WorldWideScience

Sample records for cued fear learning

  1. Effects of postretrieval-extinction learning on return of contextually controlled cued fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

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

    2015-01-01

    Using the single prolonged stress (SPS) animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), previous studies suggest that enhanced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression leads to cued fear extinction retention deficits. However, it is unknown how the endogenous ligand of GRs, corticosterone (CORT), may contribute to extinction retention deficits in the SPS model. Given that CORT synthesis during fear learning is critical for fear memory consolidation and SPS enhances GR expression, CORT synthesis during fear memory formation could strengthen fear memory in SPS rats by enhancing GR activation during fear learning. In turn, this could lead to cued fear extinction retention deficits. We tested the hypothesis that CORT synthesis during fear learning leads to cued fear extinction retention deficits in SPS rats by administering the CORT synthesis inhibitor metyrapone to SPS and control rats prior to fear conditioning, and observed the effect this had on extinction memory. Inhibiting CORT synthesis during fear memory formation in control rats tended to decrease cued freezing, though this effect never reached statistical significance. Contrary to our hypothesis, inhibiting CORT synthesis during fear memory formation disrupted extinction retention in SPS rats. This finding suggests that even though SPS exposure leads to cued fear extinction memory deficits, CORT synthesis during fear memory formation enhances extinction retention in SPS rats. This suggests that stress-induced CORT synthesis in previously stressed rats can be beneficial. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Immunization against social fear learning.

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    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).

  4. Learning strategies during fear conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Carpenter, Russ E.; Summers, Cliff H.

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

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

    2018-04-26

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

  7. The Class I HDAC Inhibitor RGFP963 Enhances Consolidation of Cued Fear Extinction

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    Bowers, Mallory E.; Xia, Bing; Carreiro, Samantha; Ressler, Kerry J.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence indicates that broad, nonspecific histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition enhances learning and memory, however, the contribution of the various HDACs to specific forms of learning is incompletely understood. Here, we show that the Class I HDAC inhibitor, RGFP963, enhances consolidation of cued fear extinction. However, RGFP966, a strong…

  8. The effect of hippocampal NMDA receptor blockade by MK-801 on cued fear extinction.

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    Zhang, Bo; Li, Chuan-Yu; Wang, Xiu-Song

    2017-08-14

    Extinction of conditioned fear has been suggested to be a new form of learning instead of erasure of what was originally learned, and the process is NMDA (N-methyl d-aspartate) receptor (NMDAR) dependent. Most of studies have so far revealed the important roles of NMDARs in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in cued fear extinction. Although the ventral hippocampus has intimately reciprocal connections with the amygdala and mPFC, the role of its NMDARs in cued fear extinction remains unclear. The present experiment explored the issue by bilateral pre-extinction microinjection of the noncompetitive NMDAR antagonist MK-801 into the ventral hippocampus. Four groups of rats were given habituation, tone cued fear conditioning, fear extinction training and extinction test. Prior to extinction training, rats received bilateral infusions of either MK-801 (1.5, 3, or 6μg/0.5μl) or saline. Our results showed that MK-801 reduced freezing on the first trial of extinction training with no impact on within-session acquisition of extinction, and that the lower doses of MK-801 resulted in increased freezing on the extinction retrieval test. These findings suggest that ventral hippocampal NMDARs are necessary for the consolidation of tone cued fear extinction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  11. Age-Dependent Deficits in Fear Learning in Heterozygous BDNF Knock-Out Mice

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    Endres, Thomas; Lessmann, Volkmar

    2012-01-01

    Beyond its trophic function, the neurotrophin BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is well known to crucially mediate synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Whereas recent studies suggested that acute BDNF/TrkB signaling regulates amygdala-dependent fear learning, no impairments of cued fear learning were reported in heterozygous BDNF…

  12. Impairment in extinction of cued fear memory in syntenin-1 knockout mice.

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    Talukdar, Gourango; Inoue, Ran; Yoshida, Tomoyuki; Mori, Hisashi

    2018-03-01

    Syntenin-1 is a PDZ domain-containing intracellular scaffold protein involved in exosome production, synapse formation, and synaptic plasticity. We tested whether syntenin-1 can regulate learning and memory through its effects on synaptic plasticity. Specifically, we investigated the role of syntenin-1 in contextual and cued fear conditioning and extinction of conditioned fear using syntenin-1 knockout (KO) mice. Genetic disruption of syntenin-1 had little effect on contextual and cued fear memory. However, syntenin-1 KO mice exhibited selective impairment in cued fear extinction retention. This extinction retention deficit in syntenin-1 KO mice was associated with reduced c-Fos-positive neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and infralimbic cortex (IL) after extinction training and increased c-Fos-positive neurons in the BLA after an extinction retention test. Our results suggest that syntenin-1 plays an important role in extinction of cued fear memory by modulating neuronal activity in the BLA and IL. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Sleep supports cued fear extinction memory consolidation independent of circadian phase.

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    Melo, Irene; Ehrlich, Ingrid

    2016-07-01

    Sleep promotes memory, particularly for declarative learning. However, its role in non-declarative, emotional memories is less well understood. Some studies suggest that sleep may influence fear-related memories, and thus may be an important factor determining the outcome of treatments for emotional disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Here, we investigated the effect of sleep deprivation and time of day on fear extinction memory consolidation. Mice were subjected to a cued Pavlovian fear and extinction paradigm at the beginning of their resting or active phase. Immediate post-extinction learning sleep deprivation for 5h compromised extinction memory when tested 24h after learning. Context-dependent extinction memory recall was completely prevented by sleep-manipulation during the resting phase, while impairment was milder during the active phase and extinction memory retained its context-specificity. Importantly, control experiments excluded confounding factors such as differences in baseline locomotion, fear generalization and stress hormone levels. Together, our findings indicate that post-learning sleep supports cued fear extinction memory consolidation in both circadian phases. The lack of correlation between memory efficacy and sleep time suggests that extinction memory may be influenced by specific sleep events in the early consolidation period. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Armita eGolkar; Martin eBellander; Andreas eOlsson; Arne eÖhman

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Askew, C.; Dunne, G.; Ozdil, A.; Reynolds, G.; Field, A.P.

    2013-01-01

    Enhanced fear learning for fear-relevant stimuli has been demonstrated in procedures with adults in the laboratory. Three experiments investigated the effect of stimulus fear-relevance on vicarious fear learning in children (aged 6-11 years). Pictures of stimuli with different levels of fear-relevance (flowers, caterpillars, snakes, worms, and Australian marsupials) were presented alone or together with scared faces. In line with previous studies, children's fear beliefs and avoidance prefere...

  17. Neuroimaging of Fear-Associated Learning

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    Greco, John A; Liberzon, Israel

    2016-01-01

    Fear conditioning has been commonly used as a model of emotional learning in animals and, with the introduction of functional neuroimaging techniques, has proven useful in establishing the neurocircuitry of emotional learning in humans. Studies of fear acquisition suggest that regions such as amygdala, insula, anterior cingulate cortex, and hippocampus play an important role in acquisition of fear, whereas studies of fear extinction suggest that the amygdala is also crucial for safety learning. Extinction retention testing points to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex as an essential region in the recall of the safety trace, and explicit learning of fear and safety associations recruits additional cortical and subcortical regions. Importantly, many of these findings have implications in our understanding of the pathophysiology of psychiatric disease. Recent studies using clinical populations have lent insight into the changes in regional activity in specific disorders, and treatment studies have shown how pharmaceutical and other therapeutic interventions modulate brain activation during emotional learning. Finally, research investigating individual differences in neurotransmitter receptor genotypes has highlighted the contribution of these systems in fear-associated learning. PMID:26294108

  18. MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF FEAR LEARNING AND MEMORY

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    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

  19. Molecular mechanisms of fear learning and memory.

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    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.

  20. Impairment in extinction of contextual and cued, fear following post-training whole body irradiation

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    Reid HJ Olsen

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Because of the use of radiation in cancer therapy, the risk of nuclear contamination from power plants, military conflicts, and terrorism, there is a compelling scientific and public health interest in the effects of environmental radiation exposure on brain function, in particular hippocampal function and learning and memory. Previous studies have emphasized changes in learning and memory following radiation exposure. These approaches have ignored the question of how radiation exposure might impact recently acquired memories, which might be acquired under traumatic circumstances (cancer treatment, nuclear disaster, etc.. To address the question of how radiation exposure might affect the processing and recall of recently acquired memories, we employed a fear-conditioning paradigm wherein animals were trained, and subsequently irradiated (whole-body X-ray irradiation 24 hours later. Animals were given two weeks to recover, and were tested for retention and extinction of hippocampus-dependent contextual fear conditioning. Exposure to irradiation following training was associated with reduced daily increases in body weights over the 22 days of the study and resulted in greater freezing levels and aberrant extinction 2 weeks later. This was also observed when the intensity of the training protocol was increased. Cued freezing levels and measures of anxiety 2 weeks after training were also higher in irradiated than sham-irradiated mice. In contrast to contextual freezing levels, cued freezing levels were even higher in irradiated mice receiving 5 shocks during training than sham-irradiated mice receiving 10 shocks during training. In addition, the effects of radiation on extinction of contextual fear were more profound than those on the extinction of cued fear. Thus, whole body irradiation elevates contextual and cued fear memory recall.

  1. 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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Dreaming Your Fear Away: A Computational Model for Fear Extinction Learning During Dreaming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Treur, J.; Lu et al., B.L.

    2011-01-01

    In this paper a computational model is presented that models how dreaming is used to learn fear extinction. The approach addresses dreaming as internal simulation incorporating memory elements in the form of sensory representations and their associated fear. During dream episodes regulation of fear

  6. Forming Competing Fear Learning and Extinction Memories in Adolescence Makes Fear Difficult to Inhibit

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    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.…

  7. Individual differences in learning predict the return of fear.

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    Gershman, Samuel J; Hartley, Catherine A

    2015-09-01

    Using a laboratory analogue of learned fear (Pavlovian fear conditioning), we show that there is substantial heterogeneity across individuals in spontaneous recovery of fear following extinction training. We propose that this heterogeneity might stem from qualitative individual differences in the nature of extinction learning. Whereas some individuals tend to form a new memory during extinction, leaving their fear memory intact, others update the original threat association with new safety information, effectively unlearning the fear memory. We formalize this account in a computational model of fear learning and show that individuals who, according to the model, are more likely to form new extinction memories tend to show greater spontaneous recovery compared to individuals who appear to only update a single memory. This qualitative variation in fear and extinction learning may have important implications for understanding vulnerability and resilience to fear-related psychiatric disorders.

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

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

    2014-05-21

    Vagal afferents are an important neuronal component of the gut-brain axis allowing bottom-up information flow from the viscera to the CNS. In addition to its role in ingestive behavior, vagal afferent signaling has been implicated modulating mood and affect, including distinct forms of anxiety and fear. Here, we used a rat model of subdiaphragmatic vagal deafferentation (SDA), the most complete and selective vagal deafferentation method existing to date, to study the consequences of complete disconnection of abdominal vagal afferents on innate anxiety, conditioned fear, and neurochemical parameters in the limbic system. We found that compared with Sham controls, SDA rats consistently displayed reduced innate anxiety-like behavior in three procedures commonly used in preclinical rodent models of anxiety, namely the elevated plus maze test, open field test, and food neophobia test. On the other hand, SDA rats exhibited increased expression of auditory-cued fear conditioning, which specifically emerged as attenuated extinction of conditioned fear during the tone re-exposure test. The behavioral manifestations in SDA rats were associated with region-dependent changes in noradrenaline and GABA levels in key areas of the limbic system, but not with functional alterations in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal grand stress. Our study demonstrates that innate anxiety and learned fear are both subjected to visceral modulation through abdominal vagal afferents, possibly via changing limbic neurotransmitter systems. These data add further weight to theories emphasizing an important role of afferent visceral signals in the regulation of emotional behavior. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/347067-10$15.00/0.

  9. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine facilitates fear extinction learning.

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

    2015-09-15

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

  10. Vicarious learning and the development of fears in childhood.

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    Askew, Chris; Field, Andy P

    2007-11-01

    Vicarious learning has long been assumed to be an indirect pathway to fear; however, there is only retrospective evidence that children acquire fears in this way. In two experiments, children (aged 7-9 years) were exposed to pictures of novel animals paired with pictures of either scared, happy or no facial expressions to see the impact on their fear cognitions and avoidance behavior about the animals. In Experiment 1, directly (self-report) and indirectly measured (affective priming) fear attitudes towards the animals changed congruent with the facial expressions with which these were paired. The indirectly measured fear beliefs persisted up to 3 months. Experiment 2 showed that children took significantly longer to approach a box they believed to contain an animal they had previously seen paired with scared faces. These results support theories of fear acquisition that suppose that vicarious learning affects cognitive and behavioral fear emotion, and suggest possibilities for interventions to weaken fear acquired in this way.

  11. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Baker, Kathryn D.; Richardson, Rick

    2015-01-01

    Fear inhibition is markedly impaired in adolescent rodents and humans. The present experiments investigated whether this impairment is critically determined by the animal's age at the time of fear learning or their age at fear extinction. Male rats (n = 170) were tested for extinction retention after conditioning and extinction at different ages. We examined neural correlates of impaired extinction retention by detection of phosphorylated mitogen-activated protein kinase immunoreactivity (pMA...

  13. Fear in the Classroom: An Examination of Teachers' Use of Fear Appeals and Students' Learning Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprinkle, Rose; Hunt, Stephen; Simonds, Cheri; Comadena, Mark

    2006-01-01

    This study examined the impact of teachers' use of fear appeals and efficacy statements on student affective learning, motivation, likelihood of taking a course with the instructor, and likelihood of visiting with the instructor for help. The results suggest that fear and efficacy interact to more positively influence students' perceptions of…

  14. 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,…

  15. The vicarious learning pathway to fear 40 years on.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askew, Chris; Field, Andy P

    2008-10-01

    Forty years on from the initial idea that fears could be learnt vicariously through observing other people's responses to a situation or stimulus, this review looks at the evidence for this theory as an explanatory model of clinical fear. First, we review early experimental evidence that fears can be learnt vicariously before turning to the evidence from both primate and human research that clinical fears can be acquired in this way. Finally, we review recent evidence from research on non-anxious children. Throughout the review we highlight problems and areas for future research. We conclude by exploring the likely underlying mechanisms in the vicarious learning of fear and the resulting clinical implications.

  16. 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.

  17. Cellular and oscillatory substrates of fear extinction learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  18. The Physiology of Fear: Reconceptualizing the Role of the Central Amygdala in Fear Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keifer, Orion P.; Hurt, Robert C.; Ressler, Kerry J.

    2015-01-01

    The historically understood role of the central amygdala (CeA) in fear learning is to serve as a passive output station for processing and plasticity that occurs elsewhere in the brain. However, recent research has suggested that the CeA may play a more dynamic role in fear learning. In particular, there is growing evidence that the CeA is a site of plasticity and memory formation, and that its activity is subject to tight regulation. The following review examines the evidence for these three main roles of the CeA as they relate to fear learning. The classical role of the CeA as a routing station to fear effector brain structures like the periaqueductal gray, the lateral hypothalamus, and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus will be briefly reviewed, but specific emphasis is placed on recent literature suggesting that the CeA 1) has an important role in the plasticity underlying fear learning, 2) is involved in regulation of other amygdala subnuclei, and 3) is itself regulated by intra- and extra-amygdalar input. Finally, we discuss the parallels of human and mouse CeA involvement in fear disorders and fear conditioning, respectively. PMID:26328883

  19. 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.

  20. Extinction of Learned Fear Induces Hippocampal Place Cell Remapping

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Vicarious extinction learning during reconsolidation neutralizes fear memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Golkar, A.; Tjaden, C.; Kindt, M.

    Background: 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we present a mapping between joy, distress, hope and fear, and Reinforcement Learning primitives. Joy / distress is a signal that is derived from the RL update signal, while hope/fear is derived from the utility of the current state. Agent-based simulation experiments replicate

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  5. A comparison of positive vicarious learning and verbal information for reducing vicariously learned fear

    OpenAIRE

    Reynolds, Gemma; Wasely, David; Dunne, Guler; Askew, Chris

    2017-01-01

    Research with children has demonstrated that both positive vicarious learning (modelling) and positive verbal information can reduce children’s acquired fear responses for a particular stimulus. However, this fear reduction appears to be more effective when the intervention pathway matches the initial fear learning pathway. That is, positive verbal information is a more effective intervention than positive modelling when fear is originally acquired via negative verbal information. Research ha...

  6. Social Fear Learning: from Animal Models to Human Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debiec, Jacek; Olsson, Andreas

    2017-07-01

    Learning about potential threats is critical for survival. Learned fear responses are acquired either through direct experiences or indirectly through social transmission. Social fear learning (SFL), also known as vicarious fear learning, is a paradigm successfully used for studying the transmission of threat information between individuals. Animal and human studies have begun to elucidate the behavioral, neural and molecular mechanisms of SFL. Recent research suggests that social learning mechanisms underlie a wide range of adaptive and maladaptive phenomena, from supporting flexible avoidance in dynamic environments to intergenerational transmission of trauma and anxiety disorders. This review discusses recent advances in SFL studies and their implications for basic, social and clinical sciences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Serotonergic Modulation of Conditioned Fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith R. Homberg

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ris, Martin D.; Woods, Donald J.

    1983-01-01

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

  11. A comparison of positive vicarious learning and verbal information for reducing vicariously learned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Gemma; Wasely, David; Dunne, Güler; Askew, Chris

    2017-10-19

    Research with children has demonstrated that both positive vicarious learning (modelling) and positive verbal information can reduce children's acquired fear responses for a particular stimulus. However, this fear reduction appears to be more effective when the intervention pathway matches the initial fear learning pathway. That is, positive verbal information is a more effective intervention than positive modelling when fear is originally acquired via negative verbal information. Research has yet to explore whether fear reduction pathways are also important for fears acquired via vicarious learning. To test this, an experiment compared the effectiveness of positive verbal information and positive vicarious learning interventions for reducing vicariously acquired fears in children (7-9 years). Both vicarious and informational fear reduction interventions were found to be equally effective at reducing vicariously acquired fears, suggesting that acquisition and intervention pathways do not need to match for successful fear reduction. This has significant implications for parents and those working with children because it suggests that providing children with positive information or positive vicarious learning immediately after a negative modelling event may prevent more serious fears developing.

  12. Anxiety symptoms and children's eye gaze during fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalska, Kalina J; Machlin, Laura; Moroney, Elizabeth; Lowet, Daniel S; Hettema, John M; Roberson-Nay, Roxann; Averbeck, Bruno B; Brotman, Melissa A; Nelson, Eric E; Leibenluft, Ellen; Pine, Daniel S

    2017-11-01

    The eye region of the face is particularly relevant for decoding threat-related signals, such as fear. However, it is unclear if gaze patterns to the eyes can be influenced by fear learning. Previous studies examining gaze patterns in adults find an association between anxiety and eye gaze avoidance, although no studies to date examine how associations between anxiety symptoms and eye-viewing patterns manifest in children. The current study examined the effects of learning and trait anxiety on eye gaze using a face-based fear conditioning task developed for use in children. Participants were 82 youth from a general population sample of twins (aged 9-13 years), exhibiting a range of anxiety symptoms. Participants underwent a fear conditioning paradigm where the conditioned stimuli (CS+) were two neutral faces, one of which was randomly selected to be paired with an aversive scream. Eye tracking, physiological, and subjective data were acquired. Children and parents reported their child's anxiety using the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders. Conditioning influenced eye gaze patterns in that children looked longer and more frequently to the eye region of the CS+ than CS- face; this effect was present only during fear acquisition, not at baseline or extinction. Furthermore, consistent with past work in adults, anxiety symptoms were associated with eye gaze avoidance. Finally, gaze duration to the eye region mediated the effect of anxious traits on self-reported fear during acquisition. Anxiety symptoms in children relate to face-viewing strategies deployed in the context of a fear learning experiment. This relationship may inform attempts to understand the relationship between pediatric anxiety symptoms and learning. © 2017 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  13. The Role of BDNF in the Development of Fear Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dincheva, Iva; Lynch, Niccola B; Lee, Francis S

    2016-10-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a growth factor that is dynamically expressed in the brain across postnatal development, regulating neuronal differentiation and synaptic plasticity. The neurotrophic hypothesis of psychiatric mood disorders postulates that in the adult brain, decreased BDNF levels leads to altered neural plasticity, contributing to disease. Although BDNF has been established as a key factor regulating the critical period plasticity in the developing visual system, it has recently been shown to also play a role in fear circuitry maturation, which has implications for the emergence of fear-related mood disorders. This review provides a detailed overview of developmental changes in expression of BDNF isoforms, as well as their receptors across postnatal life. In addition, recent developmental studies utilizing a genetic BDNF single nucleotide polymorphism (Val66Met) knock-in mouse highlight the impact of BDNF on fear learning during a sensitive period spanning the transition into adolescent time frame. We hypothesize that BDNF in the developing brain regulates fear circuit plasticity during a sensitive period in early adolescence, and alterations in BDNF expression (genetic or environmental) have a persistent impact on fear behavior and fear-related disorders. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. 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.

  15. Learning to avoid spiders: fear predicts performance, not competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xijia; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2018-01-05

    We used an immersive virtual environment to examine avoidance learning in spider-fearful participants. In 3 experiments, participants were asked to repeatedly lift one of 3 virtual boxes, under which either a toy car or a spider appeared and then approached the participant. Participants were not told that the probability of encountering a spider differed across boxes. When the difference was large (Exps. 1 and 2), spider-fearfuls learned to avoid spiders by lifting the few-spiders-box more often and the many-spiders-box less often than non-fearful controls did. However, they hardly managed to do so when the probability differences were small (Exp. 3), and they did not escape from threat more quickly (Exp. 2). In contrast to the observed performance differences, spider-fearfuls and non-fearfuls showed equal competence, that is comparable post-experimental knowledge about the probability to encounter spiders under the 3 boxes. The limitations and implications of the present study are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Sensitive periods in affective development: nonlinear maturation of fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Catherine A; Lee, Francis S

    2015-01-01

    At specific maturational stages, neural circuits enter sensitive periods of heightened plasticity, during which the development of both brain and behavior are highly receptive to particular experiential information. A relatively advanced understanding of the regulatory mechanisms governing the initiation, closure, and reinstatement of sensitive period plasticity has emerged from extensive research examining the development of the visual system. In this article, we discuss a large body of work characterizing the pronounced nonlinear changes in fear learning and extinction that occur from childhood through adulthood, and their underlying neural substrates. We draw upon the model of sensitive period regulation within the visual system, and present burgeoning evidence suggesting that parallel mechanisms may regulate the qualitative changes in fear learning across development.

  18. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine facilitates fear extinction learning

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Acutely administered 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ?ecstasy') has been proposed to have long-term positive effects on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms when combined with psychotherapy. No preclinical data support a mechanistic basis for these claims. Given the persistent nature of psychotherapeutic gains facilitated by MDMA, we hypothesized that MDMA improves fear extinction learning, a key process in exposure-based therapies for PTSD. In these experiments, mice were ...

  19. 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 ...

  20. One-trial overshadowing: Evidence for fast specific fear learning in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haesen, Kim; Beckers, Tom; Baeyens, Frank; Vervliet, Bram

    2017-03-01

    Adaptive defensive actions necessitate a fear learning system that is both fast and specific. Fast learning serves to minimize the number of threat confrontations, while specific learning ensures that the acquired fears are tied to threat-relevant cues only. In Pavlovian fear conditioning, fear acquisition is typically studied via repetitive pairings of a single cue with an aversive experience, which is not optimal for the examination of fast specific fear learning. In this study, we adopted the one-trial overshadowing procedure from basic learning research, in which a combination of two visual cues is presented once and paired with an aversive electrical stimulation. Using on-line shock expectancy ratings, skin conductance reactivity and startle reflex modulation as indices of fear learning, we found evidence of strong fear after a single conditioning trial (fast learning) as well as attenuated fear responding when only half of the trained stimulus combination was presented (specific learning). Moreover, specificity of fear responding tended to correlate with levels of state and trait anxiety. These results suggest that one-trial overshadowing can be used as a model to study fast specific fear learning in humans and individual differences therein. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Inhibition of vicariously learned fear in children using positive modeling and prior exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askew, Chris; Reynolds, Gemma; Fielding-Smith, Sarah; Field, Andy P

    2016-02-01

    One of the challenges to conditioning models of fear acquisition is to explain how different individuals can experience similar learning events and only some of them subsequently develop fear. Understanding factors moderating the impact of learning events on fear acquisition is key to understanding the etiology and prevention of fear in childhood. This study investigates these moderators in the context of vicarious (observational) learning. Two experiments tested predictions that the acquisition or inhibition of fear via vicarious learning is driven by associative learning mechanisms similar to direct conditioning. In Experiment 1, 3 groups of children aged 7 to 9 years received 1 of 3 inhibitive information interventions-psychoeducation, factual information, or no information (control)-prior to taking part in a vicarious fear learning procedure. In Experiment 2, 3 groups of children aged 7 to 10 years received 1 of 3 observational learning interventions-positive modeling (immunization), observational familiarity (latent inhibition), or no prevention (control)-before vicarious fear learning. Results indicated that observationally delivered manipulations inhibited vicarious fear learning, while preventions presented via written information did not. These findings confirm that vicarious learning shares some of the characteristics of direct conditioning and can explain why not all individuals will develop fear following a vicarious learning event. They also suggest that the modality of inhibitive learning is important and should match the fear learning pathway for increased chances of inhibition. Finally, the results demonstrate that positive modeling is likely to be a particularly effective method for preventing fear-related observational learning in children. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Güler; Askew, Chris

    2013-10-01

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

  3. Differential splicing and glycosylation of Apoer2 alters synaptic plasticity and fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasser, Catherine R; Masiulis, Irene; Durakoglugil, Murat S; Lane-Donovan, Courtney; Xian, Xunde; Beffert, Uwe; Agarwala, Anandita; Hammer, Robert E; Herz, Joachim

    2014-11-25

    Apoer2 is an essential receptor in the central nervous system that binds to the apolipoprotein ApoE. Various splice variants of Apoer2 are produced. We showed that Apoer2 lacking exon 16, which encodes the O-linked sugar (OLS) domain, altered the proteolytic processing and abundance of Apoer2 in cells and synapse number and function in mice. In cultured cells expressing this splice variant, extracellular cleavage of OLS-deficient Apoer2 was reduced, consequently preventing γ-secretase-dependent release of the intracellular domain of Apoer2. Mice expressing Apoer2 lacking the OLS domain had increased Apoer2 abundance in the brain, hippocampal spine density, and glutamate receptor abundance, but decreased synaptic efficacy. Mice expressing a form of Apoer2 lacking the OLS domain and containing an alternatively spliced cytoplasmic tail region that promotes glutamate receptor signaling showed enhanced hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a phenomenon associated with learning and memory. However, these mice did not display enhanced spatial learning in the Morris water maze, and cued fear conditioning was reduced. Reducing the expression of the mutant Apoer2 allele so that the abundance of the protein was similar to that of Apoer2 in wild-type mice normalized spine density, hippocampal LTP, and cued fear learning. These findings demonstrated a role for ApoE receptors as regulators of synaptic glutamate receptor activity and established differential receptor glycosylation as a potential regulator of synaptic function and memory. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  4. 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…

  5. The Future of Contextual Fear Learning for PTSD Research: A Methodological Review of Neuroimaging Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, Daniel E; Risbrough, Victoria B; Simmons, Alan N; Acheson, Dean T; Stout, Daniel M

    2017-10-21

    There has been a great deal of recent interest in human models of contextual fear learning, particularly due to the use of such paradigms for investigating neural mechanisms related to the etiology of posttraumatic stress disorder. However, the construct of "context" in fear conditioning research is broad, and the operational definitions and methods used to investigate contextual fear learning in humans are wide ranging and lack specificity, making it difficult to interpret findings about neural activity. Here we will review neuroimaging studies of contextual fear acquisition in humans. We will discuss the methodology associated with four broad categories of how contextual fear learning is manipulated in imaging studies (colored backgrounds, static picture backgrounds, virtual reality, and configural stimuli) and highlight findings for the primary neural circuitry involved in each paradigm. Additionally, we will offer methodological recommendations for human studies of contextual fear acquisition, including using stimuli that distinguish configural learning from discrete cue associations and clarifying how context is experimentally operationalized.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    The inability to associate aversive events with relevant cues (i.e. fear learning) may lead to maladaptive anxiety. To further study the role of the serotonin transporter (SERT) in fear learning, classical fear conditioning was studied in SERT knockout rats (SERT(-/-)) using fear potentiation of the

  7. Murine GRPR and stathmin control in opposite directions both cued fear extinction and neural activities of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume Martel

    Full Text Available Extinction is an integral part of normal healthy fear responses, while it is compromised in several fear-related mental conditions in humans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Although much research has recently been focused on fear extinction, its molecular and cellular underpinnings are still unclear. The development of animal models for extinction will greatly enhance our approaches to studying its neural circuits and the mechanisms involved. Here, we describe two gene-knockout mouse lines, one with impaired and another with enhanced extinction of learned fear. These mutant mice are based on fear memory-related genes, stathmin and gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR. Remarkably, both mutant lines showed changes in fear extinction to the cue but not to the context. We performed indirect imaging of neuronal activity on the second day of cued extinction, using immediate-early gene c-Fos. GRPR knockout mice extinguished slower (impaired extinction than wildtype mice, which was accompanied by an increase in c-Fos activity in the basolateral amygdala and a decrease in the prefrontal cortex. By contrast, stathmin knockout mice extinguished faster (enhanced extinction and showed a decrease in c-Fos activity in the basolateral amygdala and an increase in the prefrontal cortex. At the same time, c-Fos activity in the dentate gyrus was increased in both mutant lines. These experiments provide genetic evidence that the balance between neuronal activities of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex defines an impairment or facilitation of extinction to the cue while the hippocampus is involved in the context-specificity of extinction.

