Klucken, Tim; Tabbert, Katharina; Schweckendiek, Jan; Merz, Christian Josef; Kagerer, Sabine; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf
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.
between neuroimaging investigations on human fear conditioning and extinction and should, therefore, be taken into serious consideration in the planning and the interpretation of research projects.
Lonsdorf, Tina B; Menz, Mareike M; Andreatta, Marta; Fullana, Miguel A; Golkar, Armita; Haaker, Jan; Heitland, Ivo; Hermann, Andrea; Kuhn, Manuel; Kruse, Onno; Meir Drexler, Shira; Meulders, Ann; Nees, Frauke; Pittig, Andre; Richter, Jan; Römer, Sonja; Shiban, Youssef; Schmitz, Anja; Straube, Benjamin; Vervliet, Bram; Wendt, Julia; Baas, Johanna M P; Merz, Christian J
The so-called 'replicability crisis' has sparked methodological discussions in many areas of science in general, and in psychology in particular. This has led to recent endeavours to promote the transparency, rigour, and ultimately, replicability of research. Originating from this zeitgeist, the challenge to discuss critical issues on terminology, design, methods, and analysis considerations in fear conditioning research is taken up by this work, which involved representatives from fourteen of the major human fear conditioning laboratories in Europe. This compendium is intended to provide a basis for the development of a common procedural and terminology framework for the field of human fear conditioning. Whenever possible, we give general recommendations. When this is not feasible, we provide evidence-based guidance for methodological decisions on study design, outcome measures, and analyses. Importantly, this work is also intended to raise awareness and initiate discussions on crucial questions with respect to data collection, processing, statistical analyses, the impact of subtle procedural changes, and data reporting specifically tailored to the research on fear conditioning. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Judith R. Homberg
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.
Huff, Nicole C; Zeilinski, David J; Fecteau, Matthew E; Brady, Rachael; LaBar, Kevin S
Fear conditioning is a widely used paradigm in non-human animal research to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying fear and anxiety. A major challenge in conducting conditioning studies in humans is the ability to strongly manipulate or simulate the environmental contexts that are associated with conditioned emotional behaviors. In this regard, virtual reality (VR) technology is a promising tool. Yet, adapting this technology to meet experimental constraints requires special accommodations. Here we address the methodological issues involved when conducting fear conditioning in a fully immersive 6-sided VR environment and present fear conditioning data. In the real world, traumatic events occur in complex environments that are made up of many cues, engaging all of our sensory modalities. For example, cues that form the environmental configuration include not only visual elements, but aural, olfactory, and even tactile. In rodent studies of fear conditioning animals are fully immersed in a context that is rich with novel visual, tactile and olfactory cues. However, standard laboratory tests of fear conditioning in humans are typically conducted in a nondescript room in front of a flat or 2D computer screen and do not replicate the complexity of real world experiences. On the other hand, a major limitation of clinical studies aimed at reducing (extinguishing) fear and preventing relapse in anxiety disorders is that treatment occurs after participants have acquired a fear in an uncontrolled and largely unknown context. Thus the experimenters are left without information about the duration of exposure, the true nature of the stimulus, and associated background cues in the environment. In the absence of this information it can be difficult to truly extinguish a fear that is both cue and context-dependent. Virtual reality environments address these issues by providing the complexity of the real world, and at the same time allowing experimenters to constrain fear
Bentz, Dorothée; Michael, Tanja; Wilhelm, Frank H; Hartmann, Francina R; Kunz, Sabrina; von Rohr, Isabelle R Rudolf; de Quervain, Dominique J-F
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.
VanElzakker, Michael B.; Dahlgren, M. Kathryn; Davis, F. Caroline; Dubois, Stacey; Shin, Lisa M.
Nearly 100 years ago, Ivan Pavlov demonstrated that dogs could learn to use a neutral cue to predict a biologically relevant event: after repeated predictive pairings, Pavlov's dogs were conditioned to anticipate food at the sound of a bell, which caused them to salivate. Like sustenance, danger is biologically relevant, and neutral cues can take on great salience when they predict a threat to survival. In anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this type of conditioned fear fails to extinguish, and reminders of traumatic events can cause pathological conditioned fear responses for decades after danger has passed. In this review, we use fear conditioning and extinction studies to draw a direct line from Pavlov to PTSD and other anxiety disorders. We explain how rodent studies have informed neuroimaging studies of healthy humans and humans with PTSD. We describe several genes that have been linked to both PTSD and fear conditioning and extinction and explain how abnormalities in fear conditioning or extinction may reflect a general biomarker of anxiety disorders. Finally, we explore drug and neuromodulation treatments that may enhance therapeutic extinction in anxiety disorders. PMID:24321650
VanElzakker, Michael B; Dahlgren, M Kathryn; Davis, F Caroline; Dubois, Stacey; Shin, Lisa M
Nearly 100 years ago, Ivan Pavlov demonstrated that dogs could learn to use a neutral cue to predict a biologically relevant event: after repeated predictive pairings, Pavlov's dogs were conditioned to anticipate food at the sound of a bell, which caused them to salivate. Like sustenance, danger is biologically relevant, and neutral cues can take on great salience when they predict a threat to survival. In anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this type of conditioned fear fails to extinguish, and reminders of traumatic events can cause pathological conditioned fear responses for decades after danger has passed. In this review, we use fear conditioning and extinction studies to draw a direct line from Pavlov to PTSD and other anxiety disorders. We explain how rodent studies have informed neuroimaging studies of healthy humans and humans with PTSD. We describe several genes that have been linked to both PTSD and fear conditioning and extinction and explain how abnormalities in fear conditioning or extinction may reflect a general biomarker of anxiety disorders. Finally, we explore drug and neuromodulation treatments that may enhance therapeutic extinction in anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Graham, Bronwyn M; Zagic, Dino; Richardson, Rick
Hippocampal concentrations of the neurotrophic factor fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) are negatively associated with the expression of fear following conditioning in rats. Heightened conditioned fear expression may be a prospective risk factor for the development of human anxiety and trauma disorders. However, the relationship between conditioned fear expression and FGF2 is yet to be established in humans. Using a cross-species approach, we first investigated the relationship between serum concentrations of FGF2 and individual differences in conditioned fear expression in rats (n = 19). We then subjected 88 human participants, who were recruited from university and community advertisements, to a differential fear conditioning procedure and assessed the relationship between salivary concentrations of FGF2 and fear expression to a conditioned stimulus (CS) (a stimulus paired with a shock) and a CS that was never paired with shock. Rats with low serum levels of FGF2 exhibited significantly more freezing than rats with high serum levels of FGF2. Similarly, relative to those with high salivary FGF2, human participants with low salivary FGF2 exhibited significantly heightened skin conductance responses to the CS without shock during fear conditioning and to both the CS with shock and CS without shock during fear recall. These studies establish that peripheral markers of FGF2 concentrations are negatively associated with fear expression in both rats and humans. To the extent that conditioned fear expression predicts anxiety and trauma disorder vulnerability, FGF2 may be a clinically useful biomarker in the prediction and eventual prevention of these disorders. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kuhn, Cynthia M.; LaBar, Kevin S.; Zorawski, Michael; Blanding, Nineequa Q.
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…
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.
Koenig, Stephan; Uengoer, Metin; Lachnit, Harald
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
Klumpers, Floris; Denys, Damiaan; Kenemans, J. Leon; Grillon, Christian; van der Aart, Jasper; Baas, Johanna M. P.
Preclinical evidence implicates several neurotransmitter systems in the extinction of conditioned fear. These results are of great interest, because the reduction of acquired fear associations is critical in therapies for anxiety disorders. We tested whether findings with respect to the
Klumpers, F.; Denys, D.; Kenemans, J.L.; Grillon, C.; van der Aart, J.; Baas, J.M.
Preclinical evidence implicates several neurotransmitter systems in the extinction of conditioned fear. These results are of great interest, because the reduction of acquired fear associations is critical in therapies for anxiety disorders. We tested whether findings with respect to the
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
Beckers, T.; Krypotos, A.M.; Boddez, Y.; Effting, M.; Kindt, M.
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
Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Mitroff, Stephen R.; LaBar, Kevin S.
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…
Carpenter, Russ E.; Summers, Cliff H.
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...
Allcoat, Devon; Greville, W James; Newton, Philip M; Dymond, Simon
Freezing-like topographies of behavior are elicited in conditioned suppression tasks whereby appetitive behavior is reduced by presentations of an aversively conditioned threat cue relative to a safety cue. Conditioned suppression of operant behavior by a Pavlovian threat cue is an established laboratory model of quantifying the response impairment seen in anxiety disorders. Little is known however about how different response topographies indicative of conditioned suppression are elicited in humans. Here, we refined a novel virtual reality (VR) paradigm in which presentations of a threat cue of unpredictable duration occurred while participants performed an operant response of shooting and destroying boxes searching for hidden gold. The VR paradigm detected significant suppression of response topographies (shots, hits and breaks) for a Pavlovian threat cue relative to a safety cue and novel cue presentations. Implications of the present findings for translational research on appetitive and aversive conflict in anxiety disorders are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Hartley, Catherine A.; Gorun, Alyson; Reddan, Marianne C.; Ramirez, Franchesca; Phelps, Elizabeth A.
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
Schiele, Miriam A; Reinhard, Julia; Reif, Andreas; Domschke, Katharina; Romanos, Marcel; Deckert, Jürgen; Pauli, Paul
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.
Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R.
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...
Michael Lukas Meier
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.
Li, Susan Shi Yuan; McNally, Gavan P
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.
Findings from animal and human experimental studies highlight the importance of fear conditioning processes in the development and treatment of anxiety disorders. The work reported in this thesis was focused on potential abnormalities in the acquisition and extinction of fear in patients with
Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R.
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
Lonsdorf, Tina B; Golkar, Armita; Lindström, Kara M; Haaker, Jan; Öhman, Arne; Schalling, Martin; Ingvar, Martin
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: email@example.com.
Nakagawa, Toshiyuki; Itoh, Masanori; Ohta, Kazunori; Hayashi, Yuichi; Hayakawa, Miki; Yamada, Yasushi; Akanabe, Hiroshi; Chikaishi, Tokio; Nakagawa, Kiyomi; Itoh, Yoshinori; Muro, Takato; Yanagida, Daisuke; Nakabayashi, Ryo; Mori, Tetsuya; Saito, Kazuki; Ohzawa, Kaori; Suzuki, Chihiro; Li, Shimo; Ueda, Masashi; Wang, Miao-Xing; Nishida, Emika; Islam, Saiful; Tana; Kobori, Masuko; Inuzuka, Takashi
Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) experience a wide array of cognitive deficits, which typically include the impairment of explicit memory. In previous studies, the authors reported that a flavonoid, quercetin, reduces the expression of ATF4 and delays memory deterioration in an early-stage AD mouse model. In the present study, the effects of long-term quercetin intake on memory recall were assessed using contextual fear conditioning in aged wild-type mice. In addition, the present study examined whether memory recall was affected by the intake of quercetin-rich onion (a new cultivar of hybrid onion 'Quergold') powder in early-stage AD patients. In-vivo analysis indicated that memory recall was enhanced in aged mice fed a quercetin-containing diet. Memory recall in early-stage AD patients, determined using the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale, was significantly improved by the intake of quercetin-rich onion (Quergold) powder for 4 weeks compared with the intake of control onion ('Mashiro' white onion) powder. These results indicate that quercetin might influence memory recall.
Chang, Chun-hui; Maren, Stephen
Extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats is a useful model for therapeutic interventions in humans with anxiety disorders. Recently, we found that delivering extinction trials soon (15 min) after fear conditioning yields a short-term suppression of fear, but little long-term extinction. Here, we explored the possible mechanisms underlying…
Pace-Schott, Edward F; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R
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).
The dominant metabolic system within urban environments often involves deep socio-economic inequalities, exploitative productive practices and a persistent sense of alienation among the vast majority of the population. The city itself spawns the conditions both for the development of actual criminality and, more perniciously, for the emergence of an acute perception of fear within the polis. Over the years, this perception has affected a whole array of societal elements including, quite signi...
Gamwell, Kaitlyn; Nylocks, Maria; Cross, Dorthie; Bradley, Bekh; Norrholm, Seth D; Jovanovic, Tanja
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.
Giustino, Thomas F; Maren, Stephen
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.
Thomas F. Giustino
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.
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.
Giachero, Marcelo; Calfa, Gaston D.; Molina, Victor A.
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…
Giachero, Marcelo; Calfa, Gaston D; Molina, Victor A
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.
Steinfurth, Elisa C. K.; Kanen, Jonathan W.; Raio, Candace M.; Clem, Roger L.; Huganir, Richard L.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.
Extinction training during reconsolidation has been shown to persistently diminish conditioned fear responses across species. We investigated in humans if older fear memories can benefit similarly. Using a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm we compared standard extinction and extinction after memory reactivation 1 d or 7 d following acquisition.…
Haaker, Jan; Lonsdorf, Tina B; Schümann, Dirk; Bunzeck, Nico; Peters, Jan; Sommer, Tobias; Kalisch, Raffael
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.
Ponnusamy, Ravikumar; Nissim, Helen A.; Barad, Mark
Extinction of conditioned fear in animals is the explicit model of behavior therapy for human anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Based on previous data indicating that fear extinction in rats is blocked by quinpirole, an agonist of dopamine D2 receptors, we hypothesized that blockade of D2 receptors might facilitate extinction in mice, while agonists should block extinction, as they do in rats. One day after fear con...
Silva, R. C. B.; Cruz, A. P. M.; Avanzi, V.; Landeira-Fernandez, J.; Brandão, M. L.
Ascending 5-HT projections from the median raphe nucleus (MRN), probably to the hippocampus, are implicated in the acquisition of contextual fear (background stimuli), as assessed by freezing behavior. Foreground cues like light, used as a conditioned stimulus (CS) in classical fear conditioning, also cause freezing through thalamic transmission to the amygdala. As the MRN projects to the hippocampus and amygdala, the role of this raphe nucleus in fear conditioning to explicit cues remains to be explained. Here we analyzed the behavior of rats with MRN electrolytic lesions in a contextual conditioning situation and in a fear-potentiated startle procedure. The animals received MRN electrolytic lesions either before or on the day after two consecutive training sessions in which they were submitted to 10 conditioning trials, each in an experimental chamber (same context) where they. received foot-shocks (0.6 mA, 1 sec) paired to a 4-sec light CS. Seven to ten days later, the animals were submitted to testing sessions for assessing conditioned fear when they were placed for five shocks, and the duration of contextual freezing was recorded. The animals were then submitted to a fear-potentiated startle in response to a 4-sec light-CS, followed by white noise (100 dB, 50 ms). Control rats (sham) tested in the same context showed more freezing than did rats with pre- or post-training MRN lesions. Startle was clearly potentiated in the presence of light CS in the sham-lesioned animals. Whereas pretraining lesions reduced both freezing and fear-potentiated startle, the post-training lesions reduced only freezing to context, without changing the fear-potentiated startle. In a second experiment, neurotoxic lesions of the MRN with local injections of N-methyl-D-aspartate or the activation of 5-HT1A somatodendritic auto-receptors of the MRN by microinjections of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy- 2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) before the training sessions also
Gao, Yu; Raine, Adrian; Venables, Peter H; Dawson, Michael E; Mednick, Sarnoff A
Amygdala dysfunction is theorized to give rise to poor fear conditioning, which in turn predisposes to crime, but it is not known whether poor conditioning precedes criminal offending. This study prospectively assessed whether poor fear conditioning early in life predisposes to adult crime in a large cohort. Electrodermal fear conditioning was assessed in a cohort of 1,795 children at age 3, and registration for criminal offending was ascertained at age 23. In a case-control design, 137 cohort members with a criminal record were matched on gender, ethnicity, and social adversity with 274 noncriminal comparison members. Statistical analyses compared childhood fear conditioning for the two groups. Criminal offenders showed significantly reduced electrodermal fear conditioning at age 3 compared to matched comparison subjects. Poor fear conditioning at age 3 predisposes to crime at age 23. Poor fear conditioning early in life implicates amygdala and ventral prefrontal cortex dysfunction and a lack of fear of socializing punishments in children who grow up to become criminals. These findings are consistent with a neurodevelopmental contribution to crime causation.
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
Zoicas, Iulia; Slattery, David A; Neumann, Inga D
Central oxytocin (OXT) has anxiolytic and pro-social properties both in humans and rodents, and has been proposed as a therapeutic option for anxiety and social dysfunctions. Here, we utilized a mouse model of social fear conditioning (SFC) to study the effects of OXT on social fear, and to determine whether SFC causes alterations in central OXT receptor (OXTR) binding and local OXT release. Central infusion of OXT, but not arginine vasopressin, prior to social fear extinction training completely abolished social fear expression in an OXTR-mediated fashion without affecting general anxiety or locomotion. SFC caused increased OXTR binding in the dorso-lateral septum (DLS), central amygdala, dentate gyrus, and cornu ammunis 1, which normalized after social fear extinction, suggesting that these areas form part of a brain network involved in the development and neural support of social fear. Microdialysis revealed that the increase in OXT release observed in unconditioned mice within the DLS during social fear extinction training was attenuated in conditioned mice. Consequently, increasing the availability of local OXT by infusion of OXT into the DLS reversed social fear. Thus, alterations in the brain OXT system, including altered OXTR binding and OXT release within the DLS, play an important role in SFC and social fear extinction. Thus, we suggest that the OXT system is adversely affected in disorders associated with social fear, such as social anxiety disorder and reinstalling an appropriate balance of the OXT system may alleviate some of the symptoms.
Lonsdorf, Tina B; Haaker, Jan; Schümann, Dirk; Sommer, Tobias; Bayer, Janine; Brassen, Stefanie; Bunzeck, Nico; Gamer, Matthias; Kalisch, Raffael
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.
Thomas Francis Giustino
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.
Jones, Carolyn E; Riha, Penny D; Gore, Andrea C; Monfils, Marie-H
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.
Full Text Available Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by emotional deficits and a failure to inhibit impulsive behavior and is often subdivided into primary and secondary psychopathic subtypes. The maladaptive behavior related to primary psychopathy is thought to reflect constitutional fearlessness, while the problematic behavior related to secondary psychopathy is motivated by other factors. The fearlessness observed in psychopathy has often been interpreted as reflecting a fundamental deficit in amygdala function, and previous studies have provided support for a low-fear model of psychopathy. However, many of these studies fail to use appropriate screening procedures, use liberal inclusion criteria, or have used unconventional approaches to assay amygdala function. We measured brain activity with BOLD imaging in primary and secondary psychopaths and non-psychopathic control subjects during Pavlovian fear conditioning. In contrast to the low-fear model, we observed normal fear expression in primary psychopaths. Psychopaths also displayed greater differential BOLD activity in the amygdala relative to matched controls. Inverse patterns of activity were observed in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC for primary versus secondary psychopaths. Primary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in the dorsal and ventral ACC consistent with enhanced fear expression, while secondary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in these regions consistent with fear inhibition. These results contradict the low-fear model of psychopathy and suggest that the low fear observed for psychopaths in previous studies may be specific to secondary psychopaths.
motivational responses and self-administration behaviors (Robbins et al., 2008). Pavlovian conditioning mechanisms link unconditioned drug responses...model. Induction of fear conditioning is followed by measurement of sensitivity to drug reward using a conditioned place preference (CPP) model to...morphine. Conditioned drug reward is a relevant model in addiction because environmental cues (e.g. a barroom) induce craving and persistent
Leung, Hiu T.; Holmes, Nathan M.; Westbrook, R. Frederick
Four experiments used between- and within-subject designs to examine appetitive-aversive interactions in rats. Experiments 1 and 2 examined the effect of an excitatory appetitive conditioned stimulus (CS) on acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear. In Experiment 1, a CS shocked in a compound with an appetitive excitor (i.e., a stimulus…
Candace M. Raio
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.
Carroll, M K; Ryan-Wenger, N A
The purpose of this study was to identify the fears of school-age children and determine the relationship between fear and anxiety. A descriptive, correlational, secondary analysis study was conducted using a convenience sample of 90 children between the ages of 8 and 12 years. Each child was instructed to complete the Revised Children's Anxiety Scale and then answer questions from a structured interview. On completion, each child was instructed to draw a human figure drawing. Frequency charts and correlational statistics were used to analyze the data. Findings indicated that the most significant fears of the boys were in the categories of animals, safety, school, and supernatural phenomena, whereas girls were more fearful of natural phenomena. High correlations existed between anxiety scores and the number of fears and emotional indicators on human figure drawings. Because human figure drawings are reliable tools for assessing anxiety and fears in children, practitioners should incorporate these drawings as part of their routine assessments of fearful children.
Kindt, M.; Soeter, M.; Vervliet, B.
Animal studies have shown that fear memories can change when recalled, a process referred to as reconsolidation. We found that oral administration of the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol before memory reactivation in humans erased the behavioral expression of the fear memory 24 h
Biggs, Emma E; Meulders, Ann; Kaas, Amanda L; Goebel, R.; Vlaeyen, Johan W S
Fear of touch, due to allodynia and spontaneous pain, is not well-understood. Experimental methods to advance this topic are lacking, and therefore we propose a novel tactile conditioning paradigm. Seventy-six pain-free participants underwent acquisition in both a predictable and unpredictable pain
Kindt, M.; Soeter, M.; Sevenster, D.
The basic design used in our human fear-conditioning studies on disrupting reconsolidation includes testing over different phases across three consecutive days. On day 1 - the fear acquisition phase, healthy participants are exposed to a series of picture presentations. One picture stimulus (CS1+)
Tada, Mitsuhiro; Uchida, Hiroyuki; Maeda, Takaki; Konishi, Mika; Umeda, Satoshi; Terasawa, Yuri; Nakajima, Shinichiro; Mimura, Masaru; Miyazaki, Tomoyuki; Takahashi, Takuya
Psychophysiological markers have been focused to investigate the psychopathology of psychiatric disorders and personality subtypes. In order to understand neurobiological mechanisms underlying these conditions, fear-conditioning model has been widely used. However, simple aversive stimuli are too simplistic to understand mechanisms because most patients with psychiatric disorders are affected by social stressors. The objective of this study was to test the feasibility of a newly-designed conditioning experiment using a stimulus to cause interpersonal conflicts and examine associations between personality traits and response to that stimulus. Twenty-nine healthy individuals underwent the fear conditioning and extinction experiments in response to three types of stimuli: a simple aversive sound, disgusting pictures, and pictures of an actors' face with unpleasant verbal messages that were designed to cause interpersonal conflicts. Conditioned response was quantified by the skin conductance response (SCR). Correlations between the SCR changes, and personality traits measured by the Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder (ZAN-BPD) and Revised NEO Personality Inventory were explored. The interpersonal conflict stimulus resulted in successful conditioning, which was subsequently extinguished, in a similar manner as the other two stimuli. Moreover, a greater degree of conditioned response to the interpersonal conflict stimulus correlated with a higher ZAN-BPD total score. Fear conditioning and extinction can be successfully achieved, using interpersonal conflicts as a stimulus. Given that conditioned fear caused by the interpersonal conflicts is likely associated with borderline personality traits, this paradigm could contribute to further understanding of underlying mechanisms of interpersonal fear implicated in borderline personality disorder.
Tada, Mitsuhiro; Uchida, Hiroyuki; Maeda, Takaki; Konishi, Mika; Umeda, Satoshi; Terasawa, Yuri; Nakajima, Shinichiro; Mimura, Masaru; Miyazaki, Tomoyuki; Takahashi, Takuya
Psychophysiological markers have been focused to investigate the psychopathology of psychiatric disorders and personality subtypes. In order to understand neurobiological mechanisms underlying these conditions, fear-conditioning model has been widely used. However, simple aversive stimuli are too simplistic to understand mechanisms because most patients with psychiatric disorders are affected by social stressors. The objective of this study was to test the feasibility of a newly-designed conditioning experiment using a stimulus to cause interpersonal conflicts and examine associations between personality traits and response to that stimulus. Twenty-nine healthy individuals underwent the fear conditioning and extinction experiments in response to three types of stimuli: a simple aversive sound, disgusting pictures, and pictures of an actors’ face with unpleasant verbal messages that were designed to cause interpersonal conflicts. Conditioned response was quantified by the skin conductance response (SCR). Correlations between the SCR changes, and personality traits measured by the Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder (ZAN-BPD) and Revised NEO Personality Inventory were explored. The interpersonal conflict stimulus resulted in successful conditioning, which was subsequently extinguished, in a similar manner as the other two stimuli. Moreover, a greater degree of conditioned response to the interpersonal conflict stimulus correlated with a higher ZAN-BPD total score. Fear conditioning and extinction can be successfully achieved, using interpersonal conflicts as a stimulus. Given that conditioned fear caused by the interpersonal conflicts is likely associated with borderline personality traits, this paradigm could contribute to further understanding of underlying mechanisms of interpersonal fear implicated in borderline personality disorder. PMID:25978817
Lauren S Hopkins
Full Text Available The role of contingency awareness in simple associative learning experiments with human participants is currently debated. Since prior work suggests that eye movements can index mnemonic processes that occur without awareness, we used eye tracking to better understand the role of awareness in learning aversive Pavlovian conditioning. A complex real-world scene containing four embedded household items was presented to participants while skin conductance, eye movements, and pupil size were recorded. One item embedded in the scene served as the conditional stimulus (CS. One exemplar of that item (e.g. a white pot was paired with shock 100 percent of the time (CS+ while a second exemplar (e.g. a gray pot was never paired with shock (CS-. The remaining items were paired with shock on half of the trials. Participants rated their expectation of receiving a shock during each trial, and these expectancy ratings were used to identify when (i.e. on what trial each participant became aware of the programmed contingencies. Disproportionate viewing of the CS was found both before and after explicit contingency awareness, and patterns of viewing distinguished the CS+ from the CS-. These observations are consistent with "dual process" models of fear conditioning, as they indicate that learning can be expressed in patterns of viewing prior to explicit contingency awareness.
Braem, Senne; De Houwer, Jan; Demanet, Jelle; Yuen, Kenneth S L; Kalisch, Raffael; Brass, Marcel
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.
Uwaya, Akemi; Lee, Hyunjin; Park, Jonghyuk; Lee, Hosung; Muto, Junko; Nakajima, Sanae; Ohta, Shigeo; Mikami, Toshio
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.
Newall, Carol; Watson, Tiffany; Grant, Kerry-Ann; Richardson, Rick
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.
Haesen, Kim; Beckers, Tom; Baeyens, Frank; Vervliet, Bram
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.
Anastasio, Thomas J.
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...
Liao, Zhaohui; Tao, Yezheng; Guo, Xiaomu; Cheng, Deqin; Wang, Feifei; Liu, Xing; Ma, Lan
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.
Amber N Baysinger
Full Text Available Intelligent behavior requires transient memory, which entails the ability to retain information over short time periods. A newly-emerging hypothesis posits that endogenous persistent firing (EPF is the neurophysiological foundation for aspects or types of transient memory. EPF is enabled by the activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs and is triggered by suprathreshold stimulation. EPF occurs in several brain regions, including the lateral amygdala (LA. The present study examined the role of amygdalar mAChRs in trace fear conditioning, a paradigm that requires transient memory. If mAChR-dependent EPF selectively supports transient memory, then blocking amygdalar mAChRs should impair trace conditioning, while sparing delay and context conditioning, which presumably do not rely upon transient memory. To test the EPF hypothesis, LA was bilaterally infused, prior to trace or delay conditioning, with either a mAChR antagonist (scopolamine or saline. Computerized video analysis quantified the amount of freezing elicited by the cue and by the training context. Scopolamine infusion profoundly reduced freezing in the trace conditioning group but had no significant effect on delay or context conditioning. This pattern of results was uniquely anticipated by the EPF hypothesis. The present findings are discussed in terms of a systems-level theory of how EPF in LA and several other brain regions might help support trace fear conditioning.
Baysinger, Amber N; Kent, Brianne A; Brown, Thomas H
Intelligent behavior requires transient memory, which entails the ability to retain information over short time periods. A newly-emerging hypothesis posits that endogenous persistent firing (EPF) is the neurophysiological foundation for aspects or types of transient memory. EPF is enabled by the activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) and is triggered by suprathreshold stimulation. EPF occurs in several brain regions, including the lateral amygdala (LA). The present study examined the role of amygdalar mAChRs in trace fear conditioning, a paradigm that requires transient memory. If mAChR-dependent EPF selectively supports transient memory, then blocking amygdalar mAChRs should impair trace conditioning, while sparing delay and context conditioning, which presumably do not rely upon transient memory. To test the EPF hypothesis, LA was bilaterally infused, prior to trace or delay conditioning, with either a mAChR antagonist (scopolamine) or saline. Computerized video analysis quantified the amount of freezing elicited by the cue and by the training context. Scopolamine infusion profoundly reduced freezing in the trace conditioning group but had no significant effect on delay or context conditioning. This pattern of results was uniquely anticipated by the EPF hypothesis. The present findings are discussed in terms of a systems-level theory of how EPF in LA and several other brain regions might help support trace fear conditioning.
Wood, Suzanne C; Fay, Jonathan; Sage, Jennifer R; Anagnostaras, Stephan G
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.
Misane, I.; Tovote, P.; Meyer, M.; Spiess, J.; Ögren, S.O.; Stiedl, O.
Hippocampal and amygdaloid neuroplasticity are important substrates for Pavlovian fear conditioning. The hippocampus has been implicated in trace fear conditioning. However, a systematic investigation of the significance of the trace interval has not yet been performed. Therefore, this study
Korte, S M; Bohus, B; de Boer, Sietse
The purpose of the study was to determine which stressor qualities (escapable vs. inescapable stress and unconditioned vs. conditioned stress) can potentiate fear in the elevated plus-maze. While inescapable stress potentiated fear, escapable stress did not, but escapable stress increased the
Full Text Available Background: Studies have demonstrated that fear memories can be modified using non-invasive methods. Recently, we demonstrated that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is capable of enhancing fear memories. Here, we examined the effects of cathodal tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during fear reconsolidation in humans. Methods: Seventeen young, healthy subjects were randomly assigned to two groups, which underwent fear conditioning with mild electric stimuli paired with a visual stimulus. Twenty-four hours later, both groups were shown a reminder of the conditioned fearful stimulus. Shortly thereafter, they received either tDCS (right prefrontal—cathodal, left supraorbital—anodal for 20 min at 1 mA, or sham stimulation. A day later, fear responses of both groups were compared. Results: On Day 3, during fear response assessment, there were no significant differences between the tDCS and sham group (p > 0.05. Conclusion: We conclude that cathodal tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (right prefrontal—cathodal, left supraorbital—anodal did not influence fear memories.
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.
Wood, Suzanne C.; Fay, Jonathon; Sage, Jennifer R.; Anagnostaras, Stephan G.
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...
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
Sevenster, Dieuwke; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel
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
De la Casa, Luís Gonzalo; Mena, Auxiliadora; Ruiz-Salas, Juán Carlos; Quintero, Esperanza; Papini, Mauricio R
Three experiments explored the link between reward shifts and latent inhibition (LI). Using consummatory procedures, rewards were either downshifted from 32% to 4% sucrose (Experiments 1-2), or upshifted from 4% to 32% sucrose (Experiment 3). In both cases, appropriate unshifted controls were also included. LI was implemented in terms of fear conditioning involving a single tone-shock pairing after extensive tone-only preexposure. Nonpreexposed controls were also included. Experiment 1 demonstrated a typical LI effect (i.e., disruption of fear conditioning after preexposure to the tone) in animals previously exposed only to 4% sucrose. However, the LI effect was eliminated by preexposure to a 32%-to-4% sucrose devaluation. Experiment 2 replicated this effect when the LI protocol was administered immediately after the reward devaluation event. However, LI was restored when preexposure was administered after a 60-min retention interval. Finally, Experiment 3 showed that a reward upshift did not affect LI. These results point to a significant role of negative emotion related to reward devaluation in the enhancement of stimulus processing despite extensive nonreinforced preexposure experience.
Lai, Cora Sau Wan; Franke, Thomas F; Gan, Wen-Biao
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.
and thus PTSD, is fear condition - ing. Fear conditioning is a Pavlovian response whereby a neutral stimulus is paired with an aversive stimulus until...for drug use, sleep disorders, and psychiatric and medical conditions via structured interview and laboratory tests. Inclu- sion criteria included the...Annual 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction: Implications for
Wilensky, Ann E; Schafe, Glenn E; Kristensen, Morten Pilgaard
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....
Debiec, Jacek; Olsson, Andreas
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.
DeLoache, Judy S.; LoBue, Vanessa
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…
Messaoudi, Belkacem; Granjon, Lionel; Mouly, Anne-Marie; Sevelinges, Yannick; Gervais, Remi
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…
1 Award Number: W81XWH-11-2-0001 TITLE: Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction: Implications for Treatment of PTSD...REPORT TYPE Final 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 1 Oct 2010 – 30 Sep 2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and...especially adequate REM during exposure therapy may enhance efficacy and reduce remission after treatment. 15. SUBJECT TERMS PTSD, sleep deprivation , fear
Norrholm, S.D.; Vervliet, B.; Jovanovic, T.; Boshoven, W.; Myers, K.M.; Davis, M.; Rothbaum, B.O.; Duncan, E.J.
Fear extinction is a reduction in conditioned fear following repeated exposure to the feared cue in the absence of any aversive event. Extinguished fear often reappears after extinction through spontaneous recovery. Animal studies suggest that spontaneous recovery can be abolished if extinction
Nasehi, Mohammad; Farrahizadeh, Maryam; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza
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.
benzodiazepine drug midazolam (Uvnas-Moberg et al, 1994). A high-stress strain of Sprague-Dawley rats that typically perform poorly on conditioned avoidance...2010). The accurate measurement of fear memory in Pavlovian conditioning : resolving the baseline issue. f Neurosci Methods 190: 235-239. Joordens RJ...stress disorder. Psychiatry Res 48: 107-117. Rescorla RA, Wagner AR (1972). A theory of Pavlovian conditioning : variations in the effectiveness of
Alina Beatrice Chesca
Full Text Available This paper approaches Otto Rank’s theory according to which the main cause of anxiety is the individual’s separation from the loved beings and objects. Along one’s life, anxiety takes two forms: the fear of life and the fear of death. The fear of life is the anxiety which appears when the person becomes aware of his creative abilities which could separate him from the existing relationships. Writers like Emil Cioran, Mihail Sebastian, Octavian Paler, Yukio Mishima, Ernest Hemingway suffered from the fear of life, they were haunted by a tragic that brought about theloneliness of death. It is what Kierkegaard called: ”the fatal disease”, the sin of the artist’s existence. The artistic process implies an oscillation between acceptance and rejection, satisfaction and negation, life and death, loneliness and happiness.
Rodriguez-Romaguera, Jose; Sotres-Bayon, Francisco; Mueller, Devin; Quirk, Gregory J
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.
Lazzaro, Stephanie C.; Hou, Mian; Cunha, Catarina; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Cain, Christopher K.
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…
Coppens, Evelien; van Paesschen, Wim; Vandenbulcke, Mathieu; Vansteenwegen, Debora
Animal research demonstrated that during fear conditioning the amygdala plays a central role in forming an association between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US). Lesion studies conducted in patients who underwent a unilateral anterior temporal lobe resection, however; yielded contradictory findings. To date, it remains unclear whether amygdala damage only affects fear-conditioned startle responding or impairs both the latter and fear-conditioned skin conductance responding (SCR). Moreover inconsistency exists regarding the preservation of contingency knowledge in amygdala-damaged patients. In the current study, a differential fear conditioning task was presented to a unilaterally amygdala-damaged patient group and a healthy control group, recording fear-potentiated startle responses along with SCRs. Retrospectively, the valence of the CSs and contingency awareness was assessed. Unlike the control group, unilaterally amygdala-damaged patients showed neither in their SCRs nor in their valence ratings an effect of fear conditioning. The startle data, however, yielded in none of the two test groups fear-conditioned responding. Finally, considerably fewer patients (37.5%) than controls (95%) acquired correct memory of the presented contingency. Based on these findings we concluded that the fear conditioning impairment in amygdala-damaged patients was not restricted to SCRs, but also affected valence ratings and memory of the presented contingency. A broader theory of the amygdala as relevance detector is proposed in order to account for the diverse neurological findings obtained so far.
Kochli, Daniel E.; Thompson, Elaine C.; Fricke, Elizabeth A.; Postle, Abagail F.; Quinn, Jennifer J.
Numerous investigations have definitively shown amygdalar involvement in delay and contextual fear conditioning. However, much less is known about amygdala contributions to trace fear conditioning, and what little evidence exists is conflicting as noted in previous studies. This discrepancy may result from selective targeting of individual nuclei…
Wilson, Yvette M.; Murphy, Mark
There is no clear identification of the neurons involved in fear conditioning in the amygdala. To search for these neurons, we have used a genetic approach, the "fos-tau-lacZ" (FTL) mouse, to map functionally activated expression in neurons following contextual fear conditioning. We have identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral…
Baas, J. M. P.; van Ooijen, L.; Goudriaan, A.; Kenemans, J. L.
The acquisition of a conditioned fear response is adaptive, as it enables the organism to appropriately respond to predictors of aversive events. Consequently, the absence of predictive cues can be used as a signal for safety. We aimed to study whether deficient fear conditioning might lead to
Bredy, Timothy W.; Wu, Hao; Crego, Cortney; Zellhoefer, Jessica; Sun, Yi E.; Barad, Mark
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,…
Hymowitz et al., 1985, 1990; Modrow and Jaax, 1989). Pavlovian fear conditioning is a useful procedure often used to elucidate the neural substrates...Stitcher DL, Lennox WJ. Protection against both lethal and behavioral effects of soman. Drug Chem Toxicol 1984;7:605–24. Hasselmo ME. The role of...Rethinking the fear circuit: the central nucleus of the amygdala is required for the acquisition, consolidation, and expression of Pavlovian fear
Lanzetta, J T; Orr, S P
In a recent study, Orr and Lanzetta (1984) showed that the excitatory properties of fear facial expressions previously described (Lanzetta & Orr, 1981; Orr & Lanzetta, 1980) do not depend on associative mechanisms; even in the absence of reinforcement, fear faces intensify the emotional reaction to a previously conditioned stimulus and disrupt extinction of an acquired fear response. In conjunction with the findings on acquisition, the failure to obtain extinction suggests that fear faces have some of the functional properties of "prepared" (fear-relevant) stimuli. In the present study we compared the magnitude of conditioned fear responses to happy and fear faces when a potent danger signal, the shock electrodes, are attached or unattached. If fear faces are functionally analogous to prepared stimuli, then, even in the absence of veridical support for an expectation of shock, they should retain excitatory strength, whereas happy faces should not. The results are consistent with this view of fear expressions. In the absence of reinforcement, and with shock electrodes removed, conditioned fear responses and basal levels of arousal were of greater magnitude for the fear-face condition than for the happy-face condition.
Baker, Kathryn D.; McNally, Gavan P.; Richardson, Rick
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…
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
Ji, Jinzhao; Maren, Stephen
There is a growing body of evidence that the hippocampus is critical for context-dependent memory retrieval. In the present study, we used Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats to examine the role of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) in the context-specific expression of fear memory after extinction (i.e., renewal). Pre-training electrolytic lesions of…
Arnaudova, I.; Krypotos, A.M.; Effting, M.; Boddez, Y.; Kindt, M.; Beckers, T.
