Hear it, fear it: Fear generalizes from conditioned pictures to semantically related sounds


Gerdes, Antje B. M. ; Fraunfelter, Laura-Ashley ; Alpers, Georg W.


DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2019.102174
URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...
Additional URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31877422
Document Type: Article
Year of publication Online: 2020
The title of a journal, publication series: Journal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume: 69
Issue number: Article 102174
Page range: 1-8
Place of publication: Amsterdam [u.a.]
Publishing house: Elsevier
ISSN: 0887-6185 , 1873-7897
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Klinische u. Biologische Psychologie u. Psychotherapie (Alpers 2010-)
Subject: 150 Psychology
Abstract: Fear generalization is thought to be an important mechanism in the acquisition and maintenance of anxietydisorders. Previous studies have investigated fear generalization within one sensory modality - mainly within thevisual domain. However, a growing body of evidence shows that emotional information is processed in morethan one sensory modality. Based on network theories, we expected that fear may also generalize from stimuli inone sensory modality to another. To test our hypothesis, 42 participants underwent a differential conditioningparadigm, during which pictures were either presented with (vCS+) or without (vCS-) an aversive electricstimulus. After the acquisition phase, generalization was tested in the crossmodal group (n = 21) by presentingsounds which were semantically congruent to the visual vCS+ (i.e., the aGS+) or the vCS- (i.e., the aGS-). As acontrol, the unimodal group (n = 21) saw the pictures again. For the crossmodal group, we could show that USexpectancy ratings generalized from conditioned pictures (vCS+) to semantically related sounds (aGS+).Moreover, when the vCS+ was presented during extinction, fear of the aGS+ extinguished, whereas extinctiontraining with the aGS+ was found to be less effective for the vCS+. Thefindings are relevant for crossmodal fearacquisition and exposure therapy.

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Gerdes, Antje B. M. ; Fraunfelter, Laura-Ashley ; Alpers, Georg W. (2020) Hear it, fear it: Fear generalizes from conditioned pictures to semantically related sounds. Journal of Anxiety Disorders Amsterdam [u.a.] 69 Article 102174 1-8 [Article]


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