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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.


A schematic presentation of the structure of experiment the experiment in [9].
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brainsci-02-00061-f005: A schematic presentation of the structure of experiment the experiment in [9].

Mentions: The experiment consisted of a conditioning phase and a startle phase (see Figure 5). In the conditioning phase, the paired groups (delay and trace) received 10 trials of single-cue classical conditioning, and the unpaired groups received 10 explicitly unpaired presentations of the CS and the US. In the startle phase, fear potentiated startle was tested by presenting the startle eliciting noise at various lead intervals relative to the CS onset.


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)

A schematic presentation of the structure of experiment the experiment in [9].
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

brainsci-02-00061-f005: A schematic presentation of the structure of experiment the experiment in [9].
Mentions: The experiment consisted of a conditioning phase and a startle phase (see Figure 5). In the conditioning phase, the paired groups (delay and trace) received 10 trials of single-cue classical conditioning, and the unpaired groups received 10 explicitly unpaired presentations of the CS and the US. In the startle phase, fear potentiated startle was tested by presenting the startle eliciting noise at various lead intervals relative to the CS onset.

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.