Armita Golkar

Armita Golkar
Stockholm University | SU · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

50
Publications
8,820
Reads
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1,626
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2018 - May 2019
Karolinska Institutet
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
March 2013 - present
Position
  • Karolinska Institutet
January 2009 - February 2013
Karolinska Institutet

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Full-text available
Past research has shown that attributions of intentions to other's actions determine how we experience these actions and their consequences. Yet, it is unknown how such attributions affect our learning and memory. Addressing this question, we combined neuroimaging with an interactive threat learning paradigm in which two interaction partners (confe...
Chapter
Humans routinely learn to value things and actions by observing and interacting with others. Such vicarious learning often involves mentalizing, making inferences about the content of the minds of those we are learning from. In this chapter, we survey research on vicarious Pavlovian and instrumental learning, describing how domain-general learning...
Article
Background: Cognitive reappraisal is a strategy for emotional regulation, important in the context of anxiety disorders. It is not known whether anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines affect cognitive reappraisal. Aims: We aimed to investigate the effect of 25 mg oxazepam on cognitive reappraisal. Methods: In a preliminary investigation, 33 hea...
Article
Full-text available
Humans, like other social animals, learn about threats and safety in the environment through social cues. Yet, the processes that contribute to the efficacy of social safety learning during threat transmission remain unknown. Here, we developed a novel dyadic model of associative threat and extinction learning. In three separate social groups, we m...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social learning offers an efficient route to transmit information about threat and safety. To better isolate the processes that contribute to the efficacy of social safety learning, we developed a novel dyadic model of associative threat and extinction learning. In three separate social groups, we manipulated whether safety information during extin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Cognitive reappraisal is a strategy for emotional regulation, important in the context of anxiety disorders. It is not known whether anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines affect cognitive reappraisal. Aims: We aimed to investigate the effect of 25 mg oxazepam on cognitive reappraisal. Methods: Participants (n = 33) were randomised to ox...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep restriction has been proposed to cause impaired emotional processing and emotional regulation by inhibiting top-down control from prefrontal cortex to amygdala. Intentional emotional regulation after sleep restriction has, however, never been studied using brain imaging. We aimed here to investigate the effect of partial sleep restriction on...
Article
Full-text available
In today’s world, mass-media and online social networks present us with unprecedented exposure to second-hand, vicarious experiences and thereby the chance of forming associations between previously innocuous events (e.g., being in a subway station) and aversive outcomes (e.g., footage or verbal reports from a violent terrorist attack) without dire...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sleep restriction has been proposed to cause impaired emotional processing and emotional regulation by inhibiting top-down control from prefrontal cortex to amygdala. Intentional emotional regulation after sleep restriction has however never been studied using brain imaging. We here aimed to investigate the effect of sleep restriction on emotional...
Article
Full-text available
A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has not been fixed in the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Learning from other individuals (e.g. social learning) is subjected to biases affecting whom to learn from. Consistent with research in animals, showing similarity-based learning biases and a general tendency to display pro-social responses to in-group individuals, we recently demonstrated that social learning of both fear and safety was enhanced w...
Article
Full-text available
Across the human life span, fear is often acquired indirectly by observation of the emotional expressions of others. The observational fear conditioning protocol was previously developed as a laboratory model for investigating socially acquired threat responses. This protocol serves as a suitable alternative to the widely used Pavlovian fear condit...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract 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 term...
Article
Full-text available
Emotional mimicry and empathy are mechanisms underlying social interaction. Benzodiazepines have been proposed to inhibit empathy and promote antisocial behaviour. First, we aimed to investigate the effects of oxazepam on emotional mimicry and empathy for pain, and second, we aimed to investigate the association of personality traits to emotional m...
Article
Background: Previous studies have suggested that fear memories can be updated when recalled, a process referred to as reconsolidation. Given the beneficial effects of model-based safety learning (i.e. vicarious extinction) in preventing the recovery of short-term fear memory, we examined whether consolidated long-term fear memories could be update...
Article
Full-text available
Social transmission of both threat and safety is ubiquitous, but little is known about the neural circuitry underlying vicarious safety learning. This is surprising given that these processes are critical to flexibly adapt to a changeable environment. To address how the expression of previously learned fears can be modified by the transmission of s...
Article
Full-text available
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 su...
Article
Full-text available
Associations linking a fearful experience to a member of a social group other than one's own (out-group) are more resistant to change than corresponding associations to a member of one's own (in-group) (Olsson, Ebert, Banaji & Phelps, 2005; Kubota, Banaji & Phelps, 2012), providing a possible link to discriminative behavior. Using a fear conditioni...
Article
Full-text available