  8. Signaling through cGMP-dependent protein kinase I in the amygdala is critical for auditory-cued fear memory and long-term potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Cindy; Schöberl, Florian; Weinmeister, Pascal; Micale, Vincenzo; Wotjak, Carsten T; Hofmann, Franz; Kleppisch, Thomas

    2008-12-24

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of inputs relaying sensory information from cortical and thalamic neurons to principal neurons in the lateral amygdala (LA) is thought to serve as a cellular mechanism for associative fear learning. Nitric oxide (NO), a messenger molecule widely implicated in synaptic plasticity and behavior, has been shown to enhance LTP in the LA as well as consolidation of associative fear memory. Additional evidence suggests that NO-induced enhancement of LTP and amygdala-dependent learning requires signaling through soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (cGK). Mammals possess two genes for cGK: the prkg1 gene gives rise to the cGK type I isoforms, cGKIalpha and cGKIbeta, and the prkg2 gene encodes the cGK type II. Reportedly, both cGKI and cGKII are expressed in the amygdala, and cGKII is involved in controlling anxiety-like behavior. Because selective pharmacological tools for individual cGK isoforms are lacking, we used different knock-out mouse models to examine the function of cGKI and cGKII for LTP in the LA and pavlovian fear conditioning. We found robust expression of the cGKI specifically in the LA with cGKIbeta as the prevailing isoform. We further show a marked reduction of LTP at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA and a selective impairment of auditory-cued fear memory in cGKI-deficient mutants. In contrast, cGKII null mutants lack these phenotypes. Our data suggest a function of cGKI, likely the beta isoform, in the LA, supporting synaptic plasticity and consolidation of fear memory.

  9. Vicarious Learning and Reduction of Fear in Children via Adult and Child Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Güler; Askew, Chris

    2017-06-01

    Children can learn to fear stimuli vicariously, by observing adults' or peers' responses to them. Given that much of school-age children's time is typically spent with their peers, it is important to establish whether fear learning from peers is as effective or robust as learning from adults, and also whether peers can be successful positive models for reducing fear. During a vicarious fear learning procedure, children (6 to 10 years; N = 60) were shown images of novel animals together with images of adult or peer faces expressing fear. Later they saw their fear-paired animal again together with positive emotional adult or peer faces. Children's fear beliefs and avoidance for the animals increased following vicarious fear learning and decreased following positive vicarious counterconditioning. There was little evidence of differences in learning from adults and peers, demonstrating that for this age group peer models are effective models for both fear acquisition and reduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  10. Learning and judgment can be affected by predisposed fearfulness in laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haas, de Elske N.; Lee, Caroline; Rodenburg, Bas

    2017-01-01

    High fearfulness could disrupt learning and likely affects judgment in animals, especially when it is part of an animals' personality, i.e., trait anxiety. Here, we tested whether high fearfulness affects discrimination learning and judgment bias (JB) in laying hens. Based on the response to an open

  11. Other people as means to a safe end: vicarious extinction blocks the return of learned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golkar, Armita; Selbing, Ida; Flygare, Oskar; Ohman, Arne; Olsson, Andreas

    2013-11-01

    Information about what is dangerous and safe in the environment is often transferred from other individuals through social forms of learning, such as observation. Past research has focused on the observational, or vicarious, acquisition of fears, but little is known about how social information can promote safety learning. To address this issue, we studied the effects of vicarious-extinction learning on the recovery of conditioned fear. Compared with a standard extinction procedure, vicarious extinction promoted better extinction and effectively blocked the return of previously learned fear. We confirmed that these effects could not be attributed to the presence of a learning model per se but were specifically driven by the model's experience of safety. Our results confirm that vicarious and direct emotional learning share important characteristics but that social-safety information promotes superior down-regulation of learned fear. These findings have implications for emotional learning, social-affective processes, and clinical practice.

  12. Impaired fear extinction learning and cortico-amygdala circuit abnormalities in a common genetic mouse strain

    OpenAIRE

    Hefner, Kathryn; Whittle, Nigel; Juhasz, Jaynann; Norcross, Maxine; Karlsson, Rose-Marie; Saksida, Lisa M.; Bussey, Timothy J.; Singewald, Nicolas; Holmes, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    Fear extinction is a form of new learning that results in the inhibition of conditioned fear. Trait deficits in fear extinction are a risk factor for anxiety disorders. There are few examples of naturally-occurring animal models of impaired extinction. The present study compared fear extinction in a panel of inbred mouse strains. This strain survey revealed an impairment in fear extinction in 129/SvImJ (129S1). The phenotypic specificity of this deficit was evaluated by comparing 129S1 and C5...

  13. Fear learning and memory across adolescent development Hormones and Behavior Special Issue: Puberty and Adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattwell, Siobhan S.; Lee, Francis S.; Casey, B.J.

    2013-01-01

    Throughout the past several decades, studies have uncovered a wealth of information about the neural circuitry underlying fear learning and extinction that has helped to inform treatments for fear-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress and anxiety. Yet, up to 40 percent of people do not respond to such treatments. Adolescence, in particular, is a developmental stage during which anxiety disorders peak, yet little is known about the development of fear-related neural circuitry during this period. Moreover, pharmacological and behavioral therapies that have been developed are based on mature circuitry and function. Here, we review neural circuitry implicated in fear learning and data from adolescent mouse and human fear learning studies. In addition, we propose a developmental model of fear neural circuitry that may optimize current treatments and inform when, during development, specific treatments for anxiety may be most effective. PMID:23998679

  14. Activation of orexin/hypocretin neurons is associated with individual differences in cued fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharko, Amanda C; Fadel, Jim R; Kaigler, Kris F; Wilson, Marlene A

    2017-09-01

    Identifying the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie differential sensitivity to stress is critical for understanding the development and expression of stress-induced disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Preclinical studies have suggested that rodents display different phenotypes associated with extinction of Pavlovian conditioned fear responses, with some rodent populations being resistant to extinction. An emerging literature also suggests a role for orexins in the consolidation processes associated with fear learning and extinction. To examine the possibility that the orexin system might be involved in individual differences in fear extinction, we used a Pavlovian conditioning paradigm in outbred Long-Evans rats. Rats showed significant variability in the extinction of cue-conditioned freezing and extinction recall, and animals were divided into groups based on their extinction profiles based on a median split of percent freezing behavior during repeated exposure to the conditioned cue. Animals resistant to extinction (high freezers) showed more freezing during repeated cue presentations during the within trial and between trial extinction sessions compared with the group showing significant extinction (low freezers), although there were no differences between these groups in freezing upon return to the conditioned context or during the conditioning session. Following the extinction recall session, activation of orexin neurons was determined using dual label immunohistochemistry for cFos in orexin positive neurons in the hypothalamus. Individual differences in the extinction of cue conditioned fear were associated with differential activation of hypothalamic orexin neurons. Animals showing poor extinction of cue-induced freezing (high freezers) had significantly greater percentage of orexin neurons with Fos in the medial hypothalamus than animals displaying significant extinction and good extinction recall (low freezers). Further, the

  15. A reinforcement learning model of joy, distress, hope and fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broekens, Joost; Jacobs, Elmer; Jonker, Catholijn M.

    2015-07-01

    In this paper we computationally study the relation between adaptive behaviour and emotion. Using the reinforcement learning framework, we propose that learned state utility, ?, models fear (negative) and hope (positive) based on the fact that both signals are about anticipation of loss or gain. Further, we propose that joy/distress is a signal similar to the error signal. We present agent-based simulation experiments that show that this model replicates psychological and behavioural dynamics of emotion. This work distinguishes itself by assessing the dynamics of emotion in an adaptive agent framework - coupling it to the literature on habituation, development, extinction and hope theory. Our results support the idea that the function of emotion is to provide a complex feedback signal for an organism to adapt its behaviour. Our work is relevant for understanding the relation between emotion and adaptation in animals, as well as for human-robot interaction, in particular how emotional signals can be used to communicate between adaptive agents and humans.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. Cannabidiol regulation of learned fear: implications for treating anxiety-related disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regimantas Jurkus

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Anxiety and trauma-related disorders are psychiatric diseases with a lifetime prevalence of up to 25%. Phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD are characterized by abnormal and persistent memories of fear-related contexts and cues. The effects of psychological treatments such as exposure therapy are often only temporary and medications can be ineffective and have adverse side effects. Growing evidence from human and animal studies indicates that cannabidiol, the main non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid present in Cannabis sativa, alleviates anxiety in paradigms assessing innate fear. More recently, the effects of cannabidiol on learned fear have been investigated in preclinical studies with translational relevance for phobias and PTSD. Here we review the findings from these studies, with an emphasis on cannabidiol regulation of contextual fear. The evidence indicates that cannabidiol reduces learned fear in different ways: (1 cannabidiol decreases fear expression acutely, (2 cannabidiol disrupts memory reconsolidation, leading to sustained fear attenuation upon memory retrieval, and (3 cannabidiol enhances extinction, the psychological process by which exposure therapy inhibits learned fear. We also present novel data on cannabidiol regulation of learned fear related to explicit cues, which indicates that auditory fear expression is also reduced acutely by cannabidiol. We conclude by outlining future directions for research to elucidate the neural circuit, psychological, cellular, and molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of fear memory processing by cannabidiol. This line of investigation may lead to the development of cannabidiol as a novel therapeutic approach for treating anxiety and trauma-related disorders such as phobias and PTSD in the future.

  19. Vicarious birth experiences and childbirth fear: does it matter how young canadian women learn about birth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, Kathrin; Hall, Wendy

    2013-01-01

    In our secondary analysis of a cross-sectional survey, we explored predictors of childbirth fear for young women (n = 2,676). Young women whose attitudes toward pregnancy and birth were shaped by the media were 1.5 times more likely to report childbirth fear. Three factors that were associated with reduced fear of birth were women's confidence in reproductive knowledge, witnessing a birth, and learning about pregnancy and birth through friends. Offering age-appropriate birth education during primary and secondary education, as an alternative to mass-mediated information about birth, can be evaluated as an approach to reduce young women's childbirth fear.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Long-term potentiation in the amygdala: a cellular mechanism of fear learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurdsson, Torfi; Doyère, Valérie; Cain, Christopher K; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2007-01-01

    Much of the research on long-term potentiation (LTP) is motivated by the question of whether changes in synaptic strength similar to LTP underlie learning and memory. Here we discuss findings from studies on fear conditioning, a form of associative learning whose neural circuitry is relatively well understood, that may be particularly suited for addressing this question. We first review the evidence suggesting that fear conditioning is mediated by changes in synaptic strength at sensory inputs to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We then discuss several outstanding questions that will be important for future research on the role of synaptic plasticity in fear learning. The results gained from these studies may shed light not only on fear conditioning, but may also help unravel more general cellular mechanisms of learning and memory.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Stress-enhanced fear learning in rats is resistant to the effects of immediate massed extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Virginia A.; Fanselow, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Enhanced fear learning occurs subsequent to traumatic or stressful events and is a persistent challenge to the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Facilitation of learning produced by prior stress can elicit an exaggerated fear response to a minimally aversive event or stimulus. Stress-enhanced fear learning (SEFL) is a rat model of PTSD; rats previously exposed to the SEFL 15 electrical shocks procedure exhibit several behavioral responses similar to those seen in patients with PTSD. However, past reports found that SEFL is not mitigated by extinction (a model of exposure therapy) when the spaced extinction began 24 h after stress. Recent studies found that extinction from 10 min to 1 h subsequent to fear conditioning “erased” learning, whereas later extinction, occurring from 24 to 72 h after conditioning did not. Other studies indicate that massed extinction is more effective than spaced procedures. Therefore, we examined the time-dependent nature of extinction on the stress-induced enhancement of fear learning using a massed trial’s procedure. Experimental rats received 15 foot shocks and were given either no extinction or massed extinction 10 min or 72 h later. Our present data indicate that SEFL, following traumatic stress, is resistant to immediate massed extinction. Experimental rats showed exaggerated new fear learning regardless of when extinction training occurred. Thus, post-traumatic reactivity such as SEFL does not seem responsive to extinction treatments. PMID:22176467

  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. Associative learning versus fear habituation as predictors of long-term extinction retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Lily A; LeBeau, Richard T; Chat, Ka Yi; Craske, Michelle G

    2017-06-01

    Violation of unconditioned stimulus (US) expectancy during extinction training may enhance associative learning and result in improved long-term extinction retention compared to within-session habituation. This experiment examines variation in US expectancy (i.e., expectancy violation) as a predictor of long-term extinction retention. It also examines within-session habituation of fear-potentiated startle (electromyography, EMG) and fear of conditioned stimuli (CS) throughout extinction training as predictors of extinction retention. Participants (n = 63) underwent fear conditioning, extinction and retention and provided continuous ratings of US expectancy and EMG, as well as CS fear ratings before and after each phase. Variation in US expectancy throughout extinction and habituation of EMG and fear was entered into a regression as predictors of retention and reinstatement of levels of expectancy and fear. Greater variation in US expectancy throughout extinction training was significantly predictive of enhanced extinction performance measured at retention test, although not after reinstatement test. Slope of EMG and CS fear during extinction did not predict retention of extinction. Within-session habituation of EMG and self-reported fear is not sufficient for long-term retention of extinction learning, and models emphasizing expectation violation may result in enhanced outcomes.

  9. 5-HT2C receptors in the BNST are necessary for the enhancement of fear learning by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelrine, Eliza; Pasik, Sara Diana; Bayat, Leyla; Goldschmiedt, Debora; Bauer, Elizabeth P

    2016-12-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely prescribed to treat anxiety and depression, yet they paradoxically increase anxiety during initial treatment. Acute administration of these drugs prior to learning can also enhance Pavlovian cued fear conditioning. This potentiation has been previously reported to depend upon the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). Here, using temporary inactivation, we confirmed that the BNST is not necessary for the acquisition of cued or contextual fear memory. Systemic administration of the SSRI citalopram prior to fear conditioning led to an upregulation of the immediate early gene Arc (activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein) in the oval nucleus of the BNST, and a majority of these neurons expressed the 5-HT2C receptor. Finally, local infusions of a 5-HT2C receptor antagonist directly into the oval nucleus of the BNST prevented the fear memory-enhancing effects of citalopram. These findings highlight the ability of the BNST circuitry to be recruited into gating fear and anxiety-like behaviors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. A "Fear" Studies Perspective and Critique: Analyzing English and Stengel's Progressive Study of Fear and Learning in "Education Theory." Technical Paper No. 37

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, R. Michael

    2011-01-01

    The author critiques the progressive approach of two contemporary educational philosophers (English and Stengel) on the topic of fear and learning. Using a postmodern integral approach, this article examines the tendency of reductionism, individualism, and psychologism as part of a hegemonic liberalism and modernism in discourses on fear and…

  11. 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.

  12. Myosin light chain kinase regulates synaptic plasticity and fear learning in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamprecht, R; Margulies, D S; Farb, C R; Hou, M; Johnson, L R; LeDoux, J E

    2006-01-01

    Learning and memory depend on signaling molecules that affect synaptic efficacy. The cytoskeleton has been implicated in regulating synaptic transmission but its role in learning and memory is poorly understood. Fear learning depends on plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We therefore examined whether the cytoskeletal-regulatory protein, myosin light chain kinase, might contribute to fear learning in the rat lateral amygdala. Microinjection of ML-7, a specific inhibitor of myosin light chain kinase, into the lateral nucleus of the amygdala before fear conditioning, but not immediately afterward, enhanced both short-term memory and long-term memory, suggesting that myosin light chain kinase is involved specifically in memory acquisition rather than in posttraining consolidation of memory. Myosin light chain kinase inhibitor had no effect on memory retrieval. Furthermore, ML-7 had no effect on behavior when the training stimuli were presented in a non-associative manner. Anatomical studies showed that myosin light chain kinase is present in cells throughout lateral nucleus of the amygdala and is localized to dendritic shafts and spines that are postsynaptic to the projections from the auditory thalamus to lateral nucleus of the amygdala, a pathway specifically implicated in fear learning. Inhibition of myosin light chain kinase enhanced long-term potentiation, a physiological model of learning, in the auditory thalamic pathway to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. When ML-7 was applied without associative tetanic stimulation it had no effect on synaptic responses in lateral nucleus of the amygdala. Thus, myosin light chain kinase activity in lateral nucleus of the amygdala appears to normally suppress synaptic plasticity in the circuits underlying fear learning, suggesting that myosin light chain kinase may help prevent the acquisition of irrelevant fears. Impairment of this mechanism could contribute to pathological fear learning.

  13. Does learning performance in horses relate to fearfulness, baseline stress hormone, and social rank?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Janne Winther; Ahrendt, Line Peerstrup; Lintrup, Randi

    2012-01-01

    The ability of horses to learn and remember new tasks is fundamentally important for their use by humans. Fearfulness may, however, interfere with learning, because stimuli in the environment can overshadow signals from the rider or handler. In addition, prolonged high levels of stress hormones c...... to behavioural responses in a standardised fear test. Learning performance in the home environment, however, appears unrelated to fearfulness, social rank and baseline FCM levels.......The ability of horses to learn and remember new tasks is fundamentally important for their use by humans. Fearfulness may, however, interfere with learning, because stimuli in the environment can overshadow signals from the rider or handler. In addition, prolonged high levels of stress hormones can...... affect neurons within the hippocampus; a brain region central to learning and memory. In a series of experiments, we aimed to investigate the link between performance in two learning tests, the baseline level of stress hormones, measured as faecal cortisol metabolites (FCM), fearfulness, and social rank...

  14. Social learning of fear and safety is determined by the demonstrator's racial group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golkar, Armita; Castro, Vasco; Olsson, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Social learning offers an efficient route through which humans and other animals learn about potential dangers in the environment. Such learning inherently relies on the transmission of social information and should imply selectivity in what to learn from whom. Here, we conducted two observational learning experiments to assess how humans learn about danger and safety from members ('demonstrators') of an other social group than their own. We show that both fear and safety learning from a racial in-group demonstrator was more potent than learning from a racial out-group demonstrator. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  15. 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).

  16. Interoceptive fear learning to mild breathlessness as a laboratory model for unexpected panic attacks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meike ePappens

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Fear learning is thought to play an important role in panic disorder. Benign interoceptive sensations can become predictors (conditioned stimuli - CSs of massive fear when experienced in the context of an initial panic attack (unconditioned stimulus – US. The mere encounter of these CSs on a later moment can induce anxiety and fear, and precipitate a new panic attack. It has been suggested that fear learning to interoceptive cues would result in unpredictable panic. The present study aimed to investigate whether fear learning to an interoceptive CS is possible without declarative knowledge of the CS-US contingency. The CS consisted of mild breathlessness (or: dyspnea, the US was a suffocation experience. During acquisition, the experimental group received 6 presentations of mild breathlessness immediately followed by suffocation; for the control group both experiences were always separated by an intertrial interval. In the subsequent extinction phase, participants received 6 unreinforced presentations of the CS. Expectancy of the US was rated continuously and startle eyeblink EMG, skin conductance and respiration were measured. Declarative knowledge of the CS-US relationship was also assessed with a post-experimental questionnaire. At the end of acquisition, both groups displayed the same levels of US expectancy and skin conductance in response to the CS, but the experimental group showed a fear potentiated startle eyeblink and a different respiratory response to the CS compared to the control group. Further analyses on a subgroup of CS-US unaware participants confirmed the presence of startle eyeblink conditioning in the experimental group but not in the control group. Our findings suggest that interoceptive fear learning is not dependent on declarative knowledge of the CS-US relationship. The present interoceptive fear conditioning paradigm may serve as an ecologically valid laboratory model for unexpected panic attacks.

  17. Context Fear Learning Specifically Activates Distinct Populations of Neurons in Amygdala and Hypothalamus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trogrlic, Lidia; Wilson, Yvette M.; Newman, Andrew G.; Murphy, Mark

    2011-01-01

    The identity and distribution of neurons that are involved in any learning or memory event is not known. In previous studies, we identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral amygdala that show learning-specific activation of a c-"fos"-regulated transgene following context fear conditioning. Here, we have extended these studies to…

  18. 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…

  19. A Molecular Dissociation between Cued and Contextual Appetitive Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kheirbek, Mazen A.; Beeler, Jeff A.; Chi, Wanhao; Ishikawa, Yoshihiro; Zhuang, Xiaoxi

    2010-01-01

    In appetitive Pavlovian learning, animals learn to associate discrete cues or environmental contexts with rewarding outcomes, and these cues and/or contexts can potentiate an ongoing instrumental response for reward. Although anatomical substrates underlying cued and contextual learning have been proposed, it remains unknown whether specific…

  20. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 9 transcription in mouse brain induced by fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganguly, Krishnendu; Rejmak, Emilia; Mikosz, Marta; Nikolaev, Evgeni; Knapska, Ewelina; Kaczmarek, Leszek

    2013-07-19

    Memory formation requires learning-based molecular and structural changes in neurons, whereas matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 9 is involved in the synaptic plasticity by cleaving extracellular matrix proteins and, thus, is associated with learning processes in the mammalian brain. Because the mechanisms of MMP-9 transcription in the brain are poorly understood, this study aimed to elucidate regulation of MMP-9 gene expression in the mouse brain after fear learning. We show here that contextual fear conditioning markedly increases MMP-9 transcription, followed by enhanced enzymatic levels in the three major brain structures implicated in fear learning, i.e. the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. To reveal the role of AP-1 transcription factor in MMP-9 gene expression, we have used reporter gene constructs with specifically mutated AP-1 gene promoter sites. The constructs were introduced into the medial prefrontal cortex of neonatal mouse pups by electroporation, and the regulation of MMP-9 transcription was studied after contextual fear conditioning in the adult animals. Specifically, -42/-50- and -478/-486-bp AP-1 binding motifs of the mouse MMP-9 promoter sequence have been found to play a major role in MMP-9 gene activation. Furthermore, increases in MMP-9 gene promoter binding by the AP-1 transcription factor proteins c-Fos and c-Jun have been demonstrated in all three brain structures under investigation. Hence, our results suggest that AP-1 acts as a positive regulator of MMP-9 transcription in the brain following fear learning.

  1. Growth hormone biases amygdala network activation after fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisabella, B; Farah, S; Peng, X; Burgos-Robles, A; Lim, S H; Goosens, K A

    2016-11-29

    Prolonged stress exposure is a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder characterized by the 'over-encoding' of a traumatic experience. A potential mechanism by which this occurs is through upregulation of growth hormone (GH) in the amygdala. Here we test the hypotheses that GH promotes the over-encoding of fearful memories by increasing the number of neurons activated during memory encoding and biasing the allocation of neuronal activation, one aspect of the process by which neurons compete to encode memories, to favor neurons that have stronger inputs. Viral overexpression of GH in the amygdala increased the number of amygdala cells activated by fear memory formation. GH-overexpressing cells were especially biased to express the immediate early gene c-Fos after fear conditioning, revealing strong autocrine actions of GH in the amygdala. In addition, we observed dramatically enhanced dendritic spine density in GH-overexpressing neurons. These data elucidate a previously unrecognized autocrine role for GH in the regulation of amygdala neuron function and identify specific mechanisms by which chronic stress, by enhancing GH in the amygdala, may predispose an individual to excessive fear memory formation.

  2. The dorsolateral periaqueductal gray and its role in mediating fear learning to life threatening events.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grasielle C Kincheski

    Full Text Available The dorsolateral column of the periaqueductal gray (dlPAG integrates aversive emotional experiences and represents an important site responding to life threatening situations, such as hypoxia, cardiac pain and predator threats. Previous studies have shown that the dorsal PAG also supports fear learning; and we have currently explored how the dlPAG influences associative learning. We have first shown that N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA 100 pmol injection in the dlPAG works as a valuable unconditioned stimulus (US for the acquisition of olfactory fear conditioning (OFC using amyl acetate odor as conditioned stimulus (CS. Next, we revisited the ascending projections of the dlPAG to the thalamus and hypothalamus to reveal potential paths that could mediate associative learning during OFC. Accordingly, the most important ascending target of the dlPAG is the hypothalamic defensive circuit, and we were able to show that pharmacological inactivation using β-adrenoceptor blockade of the dorsal premammillary nucleus, the main exit way for the hypothalamic defensive circuit to thalamo-cortical circuits involved in fear learning, impaired the acquisition of the OFC promoted by NMDA stimulation of the dlPAG. Moreover, our tracing study revealed multiple parallel paths from the dlPAG to several thalamic targets linked to cortical-hippocampal-amygdalar circuits involved in fear learning. Overall, the results point to a major role of the dlPAG in the mediation of aversive associative learning via ascending projections to the medial hypothalamic defensive circuit, and perhaps, to other thalamic targets, as well. These results provide interesting perspectives to understand how life threatening events impact on fear learning, and should be useful to understand pathological fear memory encoding in anxiety disorders.

  3. 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.

  4. Cystathionine-β-synthase-derived hydrogen sulfide is required for amygdalar long-term potentiation and cued fear memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hai-Bo; Wu, Wen-Ning; Wang, Wei; Gu, Xun-Hu; Yu, Bin; Wei, Bo; Yang, Yuan-Jian

    2017-04-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) is an endogenous gaseous molecule that functions as a neuromodulator in the brain. We previously reported that H 2 S regulated amygdalar synaptic plasticity and cued fear memory in rats. However, whether endogenous H 2 S is required for amygdalar long-term potentiation (LTP) induction and cued fear memory formation remains unclear. Here, we show that cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS), the predominant H 2 S-producing enzyme in the brain, was highly expressed in the amygdala of rats. Suppressing CBS activity by inhibitor prevented activity-triggered generation of H 2 S in the lateral amygdala (LA) region. Incubating brain slices with CBS inhibitor significantly prevented the induction of NMDA receptors (NMDARs)-dependent LTP in the thalamo-LA pathway, and intra-LA infusion of CBS inhibitor impaired cued fear memory in rats. Notably, treatment with H 2 S donor, but not CBS activator, significantly reversed the impairments of LTP and fear memory caused by CBS inhibition. Mechanismly, inhibition of CBS activity led to a reduction in NMDAR-mediated synaptic response in the thalamo-LA pathway, and treatment with H 2 S donor restored the function of NMDARs. Collectively, these results indicate that CBS-derived H 2 S is required for amygdalar synaptic plasticity and cued fear memory in rats, and the effects of endogenous H 2 S might involve the regulation of NMDAR function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. How trait anxiety, interpretation bias and memory affect acquired fear in children learning about new animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Zoë C; Field, Andy P

    2013-06-01

    Cognitive models of vulnerability to anxiety propose that information processing biases such as interpretation bias play a part in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. However, at present little is known about the role of memory in information processing accounts of child anxiety. The current study investigates the relationships between interpretation biases, memory and fear responses when learning about new stimuli. Children (aged 8-11 years) were presented with ambiguous information regarding a novel animal, and their fear, interpretation bias, and memory for the information was measured. The main findings were: (1) trait anxiety and interpretation bias significantly predicted acquired fear; (2) interpretation bias did not significantly mediate the relationship between trait anxiety and acquired fear; (3) interpretation bias appeared to be a more important predictor of acquired fear than trait anxiety per se; and (4) the relationship between interpretation bias and acquired fear was not mediated by the number of negative memories but was mediated by the number of positive and false-positive memories. The findings suggest that information processing models of child anxiety need to explain the role of positive memory in the formation of fear responses.

  6. Growth hormone biases amygdala network activation after fear learning

    OpenAIRE

    Gisabella, Barbara; Farah, Shadia; Peng, Xiaoyu; Burgos-Robles, Anthony Noel; Lim, Seh Hong; Goosens, Ki Ann

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged stress exposure is a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder characterized by the ?over-encoding' of a traumatic experience. A potential mechanism by which this occurs is through upregulation of growth hormone (GH) in the amygdala. Here we test the hypotheses that GH promotes the over-encoding of fearful memories by increasing the number of neurons activated during memory encoding and biasing the allocation of neuronal activation, one aspect of the proce...

  7. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Melissa J; Killcross, Simon

    2015-06-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Retrieval cues that trigger reconsolidation of associative fear memory are not necessarily an exact replica of the original learning experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel

    2015-01-01

    Disrupting the process of memory reconsolidation may point to a novel therapeutic strategy for the permanent reduction of fear in patients suffering from anxiety disorders. However both in animal and human studies the retrieval cue typically involves a re-exposure to the original fear-conditioned stimulus (CS). A relevant question is whether abstract cues not directly associated with the threat event also trigger reconsolidation, given that anxiety disorders often result from vicarious or unobtrusive learning for which no explicit memory exists. Insofar as the fear memory involves a flexible representation of the original learning experience, we hypothesized that the process of memory reconsolidation may also be triggered by abstract cues. We addressed this hypothesis by using a differential human fear-conditioning procedure in two distinct fear-learning groups. We predicted that if fear learning involves discrimination on basis of perceptual cues within one semantic category (i.e., the perceptual-learning group, n = 15), the subsequent ambiguity of the abstract retrieval cue would not trigger memory reconsolidation. In contrast, if fear learning involves discriminating between two semantic categories (i.e., categorical-learning group, n = 15), an abstract retrieval cue would unequivocally reactivate the fear memory and might subsequently trigger memory reconsolidation. Here we show that memory reconsolidation may indeed be triggered by another cue than the one that was present during the original learning occasion, but this effect depends on the learning history. Evidence for fear memory reconsolidation was inferred from the fear-erasing effect of one pill of propranolol (40 mg) systemically administered upon exposure to the abstract retrieval cue. Our finding that reconsolidation of a specific fear association does not require exposure to the original retrieval cue supports the feasibility of reconsolidation-based interventions for emotional disorders.

  12. Retrieval cues that trigger reconsolidation of associative fear memory are not necessarily an exact replica of the original learning experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke eSoeter

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Disrupting the process of memory reconsolidation may point to a novel therapeutic strategy for the permanent reduction of fear in patients suffering from anxiety disorders. However both in animal and human studies the retrieval cue typically involves a re-exposure to the original fear-conditioned stimulus. A relevant question is whether abstract cues not directly associated with the threat event also trigger reconsolidation, given that anxiety disorders often result from vicarious or unobtrusive learning for which no explicit memory exists. Insofar as the fear memory involves a flexible representation of the original learning experience, we hypothesized that the process of memory reconsolidation may also be triggered by abstract cues. We addressed this hypothesis by using a differential human fear-conditioning procedure in two distinct fear-learning groups. We predicted that if fear learning involves discrimination on basis of perceptual cues within one semantic category (i.e., the perceptual-learning group, n = 15, the subsequent ambiguity of the abstract retrieval cue would not trigger memory reconsolidation. In contrast, if fear learning involves discriminating between two semantic categories (i.e., categorical-learning group, n = 15, an abstract retrieval cue would unequivocally reactivate the fear memory and might subsequently trigger memory reconsolidation. Here we show that memory reconsolidation may indeed be triggered by another cue than the one that was present during the original learning occasion, but this effect depends on the learning history. Evidence for fear memory reconsolidation was inferred from the fear-erasing effect of one pill of propranolol (40 mg systemically administered upon exposure to the abstract retrieval cue. Our finding that reconsolidation of a specific fear association does not require exposure to the original retrieval cue supports the feasibility of reconsolidation-based interventions for emotional disorders.