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
Graham, Bronwyn M.; Richardson, Rick
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…
Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Jhang, Jinho; Kim, Hyung-Su; Lee, Sujin; Han, Jin-Hee
Memory is thought to be sparsely encoded throughout multiple brain regions forming unique memory trace. Although evidence has established that the amygdala is a key brain site for memory storage and retrieval of auditory conditioned fear memory, it remains elusive whether the auditory brain regions may be involved in fear memory storage or…
Sabiha K Barot
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.
Dines, Monica; Grinberg, Svetlana; Vassiliev, Maria; Ram, Alon; Tamir, Tal; Lamprecht, Raphael
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.
Hwang, Moon Jung; Zsido, Rachel G; Song, Huijin; Pace-Schott, Edward F; Miller, Karen Klahr; Lebron-Milad, Kelimer; Marin, Marie-France; Milad, Mohammed R
Findings about sex differences in the field of fear conditioning and fear extinction have been mixed. At the psychophysiological level, sex differences emerge only when taking estradiol levels of women into consideration. This suggests that this hormone may also influence sex differences with regards to activations of brain regions involved in fear conditioning and its extinction. Importantly, the neurobiological correlates associated with the use of hormonal oral contraceptives in women have not been fully contrasted against men and against naturally cycling women with different levels of estradiol. In this study, we begin to fill these scientific gaps. We recruited 37 healthy men and 48 healthy women. Of these women, 16 were using oral contraceptives (OC) and 32 were naturally cycling. For these naturally cycling women, a median split was performed on their serum estradiol levels to create a high estradiol (HE) group (n = 16) and a low estradiol (LE) group (n = 16). All participants underwent a 2-day fear conditioning and extinction paradigm in a 3 T MR scanner. Using the 4 groups (men, HE women, LE women, and OC users) and controlling for age and coil type, one-way ANCOVAs were performed to look at significant activations within the nodes of the fear circuit. Using post-hoc analyses, beta-weights were extracted in brain regions showing significant effects in order to unveil the differences based on hormonal status (men, HE, LE, OC). Significant main effect of hormonal status group was found across the different phases of the experiment and in different sub-regions of the insular and cingulate cortices, amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. During conditioning, extinction and recall, most of the observed differences suggested higher activations among HE women relative to men. During the unconditioned response, however, a different pattern was observed with men showing significantly higher brain activations. Our data further support the important contribution
Kumar, Tankesh; Jha, Sushil K
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.
Tronson, Natalie C; Schrick, Christina; Guzman, Yomayra F; Huh, Kyu Hwan; Srivastava, Deepak P; Penzes, Peter; Guedea, Anita L; Gao, Can; Radulovic, Jelena
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.
Bergstrom, Hadley C; Johnson, Luke R
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.
Benjamin N Greenwood
Full Text Available Repeated stressor exposure can sensitize physiological responses to novel stressors and facilitate the development of stress-related psychiatric disorders including anxiety. Disruptions in diurnal rhythms of sleep-wake behavior accompany stress-related psychiatric disorders and could contribute to their development. Complex stressors that include fear-eliciting stimuli can be a component of repeated stress experienced by humans, but whether exposure to repeated fear can prime the development of anxiety and sleep disturbances is unknown. In the current study, adult male F344 rats were exposed to either control conditions or repeated contextual fear conditioning for 22 days followed by exposure to either no, mild (10, or severe (100 acute uncontrollable tail shock stress. Exposure to acute stress produced anxiety-like behavior as measured by a reduction in juvenile social exploration and exaggerated shock-elicited freezing in a novel context. Prior exposure to repeated fear enhanced anxiety-like behavior as measured by shock-elicited freezing, but did not alter social exploratory behavior. The potentiation of anxiety produced by prior repeated fear was temporary; exaggerated fear was present 1 day but not 4 days following acute stress. Interestingly, exposure to acute stress reduced REM and NREM sleep during the hours immediately following acute stress. This initial reduction in sleep was followed by robust REM rebound and diurnal rhythm flattening of sleep / wake behavior. Prior repeated fear extended the acute stress-induced REM and NREM sleep loss, impaired REM rebound, and prolonged the flattening of the diurnal rhythm of NREM sleep following acute stressor exposure. These data suggest that impaired recovery of sleep / wake behavior following acute stress could contribute to the mechanisms by which a history of prior repeated stress increases vulnerability to subsequent novel stressors and stress-related disorders.
Full Text Available The ability to identify predictors of aversive events allows organisms to appropriately respond to these events, and failure to acquire these fear contingencies can lead to maladaptive contextual anxiety. Recently, preclinical studies demonstrated that the corticotropin-releasing factor and serotonin systems are interactively involved in adaptive fear acquisition. Here, 150 healthy medication-free human subjects completed a cue and context fear conditioning procedure in a virtual reality environment. Fear potentiation of the eyeblink startle reflex (FPS was measured to assess both uninstructed fear acquisition and instructed fear expression. All participants were genotyped for polymorphisms located within regulatory regions of the corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1 - rs878886 and the serotonin transporter (5HTTLPR. These polymorphisms have previously been linked to panic disorder and anxious symptomology and personality, respectively. G-allele carriers of CRHR1 (rs878886 showed no acquisition of fear conditioned responses (FPS to the threat cue in the uninstructed phase, whereas fear acquisition was present in C/C homozygotes. Moreover, carrying the risk alleles of both rs878886 (G-allele and 5HTTLPR (short allele was associated with increased FPS to the threat context during this phase. After explicit instructions regarding the threat contingency were given, the cue FPS and context FPS normalized in all genotype groups. The present results indicate that genetic variability in the corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1, especially in interaction with the 5HTTLPR, is involved in the acquisition of fear in humans. This translates prior animal findings to the human realm.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Fear conditioning-induced changes in cerebellar Purkinje cell responses to a conditioned stimulus have been reported in rabbits. It has been suggested that synaptic long-term potentiation and the resulting increases in firing rates of Purkinje cells are related to the acquisition of conditioned fear in mammals. However, Purkinje cell activities during acquisition of conditioned fear have not been analysed, and changes in Purkinje cell activities throughout the development of conditioned fear have not yet been investigated. In the present study, we tracked Purkinje cell activities throughout a fear conditioning procedure and aimed to elucidate further how cerebellar circuits function during the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear. Methods Activities of single Purkinje cells in the corpus cerebelli were tracked throughout a classical fear conditioning procedure in goldfish. A delayed conditioning paradigm was used with cardiac deceleration as the conditioned response. Conditioning-related changes of Purkinje cell responses to a conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus were examined. Results The majority of Purkinje cells sampled responded to the conditioned stimulus by either increasing or decreasing their firing rates before training. Although there were various types of conditioning-related changes in Purkinje cells, more than half of the cells showed suppressed activities in response to the conditioned stimulus after acquisition of conditioned fear. Purkinje cells that showed unconditioned stimulus-coupled complex-spike firings also exhibited conditioning-related suppression of simple-spike responses to the conditioned stimulus. A small number of Purkinje cells showed increased excitatory responses in the acquisition sessions. We found that the magnitudes of changes in the firing frequencies of some Purkinje cells in response to the conditioned stimulus correlated with the magnitudes of the conditioned
Full Text Available The amygdala is a critical brain region for auditory fear conditioning, which is a stressful condition for experimental rats. Adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampus, known to be sensitive to behavioral stress and treatment of the antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX, is involved in the formation of hippocampus-dependent memories. Here, we investigated whether neurogenesis also occurs in the amygdala and contributes to auditory fear memory. In rats showing persistent auditory fear memory following fear conditioning, we found that the survival of new-born cells and the number of new-born cells that differentiated into mature neurons labeled by BrdU and NeuN decreased in the amygdala, but the number of cells that developed into astrocytes labeled by BrdU and GFAP increased. Chronic pretreatment with FLX partially rescued the reduction in neurogenesis in the amygdala and slightly suppressed the maintenance of the long-lasting auditory fear memory 30 days after the fear conditioning. The present results suggest that adult neurogenesis in the amygdala is sensitive to antidepressant treatment and may weaken long-lasting auditory fear memory.
Full Text Available Amygdala is involved in the fear memory that recognizes certain environmental cues predicting threatening events. Manipulation of neurotransmission within the amygdala affects the expression of conditioned and unconditioned emotional memories such as fear freezing behaviour. We previously demonstrated that F3.ChAT human neural stem cells (NSCs overexpressing choline acetyltransferase (ChAT improve cognitive function of Alzheimer’s disease model rats with hippocampal or cholinergic nerve injuries by increasing acetylcholine (ACh level. In the present study, we examined the effect of F3.ChAT cells on the deficit of unconditioned fear freezing. Rats given N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA in their amygdala 2 weeks prior to cat odor exposure displayed very short resting (freezing time compared to normal animals. NMDA induced neuronal degeneration in the amygdala, leading to a decreased ACh concentration in cerebrospinal fluid. However, intracerebroventricular transplantation of F3.ChAT cells attenuated amygdala lesions 4 weeks after transplantation. The transplanted cells were found in the NMDA-injury sites and produced ChAT protein. In addition, F3.ChAT-receiving rats recuperated freezing time staying remote from the cat odor source, according to the recovery of brain ACh concentration. The results indicate that human NSCs overexpressing ChAT may facilitate retrieval of unconditioned fear memory by increasing ACh level.
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
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.
Sui, Li; Huang, SiJia; Peng, BinBin; Ren, Jie; Tian, FuYing; Wang, Yan
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the amygdala has been demonstrated to modulate hyperactivity of the amygdala, which is responsible for the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and thus might be used for the treatment of PTSD. However, the underlying mechanism of DBS of the amygdala in the modulation of the amygdala is unclear. The present study investigated the effects of DBS of the amygdala on synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to the amygdala, which is critical for the formation and storage of auditory fear memories, and fear memories. The results demonstrated that auditory fear conditioning increased single-pulse-evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the cortical-amygdala pathway. Furthermore, auditory fear conditioning decreased the induction of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, two neurophysiological models for studying short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity, respectively, in the cortical-amygdala pathway. In addition, all these auditory fear conditioning-induced changes could be reversed by DBS of the amygdala. DBS of the amygdala also rescued auditory fear conditioning-induced enhancement of long-term retention of fear memory. These findings suggested that DBS of the amygdala alleviating fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory may underlie the neuromodulatory role of DBS of the amygdala in activities of the amygdala.
Poplawski, Shane G.; Schoch, Hannah; Wimmer, Mathieu; Hawk, Joshua D.; Walsh, Jennifer L.; Giese, Karl P.; Abel, Ted
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...
Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Spencer, Rebecca M.C.; Vijayakumar, Shilpa; Ahmed, Nafis; Verga, Patrick W.; Orr, Scott P.; Pitman, Roger K.; Milad, Mohammed R.
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...
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
Jacquart, Jolene; Roquet, Rheall F; Papini, Santiago; Powers, Mark B; Rosenfield, David; Smits, Jasper A J; Monfils, Marie-H
Exposure therapy is an established learning-based intervention for the treatment of anxiety disorders with an average response rate of nearly 50%, leaving room for improvement. Emerging strategies to enhance exposure therapy in humans and fear extinction retention in animal models are primarily pharmacological. These approaches are limited as many patients report preferring non-pharmacological approaches in therapy. With general cognitive enhancement effects, exercise has emerged as a plausible non-pharmacological augmentation strategy. The present study tested the hypothesis that fear extinction and exposure therapy would be enhanced by a pre-training bout of exercise. We conducted four experiments with rats that involved a standardized conditioning and extinction paradigm and a manipulation of exercise. In a fifth experiment, we manipulated vigorous-intensity exercise prior to a standardized virtual reality exposure therapy session among adults with fear of heights. In experiments 1-4, exercise did not facilitate fear extinction, long-term memory, or fear relapse tests. In experiment 5, human participants showed an overall reduction in fear of heights but exercise did not enhance symptom improvement. Although acute exercise prior to fear extinction or exposure therapy, as operationalized in the present 5 studies, did not enhance outcomes, these results must be interpreted within the context of a broader literature that includes positive findings. Taken all together, this suggests that more research is necessary to identify optimal parameters and key individual differences so that exercise can be implemented successfully to treat anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bradfield, Laura A.; McNally, Gavan P.
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…
Giorgi, Gabriele; Montani, Francesco; Fiz-Perez, Javier; Arcangeli, Giulio; Mucci, Nicola
Companies’ internationalization appears to be fundamental in the current globalized and competitive environment and seems important not only for organizational success, but also for societal development and sustainability. On one hand, global business increases the demand for managers for international assignment. On the other hand, emergent fears, such as terrorism, seem to be developing around the world, enhancing the risk of expatriates’ potential health problems. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between the emergent concept of fear of expatriation with further workplace fears (economic crisis and dangerous working conditions) and with mental health problems. The study uses a quantitative design. Self-reported data were collected from 265 Italian expatriate workers assigned to both Italian and worldwide projects. Structural equation model analyses showed that fear of expatriation mediates the relationship of mental health with fear of economic crisis and with perceived dangerous working conditions. As expected, in addition to fear, worries of expatriation are also related to further fears. Although, the study is based on self-reports and the cross-sectional study design limits the possibility of making causal inferences, the new constructs introduced add to previous research. PMID:27790173
Giorgi, Gabriele; Montani, Francesco; Fiz-Perez, Javier; Arcangeli, Giulio; Mucci, Nicola
Companies' internationalization appears to be fundamental in the current globalized and competitive environment and seems important not only for organizational success, but also for societal development and sustainability. On one hand, global business increases the demand for managers for international assignment. On the other hand, emergent fears, such as terrorism, seem to be developing around the world, enhancing the risk of expatriates' potential health problems. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between the emergent concept of fear of expatriation with further workplace fears (economic crisis and dangerous working conditions) and with mental health problems. The study uses a quantitative design. Self-reported data were collected from 265 Italian expatriate workers assigned to both Italian and worldwide projects. Structural equation model analyses showed that fear of expatriation mediates the relationship of mental health with fear of economic crisis and with perceived dangerous working conditions. As expected, in addition to fear, worries of expatriation are also related to further fears. Although, the study is based on self-reports and the cross-sectional study design limits the possibility of making causal inferences, the new constructs introduced add to previous research.
Full Text Available Companies’ internationalization appears to be fundamental in the current globalized and competitive environment and seems important not only for organizational success, but also for societal development and sustainability. On one hand, global business increases the demand for managers for international assignment. On the other hand, emergent fears, such as terrorism, seem to be developing around the world, enhancing the risk of expatriates’ potential health problems. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between the emergent concept of fear of expatriation with further workplace fears (economic crisis and dangerous working conditions and with mental health problems. The study uses a quantitative design. Self-reported data were collected from 265 Italian expatriate workers assigned to both Italian and worldwide projects. Structural equation model analyses showed that fear of expatriation mediates the relationship of mental health with fear of economic crisis and with perceived dangerous working conditions. As expected, in addition to fear, worries of expatriation are also related to further fears. Although the study is based on self-reports and the cross-sectional study design limits the possibility of making causal inferences, the new constructs introduced add to previous research.
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.
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.
Xu, Liang; Su, Hongyu; Xie, Xiaoyuan; Yan, Pei; Li, Junjiao; Zheng, Xifu
Fear generalization is an etiologically significant indicator of anxiety disorders, and understanding how to inhibit it is important in their treatment. Prior studies have found that reducing fear generalization using a generalization stimulus (GS) is ineffective in removing a conditioned fear that incorporates local features, and that topological properties appear to play a comparatively more significant role in the processes of perception and categorization. Our study utilized a conditioned-fear generalization design to examine whether the topological properties of stimuli influence the generalization and return of fear. Fear was indexed using online expectancy ratings and skin conductance responses (SCRs). The study's 52 participants were divided into three groups: Group 1, conditioned danger cue (CS+) extinction; Group 2, extinction of one GS; Group 3, extinction of three GSs. We found that the three groups acquired conditioned fear at the same level. In the generalization and extinction phase, fear was transferred to the GS with the same topological properties as CS+, and gradual decreases in both shock expectancy and SCRs over non-reinforced extinction trials were observed. In the test phase, participants' online expectancy ratings indicated that fear did not return in Group 1, but did return in Groups 2 and 3. All three groups demonstrated successful GS fear extinction, but only Group 1 did not show a return of fear for CS+. Regarding SCRs results, none of the groups demonstrated a return of fear, suggesting that utilization of topological properties successfully reduced the return of conditioned fear. Our results indicate that, in clinical settings, using GS with topological equivalence to CS+ might offer a potential method with which to extinct conditioned fear.
Full Text Available Fear generalization is an etiologically significant indicator of anxiety disorders, and understanding how to inhibit it is important in their treatment. Prior studies have found that reducing fear generalization using a generalization stimulus (GS is ineffective in removing a conditioned fear that incorporates local features, and that topological properties appear to play a comparatively more significant role in the processes of perception and categorization. Our study utilized a conditioned-fear generalization design to examine whether the topological properties of stimuli influence the generalization and return of fear. Fear was indexed using online expectancy ratings and skin conductance responses (SCRs. The study’s 52 participants were divided into three groups: Group 1, conditioned danger cue (CS+ extinction; Group 2, extinction of one GS; Group 3, extinction of three GSs. We found that the three groups acquired conditioned fear at the same level. In the generalization and extinction phase, fear was transferred to the GS with the same topological properties as CS+, and gradual decreases in both shock expectancy and SCRs over non-reinforced extinction trials were observed. In the test phase, participants’ online expectancy ratings indicated that fear did not return in Group 1, but did return in Groups 2 and 3. All three groups demonstrated successful GS fear extinction, but only Group 1 did not show a return of fear for CS+. Regarding SCRs results, none of the groups demonstrated a return of fear, suggesting that utilization of topological properties successfully reduced the return of conditioned fear. Our results indicate that, in clinical settings, using GS with topological equivalence to CS+ might offer a potential method with which to extinct conditioned fear.
Catlow, Briony J; Song, Shijie; Paredes, Daniel A; Kirstein, Cheryl L; Sanchez-Ramos, Juan
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.
Nasehi, Mohammad; Zamanparvar, Majid; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza
The noradrenergic system plays a critical role in the modulation of emotional state, primarily related to anxiety, arousal, and stress. Growing evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system mediates stress responses and emotional homeostasis, in part, by targeting noradrenergic circuits. In addition, there is an interaction between the cannabinoid and noradrenergic system that has significant functional and behavioral implications. Considering the importance of these systems in forming memories for fearful events, we have investigated the involvement of basolateral amygdala (BLA) α2-adrenoceptors on ACPA (as selective cannabinoid CB1 agonist)-induced inhibition of the acquisition of contextual and auditory conditioned fear. A contextual and auditory fear conditioning apparatus for assess fear memory in adult male NMRI mice was used. Pre-training, intraperitoneal administration of ACPA decreased the percentage freezing time in contextual (at doses of 0.05 and 0.1mg/kg) and auditory (at dose of 0.1 mg/kg) in the fear conditioning task, indicating memory acquisition deficit. The same result was observed with intra-BLA microinjection of clonidine (0.001-0.5 μg/mouse, for both memories), as α2-adrenoceptor agonist and yohimbine (at doses of 0.005 and 0.05 for contextual and at dose of 0.05 μg/mouse for auditory fear memory), as α2-adrenoceptor antagonist. In addition, intra-BLA microinjection of clonidine (0.0005 μg/mouse) did not alter ACPA response in both conditions, while the same dose of yohimbine potentiated ACPA response at the lower dose on contextual fear memory. It is concluded that BLA α2-adrenergic receptors may be involved in context- but not tone-dependent fear memory impairment induced by activation of CB1 receptors. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Gao, Yu; Raine, Adrian; Venables, Peter H.; Dawson, Michael E.; Mednick, Sarnoff A.
Although fear conditioning is an important psychological construct implicated in behavioral and emotional problems, little is known about how it develops in early childhood. Using a differential, partial reinforcement conditioning paradigm, this longitudinal study assessed skin conductance conditioned responses in 200 children at ages 3, 4, 5, 6,…
David Frausto Peña
Full Text Available Fearful experiences can produce long-lasting and debilitating memories. Extinction of the fear response requires consolidation of new memories that compete with fearful associations. Subjects with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD show impaired extinction of conditioned fear, which is associated with decreased ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC control over amygdala activity. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS enhances memory consolidation in both rats and humans, and pairing VNS with exposure to conditioned cues enhances the consolidation of extinction learning in rats. Here we investigated whether pairing VNS with extinction learning facilitates plasticity between the infralimbic (IL medial prefrontal cortex and the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA. Rats were trained on an auditory fear conditioning task, which was followed by a retention test and one day of extinction training. Vagus nerve stimulation or sham-stimulation was administered concurrently with exposure to the fear-conditioned stimulus and retention of fear conditioning was tested again 24 hours later. VNS-treated rats demonstrated a significant reduction in freezing after a single extinction training session similar to animals that received 5x the number of extinction pairings. To study plasticity in the IL-BLA pathway, we recorded evoked field potentials in the BLA in anesthetized animals 24 h after retention testing. Brief burst stimulation in the IL produced LTD in the BLA field response in fear-conditioned and sham-treated animals. In contrast, the same stimulation resulted in potentiation of the IL-BLA pathway in the VNS-treated group. The present findings suggest that VNS promotes plasticity in the IL-BLA pathway to facilitate extinction of conditioned fear responses.
Santos, Thays Brenner; Kramer-Soares, Juliana Carlota; Favaro, Vanessa Manchim; Oliveira, Maria Gabriela Menezes
Time plays an important role in conditioning, it is not only possible to associate stimuli with events that overlap, as in delay fear conditioning, but it is also possible to associate stimuli that are discontinuous in time, as shown in trace conditioning for a discrete stimuli. The environment itself can be a powerful conditioned stimulus (CS) and be associated to unconditioned stimulus (US). Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine the parameters in which contextual fear conditioning occurs by the maintenance of a contextual representation over short and long time intervals. The results showed that a contextual representation can be maintained and associated after 5s, even in the absence of a 15s re-exposure to the training context before US delivery. The same effect was not observed with a 24h interval of discontinuity. Furthermore, optimal conditioned response with a 5s interval is produced only when the contexts (of pre-exposure and shock) match. As the pre-limbic cortex (PL) is necessary for the maintenance of a continuous representation of a stimulus, the involvement of the PL in this temporal and contextual processing was investigated. The reversible inactivation of the PL by muscimol infusion impaired the acquisition of contextual fear conditioning with a 5s interval, but not with a 24h interval, and did not impair delay fear conditioning. The data provided evidence that short and long intervals of discontinuity have different mechanisms, thus contributing to a better understanding of PL involvement in contextual fear conditioning and providing a model that considers both temporal and contextual factors in fear conditioning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kaag, A.M.; Levar, N.; Woutersen, K.; Homberg, J.R.; Brink, W. van den; Reneman, L.; Wingen, G. van
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
Munazah F. Qureshi
Full Text Available The conditioning tasks have been widely used to model fear and anxiety and to study their association with sleep. Many reports suggest that sleep plays a vital role in the consolidation of fear memory. Studies have also demonstrated that fear-conditioning influences sleep differently in mice strains having a low or high anxiety level. It is, therefore, necessary to know, how sleep influences fear-conditioning and how fear-conditioning induces changes in sleep architecture in moderate anxious strains. We have used Swiss mice, a moderate anxious strain, to study the effects of: (i sleep deprivation on contextual fear conditioned memory, and also (ii contextual fear conditioning on sleep architecture. Animals were divided into three groups: (a non-sleep deprived (NSD; (b stress control (SC; and (c sleep-deprived (SD groups. The SD animals were SD for 5 h soon after training. We found that the NSD and SC animals showed 60.57% and 58.12% freezing on the testing day, while SD animals showed significantly less freezing (17.13% only; p < 0.001 on the testing day. Further, we observed that contextual fear-conditioning did not alter the total amount of wakefulness and non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep. REM sleep, however, significantly decreased in NSD and SC animals on the training and testing days. Interestingly, REM sleep did not decrease in the SD animals on the testing day. Our results suggest that short-term sleep deprivation impairs fear memory in moderate anxious mice. It also suggests that NREM sleep, but not REM sleep, may have an obligatory role in memory consolidation.
Davis, Jennifer A.; James, John R.; Siegel, Steven J.; Gould, Thomas J.
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...
Dmytro Yu. Snitko
Full Text Available The purpose of the article is to analyse fear and courage in the history of philosophy in the context of opposi-tion of human activity and inactivity that may lead to a profound understanding of the essence, causes and existen-tial aspects of human activity and inactivity. The implementation of the objective assumes the solution of the follow-ing tasks: analysis of philosophical interpretation of fear and courage; investigation of the relationship of fear and courage with active and passive forms of human being; revelation of existential dialectic of human activity and inac-tivity through the opposition of fear and courage. Methodology. The application of phenomenological approach and other methods of existential philosophy enabled to discover the importance of fear and courage for human existence. Significant contribution to the importance of the investigation of the fear-courage opposition in the context of hu-man activity and inactivity was made by M. Heidegger who pointed to the main modes of human being - «authen-tic» and «inauthentic» in the context of human activity and passivity. The application of hermeneutic method made possible the reconstruction of the reflection of fear-courage opposition in the history of philosophy. Scientific nov-elty. For the first time the analysis of the fear-courage opposition in the context of human activity and inactivity was carried out. Due to the analysis the fundamental existential character of the fear and courage opposition and its es-sential relationship with active and passive forms of human being were justified. Conclusions. In the course of this research it was found out that fear is closely connected with passive modes of human being. If classical philosophy placed emphasis on courage and associated fear with human mind and conscious decision, non-classical philosophy of the XIX century and existentialism focused on existential and ontological character of fear, its fundamental mean
Dmytro Yu. Snitko
Full Text Available The purpose of the article is to analyse fear and courage in the history of philosophy in the context of opposition of human activity and inactivity that may lead to a profound understanding of the essence, causes and existential aspects of human activity and inactivity. The implementation of the objective assumes the solution of the following tasks: analysis of philosophical interpretation of fear and courage; investigation of the relationship of fear and courage with active and passive forms of human being; revelation of existential dialectic of human activity and inactivity through the opposition of fear and courage. Methodology. The application of phenomenological approach and other methods of existential philosophy enabled to discover the importance of fear and courage for human existence. Significant contribution to the importance of the investigation of the fear-courage opposition in the context of human activity and inactivity was made by M. Heidegger who pointed to the main modes of human being - «authentic» and «inauthentic» in the context of human activity and passivity. The application of hermeneutic method made possible the reconstruction of the reflection of fear-courage opposition in the history of philosophy. Scientific novelty. For the first time the analysis of the fear-courage opposition in the context of human activity and inactivity was carried out. Due to the analysis the fundamental existential character of the fear and courage opposition and its essential relationship with active and passive forms of human being were justified. Conclusions. In the course of this research it was found out that fear is closely connected with passive modes of human being. If classical philosophy placed emphasis on courage and associated fear with human mind and conscious decision, non-classical philosophy of the XIX century and existentialism focused on existential and ontological character of fear, its fundamental meaning
Deschaux, Olivier; Spennato, Guillaume; Moreau, Jean-Luc; Garcia, René
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.
Piantadosi, Patrick T; Floresco, Stan B
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.
Schipper, Pieter; Henckens, Marloes J A G; Borghans, Bart; Hiemstra, Marlies; Kozicz, Tamas; Homberg, Judith R
Stressors can be actively or passively coped with, and adequate adaption of the coping response to environmental conditions can reduce their potential deleterious effects. One major factor influencing stress coping behaviour is serotonin transporter (5-HTT) availability. Abolishment of 5-HTT is known to impair fear extinction but facilitates acquisition of signalled active avoidance (AA), a behavioural task in which an animal learns to avoid an aversive stimulus that is predicted by a cue. Flexibility in adapting coping behaviour to the nature of the stressor shapes resilience to stress-related disorders. Therefore, we investigated the relation between 5-HTT expression and ability to adapt a learned coping response to changing environmental conditions. To this end, we first established and consolidated a cue-conditioned passive fear response in 5-HTT -/- and wildtype rats. Next, we used the conditioned stimulus (CS) to signal oncoming shocks during signalled AA training in 5-HTT -/- and wildtype rats to study their capability to acquire an active coping response to the CS following fear conditioning. Finally, we investigated the behavioural response to the CS in a novel environment and measured freezing, exploration and self-grooming, behaviours reflective of stress coping strategy. We found that fear conditioned and sham conditioned 5-HTT -/- animals acquired the signalled AA response faster than wildtypes, while prior conditioning briefly delayed AA learning similarly in both genotypes. Subsequent exposure to the CS in the novel context reduced freezing and increased locomotion in 5-HTT -/- compared to wildtype rats. This indicates that improved AA performance in 5-HTT -/- rats resulted in a weaker residual passive fear response to the CS in a novel context. Fear conditioning prior to AA training did not affect freezing upon re-encountering the CS, although it did reduce locomotion in 5-HTT -/- rats. We conclude that independent of 5-HTT signalling, prior fear
Mertens, Gaëtan; De Houwer, Jan
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Repeated exposure to a conditioned stimulus can lead to a reduction of conditioned fear responses towards this stimulus (i.e., extinction). However, this reduction is often fragile and sensitive to contextual changes. In the current study, we investigated whether
Thomas, Brian L.; Vurbic, Drina; Novak, Cheryl
Two studies examined whether nonreinforcement of a stimulus in multiple contexts, instead of a single context, would decrease renewal of conditioned fear in rats (as assessed by conditioned suppression of lever pressing). In Experiment 1, renewal was measured after 36 nonreinforced CS trials delivered during six extinction sessions in a single…
Dutton, Robert C; Maurer, Anya J; Sonner, James M; Fanselow, Michael S; Laster, Michael J; Eger, Edmond I
Production of retrograde amnesia by anesthetics would indicate that these drugs can disrupt mechanisms that stabilize memory. Such disruption would allow suppression of memory of previous untoward events. The authors examined whether isoflurane provides retrograde amnesia for classic (Pavlovian) fear conditioning. Rats were trained to fear tone by applying three (three-trial) or one (one-trial) tone-shock pairs while breathing various constant concentrations of isoflurane. Immediately after training, isoflurane administration was either discontinued, maintained unchanged, or rapidly increased to 1.0 minimum alveolar concentration for 1 h longer. Groups of rats were similarly trained to fear context while breathing isoflurane by applying shocks (without tones) in a distinctive environment. The next day, memory for the conditioned stimuli was determined by presenting the tone or context (without shock) and measuring the proportion of time each rat froze (appeared immobile). For each conditioning procedure, the effects of the three posttraining isoflurane treatments were compared. Rapid increases in posttraining isoflurane administration did not suppress conditioned fear for any of the training procedures. In contrast, isoflurane administration during conditioning dose-dependently suppressed conditioning (P conditioning. Isoflurane appears to disrupt memory processes that occur at or within a few minutes of the conditioning procedure.
Roy, Michael J; Costanzo, Michelle E; Jovanovic, Tanja; Leaman, Suzanne; Taylor, Patricia; Norrholm, Seth D; Rizzo, Albert A
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a significant health concern for U.S. military service members (SMs) returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Early intervention to prevent chronic disability requires greater understanding of subthreshold PTSD symptoms, which are associated with impaired physical health, mental health, and risk for delayed onset PTSD. We report a comparison of physiologic responses for recently deployed SMs with high and low subthreshold PTSD symptoms, respectively, to a fear conditioning task and novel virtual reality paradigm (Virtual Iraq). The high symptom group demonstrated elevated heart rate (HR) response during fear conditioning. Virtual reality sequences evoked significant HR responses which predicted variance of the PTSD Checklist-Military Version self-report. Our results support the value of physiologic assessment during fear conditioning and combat-related virtual reality exposure as complementary tools in detecting subthreshold PTSD symptoms in Veterans.
de Oliveira, Amanda Ribeiro; Reimer, Adriano Edgar; Brandão, Marcus Lira
The increased startle reflex in the presence of a stimulus that has been previously paired with footshock has been termed fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and is considered a reliable index of anxiety. Some studies have suggested an association between stressful situations and alterations in dopaminergic (DA) transmission. Many studies converge on the hypothesis that the mesocorticolimbic pathway, originating from DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), is particularly sensitive to fear-arousing stimuli. The present study explored the involvement of VTA DA receptors in the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear to a light conditioned stimulus (CS). We evaluated the effects of intra-VTA administration of SKF 38393 (D(1) agonist), SCH 23390 (D(1) antagonist), quinpirole (D(2) agonist), and sulpiride (D(2) antagonist) on FPS. All drugs were administered bilaterally into the VTA (1.0 microg/0.2 microl/site). Locomotor activity/exploration and motor coordination were evaluated in the open-field and rotarod tests. None of the drugs produced significant effects on FPS when injected before conditioning, indicating that VTA DA receptors are not involved in the acquisition of conditioned fear to a light-CS. In contrast, when injected before the test session, quinpirole significantly reduced FPS, whereas the other drugs had no effect. Quinpirole's ability to decrease FPS may be the result of an action on VTA D(2) presynaptic autoreceptors that decrease dopamine levels in terminal fields of the mesocorticolimbic pathway. Altogether, the present results suggest the importance of VTA DA neurons in the fear-activating effects of Pavlovian conditioning. In addition to demonstrating the importance of dopaminergic mechanisms in the motivational consequences of footshock, the present findings also indicate that these neural circuits are mainly involved in the expression, rather than acquisition, of conditioned fear.
Arico, Carolyn; Bagley, Elena E; Carrive, Pascal; Assareh, Neda; McNally, Gavan P
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.
Wilson, Yvette M.; Gunnersen, Jenny M.; Murphy, Mark
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
Full Text Available Behavioral studies are fundamental to understanding how animal populations face global change. Although much research has centered upon the idea that individuals can adaptively modify their behaviors to cope with environmental changes, recent evidence supports the existence of individual differences in suites of correlated behaviors. However, little is known about how selection can change these behavioral structures in populations subject to different environmental constraints. The colonization of urban environments by birds has been related to their inter-individual variability in their fear of humans, measured as their flight initiation distance to an approaching human, such that urban life would select for fearless individuals. This behavior has been demonstrated to be heritable and highly consistent throughout the adult lifespan of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia. Here, we experimentally assessed, in field conditions, whether urban life involves changes in other behaviors such as exploration and antipredatory response through their correlation with fear of humans. Breeding urban birds were more fearless toward humans and were quicker to explore a new food resource and defend their nests from predators than their rural counterparts. However, while fear of humans positively correlated with exploration and antipredatory response in the rural population, it only correlated with exploration in the urban one. Predator release in urban environments could relax—and even counterselect—antipredator behaviors, thus dismantling the behavioral correlation existent in natural populations. Altogether, our results suggest that rural and urban animals may differ in some behavioral aspects, may be as a consequence of the selection processes acting during the colonization of urban areas as well as the different ecological environments encountered by individuals.
Revillo, Damian A.; Trebucq, Gastón; Paglini, Maria G.; Arias, Carlos
Although it is currently accepted that the extinction effect reflects new context-dependent learning, this is not so clear during infancy, because some studies did not find recovery of the extinguished conditioned response (CR) in rodents during this ontogenetic stage. However, recent studies have shown the return of an extinguished CR in infant…
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
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.
Sjouwerman, Rachel; Niehaus, Johanna; Lonsdorf, Tina B
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.
Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard. J.; Myers, Catherine E.
Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus in classical conditioning to include interactions with the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. We apply the model to fear conditioning, in which animals learn physiological (e.g. heart rate) and behavioral (e.g. freezing) responses to stimuli that have been paired with a highly aversive event (e.g. electrical shock). The key feature of our model is that learning of these conditioned responses in the central nucleus of the amygdala is modulated by two separate processes, one from basolateral amygdala and signaling a positive prediction error, and one from the vmPFC, via the intercalated cells of the amygdala, and signaling a negative prediction error. In addition, we propose that hippocampal input to both vmPFC and basolateral amygdala is essential for contextual modulation of fear acquisition and extinction. The model is sufficient to account for a body of data from various animal fear conditioning paradigms, including acquisition, extinction, reacquisition, and context specificity effects. Consistent with studies on lesioned animals, our model shows that damage to the vmPFC impairs extinction, while damage to the hippocampus impairs extinction in a different context (e.g., a different conditioning chamber from that used in initial training in animal experiments). We also discuss model limitations and predictions, including the effects of number of training trials on fear conditioning. PMID:23164732
Li, Jay-Shake; Hsiao, Kun-Yuan; Chen, Wei-Min
Previous animal studies have defined the ability to remember the details of what, where, and when of an event as an episodic-like memory to be used to model episodic memory in humans. Numerous findings indicate that the hippocampal-frontal cortical circuitry plays a major part in its neural mechanism. Researchers have intensively studied roles of diverse hippocampus sub-regions using animal models. By contrast, the impact of prefrontal cortex lesions on episodic-like memory in animals is still unknown. Here we show that Wistar rats with bilateral medial prefrontal cortex lesions failed to use the temporal-contextual information to retrieve memory of a fear-conditioning event, indicating impairments in their episodic-like memory. Subsequent experiments excluded alternative interpretations that the manipulation impaired the fear-conditioning per se, or interfered with the sensory preconditioning process. We concluded that damages in this area might impair temporal information processing, or interfere with integrating temporal and contextual elements of fear-conditioning events to form a conjunctive entity. These findings can help understand how the medial prefrontal cortex contributes to episodic-like memory. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Holtzman-Assif, Orit; Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick
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…
Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard J.; Myers, Catherine E.
Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus…
Gafford, Georgette M.; Parsons, Ryan G.; Helmstetter, Fred J.
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…
Full Text Available The serotonin (5-HT and neuropeptide S (NPS systems are discussed as important genetic modulators of fear and sustained anxiety contributing to the etiology of anxiety disorders. Sustained anxiety is a crucial characteristic of most anxiety disorders which likely develops through context conditioning. This study investigated if and how genetic alterations of the 5-HT and the NPS systems as well as their interaction modulate contextual fear conditioning; specifically, function polymorphic variants in the genes coding for the 5-HT transporter (5HTT and the NPS receptor (NPSR1 were studied. A large group of healthy volunteers was therefore stratified for 5HTTLPR (S+ vs. LL carriers and NPSR1 rs324981 (T+ vs. AA carriers polymorphisms resulting in four genotype groups (S+/T+, S+/AA, LL/T+, LL/AA of 20 participants each. All participants underwent contextual fear conditioning and extinction using a virtual reality paradigm. During acquisition, one virtual office room (anxiety context, CXT+ was paired with an unpredictable electric stimulus (unconditioned stimulus, US, whereas another virtual office room was not paired with any US (safety context, CXT-. During extinction no US was administered. Anxiety responses were quantified by fear-potentiated startle and ratings. Most importantly, we found a gene × gene interaction on fear-potentiated startle. Only carriers of both risk alleles (S+/T+ exhibited higher startle responses in CXT+ compared to CXT-. In contrast, anxiety ratings were only influenced by the NPSR1 polymorphism with AA carriers showing higher anxiety ratings in CXT+ as compared to CXT-. Our results speak in favor of a two level account of fear conditioning with diverging effects on implicit vs. explicit fear responses. Contextual fear reflected in potentiated startle responses may be an endophenotype for anxiety disorders.