The traditional concept of "categorical" psychiatric disorders has been challenged as many of the symptoms display a continuous distribution in the general population. We suggest that this is the case for emotional dysregulation, a key component in several categorical psychiatric disorder constructs. We used voxel based MRI morphometry (VBM) in hea...
Article
Humans and nonhuman primates preferentially learn to fear and avoid archetypical fear-relevant stimuli. Yet how these learning biases influence adaptive behavior, the basic mechanistic underpinnings of these biases, and how they interact with learning experiences during the life span of an individual remain unknown. To study this, we investigated h...
Article
Full-text available
Humans, like other animals, have a tendency to preferentially learn and retain some associations more readily than others. In humans, preferential learning was originally demonstrated for certain evolutionary prepared stimuli, such as snakes and angry faces and later extended to human social out-groups based on race (Olsson et al., 2005). To addres...
Article
Full-text available
Social learning offers an efficient route through which humans and other animals learn about potential dangers in the environment. Such learning inherently relies on the transmission of social information and should imply selectivity in what to learn from whom. Here, we conducted two observational learning experiments to assess how humans learn abo...
Article
Background: Benzodiazepines have been proposed to inhibit empathic responding toothers' pain.Aims: We aimed to investigate the effect of 25 mg oxazepam on self-rated experience,skin conductance, heart rate, and superciliary corrugator muscle activity whenobserving another person in pain.Methods: In a double-blind randomized controlled experiment, p...
Article
Full-text available
Despite mounting reports about the negative effects of chronic occupational stress on cognitive and emotional functions, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Recent findings from structural MRI raise the question whether this condition could be associated with a functional uncoupling of the limbic networks and an impaired modulation of emotional...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
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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 heal...
Article
Full-text available
Information about what is dangerous and safe in the environment is often transferred from other individuals through social forms of learning, such as observation. Past research has focused on the observational, or vicarious, acquisition of fears, but little is known about how social information can promote safety learning. To address this issue, we...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive control is needed when mistakes have consequences, especially when such consequences are potentially harmful. However, little is known about how the aversive consequences of deficient control affect behavior. To address this issue, participants performed a two-choice response time task where error commissions were expected to be punished...
Article
Full-text available
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 no...
Article
Full-text available
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, th...
Article
Full-text available
The lateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices have both been implicated in emotion regulation, but their distinct roles in regulation of negative emotion remain poorly understood. To address this issue we enrolled 58 participants in an fMRI study in which participants were instructed to reappraise both negative and neutral stimuli. This design...
Data
Whole brain activations in the conjunction analysis of Reappraise negative > Attend negative and Reappraise neutral > Attend neutral. BA = Brodmann area; R = Right; L = Left. Coordinates: MNI system. All reported activations are significant at p<.05 (FWE). (DOC)
Data
Whole-brain activations for the effect of Instruction × Valence interaction. BA = Brodmann area; R = Right; L = Left. Coordinates: MNI system. All reported activations are significant at p<.05 (FWE). (DOC)
Data
Whole-brain activations for “Reappraise” vs. “Attend” during negative and neutral trials. BA = Brodmann area; R = Right; L = Left. Coordinates: MNI system. All reported activations are significant at p<.05 (FWE). (DOC)
Data
Whole-brain activations for the main effect of Instruction. BA = Brodmann area; R = Right; L = Left. Coordinates: MNI system. All reported activations are significant at p<.05 (FWE). (DOC)
Article
Fear extinction can be viewed as an inhibitory learning process. This is supported by post-extinction phenomena demonstrating the return of fear, such as reinstatement. Recent work has questioned this account, claiming that extinction initiated immediately after fear acquisition can abolish the return of fear. In the current study, participants wer...
Article
Theories of emotion propose that responses to emotional pictures can occur independently of whether or not people are aware of the picture content. Because evidence from dissociation paradigms is inconclusive, we manipulated picture awareness gradually and studied whether emotional responses varied with degree of awareness. Spider fearful and non-f...
Article
Full-text available
Various experimental tasks suggest that fear guides attention. However, because these tasks often lack ecological validity, it is unclear to what extent results from these tasks can be generalized to real-life situations. In change detection tasks, a brief interruption of the visual input (i.e., a blank interval or a scene cut) often results in und...
Article
Full-text available
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is critically involved in neuroplasticity, as well as the acquisition, consolidation, and retention of hippocampal- and amygdala-dependent learning. A common functional A-->G single nucleotide polymorphism (BDNFval66met) in the prodomain of the human BDNF gene is associated with abnormal intracellular tr...
Article
Full-text available
If emotions guide consciousness, people may recognize degraded objects in center view more accurately if they either fear the objects or are disgusted by them. Therefore, we studied whether recognition of spiders and snakes correlates with individual differences in spider fear, snake fear, and disgust sensitivity. Female students performed a recogn...
Article
The principal 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist 8-Hydroxy-2-(dipropylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) impairs several different types of learning. Besides 5-HT(1A) receptors, 8-OH-DPAT stimulates 5-HT(7) receptors, but it is not known whether 5-HT(7) receptors contribute to the impairments. The 5-HT(7) receptor antagonist (2R)-1-[(3-Hydroxyphenyl)sulfonyl]-2-[2-...