumatic experiences. However, as a convenience, a simple paradigm of one cue pairing with the aversive stimulus is usually used in studies of fear conditioning in animals. Here, we built a more complex fear conditioning model by presenting several environmental stimuli during fear conditioning and characterize the effectiveness of extinction training and the disruption of reconsolidation process on the expression of learned fear responses. We demonstrate that extinction training with a single-paired cue resulted in cue-specific attenuation of fear responses but responses to other cures were unchanged. The cue-specific nature of the extinction persisted despite training sessions combined with D-cycloserine treatment reveals a significant weakness in extinction-based treatment. In contrast, the inhibition of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) but not the basolateral amygdala (BLA)-dependent memory reconsolidation process using either protein synthesis inhibitors or genetic disruption of cAMP-response-element-binding protein-mediated transcription comprehensively disrupted the learned connections between fear responses and all paired environmental cues. These findings emphasize the distinct role of the DH and the BLA in the reconsolidation process of fear memories and further indicate that the disruption of memory reconsolidation process in the DH may result in generalization of fear inhibition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  14. Bilateral Alternating Auditory Stimulations Facilitate Fear Extinction and Retrieval

    OpenAIRE

    Boukezzi, Sarah; Silva, Catarina; Nazarian, Bruno; Rousseau, Pierre-François; Guedj, Eric; Valenzuela-Moguillansky, Camila; Khalfa, Stéphanie

    2017-01-01

    Disruption of fear conditioning, its extinction and its retrieval are at the core of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Such deficits, especially fear extinction delay, disappear after alternating bilateral stimulations (BLS) during eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. An animal model of fear recovery, based on auditory cued fear conditioning and extinction learning, recently showed that BLS facilitate fear extinction and fear extinction retrieval. Our goal was to ...

  15. Understanding heterogeneity in social anxiety disorder: dependency and self-criticism moderate fear responses to interpersonal cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopala-Sibley, Daniel C; Zuroff, David C; Russell, Jennifer J; Moskowitz, D S

    2014-06-01

    This study examined how the personality traits of self-criticism and dependency moderated the effects of situational interpersonal cues on fear during interpersonal interactions among individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD). We hypothesized that self-criticism would moderate the fear-inducing effects of situational self-consciousness and that dependency would moderate the fear-inducing effects of situational emotional insecurity. Forty SAD patients (Mage = 29.23) and matched community controls (Mage = 28.93) completed event-contingent record forms after each significant social interaction of over 5 min for a 20-day period. There were 20 female patients and 20 male patients in each group. Event-level self-consciousness was more strongly associated with elevations in fear among socially anxious patients who reported higher levels of self-criticism, while event-level emotional security was more strongly associated with decreases in fear among SAD patients who reported higher levels of dependency. These interactions were not found in the community sample. Findings support the application of personality-vulnerability models to understanding fear during social interactions in patients with SAD. Results also have implications for psychotherapeutic treatments of SAD. © 2013 The British Psychological Society.

  16. The prelimbic cortex uses higher-order cues to modulate both the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Judith Sharpe

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The prelimbic (PL cortex allows rodents to adapt their responding under changing experimental circumstances. In line with this, the PL cortex has been implicated in strategy set shifting, attentional set shifting, the resolution of response conflict, and the modulation of attention towards predictive stimuli. One interpretation of this research is that the PL cortex is involved in using information garnered from higher-order cues in the environment to modulate how an animal responds to environmental stimuli. However, data supporting this view of PL function in the aversive domain are lacking. In the following experiments, we attempted to answer two questions. Firstly, we wanted to investigate whether the role of the PL cortex in using higher-order cues to influence responding generalizes across appetitive and aversive domains. Secondly, as much of the research has focused on a role for the PL cortex in performance, we wanted to assess whether this region is also involved in the acquisition of hierarchal associations which facilitate an ability to use higher-order cues to modulate responding. In order to answer these questions, we assessed the impact of PL inactivation during both the acquisition and expression of a contextual bi-conditional discrimination. A contextual bi-conditional discrimination involves presenting two stimuli. In one context, one stimulus is paired with shock while the other is presented without shock. In another context, these contingencies are reversed. Thus, animals have to use the present contextual cues to disambiguate the significance of the stimulus and respond appropriately. We found that PL inactivation disrupted both the encoding and expression of these context-dependent associations. This supports a role for the PL cortex in allowing higher-order cues to modulate both learning about, and responding towards, different cues. We discuss these findings in the broader context of functioning in the medial prefrontal

  17. Mice lacking Ras-GRF1 show contextual fear conditioning but not spatial memory impairments: convergent evidence from two independently generated mouse mutant lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raffaele ed'Isa

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Ras-GRF1 is a neuronal specific guanine exchange factor that, once activated by both ionotropic and metabotropic neurotransmitter receptors, can stimulate Ras proteins, leading to long-term phosphorylation of downstream signaling. The two available reports on the behavior of two independently generated Ras-GRF1 deficient mouse lines provide contrasting evidence on the role of Ras-GRF1 in spatial memory and contextual fear conditioning. These discrepancies may be due to the distinct alterations introduced in the mouse genome by gene targeting in the two lines that could differentially affect expression of nearby genes located in the imprinted region containing the Ras-grf1 locus. In order to determine the real contribution of Ras-GRF1 to spatial memory we compared in Morris Water Maze learning the Brambilla’s mice with a third mouse line (GENA53 in which a nonsense mutation was introduced in the Ras-GRF1 coding region without additional changes in the genome and we found that memory in this task is normal. Also, we measured both contextual and cued fear conditioning, which were previously reported to be affected in the Brambilla’s mice, and we confirmed that contextual learning but not cued conditioning is impaired in both mouse lines. In addition, we also tested both lines for the first time in conditioned place aversion in the Intellicage, an ecological and remotely controlled behavioral test, and we observed normal learning. Finally, based on previous reports of other mutant lines suggesting that Ras-GRF1 may control body weight, we also measured this non-cognitive phenotype and we confirmed that both Ras-GRF1 deficient mutants are smaller than their control littermates. In conclusion, we demonstrate that Ras-GRF1 has no unique role in spatial memory while its function in contextual fear conditioning is likely to be due not only to its involvement in amygdalar functions but possibly to some distinct hippocampal connections specific to

  18. Chronic nicotine differentially alters spontaneous recovery of contextual fear in male and female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tumolo, Jessica M; Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Gould, Thomas J

    2018-04-02

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a devastating disorder with symptoms such as flashbacks, hyperarousal, and avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event. Exposure therapy, which attempts to extinguish fear responses, is a commonly used treatment for PTSD but relapse following successful exposure therapy is a frequent problem. In rodents, spontaneous recovery (SR), where extinguished fear responses resurface following extinction treatment, is used as a model of fear relapse. Previous studies from our lab showed that chronic nicotine impaired fear extinction and acute nicotine enhanced SR of contextual fear in adult male mice. In addition, we showed that acute nicotine's effects were specific to SR as acute nicotine did not affect recall of contextual fear conditioning in the absence of extinction. However, effects of chronic nicotine administration on SR are not known. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated if chronic nicotine administration altered SR or recall of contextual fear in adult male and female C57BL/6J mice. Our results showed that chronic nicotine significantly enhanced SR in female mice and significantly decreased SR in males. Chronic nicotine had no effect on recall of contextual fear in males or females. Female sham mice also had significantly less baseline SR than male sham mice. Overall, these results demonstrate sex differences in SR of fear memories and that chronic nicotine modulates these effects on SR but nicotine does not alter recall of contextual fear. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Inhibition of amygdaloid dopamine D2 receptors impairs emotional learning measured with fear-potentiated startle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greba, Q; Gifkins, A; Kokkinidis, L

    2001-04-27

    Considerable advances have been made in understanding the neurocircuitry underlying the acquisition and expression of Pavlovian conditioned fear responses. Within the complex cellular and molecular processes mediating fearfulness, amygdaloid dopamine (DA), originating from cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the midbrain, is thought to contribute to fear-motivated responding. Considering that blockade of DA D(2) receptors is a common mechanism of action for antipsychotic agents, we hypothesized that inhibition of D(2) receptors in the amygdala may be involved in the antiparanoid effects of these drugs. To assess the role of amygdaloid DA D(2) receptors in aversive emotionality, the D(2) receptor antagonist raclopride was infused into the amygdala prior to Pavlovian fear conditioning. Potentiated startle was used as a behavioral indicator of fear and anxiety. Classical fear conditioning and acoustic startle testing were conducted in a single session allowing for the concomitant assessment of shock reactivity with startle enhancement. Depending on dose, the results found conditioned fear acquisition and retention to be impaired following administration of raclopride into the amygdala. Additionally, the learning deficit was dissociated from shock detection and from fear expression assessed with the shock sensitization of acoustic startle. These findings further refine the known neural mechanisms of amygdala-based emotional learning and memory and were interpreted to suggest that, along with D(1) receptors, D(2) receptors in the amygdala may mediate the formation and the retention of newly-acquired fear associations.