Urcelay, Gonzalo P; Miller, Ralph R
At both empirical and theoretical levels, multiple functional roles of contextual information upon memory performance have been proposed without a clear dissociation of these roles. Some theories have assumed that contexts are functionally similar to cues, whereas other views emphasize the retrieval facilitating properties of contextual information. In Experiment 1, we observed that one critical parameter, the spacing of trials, could determine whether the context would function as a conditioned stimulus or as a retrieval cue for memories trained in different phases. Experiments 2 and 3 doubly dissociated these functions by selectively disrupting one role but not the other, and vice versa. Overall, these observations identify one determinant of different functions of contextual information and pose a major challenge to theories of learning that assume exclusively one or the other function of the context. Moreover, these data emphasize the importance of parametric variations on behavioral control, which has critical implications for studies designed to understand the role of the hippocampus in processing of contextual attributes.
Full Text Available The diminished fear reactivity is one of the most valid physiological findings in psychopathy research. In a fear conditioning paradigm, with faces as conditioned stimulus (CS and electric shock as unconditioned stimulus (US, we investigated a sample of 14 high psychopathic violent offenders. Event related potentials, skin conductance responses (SCR as well as subjective ratings of the CSs were collected. This study assessed to which extent the different facets of the psychopathy construct contribute to the fear conditioning deficits observed in psychopaths. Participants with high scores on the affective facet subscale of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R showed weaker conditioned fear responses and lower N100 amplitudes compared to low scorers. In contrast, high scorers on the affective facet rated the CS+ (paired more negatively than low scorers regarding the CS- (unpaired. Regarding the P300, high scores on the interpersonal facet were associated with increased amplitudes to the CS+ compared to the CS-, while the opposed pattern was found with the antisocial facet. Both, the initial and terminal contingent negative variation indicated a divergent pattern: participants with pronounced interpersonal deficits, showed increased cortical negativity to the CS+ compared to the CS-, whereas a reversed CS+/CS- differentiation was found in offenders scoring high on the antisocial facet. The present study revealed that deficient fear conditioning in psychopathy was most pronounced in offenders with high scores on the affective facet. Event related potentials suggest that participants with distinct interpersonal deficits showed increased information processing, whereas the antisocial facet was linked to decreased attention and interest to the CS+. These data indicate that an approach to the facets of psychopathy can help to resolve ambiguous findings in psychopathy research and enables a more precise and useful description of this disorder.
Busquet, Perrine; Hetzenauer, Alfred; Sinnegger-Brauns, Martina J; Striessnig, Jörg; Singewald, Nicolas
Dihydropyridine (DHP) L-type Ca(2+) channel (LTCC) antagonists, such as nifedipine, have been reported to impair the extinction of conditioned fear without interfering with its acquisition. Identification of the LTCC isoforms mediating this DHP effect is an essential basis to reveal their role as potential drug targets for the treatment of specific anxiety disorders. Ca(V)1.2 and Ca(V)1.3 are the predominant LTCCs in the mammalian brain. However, since no isoform-selective DHP blockers are available, their individual contribution to fear memory extinction is unknown. We used a novel mouse model expressing DHP-insensitive Ca(V)1.2 LTCCs (Ca(V)1.2DHP(-/-) mice) to address this question. In line with previous studies, wild-type (WT) mice treated with systemic nifedipine displayed markedly impaired fear extinction. This DHP effect was completely abolished in Ca(V)1.2DHP(-/-) mice, indicating that it is mediated by Ca(V)1.2, but not by Ca(V)1.3 LTCCs. Supporting this conclusion, Ca(V)1.3-deficient mice (Ca(V)1.3(-/-)) showed extinction identical to the respective WT mice. The inhibition of fear extinction was not observed after intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) application of different doses of nifedipine, suggesting that this effect is secondary to inhibition of peripheral Ca(V)1.2 channels. The LTCC activator BayK, which lacks neurotoxic effects in Ca(V)1.2DHP(-/-) mice, did not influence the extinction time course. In summary, we demonstrate that LTCC signaling through the Ca(V)1.2 isoform of LTCCs interferes with fear memory extinction, presumably via a peripherally mediated mechanism. Activation of other LTCC isoforms (predominantly Ca(V)1.3) is not sufficient to accelerate extinction of conditioned fear in mice.
Nasehi, Mohammad; Soltanpour, Reyhaneh; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrabian, Shahram; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza
The effects of pharmacological interventions on fear memory have widely been studied, but there are very few studies about the effects of brain electrical stimulation on fear memory function. Therefore, our aim was to determine whether anodal/cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the right frontal cortex would modify propranolol-induced contextual and auditory fear memory deficits, before or after training. The adult NMRI male mice were randomly assigned into three groups: the sham group, the anodal tDCS group, and the cathodal tDCS group. Fear memories were evaluated using a classical fear conditioning apparatus. While the anodal stimulation did not affect fear retrieval, post-training cathodal stimulation improved fear memory retrieval. Regardless of when propranolol (0.1 mg/kg) was administered, it impaired fear memory retrieval. However, when anodal stimulation and propranolol were applied prior to the training, contextual fear memory retrieval was increased and auditory fear memory was reversed. An enhanced contextual retrieval was also observed when propranolol was administered prior to the training and stimulation occurred after the training. Only when the stimulation occurred prior to the training and propranolol was administered after the training was there a selective improvement in contextual fear memory retrieval, leaving the auditory fear memory retrieval impaired. Interestingly, cathodal stimulation improved the effects of propranolol on auditory fear memory only when it occurred prior to the training. The results highlight possible improving effects for anodal/cathodal tDCS on propranolol-induced deficits on fear memories. The timing of the interventions related to the specific phases of memory formation is important in modulating fear behaviors.
At its very first session, the United Nations General Assembly, adopted Resolution 59(I) which states that "freedom of information is a fundamental human right and … the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated". In 1948, it proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris. Article 19 of that Declaration states that "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers". When we place these basic human rights against current global terror threats, and consequent restrictive antiterror legislations to combat them, the question becomes whether Article 19 is still relevant in the context of today's changed security landscape. The aim of this paper is to explore ways that anti-terror legislations can balance between national security, and the protection of freedom of information.
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.
Horn-Hofmann, Claudia; Priebe, Janosch A; Schaller, Jörg; Görlitz, Rüdiger; Lautenbacher, Stefan
In recent years the association of conditioned pain modulation (CPM) with trait fear and anxiety has become a hot topic in pain research due to the assumption that such variables may explain the low CPM efficiency in some individuals. However, empirical evidence concerning this association is still equivocal. Our study is the first to investigate the predictive power of fear and anxiety for CPM by using a well-established psycho-physiological measure of trait fear, i.e. startle potentiation, in addition to two self-report measures of pain-related trait anxiety. Forty healthy, pain-free participants (female: N = 20; age: M = 23.62 years) underwent two experimental blocks in counter-balanced order: (1) a startle paradigm with affective picture presentation and (2) a CPM procedure with hot water as conditioning stimulus (CS) and contact heat as test stimulus (TS). At the end of the experimental session, pain catastrophizing (PCS) and pain anxiety (PASS) were assessed. PCS score, PASS score and startle potentiation to threatening pictures were entered as predictors in a linear regression model with CPM magnitude as criterion. We were able to show an inhibitory CPM effect in our sample: pain ratings of the heat stimuli were significantly reduced during hot water immersion. However, CPM was neither predicted by self-report of pain-related anxiety nor by startle potentiation as psycho-physiological measure of trait fear. These results corroborate previous negative findings concerning the association between trait fear/anxiety and CPM efficiency and suggest that shifting the focus from trait to state measures might be promising.
Hui, Isabel R; Hui, Gabriel K; Roozendaal, Benno; McGaugh, James L; Weinberger, Norman M
A large number of studies have indicated that stress exposure or the administration of stress hormones and other neuroactive drugs immediately after a learning experience modulates the consolidation of long-term memory. However, there has been little investigation into how arousal induced by handling of the animals in order to administer these drugs affects memory. Therefore, the present study examined whether the posttraining injection or handling procedure per se affects memory of auditory-cue classical fear conditioning. Male Sprague-Dawley rats, which had been pre-handled on three days for 1 min each prior to conditioning, received three pairings of a single-frequency auditory stimulus and footshock, followed immediately by either a subcutaneous injection of a vehicle solution or brief handling without injection. A control group was placed back into their home cages without receiving any posttraining treatment. Retention was tested 24 h later in a novel chamber and suppression of ongoing motor behavior during a 10-s presentation of the auditory-cue served as the measure of conditioned fear. Animals that received posttraining injection or handling did not differ from each other but showed significantly less stimulus-induced movement compared to the non-handled control group. These findings thus indicate that the posttraining injection or handling procedure is sufficiently arousing or stressful to facilitate memory consolidation of auditory-cue classical fear conditioning.
Nader, K; LeDoux, J E
Previous findings have demonstrated that systemic dopaminergic manipulations impair the retrieval of Pavlovian conditioned fear. A second-order fear-conditioning paradigm was used to test whether the dopaminergic projection from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the lateral and basal amygdala (LBA) can affect conditioned fear. Phase 1 entailed conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus (CS1-US) pairings. In Phase 2, drugs were infused in either the LBA or VTA prior to pairings of CS2 (a second cue) with CS1. In Phase 3, freezing behavior elicited by CS2 was tested without drugs. Infusions of the D2 agonist quinpirole into the VTA or of the D1 antagonist SCH 23390 into the LBA caused a decrease in freezing to CS2. Both manipulations decrease D1 receptor activation in the LBA. Infusions of the D1 agonist SKF 38393 into the LBA had no effect. This pattern of results is consistent with the hypothesis that the VTA-LBA dopaminergic projection modulates the retrieval of an association between a CS and footshock US.
Mileykovskiy, Boris; Morales, Marisela
It is widely accepted that midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons encode actual and expected reward values by phasic alterations in firing rate. However, how DA neurons encode negative events in the environment is still unclear because some DA neurons appear to be depressed and others excited by aversive stimuli. Here, we show that exposing fear-conditioned rats to stimuli predicting electrical shock elicited three types of biphasic responses, each of which contained an inhibitory pause, in neurochemically identified ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons. The duration of the inhibitory pause in these responses of VTA DA neurons was in direct proportion to the increase in respiratory rate reflecting the level of conditioned fear. Our results suggest that the duration of inhibition of VTA DA neurons encodes negative emotional values of signals predicting aversive events in the environment.
Full Text Available Traditionally , the analysis of extinction data in fear conditioning experiments has involved the use of standard linear models, mostly ANOVA of between-group differences of subjects that have undergone different extinction protocols, pharmacological manipulations or some other treatment. Although some studies report individual differences in quantities such as suppression rates or freezing percentages, these differences are not included in the statistical modeling. Withinsubject response patterns are then averaged using coarse-grain time windows which can overlook these individual performance dynamics. Here we illustrate an alternative analytical procedure consisting of 2 steps: the estimation of a trend for within-session data and analysis of group differences in trend as main outcome. This procedure is tested on real fear-conditioning extinction data, comparing trend estimates via Ordinary Least Squares (OLS and robust Least Median of Squares (LMS regression estimates, as well as comparing between-group differences and analyzing mean freezing percentage versus LMS slopes as outcomes
Barrett, Douglas W; Gonzalez-Lima, F
This study is a new analysis to obtain novel metabolic data on the functional connectivity of prefrontal-limbic regions in Pavlovian fear acquisition and extinction of tone-footshock conditioning. Mice were analyzed with the fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) autoradiographic method to metabolically map regional brain activity. New FDG data were sampled from the nuclei of the habenula and other regions implicated in aversive conditioning, such as infralimbic cortex, amygdala and periaqueductal gray regions. The activity patterns among these regions were inter-correlated during acquisition, extinction or pseudorandom training to develop a functional connectivity model. Two subdivisions of the habenular complex showed increased activity after acquisition relative to extinction, with the pseudorandom group intermediate between the other two groups. Significant acquisition activation effects were also found in centromedial amygdala, dorsomedial and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray. FDG uptake increases during extinction were found only in dorsal and ventral infralimbic cortex. The overall pattern of activity correlations between these regions revealed extensive but differential functional connectivity during acquisition and extinction training, with less functional connectivity found after pseudorandom training. Interestingly, habenula nuclei showed a distinct pattern of inter-correlations with amygdala nuclei during extinction. The functional connectivity model revealed changing interactions among infralimbic cortex, amygdala, habenula and periaqueductal gray regions through the stages of Pavlovian fear acquisition and extinction. This study provided new data on the contributions of the habenula to fear conditioning, and revealed previously unreported infralimbic-amygdala-habenula-periaqueductal gray interactions implicated in acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear. Copyright © 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Alexander, Jon C; McDermott, Carmel M; Tunur, Tumay; Rands, Vicky; Stelly, Claire; Karhson, Debra; Bowlby, Mark R; An, W Frank; Sweatt, J David; Schrader, Laura A
Potassium channel interacting proteins (KChIPs) are members of a family of calcium binding proteins that interact with Kv4 potassium (K(+)) channel primary subunits and also act as transcription factors. The Kv4 subunit is a primary K(+) channel pore-forming subunit, which contributes to the somatic and dendritic A-type currents throughout the nervous system. These A-type currents play a key role in the regulation of neuronal excitability and dendritic processing of incoming synaptic information. KChIP3 is also known as calsenilin and as the transcription factor, downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM), which regulates a number of genes including prodynorphin. KChIP3 and Kv4 primary channel subunits are highly expressed in hippocampus, an area of the brain important for learning and memory. Through its various functions, KChIP3 may play a role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. We evaluated the role of KChIP3 in a hippocampus-dependent memory task, contextual fear conditioning. Male KChIP3 knockout (KO) mice showed significantly enhanced memory 24 hours after training as measured by percent freezing. In addition, we found that membrane association and interaction with Kv4.2 of KChIP3 protein was significantly decreased and nuclear KChIP3 expression was increased six hours after the fear conditioning training paradigm with no significant change in KChIP3 mRNA. In addition, prodynorphin mRNA expression was significantly decreased six hours after fear conditioning training in wild-type (WT) but not in KO animals. These data suggest a role for regulation of gene expression by KChIP3/DREAM/calsenilin in consolidation of contextual fear conditioning memories.
Wimmer, Mathieu; Hawk, Joshua D.; Walsh, Jennifer L.; Giese, Karl P.; Abel, Ted
Hippocampus-dependent learning is known to induce changes in gene expression, but information on gene expression differences between different learning paradigms that require the hippocampus is limited. The bulk of studies investigating RNA expression after learning use the contextual fear conditioning task, which couples a novel environment with a footshock. Although contextual fear conditioning has been useful in discovering gene targets, gene expression after spatial memory tasks has received less attention. In this study, we used the object-location memory task and studied gene expression at two time points after learning in a high-throughput manner using a microfluidic qPCR approach. We found that expression of the classic immediate-early genes changes after object-location training in a fashion similar to that observed after contextual fear conditioning. However, the temporal dynamics of gene expression are different between the two tasks, with object-location memory producing gene expression changes that last at least 2 hours. Our findings indicate that different training paradigms may give rise to distinct temporal dynamics of gene expression after learning. PMID:25242102
Poplawski, Shane G; Schoch, Hannah; Wimmer, Mathieu; Hawk, Joshua D; Walsh, Jennifer L; Giese, Karl P; Abel, Ted
Hippocampus-dependent learning is known to induce changes in gene expression, but information on gene expression differences between different learning paradigms that require the hippocampus is limited. The bulk of studies investigating RNA expression after learning use the contextual fear conditioning task, which couples a novel environment with a footshock. Although contextual fear conditioning has been useful in discovering gene targets, gene expression after spatial memory tasks has received less attention. In this study, we used the object-location memory task and studied gene expression at two time points after learning in a high-throughput manner using a microfluidic qPCR approach. We found that expression of the classic immediate-early genes changes after object-location training in a fashion similar to that observed after contextual fear conditioning. However, the temporal dynamics of gene expression are different between the two tasks, with object-location memory producing gene expression changes that last at least 2 hours. Our findings indicate that different training paradigms may give rise to distinct temporal dynamics of gene expression after learning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mary E. Lonergan
Full Text Available Memory consolidation requires transcription and translation of new protein. Arc, an effector immediate early gene, and zif268, a regulatory transcription factor, have been implicated in synaptic plasticity underlying learning and memory. This study explored the temporal expression profiles of these proteins in the rat hippocampus following fear conditioning. We observed a time-dependent increase of Arc protein in the dorsal hippocampus 30-to-90-minute post training, returning to basal levels at 4 h. Zif268 protein levels, however, gradually increased at 30-minute post training before peaking in expression at 60 minute. The timing of hippocampal Arc and zif268 expression coincides with the critical period for protein synthesis-dependent memory consolidation following fear conditioning. However, the expression of Arc protein appears to be driven by context exploration, whereas, zif268 expression may be more specifically related to associative learning. These findings suggest that altered Arc and zif268 expression are related to neural plasticity during the formation of fear memory.
Kuhn, Marion; Hertenstein, Elisabeth; Feige, Bernd; Landmann, Nina; Spiegelhalder, Kai; Baglioni, Chiara; Hemmerling, Johanna; Durand, Diana; Frase, Lukas; Klöppel, Stefan; Riemann, Dieter; Nissen, Christoph
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.
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.
Marin, Marie-France; Zsido, Rachel G; Song, Huijin; Lasko, Natasha B; Killgore, William D S; Rauch, Scott L; Simon, Naomi M; Milad, Mohammed R
The fear conditioning and extinction neurocircuitry has been extensively studied in healthy and clinical populations, with a particular focus on posttraumatic stress disorder. Despite significant overlap of symptoms between posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders, the latter has received less attention. Given that dysregulated fear levels characterize anxiety disorders, examining the neural correlates of fear and extinction learning may shed light on the pathogenesis of underlying anxiety disorders. To investigate the psychophysiological and neural correlates of fear conditioning and extinction recall in anxiety disorders and to document how these features differ as a function of multiple diagnoses or anxiety severity. This investigation was a cross-sectional, case-control, functional magnetic resonance imaging study at an academic medical center. Participants were healthy controls and individuals with at least 1 of the following anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, and panic disorder. The study dates were between March 2013 and May 2015. Two-day fear conditioning and extinction paradigm. Skin conductance responses, blood oxygenation level-dependent responses, trait anxiety scores from the State Trait Anxiety Inventory-Trait Form, and functional connectivity. This study included 21 healthy controls (10 women) and 61 individuals with anxiety disorders (36 women). P values reported for the neuroimaging results are all familywise error corrected. Skin conductance responses during extinction recall did not differ between individuals with anxiety disorders and healthy controls (ηp2 = 0.001, P = .79), where ηp2 is partial eta squared. The anxiety group had lower activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) during extinction recall (ηp2 = 0.178, P = .02). A similar hypoactive pattern was found during early conditioning (ηp2 = 0.106, P = .009). The vmPFC hypoactivation
Zhang, Suyi; Mano, Hiroaki; Ganesh, Gowrishankar; Robbins, Trevor; Seymour, Ben
Pavlovian conditioning underlies many aspects of pain behavior, including fear and threat detection , escape and avoidance learning , and endogenous analgesia . Although a central role for the amygdala is well established , both human and animal studies implicate other brain regions in learning, notably ventral striatum and cerebellum . It remains unclear whether these regions make different contributions to a single aversive learning process or represent independent learning mechanisms that interact to generate the expression of pain-related behavior. We designed a human parallel aversive conditioning paradigm in which different Pavlovian visual cues probabilistically predicted thermal pain primarily to either the left or right arm and studied the acquisition of conditioned Pavlovian responses using combined physiological recordings and fMRI. Using computational modeling based on reinforcement learning theory, we found that conditioning involves two distinct types of learning process. First, a non-specific "preparatory" system learns aversive facial expressions and autonomic responses such as skin conductance. The associated learning signals-the learned associability and prediction error-were correlated with fMRI brain responses in amygdala-striatal regions, corresponding to the classic aversive (fear) learning circuit. Second, a specific lateralized system learns "consummatory" limb-withdrawal responses, detectable with electromyography of the arm to which pain is predicted. Its related learned associability was correlated with responses in ipsilateral cerebellar cortex, suggesting a novel computational role for the cerebellum in pain. In conclusion, our results show that the overall phenotype of conditioned pain behavior depends on two dissociable reinforcement learning circuits. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Söderberg, Mia; Rosengren, Annika; Gustavsson, Sara; Schiöler, Linus; Härenstam, Annika; Torén, Kjell
Despite improvements in treatment, acute coronary syndrome remains a substantial cause for prolonged sick absences and premature retirement. Knowledge regarding what benefits return to work is limited, especially the effect of psychological processes and psychosocial work factors. The purposes of this cross-sectional study were two-fold: to examine associations between adverse psychosocial job conditions and fear-avoidance beliefs towards work, and to determine whether such beliefs mediated the relationship between work conditions and expected return to work in acute coronary syndrome survivors. Study inclusion criteria: acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina diagnosis, below 65 years of age, being a resident in the West county of Sweden and currently working. In all, 509 individuals (21.8 % women) accepted study participation and for whom all data of study interest were available for analysis. Psychosocial work variables; job demand-control and effort-reward imbalance, were assessed with standard questionnaire batteries. Linear regression models were used to investigate relationships between psychosocial factors and fear-avoidance, and to evaluate mediator effects for fear-avoidance. Both total sample and gender stratified analyses were calculated. Fear-avoidance beliefs about work were associated to psychosocial job environments characterized by high strain (β 1.4; CI 1.2-1.6), active and passive work and high effort-reward imbalance (β 0.6; CI 0.5-0.7). Further, such beliefs also mediated the relationship between adverse work conditions and expected time for return to work. However, these results were only observed in total sample analyses or among or male participants. For women only high strain was linked to fear-avoidance, and these relationships became non-significant when entering chosen confounders. This cross-sectional study showed that acute coronary syndrome survivors, who laboured under adverse psychosocial work conditions, held fear
Full Text Available The formation of fear memories is a powerful and highly evolutionary conserved mechanism that serves the behavioral adaptation to environmental threats. Accordingly, classical fear conditioning paradigms have been employed to investigate fundamental molecular processes of memory formation. Evidence suggests that a circadian regulation mechanism allows for a timestamping of such fear memories and controlling memory salience during both their acquisition and their modification after retrieval. These mechanisms include an expression of molecular clocks in neurons of the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex and their tight interaction with the intracellular signaling pathways that mediate neural plasticity and information storage. The cellular activities are coordinated across different brain regions and neural circuits through the release of glucocorticoids and neuromodulators such as acetylcholine, which integrate circadian and memory-related activation. Disturbance of this interplay by circadian phase shifts or traumatic experience appears to be an important factor in the development of stress-related psychopathology, considering these circadian components are of critical importance for optimizing therapeutic approaches to these disorders.
Lach, Gilliard; de Lima, Thereza Christina Monteiro
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is the most abundant peptide in the central nervous system (CNS) and is densely localized in the brain regions involved in stress, memory, fear and anxiety. Although previous research supports a role for NPY in the mediation of rodent and human emotional behavior, there is currently a lack of information on the effects of low doses of NPY that could have a potential therapeutic advantage, minimizing side-effects such as cognition impairment or sedation. Herein, we assessed the effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of low doses of NPY, and of the Y1-agonist Leu31Pro34-NPY (LP-NPY) on contextual fear conditioning (CFC), as they have no effect on unconditioned anxiety-like, locomotor activity and non-emotional memory. NPY (3 pmol) and LP-NPY (1 pmol) inhibited freezing behavior when administered in the acquisition or consolidation stages, indicating a reduction of fear. When injected in the extinction phase, only NPY inhibited freezing behavior on CFC. Pre-treatment with the Y1-antagonist BIBO3304 before NPY and LP-NPY was able to prevent the inhibition of fear responses induced by both NPY agonists. Taken together, our results demonstrate robust fear-inhibiting effects of i.c.v. injection of NPY on contextual fear conditioning in rats, a response that is mediated, at least in part, by the Y1 receptor. Moreover, these treatments were unable to change locomotor activity or to show an anxiolytic-like effect, as evaluated in an open-field and an elevated plus-maze. This specific fear reduction effect may underlie resilience systems in the CNS and has potential therapeutic relevance in PTSD. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dawn H Loh
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Circadian rhythms govern many aspects of physiology and behavior including cognitive processes. Components of neural circuits involved in learning and memory, e.g., the amygdala and the hippocampus, exhibit circadian rhythms in gene expression and signaling pathways. The functional significance of these rhythms is still not understood. In the present study, we sought to determine the impact of transiently disrupting the circadian system by shifting the light/dark (LD cycle. Such "jet lag" treatments alter daily rhythms of gene expression that underlie circadian oscillations as well as disrupt the synchrony between the multiple oscillators found within the body. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We subjected adult male C57Bl/6 mice to a contextual fear conditioning protocol either before or after acute phase shifts of the LD cycle. As part of this study, we examined the impact of phase advances and phase delays, and the effects of different magnitudes of phase shifts. Under all conditions tested, we found that recall of fear conditioned behavior was specifically affected by the jet lag. We found that phase shifts potentiated the stress-evoked corticosterone response without altering baseline levels of this hormone. The jet lag treatment did not result in overall sleep deprivation, but altered the temporal distribution of sleep. Finally, we found that prior experience of jet lag helps to compensate for the reduced recall due to acute phase shifts. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Acute changes to the LD cycle affect the recall of fear-conditioned behavior. This suggests that a synchronized circadian system may be broadly important for normal cognition and that the consolidation of memories may be particularly sensitive to disruptions of circadian timing.
Bernier, Brian E; Lacagnina, Anthony F; Ayoub, Adam; Shue, Francis; Zemelman, Boris V; Krasne, Franklin B; Drew, Michael R
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
Daviu, Núria; Andero, Raül; Armario, Antonio; Nadal, Roser
In recent years, special attention is being paid to sex differences in susceptibility to disease. In this regard, there is evidence that male rats present higher levels of both cued and contextual fear conditioning than females. However, little is known about the concomitant hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to those situations which are critical in emotional memories. Here, we studied the behavioural and HPA responses of male and female Wistar rats to context fear conditioning using electric footshock as the aversive stimulus. Fear-conditioned rats showed a much greater ACTH and corticosterone response than those merely exposed to the fear conditioning chamber without receiving shocks. Moreover, males presented higher levels of freezing whereas HPA axis response was greater in females. Accordingly, during the fear extinction tests, female rats consistently showed less freezing and higher extinction rate, but greater HPA activation than males. Exposure to an open-field resulted in lower activity/exploration in fear-conditioned males, but not in females, suggesting greater conditioned cognitive generalization in males than females. It can be concluded that important sex differences in fear conditioning are observed in both freezing and HPA activation, but the two sets of variables are affected in the opposite direction: enhanced behavioural impact in males, but enhanced HPA responsiveness in females. Thus, the role of sex differences on fear-related stimuli may depend on the variables chosen to evaluate it, the greater responsiveness of the HPA axis in females perhaps being an important factor to be further explored. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available To investigate the role of experience in humans' perception of emotion using canine visual signals, we asked adults with various levels of dog experience to interpret the emotions of dogs displayed in videos. The video stimuli had been pre-categorized by an expert panel of dog behavior professionals as showing examples of happy or fearful dog behavior. In a sample of 2,163 participants, the level of dog experience strongly predicted identification of fearful, but not of happy, emotional examples. The probability of selecting the "fearful" category to describe fearful examples increased with experience and ranged from.30 among those who had never lived with a dog to greater than.70 among dog professionals. In contrast, the probability of selecting the "happy" category to describe happy emotional examples varied little by experience, ranging from.90 to.93. In addition, the number of physical features of the dog that participants reported using for emotional interpretations increased with experience, and in particular, more-experienced respondents were more likely to attend to the ears. Lastly, more-experienced respondents provided lower difficulty and higher accuracy self-ratings than less-experienced respondents when interpreting both happy and fearful emotional examples. The human perception of emotion in other humans has previously been shown to be sensitive to individual differences in social experience, and the results of the current study extend the notion of experience-dependent processes from the intraspecific to the interspecific domain.
Smith, Karen L; Ford, Gemma K; Jessop, David S; Finn, David P
The putative endogenous imidazoline binding site ligand harmane enhances neuronal activation in response to psychological stress and alters behaviour in animal models of anxiety and antidepressant efficacy. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying harmane's psychotropic effects are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of intraperitoneal injection of harmane (2.5 and 10 mg/kg) on fear-conditioned behaviour, hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, and monoaminergic activity within specific fear-associated areas of the rat brain. Harmane had no significant effect on the duration of contextually induced freezing or 22 kHz ultrasonic vocalisations and did not alter the contextually induced suppression of motor activity, including rearing. Harmane reduced the duration of rearing and tended to increase freezing in non-fear-conditioned controls, suggesting potential sedative effects. Harmane increased plasma ACTH and corticosterone concentrations, and serotonin (in hypothalamus, amygdaloid cortex, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus) and noradrenaline (prefrontal cortex) content, irrespective of fear-conditioning. Furthermore, harmane reduced dopamine and serotonin turnover in the PFC and hypothalamus, and serotonin turnover in the amygdaloid cortex in both fear-conditioned and non-fear-conditioned rats. In contrast, harmane increased dopamine and noradrenaline content and reduced dopamine turnover in the amygdala of fear-conditioned rats only, suggesting differential effects on catecholaminergic transmission in the presence and absence of fear. The precise mechanism(s) mediating these effects of harmane remain to be determined but may involve its inhibitory action on monoamine oxidases. These findings support a role for harmane as a neuromodulator, altering behaviour, brain neurochemistry and neuroendocrine function.
Baker, Kathryn D.; Richardson, Rick
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.…
Hart, Genevra; Harris, Justin A.; Westbrook, R. Frederick
Rats were subjected to one or two cycles of fear conditioning and extinction, injected with a benzodiazepine, midazolam, before the first or second extinction, and tested for long-term inhibition of fear responses (freezing). In Experiment 1, inhibition of context-conditioned fear was spared when midazolam was injected before the second…
Knapska, Ewelina; Maren, Stephen
After extinction of conditioned fear, memory for the conditioning and extinction experiences becomes context dependent. Fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in other contexts. This study characterizes the neural circuitry underlying the context-dependent retrieval of extinguished fear memories using c-Fos immunohistochemistry.…
Full Text Available Takahiro Masuda,1,2 Takeshi Inoue,1 Yan An,1 Naoki Takamura,1,3 Shin Nakagawa,1 Yuji Kitaichi,1 Tsukasa Koyama,1 Ichiro Kusumi1 1Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo Japan; 2Medical Affairs, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Co, Ltd, Tokyo, Japan; 3Regenerative and Cellular Medicine Office, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Co, Ltd, Osaka, Japan Background: Mirtazapine, a noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant, which blocks the α2-adrenergic autoreceptors and heteroreceptors, has shown anxiolytic properties in clinical trials and preclinical animal experiments. The addition of mirtazapine to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs is clinically suggested to be more effective for anxiety disorders. In this study, we examined the combined effects of mirtazapine and citalopram, an SSRI, on the freezing behavior of rats, which was induced by contextual conditioned fear as an index of anxiety or fear. Methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats individually received footshocks in a shock chamber, and 24 hours later, they were given citalopram and/or mirtazapine injections. One hour after citalopram and 30 minutes after mirtazapine administration, freezing behavior was analyzed in the same shock chamber without shocks. Results: Mirtazapine decreased freezing in a dose-dependent manner, which is consistent with a previous report; it also enhanced an anxiolytic-like effect at a high dose (30 mg/kg of citalopram. Because mirtazapine blocks α2-adrenoreceptors, the combined effect of atipamezole, a selective α2 receptor antagonist, with citalopram was also examined. Similar to mirtazapine, atipamezole reduced freezing dose-dependently, but the enhancement of citalopram's effects by atipamezole was not clear when compared with mirtazapine. Conclusion: The present findings suggest that mirtazapine has an anxiolytic-like effect and may enhance the anxiolytic-like effect of SSRIs, but this enhancement may not be
Full Text Available The therapeutic goal for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD is to promote extinction and to prevent the relapse of fearful memories. Research has identified pharmacological treatments that may regulate the formation and extinction of fear memories, but not many reagents that block the relapse of extinguished fear are known. Radix Polygalae (RP is an Asian herb used for sedation, and its ingredients have anxiolytic and antidepressant properties. As various neurological effects have been identified, we tested whether RP affects the relapse of fear. Freezing in response to a conditioned context and cues was used to measure the effects of RP in mice. In cohort 1 (n = 30, consolidation, extinction, and reinstatement were tested during the course of 18 days of treatment. In cohort 2 (n = 30, consolidation, extinction, and renewal were tested during 10 days of treatment. The consolidation, extinction, reinstatement, and possibly the renewal of context-induced freezing were inhibited due to the administration of RP in animal subjects. However, the effects of RP on the freezing responses of subjects elicited by conditioned auditory cues were less obvious. Because it effectively suppresses the consolidation of fear memories, RP may be used for primary and secondary prevention of symptoms in PTSD patients. Additionally, because it effectively suppresses the reinstatement and renewal of fear memories, RP may be applied for the prevention of fear relapse in PTSD patients who have undergone exposure therapy.
Greenwood, Benjamin N.; Thompson, Robert S.; Opp, Mark R.; Fleshner, Monika
Repeated stressor exposure can sensitize physiological responses to novel stressors and facilitate the development of stress-related psychiatric disorders including anxiety. Disruptions in diurnal rhythms of sleep–wake behavior accompany stress-related psychiatric disorders and could contribute to their development. Complex stressors that include fear-eliciting stimuli can be a component of repeated stress experienced by human beings, but whether exposure to repeated fear can prime the develo...
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.
Landgraf, Dominic; Long, Jaimie; Der-Avakian, Andre; Streets, Margo; Welsh, David K
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.
Noble, L J; Gonzalez, I J; Meruva, V B; Callahan, K A; Belfort, B D; Ramanathan, K R; Meyers, E; Kilgard, M P; Rennaker, R L; McIntyre, C K
Exposure-based therapies help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to extinguish conditioned fear of trauma reminders. However, controlled laboratory studies indicate that PTSD patients do not extinguish conditioned fear as well as healthy controls, and exposure therapy has high failure and dropout rates. The present study examined whether vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) augments extinction of conditioned fear and attenuates PTSD-like symptoms in an animal model of PTSD. To model PTSD, rats were subjected to a single prolonged stress (SPS) protocol, which consisted of restraint, forced swim, loss of consciousness, and 1 week of social isolation. Like PTSD patients, rats subjected to SPS show impaired extinction of conditioned fear. The SPS procedure was followed, 1 week later, by auditory fear conditioning (AFC) and extinction. VNS or sham stimulation was administered during half of the extinction days, and was paired with presentations of the conditioned stimulus. One week after completion of extinction training, rats were given a battery of behavioral tests to assess anxiety, arousal and avoidance. Results indicated that rats given SPS 1 week prior to AFC (PTSD model) failed to extinguish the freezing response after eleven consecutive days of extinction. Administration of VNS reversed the extinction impairment and attenuated reinstatement of the conditioned fear response. Delivery of VNS during extinction also eliminated the PTSD-like symptoms, such as anxiety, hyperarousal and social avoidance for more than 1 week after VNS treatment. These results provide evidence that extinction paired with VNS treatment can lead to remission of fear and improvements in PTSD-like symptoms. Taken together, these findings suggest that VNS may be an effective adjunct to exposure therapy for the treatment of PTSD.
Woods, Amanda M.; Bouton, Mark E.
Five experiments with rat subjects compared the effects of immediate and delayed extinction on the durability of extinction learning. Three experiments examined extinction of fear conditioning (using the conditioned emotional response method), and two experiments examined extinction of appetitive conditioning (using the food-cup entry method). In…
Soeter, M.; Kindt, M.
Ample evidence in animals and humans supports the noradrenergic modulation in the formation of emotional memory. However, in humans the effects of stress on emotional memory are traditionally investigated by declarative memory tests (e.g., recall, recognition) for non-associative emotional stimuli
Elisa Mari Akagi Jordão
Full Text Available The basolateral amygdala complex (BLA, including the lateral (LA, basal (BA and accessory basal (AB nuclei, is involved in acquisition of contextual and auditory fear conditioning. The BA is one of the main targets for hippocampal information, a brain structure critical for contextual learning, which integrates several discrete stimuli into a single configural representation. Congruent with the hodology, selective neurotoxic damage to the BA results in impairments in contextual, but not auditory, fear conditioning, similarly to the behavioral impairments found after hippocampal damage. This study evaluated the effects of muscimol-induced reversible inactivation of the BA during a simultaneous contextual and auditory fear conditioning training on later fear responses to both the context and the tone, tested separately, without muscimol administration. As compared to control rats micro-infused with vehicle, subjects micro-infused with muscimol before training exhibited, during testing without muscimol, significant reduction of freezing responses to the conditioned context, but not to the conditioned tone. Therefore, reversible inactivation of the BA during training impaired contextual, but not auditory fear conditioning, thus confirming and extending similar behavioral observations following selective neurotoxic damage to the BA and, in addition, revealing that this effect is not related to the lack of a functional BA during testing.
Full Text Available Fear memories can be attenuated by reactivation followed by disrupted reconsolidation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we recently showed that reactivation and reconsolidation of a conditioned fear memory trace in the basolateral amygdala predicts subsequent fear expression over two days, while reactivation followed by disrupted reconsolidation abolishes the memory trace and suppresses fear. In this follow-up study we demonstrate that the behavioral effect persists over 18 months reflected in superior reacquisition after undisrupted, as compared to disrupted reconsolidation, and that neural activity in the basolateral amygdala representing the initial fear memory predicts return of fear. We conclude that disrupting reconsolidation have long lasting behavioral effects and may permanently erase the fear component of an amygdala-dependent memory.
