Document Detail

Perceiving threat in the face of safety: excitation and inhibition of conditioned fear in human visual cortex.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23283323     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Previous findings have established that cortical sensory systems exhibit experience-dependent biases toward stimuli consistently associated with threat. It remains unclear whether safety cues also facilitate perceptual engagement or how competition between learned threat and safety cues is resolved within visual cortex. Here, we used classical discrimination conditioning with simple luminance modulated visual stimuli that predicted the presence or absence of an aversive sound to examine visuocortical competition between features signaling threat versus safety. We tracked steady-state visual evoked potentials to label distinct visual cortical responses in humans to conditioned and control stimuli. Trial-by-trial expectancy ratings collected online confirmed that participants discriminated between threat and safety cues. Conditioning was associated with heightened activation of the extended visual cortex in response to the threat, but not the safety, stimulus. Cortical facilitation for the threatening stimulus was selective and not decreased by simultaneously presenting safe and associatively novel cues. Our findings shed light on the sensory brain dynamics associated with experience-dependent acquisition of perceptual biases for danger and safety signals.
Vladimir Miskovic; Andreas Keil
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience     Volume:  33     ISSN:  1529-2401     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-03     Completed Date:  2013-03-12     Revised Date:  2013-08-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8102140     Medline TA:  J Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  72-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
Discrimination Learning / physiology*
Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
Fear / physiology*
Inhibition (Psychology)
Photic Stimulation
Visual Cortex / physiology*
Visual Perception / physiology
Young Adult
Grant Support
R01 MH084932/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH084932-02/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH097320/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH097320/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; //Canadian Institutes of Health Research

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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