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Low levels of estradiol are associated with elevated conditioned responding during fear extinction and with intrusive memories in daily life.

Wegerer M, Kerschbaum H, Blechert J, Wilhelm FH - Neurobiol Learn Mem (2014)

Bottom Line: However, although intrusive memories are considered non-extinguished emotional reactions to trauma reminders, none of the previous studies has investigated effects of ovarian hormones on fear conditioning mechanisms and intrusive memories in conjunction.The inverse relationship between estradiol and intrusive memories was at least partially accounted for by the conditioned responding observed during fear extinction.Progesterone levels were not associated with either fear acquisition/extinction or with intrusive memories.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstraße 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria. Electronic address: melanie.wegerer@sbg.ac.at.

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Means (and standard errors) of skin conductance responses (SCRs) to CS+ and CS− across habituation (Hab), acquisition (Acq), and extinction (Ext) phases of the fear conditioning task. Asterisks indicate significant difference in skin conductance responses (SCR) between CS+ and CS− trials (p < .05).
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f0005: Means (and standard errors) of skin conductance responses (SCRs) to CS+ and CS− across habituation (Hab), acquisition (Acq), and extinction (Ext) phases of the fear conditioning task. Asterisks indicate significant difference in skin conductance responses (SCR) between CS+ and CS− trials (p < .05).

Mentions: Participants demonstrated reliable differential electrodermal fear acquisition: The repeated-measures ANOVA for the whole conditioning task displayed a significant main effect of CS-type (F(1, 36) = 7.84, p = .008, η2 = .18) and Conditioning phase (F(2, 72) = 13.94, p < .001, η2 = .28, ε = .634), as well as a significant CS-type × Conditioning phase interaction (F(2, 72) = 4.25, p = .025, η2 = .11, ε = .828). Post-hoc tests revealed that participants’ SCRs did not significantly differ between CS+ and CS− during habituation (t(36) = −1.39, p = .174). However, a significant difference between SCRs to CS+ and CS− could be observed during acquisition (t(36) = 2.20, p = .035, d = 0.20) as well as during extinction (t(36) = 2.81, p = .008, d = 0.23). Thus, consistent with our previous report on the larger sample (Wegerer, Blechert, Kerschbaum, et al., 2013), these data indicate that the film-based conditioning paradigm can induce fear learning in healthy (naturally cycling) women. Fig. 1 displays means and standard errors for SCRs over the whole conditioning procedure and all participants.


Low levels of estradiol are associated with elevated conditioned responding during fear extinction and with intrusive memories in daily life.

Wegerer M, Kerschbaum H, Blechert J, Wilhelm FH - Neurobiol Learn Mem (2014)

Means (and standard errors) of skin conductance responses (SCRs) to CS+ and CS− across habituation (Hab), acquisition (Acq), and extinction (Ext) phases of the fear conditioning task. Asterisks indicate significant difference in skin conductance responses (SCR) between CS+ and CS− trials (p < .05).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4256064&req=5

f0005: Means (and standard errors) of skin conductance responses (SCRs) to CS+ and CS− across habituation (Hab), acquisition (Acq), and extinction (Ext) phases of the fear conditioning task. Asterisks indicate significant difference in skin conductance responses (SCR) between CS+ and CS− trials (p < .05).
Mentions: Participants demonstrated reliable differential electrodermal fear acquisition: The repeated-measures ANOVA for the whole conditioning task displayed a significant main effect of CS-type (F(1, 36) = 7.84, p = .008, η2 = .18) and Conditioning phase (F(2, 72) = 13.94, p < .001, η2 = .28, ε = .634), as well as a significant CS-type × Conditioning phase interaction (F(2, 72) = 4.25, p = .025, η2 = .11, ε = .828). Post-hoc tests revealed that participants’ SCRs did not significantly differ between CS+ and CS− during habituation (t(36) = −1.39, p = .174). However, a significant difference between SCRs to CS+ and CS− could be observed during acquisition (t(36) = 2.20, p = .035, d = 0.20) as well as during extinction (t(36) = 2.81, p = .008, d = 0.23). Thus, consistent with our previous report on the larger sample (Wegerer, Blechert, Kerschbaum, et al., 2013), these data indicate that the film-based conditioning paradigm can induce fear learning in healthy (naturally cycling) women. Fig. 1 displays means and standard errors for SCRs over the whole conditioning procedure and all participants.

Bottom Line: However, although intrusive memories are considered non-extinguished emotional reactions to trauma reminders, none of the previous studies has investigated effects of ovarian hormones on fear conditioning mechanisms and intrusive memories in conjunction.The inverse relationship between estradiol and intrusive memories was at least partially accounted for by the conditioned responding observed during fear extinction.Progesterone levels were not associated with either fear acquisition/extinction or with intrusive memories.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstraße 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria. Electronic address: melanie.wegerer@sbg.ac.at.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus