Psychophysiological and subjective indicators of aversive pavlovian conditioning in generalized social phobia.
ABSTRACT Aversive conditioning has been proposed as an important etiologic mechanism in social phobia; however, empirical evidence is scarce and has not relied on a detailed analysis of the acquisition and extinction of the conditioned emotional response. Fourteen men sustaining generalized social phobia and 19 healthy control subjects participated in differential aversive conditioning with two neutral faces as conditioned stimuli and an aversive odor as unconditioned stimulus. Subjective and peripheral physiological responses were obtained. Both groups were successfully conditioned as reflected by differential subjective (valence, arousal, subjective unconditioned stimulus expectancy) and peripheral physiological responses (skin conductance, startle response). There was no evidence for an enhanced conditionability in the social phobics; however, they showed an enhanced unconditioned stimulus expectancy, especially for the nonreinforced conditioned stimuli during acquisition, and a delayed extinction of the conditioned skin conductance response as well as a certain dissociation between subjective and physiological responses.The enhanced unconditioned stimulus expectancy during acquisition and the overall elevated subjective arousal suggest that, under threat, subjects with generalized social phobia may be more prone to associate neutral social cues and an aversive outcome. Furthermore, delayed extinction of the conditioned response seems to contribute to the etiology and maintenance of generalized social phobia.
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ABSTRACT: A multiple-response analysis of aversive learning was conducted in human subjects. For each subject, two pictorial stimuli were presented--one paired with electric shock. After training, the magnitude of the acoustic startle eyeblink reflex elicited in the context of the shocked picture increased dramatically and was significantly larger than for reflexes elicited during the nonshocked stimulus. Five different picture contents were tested in separate groups: Reflex potentiation was larger for pictures rated as pleasant than pictures rated as unpleasant. Conditioned responses were also evident for skin conductance, heart rate, and affective judgments. Different systems reflected different aspects of the acquired fear response: Conductance change covaried with arousal, and startle probe magnitude varied with affective valence (pleasure). The neurophysiological implications of the data are elucidated, and parallels drawn between animal and human subjects findings.Journal of Abnormal Psychology 09/1993; 102(3):453-65. · 4.86 Impact Factor
Article: Odor sensation and memory
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ABSTRACT: Guidelines are proposed for the collection, analysis, and description of electromyographic (EMG) data. The guidelines cover technological issues in EMG recording, social aspects of EMG experimentation, and limits to inferences that can be drawn in EMG research. An atlas is proposed for facial EMG electrode placements, and standard EMG terminology is suggested.Psychophysiology 08/1986; 23(5):567 - 589. · 3.29 Impact Factor