  13. From the Push of Fear, to the Pull of Hope: Learning by design ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    From the Push of Fear, to the Pull of Hope: Learning by design. S Sterling. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  14. The Effect of D-Cycloserine on Immediate vs. Delayed Extinction of Learned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langton, Julia M.; Richardson, Rick

    2010-01-01

    We compared the effect of D-cycloserine (DCS) on immediate (10 min after conditioning) and delayed (24 h after conditioning) extinction of learned fear in rats. DCS facilitated both immediate and delayed extinction when the drug was administered after extinction training. However, DCS did not facilitate immediate extinction when administered prior…

  15. 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…

  16. The time course of location-avoidance learning in fear of spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinck, Mike; Koene, Marieke; Telli, Sibel; Moerman-van den Brink, Wiltine; Verhoeven, Barbara; Becker, Eni S

    2016-01-01

    Two experiments were designed to study the time course of avoidance learning in spider fearfuls (SFs) under controlled experimental conditions. To achieve this, we employed an immersive virtual environment (IVE): While walking freely through a virtual art museum to search for specific paintings, the participants were exposed to virtual spiders. Unbeknown to the participants, only two of four museum rooms contained spiders, allowing for avoidance learning. Indeed, the more SF the participants were, the faster they learned to avoid the rooms that contained spiders (Experiment. 1), and within the first six trials, high fearfuls already developed a preference for starting their search task in rooms without spiders (Experiment 2). These results illustrate the time course of avoidance learning in SFs, and they speak to the usefulness of IVEs in fundamental anxiety research.

  17. Biologically based neural circuit modelling for the study of fear learning and extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Satish S.; Paré, Denis; Vicentic, Aleksandra

    2016-11-01

    The neuronal systems that promote protective defensive behaviours have been studied extensively using Pavlovian conditioning. In this paradigm, an initially neutral-conditioned stimulus is paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus leading the subjects to display behavioural signs of fear. Decades of research into the neural bases of this simple behavioural paradigm uncovered that the amygdala, a complex structure comprised of several interconnected nuclei, is an essential part of the neural circuits required for the acquisition, consolidation and expression of fear memory. However, emerging evidence from the confluence of electrophysiological, tract tracing, imaging, molecular, optogenetic and chemogenetic methodologies, reveals that fear learning is mediated by multiple connections between several amygdala nuclei and their distributed targets, dynamical changes in plasticity in local circuit elements as well as neuromodulatory mechanisms that promote synaptic plasticity. To uncover these complex relations and analyse multi-modal data sets acquired from these studies, we argue that biologically realistic computational modelling, in conjunction with experiments, offers an opportunity to advance our understanding of the neural circuit mechanisms of fear learning and to address how their dysfunction may lead to maladaptive fear responses in mental disorders.

  18. Data-Driven Learning: Reasonable Fears and Rational Reassurance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulton, Alex

    2009-01-01

    Computer corpora have many potential applications in teaching and learning languages, the most direct of which--when the learners explore a corpus themselves--has become known as data-driven learning (DDL). Despite considerable enthusiasm in the research community and interest in higher education, the approach has not made major inroads to…

  19. 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.

  20. Observational fear learning in degus is correlated with temporal vocalization patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lidhar, Navdeep K; Insel, Nathan; Dong, June Yue; Takehara-Nishiuchi, Kaori

    2017-08-14

    Some animals learn to fear a situation after observing another individual come to harm, and this learning is influenced by the animals' social relationship and history. An important but sometimes overlooked factor in studies of observational fear learning is that social context not only affects observers, but may also influence the behavior and communications expressed by those being observed. Here we sought to investigate whether observational fear learning in the degu (Octodon degus) is affected by social familiarity, and the degree to which vocal expressions of alarm or distress contribute. 'Demonstrator' degus underwent contextual fear conditioning in the presence of a cagemate or stranger observer. Among the 15 male pairs, observers of familiar demonstrators exhibited higher freezing rates than observers of strangers when returned to the conditioning environment one day later. Observer freezing during testing was, however, also related to the proportion of short- versus long- inter-call-intervals (ICIs) in vocalizations recorded during prior conditioning. In a regression model that included both social relationship and ICI patterns, only the latter was significant. Further investigation of vocalizations, including use of a novel, directed k-means clustering approach, suggested that temporal structure rather than tonal variations may have been responsible for communicating danger. These data offer insight into how different expressions of distress or fear may impact an observer, adding to the complexity of social context effects in studies of empathy and social cognition. The experiments also offer new data on degu alarm calls and a potentially novel methodological approach to complex vocalizations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Nicotine disrupts safety learning by enhancing fear associated with a safety cue via the dorsal hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, David A; Kutlu, Munir G; Gould, Thomas J

    2017-07-01

    Learned safety, a learning process in which a cue becomes associated with the absence of threat, is disrupted in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A bi-directional relationship exists between smoking and PTSD and one potential explanation is that nicotine-associated changes in cognition facilitate PTSD emotional dysregulation by disrupting safety associations. Therefore, we investigated whether nicotine would disrupt learned safety by enhancing fear associated with a safety cue. In the present study, C57BL/6 mice were administered acute or chronic nicotine and trained over three days in a differential backward trace conditioning paradigm consisting of five trials of a forward conditioned stimulus (CS)+ (Light) co-terminating with a footshock unconditioned stimulus followed by a backward CS- (Tone) presented 20 s after cessation of the unconditioned stimulus. Summation testing found that acute nicotine disrupted learned safety, but chronic nicotine had no effect. Another group of animals administered acute nicotine showed fear when presented with the backward CS (Light) alone, indicating the formation of a maladaptive fear association with the backward CS. Finally, we investigated the brain regions involved by administering nicotine directly into the dorsal hippocampus, ventral hippocampus, and prelimbic cortex. Infusion of nicotine into the dorsal hippocampus disrupted safety learning.

  2. Brain derived neurotrophic factor mediated learning, fear acquisition and extinction as targets for developing novel treatments for anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karina Soares de Oliveira

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive related disorders are highly prevalent and disabling disorders for which there are still treatment gaps to be explored. Fear is a core symptom of these disorders and its learning is highly dependent on the activity of the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF. Should BDNF-mediated fear learning be considered a target for the development of novel treatments for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive related disorders? We review the evidence that suggests that BDNF expression is necessary for the acquisition of conditioned fear, as well as for the recall of its extinction. We describe the findings related to fear learning and genetic/epigenetic manipulation of Bdnf expression in animals and BDNF allelic variants in humans. Later, we discuss how manipulation of BDNF levels represents a promising potential treatment target that may increase the benefits of therapies that extinguish previously conditioned fear.

  3. Neural circuitry of abdominal pain-related fear learning and reinstatement in irritable bowel syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Icenhour, A; Langhorst, J; Benson, S; Schlamann, M; Hampel, S; Engler, H; Forsting, M; Elsenbruch, S

    2015-01-01

    Altered pain anticipation likely contributes to disturbed central pain processing in chronic pain conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but the learning processes shaping the expectation of pain remain poorly understood. We assessed the neural circuitry mediating the formation, extinction, and reactivation of abdominal pain-related memories in IBS patients compared to healthy controls (HC) in a differential fear conditioning paradigm. During fear acquisition, predictive visual cues (CS(+)) were paired with rectal distensions (US), while control cues (CS(-)) were presented unpaired. During extinction, only CSs were presented. Subsequently, memory reactivation was assessed with a reinstatement procedure involving unexpected USs. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, group differences in neural activation to CS(+) vs CS(-) were analyzed, along with skin conductance responses (SCR), CS valence, CS-US contingency, state anxiety, salivary cortisol, and alpha-amylase activity. The contribution of anxiety symptoms was addressed in covariance analyses. Fear acquisition was altered in IBS, as indicated by more accurate contingency awareness, greater CS-related valence change, and enhanced CS(+)-induced differential activation of prefrontal cortex and amygdala. IBS patients further revealed enhanced differential cingulate activation during extinction and greater differential hippocampal activation during reinstatement. Anxiety affected neural responses during memory formation and reinstatement. Abdominal pain-related fear learning and memory processes are altered in IBS, mediated by amygdala, cingulate cortex, prefrontal areas, and hippocampus. Enhanced reinstatement may contribute to hypervigilance and central pain amplification, especially in anxious patients. Preventing a 'relapse' of learned fear utilizing extinction-based interventions may be a promising treatment goal in IBS. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Different role of the ventral medial prefrontal cortex on modulation of innate and associative learned fear.

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    Lisboa, S F; Stecchini, M F; Corrêa, F M A; Guimarães, F S; Resstel, L B M

    2010-12-15

    Reversible inactivation of the ventral portion of medial prefrontal cortex (vMPFC) of the rat brain has been shown to induce anxiolytic-like effects in animal models based on associative learning. The role of this brain region in situations involving innate fear, however, is still poorly understood, with several contradictory results in the literature. The objective of the present work was to verify in male Wistar rats the effects of vMPFC administration of cobalt chloride (CoCl(2)), a selective inhibitor of synaptic activity, in rats submitted to two models based on innate fear, the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and light-dark box (LDB), comparing the results with those obtained in two models involving associative learning, the contextual fear conditioning (CFC) and Vogel conflict (VCT) tests. The results showed that, whereas CoCl(2) induced anxiolytic-like effects in the CFC and VCT tests, it enhanced anxiety in rats submitted to the EPM and LDB. Together these results indicate that the vMPFC plays an important but complex role in the modulation of defensive-related behaviors, which seems to depend on the nature of the anxiety/fear inducing stimuli. Copyright © 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Cued Retrospective Reporting: Measuring Self-Regulated Learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Meeuwen, Ludo; Brand-Gruwel, Saskia; Kirschner, Paul A.; De Bock, Jeano; Van Merriënboer, Jeroen

    2012-01-01

    Van Meeuwen, L. W., Brand-Gruwel, S., Kirschner, P. A., De Bock, J. J. P. R., & Van Merriënboer, J. J. G. (2012, april). Cued retrospective reporting: Measuring self-regulated learning. Paper presented at the AERA annual meeting, Vancouver, B. C.

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

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    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. Changes in heart rate variability are associated with expression of short-term and long-term contextual and cued fear memories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Liu

    Full Text Available Heart physiology is a highly useful indicator for measuring not only physical states, but also emotional changes in animals. Yet changes of heart rate variability during fear conditioning have not been systematically studied in mice. Here, we investigated changes in heart rate and heart rate variability in both short-term and long-term contextual and cued fear conditioning. We found that while fear conditioning could increase heart rate, the most significant change was the reduction in heart rate variability which could be further divided into two distinct stages: a highly rhythmic phase (stage-I and a more variable phase (stage-II. We showed that the time duration of the stage-I rhythmic phase were sensitive enough to reflect the transition from short-term to long-term fear memories. Moreover, it could also detect fear extinction effect during the repeated tone recall. These results suggest that heart rate variability is a valuable physiological indicator for sensitively measuring the consolidation and expression of fear memories in mice.

  9. Chronic Nicotine Treatment During Adolescence Attenuates the Effects of Acute Nicotine in Adult Contextual Fear Learning.

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    Holliday, Erica D; Gould, Thomas J

    2017-01-01

    Adolescent onset of nicotine abuse is correlated with worse chances at successful abstinence in adulthood. One reason for this may be due to enduring learning deficits resulting from nicotine use during adolescence. Previous work has indicated that chronic nicotine administration beginning in late adolescence (PND38) caused learning deficits in contextual fear when tested in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to determine if chronic nicotine treatment during adolescence would alter sensitivity to nicotine's cognitive enhancing properties in adulthood. C57BL/6J mice received saline or chronic nicotine (12.6mg/kg/day) during adolescence (postnatal day 38) or adulthood (postnatal day 54) for a period of 12 days. Following a 30-day protracted abstinence, mice received either an acute injection of saline or nicotine (0.045, 0.18, and 0.36mg/kg) prior to training and testing a mouse model of contextual fear. It was found that chronic nicotine administration in adult mice did not alter sensitivity to acute nicotine following a protracted abstinence. In adolescent mice, chronic nicotine administration disrupted adult learning and decreased sensitivity to acute nicotine in adulthood as only the highest dose tested (0.36mg/kg) was able to enhance contextual fear learning. These results suggest that adolescent nicotine exposure impairs learning in adulthood, which could increase the risk for continued nicotine use in adulthood by requiring administration of higher doses of nicotine to reverse learning impairments caused by adolescent nicotine exposure. Results from this study add to the growing body of literature suggesting chronic nicotine exposure during adolescence leads to impaired learning in adulthood and demonstrates that nicotine exposure during adolescence attenuates the cognitive enhancing effects of acute nicotine in adulthood, which suggests altered cholinergic function. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for

  10. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism moderates the relationship between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and fear extinction learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felmingham, Kim L; Zuj, Daniel V; Hsu, Ken Chia Ming; Nicholson, Emma; Palmer, Matthew A; Stuart, Kimberley; Vickers, James C; Malhi, Gin S; Bryant, Richard A

    2018-05-01

    The low expression Met allele of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is associated with impaired fear extinction in healthy controls, and poorer response to exposure therapy in patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Given that fear extinction underlies exposure therapy, this raises the question of the impact of BDNFVal66Met polymorphism on fear extinction in PTSD, yet this question has not yet been examined. One hundred and six participants (22 PTSD, 46 trauma-exposed controls (TC) and 38 non-trauma exposed controls (NTC)) completed a fear conditioning and extinction task and saliva samples were taken for DNA extraction and genotyped for the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Moderation analyses using PROCESS examined whether BDNF genotype (Val-Val vs Met carriers) moderated the relationship between PTSD symptom severity (and diagnostic status) and skin conductance response (SCR) amplitude during fear extinction. The PTSD group displayed significantly slower fear extinction learning compared to TC and NTC in the early extinction phase. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism moderated the relationship between PTSD and fear extinction learning, such that poorer fear extinction learning was associated with greater PTSD symptom severity (and PTSD diagnostic status) in individuals with the low-expression Met allele, but no relationship was demonstrated in individuals with the Val-Val allele. This study reveals that impaired fear extinction learning is particularly evident in individuals with PTSD who carry the low-expression BDNF Met allele and importantly not in those with the Val-Val allele. This provides novel evidence of a link between BDNF and impaired fear extinction learning in PTSD, which may contribute to poorer response to exposure therapy. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Brain-wide maps of Fos expression during fear learning and recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Jin-Hyung; Rendall, Sam D; Gray, Jesse M

    2017-04-01

    Fos induction during learning labels neuronal ensembles in the hippocampus that encode a specific physical environment, revealing a memory trace. In the cortex and other regions, the extent to which Fos induction during learning reveals specific sensory representations is unknown. Here we generate high-quality brain-wide maps of Fos mRNA expression during auditory fear conditioning and recall in the setting of the home cage. These maps reveal a brain-wide pattern of Fos induction that is remarkably similar among fear conditioning, shock-only, tone-only, and fear recall conditions, casting doubt on the idea that Fos reveals auditory-specific sensory representations. Indeed, novel auditory tones lead to as much gene induction in visual as in auditory cortex, while familiar (nonconditioned) tones do not appreciably induce Fos anywhere in the brain. Fos expression levels do not correlate with physical activity, suggesting that they are not determined by behavioral activity-driven alterations in sensory experience. In the thalamus, Fos is induced more prominently in limbic than in sensory relay nuclei, suggesting that Fos may be most sensitive to emotional state. Thus, our data suggest that Fos expression during simple associative learning labels ensembles activated generally by arousal rather than specifically by a particular sensory cue. © 2017 Cho et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  12. Social inference and social anxiety: evidence of a fear-congruent self-referential learning bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Button, Katherine S; Browning, Michael; Munafò, Marcus R; Lewis, Glyn

    2012-12-01

    Fears of negative evaluation characterise social anxiety, and preferential processing of fear-relevant information is implicated in maintaining symptoms. Little is known, however, about the relationship between social anxiety and the process of inferring negative evaluation. The ability to use social information to learn what others think about one, referred to here as self-referential learning, is fundamental for effective social interaction. The aim of this research was to examine whether social anxiety is associated with self-referential learning. 102 Females with either high (n = 52) or low (n = 50) self-reported social anxiety completed a novel probabilistic social learning task. Using trial and error, the task required participants to learn two self-referential rules, 'I am liked' and 'I am disliked'. Participants across the sample were better at learning the positive rule 'I am liked' than the negative rule 'I am disliked', β = -6.4, 95% CI [-8.0, -4.7], p learning positive self-referential information was strongest in the lowest socially anxious and was abolished in the most symptomatic participants. Relative to the low group, the high anxiety group were better at learning they were disliked and worse at learning they were liked, social anxiety by rule interaction β = 3.6; 95% CI [+0.3, +7.0], p = 0.03. The specificity of the results to self-referential processing requires further research. Healthy individuals show a robust preference for learning that they are liked relative to disliked. This positive self-referential bias is reduced in social anxiety in a way that would be expected to exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. Vicarious learning of children's social-anxiety-related fear beliefs and emotional Stroop bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askew, Chris; Hagel, Anna; Morgan, Julie

    2015-08-01

    Models of social anxiety suggest that negative social experiences contribute to the development of social anxiety, and this is supported by self-report research. However, there is relatively little experimental evidence for the effects of learning experiences on social cognitions. The current study examined the effect of observing a social performance situation with a negative outcome on children's (8 to 11 years old) fear-related beliefs and cognitive processing. Two groups of children were each shown 1 of 2 animated films of a person trying to score in basketball while being observed by others; in 1 film, the outcome was negative, and in the other, it was neutral. Children's fear-related beliefs about performing in front of others were measured before and after the film and children were asked to complete an emotional Stroop task. Results showed that social fear beliefs increased for children who saw the negative social performance film. In addition, these children showed an emotional Stroop bias for social-anxiety-related words compared to children who saw the neutral film. The findings have implications for our understanding of social anxiety disorder and suggest that vicarious learning experiences in childhood may contribute to the development of social anxiety. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  17. Effects of chronic stress in adolescence on learned fear, anxiety, and synaptic transmission in the rat prelimbic cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negrón-Oyarzo, Ignacio; Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Terreros, Gonzalo; Muñoz, Pablo; Dagnino-Subiabre, Alexies

    2014-02-01

    The prelimbic cortex and amygdala regulate the extinction of conditioned fear and anxiety, respectively. In adult rats, chronic stress affects the dendritic morphology of these brain areas, slowing extinction of learned fear and enhancing anxiety. The aim of this study was to determine whether rats subjected to chronic stress in adolescence show changes in learned fear, anxiety, and synaptic transmission in the prelimbic cortex during adulthood. Male Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to seven days of restraint stress on postnatal day forty-two (PND 42, adolescence). Afterward, the fear-conditioning paradigm was used to study conditioned fear extinction. Anxiety-like behavior was measured one day (PND 50) and twenty-one days (PND 70, adulthood) after stress using the elevated-plus maze and dark-light box tests, respectively. With another set of rats, excitatory synaptic transmission was analyzed with slices of the prelimbic cortex. Rats that had been stressed during adolescence and adulthood had higher anxiety-like behavior levels than did controls, while stress-induced slowing of learned fear extinction in adolescence was reversed during adulthood. As well, the field excitatory postsynaptic potentials of stressed adolescent rats had significantly lower amplitudes than those of controls, although the amplitudes were higher in adulthood. Our results demonstrate that short-term stress in adolescence induces strong effects on excitatory synaptic transmission in the prelimbic cortex and extinction of learned fear, where the effect of stress on anxiety is more persistent than on the extinction of learned fear. These data contribute to the understanding of stress neurobiology. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Impaired associative fear learning in mice with complete loss or haploinsufficiency of AMPA GluR1 receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Feyder

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available There is compelling evidence that L-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA glutamate receptors containing the GluR1 subunit contribute to the molecular mechanisms associated with learning. AMPA GluR1 glutamate receptor knockout mice (KO exhibit abnormal hippocampal and amygdala plasticity, and deficits on various assays for cognition including Pavlovian fear conditioning. Here we examined associative fear learning in mice with complete absence (KO or partial loss (heterozygous mutant, HET of GluR1 on multiple fear conditioning paradigms. After multi-trial delay or trace conditioning, KO displayed impaired tone and context fear recall relative to WT, whereas HET were normal. After one-trial delay conditioning, both KO and HET showed impaired tone and context recall. HET and KO showed normal nociceptive sensitivity in the hot plate and tail flick tests. These data demonstrate that the complete absence of GluR1 subunit-containing receptors prevents the formation of associative fear memories, while GluR1 haploinsufficiency is sufficient to impair one-trial fear learning. These findings support growing evidence of a major role for GluR1-containing AMPA receptors in amygdalamediated forms of learning and memory.

  19. 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…

  20. The potential of epigenetics in stress-enhanced fear learning models of PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blouin, Ashley M; Sillivan, Stephanie E; Joseph, Nadine F; Miller, Courtney A

    2016-10-01

    Prolonged distress and dysregulated memory processes are the core features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and represent the debilitating, persistent nature of the illness. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the expression of these symptoms are challenging to study in human patients. Stress-enhanced fear learning (SEFL) paradigms, which encompass both stress and memory components in rodents, are emerging as valuable preclinical models of PTSD. Rodent models designed to study the long-term mechanisms of either stress or fear memory alone have identified a critical role for numerous epigenetic modifications to DNA and histone proteins. However, the epigenetic modifications underlying SEFL remain largely unknown. This review will provide a brief overview of the epigenetic modifications implicated in stress and fear memory independently, followed by a description of existing SEFL models and the few epigenetic mechanisms found to date to underlie SEFL. The results of the animal studies discussed here highlight neuroepigenetics as an essential area for future research in the context of PTSD through SEFL studies, because of its potential to identify novel candidates for neurotherapeutics targeting stress-induced pathogenic memories. © 2016 Blouin et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  1. 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.

  2. Spontaneous eye movements and trait empathy predict vicarious learning of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleberg, Johan L; Selbing, Ida; Lundqvist, Daniel; Hofvander, Björn; Olsson, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    Learning to predict dangerous outcomes is important to survival. In humans, this kind of learning is often transmitted through the observation of others' emotional responses. We analyzed eye movements during an observational/vicarious fear learning procedure, in which healthy participants (N=33) watched another individual ('learning model') receiving aversive treatment (shocks) paired with a predictive conditioned stimulus (CS+), but not a control stimulus (CS-). Participants' gaze pattern towards the model differentiated as a function of whether the CS was predictive or not of a shock to the model. Consistent with our hypothesis that the face of a conspecific in distress can act as an unconditioned stimulus (US), we found that the total fixation time at a learning model's face increased when the CS+ was shown. Furthermore, we found that the total fixation time at the CS+ during learning predicted participants' conditioned responses (CRs) at a later test in the absence of the model. We also demonstrated that trait empathy was associated with stronger CRs, and that autistic traits were positively related to autonomic reactions to watching the model receiving the aversive treatment. Our results have implications for both healthy and dysfunctional socio-emotional learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Parietal lesion effects on cued recall following pair associate learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Zvi, Shir; Soroker, Nachum; Levy, Daniel A

    2015-07-01

    We investigated the involvement of the posterior parietal cortex in episodic memory in a lesion-effects study of cued recall following pair-associate learning. Groups of patients who had experienced first-incident stroke, generally in middle cerebral artery territory, and exhibited damage that included lateral posterior parietal regions, were tested within an early post-stroke time window. In three experiments, patients and matched healthy comparison groups executed repeated study and cued recall test blocks of pairs of words (Experiment 1), pairs of object pictures (Experiment 2), or pairs of object pictures and environmental sounds (Experiment 3). Patients' brain CT scans were subjected to quantitative analysis of lesion volumes. Behavioral and lesion data were used to compute correlations between area lesion extent and memory deficits, and to conduct voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping. These analyses implicated lateral ventral parietal cortex, especially the angular gyrus, in cued recall deficits, most pronouncedly in the cross-modal picture-sound pairs task, though significant parietal lesion effects were also found in the unimodal word pairs and picture pairs tasks. In contrast to an earlier study in which comparable parietal lesions did not cause deficits in item recognition, these results indicate that lateral posterior parietal areas make a substantive contribution to demanding forms of recollective retrieval as represented by cued recall, especially for complex associative representations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. HDAC I inhibition in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus differentially modulates predator-odor fear learning and generalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Robin K; Hebert, Jenna C; Thomas, Arthur S; Wann, Ellen G; Muzzio, Isabel A

    2015-01-01

    Although predator odors are ethologically relevant stimuli for rodents, the molecular pathways and contribution of some brain regions involved in predator odor conditioning remain elusive. Inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in the dorsal hippocampus has been shown to enhance shock-induced contextual fear learning, but it is unknown if HDACs have differential effects along the dorso-ventral hippocampal axis during predator odor fear learning. We injected MS-275, a class I HDAC inhibitor, bilaterally in the dorsal or ventral hippocampus of mice and found that it had no effects on innate anxiety in either region. We then assessed the effects of MS-275 at different stages of fear learning along the longitudinal hippocampal axis. Animals were injected with MS-275 or vehicle after context pre-exposure (pre-conditioning injections), when a representation of the context is first formed, or after exposure to coyote urine (post-conditioning injections), when the context becomes associated with predator odor. When MS-275 was administered after context pre-exposure, dorsally injected animals showed enhanced fear in the training context but were able to discriminate it from a neutral environment. Conversely, ventrally injected animals did not display enhanced learning in the training context but generalized the fear response to a neutral context. However, when MS-275 was administered after conditioning, there were no differences between the MS-275 and vehicle control groups in either the dorsal or ventral hippocampus. Surprisingly, all groups displayed generalization to a neutral context, suggesting that predator odor exposure followed by a mild stressor such as restraint leads to fear generalization. These results may elucidate distinct functions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in predator odor-induced fear conditioning as well as some of the molecular mechanisms underlying fear generalization.

  5. 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

  6. Coping with Fear of Recurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Effects of alcoholic beverage treatment on spatial learning and fear memory in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashikawa-Hobara, Narumi; Mishima, Shuta; Nagase, Shotaro; Morita, Keishi; Otsuka, Ami; Hashikawa, Naoya

    2018-04-24

    Although chronic ethanol treatment is known to impair learning and memory, humans commonly consume a range of alcoholic beverages. However, the specific effects of some alcoholic beverages on behavioral performance are largely unknown. The present study compared the effects of a range of alcoholic beverages (plain ethanol solution, red wine, sake and whiskey; with a matched alcohol concentration of 10%) on learning and memory. 6-week-old C57BL6J mice were orally administered alcohol for 7 weeks. The results revealed that red wine treatment exhibited a trend toward improvement of spatial memory and advanced extinction of fear memory. Additionally, red wine treatment significantly increased mRNA levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in mice hippocampus. These results support previous reports that red wine has beneficial effects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  11. Left Prefrontal Activity Reflects the Ability of Vicarious Fear Learning: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

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    Qingguo Ma

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Fear could be acquired indirectly via social observation. However, it remains unclear which cortical substrate activities are involved in vicarious fear transmission. The present study was to examine empathy-related processes during fear learning by-proxy and to examine the activation of prefrontal cortex by using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. We simultaneously measured participants’ hemodynamic responses and skin conductance responses when they were exposed to a movie. In this movie, a demonstrator (i.e., another human being was receiving a classical fear conditioning. A neutral colored square paired with shocks (CSshock and another colored square paired with no shocks (CSno-shock were randomly presented in front of the demonstrator. Results showed that increased concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin in left prefrontal cortex was observed when participants watched a demonstrator seeing CSshock compared with that exposed to CSno-shock. In addition, enhanced skin conductance responses showing a demonstrator's aversive experience during learning object-fear association were observed. The present study suggests that left prefrontal cortex, which may reflect speculation of others’ mental state, is associated with social fear transmission.

  12. Left prefrontal activity reflects the ability of vicarious fear learning: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Qingguo; Huang, Yujing; Wang, Lei

    2013-01-01

    Fear could be acquired indirectly via social observation. However, it remains unclear which cortical substrate activities are involved in vicarious fear transmission. The present study was to examine empathy-related processes during fear learning by-proxy and to examine the activation of prefrontal cortex by using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. We simultaneously measured participants' hemodynamic responses and skin conductance responses when they were exposed to a movie. In this movie, a demonstrator (i.e., another human being) was receiving a classical fear conditioning. A neutral colored square paired with shocks (CS(shock)) and another colored square paired with no shocks (CS(no-shock)) were randomly presented in front of the demonstrator. Results showed that increased concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin in left prefrontal cortex was observed when participants watched a demonstrator seeing CS(shock) compared with that exposed to CS(no-shock). In addition, enhanced skin conductance responses showing a demonstrator's aversive experience during learning object-fear association were observed. The present study suggests that left prefrontal cortex, which may reflect speculation of others' mental state, is associated with social fear transmission.

  13. Inactivation of ventral hippocampus interfered with cued-fear acquisition but did not influence later recall or discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Veronica M; Foilb, Allison R; Christianson, John P

    2016-01-01

    The ventral hippocampus (VH) is involved in the both the acquisition and recall of conditioned fear. Here, we tested the role of VH in acquisition and recall of a conditioned fear discrimination. Intra-VH vehicle or muscimol injections were made 1h prior to a CS+/CS- conditioning or prior to later recall. Vehicle treated rats exhibited discrimination with significantly greater freezing to the CS+ than to the CS- whereas muscimol treated rats did not freeze. Injections made before recall had no effect as both treatment groups displayed equal freezing in response to the CS+, and discrimination. While these results are consistent with several reports, the failure to influence fear discrimination upon recall appears to contrast with the hypothesized role of VH in recall of extinguished conditioned fear cues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Fear extinction learning can be impaired or enhanced by modulation of the CRF system in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Abiri, Dina; Douglas, Christina E.; Calakos, Katina C.; Barbayannis, Georgia; Roberts, Andrea; Bauer, Elizabeth P.

    2014-01-01

    The neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is released during periods of anxiety and modulates learning and memory formation. One region with particularly dense concentrations of CRF receptors is the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA), a critical structure for both Pavlovian fear conditioning and fear extinction. While CRF has the potential to modify amygdala-dependent learning, its effect on fear extinction has not yet been assessed. In the present study, we examined the mo...