  1. Rapid visuomotor processing of phobic images in spider- and snake-fearful participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp; Schmidt, Thomas

    2013-10-01

    This study investigates enhanced visuomotor processing of phobic compared to fear-relevant and neutral stimuli. We used a response priming design to measure rapid, automatic motor activation by natural images (spiders, snakes, mushrooms, and flowers) in spider-fearful, snake-fearful, and control participants. We found strong priming effects in all tasks and conditions; however, results showed marked differences between groups. Most importantly, in the group of spider-fearful individuals, spider pictures had a strong and specific influence on even the fastest motor responses: Phobic primes entailed the largest priming effects, and phobic targets accelerated responses, both effects indicating speeded response activation by phobic images. In snake-fearful participants, this processing enhancement for phobic material was less pronounced and extended to both snake and spider images. We conclude that spider phobia leads to enhanced processing capacity for phobic images. We argue that this is enabled by long-term perceptual learning processes. © 2013.

  2. Assessing fear following retrieval+extinction through suppression of baseline reward seeking vs. freezing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason eShumake

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Freezing has become the predominant measure used in rodent studies of conditioned fear, but conditioned suppression of reward-seeking behavior may provide a measure that is more relevant to human anxiety disorders; that is, a measure of how fear interferes with the enjoyment of pleasurable activities. Previous work has found that an isolated presentation of a fear conditioned stimulus prior to extinction training (retrieval + extinction results in a more robust and longer-lasting reduction in fear. The objective of this study was to assess whether the retrieval + extinction effect is evident using conditioned suppression of reward seeking, operationalized as a reduction in baseline licking (without prior water deprivation for a 10% sucrose solution. We found that, compared to freezing, conditioned suppression of reward seeking was much more sensitive to fear conditioning and far less responsive to extinction training. As in previous work, we found that retrieval + extinction reduced post-extinction fear reinstatement when measured as freezing, but it did not reduce fear reinstatement when measured as conditioned suppression. This suggests that there is still residual fear following retrieval + extinction, or that this procedure only modifies memory traces in neural circuits relevant to the expression of freezing, but not to the suppression of reward seeking.

  3. Fear-Specific Amygdala Function in Children and Adolescents on the Fragile X Spectrum: A Dosage Response of the FMR1 Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, So-Yeon; Burris, Jessica; Bassal, Frederick; Koldewyn, Kami; Chattarji, Sumantra; Tassone, Flora; Hessl, David; Rivera, Susan M.

    2014-01-01

    Mutations of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene are the genetic cause of fragile X syndrome (FXS). The presence of significant socioemotional problems has been well documented in FXS although the brain basis of those deficits remains unspecified. Here, we investigated amygdala dysfunction and its relation to socioemotional deficits and FMR1 gene expression in children and adolescents on the FX spectrum (i.e., individuals whose trinucleotide CGG repeat expansion from 55 to over 200 places them somewhere within the fragile X diagnostic range from premutation to full mutation). Participants performed an fMRI task in which they viewed fearful, happy, and scrambled faces. Neuroimaging results demonstrated that FX participants revealed significantly attenuated amygdala activation in Fearful > Scrambled and Fearful > Happy contrasts compared with their neurotypical counterparts, while showing no differences in amygdala volume. Furthermore, we found significant relationships between FMR1 gene expression, anxiety/social dysfunction scores, and reduced amygdala activation in the FX group. In conclusion, we report novel evidence regarding a dosage response of the FMR1 gene on fear-specific functions of the amygdala, which is associated with socioemotional deficits in FXS. PMID:23146966

  4. Fear of nuclear war

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radil, T.

    1987-01-01

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

  5. Manipulating affective state influences conditioned appetitive responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnaudova, Inna; Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis; Effting, Marieke; Kindt, Merel; Beckers, Tom

    2017-10-06

    Affective states influence how individuals process information and behave. Some theories predict emotional congruency effects (e.g. preferential processing of negative information in negative affective states). Emotional congruency should theoretically obstruct the learning of reward associations (appetitive learning) and their ability to guide behaviour under negative mood. Two studies tested the effects of the induction of a negative affective state on appetitive Pavlovian learning, in which neutral stimuli were associated with chocolate (Experiment 1) or alcohol (Experiment 2) rewards. In both experiments, participants showed enhanced approach tendencies towards predictors of reward after a negative relative to a positive performance feedback manipulation. This increase was related to a reduction in positive affect in Experiment 1 only. No effects of the manipulation on conditioned reward expectancies, craving, or consumption were observed. Overall, our findings support the idea of counter-regulation, rather than emotional congruency effects. Negative affective states might therefore serve as a vulnerability factor for addiction, through increasing conditioned approach tendencies.

  6. Immunization against social fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golkar, Armita; Olsson, Andreas

    2016-06-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Behavioral response races, predator-prey shell games, ecology of fear, and patch use of pumas and their ungulate prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laundré, John W

    2010-10-01

    The predator-prey shell game predicts random movement of prey across the landscape, whereas the behavioral response race and landscape of fear models predict that there should be a negative relationship between the spatial distribution of a predator and its behaviorally active prey. Additionally, prey have imperfect information on the whereabouts of their predator, which the predator should incorporate in its patch use strategy. I used a one-predator-one-prey system, puma (Puma concolor)-mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) to test the following predictions regarding predator-prey distribution and patch use by the predator. (1) Pumas will spend more time in high prey risk/low prey use habitat types, while deer will spend their time in low-risk habitats. Pumas should (2) select large forage patches more often, (3) remain in large patches longer, and (4) revisit individual large patches more often than individual smaller ones. I tested these predictions with an extensive telemetry data set collected over 16 years in a study area of patchy forested habitat. When active, pumas spent significantly less time in open areas of low intrinsic predation risk than did deer. Pumas used large patches more than expected, revisited individual large patches significantly more often than smaller ones, and stayed significantly longer in larger patches than in smaller ones. The results supported the prediction of a negative relationship in the spatial distribution of a predator and its prey and indicated that the predator is incorporating the prey's imperfect information about its presence. These results indicate a behavioral complexity on the landscape scale that can have far-reaching impacts on predator-prey interactions.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Modelling cladding response to changing conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tulkki, Ville; Ikonen, Timo [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland ltd (Finland)

    2016-11-15

    The cladding of the nuclear fuel is subjected to varying conditions during fuel reactor life. Load drops and reversals can be modelled by taking cladding viscoelastic behaviour into account. Viscoelastic contribution to the deformation of metals is usually considered small enough to be ignored, and in many applications it merely contributes to the primary part of the creep curve. With nuclear fuel cladding the high temperature and irradiation as well as the need to analyse the variable load all emphasise the need to also inspect the viscoelasticity of the cladding.

  12. Food fears

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rumney, R.

    1988-01-01

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

  13. Governing conditions of repeatable Barkhausen noise response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stupakov, O.; Pal'a, J.; Takagi, T.; Uchimoto, T.

    2009-01-01

    The paper is devoted to the establishment of experimental conditions, which ensure the repeatability of magnetic Barkhausen noise testing in practice. For this task, the measurements were performed on open flat samples using different experimental configurations, including: different magnetization frequencies, sampling rates, and filter cut-off frequencies; using a sample-wrapped coil and using attached pick-up coils of various dimensions, with different lift-offs of a single yoke magnet and of the attached coil. The sample magnetization was controlled by a vertical array of three Hall sensors; their readings were extrapolated to the sample surface to precisely define its field. After analysis of the results, a scheme for an optimized sensor with a controlled field waveform was suggested to improve the measurement repeatability. The important issues of signal processing and parameter applicability were also discussed in detail.