Andero, Raül; Brothers, Shaun P; Jovanovic, Tanja; Chen, Yen T; Salah-Uddin, Hasib; Cameron, Michael; Bannister, Thomas D; Almli, Lynn; Stevens, Jennifer S; Bradley, Bekh; Binder, Elisabeth B; Wahlestedt, Claes; Ressler, Kerry J
The amygdala-dependent molecular mechanisms driving the onset and persistence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are poorly understood. Recent observational studies have suggested that opioid analgesia in the aftermath of trauma may decrease the development of PTSD. Using a mouse model of dysregulated fear, we found altered expression within the amygdala of the Oprl1 gene (opioid receptor-like 1), which encodes the amygdala nociceptin (NOP)/orphanin FQ receptor (NOP-R). Systemic and central amygdala infusion of SR-8993, a new highly selective NOP-R agonist, impaired fear memory consolidation. In humans, a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within OPRL1 is associated with a self-reported history of childhood trauma and PTSD symptoms (n = 1847) after a traumatic event. This SNP is also associated with physiological startle measures of fear discrimination and magnetic resonance imaging analysis of amygdala-insula functional connectivity. Together, these data suggest that Oprl1 is associated with amygdala function, fear processing, and PTSD symptoms. Further, our data suggest that activation of the Oprl1/NOP receptor may interfere with fear memory consolidation, with implications for prevention of PTSD after a traumatic event.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In auditory fear conditioning, repeated presentation of the tone in the absence of shock leads to extinction of the acquired fear responses. The glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR is thought to be involved in the extinction of the conditioned fear responses, but its detailed role in initiating and consolidating or maintaining the fear extinction memory is unclear. Here we investigated this issue by using a NMDAR antagonist, MK-801. METHODS/MAIN FINDINGS: The effects of immediate (beginning at 10 min after the conditioning and delayed (beginning at 24 h after conditioning extinctions were first compared with the finding that delayed extinction caused a better and long-lasting (still significant on the 20(th day after extinction depression on the conditioned fear responses. In a second experiment, MK-801 was intraperitoneally (i.p. injected at 40 min before, 4 h or 12 h after the delayed extinction, corresponding to critical time points for initiating, consolidating or maintaining the fear extinction memory. i.p. injection of MK-801 at either 40 min before or 4 h after delayed extinction resulted in an impairment of initiating and consolidating fear extinction memory, which caused a long lasting increased freezing score that was still significant on the 7th day after extinction, compared with extinction group. However, MK-801 administered at 12 h after the delayed extinction, when robust consolidation has been occurred and stabilized, did not affect the established extinction memory. Furthermore, the changed freezing behaviors was not due to an alteration in general anxiety levels, since MK-801 treatment had no effect on the percentage of open-arm time or open-arm entries in an Elevated Plus Maze (EPM task. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data suggested that the activation of NMDARs plays important role in initiation and consolidation but not maintenance of fear extinction memory. Together with the fact that NMDA receptor is
Joos, Els; Vansteenwegen, Debora; Hermans, Dirk
Although repetitive thought (e.g., worry) is generally assumed to be a risk factor for psychopathological disorders such as anxiety disorders, the repetitive thought processes occurring after a conditioning event have not yet received much theoretical attention. However, as repetitive thought can be mimicked by (mental) rehearsal, which is well-known to enhance memory performance, it seems worthwhile to explore the role of rehearsal in conditioning. Therefore, the current study investigates the impact of rehearsing an acquired CS-US-contingency on subsequent conditioned fear responding. After acquiring two CS-US-contingencies with either a human scream or a white noise as US, participants were instructed to rehearse one of these CS-US-pairings during an experimental session as well as during the following week. Fear responding to the CS which was previously paired with the scream persisted in the participants who rehearsed the CS-US(scream)-contingency, but decreased in those participants who rehearsed the CS-US(noise)-contingency. The same pattern emerged in the US-expectancy ratings, but the effect failed to reach significance. For the CS which was paired with the noise-US, no rehearsal effect emerged. As acquisition to the noise-US was less pronounced and less robust as compared to the scream-US, claims regarding the rehearsal effect might be hampered for the CS-US(noise)-contingency. Repetitive post-acquisition activation of a CS-US-contingency impacts CR retention. As the USs were not rated as more intense, aversive or startling after rehearsal compared to post-acquisition, US-inflation is discarded as a possible explanation of this effect. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lonsdorf, Tina B; Merz, Christian J
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.
Coelho, Laura Segismundo; Correa-Netto, Nelson Francisco; Masukawa, Marcia Yuriko; Lima, Ariadiny Caetano; Maluf, Samia; Linardi, Alessandra; Santos-Junior, Jair Guilherme
Although the current treatment for anxiety is effective, it promotes a number of adverse reactions and medical interactions. Inhaled essential oils have a prominent action on the central nervous system, with minimal systemic effects, primarily because of reduced systemic bioavailability. The effects of drugs on the consolidation of fear conditioning reflects its clinical efficacy in preventing a vicious cycle of anticipatory anxiety leading to fearful cognition and anxiety symptoms. In this study, we investigated the effects of inhaled Lavandula angustifolia essential oil on the consolidation of aversive memories and its influence on c-Fos expression. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to a fear conditioning protocol. Immediately after the training session, the rats were exposed to vaporized water or essential oil (1%, 2.5% and 5% solutions) for 4h. The next day, the rats underwent contextual- or tone-fear tests and 90min after the test they were euthanized and their brains processed for c-Fos immunohistochemistry. In the contextual-fear test, essential oil at 2.5% and 5% (but not 1%) reduced the freezing response and its respective c-Fos expression in the ventral hippocampus and amygdala. In the tone-fear test, essential oil did not reduce the freezing response during tone presentation. However, rats that inhaled essential oil at 2.5% and 5% (but not 1%) showed decreased freezing in the three minutes after tone presentation, as well as reduced c-Fos expression in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. These results show that the inhalation of L. angustifolia essential oil inhibited the consolidation of contextual- but not tone-fear conditioning and had an anxiolytic effect in a conditioned animal model of anxiety. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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.
Rattel, Julina A; Miedl, Stephan F; Blechert, Jens; Wilhelm, Frank H
Theoretical models specifying the underlying mechanisms of the development and maintenance of anxiety and related disorders state that fear responses acquired through classical Pavlovian conditioning are maintained by repeated avoidance behaviour; thus, it is assumed that avoidance prevents fear extinction. The present study investigated behavioural avoidance decisions as a function of avoidance costs in a naturalistic fear conditioning paradigm. Ecologically valid avoidance costs - manipulated between participant groups - were represented via time-delays during a detour in a gamified computer task. After differential acquisitions of shock-expectancy to a predictive conditioned stimulus (CS+), participants underwent extinction where they could either take a risky shortcut, while anticipating shock signaled by the CS+, or choose a costly avoidance option (lengthy detour); thus, they were faced with an approach-avoidance conflict. Groups with higher avoidance costs (longer detours) showed lower proportions of avoiders. Avoiders gave heightened shock-expectancy ratings post-extinction, demonstrating 'protecting from extinction', i.e. failure to extinguish. Moreover, there was an indirect effect of avoidance costs on protection from extinction through avoidance behaviour. No moderating role of trait-anxiety was found. Theoretical implications of avoidance behaviour are discussed, considering the involvement of instrumental learning in the maintenance of fear responses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Subhadra Evans, Laura C Seidman, Kirsten C Lung, Lonnie K Zeltzer, Jennie C TsaoPediatric Pain Program, Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USABackground: Parental behaviors, emotions, and cognitions are known to influence children's response to pain. However, prior work has not tested the association between maternal psychological factors and children's responses to a conditioned pain modulation (CPM task. CPM refers to the reduction in perceived pain intensity for a test stimulus following application of a conditioning stimulus to a remote area of the body, and is thought to reflect the descending inhibition of nociceptive signals.Methods: The present study examined sex differences in the association between maternal anxiety about pain and children's CPM responses in 133 healthy children aged 8–17 years. Maternal pain anxiety was assessed using the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale-20. In addition to the magnitude of CPM, children's anticipatory anxiety and pain-related fear of the CPM task were measured.Results: Sequential multiple linear regression revealed that even after controlling for child age and general maternal psychological distress, greater maternal pain anxiety was significantly related to greater CPM anticipatory anxiety and pain-related fear in girls, and to less CPM (ie, less pain inhibition in boys.Conclusion: The findings indicate sex-specific relationships between maternal pain anxiety and children's responses to a CPM task over and above that accounted for by the age of the child and the mother's general psychological distress.Keywords: diffuse noxious inhibitory controls, pediatric pain, mother-child relationship, cold pressor, pressure pain, laboratory pain
Carneiro, Clarissa F D; Moulin, Thiago C; Macleod, Malcolm R; Amaral, Olavo B
Proposals to increase research reproducibility frequently call for focusing on effect sizes instead of p values, as well as for increasing the statistical power of experiments. However, it is unclear to what extent these two concepts are indeed taken into account in basic biomedical science. To study this in a real-case scenario, we performed a systematic review of effect sizes and statistical power in studies on learning of rodent fear conditioning, a widely used behavioral task to evaluate memory. Our search criteria yielded 410 experiments comparing control and treated groups in 122 articles. Interventions had a mean effect size of 29.5%, and amnesia caused by memory-impairing interventions was nearly always partial. Mean statistical power to detect the average effect size observed in well-powered experiments with significant differences (37.2%) was 65%, and was lower among studies with non-significant results. Only one article reported a sample size calculation, and our estimated sample size to achieve 80% power considering typical effect sizes and variances (15 animals per group) was reached in only 12.2% of experiments. Actual effect sizes correlated with effect size inferences made by readers on the basis of textual descriptions of results only when findings were non-significant, and neither effect size nor power correlated with study quality indicators, number of citations or impact factor of the publishing journal. In summary, effect sizes and statistical power have a wide distribution in the rodent fear conditioning literature, but do not seem to have a large influence on how results are described or cited. Failure to take these concepts into consideration might limit attempts to improve reproducibility in this field of science.
Macleod, Malcolm R.
Proposals to increase research reproducibility frequently call for focusing on effect sizes instead of p values, as well as for increasing the statistical power of experiments. However, it is unclear to what extent these two concepts are indeed taken into account in basic biomedical science. To study this in a real-case scenario, we performed a systematic review of effect sizes and statistical power in studies on learning of rodent fear conditioning, a widely used behavioral task to evaluate memory. Our search criteria yielded 410 experiments comparing control and treated groups in 122 articles. Interventions had a mean effect size of 29.5%, and amnesia caused by memory-impairing interventions was nearly always partial. Mean statistical power to detect the average effect size observed in well-powered experiments with significant differences (37.2%) was 65%, and was lower among studies with non-significant results. Only one article reported a sample size calculation, and our estimated sample size to achieve 80% power considering typical effect sizes and variances (15 animals per group) was reached in only 12.2% of experiments. Actual effect sizes correlated with effect size inferences made by readers on the basis of textual descriptions of results only when findings were non-significant, and neither effect size nor power correlated with study quality indicators, number of citations or impact factor of the publishing journal. In summary, effect sizes and statistical power have a wide distribution in the rodent fear conditioning literature, but do not seem to have a large influence on how results are described or cited. Failure to take these concepts into consideration might limit attempts to improve reproducibility in this field of science. PMID:29698451
Broadwater, Margaret A.
Some evidence suggests that adolescents are more vulnerable than adults to alcohol-induced cognitive deficits and that these deficits may persist into adulthood. Five experiments were conducted to assess long-term consequences of ethanol exposure on tone and context Pavlovian fear conditioning in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Experiment 1 examined age-related differences in sensitivity to ethanol-induced disruptions of fear conditioning to a pre-conditioning ethanol challenge. Experiments 2 examined fear conditioning 22 days after early-mid adolescent (P28-48) or adult (P70-90) exposure to 4 g/kg i.g. ethanol or water given every other day (total of 11 exposures). In Experiment 3, mid-late adolescents (P35-55) were exposed in the same manner to assess whether timing of ethanol exposure within the adolescent period would differentially affect later fear conditioning. Experiment 4 assessed the influence of prior adolescent or adult ethanol exposure on the disrupting effects of a pre-conditioning ethanol challenge. In Experiment 5, neurogenesis (doublecortin---DCX) and cholinergic (choline acetyltransferase---ChAT) markers were measured to assess potential long-term ethanol-induced changes in neural mechanisms important for learning and memory. Results indicated that the long-lasting behavioral effects of ethanol exposure varied depending on exposure age, with early-mid adolescent exposed animals showing attenuated context fear retention (a relatively hippocampal-dependent task), whereas mid-late adolescent and adult exposed animals showed slower context extinction (thought to be reliant on the mPFC). Early-mid adolescent ethanol-exposed animals also had significantly less DCX and ChAT expression than their water-exposed counterparts, possibly contributing to deficits in context fear. Tone fear was not influenced by prior ethanol exposure at any age. In terms of age differences in ethanol sensitivity, adolescents were less sensitive than adults to ethanol
Woods, Amanda M.; Bouton, Mark E.
Five experiments with rat subjects compared the effects of immediate and delayed extinction on the durability of extinction learning. Three experiments examined extinction of fear conditioning (using the conditioned emotional response method), and two experiments examined extinction of appetitive conditioning (using the food-cup entry method). In all experiments, conditioning and extinction were accomplished in single sessions, and retention testing took place 24 h after extinction. In both f...
Julie eBoulanger Bertolus
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.
Katz, Ira K; Lamprecht, Raphael
RNA transcription is needed for memory formation. However, the ability to identify genes whose expression is altered by learning is greatly impaired because of methodological difficulties in profiling gene expression in specific neurons involved in memory formation. Here, we report a novel approach to monitor the expression of genes after learning in neurons in specific brain pathways needed for memory formation. In this study, we aimed to monitor gene expression after fear learning. We retrogradely labeled discrete thalamic neurons that project to the lateral amygdala (LA) of rats. The labeled neurons were dissected, using laser microdissection microscopy, after fear conditioning learning or unpaired training. The RNAs from the dissected neurons were subjected to microarray analysis. The levels of selected RNAs detected by the microarray analysis to be altered by fear conditioning were also assessed by nanostring analysis. We observed that the expression of genes involved in the regulation of translation, maturation and degradation of proteins was increased 6 h after fear conditioning compared to unpaired or naïve trained rats. These genes were not expressed 24 h after training or in cortical neurons that project to the LA. The expression of genes involved in transcription regulation and neuronal development was altered after fear conditioning learning in the cortical-LA pathway. The present study provides key information on the identity of genes expressed in discrete thalamic and cortical neurons that project to the LA after fear conditioning. Such an approach could also serve to identify gene products as targets for the development of a new generation of therapeutic agents that could be aimed to functionally identified brain circuits to treat memory-related disorders. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.
Ross, Jordan M; Fletcher, Max L
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
Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Ordiz, Andres; Evans, Alina L; Laske, Timothy G; Kindberg, Jonas; Fröbert, Ole; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M
Human persecution is a major cause of mortality for large carnivores. Consequently, large carnivores avoid humans, but may use human-dominated landscapes by being nocturnal and elusive. Behavioral studies indicate that certain ecological systems are "landscapes of fear", driven by antipredator behavior. Because behavior and physiology are closely interrelated, physiological assessments may provide insight into the behavioral response of large carnivores to human activity. To elucidate changes in brown bears' (Ursus arctos) behavior associated with human activity, we evaluated stress as changes in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in 12 GPS-collared, free-ranging bears, 7 males and 5 females, 3-11 years old, using cardiac-monitoring devices. We applied generalized linear regression models with HR and HRV as response variables and chest activity, time of day, season, distance traveled, and distance to human settlements from GPS positions recorded every 30 min as potential explanatory variables. Bears exhibited lower HRV, an indication of stress, when they were close to human settlements and especially during the berry season, when humans were more often in the forest, picking berries and hunting. Our findings provide evidence of a human-induced landscape of fear in this hunted population of brown bears. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sun, Wei; Li, Xiaoliang; An, Lei
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been investigated for its positive role in regulation of fear acquisition and memory. The precursor of BDNF, proBDNF, has been identified as different protein from its mature form. The prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) sub-regions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are functionally distinct in fear behavior. However, the role of PL and IL proBDNF in fear memory is unclear. Here, through the infusion of cleavage-resistant proBDNF and its antibody, we identified the dissociable roles of PL and IL proBDNF in fear expression and extinction memory as well as explored proBDNF's potential mechanism of action. The results suggest that the infusion of proBDNF in the IL facilitates induction of fear extinction, while infusion in the PL depresses fear expression. Blocking proBDNF by using its antibody disrupted the acquisition of fear extinction in the IL, but not the PL. Furthermore, proBDNF-induced extinction was sufficient for extinguishing new and older memories, and required NR2B, but not NR2A, -containing NMDA receptors. We also observed extinction-related proBDNF expression increased in the PL and IL during successful fear expression and extinction, respectively. Importantly, enhanced proBDNF was required for maintaining an extinguished behavior. The extinction effects of proBDNF did not involve degrading the original fear memory. Therefore, proBDNF in the IL and PL differentially contribute to the inhibitory control of fear extinction behavior. Our findings provide a strong link between proBDNF activity and deficits in fear extinction, a hallmark of several psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bush, David E A; Caparosa, Ellen M; Gekker, Anna; Ledoux, Joseph
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.
Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel
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
David S Reis
Full Text Available The cellular mechanisms supporting plasticity during memory consolidation have been a subject of considerable interest. De novo protein and mRNA synthesis in several brain areas are critical, and more recently protein degradation, mediated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS, has been shown to be important. Previous work clearly establishes a relationship between protein synthesis and protein degradation in the amygdala, but it is unclear whether cortical mechanisms of memory consolidation are similar to those in the amygdala. Recent work demonstrating a critical role for prefrontal cortex (PFC in the acquisition and consolidation of fear memory allows us to address this question. Here we use a PFC-dependent fear conditioning protocol to determine whether UPS mediated protein degradation is necessary for memory consolidation in PFC. Groups of rats were trained with auditory delay or trace fear conditioning and sacrificed 60 min after training. PFC tissue was then analyzed to quantify the amount of polyubiquinated protein. Other animals were trained with similar procedures but were infused with either a proteasome inhibitor (clasto-lactacystin β-lactone or a translation inhibitor (anisomycin in the PFC immediately after training. Our results show increased UPS-mediated protein degradation in the PFC following trace but not delay fear conditioning. Additionally, post-training proteasome or translation inhibition significantly impaired trace but not delay fear memory when tested the next day. Our results further support the idea that the PFC is critical for trace but not delay fear conditioning highlight the role of UPS-mediated degradation as critical for synaptic plasticity.
ten Berge, M.; Veerkamp, J.S.J.; Hoogstraten, J.
This study aimed to examine the relative importance of invasive treatment experiences in the acquisition of dental fear in children. For this purpose, the complete dental history of 401 children (aged 5-10 years) was studied. The level of dental fear in these children was assessed using the Dental
Pavesi, Eloisa; Gooch, Allison; Lee, Elizabeth; Fletcher, Max L.
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…
Full Text Available Domestication has caused a range of similar phenotypic changes across taxa, relating to physiology, morphology and behaviour. It has been suggested that this recurring domesticated phenotype may be a result of correlated responses to a central trait, namely increased tameness. We selected Red Junglefowl, the ancestors of domesticated chickens, during five generations for reduced fear of humans. This caused a marked and significant response in tameness, and previous studies have found correlated effects on growth, metabolism, reproduction, and some behaviour not directly selected for. Here, we report the results from a series of behavioural tests carried out on the initial parental generation (P0 and the fifth selected generation (S5, focusing on behaviour not functionally related to tameness, in order to study any correlated effects. Birds were tested for fear of humans, social reinstatement tendency, open field behaviour at two different ages, foraging/exploration, response to a simulated aerial predator attack and tonic immobility. In S5, there were no effects of selection on foraging/exploration or tonic immobility, while in the social reinstatement and open field tests there were significant interactions between selection and sex. In the aerial predator test, there were significant main effects of selection, indicating that fear of humans may represent a general wariness towards predators. In conclusion, we found only small correlated effects on behaviours not related to the tameness trait selected for, in spite of them showing high genetic correlations to fear of humans in a previous study on the same population. This suggests that species-specific behaviour is generally resilient to changes during domestication.
Agnvall, Beatrix; Jensen, Per
Domestication has caused a range of similar phenotypic changes across taxa, relating to physiology, morphology and behaviour. It has been suggested that this recurring domesticated phenotype may be a result of correlated responses to a central trait, namely increased tameness. We selected Red Junglefowl, the ancestors of domesticated chickens, during five generations for reduced fear of humans. This caused a marked and significant response in tameness, and previous studies have found correlated effects on growth, metabolism, reproduction, and some behaviour not directly selected for. Here, we report the results from a series of behavioural tests carried out on the initial parental generation (P0) and the fifth selected generation (S5), focusing on behaviour not functionally related to tameness, in order to study any correlated effects. Birds were tested for fear of humans, social reinstatement tendency, open field behaviour at two different ages, foraging/exploration, response to a simulated aerial predator attack and tonic immobility. In S5, there were no effects of selection on foraging/exploration or tonic immobility, while in the social reinstatement and open field tests there were significant interactions between selection and sex. In the aerial predator test, there were significant main effects of selection, indicating that fear of humans may represent a general wariness towards predators. In conclusion, we found only small correlated effects on behaviours not related to the tameness trait selected for, in spite of them showing high genetic correlations to fear of humans in a previous study on the same population. This suggests that species-specific behaviour is generally resilient to changes during domestication. PMID:27851792
Smith, Kiersten S.; Engin, Elif; Meloni, Edward G.; Rudolph, Uwe
GABAA receptor modulating drugs such as benzodiazepines (BZs) have been used to treat anxiety disorders for over five decades. In order to determine whether the same or different GABAA receptor subtypes are necessary for the anxiolytic-like action of BZs in unconditioned anxiety and conditioned fear models, we investigated the role of different GABAA receptor subtypes by challenging wild type, α1(H101R), α2(H101R) and α3(H126R) mice bred on the C57BL/6J background with diazepam or chlordiazepoxide in the elevated plus maze and the fear-potentiated startle paradigms. Both drugs significantly increased open arm exploration in the elevated plus maze in wild type, α1(H101R) and α3(H126R), but this effect was abolished in α2(H101R) mice; these were expected results based on previous published results. In contrast, while administration of diazepam and chlordiazepoxide significantly attenuated fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in wild type mice and α3(H126R) mice, the fear-reducing effects of these drugs were absent in both α1(H101R) and α2(H101R) point mutants, indicating that both α1- and α2-containing GABAA receptors are necessary for BZs to exert their effects on conditioned fear responses.. Our findings illustrate both an overlap and a divergence between the GABAA receptor subtype requirements for the impact of BZs, specifically that both α1- and α2-containing GABAA receptors are necessary for BZs to reduce conditioned fear whereas only α2-containing GABAA receptors are needed for BZ-induced anxiolysis in unconditioned tests of anxiety. This raises the possibility that GABAergic pharmacological interventions for specific anxiety disorders can be differentially tailored. PMID:22465203
Busquet, Perrine; Hetzenauer, Alfred; Sinnegger-Brauns, Martina J.; Striessnig, Jorg; Singewald, Nicolas
Dihydropyridine (DHP) L-type Ca[superscript 2+] channel (LTCC) antagonists, such as nifedipine, have been reported to impair the extinction of conditioned fear without interfering with its acquisition. Identification of the LTCC isoforms mediating this DHP effect is an essential basis to reveal their role as potential drug targets for the…
Pietersen, C.Y.; Bosker, F.J; Posterna, F.; Den Boer, J.A.
Many fear conditioning studies use electric shock as the aversive stimulus. The intensity of shocks varies throughout the literature. In this study, shock intensities ranging from 0 to 1.5 mA were used, and the effects on the rats assessed by both behavioural and biochemical stress parameters.
Pietersen, CY; Bosker, FJ; Posterna, F; den Boer, JA
Many fear conditioning studies use electric shock as the aversive stimulus. The intensity of shocks varies throughout the literature. In this study, shock intensities ranging from 0 to 1.5 mA were used, and the effects on the rats assessed by both behavioural and biochemical stress parameters.
Toth, Iulia; Dietz, Monika; Peterlik, Daniel; Huber, Sabine E; Fendt, Markus; Neumann, Inga D; Flor, Peter J; Slattery, David A
Fear extinction is defined as the attenuation of a conditioned-fear memory by re-exposing animals to the conditioned stimulus without the aversive stimulus. This process is known to be effectively enhanced via administration of D-cycloserine (DCS), a partial NMDA-receptor agonist. However, other glutamatergic mechanisms, such as interference with metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) subtypes 5 and 7 in the extinction of aversive memories are insufficiently understood. Using the allosteric mGluR5 receptor antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine (MPEP), the mGluR7 allosteric agonist N,N'-dibenzyhydryl-ethane-1,2-diamine dihydrochloride (AMN082), and DCS for comparison, we aimed to study how pharmacological blockade of mGluR5 and activation of mGluR7 influenced within- and between-session conditioned-fear extinction training and extinction retention in rats. We show that when injected before extinction training, mGluR7 activation with AMN082 enhanced freezing and thereby attenuated within-session fear extinction, whereas both DCS and the mGluR5 receptor antagonist MPEP had no effect on this process. However, these differential drug effects were not long lasting, as no difference in extinction retention were observed 24 h later. Therefore, we assessed whether the compounds affect 24 h consolidation of extinction training following incomplete extinction training (between-session extinction). Similar to DCS, AMN082- but not MPEP-treated rats showed facilitated extinction retention, as exhibited by decreased freezing. Finally, using fluoxetine, we provide evidence that the effect of AMN082 on between-session extinction retention is most likely not via increasing 5-HT transmission. These findings demonstrate that mGluR7 activation differentially modulates conditioned-fear extinction, in dependence on the protocol employed, and suggests drugs with AMN082-like mechanisms as potential add-on drugs following exposure-based psychotherapy for fear-related human
Lai, Shuhua; Wu, Gangwei; Jiang, Zhixian
Impaired fear memory extinction is widely considered a key mechanism of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent studies have suggested that neuroinflammation after a single prolonged stress (SPS) exposure may play a critical role in the impaired fear memory extinction. Studies have shown that high mobility group box chromosomal protein 1 (HMGB-1) is critically involved in neuroinflammation. However, the role of HMGB-1 underlying the development of impairment of fear memory extinction is still not known. Thus, we examined the levels of HMGB-1 in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) following SPS using Western blot and evaluated the levels of microglia and astrocytes activation in the BLA after SPS using immunohistochemical staining. We then examined the effects of pre-SPS intra-BLA administration of glycyrrhizin, an HMGB1 inhibitor, or LPS-RS, a competitive TLR4 antagonist, on subsequent post-SPS fear extinction. We found that SPS treatment prolonged the extinction of contextual fear memory after the SPS. The impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased HMGB1 and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) levels in the BLA. Additionally, the impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased activation of microglia and astrocyte in the BLA. Intra-BLA administrations of glycyrrhizin (HMGB-1 inhibitor) or LPS-RS (TLR4 antagonist) can prevent the development of SPS-induced fear extinction impairment. Taken together, these results suggested that SPS treatment may not only produce short term effects on the HMGB1/TLR4-mediated pro-inflammation, but alter the response of microglia and astrocytes to the exposure to fear associated contextual stimuli. © 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.
Full Text Available Background/Aims: Impaired fear memory extinction is widely considered a key mechanism of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Recent studies have suggested that neuroinflammation after a single prolonged stress (SPS exposure may play a critical role in the impaired fear memory extinction. Studies have shown that high mobility group box chromosomal protein 1 (HMGB-1 is critically involved in neuroinflammation. However, the role of HMGB-1 underlying the development of impairment of fear memory extinction is still not known. Methods: Thus, we examined the levels of HMGB-1 in the basolateral amygdala (BLA following SPS using Western blot and evaluated the levels of microglia and astrocytes activation in the BLA after SPS using immunohistochemical staining. We then examined the effects of pre-SPS intra-BLA administration of glycyrrhizin, an HMGB1 inhibitor, or LPS-RS, a competitive TLR4 antagonist, on subsequent post-SPS fear extinction. Results: We found that SPS treatment prolonged the extinction of contextual fear memory after the SPS. The impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased HMGB1 and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4 levels in the BLA. Additionally, the impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased activation of microglia and astrocyte in the BLA. Intra-BLA administrations of glycyrrhizin (HMGB-1 inhibitor or LPS-RS (TLR4 antagonist can prevent the development of SPS-induced fear extinction impairment. Conclusion: Taken together, these results suggested that SPS treatment may not only produce short term effects on the HMGB1/TLR4-mediated pro-inflammation, but alter the response of microglia and astrocytes to the exposure to fear associated contextual stimuli.
Duvarci, Sevil; Pare, Denis
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
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
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.
Seifert, A Ronald
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
Markram, Kamila; Rinaldi, Tania; La Mendola, Deborah
A core feature of autism spectrum disorders is the impairment in social interactions. Among other brain regions, a deficit in amygdala processing has been suggested to underlie this impairment, but whether the amygdala is processing fear abnormally in autism, is yet not clear. We used the valproic......-treated animals displayed several symptoms common to autism, among them impaired social interactions and increased repetitive behaviors. Furthermore, VPA-treated rats were more anxious and exhibited abnormally high and longer lasting fear memories, which were overgeneralized and harder to extinguish...
Muñoz-Abellán, Cristina; Daviu, Nuria; Rabasa, Cristina; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio
A single exposure to a cat or cat odors has been reported by some groups to induce contextual and auditory fear conditioning and long-lasting changes in anxiety-like behaviour, but there is no evidence for parallel changes in biological stress markers. In the present study we demonstrated in male rats that exposure to a novel environment containing a cloth impregnated with cat fur odor resulted in avoidance of the odor, lower levels of activity and higher pituitary-adrenal (PA) response as compared to those exposed to the novel environment containing a clean cloth, suggesting increased levels of stress in the former animals. When re-exposed 9 days later to the same environment with a clean cloth, previously cat fur exposed rats again showed avoidance of the cloth area and lower levels of activity, suggesting development of contextual fear conditioning, which again was associated with a higher PA activation. In contrast, unaltered both anxiety-like behaviour and PA responsiveness to an elevated plus-maze were found 7 days after cat odor exposure. It is concluded that: (i) PA activation is able to reflect both the stressful properties of cat fur odor and odor-induced contextual fear conditioning; (ii) development of cat odor-induced contextual fear conditioning is independent of the induction of long-lasting changes in anxiety-like behaviour; and (iii) greater PA activation during exposure to the odor context is not explained by non-specific sensitization of the PA axis caused by previous exposure to cat fur odor.
Souza, Rimenez R; França, Sanmara L; Bessa, Marília M; Takahashi, Reinaldo N
Due to the ability for depleting neuronal storages of monoamines, the reserpine model is a suitable approach for the investigation of the neurobiology of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the behavioral effects of low doses of reserpine are not always detected by classic animal tests of cognition, emotion, and sensory ability. In this study, the effects of reserpine (0.5-1.0mg/kg) were evaluated in olfactory fear conditioning, inhibitory avoidance, open-field, elevated plus-maze, and olfactory discrimination. Possible protective effects were also investigated. We found that single administration of reserpine impaired the acquisition of olfactory fear conditioning (in both doses) as well as olfactory discrimination (in the higher dose), while no effects were seen in all other tests. Additionally, we demonstrated that prior exposure to environmental enrichment prevented effects of reserpine in animals tested in olfactory fear conditioning. Altogether, these findings suggest that a combined cognitive, emotional and sensory-dependent task would be more sensitive to the effects of the reserpine model. In addition, the present data support the environmental enrichment as an useful approach for the study of resilience mechanisms in neurodegenerative processes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Foilb, Allison R.; Bals, Julia; Sarlitto, Mary C.; Christianson, John P.
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…
Haufler, Darrell; Nagy, Frank Z.; Pare, Denis
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…
Campbell-Smith, Emma J.; Holmes, Nathan M.; Lingawi, Nura W.; Panayi, Marios C.; Westbrook, R. Frederick
The present study investigated how oxytocin (OT) signaling in the central (CeA) and basolateral (BLA) amygdala affects acquisition, expression, and extinction of context-conditioned fear (freezing) in rats. In the first set of experiments, acquisition of fear to a shocked context was impaired by a preconditioning infusion of synthetic OT into the…
Baker, Kathryn D.; Richardson, Rick
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...
Full Text Available The theory of memory reconsolidation argues that consolidated memory is not unchangeable. Once a memory is reactivated it may go back into an unstable state and need new protein synthesis to be consolidated again, which is called “memory reconsolidation”. Boundary studies have shown that interfering with reconsolidation through pharmacologic or behavioral intervention can lead to the updating of the initial memory, for example, erasing undesired memories. Behavioral procedures based on memory reconsolidation interference have been shown to be an effective way to inhibit fear memory relapse after extinction. However, the effectiveness of retrieval–extinction differs by subtle differences in the protocol of the reactivation session. This represents a challenge with regard to finding an optimal operational model to facilitate its clinical use for patients suffering from pathogenic memories such as those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Most of the laboratory models for fear learning have used a single conditioned stimulus (CS paired with an unconditioned stimulus (US. This has simplified the real situation of traumatic events to an excessive degree, and thus, limits the clinical application of the findings based on these models. Here, we used a basic visual compound CS model as the CS to ascertain whether partial repetition of the compound CSs in conditioning can reactivate memory into reconsolidation. The results showed that the no retrieval group or the 1/3 ratio retrieval group failed to open the memory reconsolidation time window. The 2/3 repetition retrieval group and the whole repetition retrieval group were able to prevent fear reinstatement, whereas only a 2/3 ratio repetition of the initial compound CS as a reminder could inhibit spontaneous recovery. We inferred that a retrieval–extinction paradigm was also effective in a more complex model of fear if a sufficient prediction error (PE could be generated in the
Li, Junjiao; Chen, Wei; Caoyang, Jingwen; Wu, Wenli; Jie, Jing; Xu, Liang; Zheng, Xifu
The theory of memory reconsolidation argues that consolidated memory is not unchangeable. Once a memory is reactivated it may go back into an unstable state and need new protein synthesis to be consolidated again, which is called “memory reconsolidation”. Boundary studies have shown that interfering with reconsolidation through pharmacologic or behavioral intervention can lead to the updating of the initial memory, for example, erasing undesired memories. Behavioral procedures based on memory reconsolidation interference have been shown to be an effective way to inhibit fear memory relapse after extinction. However, the effectiveness of retrieval–extinction differs by subtle differences in the protocol of the reactivation session. This represents a challenge with regard to finding an optimal operational model to facilitate its clinical use for patients suffering from pathogenic memories such as those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Most of the laboratory models for fear learning have used a single conditioned stimulus (CS) paired with an unconditioned stimulus (US). This has simplified the real situation of traumatic events to an excessive degree, and thus, limits the clinical application of the findings based on these models. Here, we used a basic visual compound CS model as the CS to ascertain whether partial repetition of the compound CSs in conditioning can reactivate memory into reconsolidation. The results showed that the no retrieval group or the 1/3 ratio retrieval group failed to open the memory reconsolidation time window. The 2/3 repetition retrieval group and the whole repetition retrieval group were able to prevent fear reinstatement, whereas only a 2/3 ratio repetition of the initial compound CS as a reminder could inhibit spontaneous recovery. We inferred that a retrieval–extinction paradigm was also effective in a more complex model of fear if a sufficient prediction error (PE) could be generated in the reactivation period
Luyten, Laura; Beckers, Tom
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.
Walz, Nora; Mühlberger, Andreas; Pauli, Paul
Thigmotaxis refers to a specific behavior of animals (i.e., to stay close to walls when exploring an open space). Such behavior can be assessed with the open field test (OFT), which is a well-established indicator of animal fear. The detection of similar open field behavior in humans may verify the translational validity of this paradigm. Enhanced thigmotaxis related to anxiety may suggest the relevance of such behavior for anxiety disorders, especially agoraphobia. A global positioning system was used to analyze the behavior of 16 patients with agoraphobia and 18 healthy individuals with a risk for agoraphobia (i.e., high anxiety sensitivity) during a human OFT and compare it with appropriate control groups (n = 16 and n = 19). We also tracked 17 patients with agoraphobia and 17 control participants during a city walk that involved walking through an open market square. Our human OFT triggered thigmotaxis in participants; patients with agoraphobia and participants with high anxiety sensitivity exhibited enhanced thigmotaxis. This behavior was evident in increased movement lengths along the wall of the natural open field and fewer entries into the center of the field despite normal movement speed and length. Furthermore, participants avoided passing through the market square during the city walk, indicating again that thigmotaxis is related to agoraphobia. This study is the first to our knowledge to verify the translational validity of the OFT and to reveal that thigmotaxis, an evolutionarily adaptive behavior shown by most species, is related to agoraphobia, a pathologic fear of open spaces, and anxiety sensitivity, a risk factor for agoraphobia. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fullana, Miquel A; Albajes-Eizagirre, Anton; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Vervliet, Bram; Cardoner, Narcís; Benet, Olívia; Radua, Joaquim; Harrison, Ben J
The study of fear extinction represents an important example of translational neuroscience in psychiatry and promises to improve the understanding and treatment of anxiety and fear-related disorders. We present the results of a set of meta-analyses of human fear extinction studies in healthy participants, conducted with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and reporting whole-brain results. Meta-analyses of fear extinction learning primarily implicate consistent activation of brain regions linked to threat appraisal and experience, including the dorsal anterior cingulate and anterior insular cortices. An overlapping anatomical result was obtained from the meta-analysis of extinction recall studies, except when studies directly compared an extinguished threat stimulus to an unextinguished threat stimulus (instead of a safety stimulus). In this latter instance, more consistent activation was observed in dorsolateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortex regions, together with other areas including the hippocampus. While our results partially support the notion of a shared neuroanatomy between human and rodent models of extinction processes, they also encourage an expanded account of the neural basis of human fear extinction. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Three days of fear conditioning that combines tactile stimulation of a row of facial vibrissae (conditioned stimulus, CS with a tail shock (unconditioned stimulus, UCS expands the representation of "trained" vibrissae, which can be demonstrated by labeling with 2-deoxyglucose in layer IV of the barrel cortex. We have also shown that functional reorganization of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1 increases GABAergic markers in the hollows of "trained" barrels of the adult mouse. This study investigated how whisker-shock conditioning (CS+UCS affected the expression of puncta of a high-affinity GABA plasma membrane transporter GAT-1 in the barrel cortex of mice 24 h after associative learning paradigm. We found that whisker-shock conditioning (CS+UCS led to increase expression of neuronal and astroglial GAT-1 puncta in the "trained" row compared to controls: Pseudoconditioned, CS-only, UCS-only and Naïve animals. These findings suggest that fear conditioning specifically induces activation of systems regulating cellular levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.