  15. 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.

  16. Genetic contributions of the serotonin transporter to social learning of fear and economic decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crişan, Liviu G; Pana, Simona; Vulturar, Romana; Heilman, Renata M; Szekely, Raluca; Druğa, Bogdan; Dragoş, Nicolae; Miu, Andrei C

    2009-12-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) modulates emotional and cognitive functions such as fear conditioning (FC) and decision making. This study investigated the effects of a functional polymorphism in the regulatory region (5-HTTLPR) of the human 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) gene on observational FC, risk taking and susceptibility to framing in decision making under uncertainty, as well as multidimensional anxiety and autonomic control of the heart in healthy volunteers. The present results indicate that in comparison to the homozygotes for the long (l) version of 5-HTTLPR, the carriers of the short (s) version display enhanced observational FC, reduced financial risk taking and increased susceptibility to framing in economic decision making. We also found that s-carriers have increased trait anxiety due to threat in social evaluation, and ambiguous threat perception. In addition, s-carriers also show reduced autonomic control over the heart, and a pattern of reduced vagal tone and increased sympathetic activity in comparison to l-homozygotes. This is the first genetic study that identifies the association of a functional polymorphism in a key neurotransmitter-related gene with complex social-emotional and cognitive processes. The present set of results suggests an endophenotype of anxiety disorders, characterized by enhanced social learning of fear, impaired decision making and dysfunctional autonomic activity.

  17. 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…

  18. Fear of negative evaluation biases social evaluation inference: evidence from a probabilistic learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Button, Katherine S; Kounali, Daphne; Stapinski, Lexine; Rapee, Ronald M; Lewis, Glyn; Munafò, Marcus R

    2015-01-01

    Fear of negative evaluation (FNE) defines social anxiety yet the process of inferring social evaluation, and its potential role in maintaining social anxiety, is poorly understood. We developed an instrumental learning task to model social evaluation learning, predicting that FNE would specifically bias learning about the self but not others. During six test blocks (3 self-referential, 3 other-referential), participants (n = 100) met six personas and selected a word from a positive/negative pair to finish their social evaluation sentences "I think [you are / George is]…". Feedback contingencies corresponded to 3 rules, liked, neutral and disliked, with P[positive word correct] = 0.8, 0.5 and 0.2, respectively. As FNE increased participants selected fewer positive words (β = -0.4, 95% CI -0.7, -0.2, p = 0.001), which was strongest in the self-referential condition (FNE × condition 0.28, 95% CI 0.01, 0.54, p = 0.04), and the neutral and dislike rules (FNE × condition × rule, p = 0.07). At low FNE the proportion of positive words selected for self-neutral and self-disliked greatly exceeded the feedback contingency, indicating poor learning, which improved as FNE increased. FNE is associated with differences in processing social-evaluative information specifically about the self. At low FNE this manifests as insensitivity to learning negative self-referential evaluation. High FNE individuals are equally sensitive to learning positive or negative evaluation, which although objectively more accurate, may have detrimental effects on mental health.

  19. Fear of Negative Evaluation Biases Social Evaluation Inference: Evidence from a Probabilistic Learning Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Button, Katherine S.; Kounali, Daphne; Stapinski, Lexine; Rapee, Ronald M.; Lewis, Glyn; Munafò, Marcus R.

    2015-01-01

    Background Fear of negative evaluation (FNE) defines social anxiety yet the process of inferring social evaluation, and its potential role in maintaining social anxiety, is poorly understood. We developed an instrumental learning task to model social evaluation learning, predicting that FNE would specifically bias learning about the self but not others. Methods During six test blocks (3 self-referential, 3 other-referential), participants (n = 100) met six personas and selected a word from a positive/negative pair to finish their social evaluation sentences “I think [you are / George is]…”. Feedback contingencies corresponded to 3 rules, liked, neutral and disliked, with P[positive word correct] = 0.8, 0.5 and 0.2, respectively. Results As FNE increased participants selected fewer positive words (β = −0.4, 95% CI −0.7, −0.2, p = 0.001), which was strongest in the self-referential condition (FNE × condition 0.28, 95% CI 0.01, 0.54, p = 0.04), and the neutral and dislike rules (FNE × condition × rule, p = 0.07). At low FNE the proportion of positive words selected for self-neutral and self-disliked greatly exceeded the feedback contingency, indicating poor learning, which improved as FNE increased. Conclusions FNE is associated with differences in processing social-evaluative information specifically about the self. At low FNE this manifests as insensitivity to learning negative self-referential evaluation. High FNE individuals are equally sensitive to learning positive or negative evaluation, which although objectively more accurate, may have detrimental effects on mental health. PMID:25853835

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Agency in the Darkness: 'Fear of the Unknown', Learning Disability and Teacher Education for Inclusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Deborah; Goodey, Chris

    2018-01-01

    This paper proposes inclusion phobia as a sharper and more operative definition of the 'fear of the unknown' often cited as an explanation for resistance to inclusive education. Using 'severe and profound learning disability' as the paradigm case, we situate the phobia surrounding this label in its social and historical context. Our hypothesis is…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Activation of the Infralimbic Cortex in a Fear Context Enhances Extinction Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Brittany M.; Baratta, Michael V.; Biedenkapp, Joseph C.; Rudy, Jerry W.; Watkins, Linda R.; Maier, Steven F.

    2010-01-01

    Activation of the infralimbic region (IL) of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) reduces conditioned fear in a variety of situations, and the IL is thought to play an important role in the extinction of conditioned fear. Here we report a series of experiments using contextual fear conditioning in which the IL is activated with the GABAa antagonist…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Melissa J.; Killcross, Simon

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Can threat information bias fear learning? : Some tentative results and methodological considerations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mertens, G.; De Houwer, J.

    2017-01-01

    Whereas it is widely recognized that both verbal threat information and stimulus pairings can install strong and persistent fear, few studies have addressed the interaction between these two pathways of fear. According to the expectancy bias theory of Davey (1992, 1997), verbal information can

  12. Diminuer la Peur D'apprendre: Le Role de la Mediation Culturelle. [Diminishing the Fear of Learning: The Role of Cultural Mediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boimare, Serge

    2001-01-01

    Discusses ways to reduce children's fear and discomfort in the learning situation by accommodating the children's interests through cultural themes that represent emotions and anxieties preventing the organization of thought. (JPB)

  13. Stress following extinction learning leads to a context-dependent return of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    It has been suggested that extinction-based therapy benefits from administration of the stress hormone cortisol. However, it is unclear whether similar effects can be obtained by inducing stress instead of administering cortisol, and whether the effects also persist if memory is tested in a different context (renewal test) or after exposure to an aversive stimulus (reinstatement). The present study therefore applied a fear conditioning (context A, day 1) and extinction (context B, day 2) paradigm in healthy men. After fear extinction, participants were exposed to a stress or control procedure (n = 20 each). Fear retrieval was tested in contexts A and B on day 3. Postextinction stress increased skin conductance responses to the extinguished stimulus in the retrieval and reinstatement test especially in the acquisition context. The context-dependent return of fear may reflect enhancing effects of stress on the consolidation of contextual cues. Copyright © 2014 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  14. Amygdala-Dependent Molecular Mechanisms of the Tac2 Pathway in Fear Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andero, Raül; Daniel, Sarah; Guo, Ji-Dong; Bruner, Robert C; Seth, Shivani; Marvar, Paul J; Rainnie, Donald; Ressler, Kerry J

    2016-10-01

    Recently we determined that activation of the tachykinin 2 (Tac2) pathway in the central amygdala (CeA) is necessary and sufficient for the modulation of fear memories. The Tac2 pathway includes the Tac2 gene, which encodes the neuropeptide neurokinin B and its corresponding receptor neurokinin 3 receptor (NK3R). In this study, using Tac2-cre and Tac2-GFP mice, we applied a combination of in vivo (optogenetics) and multiple in vitro techniques to further explore the mechanisms of action within the Tac2 pathway. In transgenic mice that express ChR2 solely in Tac2 neurons, in vivo optogenetic stimulation of CeA Tac2-expressing neurons during fear acquisition enhanced fear memory consolidation and drove action potential firing in vitro. In addition, Tac2-CeA neurons were shown to co-express striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase, which may have an important role in regulating Nk3R signaling during fear conditioning. These data extend our current understanding for the underlying mechanism(s) for the role of the Tac2 pathway in the regulation of fear memory, which may serve as a new therapeutic target in the treatment of fear-related disorders.

  15. Amygdala-Dependent Molecular Mechanisms of the Tac2 Pathway in Fear Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andero, Raül; Daniel, Sarah; Guo, Ji-Dong; Bruner, Robert C; Seth, Shivani; Marvar, Paul J; Rainnie, Donald; Ressler, Kerry J

    2016-01-01

    Recently we determined that activation of the tachykinin 2 (Tac2) pathway in the central amygdala (CeA) is necessary and sufficient for the modulation of fear memories. The Tac2 pathway includes the Tac2 gene, which encodes the neuropeptide neurokinin B and its corresponding receptor neurokinin 3 receptor (NK3R). In this study, using Tac2–cre and Tac2–GFP mice, we applied a combination of in vivo (optogenetics) and multiple in vitro techniques to further explore the mechanisms of action within the Tac2 pathway. In transgenic mice that express ChR2 solely in Tac2 neurons, in vivo optogenetic stimulation of CeA Tac2-expressing neurons during fear acquisition enhanced fear memory consolidation and drove action potential firing in vitro. In addition, Tac2–CeA neurons were shown to co-express striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase, which may have an important role in regulating Nk3R signaling during fear conditioning. These data extend our current understanding for the underlying mechanism(s) for the role of the Tac2 pathway in the regulation of fear memory, which may serve as a new therapeutic target in the treatment of fear-related disorders. PMID:27238620

  16. The effect of chronic corticosterone on fear learning and memory depends on dose and the testing protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marks, W N; Fenton, E Y; Guskjolen, A J; Kalynchuk, L E

    2015-03-19

    Chronic exposure to the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) is known to alter plasticity within hippocampal and amygdalar circuits that mediate fear learning and memory. The purpose of this experiment was to clarify the effects of chronic CORT on Pavlovian fear conditioning, which is dependent on intact hippocampal and amygdalar activity. In particular, we assessed whether the effect of chronic CORT on fear learning and memory is influenced by two factors-the dose of CORT and the order in which rats are tested for freezing to context versus tone cues. Male Long-Evans rats received low-dose CORT (5mg/kg), high-dose CORT (40mg/kg), or vehicle injections once daily for 21days. On day 22, the rats were trained in a fear-conditioning paradigm. On days 23 and 24, the rats were tested for the retrieval of fear memories to context and tone cues in a counterbalanced way-half the rats received context testing on day 23 and then tone testing on day 24 and half the rats received tone testing on day 23 followed by context testing on day 24. Our results revealed dose-dependent effects of CORT on memory retrieval: Rats injected with high-dose CORT froze significantly more than control rats to both context and tone cues regardless of what testing day these cues were presented. However, rats injected with low-dose CORT froze significantly more than control rats to tone cues only. We also found an order effect in that the effects of CORT on freezing were greater on the second day of testing, regardless of whether that testing was to context or tones cues. This order effect may be due to a lack of extinction in the CORT rats. Overall, these results suggest a relationship between stress intensity and testing conditions that should be taken into account when assessing the effect of stress on fear memories. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Probabilistically-Cued Patterns Trump Perfect Cues in Statistical Language Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lany, Jill; Gómez, Rebecca L

    2013-01-01

    Probabilistically-cued co-occurrence relationships between word categories are common in natural languages but difficult to acquire. For example, in English, determiner-noun and auxiliary-verb dependencies both involve co-occurrence relationships, but determiner-noun relationships are more reliably marked by correlated distributional and phonological cues, and appear to be learned more readily. We tested whether experience with co-occurrence relationships that are more reliable promotes learning those that are less reliable using an artificial language paradigm. Prior experience with deterministically-cued contingencies did not promote learning of less reliably-cued structure, nor did prior experience with relationships instantiated in the same vocabulary. In contrast, prior experience with probabilistically-cued co-occurrence relationships instantiated in different vocabulary did enhance learning. Thus, experience with co-occurrence relationships sharing underlying structure but not vocabulary may be an important factor in learning grammatical patterns. Furthermore, experience with probabilistically-cued co-occurrence relationships, despite their difficultly for naïve learners, lays an important foundation for learning novel probabilistic structure.

  18. Anorexia nervosa as a motivated behavior: Relevance of anxiety, stress, fear and learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guarda, Angela S; Schreyer, Colleen C; Boersma, Gretha J; Tamashiro, Kellie L; Moran, Timothy H

    2015-12-01

    The high comorbidity between anorexia nervosa (AN) and anxiety disorders is well recognized. AN is a motivated behavioral disorder in which habit formation is likely to contribute to the persistence of abnormal eating and exercise behaviors. Secondary alterations in brain circuitry underlying the reward value of food and exercise, along with disturbances in neuroendocrine hunger and satiety signaling arising from starvation and excessive exercise, are likely contributors to the maintenance of anorectic behaviors in genetically vulnerable individuals. The potential role of fear conditioning in facilitating onset of AN, or of impaired fear extinction in contributing to the high relapse rates observed following weight restoration, is of interest. Evidence from animal models of anxiety and human laboratory studies indicate that low estrogen impairs fear extinction. Low estradiol levels in AN may therefore play a role in perpetuating fear of food and fat in recently weight restored patients. Translational models including the activity based anorexia (ABA) rodent model of AN, and neuroimaging studies of fear extinction and conditioning, could help clarify the underlying molecular mechanisms and neurocircuitry involved in food avoidance behaviors in AN. Moreover, the adaptation of novel treatment interventions with efficacy in anxiety disorders may contribute to the development of new treatments for this impairing disorder. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. 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

  20. Using c-Jun to identify fear extinction learning-specific patterns of neural activity that are affected by single prolonged stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knox, Dayan; Stanfield, Briana R; Staib, Jennifer M; David, Nina P; DePietro, Thomas; Chamness, Marisa; Schneider, Elizabeth K; Keller, Samantha M; Lawless, Caroline

    2018-04-02

    Neural circuits via which stress leads to disruptions in fear extinction is often explored in animal stress models. Using the single prolonged stress (SPS) model of post traumatic stress disorder and the immediate early gene (IEG) c-Fos as a measure of neural activity, we previously identified patterns of neural activity through which SPS disrupts extinction retention. However, none of these stress effects were specific to fear or extinction learning and memory. C-Jun is another IEG that is sometimes regulated in a different manner to c-Fos and could be used to identify emotional learning/memory specific patterns of neural activity that are sensitive to SPS. Animals were either fear conditioned (CS-fear) or presented with CSs only (CS-only) then subjected to extinction training and testing. C-Jun was then assayed within neural substrates critical for extinction memory. Inhibited c-Jun levels in the hippocampus (Hipp) and enhanced functional connectivity between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) during extinction training was disrupted by SPS in the CS-fear group only. As a result, these effects were specific to emotional learning/memory. SPS also disrupted inhibited Hipp c-Jun levels, enhanced BLA c-Jun levels, and altered functional connectivity among the vmPFC, BLA, and Hipp during extinction testing in SPS rats in the CS-fear and CS-only groups. As a result, these effects were not specific to emotional learning/memory. Our findings suggest that SPS disrupts neural activity specific to extinction memory, but may also disrupt the retention of fear extinction by mechanisms that do not involve emotional learning/memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Overexpression of Protein Kinase Mζ in the Hippocampus Enhances Long-Term Potentiation and Long-Term Contextual But Not Cued Fear Memory in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuette, Sven R M; Fernández-Fernández, Diego; Lamla, Thorsten; Rosenbrock, Holger; Hobson, Scott

    2016-04-13

    The persistently active protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ) has been found to be involved in the formation and maintenance of long-term memory. Most of the studies investigating PKMζ, however, have used either putatively unselective inhibitors or conventional knock-out animal models in which compensatory mechanisms may occur. Here, we overexpressed an active form of PKMζ in rat hippocampus, a structure highly involved in memory formation, and embedded in several neural networks. We investigated PKMζ's influence on synaptic plasticity using electrophysiological recordings of basal transmission, paired pulse facilitation, and LTP and combined this with behavioral cognitive experiments addressing formation and retention of both contextual memory during aversive conditioning and spatial memory during spontaneous exploration. We demonstrate that hippocampal slices overexpressing PKMζ show enhanced basal transmission, suggesting a potential role of PKMζ in postsynaptic AMPAR trafficking. Moreover, the PKMζ-overexpressing slices augmented LTP and this effect was not abolished by protein-synthesis blockers, indicating that PKMζ induces enhanced LTP formation in a protein-synthesis-independent manner. In addition, we found selectively enhanced long-term memory for contextual but not cued fear memory, underlining the theory of the hippocampus' involvement in the contextual aspect of aversive reinforced tasks. Memory for spatial orientation during spontaneous exploration remained unaltered, suggesting that PKMζ may not affect the neural circuits underlying spontaneous tasks that are different from aversive tasks. In this study, using an overexpression strategy as opposed to an inhibitor-based approach, we demonstrate an important modulatory role of PKMζ in synaptic plasticity and selective memory processing. Most of the literature investigating protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ) used inhibitors with selectivity that has been called into question or conventional knock-out animal

  2. Recognizing Student Fear: The Elephant in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bledsoe, T. Scott; Baskin, Janice J.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding fear, its causes, and its impact on students can be important for educators who seek ways to help students manage their fears. This paper explores common types of student fears such as performance-based anxiety, fear of failure, fear of being laughed at, and cultural components of fear that impact learning. The cognitive, emotional,…

  3. Self-directed learning skills in air-traffic control; A cued retrospective reporting study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Meeuwen, Ludo; Brand-Gruwel, Saskia; Van Merriënboer, Jeroen; Kirschner, Paul A.; De Bock, Jeano

    2011-01-01

    Van Meeuwen, L. W., Brand-Gruwel, S., Van Merriënboer, J. J. G., Kirschner, P. A., & De Bock, J. J. P. R. (2010, May). Self-directed learning skills in air-traffic control; A cued retrospective reporting study. Presented at the Scandinavian Workshop on Applied Eye-tracking. Lund, Sweden.

  4. Guidance of Spatial Attention by Incidental Learning and Endogenous Cuing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.; Rosenbaum, Gail M.

    2013-01-01

    Our visual system is highly sensitive to regularities in the environment. Locations that were important in one's previous experience are often prioritized during search, even though observers may not be aware of the learning. In this study we characterized the guidance of spatial attention by incidental learning of a target's spatial probability,…

  5. Genetic disruption of the alternative splicing of drebrin gene impairs context-dependent fear learning in adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, N; Hanamura, K; Yamazaki, H; Ikeda, T; Itohara, S; Shirao, T

    2010-01-13

    Dendritic spines are postsynaptic structures at excitatory synapses that play important roles in synaptic transmission and plasticity. Dendritic spine morphology and function are regulated by an actin-based cytoskeletal network. Drebrin A, an adult form of drebrin, is an actin-binding protein in dendritic spines, and its decrease is purportedly concerned with synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease. Rapid conversion of drebrin E, an embryonic form of drebrin, to drebrin A occurs in parallel with synaptic maturation. To understand the physiological role of drebrin isoform conversion in vivo, we generated knockout mice in which a drebrin A-specific exon was deleted from the drebrin gene. Drebrin A-specific knockout (DAKO) mice expressed drebrin E, which substituted for drebrin A. Subcellular fractionation experiment indicated that cytosolic form of drebrin was increased in the brains of DAKO mice. Furthermore, drebrin accumulation in synaptosomes of DAKO mice was much higher than that of wild-type (WT) mice. DAKO mice were viable and showed no apparent abnormalities in their gross brain morphology and general behaviors. However, DAKO mice were impaired in a context-dependent freezing after fear conditioning. These data indicate that drebrin A plays an indispensable role in some processes of generating fear learning and memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Transformative Learning Challenges in a Context of Trauma and Fear: An Educator's Story

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Vaughn M.

    2016-01-01

    After more than three decades of development, transformative learning theory is currently a major theory of adult learning. It has also attracted substantial critique, leading to further development, application and differentiation. Recent contributions to this vast scholarship show a quest for a more unified theory. This article examines…

  8. Brain-Wide Maps of "Fos" Expression during Fear Learning and Recall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Jin-Hyung; Rendall, Sam D.; Gray, Jesse M.

    2017-01-01

    "Fos" induction during learning labels neuronal ensembles in the hippocampus that encode a specific physical environment, revealing a memory trace. In the cortex and other regions, the extent to which "Fos" induction during learning reveals specific sensory representations is unknown. Here we generate high-quality brain-wide…

  9. Exposure Therapy for Fear of Spiders in an Adult with Learning Disabilities: A Case Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowdrey, Felicity A.; Walz, Linda

    2015-01-01

    The evidence-base for exposure therapy in people with learning disabilities experiencing specific phobias is sparse. This case study describes the assessment, formulation and treatment of spider phobia in a woman with learning disabilities using an exposure-based intervention augmented with mindfulness practice and bereavement work. To evaluate…

  10. 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.

  11. What types of learning are enhanced by a cued recall test?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Shana K; Pashler, Harold; Vul, Edward

    2006-10-01

    In two experiments, we investigated what types of learning benefit from a cued recall test. After initial exposure to a word pair (A+B), subjects experienced either an intervening cued recall test (A-->?) with feedback, or a restudy presentation (A-->B). The final test could be cued recall in the same (A-->?) or opposite (?-->B) direction, or free recall of just the cues (Recall As) or just the targets (Recall Bs). All final tests revealed a benefit for testing as opposed to restudying. Tests produced a direct benefit for information that was retrieved on the intervening test (B). This benefit also "spilled over" to facilitate recall of information that was present on the test but not retrieved (A). Both theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. Rats socially-reared and full fed learned an autoshaping task, showing less levels of fear-like behaviour than fasted or singly-reared rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Hernández, Miguel; Téllez-Alcántara, N Patricia

    2004-07-01

    During the learning of instrumental tasks, rats are usually fasted to increase reinforced learning. However, fasting produces several undesirable side effects. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that control rats, i.e. full-fed and group-reared rats, will learn an autoshaping task to the same level as fasted or singly-reared rats. The interaction between fasting and single-rearing of rats was also tested. Results showed that control rats and fasted rats acquired the autoshaping task similarly, independently of rearing condition or gender. However, fasted or singly-reared rats produced fear-like behaviour, since male rats group-reared and fasted (85% body/wt, P autoshaping task to the same level as fasted or singly-reared rats. However, fasting or single-rearing produced fear-like behaviour. Thus, the training of control rats in autoshaping tasks may be an option that improves animal welfare.

  14. Feel the Fear: Learning Graphic Design in Affective Places and Online Spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nottingham, Anitra

    2017-01-01

    This article explores the idea of pedagogic affect in both onsite and online graphic design learning spaces, and speculates on the role that this affect plays in the formation of the design student. I argue that embodied design knowledge is built by interactions with design professionals, activities that mimic the daily work of designers, and…

  15. Retrieval cues that trigger reconsolidation of associative fear memory are not necessarily an exact replica of the original learning experience

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soeter, M.; Kindt, M.

    2015-01-01

    Disrupting the process of memory reconsolidation may point to a novel therapeutic strategy for the permanent reduction of fear in patients suffering from anxiety disorders. However both in animal and human studies the retrieval cue typically involves a re-exposure to the original fear-conditioned

  16. Stress Enables Reinforcement-Elicited Serotonergic Consolidation of Fear Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baratta, Michael V; Kodandaramaiah, Suhasa B; Monahan, Patrick E; Yao, Junmei; Weber, Michael D; Lin, Pei-Ann; Gisabella, Barbara; Petrossian, Natalie; Amat, Jose; Kim, Kyungman; Yang, Aimei; Forest, Craig R; Boyden, Edward S; Goosens, Ki A

    2016-05-15

    Prior exposure to stress is a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in response to trauma, yet the mechanisms by which this occurs are unclear. Using a rodent model of stress-based susceptibility to PTSD, we investigated the role of serotonin in this phenomenon. Adult mice were exposed to repeated immobilization stress or handling, and the role of serotonin in subsequent fear learning was assessed using pharmacologic manipulation and western blot detection of serotonin receptors, measurements of serotonin, high-speed optogenetic silencing, and behavior. Both dorsal raphe serotonergic activity during aversive reinforcement and amygdala serotonin 2C receptor (5-HT2CR) activity during memory consolidation were necessary for stress enhancement of fear memory, but neither process affected fear memory in unstressed mice. Additionally, prior stress increased amygdala sensitivity to serotonin by promoting surface expression of 5-HT2CR without affecting tissue levels of serotonin in the amygdala. We also showed that the serotonin that drives stress enhancement of associative cued fear memory can arise from paired or unpaired footshock, an effect not predicted by theoretical models of associative learning. Stress bolsters the consequences of aversive reinforcement, not by simply enhancing the neurobiological signals used to encode fear in unstressed animals, but rather by engaging distinct mechanistic pathways. These results reveal that predictions from classical associative learning models do not always hold for stressed animals and suggest that 5-HT2CR blockade may represent a promising therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders characterized by excessive fear responses such as that observed in PTSD. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. F42. CHONDROTIN-6 SULFATE CLUSTERS: ASSOCIATION OF SYNAPTIC DOMAINS AND REGULATION OF SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY DURING FEAR LEARNING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelini, Gabriele; Berciu, Cristina; Pilobello, Kanoelani; Peter, Durning; Rachel, Jenkins; Kahn, Moazzzam; Ramikie, Teniel; Subramanian, Siva; Ressler, Kerry; Pantazopoulos, Charalampos; Berretta, Sabina

    2018-01-01

    surrounding several dendrites. CS-6 expression was dected in astrocytes surrounding the dendrites, particularly in astrocytic endfeet enveloping dendritic spines, and within spines postsynaptic densities. Following auditory fear conditioning, marked changes of CS-6 glia clusters were observed in hippocampus regions dentate gyrus (g>1.5) and CA2 (g>1.5) and basolateral amygdala (g>1). Discussion These findings suggest that CS-6 glia clusters may represent segregated microdomains, dynamically regulated during learning and contributing to the modulation of synaptic regulation machinery. Specifically, we postulate that astrocytes synthesize CS-6 CSPG and secrete it through their endfeet around dendrites, modulating structural plasticity of dendritic spines. These results suggest a relationship between the abnormalities in CSPGs expression and alteration in dendritic spines, two pathological landmarks observed in postmortem brains of people with SZ and BD.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Orexin receptor-1 in the locus coeruleus plays an important role in cue-dependent fear memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soya, Shingo; Shoji, Hirotaka; Hasegawa, Emi; Hondo, Mari; Miyakawa, Tsuyoshi; Yanagisawa, Masashi; Mieda, Michihiro; Sakurai, Takeshi

    2013-09-04

    The noradrenergic (NA) projections arising from the locus ceruleus (LC) to the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis have been implicated in the formation of emotional memory. Since NA neurons in the LC (LC-NA neurons) abundantly express orexin receptor-1 (OX1R) and receive prominent innervation by orexin-producing neurons, we hypothesized that an OX1R-mediated pathway is involved in the physiological fear learning process via regulation of LC-NA neurons. To evaluate this hypothesis, we examined the phenotype of Ox1r(-/-) mice in the classic cued and contextual fear-conditioning test. We found that Ox1r(-/-) mice showed impaired freezing responses in both cued and contextual fear-conditioning paradigms. In contrast, Ox2r(-/-) mice showed normal freezing behavior in the cued fear-conditioning test, while they exhibited shorter freezing time in the contextual fear-conditioning test. Double immunolabeling of Fos and tyrosine hydroxylase showed that double-positive LC-NA neurons after test sessions of both cued and contextual stimuli were significantly fewer in Ox1r(-/-) mice. AAV-mediated expression of OX1R in LC-NA neurons in Ox1r(-/-) mice restored the freezing behavior to the auditory cue to a comparable level to that in wild-type mice in the test session. Decreased freezing time during the contextual fear test was not affected by restoring OX1R expression in LC-NA neurons. These observations support the hypothesis that the orexin system modulates the formation and expression of fear memory via OX1R in multiple pathways. Especially, OX1R in LC-NA neurons plays an important role in cue-dependent fear memory formation and/or retrieval.

  2. Higher-Order Sensory Cortex Drives Basolateral Amygdala Activity during the Recall of Remote, but Not Recently Learned Fearful Memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cambiaghi, Marco; Grosso, Anna; Likhtik, Ekaterina; Mazziotti, Raffaele; Concina, Giulia; Renna, Annamaria; Sacco, Tiziana; Gordon, Joshua A; Sacchetti, Benedetto

    2016-02-03

    Negative experiences are quickly learned and long remembered. Key unresolved issues in the field of emotional memory include identifying the loci and dynamics of memory storage and retrieval. The present study examined neural activity in the higher-order auditory cortex Te2 and basolateral amygdala (BLA) and their crosstalk during the recall of recent and remote fear memories. To this end, we obtained local field potentials and multiunit activity recordings in Te2 and BLA of rats that underwent recall at 24 h and 30 d after the association of an acoustic conditioned (CS, tone) and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US, electric shock). Here we show that, during the recall of remote auditory threat memories in rats, the activity of the Te2 and BLA is highly synchronized in the theta frequency range. This functional connectivity stems from memory consolidation processes because it is present during remote, but not recent, memory retrieval. Moreover, the observed increase in synchrony is cue and region specific. A preponderant Te2-to-BLA directionality characterizes this dialogue, and the percentage of time Te2 theta leads the BLA during remote memory recall correlates with a faster latency to freeze to the auditory conditioned stimulus. The blockade of this information transfer via Te2 inhibition with muscimol prevents any retrieval-evoked neuronal activity in the BLA and animals are unable to retrieve remote memories. We conclude that memories stored in higher-order sensory cortices drive BLA activity when distinguishing between learned threatening and neutral stimuli. How and where in the brain do we store the affective/motivational significance of sensory stimuli acquired through life experiences? Scientists have long investigated how "limbic" structures, such as the amygdala, process affective stimuli. Here we show that retrieval of well-established threat memories requires the functional interplay between higher-order components of the auditory cortex and the

  3. 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.