  14. 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…

  15. Effects of transient global ischaemia on freezing behaviour and activity in a context-dependent fear conditioning task--implications for memory investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henrich-Noack, Petra; Krautwald, Karla; Reymann, Klaus G; Wetzel, Wolfram

    2011-07-15

    Transient global ischaemia induces cell death in the CA1 layer of the hippocampus. To evaluate the functional consequences, we performed context-dependent fear conditioning. Ischaemia was induced by 2-vessel-occlusion (2VO) in gerbils. On day 6 post ischaemia or sham procedures (in control group) gerbils were placed in a test chamber and after 3 min adaption time exposed to foot-shocks (training session). On the next day the animals were placed in the same test chamber without foot-shocks (test session). As a parameter for memory performance we used the standard method of measuring the total freezing time via a cumulative time-sampling procedure during the test session. We found a significant longer total freezing time in control animals than in ischaemic animals. In addition, however, we applied a more detailed analysis of (i) quantifying the number of freezing bouts, (ii) the average duration of single freezing bouts, (iii) the activity pattern during the training and test situation and (iv) we differentially evaluated all the single time segments of the experiment. These analyses revealed that although maintenance of freezing (duration of freezing bout) was significantly lower in ischaemic animals compared to controls, the initiation of freezing (number of freezing bouts) was not significantly different between the two groups during the test session. The activity scores of ischaemic and non-ischaemic gerbils were similar during the adaption time of the training session. The foot-shock, however, induced a significantly different pattern of behaviour in the ischaemic animals, which was selectively reproduced during the test session. In conclusion, ischaemic gerbils reacted to a fearsome thread with a behavioural pattern different from unlesioned animals and they revealed this specific foot-shock induced behaviour again during the test session. This indicated that CA1 hippocampal death did not interrupt memory performance but changed expression of fear. Therefore

  16. Pavlovian conditioning of multiple opioid-like responses in mice

    OpenAIRE

    Bryant, Camron D.; Roberts, Kristofer W.; Culbertson, Christopher S.; Le, Alan; Evans, Christopher J.; Fanselow, Michael S.

    2009-01-01

    Conditional responses in rodents such as locomotion have been reported for drugs of abuse and similar to the placebo response in humans, may be associated with the expectation of reward. We examined several conditional opioid-like responses and the influence of drug expectation on conditioned place preference and concomitant conditional locomotion. Male C57BL/6J mice were conditioned with the selective mu opioid receptor agonist fentanyl (0.2 mg/kg, i.p.) in a novel context and subsequently g...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  18. Social Modulation of Associative Fear Learning by Pheromone Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredy, Timothy W.; Barad, Mark

    2009-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Fear of death.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-02-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Maternal Accuracy and Behavior in Anticipating Children's Responses to Novelty: Relations to Fearful Temperament and Implications for Anxiety Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Buss, Kristin A.

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that mothers' behaviors may serve as a mechanism in the development from toddler fearful temperament to childhood anxiety. The current study examined the maternal characteristic of accuracy in predicting toddlers' distress reactions to novelty in relation to temperament, parenting, and anxiety development.…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Pavlovian conditioning of multiple opioid-like responses in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, Camron D; Roberts, Kristofer W; Culbertson, Christopher S; Le, Alan; Evans, Christopher J; Fanselow, Michael S

    2009-07-01

    Conditional responses in rodents such as locomotion have been reported for drugs of abuse and similar to the placebo response in humans, may be associated with the expectation of reward. We examined several conditional opioid-like responses and the influence of drug expectation on conditioned place preference and concomitant conditional locomotion. Male C57BL/6J mice were conditioned with the selective mu opioid receptor agonist fentanyl (0.2mg/kg, i.p.) in a novel context and subsequently given a vehicle injection. In separate experiments, locomotor activity, Straub tail, hot plate sensitivity, and conditioned place preference (CPP) were measured. Mice exhibited multiple conditional opioid-like responses including conditional hyperlocomotion, a conditional pattern of opioid-like locomotion, Straub tail, analgesia, and place preference. Modulating drug expectation via administration of fentanyl to "demonstrator" mice in the home cage did not affect the expression of conditioned place preference or the concomitant locomotor activity in "observer" mice. In summary, Pavlovian conditioning of an opioid in a novel context induced multiple conditional opioid-like behaviors and provides a model for studying the neurobiological mechanisms of the placebo response in mice.

  5. 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 pextinction 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 (pextinction and discrimination in individuals with PTSD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  6. Fear learning alterations after traumatic brain injury and their role in development of posttraumatic stress symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, Daniel E; Acheson, Dean T; Geyer, Mark A; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Baker, Dewleen G; Risbrough, Victoria B

    2017-08-01

    It is unknown how traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One potential mechanism is via alteration of fear-learning processes that could affect responses to trauma memories and cues. We utilized a prospective, longitudinal design to determine if TBI is associated with altered fear learning and extinction, and if fear processing mediates effects of TBI on PTSD symptom change. Eight hundred fifty two active-duty Marines and Navy Corpsmen were assessed before and after deployment. Assessments included TBI history, PTSD symptoms, combat trauma and deployment stress, and a fear-potentiated startle task of fear acquisition and extinction. Startle response and self-reported expectancy and anxiety served as measures of fear conditioning, and PTSD symptoms were measured with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. Individuals endorsing "multiple hit" exposure (both deployment TBI and a prior TBI) showed the strongest fear acquisition and highest fear expression compared to groups without multiple hits. Extinction did not differ across groups. Endorsing a deployment TBI was associated with higher anxiety to the fear cue compared to those without deployment TBI. The association of deployment TBI with increased postdeployment PTSD symptoms was mediated by postdeployment fear expression when recent prior-TBI exposure was included as a moderator. TBI associations with increased response to threat cues and PTSD symptoms remained when controlling for deployment trauma and postdeployment PTSD diagnosis. Deployment TBI, and multiple-hit TBI in particular, are associated with increases in conditioned fear learning and expression that may contribute to risk for developing PTSD symptoms. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Pattern Analyses Reveal Separate Experience-Based Fear Memories in the Human Right Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braem, Senne; De Houwer, Jan; Demanet, Jelle; Yuen, Kenneth S L; Kalisch, Raffael; Brass, Marcel

    2017-08-23

    Learning fear via the experience of contingencies between a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US) is often assumed to be fundamentally different from learning fear via instructions. An open question is whether fear-related brain areas respond differently to experienced CS-US contingencies than to merely instructed CS-US contingencies. Here, we contrasted two experimental conditions where subjects were instructed to expect the same CS-US contingencies while only one condition was characterized by prior experience with the CS-US contingency. Using multivoxel pattern analysis of fMRI data, we found CS-related neural activation patterns in the right amygdala (but not in other fear-related regions) that dissociated between whether a CS-US contingency had been instructed and experienced versus merely instructed. A second experiment further corroborated this finding by showing a category-independent neural response to instructed and experienced, but not merely instructed, CS presentations in the human right amygdala. Together, these findings are in line with previous studies showing that verbal fear instructions have a strong impact on both brain and behavior. However, even in the face of fear instructions, the human right amygdala still shows a separable neural pattern response to experience-based fear contingencies. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In our study, we addressed a fundamental problem of the science of human fear learning and memory, namely whether fear learning via experience in humans relies on a neural pathway that can be separated from fear learning via verbal information. Using two new procedures and recent advances in the analysis of brain imaging data, we localized purely experience-based fear processing and memory in the right amygdala, thereby making a direct link between human and animal research. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/378116-15$15.00/0.

