Document Detail

Generalization of fear-potentiated startle in the presence of auditory cues: a parametric analysis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  25368559     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
Intense fear responses observed in trauma-, stressor-, and anxiety-related disorders can be elicited by a wide range of stimuli similar to those that were present during the traumatic event. The present study investigated the experimental utility of fear-potentiated startle paradigms to study this phenomenon, known as stimulus generalization, in healthy volunteers. Fear-potentiated startle refers to a relative increase in the acoustic startle response to a previously neutral stimulus that has been paired with an aversive stimulus. Specifically, in Experiment 1 an auditory pure tone (500 Hz) was used as the conditioned stimulus (CS+) and was reinforced with an unconditioned stimulus (US), an airblast to the larynx. A distinct tone (4000 Hz) was used as the nonreinforced stimulus (CS-) and was never paired with an airblast. Twenty-four hours later subjects underwent Re-training followed by a Generalization test, during which subjects were exposed to a range of generalization stimuli (GS) (250, 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000 Hz). In order to further examine the point at which fear no longer generalizes, a follow-up experiment (Experiment 2) was performed where a 4000 Hz pure tone was used as the CS+, and during the Generalization test, 2000 and 8000 Hz were used as GS. In both Experiment 1 and 2 there was significant discrimination in US expectancy responses on all stimuli during the Generalization Test, indicating the stimuli were perceptually distinct. In Experiment 1, participants showed similar levels of fear-potentiated startle to the GS that were adjacent to the CS+, and discriminated between stimuli that were 2 or more degrees from the CS+. Experiment 2 demonstrated no fear-potentiated startle generalization. The current study is the first to use auditory cues to test generalization of conditioned fear responses; such cues may be especially relevant to combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) where much of the traumatic exposure may involve sounds.
Seth Davin Norrholm; Tanja Jovanovic; Maria A Briscione; Kemp M Anderson; Cliffe K Kwon; Victor T Warren; Lauren Bosshardt; Bekh Bradley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2014-10-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1662-5153     ISO Abbreviation:  Front Behav Neurosci     Publication Date:  2014  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-11-04     Completed Date:  2014-11-04     Revised Date:  2014-11-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101477952     Medline TA:  Front Behav Neurosci     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  361     Citation Subset:  -    
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