Article

Reinstatement of extinguished fear by an unextinguished conditional stimulus

Department of Psychology, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 4.16). 05/2012; 6:18. DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2012.00018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Anxiety disorders are often treated using extinction-based exposure therapy, but relapse is common and can occur as a result of reinstatement, whereby an aversive "trigger" can reinstate extinguished fear. Animal models of reinstatement commonly utilize a Pavlovian fear conditioning procedure, in which subjects are first trained to fear a conditional stimulus (CS) by pairing it with an aversive unconditional stimulus (US), and then extinguished by repeated presentations of the CS alone. Reinstatement is typically induced by exposing subjects to an aversive US after extinction, but here we show that exposure to a non-extinguished CS can reinstate conditional fear responding to an extinguished CS, a phenomenon we refer to as "conditional reinstatement" (CRI). Rats were trained to fear two CSs (light and tone) and subsequently underwent extinction training to only one CS (counterbalanced). Presenting the unextinguished CS (but not a novel cue) immediately after extinction reinstated conditional fear responding to the extinguished CS in a test session given 24 h later. These findings indicate that reinstatement of extinguished fear can be triggered by exposure to conditional as well as unconditional aversive stimuli, and this may help to explain why relapse is common following clinical extinction therapy in humans. Further study of CRI using animal models may prove useful for developing refined extinction therapies that are more resistant to reinstatement.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
114 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Behavioral neuroscience is relying more and more on automated behavior assessment, which is often more time-efficient and objective than manual scoring by a human observer. However, parameter adjustment and calibration are a trial-and-error process that requires careful fine-tuning in order to obtain reliable software scores in each context configuration. In this paper, we will pinpoint some caveats regarding the choice of parameters, and give an overview of our own and other researchers' experience with widely used behavioral assessment software. We conclude that, although each researcher should weigh the pros and cons of relying on software vs. manual scoring, we should be aware of possible divergence between both scores, which might be especially relevant when dealing with subtle behavioral effects, like for example in generalization or genetic research.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 02/2014; 8:28. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00028 · 4.16 Impact Factor
    This article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched format
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Whereas fear memories are rapidly acquired and enduring over time, extinction memories are slow to form and are susceptible to disruption. Consequently, behavioral therapies that involve extinction learning (e.g., exposure therapy) often produce only temporary suppression of fear and anxiety. This review focuses on the factors that are known to influence the relapse of extinguished fear. Several phenomena associated with the return of fear after extinction are discussed, including renewal, spontaneous recovery, reacquisition, and reinstatement. Additionally, this review describes recent work, which has focused on the role of psychological stress in the relapse of extinguished fear. Recent developments in behavioral and pharmacological research are examined in light of treatment of pathological fear in humans.
    ILAR journal / National Research Council, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources 09/2014; 55(2):246-258. DOI:10.1093/ilar/ilu008 · 1.05 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In human research, studies of return of fear (ROF) phenomena, and reinstatement in particular, began only a decade ago and recently are more widely used, e.g., as outcome measures for fear/extinction memory manipulations (e.g., reconsolidation). As reinstatement research in humans is still in its infancy, providing an overview of its stability and boundary conditions and summarizing methodological challenges is timely to foster fruitful future research. As a translational endeavor, clarifying the circumstances under which (experimental) reinstatement occurs may offer a first step toward understanding relapse as a clinical phenomenon and pave the way for the development of new pharmacological or behavioral ways to prevent ROF. The current state of research does not yet allow pinpointing these circumstances in detail and we hope this review will aid the research field to advance in this direction. As an introduction, we begin with a synopsis of rodent work on reinstatement and theories that have been proposed to explain the findings. The review however mainly focuses on reinstatement in humans. We first describe details and variations of the experimental setup in reinstatement studies in humans and give a general overview of results. We continue with a compilation of possible experimental boundary conditions and end with the role of individual differences and behavioral and/or pharmacological manipulations. Furthermore, we compile important methodological and design details on the published studies in humans and end with open research questions and some important methodological and design recommendations as a guide for future research.
    Learning &amp Memory 08/2014; 21(9). DOI:10.1101/lm.036053.114 · 4.38 Impact Factor

Full-text (3 Sources)

Download
44 Downloads
Available from
May 29, 2014