  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. Habenula and interpeduncular nucleus differentially modulate predator odor-induced innate fear behavior in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincenz, Daniel; Wernecke, Kerstin E A; Fendt, Markus; Goldschmidt, Jürgen

    2017-08-14

    Fear is an important behavioral system helping humans and animals to survive potentially dangerous situations. Fear can be innate or learned. Whereas the neural circuits underlying learned fear are already well investigated, the knowledge about the circuits mediating innate fear is still limited. We here used a novel, unbiased approach to image in vivo the spatial patterns of neural activity in odor-induced innate fear behavior in rats. We intravenously injected awake unrestrained rats with a 99m-technetium labeled blood flow tracer (99mTc-HMPAO) during ongoing exposure to fox urine or water as control, and mapped the brain distribution of the trapped tracer using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Upon fox urine exposure blood flow increased in a number of brain regions previously associated with odor-induced innate fear such as the amygdala, ventromedial hypothalamus and dorsolateral periaqueductal grey, but, unexpectedly, decreased at higher significance levels in the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN). Significant flow changes were found in regions monosynaptically connected to the IPN. Flow decreased in the dorsal tegmentum and entorhinal cortex. Flow increased in the habenula (Hb) and correlated with odor effects on behavioral defensive strategy. Hb lesions reduced avoidance of but increased approach to the fox urine while IPN lesions only reduced avoidance behavior without approach behavior. Our study identifies a new component, the IPN, of the neural circuit mediating odor-induced innate fear behavior in mammals and suggests that the evolutionarily conserved Hb-IPN system, which has recently been implicated in cued fear, also forms an integral part of the innate fear circuitry. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. "I Think It Helps You Better When You're Not Scared": Fear and Learning in the Primary Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, Eleanore

    2015-01-01

    The research reported in this article explored in 2013 the classroom fear of two samples of UK primary school pupils (aged 7-8 and also 10-11 years old). The investigation was approached within a framework of critical theory, in which emancipatory aims were embraced. The authoritarian nature of most classrooms necessitates that teachers control…

  10. 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

  11. Candesartan ameliorates impaired fear extinction induced by innate immune activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to show signs of a relatively increased inflammatory state suggesting that activation of the immune system may contribute to the development of PTSD. In the present study, we tested whether activation of the innate immune system can disrupt acquisition or recall of auditory fear extinction using an animal model of PTSD. Male adolescent rats received auditory fear conditioning in context A. The next day, an intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 100 μg/kg) prior to auditory fear extinction in context B impaired acquisition and recall of extinction. LPS (100 μg/kg) given after extinction training did not impair extinction recall suggesting that LPS did not affect consolidation of extinction. In contrast to cued fear extinction, contextual fear extinction was not affected by prior injection of LPS (100 μg/kg). Although LPS also reduced locomotion, we could dissociate the effects of LPS on extinction and locomotion by using a lower dose of LPS (50 μg/kg) which impaired locomotion without affecting extinction. In addition, 15 h after an injection of 250 μg/kg LPS in adult rats, extinction learning and recall were impaired without affecting locomotion. A sub-chronic treatment with candesartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker, prevented the LPS-induced impairment of extinction in adult rats. Our results demonstrate that activation of the innate immune system can disrupt auditory fear extinction in adolescent and adult animals. These findings also provide direction for clinical studies of novel treatments that modulate the innate immune system for stress-related disorders like PTSD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Psychological processes in chronic pain: Influences of reward and fear learning as key mechanisms - Behavioral evidence, neural circuits, and maladaptive changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nees, Frauke; Becker, Susanne

    2017-09-07

    In the understanding of chronic pain, hypotheses derived from psychological theories, together with insights from physiological assessments and brain imaging, highlight the importance of mechanistically driven approaches. Physical system changes, for example following injury, can result in alterations of psychological processes and are accompanied by changes in corticolimbic circuits, which have been shown to be essential in emotional learning and memory, as well as reward processing and related behavior. In the present review, we thus highlight the importance of motivational, reward/pain relief, and fear learning processes in the context of chronic pain and discuss the potential of a mechanistic understanding of chronic pain within a clinical perspective, for example for the development of therapeutic strategies. We argue that changes in these mechanisms are not only characteristic for chronic pain, reflecting consequences of the disorder, but are also critically involved in the transition from acute to chronic pain states. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  3. The time course of episodic associative retrieval: electrophysiological correlates of cued recall of unimodal and crossmodal pair-associate learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibon, Roni; Levy, Daniel A

    2014-03-01

    Little is known about the time course of processes supporting episodic cued recall. To examine these processes, we recorded event-related scalp electrical potentials during episodic cued recall following pair-associate learning of unimodal object-picture pairs and crossmodal object-picture and sound pairs. Successful cued recall of unimodal associates was characterized by markedly early scalp potential differences over frontal areas, while cued recall of both unimodal and crossmodal associates were reflected by subsequent differences recorded over frontal and parietal areas. Notably, unimodal cued recall success divergences over frontal areas were apparent in a time window generally assumed to reflect the operation of familiarity but not recollection processes, raising the possibility that retrieval success effects in that temporal window may reflect additional mnemonic processes beyond familiarity. Furthermore, parietal scalp potential recall success differences, which did not distinguish between crossmodal and unimodal tasks, seemingly support attentional or buffer accounts of posterior parietal mnemonic function but appear to constrain signal accumulation, expectation, or representational accounts.

  4. Stress during puberty boosts metabolic activation associated with fear-extinction learning in hippocampus, basal amygdala and cingulate cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toledo-Rodriguez, Maria; Pitiot, Alain; Paus, Tomáš; Sandi, Carmen

    2012-07-01

    Adolescence is characterized by major developmental changes that may render the individual vulnerable to stress and the development of psychopathologies in a sex-specific manner. Earlier we reported lower anxiety-like behavior and higher risk-taking and novelty seeking in rats previously exposed to peri-pubertal stress. Here we studied whether peri-pubertal stress affected the acquisition and extinction of fear memories and/or the associated functional engagement of various brain regions, as assessed with 2-deoxyglucose. We showed that while peri-pubertal stress reduced freezing during the acquisition of fear memories (training) in both sexes, it had a sex-specific effect on extinction of these memories. Moreover hippocampus, basal amygdala and cingulate and motor cortices showed higher metabolic rates during extinction in rats exposed to peri-pubertal stress. Interestingly, activation of the infralimbic cortex was negatively correlated with freezing during extinction only in control males, while only males stressed during puberty showed a significant correlation between behavior during extinction and metabolic activation of hippocampus, amygdala and paraventricular nucleus. No correlations between brain activation and behavior during extinction were observed in females (control or stress). These results indicate that exposure to peri-pubertal stress affects behavior and brain metabolism when the individual is exposed to an additional stressful challenge. Some of these effects are sex-specific. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Stress and Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maren, Stephen; Holmes, Andrew

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Aplikasi teori belajar sosial dalam penatalaksanaan rasa takut dan cemasan anak pada perawatan gigi (Application of social learning theory in the management of children dental fear and anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arlette Suzy Setiawan

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Dental anxiety is a prevalent problem faced by dentists till nowadays, especially in treating child patients. Several methods in managing anxiety are available, but there is no single method can be applied extensively. Purpose: This article was aimed to describe the application of social learning theory in preventing or reducing dental anxiety in children. Literature review: Anxiety and fear are psych feelings that is experienced by a person. A child developed these feelings by learning from their own past experienced or by information obtained from their environment. If fear and anxiety can be learned by a child, thus the opposite term which is preventing the feelings is assumed can be also offered to learned. This application actually being applied in the field of dentistry as modeling, but the exploration of how this process is due is often being ignored. Conclusion: Social learning theory provides an easy preventive approach and effective intervention that can be applied to children in 4-9 years old to reduce dental anxiety.Latar belakang: Kecemasan pada perawatan gigi merupakan hal yang paling sering dijumpai dan merupakan masalah yang dihadapi oleh dokter gigi sampai saat ini, terutama pada pasien anak. Berbagai metode penatalaksanaan kecemasan banyak tersedia, namun tidak satu pun metode yang dapat diterapkan secara luas. Tujuan: Makalah ini disusun untuk membahas mengenai aplikasi teori belajar sosial dalam mencegah kecemasan pada anak saat perawatan gigi. Tinjauan pustaka: Rasa cemas dan takut merupakan perasaan psikis yang dialami seorang individu. Perasaan ini pada seorang anak lebih banyak didapat dari proses belajar dalam menyerap informasi berdasarkan pengalaman pribadi ataupun informasi dari lingkungan sekitar. Bila rasa cemas dan takut dapat dipelajari oleh seorang anak, maka diasumsikan bahwa menghindari timbulnya perasaan ini dapat pula diajarkan pada anak. Aplikasi hal tersebut sebenarnya telah diterapkan di bidang

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduard Forcadell

    2017-09-01

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

  8. The neural dynamics of fear memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, R.M.

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Dissociating response systems: erasing fear from memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel

    2010-07-01

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

  10. What's wrong with fear conditioning?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Activation of D1/5 Dopamine Receptors: A Common Mechanism for Enhancing Extinction of Fear and Reward-Seeking Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Antony D; Neve, Kim A; Lattal, K Matthew

    2016-07-01

    Dopamine is critical for many processes that drive learning and memory, including motivation, prediction error, incentive salience, memory consolidation, and response output. Theories of dopamine's function in these processes have, for the most part, been developed from behavioral approaches that examine learning mechanisms in appetitive tasks. A parallel and growing literature indicates that dopamine signaling is involved in consolidation of memories into stable representations in aversive tasks such as fear conditioning. Relatively little is known about how dopamine may modulate memories that form during extinction, when organisms learn that the relation between previously associated events is severed. We investigated whether fear and reward extinction share common mechanisms that could be enhanced with dopamine D1/5 receptor activation. Pharmacological activation of dopamine D1/5 receptors (with SKF 81297) enhanced extinction of both cued and contextual fear. These effects also occurred in the extinction of cocaine-induced conditioned place preference, suggesting that the observed effects on extinction were not specific to a particular type of procedure (aversive or appetitive). A cAMP/PKA biased D1 agonist (SKF 83959) did not affect fear extinction, whereas a broadly efficacious D1 agonist (SKF 83822) promoted fear extinction. Together, these findings show that dopamine D1/5 receptor activation is a target for the enhancement of fear or reward extinction.

  12. Combined Neuropeptide S and D-Cycloserine Augmentation Prevents the Return of Fear in Extinction-Impaired Rodents: Advantage of Dual versus Single Drug Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartori, Simone B; Maurer, Verena; Murphy, Conor; Schmuckermair, Claudia; Muigg, Patrick; Neumann, Inga D; Whittle, Nigel; Singewald, Nicolas

    2016-06-01

    Despite its success in treating specific anxiety disorders, the effect of exposure therapy is limited by problems with tolerability, treatment resistance, and fear relapse after initial response. The identification of novel drug targets facilitating fear extinction in clinically relevant animal models may guide improved treatment strategies for these disorders in terms of efficacy, acceleration of fear extinction, and return of fear. The extinction-facilitating potential of neuropeptide S, D-cycloserine, and a benzodiazepine was investigated in extinction-impaired high anxiety HAB rats and 129S1/SvImJ mice using a classical cued fear conditioning paradigm followed by extinction training and several extinction test sessions to study fear relapse. Administration of D-cycloserine improved fear extinction in extinction-limited, but not in extinction-deficient, rodents compared with controls. Preextinction neuropeptide S caused attenuated fear responses in extinction-deficient 129S1/SvImJ mice at extinction training onset and further reduced freezing during this session. While the positive effects of either D-cycloserine or neuropeptide S were not persistent in 129S1/SvImJ mice after 10 days, the combination of preextinction neuropeptide S with postextinction D-cycloserine rendered the extinction memory persistent and context independent up to 5 weeks after extinction training. This dual pharmacological adjunct to extinction learning also protected against fear reinstatement in 129S1/SvImJ mice. By using the potentially nonsedative anxiolytic neuropeptide S and the cognitive enhancer D-cycloserine to facilitate deficient fear extinction, we provide here the first evidence of a purported efficacy of a dual over a single drug approach. This approach may render exposure sessions less aversive and more efficacious for patients, leading to enhanced protection from fear relapse in the long term. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  13. Durable fear memories require PSD-95

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Paul J.; Pinard, Courtney R.; Camp, Marguerite C.; Feyder, Michael; Sah, Anupam; Bergstrom, Hadley; Graybeal, Carolyn; Liu, Yan; Schlüter, Oliver; Grant, Seth G.N.; Singewald, Nicolas; Xu, Weifeng; Holmes, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Traumatic fear memories are highly durable but also dynamic, undergoing repeated reactivation and rehearsal over time. While overly persistent fear memories underlie anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder, the key neural and molecular mechanisms underlying fear memory durability remain unclear. Post-synaptic density 95 (PSD-95) is a synaptic protein regulating glutamate receptor anchoring, synaptic stability and certain types of memory. Employing a loss-of-function mutant mouse lacking the guanylate kinase domain of PSD-95 (PSD-95GK), we analyzed the contribution of PSD-95 to fear memory formation and retrieval, and sought to identify the neural basis of PSD-95-mediated memory maintenance using ex vivo immediate-early gene mapping, in vivo neuronal recordings and viral-mediated knockdown approaches. We show that PSD-95 is dispensable for the formation and expression of recent fear memories, but essential for the formation of precise and flexible fear memories and for the maintenance of memories at remote time points. The failure of PSD-95GK mice to retrieve remote cued fear memories was associated with hypoactivation of the infralimbic cortex (IL) (not anterior cingulate (ACC) or prelimbic cortex), reduced IL single-unit firing and bursting, and attenuated IL gamma and theta oscillations. Adeno-associated PSD-95 virus-mediated knockdown in the IL, not ACC, was sufficient to impair recent fear extinction and remote fear memory, and remodel IL dendritic spines. Collectively, these data identify PSD-95 in the IL as a critical mechanism supporting the durability of fear memories over time. These preclinical findings have implications for developing novel approaches to treating trauma-based anxiety disorders that target the weakening of overly persistent fear memories. PMID:25510511

  14. Childhood Fears: What Children Are Afraid of and Why.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosser, Sandra

    1995-01-01

    It is important for early childhood professionals to learn about childhood fears so that they can help children cope with them. Children's fears are normal, the nature of preschoolers' fears is related to their cognitive development, and a child's temperament and sense of autonomy may influence the extent of and manner of reaction to a fearful…

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Lukas Meier

    2014-07-01

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

  17. Role of the hippocampus in contextual modulation of fear extinction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lingzhi Kong; Xihong Wu; Liang Li

    2008-01-01

    Fear extinction is an important form of emotional learning, and affects neural plasticity. Cue fear extinction is a classical form of inhibitory learning that can be used as an exposure-based treatment for phobia, because the long-term extinction memory produced during cue fear extinction can limit the over-expression of fear. The expression of this inhibitory memory partly depends on the context in which the extinction learning occurs. Studies such as transient inhibition, electrophysiology and brain imaging have proved that the hippocampus - an important structure in the limbic system - facilitates memory retrieval by contextual cues.Mediation of the hippocampus-medial prefrontal lobe circuit may be the neurobiological basis of this process.This article has reviewed the role of the hippocampus in the learning and retrieval of fear extinction.Contextual modulation of fear extinction may rely on a neural network consisting of the hippocampus, the medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala.

  18. Xenon impairs reconsolidation of fear memories in a rat model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward G Meloni

    Full Text Available Xenon (Xe is a noble gas that has been developed for use in people as an inhalational anesthestic and a diagnostic imaging agent. Xe inhibits glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors involved in learning and memory and can affect synaptic plasticity in the amygdala and hippocampus, two brain areas known to play a role in fear conditioning models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Because glutamate receptors also have been shown to play a role in fear memory reconsolidation--a state in which recalled memories become susceptible to modification--we examined whether Xe administered after fear memory reactivation could affect subsequent expression of fear-like behavior (freezing in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained for contextual and cued fear conditioning and the effects of inhaled Xe (25%, 1 hr on fear memory reconsolidation were tested using conditioned freezing measured days or weeks after reactivation/Xe administration. Xe administration immediately after fear memory reactivation significantly reduced conditioned freezing when tested 48 h, 96 h or 18 d after reactivation/Xe administration. Xe did not affect freezing when treatment was delayed until 2 h after reactivation or when administered in the absence of fear memory reactivation. These data suggest that Xe substantially and persistently inhibits memory reconsolidation in a reactivation and time-dependent manner, that it could be used as a new research tool to characterize reconsolidation and other memory processes, and that it could be developed to treat people with PTSD and other disorders related to emotional memory.

  19. The Narrow Fellow in the Grass: Human Infants Associate Snakes and Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLoache, Judy S.; LoBue, Vanessa

    2009-01-01

    Why are snakes such a common target of fear? One current view is that snake fear is one of several innate fears that emerge spontaneously. Another is that humans have an evolved predisposition to learn to fear snakes. In the first study reported here, 9- to 10-month-old infants showed no differential spontaneous reaction to films of snakes versus…

  20. Learning strategy preference of 5XFAD transgenic mice depends on the sequence of place/spatial and cued training in the water maze task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Woo-Hyun; Park, Jung-Cheol; Chung, ChiHye; Jeon, Won Kyung; Han, Jung-Soo

    2014-10-15

    Learning strategy preference was assessed in 5XFAD mice, which carry 5 familial Alzheimer's disease (AD) mutations. Mice were sequentially trained in cued and place/spatial versions of the water maze task. After training, a strategy preference test was conducted in which mice were required to choose between the spatial location where the platform had previously been during the place/spatial training, and a visible platform in a new location. 5XFAD and non-transgenic control mice showed equivalent escape performance in both training tasks. However, in the strategy preference test, 5XFAD mice preferred a cued strategy relative to control mice. When the training sequence was presented in the reverse order (i.e., place/spatial training before cued training), 5XFAD mice showed impairments in place/spatial training, but no differences in cued training or in the strategy preference test comparing to control. Analysis of regional Aβ42 deposition in brains of 5XFAD mice showed that the hippocampus, which is involved in the place/spatial learning strategy, had the highest levels of Aβ42 and the dorsal striatum, which is involved in cued learning strategy, showed a small increase in Aβ42 levels. The effect of training protocol order on performance, and regional differences in Aβ42 deposition observed in 5XFAD mice, suggest differential functional recruitment of brain structures related to learning in healthy and AD individuals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. The roles of the actin cytoskeleton in fear memory formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphael eLamprecht

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The formation and storage of fear memory is needed to adapt behavior and avoid danger during subsequent fearful events. However, fear memory may also play a significant role in stress and anxiety disorders. When fear becomes disproportionate to that necessary to cope with a given stimulus, or begins to occur in inappropriate situations, a fear or anxiety disorder exists. Thus, the study of cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning fear memory may shed light on the formation of memory and on anxiety and stress related disorders. Evidence indicates that fear learning leads to changes in neuronal synaptic transmission and morphology in brain areas underlying fear memory formation including the amygdala and hippocampus. The actin cytoskeleton has been shown to participate in these key neuronal processes. Recent findings show that the actin cytoskeleton is needed for fear memory formation and extinction. Moreover, the actin cytoskeleton is involved in synaptic plasticity and in neuronal morphogenesis in brain areas that mediate fear memory. The actin cytoskeleton may therefore mediate between synaptic transmission during fear learning and long-term cellular alterations mandatory for fear memory formation.

  2. The advances of fear

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farouki, N.

    2001-01-01

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

  3. A climate of fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garner, Tom Alexander; Grimshaw, Mark Nicholas

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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....

  7. Does fear extinction in the laboratory predict outcomes of exposure therapy? A treatment analog study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forcadell, Eduard; Torrents-Rodas, David; Vervliet, Bram; Leiva, David; Tortella-Feliu, Miquel; Fullana, Miquel A

    2017-11-01

    Fear extinction models have a key role in our understanding of anxiety disorders and their treatment with exposure therapy. Here, we tested whether individual differences in fear extinction learning and fear extinction recall in the laboratory were associated with the outcomes of an exposure therapy analog (ETA). Fifty adults with fear of spiders participated in a two-day fear-learning paradigm assessing fear extinction learning and fear extinction recall, and then underwent a brief ETA. Correlational analyses indicated that enhanced extinction learning was associated with better ETA outcome. Our results partially support the idea that individual differences in fear extinction learning may be associated with exposure therapy outcome, but suggest that further research in this area is needed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. Diffusion of small Cu islands on the Ni(111) surface: A self-learning kinetic Monte Carlo study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, Shree Ram; Shah, Syed Islamuddin; Rahman, Talat S.

    2017-08-01

    We elucidate the diffusion kinetics of a heteroepitaxial system consisting of two-dimensional small (1-8 atoms) Cu islands on the Ni(111) surface at (100-600) K using the Self-Learning Kinetic Monte Carlo (SLKMC-II) method. Study of the statics of the system shows that compact CuN (3≤N≤8) clusters made up of triangular units on fcc occupancy sites are the energetically most stable structures of those clusters. Interestingly, we find a correlation between the height of the activation energy barrier (Ea) and the location of the transition state (TS). The Ea of processes for Cu islands on the Ni(111) surface are in general smaller than those of their counterpart Ni islands on the same surface. We find this difference to correlate with the relative strength of the lateral interaction of the island atoms in the two systems. While our database consists of hundreds of possible processes, we identify and discuss the energetics of those that are the most dominant, or are rate-limiting, or most contributory to the diffusion of the islands. Since the Ea of single- and multi-atom processes that convert compact island shapes into non-compact ones are larger (with a significantly smaller Ea for their reverse processes) than that for the collective (concerted) motion of the island, the later dominate in the system kinetics - except for the cases of the dimer, pentamer and octamer. Short-jump involving one atom, long jump dimer-shearing, and long-jump corner shearing (via a single-atom) are, respectively, the dominating processes in the diffusion of the dimer, pentamer and octamer. Furthermore single-atom corner-rounding are the rate-limiting processes for the pentamer and octamer islands. Comparison of the energetics of selected processes and lateral interactions obtained from semi-empirical interatomic potentials with those from density functional theory show minor quantitative differences and overall qualitative agreement.

  10. 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…

  11. Cortical Dynamics of Contextually Cued Attentive Visual Learning and Search: Spatial and Object Evidence Accumulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Tsung-Ren; Grossberg, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    How do humans use target-predictive contextual information to facilitate visual search? How are consistently paired scenic objects and positions learned and used to more efficiently guide search in familiar scenes? For example, humans can learn that a certain combination of objects may define a context for a kitchen and trigger a more efficient…

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  13. The Phenomenon of Dental Fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moore, Rod

    Odontophobia is a rather unique phobia with special psychosomatic components that impact on the dental health of odontophobic persons. It also has psychosocial components largely as a result of destruction of the teeth and subsequent embarrassment that can affect a person and cause a vicious cycle...... of dental fear (see fig. 1). The phenomenon is facilitated by misunderstandings and myths generated by both patients and dentists (see table 1 for examples). The most common reasons given in the literature for such strong fears of dental treatment are: 1) bad experiences in childhood for 85% of cases, 2......) feeling of powerlessness and lack of control over personal emotional reactions and over the social situation in the dental chair, 3) social learning processes in which the image of the dentist is cast in a negative light by the mass media or by the person's relatives or friends and 4) that the person has...

  14. 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.

  15. A Fear Management Approach to Counter-Terrorism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tinka Veldhuis

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Spreading fear is the essence of terrorism. Terrorists exploit fear by terrorising the target audience into concessions. Understanding how feelings of fear influence the way people feel, think and act is therefore an important starting point to explore how individuals and societies can learn how to cope with fear of terrorism. In this Policy Brief, Research Fellows Prof. Dr. Edwin Bakker and Dr. Tinka Veldhuis explore the dynamics of fear in response to terrorism, and emphasise the importance of integrating initiatives to manage fear of terrorism and reduce its negative consequences into overarching counter-terrorism strategies. It argues that societies can benefit greatly from promoting resilience and a fear management approach to counter-terrorism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. A Real Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffins, Paul

    2007-01-01

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

  19. The Pleasure of Fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjøllund, Niels-Peder Osmundsen

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

  20. Fearing religious satire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brink, Dennis Meyhoff

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Mediating Potency and Fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Steen Ledet

    2018-01-01

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

  2. Cued Reacquisition Trials during Extinction Weaken Contextual Renewal in Human Predictive Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Effting, Marieke; Vervliet, Bram; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel

    2013-01-01

    Extinction is generally more context specific than acquisition, as illustrated by the renewal effect. While most strategies to counteract renewal focus on decreasing the context specificity of extinction, the present work aimed at increasing the context specificity of acquisition learning. Two experiments examined whether presenting cued…

  3. Fear in the Palestinian Classroom: Pedagogy, Authoritarianism and Transformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Affouneh, Saida; Hargreaves, Eleanore

    2015-01-01

    Drawing on pictures, written sentences and interview contributions, this article explores some Palestinian children's perspectives in order to gain insights into some children's classroom fear in the light of its potential influence on learning. After presenting some existing research indicating a negative relationship between fear and young…

  4. Effects of the swimming exercise on the consolidation and persistence of auditory and contextual fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Rodolfo Souza; Gutierres, Luís Felipe Soares; Sobrinho, Fernando César Faria; Miranda, Iris do Vale; Reis, Júlia Dos; Dias, Elayne Vieira; Sartori, Cesar Renato; Moreira, Dalmo Antonio Ribeiro

    2016-08-15

    Exposure to negative environmental events triggers defensive behavior and leads to the formation of aversive associative memory. Cellular and molecular changes in the central nervous system underlie this memory formation, as well as the associated behavioral changes. In general, memory process is established in distinct phases such as acquisition, consolidation, evocation, persistence, and extinction of the acquired information. After exposure to a particular event, early changes in involved neural circuits support the memory consolidation, which corresponds to the short-term memory. Re-exposure to previously memorized events evokes the original memory, a process that is considered essential for the reactivation and consequent persistence of memory, ensuring that long-term memory is established. Different environmental stimuli may modulate the memory formation process, as well as their distinct phases. Among the different environmental stimuli able of modulating memory formation is the physical exercise which is a potent modulator of neuronal activity. There are many studies showing that physical exercise modulates learning and memory processes, mainly in the consolidation phase of the explicit memory. However, there are few reports in the literature regarding the role of physical exercise in implicit aversive associative memory, especially at the persistence phase. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the relationship between swimming exercise and the consolidation and persistence of contextual and auditory-cued fear memory. Male Wistar rats were submitted to sessions of swimming exercise five times a week, over six weeks. After that, the rats were submitted to classical aversive conditioning training by a pairing tone/foot shock paradigm. Finally, rats were evaluated for consolidation and persistence of fear memory to both auditory and contextual cues. Our results demonstrate that classical aversive conditioning with tone/foot shock pairing induced

  5. 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.

  6. GABAergic Synapses at the Axon Initial Segment of Basolateral Amygdala Projection Neurons Modulate Fear Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Rinki; Knapp, Stephanie; Chakraborty, Darpan; Horovitz, Omer; Albrecht, Anne; Kriebel, Martin; Kaphzan, Hanoch; Ehrlich, Ingrid; Volkmer, Hansjürgen; Richter-Levin, Gal

    2017-01-01

    Inhibitory synaptic transmission in the amygdala has a pivotal role in fear learning and its extinction. However, the local circuits formed by GABAergic inhibitory interneurons within the amygdala and their detailed function in shaping these behaviors are not well understood. Here we used lentiviral-mediated knockdown of the cell adhesion molecule neurofascin in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to specifically remove inhibitory synapses at the axon initial segment (AIS) of BLA projection neurons. Quantitative analysis of GABAergic synapse markers and measurement of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in BLA projection neurons after neurofascin knockdown ex vivo confirmed the loss of GABAergic input. We then studied the impact of this manipulation on anxiety-like behavior and auditory cued fear conditioning and its extinction as BLA related behavioral paradigms, as well as on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the ventral subiculum-BLA pathway in vivo. BLA knockdown of neurofascin impaired ventral subiculum-BLA-LTP. While this manipulation did not affect anxiety-like behavior and fear memory acquisition and consolidation, it specifically impaired extinction. Our findings indicate that modification of inhibitory synapses at the AIS of BLA projection neurons is sufficient to selectively impair extinction behavior. A better understanding of the role of distinct GABAergic synapses may provide novel and more specific targets for therapeutic interventions in extinction-based therapies.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ARRINDELL, WA

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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…

  11. Fears and Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Fear, anger, and risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, J S; Keltner, D

    2001-07-01

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

  13. Nuclear fear revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crease, Robert P.

    2010-10-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Fear and Guilt in HIV and AIDS Prevention | Gwandure | Africa Insight

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The social learning theory concepts of fear and guilt are regarded as inhibitory factors in disease prevention, and this article examines the possibility of incorporating fear and guilt training courses into HIV and AIDS prevention programmes. HIV and AIDS educators could help participants understand the role of fear and guilt ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. Activation of BDNF Signaling Prevents the Return of Fear in Female Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker-Andresen, Danay; Flavell, Charlotte R.; Li, Xiang; Bredy, Timothy W.

    2013-01-01

    There are significant sex differences in vulnerability to develop fear-related anxiety disorders. Females exhibit twice the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as males and sex differences have been observed in fear extinction learning in both humans and rodents, with a failure to inhibit fear emerging as a precipitating factor in the…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, J; Gaffan, E A

    1997-02-01

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

  2. Data integration modeling applied to drill hole planning through semi-supervised learning: A case study from the Dalli Cu-Au porphyry deposit in the central Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatehi, Moslem; Asadi, Hooshang H.

    2017-04-01

    In this study, the application of a transductive support vector machine (TSVM), an innovative semi-supervised learning algorithm, has been proposed for mapping the potential drill targets at a detailed exploration stage. The semi-supervised learning method is a hybrid of supervised and unsupervised learning approach that simultaneously uses both training and non-training data to design a classifier. By using the TSVM algorithm, exploration layers at the Dalli porphyry Cu-Au deposit in the central Iran were integrated to locate the boundary of the Cu-Au mineralization for further drilling. By applying this algorithm on the non-training (unlabeled) and limited training (labeled) Dalli exploration data, the study area was classified in two domains of Cu-Au ore and waste. Then, the results were validated by the earlier block models created, using the available borehole and trench data. In addition to TSVM, the support vector machine (SVM) algorithm was also implemented on the study area for comparison. Thirty percent of the labeled exploration data was used to evaluate the performance of these two algorithms. The results revealed 87 percent correct recognition accuracy for the TSVM algorithm and 82 percent for the SVM algorithm. The deepest inclined borehole, recently drilled in the western part of the Dalli deposit, indicated that the boundary of Cu-Au mineralization, as identified by the TSVM algorithm, was only 15 m off from the actual boundary intersected by this borehole. According to the results of the TSVM algorithm, six new boreholes were suggested for further drilling at the Dalli deposit. This study showed that the TSVM algorithm could be a useful tool for enhancing the mineralization zones and consequently, ensuring a more accurate drill hole planning.