Azzinnari, Damiano; Sigrist, Hannes; Staehli, Simon; Palme, Rupert; Hildebrandt, Tobias; Leparc, German; Hengerer, Bastian; Seifritz, Erich; Pryce, Christopher R
In neuropsychiatry, animal studies demonstrating causal effects of environmental manipulations relevant to human aetiology on behaviours relevant to human psychopathologies are valuable. Such valid models can improve understanding of aetio-pathophysiology and preclinical discovery and development of new treatments. In depression, specific uncontrollable stressful life events are major aetiological factors, and subsequent generalized increases in fearfulness, helplessness and fatigue are core symptoms or features. Here we exposed adult male C57BL/6 mice to 15-day psychosocial stress with loss of social control but minimal physical wounding. One cohort was assessed in a 3-day test paradigm of motor activity, fear conditioning and 2-way avoid-escape behaviour on days 16-18, and a second cohort was assessed in a treadmill fatigue paradigm on days 19 and 29, followed by the 3-day paradigm on days 30-32. All tests used a physical aversive stimulus, namely mild, brief electroshocks. Socially stressed mice displayed decreased motor activity, increased fear acquisition, decreased 2-way avoid-escape responding (increased helplessness) and increased fatigue. They also displayed increased plasma TNF and spleen hypertrophy, and adrenal hypertrophy without hyper-corticoidism. In a third cohort, psychosocial stress effects on brain gene expression were assessed using next generation sequencing. Gene expression was altered in pathways of inflammation and G-protein coupled receptors in prefrontal cortex and amygdala; in the latter, expression of genes important in dopamine function were de-regulated including down-regulated Drd2, Adora2a and Darpp-32. This model can be applied to identify targets for treating psychopathologies such as helplessness or fatigue, and to screen compounds/biologics developed to act at these targets. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Park, Chun Hui J; Ganella, Despina E; Kim, Jee Hyun
Anxiety disorders emerge early, and girls are significantly more likely to develop anxiety compared to boys. However, sex differences in fear during development are poorly understood. Therefore, we investigated juvenile male and female rats in the relapse behaviors following extinction of conditioned fear. In all experiments, 18-d-old rats first received three white-noise-footshock pairings on day 1. On day 2, extinction involved 60 white-noise alone trials. In experiment 1, we examined renewal by testing the rats in either the same or different context as extinction on day 3. Male rats did not show renewal, however, female rats showed renewal. Experiment 2 investigated reinstatement by giving rats either a mild reminder footshock or context exposure on day 3. When tested the next day, male rats did not show reinstatement, whereas female rats showed reinstatement. Experiment 3 investigated spontaneous recovery by testing the rats either 1 or 5 d following extinction. Male rats did not show any spontaneous recovery whereas female rats did. Taken together, fear regulation appear to be different in males versus females from early in development, which may explain why girls are more prone to suffer from anxiety disorders compared to boys. © 2017 Park et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Hillman, Brandon G; Gupta, Subhash C; Stairs, Dustin J; Buonanno, Andres; Dravid, Shashank M
N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play an important role in excitatory neurotransmission and mediate synaptic plasticity associated with learning and memory. NMDA receptors are composed of two NR1 and two NR2 subunits and the identity of the NR2 subunit confers unique electrophysiologic and pharmacologic properties to the receptor. The precise role of NR2C-containing receptors in vivo is poorly understood. We have performed a battery of behavioral tests on NR2C knockout/nβ-galactosidase knock-in mice and found no difference in spontaneous activity, basal anxiety, forced-swim immobility, novel object recognition, pain sensitivity and reference memory in comparison to wildtype counterparts. However, NR2C knockout mice were found to exhibit deficits in fear acquisition and working memory compared to wildtype mice. Deficit in fear acquisition correlated with lack of fear conditioning-induced plasticity at the thalamo-amygdala synapse. These findings suggest a unique role of NR2C-containing receptors in associative and executive learning representing a novel therapeutic target for deficits in cognition. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Barnett, J L; Hemsworth, P H; Newman, E A
1. The relationship between the behavioural responses of laying hens to humans and productivity was determined at 16 commercial sheds from 14 farms. 2. A number of behaviour variables were moderately to highly correlated with production variables; for example, the proportion of birds that moved away from an approaching experimenter in an unfamiliar environment ('shute test') was negatively correlated with peak hen day production, (PKHDP). 3. Behavioural responses to humans accounted for between 23 and 63% of the variation in a number of production variables, including PKHDP and the duration of a high level of production. 4. Inclusion of farm factor variables increased the amount of variation accounted for by the behaviour variables. For example, adding the variable 'time/day spent in the shed by stockpeople' to the behaviour variables 'the proportion of birds that moved away from an approaching human' in the shute test and 'the number of times birds in cages adopted an erect posture' in response to an approaching human increased the variation accounted for in PKHDP from 53 to 61%. 5. The results suggest that fear of humans may be a factor that limits the productivity of commercial laying hens.
Saulskaya, Natalia B; Fofonova, Nellia V; Sudorghina, Polina V; Saveliev, Sergey A
Nucleus accumbens (N.Acc) contains a subclass of nitric oxide (NO)-generating interneurons that are presumably regulated by the dopamine input. Receptor mechanisms underlying dopamine-NO interaction in the N.Acc are poorly understood. In the current study, we used in vivo microdialysis combined with high-performance liquid chromatography to examine participation of dopamine D1 receptors in regulation of extracellular levels of citrulline (an NO co-product) in the medial N.Acc of Sprague-Dawley rats during both pharmacological challenge and a conditioned fear response. The intraaccumbal infusion of the D1 receptor agonist SKF-38393 (100-500 microM) increased dose-dependently the local dialysate citrulline levels. The SKF-38393-induced increase in extracellular citrulline was prevented by intraaccumbal infusions of 500 microM 7-nitroindazole, a neuronal NO synthase inhibitor. In behavioral microdialysis experiment, the accumbal levels of extracellular citrulline markedly increased in rats given a mild footshock paired with tone. The presentation of the tone previously paired with footshock (the conditioned fear response) produced a "conditioned" rise of extracellular citrulline levels in the N.Acc which was attenuated by intraaccumbal infusion of 100 microM SCH-23390, a dopamine D1 receptor antagonist, and prevented by intraaccumbal infusion of 500 microM 7-nitroindazole. The results suggest that in the N.Acc, the dopamine D1 receptors might regulate the neuronal NO synthase activity; this dopamine-dependent mechanism seems to participate in activation of the neuronal NO synthase and probably NO formation in this brain area during the conditioned fear response.
Wang, Huiying; Li, Sa; Kirouac, Gilbert J
Orexin (hypocretin) neurons located in the posterior hypothalamus send projections to multiple areas of the brain involved in arousal and experimental evidence indicates that these neurons play a role in the physiological and behavioral responses to stress. This study was done to determine if the orexin system was involved in mediating the fear associated with shock context (5×2s of 1.5mA). First, real-time RT-PCR was used to examine changes in the mRNA levels for prepro-orexin (ppOX), the orexin-1 receptor (OX1R) and the orexin-2 receptor (OX2R) at two weeks post-shock. We found that the mRNA levels for ppOX and OX1R were increased in the posterior hypothalamus of shocked rats. In contrast, no significant difference was found in the midline thalamus or the locus coeruleus/parabrachial region. Second, the study examined if systemic injections of antagonists for orexin receptors attenuated the freezing related to contextual fear. The OX1R antagonist SB334867 (20 or 30mg/kg; i.p.) decreased freezing while the same doses of the OX2R antagonist TCSOX229 had no effect. The dual orexin antagonist TCS1102 (20mg/kg; i.p.) also decreased the freezing to the shock context. The results of the present study show upregulation of orexin activity and of the OX1R in the hypothalamus following exposure of rats to footshocks and highlight a specific role of OX1R in contextual fear. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Trivedi, Mehul A; Coover, Gary D
Pavlovian delay conditioning, in which a conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) co-terminate, is thought to reflect non-declarative memory. In contrast, trace conditioning, in which the CS and US are temporally separate, is thought to reflect declarative memory. Hippocampal lesions impair acquisition and expression of trace conditioning measured by the conditioned freezing and eyeblink responses, while having little effect on the acquisition of delay conditioning. Recent evidence suggests that lesions of the ventral hippocampus (VH) impair conditioned fear under conditions in which dorsal hippocampal (DH) lesions have little effect. In the present study, we examined the time-course of fear expression after delay and trace conditioning using the fear-potentiated startle (FPS) reflex, and the effects of pre- and post-training lesions to the VH and DH on trace-conditioned FPS. We found that both delay- and trace-conditioned rats displayed significant FPS near the end of the CS relative to the unpaired control group. In contrast, trace-conditioned rats displayed significant FPS throughout the duration of the trace interval, whereas FPS decayed rapidly to baseline after CS offset in delay-conditioned rats. In experiment 2, both DH and VH lesions were found to significantly reduce the overall magnitude of FPS compared to the control group, however, no differences were found between the DH and VH groups. These findings support a role for both the DH and VH in trace fear conditioning, and suggest that the greater effect of VH lesions on conditioned fear might be specific to certain measures of fear.
Si, Jijian; Yang, Jianli; Xue, Lifen; Yang, Chenhao; Luo, Yixiao; Shi, Haishui; Lu, Lin
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by acute and chronic changes in the stress response, manifested as conditioned fear memory. Previously formed memories that are susceptible to disruption immediately after retrieval undergo a protein synthesis-dependent process to become persistent, termed reconsolidation, a process that is regulated by many distinct molecular mechanisms that control gene expression. Increasing evidence supports the participation of the transcription factor NF-κB in the different phases of memory. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of NF-κB in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), but not central nucleus of the amygdala, after memory reactivation impairs the retention of amygdala-dependent auditory fear conditioning (AFC). We used two independent pharmacological strategies to disrupt the reconsolidation of AFC. Bilateral intra-BLA infusion of sulfasalazine, an inhibitor of IκB kinase that activates NF-κB, and bilateral intra-BLA infusion of SN50, a direct inhibitor of the NF-κB DNA-binding complex, immediately after retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of AFC. We also found that systemic pretreatment with sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that enhances histone acetylation, in the amygdala rescued the disruption of reconsolidation induced by NF-κB inhibition in the BLA. These findings indicate that NF-κB activity in the BLA is required for memory reconsolidation in AFC, suggesting that NF-κB might be a potential pharmacotherapy target for posttraumatic stress disorder.
Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD is characterized by acute and chronic changes in the stress response, manifested as conditioned fear memory. Previously formed memories that are susceptible to disruption immediately after retrieval undergo a protein synthesis-dependent process to become persistent, termed reconsolidation, a process that is regulated by many distinct molecular mechanisms that control gene expression. Increasing evidence supports the participation of the transcription factor NF-κB in the different phases of memory. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of NF-κB in the basolateral amygdala (BLA, but not central nucleus of the amygdala, after memory reactivation impairs the retention of amygdala-dependent auditory fear conditioning (AFC. We used two independent pharmacological strategies to disrupt the reconsolidation of AFC. Bilateral intra-BLA infusion of sulfasalazine, an inhibitor of IκB kinase that activates NF-κB, and bilateral intra-BLA infusion of SN50, a direct inhibitor of the NF-κB DNA-binding complex, immediately after retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of AFC. We also found that systemic pretreatment with sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that enhances histone acetylation, in the amygdala rescued the disruption of reconsolidation induced by NF-κB inhibition in the BLA. These findings indicate that NF-κB activity in the BLA is required for memory reconsolidation in AFC, suggesting that NF-κB might be a potential pharmacotherapy target for posttraumatic stress disorder.
Full Text Available Appropriate processing of human voices with different threat-related emotions is of evolutionarily adaptive value for the survival of individuals. Nevertheless, it is still not clear whether the sensitivity to threat-related information is present at birth. Using an oddball paradigm, the current study investigated the neural correlates underlying automatic processing of emotional voices of fear and anger in sleeping neonates. Event-related potential data showed that the frontocentral scalp distribution of the neonatal brain could discriminate fearful voices from angry voices; the mismatch response (MMR was larger in response to the deviant stimuli of anger, compared with the standard stimuli of fear. Furthermore, this fear-anger MMR discrimination was observed only when neonates were in active sleep state. Although the neonates’ sensitivity to threat-related voices is not likely associated with a conceptual understanding of fearful and angry emotions, this special discrimination in early life may provide a foundation for later emotion and social cognition development.
Adriana Mihaela MACSUT
Full Text Available Nowadays, the mankind is enthused about a real informational explosion but it the anxiety about the human mission also appears: “the humankind, enthused about its own discoveries and its power asks itself with anxiety which is its place and role in the Universe (Gaudim et Spes 3. Yesterday and today, the human being realized that he cannot “answer these fundamental questions which always have tormented his heart regarding the end and the beginning and hence his sense of existence” (Benedict XVI, Discourse, Pontifical Gregorian University Rome, the 4-th of November 2006. The 21st century is marked by a return to spirituality because the need for spirituality “reaffirms with power, so far that the observers... reach the conclusion attributed to Andre Malraux: «The 21st century will be religious or will not be at all»”.1 Nowadays, spirituality means searching for wisdom and there are questions as: who are the humans, where do they come from and where do they go. Under these circumstances, we have to establish some ethical benchmarks.2 This void makes place for the religious fundamentalism, a laic spirituality based of consumerism described as “a process through which goods are the services created, produced, used and exhausted”.3 But the human must switch from the state of consumer to the state of citizen.”4 Here is about “the necessity of surpassing a selfish ethics.”5
Daviu, Núria; Delgado-Morales, Raúl; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio
Exposure of animals to footshocks (FS) in absence of any specific cue results in the development of fear to the compartment where shocks were given (contextual fear conditioning), and this is usually evaluated by time spent freezing. However, the extent to which contextual fear conditioning always develops when animals are exposed to other stressors is not known. In the present work we firstly demonstrated, using freezing, that exposure of adult rats to a single session of FS resulted in short-term and long-term contextual fear conditioning (freezing) that was paralleled by increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation. In contrast, using a similar design, no HPA or behavioral evidence for such conditioning was found after exposure to immobilization on boards (IMO), despite this stressor being of similar severity as FS on the basis of standard physiological measures of stress, including HPA activation. In a final experiment we directly compared the exposure to the two stressors in the same type of context and tested for the development of conditioning to the context and to a specific cue for IMO (the board). We observed the expected high levels of freezing and the conditioned HPA activation after FS, but not after IMO, regardless of the presence of the board during testing. Therefore, it can be concluded that development of fear conditioning to context or particular cues, as evaluated by either behavioral or endocrine measures, appears to be dependent on the nature of the aversive stimuli, likely to be related to biologically preparedness to establish specific associations.
Shechner, Tomer; Pelc, Tatiana; Pine, Daniel S; Fox, Nathan A; Bar-Haim, Yair
Factors leading humans to shift attention away from danger cues remain poorly understood. Two laboratory experiments reported here show that context interacts with learning experiences to shape attention avoidance of mild danger cues. The first experiment exposed 18 participants to contextual threat of electric shock. Attention allocation to mild danger cues was then assessed with the dot-probe task. Results showed that contextual threat caused subjects to avert attention from danger cues. In the second experiment, 36 participants were conditioned to the same contextual threat used in Experiment 1. These subjects then were randomly assigned to either an experimental group, trained to shift attention toward danger cues, or a placebo group exposed to the same stimuli without the training component. As in Experiment 1, contextual threat again caused attention allocation away from danger in the control group. However, this did not occur in the experimental group. These experiments show that acute contextual threat and learning experiences interact to shape the deployment of attention away from danger cues.
Fernandez Espejo, Emilio
Prefrontal dopamine loss delays extinction of cued fear conditioning responses, but its role in contextual fear conditioning has not been explored. Medial prefrontal lesions also enhance social interaction in rats, but the role of prefrontal dopamine loss on social interaction memory is not known. Besides, a role for subcortical accumbal dopamine on mnesic changes after prefrontal dopamine manipulation has been proposed but not explored. The objective was to study the involvement of dopaminergic neurotransmission in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens in two mnesic tasks: contextual fear conditioning and social interaction memory. For contextual fear conditioning, short- and long-term freezing responses after an electric shock were studied, as well as extinction retention. Regarding social interaction memory, the recognition of a juvenile, a very sensitive short-term memory test, was used. Dopamine loss was carried out by injection of 6-hydroxydopamine, and postmortem catecholamine levels were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Prefrontocortical dopamine loss (>76%) led to a reactive enhancement of accumbal dopamine content (ploss. In lesioned rats, long-term extinction of contextual fear conditioning was significantly delayed and extinction retention was impaired without changes in acquisition and short-term contextual fear conditioning and, on the other hand, acquisition and short-term social interaction memory were not affected, although time spent on social interaction was significantly reduced. Added dopamine loss in the nucleus accumbens (>76%) did not alter these behavioral changes. In summary, the results of the present study indicate that the dopaminergic network in the mPFC (but not in the nucleus accumbens) coordinates the normal long-term extinction of contextual fear conditioning responses without affecting their acquisition, and it is involved in time spent on social interaction, but not acquisition and short
Fuentes, Sílvia; Daviu, Núria; Gagliano, Humberto; Belda, Xavier; Armario, Antonio; Nadal, Roser
Exposure to electric foot-shocks can induce in rodents contextual fear conditioning, generalization of fear to other contexts and sensitization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to further stressors. All these aspects are relevant for the study of post-traumatic stress disorder. In the present work we evaluated in rats the sex differences and the role of early life stress (ELS) in fear memories, generalization and sensitization. During the first postnatal days subjects were exposed to restriction of nesting material along with exposure to a "substitute" mother. In the adulthood they were exposed to (i) a contextual fear conditioning to evaluate long-term memory and extinction and (ii) to a novel environment to study cognitive fear generalization and HPA axis heterotypic sensitization. ELS did not alter acquisition, expression or extinction of context fear conditioned behavior (freezing) in either sex, but reduced activity in novel environments only in males. Fear conditioning associated hypoactivity in novel environments (cognitive generalization) was greater in males than females but was not specifically affected by ELS. Although overall females showed greater basal and stress-induced levels of ACTH and corticosterone, an interaction between ELS, shock exposure and sex was found regarding HPA hormones. In males, ELS did not affect ACTH response in any situation, whereas in females, ELS reduced both shock-induced sensitization of ACTH and its conditioned response to the shock context. Also, shock-induced sensitization of corticosterone was only observed in males and ELS specifically reduced corticosterone response to stressors in males but not females. In conclusion, ELS seems to have only a minor impact on shock-induced behavioral conditioning, while affecting the unconditioned and conditioned responses of HPA hormones in a sex-dependent manner. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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.
Travis D. Goode
Full Text Available Emotional arousal can have a profound impact on various learning and memory processes. For example, unconditioned emotional stimuli (e.g., predator odor or anxiogenic drugs enhance dorsolateral striatum (DLS-dependent habit memory. These effects critically depend on a modulatory role of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA. Recent work indicates that, like unconditioned emotional stimuli, exposure to an aversive conditioned stimulus (CS (i.e., a tone previously paired with shock can also enhance consolidation of DLS-dependent habit memory. The present experiments examined whether noradrenergic activity, particularly within the BLA, is required for a fear CS to enhance habit memory consolidation. First, rats underwent a fear conditioning procedure in which a tone CS was paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus. Over the course of the next five days, rats received training in a DLS-dependent water plus-maze task, in which rats were reinforced to make a consistent body-turn response to reach a hidden escape platform. Immediately after training on days 1–3, rats received post-training systemic (Experiment 1 or intra-BLA (Experiment 2 administration of the β-adrenoreceptor antagonist, propranolol. Immediately after drug administration, half of the rats were re-exposed to the tone CS in the conditioning context (without shock. Post-training CS exposure enhanced consolidation of habit memory in vehicle-treated rats, and this effect was blocked by peripheral (Experiment 1 or intra-BLA (Experiment 2 propranolol administration. The present findings reveal that noradrenergic activity within the BLA is critical for the enhancement of DLS-dependent habit memory as a result of exposure to conditioned emotional stimuli.
Full Text Available As a fundamental learning process, fear conditioning promotes the formation of associations between predictive cues and biologically-significant signals. In its application to pain, conditioning may provide important insight into mechanisms underlying pain-related fear, although knowledge especially in interoceptive pain paradigms remains scarce. Furthermore, while the influence of contingency awareness on excitatory learning is subject of ongoing debate, its role in pain-related acquisition is poorly understood and essentially unknown regarding extinction as inhibitory learning. Therefore, we addressed the impact of contingency awareness on learned emotional responses to pain- and safety-predictive cues in a combined dataset of two pain-related conditioning studies.In total, 75 healthy participants underwent differential fear acquisition, during which rectal distensions as interoceptive unconditioned stimuli (US were repeatedly paired with a predictive visual cue (conditioned stimulus; CS+ while another cue (CS- was presented unpaired. During extinction, both CS were presented without US. CS valence, indicating learned emotional responses, and CS-US contingencies were assessed on visual analogue scales. Based on an integrative measure of contingency accuracy, a median-split was performed to compare groups with low versus high contingency accuracy regarding learned emotional responses. To investigate predictive value of contingency accuracy, regression analyses were conducted. Highly accurate individuals revealed more pronounced negative emotional responses to CS+ and increased positive responses to CS- when compared to participants with low contingency accuracy. Following extinction, highly accurate individuals had fully extinguished pain-predictive cue properties, while exhibiting persistent positive emotional responses to safety signals. In contrast, individuals with low accuracy revealed equally positive emotional responses to both, CS+ and
Labrenz, Franziska; Icenhour, Adriane; Benson, Sven; Elsenbruch, Sigrid
As a fundamental learning process, fear conditioning promotes the formation of associations between predictive cues and biologically significant signals. In its application to pain, conditioning may provide important insight into mechanisms underlying pain-related fear, although knowledge especially in interoceptive pain paradigms remains scarce. Furthermore, while the influence of contingency awareness on excitatory learning is subject of ongoing debate, its role in pain-related acquisition is poorly understood and essentially unknown regarding extinction as inhibitory learning. Therefore, we addressed the impact of contingency awareness on learned emotional responses to pain- and safety-predictive cues in a combined dataset of two pain-related conditioning studies. In total, 75 healthy participants underwent differential fear acquisition, during which rectal distensions as interoceptive unconditioned stimuli (US) were repeatedly paired with a predictive visual cue (conditioned stimulus; CS(+)) while another cue (CS(-)) was presented unpaired. During extinction, both CS were presented without US. CS valence, indicating learned emotional responses, and CS-US contingencies were assessed on visual analog scales (VAS). Based on an integrative measure of contingency accuracy, a median-split was performed to compare groups with low vs. high contingency accuracy regarding learned emotional responses. To investigate predictive value of contingency accuracy, regression analyses were conducted. Highly accurate individuals revealed more pronounced negative emotional responses to CS(+) and increased positive responses to CS(-) when compared to participants with low contingency accuracy. Following extinction, highly accurate individuals had fully extinguished pain-predictive cue properties, while exhibiting persistent positive emotional responses to safety signals. In contrast, individuals with low accuracy revealed equally positive emotional responses to both, CS(+) and CS
Rabinak, Christine A.; Orsini, Caitlin A.; Zimmerman, Joshua M.; Maren, Stephen
The basolateral complex (BLA) and central nucleus (CEA) of the amygdala play critical roles in associative learning, including Pavlovian conditioning. However, the precise role for these structures in Pavlovian conditioning is not clear. Recent work in appetitive conditioning paradigms suggests that the amygdala, particularly the BLA, has an…
Feng, Pan; Zheng, Yong
Investigations of fear conditioning have elucidated the neural mechanisms of fear acquisition, consolidation and extinction, but it is not clear how the neural activation following fear reminder influence the following extinction. To address this question, we measured human brain activity following fear reminder using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, and investigated whether the extinction effect can be predicted by resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC). Behaviorally, we found no significant differences of fear ratings between the reminder group and the no reminder group at the fear acquisition and extinction stages, but spontaneous recovery during re-extinction stage appeared only in the no reminder group. Imaging data showed that functional connectivity between ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and amygdala in the reminder group was greater than that in the no reminder group after fear memory reactivation. More importantly, the functional connectivity between amygdala and vmPFC of the reminder group after fear memory reactivation was positively correlated with extinction effect. These results suggest RSFC between amygdala and the vmPFC following fear reminder can predict fear extinction, which provide important insight into the neural mechanisms of fear memory after fear memory reactivation. PMID:27013104
Song, Chenghui; Ehlers, Vanessa L; Moyer, James R
Neuronal activity in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is critical for the formation of trace fear memory, yet the cellular mechanisms underlying these memories remain unclear. One possibility involves the modulation of intrinsic excitability within mPFC neurons that project to the basolateral complex of amygdala (BLA). The current study used a combination of retrograde labeling and in vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to examine the effect of trace fear conditioning on the intrinsic excitability of layer 5 mPFC-BLA projection neurons in adult rats. Trace fear conditioning significantly enhanced the intrinsic excitability of regular spiking infralimbic (IL) projection neurons, as evidenced by an increase in the number of action potentials after current injection. These changes were also associated with a reduction in spike threshold and an increase in h current. In contrast, trace fear conditioning reduced the excitability of regular spiking prelimbic (PL) projection neurons, through a learning-related decrease of input resistance. Interestingly, the amount of conditioned freezing was (1) positively correlated with excitability of IL-BLA projection neurons after conditioning and (2) negatively correlated with excitability of PL-BLA projection neurons after extinction. Trace fear conditioning also significantly enhanced the excitability of burst spiking PL-BLA projection neurons. In both regions, conditioning-induced plasticity was learning specific (observed in conditioned but not in pseudoconditioned rats), flexible (reversed by extinction), and transient (lasted extinction of trace fear conditioning. Significance statement: Frontal lobe-related function is vital for a variety of important behaviors, some of which decline during aging. This study involves a novel combination of electrophysiological recordings from fluorescently labeled mPFC-to-amygdala projection neurons in rats with acquisition and extinction of trace fear conditioning to determine how
Poole, Rachel L.; Braak, David; Gould, Thomas J.
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
Poole, Rachel L; Braak, David; Gould, Thomas J
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.
Di Scala, G; Mana, M J; Jacobs, W J; Phillips, A G
Stimulation of the periaqueductal grey (PAG) has been used to support aversive conditioning in a variety of species with several experimental paradigms. However, it has not been clearly demonstrated whether the behavioral changes produced by PAG stimulation in these paradigms are mediated by associative or nonassociative mechanisms. The present studies demonstrate that electrical stimulation of the PAG in the rat may be used to support associative learning in a Pavlovian paradigm. In each experiment, a fully controlled conditional emotional response (CER) procedure was used to examine the unconditional aversive properties of PAG stimulation. In Experiment 1a, weak associative conditioning was observed when a light CS was paired with PAG stimulation over 6 conditioning trials. In Experiment 1b, robust associative conditioning was obtained with a light CS when 18 conditioning trials were used. In Experiment 2, robust associative conditioning was demonstrated with a tone CS when 6 conditioning trials were used. The results parallel those found when other aversive stimuli are used as a UCS (e.g., footshock or intraorbital air puff), and because the present experiments included the proper control procedures the results clearly indicate that the behavioral changes produced by PAG stimulation are mediated by associative Pavlovian learning mechanisms rather than nonassociative mechanisms such as sensitization or pseudoconditioning. The present technique may be useful for assessing the neuroanatomical and neurochemical substrates underlying the aversive effects of brain-stimulation, and for screening the effects of drugs on the conditional and unconditional responses produced by such stimulation.
Miskowiak, Kamilla; O'Sullivan, Ursula; Harmer, Catherine J
with reduced attention to fear. Erythropoietin additionally reduced recognition of fearful facial expressions without affecting recognition of other emotional expressions. These actions occurred in the absence of changes in hematological parameters. CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that Epo directly......) versus saline on the neural processing of happy and fearful faces in 23 healthy volunteers. Facial expression recognition was assessed outside the scanner. RESULTS: One week after administration, Epo reduced neural response to fearful versus neutral faces in the occipito-parietal cortex consistent...... study aimed to explore the effects of Epo on neural and behavioral measures of emotional processing relevant for depression and the effects of conventional antidepressant medication. METHODS: In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore the effects of Epo (40,000 IU...
Lawrence, James L M; Tong, Mei; Alfulaij, Naghum; Sherrin, Tessi; Contarino, Mark; White, Michael M; Bellinger, Frederick P; Todorovic, Cedomir; Nichols, Robert A
Soluble β-amyloid has been shown to regulate presynaptic Ca(2+) and synaptic plasticity. In particular, picomolar β-amyloid was found to have an agonist-like action on presynaptic nicotinic receptors and to augment long-term potentiation (LTP) in a manner dependent upon nicotinic receptors. Here, we report that a functional N-terminal domain exists within β-amyloid for its agonist-like activity. This sequence corresponds to a N-terminal fragment generated by the combined action of α- and β-secretases, and resident carboxypeptidase. The N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is present in the brains and CSF of healthy adults as well as in Alzheimer's patients. Unlike full-length β-amyloid, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is monomeric and nontoxic. In Ca(2+) imaging studies using a model reconstituted rodent neuroblastoma cell line and isolated mouse nerve terminals, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment proved to be highly potent and more effective than full-length β-amyloid in its agonist-like action on nicotinic receptors. In addition, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment augmented theta burst-induced post-tetanic potentiation and LTP in mouse hippocampal slices. The N-terminal fragment also rescued LTP inhibited by elevated levels of full-length β-amyloid. Contextual fear conditioning was also strongly augmented following bilateral injection of N-terminal β-amyloid fragment into the dorsal hippocampi of intact mice. The fragment-induced augmentation of fear conditioning was attenuated by coadministration of nicotinic antagonist. The activity of the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment appears to reside largely in a sequence surrounding a putative metal binding site, YEVHHQ. These findings suggest that the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment may serve as a potent and effective endogenous neuromodulator. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3414210-09$15.00/0.
Rodent models of developmental thyroid hormone (TH) deficiency aptly reflect the deleterious effects of severe TH deficiencies on brain structure and function in humans. However, the impact of moderate TH insufficiencies on neurodevelopmental outcomes has proven more difficult to...
Schiller, Daniela; Raio, Candace M; Phelps, Elizabeth A
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
Handford, Charlotte E; Tan, Shawn; Lawrence, Andrew J; Kim, Jee Hyun
The metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor are critical for processes underlying synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation. mGlu5 signaling increases neuronal excitability and potentiates NMDA receptor currents in the amygdala and the hippocampus. The present study examined the involvement of mGlu5 in the acquisition and consolidation of conditioned fear to a tone and context in mice, and explored the functional relationship between mGlu5 and NMDA receptors in this regard. Experiment 1 showed that systemic administration of the mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator 3-[(2-methyl-1,3-thiazol-4-yl)ethynyl]pyridine (MTEP) prior to conditioning significantly attenuated cue-elicited freezing during fear conditioning, which suggests that mGlu5 is necessary for the formation of a tone-shock association. This effect was dose-related (Experiment 2) and not due to any effects of MTEP on shock sensitivity or state-dependency (Experiment 3). Post-conditioning injection of MTEP had no effects (Experiment 4). Although post-conditioning injection of the NMDA receptor partial agonist D-cycloserine (DCS) alone facilitated consolidation of conditioned fear (Experiment 6), it was not able to rescue the acquisition deficit caused by MTEP (Experiment 5). Taken together, these findings indicate a crucial role for mGlu5 signaling in acquisition and NMDA receptor signaling in consolidation of conditioned fear.
Packard, Pau Alexander; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; Stein, Lilian Milnitsky; Nicolás, Berta; Fuentemilla, Lluís
Recent accounts of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) suggest that the encoding of an episode within a fearful context generates different implicit and explicit memory representations. Whilst implicit memory traces include the associated emotional states, explicit traces include a recoding into an abstract or gist-based structural context of the episode. Theoretically, the long-term preservation of implicit memory traces may facilitate the often untreatable memory intrusions in PTSD. Here, we tracked in two experiments how implicit and explicit memory traces for fearful episodes dissociate and evolve over time. Subjects (N=86) were presented with semantically-related word-lists in a contextual fear paradigm and tested for explicit memories either immediately (i.e., 30 min) or after a delay (i.e., 1 or 2 weeks) with a verbal recognition task. Skin Conductance Response (SCR) was used to assess implicit memory responses. Subjects showed high memory accuracy for words when tested immediately after encoding. At test, SCR was higher during the presentation of verbatim but not gist-based words encoded in a fearful context, and remained unchanged after 2 weeks, despite subjects being unaware of words' encoding context. We found no clear evidence of accurate explicit memory traces for the fearful or neutral contexts of words presented during encoding, either 30 min or 2 weeks afterwards. These findings indicate that the implicit, but not the explicit, memory trace of a fearful context of an episode can be detected at long-term through SCR and is dissociated from the gist-based memory. They may have implicationstowards the understanding of how the processing of fearful memoriescould lead to PTSD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available This article aims at mapping the impact of 'fears of disasters and crisis' on European self-representations in terms of racial stereotypes, 'white fantasies', gender hierarchies, and heteronormativities. Its methodology is a critical discourse analysis of texts - specifically television series such as the BBC's Dead Set (2009 and the first season of BBC US and UK, In the Flesh, (2013 and movies such as 28 Days Later (2002, L'Horde (2009, and World War Z (2013 - read through the lens of postcolonial theories, critical race and whiteness studies, the concepts of political philosophy and the theoretical insights of post-human feminism. This composite theoretical framework permits a grasp of gendered, racialised and classed fantasies behind the narratives of catastrophe and the visions of the post-apocalyptic world(s the catastrophe is supposed to bring to life; it also allows an analysis of the meaning and articulations of catastrophe and post-world spatial constructions, and the latter's relation to actual and imagined social hierarchies (gender, colour and class of the survivors. These are examined in order to understand whose eyes we are expected to imagine and experience the crisis/catastrophe through; the geographies of catastrophe and of post-world(s (where in the world, and why; the relation between the undead and the living; life amongst the living before the undead threat; and the way protagonists look at the laws, rule, governmentalities, and use of violence in the past, present and future societies. These are a few of the themes that this article discusses in an attempt to uncover what fantasies of the present are hidden behind present memories of the future.
Stephanie J Temme
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.
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.
Flack, F; Gerlach, A L; Simons, L E; Zernikow, B; Hechler, T
To date, no German instrument exists to measure pain-related fear in paediatric pain populations. The objective of the current study was to determine the construct validity of the translated German fear of pain questionnaire for children (GFOPQ-C) in a sample of children with mixed chronic pain disorders by testing the underlying factor structure, and its psychometric properties. N = 241 children with mixed chronic pain disorders (aged 8-19 years) presenting to a specialized pain clinic completed the GFOPQ-C and several other pain, fear and disability measures. The two-factor structure of the FOPQ-C (fear, avoidance) was replicated. Internal consistency for the shortened German version was good for both subscales (Fear subscale: α = 0.89; avoidance subscale: α = 0.76). As expected, the fear subscale correlated highly with anxiety sensitivity (r = 0.63), pain catastrophizing (r = 0.62) and general anxiety (r = 0.54), while the avoidance subscale was more closely related to disability (r = 0.24) and school functioning (r = 0.28). Pain-related fear differed in children with chronic pain depending on their pain location with higher fear ratings in children with abdominal pain and musculoskeletal pain. The GFOPQ-C is a valid instrument that assesses two distinct dimensions of pain-related fear in children: fear and avoidance. Future research is needed to evaluate the impact of increased pain-related fear on outcomes over time as well as to examine pain-related fear among healthy children. This will enhance our knowledge of who might be particularly vulnerable to potentially dysfunctional trajectories, such as ongoing pain or anxiety symptoms. The current study validates the first tool to assess pain-related fear in German-speaking children with chronic pain. Findings support two distinct domains: fear and activity avoidance. © 2017 European Pain Federation - EFIC®.
Leer, Arne; Haesen, Kim; Vervliet, Bram
Extinction treatments decrease fear via repeated exposures to the conditioned stimulus (CS) and are associated with a return of fear. Alternatively, fear can be reduced via reductions in the perceived intensity of the unconditioned stimulus (US), e.g., through repeated exposures to the US. Promisingly, the few available studies show that repeated US exposures outperform standard extinction. US exposure treatments can decrease fear via two routes: (1) by weakening the CS-US association (extinction-like mechanism), and/or (2) by weakening the subjective US aversiveness (habituation-like mechanism). The current study further investigated the conditions under which US exposure treatment may reduce renewal, by adding a group in which CS-US pairings continued following fear acquisition. During acquisition, participants learned that one of two visual stimuli (CS+/CS-) predicted the occurrence of an aversive electrocutaneous stimulus (US). Next, the background context changed and participants received one of three interventions: repeated CS exposures, (2) repeated US exposures, or (3) continued CS-US pairings. Following repeated CS exposures, test presentations of the CSs in the original conditioning context revealed intact CS+/CS- differentiation in the fear-potentiated startle reflex, while the differentiation was abolished in the other two groups. Differential US expectancy ratings, on the other hand, were intact in all groups. Skin conductance data were inconclusive because standard context renewal following CS exposures did not occur. Unexpectedly, there was no evidence for a habituation-like process having taken place during US exposures or continued CS-US pairings. The results provide further evidence that US exposures outperform the standard extinction treatment and show that effects are similar when US exposures are part of CS-US pairings.
Full Text Available Disrupting reconsolidation may be promising in the treatment of anxiety disorders but the fear-reducing effects are thus far solely demonstrated in the average organism. A relevant question is whether disrupting fear memory reconsolidation is less effective in individuals who are vulnerable to develop an anxiety disorder. By collapsing data from six previous human fear conditioning studies we tested whether trait anxiety was related to the fear-reducing effects of a pharmacological agent targeting the process of memory reconsolidation--n = 107. Testing included different phases across three consecutive days each separated by 24 h. Fear responding was measured by the eye-blink startle reflex. Disrupting the process of fear memory reconsolidation was manipulated by administering the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol HCl either before or after memory retrieval. Trait anxiety uniquely predicted the fear-reducing effects of disrupting memory reconsolidation: the higher the trait anxiety, the less fear reduction. Vulnerable individuals with the propensity to develop anxiety disorders may need higher dosages of propranolol HCl or more retrieval trials for targeting and changing fear memory. Our finding clearly demonstrates that we cannot simply translate observations from fundamental research on fear reduction in the average organism to clinical practice.
Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel
Disrupting reconsolidation may be promising in the treatment of anxiety disorders but the fear-reducing effects are thus far solely demonstrated in the average organism. A relevant question is whether disrupting fear memory reconsolidation is less effective in individuals who are vulnerable to develop an anxiety disorder. By collapsing data from six previous human fear conditioning studies we tested whether trait anxiety was related to the fear-reducing effects of a pharmacological agent targeting the process of memory reconsolidation--n = 107. Testing included different phases across three consecutive days each separated by 24 h. Fear responding was measured by the eye-blink startle reflex. Disrupting the process of fear memory reconsolidation was manipulated by administering the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol HCl either before or after memory retrieval. Trait anxiety uniquely predicted the fear-reducing effects of disrupting memory reconsolidation: the higher the trait anxiety, the less fear reduction. Vulnerable individuals with the propensity to develop anxiety disorders may need higher dosages of propranolol HCl or more retrieval trials for targeting and changing fear memory. Our finding clearly demonstrates that we cannot simply translate observations from fundamental research on fear reduction in the average organism to clinical practice.
How can educators provide children with a genuine experience of carrying out an extended scientific investigation? And can teachers change the perception of what it means to be a scientist? These were key questions that lay behind "The Human Condition" project, an initiative funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust to explore a new…
Giannaros, T. M.; Lagouvardos, K.; Kotroni, V.; Matzarakis, A.
This paper presents the development of an operational forecasting service focusing on human-biometeorological conditions. The service is based on the coupling of numerical weather prediction models with an advanced human-biometeorological model. Human thermal perception and stress forecasts are issued on a daily basis for Greece, in both point and gridded format. A user-friendly presentation approach is adopted for communicating the forecasts to the public via the worldwide web. The development of the presented service highlights the feasibility of replacing standard meteorological parameters and/or indices used in operational weather forecasting activities for assessing the thermal environment. This is of particular significance for providing effective, human-biometeorology-oriented, warnings for both heat waves and cold outbreaks.
Meir Drexler, Shira; Merz, Christian J; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Marquardt, Veronica; Fritsch, Nathalie; Otto, Tobias; Wolf, Oliver T
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.
Lange, Iris; Kasanova, Zuzana; Goossens, Liesbet; Leibold, Nicole; De Zeeuw, Chris I; van Amelsvoort, Therese; Schruers, Koen
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,
Baczkowski, Blazej M; Johnstone, Tom; Walter, Henrik; Erk, Susanne; Veer, Ilya M
We evaluated whether sliding-window analysis can reveal functionally relevant brain network dynamics during a well-established fear conditioning paradigm. To this end, we tested if fMRI fluctuations in amygdala functional connectivity (FC) can be related to task-induced changes in physiological arousal and vigilance, as reflected in the skin conductance level (SCL). Thirty-two healthy individuals participated in the study. For the sliding-window analysis we used windows that were shifted by one volume at a time. Amygdala FC was calculated for each of these windows. Simultaneously acquired SCL time series were averaged over time frames that corresponded to the sliding-window FC analysis, which were subsequently regressed against the whole-brain seed-based amygdala sliding-window FC using the GLM. Surrogate time series were generated to test whether connectivity dynamics could have occurred by chance. In addition, results were contrasted against static amygdala FC and sliding-window FC of the primary visual cortex, which was chosen as a control seed, while a physio-physiological interaction (PPI) was performed as cross-validation. During periods of increased SCL, the left amygdala became more strongly coupled with the bilateral insula and anterior cingulate cortex, core areas of the salience network. The sliding-window analysis yielded a connectivity pattern that was unlikely to have occurred by chance, was spatially distinct from static amygdala FC and from sliding-window FC of the primary visual cortex, but was highly comparable to that of the PPI analysis. We conclude that sliding-window analysis can reveal functionally relevant fluctuations in connectivity in the context of an externally cued task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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
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.