  8. Extinction of aversive classically conditioned human sexual response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brom, Mirte; Laan, Ellen; Everaerd, Walter; Spinhoven, Philip; Both, Stephanie

    2015-04-01

    Research has shown that acquired subjective likes and dislikes are quite resistant to extinction. Moreover, studies on female sexual response demonstrated that diminished genital arousal and positive affect toward erotic stimuli due to aversive classical conditioning did not extinguish during an extinction phase. Possible resistance to extinction of aversive conditioned sexual responses may have important clinical implications. However, resistance to extinction of aversive conditioned human sexual response has not been studied using extensive extinction trials. This article aims to study resistance to extinction of aversive conditioned sexual responses in sexually functional men and women. A differential conditioning experiment was conducted, with two erotic pictures as conditioned stimulus (CSs) and a painful stimulus as unconditioned stimuli (USs). Only one CS (the CS+) was followed by the US during the acquisition phase. Conditioned responses were assessed during the extinction phase. Penile circumference and vaginal pulse amplitude were assessed, and ratings of affective value and subjective sexual arousal were obtained. Also, a stimulus response compatibility task was included to assess automatic approach and avoidance tendencies. Men and women rated the CS+ more negative as compared with the CS-. During the first trials of the extinction phase, vaginal pulse amplitude was lower in response to the CS+ than in response to the CS-, and on the first extinction trial women rated the CS+ as less sexually arousing. Intriguingly, men did not demonstrate attenuated genital and subjective sexual response. Aversive conditioning, by means of painful stimuli, only affects sexual responses in women, whereas it does not in men. Although conditioned sexual likes and dislikes are relatively persistent, conditioned affect eventually does extinguish. © 2014 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  9. No Effect of Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Fear Memory in Healthy Human Subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aditya Mungee

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Studies have demonstrated that fear memories can be modified using non-invasive methods. Recently, we demonstrated that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is capable of enhancing fear memories. Here, we examined the effects of cathodal tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during fear reconsolidation in humans. Methods: Seventeen young, healthy subjects were randomly assigned to two groups, which underwent fear conditioning with mild electric stimuli paired with a visual stimulus. Twenty-four hours later, both groups were shown a reminder of the conditioned fearful stimulus. Shortly thereafter, they received either tDCS (right prefrontal—cathodal, left supraorbital—anodal for 20 min at 1 mA, or sham stimulation. A day later, fear responses of both groups were compared. Results: On Day 3, during fear response assessment, there were no significant differences between the tDCS and sham group (p > 0.05. Conclusion: We conclude that cathodal tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (right prefrontal—cathodal, left supraorbital—anodal did not influence fear memories.

  10. Anger, Sadness and Fear in Response to Breaking Crime and Accident News Stories: How Emotions Influence Support for Alcohol-Control Public Policies via Concern about Risks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solloway, Tyler; Slater, Michael D.; Chung, Adrienne; Goodall, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Prior research shows that discrete emotions, notably anger and fear, can explain effects of news articles on health and alcohol-control policy support. This study advances prior work by coding expressed emotional responses to messages (as opposed to directly manipulated emotions or forced responses), incorporating and controlling for central thoughts, including sadness (a particularly relevant response to tragic stories), and examining concern’s mediating role between emotion and policy support. An experiment with a national online adult panel had participants read one of 60 violent crime or accident news stories, each manipulated to mention or withhold alcohol’s causal contribution. Multi-group structural equation models suggest that stories not mentioning alcohol had a direct effect on policy support via fear and central thoughts, unmediated by concern. When alcohol was mentioned, sadness and anger affects alcohol-control support through concern. Findings help confirm that emotional responses are key in determining news story effects on public support of health policies. PMID:26491487

  11. The Politics of Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Temporal properties of fear extinction--does time matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golkar, Armita; Bellander, Martin; Öhman, Arne

    2013-02-01

    Fear extinction can be defined as the weakening of the expression of a conditioned response (CR) by extended experience of nonreinforcement. Conceptually, two distinct models have been invoked to account for extinction. R. A. Rescorla and A. R. Wagner (1972, A theory of Pavlovian conditioning: Variations in the effectiveness of reinforcement and nonreinforcement, in A. H. B. W. F. Prokasy (Ed.), Classical conditioning: II. Current research and theory, pp. 64-99, New York, NY, Appleton-Century-Crofts) postulated that the number of exposure trials is the primary determinant of CR decrement, whereas C. R. Gallistel and J. Gibbon (2000, Time, rate, and conditioning, Psychological Review, Vol. 107, pp. 289-344) proposed that the decisive event is the cumulated exposure time to the nonreinforced conditioned stimulus (CS) elapsed after the last CS reinforcement. We evaluated these two accounts in a human differential fear conditioning study in which CR was measured with the fear-potentiated startle response. Cumulated duration of nonreinforcement fails to explain our findings, whereas the number of trials appeared critical. In fact, many CS trials with a duration shorter than the acquisition CS duration facilitated within-session extinction, but this effect did not predict the recovery of fear. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. 30 Fulton's condition, organ indices and haematological response of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    `123456789jkl''''#

    Abstract. This study was conducted to assess the Fulton's condition, organ indices and haematological response of catfish hybrid ... Haematological study is of immense importance .... give information on the stock composite, age at maturity ...

  15. Extinction of Aversive Classically Conditioned Human Sexual Response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brom, M.; Laan, E.; Everaerd, W.; Spinhoven, P.; Both, S.

    INTRODUCTION: Research has shown that acquired subjective likes and dislikes are quite resistant to extinction. Moreover, studies on female sexual response demonstrated that diminished genital arousal and positive affect toward erotic stimuli due to aversive classical conditioning did not extinguish

  16. Statistical optimization of cultural conditions by response surface ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-08-04

    Aug 4, 2009 ... Full Length Research Paper. Statistical optimization of cultural conditions by response surface methodology for phenol degradation by a novel ... Phenol is a hydrocarbon compound that is highly toxic, ... Microorganism.

  17. Forming Competing Fear Learning and Extinction Memories in Adolescence Makes Fear Difficult to Inhibit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Kathryn D.; Richardson, Rick

    2015-01-01

    Fear inhibition is markedly impaired in adolescent rodents and humans. The present experiments investigated whether this impairment is critically determined by the animal's age at the time of fear learning or their age at fear extinction. Male rats (n = 170) were tested for extinction retention after conditioning and extinction at different ages.…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-20

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

  19. The role of fear in predicting sexually transmitted infection screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Lee; Smith, Michael A

    2017-07-01

    This study assessed the extent to which social-cognitive factors (attitude, subjective norm and perceived control) and the fear of a positive test result predict sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening intentions and subsequent behaviour. Study 1 (N = 85) used a longitudinal design to assess the factors that predict STI screening intention and future screening behaviour measured one month later at Time 2. Study 2 (N = 102) used an experimental design to determine whether the relationship between fear and screening varied depending on whether STI or HIV screening was being assessed both before and after controlling for social-cognitive factors. Across the studies the outcome measures were sexual health screening. In both studies, the fear of having an STI positively predicted STI screening intention. In Study 1, fear, but not the social-cognitive factors, also predicted subsequent STI screening behaviour. In Study 2, the fear of having HIV did not predict HIV screening intention, but attitude negatively and response efficacy positively predicted screening intention. This study highlights the importance of considering the nature of the health condition when assessing the role of fear on health promotion.

  20. Enhancing effects of contingency instructions on fear acquisition and extinction in anxiety disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duits, Puck; Richter, Jan; Baas, Johanna M P; Engelhard, Iris M; Limberg-Thiesen, Anke; Heitland, Ivo; Hamm, Alfons O; Cath, Danielle C

    2017-05-01

    Explicit instructions regarding stimulus-threat associations increase acquisition and extinction of fear in healthy participants. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of contingency instructions on fear acquisition and extinction in patients with anxiety disorders. Patients with various anxiety disorders (N = 104) and healthy comparison participants (N = 93) participated in a differential fear conditioning task (within-subjects design). Approximately halfway through the acquisition phase, participants were instructed about the stimulus-threat association, and approximately halfway through the extinction phase, participants were informed that the unconditioned stimulus (US) would no longer be administered. Outcome measures were: fear-potentiated startle, skin conductance, fearfulness ratings, and US expectancy ratings. Patients demonstrated overall increased physiological and subjective fear responses during acquisition and extinction phases, relative to the comparison group. There were no major differences in fear acquisition and extinction between patients with different anxiety disorders. During acquisition, instructions led to increased discrimination of fear responses between a danger cue (conditioned stimulus [CS]+) and safety cue (CS-) in both patients and comparison participants. Moreover, instructions strengthened extinction of fear responses in the patient and comparison group. Patients and healthy comparison participants are better able to discriminate between danger and safety cues when they have been explicitly informed about cues that announce a threat situation. Considering the analogies between fear extinction procedures and exposure therapy, this suggests that specific instructions on stimulus-threat associations during exposure therapy might improve short-term treatment efficacy. The question remains for future studies whether instructions have a positive effect on extinction learning in the longer term. (PsycINFO Database Record (c

  1. Retrieval per se is not sufficient to trigger reconsolidation of human fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevenster, Dieuwke; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel

    2012-03-01

    Ample evidence suggests that consolidated memories, upon their retrieval, enter a labile state, in which they might be susceptible to change. It has been proposed that memory labilization allows for the integration of relevant information in the established memory trace (memory updating). Memory labilization and reconsolidation do not necessarily occur when a memory is being reactivated, but only when there is something to be learned during memory retrieval (prediction error). Thus, updating of a fear memory trace should not occur under retrieval conditions in which the outcome is fully predictable (no prediction error). Here, we addressed this issue, using a human differential fear conditioning procedure, by eliminating the very possibility of reinforcement of the reminder cue. A previously established fear memory (picture-shock pairings) was reactivated with shock-electrodes attached (Propranolol group, n=18) or unattached (Propranolol No-Shock Expectation group, n=19). We additionally tested a placebo-control group with the shock-electrodes attached (Placebo group, n=18). Reconsolidation was not triggered when nothing could be learned during the reminder trial, as noradrenergic blockade did not affect expression of the fear memory 24h later in the Propranolol No-Shock Expectation group. Only when the outcome of the retrieval cue was not fully predictable, propranolol, contrary to placebo, reduced the startle fear response and prevented the return of fear (reinstatement) the following day. In line with previous studies, skin conductance response and shock expectancies were not affected by propranolol. Remarkably, a double dissociation emerged between the emotional (startle response) and more cognitive expression (expectancies, SCR) of the fear memory. Our findings have important implications for reconsolidation blockade as treatment strategy for emotional disorders. First, fear reducing procedures that target the emotional component of fear memory do not

  2. Efficacy of self-instructional training for reducing children's dental fear.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prins, P.J.M.

    1988-01-01

    30 dentally fearful Ss (aged 8-12 yrs) were assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions (training in threat-related verbal coping responses, training in competence-related verbal coping responses, or training in an emotive-imagery procedure) or to 1 of 2 control conditions: a placebo or a

  3. Prevention of stress-impaired fear extinction through neuropeptide s action in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauveau, Frédéric; Lange, Maren Denise; Jüngling, Kay; Lesting, Jörg; Seidenbecher, Thomas; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2012-06-01

    Stressful and traumatic events can create aversive memories, which are a predisposing factor for anxiety disorders. The amygdala is critical for transforming such stressful events into anxiety, and the recently discovered neuropeptide S transmitter system represents a promising candidate apt to control these interactions. Here we test the hypothesis that neuropeptide S can regulate stress-induced hyperexcitability in the amygdala, and thereby can interact with stress-induced alterations of fear memory. Mice underwent acute immobilization stress (IS), and neuropeptide S and a receptor antagonist were locally injected into the lateral amygdala (LA) during stress exposure. Ten days later, anxiety-like behavior, fear acquisition, fear memory retrieval, and extinction were tested. Furthermore, patch-clamp recordings were performed in amygdala slices prepared ex vivo to identify synaptic substrates of stress-induced alterations in fear responsiveness. (1) IS increased anxiety-like behavior, and enhanced conditioned fear responses during extinction 10 days after stress, (2) neuropeptide S in the amygdala prevented, while an antagonist aggravated, these stress-induced changes of aversive behaviors, (3) excitatory synaptic activity in LA projection neurons was increased on fear conditioning and returned to pre-conditioning values on fear extinction, and (4) stress resulted in sustained high levels of excitatory synaptic activity during fear extinction, whereas neuropeptide S supported the return of synaptic activity during fear extinction to levels typical of non-stressed animals. Together these results suggest that the neuropeptide S system is capable of interfering with mechanisms in the amygdala that transform stressful events into anxiety and impaired fear extinction.

  4. Preventing long-lasting fear recovery using bilateral alternating sensory stimulation: A translational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurtz, H; El-Khoury-Malhame, M; Wilhelm, F H; Michael, T; Beetz, E M; Roques, J; Reynaud, E; Courtin, J; Khalfa, S; Herry, C

    2016-05-03

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a highly debilitating and prevalent psychological disorder. It is characterized by highly distressing intrusive trauma memories that are partly explained by fear conditioning. Despite efficient therapeutic approaches, a subset of PTSD patients displays spontaneous recurrence of traumatic memories after successful treatment. The development of animal behavioral models mimicking the individual variability in treatment outcome for PTSD patients represent therefore an important challenge as it allows for the identification of predicting factors of resilience or susceptibility to relapse. However, to date, only few animal behavioral models of long-lasting fear recovery have been developed and their predictive validity has not been tested directly. The objectives of this study were twofold. First we aimed to develop a simple animal behavioral model of long-lasting fear recovery based on auditory cued fear conditioning and extinction learning, which recapitulates the heterogeneity of fear responses observed in PTSD patients after successful treatment. Second we aimed at testing the predictive validity of our behavioral model and used to this purpose a translational approach based (i) on the demonstration of the efficiency of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to reduce conditioned fear responses in PTSD patients and (ii) on the implementation in our behavioral model of an electrical bilateral alternating stimulation of the eyelid which mimics the core feature of EMDR. Our data indicate that electrical bilateral alternating stimulation of the eyelid during extinction learning alleviates long-lasting fear recovery of conditioned fear responses and dramatically reduces inter-individual variability. These results demonstrate the face and predictive validity of our animal behavioral model and provide an interesting tool to understand the neurobiological underpinnings of long-lasting fear recovery. Copyright

  5. A Time for Learning and a Time for Sleep : The Effect of Sleep Deprivation on Contextual Fear Conditioning at Different Times of the Day

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagewoud, Roelina; Whitcomb, Shamiso N.; Heeringa, Amarins N.; Havekes, Robbert; Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Meerlo, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Study Objectives: Sleep deprivation negatively affects memory consolidation, especially in the case of hippocampus-dependent memories. Studies in rodents have shown that 5 hours of sleep deprivation immediately following footshock exposure selectively impairs the formation of a contextual fear

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    Development of anxiety disorders is associated with neurobiological changes in areas that are a critical part of the fear neurocircuitry. Fear conditioning paradigms can offer insight into the mechanisms underlying the neurobiological ontogeny of anxiety. A small number of studies have focused on the effects of age and anxiety separately in school age children. The present study aimed to investigate these effects in 8-13 year old children with higher and lower trait anxiety. We examined differential fear conditioning and extinction using skin conductance responses and fear-potentiated startle in 60 children recruited from a low-income urban population. The results indicated that children under 10 years of age show poor discrimination of conditioned stimuli, and that anxiety increases fear responses during fear acquisition. After controlling for age and trauma exposure, fear-potentiated startle to the safety cue predicted child anxiety levels suggesting that impaired safety signal learning may be a risk factor for anxiety disorders in adulthood. Identifying risk phenotypes in children may provide opportunities for early intervention and prevention of illness. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Emotional Perseveration: An Update on Prefrontal-Amygdala Interactions in Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotres-Bayon, Francisco; Bush, David E. A.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2004-01-01

    Fear extinction refers to the ability to adapt as situations change by learning to suppress a previously learned fear. This process involves a gradual reduction in the capacity of a fear-conditioned stimulus to elicit fear by presenting the conditioned stimulus repeatedly on its own. Fear extinction is context-dependent and is generally considered…

  8. Preventing the Return of Fear Using Reconsolidation Update Mechanisms Depends on the Met-Allele of the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor Val66Met Polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asthana, Manish Kumar; Brunhuber, Bettina; Mühlberger, Andreas; Reif, Andreas; Schneider, Simone; Herrmann, Martin J