  3. Fear of what, fear for what reason

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Fear of rape from behind prison walls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shermer, Lauren O'Neill; Sudo, Heather

    2017-06-12

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

  7. 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

  8. FEAR AND PREJUDICE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    HIRSH, SELMA

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

  9. Dorky Poll Scientific Fears

    CERN Multimedia

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Fear of the Formal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    du Gay, Paul; Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Effects of the Stimulus and Chamber Size on Unlearned Fear Across Development

    OpenAIRE

    Kabitzke, Patricia A.; Wiedenmayer, Christoph P.

    2011-01-01

    Predator odors have been found to induce unconditioned fear in adult animals and provide the opportunity to study the mechanisms underlying unlearned and learned fear. Predator threats change across an animal’s lifetime, as do abilities that enable the animal to learn or engage in different defensive behaviors. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the combination of factors that successfully induce unlearned fear to predator odor across development. Infant, juvenile, adolescent,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-15

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

  13. 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.

  14. Bridging the Gap: Towards a Cell-Type Specific Understanding of Neural Circuits Underlying Fear Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCullough, KM; Morrison, FG; Ressler, KJ

    2016-01-01

    Fear and anxiety-related disorders are remarkably common and debilitating, and are often characterized by dysregulated fear responses. Rodent models of fear learning and memory have taken great strides towards elucidating the specific neuronal circuitries underlying the learning of fear responses. The present review addresses recent research utilizing optogenetic approaches to parse circuitries underlying fear behaviors. It also highlights the powerful advances made when optogenetic techniques are utilized in a genetically defined, cell-type specific, manner. The application of next-generation genetic and sequencing approaches in a cell-type specific context will be essential for a mechanistic understanding of the neural circuitry underlying fear behavior and for the rational design of targeted, circuit specific, pharmacologic interventions for the treatment and prevention of fear-related disorders. PMID:27470092

  15. Heritability of fear: Ukrainian experience

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    O.V. Filiptsova

    2014-08-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-31

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

  17. Extinction of relapsed fear does not require the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingawi, Nura W; Westbrook, R Frederick; Laurent, Vincent

    2017-03-01

    It is well established that extinguished fears are restored with the passage of time or a change in physical context. These fear restoration phenomena are believed to mimic the conditions under which relapse occurs in patients that have been treated for anxiety disorders by means of cue-exposure therapy. Here, we used a rodent model to extinguish relapsed fear and assess whether this new extinction prevents further relapse. We found that activity in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is required to initially extinguish conditioned fear, but this activity was not necessary to subsequently extinguish relapsed fear. That is, extinction of spontaneously recovered or renewed fear was spared by BLA inactivation. Yet, this BLA-independent learning of extinction did not protect against further relapse: extinction of relapsed fear conducted without BLA activity was still likely to return after the passage of time or a shift in physical context. These findings have important clinical implications. They indicate that pharmacological agents with anxiolytic properties may disrupt initial cue-exposure therapy but may be useful when therapy is again needed due to relapse. However, they also suggest that these agents will not protect against further relapse, implying the need for developing drugs that target other brain regions involved in fear inhibition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.…

  19. Comparison of inbred mouse substrains reveals segregation of maladaptive fear phenotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie J Temme

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Maladaptive fear, such as fear that is persistent or easily generalized to a nonthreatening stimuli, is associated with anxiety-related disorders in humans. In the laboratory, maladaptive fear can be modeled in rodents using Pavlovian fear conditioning. Recently, an inbred mouse strain known as 129S1/SvImJ, or 129S1 have been reported as exhibiting impairments in fear extinction and enhanced fear generalization. With a long-term goal of identifying segregating genetic markers of maladaptive fear, we used Pavlovian fear conditioning to characterize a closely related substrain designated as 129S6/SvEvTac, or 129S6. Here we report that, like 129S1 animals, 129S6 mice exhibit appropriate levels of fear upon conditioning, but are unable to extinguish fear memories once they are consolidated. Importantly, the maladaptive fear phenotype in this inbred stain can be segregated by sub-strain when probed using conditioning protocols designed to assess generalized fear. We find that unlike the 129S1 substrain, mice from the 129S6 sub-strain do not generalize conditioned fear to previously novel contexts and can learn to discriminate between two similar contexts when trained using a discrimination protocol. These results suggest that at least two forms of maladaptive fear (deficits in fear extinction and fear generalization can be can be functionally segregated, further suggesting that the underlying neurobiology is heritable. Given the observation that two closely related sub-strains can exhibit different constellations of maladaptive fear suggests that these findings could be exploited to facilitate the identification of candidate genes for anxiety-related disorders.

  20. 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.

  1. Effects of protease-activated receptor 1 inhibition on anxiety and fear following status epilepticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogovyk, Ruslan; Lunko, Oleksii; Fedoriuk, Mihail; Isaev, Dmytro; Krishtal, Oleg; Holmes, Gregory L; Isaeva, Elena

    2017-02-01

    Protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) is an important contributor to the pathogenesis of a variety of brain disorders associated with a risk of epilepsy development. Using the lithium-pilocarpine model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), we recently showed that inhibition of this receptor during the first ten days after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) results in substantial anti-epileptogenic and neuroprotective effects. As PAR1 is expressed in the central nervous system regions of importance for processing emotional reactions, including amygdala and hippocampus, and TLE is frequently associated with a chronic alteration of the functions of these regions, we tested the hypothesis that PAR1 inhibition could modulate emotionally driven behavioral responses of rats experiencing SE. We showed that SE induces a chronic decrease in the animals' anxiety-related behavior and an increase of locomotor activity. PAR1 inhibition after SE abolished the alteration of the anxiety level but does not affect the increase of locomotor activity in the open field and elevated plus maze tests. Moreover, while PAR1 inhibition produces an impairment of memory recall in the context fear conditioning paradigm in the control group, it substantially improves contextual and cued fear learning in rats experiencing SE. These data suggest that PAR1-dependent signaling is involved in the mechanisms underlying emotional disorders in epilepsy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-22

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The cost of fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Perceptual and conceptual similarities facilitate the generalization of instructed fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Marc; Vervoort, Ellen; Boddez, Yannick; Hermans, Dirk; Baeyens, Frank

    2015-09-01

    Learned fear can generalize to neutral events due their perceptual and conceptual similarity with threat relevant stimuli. This study simultaneously examined these forms of generalization to model the expansion of fear in anxiety disorders. First, artificial categories involving sounds, nonsense words and animal-like objects were established. Next, the words from one category were paired with threatening information while the words from the other category were paired with safety information. Lastly, we examined if fear generalized to (i) the conceptually related animal-like objects and (ii) other animal like-objects that were perceptually similar. This was measured using behavioral avoidance, US expectancy ratings and self-reported stimulus valence. Animal-like objects conceptually connected to the aversive words evoked heightened fear. Perceptual variants of these animal-like objects also elicit fear. Future research would benefit from the use of online-US expectancy ratings and physiological measures of fear. Investigating the role of both perceptual and conceptual fear generalization is important to better understand the etiology of anxiety disorders symptoms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Personality and fear of childbirth.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  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. 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...

  10. Molecular mechanisms of D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction: insights from RNAseq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malan-Müller, Stefanie; Fairbairn, Lorren; Daniels, Willie M U; Dashti, Mahjoubeh Jalali Sefid; Oakeley, Edward J; Altorfer, Marc; Kidd, Martin; Seedat, Soraya; Gamieldien, Junaid; Hemmings, Sîan Megan Joanna

    2016-02-01

    D-cycloserine (DCS) has been shown to be effective in facilitating fear extinction in animal and human studies, however the precise mechanisms whereby the co-administration of DCS and behavioural fear extinction reduce fear are still unclear. This study investigated the molecular mechanisms of intrahippocampally administered D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction in a contextual fear conditioning animal model. Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 120) were grouped into four experimental groups (n = 30) based on fear conditioning and intrahippocampal administration of either DCS or saline. The light/dark avoidance test was used to differentiate maladapted (MA) (anxious) from well-adapted (WA) (not anxious) subgroups. RNA extracted from the left dorsal hippocampus was used for RNA sequencing and gene expression data was compared between six fear-conditioned + saline MA (FEAR + SALINE MA) and six fear-conditioned + DCS WA (FEAR + DCS WA) animals. Of the 424 significantly downregulated and 25 significantly upregulated genes identified in the FEAR + DCS WA group compared to the FEAR + SALINE MA group, 121 downregulated and nine upregulated genes were predicted to be relevant to fear conditioning and anxiety and stress-related disorders. The majority of downregulated genes transcribed immune, proinflammatory and oxidative stress systems molecules. These molecules mediate neuroinflammation and cause neuronal damage. DCS also regulated genes involved in learning and memory processes, and genes associated with anxiety, stress-related disorders and co-occurring diseases (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, digestive system diseases and nervous system diseases). Identifying the molecular underpinnings of DCS-mediated fear extinction brings us closer to understanding the process of fear extinction.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. Selective increase of auditory cortico-striatal coherence during auditory-cued Go/NoGo discrimination learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas L. Schulz

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Goal directed behavior and associated learning processes are tightly linked to neuronal activity in the ventral striatum. Mechanisms that integrate task relevant sensory information into striatal processing during decision making and learning are implicitly assumed in current reinforcementmodels, yet they are still weakly understood. To identify the functional activation of cortico-striatal subpopulations of connections during auditory discrimination learning, we trained Mongolian gerbils in a two-way active avoidance task in a shuttlebox to discriminate between falling and rising frequency modulated tones with identical spectral properties. We assessed functional coupling by analyzing the field-field coherence between the auditory cortex and the ventral striatum of animals performing the task. During the course of training, we observed a selective increase of functionalcoupling during Go-stimulus presentations. These results suggest that the auditory cortex functionally interacts with the ventral striatum during auditory learning and that the strengthening of these functional connections is selectively goal-directed.

  15. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. Optogenetic Activation of Presynaptic Inputs in Lateral Amygdala Forms Associative Fear Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Nakajima, Ryuichi; Hyung-Su, Kim; Jeong, Yire; Augustine, George J.; Han, Jin-Hee

    2014-01-01

    In Pavlovian fear conditioning, the lateral amygdala (LA) has been highlighted as a key brain site for association between sensory cues and aversive stimuli. However, learning-related changes are also found in upstream sensory regions such as thalamus and cortex. To isolate the essential neural circuit components for fear memory association, we…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  2. Pupils' Fear in the Classroom: Portraits from Palestine and England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, Eleanore; Affouneh, Saida

    2017-01-01

    This article explores the concept of fear related to the authoritarian classroom and how children express its influence on their learning. Its investigations draw on the comments of four classes of primary-age pupils, two from a school near London, England, and two from boys' and girls' schools in the West Bank, Palestine. It is written by one…

  3. Public fear of nuclear technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Inhibition of Rac1 activity in the hippocampus impaired extinction of contextual fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Lizhu; Mao, Rongrong; Tong, Jianbin; Li, Jinnan; Chai, Anping; Zhou, Qixin; Yang, Yuexiong; Wang, Liping; Li, Lingjiang; Xu, Lin

    2016-10-01

    Promoting extinction of fear memory is the main treatment of fear disorders, especially post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, fear extinction is often incomplete in these patients. Our previous study had shown that Rac1 activity in hippocampus plays a crucial role in the learning of contextual fear memory in rats. Here, we further investigated whether Rac1 activity also modulated the extinction of contextual fear memory. We found that massed extinction obviously upregulated hippocampal Rac1 activity and induced long-term extinction of contextual fear in rats. Intrahippocampal injection of the Rac1 inhibitor NSC23766 prevents extinction of contextual fear in massed extinction training rats. In contrast, long-spaced extinction downregulated Rac1 activity and caused less extinction. And Rac1 activator CN04-A promotes extinction of contextual fear in long-spaced extinction rats. Our study demonstrates that inhibition of Rac1 activity in the hippocampus impaired extinction of contextual fear, suggesting that modulating Rac1 activity of the hippocampus may be promising therapy of fear disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The centrality of fear extinction in linking risk factors to PTSD : A narrative review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuj, Daniel V; Palmer, Matthew A; Lommen, Miriam; Felmingham, Kim L

    2016-01-01

    Recent prospective studies in emergency services have identified impaired fear extinction learning and memory to be a significant predictor of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), complementing a wealth of cross-sectional evidence of extinction deficits associated with the disorder. Additional

  10. MODERN IDEOLOGIES OF MANAGING FEAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oksana Konstantinovna Vasilchenko

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The subject of the article is a studying of modern ideologies of managing fear. The purpose of the article is to examine the managing fear practice and explain how it is used in the policy of homeland security. The research methodology is based on the general scientific methods such as analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction and special kind of theoretical me-thods such as studying literature about the problem. The study can be used in courses on social philosophy and political science. The author concludes that social fears are very effective instrument of influence with mass consciousness. The authorities need to legitimize their political decisions through public opinion. But before that they should form it. The author shows how policy of homeland security helps to produce fears in society and how politicians intentionally exaggerate them. In this regard the author considers a concept of homeland security which can eliminate the negative sides of homeland security in future.

  11. Adult-onset hypothyroidism enhances fear memory and upregulates mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Fernández-Lamo, Iván; Alieva, María; Pereda-Pérez, Inmaculada; Venero, César; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana

    2011-01-01

    Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment.

  12. Adult-onset hypothyroidism enhances fear memory and upregulates mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors in the amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Montero-Pedrazuela

    Full Text Available Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment.

  13. Adult-Onset Hypothyroidism Enhances Fear Memory and Upregulates Mineralocorticoid and Glucocorticoid Receptors in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Fernández-Lamo, Iván; Alieva, María; Pereda-Pérez, Inmaculada; Venero, César; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana

    2011-01-01

    Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment. PMID:22039511

  14. 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.

  15. The L-Type Voltage-Gated Calcium Channel Ca [subscript V] 1.2 Mediates Fear Extinction and Modulates Synaptic Tone in the Lateral Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temme, Stephanie J.; Murphy, Geoffrey G.

    2017-01-01

    L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (LVGCCs) have been implicated in both the formation and the reduction of fear through Pavlovian fear conditioning and extinction. Despite the implication of LVGCCs in fear learning and extinction, studies of the individual LVGCC subtypes, Ca[subscript V]1.2 and Ca[subscript V] 1.3, using transgenic mice have…

  16. Unusual Fears in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Examining the Fears of Gifted Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tippey, Jacalyn G.; Burnham, Joy J.

    2009-01-01

    Few studies have considered the fears of gifted children. Using the American Fear Survey Schedule for Children (FSSC-AM; Burnham, 1995), a modified version of the Australian Fear Survey Schedule for Children-II (Gullone & King, 1992, 1993), this study focused on the fears of 287 gifted children ages 7-10. This study is a first step in…

  18. HDAC inhibitors as cognitive enhancers in fear, anxiety and trauma therapy: where do we stand?

    OpenAIRE

    Whittle, Nigel; Singewald, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    A novel strategy to treat anxiety and fear-related disorders such as phobias, panic and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is combining CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), including extinction-based exposure therapy, with cognitive enhancers. By targeting and boosting mechanisms underlying learning, drug development in this field aims at designing CBT-augmenting compounds that help to overcome extinction learning deficits, promote long-term fear inhibition and thus support relapse prevent...

  19. 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…

  20. (+)-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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Facing My Fears (Editorial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay Glynn

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available I’m scared. I’m nervous. In a few short weeks the contractors and electricians will take over my library for several months. They will drill huge gouges in the concrete floor, hammer, saw, scrape,move, wire, etc. No doubt they may have to be asked to keep their voices down once or twice. Half of the print journal collection will be relocated to accommodate a new teaching lab that will also double as an information commons. The planning has been going on for many months. We have consulted with other libraries, reviewed the literature, identified the needs of our various user groups, measured space,tested technical possibilities, and met with architects and engineers. Up until now the new lab was an organic idea on paper, discussed over coffee and in meetings. That’s fairly easy to deal with. But just around the corner it becomes a reality and I’m a bag of nerves. Have we made the right decisions? Will it address all our needs? Is there anything I forgot to consider? What if our users don’t like it? What if it is a complete failure?!Theoretically, it should be ok. I’ve followed the right steps and worked with a creative, talented and dedicated team. This is different from trying out a new instructional technique or reorganizing the information desk. This is big. I talk the evidence based talk regularly, but now I am walking the walk in a bigger way than I had ever imagined. Change can be frightening. Moving out of comfort zones is not easy. Having said that, the challenge can be invigorating and the change, refreshing. I find myself welcoming the change as much as I dread it. I’ll face my fears and see it through to the implementation and evaluations and beyond. And hey, no matter what the outcome, it should make for a good paper. If anyone else out there is going through a similar process, I’d be interested in comparing notes. I invite you to try something new this year in your work environment or in your professional activities

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Enhanced hippocampal long-term potentiation and fear memory in Btbd9 mutant mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark P DeAndrade

    Full Text Available Polymorphisms in BTBD9 have recently been associated with higher risk of restless legs syndrome (RLS, a neurological disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs at rest that are relieved by movement. The BTBD9 protein contains a BTB/POZ domain and a BACK domain, but its function is unknown. To elucidate its function and potential role in the pathophysiology of RLS, we generated a line of mutant Btbd9 mice derived from a commercial gene-trap embryonic stem cell clone. Btbd9 is the mouse homolog of the human BTBD9. Proteins that contain a BTB/POZ domain have been reported to be associated with synaptic transmission and plasticity. We found that Btbd9 is naturally expressed in the hippocampus of our mutant mice, a region critical for learning and memory. As electrophysiological characteristics of CA3-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus are well characterized, we performed electrophysiological recordings in this region. The mutant mice showed normal input-output relationship, a significant impairment in pre-synaptic activity, and an enhanced long-term potentiation. We further performed an analysis of fear memory and found the mutant mice had an enhanced cued and contextual fear memory. To elucidate a possible molecular basis for these enhancements, we analyzed proteins that have been associated with synaptic plasticity. We found an elevated level of dynamin 1, an enzyme associated with endocytosis, in the mutant mice. These results suggest the first identified function of Btbd9 as being involved in regulating synaptic plasticity and memory. Recent studies have suggested that enhanced synaptic plasticity, analogous to what we have observed, in other regions of the brain could enhance sensory perception similar to what is seen in RLS patients. Further analyses of the mutant mice will help shine light on the function of BTBD9 and its role in RLS.

  8. Enhanced hippocampal long-term potentiation and fear memory in Btbd9 mutant mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAndrade, Mark P; Zhang, Li; Doroodchi, Atbin; Yokoi, Fumiaki; Cheetham, Chad C; Chen, Huan-Xin; Roper, Steven N; Sweatt, J David; Li, Yuqing

    2012-01-01

    Polymorphisms in BTBD9 have recently been associated with higher risk of restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs at rest that are relieved by movement. The BTBD9 protein contains a BTB/POZ domain and a BACK domain, but its function is unknown. To elucidate its function and potential role in the pathophysiology of RLS, we generated a line of mutant Btbd9 mice derived from a commercial gene-trap embryonic stem cell clone. Btbd9 is the mouse homolog of the human BTBD9. Proteins that contain a BTB/POZ domain have been reported to be associated with synaptic transmission and plasticity. We found that Btbd9 is naturally expressed in the hippocampus of our mutant mice, a region critical for learning and memory. As electrophysiological characteristics of CA3-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus are well characterized, we performed electrophysiological recordings in this region. The mutant mice showed normal input-output relationship, a significant impairment in pre-synaptic activity, and an enhanced long-term potentiation. We further performed an analysis of fear memory and found the mutant mice had an enhanced cued and contextual fear memory. To elucidate a possible molecular basis for these enhancements, we analyzed proteins that have been associated with synaptic plasticity. We found an elevated level of dynamin 1, an enzyme associated with endocytosis, in the mutant mice. These results suggest the first identified function of Btbd9 as being involved in regulating synaptic plasticity and memory. Recent studies have suggested that enhanced synaptic plasticity, analogous to what we have observed, in other regions of the brain could enhance sensory perception similar to what is seen in RLS patients. Further analyses of the mutant mice will help shine light on the function of BTBD9 and its role in RLS.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Fear experience reading: women reading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia VALDIVIESO GÁMEZ

    2009-11-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  14. Encoding of Fear Memory in High and Low Fear Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-18

    contextual fear conditioning and retrieval. Brain structure & function   15.  Black AH, Young GA. 1972.  Electrical  activity of the hippocampus and cortex...0 Cara Olsen Statistician 0.12 0 SUBTOTALS 0

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Differential effects of controllable stress exposure on subsequent extinction learning in adult rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osnat eHadad-Ophir

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Deficits in fear extinction are thought to be related to various anxiety disorders. While failure to extinguish conditioned fear may result in pathological anxiety levels, the ability to quickly and efficiently attenuate learned fear through extinction processes can be extremely beneficial for the individual. One of the factors that may affect the efficiency of the extinction process is prior experience of stressful situations. In the current study, we examined whether exposure to controllable stress, which is suggested to induce stress resilience, can affect subsequent fear extinction. Here, following prolonged two-way shuttle (TWS avoidance training and a validation of acquired stress controllability, adult rats underwent either cued or contextual fear-conditioning (FC, followed by an extinction session. We further evaluated long lasting alterations of GABAergic targets in the medial pre-frontal cortex (mPFC, as these were implicated in FC and extinction and stress controllability. In cued, but not in contextual fear extinction, within-session extinction was enhanced following controllable stress compared to a control group. Interestingly, impaired extinction recall was detected in both extinction types following the stress procedure. Additionally, stress controllability-dependent alterations in GABAergic markers expression in infralimbic (IL, but not prelimbic (PL cortex, were detected. These alterations are proposed to be related to the within-session effect, but not the recall impairment. The results emphasize the contribution of prior experience on coping with subsequent stressful experiences. Moreover, the results emphasize that exposure to controllable stress does not generally facilitate future stress coping as previously claimed, but its effects are dependent on specific features of the events taking place.

  18. 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

  19. The use of the Emotional-Object Recognition as an assay to assess learning and memory associated to an aversive stimulus in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brancato, Anna; Lavanco, Gianluca; Cavallaro, Angela; Plescia, Fulvio; Cannizzaro, Carla

    2016-12-01

    Emotionally salient experiences induce the formation of explicit memory traces, besides eliciting automatic or implicit emotional memory in rodents. This study aims at investigating the implementation of a novel task for studying the formation of limbic memory engrams as a result of the acquisition- and retrieval- of fear-conditioning - biased declarative memory traces, measured by animal discrimination of an "emotional-object". Moreover, by using this new method we investigated the potential interactions between stimulation of cannabinoid transmission and integration of emotional information and cognitive functioning. The Emotional-Object Recognition task is composed of 3 following sessions: habituation; cued fear-conditioned learning; emotional recognition. Rats are exposed to Context "B chamber" for habituation and cued fear-conditioning, and tested in Context "A chamber" for emotional-object recognition. Cued fear-conditioning induces a reduction in emotional-object exploration time during the Emotional-Object Recognition task in controls. The activation of cannabinoid signalling impairs limbic memory formation, with respect to vehicle. The Emotional-Object Recognition test overcomes several limitations of commonly employed methods that explore declarative-, spatial memory and fear-conditioning in a non-integrated manner. It allows the assessment of unbiased cognitive indicators of emotional learning and memory. The Emotional-Object Recognition task is a valuable tool for investigating whether, and at what extent, specific drugs or pathological conditions that interfere with the individual affective/emotional homeostasis, can modulate the formation of emotionally salient explicit memory traces, thus jeopardizing control and regulation of animal behavioural strategy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Heritability of fear: Ukrainian experience | Filiptsova | Egyptian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the former Soviet Union, research on human behavior traits was mostly tabooed. ... Results: As a result of the research, correlation coefficients of fears q between ... one was recorded for fear of aggressive behavior possibility to the relatives.

  3. Fear and Leadership in Union Organizing Campaigns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Murphy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This article adopts a mobilization framework to examine the crucial actions of workplace activists in overcoming fear of employer reprisal during union organizing campaigns in hostile environments. The article explores fear as part of the organizing process in two ways; first, we examine how fear can act as a stimulus for workplace activists to take action in an attempt to overcome the source of that fear. Second, we examine fear as an inhibiting factor in organizing, whereby the presence of fear hinders individuals from taking action. Using qualitative data from interviews conducted with workplace activists across a variety of campaigns in Ireland, this article examines the process through which workplace activists conquer their own sense of fear and undertake the task of mobilizing colleagues toward collective action in pursuit of union representation amid fear of employer reprisal.

  4. The neuronal PAS domain protein 4 (Npas4 is required for new and reactivated fear memories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Ploski

    Full Text Available The Neuronal PAS domain protein 4 (Npas4 is a neuronal activity-dependent immediate early gene that has recently been identified as a transcription factor which regulates the transcription of genes that control inhibitory synapse development and synaptic plasticity. The role Npas4 in learning and memory, however, is currently unknown. Here, we systematically examine the role of Npas4 in auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, an amygdala-dependent form of emotional learning. In our first series of experiments, we show that Npas4 mRNA and protein are regulated in the rat lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in a learning-dependent manner. Further, knockdown of Npas4 protein in the LA via adeno-associated viral (AAV mediated gene delivery of RNAi was observed to impair fear memory formation, while innate fear and the expression of fear memory were not affected. In our second series of experiments, we show that Npas4 protein is regulated in the LA by retrieval of an auditory fear memory and that knockdown of Npas4 in the LA impairs retention of a reactivated, but not a non-reactivated, fear memory. Collectively, our findings provide the first comprehensive look at the functional role of Npas4 in learning and memory.

  5. 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…

  6. The Role of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex-Amygdala Circuit in Stress Effects on the Extinction of Fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mouna Maroun

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Stress exposure, depending on its intensity and duration, affects cognition and learning in an adaptive or maladaptive manner. Studies addressing the effects of stress on cognitive processes have mainly focused on conditioned fear, since it is suggested that fear-motivated learning lies at the root of affective and anxiety disorders. Inhibition of fear-motivated response can be accomplished by experimental extinction of the fearful response to the fear-inducing stimulus. Converging evidence indicates that extinction of fear memory requires plasticity in both the medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. These brain areas are also deeply involved in mediating the effects of exposure to stress on memory. Moreover, extensive evidence indicates that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA transmission plays a primary role in the modulation of behavioral sequelae resulting from a stressful experience, and may also partially mediate inhibitory learning during extinction. In this review, we present evidence that exposure to a stressful experience may impair fear extinction and the possible involvement of the GABA system. Impairment of fear extinction learning is particularly important as it may predispose some individuals to the development of posttraumatic stress disorder. We further discuss a possible dysfunction in the medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala circuit following a stressful experience that may explain the impaired extinction caused by exposure to a stressor.

  7. Exposure to a Fearful Context during Periods of Memory Plasticity Impairs Extinction via Hyperactivation of Frontal-Amygdalar Circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafford, James M.; Maughan, DeeAnna K.; Ilioi, Elena C.; Lattal, K. Matthew

    2013-01-01

    An issue of increasing theoretical and translational importance is to understand the conditions under which learned fear can be suppressed, or even eliminated. Basic research has pointed to extinction, in which an organism is exposed to a fearful stimulus (such as a context) in the absence of an expected aversive outcome (such as a shock). This…

  8. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

    In the present study, the authors tested whether conceptual fear knowledge can (a) evoke bodily reactions and (b) enhance subsequent bodily reactions to fearful stimuli. Participants unscrambled neutral or fear sentences and subsequently viewed fearful and neutral pictures in combination with

  10. 33 CFR 165.530 - Safety Zone: Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear Rivers, NC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Safety Zone: Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear Rivers, NC. 165.530 Section 165.530 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD... § 165.530 Safety Zone: Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear Rivers, NC. (a) Location. The following area is...

  11. Neurobiology of Fear and Specific Phobias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, René

    2017-01-01

    Fear, which can be expressed innately or after conditioning, is triggered when a danger or a stimulus predicting immediate danger is perceived. Its role is to prepare the body to face this danger. However, dysfunction in fear processing can lead to psychiatric disorders in which fear outweighs the danger or possibility of harm. Although recognized…

  12. Instructed fear stimuli bias visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  13. Fears of American Children Following Terrorism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnham, Joy J.; Hooper, Lisa M.

