The role of safety signals in fear extinction: An analogue study
Item LinksURI: http://hdl.handle.net/10818/37251
Visitar enlace: https://www.sciencedirect.com/ ...
Visitar enlace: https://reader.elsevier.com/re ...
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbte ...
StatisticsView Usage Statistics
Altmetric and Scopus Metrics
Bibliographic catalogingShow full item record
Background and objectives Safety signals are conditioned inhibitory stimuli that indicate the absence of unconditioned stimuli. It is not clear whether the presence of safety signals is detrimental or beneficial in extinction-based interventions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of safety signals on autonomic and expectancy fear-related responses. Methods Following the conditional discrimination paradigm (AX +, BX-), undergraduate students (N = 48) underwent an aversive conditioning procedure, while safety signals were experimentally created. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions during extinction: presence or absence of safety signals. Results Significant reductions of fear-related responses were found in both groups. Expectancy measures showed that the presence of safety signals did not interfere with reduction of fear related responses at follow-up. Limitations The analogue nature of the study affects its ecological validity. There are some methodological issues. Conclusions Safety signals did not interfere with extinction learning. Attention may be a mechanism associated with the maintenance of fear responses.
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry Volume 57, December 2017, Pages 80-87