    2016-06-01

    Memory reconsolidation is the direct effect of memory reactivation followed by stabilization of newly synthesized proteins. It has been well proven that neural encoding of both newly and reactivated memories requires synaptic plasticity. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been extensively investigated regarding its role in the formation of synaptic plasticity and in the alteration of fear memories. However, its role in fear reconsolidation is still unclear; hence, the current study has been designed to investigate the role of the BDNF val66met polymorphism (rs6265) in fear memory reconsolidation in humans. An auditory fear-conditioning paradigm was conducted, which comprised of three stages (acquisition, reactivation, and spontaneous recovery). One day after fear acquisition, the experimental group underwent reactivation of fear memory followed by the extinction training (reminder group), whereas the control group (non-reminder group) underwent only extinction training. On day 3, both groups were subjected to spontaneous recovery of earlier learned fearful memories. The treat-elicited defensive response due to conditioned threat was measured by assessing the skin conductance response to the conditioned stimulus. All participants were genotyped for rs6265. The results indicate a diminishing effect of reminder on the persistence of fear memory only in the Met-allele carriers, suggesting a moderating effect of the BDNF polymorphism in fear memory reconsolidation. Our findings suggest a new role for BDNF gene variation in fear memory reconsolidation in humans. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  9. A 'dynamic' landscape of fear: prey responses to spatiotemporal variations in predation risk across the lunar cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, M S; Fieberg, J; Swanson, A; Kosmala, M; Packer, C

    2017-11-01

    Ambiguous empirical support for 'landscapes of fear' in natural systems may stem from failure to consider dynamic temporal changes in predation risk. The lunar cycle dramatically alters night-time visibility, with low luminosity increasing hunting success of African lions. We used camera-trap data from Serengeti National Park to examine nocturnal anti-predator behaviours of four herbivore species. Interactions between predictable fluctuations in night-time luminosity and the underlying risk-resource landscape shaped herbivore distribution, herding propensity and the incidence of 'relaxed' behaviours. Buffalo responded least to temporal risk cues and minimised risk primarily through spatial redistribution. Gazelle and zebra made decisions based on current light levels and lunar phase, and wildebeest responded to lunar phase alone. These three species avoided areas where likelihood of encountering lions was high and changed their behaviours in risky areas to minimise predation threat. These patterns support the hypothesis that fear landscapes vary heterogeneously in both space and time. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. The role of sleep and sleep deprivation in consolidating fear memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menz, M M; Rihm, J S; Salari, N; Born, J; Kalisch, R; Pape, H C; Marshall, L; Büchel, C

    2013-07-15

    Sleep, in particular REM sleep, has been shown to improve the consolidation of emotional memories. Here, we investigated the role of sleep and sleep deprivation on the consolidation of fear memories and underlying neuronal mechanisms. We employed a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm either followed by a night of polysomnographically monitored sleep, or wakefulness in forty healthy participants. Recall of learned fear was better after sleep, as indicated by stronger explicitly perceived anxiety and autonomous nervous responses. These effects were positively correlated with the preceding time spent in REM sleep and paralleled by activation of the basolateral amygdala. These findings suggest REM sleep-associated consolidation of fear memory in the human amygdala. In view of the critical participation of fear learning mechanisms in the etiology of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, deprivation of REM sleep after exposure to distressing events is an interesting target for further investigation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Preventing the spread of genital warts: using fear appeals to promote self-protective behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witte, K; Berkowitz, J M; Cameron, K A; McKeon, J K

    1998-10-01

    A fear appeal campaign to decrease the spread of genital warts was conducted and evaluated. Theoretically guided by the Extended Parallel Process Model, this field study illustrated why fear appeal campaigns often appear to fail in public health arenas. Five hypotheses, which predicted when and under what conditions fear appeal campaigns would fail or succeed, were tested and supported. The results demonstrated that fear appeals can be powerful persuasive devices if they induce strong perceptions of threat and fear (which motivate action) and if they induce strong perceptions of efficacy with regard to a recommended response (which channels the action in a health protective direction). Recommendations to researchers and public health practitioners are offered.

  13. Lack of renewal effect in extinction of naturally acquired conditioned eyeblink responses, but possible dependency on physical context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claassen, J; Mazilescu, L; Thieme, A; Bracha, V; Timmann, D

    2016-01-01

    Context dependency of extinction is well known and has extensively been studied in fear conditioning, but has rarely been assessed in eyeblink conditioning. One way to demonstrate context dependency of extinction is the renewal effect. ABA paradigms are most commonly used to show the renewal effect of extinguished learned fear: if acquisition takes place in context A, and extinction takes place in context B (extinction phase), learned responses will recover in subsequent extinction trials presented in context A (renewal phase). The renewal effect of the visual threat eyeblink response (VTER), a conditioned eyeblink response, which is naturally acquired in early infancy, was examined in a total of 48 young and healthy participants with two experiments using an ABA paradigm. Twenty paired trials were performed in context A (baseline trials), followed by 50 extinction trials in context B (extinction phase) and 50 extinction trials in context A (renewal phase). In 24 participants, contexts A and B were two different rooms, and in the other 24 participants, two different background colors (orange and blue) and noises were used. To rule out spontaneous recovery, an AAA design was used for comparison. There were significant effects of extinction in both experiments. No significant renewal effects were observed. In experiment 2, however, extinction was significantly less using orange background during extinction compared to the blue background. The present findings suggest that extinction of conditioned eyeblinks depends on the physical context. Findings add to the animal literature that context can play a role in the acquisition of classically conditioned eyeblink responses. Future studies, however, need to be performed to confirm the present findings. Lack of renewal effect may be explained by the highly overlearned character of the VTER.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Biased Intensity Judgements of Visceral Sensations After Learning to Fear Visceral Stimuli: A Drift Diffusion Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaman, Jonas; Madden, Victoria J; Iven, Julie; Wiech, Katja; Weltens, Nathalie; Ly, Huynh Giao; Vlaeyen, Johan W S; Van Oudenhove, Lukas; Van Diest, Ilse

    2017-10-01

    A growing body of research has identified fear of visceral sensations as a potential mechanism in the development and maintenance of visceral pain disorders. However, the extent to which such learned fear affects visceroception remains unclear. To address this question, we used a differential fear conditioning paradigm with nonpainful esophageal balloon distensions of 2 different intensities as conditioning stimuli (CSs). The experiment comprised of preacquisition, acquisition, and postacquisition phases during which participants categorized the CSs with respect to their intensity. The CS+ was always followed by a painful electrical stimulus (unconditioned stimulus) during the acquisition phase and in 60% of the trials during postacquisition. The second stimulus (CS-) was never associated with pain. Analyses of galvanic skin and startle eyeblink responses as physiological markers of successful conditioning showed increased fear responses to the CS+ compared with the CS-, but only in the group with the low-intensity stimulus as CS+. Computational modeling of response times and response accuracies revealed that differential fear learning affected perceptual decision-making about the intensities of visceral sensations such that sensations were more likely to be categorized as more intense. These results suggest that associative learning might indeed contribute to visceral hypersensitivity in functional gastrointestinal disorders. This study shows that associative fear learning biases intensity judgements of visceral sensations toward perceiving such sensations as more intense. Learning-induced alterations in visceroception might therefore contribute to the development or maintenance of visceral pain. Copyright © 2017 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Early-life inflammation with LPS delays fear extinction in adult rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doenni, V M; Song, C M; Hill, M N; Pittman, Q J

    2017-07-01

    A large body of evidence has been brought forward connecting developmental immune activation to abnormal fear and anxiety levels. Anxiety disorders have extremely high lifetime prevalence, yet susceptibility factors that contribute to their emergence are poorly understood. In this research we investigated whether an inflammatory insult early in life can alter the response to fear conditioning in adulthood. Fear learning and extinction are important and adaptive behaviors, mediated largely by the amygdala and its interconnectivity with cortico-limbic circuits. Male and female rat pups were given LPS (100μg/kg i.p.) or saline at postnatal day 14; LPS activated cFos expression in the central amygdala 2.5h after exposure, but not the basal or lateral nuclei. When tested in adulthood, acquisition of an auditory cued or contextual learned fear memory was largely unaffected as was the extinction of fear to a conditioned context. However, we detected a deficit in auditory fear extinction in male and female rats that experienced early-life inflammation, such that there is a significant delay in fear extinction processes resulting in more sustained fear behaviors in response to a conditioned cue. This response was specific to extinction training and did not persist into extinction recall. The effect could not be explained by differences in pain threshold (unaltered) or in baseline anxiety, which was elevated in adolescent females only and unaltered in adolescent males and adult males and females. This research provides further evidence for the involvement of the immune system during development in the shaping of fear and anxiety related behaviors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Fears of institutionalized mentally retarded adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternlicht, M

    1979-01-01

    The patterns of fears of institutionalized mentally retarded adults were studied in a sample of i2 moderately retarded men and women between the ages of 21-49. The direct questioning method was employed. Two interviews were held, two weeks apart; the first interview elicited the Ss' fears, while the second concerned the fears of their friends. A total of 146 responses were obtained, and these were categorized according to the types of fears: supernatural-natural events, animals, physical injury, psychological stress, egocentric responses, and no fears. The Ss displayed a higher percentage of fears in the preoperational stage than in the concrete operational stage. In a comparison of male to female fears, only one category, that of fears of animals, reached significance. The study suggested that the same developmental trend of fears that appears in normal children appears in the retarded as well, and these fears follow Piaget's level of cognitive development, proceeding from egocentric perceptions of causality to realistic cause and effect thinking.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Reynolds, G; Field, AP; Askew, C

    2015-01-01

    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 incr...