    2008-01-01

    Two months after 9/11, the fears of children and adolescents in Grades 2-12 were examined utilizing the American Fear Survey Schedule for Children and Adolescents (FSSC-AM). Fear intensity scores and age and gender differences are reported. Terrorist-related content on the FSSC-AM (e.g., terrorist attacks, our country being invading by enemies)…

  14. Responding to Children's Fears: A Partnership Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorin, Reesa

    2002-01-01

    Describes a study into children's fears and suggests that forging partnerships between parents, children, and teachers is one positive step toward addressing fear in young children. Defines partnerships and asserts that they can help in better recognizing fear displays in young children and in sharing ideas about best practice in responding to…

  15. What Makes Children Fearful and Anxious

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honig, Alice Sterling; Miller, Susan A.; Church, Ellen Booth

    2007-01-01

    This article explains the causes of children's fears and anxieties in the following age brackets: (1) 0-2 years old; (2) 3-4 years old; and (3) 5-6 years old. It presents situations wherein children develop fears and anxious feelings. It also discusses how to deal and manage these fears and anxieties and enumerates what can be done to make…

  16. Modification of Fear Memory by Pharmacological and Behavioural Interventions during Reconsolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response. We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol) and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation) interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS). Two of these (CS+) were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response. Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus. Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of psychotherapeutic interventions. This

  17. Modification of Fear Memory by Pharmacological and Behavioural Interventions during Reconsolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Background Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response. Methods We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol) and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation) interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS). Two of these (CS+) were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response. Results Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus. Conclusions Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of

  18. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwapis, Janine L.; Jarome, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    The extinction of delay fear conditioning relies on a neural circuit that has received much attention and is relatively well defined. Whether this established circuit also supports the extinction of more complex associations, however, is unclear. Trace fear conditioning is a better model of complex relational learning, yet the circuit that supports extinction of this memory has received very little attention. Recent research has indicated that trace fear extinction requires a different neural circuit than delay extinction; trace extinction requires the participation of the retrosplenial cortex, but not the amygdala, as noted in a previous study. Here, we tested the roles of the prelimbic and infralimbic regions of the medial prefrontal cortex in trace and delay fear extinction by blocking NMDA receptors during extinction learning. We found that the prelimbic cortex is necessary for trace, but not for delay fear extinction, whereas the infralimbic cortex is involved in both types of extinction. These results are consistent with the idea that trace fear associations require plasticity in multiple cortical areas for successful extinction. Further, the infralimbic cortex appears to play a role in extinction regardless of whether the animal was initially trained in trace or delay conditioning. Together, our results provide new information about how the neural circuits supporting trace and delay fear extinction differ. PMID:25512576

  2. More than just noise: Inter-individual differences in fear acquisition, extinction and return of fear in humans - Biological, experiential, temperamental factors, and methodological pitfalls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lonsdorf, Tina B; Merz, Christian J

    2017-09-01

    Why do only some individuals develop pathological anxiety following adverse events? Fear acquisition, extinction and return of fear paradigms serve as experimental learning models for the development, treatment and relapse of anxiety. Individual differences in experimental performance were however mostly regarded as 'noise' by researchers interested in basic associative learning principles. Our work for the first time presents a comprehensive literature overview and methodological discussion on inter-individual differences in fear acquisition, extinction and return of fear. We tell a story from noise that steadily develops into a meaningful tune and converges to a model of mechanisms contributing to individual risk/resilience with respect to fear and anxiety-related behavior. Furthermore, in light of the present 'replicability crisis' we identify methodological pitfalls and provide suggestions for study design and analyses tailored to individual difference research in fear conditioning. Ultimately, synergistic transdisciplinary and collaborative efforts hold promise to not only improve our mechanistic understanding but can also be expected to contribute to the development of specifically tailored ('individualized') intervention and targeted prevention programs in the future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The Hypocretin/Orexin System Mediates the Extinction of Fear Memories

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are often associated with an inability to extinguish learned fear responses. The hypocretin/orexin system is involved in the regulation of emotional states and could also participate in the consolidation and extinction of aversive memories. Using hypocretin receptor-1 and hypocretin receptor-2 antagonists, hypocretin-1 and hypocretin-2 peptides, and hypocretin receptor-1 knockout mice, we investigated the role of the hypocretin system in cue- and context-dependent fear condi...

  4. Fear extinction and BDNF: Translating animal models of PTSD to the clinic

    OpenAIRE

    Andero, Raül; Ressler, Kerry J

    2012-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is the most studied neurotrophin involved in synaptic plasticity processes that are required for long-term learning and memory. Specifically, BDNF gene expression and activation of its high-affinity TrkB receptor are necessary in the amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex for the formation of emotional memories, including fear memories. Among the psychiatric disorders with altered fear processing there is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) whic...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. [Pathological nighttime fears in children: Clinical specificities and effective therapeutics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducasse, D; Denis, H

    2015-09-01

    Pathological nighttime fears in children have been little studied. However, this disorder is commonly encountered in medical consultations and is discomforting and dysfunctional for both the child and the family. Most nighttime fears are part and parcel of normal development, and emanate from increasingly sophisticated cognitive development in the growing child. Thus, most children report a variety of coping strategies generally helpful in reducing their anxiety, which resolves spontaneously in the growing child. Nevertheless, in about 10% of children, nighttime fears are related to one or more anxiety disorders according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria. Then, it is estimated that severe nighttime fears and sleep problems occur in 20-30% of children. This problem is not transient and has to be treated. This study aims to review clinical features of nighttime fears and possible treatments for these patients and their families. This systematic review follows the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) statement guidelines. Two databases (Medline and Web of Science) were searched combining the search terms: nighttime fears AND children. English and French languages were imposed. There were no publication date or publication status limitations. Pathological nighttime fears are responsible for emotional (crying, panic, tantrums at bedtime, loss of confidence, self-disparaging negative statements, and feeling of social embarrassment) and behavioral (wandering alone in the house at night, calls for parental or sibling comfort, bed sharing with parents or siblings, light source at night, refusal to go to the toilet alone at night) disturbances. This leads to a poor quality of sleep interfering with school learning, and also affects social development and family functioning. A full assessment has to be made to eliminate organic causes, have a baseline functioning, and search for comorbid anxiety diseases

  8. Should Latin America Fear China?

    OpenAIRE

    Eduardo Lora

    2005-01-01

    This paper compares growth conditions in China and Latin America to assess fears that China will displace Latin America in the coming decades. China`s strengths include the size of the economy, macroeconomic stability, abundant low-cost labor, the rapid expansion of physical infrastructure, and the ability to innovate. China`s weaknesses, stemming from insufficient separation between market and state, include poor corporate governance, a fragile financial system and misallocation of savings. ...

  9. The fears of a clown

    OpenAIRE

    Mackley, J S

    2016-01-01

    Clowns are often seen as a source of terror, and this fear may be traced back to the film "Poltergeist" or Stephen King's novel "It". This paper traces the roots of clown performance, from their ability to speak to both commoners and royalty in Shakespeares plays, to the characters of Harlequin, Pierrot and Clown in the Harlequinade plays, and the violence of Mr Punch. This paper also considers more recent creations, particularly the "Northampton Clown" and the effect that this pranks had on ...

  10. Unemployment (Fears) and Deflationary Spirals

    OpenAIRE

    Den Haan, WJ; Riegler, M; Karner Rendahl, Robert Pontus

    2017-01-01

    The interaction of incomplete markets and sticky nominal wages is shown to magnify business cycles even though these two features—in isolation—dampen them. During recessions, fears of unemployment stir up precautionary sentiments that induce agents to save more. The additional savings may be used as investments in both a productive asset (equity) and an unproductive nominal liquid asset. The desire to hold the nominal liquid asset puts deflationary pressure on the economy which, provided that...

  11. Sleep deprivation affects fear memory consolidation: bi-stable amygdala connectivity with insula and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Pan; Becker, Benjamin; Zheng, Yong; Feng, Tingyong

    2018-02-01

    Sleep plays an important role for successful fear memory consolidation. Growing evidence suggests that sleep disturbances might contribute to the development and the maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorders characterized by dysregulations in fear learning mechanisms, as well as exaggerated arousal and salience processing. Against this background, the present study examined the effects of sleep deprivation (SD) on the acquisition of fear and the subsequent neural consolidation. To this end, the present study assessed fear acquisition and associated changes in fMRI-based amygdala-functional connectivity following 24 h of SD. Relative to non-sleep deprived controls, SD subjects demonstrated increased fear ratings and skin conductance responses (SCR) during fear acquisition. During fear consolidation SD inhibited increased amygdala-ventromendial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) connectivity and concomitantly increased changes in amygdala-insula connectivity. Importantly, whereas in controls fear indices during acquisition were negatively associated with amygdala-vmPFC connectivity during consolidation, fear indices were positively associated with amygdala-insula coupling following SD. Together the findings suggest that SD may interfere with vmPFC control of the amygdala and increase bottom-up arousal signaling in the amygdala-insula pathway during fear consolidation, which might mediate the negative impact of sleep disturbances on PSTD symptomatology.

  12. Maternal buffering of fear-potentiated startle in children and adolescents with trauma exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Rooij, Sanne J H; Cross, Dorthie; Stevens, Jennifer S; Vance, L Alexander; Kim, Ye Ji; Bradley, Bekh; Tottenham, Nim; Jovanovic, Tanja

    2017-02-01

    Parental availability influences fear expression and learning across species, but the effect of maternal buffering on fear learning in humans is unknown. Here we investigated the effect of maternal availability during fear conditioning in a group of children (ages 8-10) and adolescents (ages 11-13) from a low-income population with a range of trauma exposure. Acoustic startle response data were collected to measure fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in 104 participants. A total of 62 participants were tested with the mother available and 42 when the mother was not in the testing room. We observed that maternal availability during fear conditioning interacted with age to affect FPS discrimination between CS+ and CS-. In line with previous findings suggesting an absence of maternal buffering in adolescents, fear discrimination was affected by maternal availability only in children. Second, we observed that the effect of maternal buffering on FPS discrimination in children was not influenced by maternally reported warmth. In conclusion, we demonstrated that maternal availability improved discrimination in children, regardless of the quality of the relationship. Adolescents discriminated irrespective of maternal status, suggesting that childhood may be a sensitive period for environmental influences on key processes such as learning of danger and safety signals.

  13. 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.

  14. A ghrelin-growth hormone axis drives stress-induced vulnerability to enhanced fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, R M; Burgos-Robles, A; Liu, E; Correia, S S; Goosens, K A

    2014-12-01

    Hormones in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis mediate many of the bodily responses to stressors, yet there is no clear relationship between the levels of these hormones and stress-associated mental illnesses such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therefore, other hormones are likely to be involved in this effect of stress. Here we used a rodent model of PTSD in which rats repeatedly exposed to a stressor display heightened fear learning following auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning. Our results show that stress-related increases in circulating ghrelin, a peptide hormone, are necessary and sufficient for stress-associated vulnerability to exacerbated fear learning and these actions of ghrelin occur in the amygdala. Importantly, these actions are also independent of the classic HPA stress axis. Repeated systemic administration of a ghrelin receptor agonist enhanced fear memory but did not increase either corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) or corticosterone. Repeated intraamygdala infusion of a ghrelin receptor agonist produced a similar enhancement of fear memory. Ghrelin receptor antagonism during repeated stress abolished stress-related enhancement of fear memory without blunting stress-induced corticosterone release. We also examined links between ghrelin and growth hormone (GH), a major downstream effector of the ghrelin receptor. GH protein was upregulated in the amygdala following chronic stress, and its release from amygdala neurons was enhanced by ghrelin receptor stimulation. Virus-mediated overexpression of GH in the amygdala was also sufficient to increase fear. Finally, virus-mediated overexpression of a GH receptor antagonist was sufficient to block the fear-enhancing effects of repeated ghrelin receptor stimulation. Thus, ghrelin requires GH in the amygdala to exert fear-enhancing effects. These results suggest that ghrelin mediates a novel branch of the stress response and highlight a previously unrecognized role for ghrelin and

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, Samantha; Cook, Carrie L

    2015-09-01

    The shadow hypothesis regarding the impact of fear of sexual assault on fear of violent crime suggests that female fear of crime is characterized by concern about sexual assault as a contemporaneous victimization event during a violent crime event. Recent research has found that other types of crime, namely physical assault, may also be feared as a contemporaneous offense. We know of no research that has examined the unique impact of fear of murder versus fear of sexual assault on fear of violent crime. There is also a lack of research that explores how these two types of fear uniquely affect men and women. In addition to gender, we examine factors that have been suggested in previous research to correlate with fear of crime: race, victimization, vicarious victimization, and perceived risk. Through survey methodology, this research examines the unique relationship between both fear of murder and fear of sexual assault and fear of three types of violent crime for men and women. Results suggest differences in how fear of murder and fear of sexual assault are related to fear of other types of violence for men and women. Specifically, fear of murder is important in estimating male fear of robbery and aggravated assault. However, fear of sexual assault is almost as important as fear of murder for men in estimating fear of home invasion. Similarly, for women, fear of sexual assault and fear of murder both are significant factors associated with fear of violent crime, and differences between the levels of significance are marginal. This study is a first to examine whether murder may also be feared as a contemporaneous offense. The results are informative in identifying what drives fear of crime, particularly violent crime, for both men and women. Avenues for future research are discussed. © The Author(s) 2014.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algie, Jennifer; Rossiter, John R

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Aubry

    2016-10-01

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

  4. Understanding Student Attitudes about Distance Education: The Importance of Excitement and Fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther Smidt

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This quantitative study investigated student attitudes toward distance education at a midsized, mid-Atlantic state university in the United States. The research question was: Do feelings of excitement and fear moderate and/or mediate the relationship between online learning experiences and student opinions about the current state of online education, namely that institutions were pushing too much instruction online? Data was collected from students via an online survey. Findings suggested: (a students with online experience who were fearful of this learning mode were the most likely to report that their institutions were pushing too much online learning, (b regardless of online learning experience, students who were excited about this learning mode were less likely to think that their institutions were pushing too much online learning.

  5. Fear memory consolidation in sleep requires protein kinase A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Jiyeon; Sypniewski, Krzysztof A; Arai, Shoko; Yamada, Kazuo; Ogawa, Sonoko; Pavlides, Constantine

    2018-05-01

    It is well established that protein kinase A (PKA) is involved in hippocampal dependent memory consolidation. Sleep is also known to play an important role in this process. However, whether sleep-dependent memory consolidation involves PKA activation has not been clearly determined. Using behavioral observation, animals were categorized into sleep and awake groups. We show that intrahippocampal injections of the PKA inhibitor Rp-cAMPs in post-contextual fear conditioning sleep produced a suppression of long-term fear memory, while injections of Rp-cAMPs during an awake state, at a similar time point, had no effect. In contrast, injections of the PKA activator Sp-cAMPs in awake state, rescued sleep deprivation-induced memory impairments. These results suggest that following learning, PKA activation specifically in sleep is required for the consolidation of long-term memory. © 2018 Cho et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  6. Behavioural memory reconsolidation of food and fear memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flavell, Charlotte R; Barber, David J; Lee, Jonathan L C

    2011-10-18

    The reactivation of a memory through retrieval can render it subject to disruption or modification through the process of memory reconsolidation. In both humans and rodents, briefly reactivating a fear memory results in effective erasure by subsequent extinction training. Here we show that a similar strategy is equally effective in the disruption of appetitive pavlovian cue-food memories. However, systemic administration of the NMDA receptor partial agonist D-cycloserine, under the same behavioural conditions, did not potentiate appetitive memory extinction, suggesting that reactivation does not enhance subsequent extinction learning. To confirm that reactivation followed by extinction reflects a behavioural analogue of memory reconsolidation, we show that prevention of contextual fear memory reactivation by the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel blocker nimodipine interferes with the amnestic outcome. Therefore, the reconsolidation process can be manipulated behaviourally to disrupt both aversive and appetitive memories. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Fear of nuclear power generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Higson, D.J. [Paddington, NSW (Australia)

    2014-07-01

    Communicating the benefits of nuclear power generation, although essential, is unlikely to be sufficient by itself to counter the misconceptions which hinder the adoption of this technology, viz: that it is unsafe, generates intractable waste, facilitates the proliferation of nuclear weapons, etc. Underlying most of these objections is the fear of radiation, engendered by misunderstandings of the effects of exposure - not the actual risks of radiation exposure themselves. Unfortunately, some aspects of current radiation protection practices promote the misconception that there is no safe dose. A prime purpose of communications from the nuclear industry should be to dispel these misconceptions. (author)

  11. Exploring epigenetic regulation of fear memory and biomarkers associated with Post-traumatic stress disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Maddox

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This review examines recent work on epigenetic mechanisms underlying animal models of fear learning as well as its translational implications in disorders of fear regulation, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. Specifically, we will examine work outlining roles of differential histone acetylation and DNA methylation associated with consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction in Pavlovian fear paradigms. We then focus on the numerous studies examining the epigenetic modifications of the Brain-derived neurotrophin factor (BDNF pathway and the extension of these findings from animal models to recent work in human clinical populations. We will also review recently published data on FKBP5 regulation of glucocorticoid receptor function, and how this is modulated in animal models of PTSD and in human clinical populations via epigenetic mechanisms. As glucocorticoid regulation of memory consolidation is well established in fear models, we examine how these recent data contribute to our broader understanding of fear memory formation. The combined recent progress in epigenetic modulation of memory with the advances in fear neurobiology suggest that this area may be critical to progress in our understanding of fear-related disorders with implications for new approaches to treatment and prevention.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  13. The Hypocretin/Orexin System Mediates the Extinction of Fear Memories

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are often associated with an inability to extinguish learned fear responses. The hypocretin/orexin system is involved in the regulation of emotional states and could also participate in the consolidation and extinction of aversive memories. Using hypocretin receptor-1 and hypocretin receptor-2 antagonists, hypocretin-1 and hypocretin-2 peptides, and hypocretin receptor-1 knockout mice, we investigated the role of the hypocretin system in cue- and context-dependent fear conditioning and extinction. Hypocretins were crucial for the consolidation of fear conditioning, and this effect was mainly observed in memories with a high emotional component. Notably, after the acquisition of fear memory, hypocretin receptor-1 blockade facilitated fear extinction, whereas hypocretin-1 administration impaired this extinction process. The extinction-facilitating effects of the hypocretin receptor-1 antagonist SB334867 were associated with increased expression of cFos in the basolateral amygdala and the infralimbic cortex. Intra-amygdala, but neither intra-infralimbic prefrontal cortex nor intra-dorsohippocampal infusion of SB334867 enhanced fear extinction. These results reveal a key role for hypocretins in the extinction of aversive memories and suggest that hypocretin receptor-1 blockade could represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of diseases associated with inappropriate retention of fear, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias. PMID:24930888

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Spatial part-set cuing facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Matthew R; Parasiuk, Yuri; Salgado-Benz, Jennifer; Crocco, Megan

    2016-07-01

    Cole, Reysen, and Kelley [2013. Part-set cuing facilitation for spatial information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 39, 1615-1620] reported robust part-set cuing facilitation for spatial information using snap circuits (a colour-coded electronics kit designed for children to create rudimentary circuit boards). In contrast, Drinkwater, Dagnall, and Parker [2006. Effects of part-set cuing on experienced and novice chess players' reconstruction of a typical chess midgame position. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 102(3), 645-653] and Watkins, Schwartz, and Lane [1984. Does part-set cuing test for memory organization? Evidence from reconstructions of chess positions. Canadian Journal of Psychology/Revue Canadienne de Psychologie, 38(3), 498-503] showed no influence of part-set cuing for spatial information when using chess boards. One key difference between the two procedures was that the snap circuit stimuli were explicitly connected to one another, whereas chess pieces were not. Two experiments examined the effects of connection type (connected vs. unconnected) and cue type (cued vs. uncued) on memory for spatial information. Using chess boards (Experiment 1) and snap circuits (Experiment 2), part-set cuing facilitation only occurred when the stimuli were explicitly connected; there was no influence of cuing with unconnected stimuli. These results are potentially consistent with the retrieval strategy disruption hypothesis, as well as the two- and three-mechanism accounts of part-set cuing.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Methylphenidate enhances extinction of contextual fear

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Bianca A.; Gross, Cornelius T.

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  3. Fear of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and fear of other illness in suicide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aro, A R; Jallinoja, P T; Henriksson, M M

    1994-01-01

    Suicide victims with fear of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or other somatic illness were compared for psychosocial and health-related characteristics, triggers and content of fear. Fear of AIDS cases (n = 28), 2% of the 1-year Finnish suicide population (n = 1397), were younger...... and fewer had serious somatic disease (32% vs 64%) compared with cases of fear of other somatic illness. Both groups had more depression, especially major depression (54% and 61% vs 26%), more psychotic disorders (50% and 32% vs 24%) and health care contacts during their final week (61% and 64% vs 36%) than...... other suicides. Suicidal fear of AIDS calls for evaluation of sexual and other risk behaviour, but fear of AIDS was largely generated by the extensive media coverage. Fear of other somatic illness was more diverse in origin and related to illness experiences. Suicidal fear of illness calls...

  4. A rating instrument for fear of hospitalisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jankovic, Slobodan M; Antonijevic, Gordana V; Vasic, Ivana R; Zivkovic-Radojevic, Marija N; Mirkovic, Snjezana N; Nikolic, Bosko V; Opancina, Valentina D; Putnik, Srdjan S; Radoicic, Ljiljana R; Raspopovic, Katarina M; Stanojevic, Dragan R; Teofilov, Sladjana D; Tomasevic, Katarina V; Radonjic, Vesela

    2018-04-01

    To develop and validate a reliable instrument that can measure fear of hospitalisation experienced by outpatients. After having a diagnosis established, some patients experience sense of fear, unpleasantness and embarrassment due to the possibility to be admitted to a hospital. Currently, there is no available instrument for measuring fear of hospitalisation. Cross-sectional study for assessing reliability and validity of a questionnaire. The questionnaire with 17 items and answers according to the Likert scale was developed during two brainstorming sessions of the research team. Its reliability, validity and temporal stability were tested on the sample of 330 outpatients. The study was multicentric, involving patients from seven cities and three countries. Fear of hospitalisation scale showed satisfactory reliability, when rated both by the investigators (Cronbach's alpha .799) and by the patients themselves (Cronbach's alpha .760). It is temporally stable, and both divergent and convergent validity tests had good results. Factorial analysis revealed three domains: fear of being injured, trust to medical staff and fear of losing privacy or autonomy. This study developed new reliable and valid instrument for measuring fear of hospitalisation. Identification of patients with high level of fear of hospitalisation by this instrument should help clinicians to administer measures which may decrease fear and prevent avoidance of healthcare utilisation. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. 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.

  6. FEAR BOUDARIES: RESISTENCE TO TOURISM PROJECTS AT ILHA DO MEDO (ISLE OF FEAR – MARANHÃO STATE, BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilene Leite de Sousa

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The article analyses a project for communitarian tourism at Ilha do Medo, Maranhão State and the local‟s reaction to tourists. It also analyses dialogues between natives people and tourism planners in the place. Local´s reaction to the attempt of turning the island into a new attraction at San Luis indicates their concern in preserving their way of life. To do so they use fear as a strategy to keep “invaders” at a distance. The analysis made possible to reflect on relationships between tourists and native people, understand the social network woven among tourism planners, natives and ethnographers in the field, as well as learning the flux at the boundaries of fear.

  7. Sex Differences in Anxiety Disorders: Interactions between Fear, Stress, and Gonadal Hormones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeng, Lisa Y.; Milad, Mohammed R.

    2015-01-01

    Women are more vulnerable to stress- and fear-based disorders, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Despite the growing literature on this topic, the neural basis of these sex differences remains unclear, and the findings appear inconsistent. The neurobiological mechanisms of fear and stress in learning and memory processes have been extensively studied, and the crosstalk between these systems is beginning to explain the disproportionate incidence and differences in symptomatology and remission within these psychopathologies. In this review, we discuss the intersect between stress and fear mechanisms and their modulation by gonadal hormones and discuss the relevance of this information to sex differences in anxiety and fear-based disorders. Understanding these converging influences is imperative to the development of more effective, individualized treatments that take sex and hormones into account. PMID:25888456

  8. Unilateral hippocampal inactivation or lesion selectively impairs remote contextual fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Heng; Zhou, Qixin; Xu, Lin

    2016-10-01

    Contextual fear memory depends on the hippocampus, but the role of unilateral hippocampus in this type of memory remains unclear. Herein, pharmacological inactivation or excitotoxic lesions were used to study the role of unilateral hippocampus in the stages of contextual fear memory. The pharmacological experiments revealed that compared with the control groups, unilateral hippocampal blockade did not impair 1-day recent memory following learning, whereas bilateral hippocampal blockade significantly impaired this memory. The lesion experiments showed that compared with the control groups, the formed contextual fear memory was retained for 7 days and that 30-day remote memory was markedly reduced in unilateral hippocampal lesion groups. These results indicate that an intact bilateral hippocampus is required for the formation of remote memory and that unilateral hippocampus is sufficient for recent contextual fear memory.

  9. Factors of Child Dental Fear : A Literature Review of Dental Fear in Children

    OpenAIRE

    Nakata, Ayumi; Sato, Yoko

    2011-01-01

    Objectives. To provide an overview of the literature investigating dental fear in children during the past ten years and to review factors of child dental fear. Methods. The literature was systematically retrieved from an electronic database. The thirty four literatures which were written about the fear of dentistry, psychology and behavior during dental treatment were chosen. Results. The terms of fear being used were “Shika-kyoufu”, “Dental fear”, etc. However, the terms were not defined in...

  10. How fear appeals work: Motivational biases in the processing of fear-arousing health communications.

    OpenAIRE

    Das, E.H.H.J.

    2001-01-01

    This dissertation deals with the study of fear appeals, i.e. messages in which people are presented with fear-arousing health information, in order to convince them they should alter unhealthy habits and adopt healthy lifestyles. Fear appeals typically start with the presentation of the negative consequences of a certain behavior, followed by a recommendation in which a solution to the health risk is offered. The majority of empirical studies examining the effects of fear appeals on persuasio...

  11. I can see, hear, and smell your fear : Comparing olfactory and audiovisual media in fear communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Groot, Jasper H B; Semin, Gün R.; Smeets, Monique A M

    2014-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that humans can become fearful after exposure to olfactory fear signals, yet these studies have reported the effects of fear chemosignals without examining emotion-relevant input from traditional communication modalities (i.e., vision, audition). The question that we pursued

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Das, E.H.H.J.

    2001-01-01

    This dissertation deals with the study of fear appeals, i.e. messages in which people are presented with fear-arousing health information, in order to convince them they should alter unhealthy habits and adopt healthy lifestyles. Fear appeals typically start with the presentation of the negative

  15. Enhancing dopaminergic signaling and histone acetylation promotes long-term rescue of deficient fear extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittle, N; Maurer, V; Murphy, C; Rainer, J; Bindreither, D; Hauschild, M; Scharinger, A; Oberhauser, M; Keil, T; Brehm, C; Valovka, T; Striessnig, J; Singewald, N

    2016-01-01

    Extinction-based exposure therapy is used to treat anxiety- and trauma-related disorders; however, there is the need to improve its limited efficacy in individuals with impaired fear extinction learning and to promote greater protection against return-of-fear phenomena. Here, using 129S1/SvImJ mice, which display impaired fear extinction acquisition and extinction consolidation, we revealed that persistent and context-independent rescue of deficient fear extinction in these mice was associated with enhanced expression of dopamine-related genes, such as dopamine D1 (Drd1a) and -D2 (Drd2) receptor genes in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala, but not hippocampus. Moreover, enhanced histone acetylation was observed in the promoter of the extinction-regulated Drd2 gene in the mPFC, revealing a potential gene-regulatory mechanism. Although enhancing histone acetylation, via administering the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor MS-275, does not induce fear reduction during extinction training, it promoted enduring and context-independent rescue of deficient fear extinction consolidation/retrieval once extinction learning was initiated as shown following a mild conditioning protocol. This was associated with enhanced histone acetylation in neurons of the mPFC and amygdala. Finally, as a proof-of-principle, mimicking enhanced dopaminergic signaling by L-dopa treatment rescued deficient fear extinction and co-administration of MS-275 rendered this effect enduring and context-independent. In summary, current data reveal that combining dopaminergic and epigenetic mechanisms is a promising strategy to improve exposure-based behavior therapy in extinction-impaired individuals by initiating the formation of an enduring and context-independent fear-inhibitory memory. PMID:27922638

  16. Negative appraisals and fear extinction are independently related to PTSD symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuj, Daniel V; Palmer, Matthew A; Gray, Kate E; Hsu, Chia-Ming K; Nicholson, Emma L; Malhi, Gin S; Bryant, Richard A; Felmingham, Kim L

    2017-08-01

    Considerable research has revealed impaired fear extinction to be a significant predictor of PTSD. Fear extinction is also considered the primary mechanism of exposure therapy, and a critical factor in PTSD recovery. The cognitive theory of PTSD proposes that symptoms persist due to excessive negative appraisals about the trauma and its sequelae. Research has not yet examined the relationship between fear extinction and negative appraisals in PTSD. A cross-sectional sample of participants with PTSD (n =21), and trauma-exposed controls (n =33) underwent a standardized differential fear conditioning and extinction paradigm, with skin conductance response (SCR) amplitude serving as the index of conditioned responses. The Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI) was used to index catastrophic negative appraisals. Participants with PTSD demonstrated a slower decrease in overall SCR responses during extinction and greater negative appraisals compared to the group. A moderation analysis revealed that both negative trauma-relevant appraisals and fear extinction learning were independently associated with PTSD symptoms, but there was no moderation interaction. The current study was limited by a modest sample size, leading to the inclusion of participants with subclinical PTSD symptoms. Further, the current study only assessed fear extinction learning; including a second day extinction recall task may show alternative effects. These findings indicate that negative appraisals and fear extinction did not interact, but had independent relationships with PTSD symptoms. Here we show for the first time in an experimental framework that negative appraisals and fear extinction play separate roles in PTSD symptoms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Blurring Aversive Memory: Exploring a Novel Route to Fear Reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leer, A.

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of pathological fear typically involves exposure to the feared stimulus. This procedure is effective in reducing fear in the short term. However, many patients relapse, i.e. show a return of fear. The present thesis explored a novel route to counter the renewal of fear. Previous research

  19. Blurring Aversive Memory : Exploring a Novel Route to Fear Reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leer, Arne

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of pathological fear typically involves exposure to the feared stimulus. This procedure is effective in reducing fear in the short term. However, many patients relapse, i.e. show a return of fear. The present thesis explored a novel route to counter the renewal of fear. Previous research

  20. Childhood dental fear in the Netherlands: prevalence and normative data.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to present normative data on dental fear for the Dutch child population, by identifying not only highly fearful children but also children at risk for developing this high dental fear. METHODS: Fear distribution of samples of high and low fearful children was studied,

  1. 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.

