Generalization of conscious fear is positively correlated with anxiety, but not with depression

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Generalization of learned fear has been considered to be critical for our survival. Patients with anxiety problems show overgeneralization of learned fear, as reflected by defensive physiological responses to harmless stimuli. Together with these physiological responses, conscious feeling of fear is a seminal part of emotional process that is directly related to the suffering of anxiety patients. However, the effect of anxiety on the generalization of conscious feeling remains unclear. We thus focused on the question whether the generalization of conscious feeling of fear depends on individual anxiety level in nonpatient participants. To address this question, we developed a fear generalization paradigm using natural scene images. We found that subjective feeling of fear was generalized to similar stimuli with the conditioned stimuli (CS), and that this generalization of conscious fear was positively correlated with the level of individual anxiety. Anxiety and depression frequently co-occur, but the individual depression level was not correlated with the fear generalization. These suggest that individual anxiety level mainly affects the generalization of conscious fear.
Publisher
KOREAN SOC BRAIN & NEURAL SCIENCE.
Issue Date
2018-02
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

EXPERIMENTAL NEUROBIOLOGY, v.27, no.1, pp.34 - 44

ISSN
1226-2560
DOI
10.5607/en.2018.27.1.34
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/241463
Appears in Collection
BiS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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