  1. Building physiological toughness: Some aversive events during extinction may attenuate return of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culver, Najwa C; Stevens, Stephan; Fanselow, Michael S; Craske, Michelle G

    2018-03-01

    Although exposure therapy is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, fear sometimes returns following successful therapy. Recent literature in animal models indicates that incorporating some aversive events into extinction training may offset these return of fear effects. The effect of occasional reinforced extinction trials was investigated in a sample of thirty-nine participants using a fear conditioning and extinction paradigm. Participants either underwent traditional extinction procedures during which the conditional stimulus which had been paired with the unconditional stimulus (US) during acquisition training (CS+) was presented alone with no presentations of the US or partially reinforced extinction during which there were several unpredicted CS+/US pairings. As measured by skin conductance responses, physiological fear responding remained elevated during extinction for participants who experienced partially reinforced extinction; however, these participants demonstrated protection from rapid reacquisition effects. Results from the subjective US-expectancy ratings did not provide evidence of protection against rapid reacquisition in the partially reinforced extinction group; however, there was evidence of protection from spontaneous recovery effects. Lastly, as measured by valence ratings, it was unclear whether partially reinforced extinction provided protection from fear recovery effects. Although participants who experienced partially reinforced extinction demonstrated protection from rapid reacquisition as measured by skin conductance responses, they also demonstrated significantly higher levels of physiological fear responding during extinction which made the results of the spontaneous recovery test more difficult to interpret. Occasional CS-US pairings during extinction may protect against return of fear effects. Clinical implications are discussed. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  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. Impaired c-Fos and polo-like kinase 2 induction in the limbic system of fear-conditioned α-synuclein transgenic mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heinrich Schell

    Full Text Available α-Synuclein (αSYN is genetically and neuropathologically linked to a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and related disorders. Cognitive impairment is recapitulated in several αSYN transgenic mouse lines. However, the mechanisms of dysfunction in affected neurons are largely unknown. Here we measured neuronal activity induced gene products in the limbic system of αSYN transgenic mice upon fear conditioning (FC. Induction of the synaptic plasticity marker c-Fos was significantly reduced in the amygdala and hippocampus of (Thy1-h[A30P]αSYN transgenic mice in an age-dependent manner. Similarly, the neuronal activity inducible polo-like kinase 2 (Plk2 that can phosphorylate αSYN at the pathological site serine-129 was up-regulated in both brain regions upon FC. Plk2 inductions were also significantly impaired in aged (Thy1-h[A30P]αSYN transgenic mice, both in the amygdala and hippocampus. Plk2 inductions in the amygdala after FC were paralleled by a small but significant increase in the number of neuronal cell bodies immunopositive for serine-129 phosphorylated αSYN in young but not aged (Thy1-h[A30P]αSYN transgenic mice. In addition, we observed in the aged hippocampus a distinct type of apparently unmodified transgenic αSYN profiles resembling synaptic accumulations of αSYN. Thus, the cognitive decline observed in aged αSYN transgenic mice might be due to impairment of neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in the limbic system by distinct αSYN species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Güler; Reynolds, Gemma; Askew, Chris

    2017-08-01

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

  5. Investigation of air cleaning system response to accident conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andrae, R.W.; Bolstad, J.W.; Foster, R.D.; Gregory, W.S.; Horak, H.L.; Idar, E.S.; Martin, R.A.; Ricketts, C.I.; Smith, P.R.; Tang, P.K.

    1980-01-01

    Air cleaning system response to the stress of accident conditions are being investigated. A program overview and hghlight recent results of our investigation are presented. The program includes both analytical and experimental investigations. Computer codes for predicting effects of tornados, explosions, fires, and material transport are described. The test facilities used to obtain supportive experimental data to define structural integrity and confinement effectiveness of ventilation system components are described. Examples of experimental results for code verification, blower response to tornado transients, and filter response to tornado and explosion transients are reported

  6. Rapid stress system drives chemical transfer of fear from sender to receiver.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasper H B de Groot

    Full Text Available Humans can register another person's fear not only with their eyes and ears, but also with their nose. Previous research has demonstrated that exposure to body odors from fearful individuals elicited implicit fear in others. The odor of fearful individuals appears to have a distinctive signature that can be produced relatively rapidly, driven by a physiological mechanism that has remained unexplored in earlier research. The apocrine sweat glands in the armpit that are responsible for chemosignal production contain receptors for adrenalin. We therefore expected that the release of adrenalin through activation of the rapid stress response system (i.e., the sympathetic-adrenal medullary system is what drives the release of fear sweat, as opposed to activation of the slower stress response system (i.e., hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. To test this assumption, sweat was sampled while eight participants prepared for a speech. Participants had higher heart rates and produced more armpit sweat in the fast stress condition, compared to baseline and the slow stress condition. Importantly, exposure to sweat from participants in the fast stress condition induced in receivers (N = 31 a simulacrum of the state of the sender, evidenced by the emergence of a fearful facial expression (facial electromyography and vigilant behavior (i.e., faster classification of emotional facial expressions.

  7. Differential influence of social versus isolate housing on vicarious fear learning in adolescent mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panksepp, Jules B; Lahvis, Garet P

    2016-04-01

    Laboratory rodents can adopt the pain or fear of nearby conspecifics. This phenotype conceptually lies within the domain of empathy, a bio-psycho-social process through which individuals come to share each other's emotion. Using a model of cue-conditioned fear, we show here that the expression of vicarious fear varies with respect to whether mice are raised socially or in solitude during adolescence. The impact of the adolescent housing environment was selective: (a) vicarious fear was more influenced than directly acquired fear, (b) "long-term" (24-h postconditioning) vicarious fear memories were stronger than "short-term" (15-min postconditioning) memories in socially reared mice whereas the opposite was true for isolate mice, and (c) females were more fearful than males. Housing differences during adolescence did not alter the general mobility of mice or their vocal response to receiving the unconditioned stimulus. Previous work with this mouse model underscored a genetic influence on vicarious fear learning, and the present study complements these findings by elucidating an interaction between the adolescent social environment and vicarious experience. Collectively, these findings are relevant to developing models of empathy amenable to mechanistic exploitation in the laboratory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Corticosterone facilitates extinction of fear memory in BALB/c mice but strengthens cue related fear in C57BL/6 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinks, V; de Kloet, E R; Oitzl, M S

    2009-04-01

    Corticosterone, the naturally occurring glucocorticoid of rodents is secreted in response to stressors and is known for its facilitating and detrimental effects on emotional learning and memory. The large variability in the action of corticosterone on processing of emotional memories is postulated to depend on genetic background and the spatio-temporal domain in which the hormone operates. To address this hypothesis, mice of two strains with distinct corticosterone secretory patterns and behavioural phenotype (BALB/c and C57BL/6J) were treated with corticosterone (250 microg/kg, i.p.), either 5 min before or directly after acquisition in a fear conditioning task. As the paradigm allowed assessing in one experimental procedure both context- and cue-related fear behaviour, we were able to detect generalization and specificity of fear. BALB/c showed generalized strong fear memory, while C57BL/6J mice discriminated between freezing during context- and cue episodes. Corticosterone had opposite effects on fear memory depending on the strain and time of injection. Corticosterone after acquisition did not affect C57BL/6J mice, but destabilized consolidation and facilitated extinction in BALB/c. Corticosterone 5 min before acquisition strengthened stress-associated signals: BALB/c no longer showed lower fear memory, while C57BL/6J mice displayed increased fear memory and impaired extinction in cue episodes. We propose that corticosterone-induced facilitation of fear memory in C57BL/6J mice can be used to study the development of fear memories, corticosterone administration in BALB/c mice presents a model to examine treatment. We conclude that genetic background and time of corticosterone action are modifiers of fear memory with interesting translational implications for anxiety-related diseases.