  2. Selective neuronal degeneration in the retrosplenial cortex impairs the recall of contextual fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigwald, Eric L; Genoud, Manuel E; Giachero, Marcelo; de Olmos, Soledad; Molina, Víctor A; Lorenzo, Alfredo

    2016-05-01

    The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) is one of the largest cortical areas in rodents, and is subdivided in two main regions, A29 and A30, according to their cytoarchitectural organization and connectivities. However, very little is known about the functional activity of each RSC subdivision during the execution of complex cognitive tasks. Here, we used a well-established fear learning protocol that induced long-lasting contextual fear memory and showed that during evocation of the fear memory, the expression of early growth response gene 1 was up-regulated in A30, and in other brain areas implicated in fear and spatial memory, however, was down-regulated in A29, including layers IV and V. To search for the participation of A29 on fear memory, we triggered selective degeneration of neurons within cortical layers IV and V of A29 by using a non-invasive protocol that takes advantage of the vulnerability that these neurons have MK801-toxicity and the modulation of this neurodegeneration by testosterone. Application of 5 mg/kg MK801 in intact males induced negligible neuronal degeneration of A29 neurons and had no impact on fear memory retrieval. However, in orchiectomized rats, 5 mg/kg MK801 induced overt degeneration of layers IV-V neurons of A29, significantly impairing fear memory recall. Degeneration of A29 neurons did not affect exploratory or anxiety-related behavior nor altered unconditioned freezing. Importantly, protecting A29 neurons from MK801-toxicity by testosterone preserved fear memory recall in orchiectomized rats. Thus, neurons within cortical layers IV-V of A29 are critically required for efficient retrieval of contextual fear memory.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng-Chun Mao

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Angiotensin-(1-7)/Mas axis modulates fear memory and extinction in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazaroni, Thiago Luiz do Nascimento; Bastos, Cristiane Perácio; Moraes, Márcio Flávio Dutra; Santos, Robson Souza; Pereira, Grace Schenatto

    2016-01-01

    Inappropriate defense-alerting reaction to fear is a common feature of neuropsychiatric diseases. Therefore, impairments in brain circuits, as well as in molecular pathways underlying the neurovegetative adjustments to fear may play an essential role on developing neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we tested the hypothesis that interfering with angiotensin-(1-7) [Ang-(1-7)]/Mas receptor axis homeostasis, which appears to be essential to arterial pressure control, would affect fear memory and extinction. Mas knockout (MasKO) mice, in FVB/N background, showed normal cued fear memory and extinction, but increased freezing in response to context. Next, as FVB/N has poor performance in contextual fear memory, we tested MasKO in mixed 129xC57BL/6 background. MasKO mice behaved similarly to wild-type (WT), but memory extinction was slower in contextual fear conditioning to a weak protocol (1CS/US). In addition, delayed extinction in MasKO mice was even more pronounced after a stronger protocol (3CS/US). We showed previously that Angiotensin II receptor AT1 antagonist, losantan, rescued object recognition memory deficit in MasKO mice. Here, losartan was also effective. Memory extinction was accelerated in MasKO mice after treatment with losartan. In conclusion, we showed for the first time that Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis may modulate fear memory extinction. Furthermore, we suggest MasKO mice as an animal model to study post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Teacher Fear of Litigation for Disciplinary Actions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holben, Diane M.; Zirkel, Perry A.; Caskie, Grace I. L.

    2009-01-01

    The present study determined the extent to which teachers' fear of litigation limits their disciplinary actions, including any significant differences by period, demographic factors, and item type. Teachers' perceptions of limitations placed on their disciplinary actions do not substantiate the "paralyzing fear" of litigation that…

  9. The Old English Language of Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Erik A.

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Fears, Hyperacusis and Musicality in Williams Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blomberg, Stefan; Rosander, Michael; Andersson, Gerhard

    2006-01-01

    The study investigated the prevalence of fear and hyperacusis and the possible connections between fear, hyperacusis and musicality in a Swedish sample of individuals with Williams syndrome (WS). The study included 38 individuals and a cross-sectional design, with no matched control group. Two persons, who knew the participant well, completed a…

  11. 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.

  12. What are the Effects of Protest Fear?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-17

    at the end of the day we should not be paranoid —or paralyzed, is probably a better word—by fear of protest or by fear of litigation. (Kendall, 2012...the variables that are highly loaded on a factor. Summated scales have two specific benefits: They provide a means of overcoming to some extent the

  13. Cancer and the fear of radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lapp, R.

    1981-01-01

    In discussing the fear of the public to risks arising from radiation it is stressed that this fear is exacerbated by the media who opt for sensation and publicise the fearmongering of a small group of unorthodox scientists while being slow to report the less sensational views of the scientific majority. (U.K.)

  14. Methylphenidate Enhances Extinction of Contextual Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. The nuclear energy: law and fear

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mezghani, A.

    1996-01-01

    This document mentions the feeling of fear which goes along the idea of nuclear energy, as well as ethics and law. Technological aspects, political choices and financial matters are responsible for the nuclear energy development. Then it is shown that the consequences of this development is the continuous feeling of fear and risk which goes with every nuclear activities. (TEC)

  16. Deficient fear extinction memory in posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wicking, Manon; Steiger, Frauke; Nees, Frauke; Diener, Slawomira J; Grimm, Oliver; Ruttorf, Michaela; Schad, Lothar R; Winkelmann, Tobias; Wirtz, Gustav; Flor, Herta

    2016-12-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might be maintained by deficient extinction memory. We used a cued fear conditioning design with extinction and a post-extinction phase to provoke the return of fear and examined the role of the interplay of amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal regions. We compared 18 PTSD patients with two healthy control groups: 18 trauma-exposed subjects without PTSD (nonPTSD) and 18 healthy controls (HC) without trauma experience. They underwent a three-day ABC-conditioning procedure in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Two geometric shapes that served as conditioned stimuli (CS) were presented in the context of virtual reality scenes. Electric painful stimuli were delivered after one of the two shapes (CS+) during acquisition (in context A), while the other (CS-) was never paired with pain. Extinction was performed in context B and extinction memory was tested in a novel context C. The PTSD patients showed significantly higher differential skin conductance responses than the non-PTSD and HC and higher differential amygdala and hippocampus activity than the HC in context C. In addition, elevated arousal to the CS+ during extinction and to the CS- throughout the experiment was present in the PTSD patients but self-reported differential valence or contingency were not different. During extinction recall, differential amygdala activity correlated positively with the intensity of numbing and ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity correlated positively with behavioral avoidance. PTSD patients show heightened return of fear in neural and peripheral measures. In addition, self-reported arousal was high to both danger (CS+) and safety (CS-) cues. These results suggest that a deficient maintenance of extinction and a failure to identify safety signals might contribute to PTSD symptoms, whereas non-PTSD subjects seem to show normal responses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Fears caused by nuclear energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2011-01-01

    As after the Fukushima accident, fears with respect to nuclear energy may appear again, this very positive document outlines the differences between a nuclear bomb and a nuclear reactor, outlines the natural character of radioactivity and its benefits when used with low dose, outlines the fact that radioactivity although invisible can be easily and well measured. It comments the accident and recalls that TEPCO did not take the fact that ten meter high waves could happen as in Indonesia in 2004. It discusses the loss of confidence in scientists, in nuclear authorities. It addresses the issue of nuclear wastes, evokes the discovery of a natural underground nuclear reactor in Gabon, outlines properties of waste vitrification, discusses the case of high level wastes, of minor actinides, and of storage reversibility. It outlines the safety of installations containing plutonium, of plutonium transportation

  18. European Union: fears and hopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles ROUET

    2016-06-01

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

  19. How fear-relevant illusory correlations might develop and persist in anxiety disorders: A model of contributing factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiemer, Julian; Pauli, Paul

    2016-12-01

    Fear-relevant illusory correlations (ICs) are defined as the overestimation of the relationship between a fear-relevant stimulus and aversive consequences. ICs reflect biased cognitions affecting the learning and unlearning of fear in anxiety disorders, and a deeper understanding might help to improve treatment. A model for the maintenance of ICs is proposed that highlights the importance of amplified aversiveness and salience of fear-relevant outcomes, impaired executive contingency monitoring and an availability heuristic. The model explains why ICs are enhanced in high fearful individuals and allows for some implications that might be applied to augment the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy, such as emotion regulation and the direction of attention to non-aversive experiences. Finally, we suggest possible future research directions and an alternative measure of ICs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Emotional contagion of dental fear to children: the fathers' mediating role in parental transfer of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, America; Crego, Antonio; Romero-Maroto, Martin

    2012-09-01

    Dental fear is considered to be one of the most frequent problems in paediatric dentistry. According to literature, parents' levels of dental fear play a key role in the development of child's dental anxiety. HYPOTHESIS OR AIM: We have tried to identify the presence of emotional transmission of dental fear among family members and to analyse the different roles that mothers and fathers might play concerning the contagion of dental fear to children. We have hypothesized a key role of the father in the transfer of dental fear from mother to child. A questionnaire-based survey (Children's Fear Survey Schedule-Dental Subscale) has been distributed among 183 schoolchildren and their parents in Madrid (Spain). Inferential statistical analyses, i.e. correlation and hierarchical multiple regression, were carried out and possible mediating effects between variables have been tested. Our results support the hypothesis that family members' levels of dental fear are significantly correlated, and they also allow us to affirm that fathers' dental fear is a mediating variable in the relationship between mothers and children's fear scores. Together with the presence of emotional transmission of dental fear among family members, we identified the relevant role that fathers play as regards the transfer of dental fear from parents to children. © 2011 The Authors. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry © 2011 BSPD, IAPD and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  1. The Set of Fear Inducing Pictures (SFIP): Development and validation in fearful and nonfearful individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michałowski, Jarosław M; Droździel, Dawid; Matuszewski, Jacek; Koziejowski, Wojtek; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Marchewka, Artur

    2017-08-01

    Emotionally charged pictorial materials are frequently used in phobia research, but no existing standardized picture database is dedicated to the study of different phobias. The present work describes the results of two independent studies through which we sought to develop and validate this type of database-a Set of Fear Inducing Pictures (SFIP). In Study 1, 270 fear-relevant and 130 neutral stimuli were rated for fear, arousal, and valence by four groups of participants; small-animal (N = 34), blood/injection (N = 26), social-fearful (N = 35), and nonfearful participants (N = 22). The results from Study 1 were employed to develop the final version of the SFIP, which includes fear-relevant images of social exposure (N = 40), blood/injection (N = 80), spiders/bugs (N = 80), and angry faces (N = 30), as well as 726 neutral photographs. In Study 2, we aimed to validate the SFIP in a sample of spider, blood/injection, social-fearful, and control individuals (N = 66). The fear-relevant images were rated as being more unpleasant and led to greater fear and arousal in fearful than in nonfearful individuals. The fear images differentiated between the three fear groups in the expected directions. Overall, the present findings provide evidence for the high validity of the SFIP and confirm that the set may be successfully used in phobia research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. A message to Fukushima: nothing to fear but fear itself.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutou, Shizuyo

    2016-01-01

    The linear no-threshold model (LNT) has been the basis for radiation protection policies worldwide for 60 years. LNT was fabricated without correct data. The lifespan study of Atomic bomb survivors (LSS) has provided fundamental data to support the NLT. In LSS, exposure doses were underestimated and cancer risk was overestimated; LSS data do not support LNT anymore. In light of these findings, radiation levels and cancer risk in Fukushima are reexamined. Soon after the Fukushima accident, the International Commission on Radiological Protection issued an emergency recommendation that national authorities set reference highest levels in the band of 20-100 mSv and, when the radiation source is under control, reference levels are in the band of 1-20 mSv/y. The Japanese government set the limit dose as low as 1 mSv for the public and stirred up radiophobia, which continues to cause tremendous human, social, and economic losses. Estimated doses in three areas of Fukushima were 0.6-2.3 mSv/y in Tamura City, 1.1-5.5 mSv/y in Kawauchi Village, and 3.8-17 mSv/y in Iitate Village. Since even after acute irradiation, no significant differences are found below 200 mSv for leukemia and below 100 mSv for solid cancers. These data indicate that cancer risk is negligible in Fukushima. Moreover, beneficial effects (lessened cancer incidence) were observed at 400-600 mSv in LSS. Living organisms, which have established efficient defense mechanisms against radiation through 3.8 billion years of evolutionary history, can tolerate 1000 mSv/y if radiation dose rates are low. In fact, people have lived for generations without adverse health effects in high background radiation areas such as Kelara (35 mSv/y), India, and Ramsar (260 mSv/y), Iran. Low dose radiation itself is harmless, but fear of radiation is vitally harmful. When people return to the evacuation zones in Fukushima now and in the future, they will be exposed to such low radiation doses as to cause no physical

  5. The Element of Fear in the Practice of Military Leadership

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-03-01

    theories . . .. 34 3. Presentation of leadership styles ..... 37 E. ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND FEAR 40 F. TWO VIEWS OF MANAGING FEAR IN...Deming’s theory of Total Quality Leadership (TQL) including the point about driving out fear. On the other hand, most management today seem to use fear...us to address the following issues: (1) the extent to which fear is applied as a management tool, (2) whether the use of fear in a leadership context

  6. Fear Expression Suppresses Medial Prefrontal Cortical Firing in Rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas F Giustino

    Full Text Available The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC plays a crucial role in emotional learning and memory in rodents and humans. While many studies suggest a differential role for the prelimbic (PL and infralimbic (IL subdivisions of mPFC, few have considered the relationship between neural activity in these two brain regions recorded simultaneously in behaving animals. Importantly, how concurrent PL and IL activity relate to conditioned freezing behavior is largely unknown. Here we used single-unit recordings targeting PL and IL in awake, behaving rats during the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear. On Day 1, rats received either signaled or unsignaled footshocks in the recording chamber; an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS preceded signaled footshocks. Twenty-four hours later, animals were returned to the recording chamber (modified to create a novel context where they received 5 CS-alone trials. After fear conditioning, both signaled and unsignaled rats exhibited high levels of post-shock freezing that was associated with an enduring suppression of mPFC spontaneous firing, particularly in the IL of signaled rats. Twenty-four hours later, CS presentation produced differential conditioned freezing in signaled and unsignaled rats: freezing increased in rats that had received signaled shocks, but decreased in animals in the unsignaled condition (i.e., external inhibition. This group difference in CS-evoked freezing was mirrored in the spontaneous firing rate of neurons in both PL and IL. Interestingly, differences in PL and IL firing rate highly correlated with freezing levels. In other words, in the signaled group IL spontaneous rates were suppressed relative to PL, perhaps limiting IL-mediated suppression of fear and allowing PL activity to dominate performance, resulting in high levels of freezing. This was not observed in the unsignaled group, which exhibited low freezing. These data reveal that the activity of mPFC neurons is modulated by both

  7. A fear-inducing odor alters PER2 and c-Fos expression in brain regions involved in fear memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harry Pantazopoulos

    Full Text Available Evidence demonstrates that rodents learn to associate a foot shock with time of day, indicating the formation of a fear related time-stamp memory, even in the absence of a functioning SCN. In addition, mice acquire and retain fear memory better during the early day compared to the early night. This type of memory may be regulated by circadian pacemakers outside of the SCN. As a first step in testing the hypothesis that clock genes are involved in the formation of a time-stamp fear memory, we exposed one group of mice to fox feces derived odor (TMT at ZT 0 and one group at ZT 12 for 4 successive days. A separate group with no exposure to TMT was also included as a control. Animals were sacrificed one day after the last exposure to TMT, and PER2 and c-Fos protein were quantified in the SCN, amygdala, hippocampus, and piriform cortex. Exposure to TMT had a strong effect at ZT 0, decreasing PER2 expression at this time point in most regions except the SCN, and reversing the normal rhythm of PER2 expression in the amygdala and piriform cortex. These changes were accompanied by increased c-Fos expression at ZT0. In contrast, exposure to TMT at ZT 12 abolished the rhythm of PER2 expression in the amygdala. In addition, increased c-Fos expression at ZT 12 was only detected in the central nucleus of the amygdala in the TMT12 group. TMT exposure at either time point did not affect PER2 or c-Fos in the SCN, indicating that under a light-dark cycle, the SCN rhythm is stable in the presence of repeated exposure to a fear-inducing stimulus. Taken together, these results indicate that entrainment to a fear-inducing stimulus leads to changes in PER2 and c-Fos expression that are detected 24 hours following the last exposure to TMT, indicating entrainment of endogenous oscillators in these regions. The observed effects on PER2 expression and c-Fos were stronger during the early day than during the early night, possibly to prepare appropriate systems at ZT 0 to

  8. 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

    of estradiol levels in the activation of brain regions underlying fear learning and extinction. The results highlight the need to document gonadal hormonal levels, menstrual cycle phase as well as oral contraceptive use in women in order to avoid overlooking sex differences when investigating the neurobiology of emotional regulation.

  9. Fear of Death in Gulliver’s Travels

    OpenAIRE

    Chunhong Yang

    2015-01-01

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

  10. TO FEAR OR NOT TO FEAR ON CYBERCRIME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Bernik

    2013-09-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis, Fear Generalization, and Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besnard, Antoine; Sahay, Amar

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. Post-Retrieval Late Process Contributes to Persistence of Reactivated Fear Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Daisuke; Yamasaki, Yoshiko; Matsuki, Norio; Nomura, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have demonstrated the mechanisms involved in memory persistence after learning. However, little is known about memory persistence after retrieval. In this study, a protein synthesis inhibitor, anisomycin, was infused into the basolateral amygdala of mice 9.5 h after retrieval of contextual conditioned fear. Anisomycin attenuated…

  16. Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lake, Robin J., Ed.

    2008-01-01

    Over the last three years, "Hopes, Fears, & Reality" has provided new evidence and analysis about what is going on in charter schools, how well they are doing, where they need to improve, and what can be learned from the research on these types of public schools. Past volumes have outlined how achievement studies should be conducted and…

  17. Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lake, Robin J., Ed.

    2007-01-01

    "Hopes, Fears, & Reality" was conceived as an annual exercise in providing objective evidence about what was going on in charter schools, how well they were doing, where they needed to improve, and what could be learned from the research on these new kinds of public schools. This is the third of these reports. Essays in the 2005 volume pointed to…

  18. The Role of Verbal Threat Information in the Development of Childhood Fear. "Beware the Jabberwock!"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.E.H.M. Muris (Peter); A.P. Field (Andy)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractRachman's (Behaviour Research and Therapy 15:372-387, 1977; Clinical Psychology Review 11:155-173, 1991) three pathways theory proposed that childhood fears not only arise as a consequence of direct learning experiences, but can also be elicited by means of threat information

  19. The Role of Verbal Threat Information in the Development of Childhood Fear. "Beware the Jabberwock!"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muris, Peter; Field, Andy P.

    2010-01-01

    Rachman's ("Behaviour Research and Therapy" 15:372-387, 1977; "Clinical Psychology Review" 11:155-173, 1991) three pathways theory proposed that childhood fears not only arise as a consequence of direct learning experiences, but can also be elicited by means of threat information transmission. This review looks at the scientific evidence for this…

  20. 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…

  1. Fear of success among business students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothman, M

    1996-06-01

    The concept of "Fear of Success" was measured with 352 male and female business students using the prompt, After first term finals, Ann(John) finds her(him)self at the top of her(his) Medical/Nursing school class. Analysis indicated a greater frequency of fear-of-success imagery among men than women and in particular to the John in Medical school and Ann in Nursing school cues. In addition, the Ann cue and the Medical school cue generated more fear-of-success responses among men than women.

  2. The great fear of the nuclear

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Labbe, M.H.

    2000-09-01

    The public opinion always kept complex relations with the atom, done of fascination and repulsion. Is it then correct to speak of ''great fear of nuclear''? To answer this question the author presents, in five chapters, an analysis of the relations between the public and the nuclear. The two first chapters are devoted to historical aspects with respectively a presentation of the atomic episodes and the ground traumatisms. The chapters three and four presents the fears of the nuclear policy and the civil nuclear. The last chapter deals with the the fear of the military nuclear. (A.L.B.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Fear extinction and BDNF: Translating animal models of PTSD to the clinic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andero, Raül; Ressler, Kerry J

    2012-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is the most studied neurotrophin involved in synaptic plasticity processes that are required for long-term learning and memory. Specifically, BDNF gene expression and activation of its high-affinity TrkB receptor are necessary in the amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex for the formation of emotional memories, including fear memories. Among the psychiatric disorders with altered fear processing there is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is characterized by an inability to extinguish fear memories. Since BDNF appears to enhance extinction of fear, targeting impaired extinction in anxiety disorders such as PTSD via BDNF signalling may be an important and novel way to enhance treatment efficacy. The aim of this review is to provide a translational point of view that stems from findings in the BDNF regulation of synaptic plasticity and fear extinction. In addition, there are different systems that seem to alter fear extinction through BDNF modulation like the endocannabionoid system and the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis (HPA). Recent work also finds that the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and PAC1 receptor, which are upstream of BDNF activation, may be implicated in PTSD. Especially interesting are data that exogenous fear extinction enhancers such as antidepressants, histone deacetylases inhibitors (HDACi) and D-cycloserine, a partial NMDA agonist, may act through or in concert with the BDNF-TrkB system. Finally, we review studies where recombinant BDNF and a putative TrkB agonist, 7,8-DHF, may enhance extinction of fear. These approaches may lead to novel agents that improve extinction in animal models and eventually humans. PMID:22530815

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  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. Easy to remember, difficult to forget: The development of fear regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.C. Johnson

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Fear extinction learning is a highly adaptive process that involves the integrity of frontolimbic circuitry. Its disruption has been associated with emotional dysregulation in stress and anxiety disorders. In this article we consider how age, genetics and experiences shape our capacity to regulate fear in cross-species studies. Evidence for adolescent-specific diminished fear extinction learning is presented in the context of immature frontolimbic circuitry. We also present evidence for less neural plasticity in fear regulation as a function of early-life stress and by genotype, focusing on the common brain derived neurotrophin factor (BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Finally, we discuss this work in the context of exposure-based behavioral therapies for the treatment of anxiety and stress disorders that are based on principles of fear extinction. We conclude by speculating on how such therapies may be optimized for the individual based on the patient's age, genetic profile and personal history to move from standard treatment of care to personalized and precision medicine.

  8. In the business of learning : approaches to learning of undergraduate students in business

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooijer, J.G.

    2010-01-01

    Three approaches to learning are distinguished in the learning literature: a surface, deep and strategic approach to learning. The surface approach to learning is characterized as undirected rote learning, motivated by a fear of failure. The deep approach to learning is characterized as interested

  9. The history of nuclear fear

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weart, S.

    1993-01-01

    The history of military and civilian nuclear energy is not only a matter of hard technology, politics, and economics. Our thinking about bombs and reactors is also affected by images with a curious and sometimes overwhelming power. Weird rays that can transform flesh or create monsters, the atom-powered marvels of a future uptopia, the mad scientist who plots to destroy the world: all have an influence on the way people think. Already decades before scientists had discovered how to exploit nuclear energy, a web of interconnected symbols was fully formed in the public mind. These images can be traced back to primitive imagery and, still deeper, into common human experiences, but they were often connected specifically to nuclear energy by nuclear scientists themselves. After the actual development of nuclear technology, a variety of groups used the old symbolism for their propaganda. Since nuclear energy was the most impressive case of the application of the arcane mysteries of science by modern technological authorities, it came to stand for all that people hoped, and still more what they feared, from such authorities

  10. Choosing to Fly: Examining Fear, Risk and Resilience

    KAUST Repository

    Davis, Steph

    2017-01-15

    Steph Davis was raised as a classical piano student in a traditional, academic family. She ultimately quit music and then law school, making the frightening decision to step off the safe road and follow her passion to become a full-time rock climber. In 25 years of climbing, Steph has applied the principles of discipline and practice she learned as a musician to reach the tops of some of the world\\'s most difficult rock walls and mountains, often climbing solo without a rope or safety equipment. Intrigued by the power of fear and how it affects our ability to succeed and to stay safe, she learned to skydive as a literal way to face her own fears of falling. From skydiving, Steph immersed herself in the pursuit of wingsuit BASE jumping, known as the most advanced and dangerous form of human flight, in order to fly off mountains after climbing up them. Living and surviving in the mountains and the air, Steph has developed a deep understanding of the need to adapt to one\\'s environment, to embrace failure and to come to terms with fear--skills which are also crucial for survival and success in any walk of life. After the loss of her husband on a wingsuit flight in the Dolomites, Steph saw that resilience is a choice. The decision to keep going forward and to embrace life fully in the face of loss is a simple and yet profound decision that we can all make, no matter what challenges we face. Simply by deciding that we want to go somewhere, whether physically or mentally, we\\'ve taken the first step to getting there.

  11. Adult-Onset Hypothyroidism Enhances Fear Memory and Upregulates Mineralocorticoid and Glucocorticoid Receptors in the Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Fern?ndez-Lamo, Iv?n; Alieva, Mar?a; Pereda-P?rez, Inmaculada; Venero, C?sar; Guada?o-Ferraz, Ana

    2011-01-01

    Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this ex...

  12. Assessing fears of preschool children with nighttime fears by a parent version of the fear survey schedule for preschool children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushnir, Jonathan; Gothelf, Doron; Sadeh, Avi

    2015-01-01

    Although excessive fears are common in preschool children, validated assessment tools for this age are lacking. Our aim was to modify and provide preliminary evidence of the utility of a preschoolers' fear screening tool, a parent-reported Fear Survey Schedule for Preschool Children (FSS-PC). 109 Israeli preschool children (aged 4-6 years) with chronic night time fears (NF) and 30 healthy children (controls) participated. The FSS-PC analysis included: 1) internal reliability, 2) correlations between FSS-PC scores and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) measures, 3) differences between NF and a comparison sample of FSS-PC scores, and 4) FSS-PC sensitivity in detecting change in NF following an intervention for NF. There were low-to-medium positive correlations between the FSS-PC scores and several internalizing scales of the CBCL measures. FSS-PC scores in the NF group were significantly higher than the control children's score. FSS-PC scores had adequate internal reliability and were also sensitive for detecting significant changes in fear levels following behavioral interventions. Unique cultural and environmental circumstances and specific study group. This new version of the FSS-PC may provide clinicians with a novel and useful screening tool for early assessment of fear- and anxiety-related phenomena of preschool children.

  13. Emotional expectations influence neural sensitivity to fearful faces in humans:An event-related potential study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    The present study tested whether neural sensitivity to salient emotional facial expressions was influenced by emotional expectations induced by a cue that validly predicted the expression of a subsequently presented target face. Event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by fearful and neutral faces were recorded while participants performed a gender discrimination task under cued (‘expected’) and uncued (‘unexpected’) conditions. The behavioral results revealed that accuracy was lower for fearful compared with neutral faces in the unexpected condition, while accuracy was similar for fearful and neutral faces in the expected condition. ERP data revealed increased amplitudes in the P2 component and 200–250 ms interval for unexpected fearful versus neutral faces. By contrast, ERP responses were similar for fearful and neutral faces in the expected condition. These findings indicate that human neural sensitivity to fearful faces is modulated by emotional expectations. Although the neural system is sensitive to unpredictable emotionally salient stimuli, sensitivity to salient stimuli is reduced when these stimuli are predictable.

  14. Shop Math for the Metal Trades. Combination Welder Apprentice, Machinist Helper, Precision Metal Finisher, Sheet Metal Worker Apprentice. A Report on Metal Trades Industry Certified, Single-Concept, Mathematical Learning Projects to Eliminate Student Math Fears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Lawrence R.

    This project (1) identifies basic and functional mathematics skills (shop mathematics skills), (2) provides pretests on these functional mathematics skills, and (3) provides student learning projects (project sheets) that prepare metal trades students to read, understand, and apply mathematics and measuring skills that meet entry-level job…

  15. Changes in women's fear of success and fear of appearing incompetent in business.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomkiewicz, J; Bass, K

    1999-12-01

    The primary purpose of this research was to examine whether fear of success and of appearing incompetent among women have changed recently. Another purpose was to examine whether such fears differed among women who hold Traditional views and those who hold Progressive views about the roles of women in the workplace. The Fear of Success Scale, the Fear of Appearing Incompetent Scale, and the Attitude Toward Women Scale were completed by 61 male and 52 female graduating seniors. Significant differences were found between the groups for scores on the Attitude Toward Women Scale, but none between the sexes for scores on the Fear of Success Scale or the Fear of Appearing Incompetent Scale. Significant differences were found, however, on the latter two scales when women were separated into Traditional and Progressive groups.

  16. Fear of Crime in the Sanctuary: Comparing American and Ghanaian University Students' Fearfulness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boateng, Francis D

    2018-02-01

    While much is known about fear of crime in the West, little is known about how fearfulness of crime develops in non-Western societies, especially among university students. Representing the first attempt to empirically compare levels of fear of crime between Ghanaian and U.S. college students, this article examined students' levels of fear of crime on campus, and tested the applicability of two evolving models of fear of crime-the vulnerability and reassurance models-using comparative data. The general finding is that Ghanaian and U.S. college students differ in terms of their rates of fearfulness on campus. This significant difference adds to the already existing differences between the two countries.

  17. 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.

  18. The better of two evils? Evidence that children exhibiting continuous conduct problems high or low on callous-unemotional traits score on opposite directions on physiological and behavioral measures of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanti, Kostas A; Panayiotou, Georgia; Lazarou, Chrysostomos; Michael, Raphaelia; Georgiou, Giorgos

    2016-02-01

    The present study examines whether heterogeneous groups of children identified based on their longitudinal scores on conduct problems (CP) and callous-unemotional (CU) traits differ on physiological and behavioral measures of fear. Specifically, it aims to test the hypothesis that children with high/stable CP differentiated on CU traits score on opposite directions on a fear-fearless continuum. Seventy-three participants (M age = 11.21; 45.2% female) were selected from a sample of 1,200 children. Children and their parents completed a battery of questionnaires assessing fearfulness, sensitivity to punishment, and behavioral inhibition. Children also participated in an experiment assessing their startle reactivity to fearful mental imagery, a well-established index of defensive motivation. The pattern of results verifies the hypothesis that fearlessness, assessed with physiological and behavioral measures, is a core characteristic of children high on both CP and CU traits (i.e., receiving the DSM-5 specifier of limited prosocial emotions). To the contrary, children with high/stable CP and low CU traits demonstrated high responsiveness to fear, high behavioral inhibition, and high sensitivity to punishment. The study is in accord with the principle of equifinality, in that different developmental mechanisms (i.e., extremes of high and low fear) may have the same behavioral outcome manifested as phenotypic antisocial behavior.

  19. Pharmacological modulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 and 7 impairs extinction of social fear in a time-point-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, David A; Neumann, Inga D; Flor, Peter J; Zoicas, Iulia

    2017-06-15

    Pharmacological modulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5) and 7 (mGluR7) was shown to attenuate the acquisition and to facilitate the extinction of cued and contextual, non-social, fear. Using the allosteric mGluR5 antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine (MPEP) and the allosteric mGluR7 agonist N,N'-dibenzyhydryl-ethane-1,2-diamine dihydrochloride (AMN082), we aimed to study how pharmacological blockade of mGluR5 and activation of mGluR7 influence acquisition and extinction of social fear in mice. We could show that when administered before social fear conditioning, neither MPEP nor AMN082 affected acquisition and extinction of social fear, suggesting that mGluR5 inactivation and mGluR7 activation do not alter social fear. However, when administered before social fear extinction, both MPEP and AMN082 impaired social fear extinction and extinction recall. These findings suggest that mGluR5 inactivation and mGluR7 activation are unlikely to prevent the formation of traumatic social memories. Furthermore, medication strategies aimed at augmenting exposure-based therapies for psychiatric disorders associated with social deficits via modulation of mGluR5 and mGluR7 must be pursued cautiously because of their potential to delay social fear extinction processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Barbara J

    2008-01-01

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