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In the Blink of an Eye: Investigating the Role of Awareness in Fear Responding by Measuring the Latency of Startle Potentiation.

Asli O, Flaten MA - Brain Sci (2012)

Bottom Line: Following trace fear conditioning, startle is potentiated 1500 ms after CS presentation.These results indicate that the process underlying delay conditioned responding is independent of awareness, and that trace fear conditioned responding is dependent on awareness.Finally, this method of investigating the role of awareness is discussed and future research possibilities are proposed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway. ole.asli@uit.no.

ABSTRACT
The latency of startle reflex potentiation may shed light on the aware and unaware processes underlying associative learning, especially associative fear learning. We review research suggesting that single-cue delay classical conditioning is independent of awareness of the contingency between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US). Moreover, we discuss research that argues that conditioning independent of awareness has not been proven. Subsequently, three studies from our lab are presented that have investigated the role of awareness in classical conditioning, by measuring the minimum latency from CS onset to observed changes in reflexive behavior. In sum, research using this method shows that startle is potentiated 30 to 100 ms after CS onset following delay conditioning. Following trace fear conditioning, startle is potentiated 1500 ms after CS presentation. These results indicate that the process underlying delay conditioned responding is independent of awareness, and that trace fear conditioned responding is dependent on awareness. Finally, this method of investigating the role of awareness is discussed and future research possibilities are proposed.

No MeSH data available.


Startle reflexes following delay conditioning (left panel) and trace conditioning (right panel) expressed as proportion of difference from control in the paired and the unpaired group across stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA). Error bars represent 1 standard error of the mean.
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brainsci-02-00061-f004: Startle reflexes following delay conditioning (left panel) and trace conditioning (right panel) expressed as proportion of difference from control in the paired and the unpaired group across stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA). Error bars represent 1 standard error of the mean.

Mentions: The interaction of type (delay, trace) by conditioning (paired, unpaired) by SOA was significant and contrast analyses showed significantly increased startle in the delay paired group compared to the delay unpaired group at the 30, 50, 100 and 150 ms SOA (Figure 4). There was no significant difference between the trace paired and the trace-unpaired group at any SOA. Contrast analyses showed significantly increased startle in the delay paired compared to the trace-paired group at the 30, 50, 100 and 150 ms SOA. There were no significant differences between the delay unpaired and the trace unpaired group.


In the Blink of an Eye: Investigating the Role of Awareness in Fear Responding by Measuring the Latency of Startle Potentiation.

Asli O, Flaten MA - Brain Sci (2012)

Startle reflexes following delay conditioning (left panel) and trace conditioning (right panel) expressed as proportion of difference from control in the paired and the unpaired group across stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA). Error bars represent 1 standard error of the mean.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4061786&req=5

brainsci-02-00061-f004: Startle reflexes following delay conditioning (left panel) and trace conditioning (right panel) expressed as proportion of difference from control in the paired and the unpaired group across stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA). Error bars represent 1 standard error of the mean.
Mentions: The interaction of type (delay, trace) by conditioning (paired, unpaired) by SOA was significant and contrast analyses showed significantly increased startle in the delay paired group compared to the delay unpaired group at the 30, 50, 100 and 150 ms SOA (Figure 4). There was no significant difference between the trace paired and the trace-unpaired group at any SOA. Contrast analyses showed significantly increased startle in the delay paired compared to the trace-paired group at the 30, 50, 100 and 150 ms SOA. There were no significant differences between the delay unpaired and the trace unpaired group.

Bottom Line: Following trace fear conditioning, startle is potentiated 1500 ms after CS presentation.These results indicate that the process underlying delay conditioned responding is independent of awareness, and that trace fear conditioned responding is dependent on awareness.Finally, this method of investigating the role of awareness is discussed and future research possibilities are proposed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway. ole.asli@uit.no.

ABSTRACT
The latency of startle reflex potentiation may shed light on the aware and unaware processes underlying associative learning, especially associative fear learning. We review research suggesting that single-cue delay classical conditioning is independent of awareness of the contingency between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US). Moreover, we discuss research that argues that conditioning independent of awareness has not been proven. Subsequently, three studies from our lab are presented that have investigated the role of awareness in classical conditioning, by measuring the minimum latency from CS onset to observed changes in reflexive behavior. In sum, research using this method shows that startle is potentiated 30 to 100 ms after CS onset following delay conditioning. Following trace fear conditioning, startle is potentiated 1500 ms after CS presentation. These results indicate that the process underlying delay conditioned responding is independent of awareness, and that trace fear conditioned responding is dependent on awareness. Finally, this method of investigating the role of awareness is discussed and future research possibilities are proposed.

No MeSH data available.