  9. Vicarious Fear Learning Depends on Empathic Appraisals and Trait Empathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Andreas; McMahon, Kibby; Papenberg, Goran; Zaki, Jamil; Bolger, Niall; Ochsner, Kevin N

    2016-01-01

    Empathy and vicarious learning of fear are increasingly understood as separate phenomena, but the interaction between the two remains poorly understood. We investigated how social (vicarious) fear learning is affected by empathic appraisals by asking participants to either enhance or decrease their empathic responses to another individual (the demonstrator), who received electric shocks paired with a predictive conditioned stimulus. A third group of participants received no appraisal instructions and responded naturally to the demonstrator. During a later test, participants who had enhanced their empathy evinced the strongest vicarious fear learning as measured by skin conductance responses to the conditioned stimulus in the absence of the demonstrator. Moreover, this effect was augmented in observers high in trait empathy. Our results suggest that a demonstrator's expression can serve as a "social" unconditioned stimulus (US), similar to a personally experienced US in Pavlovian fear conditioning, and that learning from a social US depends on both empathic appraisals and the observers' stable traits. © The Author(s) 2015.

  10. CENTRAL AMYGDALOID INVOLVEMENT IN NEUROENDOCRINE CORRELATES OF CONDITIONED STRESS RESPONSES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ROOZENDAAL, B; KOOLHAAS, JM; BOHUS, B

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of bilateral electrolytic lesions of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) in comparison with sham lesions on neuroendocrine responses during conditioned emotional stress in male Wistar rats. Lesions in the CEA, made either before or after the

  11. Towards Trustworthy Adaptive Case Management with Dynamic Condition Response Graphs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mukkamala, Raghava Rao; Hildebrandt, Thomas; Slaats, Tijs

    2013-01-01

    We describe how the declarative Dynamic Condition Response (DCR) Graphs process model can be used for trustworthy adaptive case management by leveraging the flexible execution, dynamic composition and adaptation supported by DCR Graphs. The dynamically composed and adapted graphs are verified for...

  12. Extinction of aversive classically conditioned human sexual response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brom, Mirte; Laan, Ellen; Everaerd, Walter; Spinhoven, Philip; Both, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    Research has shown that acquired subjective likes and dislikes are quite resistant to extinction. Moreover, studies on female sexual response demonstrated that diminished genital arousal and positive affect toward erotic stimuli due to aversive classical conditioning did not extinguish during an

  13. The Perceived Psychological Responsibilities Of A Strength And Conditioning Coach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radcliffe, Jon N; Comfort, Paul; Fawcett, Tom

    2016-09-22

    Research is limited in exploring the specific psychology oriented responsibilities of the strength and conditioning professional. The present research explored the psychological responsibilities adopted by accredited strength and conditioning coaches. Participants comprised 10 participants working within the UK, 3 within the USA and 5 within Australia offering a cross section of experience from raging sport disciplines and educational backgrounds. Participants were interviewed either in person or via Skype. Thematic clustering was employed utilizing interpretative phonological analysis to identify common themes. Over half (61%) of the respondents reported that their position as a strength and conditioning coach required additional psychology orientated responsibilities. These comprised a counselling role in the absence of psychologist the use of 'softer skills' in a mentoring role of the athlete during a challenging situation. The coach could play an influential role in shaping the mentality of the team. The coach identifies how the role results in working to relay information for the athlete to other support staff and similarly from the support staff through the athlete. The coach identifies how the role results in working to relay information for the athlete to other support staff and similarly from the support staff to the athlete. In addition to identifying the resonant psychological orientated responsibilities discussion is made with specific focus on the ethical boundary to which strength and conditioning coaches must reside regarding the competencies to provide psychological support.

  14. Orexin modulates behavioral fear expression through the locus coeruleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soya, Shingo; Takahashi, Tohru M; McHugh, Thomas J; Maejima, Takashi; Herlitze, Stefan; Abe, Manabu; Sakimura, Kenji; Sakurai, Takeshi

    2017-11-20

    Emotionally salient information activates orexin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, leading to increase in sympathetic outflow and vigilance level. How this circuit alters animals' behavior remains unknown. Here we report that noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (NA LC neurons) projecting to the lateral amygdala (LA) receive synaptic input from orexin neurons. Pharmacogenetic/optogenetic silencing of this circuit as well as acute blockade of the orexin receptor-1 (OX1R) decreases conditioned fear responses. In contrast, optogenetic stimulation of this circuit potentiates freezing behavior against a similar but distinct context or cue. Increase of orexinergic tone by fasting also potentiates freezing behavior and LA activity, which are blocked by pharmacological blockade of OX1R in the LC. These findings demonstrate the circuit involving orexin, NA LC and LA neurons mediates fear-related behavior and suggests inappropriate excitation of this pathway may cause fear generalization sometimes seen in psychiatric disorders, such as PTSD.

  15. Response of HEPA filters to simulated-accident conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gregory, W.S.; Martin, R.A.; Smith, P.R.; Fenton, D.E.

    1982-01-01

    High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters have been subjected to simulated accident conditions to determine their response to abnormal operating events. Both domestic and European standard and high-capacity filters have been evaluated to determine their response to simulated fire, explosion, and tornado conditions. The HEPA filter structural limitations for tornado and explosive loadings are discussed. In addition, filtration efficiencies during these accident conditions are reported for the first time. Our data indicate efficiencies between 80% and 90% for shock loadings below the structural limit level. We describe two types of testing for ineffective filtration - clean filters exposed to pulse-entrained aerosol and dirty filters exposed to tornado and shock pulses. Efficiency and material loss data are described. Also, the resonse of standard HEPA filters to simulated fire conditions is presented. We describe a unique method of measuring accumulated combustion products on the filter. Additionally, data relating to pressure drop vs accumulated mass during plugging are reported for simulated combustion aerosols. The effects of concentration and moisture levels on filter plugging were evaluated. We are obtaining all of the above data so that mathematical models can be developed for fire, explosion, and tornado accident analysis computer codes. These computer codes can be used to assess the response of nuclear air cleaning systems to accident conditions

  16. From Dynamic Condition Response Structures to Büchi Automata

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mukkamala, Raghava Rao; Hildebrandt, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Recently we have presented distributed dynamic condition response structures (DCR structures) as a declarative process model conservatively generalizing labelled event structures to allow for finite specifications of repeated, possibly infinite behavior. The key ideas are to split the causality...... relation of event structures in two dual relations: the condition relation and the response relation, to split the conflict relation in two relations: the dynamic exclusion and dynamic inclusion, and finally to allow configurations to be multi sets of events. In the present abstract we recall the model...... and show how to characterise the execution of DCR structures and the acceptance condition for infinite runs by giving a map to Bu ̈chi-automata. This is the first step towards automatic verification of processes specified as DCR structures....

  17. 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.

  18. Stressor controllability modulates fear extinction in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. PI[subscript 3]-Kinase Cascade Has a Differential Role in Acquisition and Extinction of Conditioned Fear Memory in Juvenile and Adult Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slouzkey, Ilana; Maroun, Mouna

    2016-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) circuit, plays a crucial role in acquisition and extinction of fear memory. Extinction of aversive memories is mediated, at least in part, by the phosphoinositide-3 kinase (P[subscript 3]K)/Akt pathway in adult rats. There is recent interest in the neural mechanisms that mediate fear…

  20. An automatic recording system for the study of escape from fear in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ming; He, Wei

    2013-11-01

    Escape from fear (EFF) is an active response to a conditioned stimulus (CS) previously paired with an unconditioned fe