Gulick, Danielle; Gould, Thomas J
Ethanol is a frequently abused, addictive drug that impairs cognitive function. Ethanol may disrupt cognitive processes by altering attention, short-term memory, and/or long-term memory. Interestingly, some research suggests that ethanol may enhance cognitive processes at lower doses. The current research examined the dose-dependent effects of ethanol on contextual and cued fear conditioning. In addition, the present studies assessed the importance of stimulus salience in the effects of ethanol and directly compared the effects of ethanol on short-term and long-term memory. This study employed both foreground and background fear conditioning, which differ in the salience of contextual stimuli, and tested conditioning at 4 hours, 24 hours, and 1 week in order to assess the effects of ethanol on short-term and long-term memory. Foreground conditioning consisted of 2 presentations of a foot shock unconditioned stimulus (US) (2 seconds, 0.57 mA). Background conditioning consisted of 2 auditory conditioned stimulus (30 seconds, 85 dB white noise)-foot shock (US; 2 seconds, 0.57 mA) pairings. For both foreground and background conditioning, ethanol enhanced short-term and long-term memory for contextual and cued conditioning at a low dose (0.25 g/kg) and impaired short-term and long-term memory for contextual and cued conditioning at a high dose (1.0 g/kg). These results suggest that ethanol has long-lasting, biphasic effects on short-term and long-term memory for contextual and cued conditioning. Furthermore, the effects of ethanol on contextual fear conditioning are independent of the salience of the context.
Fear is the great driving force, the basic effect, without which there would be no adaption to new living conditions, and no provision for the future. But fear has a positive influence only as long as it does not gain the upper hand, for then it makes human beings blind and stifles activity. What is important, and will remain so, is the equilibrium between fear and courage, caution and the desire for action, optimism und pessimism. This equilibrium has now been disturbed in the western countries - and only here. Our present fears give rise to hardly any positive measures, but prevent provision for the future. We are threatened with failure due to the manipulated conversion of fear from the maintenance of life to an effect which destroys life. In this way we got into a vicious circle of fear: we must try to weaken the imagined dangers by emphasising the true conditions. The author discusses how the viscious circle can be broken. (orig.) 891 UA/orig. 892 MKO [de
Cai, Wen-Hui; Blundell, Jacqueline; Han, Jie; Greene, Robert W; Powell, Craig M
Pavlovian fear conditioning provides one of the best rodent models of acquired anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder. Injection of a variety of drugs after training in fear-conditioning paradigms can impair consolidation of fear memories. Indeed, early clinical trials suggest that immediate administration of such drugs after a traumatic event may decrease the risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder in humans (Pitman et al., 2002; Vaiva et al., 2003). The use of such a treatment is limited by the difficulty of treating every patient at risk and by the difficulty in predicting which patients will experience chronic adverse consequences. Recent clinical trials suggest that administration of glucocorticoids may have a beneficial effect on established posttraumatic stress disorder (Aerni et al., 2004) and specific phobia (Soravia et al., 2006). Conversely, glucocorticoid administration after training is known to enhance memory consolidation (McGaugh and Roozendaal, 2002; Roozendaal, 2002). From a clinical perspective, enhancement of a fear memory or a reactivated fear memory would not be desirable. We report here that when glucocorticoids are administered immediately after reactivation of a contextual fear memory, subsequent recall is significantly diminished. Additional experiments support the interpretation that glucocorticoids not only decrease fear memory retrieval but, in addition, augment consolidation of fear memory extinction rather than decreasing reconsolidation. These findings provide a rodent model for a potential treatment of established acquired anxiety disorders in humans, as suggested by others (Aerni et al., 2004; Schelling et al., 2004), based on a mechanism of enhanced extinction.
Glenn, Daniel E; Risbrough, Victoria B; Simmons, Alan N; Acheson, Dean T; Stout, Daniel M
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.
Hermann, Andrea; Stark, Rudolf; Wolf, Oliver Tobias
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
Schneider, Brandy L; Ghoddoussi, Farhad; Charlton, Jennifer L; Kohler, Robert J; Galloway, Matthew P; Perrine, Shane A; Conti, Alana C
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) contributes to development of affective disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychiatric symptoms typically emerge in a tardive fashion post-TBI, with negative effects on recovery. Patients with PTSD, as well as rodent models of PTSD, demonstrate structural and functional changes in brain regions mediating fear learning, including prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala (AMYG), and hippocampus (HC). These changes may reflect loss of top-down control by which PFC normally exhibits inhibitory influence over AMYG reactivity to fearful stimuli, with HC contribution. Considering the susceptibility of these regions to injury, we examined fear conditioning (FC) in the delayed post-injury period, using a mouse model of mTBI. Mice with mTBI displayed enhanced acquisition and delayed extinction of FC. Using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ex vivo, we examined PFC, AMYG, and HC levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate as surrogate measures of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission, respectively. Eight days post-injury, GABA was increased in PFC, with no significant changes in AMYG. In animals receiving FC and mTBI, glutamate trended toward an increase and the GABA/glutamate ratio decreased in ventral HC at 25 days post-injury, whereas GABA decreased and GABA/glutamate decreased in dorsal HC. These neurochemical changes are consistent with early TBI-induced PFC hypoactivation facilitating the fear learning circuit and exacerbating behavioral fear responses. The latent emergence of overall increased excitatory tone in the HC, despite distinct plasticity in dorsal and ventral HC fields, may be associated with disordered memory function, manifested as incomplete extinction and enhanced FC recall.
Keifer, Orion P.; Hurt, Robert C.; Ressler, Kerry J.
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
Janik Vincent M
Full Text Available Abstract Background Autonomous reflexes enable animals to respond quickly to potential threats, prevent injury and mediate fight or flight responses. Intense acoustic stimuli with sudden onsets elicit a startle reflex while stimuli of similar intensity but with longer rise times only cause a cardiac defence response. In laboratory settings, habituation appears to affect all of these reflexes so that the response amplitude generally decreases with repeated exposure to the stimulus. The startle reflex has become a model system for the study of the neural basis of simple learning processes and emotional processing and is often used as a diagnostic tool in medical applications. However, previous studies did not allow animals to avoid the stimulus and the evolutionary function and long-term behavioural consequences of repeated startling remain speculative. In this study we investigate the follow-up behaviour associated with the startle reflex in wild-captured animals using an experimental setup that allows individuals to exhibit avoidance behaviour. Results We present evidence that repeated elicitation of the acoustic startle reflex leads to rapid and pronounced sensitisation of sustained spatial avoidance behaviour in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus. Animals developed rapid flight responses, left the exposure pool and showed clear signs of fear conditioning. Once sensitised, seals even avoided a known food source that was close to the sound source. In contrast, animals exposed to non-startling (long rise time stimuli of the same maximum sound pressure habituated and flight responses waned or were absent from the beginning. The startle threshold of grey seals expressed in units of sensation levels was comparable to thresholds reported for other mammals (93 dB. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that the acoustic startle reflex plays a crucial role in mediating flight responses and strongly influences the motivational state of an animal beyond a short
Greco, John A; Liberzon, Israel
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
Bélteky, Johan; Agnvall, Beatrix; Johnsson, Martin; Wright, Dominic; Jensen, Per
The domestication of animals has generated a set of phenotypic modifications, affecting behaviour, appearance, physiology and reproduction, which are consistent across a range of species. We hypothesized that some of these phenotypes could have evolved because of genetic correlation to tameness, an essential trait for successful domestication. Starting from an outbred population of red junglefowl, ancestor of all domestic chickens, we selected birds for either high or low fear of humans for five generations. Birds from the fifth selected generation (S 5 ) showed a divergent pattern of growth and reproduction, where low fear chickens grew larger and produced larger offspring. To examine underlying genetic mechanisms, we used microarrays to study gene expression in thalamus/hypothalamus, a brain region involved in fear and stress, in both the parental generation and the S 5 . While parents of the selection lines did not show any differentially expressed genes, there were a total of 33 genes with adjusted p -values below 0.1 in S 5 . These were mainly related to sperm-function, immunological functions, with only a few known to be relevant to behaviour. Hence, five generations of divergent selection for fear of humans produced changes in hypothalamic gene expression profiles related to pathways associated with male reproduction and to immunology. This may be linked to the effects seen on growth and size of offspring. These results support the hypothesis that domesticated phenotypes may evolve because of correlated effects related to reduced fear of humans.
Marsh, Abigail A
Because the face is the central focus of human social interactions, emotional facial expressions provide a unique window into the emotional lives of others. They play a particularly important role in fostering empathy, which entails understanding and responding to others' emotions, especially distress-related emotions such as fear. This Review considers how fearful facial as well as vocal and postural expressions are interpreted, with an emphasis on the role of the amygdala. The amygdala may be best known for its role in the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear, but it also supports the perception and recognition of others' fear. Various explanations have been supplied for the amygdala's role in interpreting and responding to fearful expressions. They include theories that amygdala responses to fearful expressions 1) reflect heightened vigilance in response to uncertain danger, 2) promote heightened attention to the eye region of faces, 3) represent a response to an unconditioned aversive stimulus, or 4) reflect the generation of an empathic fear response. Among these, only empathic fear explains why amygdala lesions would impair fear recognition across modalities. Supporting the possibility of a link between fundamental empathic processes and amygdala responses to fear is evidence that impaired fear recognition in psychopathic individuals results from amygdala dysfunction, whereas enhanced fear recognition in altruistic individuals results from enhanced amygdala function. Empathic concern and caring behaviors may be fostered by sensitivity to signs of acute distress in others, which relies on intact functioning of the amygdala. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Amadi, Ugwechi; Lim, Seh Hong; Liu, Elizabeth; Baratta, Michael V; Goosens, Ki A
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.
Erasmus, Madeleine Monique
Posttraumatic stress disorder is a debilitating anxiety disorder that can develop in the aftermath of a traumatic or life–threatening event involving extreme horror, intense fear or bodily harm. The disorder is typified by a symptom triad consisting of re–experiencing, hyperarousal and avoidance symptoms. Approximately 15–25% of trauma–exposed individuals go on to develop PTSD, depending on the nature and severity of the trauma. Although dysfunctional adaptive responses exist i...
Trouche, Stéphanie; Sasaki, Jennifer M.; Tu, Tiffany; Reijmers, Leon G.
SUMMARY A more complete understanding of how fear extinction alters neuronal activity and connectivity within fear circuits may aid in the development of strategies to treat human fear disorders. Using a c-fos based transgenic mouse, we found that contextual fear extinction silenced basal amygdala (BA) excitatory neurons that had been previously activated during fear conditioning. We hypothesized that the silencing of BA fear neurons was caused by an action of extinction on BA inhibitory synapses. In support of this hypothesis, we found extinction-induced target-specific remodeling of BA perisomatic inhibitory synapses originating from parvalbumin and cholecystokinin-positive interneurons. Interestingly, the predicted changes in the balance of perisomatic inhibition matched the silent and active states of the target BA fear neurons. These observations suggest that target-specific changes in perisomatic inhibitory synapses represent a mechanism through which experience can sculpt the activation patterns within a neural circuit. PMID:24183705
Trouche, Stéphanie; Sasaki, Jennifer M; Tu, Tiffany; Reijmers, Leon G
A more complete understanding of how fear extinction alters neuronal activity and connectivity within fear circuits may aid in the development of strategies to treat human fear disorders. Using a c-fos-based transgenic mouse, we found that contextual fear extinction silenced basal amygdala (BA) excitatory neurons that had been previously activated during fear conditioning. We hypothesized that the silencing of BA fear neurons was caused by an action of extinction on BA inhibitory synapses. In support of this hypothesis, we found extinction-induced target-specific remodeling of BA perisomatic inhibitory synapses originating from parvalbumin and cholecystokinin-positive interneurons. Interestingly, the predicted changes in the balance of perisomatic inhibition matched the silent and active states of the target BA fear neurons. These observations suggest that target-specific changes in perisomatic inhibitory synapses represent a mechanism through which experience can sculpt the activation patterns within a neural circuit. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fu, Juan; Xing, Xiaoli; Han, Mengfi; Xu, Na; Piao, Chengji; Zhang, Yue; Zheng, Xigeng
The return of learned fear is an important issue in anxiety disorder research since an analogous process may contribute to long-term fear maintenance or clinical relapse. A number of studies demonstrate that mPFC and hippocampus are important in the modulation of post-extinction re-expression of fear memory. However, the region-specific role of these structures in the fear return evoked by a sub-threshold conditioning (SC) is not known. In the present experiments, we first examined specific roles of the prelimbic cortex (PL), the dorsal hippocampus (DH, the dorsal CA1 area in particular), the ventral hippocampus (the ventral dentate gyrus (vDG) and the ventral CA1 area in particular) in this fear return process. Then we examined the role of connections between PL and vCA1 with this behavioral approach. Rats were subjected to five tone-shock pairings (1.0-mA shock) to induce conditioned fear (freezing), followed by three fear extinction sessions (25 tone-alone trials each session). After a post-test for extinction memory, some rats were retrained with the SC procedure to reinstate tone-evoked freezing. Rat groups were injected with low doses of the GABAA agonist muscimol to selectively inactivate PL, DH, vDG, or vCA1 120 min before the fear return test. A disconnection paradigm with ipsilateral or contralateral muscimol injection of the PL and the vCA1 was used to examine the role of this pathway in the fear return. We found that transient inactivation of these areas significantly impaired fear return (freezing): inactivation of the prelimbic cortex blocked SC-evoked fear return in particular but did not influence fear expression in general; inactivation of the DH area impaired fear return, but had no effect on the extinction retrieval process; both ventral DG and ventral CA1 are required for the return of extinguished fear whereas only ventral DG is required for the extinction retrieval. These findings suggest that PL, DH, vDG, and vCA1 all contribute to the fear
Xu, X; Davis, R E
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.
Struyf, Dieter; Zaman, Jonas; Hermans, Dirk; Vervliet, Bram
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.
Yen, Yi-Chun; Mauch, Christoph P; Dahlhoff, Maik; Micale, Vincenzo; Bunck, Mirjam; Sartori, Simone B; Singewald, Nicolas; Landgraf, Rainer; Wotjak, Carsten T
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.
Kittelberger, Kara A; Piazza, Fabrizio; Tesco, Giuseppina; Reijmers, Leon G
Memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has been proposed that soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta) oligomers acutely impair neuronal function and thereby memory. We here report that natural Abeta oligomers acutely impair contextual fear memory in mice. A natural Abeta oligomer solution containing Abeta monomers, dimers, trimers, and tetramers was derived from the conditioned medium of 7PA2 cells, a cell line that expresses human amyloid precursor protein containing the Val717Phe familial AD mutation. As a control we used 7PA2 conditioned medium from which Abeta oligomers were removed through immunodepletion. Separate groups of mice were injected with Abeta and control solutions through a cannula into the lateral brain ventricle, and subjected to fear conditioning using two tone-shock pairings. One day after fear conditioning, mice were tested for contextual fear memory and tone fear memory in separate retrieval trials. Three experiments were performed. For experiment 1, mice were injected three times: 1 hour before and 3 hours after fear conditioning, and 1 hour before context retrieval. For experiments 2 and 3, mice were injected a single time at 1 hour and 2 hours before fear conditioning respectively. In all three experiments there was no effect on tone fear memory. Injection of Abeta 1 hour before fear conditioning, but not 2 hours before fear conditioning, impaired the formation of a contextual fear memory. In future studies, the acute effect of natural Abeta oligomers on contextual fear memory can be used to identify potential mechanisms and treatments of AD associated memory loss.
Kittelberger, Kara A.; Piazza, Fabrizio; Tesco, Giuseppina; Reijmers, Leon G.
Memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has been proposed that soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta) oligomers acutely impair neuronal function and thereby memory. We here report that natural Abeta oligomers acutely impair contextual fear memory in mice. A natural Abeta oligomer solution containing Abeta monomers, dimers, trimers, and tetramers was derived from the conditioned medium of 7PA2 cells, a cell line that expresses human amyloid precursor protein containing the Val717Phe familial AD mutation. As a control we used 7PA2 conditioned medium from which Abeta oligomers were removed through immunodepletion. Separate groups of mice were injected with Abeta and control solutions through a cannula into the lateral brain ventricle, and subjected to fear conditioning using two tone-shock pairings. One day after fear conditioning, mice were tested for contextual fear memory and tone fear memory in separate retrieval trials. Three experiments were performed. For experiment 1, mice were injected three times: 1 hour before and 3 hours after fear conditioning, and 1 hour before context retrieval. For experiments 2 and 3, mice were injected a single time at 1 hour and 2 hours before fear conditioning respectively. In all three experiments there was no effect on tone fear memory. Injection of Abeta 1 hour before fear conditioning, but not 2 hours before fear conditioning, impaired the formation of a contextual fear memory. In future studies, the acute effect of natural Abeta oligomers on contextual fear memory can be used to identify potential mechanisms and treatments of AD associated memory loss. PMID:22238679
Kara A Kittelberger
Full Text Available Memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD. It has been proposed that soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta oligomers acutely impair neuronal function and thereby memory. We here report that natural Abeta oligomers acutely impair contextual fear memory in mice. A natural Abeta oligomer solution containing Abeta monomers, dimers, trimers, and tetramers was derived from the conditioned medium of 7PA2 cells, a cell line that expresses human amyloid precursor protein containing the Val717Phe familial AD mutation. As a control we used 7PA2 conditioned medium from which Abeta oligomers were removed through immunodepletion. Separate groups of mice were injected with Abeta and control solutions through a cannula into the lateral brain ventricle, and subjected to fear conditioning using two tone-shock pairings. One day after fear conditioning, mice were tested for contextual fear memory and tone fear memory in separate retrieval trials. Three experiments were performed. For experiment 1, mice were injected three times: 1 hour before and 3 hours after fear conditioning, and 1 hour before context retrieval. For experiments 2 and 3, mice were injected a single time at 1 hour and 2 hours before fear conditioning respectively. In all three experiments there was no effect on tone fear memory. Injection of Abeta 1 hour before fear conditioning, but not 2 hours before fear conditioning, impaired the formation of a contextual fear memory. In future studies, the acute effect of natural Abeta oligomers on contextual fear memory can be used to identify potential mechanisms and treatments of AD associated memory loss.
Armita eGolkar; Martin eBellander; Andreas eOlsson; Arne eÖhman
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...
LeDoux, Joseph E.
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
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Daviu, Núria; Fuentes, Silvia; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio
Exposure to a single session of footshocks induces long-lasting inhibition of activity in unknown environments that markedly differ from the shock context. Interestingly, these effects are not necessarily associated to an enhanced anxiety and interpretation of this hypoactivity remains unclear. In the present experiment we further studied this phenomenon in male Sprague-Dawley rats. In a first experiment, a session of three shocks resulted in hypoactivity during exposure, 6-12days later, to three different unknown environments. This altered behaviour was not accompanied by a greater hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation, although greater HPA activation paralleling higher levels of freezing was observed in the shock context. In a second experiment we used a single shock and two procedures, one with pre-exposure to the context before the shock and another with immediate shock that did not induce contextual fear conditioning. Hypoactivity and a certain level of generalization of fear (freezing) to the unknown environments only appeared in the group that developed fear conditioning, but no evidence for enhanced anxiety in the elevated plus-maze was found in any group. The results suggest that if animals are able to associate an aversive experience with a distinct unknown environment, they would display more cautious behaviour in any unknown environment and such strategy persists despite repeated experience with different environments. This long-lasting cautious behaviour was not associated to greater HPA response to the unknown environment that was however observed in the shock context. The present findings raised some concerns about interpretation of long-lasting behavioural changes caused by brief stressors. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
What is the human condition at the dawning of the global age? ... scholars,and students in the social sciences and, particularly, the humanities; donors, ... affecting the nature of human civilization, and with the interaction between Islamic and ...
activating the amygdala passes through the superior colliculi and the pulvinar of the thalamus before accessing it. .... cingulate, the superior temporal sulcus and the lingual gyrus.41. A role for the human amygdala in the ... dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (BA 10) and middle frontal gyri. (BA 6).47,48. Hence, in healthy people ...
Chia, Chester; Otto, Tim
Mounting evidence suggests that long-lasting, protein synthesis-dependent changes in synaptic strength accompany both the initial acquisition and subsequent recall of specific memories. Within brain areas thought to be important for learning and memory, including the hippocampus, learning-related plasticity is likely mediated in part by NMDA receptor activation and experience-dependent changes in gene expression. In the present study, we examined the role of activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) expression in the acquisition, recall, and reconsolidation of memory in a trace fear conditioning paradigm. First, we show that the expression of Arc protein in ventral hippocampus (VH) is dramatically enhanced by memory recall 24h after the acquisition of trace fear conditioning, and that both memory recall and the associated recall-induced enhancement of Arc expression are blocked by pre-training administration of 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV). Next, we show that while infusion of Arc antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) into VH prior to testing had little effect on memory recall, it significantly reduced both Arc protein expression and freezing behavior during subsequent testing sessions. Collectively, these results suggest that Arc/Arg3.1 protein plays an important functional role in both the initial acquisition of hippocampal-dependent memory and the reconsolidation of these memories after recall. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Freezing has become the predominant measure used in rodent studies of conditioned fear, but conditioned suppression of reward-seeking behavior may provide a measure that is more relevant to human anxiety disorders; that is, a measure of how fear interferes with the enjoyment of pleasurable activities. Previous work has found that an isolated presentation of a fear conditioned stimulus prior to extinction training (retrieval + extinction results in a more robust and longer-lasting reduction in fear. The objective of this study was to assess whether the retrieval + extinction effect is evident using conditioned suppression of reward seeking, operationalized as a reduction in baseline licking (without prior water deprivation for a 10% sucrose solution. We found that, compared to freezing, conditioned suppression of reward seeking was much more sensitive to fear conditioning and far less responsive to extinction training. As in previous work, we found that retrieval + extinction reduced post-extinction fear reinstatement when measured as freezing, but it did not reduce fear reinstatement when measured as conditioned suppression. This suggests that there is still residual fear following retrieval + extinction, or that this procedure only modifies memory traces in neural circuits relevant to the expression of freezing, but not to the suppression of reward seeking.
Metadata only record Abuses of human rights occur in forest conflicts all over the world, from Canada and the USA to Brazil, from Kenya to Indonesia. In many cases, blatant and often brutal abuses occur when a conflict escalates, following the violation of internationally recognized rights to land, a decent standard of living, and a clean and healthy environment. Looked at on their own, many of these examples of abuse may be regarded as isolated incidents of criminal activity. Put together...
Full text: According to our present knowledge, the lifetime extension of the Hungarian NPP units will be feasible, in both the technological and economic aspects. It is far more difficult, however, to answer the question whether the human resources conditions of the further application of nuclear energetics in Hungary can be satisfied. Many urgent tasks will have to be solved regarding the informing of the public and the nuclear engineering education. The training of nuclear experts is in crisis in many developed industrial countries. The university departments work with a staff mainly consisting of old and quite often near-retirement trainers and the young generation is practically missing. A particularly grave problem is (see Germany) that in a number of countries hardly any student chooses nuclear technology/engineering. Moreover, several nuclear training and research facilities have been shut down. Although the situation in Hungary is not so critical at present, the rising of the new generation of professionals may easily get into a crisis without immediate intervention. The training reactor of BUTE celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2001 and the technical conditions allow some further 20 or 25 years of operation. On the other hand, however, the age distribution of the operating staff can not be sustained even on a few-year term: the average age is 55 years, while 44% of them are retired! Although, due to financing difficulties the rejuvenation of the operating personnel has not been possible for years, it is definitely vital to maintain and develop the reactor and the ongoing educational work. By analysing the age distribution of the workers of the Hungarian energetics one can conclude: 350 to 400 young engineers will have to start work up till 2020 (i.e. 15 to 20 per year), while only 2 to 8 students graduate from the Hungarian universities who acquire some level of nuclear knowledge during their studies. In a co-operation between BUTE and the Paks NPP we are
Raber, Jacob; Weber, Sydney J.; Kronenberg, Amy; Turker, Mitchell S.
The space radiation environment includes energetic charged particles that may impact behavioral and cognitive performance. The relationship between the dose and the ionization density of the various types of charged particles (expressed as linear energy transfer or LET), and cognitive performance is complex. In our earlier work, whole body exposure to 28Si ions (263 MeV/n, LET = 78keV / μ m ; 1.6 Gy) affected contextual fear memory in C57BL/6J × DBA2/J F1 (B6D2F1) mice three months following irradiation but this was not the case following exposure to 48Ti ions (1 GeV/n, LET = 107keV / μ m ; 0.2 or 0.4 Gy). As an increased understanding of the impact of charged particle exposures is critical for assessment of risk to the CNS of astronauts during and following missions, in this study we used 40Ca ion beams (942 MeV/n, LET = 90keV / μm) to determine the behavioral and cognitive effects for the LET region between that of Si ions and Ti ions. 40Ca ion exposure reduced baseline activity in a novel environment in a dose-dependent manner, which suggests reduced motivation to explore and/or a diminished level of curiosity in a novel environment. In addition, exposure to 40Ca ions had sex-dependent effects on response to shock. 40Ca ion irradiation reduced the response to shock in female, but not male, mice. In contrast, 40Ca ion irradiation did not affect fear learning, memory, or extinction of fear memory for either gender at the doses employed in this study. Thus 40Ca ion irradiation affected behavioral, but not cognitive, performance. The effects of 40Ca ion irradiation on behavioral performance are relevant, as a combination of novelty and aversive environmental stimuli is pertinent to conditions experienced by astronauts during and following space missions.
Boukezzi, Sarah; Silva, Catarina; Nazarian, Bruno; Rousseau, Pierre-François; Guedj, Eric; Valenzuela-Moguillansky, Camila; Khalfa, Stéphanie
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 ...
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
Full Text Available We propose a Survival Optimization System (SOS to account for the strategies that humans and other animals use to defend against recurring and novel threats. The SOS attempts to merge ecological models that define a repertoire of contextually relevant threat induced survival behaviors with contemporary approaches to human affective science. We first propose that the goal of the nervous system is to reduce surprise and optimize actions by (i predicting the sensory landscape, through simulation of possible encounters with threat, selecting appropriate action by pre-encounter avoidance and (ii prevention strategies in which the organism manufactures safe environments. When a potential threat is encountered the (iii threat orienting system is engaged to determine whether the organism ignores the stimulus or switches into a process of (iv assessment, where the organism monitors the stimulus, weighs the threat value, predicts the actions of the threat, searches for safety, and guides behavioral actions crucial to directed escape. When under imminent attack, (v defensive systems evoke fast reflexive indirect escape behaviors (i.e. fight or flight. This cascade of responses to threat of increasing magnitude are underwritten by an interconnected neural architecture that extends from cortical and hippocampal circuits, to attention, action and threat systems including the amygdala, striatum, and hard-wired defensive systems in the midbrain. The SOS also includes a modulatory feature consisting of cognitive appraisal systems that flexibly guide perception, risk and action. Moreover, personal and vicarious threat encounters fine-tune avoidance behaviors via model-based learning, with higher organisms bridging data to reduce face-to-face encounters with predators. Our theory unifies the divergent field of human affective science, proposing the highly integrated, interconnected nervous systems are optimized to avoid ecological dangers.
Human rights, an issue of political debates in the last decades, listed in the United Nations Declaration of 1946 are rooted in the humanistic tradition of philosophy and religion. The UN declared their universal character and made state organizations responsible for their observation. Among all human rights that for freedom is usually perceived as crucial. Psychiatry developed in Europe primarily a caring function. The medical model developed in psychiatry through the 19th c. supplied the criteria for medical diagnosis of mental disturbance, and elaborated a system of treatment which included long term hospitalization. Medicalization of psychiatry (recently coming back) is a force which gives courage to those who suffer, to their families, and to professionals as well. This power however, can be easily abused, when a psychiatrist adopts a position of someone who knows better that which is good for his/her patient. Legal regulations of the circumstances of psychiatric treatment, especially treatment against the patient's will should prevent the abuse of the mentally disturbed person's right for freedom. The goal is usually achieved by clear description of clinical and other conditions under which a person can be committed, and by establishing the committed person's right to claim the decision to be unjust. Poland is a country without legal regulation in the area of mental health (there are only administrative acts). For more than sixty years several projects on mental health law have been worked on. The last one which came to the Sejm (parliament) in 1980 was withdrawn by the "Solidarity" Trade Union. At present, the membership of Poland in international organizations makes an introduction of mental health law an obligation. Having no legal regulation, Polish psychiatry has been a self-regulating system. It is worth to note that even in the hard Stalinist period (1947-1956) there was no abuse of psychiatry for political reasons. The main reason for Polish
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As the natural habitats of many species are degraded or disappear, there is scope for these species to be established in urban habitats. To ease the establishment and maintenance of urban populations of more species we need to better understand what degree of phenotypical change to expect as different species transition into urban environments. During the first stages of urban colonization, behavioural changes such as an increase in boldness are particularly important. A consistent response in urban populations is to decrease the distance at which individuals flee from an approaching human (flight initiation distance, or FID). Performing a phylogenetic generalized least-squares (PGLS) analysis on 130 avian species, I found that the largest changes in FID between rural and urban populations occur in species that are larger-bodied and naturally shy (higher rural FID), two phenotypic traits that are not normally associated with urban colonizers. More unlikely species may thus be able to colonize urban environments, especially if we design cities in ways that promote such urban colonizations. © 2018 The Author(s).
Penman, Joy; Ellis, Bronwyn
This paper aims to clarify our understanding of fear and explore the strategies employed by people with life-limiting conditions and their caregivers in addressing the emotion of fear as they journey through the dying process. The role of fear is discussed: different kinds of fear, the tangible and intangible measures by which people manage their fear, and the ways of transcending fear. The findings of a larger research project funded by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing are drawn upon. In-depth interviews were conducted with clients and caregivers relating to the psychosocial and emotional issues in palliative care. Secondary analysis was utilized to examine the perceptions of fear in this cohort. While there were many other findings, the results highlighted in this paper relate to the notion of fear among interview participants. Interview data showed that people with life-limiting conditions and their caregivers had different types of fear and employed a variety of strategies to deal with fear. Four themes emerged embodying these strategies: calling on their own resilience and inner resources, maintaining human relationships, gaining the ability to "keep one step ahead" in the dying process, and engaging in spirituality and religion. The implications of the findings for healthcare professionals are highlighted. The recognition of emotions is embedded in palliative care; healthcare professionals should view the management of emotions as an integral part of professional practice. Addressing fear is essential because unresolved fear can impinge on one's ability to cope. Our paper brings together different perspectives on fear and how vulnerable individuals attempt to cope with it while at the same time providing a view of the challenges confronting healthcare professionals who are engaged with them and committed to optimizing health outcomes for palliative care clients and their caregivers.
Golkar, Armita; Olsson, Andreas
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).
Coelho, Cesar A. O.; Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.
Fear-related behaviors are prone to relapse following extinction. We tested in humans a compound extinction design ("deepened extinction") shown in animal studies to reduce post-extinction fear recovery. Adult subjects underwent fear conditioning to a visual and an auditory conditioned stimulus (CSA and CSB, respectively) separately…
Javanbakht, Arash; Duval, Elizabeth R; Cisneros, Maria E; Taylor, Stephan F; Kessler, Daniel; Liberzon, Israel
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.
Van Leuken, J. P G; Swart, A. N.; Brandsma, J.; Terink, W.; Van de Kassteele, J.; Droogers, P.; Sauter, F.; Havelaar, A. H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/072306122; Van der Hoek, W.
Airborne pathogenic transmission from sources to humans is characterised by atmospheric dispersion and influence of environmental conditions on deposition and reaerosolisation. We applied a One Health approach using human, veterinary and environmental data regarding the 2009 epidemic in The
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
Soeter, M.; Kindt, M.
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
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…
Henrich-Noack, Petra; Krautwald, Karla; Reymann, Klaus G; Wetzel, Wolfram
Transient global ischaemia induces cell death in the CA1 layer of the hippocampus. To evaluate the functional consequences, we performed context-dependent fear conditioning. Ischaemia was induced by 2-vessel-occlusion (2VO) in gerbils. On day 6 post ischaemia or sham procedures (in control group) gerbils were placed in a test chamber and after 3 min adaption time exposed to foot-shocks (training session). On the next day the animals were placed in the same test chamber without foot-shocks (test session). As a parameter for memory performance we used the standard method of measuring the total freezing time via a cumulative time-sampling procedure during the test session. We found a significant longer total freezing time in control animals than in ischaemic animals. In addition, however, we applied a more detailed analysis of (i) quantifying the number of freezing bouts, (ii) the average duration of single freezing bouts, (iii) the activity pattern during the training and test situation and (iv) we differentially evaluated all the single time segments of the experiment. These analyses revealed that although maintenance of freezing (duration of freezing bout) was significantly lower in ischaemic animals compared to controls, the initiation of freezing (number of freezing bouts) was not significantly different between the two groups during the test session. The activity scores of ischaemic and non-ischaemic gerbils were similar during the adaption time of the training session. The foot-shock, however, induced a significantly different pattern of behaviour in the ischaemic animals, which was selectively reproduced during the test session. In conclusion, ischaemic gerbils reacted to a fearsome thread with a behavioural pattern different from unlesioned animals and they revealed this specific foot-shock induced behaviour again during the test session. This indicated that CA1 hippocampal death did not interrupt memory performance but changed expression of fear. Therefore
Economic justice means taking the personhood of poor people into account; respecting their needs, personal ambitions, rights, and dignity; and affording equal opportunity and equal access to education, health care, housing, and jobs. Examples of injustice to minority groups are provided, citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (SLD)
Oliver, Chicora F.; Kabitzke, Patricia; Serrano, Peter; Egan, Laura J.; Barr, Gordon A.; Shair, Harry N.; Wiedenmayer, Christoph
We examined the neural substrates of fear memory formation and maintenance when repeated recall was used to prevent forgetting in young animals. In contrast to adult rats, juveniles failed to show contextual fear responses at 4 d post-fear conditioning. Reconsolidation sessions 3 and 6 d after conditioning restored contextual fear responses in…
Bredy, Timothy W.; Barad, Mark
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…
Telch, M.J.; Valentiner, D.P.; Ilai, D.; Young, P.R.; Powers, M.B.; Smits, J.A.J.
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
Milad, Mohammed R.; Quirk, Gregory J.
The psychology of extinction has been studied for decades. Approximately 10 years ago, however, there began a concerted effort to understand the neural circuits of extinction of fear conditioning, in both animals and humans. Progress during this period has been facilitated by an unusual degree of coordination between rodent and human researchers examining fear extinction. This successful research program could serve as a model for translational research in other areas of behavioral neuroscience. Here we review the major advances and highlight new approaches to understanding and exploiting fear extinction. PMID:22129456
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.
Moscarello, Justin M; Maren, Stephen
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.
Gomes, Felipe V.; Silva, Andréia L.; Uliana, Daniela L.; Camargo, Laura H. A.; Guimarães, Francisco S.; Cunha, Fernando Q.; Joca, Sâmia R. L.; Resstel, Leonardo B. M.
Background: Inducible or neuronal nitric oxide synthase gene deletion increases or decreases anxiety-like behavior in mice, respectively. Since nitric oxide and endocannabinoids interact to modulate defensive behavior, the former effect could involve a compensatory increase in basal brain nitric oxide synthase activity and/or changes in the endocannabinoid system. Thus, we investigated the expression and extinction of contextual fear conditioning of inducible nitric oxide knockout mice and possible involvement of endocannabinoids in these responses. Methods: We evaluated the effects of a preferential neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, 7-nitroindazol, nitric oxide synthase activity, and mRNA changes of nitrergic and endocannabinoid systems components in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of wild-type and knockout mice. The effects of URB597, an inhibitor of the fatty acid amide hydrolase enzyme, which metabolizes the endocannabinoid anandamide, WIN55,212-2, a nonselective cannabinoid agonist, and AM281, a selective CB1 antagonist, on contextual fear conditioning were also evaluated. Results: Contextual fear conditioning expression was similar in wild-type and knockout mice, but the latter presented extinction deficits and increased basal nitric oxide synthase activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. 7-Nitroindazol decreased fear expression and facilitated extinction in wild-type and knockout mice. URB597 decreased fear expression in wild-type and facilitated extinction in knockout mice, whereas WIN55,212-2 and AM281 increased it in wild-type mice. Nonconditioned knockout mice showed changes in the mRNA expression of nitrergic and endocannabinoid system components in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus that were modified by fear conditioning. Conclusion: These data reinforce the involvement of the nitric oxide and endocannabinoids (anandamide) in stress-related disorders and point to a deregulation of the endocannabinoid system in
Bassler, A W; Arnould, C; Butterworth, A; Colin, L; De Jong, I C; Ferrante, V; Ferrari, P; Haslam, S; Wemelsfelder, F; Blokhuis, H J
The objectives of this study were to 1) identify determinants of poor welfare in commercial broiler chicken flocks by studying the associations between selected resource-based measures (RBM, potential risk factors), such as litter quality and dark period, and animal-based welfare indicators (ABM), such as foot pad dermatitis and lameness, and 2) establish the breadth of effect of a risk factor by determining the range of animal welfare indicators associated with each of the risk factors (i.e., the number of ABM related to a specific RBM). Eighty-nine broiler flocks were inspected in 4 European countries (France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands) in a cross-sectional study. The ABM were contact dermatitis (measured using scores of foot-pad dermatitis and hock burn, respectively), lameness (measured as gait score), fear of humans (measured by the avoidance distance test and the touch test), and negative emotional state (measured using qualitative behavior assessment, QBA). In a first step, risk factors were identified by building a multiple linear regression model for each ABM. Litter quality was identified as a risk factor for contact dermatitis. Length of dark period at 3 wk old (DARK3) was a risk factor for the touch test result. DARK3 and flock age were risk factors for lameness, and the number of different stockmen and DARK3 were risk factors for QBA results. Next, the ABM were grouped according to risk factor and counted. Then, in a second step, associations between the ABM were investigated using common factor analysis. The breadth of a risk factor's effect was judged by combining the number (count) of ABM related to this factor and the strength of association between these ABM. Flock age and DARK3 appeared to affect several weakly correlated ABM, thus indicating a broad range of effects. Our findings suggest that manipulation of the predominant risk factors identified in this study (DARK3, litter quality, and slaughter age) could generate
De Groot, Jasper H B; Semin, Gün R.; Smeets, Monique A M
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
Scalise, L.; Casacanditella, L.; Cosoli, G.
Heart Rate Variability, HRV, studies the variations of cardiac rhythm caused by the autonomic regulation. HRV analysis can be applied to the study of the effects of mental or physical stressors on the psychophysiological conditions. The present work is a pilot study performed on a 23-year-old healthy subject. The measurement of HRV was performed by means of two sensors, that is an electrocardiograph and a Laser Doppler Vibrometer, which is a non-contact device able to detect the skin vibrations related to the cardiac activity. The present study aims to evaluate the effects of a physical task on HRV parameters (in both time and frequency domain), and consequently on the autonomic regulation, and the capability of Laser Doppler Vibrometry in correctly detecting the effects of stress on the Heart Variability. The results show a significant reduction of HRV parameters caused by the execution of the physical task (i.e. variations of 25-40% for parameters in time domain, also higher in frequency domain); this is consistent with the fact that stress causes a reduced capability of the organism in varying the Heart Rate (and, consequently, a limited HRV). LDV was able to correctly detect this phenomenon in the time domain, while the parameters in the frequency domain show significant deviations with respect to the gold standard technique (i.e. ECG). This may be due to the movement artefacts that have consistently modified the shape of the vibration signal measured by means of LDV, after having performed the physical task. In the future, in order to avoid this drawback, the LDV technique could be used to evaluate the effects of a mental task on HRV signals (i.e. the evaluation of mental stress).
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.
Melissa Judith Sharpe
Full Text Available The prelimbic (PL cortex allows rodents to adapt their responding under changing experimental circumstances. In line with this, the PL cortex has been implicated in strategy set shifting, attentional set shifting, the resolution of response conflict, and the modulation of attention towards predictive stimuli. One interpretation of this research is that the PL cortex is involved in using information garnered from higher-order cues in the environment to modulate how an animal responds to environmental stimuli. However, data supporting this view of PL function in the aversive domain are lacking. In the following experiments, we attempted to answer two questions. Firstly, we wanted to investigate whether the role of the PL cortex in using higher-order cues to influence responding generalizes across appetitive and aversive domains. Secondly, as much of the research has focused on a role for the PL cortex in performance, we wanted to assess whether this region is also involved in the acquisition of hierarchal associations which facilitate an ability to use higher-order cues to modulate responding. In order to answer these questions, we assessed the impact of PL inactivation during both the acquisition and expression of a contextual bi-conditional discrimination. A contextual bi-conditional discrimination involves presenting two stimuli. In one context, one stimulus is paired with shock while the other is presented without shock. In another context, these contingencies are reversed. Thus, animals have to use the present contextual cues to disambiguate the significance of the stimulus and respond appropriately. We found that PL inactivation disrupted both the encoding and expression of these context-dependent associations. This supports a role for the PL cortex in allowing higher-order cues to modulate both learning about, and responding towards, different cues. We discuss these findings in the broader context of functioning in the medial prefrontal
Full Text Available Fear is an emotion that is well studied due to its importance for animal survival. Experimental animals, such as rats and mice, have been widely used to model fear. However, higher animals such as nonhuman primates have rarely been used to study fear due to ethical issues and high costs. Tree shrews are small mammals that are closely related to primates; they have been used to model human-related psychosocial conditions such as stress and alcohol tolerance. Here, we describe an experimental paradigm to study the formation and extinction of fear memory in tree shrews. We designed an experimental apparatus of a light/dark box with a voltage foot shock. We found that tree shrews preferred staying in the dark box in the daytime without stimulation and showed avoidance to voltage shocks applied to the footplate in a voltage-dependent manner. Foot shocks applied to the dark box for 5 days (10 minutes per day effectively reversed the light–dark preference of the tree shrews, and this memory lasted for more than 50 days without any sign of memory decay (extinction in the absence of further stimulation. However, this fear memory was reversed with 4 days of reverse training by applying the same stimulus to the light box. When reducing the stimulus intensity during the training period, a memory extinction and subsequently reinstatement effects were observed. Thus, our results describe an efficient method of monitoring fear memory formation and extinction in tree shrews.
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
Asthana, Manish Kumar; Brunhuber, Bettina; Mühlberger, Andreas; Reif, Andreas; Schneider, Simone; Herrmann, Martin J
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.
Perai, A. H.; Kermanshahi, H.; Moghaddam, H. Nassiri; Zarban, A.
A total of 240 female broilers (42 days old) were randomly assigned to four groups with six replicates and fed either a basal diet (two control groups) or a basal diet supplemented with either 1,200 μg Cr+3 from chromium (Cr) methionine/kg (Cr group) or 1,200 μg Cr+3 from Cr methionine plus 800 mg vitamin C (Vit C)/kg of diet (Cr + Vit C group). After 7 days on the dietary treatment, all groups except one of the controls were transported for 3 h under the summer conditions. Performance parameters were not influenced by dietary treatments. The plasma concentrations of insulin, triiodothyronine, triglyceride, and the ratio of triiodothyronine/thyroxin were decreased and the ratio of glucose/insulin was increased due to transport process. Road transportation also increased the plasma concentrations of protein, cholesterol, aspartate aminotransferase, and creatine kinase and decreased the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the Cr + Vit C group. The pretransport concentrations of insulin and triiodothyronine were highest in the Cr + Vit C group. The concentration of phosphorous was lower in the Cr group than that in the other groups after transport. No significant effects of dietary treatments were observed on the other biochemical parameters. Transport increased malondialdehyde concentration in the control group and did not change plasma total antioxidant capacity and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity. Either in combination or alone, Cr increased plasma total antioxidant capacity (before transport P ≤ 0.05, after transport P = 0.07) but did not affect the concentration of malondialdehyde and activity of glutathione peroxidase. The duration of tonic immobility (TI) was similar between nontransported control chicks and transported chicks without any supplements. Pretreatment with Cr + Vit C significantly reduced the duration of TI.
Menz, M M; Rihm, J S; Salari, N; Born, J; Kalisch, R; Pape, H C; Marshall, L; Büchel, C
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.
Hagewoud, Roelina; Whitcomb, Shamiso N.; Heeringa, Amarins N.; Havekes, Robbert; Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Meerlo, Peter
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
Sotres-Bayon, Francisco; Bush, David E. A.; LeDoux, Joseph E.
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…
Golkar, Armita; Bellander, Martin; Öhman, Arne
Fear extinction can be defined as the weakening of the expression of a conditioned response (CR) by extended experience of nonreinforcement. Conceptually, two distinct models have been invoked to account for extinction. R. A. Rescorla and A. R. Wagner (1972, A theory of Pavlovian conditioning: Variations in the effectiveness of reinforcement and nonreinforcement, in A. H. B. W. F. Prokasy (Ed.), Classical conditioning: II. Current research and theory, pp. 64-99, New York, NY, Appleton-Century-Crofts) postulated that the number of exposure trials is the primary determinant of CR decrement, whereas C. R. Gallistel and J. Gibbon (2000, Time, rate, and conditioning, Psychological Review, Vol. 107, pp. 289-344) proposed that the decisive event is the cumulated exposure time to the nonreinforced conditioned stimulus (CS) elapsed after the last CS reinforcement. We evaluated these two accounts in a human differential fear conditioning study in which CR was measured with the fear-potentiated startle response. Cumulated duration of nonreinforcement fails to explain our findings, whereas the number of trials appeared critical. In fact, many CS trials with a duration shorter than the acquisition CS duration facilitated within-session extinction, but this effect did not predict the recovery of fear. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Tsuchimi, Daisuke; Okuyama, Takeshi; Tanaka, Mami
This paper is concerned with the development of a tactile sensor using PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) film as a sensory receptor of the sensor to evaluate softness, smoothness, and stickiness of human skin. Tactile sense is the most important sense in the sensation receptor of the human body along with eyesight, and we can examine skin condition quickly using these sense. But, its subjectivity and ambiguity make it difficult to quantify skin conditions. Therefore, development of measurement device which can evaluate skin conditions easily and objectively is demanded by dermatologists, cosmetic industries, and so on. In this paper, an advanced haptic sensor system that can measure multiple information of skin condition in various parts of human body is developed. The applications of the sensor system to evaluate softness, smoothness, and stickiness of skin are investigated through two experiments.
Abraham, Antony D.; Cunningham, Christopher L.; Lattal, K. Matthew
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 ...
Datta, Subimal; O'Malley, Matthew W .
Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation within multiple memory systems including contextual fear extinction memory, but little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this process. Here, we show that fear extinction training in rats, which extinguished conditioned fear, increased both slow-wave sleep and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Surprisingly, 24 h later, during memory testing, only 57% of the fear-extinguished animals retained fear extinction memory. We found that these animals exhibited an increase in phasic pontine-wave (P-wave) activity during post-training REM sleep, which was absent in the 43% of animals that failed to retain fear extinction memory. The results of this study provide evidence that brainstem activation, specifically potentiation of phasic P-wave activity, during post-training REM sleep is critical for consolidation of fear extinction memory. The results of this study also suggest that, contrary to the popular hypothesis of sleep and memory, increased sleep after training alone does not guarantee consolidation and/or retention of fear extinction memory. Rather, the potentiation of specific sleep-dependent physiological events may be a more accurate predictor for successful consolidation of fear extinction memory. Identification of this unique mechanism will significantly improve our present understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the sleep-dependent regulation of emotional memory. Additionally, this discovery may also initiate development of a new, more targeted treatment method for clinical disorders of fear and anxiety in humans that is more efficacious than existing methods such as exposure therapy that incorporate only fear extinction. PMID:23467372
Do Monte, Fabricio H.; Quirk, Gregory J.; Li, Bo; Penzo, Mario A.
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
Full Text Available Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3 is a mammalian pseudokinase that is induced in neuronal cell cultures in response to cell death-inducing stresses, including neurotrophic factor deprivation. TRIB3 is an inhibitor of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4, the central transcriptional regulator in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α phosphorylation pathway that is involved in the cellular stress response and behavioral processes. In this article, we study the expression of Trib3 in the mouse brain, characterize the brain morphology of mice with a genetic ablation of Trib3 and investigate whether Trib3 deficiency alters eIF2α-dependent cognitive abilities. Our data show that the consumption of a leucine-deficient diet induces Trib3 expression in the anterior piriform cortex, the brain region responsible for detecting essential amino acid intake imbalance. However, the aversive response to leucine-devoid diet does not differ in Trib3 knockout and wild type mice. Trib3 deletion also does not affect long-term spatial memory and reversal learning in the Morris water maze and auditory or contextual fear conditioning. During embryonic development, Trib3 expression increases in the brain and persists in the early postnatal stadium. Neuroanatomical characterization of mice lacking Trib3 revealed enlarged lateral ventricles. Thus, although the absence of Trib3 does not alter the eIF2α pathway-dependent cognitive functions of several areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, amygdala and anterior piriform cortex, Trib3 may serve a role in other central nervous system processes and molecular pathways.
Full Text Available α-Synuclein (αSYN is genetically and neuropathologically linked to a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and related disorders. Cognitive impairment is recapitulated in several αSYN transgenic mouse lines. However, the mechanisms of dysfunction in affected neurons are largely unknown. Here we measured neuronal activity induced gene products in the limbic system of αSYN transgenic mice upon fear conditioning (FC. Induction of the synaptic plasticity marker c-Fos was significantly reduced in the amygdala and hippocampus of (Thy1-h[A30P]αSYN transgenic mice in an age-dependent manner. Similarly, the neuronal activity inducible polo-like kinase 2 (Plk2 that can phosphorylate αSYN at the pathological site serine-129 was up-regulated in both brain regions upon FC. Plk2 inductions were also significantly impaired in aged (Thy1-h[A30P]αSYN transgenic mice, both in the amygdala and hippocampus. Plk2 inductions in the amygdala after FC were paralleled by a small but significant increase in the number of neuronal cell bodies immunopositive for serine-129 phosphorylated αSYN in young but not aged (Thy1-h[A30P]αSYN transgenic mice. In addition, we observed in the aged hippocampus a distinct type of apparently unmodified transgenic αSYN profiles resembling synaptic accumulations of αSYN. Thus, the cognitive decline observed in aged αSYN transgenic mice might be due to impairment of neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in the limbic system by distinct αSYN species.
Örd, Tiit; Innos, Jürgen; Lilleväli, Kersti; Tekko, Triin; Sütt, Silva; Örd, Daima; Kõks, Sulev; Vasar, Eero; Örd, Tõnis
Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3) is a mammalian pseudokinase that is induced in neuronal cell cultures in response to cell death-inducing stresses, including neurotrophic factor deprivation. TRIB3 is an inhibitor of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), the central transcriptional regulator in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) phosphorylation pathway that is involved in the cellular stress response and behavioral processes. In this article, we study the expression of Trib3 in the mouse brain, characterize the brain morphology of mice with a genetic ablation of Trib3 and investigate whether Trib3 deficiency alters eIF2α-dependent cognitive abilities. Our data show that the consumption of a leucine-deficient diet induces Trib3 expression in the anterior piriform cortex, the brain region responsible for detecting essential amino acid intake imbalance. However, the aversive response to leucine-devoid diet does not differ in Trib3 knockout and wild type mice. Trib3 deletion also does not affect long-term spatial memory and reversal learning in the Morris water maze and auditory or contextual fear conditioning. During embryonic development, Trib3 expression increases in the brain and persists in the early postnatal stadium. Neuroanatomical characterization of mice lacking Trib3 revealed enlarged lateral ventricles. Thus, although the absence of Trib3 does not alter the eIF2α pathway-dependent cognitive functions of several areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, amygdala and anterior piriform cortex, Trib3 may serve a role in other central nervous system processes and molecular pathways.
Fang, Ton; Kasbi, Kamillia; Rothe, Stephanie; Aziz, Wajeeha; Giese, K Peter
The hippocampus and amygdala are essential brain regions responsible for contextual fear conditioning (CFC). The autophosphorylation of alpha calcium-calmodulin kinase II (αCaMKII) at threonine-286 (T286) is a critical step implicated in long-term potentiation (LTP), learning and memory. However, the changes in αCaMKII levels with aging and training in associated brain regions are not fully understood. Here, we studied how aging and training affect the levels of phosphorylated (T286) and proportion of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII in the hippocampus and amygdala. Young and aged mice, naïve (untrained) and trained in CFC, were analysed by immunohistochemistry for the levels of total and phosphorylated αCaMKII in the hippocampus and amygdala. We found that two hours after CFC training, young mice exhibited a higher level of phosphorylated and increased ratio of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII in hippocampal CA3 stratum radiatum. Furthermore, aged untrained mice showed a higher ratio of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII in the CA3 region of the hippocampus when compared to the young untrained group. No effect of training or aging were seen in the central, lateral and basolateral amygdala regions, for both phosphorylated and ratio of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII. These results show that aging impairs the training-induced upregulation of autophosphorylated (T286) αCaMKII in the CA3 stratum radiatum of the hippocampus. This indicates that distinct age-related mechanisms underlie CFC that may rely more heavily on NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity in young age. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Merz, Christian J; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Wolf, Oliver T
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.
Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel
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.
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.
Kuriyama, Kenichi; Honma, Motoyasu; Yoshiike, Takuya; Kim, Yoshiharu
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.
Abraham, Antony D.; Cunningham, Christopher L.; Lattal, K. Matthew
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…
Milas, Goran; Šupe-Domić, Daniela; Drmić-Hofman, Irena; Rumora, Lada; Klarić, Irena Martinović
There is ample evidence that environmental stressors such as extreme weather conditions affect animal behavior and that this process is in part mediated through the elevated activity of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis which results in an increase in cortisol secretion. This relationship has not been extensively researched in humans, and weather conditions have not been analyzed as a potential confounder in human studies of stress. Consequently, the goal of this paper was to assess the relationship between salivary cortisol and weather conditions in the course of everyday life and to test a possible moderating effect of two weather-related variables, the climate region and timing of exposure to outdoors conditions. The sample consisted of 903 secondary school students aged 18 to 21 years from Mediterranean and Continental regions. Cortisol from saliva was sampled in naturalistic settings at three time points over the course of a single day. We found that weather conditions are related to salivary cortisol concentration and that this relationship may be moderated by both the specific climate and the anticipation of immediate exposure to outdoors conditions. Unpleasant weather conditions are predictive for the level of salivary cortisol, but only among individuals who anticipate being exposed to it in the immediate future (e.g., in students attending school in the morning shift). We also demonstrated that isolated weather conditions or their patterns may be relevant in one climate area (e.g., Continental) while less relevant in the other (e.g., Mediterranean). Results of this study draw attention to the importance of controlling weather conditions in human salivary cortisol research.
Kang, H. G.; Jang, S. C.; Eom, H. S.; Ha, J. J.
In safety-critical systems, the generation failure of an actuation signal is caused by the concurrent failures of the automated systems and an operator action. These two sources of safety signals are complicatedly correlated. The failures of sensors or automated systems will cause a lack of necessary information for a human operator and result in error-forcing contexts such as the loss of corresponding alarms and indications. In the conventional analysis, the Human Error Probabilities (HEP) are estimated based on the assumption of 'normal condition of indications and alarms'. In order to construct a more realistic signal-generation failure model, we have to consider more complicated conditions in a more realistic manner. In this study, we performed two kinds of investigation for addressing this issue. We performed the analytic calculations for estimating the effect of sensors failures on the system unavailability and plant risk. For the single-parameter safety signals, the analysis result reveals that the quantification of the HEP should be performed by focusing on the 'no alarm from the automatic system and corresponding indications unavailable' situation. This study also proposes a Condition-Based Human Reliability Assessment (CBHRA) method in order to address these complicated conditions in a practical way. We apply the CBHRA method to the manual actuation of the safety features such as a reactor trip and auxiliary feedwater actuation in Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plants. In the case of conventional single HEP method, it is very hard to consider the multiple HE conditions. The merit of CBHRA is clearly shown in the application to the AFAS generation where no dominating HE condition exits. In this case, even if the HE conditions are carefully investigated, the single HEP method cannot accommodate the multiple conditions in a fault tree. On the other hand, the application result of the reactor trip in SLOCA shows that if there is a dominating condition, the use
Slouzkey, Ilana; Maroun, Mouna
The basolateral amygdala (BLA), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) circuit, plays a crucial role in acquisition and extinction of fear memory. Extinction of aversive memories is mediated, at least in part, by the phosphoinositide-3 kinase (P[subscript 3]K)/Akt pathway in adult rats. There is recent interest in the neural mechanisms that mediate fear…
J.P.G. Van Leuken
We conclude that environmental conditions are correlated to human Q fever incidence rate. Similar research with data from other outbreaks would be needed to more firmly establish our findings. This could lead to better estimations of the public health risk of a C. burnetii outbreak, and to more detailed and accurate hazard maps that could be used for spatial planning of livestock operations.
In an important lecture on the function of the Humanities, "The University without Condition", Jacques Derrida asks what it means to "profess" the truth and advocates a commitment to the "oeuvre"--the work that constitutes an event rather than just a contribution to knowledge. I examine a few phrases from the lecture,…
Andy M Kazama
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.
The emerging evolutionary approach to literature explores the way that culture and biology interact. As a branch of evolutionary literary criticism, Darwinian horror study sees horror fiction as crucially dependent on evolved properties of the human constitution. This article argues that a Darwin......The emerging evolutionary approach to literature explores the way that culture and biology interact. As a branch of evolutionary literary criticism, Darwinian horror study sees horror fiction as crucially dependent on evolved properties of the human constitution. This article argues...... that a Darwinian perspective on Dan Simmons’ 1985 novel Song of Kali best explains the atheist author’s preoccupation with themes of the supernatural, and accounts for the novel’s emotional impact as a result of humanity’s evolutionary history....
Kredlow, M Alexandra; Unger, Leslie D; Otto, Michael W
A new understanding of the mechanisms of memory retrieval and reconsolidation holds the potential for improving exposure-based treatments. Basic research indicates that following fear extinction, safety and fear memories may compete, raising the possibility of return of fear. One possible solution is to modify original fear memories through reconsolidation interference, reducing the likelihood of return of fear. Postretrieval extinction is a behavioral method of reconsolidation interference that has been explored in the context of conditioned fear and appetitive memory paradigms. This meta-analysis examines the magnitude of postretrieval extinction effects and potential moderators of these effects. A PubMed and PsycINFO search was conducted through June 2014. Sixty-three comparisons examining postretrieval extinction for preventing the return of fear or appetitive responses in animals or humans met inclusion criteria. Postretrieval extinction demonstrated a significant, small-to-moderate effect (g = .40) for further reducing the return of fear in humans and a significant, large effect (g = 0.89) for preventing the return of appetitive responses in animals relative to standard extinction. For fear outcomes in animals, effects were small (g = 0.21) and nonsignificant, but moderated by the number of animals housed together and the duration of time between postretrieval extinction/extinction and test. Across paradigms, these findings support the efficacy of this preclinical strategy for preventing the return of conditioned fear and appetitive responses. Overall, findings to date support the continued translation of postretrieval extinction research to human and clinical applications, with particular application to the treatment of anxiety, traumatic stress, and substance use disorders. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Kredlow, M. Alexandra; Unger, Leslie D.; Otto, Michael W.
A new understanding of the mechanisms of memory retrieval and reconsolidation holds the potential for improving exposure-based treatments. Basic research indicates that following fear extinction, safety and fear memories may compete, raising the possibility of return of fear. One possible solution is to modify original fear memories through reconsolidation interference, reducing the likelihood of return of fear. Post-retrieval extinction is a behavioral method of reconsolidation interference that has been explored in the context of conditioned fear and appetitive memory paradigms. This meta-analysis examines the magnitude of post-retrieval extinction effects and potential moderators of these effects. A PubMed and PsycINFO search was conducted through June 2014. Sixty-three comparisons examining post-retrieval extinction for preventing the return of fear or appetitive responses in animals or humans met inclusion criteria. Post-retrieval extinction demonstrated a significant, small-to-moderate effect (g = .40) for further reducing the return of fear in humans and a significant, large effect (g = 0.89) for preventing the return of appetitive responses in animals relative to standard extinction. For fear outcomes in animals, effects were small (g = 0.21) and non-significant, but moderated by the number of animals housed together and the duration of time between post-retrieval extinction/extinction and test. Across paradigms, these findings support the efficacy of this pre-clinical strategy for preventing the return of conditioned fear and appetitive responses. Overall, findings to date support the continued translation of post-retrieval extinction research to human and clinical applications, with particular application to the treatment of anxiety, traumatic stress, and substance use disorders. PMID:26689086
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
Holmes, Nathan M.; Leung, Hiu T.; Westbrook, R. Frederick
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…
Cortez, IbDanelo; Bulavin, Dmitry V; Wu, Ping; McGrath, Erica L; Cunningham, Kathryn A; Wakamiya, Maki; Papaconstantinou, John; Dineley, Kelly T
A major aspect of mammalian aging is the decline in functional competence of many self-renewing cell types, including adult-born neuronal precursors. Since age-related senescence of self-renewal occurs simultaneously with chronic up-regulation of the p38MAPKalpha (p38α) signaling pathway, we used the dominant negative mouse model for attenuated p38α activity (DN-p38α AF/+ ) in which Thr180 and Tyr182 are mutated (T→A/Y→F) to prevent phosphorylation activation (DN-p38α AF/+ ) and kinase activity. As a result, aged DN-p38α AF/+ mice are resistant to age-dependent decline in proliferation and regeneration of several peripheral tissue progenitors when compared to wild-type littermates. Aging is the major risk factor for non-inherited forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD); environmental and genetic risk factors that accelerate the senescence phenotype are thought to contribute to an individual's relative risk. In the present study, we evaluated aged DN-p38α AF/+ and wildtype littermates in a series of behavioral paradigms to test if p38α mutant mice exhibit altered baseline abnormalities in neurological reflexes, locomotion, anxiety-like behavior, and age-dependent cognitive decline. While aged DN-p38α AF/+ and wildtype littermates appear equal in all tested baseline neurological and behavioral parameters, DN-p38α AF/+ exhibit superior context discrimination fear conditioning. Context discrimination is a cognitive task that is supported by proliferation and differentiation of adult-born neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Consistent with enhanced context discrimination in aged DN-p38α AF/+ , we discovered enhanced production of adult-born neurons in the dentate gyrus of DN-p38α AF/+ mice compared to wildtype littermates. Our findings support the notion that p38α inhibition has therapeutic utility in aging diseases that affect cognition, such as AD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Voulo, Meagan E.; Parsons, Ryan G.
Fear conditioning studies in rodents allow us to assess vulnerability factors which might underlie fear-based psychopathology such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite PTSD being more prevalent in females than males, very few fear conditioning studies in rodents have tested females. Our study assessed fear conditioning and extinction…
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.)
Garner, Tom Alexander; Grimshaw, Mark Nicholas
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....
Johansen, Joshua P.; Cain, Christopher K.; Ostroff, Linnaea E.; LeDoux, Joseph E.
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
Johansen, Joshua P; Cain, Christopher K; Ostroff, Linnaea E; LeDoux, Joseph E
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.
Wu, Zhong-Min; Yang, Li-Hua; Cui, Rong; Ni, Gui-Lian; Wu, Feng-Tian; Liang, Yong
One of the hypotheses about the pathogenesis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the dysfunction of serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission. While certain 5-HT receptor subtypes are likely critical for the symptoms of PTSD, few studies have examined the role of 5-HT 3 receptor in the development of PTSD, even though 5-HT 3 receptor is critical for contextual fear extinction and anxiety-like behavior. Therefore, we hypothesized that stimulation of 5-HT 3 receptor in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) could prevent hippocampal autophagy and the development of PTSD-like behavior in animals. To this end, we infused SR57227, selective 5-HT 3 agonist, into the DH after a single prolonged stress (SPS) treatment in rats. Three weeks later, we evaluated the effects of this pharmacological treatment on anxiety-related behaviors and extinction of contextual fear memory. We also accessed hippocampal autophagy and the expression of 5-HT 3A subunit, Beclin-1, LC3-I, and LC3-II in the DH. We found that SPS treatment did not alter anxiety-related behaviors but prolonged the extinction of contextual fear memory, and such a behavioral phenomenon was correlated with increased hippocampal autophagy, decreased 5-HT 3A expression, and increased expression of Beclin-1 and LC3-II/LC3-I ratio in the DH. Furthermore, intraDH infusions of SR57227 dose-dependently promoted the extinction of contextual fear memory, prevented hippocampal autophagy, and decreased expression of Beclin-1 and LC3-II/LC3-I ratio in the DH. These results indicated that 5-HT 3 receptor in the hippocampus may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of hippocampal autophagy, and is likely involved in the pathophysiology of PTSD.
Brom, Mirte; Laan, Ellen; Everaerd, Walter; Spinhoven, Philip; Both, Stephanie
Research has shown that acquired subjective likes and dislikes are quite resistant to extinction. Moreover, studies on female sexual response demonstrated that diminished genital arousal and positive affect toward erotic stimuli due to aversive classical conditioning did not extinguish during an extinction phase. Possible resistance to extinction of aversive conditioned sexual responses may have important clinical implications. However, resistance to extinction of aversive conditioned human sexual response has not been studied using extensive extinction trials. This article aims to study resistance to extinction of aversive conditioned sexual responses in sexually functional men and women. A differential conditioning experiment was conducted, with two erotic pictures as conditioned stimulus (CSs) and a painful stimulus as unconditioned stimuli (USs). Only one CS (the CS+) was followed by the US during the acquisition phase. Conditioned responses were assessed during the extinction phase. Penile circumference and vaginal pulse amplitude were assessed, and ratings of affective value and subjective sexual arousal were obtained. Also, a stimulus response compatibility task was included to assess automatic approach and avoidance tendencies. Men and women rated the CS+ more negative as compared with the CS-. During the first trials of the extinction phase, vaginal pulse amplitude was lower in response to the CS+ than in response to the CS-, and on the first extinction trial women rated the CS+ as less sexually arousing. Intriguingly, men did not demonstrate attenuated genital and subjective sexual response. Aversive conditioning, by means of painful stimuli, only affects sexual responses in women, whereas it does not in men. Although conditioned sexual likes and dislikes are relatively persistent, conditioned affect eventually does extinguish. © 2014 International Society for Sexual Medicine.
Erlich, Nicole; Lipp, Ottmar V.; Slaughter, Virginia
Adult humans demonstrate differential processing of stimuli that were recurrent threats to safety and survival throughout evolutionary history. Recent studies suggest that differential processing of evolutionarily ancient threats occurs in human infants, leading to the proposal of an inborn mechanism for rapid identification of, and response to,…
Arcediano, F; Ortega, N; Matute, H
Conditioned suppression is a useful technique for assessing whether subjects have learned a CS-US association, but it is difficult to use in humans because of the need for an aversive US. The purpose of this research was to develop a non-aversive procedure that would produce suppression. Subjects learned to press the space bar of a computer as part of a video game, but they had to stop pressing whenever a visual US appeared, or they would lose points. In Experiment 1, we used an A+/B- discrimination design: The US always followed Stimulus A and never followed Stimulus B. Although no information about the existence of CSs was given to the subjects, suppression ratio results showed a discrimination learning curve-that is, subjects learned to suppress responding in anticipation of the US when Stimulus A was present but not during the presentations of Stimulus B. Experiment 2 explored the potential of this preparation by using two different instruction sets and assessing post-experimental judgements of CS A and CS B in addition to suppression ratios. The results of these experiments suggest that conditioned suppression can be reliably and conveniently used in the human laboratory, providing a bridge between experiments on animal conditioning and experiments on human judgements of causality.
Jasper H B de Groot
Full Text Available Humans can register another person's fear not only with their eyes and ears, but also with their nose. Previous research has demonstrated that exposure to body odors from fearful individuals elicited implicit fear in others. The odor of fearful individuals appears to have a distinctive signature that can be produced relatively rapidly, driven by a physiological mechanism that has remained unexplored in earlier research. The apocrine sweat glands in the armpit that are responsible for chemosignal production contain receptors for adrenalin. We therefore expected that the release of adrenalin through activation of the rapid stress response system (i.e., the sympathetic-adrenal medullary system is what drives the release of fear sweat, as opposed to activation of the slower stress response system (i.e., hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. To test this assumption, sweat was sampled while eight participants prepared for a speech. Participants had higher heart rates and produced more armpit sweat in the fast stress condition, compared to baseline and the slow stress condition. Importantly, exposure to sweat from participants in the fast stress condition induced in receivers (N = 31 a simulacrum of the state of the sender, evidenced by the emergence of a fearful facial expression (facial electromyography and vigilant behavior (i.e., faster classification of emotional facial expressions.
Fletcher, Judy M; Ferrier, Patricia M; Gardner, John O
matrix substrate of purified human laminin (Ln) with transitional reliance on mitotically inactivated human fibroblast (HDF) feeder cells. With this integrated system hESC lines were isolated using either HDF conditioned medium supplemented with a bovine-sourced serum replacement (bSRM), or a defined...
Hale, Jerold L.; And Others
Investigates two models (the Elaboration Likelihood Model and the Heuristic-Systematic Model) of the cognitive processing of fear-arousing messages in undergraduate students. Finds in three of the four conditions (low fear, high fear, high trait anxiety) that cognitive processing appears to be antagonistic. Finds some evidence of concurrent…
Keller, Samantha M; Schreiber, William B; Stanfield, Briana R; Knox, Dayan
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.
Wellman, Laurie L; Fitzpatrick, Mairen E; Hallum, Olga Y; Sutton, Amy M; Williams, Brook L; Sanford, Larry D
To examine the REM sleep response to stress and fearful memories as a potential marker of stress resilience and vulnerability and to assess the role of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in mediating the effects of fear memory on sleep. Outbred Wistar rats were surgically implanted with electrodes for recording EEG and EMG and with bilateral guide cannulae directed at the BLA. Data loggers were placed intraperitoneally to record core body temperature. After recovery from surgery, the rats received shock training (ST: 20 footshocks, 0.8 mA, 0.5-s duration, 60-s interstimulus interval) and afterwards received microinjections of the GABAA agonist muscimol (MUS; 1.0 μM) to inactivate BLA or microinjections of vehicle (VEH) alone. Subsequently, the rats were separated into 4 groups (VEH-vulnerable (VEH-Vul; n = 14), VEH-resilient (VEH-Res; n = 13), MUS-vulnerable (MUS-Vul; n = 8), and MUS-resilient (MUS-Res; n = 11) based on whether or not REM was decreased, compared to baseline, during the first 4 h following ST. We then compared sleep, freezing, and the stress response (stress-induced hyperthermia, SIH) across groups to determine the effects of ST and fearful context re-exposure alone (CTX). REM was significantly reduced on the ST day in both VEH-Vul and MUS-Vul rats; however, post-ST MUS blocked the reduction in REM on the CTX day in the MUS-Vul group. The VEH-Res and MUS-Res rats showed similar levels of REM on both ST and CTX days. The effects of post-ST inactivation of BLA on freezing and SIH were minimal. Outbred Wistar rats can show significant individual differences in the effects of stress on REM that are mediated by BLA. These differences in REM can be independent of behavioral fear and the peripheral stress response, and may be an important biomarker of stress resilience and vulnerability. © 2016 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.
Astur, Robert S; Carew, Andrew W; Deaton, Bonnie E
To extend a standard paradigm of conditioning in nonhumans to humans, we created a virtual reality (VR) conditioned place preference task, with real-life food rewards. Undergraduates were placed into a VR environment consisting of 2 visually distinct rooms. On Day 1, participants underwent 6 pairing sessions in which they were confined into one of the two rooms and explored the VR environment. Room A was paired with real-life M&Ms for 3 sessions, and Room B was paired with no food for 3 sessions. Day 2 was the test day, administered the next day, and participants were given free access to the entire VR environment for 5min. In experiment 1, participants were food restricted, and we observed that on the test day, participants display a significant conditioned place preference for the VR room previously paired with food (pchoice of "Which room do you like best?". In experiment 2, when participants were not food restricted, there was no evidence of a place preference, either implicitly (e.g. dwell time) or explicitly. Hence, we show that we can reliably establish a place preference in humans, but that the preference is contingent on the participants' hunger state. Future research will examine the extent to which these preferences can be blocked or extinguished as well as whether these preferences are evident using other reinforcers. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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
Tanaka, K.; Klir, G.J.
In safety monitoring, there exists an uncertainty situation in which the sensor cannot detect whether or not the monitored object is in danger. For the uncertainty zone identified by a non-homogeneous safety monitoring system that utilizes two types of sensors with different thresholds, operators or experts are expected to judge whether the real state is safe or dangerous on the basis of additional information from a detailed inspection or other related sensors output. However, the activities for inspection performed by relevant humans may require additional cost and introduce inspection errors. The present article proposes two types of an automatic monitoring system not involving any human inspection or a human-machine (H-M) cooperative monitoring system with inspection. In order to compare the systems, an approach based on the Dempster-Shafer theory is proposed as uncertainty analysis by this theory (it is simpler than by the traditional Bayesian approach). By comparing their expected losses as a result of failed dangerous failures or failed safe failures as well as the inspection errors, the condition is determined under which H-M cooperative systems incorporating human judgements are more effective than automatic monitoring systems
van Rooij, Sanne J H; Cross, Dorthie; Stevens, Jennifer S; Vance, L Alexander; Kim, Ye Ji; Bradley, Bekh; Tottenham, Nim; Jovanovic, Tanja
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.
Wudarczyk, Olga A; Kohn, Nils; Bergs, Rene; Goerlich, Katharina S; Gur, Raquel E; Turetsky, Bruce; Schneider, Frank; Habel, Ute
Recent evidence suggests that humans can communicate emotion via chemosensory signals. Olfactory cues signaling anxiety can bias the perception of ambiguous stimuli, but the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of this effect are currently unknown. Here, we investigated the brain responses to subtle changes in facial expressions in response to anxiety chemosensory cues. Ten healthy individuals donated their sweat in two situations: while anticipating an important oral examination (anxiety condition) and during physical exercise (control condition). Subsequently, 24 participants completed a parametrically morphed (neutral to fearful) emotion recognition task under exposure to the olfactory cues of anxiety and sports, in the fMRI scanner. Behaviorally, the participants rated more discernible fearful faces as more fearful and neutral faces as more neutral under exposure to the anxiety cues. For brain response, under exposure to the anxiety cues, increased fearfulness of the face corresponded to increased activity in the left insula and the left middle occipital gyrus extending into fusiform gyrus. Moreover, with higher subjective ratings of facial fearfulness, participants additionally showed increased activity in the left hippocampus. These results suggest that chemosensory anxiety cues facilitate processing of socially relevant fearful stimuli and boost memory retrieval due to enhanced emotional context. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Coelho, Cesar A.O.; Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.
Fear-related behaviors are prone to relapse following extinction. We tested in humans a compound extinction design (“deepened extinction”) shown in animal studies to reduce post-extinction fear recovery. Adult subjects underwent fear conditioning to a visual and an auditory conditioned stimulus (CSA and CSB, respectively) separately paired with an electric shock. The target CS (CSA) was extinguished alone followed by compound presentations of the extinguished CSA and nonextinguished CSB. Reco...
Knudsen, Line G; Phuc, Pham D; Hiep, Nguyen T
Vietnamese farmers' health-risk awareness, knowledge, and practices related to their use of wastewater and human excreta was investigated in an anthropological study by a multidisciplinary team in peri-urban Hanoi and Nghe An Province. Farmers identified health risks associated with their use...... of excreta and wastewater, but they viewed these as unavoidable risks related to production. They perceived the health risks as different for the use of wastewater and human feces. They perceived health risks from wastewater as non-serious because it remained on the skin and only caused skin problems......, but they considered health risks from non-composted smelly feces serious because it entered the body through 'polluted' air. Most farmers were more aware of threats to health from 'dirt' entering the domestic environment than of the health risks during their work. The concept of 'dirt' should be separated from...
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.
Full Text Available Aim: The aim of the study was to describe experience with falls, fear of falling, perceptions of the consequences of falls and how the fear of falling affects daily life in community-dwelling older adults. Design: The study used a qualitative design to describe the lived experiences of community-dwelling older adults with the fear of falling. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted individually with six participants who reported the fear of falling. Results: Five main areas emerged from data analysis: development of the fear of falling, feared consequences of falling, activities curtailment, fall prevention behavior and meaning of social support in daily life. The fear of falling was described as a negative experience, directly linked to fall consequences such as physical injury, incapacitation, loss of autonomy, fear of dependence and experience of humiliating conditions. To maintain a certain level of independence in daily life, the participants chose to avoid falls by activity curtailment, organizing their lives more carefully and getting support from others. Conclusion: All participants identified that they had discovered their fear of falling after experiencing falls. The fear of falling was associated with feared consequences of a potential fall and had an impact on their daily life. The participant also mentioned other contributors to their fear of falling, including ill health and aging. Keywords: Fear of falling, older adults, perceived consequences of falls, daily life.
Jessica C Lee
Full Text Available In human causal learning, excitatory and inhibitory learning effects can sometimes be found in the same paradigm by altering the learning conditions. This study aims to explore whether learning in the feature negative paradigm can be dissociated by emphasising speed over accuracy. In two causal learning experiments, participants were given a feature negative discrimination in which the outcome caused by one cue was prevented by the addition of another. Participants completed training trials either in a self-paced fashion with instructions emphasising accuracy, or under strict time constraints with instructions emphasising speed. Using summation tests in which the preventative cue was paired with another causal cue, participants in the accuracy groups correctly rated the preventative cue as if it reduced the probability of the outcome. However, participants in the speed groups rated the preventative cue as if it increased the probability of the outcome. In Experiment 1, both speed and accuracy groups later judged the same cue to be preventative in a reasoned inference task. Experiment 2 failed to find evidence of similar dissociations in retrospective revaluation (release from overshadowing vs. mediated extinction or learning about a redundant cue (blocking vs. augmentation. However in the same experiment, the tendency for the accuracy group to show conditioned inhibition and the speed group to show second-order conditioning was consistent even across sub-sets of the speed and accuracy groups with equivalent accuracy in training, suggesting that second-order conditioning is not merely a consequence of poorer acquisition. This dissociation mirrors the trade-off between second-order conditioning and conditioned inhibition observed in animal conditioning when training is extended.
Martel, Guillaume; Hevi, Charles; Friebely, Olivia; Baybutt, Trevor; Shumyatsky, Gleb P.
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,…
Gershman, Samuel J; Hartley, Catherine A
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.
In aviation, there is currently a lack of accurate and timely situational information, specifically weather data, which is essential when dealing with the unpredictable complexities that can arise while flying. For example, weather conditions that require immediate evasive action by the flight crew, such as isolated heavy rain, micro bursts, and atmospheric turbulence, require that the flight crew receive near real-time and precise information about the type, position, and intensity of those conditions. Human factors issues arise in considering how to display the various sources of weather information to the users of that information and how to integrate this display into the existing environment. In designing weather information display systems, it is necessary to meet the demands of different users, which requires an examination of the way in which the users process and use weather information. Using Human Centered Design methodologies and concepts will result in a safer, more efficient and more intuitive solution. Specific goals of this approach include 1) Enabling better fuel planning; 2) Allowing better divert strategies; 3) Ensuring pilots, navigators, dispatchers and mission planners are referencing weather from the same sources; 4) Improving aircrew awareness of aviation hazards such as turbulence, icing, hail and convective activity; 5) Addressing inconsistent availability of hazard forecasts outside the United States Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ); and 6) Promoting goal driven approaches versus event driven (prediction).
Full Text Available The paper creates a link between the five basic fears in humans and their occurrence when we invest in the stock exchange. The author identifies five basic fears in humans: fear of being rejected, abandoned, humiliated, betrayed and the victim of an injustice. The stock market investor is confronted with the following fears: the disposition effect, the hedonistic approach, the effect of the committed expenditure, the snake bite effect, the dismissal of any regret (or the no regret approach, the status quo prejudice and the endowment effect. The author shows that the stock investor’s seven fears are specific cases of the five basic fears. The first step in confronting these fears is to become aware of the mask worn.
Askew, Chris; Field, Andy P
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.
The field of physics has always fascinated me, but I never possessed the mathematical skills necessary to extend that interest past the point of curiosity. This thesis was set up to explore how I and other writers, specifically Walt Whitman, use(d) the skills we do have to ask and attempt to answer the same cosmic questions normally reserved for scientists overseeing particle collider experiments. In Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra attempted to blend the principles of Eastern philosophy with the movements associated with modern physics. In doing so, he offers up a few insights into the human desire to "divide the world into separate objects and events" (117), which I believe, when it comes to fiction, greatly influences the audience's interpretive framework. Capra suggests, "To believe that our abstract concepts of separate `things' and `vents' are realities of nature is an illusion" (117). Humans use this division to cope with our everyday environment, yet it is not a fundamental feature of reality but, rather, an abstraction devised by our discriminating and categorizing intellect. It is a coping mechanism, as Capra refers to it, that pins writers in a corner, encouraging them to forms and styles set by their predecessors to better satisfy the "discriminating and categorizing intellect" of their audience. Writers often struggle to achieve a balance between accurately presenting the human condition that, like Capra's description of subatomic particles as "intrinsically restless" (117), changes based on myriad variables and properly structuring their writing to fit a predetermined model. Whitman, a fan of popular science, drew from the scientific world, using his understanding of the interpretive framework, to better craft his poems' metaphors. In "Song of Myself," Whitman suggests that the celebration of one's own existence cannot be separated from the celebration of the universe, "For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you" (1-3). Whitman's writing
Hartman, Steven; Ogilvie, A. E. J.; Ingimundarson, Jón Haukur; Dugmore, A. J.; Hambrecht, George; McGovern, T. H.
This paper contributes to recent studies exploring the longue durée of human impacts on island landscapes, the impacts of climate and other environmental changes on human communities, and the interaction of human societies and their environments at different spatial and temporal scales. In particular, the paper addresses Iceland during the medieval period (with a secondary, comparative focus on Norse Greenland) and discusses episodes where environmental and climatic changes have appeared to cross key thresholds for agricultural productivity. The paper draws upon international, interdisciplinary research in the North Atlantic region led by the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO) and the Nordic Network for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies (NIES) in the Circumpolar Networks program of the Integrated History and Future of People on Earth (IHOPE). By interlinking analyses of historically grounded literature with archaeological studies and environmental science, valuable new perspectives can emerge on how these past societies may have understood and coped with such impacts. As climate and other environmental changes do not operate in isolation, vulnerabilities created by socioeconomic factors also beg consideration. The paper illustrates the benefits of an integrated environmental-studies approach that draws on data, methodologies and analytical tools of environmental humanities, social sciences, and geosciences to better understand long-term human ecodynamics and changing human-landscape-environment interactions through time. One key goal is to apply previously unused data and concerted expertise to illuminate human responses to past changes; a secondary aim is to consider how lessons derived from these cases may be applicable to environmental threats and socioecological risks in the future, especially as understood in light of the New Human Condition, the concept transposed from Hannah Arendt's influential framing of the human condition that is
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.
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. ...
Cárdenas, Marité; Valle-Delgado, Juan José; Hamit, Jildiz; Rutland, Mark W; Arnebrant, Thomas
Hydroxyapatite is a very interesting material given that it is the main component in tooth enamel and because of its uses in bone implant applications. Therefore, not only the characterization of its surface is of high relevance but also designing reliable methods to study the interfacial properties of films adsorbed onto it. In this paper we apply the colloidal probe atomic force microscopy method to investigate the surface properties of commercially available hydroxyapatite surfaces (both microscopic particles and macroscopic discs) in terms of interfacial and frictional forces. In this way, we find that hydroxyapatite surfaces at physiological relevant conditions are slightly negatively charged. The surfaces were then exposed to human whole saliva, and the surface properties were re-evaluated. A thick film was formed that was very resistant to mechanical stress. The frictional measurements demonstrated that the film was indeed highly lubricating, supporting the argument that this system may prove to be a relevant model for evaluating dental and implant systems.
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.…
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...
Brink, Dennis Meyhoff
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...
Human brain evolution and the "Neuroevolutionary Time-depth Principle:" Implications for the Reclassification of fear-circuitry-related traits in DSM-V and for studying resilience to warzone-related posttraumatic stress disorder.
Bracha, H Stefan
The DSM-III, DSM-IV, DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10 have judiciously minimized discussion of etiologies to distance clinical psychiatry from Freudian psychoanalysis. With this goal mostly achieved, discussion of etiological factors should be reintroduced into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). A research agenda for the DSM-V advocated the "development of a pathophysiologically based classification system". The author critically reviews the neuroevolutionary literature on stress-induced and fear circuitry disorders and related amygdala-driven, species-atypical fear behaviors of clinical severity in adult humans. Over 30 empirically testable/falsifiable predictions are presented. It is noted that in DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10, the classification of stress and fear circuitry disorders is neither mode-of-acquisition-based nor brain-evolution-based. For example, snake phobia (innate) and dog phobia (overconsolidational) are clustered together. Similarly, research on blood-injection-injury-type-specific phobia clusters two fears different in their innateness: 1) an arguably ontogenetic memory-trace-overconsolidation-based fear (hospital phobia) and 2) a hardwired (innate) fear of the sight of one's blood or a sharp object penetrating one's skin. Genetic architecture-charting of fear-circuitry-related traits has been challenging. Various, non-phenotype-based architectures can serve as targets for research. In this article, the author will propose one such alternative genetic architecture. This article was inspired by the following: A) Nesse's "Smoke-Detector Principle", B) the increasing suspicion that the "smooth" rather than "lumpy" distribution of complex psychiatric phenotypes (including fear-circuitry disorders) may in some cases be accounted for by oligogenic (and not necessarily polygenic) transmission, and C) insights from the initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome by the Chimpanzee Sequencing
Lange, Iris; Goossens, Liesbet; Michielse, Stijn; Bakker, Jindra; Lissek, Shmuel; Papalini, Silvia; Verhagen, Simone; Leibold, Nicole; Marcelis, Machteld; Wichers, Marieke; Lieverse, Ritsaert; van Os, Jim; van Amelsvoort, Therese; Schruers, Koen
Fear generalization is a prominent feature of anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is defined as enhanced fear responding to a stimulus that bears similarities, but is not identical to a threatening stimulus. Pattern separation, a hippocampal-dependent process, is critical for stimulus discrimination; it transforms similar experiences or events into non-overlapping representations. This study is the first in humans to investigate the extent to which fear generalization relies on behavioral pattern separation abilities. Participants (N = 46) completed a behavioral task taxing pattern separation, and a neuroimaging fear conditioning and generalization paradigm. Results show an association between lower behavioral pattern separation performance and increased generalization in shock expectancy scores, but not in fear ratings. Furthermore, lower behavioral pattern separation was associated with diminished recruitment of the subcallosal cortex during presentation of generalization stimuli. This region showed functional connectivity with the orbitofrontal cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Together, the data provide novel experimental evidence that pattern separation is related to generalization of threat expectancies, and reduced fear inhibition processes in frontal regions. Deficient pattern separation may be critical in overgeneralization and therefore may contribute to the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders and PTSD. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.
Marin, Marie-France; Camprodon, Joan A; Dougherty, Darin D; Milad, Mohammed R
Conditioned fear acquisition and extinction paradigms have been widely used both in animals and humans to examine the neurobiology of emotional memory. Studies have also shown that patients suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) exhibit deficient extinction recall along with dysfunctional activation of the fear extinction network, including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. A great deal of overlap exists between this fear extinction network and brain regions associated with symptom severity in PTSD. This suggests that the neural nodes of fear extinction could be targeted to reduce behavioral deficits that may subsequently translate into symptom improvement. In this article, we discuss potential applications of brain stimulation and neuromodulation methods, which, combined with a mechanistic understanding of the neurobiology of fear extinction, could be used to further our understanding of the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders and develop novel therapeutic tools. To this end, we discuss the following stimulation approaches: deep-brain stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. We propose new translational research avenues that, from a systems neuroscience perspective, aim to expand our understanding of circuit dynamics and fear processing toward the practical development of clinical tools, to be used alone or in combination with behavioral therapies. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Christiansen, Steen Ledet
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...
Liu, Jianfeng; Zhao, Liyan; Xue, Yanxue; Shi, Jie; Suo, Lin; Luo, Yixiao; Chai, Baisheng; Yang, Chang; Fang, Qin; Zhang, Yan; Bao, Yanping; Pickens, Charles L; Lu, Lin
Conditioned fear memories can be updated by extinction during reconsolidation, and this effect is specific to the reactivated conditioned stimulus (CS). However, a traumatic event can be associated with several cues, and each cue can potentially trigger recollection of the event. We introduced a technique to target all diverse cues associated with an aversive event that causes fear. In human experiments, 161 subjects underwent modified fear conditioning, in which they were exposed to an unconditioned stimulus (US) or unreinforced CS to reactivate the memory and then underwent extinction, spontaneous recovery, and reinstatement. In animal experiments, 343 rats underwent contextual fear conditioning under a similar protocol as that used in the human experiments. We also explored the molecular alterations after US reactivation in rats. Presentation of a lower intensity US before extinction disrupted the associations between the different CS and reactivated US in both humans and rats. This effect persisted for at least 6 months in humans and was selective to the reactivated US. This procedure was also effective for remote memories in both humans and rats. Compared with the CS, the US induced stronger endocytosis of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid glutamate receptors 1 and 2 and stronger activation of protein kinase A, p70S6 kinase, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element binding protein in the dorsal hippocampus in rats. These findings demonstrate that a modified US retrieval extinction strategy may have a potential impact on therapeutic approaches to prevent the return of fear. Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
... 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 ...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The effect of storage conditions on the microbiome and metabolite composition of human biological samples has not been thoroughly investigated as a potential source of bias. We evaluated the effect of two common storage conditions used in clinical trials on the bacterial and metabolite composition of the vaginal microbiota using pyrosequencing of barcoded 16S rRNA gene sequencing and (1H-NMR analyses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Eight women were enrolled and four mid-vaginal swabs were collected by a physician from each woman. The samples were either processed immediately, stored at -80°C for 4 weeks or at -20°C for 1 week followed by transfer to -80°C for another 4 weeks prior to analysis. Statistical methods, including Kolmogorovo-Smirnov and Wilcoxon tests, were performed to evaluate the differences in vaginal bacterial community composition and metabolites between samples stored under different conditions. The results showed that there were no significant differences between samples processed immediately after collection or stored for varying durations. (1H-NMR analysis of the small molecule metabolites in vaginal secretions indicated that high levels of lactic acid were associated with Lactobacillus-dominated communities. Relative abundance of lactic acid did not appear to correlate with relative abundance of individual Lactobacillus sp. in this limited sample, although lower levels of lactic acid were observed when L. gasseri was dominant, indicating differences in metabolic output of seemingly similar communities. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings benefit large-scale, field-based microbiome and metabolomic studies of the vaginal microbiota.
Flavell, Charlotte R; Barber, David J; Lee, Jonathan L C
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.
Arnaudova, Inna; Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis; Effting, Marieke; Kindt, Merel; Beckers, Tom
Individual differences in fear generalisation have been proposed to play a role in the aetiology and/or maintenance of anxiety disorders, but few data are available to directly support that claim. The research that is available has focused mostly on generalisation of peripheral and central physiological fear responses. Far less is known about the generalisation of avoidance, the behavioural component of fear. In two experiments, we evaluated how neuroticism, a known vulnerability factor for anxiety, modulates an array of fear responses, including avoidance tendencies, towards generalisation stimuli (GS). Participants underwent differential fear conditioning, in which one conditioned stimulus (CS+) was repeatedly paired with an aversive outcome (shock; unconditioned stimulus, US), whereas another was not (CS-). Fear generalisation was observed across measures in Experiment 1 (US expectancy and evaluative ratings) and Experiment 2 (US expectancy, evaluative ratings, skin conductance, startle responses, safety behaviours), with overall highest responding to the CS+, lowest to the CS- and intermediate responding to the GSs. Neuroticism had very little impact on fear generalisation (but did affect GS recognition rates in Experiment 1), in line with the idea that fear generalisation is largely an adaptive process.
O. V. Dobryden
Full Text Available This article proves that man’s relationship to their health in each case have varying traits under the influence of sociocultural, psychological and physiological factors which the world outlook is created from childhood, which implies the appropriate type of behavior that is fixed through the media and social authorities. It is established that scientific knowledge should not be against a man, and should enhance the power of man over nature, but can be transformed into a powerful weapon against humanity. It is noted that science is neutral in terms of values. Will it carry a positive or negative charge to human health depends on the social and cultural markers specific historical era and behavior of the individual. It was found that in addition to the economic crisis, which requires long-term joint economic and political transformations, the most important factor and more accessible to maintaining high adaptive potential health functions at all levels is valeological literacy social subjects and, therefore, imperative the systematic distribution of hygiene recommendations is a significant component of preventive medicine. With the growth of social and technological factors with their aggressive effect on psychophysiological state of man is seen timely more talk even not about health in general, but should talk about potential health, which underlines the difficulties adaptive and protective processes and susceptibility factors and resistance to pathological changes in the human body. All the more so when we following the formal standards of medicine is unlikely, unfortunately, we be found absolutely healthy people. Under the proposed potential health understood as a set of quantitative and qualitative structural and functional characteristics of the organism, which determine the level of adaptation and protection of human capabilities in adverse conditions, internal and external environment. It is proposed to examine potential
Simons, Laura E; Erpelding, Nathalie; Hernandez, Jessica M; Serrano, Paul; Zhang, Kunyu; Lebel, Alyssa A; Sethna, Navil F; Berde, Charles B; Prabhu, Sanjay P; Becerra, Lino; Borsook, David
In chronic pain, a number of brain regions involved in emotion (e.g., amygdala, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, insula, anterior cingulate, and prefrontal cortex) show significant functional and morphometric changes. One phenotypic manifestation of these changes is pain-related fear (PRF). PRF is associated with profoundly altered behavioral adaptations to chronic pain. For example, patients with a neuropathic pain condition known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) often avoid use of and may even neglect the affected body area(s), thus maintaining and likely enhancing PRF. These changes form part of an overall maladaptation to chronic pain. To examine fear-related brain circuit alterations in humans, 20 pediatric patients with CRPS and 20 sex- and age-matched healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in response to a well-established fearful faces paradigm. Despite no significant differences on self-reported emotional valence and arousal between the two groups, CRPS patients displayed a diminished response to fearful faces in regions associated with emotional processing compared to healthy controls. Additionally, increased PRF levels were associated with decreased activity in a number of brain regions including the right amygdala, insula, putamen, and caudate. Blunted activation in patients suggests that (a) individuals with chronic pain may have deficits in cognitive-affective brain circuits that may represent an underlying vulnerability or consequence to the chronic pain state; and (b) fear of pain may contribute and/or maintain these brain alterations. Our results shed new light on altered affective circuits in patients with chronic pain and identify PRF as a potentially important treatment target.
The New Human Condition (NHC) is perhaps the largest cognitive challenge in history to human intelligence and agency and concerns our species' ability to cope with the consequences and responsibilities of being the major driver of planetary change in the twenty-first century (Pálsson et al., 2013; Holm et al., 2015). But despite long held assumptions about intra-disciplinary engagements between its ;human; and ;physical; branches, geography's weakness as a discipline is that it has yet to gather sufficient momentum to collectively shape and implement practical and sustainable climate change policies and actions (Castree, 2014a). However, by considering together the heuristic values of the concepts of the Anthropocene and Planetary Boundaries, the Anglo-American sphere of geography recognizes in either ironic, or unconscious manners that a new strand of environmental determinism (discredited by geographical thought and practice in the early twentieth century) has re-emerged to elide the role of human agency and broadly dominate the discussion of climate change. Mike Hulme (2011, 247) states that ;climate determinism; is ;a form of analysis and prediction in which climate is first extracted from the matrix of interdependencies that shape human life within the physical world;. Within this discourse it is often the biophysical sphere that is employed to explain the course of human behavior; consequently, this dominating perspective threatens to skew our predictions and understandings of future societies, cultures, climates and destinies. Climate change will certainly constrain human agency, but it also creates the potential for geography to play to its intra and inter disciplinary strengths and begin discussing and addressing human-environmental dilemmas in practical and realistic ways; and secondly, seize the climate change crisis as an opportunity to study where, why and for whom global environmental change matters. Firstly, this paper considers a theoretical
Fear appeals or confronting information campaigns confront people in an often hard and sometimes even shocking way with the consequences of risky behaviour. This can have a positive impact on the attitudes and behavioural intentions of the target group, but only if key conditions are met. Those conditions are that the information does not only evoke fear, but also informs the target group individuals of their personal risk and provides them with feasible and effective behavioural alternatives...
Edwards, Sarah; Salkovskis, Paul M
It has been suggested that disgust, rather than anxiety, may be important in some phobias. Correlational studies have been ambiguous, indicating either that disgust increases phobic anxiety or that phobic anxiety potentiates disgust. In the experimental study reported here, disgust and phobic anxiety were manipulated in the context of habituation to phobic stimuli. Spider fearful participants were randomly allocated to conditions in which neutral, disgusting, and phobic anxiety provoking stimuli were introduced into a video-based spider phobic habituation sequence. Exposure to the phobic stimulus resulted in a return of self-reported fear and disgust levels. However, exposure to disgusting stimulus increased disgust levels, but not anxiety levels. Results are most consistent with the hypothesis that fear enhances the disgust response in phobias, but that disgust alone does not enhance the fear response. Previously observed links between disgust and spider phobia may be a consequence of fear enhancing disgust.
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
Thompson, Brittany M.; Baratta, Michael V.; Biedenkapp, Joseph C.; Rudy, Jerry W.; Watkins, Linda R.; Maier, Steven F.
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…
... 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 ...
Lerner, J S; Keltner, D
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.
Crease, Robert P.
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.
Guarda, Angela S; Schreyer, Colleen C; Boersma, Gretha J; Tamashiro, Kellie L; Moran, Timothy H
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.
Kroes, M.C.W.; Dunsmoor, J.E.; Mackey, W.E.; McClay, M.; Phelps, E.A.
Despite a wealth of knowledge on how humans and nonhuman animals learn to associate meaningful events with cues in the environment, far less is known about how humans learn to associate these events with the environment itself. Progress on understanding spatiotemporal contextual processes in humans
Cocca, Aldo Armando
Men may do many things, but they must never forget the human condition in any act or relation with a fellow human being. Space Law has vindicated the supreme value of man as a legal subject par excellence. The dignity of the human being is a value that rates above any scientific or technological advance. A benefit, by definition and derivation, is anything contributing to an improvement in a condition. Social benefits pertain only to human beings, who are their sole beneficiaries. Developing countries are young nations that through their international relations may, and indeed must, realize the benefits of space technology. The principle of the "common heritage of Mankind" was created to satisfy the aspirations of all peoples and to meet the needs of both industrialized and developing countries. Only a groundless fear and lack of vision of the future can induce governments to delay its implementation. We must not forget that the concept was transformed into a principle of international positive law by the unanimous decision of the international community, which enshrined it in the Moon Agreement. The social and individual responsibility of the scientist is becoming even more clearly defined, and scientists play an important role in the conduct of nations. Through education, including education in the humanities and a graduation pledge, the scientist has embarked on the road leading to an active presence in society, facing his responsibility. Inter-generational equity contributes to strengthening the concept of the human condition and the legal principle of the common heritage of mankind.
Kim, Arryum; Jang, Inseok; Kang, Hyungook; Seong, Poonghyun
The safe operation of nuclear power plants (NPPs) is substantially dependent on the performance of the human operators who operate the systems. In this environment, human errors caused by inappropriate performance of operator have been considered to be critical since it may lead serious problems in the safety-critical plants. In order to provide meaningful insights to prevent human errors and enhance the human performance, operators' physiological conditions such as stress and workload have been investigated. Physiological measurements were considered as reliable tools to assess the stress and workload. T. Q. Tran et al. and J. B. Brooking et al pointed out that operators' workload can be assessed using eye tracking, galvanic skin response, electroencephalograms (EEGs), heart rate, respiration and other measurements. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of the human operators' tense level and knowledge level to the number of human errors. For this study, the experiments were conducted in the mimic of the main control rooms (MCR) in NPP. It utilized the compact nuclear simulator (CNS) which is modeled based on the three loop Pressurized Water Reactor, 993MWe, Kori unit 3 and 4 in Korea and the subjects were asked to follow the tasks described in the emergency operating procedures (EOP). During the simulation, three kinds of physiological measurement were utilized; Electrocardiogram (ECG), EEG and nose temperature. Also, subjects were divided into three groups based on their knowledge of the plant operation. The result shows that subjects who are tense make fewer errors. In addition, subjects who are in higher knowledge level tend to be tense and make fewer errors. For the ECG data, subjects who make fewer human errors tend to be located in higher tense level area of high SNS activity and low PSNS activity. The results of EEG data are also similar to ECG result. Beta power ratio of subjects who make fewer errors was higher. Since beta power ratio is
de Rivera, Christina; Ley, Jacqui; Milgram, Bill; Landsberg, Gary
Objectives The objectives of this study were: (1) to develop a laboratory-based model to assess fear and anxiety in cats using the feline open-field test (OFT) and the feline human interaction test (HIT); and (2) to validate the model using diazepam, a known anxiolytic. Methods Laboratory-housed cats (n = 41) were first classified as fearful, mildly fearful or non-fearful by a technician familiar with the cats and also by veterinary behaviorists (GL, JL), by assessing the cats' behavior in their home rooms. In experiment 1, each cat's behavior was assessed in an OFT and an HIT. In experiment 2, after administration of the anxiolytic diazepam, a subset of the cats was re-tested. Results In experiment 1, the OFT revealed significant group effects on two measures: duration of inactivity, and vocalization. Fearful animals had significantly longer periods of inactivity than non-fearful animals. Non-fearful and mildly fearful cats vocalized more frequently than fearful cats. In the HIT, fearful cats travelled less than non-fearful and mildly fearful cats. Fearful and mildly fearful animals had significantly longer durations of inactivity, and non-fearful and mildly fearful cats had a significantly higher frequency of vocalization compared with fearful cats. In experiment 2, in the OFT, treatment with diazepam caused an increase in distance travelled, shorter durations of inactivity, and more frequent inactivity and vocalization. In the HIT, diazepam increased distance travelled and decreased duration of inactivity. Fearful cats spent significantly less time near the human compared with non-fearful cats, and this persisted under diazepam. Conclusions and relevance The feline OFT and feline HIT can be used jointly to assess the effects of medications or other therapies on fear and anxiety in the domestic cat.
Otway, H.J.; Schaefer, R.E.
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
Kumari, Punita; Kauser, Hina; Wadhwa, Meetu; Roy, Koustav; Alam, Shahnawaz; Sahu, Surajit; Kishore, Krishna; Ray, Koushik; Panjwani, Usha
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.
Shumake, Jason; Jones, Carolyn; Auchter, Allison; Monfils, Marie-Hélène
Fear conditioning is widely employed to examine the mechanisms that underlie dysregulations of the fear system. Various manipulations are often used following fear acquisition to attenuate fear memories. In rodent studies, freezing is often the main output measure to quantify 'fear'. Here, we developed data-driven criteria for defining a standard benchmark that indicates remission from conditioned fear and for identifying subgroups with differential treatment responses. These analyses will enable a better understanding of individual differences in treatment responding.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Of mice and mental health: facilitating dialogue between basic and clinical neuroscientists'. © 2018 The Author(s).
Gore, Bryan B.; Soden, Marta E.; Zweifel, Larry S.
Dopamine is broadly implicated in fear-related processes, yet we know very little about signaling dynamics in these neurons during active fear conditioning. We describe the direct imaging of calcium signals of dopamine neurons during Pavlovian fear conditioning using fiber-optic confocal microscopy coupled with the genetically encoded calcium…
Joel S Cavallo
Full Text Available Environmental stimuli repeatedly paired with drugs of abuse can elicit conditioned responses that are thought to promote future drug seeking. We recently showed that healthy volunteers acquired conditioned responses to auditory and visual stimuli after just two pairings with methamphetamine (MA, 20 mg, oral. This study extended these findings by systematically varying the number of drug-stimuli pairings. We expected that more pairings would result in stronger conditioning. Three groups of healthy adults were randomly assigned to receive 1, 2 or 4 pairings (Groups P1, P2 and P4, Ns = 13, 16, 16, respectively of an auditory-visual stimulus with MA, and another stimulus with placebo (PBO. Drug-cue pairings were administered in an alternating, counterbalanced order, under double-blind conditions, during 4 hr sessions. MA produced prototypic subjective effects (mood, ratings of drug effects and alterations in physiology (heart rate, blood pressure. Although subjects did not exhibit increased behavioral preference for, or emotional reactivity to, the MA-paired cue after conditioning, they did exhibit an increase in attentional bias (initial gaze toward the drug-paired stimulus. Further, subjects who had four pairings reported "liking" the MA-paired cue more than the PBO cue after conditioning. Thus, the number of drug-stimulus pairings, varying from one to four, had only modest effects on the strength of conditioned responses. Further studies investigating the parameters under which drug conditioning occurs will help to identify risk factors for developing drug abuse, and provide new treatment strategies.
Kelley, Nicholas J; Schmeichel, Brandon J
Emotions and sensory perceptions are closely intertwined. Of the five senses, sight has been by far the most extensively studied sense in emotion research. Relatively less is known about how emotions influence the other four senses. Touch is essential for nonverbal communication in both humans and other animals. The current investigation tested competing hypotheses about the effect of fear on tactile perception. One hypothesis based on evolutionary considerations predicts that fear enhances sensory perception, including tactile sensitivity. A competing hypothesis based on research on peripheral psychophysiology predicts that fear should decrease tactile sensitivity. Two experiments that induced negative emotional states and measured two-point discrimination ability at the fingertip found that fear reduces tactile sensitivity relative to anger or a neutral control condition (Studies 1 and 2). These findings did not appear to be driven by participants' naïve beliefs about the influence of emotions on touch (Study 3). The results represent the first evidence of the causal impact of emotional states on tactile sensitivity, are consistent with prior evidence for the peripheral physiological effects of fear, and offer novel empirical grounds for developing and advancing theories of emotional influences on sensory perception.
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
Azmak, Okan; Bayer, Hannah; Caplin, Andrew; Chun, Miyoung; Glimcher, Paul; Koonin, Steven; Patrinos, Aristides
Until now, most large-scale studies of humans have either focused on very specific domains of inquiry or have relied on between-subjects approaches. While these previous studies have been invaluable for revealing important biological factors in cardiac health or social factors in retirement choices, no single repository contains anything like a complete record of the health, education, genetics, environmental, and lifestyle profiles of a large group of individuals at the within-subject level. This seems critical today because emerging evidence about the dynamic interplay between biology, behavior, and the environment point to a pressing need for just the kind of large-scale, long-term synoptic dataset that does not yet exist at the within-subject level. At the same time that the need for such a dataset is becoming clear, there is also growing evidence that just such a synoptic dataset may now be obtainable-at least at moderate scale-using contemporary big data approaches. To this end, we introduce the Kavli HUMAN Project (KHP), an effort to aggregate data from 2,500 New York City households in all five boroughs (roughly 10,000 individuals) whose biology and behavior will be measured using an unprecedented array of modalities over 20 years. It will also richly measure environmental conditions and events that KHP members experience using a geographic information system database of unparalleled scale, currently under construction in New York. In this manner, KHP will offer both synoptic and granular views of how human health and behavior coevolve over the life cycle and why they evolve differently for different people. In turn, we argue that this will allow for new discovery-based scientific approaches, rooted in big data analytics, to improving the health and quality of human life, particularly in urban contexts.
Brom, M.; Laan, E.; Everaerd, W.; Spinhoven, P.; Both, S.
INTRODUCTION: Research has shown that acquired subjective likes and dislikes are quite resistant to extinction. Moreover, studies on female sexual response demonstrated that diminished genital arousal and positive affect toward erotic stimuli due to aversive classical conditioning did not extinguish
Zapata, Isain; Serpell, James A; Alvarez, Carlos E
Fear/anxiety and anger/aggression greatly influence health, quality of life and social interactions. They are a huge burden to wellbeing, and personal and public economics. However, while much is known about the physiology and neuroanatomy of such emotions, little is known about their genetics - most importantly, why some individuals are more susceptible to pathology under stress. We conducted genomewide association (GWA) mapping of breed stereotypes for many fear and aggression traits across several hundred dogs from diverse breeds. We confirmed those findings using GWA in a second cohort of partially overlapping breeds. Lastly, we used the validated loci to create a model that effectively predicted fear and aggression stereotypes in a third group of dog breeds that were not involved in the mapping studies. We found that i) known IGF1 and HMGA2 loci variants for small body size are associated with separation anxiety, touch-sensitivity, owner directed aggression and dog rivalry; and ii) two loci, between GNAT3 and CD36 on chr18, and near IGSF1 on chrX, are associated with several traits, including touch-sensitivity, non-social fear, and fear and aggression that are directed toward unfamiliar dogs and humans. All four genome loci are among the most highly evolutionarily-selected in dogs, and each of those was previously shown to be associated with morphological traits. We propose that the IGF1 and HMGA2 loci are candidates for identical variation being associated with both behavior and morphology. In contrast, we show that the GNAT3-CD36 locus has distinct variants for behavior and morphology. The chrX region is a special case due to its extensive linkage disequilibrium (LD). Our evidence strongly suggests that sociability (which we propose is associated with HS6ST2) and fear/aggression are two distinct GWA loci within this LD block on chrX, but there is almost perfect LD between the peaks for fear/aggression and animal size. We have mapped many canine fear and
Full Text Available As a result of long-term active fear, variable moods can occur – howling, whimpering, crying, tremor, tics, manias, depressions, etc. It is now acknowledged that fear and aggression are closely related. It is also known that the different dog breeds manifest a various extent of fear and aggression. The study aimed to provide answers to two questions - classification of factors invoking fear and aggression according to their significance and which of investigated dog breeds – German Shepherd, Rottweiler or Boxer is the most resistant to fear and aggression episodes? The exclusion of all factors on the cultivation of three breeds of dogs / they complied with the norms / found that the causes of fear aggressive conditions are listed as follows – first of fear and aggression depend on the temperament of the dog and on the second place of the breed origin, growing conditions and the associated level of primary and secondary socialization. Fear aggressive manifestations occur at least in dogs with sanguine and choleric temperament. Representatives of the breed "Boxer" and "German Shepherd" are at the same level on the manifestations of fear and aggression. Rottweiler breed is in third place in this direction.
Kapiteijn, K.; Koolwijk, P.; Weiden, R.M.F. van der; Nieuw Amerongen, G. van; Plaisier, M.; Hinsbergh, V.W.M. van; Helmerhorst, F.M.
Objective: Successful implantation and placentation depend on the interaction between the endometrium and the embryo. Angiogenesis is crucial at this time. In this article we investigate the direct influence of the human embryo on in vitro endometrial angiogenesis. Design: In vitro study. Setting:
He also focuses on our education system and how it will have to adapt to meet the new challenges of our global, information age. Globalization on Trial will interest ... Farhang Rajaee is a Visiting Associate Professor at the College of the Humanities, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Professor Rajaee received his PhD ...
Bijlsma, Elisabeth Y; Hendriksen, Hendrikus; Baas, Johanna M P; Millan, Mark J; Groenink, Lucianne
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
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.
Ma, Qingguo; Huang, Yujing; Wang, Lei
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.
de Jongh, A.; Luber, M.
This chapter illustrates how EMDR Therapy can be applied in the treatment of fears and specific phobias. These conditions are highly prevalent in the general population, and are characterized by an unreasonable and severe fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations, which tend to
Graham, Alice M.; Buss, Claudia; Rasmussen, Jerod M.; Rudolph, Marc D.; Demeter, Damion V.; Gilmore, John H.; Styner, Martin; Entringer, Sonja; Wadhwa, Pathik D.; Fair, Damien A.
The first year of life is an important period for emergence of fear in humans. While animal models have revealed developmental changes in amygdala circuitry accompanying emerging fear, human neural systems involved in early fear development remain poorly understood. To increase understanding of the neural foundations of human fear, it is important to consider parallel cognitive development, which may modulate associations between typical development of early fear and subsequent risk for fear-related psychopathology. We, therefore, examined amygdala functional connectivity with rs-fcMRI in 48 neonates (M=3.65 weeks, SD=1.72), and measured fear and cognitive development at 6-months-of-age. Stronger, positive neonatal amygdala connectivity to several regions, including bilateral anterior insula and ventral striatum, was prospectively associated with higher fear at 6-months. Stronger amygdala connectivity to ventral anterior cingulate/anterior medial prefrontal cortex predicted a specific phenotype of higher fear combined with more advanced cognitive development. Overall, findings demonstrate unique profiles of neonatal amygdala functional connectivity related to emerging fear and cognitive development, which may have implications for normative and pathological fear in later years. Consideration of infant fear in the context of cognitive development will likely contribute to a more nuanced understanding of fear, its neural bases, and its implications for future mental health. PMID:26499255
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…
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?
du Gay, Paul; Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas
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...
Penson, Richard T; Partridge, Rosamund A; Shah, Muhammad A; Giansiracusa, David; Chabner, Bruce A; Lynch, Thomas J
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.
Wang, Melissa E.; Yuan, Robin K.; Keinath, Alexander T.; Ramos Álvarez, Manuel M.
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
Ginat-Frolich, Rivkah; Klein, Zohar; Katz, Omer; Shechner, Tomer
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.
Whole-Body Exposure to 28Si-Radiation Dose-Dependently Disrupts Dentate Gyrus Neurogenesis and Proliferation in the Short Term and New Neuron Survival and Contextual Fear Conditioning in the Long Term.
Whoolery, Cody W; Walker, Angela K; Richardson, Devon R; Lucero, Melanie J; Reynolds, Ryan P; Beddow, David H; Clark, K Lyles; Shih, Hung-Ying; LeBlanc, Junie A; Cole, Mara G; Amaral, Wellington Z; Mukherjee, Shibani; Zhang, Shichuan; Ahn, Francisca; Bulin, Sarah E; DeCarolis, Nathan A; Rivera, Phillip D; Chen, Benjamin P C; Yun, Sanghee; Eisch, Amelia J
in male and female mice, although only male mice showed fewer surviving BrdU + cells in the long-term group. Fluorescent immunolabeling and confocal phenotypic analysis revealed that most surviving BrdU + cells in the long-term group expressed the neuronal marker NeuN, definitively confirming that exposure to 1 Gy 28 Si radiation decreased the number of surviving adult-generated neurons in male mice relative to both 0- and 0.2-Gy-irradiated mice. For hippocampal function assessment, 9-week-old male C57BL/6J mice received whole-body 28 Si-particle exposure and were then assessed long-term for performance on contextual and cued fear conditioning. In the context test the animals that received 0.2 Gy froze less relative to control animals, suggesting decreased hippocampal-dependent function. However, in the cued fear conditioning test, animals that received 1 Gy froze more during the pretone portion of the test, relative to controls and 0.2-Gy-irradiated mice, suggesting enhanced anxiety. Compared to previously reported studies, these data suggest that 28 Si-radiation exposure damages neurogenesis, but to a lesser extent than 56 Fe radiation and that low-dose 28 Si exposure induces abnormalities in hippocampal function, disrupting fear memory but also inducing anxiety-like behavior. Furthermore, exposure to 28 Si radiation decreased new neuron survival in long-term male groups but not females suggests that sex may be an important factor when performing brain health risk assessment for astronauts traveling in space.
Ihara, Fumiaki; Nishimura, Maki; Muroi, Yoshikage; Mahmoud, Motamed Elsayed; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Nagamune, Kisaburo; Nishikawa, Yoshifumi
Chronic infection with Toxoplasma gondii becomes established in tissues of the central nervous system, where parasites may directly or indirectly modulate neuronal function. Epidemiological studies have revealed that chronic infection in humans is a risk factor for developing mental diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying parasite-induced neuronal dysfunction in the brain remain unclear. Here, we examined memory associated with conditioned fear in mice and found that T. gondii infection impairs consolidation of conditioned fear memory. To examine the brain pathology induced by T. gondii infection, we analyzed the parasite load and histopathological changes. T. gondii infects all brain areas, yet the cortex exhibits more severe tissue damage than other regions. We measured neurotransmitter levels in the cortex and amygdala because these regions are involved in fear memory expression. The levels of dopamine metabolites but not those of dopamine were increased in the cortex of infected mice compared with those in the cortex of uninfected mice. In contrast, serotonin levels were decreased in the amygdala and norepinephrine levels were decreased in the cortex and amygdala of infected mice. The levels of cortical dopamine metabolites were associated with the time spent freezing in the fear-conditioning test. These results suggest that T. gondii infection affects fear memory through dysfunction of the cortex and amygdala. Our findings provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the neurological changes seen during T. gondii infection. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.